12 days ago
8
Patch 2.4
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Free Agent - EU

Table of Content :

___________________________________________________

-Author's Note

-About Io

-Talents

-Abilities and Ultimate : Begone!

-Best team compositions / Worst counterpicks

-Niche tips and tricks

-Special! - Transitioning with Io changes on new patch + ranked

-Cards and Items

___________________________________________________

Author's Note:

This guide was a staple for many builds in Season 2, and now it's updated for Season 3.

This is a full and throughout guide and - let's talk - on Io, by a golden Io player. Sure, you can just play her and figure out what works for you, but you can't read that at work while bored. I'll make this as fun and educative based on my experiences as I can.

Enjoy yo!

-ColourWolfe

About Io:

Io has been around for a while, and has already captured hearts of many. With the unique ability to fine-tune her healing to extremely precise amounts, she is becoming a very popular pick that can rock with any team composition.

She is a super versatile and a well-rounded character, bringing a little bit of everything to the table. Unlike most other supports, Io can command a very strong presence in fights, but her greatest weakness lies in being extremely team dependent.

Talents:

Io's talents are : Life Link, Goddess' Blessing and Sacrifice.

Life Link : Luna now heals allies near her. The heal is small, but is persistent, and helps Io create more space for herself where her frontline isn't. A pretty staple talent, especially when paired with defensive teams. With Life Link, you have a personal bodyguard for you and any nearby allies, and this talent changes the playstyle of using Luna as your companion that goes wherever you go. However, it means you will often linger in places for too long - the trick is to make Luna fluidly move around you, and not to get stuck where you shouldn't be while you try to move around Luna's cooldown.

Goddess' Blessing : Allies you directly heal take 15% less damage. A very nice talent if the enemies have a lot of spam or area damage that can decimate your Luna in seconds, and a "can-never-go-wrong-with-it" type of talent. Coupled with few cards it can overbuff allies to oblivion all the while healing them, making certain impossible match ups very likely possible. This talent shines through both early and late game, due to the fact that damage reduction is always persistent.

Sacrifice : If you die while Luna is active, she is sacrificed, you take her place and heal. Heavily overlooked talent that isn't all that bad (who doesn't like a second chance) - the reason it's very rarely used is because the first two talents bring more value during the fights, even if you rock a more aggressive play-style. If you really wanna rock this, make sure to place Luna in a very safe spot, and be ready to run if she goes down. You're all about being alive with this talent, otherwise, why'd you rock it?

Abilities and Ultimate : Begone!

Tho shy at her release, Io plays grew tremendously as time passed by and players started maximizing her potential. I've lost count of how many foolish offtanks who dared to flank me I've yeeted off the map, to their shame. If well timed, it can easily get two or three enemies off map's edge or into an environmental hazard. Leave this realm, cuz this one's ours. And no, this is not an ability where you use it as a last-ditch effort to escape that Sky who's on your ass for 7th time this round. Save it to get an environmental kill when you push an enemy off the map, or use it to displace important enemies' ultimates, very often frontlines as that's range at which you can do this securely and precisely (like push Ash off her ultimate field; Begone! stops Torvald's ultimate on hit; dodge Inara's spear and push her away).

Her standard abilities can also make plays. Her default healing isn't strong, but is reliable and maintainable. Learn to weave in attacks in between Moonlight heals, to prevent straight up burning through it. No, you don't have to top every all to 100% all the time, most times you can afford to wait even a few seconds before healing them the 300 hp they're missing. With that being said, Io's default meter sucks some moon balls. It's essential to run a choice of cards that grant more Moonlight. The one for landing attacks will trigger even on deployables and shields, making it a reliable source of regeneration. The straight up "heal ammo" buff one is always a good card to have on any level you care to spare. Her healing lingers for a little while after target exits your line of sight, making her good at hugging corners and peeking to heal or land shots, and where she can quickly slip away if flanked.

Luna is a very nice companion that, while very often used as "What you leave on point so your team can push enemies back", it's use is only limited by player's creativity. You can place Luna on a suspicious flank as a warning to whoever might be coming. Early game especially, Luna really is another character with persistent auto-attack and a whooping big hp bar, making a game 6v5 up-front. Remember that you can see your Luna's hit points near your character portrait, and don't ever leave her to die or sit idle forgotten half-way through a push.
Always keep Luna around you, as you can land stuns on overextended enemies. The stun will go through many obstacles (It stuns enemies out of shields if you hit them directly (Nando, Khan), Luna can pass through most deployables (Ying's Illusions, Inara's Wall), ignores cripple ((Tyra's Fire, Imani's Volleyball)). It really is a nice stun that allows you to either set-up for an ultimate, run away, get a few shots or save an ally. Oh the choices!

