6. Advanced Ability Overview
This section will contain ranging amount of tips/tricks related to Support role as a whole, as well as specific Seris mechanics and her ability interactions.
I am not denying that the amount of information provided might be overwhelming for new Serises - I suggest you try her out first, test her abilities and interactions on your own before reading those last 2 sections.
As with every Support, the goal for Seris is to keep everybody alive for as long as possible, while avoiding dying at the beginning of the fight. This can be achieved by having superior positioning and great game sense. If you die first on the battlefield as a Support, you're garbage and you failed your job.
As a Support, your positioning on the battlefield is quite easy to comprehend, but also very unforgiving for mistakes and must be held very strictly. Many people say, that Supports sit safely in backline, but that's just an immediate conclusion. As a Support, you want to be on opposite side of most of enemy team at all times, with the center pivot you're rotating around being your tanks location.
If most of enemy team is in front of you, and between you and them are your tanks, you're in good position. If most of the enemy goes right flank, you should be on the left flank, with tanks walling you off. If they are in your backline, you rotate closer to their base location, etc.
This way, it is very easy mitigate the amounts of damage you take, thanks to damage fall-off, longer time to react to projectiles, and reliable cover. Mitigating damage you take is huge for Supports, as there's literally no one else to heal you other than yourself.
Flankers are biggest danger to your well-being. Fortunately, if you followed the advice above, you can use your positioning to your advantage. In addition to being on opposite side of enemy team, if you're expecting ambush from specific left/right flank route, consider strafing a little bit to right/left respectively to create additional distance and force enemy flankers to use their precious movement abilities just to be able to move with their effective range to your location. This can be achieved by standing in hard to reach locations, such as higher grounds.
Most of the characters have only 1 movement ability, if they use it to get to you, they can't get out, meaning you have advantage of you using your movement ability, and then get away with no possibility of being chased back.
But what if Flanks didn't use their ability to close distance, or have multiple of them? Then you are forced into duel. Some of the Supports can duel very well, some leave much to desire. Seris can use her self heal and easy to apply at close range damage to win her fights for as long as high level of Cauterize don't appear. Once they do, you need to figure another way of protection.
Ideally, if your team has some sort of backline damage dealer, you should position yourself in a way that will make Flanker see the damage dealer first, and not you. This way you create 2v1 situation that Flanker just can't win. The best he can do is trade his life for life of Damage dealer on your team, but that still turns 5v5 into 4v4 with both supports alive.
If all of those tips were applied and flanker still managed to live even tho he was super aggressive and killed you, this is no longer only on your bars to survive. This is the moment when one of your tanks should apply more defensive position and continuously peel from you and your Damagers. Most of the tanks have ability to quickly reposition enemies or protect you in the moment of need. If they aren't doing that then it really is not your fault you die, it's theirs, as they left hole in their space-creating job. But their blame starts ONLY from this point onwards, all your other deaths are all your fault completely.
You need to also remember whether your location allows you to heal your allies well or not. A good position allows you to heal people that are around the point and at least 1 flank route. If it covers all flanks and point, that's amazing, but covering only point, or only one flank, just isn't good of a position and you need to find another place as soon as possible.
It is your job as a Support to capture the objective once your team won the fight. This allows your tank to push forward and prevent any enemy from getting to point. If enemy breaks through your tanks back onto the point, you fall back and let tank cap the point. Similar logic should be treated with payload. That being said, as payload gets close to end, the section that payload needs to be pushed here is usually very open and dangerous for a Support character - this is where one of your tanks should start pushing it no matter where enemies are.
Moving from general positioning guide into ability specific tips and mechanics, let's start with Seris' primary fire.
I will start with this first, because I feel like this is the worst habit I see among Seris players: use your orbs. If you're not low on health, if you're not escaping, just shoot and hit someone. Too many Serises don't use her weapon and this is a huge mistake on their part. Supports gain a lot more ult charge by damaging in comparison to healing.
In case of Seris, she gains 1% ult charge per 200 damage she deals. For comparison, she gains 1% ult charge per 500 healing she does. A single orb can give you up to 5.25% ult charge if you cleave through all enemies.
Supports' Ultimates are their moments of power (as well as utilities but Seris doesn't have any), they are specifically designed to be their carry moment, especially compared to every other class. Which is why you have to do damage to work to your full potential.
