Deep Roots Grover Guide: Mobile Lockdown Supportby warriorman222
NOTE: Cards are ordered and distributed points in level of priority. The literal only mandatory thing is Chop Down IV and Deep Roots. Everything else is your pick; each level 2 card caters to a different playstyle and Vine Grasp I is my preffered filler.
04/06/17 EDIT: Thank you PaladinsDeck for a second Guide of The Month Award! With that, I felt taking a look at my guide and refurnishing it would do it some good:
- - Slightly reformatted titles
- - Added "Extra Cards section for cards that are neither mandatory(Chop Down IV) or complementary (Fatalis III)
- - Improved Advice
Hello everyone. This is my second guide to yet another CC Support: Grover. before OB44, Grover was a Healing Support with design issues: He must be near his teammates to heal them, but must be far away to damage them. While this problem stays, Depp Roots alleviates this by allowing him to further support his team at any distance; because his heals were very slightly left behind(Like, I’m talking stumbling on a pebble levels of small but the difference is there) by not being power creeped as hard as Ying and Pip, he is no longer forced to huddle up with his team, allowing his damage to shine. If he wants to however, he can, allowing his more frequent vines to lock down a fleeing Damage character.
There are many Healing Support guides to Grover, and a very good burn card guide is here: https://www.paladinsdecks.com/deck/show/spring-has-come/ (credits to manniL). This is a guide to CC Support Grover, a tanky longranger who condemns someone to death every 5 seconds.
PART 1: DECK
NOTE: I may put random "I"s near a card name so that it will be highlighted, allowing you to see it's effect. Multiply the effect by the amount of points invested.
Primary Purpose of Deck: To maximize the uptime of Crippling Axe to land as many potential Deep Roots as possible.
Secondary Purpose: Literally whatever you want. Do you want to be sitting with or right behind your team, never moving off? Build some Verdant Expanse I or Perrenial I. Are you in a dive comp of sorts(And playing Grover for some reason) and want some more mobility? Pick Up I leads to more frequent Vines and Fatalis I grants you that nice speed.
With that out of the way, let's get into the cards themselves:
-Deep Roots: Rampant Blooming is nice and all, but Grover is not a good healer. 1000 every 12 seconds is awful and even with Perennial the cooldown still sucks. Rampant Blooming makes healing viable, but at that point you can just grab Mega Potion Pip, and get 2400 healing instantly; a medic Pip can use Relaod IV to get 4800 burst healing which puts Grover to shame. Ying and Mal'damba are far better solo healers, Totemic Ward Grohk makes a deathball literally unstoppable, which leaves us with Grover, the worst healer in the game.
Solution? Find a way to support your team without healing, similarly to Catalyst/Pre-OB44 Pip or Maelstrom Grohk: Crowd Control. Because after all, your team doesn't need heals if they can't hurt you amirite? *taps head* Anyways,
- Chop Down IV: More Crippling Axe means more Deep Roots means more psychological incentive to automatically focus fire the seemingly vulnerable target, even if they weren't made much more vulnerable. It's the same reason people attack the Fernando that you just reload stunned out of shield with Mal'Damba, when the point is to get his squishier damagers. Here, the impulse will work in your favor.
- Fatalis III: With Grover, you should practice landing axes anyways, but it may be difficult at extremely close or long ranges. Luckily for you, Crippling Axe is horizontally inclined and therefore easier to land on vertically inclined humans. This card is here to have the opposite happen to your enemy, making it harder to hit you. Plus, it gives you a form of self-pursuit and self-peel(Ex. rooting that annoying Maeve that chased you halfway across the map, moving away for extra axe damage and 3-shotting her...), which is always nice.
- Pick Up II: Optional: because you are landing many Crippling Axes, you want more reward for hitting them. Chopper IV's 200HP "reward" is laughable, but up to 4 seconds off your mobility is much less laughable. It's fun to root someone, throw an axe, cancel the animation with Vine, axe their face for a kill, then do both again in 5 seconds.
- Verdant Expanse II: At the end of a day, you still are a Support. To Hi-Rez, that means you must heal(Supported by the incoming Grohk nerfs(OB47 EDIT: and his signifcant card rebalancing and previous Pip mini-rebalance). May as well take this if you’re going to pitch a tent on the point with Barik.
