A Beginner's Guide to Alona
Hey everyone! So I've been really enjoying the alpha and have basically dedicated myself to playing only Alona and Korryn at the moments, since I love playing support roles and they're the only two supports at the moments. I typed up an in depth guide on Alona for those players who are just jumping into the game. I'll also be creating one for Korryn down the line, but for the time being enjoy! Please feel free to provide feedback and criticism, as I'd like to make this as helpful as possible!
Alona - A Beginner's Guide
This guide serves as an in depth rundown of Alona's abilities, her role, and counter-plays to enemy tactics.
One of the first rules you'll learn about Breakaway is to never stop moving and with Alona, that rule could not be more important. As the game's only dedicated healer, Alona is a ranged support character who can provided sustain for her team, allowing her to excel at drawn out teamfights and 1v2 encounters. However, this healing comes at the price of a low health pool, no dedicated way to self heal, and low damage output. However, when played correctly, she can ensure allies stay alive in many different circumstances, which will eventually lead the team to victory.
What Can She Do? - Alona's Abilities
Primary Fire: Fireball
A slow moving projectile that damages enemies and causes a slight stun, forcing enemies to drop the relic. Due to the slow moving nature of this attack, it's important to lead your shots on moving targets; shoot ahead of where they're running to ensure the fireball lands as they move into it's path. Since this attack has a slow fire rate, take the time to aim your shots when attempting to hit an fleeing relic holder. However, during teamfights you'll find it's more beneficial to spam the ability into your enemy to assist your main DPS with taking out enemy targets.
Defensive Ability: Sun's Grace
A short ranged teleport with a very quick casting time. Due to it's relatively short cooldown, this ability serves the dual purpose of giving Alona a quick escape, or a gap closer when chasing enemies. When timed properly, this ability can be used to avoid devastating ult combos and keep her alive so she can continue to support her team. Don't be afraid to use this ability when an ally is about to be killed and you need to make a quick getaway. Your survival is more important than a lone dps, since your death means the end of your team's sustainability. Play it smart and know when it's time to fall back.
Ability 1: Radiance
Targets a nearby teammate and provides a heal over time as long as they're in range. The cooldown for Radiance will not start until either the heal over time duration has ended or your ally is no longer in range, whichever comes first. There are a few important notes about this ability. As mentioned earlier, the cooldown does not begin until after the healing has ended. If timed properly, you can leave the range of a fully healed ally to ensure the ability is off cooldown quicker so you may heal another target. Additionally, at the moment the ability does not have any kind of smart targeting, meaning the target you may want to heal might not be selected if multiple allies are in range. This means positioning is important, as sometimes you'll want to prioritize a particular low health target over another. Practice getting a feel for the abilities range (if you have Double Tap enabled, you'll see the casting range after you press the ability key once) so you can ensure each cast reaches the ally you've intended. Lastly, the strength of the heal is directly affected by Alona's attack power. Meaning if you pick up attack power equipment upgrades, the amount of healing done is increased. If you feel your healing output is not enough to keep your teammates topped off, considering picking up one or two attack power upgrades to boost the strength of Radiance and give your team that extra edge.
Ability 2: Sunburst
An explosion of energy surrounds you, damaging and knocking back any opponent in range. Sunburst pairs particularly well with your defensive ability, allowing you to push enemies away and quickly move out of harms way, widening the gap between yourself and your opponent. However, this ability can also be used offensively by interrupting enemy attacks on your allies, giving them a chance to either run for cover or give you enough time to heal them so they can continue fighting. This ability has quite a long cooldown at 20 seconds, meaning you'll want to be careful about spamming this ability, lest you find yourself without any means of escape when targeted by your enemies.
Ultimate Ability: Blessing of the Sun
Creates a large circle of healing a short distance in front of you which heals for a set initial amount and then heals over time while active. This ability is your go to weapon when it comes to sustaining your team during a teamfight. It's important to note that not only does this provide a burst amount of healing, but it allows teammates who might not be in range initially to still benefit from the heal over time if they enter it's range shortly after it's been cast. Combined with Radiance, this ability can ensure your team is able to finish off high health enemies such as Black Knight, or survive burst damage like Rawlins ultimate. The healing area of effect will spawn a short range in front of your reticle, meaning that this does not provide you with the burst healing aspect. This also means that you'll want to be careful when attempting to save allies you may be directly next to you. You may sometimes want to use Sun's Grace to position yourself properly prior to casting your ultimate to ensure it lands where you need it to. Lastly, always remember that this is your only means of healing yourself (outside of your buildable), so be sure to walk into the area of effect if you're low on health after it's been cast.
