Control Hero Guide (PART 3)

Intro:
This is PART 3 of the complete guide to all the Control Heroes in the game. As the “Control” category would suggest, these characters specialize in influencing the flow of combat through disruption and causing chaos. Each of them has a place in the game, so this guide will provide insight to each Support hero’s value.

Disclaimer: This Guide will always be under construction, either through updating information or adding more content as more new heroes are released in the game. I will be doing updates accordingly for as long as I continue to play the game.


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Merlin

Overview

Strengths:
+Strongest CC skill in the game
+High value utilities
+Tremendous burst damage potential
+Solid offensive stats
+Works well in auto and manual

Weaknesses:
-Low defensive stats
-No Tenacity or Evasion
-Very high aggro

Gameplay:
For a very long time, Merlin had the absolute iron-fist grip on the competitive meta, completely monopolizing entire teams with his overwhelming presence. While all of his skills are useful, two are particularly powerful: “Teacher’s Pet” and “Mentor Might”. With only these two skills, Merlin dictated the outcome of nearly every match up–very quickly turn the entire enemy team into a group of harmless squirrels, then win. And for a while, this became the standard of how things were to be played… that is until the arrival of a certain Suricata suricatta/Pacochoerus africanus combination. Still, with a maximum of 18 seconds, it cannot be understated just how powerful his transformation spell is. Teacher’s pet will primarily choose the target with the highest Basic Attack stat at the time. The spell also significantly cuts down the affected target’s Basic Attack, which allows Merlin to choose a different hero to transform. With the right team combination, Merlin can abuse his Mentor Might to almost immediately fire off Teacher’s Pet over and over. Merlin is useful in all game modes. Even with Disable Wards denying him use of his transformation spells, Merlin only becomes free to use “Viral Defense” to save himself or an ally and unleash the destructive power of his “Medieval Muddle”. Playing him on manual against Mama Bots allows Merlin to throw books that cleave through large chunks of HP.

Frienship Disks:
Unfortunately, neither of his disks improve the effects of Teacher’s Pet or Mentor Might (not that he needs to). Instead, the disks puts a greater focus on either of his green or blue skills. Genie’s disk increases Merlin’s Skill Power and patches up his poor Armor stat. This disk focuses on improving Medieval Muddle by giving Merlin even more books to throw. The increase in Skill Power means that it will feel like Merlin is actually throwing boulders instead of books. Beast’s disk on the other hand gives improved Basic Damage to all allies while also giving Merlin more Skill Power, though not quite as much as Genie’s disk. This disk emphasizes Viral Defense instead. With it, anyone that Merlin turns invisible will gain increased attack speed. Due to the sheer strength of Medieval Muddle, it’s often best to forgo Beast’s disk in favor of Genie’s. With more books to throw around, Merlin becomes one of team Yellow’s top Bot slayers along with Nick and Barbossa.

Team Options:
The whole point of using Merlin is to abuse the power of Teacher’s Pet and Mentor’s Might, so teaming him with heroes that help him do this will be key. By far the most popular composition is to have Merlin lead a Study team. At minimum, this requires Barbossa equipped with Tia’s Disk at 3 stars or higher, and Aladdin. With Tia’s disk, Barbossa starts every fight Studying all enemies, making all Normal Damage become critical hits. Aladdin almost immediately follows up this action with Magic Carpet Ride, unleashing a barrage of Normal Damage that triggers Merlin’s Mentor Might, maxing out Merlin’s energy in just a few seconds. Tia’s disk should have at least 3 stars as a bare minimum for a 6 second Study duration, which is just enough time to cast two, possibly three spells. This specific comp can be supplemented by Baymax(Ol) and/or Robin Hood, both of whom can also Study single targets. Merlin may also attempt a similar strategy with a Scare comp containing a minimum of Jack Skellington(MH) and Mike(Su). Unlike with the aforementioned Study team, the Scare variant can’t achieve the first spell as instantaneously as Study. As such, there’s enough of a gap that may put Merlin in danger of being disabled. However, should the Scare go off unhindered, this variant can more quickly eliminate entire teams due to higher damage being thrown around. Actually, Jack Skellinton(MH) can be just enough as Merlin’s sole crit-inducing partner for a team comp that fills the remaining slots with reliable defensive teammates like Goofy(Mi), Joy, or Kevin. And on that note, other excellent minimalist partnerships can be formed with Beast, Quorra(Ev), Stitch, and Robin Hood.