- Overgrowth II gets a special mention as flex card because it is utterly useless unless 2 points are put into it. However, once you get 2-3 points in it it will let you make so many clutch escapes that you simply don't deserve. Very nice, take it in place of Verdant Expanse/Pick Up if you wish.
- Vine Grasp I, Nature’s Quickness I, Gentle Breeze I, Perennial I, Adrenaline I…: Filler slot. Not very useful, but more useful than many other options. Much else can take it’s place, however. If only you didn’t need to use all 5 slots; imagine the amount of gamebreakingly powerful(and funny!) builds that could come to life if 90% of existing builds didn’t always have 1 or 2 level 1 cards…
But I digress. In short, Deep Roots and Chop Down IV mandatory for the playstyle, Fatalis is awesome, other cards are dependant on refining the inner workings of your playstyle and I placed one card for each in my deck.
PART 2: BURN CARDS/ITEMS
So of course, there’s the shop. Unlike full-blown MOBAs, they are simple items that make sense. I will explain what I personally would pick from each category and when.
Haven/Blast Shields: Preferred pick for a mobile semi-flanking build(When I mean semi-flanking, I mean solely the chasing aspect, not the ambushing aspect except on someone like Kinessa, who can be ambushed by anyone if they have tunnel vision). You are more of an opportunist, so staying alive longer is great. However, the effect has been nerfed to be much smaller, so it’s up to you if it is worth it. I personally hardly notice except when it comes to “will this make you survive one more shot or not from X burst damage character?”
Illuminate: Nice if Skye is harassing you, whom is quite a bit more dangerous when you play more traditionally in the middle/back of the team. Also nice if Sha’lin has a weapon/armor deck and got Shifting Sands instead of any of the other 2 for some reason…
Resilience: Let’s face it: Resilience is insanely good for what it does. If there is a lot of Crowd control especially if you stay on point, this may keep you alive more than Haven or Blast Shields will.
Personal best pick: Resilience has saved my life too much. I’m probably biased due to my aggressive, divey nature but the amount of times I’ve survived Vining into a Grumpy Bomb is amazing.
Master Riding: It can work…? Not the greatest, but not useless especially on Timber Mill or Ice Mines where riding can take longer… or on Payload lol
Nimble: Best for the mobile, Pick Up builds. Does not stack with Fatalis III, so keep in mind that Fatalis III will become entirely useless at some point and if you plan to use this in your build consistently, Fatalis III is best gone unless at Fatalis IV.
Chronos: Due to reduced cooldowns from Chop Down IV, your Crippling Axe cooldown goes down by a mere .5 seconds per point. Is that worth it? You decide, but keep in mind that Pick Up II goes unaffected.
Morale Boost: Nice if you want to make up for your lower heals due to a lack of high-level Perennial IV and Verdant Expanse IV.
Personal best pick: Chronos, but I rarely use Morale Boost if I feel like it. Chronos have given me better result, though.
Veteran: No, it’s simply too weak. Ever since the bugfix, it went from hilariously overpowered to completely useless. It is only worth it on the tankiest of tanks, and even then, it’s more of a last-round money sink similarly to Resilience vs. a mixed team.
Life Rip: Your DPS isn’t that great except at long ranges and it won’t count your MLG Crippling Axe trickthrows. Not the best.
Kill To Heal: On the other hand, every single non-tank hit by RMB should die if even 1 teammate is looking at them. Your main purpose in life is to set up kills and that comes both with a lot of eliminations and also a lot of NaCL production from the enemy team. Expect some salty flankers coming to 1v”1” you in the middle of your team and try and kill you, only for you to thrive off their inevitable deaths.
Rejuvenate: You’re not(or shouldn’t be, with this build) the main healer of your team, so this is better than you think. More healing from Ying means more ults from Ying. More healing from Pip means more team wipes from Pip. Helps them and helps you. On the other hand, if you are in a situation where this card is useless, picking a Blossom-centric build, or another character altogether(lol) may be a good idea.
