Advanced Tactics

[3.4] Warning: Heat Wave. Ember Guide

by Ol’ Pappy - 8.12.2017

Author: Ol' Pappy

When Jim Morrison of The Doors sang, “C’mon baby light my fire” back in 1967, he certainly wasn’t thinking of War Robots. But with the introduction of a new heavy flame-thrower, many players are now singing the praises of the devastating Ember.

By now, Ember is a mainstay of many hangars thanks to ability to inflict high damage and to penetrate both energy shields and hard shields.

With a range of 350 meters, and the ability, at Level 12, to deal around 147,000 damage over 10 seconds of continued firing, Ember is a tremendously powerful close range option for many robots that, until now, were mostly confined to mid-range or long-range gameplay.

Since Ember is a heavy weapon, its use is limited to the following robots: Boa, Butch, Carnage, Fury, Golem Lancelot, Leo, Natasha, Schutze, Rajin, and Vityaz.

 

Ember: general tactics

“There’s nothing as hot, as a slow burning fire”

— The Skydiggers, Slow Burning Fire

So let’s get one thing straight, right off the hop. Using Ember for the first time might make you feel as invincible as the Human Torch. You might get a burning desire to fly around the battlefield, rushing headlong at opponents with both fuel cylinders roaring with Ember’s flames.

I’ll admit it’s fun as hell — but only if you have a death wish. Because Ember is a slow burning fire, not a nuke blast. It takes time to melt metal, and it takes even longer if the red is hovering around the edge of the 350-meter range.

While Ember doesn’t seem to have the same dispersal effect of say, a Thunder — which has a clearly defined spread of pellets that deals more damage the closer it is to an enemy — the heavy flamethrower does seem to miss target somewhat at maximum range.

In fact, when the target is moving, Ember’s flames seem to trail behind targets, causing some of the damage to miss target completely.

Because of this effect, I often lead my targets when facing fast moving, or jumping bots like Griffins and Rogatkas. By aiming just in front of the reds, you will hit them and cause more damage.

It’s this tendency to miss target at maximum range that makes Ember primarily a close-range killer. Often, the best move is the charge at your enemy — especially if you are using a fast-moving bot.

When it comes to such charging attacks, Carnage and Lancelot are the optimum bots to use. But each presents a high-risk reward scenario. For Carnage, dual Embers is a monster build — but with only 114,000 health at Level 12, Carnage is paper-thin. You must play Ember Carnage as an ambush bot. Try to just rush blindly at a Griffin or Dash bot, and it will end badly for you.

The Lancelot’s rush ability also allows you to close distance fast. But Lance’s Achilles heel are splash weapons. So you will want to use great caution to be sure that your enemy isn’t waiting with Orkans and Pinatas. If you run a Lance with Tarans and Ember, then it’s best to stay back between the 320-meter and 350-meter range.

Now, a caveat — I play in Champions league, and I honestly can’t even remember the last time I saw a Schutze or Vityaz during a game, other than people trolling. But I imagine at lower levels, a Vityaz with Ember and Magnums would be a real beast. The Vityaz’s relatively high health and so-so speed, combined with the relentless fire of Magnums, which need no reloading, would likely carve a swath through lower tiers.

 

Ember on Inquisitor

“Smoke on the water, and fire in the sky”

— Deep Purple, Smoke on the Water

Just like cookies go with milk… and like Sonny goes with Cher… and like hair metal goes with hair spray, Ember was literally made for another new entry into the game — the Inquisitor.

Don’t believe me? Then believe War Robots’ own developers, who have created loading screens showing the stealthy behemoth jumping into battle with Embers blazing.

I’ve tried a few different builds, but Ember and Tarans seems to work best. This keeps me out of Orkan range, and the plasma also penetrates Haechi and Carnage shields. But keep in mind, your stealth only lasts five seconds after landfall. So don’t linger out in the open, unless you want your Inquisitor reduced to nothing more than sparks and melted steel.

Sometimes, when facing enemies hiding behind walls, it’s best to aim just to the side of the wall. The Ember has a bit of a “splash effect” in that, the edges of the flames seem to extend a few meters on either side of the main flame column. That means you can still damage enemies when they are hiding behind walls — as long as they are close enough to the edge of the wall.

Ember Orkans can also cause major damage, but it’s dangerous getting with range of splash counter fire. So use caution when running Ember-Inquisitor; your stealth jump doesn’t make you invincible!
 

Ember on Boa, Golem, Natasha and Leo

"Fight fire with fire
Ending is near"

— Metallica, Fight Fire With Fire

I grew up in the eighties, and back in the ripped jeans and mullet days, I was a huge fan of Metallica, especially their Ride the Lightning album. “Fight Fire With Fire” is still a favourite of mine, and I sometimes find myself humming to it when I suddenly find myself facing another Ember-equipped bot — especially if I am running robots such as Boa, Golem, Natasha, or Leo.

Each of these bots carries plenty of firepower, and in the case of Leo and Boa, huge health reserves as well. And yet, if you try to “fight fire with fire” you will come away at best maimed, and at worst, fried to a crisp.

In this new age of energy shields, hard shields and special stealth and hover abilities, bots with no special protections or abilities will soon find themselves in the scrap heap. Leo is a great example — an Ember-Magnums build sounds great in theory — until you run head first into an Ember-Tarans Lancelot.

At lower levels, where there should be fewer premium robots, then Boas, Leos, Natashas, and Golems, equipped with Embers and plasma, would certainly be effective.

 

Ember Fury and Raijin

“Goodness gracious, great balls of fire!”

 — Jerry Lee Lewis, Great Balls of Fire

If you really want to make the reds quake, then roll a triple Ember Fury.  There’s nothing like hiding around a wall and have enemies storm at you, only to run head-on into a triple wall of Ember flames.

With triple Embers, you will swear the game is glitching — that’s how fast three flame-throwers can kill enemy robots. The trouble is, Fury’s massive hit zone and slow speed make it a bit of a suicide build with Embers — after only a couple of clashes, you will likely be dead.

The same goes for Rajin. When Rajin enters Bastion mode, its weapons gain a 30 percent boost in power. But it also must remain stationary, which turns it into a bit of a sitting duck. If you want to roll an Ember Rajin, I suggest giving up one of the Embers in favour of the Ancile shield. It will save your hide when being hammered with splash weapons. And with Ember’s five-second reload, you are only vulnerable for short stints when reloading.

 

Ember Butch

"I have only one burning desire
Let me stand next to your fire"

— Jimi Hendrix, Fire

After trying all these builds, my favourite Ember pairing is the bad boy of the Wild West, Butch.

Ember was tailor-made for Butch, which can carry four hard point weapons. After testing all the long-range options, I settled on a build that use two Zeus for mid-range fighting, and two Embers for knife fighting.

This build is especially great for maps like Canyon, Springfield and Yamantau, where you can wear down opponents with Zeus long before they try to close distance. On many occasions, the reds won’t even realize you have a pair of Embers waiting for them. They will see your Zeus, get greedy, and charge you — and run straight into two streams of fiery death.
 

Bottom line

Ember is a great addition to the arsenal of heavy weapons. It finally allows larger bots to brawl (particularly since Thunder was nerfed recently, making it largely ineffective at top tier levels), and allows players to take-on — and often defeat — otherwise heavily shielded bots .

So what’s stopping you, pilots? Grab some Embers and spark them up. As you watch your enemies weep, feel free to sing along to the immortal words of KISS:

“Feel my heat takin’ you higher,
burn with me, Heaven’s on fire!”

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