10 days ago
2
Patch 2.4
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Free Agent - NA

Are you new to Paladins and you want to get good at one of the free tanks?

Is your aim garbage and you need a character that you can be good at anyways?

Do you want to get better at Fernando than that fetus that keeps picking Aegis?

Still salty about the Scorch nerfs and haven't figured out a good replacement build?

Just want to play him cuz he's fun?

Come one and all and learn the secrets of Fernando!

Firstly, a quick overview:

Fernando is a Frontline Champion with 4600 base hp and movement speed of 350. To put this into perspective, the average Tank has 4000 health and 350 movement speed. He has the 3rd highest base health in the game, beaten only by Inara and Torvald (if you count his 1800 shield). Fernando is very versatile as a Frontline: he is extremely beefy, but he also has large amounts of dive potential. As such, he can be used as a point tank or a dive tank, but he works best when he is allowed to do a bit of both, striking out from the point at the enemy backline before retreating to hold the objective. He is great as a second pick tank, as he can fill any gaps in his partner Tank's kit.

Fernando's abilities:

Flame Lance:

This is Fernando's primary fire. It fires projectiles every 0.1 seconds that deal 35 damage upon initial impact, and apply a damage over time that ticks 5 times over 2 seconds, dealing 40 damage per tick, or 200 in total. The burn effect does not stack, sadly but the 2 second timer is refreshed each time the target is hit. This means that it is most effective to spread your damage around on several targets, instead of just soaking all your damage into the enemy Tank. Another thing to note, Flame Lance relies on a resource bar instead of an ammo count, though it does have the equivalent of 50 ammo (5 seconds of uninterrupted shooting). Instead of reloading when you hit "R," Flame Lance will automatically begin to recharge after not being fired for 0.5 seconds, it will then take up to a second to fully replenish itself. If you empty the resource bar completely, it will automatically reload, taking a full 2 seconds to recharge. As such, it is often better to stop firing just before you use up your resource, and allow it to recharge a bit before you continue firing. Only use up your resource completely when it is necessary to finish killing an enemy. Finally, Flame Lance has 2 major drawbacks. First is its short range. While it actually shoots farther than it appears in first person, its 50 unit range is still not very far, so be sure to close the distance or get out of the way of an enemy champion who is shooting at you or you will take needless damage without giving any back. Secondly, firing flame lance slows you by 50%. This is important to keep in mind when diving, and makes it doubly important to not shoot when the enemy isn't in range.

Shield:

Fernando's RMB ability. When it's activated, you whip out a massive, 8000 health shield for up to 10 seconds. It can be used to protect you and your team, and is useful in keeping Cauterize off long enough to get healed. Its biggest weakness is the fact that its name sucks. Its second biggest weakness is that you have to channel it. This means that if you get CC'd, your shield drops and you will likely die. It also means that you can't shoot while it is active. As such, you should not keep it active longer than you need to. Especially after the enemy team starts to pick up Wrecker. Generally, hold up your shield until:

1. Your gun has reloaded. Flame Lance will reload while Shield is raised, so don't drop it until the reload is done.

2. You've been healed. When your shield is up you hopefully won't be getting shot at so you should eventually be free of Cauterize, after which your support can top you off.

3. Large amounts of damage or any blockable CC is headed your way. Just because you generally shouldn't hold up your shield for the full 10 seconds doesn't mean holding it up for a little is bad. Make sure you won't instantly die before you drop it.

4. Skye Ults. It pierces shields. Run.

Also, raising your shield slows you, just like shooting does.

Fireball:

Fernando's "Q" and his only long range/poke damage option. It fires in a straight line, moves with moderate speed, does 450 damage, pierces enemies, and has a hitbox bigger than the broadside of a barn. Fire it off whenever it's off cooldown. It does interrupt your normal firing, but it does increase your dps. It's useful for hitting the clumps of squishies in the backline, or pumping more damage into the tanks. Take your pick, or even hit both when possible! Make sure to avoid the annoying mistake of trying to hit two targets and accidentally splitting the difference by shooting right between them. Honestly, this is the most straightforward part of Fernando's kit.