Personal best pick: It may be, and probably is “The Pub Syndrome”(You do asinine things that are inherently mistake-capitalizing in nature AKA pubstomping, such as Maeve as a concept, and continue them because it works in a game where Competitive is a glorified pub up until like 4k), but Kill To Heal has worked best for me. Helped keep me alive the most, and therefore ready to heal and root for my team.
Offense(NOTE: All Offense items are situational)
Because Aggression is dead, the effectiveness of Offense items are going to not be based on their power, but rather their effectiveness when used on a 400~1200DPS vertically inclined axe with reverse damage falloff.
Wrecker: On deployable shields, it doesn’t scale based on range (Apparently Hi-Rez took this as a bug because why not?), so it’s useless vs. those characters. Against Torvald and Ruckus however, these are 2 immobile characters with personal shields… which do get scaling. You can destroy their shields at long ranges faster than 90% of the cast.
Cauterize: It’s easy to hit, but you shoot once per second. Granted, there are special cases like Lifelike Ying and Mega Potion Pip with Reload IV where Cauterize is all but mandatory, but other teammates can spread it more reliably in most cases.
Bulldozer: Not as strong as Wrecker, but has scaling all the time. Unfortunately, your huge hitbox tends to hit heroes next to deployables, and you can one-shot 100% of them at longer ranges. Even if Bulldozer grants a larger 1-shot range, it doesn’t really matter because you’re better of spending elsewhere. Of course, when the datamined Inara comes with stuff like unbreakable walls and teamwide damage resist, then this item will have more use. But until then, not worth it in general.
Personal best pick: Few Offense items go well with Grover, but Wrecker wrecks Torvald and Ruckus, and Cauterize is a must anyways vs. Lifelike Ying and Mega Potion Pip with either Reload IV or Gift Giver III.
Hold on, you want to know why I said nothing of Deft Hands? For those who don’t know, Deft Hands requires a clip to reload, AKA more than 1 shot and no energy bars. Deft Hands is therefore useless on Grover, Sha’lin and Maeve. Deft Hands is useless on any remotely aware Fernando and Grohk, both of whom only undergo lengthy overheat reloads upon burning their entire clip, which will otherwise more quickly recharge.
Overall: Pick depending on the situation. Torvald on the scene? Wrecker. Another CC Support on the other side? Wait a death/round and pick Resilience if they actually make use of it. Likelike Ying spreading her cancer throughout the community? Chemo that with Cauterize. Literally nothing to counter that can be? Kill To Heal or Chronos depending on your level of Aggression(lol).
PART 3: STRATEGY
Overall Strategy: Your main goal is to make sure the most threatening enemy dies. Usually this a long-range damage class champion, Pip/Grohk and their frustrating teamwide slows, a frat-boy monk peeping on your Cassie, or Makoa with his life-ending hook. Just RMB their faces as long as they’re not covered by a shield, and use your axes to harass the damage dealers/Pip from a long range, allowing you to fulfil your role of “Attack the backline from the frontline”.
Offensive Deck: This applies to those who build cards such as Pick Up II and Vine Grasp I.Y more of an opportunist, poking the enemy damage rather than RMBing instantly, and then Vining up to them, throwing an axe from midair, animation-cancelling an immediate Crippling Axe, and ruining their day. Your reduced Vine cooldown makes it more likely for you to actually make it out alive. Said improved Vine also allows you to cross the battlefield more easily, resulting in you having more damage and eliminations along with maybe some Solo Kills.
Defensive Deck: This applies to those who build cards such as Verdant Expanse II and Perennial I. You can root with slightly more reckless abandon, due to you not being as useless when Crippling Axe is off cooldown. You stay near the team, taking advantage of your not-entirely awful heals. You root whoever you want, preferably the KInessa or Maeve but preferably not the tank, because they can still put up a shield while stuck, nullifying your root.
- - TELL YOUR TEAM WHAT YOU ARE!! This applies to all CC Supports due to people not understanding the concept. Tell them you’re going to render targets unable to move. Tell them to shoot whoever you “chain up” for a free kill. Make them feel good about listening to you with VERs and VVGNs. Pubs are so unaccepting of the unusal that they can easily condemn you before the round starts by throwing the game for youe "mere" 50K heals , and it is your duty as a CC Support to be trained to deal with stuff like that.