That being said, never, EVER, chase low health targets running away behind corners if the fight is not already won. If you die chasing enemy, or even trade with that low health damage, that's still a fight for your team without a support.
Seris LMB is definitely a completely different skill check compared to other characters. At medium to long range, you need to become a freaking god walking amongst mere mortals just to apply consistent damage, as it moves at speed that is half of Pip's LMB. Getting used to her Left Click is something that is achieved by playing her for longer periods of time, but there are some tricks that allow you to damage ranged enemies.
If enemy is escaping, try to shoot orbs into their nearest escape route, randomizing the landing spots of your orbs. While you can use midair inaccuracy, it is best to have full control yourself. It almost guarantees hitting people at least a couple of times.
The orbs actually don't disappear until the middle centre of the orbs hit a wall, allowing them to cleave through walls slightly and hitting enemies behind a corner. For example, at the start of the payload push Birghtmarsh, there's this little wooden fence in the middle of the map, it has some signs above it. You can actually shoot over that fence to damage everyone hiding behind this cover, giving you easy ult charge.
At longer ranges, Seris LMB become more of a zoning tool rather than a damaging tool. You can prevent people from passing certain open sightlines, as well as stop enemies from moving through corners to finish that low health ally.
I mentioned previously that movement speed affects Seris' burst potential. Here's the explanation.
Seris' primary fire is made of slow moving projectiles, thus you can manipulate them by your own movement. By moving in a straight line forward, you can tighten the distance between each orb shoot, and on static enemy, this means each orb will hit that enemy slightly faster than normal. The more speed you have, the tighter the gap is of the orbs you spawn.
Similarly, going backwards will enlarge the gap between orbs and slow your time to kill.
Here are 3 gifs at highest movement speed available for Seris, that start shooting at the same time and from the same spot, notice the difference in kill time.
So if you want kill your opponent faster, running quickly in straight line towards them is the best possible way to reduce your ttk, all at cost of you moving in a predictable way, and therefore being much easier target to shoot.
The last thing those orbs can do is work as a signal flare for your allies. If your ally is sitting behind the corner, low health, waiting for out of combat regeneration and you just can't force yourself out of position to reach him/her, what I usually do is throw some orbs in their line of sight. Many people just snap out of it and quickly peek you for a heal.
You can also use this to warn enemy flankers you know they're coming. This alone might actually prevent them from flanking in the first place.
Seris reload is rather fast, but we can make it better.
Seris has ani-ancel where reload animation completely replaces animation of you throwing an orb, while still reloading.
There are 2 ways of doing this cancel technique:
- Hold LMB all time, use any ability except your Shadow Travel, and spam reload key when ability ends.
- Press LMB + Reload at the same time. This requires you to let go off LMB if you were already firing.
Notice the slight delay in the 2nd version.
Overall, it has some niche scenarios where it helps, especially to keep Umbral Gait duration for longer, but honestly, I keep forgetting this thing exists, especially with Spirit Leech existing.
You better like this ability, as you will use it a lot.
This ability has fairly long reach, having range of 120 ft. It requires line of sight initially, but not when channeling heal, so most obvious and safest way to use this ability is to peek for a split second and then hide behind wall until it's duration ends, you can’t do anything else anyway.
A good way to make your positioning unpredictable for flankers, is to use 2 sightline points that you constantly rotate around in between heals, for as long as those vintage points qualify as good positioning. You can't do it anywhere you want, but such simple idea can yield into great results.
Your heal has visuals that work like a shining yellow arrow pointing to your location, you better use anything that will make flanker guess your location.
Don't forget you can cancel your healing ability. The moment someone reaches full health, it is not worth to continue healing them unless you want to gain bonuses your loadout cards bring. Never precast it either. As you continue playing Seris you will eventually get a feeling when people will gain full health from your RMB without even looking at their healthpool, canceling your heal, dare I say, accidentally, right when they get full.
Your heal does not put you in combat mode, allowing you to contribute to fight while restoring your health out of combat without any risk.
Probably the biggest cause of Seris players' deaths, me included, is chasing allies that constantly get out of position to heal them, and thus getting Seris out of position as well.
Don't do it. It's not worth it. Don't heal people that are overextending way out there in enemy backline. If healing person requires you to drop from your high ground, requires you to peek snipers' line of sight for way too long, there's no other way to get into their line of sight, then don't do it. Don't heal them, mute them if they spam VGS after dying, they probably didn't use they VGS system for good anyway, focus your healing on people who will win your fight instead.
