Hello, fellow members of the wikia! rpvarela/rpv1986 here. Now, I've never wrote a guide for a character before, so I might as well do just that. This particular guide is focused on using Swiggins as a brawler-ish/bursty hybrid character and is mainly aimed at soloqueuing, although it can work in any scenario as far as I'm concerned. I can't talk about competitive gaming as I'm not a hardcore Awesomenauts player, so if any pro out there wants to try this build and tell me how it goes, be my guest!
As a side note, keep in mind that I'm Brazilian so a few spelling and grammar errors may pop up. Feel free to point these out to me! ;)
Anyway, on with the guide.
- For Anchor Hook I use Flying Fish Compass, Blue Heart Medal and Kraken Statue. The purpose is to have a damaging anchor hook available as often as possible to lockdown your opponents as you smack them.
- Drop Anchor gets whatever you feel like it, honestly. It is not the focus of this build. That said, I run with Palladium Teabag Chain, Alien Sweetener and Pneumatic Spoon as it makes anchor harder to escape while you attack the victim, while also contributing to his burst in the late, late game.
- Finally, for his autoattack, I go with Aquarium Pump, Bag of Gravel and Krill Biscuits (that last one is just icing on a very large health cake. Replace it as you want). Your bread and butter with extra survivability. Can't go wrong with it!
- For utility, I choose Power Pills Companion, Med-i'-can and Space Air Max. Survavibility and mobility. While not the slowest 'naut around, Swiggins certainly isn't the fastest. He is also a big, easy to hit target. These will help you offset these flaws, specially because Swiggins is a close quarters 'naut, his only long ranged ability bringing him closer to his enemies.
Now let's look at the reasons why I don't pick other upgrades: treasure lottery map is gimmicky and counter-intuitive: you have to use your initiation to kill. Mobile periscope, while great is not really necessary: Swiggins already has very good range on anchor hook as it is, in my opinion. Not a bad choice by any means however. Finally, while ancient octant can be useful in conjunction with the right upgrades for great initiation, my focus is brawling. Leave it for initiator-focused builds.
Not seeweed can be potent if you are good at landing inkshots, but in this build, it is in your best interest to keep the anchor in your hands as often as possible: same reason I don't choose the other two upgrades.
The reason for no Solar upgrades is explained in the playstyle section below and as I said already: you can go with anything you want in the drop anchor row, so I'm not talking about that.
I start the game by purchasing anchor hook and drop anchor right away. Purchase med-i'-can at any point if you feel you are being forced to return to the base way too often and boots if you are having trouble evading the enemy poke or escaping alive. Max out your autoattack damage, then attack speed, then max out anchor hook damage. From then on, the order is entirely up to you, but I tend to vary between lots of health, with pills and biscuits, kraken statue or spoon.
Play Style and Tips
Now, you must be asking yourself: "but rpvarela, why are you buying abilities right out of the gate for an AA-focused build?" Simple: Swiggins starts out mediocre on his own, being a team-dependant initiator at heart. Lack of abilities will make this flaw even more glaring and you do not want that! Not at all.
What you want to do is stick to whatever teammates you have and farm! Farm like there's no tomorrow! Silver Solar cubes lying around, jungle creeps, droids: get them all! Do not stop! This is the price to pay for no Solar items, but you are rewarded later in the game with more survivability if you can pull it off. Just keep killing whatever you can.
Use anchor hook to poke your enemy (minding your own safety first, of course!), clear droids in the lane, escape using terrain or to finish off a really low enemy (again, safety first!). Only drop your anchor if you notice an enemy in a poor position such as being overextended, really close to your turret or if a fellow 'naut has them in a bad position (snarebite, Leon tongue, etc). Your job is to farm and discourage the enemy attacks.
How are you doing so far? Good? Struggling? If you are having trouble staying in the lane (or alive, for that matter) now might be a good time to purchase med-i'-can and/or boots. If this is not the case, however, feel free to build into bag of gravel for maximum AA damage right away (which will make farming even easier, clear those damn droids!).
Your next step (after damage) should be attack speed. By now you are probably causing great damage to whatever it is that you are smacking. Your focus now should be getting kills and pushing hard in addition to farming. Open up with a nice anchor hook and smack away (kraken statue really helps you get an extra few hits with impunity once you get it). If you feel your target is going to escape or if something went wrong and you are now in bad situation, do not hesitate to drop anchor and run (For the kill or for your life. Adapt!).