On a side note, while Luna can capture, she generates no credits nor objective time for you.

Last but not least, her leap. It's your best ally and your worst nightmare. If you happen to decide to play a lot of Io, you will start to hate tight maps like Brightmarsh - what a nice little jump OOF, you've hit that aqueduct. You going nowhere yo. Or remember that time when you've yeeted yourself off the map on Frog Isle? Or that one when you've almost got a triple kill but your jump got stopped on an environmental rock, size of Barik? Learn to never panic-press the jump. It's cooldown is too long to be used as a lucky bail-me-out card, and it's not reliable nor it grants any invulnerability. Learn to look around and bellow you, jump backwards first and then leap for maximum distance and momentum.

-Best team compositions / Worst counterpicks:

Io works best in team compositions where she has advantage of free middle ground. If her team is able to maintain line of sight on her at most times, she can be present in all fights at once, very effectively, all the while capturing the point. Therefore, Io's positioning should be as central while as safe as possible.

Io fits in with any team composition, duo-tank or single tank, and she also works wonders with double support comp (Jenos + Io and Grohk + Io work really well together).

Her best team composition is two off-tanks, herself as support and two free characters, best if both damage to be nearer to her, as Io has no problems with flanks as long as she has an ally to pocket.


Io's worst nightmare is the Blue Orc, as his chain lightnings eat through Luna's hit points and force you in a position where entire team needs healing at once, and that's Io's weakness. To counterplay your counterplay, make Luna bodyguard unsafe flanks instead of being in his sight. That way, she still gives value while not frying your team for being a sitting duck. Also, placing Luna just around corners can still contest payloads while making her out of sight for chain lightnings.

Io's other counter is Zhin. He can follow you through any distance you cover with leap, and he has two immunity abilities that let him reset or resist Luna's stuns. In most 1v1 scenarios, Zhin wins, even if Io player tries to dance around Luna and pump her bow. The only times Io wins is if she can spot him before he's too near.

New to season changes, her new problem is now also Koga, as she can no longer outrun him even with perfect leap.
To do what you can best against good counters, hug your damage characters better and pump them with heals so that they win fights for you. You're a support, it's no shame to ask for help with problematic characters, because if your ass is dead your team isn't getting any heals. And that tilts them, and more importantly, you.

-Niche tips and tricks:

-Learn to be patient. Time Begone! to work when the enemy has no CC (i.e.: count to 4 when you see Inara pop her CC state, or when Nando ults). Don't waste the ability to try to defend yourself from a flank you got caught - it's mostly going to be a waste.

-A good map for Begone! plays is Splitstone Quarry, with the flank from the Lava Mill right into the blades in the mines. Gives enough cover for a nasty surprise. Sadly, for some reason, you won't get credits for kills, but whatever makes 'em go down, yea?

-Luna is immune to damage while switching places, but can still be healed.

-If you jump backwards before leaps, you gain extra momentum.

-Special! - Transitioning with Io changes on new patch + ranked

Io is still in a pretty good place, even with overall 25% nerf to her heal-power. She still feels good to play and plays very fluidly. She can definitively find a good place in the current meta roost, and she's overall, still great. New cauterize changes only helped her transition better as game goes on, and Goddess' Blessing's nerf by 10% (25% -> 15%) isn't felt as hard as she heals more in early game. Your best allies are players with built-in rejuvenate in their loadouts, as it can drastically reduce it (Caut 3 -> Caut 1).
New to the community, there is arise a duo-support of Jenos and Io, with Io playing in role of 2nd Tank. It has been surprisingly effective so far, but it's too early to judge.

Io's also great for climbing in ranked, as her playstyle against meta flanks still allows you to cover a lot of team's mistakes very fast. However, she might not be a good counterpick to Furia, so be careful with that.

Cards and Items:

Suggested Cards:
Build Section
Notes

These are suggested loads for first two of her talents that you can base your builds around, and then fine-tune them to your play-style. There's no direct builds for Sacrifice, as either of the two main builds (or combination of both) works for it.

With that being said and considering the total time you will be spending healing allies with Moonlight, I strongly suggest to keep Swift Arrows on either IV or V - it's a very powerful card that sure is a lifesaver and is really felt all throughout the game; and have Restored Faith anywhere between I and III (I personally think anything over III is countered very heavily by Cauterize, so the points went in other cards that have no direct outplay).

