Editing: Kill or Die Improved
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Note: (you have 15 card points, not 12 as shown here, so you should read the description)
KILL or DIE (Improved) Based on my previous build that had Life steal instead of Vigor card.
This Build relies heavily on two cards, and it should also be self explaining on how to play Buck from the info around them. Deep Breath and Stomping Ground are the important ones.
Deep Breath - Max (5)
Stomping Ground - Max (5)
Rapid Substain - 1
Vigor - 2
Reconstruction - 2
Deep Breath at max gives you 40% damage reduction after a Recovery for 3 seconds. This is vital. Because most of the time you will face situations where a heal is not enough, you also need enough sustain to survive and get the kill. This also makes the recovery work great even after everyone have max Caut.
Stomping ground at max gives you 75% CD on all abilities (except ultimate) when getting a kill. And kills are what you should look for. This build is taking Buck to a maximum in risk and reward. Therefore is the damage reduction vital and they both works brilliant together.
Rapid sustain is the best 1 point filler card as you need at least 5 cards. It gives you a bit more boost to the healing you receive when under 50% health. Nice enough.
Vigor is a new addition to my previous build. It gives you 2 new ammo after a recovery, and that is great as you normally enters a battle shooting one or two rounds. Bucks 4 rounds is an issue and his weakness. This gives him basically 6 rounds and that is often what you need before escaping or winning.
Reconstruction is a nice pick as it gives you more CD to recovery to your most important ability. You are a sturdy hard hitting flanker with tons of mobility and self heal. What else do you need?
I recommend to always start with 1 Nimble, then proceed to max Caut. It's important to get Caut maxed and not go for Deft Hands. Reload speed is not the issue. If you cant kill someone in 4-6 shots, then Buck is not for you. Nimble gives you just enough speed to avoid damage and hunt down others. Other card afterwards are defensive ones, like haven, resilience, blast shield. By the time you have max caut you will know what Champion that counters you best. Slow or stuns? Pick Resilience. Hard countered by Lex or other DPS? Go Haven. Bomb King or similar gives you trouble, go for blast shield. I rarely go for any health cards as you have enough healing yourself and the healing cards get worse when everyone goes Cauterize. Damage reduction is more long term.
How to play Buck
As any other flanker I guess. There is not right or wrong in flanking as it is very situational based. Moving around and looking for squishy target should be your main priority. You should win any 1 v 1 battles (except vs tanks) and if you remove the aspect of ultimates then the only flanker that should be a threat is Lex and sometimes Evie and Maeve. The reason for that is that they all hit hard and are ironically hard to hit back due to their high movement.
Vs every slow(er) moving Champions you will and should win every 1 v 1. You are bulky and you hit hard, and after a kill, you get every ability back. They where nothing but a speed bump. If you meet them 2 v 1 you should 90% of the time (depending on their health and your position) try to escape as you do not shoot fast enough to take down two people at the same time.
You can play two roles as your mobility is splendid. Either go all out hunting down their healer(s) and DPS or defend your own DPS from aggressive flankers. It depends on the team combo for both teams.
VS Bucks favorite Champions
You really dominate against Champions that uses block skills. That includes two of the most common flankers. Androxus and Zhin. When they use a block move, you can reload or heal. Just follow them as they try to escape and kill them easily. If they try to escape with their good mobility moves, don't be afraid to follow with your Leap as a kill will reset its CD. Other favorite champion to hunt would be Kinessa, Strix, Sha Lin, (every healer), Moji, Victor, Tyra, and Vivian. They all struggle against Buck and you should have clear advantages against them as they do not have anything to directly counter you.
VS Bucks Hated champions
As mention Lex, Evie and Maeve can often give you trouble, but also the tanks are hard to do anything about with solo kills. They have too much hitpoints for your 4-6 shots to kill, especially if they receive some healing as well. Ignore them if you can, but don't be afraid to engage should they be low on health.
When to use each ability
The net shot is vital to get a edge at someone so start with that when you engage someone. Based on their position and health remaining you should try to avoid engaging with leap. Yes it is good, but if they have escapes or some babysitters close by escape is almost impossible should you waste your leap early. Use Leap more for mobility to go to higher grounds or just as an escape. Yes, you lose some initiative, but if you die for nothing you are not a treat. They just knowing you are behind their lines should give them trouble holding focus on the center. Recovery should be used when you are engaged in a battle or generally just on low health. After 2 shots or/and 40-60% lost health. Don't save it to 10-20% as a lucky headshot or a distance shot is always at risk. The ultimate should be saved until a team fight. It will give you lot of attention so using it from behind when alone is a bad idea. Team fights are often chaotic, so it is easier to get away with it. Also good to use in a chaotic 1 v 1 fight vs high mobility users.
In this playstyle and description of the guide it should be no surprise that the best legendary card is the Bulk Up. It gives you more healing and more sustain and it also works ok even after max caut as you still receive some healing at least. Other Legendary Cards could be Ensnare or Bucking madness. Bounce House is a very good card in some Buck builds, but I prefer to use Heroic Leap for escape, general mobility and hunting. Not engaging. Engage with leap is a bit to risky.
How to counter this build (and Buck in general)
The best way to play against a Buck with this build is to attack aggressive in the beginning. Wait until he uses his recovery and use mobility and object to keep him away from you the next 3 seconds. When it is done, attack him aggressively again and be prepared to hunt him should he look for an escape. Or else the best method is 2 v 1, but there is no one that is not weak to a 2 v 1 .Go Max Cauterize and Haven.
Sniping could also be a possibility, but medium distance with objects to hide behind and run around is best imo.
Buck is not easy to learn and even harder to master, but he is one of the most sturdy flankers and his damage output is skyhigh. Learn how his low rate of fire and few shots is enough to kill. Learn to escape and learn how to move around maps and reaching higher areas. It's a jumping technique. I believe this is the true and best way to play Buck and I hope you find the same joy. I don't like to exploit a tactical advantage, but seeing how many bad Buck builds that are on this site, I felt it needed some improvement.
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