Charge:

Nando go zoom. Dash forward, passing through enemies and dealing 200 damage. You move about as fast as Ash can dash, and go about as far as you can shoot, and you can dash while Shield is active. Charge has 2 main uses. Firstly, it can be used to pressure enemy Frontlines when they use barriers of any sort, but especially personal barriers. Charge through them and then make them them deal with you, exposing them to your team. Secondly, you can dive supports in the backline. Similar to the previous method, go through the Frontline and continue on to attack the support behind them. Fernando no longer has the mobility to effectively pursue kills, so if the support retreats, it is generally best to return your attention to the (now support-less) Frontline and let the actual flanks clean up the kills. Charge also has a tertiary use as a retreat tool. While it is good to dash away instead of dying, it is better, when possible, to use your shield and remain on the objective. Shield and back away and then dash to cover is the best method of retreat in my experience. "Moonwalking" (jumping quickly turning and dashing in midair before then turning back around so you land and are dashing backwards with your shield up) is cool, but is often too risky as turning, even briefly, with your shield opens you to be CC'd out of it. If the enemy team lacks CC or if you are very good at keeping track of what abilities have been used, Moonwalking can be useful.

Immortal:

This is Fernando's ultimate. While it is active, you are slowed and locked out of all abilities except Flame Lance, but you and your surrounding teammates cannot fall below 1500 health and are immune to damage over times. You are also CC immune. Fernando's ultimate is best used to counter enemy ultimates, or any other large amount of damage if your team is at low health. It is best to have your shield available to use immediately after ulting, because you will likely be emerging from it with low health into all of the burst that the enemy team saved up while you were immortal.

Loadouts!
Build Section
Notes

Talents

Formidable:

Formidable is currently Fernando's best Talent and has been since Scorch was nerfed, and there is still no reason to pick Aegis. Formidable gives Nando a bit more tankiness, it is especially nice since it isn't tied up in his shield.

Scorch:

Scorch will occasionally give you bonus damage, but it isn't enough or often enough for it to be worth the pick.

Aegis

Aegis is hot garbage. Honestly, it's just kinda warm garbage. I've already discussed why holding Shield up for even 10 seconds isn't a good idea. Aegis just lets you be stupid for longer.

Cards

My Loadouts for Fernando all have the same core 5 cards, leveled 3 different ways for different scenarios. Though I have considered swapping certain filler cards in, none of them bring the same value that these 5 do.

Incinerate:

I always run this card at Level 4. Most people who play Fernando run it at Level 5, but I don't find the extra 0.6 seconds to be worth the point, especially since the Scorch and Hot Pursuit nerfs. As it is, Level 4 Incinerate lets you send out lots of Fireballs, increasing your dps and making you more dangerous to more distant targets.

Fearless Leader:

Eliminations reduce cooldowns by 10% per Level. Fearless Leader lets you use all of Fernando's abilities more, helps you snowball fights.

Cavalier:

Increases Fernando's maximum health by 150 per Level. Makes him tankier. At Level 3 it brings Fernando to above 5000 health.

Immovable Object:

Increases healing that you take when below 50% health. Helps counter Cauterize, and helps your Support keep you alive.

Last Stand:

Heals you while shield is active and you are below 40% health. One of the lowest Leveled cards in all of these builds but still extremely important. You spend less time behind Shield, and thus more actually affecting the game.

Main Loadout
Formidable

Formidable

Armor

Regenerate 55% of your maximum Health over 3s when you fall below 40% of your maximum Health.

Level 1

Incinerate

Incinerate

Fireball

Reduce the cooldown of Fireball by 2.4s

Level 4

Fearless Leader

Fearless Leader

Armor

Eliminations reduce all active cooldowns by 40%

Level 4

Cavalier

Cavalier

Armor

Increase your base maximum Health by 450.

Level 3

Immovable Object

Immovable Object

Armor

While below 50% Health receive 10% increased healing from other players.

Level 2

Last Stand

Last Stand

Shield

While Shield is active and you are below 40% Health, you heal 200 Health each second until you reach 40% Health.

Level 2

Notes

This is the main loadout for Fernando. It works best when in tandem with another tank, or against a lot of squishies.

Heals Loadout
Formidable

Formidable

Armor

Regenerate 55% of your maximum Health over 3s when you fall below 40% of your maximum Health.

Level 1

Incinerate

Incinerate

Fireball

Reduce the cooldown of Fireball by 2.4s

Level 4

Immovable Object

Immovable Object

Armor

While below 50% Health receive 20% increased healing from other players.

Level 4

Fearless Leader

Fearless Leader

Armor

Eliminations reduce all active cooldowns by 30%

Level 3

Cavalier

Cavalier

Armor

Increase your base maximum Health by 300.