For turrets, smack droids in your way while protecting your own. Then smack the turret away with your highly damaging AA.
(A special tip for the inner bottom turret of AI Station 404: Since ranged droids tank those for you, drop your anchor nearby and shoot ink at it instead. That way you can still cause damage without endangering yourself!)
After that, go for survival upgrades (pills, biscuits) or damage (maxing out your Anchor Hook) accordingly or even a mix of both. Go for the route you didn't take after that one (i.e. survival if you choose damage and vice-versa).
Facing enemy 'nauts
In this section, I talk about facing other 'nauts. Keep in mind that these are not the one right way of doing things, but general guidelines.
This little brat loves 'nauts like you: big and not the fastest around so she can rage to her heart's content. Do not let her! Smack her with your anchor while retreating (kiting, if you will) and move unpredictably. Drop your anchor and run if all else fails. Usually, once your attack is powerful enough, she'll end up taking more damage than you as long as you can hit as many swings of the anchor as you can while moving away, but only move in for the kill if you are absolutely sure you can survive her evil eye... and trust me, a smart Ayla will save her evil eye for this exact moment, even if to escape you. Remember: forcing a retreat is still a victory! Don't get carried away with your smacking!
Clunk's a 'naut with powerful abilities and autoattack. There are mostly two types of Clunk players out there: those who focus on snarebite and explode to burst down enemies and those who max out their missiles so they can hit like a truck and push. For the first type, Swiggins will be at a disadvantage at first, being a close combat 'naut as well, but without nearly as much burst and sustain. Avoid trying to duel him, approach with a team instead.
Baiting his bite by pretending to go after him but retreating at the last second, causing him to miss is a great way of getting an advantage over him if you can pull it off, and Clunk is not particularly good at escaping your autoattacks, being bigger and slower than you are. Smack away, but keep explode in mind!
For the Missile-happy variant, be mindful that base bite and explode are still powerful enough to cause you trouble! As usual, avoid those skills and wail on him with your teammates once he misses, but you should jump a lot to try and evade as many missiles as you can.
Coco's annoying. There's no definite way to fight her because she has many viable loadouts, but there are a few tips that can help you.
Ball is usually not a big problem for Swiggins if he stays a safe distance and only engage Coco AFTER she launches it. Use your natural hovering ability to confuse and make it hard for Coco to land her ball on you, hooking her as she misses (she can't detonate ball while stunned by hook, so smack her away).
She'll probably keep using Blaze to keep you away from her. If you are feeling brave and/or have teammates neaby, hook through that and drop the anchor on her. Coco's greatest defense is her mobility and anchor drop can really hurt her if she doesn't destroy it. You might consider getting Alien Sweetener earlier than usual if she's causing you trouble.
For a Coco that upgrades her autoattack first, you gotta play really safe: Do not engage her alone until you have your AA maxed and your health pool huge. The last thing you want is to foolishly dash into her, eat a faceball and then be unable to escape because of the slow from Blaze.
Derpl's very similar to Clunk in that they are both tanky and have access to powerful crowd control, burst and autoattacks. Most Derpls are also focused on one of two builds: one centered around Sieging up and nuking and the other focusing on catshot. Grid traps complement both builds very well.
Siege Derpl in one of Swiggins' most dangerous adversaries, being tankier, being immune to crowd control and having more dps on his gattling gun from the very start of the match. This is true early game and will continue to be so if Derpl gets shields and health, being able to easily outlast you. That's not counting the very powerful nuke!
Your best bet is to wait until he is not protected by a grid trap (seriously, fall into one at any point while he's close and it's GG for you) and until he nukes something else like your droids or turret and then move in and start smacking him while avoiding as many shots as possible in a game of "chicken": the goal is to get him to unsiege before you are forced to retreat. Once he does so, he loses the shield(s) and the CC immunity, so you might have a chance: hook and smack away, dropping the anchor if he tries to flee... you will have to flee if it fails. It's all about the mind games.
For Cat Derpl it is kinda similar: He's not nearly as tanky as a shielded Siege Derpl, but his autoattack will have enough power to take you out if you are not careful! Avoid shots by staying above him when possible or hovering just above the ground if he's shooting straigth forward. Falling into a grid trap is even more dangerous than it was in the previous example. Remember: this Derpl didn't bother with nuke upgrades, so his traps are extra powerful. You will be mewed to death if you are not careful!
