Now that you know yourself a little bit, it’s time to know your enemy. Listed here will be the different enemy types and some other important information. First, priority targets are specific enemy classes that change the way you need to approach the wave if they show up in that wave, should you desire to clear the wave safely. Shield types denote the element that will comprise most enemy shields. Weapon types denote which element(s) enemies will use against you, from most common to least common. Finally, high-value targets will give a brief summary of that enemy type’s HVT, while the summary will go more in detail.
Targets: Servitors, Heavy Shanks
Weapons: Arc, Solar, Void
HVT: Captain (Arc shield, Solar shrapnel launcher, teleports and backpedals)
The Fallen are probably the enemy type that takes the most time to fight. They’re not very threatening, generally, but their behavior leans towards evasiveness, stealth and retreats. Since most Fallen operate at similar ranges, the only priority targets in their waves are their variant targets: Heavy Shanks and Servitors. Heavy Shanks, in particular, are unusually relentless for a Fallen enemy type and will chase down your teammates with a hailstorm of fire–your teammates will inevitably jump, which is the worst possible thing to do, and subsequently die. Clear the Heavy Shanks out before that happens.
The Fallen HVT is a beefy Captain. His shrapnel launcher serves as a full auto shotgun with impressive range. The Captain is capable of bursting a Guardian down incredibly quickly, so engage with overwhelming firepower. The Captain is probably the most evasive HVT, using teleports and backpedaling to both secure cover and adjust positioning while still attacking.
Targets: Shriekers, Ogres
Shields: Arc, Solar
Weapons, Arc, Void
HVT: Knight (Arc shield, Arc Hive boomer, aggressive fire rate)
The Hive playbook typically relies on drowning enemy Guardians in a flood of ordnance and bodies. Thankfully, the Hive are quite fragile, even if their weaponry for their higher-tier units is very good. The Hive cover an impressive range spectrum, but tend not to behave too erratically. Hive will use Wizards to hold mid range positions will Knights and Ogres advance. Ogres are not terribly dangerous, but they’re usually in the back of a wave formation and if they’re trained on to a Guardian, the nature of their eye blast can hinder Guardian movement and sometimes cause panic. Combined with Wizard Clouds of Darkness, the battlefield can become congested if you’re unlucky. Shriekers, however, are your primary targets. They do incredible amounts of damage and are positioned in such a way as to negate most of the arena’s natural cover. Incredibly dangerous.
The Hive HVT is an aggressive Knight with a hard-hitting boomer. If it gets aggressive, its fire rate will increase and be difficult to get away from. The Knight can also regenerate health with its Shield of Darkness, but some simple re-positioning will give you free damage on a stationary target. Not a terribly dangerous target, but sturdy and slightly aggressive, so be careful.
Targets: Fanatics, Hydras
Weapons: Solar, Void
HVT: Minotaur (Void shield, Void torch hammer, aggressive teleports and melee attacks)
The Vex might take the inauspicious role of the easiest enemy type of fight. The Vex specialize in rapid fire weapons across almost all units. Cyclops units are no longer suppressed, so they will actually attack players, but they still should be saved for last when dealing with enemy waves, except when combating a wave in an especially tight area. Cyclops erratic discharge when damaged can become an issue when combined with Hobgoblins in the back and a wave of Fanatics marching at your team. Drop Fanatics and Hydras first–save Cyclops for last.
The Vex HVT is a standard Minotaur with the usual torch hammer. Be aware of its short-range teleports. The melee attack that the Minotaur uses isn’t especially threatening, but once it lays hands on you, it will proceed to open fire at short range with the torch hammer. As with the rest of the Vex in Gambit, even the HVT isn’t threatening or difficult to fight. Good hunting.
Targets: Scorpius turrets
Weapons: Solar, Void
HVT: Centurion (Solar shield, Void bronto cannon, adjusts fire rate when airborne)
The Cabal strategy for Gambit is to drop beefy bodies on the field and have them fire projectiles indiscriminately in every direction. While counter strategies for hostiles isn’t really necessary in Gambit, you may find that a flanking strategy is especially effective against the Cabal. Taking waves head-on is time-consuming, if not actually dangerous. Make sure to watch out for any teammates that are caught taking lots of incoming fire from Cabal, as when they move, they only move forward. Seeing two Legionnaires and a few War Hounds collapse on a friendly player is not uncommon if they’re by themselves. Priority target number one without exception the Scorpius turret. Too many players let these turrets spray ammunition across the field without realizing that they generally do not stop firing and are not terribly inaccurate. Scorpius turrets are dangerous and should ideally be taken out before they activate.
The Cabal HVT is a Centurion with a bronto cannon and a decent amount of health. Centurions aren’t the most threatening enemies and HVTs are usually alone, making this one particularly easy to take down. While the Centurion is extremely vulnerable once it jumps into the air and activates its hover ability, the bronto cannon shots from this angle are dangerous.
