Risk of Rain Vanilla Huntress


When you unlock the Huntress is all down to luck: you need a total of 15 Monster Logs in your collection to unlock her. This sets certain minimums -if you keep dying on the first level, you can't possibly get enough logs to unlock her, because Monster Logs are a tiny percent chance of dropping off the monster they're a log of, bar a few weird exceptions- but there's nothing in particular you can really do to accelerate it. Just... try to focus on killing enemies you don't already have logs on, I suppose...

In my case, I unlocked her as one of my last incidental/easy unlocks. Not sure if I got lucky with Monster Log drops or what.

Anyway, her four moves are...

Strafe: Fires a single arrow for 120% base damage. The arrow is reasonably swift, but not hitscan. No cooldown.

Laser Glaive: Lobs a projectile in a straight horizontal line that travels through terrain. The initial hit's damage is 300% base damage, but each successive target takes 30% more damage than the previous one, up to a total of 5 targets. After hitting an enemy, the Laser Glaive will attempt to 'bounce' to a nearby enemy if there is one close enough, instantly redirecting to travel to its next target in a straight line. If no such enemy is nearby, it will simply continue travelling in a straight line. 3 second cooldown.

Blink: The Huntress instantly shifts position a few tiles ahead of her. Terrain will block this, and it does not provide any protection beyond the movement itself. 3 second cooldown.

Cluster Bomb: Fires a single arrow that explodes for 320% base damage, and then releases 6 small bombs that fall down and upon impact with terrain explode in a small area for 80% base damage. 7 second cooldown.

Special note: Unlike other classes, none of the Huntress' skills interfere with her movement. Furthermore, her non-Blink moves have a limited degree of auto-targeting, whereby if an enemy is within a distance roughly halfway out to the edge of the screen and is in a direct horizontal line from her, she will automatically fire her attacks in that direction even if it's opposite of the direction she is currently moving.

... mostly.

And since I yet again got the Ancient Scepter, it turns Cluster Bomb into...

MK7 RocKeye: As per Cluster Bomb, but releases 12 small bombs instead of 6.

The Huntress has always felt to me kind of like what the Commando should have been the whole time. The Commando's limited strike zone and poor damage would be considerably more tolerable if only he had the Huntress' built-in ability to fire on the move and kite enemies. He'd still be a bit weak of a class, but much less likely to end up outright dead over minor misjudgments. In fact, if you outright swapped them out in this regard (ie make the Commando able to fire on the move and take away that capability on the Huntress), the Huntress would remain competitive on the basis of Laser Glaive and Cluster Bomb!

At first glance, the Huntress is almost as limited in her ability to hit targets not in a straight line from her, but even aside how kiting allows her to simply output damage continuously while backing away both Laser Glaive and Cluster Bomb do a surprising amount to open up her options. Enemies clustering up against a wall one tile lower than you can, so long as they include a tall enemy for you to land the initial hit on, be softened up or outright killed by a combination of Laser Glaive's bounces and Cluster Bomb's scattering bombs. Enemies above you can be softened up or outright killed with Laser Glaive, and since its damage actually goes up on each bounce you can potentially be lobbing the Laser Glaive into a cluster of 2-3 weak enemies and end up killing or nearly killing a noticeably more durable enemy hanging out somewhere above you by the time the cluster of more fragile enemies is dead.

Cluster Bomb is ideally released into groups of enemies and/or fired at larger enemies as much as possible. The small bombs scatter enough they don't always all hit smaller enemies, and anyway you're getting way more damage if you're exploding a huge pile of enemies all at once than if you're hitting 1-2 enemies with Cluster Bomb. Its cooldown is short enough you don't need to be stingy with it, but if eg a single small enemy stands between you and a clump of larger enemies, you should try hopping up to fire over it, or wear it down with Strafe and Laser Glaive before firing Cluster Bomb if that will occur faster than Cluster Bomb will cooldown.

Laser Glaive and Cluster Bomb also have astonishing reach. If you even suspect enemies might be off somewhere in the distance, you really ought to just fire them off. Laser Glaive in particular will penetrate through terrain and bounce around, allowing it to dish out damage sight-unseen quite reliably. The sheer degree to which this and the Huntress' innate ability to fire on the move speeds up the game is astonishing, and going back to other classes after playing her always feels slow and awkward and a little bit disappointing. Only Acrid comes close to her in this regard.

Unusually, Laser Glaive rolls for on-hit effects each time it hits a target, making on-hit effects unexpectedly effective for the Huntress.

She's probably my favorite class, honestly, and probably the best-designed of the bunch.

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