Sometimes line of sight requirement feels like a burden, but fortunately, we can get our ways around that.
Many people don't know this, but if you hold your heal button when noone is in your Line Of Sight (LoS for short), Seris will attempt to heal at the earliest possible moment when an ally actually does get into her LoS. This almost completely makes the “perhaps I pressed my right click too late” issue pretty irrelevant when trying to get into LoS of your allies.
Do keep in mind, however, that her autolock is really forgiving, and this technique can actually make you heal someone that you didn't even notice running in the corner of your camera. What is even worse, her autolock is so generous, it can actually target person that is in close proximity behind the Seris.
Another tech that might help, is to use Superjumps to achieve desired LoS. As you might have already realized, if you jump close to a wall, or at least an obstacle that is on about your chest level, your character actually jumps twice as high compared to normal jump.
What that means is that you can jump while looking at nearest wall, then rotate your camera 180 degrees, and while in air you can target an ally that would otherwise be impossible to target without moving away from your position.
I use it all the time, and almost every fight it has its uses.There are a lot of interesting spots for Seris superjumps that you will learn over time.
If you want to gain bonuses from your cards and dont care about who you heal, then hold your right click and spin your mouse 360 degrees. Autolock will do the job for you.
When it comes to heal target prioritization, there are 3 rules I use:
- If Tank and squishy are both high HP, heal squishy, as tank has higher chance to survive upcoming damage.
- If tank and squishy next to each other are low, heal tank, as he is more important role to keep alive.
- If someone carries your game more than rest, no matter what role, focus his healing on him more than others.
In addition, almost every Tank and Flank in the game has an ability that allows them to counter effects of Cauterize, a shield, or things like Inara's increased healing. This is their way of saying I need your heal focus right now, and you should adjust accordingly.
Healing under effect of Cauterize is very situation-specific.
While most of the times it's probably better to just damage instead, you will probably still try to heal your allies with a view to them lose the effect of Caut for even a brief moment, mainly due to muscle memory.
But you definitely want to heal people during caut in those circumstances:
- Flanker diving onto a bursty character. With caut 3, you heal for enough to achieve a health breakpoint for your squishy Flank that will let them survive all this burst, even if at 30 hp.
- Your ally has Rejuvenate 3 or increased healing cards and is not taking too much damage. With reju 3, you heal for about 400 health/sec even when they have caut 3.
To reduce your tunnel vision, turn on your Team Bar UI in the Options menu. This is the part of UI in the upper left corner that shows their Champion stats, including their current health. There's so much information in it you would miss otherwise.
But all in all, as you gain experience with Seris, healing with her becomes as natural as breathing, nothing more than formality. In fact, I sometimes forget I am healing someone, it's all tied to my muscle memory at this point. Person that plays Seris really well looks like a some sort of damage dealer that simply heals during his downtime, as if he knew he is going to lose LoS with enemy or reposition himself at the same exact moment his teammates need healing, always doing something impactful and never having any downtime.This is definitely playstyle goal eventually, but for now, just make sure you don't hear VE spam too often.
While everyone else on the Support roster have access to amazing healing abilities or utilities on their first ability, Seris preferred to go the selfish route and decided to put there a self healing ability instead.
Most obvious way to use this ability is to recover health from any damage you take during the fight. Usually, detonating 3 stacks is already enough, considering how early you tend to press this button. If you're low on health and have 1 or 2 stacks, it's usually better to try to shoot once or twice to get better amount of healing before the detonation, but if you're caught in awkward place don't hesitate to press it.
This ability is amazing early game, but once enemy team starts stacking higher levels of Cauterize, even detonating 10 stacks is not enough to heal through all the damage they do.
In that case what you have to do is go behind cover for 1.5 seconds. Some people try to time it, but it's easier to simply look at the Cauterize timer in the middle of the screen.
While dueling, find a pillar or any cover that will allow you to strip Cauterize even for a brief moment, if possible. What I like to do is use wall superjump to mess with people's aim, which hopefully will allow me to remove Caut for additional split second. Note that the more stacks you have, the longer it takes your Q to self heal you, so adjust your time accordingly.
Obviously, this ability has far more uses than that. In additio to use it with your Talents and cards, Rend Soul can be used to burst enemies fairly well.