Buildable: Sun Shrine
This defensive buildable provides a heal over time to nearby teammates. Think of this as stationary version of your Radiance ability, providing your teammates a way to restore health in the event of your death or a hard enemy push. Your buildable has a moderate amount of health, so don't be afraid to use this deeper into your opponents territory. This provides slightly slower healing than your base, meaning your team can utilize this as a way to keep pressure upon the enemy team while maintaining their health pool. You also get 1 buildable per round, and they do not disappear between rounds, unless an opponent destroys it. This means you can have multiple shrines on the field at once time, further allowing your team sustainability in order to keep harassing your opponents.
How Do I Fight? - Strategy to Playing Alona
As mentioned earlier, Alona is one of the squishiest characters in the game, meaning that under sustained fire, she'll fall quickly. Map awareness and positioning are key to ensure your survival throughout the match. Due to your strong heals, and low cooldowns, staying close to your teammates will ensure they can make quick work of your enemies without having to stop and return to base in order to restore their health. When the match begins, you'll typically want to move with your tanks, giving them the opportunity to engage your opponents and initiate a teamfight. Once the teamfight is underway, you'll want to pull back and position yourself so you can heal you allies as their health decreases, while spamming your primary fire into the fray.
While you focus on supporting your team, keep an eye on your flanks and what warriors you need to watch out for. If the enemy team has a Jarra, you want to make sure you're never caught out in the open alone. She can kill you with a single combo of her ultimate, so stay close to your tanks or dps to make sure you're not caught unaware.You'll also want to stay far away from Black Knight, as his ultimate will pull you in and with your low health pool, you're sure to die if you become trapped in it. Rawlins is another enemy you'll want to avoid, as his high burst damage can make quick work of you. Be sure to stay out of his range and spam your Primary fire as needed to keep him at bay while your allies take care of him. If you find yourself constantly dying from focused attacks by mulitple enemies, make an effort to center yourself with your team so they can support you, rather than dying alone. Once the relic is safely in your teams hands, you can move along with whomever the relic touches, providing sustained healing and ensuring it's delivery to the enemy spawn.
When making a play for the relic, it's best that you allow your teammates to push it rather than yourself. While you can hold your own against a single opponent by keeping them at range, with the relic your movement speed is greatly reduced opening yourself up to a major attack from the enemy team. Due to your squishy nature, you typically won't survive when holding the relic for long. It's best to pass it forward as fast and as safely as possible, while healing in between each catch. If you find yourself in the situation of needing to grab the relic, use the map to your advantage, taking high ground and quickly sliding into enemy territory so your team can follow up. Since you're a ranged support, you can assist with taking out enemy buildables that may stand between your allies and the goal, so be sure to spam down ballistas, walls, and traps that could be in the way.
Lastly, when it comes to equipment, you want to ensure you can heal as often and as strong as possible. Cooldown reduction is one of the first perks you should pick up, followed by attack or movement speed. Attack will increase the strength of your healing, while movement speed will ensure you're able to out run your opponents. Getting the Master level of Cooldown reduction will mean your healing is on nearly a constant up-time, allowing you to spam Radiance and your ultimate as needed. If you find yourself constantly low on health, picking up the out of combat healing perk can be useful. However if your own health is becoming a major problem, you may want to start playing more defensively, as playing too aggressive can leave you dead more often than not. Lastly, if the enemy starts to have a large array of buildables, it can be helpful to pick up the perk to increase your damage towards buildings, assisting your dps with taking out key targets. Equipment purchases will vary from game to game, so always be willing to adapt to the situation. And don't be afraid to ask your teammates for help in what purchases you should make.
Alona is an strong healer who plays well on both offense and on defense, meaning she can provide utility to almost any team composition. By utilizing strong map awareness and smart positioning, you can ensure your team becomes a major pain in the side of any opponent you may face. Keep your tanks alive, support your dps, and you'll be on a quick path to victory.
Good luck and have fun!