- - Lead your shots; RMB’s horizontal hitbox is large but not infinite while LMB's horizontal hitbox is pitifully low.
- - GAME BREAKING BUG ALERT: Landing Vines within the latter ~5-10% of your range (more common than you think) has a chance of crashing your game instantly. It may be better to just die at that point then to instantly turn into a vegetable. Lo-Rez pls fix
- Because your heal is so low, it is not important to save it, unlike literally every other support except reigning king and queen Lifelike Ying and Mal'Damba. Heal whenever someone needs healing, preferably the tank becuase you're more adept to protecting from flankers than from damage dealers. If you ever end up needing to self-heal, ask yourself: was a I protecting a teammate, and if not was I chasing a kill that would take more than 5 seconds? If the answers are no and yes, you may have made a misplay.
- - Try to root a target not focused on you, if they need to die (i.e. Kinessa 2-shot headshotting your poor Makoa through his shield -_- Hi-Rez pls fix). At longer ranges, they can dodge your axes.
- - Vine has a much larger range than you think. Try and get a feel of how far it can go so you know how far you can dive in or how far you need to go to run. For a statistical number, it goes 95 units, the exact range at which Viktor's gun begins to fall off in damage.
- - Vine has range independent of the axis. What this means is that while most mobility moves are horizontal, Vine is omnidirectional provided a wall is within 95 feet. It also has a small rise, so you can grab onto ledges high up and break line of sight while wasting so much of their time (see: Stone Keep Top ledge on the side requires entry from the inside and stair climbing… or just a press of the F button). On the other hand, it also has a significant delay, meaning you can get sniped while the Vine is channeling and traveling. Use pre-emptively or you may die.
- Simple Vine trick: get a large wall, use the confortable limit of your vine straight up, and throw axes over shields for bonus reverse falloff damage. Alternatively, root someone behind a shield.
Makoa. Dredge anchor into Deep Roots RMB is the most common lockdown combo even at pro levels, and it is not hard to execute. See a Makoa hook someone? Root the victim with your giant axe.
Aim dependant, damage-heavy, low utility Damage carries: Kinessa, Sha’lin, Viktor and such all make wonderful use out of an immobile or less mobile target. A rooted enemy is free headshots with any hitscan.
Heavy Healing Supports: Lifelike Ying lacks selfless utility, and Mega Potion Pip lacks DPS. However, you bring both, and they bring the ability to heal a team on their own. Keep in mind however, that this will pretty much guarantee half a team at least of Cauterize. Your roots better be worth the inevitable Cauterize apocalypse, and you can most easily take advantage of this by fielding another tank along with Makoa: preferably Ruckus or Torvald, who could do without a Wrecked shield.
Burst flankers: You are a single-target lockdown machine. Automatic headshots as Androxus and guaranteed hits as Skye or maeve will seriously help.
Other CC Supports: Catalyst Pip and Maelstrom Grohk will just end up with you both getting Cauterized, but now you lack the early-game heal advantage to hopefully gain an advantage early-on, and they lack the lifesteal inherent to their kits making their kit effectiveness suffer heavily.
Buck. What Buck needs is extra damage. He already has enough chasing and escaping potential, and you really aren’t helping much more than normal axes already were.
As a CC Support, Grover can open up kills for literally anyone giving him a place on nearly any team. This applies to the other CC Supports Maelstrom Grohk and Catalyst Pip, but which one you’ll pick is dependant on the enemy team mainly:
- Go Pip if you are
- Go Maelstrom Grohk if there are several immobile, tanky enemies; his constant yet impotent slows make already easy targets reliably headshottable, and an ifninite supply of ammo can help
- Grover is the most situational, hell he's by far the worst Support in the game because every single one is above average at worst while he's wetting himself in the "situationally not-useless but pretty much outclassed" group with Evie and Torvald as company. However, pair him up with Makoa as a tank, 1-2 snipers, Lex as midrange damager and Mega Potion Pip, and you'll laugh in glee as everyone is confused as to whether or not to instalock Resilience in order to enjoy life, or Cauterize in order to, well, enjoy life.