Counters:
Well, there’s no other way of putting it–Timon & Pumbaa are the definitive counters to Merlin. With Hakuna Matata in play, Merlin and his teammates cannot get those critical hits to abuse Mentor Might. This often gives just enough time for Merlin to be affected by hostile CC, potentially even robbing him of the opportunity to retaliate with Medieval Muddle (Merlin’s only real fallback). His high stats and midline positioning makes him a prime target for various CC skills that can put a stop to Merlin’s shenanigans. Timon & Pumbaa essentially enable team comps that Merlin previously suffocated to fight back. Should Merlin survive and outlast the effects of Hakuna Matata, there are now other heroes who have risen that can still fight off Merlin’s disruptive magic. Kevin is a prominent hero who is immune to Teacher’s Pet and can cleanse his allies from their transformations, giving them the opportunity to fight back Merlin. Similarly, Anger, Miss Piggy, and The Mad Hatter can also stand up against Merlin. Hatter can ignore Merlin’s attempts to transform him and may even proceed to charm Merlin, making him throw books at his own allies. Anger can block the barrage of spells being thrown at him, giving him several stacks of Rage in the process and retaliating with explosive results. Miss Piggy(Ga) can block several attempts at transformation (consequently making her stronger and faster), giving her enough time to use brute strength to force her way to Merlin and crush him. Huey, Dewey, & Louie can take advantage of Merlin’s vulnerable midline positioning and can cause him to step on a bear trap, doing lots of damage and stunning him very early on. Despite the anti-Merlin tech now available, Merlin can still get away with absolutely dominating teams that lack Timon & Pumbaa. Such opportunities are more readily available for Merlin to exploit in Coliseum and Guild Wars.


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Tia Dalma

Overview

Strengths:
+Diverse CC options
+Good synergy
+Useful Friendship Disks

Weaknesses:
-Very frail
-Weak damage output
-Functionally outclassed

Gameplay:
For a time, Tia was one of the most valuable heroes in the game. She was a stellar role model for Control heroes, having a few different types of CC abilities that allowed her to seize momentum in a way that was difficult to stop. Since then, she has slowly fallen out of relevance when the game shifted to favor raw damage over meticulous control. Her skillset still remains useful, but she heavily competes with other Control heroes that tend to be a little more efficient at wreaking havoc. With silence, charm, curse, and even a push back, Tia actually packs a very well-rounded repertoire all things considered. She’s often too vulnerable to fit in a main Arena team these days, but she does get a few moments to shine in Coliseum and Guild Wars. She can be decent in City Watch and Invasion Breaker Quests, but she tends to struggle to deal with many of the wards that defy her ability to take control.

Friendship Disks:
Tia’s disks enhance the effects of either her silence or charm, not only improving their length but also giving these skills damage over time. Yax’s disk is the one that improves the silence caused by her Bitter Storm. Even though the length of silence is longer, this disk will not improve Mystic Curse in any way. Jack Sparrow’s disk focuses on Tia’s Mystic Charm. The charmed target will gain an area of effect, causing nearby enemies to take damage over time. The charm itself will only remain on a single target, however. Tia relies on both of her CC abilities, so both disks can be considered interchangeable.

Team Options:
It should come as no surprise that Tia works well with Jack Sparrow and Barbossa. Both Damage heroes are capable of high damage potential, making up for Tia’s weaker hits. Her skillset also compliments the two pirates, as they appreciate her ability to group enemies together with her Tidal Rush while keeping powerful active skills at bay–long enough for Jack and Barbossa to cause serious damage themselves. Tia also works well in a multi-control team comp, keeping enemies locked in place. She particularly performs well with Ursula and WALL-E. Ursula can manage the enemy team’s energy gain, giving Tia more time to cast her skills first. In contrast, WALL-E does the same for Tia, except by providing energy instead. She can form a fun team together with Scar or Meg to help perpetuate silence across enemy lines. Generally speaking, Tia is a pretty decent filler hero whose versatile skillset is easy to get value from.