Targets: Chieftains, Screebs
Shields: Void, Arc, Solar
Weapons: Void, Solar
HVT: Chieftain (Variable shield, variable weaponry)
The Scorned might be the real MVPs of Gambit. They are by far the most threatening enemy type overall. They cover several ranges well and have many different units that can do increasing amounts of damage as the wave carries on if they’re left unchecked. Screebs will swarm in just about every wave, making mote-hungry teammates more vulnerable than usual. What’s more, Chieftains may further complicate waves with their totems. Void Chieftain totems will render any hostile in its radius invulnerable, letting Screebs advance fearlessly. Arc Chieftain totems will draw players in, making Screebs and Abominations more deadly. Solar Chieftain totems spray fire in a small radius–this isn’t inherently dangerous on its own, but can quietly stack damage on top of other types of damage players are taking during each wave, potentially having players feel like they’re taking more damage than usual. No matter the wave, make sure to take out any initial packs of Screebs, then target the Chieftain(s) as soon as you can. Abominations are heavy hitters, but usually don’t have much health, so you can engage them at your leisure, but keep in mind that they generally do not miss when they fire at a player.
The invasion portal for your team becomes available at scores of 25 and 50 motes. The portals do not expire and they do not overlap; you could go a whole round without invading and then proceed to invade twice in a row before the round is over, should you desire. During the Primeval phase, if any team has their Primeval up, the opposing team’s invasion portal will open for the rest of the round–the portal will undergo a cooldown once used. The activity feed will note whenever any team’s invasion portal is available and when it has been used.
When a player invades another team (the “enemy team”), a few things happen. First, the invader will spawn in one of three specific spots on the map, one in each area where a team would engage hostiles. Next, the invader will be bumped to a power level of 600 for the duration of their invasion if they aren’t 600 already. The invaded team will not undergo any power level adjustment during an invasion. The invader will gain vision on all enemy team targets during an invasion–while they can’t see enemy bodies, they can see a name tag in each player’s location that also shows the amount of motes that player is currently carrying. Furthermore, the invader will gain an overshield and leave a slight smoke trail whenever they move. An invasion has a maximum time of 30 seconds. The invasion will end when time expires, the invader is killed, or the invader kills four enemy players. Whenever the invader kills an enemy player, that player will lose any motes that they were carrying. Whenever an invader is killed, the invader will lose any motes that they were carrying and drop 3 motes for the enemy team to retrieve, if they choose to do so.
When an invasion is attempted when the enemy team has a Primeval up, the Primeval’s health can be regenerated by deaths on the enemy team. Any time an enemy Guardian dies while an invader is present, the Primeval will regain some health.
Receiving an Invader
Properly receiving an invader is probably the most important part of the game for a solo player. Some Guardians don’t know when they’re being invaded, some don’t care, some are afraid to fight the invader and some try to fight invaders the same way every time and don’t learn how to adjust in order to successfully take an invader down. Part of the problem may be the mindset–players tend to see the red invader fog, hear the klaxons and think of the vision invaders have and combine all those things into the image of a really scary player using scary weapons to come and take all their motes. Let’s dispel some misconceptions and go over how to deal with invaders.
The main thing to realize about invaders is that they are inherently at a disadvantage. They are walking into a 1v4 matchup with no backup. That’s not to say that invaders don’t have some advantages, but those advantages only shine when invaders get to engage on their terms. From now on, do not think about engaging invaders as fighting them; from here on out, you are “hunting” them.
For whatever advantages invaders have, their main weakness is that they will only spawn in one of three points on the map. Not general areas, but points. Predictable areas where you can have a scope ready for their form to appear before you. Invaders will almost never spawn where a wave of hostiles is currently active, so you can always narrow down your searches to two points. Dropping heavy damage from a safe vantage point is the easiest way to cut an invasion short when you get the drop on them. If you were not able to get set up to counter the invader immediately, the situation has changed for the worse, but you can still prevent some serious damage if you act decisively.
If you don’t get the drop on an invader, you need to immediately assess the situation. How many motes is your team carrying? How many motes are YOU carrying? How many Blockers are holding up your bank? If you don’t see the invader now, where are they likely to be? In some instances, it may be beneficial to help free up the bank so your team can attempt to dump their motes before they get shot. What you will likely want to do, though, is to re-position and try to get the invader to expose themselves. Popular invasion weapons are quite strong, but they are typically ranged weapons with poor close-quarters performance. Whether you intend to or not, your teammates will likely be bait while you try to attack the invader from the side or rear. While you should be quick, you should not be reckless–if an enterprising invader sees that they are being actively hunted, they may switch targets to their hunter to gamble on the hunter falling and freeing the invader up to stalk the rest of the team. If the invader sees a foe hunting them and switches to a full auto shotgun, the outcome of the battle is much more of a toss-up.