Only important matchups will be noted. Opinionated.
Tyra, Viktor: As if they didn’t have enough trouble escaping. Easy root, easy kill due to reduced speed and/or lack of mobility.
Flankers excluding Buck: these hypermobile enemies are going to cry when you land your easybake hitboxes on them. Skye can go invisible and the chains disappear, but she still stays still. Evie and Maeve are particularly screwed; you can just root them, axe them and Vine away to destroy any chance of them hurting you or your allies.
Pip: You outdamage him at most ranges, and Vine makes his slow not matter. He is the slowest character in the game (Bar Buck with 270 vs Pip's 360 what the hell Hi-rez) and as such aiming RMB and LMB is a little easier.
Ruckus, Torvald: With no way to protect their team from Crowd-Control, they are especially vulnerable to your RMBs… And with it, so is the rest of their team. Go wild. Also, Wrecker scales with range on them.
Kinessa: You can root her to end her life as far as escaping goes, but her damage is no less massive. She can outdamage you at mid-long ranges, only at the longest of engagements do you win.
Fernando: Despite drowning in power creep, he still gives you trouble with his shield. It will block roots and ignore damage scaling making it impossible for you to contribute to it’s melting. Aegis gives you a smaller window to lock down a target. However, he can’t do anything to you, and in natural Fernando fashion the 8 (or 9+) seconds his shield isn’t up is prime time to get free damage on him or free roots on his allies.
Buck: He starts becoming hard to burst and impossible to solo kill. His constant Bounce House jumps put pressure on you to land shots. But at the end of his day, his awful DPS means that he can’t kill you before you Vine that nearby teammate to safety.
Drogoz: Incredible hard to hit, incredibly damaging. Root will give him crippling depression, but if you can consistently hit that, you’re so godly that you probably don’t even need this guide. Is negative, but technically doable at closer ranges given both players aren't gods, and longer ranges if so(Because a god drogoz is runnign Fusilade which can't dodge for s***).
Makoa: Hooks you into his range, leading you to be slowed by the accompanying CC Support and rekt before you can press F. Luckily, you aren’t his top target, but you can’t do anything to him. His Dome shield prevents you from even using verticality to land hits.
Cassie: Kinessa, but she can move, do actual sustained DPS, and roll up to your face to destroy you. Good luck.
Maelstrom Grohk: He presses F and dodges your root. He presses RMB and slows you to a crawl. He presses E and you’re as good as rooted. Engage at long range, and stay away from teammates, lest you take a ton of damage from with RMB.
Shield-centric Barik: His shield just blocks everything and makes you useless. like Fernando, but turrets and shotgun lets him defend himself more effectively, and turrets provide a meatshield to use as RMB cover. His assets must go down before his teammates do.
PART 5: CONCLUSION
At the end of the day, it’s quite simple: root whoever needs to die most, and they should die. Axes are easy to hit, and Grover is not too hard to get comfortable with. Pick cards like Pick Up II to dive and lockdown the enemy carry, or Verdant Expanse II to play safer with your team and root point threats.
Overall, Deep Roots Grover is a slightly versatile CC Support that has the touch of delayed death. By giving his team 2 seconds to kill someone, he can create quick 5v4s with the press of a button. However, none of this can be done without a good team, so chat or even better, premade as necessary.
Okay, let's be real here. Grover is not in the best place. Just like Evie, Cassie and Fernando he got power creeped into oblivion. Unlike them, who simply bring nothing to the table that someone else doesn't do, he brings the best single-target crowd control in the game short of Makoa's hook. However, the rest of kit is obnociously undertuned and problematic: his healing is awful without Whirlwind, Vine has low range, a long delay and crashes games, he is useless in close range yet must be close to heal, and Crippling Axe does not scale with range for absolutely no reason at all. Contrary to others' beliefs, I don't think he needs a rework. However, I really do think that he needs some mad buffs, and if Deep Roots, currently his only validating trait takes a hit for that, I am fine with that. I simply want a CC Support that doesn't rely on one infuriating move (PIp's RMB, Gorhk's RMB have all been nerfed for that very reason).
I thank you for reading this Grover guide, and good luck in the Realm. Have a nice day!