When on pure offense, the perfect scenario to detonate this ability is when you catch enemy in a current of your Soul Orbs. The ideal moment happens when one of your orbs manages to drop enemy's health below 610 (673 with SC), and if you time it correctly, enemy will experience the instantaneous 400 damage your Q deals, and then be hit with one orb that has already been fired that he just can't avoid, dealing lethal damage.
Essentially you're turning 400 damage burst into 610 (673 with SC) unavoidable damage, and this is not something people expect Seris to do, especially if you moved towards the enemy in a straight line, like I explained in Soul Orbs section, speeding up time-to-kill even more. In other words, if you don't need the self-heal, then time it this way, instead of using it as soon as enemy gets stacked 4 times.
This ability can also be used to finish enemies behind a corner. It's kind of obvious, but it seems that too many Serises prefer to chase enemy into their base instead of pressing Q…
Last but not least, this ability can show you location of stacked enemies.Their character silhouette actually flashes revealed as they get damaged for a split second. It is very useful when you noticed enemy that retreats, but has multiple paths of escaping the situation. If you're on mic you can even use this to inform your Flankers where their kill is.
If you use the abomination Agony talent, and proc stun successfully, then move behind the enemy to force him to rotate his camera before he can shoot you. As he tries to do so, jump to his right or left, depending which direction he rotated his camera (you want to jump opposite direction). If there's a wall nearby, you can even consider using it to jump over him. All of it while still dealing damage to that target.
There's this issue of people who tend to sit in this ability for way longer than they should. If you have crossed that dangerous sightline, if flanker forgot about your existence after your pressed F, if positioning is good enough and there's nothing that can hurt you easily - then you should cancel this ability and help your team.
You can actually decloak yourself by using your Spray button as well. This way of decloaking only breaks stealth and not the ability itself - which means you are visible, but still immune to all damage and CC. It can be used as a bait in niche scenarios.
You need to think about 2 positions constantly whole match. The position you are in, and position you want to end in when you use your F. Those depend on map, composition of both teams, enemy position and their movement, as well as movement speed in your F. If your movement speed is rather low, consider moving closer to your tanks. If your tank manage to see low health Seris that is using her F to reposition, there's a chance they will turn back and peel the danger away from your team.
Use wall superjumps to preserve your speed momentum. Seris is more slippy than other characters, it takes her longer to accelerate after standing still/strafing. This is also true when you bump into a wall. If there's a platform that you want to jump on, then instead of bumping into it, losing all your speed and acceleration, use nearest wall to jump over it instead.
Here's comparison in distance with old max speed in your F:
This distance might look small, but other characters waste 2-3 levels of their cards to gain such distance advantage.
It takes exactly 4 seconds for a champion to start regenerating out of combat, which is the exact duration of this ability, so you will start regenerating after fully leaving this ability, so consider healing over shooting right after it ends to gain full benefits from that regen. You can also delay your escape as long as possible even if being chased in order to activate regen while you are in this ability for a budget Nether Siphon card.
To enter your escape successfully without dying midcast more often, use wall jumps to do a more unpredictable movement that will throw enemy aim off. You can even try to jump over their head to guarantee going into the shadow dimension.
Your Shadow Travel cleanses all harmful effects when you enter it successfully, including Cauterize. That being said, don't leave use it to cleanse caut just for your Q alone. Doing this combo makes both of your survivability tools go into a cooldown, which is something you want to avoid at almost all times of playing.
Your Q has 1 second cast time, so you might as well hold onto that Shadow Travel for 1 second longer, being in better position, and then uncloak.
Your decloak has also 0.3 long animation were you can't do anything, keep that in mind.
Definitely the most difficult part of her kit.
Don't worry if you fail to connect it where you wanted at first. The orb is shot from your left side, which can often make it bounce on anything that was situated there close to you, not to mention the orb can bounce of enemies and shields as well.
A great tip for this ult, is when you think this is a good moment to activate it, then delay pressing the key for 1 second (or just reload if you don't know how long 1s is) to think about all counters that can completely negate it (ults, shields, cc reduction/immunity, escape abilities, etc.) This alone will make you ults more successful.
You can time your throw just as enemy shield/wall/ult is going down. Enemies tend to get clumped after safety those provide, allowing for an easy wipe.
The most common practice used is to prefire your orbs at the direction of landing your ultimate to guarantee damage. Seris can deal up to about ~1400 damage on her own before enemy can actually start escaping this ability.
