Friday, June 14, 2013

Underrated and Overlooked Blasters - The Magstrike

With the constant hype around the new to be released blasters, I feel like a lot of niche blasters get forgotten. So I figured from time to time I'll write about one of them, so here's the first installment of Underrated and Overlooked Blasters.

I love it when people use niche blasters, I think it adds more flavor and strategy to the games than when you just have 20 of the same blaster on the field shooting the same distance at the same rate of fire. While games realistically aren't that bland in terms of blaster variation, there were a whole lot of Elite Alpha Troopers at the last day of CTF games I went to. While everyone was reveling in the glory of the new blaster, I decided to bring out a wonderful pair of blasters that used to get some HvZ love.

Once I picked these up, I had such a hard time putting them down. The ability to drop 20 darts in a few seconds AND being able to do so in two different directions was just amazing. The first time I unleashed the fury the person stopped dead in their tracks, jaw dropped, not sure how to react. In a world full of overvolted Stryfes and Elite Alpha Troopers the magstrikes can do something neither of those can, and that's put a wall of foam between you and charging team with enough spread to make everyone either head back to the respawn or stop to dodge. Now the magstrike certainly has it's downsides, a lot of them actually, which is why people don't really run them anymore. But if you play it right, a pair of magstrikes can be absolute monsters.

If you find yourself wanting to release the kraken and scream maniacally like I find myself doing with the magstrikes, there's a few things you should be aware of. First off, reload time, it's abysmal. Every time I finish firing 2 clips I run for cover to spend the next 2-3 minutes reloading clips and pumping the blasters. This leads to the second important thing to remember, pick your spots. You aren't going to be like the others out there with Stryfes or Elite Alpha Troopers, in that they can easily and quickly reload, so they will tend to spam and try to suppress people with their fire at distance. That's great for them that they can do that, let them do that, they can clog up the middle and distract people while you either get in place to blind side a small group, or if you're on the defensive you can stop rushes single handed if you position yourself properly.

As an example, at the last game I was able to run up the side of most of the action and get the jump on two people, creating an opening for the rest of my team to push through and clean up the rest, resulting in a flag cap. A misconception about them is that you always shoot all 20 darts every time you fire. While this is insanely fun, it's the wrong way to go about it, the only time you want to go full auto through your clips is when you need that wall of foam, otherwise you want to have short controlled bursts. Remember the first downside of the magstrike was the reload time, so there's no reason for you to just run out, blow your load, then be out of commission for the next 2 minutes. You need to be patient with the magstrike, otherwise the other team can exploit your absence from the field while you reload and pump.

I feel like I've rambled enough on this wonderful blaster, I hope at the very least it's made anyone who's read this at least consider picking up one or two of these. I'll leave you guys with a link from the HvZ boards from someone with WAY more magstrike experience than myself, and a well written article if you want to bring one of these into a game of HvZ.

Give 'em the Hose: The Magstrike Tenets - By The Red Scare

Photo from sgnerf

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