If you can anchor hook him with kraken statue, it may just give you the edge you need: he has no CC-Immunity in this state. Drop your anchor to escape or to help your team finish him off if he tries to flee as usual.
Froggy G is best known for his dangerous CC and high damage potential in both his abilities and autoattack. He's a brawler in every sense of the world and is very capable of killing you quickly in a duel. Of course, the price he pays for all this is having the smallest health pool in the game, relying on mobility and limited survivability (mainly CTT and RBAY) to get closer to and escape enemies.
Regardless of build, he's very vulnerable to crowd control and you can remove his tornado (along with whatever benefits it is currently providing him) with your anchor hook. If he misses his dash punish him for it: hook in (or wait to see if he uses tornado first), smack him and use the anchor to keep him there.
With a hard to avoid autoattack, and powerful offensive and defensive support abilities and upgrades, Genji can be a challenge to many different 'nauts, including Swiggins. Similarly to Coco, Genji has several viable builds, making it impossible to have one "perfect" strategy to counter him.
Regardless of chosen build, Genji needs farm to achieve his highest potential. Lots of it. And he's not the greatest farmer around either. Unfortunately, Swiggins can't benefit from this as much as other 'nauts can because of his similarly poor early game.
Watch the score tab often to see what he's building and plan your strategy accordingly: use hook after he heals and attack him while it's on cooldown, lock him down with your abilities and burst him with a team if he's building his autoattack, stick to your team and play safely, waiting for a good opportunity to strike if he is using an offensive cocoon build, and so on.
Genji is usually not a challenge for AA Swiggins on his own. It's with his team that he's most dangerous.
Gnaw can be extremely dangerous during the early game (where he's at his strongest and you are at your weakest). You will want Med-i'-can right after your basic abilities for sure. Look at his upgrades on the score screen right away and see if his focusing on bite, spit or weedlings.
If he's focusing on weedlings, which in my experience, is very likely, then you will have to keep track of him. He'll most likely set up a nest somewhere in the map, probably in a hide area or near creeps. Coordinate with teammates to take out that weedling nest or better yet: see if you can use you abilities to damage and lock him in place, hopefully killing him and any weedlings he may have spawned. As you level up your autoattack, you will find that you can take weedling nests out a lot faster, even if it's costly for your health, specially if he has Fertilizer and/or Bag of Seeds so it may still be a better idea to attack Gnaw directly instead.
If you are still having trouble with the nest, call teammates to assist you with the "help" command or push another lane (if available).
If Gnaw is focusing on spit and/or bite however, you will have to play safe. Avoid being close to him at all costs as his DoTs are very powerful early in the game. Once you can rely on your own autoattack and have sufficient health, you may attempt to kill him or scare him away.
Regardless of build, when facing a Gnaw you may want to spend some Solar in health earlier than you normally would. Gnaw's will usually try to harass you, spitting from a safe distance to weaken you until you have to retreat or until he can move in for the kill. Keep looking for creeps and healthpacks as needed and be pacient. You have to survive and farm during the early game so you can be useful later. Just play it safe.
Leon is slightly similar to Swiggins in that they both have means to close the gap between them and their targets and can do very well with autoattack focused builds, but Swiggins has two advantages here:
- High health. This is what gives most Leons trouble: a large health pool. Characters that can outlast Leon can generally kill him or scare him away.
- Drop Anchor. This ability not only prevents Leon's escape, but also reveals him while he's cloaked, making it very obvious to you and your team where he is.
Just use your normal "farm now, be powerful later" strategy and you should be fine, but don't get cocky: Tongue can be devastating to any 'naut, specially when combined with Tongue Stretcher, Cheese & Garlic Mints and/or Electrifier, all of which are very popular among Leon players. Don't think Leon's a pushover because he's not, and you may end up losing your advantage if you think that way.
Keep one thing in mind before facing Lonestar: his cooldowns are short, very short. If you must approach him, do so AFTER he uses Dynamite or you won't like what will happen next and retreat before the cooldown's up again. Don't use anchor hook on him unless your teammates are close to help you finish him off or he'll just bull you away, and you will have wasted your initiation. If your team is close though, anchor hook away and lock him with drop anchor so you may try and kill him.
His blaster can be very powerful when upgraded so be careful and don't take unnecessary damage.
Generally, what you want to do is approach him (by walking, don't hook him) while keeping a safe enough distance to avoid dynamites to the face so you can then try and get a few hits on him while you wait for an opportunity to Anchor Hook and lock him down with Drop Anchor to finish him off. Restraining his mobility can help there.