Counters:
Tia’s low durability makes her very vulnerable to begin with. She’s almost helpless against divers like Darkwing Duck, Mr. Incredible, Aladdin, and Moana(Me). These diving heroes can be peeled off by Tia’s Tidal Rush, however. She definitely needs to watch out for prominent backline snipers like Elastigirl(Va), Merida, and Jack Skellington. Elsa gets a notable mention because her Frozone disk allows her to freeze Tia even longer. Kevin is a powerful answer to Tia’s disruptions, cleansing his team from her silence, charm, and curse–easily devaluing the use of her disks in the process.


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Ursula

Overview

Strengths:
+Powerful anti-energy skillset
+Incredible momentum influence
+Dangerous skill denial
+Great synergy

Weaknesses:
-Very frail
-Vulnerable positioning
-Situational Friendship disks
-Medium to low damage

Gameplay:
Before there was Merlin, there was Ursula. “Poor, Unfortunate Souls” is a very technical skill that causes relatively minor Fantastic damage while applying Hex on all targets present in the battlefield. Unique only to Ursula, Hex is a special status effect that lasts for 5 seconds. Should an affected target attempt to activate their White Skill, that target will be stunned for 4 seconds and will have all their energy depleted to zero. As you can imagine, this was a particularly powerful ability that allowed Ursula to dictate the flow of the match. Stunning potentially an entire team without any energy to retaliate is a dangerous situation that Ursula can almost consistently achieve, especially with an optimal team combination. Technically speaking, this powerful skill is actually almost harmless if her targets do not activate their White Skills within that short time frame. As such, Ursula’s success largely depends on how well the timing of it all lands itself. On average, Ursula can deny 2 to 3 heroes at a time. To further emphasize her control over energy flow, she also uses “On The Hook” to deplete a target’s energy. “Something For Nothing” is a passive skill that also promotes energy denial–although fairly situational, denying energy gained from KO’ing any of Ursula’s teammates prevents enemies from snowballing. While it’s true that she was never really suffocating like Merlin was, her presence still commands a sense of wariness when facing her, and rightfully so. Her skillset is very PvP-centric, which is where she excels at the most. She can definitely prove herself useful in City Watch and Invasion, but she will especially struggle against Wards that reduce Control Heroes’ energy gain.

Friendship Disks:
Ursula’s disks can be useful, but they are relatively situational all things considered. Tia’s disk gives Ursula more starting energy at the beginning of battle for every ally that is also a Control Hero. The effect of this disk only works if she at least has one ally that is a Control Hero, as Ursula herself does not count. For the most part, one Control ally is optimal for most situations. Having one Control ally with this disk at max stars gives Ursula just enough of a head start to properly time Poor, Unfortunate Souls on auto. Anymore than that and Ursula will activate her skill too soon, letting the effects of Poor, Unfortunate Souls to harmlessly expire. Hades’ disk enhances Something For Nothing. This disk causes Ursula to redirect the energy blocked by Something For Nothing her enemies would have gained and distributes it to her remaining allies instead. When used correctly, it allows for Ursula’s team to make a huge comeback. Both disks are quite pitiful at low stars, but at least they can increase Ursula’s Skill Power to increase the damage of Poor, Unfortunate Souls and Ruler Of All The Ocean.

Team Options:
Ursula can be a strong consideration for a team slot when facing heroes that rely too heavily on their White Skills like Bogo, Joy, Beast, Hercules, etc… Regardless of whatever disk she ends up using, Ursula generally works well with other Control Heroes. Maleficent(Ur) is arguably her best partner, although Jafar and Jasmine(Al) are also great for slowing down energy gained by enemies. Of course, most of the other villains make for excellent teammates, including Gaston, Scar, and the Queen of Hearts. Be considerate of the remaining team slots though. Ursula shouldn’t be able to afford more than one Control ally. The remaining team slots should be heroes who can give her protection like Timon & Pumbaa, Joy(Ol), or Kevin. Alternatively, she may also choose allies who can immediately punish Hexed targets like Duke Caboom, Elsa, Merida(El), or Bo Peep. Generally speaking, Ursula is easy to fit in a team, but it should be for her utilities and not for raw damage.

