Hello! This is a new little thing I'm going to be doing in a series of posts called Hero Reviews! The title says it all. I review different heroes, talk about their strengths and weaknesses, and how to properly use them. After each review, you
guys get to decide which hero I take on next!
For my first part in this series, I'm reviewing Samurai Takumi, because he's one of my personal favorite heroes! Don't worry though, I'm not gonna let my bias get in the way of my judgement! I swear!
Samurai Takumi is a normal speed, Water element Honorbound Warrior hero. His attacks are all Melee attacks, and due to his Master of Combat passive, he can't miss - just like a Dwarf.
Takumi's stats are pretty close to what you'd expect from any other Warrior hero, with some slight differences. Like other Warriors, he has solid Attack, Defense, and Health, with low Skill. However, unlike other Warriors, Takumi sacrifices some Attack for more Defense. Looking at his un-boosted stats, Takumi is very well-rounded, with serviceable damage, but most importantly - good survivability.
Takumi's passives are where he really shines. All of his passives are very strong. Bushido, first off, greatly reduces AoE damage taken, making him much more effective against foes who are AoE-reliant, like Grog-Gnog, Koros, Therand, etc. Master of Combat essentially grants him Armor and Perfect Swing, which is always good.
However, it's his next 3 passives that make Takumi truly powerful. Water Empowerment is just plain amazing! If you have a full team of Water heroes including Takumi, his Attack will be boosted a whopping 30% more - This, on top of his Epic's max Attack boost of +30%, makes Takumi an absolute POWERHOUSE of a hero, giving him extreme damage to match his extreme bulk. The only drawback to this, obviously, is that he has to be on a team of Water heroes - which leaves you vulnerable to Nature enemies.
Proven Honor is also very good. While it says Honorbound allies "attempt" to retaliate Melee attacks, it seems to actually guarantee
that Honorbound allies retaliate attacks. Basically, every time Takumi (or an Honorbound ally) takes a Melee hit, they retaliate. This, combined with his next passive, and his good Attack stat, can really add up the damage he puts out over the course of a fight.
Frost-tipped Blades is his last, but certainly not least useful passive. It grants ALL allies, not just Water ones, the ability to Chill with basic attacks. This may not really help in PvE at all, but this can be quite the game-changer in PvP. If you're up against enemies that have low cooldowns, or are good at restoring energy, this passive alone can completely shut your enemies' abilities down. This passive also synergizes greatly with heroes that perform lots of basic attacks - such as Grog-Gnog, Drakk, and other Honorbound allies if you have Takumi on your team.
I'm going to be honest here... Takumi's abilities? They're not super impressive, sadly. Even after his rework, his abilities are sort of average, at best.
Frost Katana is... good. It has a low cooldown, deals serviceable damage to the target and Chills, does some splash damage, and a chance to Frostbite all enemies damaged. That sounds good and all on paper, but in actual matches, you won't notice it too much. Sadly, a lot of Water's debuffs just aren't strong in the current meta. So many heroes have cleansing abilities and damage reduction, things like Chill and Frostbite aren't terribly frightening. Freeze is probably the best Water debuff, but even then, many heroes are just immune to it.
Bitter Strike isn't too great either. Just a single-target attack with a chance to Freeze. The only thing special about it is that it starts charged, and has a 3-turn cooldown. Honestly, it's just a weaker version of his Epic attack. If you have his Epic at rank 11 or 12, it might even be a good idea to just try for an Epic attack instead of using this ability. If you succeed, you'll deal double damage, Freeze, and purge buffs - But if you don't, you didn't really miss out on much, either.
Blade Fury is just one of those, "Do more damage" attacks. You know, like Skull Cracker. It's not too significant, but its damage can be unexpectedly strong at times - Especially if you can get some Crits off. Sadly, even with a 4-turn cooldown, it's not anything to write home about.
Overall, Takumi's abilities are pretty lack-luster. With virtually no AoE or multi-target attacks, you're going to have a difficult time using them - Especially in a meta where so many heroes can Taunt and Provoke your attention off who you want to hit.
Takumi's Epic is very good, stat-wise. It's primary stat is Attack, which brings his mid-range Attack stat up to something much more frightening. Additionally, its secondary stat is Defense. As I've said, Takumi already has great Defense, so building on that makes him even more durable. The tertiary stat is Skill, which isn't actually too great, considering Freeze and Chill don't become any stronger with Skill. The only thing Skill grants Takumi is slightly increases Crit, and more damage from his Frostbite.
Takumi's Epic attack is actually rather impressive. It purges all
buffs on the target, and then deals 2x damage with a chance to Freeze. Given the enemy isn't Immune to Freeze, this means that an Epic proc from Takumi will almost guarantee his target will become Frozen. The purging effect is also powerful if you're against teams that rely heavily on buffs, like Shade or Solaris teams. This Epic attack is clearly built to deal with more personal situations, so if you're going to gamble for an Epic proc, make sure no enemies are Taunting or Provoking Takumi. I mean, not that it matters - If his Epic procs on a Taunting or Provoking enemy, said Taunt/Provoke will just be removed! I definitely recommend trying to max out Takumi's Epic if you like him - It has good stats, and a powerful Epic attack. If you don't really care that much for him, however, I wouldn't prioritize it.
Takumi is, in my opinion, a perfectly balanced hero. Which is, as most perfectly balanced things tend to be, a blessing and a curse. Takumi doesn't really fall short in anything. Even though his abilities are bad, they're not like, Zurk or Rogar levels of bad. With his Water Empowerment and Epic, he can even put out a surprising amount of damage, all while taking a good beating due to his high base Defense and Health stats.
However, he also doesn't really fair particularly well in anything, either. His passives are great, but they can be situational. To get the full use out of all his passives, you'd have to have a team made entirely of either Water or Honorbound heroes - which isn't exactly a good idea in the current meta. Frost-tipped Blades is strong, but only if you can get it to proc, and not have the enemy cleanse away all the Chill the next turn.
At the end of the day, though, Takumi isn't a bad hero at all. He's actually pretty dang good, even in PvP! ...Sure, maybe he's not your top pick, but if the situation calls for a solid Water hero who can spread Chill reliably, he's probably your best bet! Takumi's good stats, cool passives, and powerful Epic land him a special place in the game that no other hero can really fit in. He's a specialist with generalist stats, which we don't have a lot of - And I think that makes him worthwhile.
Overall, I'd say Takumi scores a solid 6.5/10
in my book. The only reason I'm not scoring him higher is because the meta doesn't exactly favor him right now. Don't worry if you don't want to invest in Takumi. He's not a super high-tier pick at the moment, anywho. However, if you really like Takumi, by all means!- Go ahead and invest in him! You won't be disappointed. No, seriously! He's pretty good!