Let's talk about the hard part, shall we? Approaching her. Raelynn has several tools at her disposal to keep scary melee 'nauts like you away from her such as Snipe's innate knockback, timerift and her special boots. Her abilities can be further upgraded in ways that will make it even harder for you to approach her (examples include Higgs Grenade, Gryc Lubricator and Nuclear Warhead).
Good news is Snipe is perhaps the easiest ability to interrupt in the whole game, and you can do it with your hook if she isn't using Iron Rifle. A smart Raelynn will keep her distance before Sniping, so when approaching her, jump erratically, and use terrain as cover, so she can't snipe you directly. NEVER use your anchor hook in a way that will make you land on top of a timerift or you are pretty much dead. Purchasing Flying Fish Compass earlier to have it more often can help you approach her and kill her when she tries to escape. Drop anchor is as great as always too.
Now here's an early game monster, specially if he's using piggy bank. With slow on throw, snare on earthquake and a stun on his autoattacks, Skølldir can be VERY disruptive and hard to approach and escape from. Your best bet is to play it safe early game, more so than versus any other 'naut. You may even want to save Anchor Hook for terrain to quickly escape him, should you be caught by a throw. Drop Anchor is great for making an escape too if needed. Do everything in your power to avoid being caught in a mighty throw!
The best moment to approach a Skølldir is when he misses Mighty Throw. Earthquake is usually not a problem, as Swiggins can float above it with ease, but beware for he may surprise you by divebombing from high above your vision (the minimap is your best friend here). Move erratically and time your jumps/hover properly to avoid the third hit from bash at all costs, specially if he's using Perfumed White Flowers and only engage when your Anchor Swing is powerful enough. Another good tip when engaging in melee (AFTER he misses throw or if he's overextended!) is to save your Anchor Hook's stun to interrupt the third hit from bash (once again, Kraken Statue is a great asset here).
May the best squid win! Use what you've learned from this guide and from your own experience so far to know exactly what to expect from him.
Autoattack Swiggins will most likely play in the same way you do, while initiator Swiggins will be found next to their own team most of the time, waiting for you or your teammates to make a foolish mistake and punish you for it. Use your autoattack to quickly destroy his anchor and free the victim, handicapping Swiggins for a few seconds in the process.
This is a dangerous fish. WIth by far the cheapest builds in Awesomenauts, he'll reach his lategame long before you can do the same and start wrecking things very soon. Punish his dashes with anchor hook and drop anchor and wait for your team to hopefully help you finish him off until you can do it yourself with your autoattacks (remember that Bag of Gravel will improve both Anchor Swing and Ink Shot).
Don't stay all close to each other as a team to minimize Spike Dive's damage and rely on the minimap when blinded by smokescreen, trying to leave the cloud as soon as you can, specially if he has Red Bandana or Rubber Mask).
A frail 'naut without acess to normal regenaration, he tends to be more vulnerable to poke (specially without Solar Krab Burgers). Do not underestimate his huge damage potential though or you will pay for it dearly.
Voltar, Voltar, Voltar... you've changed a lot since I started playing this game. This is a 'naut that starts out almost harmless and should be found around his team at all times during most of the match (and you should punish him if he's alone!). Let him push and farm freely though and you will have a huge problem in your hands.
His drones can deal a deceptively high amount of damage when properly upgraded and his heals can make your attempts to push and damage his allies fruitless. Killing him (or at the very least his healbot) as fast as possible is a priority! Use your crowd control to coordinate with your allies in order to kill him quickly and you will have a much easier time against his team.
Just like a real monkey, you will be very annoyed when you step on the "presents" he leaves lying around across the map. Do not let that happen! Unless he's using Carpet Bombs, his mines will make a beeping sound, warning you of their presence, even if you can't see them.
Like Voltar, you will find Yuri close to his team most of the time, so extra caution is needed. Warp Time has a bunch of powerful and dangerous upgrades that can easily turn a teamfight against you. Drop Anchor really ruins his day though, if you can land it. Do not underestimate the range and damage potential of his laser specially when paired with Giant Monocle and only hook him in a way that will not cause you to bump into one or more mines. Yuri's biggest weakness is probably the fact that he cannot move and fire his laser at the same time. Abuse it!
So that's it for this guide! I hope you enjoy it and good luck!
If you have questions, comments, suggestions or just need to say something, feel free to comment below! :)