Unfortunately, people forget to heal their teammates while they're ulting to focus on damage, and while it is good thing to do most of the time, healing should take priority.
Prefiring orbs at your ult location is the most common reason as to why Seris players die right when they ult. However, once you realize that Seris can delay this prefiring for up to 1 second, depending on distance, you can minimize deaths to minimum. If you shoot a distant ult, take time to breathe, and then you can still shoot in a way that will time my orbs perfectly with the pull. It is also more ammo efficient to prefire with a small delay.
As enemies try to run away from your ult, detonate your Q for additional 400 damage. if you're using, bleh, Agony, you should press Q as soon as everyone gets hit 4th time, making them clumped together still for longer.
As I said, Seris can deal ~1400 damage by herself during ult, so comboing it with ults of your allies is almost completely pointless, all they need is to shoot at the direction.
One bad habit I see Seris players do is to never use their ultimate, they all wait for those highlight six-man(?) pulls. Don't do this. Pulling one squishy, if it allows for an easy kill, is already great value. If you make 5v5 into 5v4, especially if you kill support, you win.
As a general rule, if you didn't have any great chance for high man pulls within last 1 min of getting the ultimate, that means enemy is very competent with their positioning and you should focus on pulling 1 or 2 people at best. By the time that minute has passed, you would have another ult anyway.
One of the best uses of this ult are: counter-aggression, and point retakes.
When there's overtime about to proc on point capture, no matter if you try to capture or defend the said objective, people forget about their positioning in order to guarantee proccing that overtime/defending that point. This is the time when they like to group up, which is where Seris ult shines.
Try to target spot that is outside of the point, as it will allow you to buy more additional time for your team that is respawning, instead of letting enemy pressure point while you're ulting them.
Another excellent use for your ultimate is to buy some space and time. Simply throwing it at your dying tank or squishy will force people to run away, or get stunned for 1.4 seconds. This allows you to save and heal that ally, and even if that ult did almost no damage nor confirmed any kill, it was already a good ult.
You can also use it to save yourself from flankers, or other threats, like being caught out of position. That said, the value of saving yourself with it depends on many different aspects. If you're starting the fight as 5v5 and you see get caught by surprise, or out of position, and you have high amounts of hp, then don't hesitate to ult. You save yourself and also can kill that flank/enemy who caught you, that's a value of 2 people affected in total that turns 5v5 into 5v4.
However using it after fight is at your advantage even if you die, for example, you are at 4v3 and enemy support is dead, or at very low health, it is not worth doing at all.
If running Soul Collector, it is also a viable strategy to ult just to gain your stacks. But only if you can guarantee at least 8 stacks, so a 2man pull.
The orb has projectile time, and then after it there is 0.5s delay before the pull. So throwing it right under your feet will speed up the pull, and throwing it high in the air delays it.
Throwing it at your feet allows for the fastest possible pull. The pull will be so quick, you can stun flank before they can react and escape before the burst damage can kill you.
Throwing it in the air delays it for what is about 3 seconds. The orb will land a little bit in front of you after that time. There are some niche situations when this strategy is actually better than any other use of your ult, for example, if you're the only one alive, and allies respawn or are on their mouns running towards the point as you try to proc overtime, sacrificing yourself in place. You can use that split second of time where you are alive after F to aim upwards and pull enemies with a delay away from the point, allowing for a chance to recapture.
Probably the best use of this technique that happened to me is in this video from Paladins WTH (R.I.P. this great channel):
at 0:57, this is me who sent this clip to this channel, doing this tactic with amazing results.
Now about, the DON'Ts of this ultimate:
- Don't ult at low health, it never works and you just die.
- Don't ult when everyone else is 100% dead and not respawning soon. You're not going to achieve anything with that ult.
- Don't panic ults. They almost never work.
- Don't ult when attack of payload push is below 1 minute, and especially when it is overtime and you don't have 99.9% chance the push will be successful. even 99.8% chance is not enough of a reason to ult.
- Don't ult when defense of payload push is below 1 minute, and especially when it is overtime. Ulting on overtime/under minute should be only used if they're about to success and get a win from that push.
- Don't use your F ability to go behind your enemy backline, to ult them from behind. You're loud and easy to counter, and even if you kill 2 people with that ult, you die right after, and enemy team can win even 3v4 if they have support alive and your team doesn't,considering spawn distance advantage. Anything you achieve being behind enemy with your ult can be achieved in your own backline, only much safer.