Level 2

Last Stand

Last Stand

Shield

While Shield is active and you are below 40% Health, you heal 200 Health each second until you reach 40% Health.

Level 2

Notes

This is a variant of the Main Loadout but with more points in Immovable Object. This loadout should be used when you have a bunch of good heals on your team or a lot of max health percentage based damage, such as Debilitate Skye, Burn Monster Tyra, or Big Game Cassie, on the enemy team.

Tanky Loadout
Formidable

Formidable

Armor

Regenerate 55% of your maximum Health over 3s when you fall below 40% of your maximum Health.

Level 1

Incinerate

Incinerate

Fireball

Reduce the cooldown of Fireball by 2.4s

Level 4

Cavalier

Cavalier

Armor

Increase your base maximum Health by 600.

Level 4

Last Stand

Last Stand

Shield

While Shield is active and you are below 40% Health, you heal 300 Health each second until you reach 40% Health.

Level 3

Fearless Leader

Fearless Leader

Armor

Eliminations reduce all active cooldowns by 20%

Level 2

Immovable Object

Immovable Object

Armor

While below 50% Health receive 10% increased healing from other players.

Level 2

Notes

This loadout is the most different from the other 2. It is generally used when you are playing Fernando in less than ideal circumstances. Such as when up against a Khan or when you are main Point Tank. This loadout helps you stay alive and speeds up the Shield based healing so if it gets dropped fast it matters less.

Items!
Build Section
Notes

General Strategy:

1. Grab Cauterize right off the bat.

2. Buy Rejuvenate once you have Cauterize to Level 2 or 3, if you are doing very well, finish off Cauterize first. If the enemy team keeps stunning you out of your shield, buy Resilience instead of Rejuvenate.

3. Get a Yellow Item. Nimble or Morale Boost are the best choices on Fernando.

4. Buy a Blue Item, anything except Illuminate. You can also trade this item in for Wrecker or another secondary item pick depending on the situation.

A note on "Rainbow Buying": Just like everybody else, Fernando suffers if you buy all different items before levelling up the ones you have. Leaving slots open also gives you room to adjust to the enemy team as the game progresses.

Offensive Items
Cauterize

Cauterize

Weapon

Your weapon shots reduce the effect of healing on your target by 90% for 1.5s.

Level 3

Cauterize

Cauterize

Weapon

Your weapon shots reduce the effect of healing on your target by 90% for 1.5s.

Level 3

Cauterize

Cauterize

Weapon

Your weapon shots reduce the effect of healing on your target by 90% for 1.5s.

Level 3

Wrecker

Wrecker

Weapon

Your weapon attacks deal 150% increased Damage to Shields.

Level 2

Bulldozer

Bulldozer

Weapon

Your weapon shots deal 50% increased Damage to Deployables, Pets, and Illusions.

Level 1

Notes

Cauterize

Always rush Cauterize on Fernando. Flame Lance is wonderful for hosing enemies with Caut laden goodness. You really shouldn't think about buying any other items until you have Cauterize at Level 2 or higher, and it should be the first item you max out.

Wrecker

If you are up against a shield heavy comp, Wrecker may also be useful to pick up, but it should not replace Cauterize.

Bulldozer

Due to Flame Lances AoE, it is generally easy to hit both the enemy Tank and any deployables that are on the objective, Bulldozer isn't generally useful. If the enemy team is deployable heavy (ie. 3 or more characters with significant deployables), it can be a good buy.

Deft Hands

Since you can reduce Fernando's reload time by almost 30% by properly managing Flame Lances resource bar, and Flame Lance reloads while Shield is active, never pick Deft Hands.

Healing Items
Rejuvenate

Rejuvenate

Armor

Receive 30% more healing from other players.

Level 3

Rejuvenate

Rejuvenate

Armor

Receive 30% more healing from other players.

Level 3

Rejuvenate

Rejuvenate

Armor

Receive 30% more healing from other players.

Level 3

Notes

Rejuvenate

This is basically the only green item you want to get. It combos nicely with Immovable Object, and is vital for your survival once the enemy team gets a few champions with Level 3 Cauterize.

Kill to Heal/Life Rip

Unless you're playing Fernando on TDM, there is no reason to pick these up. They are hard countered by Cauterize, which is unavoidable as a Frontline, and unlike with some other champions, Fernando's Rejuvenate card equivalent only works on heals from others.