Counters:
Elsa(Fr) is a very dangerous counter who can freeze Ursula for a long time (thanks to her Frozone disk), and she is often accompanied with other freeze heroes that help with ruining Ursula’s timing. Similarly, a Scare core of Jack Skellington and Mike can put her in a near-constant stun-lock, preventing her from ever using Poor Unfortunate Souls. She also needs to watch out for Miss Piggy, who will often gain momentum more quickly than Ursula through sheer brute force. Simba & Nala are annoying pests who can safely attack Ursula by Making Faces, slowing her down and negatively affecting her timing. Finnick is a strong counter who can put a lot of pressure on Ursula with his slows and the use of Nick’s disk. Even with Ursula depleting his energy with On The Hook, he will still get his van out soon enough to disrupt Ursula first. Huey, Dewey, and Louie can force a stun on Ursula nearly at the start of battle, completely exploiting her midline positioning. Yax, Judy, or Maui can be soft counters who can swing team momentum into their favor, potentially derailing Ursula’s successful use of Poor, Unfortunate Souls. Similarly, WALL-E minimizes momentum being stolen with Solar Power and Energy-In-A-Cup. Depending on team comps though, Ursula and WALL-E may find themselves in an energy-management war.


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WALL-E

Overview

Strengths:
+Incredible energy boosting
+Has Tenacity
+Useful utilities
+Very good Friendship Disks
+Good synergy

Weaknesses:
-Very frail
-Low damage
-Very short CC
-Vulnerable positioning

Gameplay:
Before Genie came in to blur the line between roles, WALL-E was the first Control hero to have off-support qualities. His freeze and the blinding he causes both only last a measly 3 seconds, and even the damage of “Compactor” leaves a lot to be desired nowadays. Despite the weak damage and crowd control, WALL-E really shines for the overall usefulness of his utilities. “Solar Power” is one of the few skills in the game that can provide energy, and is the only such skill that can do so for the entire team. This move play a huge part into swinging momentum favorably. To add to this, “Energy-In-A-Cup” gives everyone a small head start in the beginning of battle with the 120 energy it grants. Combined with Solar Power’s 240 energy, that’s a whopping 360 energy for the whole team. Even if his Disables are pretty weak, they are enough to be supplementary in most cases. WALL-E is too frail to be seriously considered for a main Arena team nowadays, but he gets many chances to shine within Coliseum and Guild Wars. He’s a very good off-support hero for City Watch and Invasion Breaker Quests, although he is mostly too weak to take on Bots.

Friendship Disks:
WALL-E’s disks can either enhance his energy-boosting or his disables. Dash’s disks increase the length of Disables for both WALL-E and his allies. Even though WALL-E himself doesn’t get too much value out of it, almost any teammate with access to a disabling skill greatly appreciate the effects of this disk. This is especially true for heroes who also have disks that improve their disables, as the disks will stack their boosts. As for Kevin’s disk, WALL-E’s team will be able to gain energy that exceeds the Maximum threshold, giving the team more opportunities to fire off White Skills while also taking advantage of subsequent uses of Solar Power, ensuring no extra energy is being wasted. Both disks are very, very good and both disks increase Skill Power as well.

Team Options:
Due to the nature of WALL-E’s skills, he is very easy to fit in a variety of teams. To highlight, he makes for an exceptional addition to a freeze team that is led by Elsa and Olaf. Elsa especially appreciates Dash’s disk here, giving her more opportunities to boost her damage. WALL-E can be paired with at least one other hero that can also grant energy, taking full advantage of Kevin’s disk. Mickey and Miguel are amazing choices for this, but so is Jasmine(Al) for a more aggressive approach. Generally speaking, he’s just great to have around for heroes that otherwise struggle to build their own energy like Yax, Elastigirl, Alice, etc.