More than any position or loadout, a good counter to invasions is to be ready for them. Making sure the bank is clear of Blockers and that your team isn’t encumbered with motes helps with keeping the damage invaders can do to a minimum. If you find you need a super to deal with an invader that’s doing lots of damage to your team’s score, try to determine when they’ll invade and save your super for the invasion or make an extra effort to grab some orbs to top off your super meter.
An important lesson to learn when dealing with invaders is that you cannot hide from them and, if you both are looking in each other’s general direction, you cannot surprise them. Any sense of security you have when an invader is present is strictly imagined. This is important to note because, unless you’ve determined that you are a much better or faster shot than the invader, you will likely lose a direct ranged confrontation. If you find that head-to-head encounters with invaders won’t work, you need to be proactive and make an adjustment to how you engage. You may very well be the only obstacle between the invader and your team’s deep pocket of motes.
Invaders have a few things going for them, but it’s your job to make them feel like they’re wandering into a lion’s den when they venture into your neck of the woods.
Becoming an Invader
Ah, the fated time has arrived. It’s time for you to pull your pants up and wade into enemy territory. This primer has already gone over the basic mechanics of invading, so here we’ll look at some finer aspects of denying your opponents.
First, you’ll want to debate whether or not you should actually invade. The portal is up, which is a good sign. Check the scoreboard. How many motes is the enemy team holding? How many motes is your team holding? Checking the score is important for a few reasons. First, you’ll want your invasion to actually mean something. Until the enemy team summons a Primeval, you have limited invasions. If the enemy team isn’t holding any or many motes, your best-case scenario involves stalling the enemy team for thirty seconds at maximum. That being said, as players get better and more banking strategies evolve, it will become increasingly difficult to catch a team with a fat stack of motes that they haven’t banked yet. One thing to learn is that there are very few “correct” times to invade. You’ll need to rely on experience, judgment and even some guts to determine whether or not the time is right.
Next, before you invade, you’ll want to get set up. Pull heavy ammo if it’s available. Try to invade when your team has dropped a fresh round of Blockers on the enemy. Situations are fluid, however, and you won’t always get the perfect invade. You’ll have to determine whether or not waiting that extra five seconds for heavy ammo is worth it if that buys enough time for the enemy team to bank their stack of twenty motes.
Once you’ve determined that you are ready to invade and you jump through the portal, it’s time to hunt. If you have a close range weapon available, I’d recommend having that out when you jump into the portal. If your spawn is being camped, you will have to retaliate immediately or your invasion will be over before it begins. If your spawn is not being camped, you now have options. Move to a safe vantage point and let’s explore your hunting grounds.
First, you want to scan the battlefield to get some information. How many players are alive? How many motes do they have? Where are they? You want to try to ascertain this information as soon as possible because the possibility that the enemy will try to bank motes or hunt you (or both) means that time is a precious resource for you. What may be difficult for novice invaders here is the fact that, because of the varied nature of invasions across different games, there is no explicit order of operations for how to continue. Ideally, you will want to make sure you’re in a safe spot and try to pick off the enemy Guardians that have the most motes. Sometimes, things don’t always work out that way. You’ll need to make a determination about how to proceed when you know there’s someone closing in on you, but you see someone with a fat pile of motes in your scope.
For the sake of the primer, though, we’ll assume that from your safe vantage point, you’ve taken out an enemy Guardian that was moving in on your position. At this point, you’ll want to take note of how the enemy team responds. While you shouldn’t expect an opposing team to pretend like you don’t exist, you shouldn’t overthink the situation if they do. If the opposing team is too afraid or too stubborn to engage you, use that to your advantage and slay them all. However, once you pick off a player, usually enemy teams will react and attempt to turn their weapons on you. Depending on your loadout, you may be able to re-engage immediately. Again, you should not expect players to engage you at ranges where they cannot win, but if they do, kindly accept their donation to your trophy case. In a normal situation, though, you will need to re-position after your first kill. Re-positioning is important as an invader because of the inherent disadvantage you have while invading. Your resources are limited, so you want to maximize your destructive potential while maintaining some safety. Use vertical space and walls to your advantage. You can also use teleporters and cannons to move yourself around. As a solo player, you don’t have too many opportunities to really maintain control of a situation, but invading well may allow you to cover the opposing arena with a thick fog of fear and anxiety. Use a sharp eye and quick feet to your advantage.
As a final note, your invasion will end when you get four kills. These kills do not have to be on four unique players, however, so while you can technically pick on a weak Guardian for several lives in a row, you may want to prioritize mote-holding Guardians or Guardians who are clearing up their bank. Good hunting.
In the final article, we’ll go over Primeval and postmortem strategies when rounds and games complete.