Veteran

Never pick this. If you are out of combat while capping the objective, your support can top you off.

Utility Items
Nimble

Nimble

Armor

Gain 30% Movement Speed.

Level 3

Nimble

Nimble

Armor

Gain 30% Movement Speed.

Level 3

Morale Boost

Morale Boost

Armor

Increase your Ultimate charge rate by 45%.

Level 3

Morale Boost

Morale Boost

Armor

Increase your Ultimate charge rate by 45%.

Level 3

Chronos

Chronos

Armor

Reduce the Cooldown of all your abilities by 10%.

Level 1

Master Riding

Master Riding

Armor

Increase your Mount Speed by 15%.

Level 1

Notes

Nimble

This item combos best with Fernando's more dive intensive playstyle. It makes him more mobile so you can get in and out of fights and more effectively chase kills.

Morale Boost

Fernando's ultimate is wonderful. Protect your team when the enemy pushes, protect your team while you push. More Nando ults is never a bad thing. Pick this item when filling a more point tank-esque role.

Chronos/Master Riding

These can both be useful if you find yourself dying a lot (though I believe it is better to pick up a Blue Item instead). Chronos will let you use all of your abilities more: more Fireball = more dps, more Shield = more survivability, and more Charge = easier retreat. Master Riding allows you to better recover from deaths, and get to your team/the objective faster.

Defensive Items
Haven

Haven

Armor

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

Level 3

Blast Shields

Blast Shields

Armor

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

Level 3

Resilience

Resilience

Armor

Reduce the duration and effectiveness of Crowd Control and Slows by 90%.

Level 3

Notes

Haven/Blast Shields

Pick whichever one corresponds to the most common damage type on the enemy team/whoever is killing you the most.

Resilience

This is a necessity if the enemy team has a lot of CC, especially if they can stun you out of your shield. If that is the case get Resilience right after Cauterize.

Illuminate

This is another item that isn't a good pick for Fernando. Sha Lin and Strix will generally attack you from far enough away that Illuminate won't help, and Skye usually attacks from angles where you won't see her coming even without invisibility. Additionally, once you have hit a stealthed target with Flame Lance, you will be able to see the damage tick above their head. Just shoot for that and you'll be fine.

Champion Counters!
Champion Section
Fernando Counters
AshSkyeMal'DambaYingGrohkGrover
Notes

Ash

Has a similar high-health/bruiser playstyle as Fernando, but with less health and a worse shield. Also, none of her CC (except her ult) can shut down your Shield. Also, Shield blocks Kinetic Burst and Charge passes through Shoulder Bash

Skye

She has to get close to you to be effective, and once you've shot her, you have a 2 second reveal, which counters half of her kit. Watch out for Poison Bolts damage when hiding behind your shield.

Supports in General

The Cauterize rush strategy shuts down the usefulness of most Supports quick. Some (ie. Jenos) bring other utility or can de-Shield you, in which case they take more to deal with.

Counters Fernando
KhanTerminusTorvaldKinessaStrixDrogozMaeveIoSeris
Notes

Khan

Khan is Fernando's biggest counter. Never pick Nando against a team with Khan. Commanders Grab absolutely destroys your shield. The only way to deal with this is to wait for the Khan to use it.

Terminus (Crush)

Shatterfall stuns under your shield. Same issue as Khan. Same solution.

Torvald

Silence can instantly drop your shield if you let Torvald get close. Additionally, his shield and Bubble throw a wrench in the "Rush Caut" Fernando strategy.

Kinessa/Strix/Drogoz

All 3 of these champions can easily hit you when they are far out of your range. Throw Fireball at them and hope they move.

Maeve (Street Justice)

Street Justice makes playing against a Maeve unbearable. Your shield doesn't block the the execute that pounce gets. Counterplay options: complain to Hi-Rez/EvilMojo.

Io/Seris (Agony)

If they have shot you before you raise your shield, you can get stunned after you pull it up. Simply wait to get stunned before using Shield as both of their stuns have hefty cooldowns.

It's Complicated
Makoa
Notes

Makoa

If he gets the right angle, Dredge Anchor can shut down your shield. Alternatively, Fernando's Shield is one of the most effective counters to an ulting Makoa, right after and angry Drogoz. Simply raise your shield and body block Makoa while Ancient Rage is active, and he can't really do anything.