Counters:
WALL-E has very low defensive stats in general, especially with Reality. Unfortunately, he struggles to stand up against Ducky & Bunny, Anger, and Jafar(Sc). This also means he will have poor match-ups against Jack Skellington, Mike, Simba & Nala and other similar heroes. Elsa gets a special mention because she can freeze him for even longer periods with Frozone’s disk and can easily dispatch of him. He also has to watch out for heroes that can deplete his energy such as Ursula and Maleficent(Ur). If Maleficent has a max star Ursula disk, she can match the energy boost of Solar Power and will essentially neutralize its utility. Huey, Dewey, & Louie are yet another Control unit that exploits WALL-E’s midline positioning, stunning him and causing serious damage. Even with WALL-E’s high Tenacity growth, the stun can delay him long enough to be unable to provide energy in a timely manner.


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Yzma (New!!!)

Overview

COMING SOON!

15 Likes

We are just about done with all the Control heroes. Because Jasmine is still very new and I don’t have enough resources to max her immediately, her overview will have to wait a little bit. In the meantime, I will be writing about the rest of the heroes featured in part 3. Please stayed tuned.

3 Likes

Update: Merlin’s overview completed!

Yes, I know I write a lot, but I must mention that Merlin perhaps has the longest overview I’ve ever written. There’s just so much to go through and yet I feel there’s still more that can be said. Yeah, just be advised that it’s a bit of a long read.

3 Likes

Does Scar count as a reliable Merlin counter?

Technically, anyone can be a Merlin counter as long as they have Timon & Pumbaa backing them up.

No, I specifically mean Scar because he’s untargetable thanks to invisibility.

No, invisibility is not enough. Scar MUST have Timon & Pumbaa to beat Merlin. No specifics here. That rule goes for anyone.

Update: Tia’s overview completed!

3 Likes

Tia is one of the best control to deal with melee comps imo, though I agree that she is certainly outclassed. Out of all control, she is the only one with a team wide knock back, making her useful in delaying melee threats, even if they are invisible. Her charm is amazing at dealing with the back line support that melee comps carry, and her silence prevent them from using skills to regain distance lost.

Unfortunately, her damage is pathetic, and she doesn’t have any strong AoE disable, so unless either get buffs, she is probably better as a counter pick.

4 Likes

What’s frail? Does it mean it’s very vurnable?

Another Counter for Merlin is Darkwing Duck with the MrI disc. This stuns the first few heroes who crit dwd - meaning that Merlin Stacks energy more slowly and because his front line is stunned, he loses his rapid follow through aggression. This is a major backup plan for me when I need to use t&p in a different line for war or coli.

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Update: Ursula’s overview completed!

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It is a pity that heroes are now immune to the denial of energy by the hex of Ursula, still. It is still one of my favorite controls, and yes, I usually match Maleficent (Ur) on my sand team.

Great work! :sparkles:

Actually, there are no heroes that are immune to the energy drain, like, at all. Sure there are those that don’t get stunned, like Kevin, Hatter, and Anger, but they will still loose energy.

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Betty and Zurg, yes. It seems that now when they activate their white skill they only consume a little of the energy, when they are bewitched by the hex.

It is still a mistake or just a bug, but it has not been resolved. : '(

Pretty sure it still works fine from what I’ve noticed. Characters with “channeling” Whites like Bo, Zurg, and Jafar will lose energy if they try to activate it. However, they will not be interrupted if Ursula Hexes them but they’ve already started using their Whites.

Well, as I told you, on my server 16. For what I have had to live, the curse of Ursula does not affect Bo, just as the invasion improvement that adds to the enemies the curse, does not affect them.

Ah, yes I just tested it. Bo, Zurg, and Jafar will be stunned, but most of their energy will remain. They will loose one “tick” of energy, but not all of it. They will be affected by Hex, but this doesn’t mean they are immune to it.

Edit: uh-oh, there’s some inconsistency with the testing. Bo will only loose a small amount of energy, but Jafar and Zurg will loose all of theirs like Normal.

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So let’s point this out one more time. In this video, Bo only looses a small bit of Energy when she gets Hexed, but Jafar looses all of his Energy.

@Polaris we need this to be addressed.

4 Likes

I just wondering…what is aggro

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