CW's Io - Life Link
Swift Arrows

Swift Arrows

Moonlight

Increase allies' Movement Speed by 32% while they are being Healed by Moonlight.

Level 4

Protectors

Protectors

Guardian Spirit

Regenerate 8% Moonlight every 1s while within 30 units of Luna.

Level 4

Spirit Arrows

Spirit Arrows

Moonlight

Reduce the Cooldown of Luna's redeploy by 0.30000000000000004s after healing with Moonlight.

Level 3

Restored Faith

Restored Faith

Moonlight

Heal for 20 every time you Heal an ally with Moonlight.

Level 2

Broken Deity

Broken Deity

Guardian Spirit

Increase Luna's deploy range by 40%.

Level 2

Notes

As Luna gains a healing aura, Life Link build revolves more around personal survival and improving all your abilities. Spirit Arrows III allow you to constantly reposition Luna around (jt triggers per moonlight healing tick), doubling her as a second healing ability. More utility and healing pool is always a good choice of cards.

This build suits defensive teams who can protect you and Luna.

CW's Io - Goddess' Blessing
Swift Arrows

Swift Arrows

Moonlight

Increase allies' Movement Speed by 32% while they are being Healed by Moonlight.

Level 4

Crescent

Crescent

Lunar Leap

Reset the Cooldown of Lunar Leap after dropping to or below 45% Health.

Level 3

Restored Faith

Restored Faith

Moonlight

Heal for 30 every time you Heal an ally with Moonlight.

Level 3

Moonlight Garden

Moonlight Garden

Weapon

Generate 6% Moonlight for each enemy hit with Light Bow.

Level 3

Moonwalk

Moonwalk

Armor

Increase your Moonlight’s capacity by 12%.

Level 2

Notes

With Goddess' Blessing, we need more up-time on Moonlight and a way to generate if faster once we run out of juice, hence Moonlight Garden III. With this build, we also don't need to move Luna around too much, she can help with point captures, babysitting your backline from flanks or just guarding a certain area. We also have speed buff again, a small juice bar buff, a little bit of self-sustain, and a reliable reset once we get to half of hit points.

This build suits a more aggressive team and play-style.

Items
Notes

As much as they are personal preferences, these are key items to keep in mind come to Io's play-style.

The Main Purchases
Nimble

Nimble

Armor

Gain 21% Movement Speed.

Level 3

Master Riding

Master Riding

Armor

Increase your Mount Speed by 45%.

Level 3

Kill to Heal

Kill to Heal

Armor

Getting a kill or elimination heals you for 900 Health.

Level 3

Resilience

Resilience

Armor

Reduce the duration and effectiveness of Crowd Control and Slows by 60%.

Level 3

Blast Shields

Blast Shields

Armor

Reduce the Damage you take from Area of Effect attacks by 21%.

Level 3

Haven

Haven

Armor

Reduce the Damage you take from Direct attacks by 21%.

Level 3

Wrecker

Wrecker

Weapon

Your weapon attacks deal 60% increased Damage to Shields.

Level 3

Notes

Nimble allows you to maneuver around fights, either to catch up to allies you're buffing to oblivion (32/40% movement via Swift Arrows), or for quick dance-peeking around corners so you maintain heals on allies without being exposed for too long. You can also finish it before round 1 ends.

Master Riding is a logical choice as you can capture with luna and retreat to safety if that's needed for your team to gain upper-hand.

Kill to heal is a good choice with recent changes, and playing well with Io will reward you with heals.

Haven, Blast Shields and Resilience should be picked up if certain enemies give you more trouble than you're comfortable with.

Wrecker is very often overlooked with Io - but with Io's very fast attack speed, you can quickly eat shields to land a stun with Luna if necessary.

"Never Get These" Items
Chronos

Chronos

Armor

Reduce the Cooldown of all your abilities by 30%.

Level 3

Deft Hands

Deft Hands

Weapon

Increase your Reload Speed by 60%.

Level 3

Notes

Chronos does not benefit Io too much - chances are if you get caught off-guard, 3 seconds off your Leap isn't doing you any justice; neither it helps Moonlight's resource bar in any way. You are much better off grabbing another item from the list above.

Deft Hands also shares the same reasoning - there are other items that give Io much more value, and considering she already has a rather fast reload animation, it's just not needed (even if you rock Garden in your cards).