This is PART 4 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 Control 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.
The Mad Hatter
+Total immunity to negative status effects
+Good damage potential
+Very potent disruptions
-Very poor Armor growth
-Susceptible to AOE damage
As his title implies, madness ensues when the Hatter is on the field. He can cause a lot of chaos with his annoying triple charms and devastating slows. His “Mad Tea Party” is a great offensive skill in his arsenal that gives him quick bursts of high damage while also shredding armor for a short time. The nature of his skills allow him to fit into many teams. Perhaps his most powerful skill is “Oblivious”. As long as his Purple skill is maxed out, Hatter becomes totally immune to the effects of debuffs and disables! Even if the description only pertains to debuffs, it’s actually all negative status effects. Being unfazed by the bombardment of heavy CC, Hatter will continue to wreak havoc completely unhindered. He is a good choice for any game mode. He is one of the few Control heroes who isn’t completely rendered useless by disable Wards found in Invasion and City Watch.
The Mad Hatter’s disks improves more upon his chaotic disruptions, although both approach it a little differently. Alice’s disk increases his Basic Damage, HP, and slightly improves his otherwise poor attack speed. On top of that, his regular attacks and Mad Tea Party also slightly slows down his enemies even more. The slow effect, even at max stars, is relatively minor and serves to be more supplementary. Rafiki’s disk increases his Skill Power and the potency of his charms, although the bonus Skill Power will only improve the damage of his Mad Tea Party. Targets affected by his charms will have greater speed and are completely denied from gaining energy. Since the charms only lasts for less than five seconds, the increased movement speed is useful for very quickly displacing affected targets within that short time frame. Both disks are pretty good, so switch them around as needed.
The Mad Hatter often finds himself competing against Finnick for a team slot. However, the two of them together are very good for perpetuating slow effects across the enemy line. Hiro is also a good partner who can also help slowing down the enemy team. Elsa is also a great partner, as she can do more damage against slowed enemies. His fellow Wonderland heroes work amazingly well with him. Alice also help cause slows and she can speed up Hatter’s poor attack speed. The Queen of Hearts on the other hand can shuffle enemies around, giving Hatter shining opportunities to charm targets he wouldn’t normally be able to reach. Fellow charmers like Meg, Jafar, and Miss Piggy are also interesting choices for teammates that can really amp up the levels of crazy.
Heroes that can cause a lot of raw Normal Damage can really give him a hard time. Merida and Robin Hood are great long-range heroes who can snipe him at a safe distance while staying far away enough from getting charmed most of the time. The most consistent way of combating his slows is to counter it with speed. Goofy and Animal are the best standouts. Goofy’s speed lasts longer than Hatter’s slows, and his shield allow him to shake off charm almost immediately. If he has Mickey’s disk, he can even protect his allies from charms as well. Similarly, Animal is very difficult to slow down in general and his incredible Tenacity ensures that he doesn’t stay hindered for too long. Animal’s aggressive push backs also reduce the space he gets to work with, leaving him more open to more Normal Damage.
Magica De Spell
+Strong CC skills
+Good burst damage
-No Tenacity or Evasion
With all the powers of hell at her disposal, Maleficent terrorizes the battlefield with her amazing stuns and powerful “Dragon Fire”. Maleficent has versatile stuns, and is one of the few heroes who can stun an entire team by herself. Her ability to put a stop to hostile advancement provides her team key opportunities to use skills safely. Her “Forest of Thorns” stuns the target with the highest HP, which is a great way of removing a potentially dangerous target that would otherwise become problematic to deal with. Despite her low durability, her incredible disruptive utilities finds a lot of use in most game modes. She tends to struggle during Invasion, where she has to face Disable Wards and Mama Bots that are immune to her stuns.
Maleficent’s disks give her more ways to plague her targets with status effects, but in different ways. Jack Skellington’s disk adds more damage over time on her Forest of Thorns, but it also damages enemies that are nearby the affected target. Additionally, enemies that are being affected by the thorns will also receive the Curse debuff. Ursula’s disk on the other hand opts to improve Fog of Doom instead. When Maleficent casts Fog of Doom, she will deplete energy from all affected targets. This disk also increases her Skill Power, which makes her Dragon Fire even more devastating. The energy depletion is not noticeable at low stars, but when maxed out she depletes 250 energy per target–enough to negatively affect the enemy team’s momentum. Overall, Ursula’s disk tends to be much more valuable.
Maleficent’s skillset is very flexible, so she can easily fit in a variety of teams. She can be a key hero when facing teams that rely on healing as part of their strategy. Because causing wide stuns is one of her main selling points, she is terrific in stun-centric teams. She forms a great partnership with Gaston for this reason. Actually, she generally works well with fellow villains, especially with Ursula(Ti), Queen of Hearts(Re) and Jafar. She can also neatly fit in a Scare team being led by Jack Skellington and Mike, as her skillset proves to be a great compliment to theirs.
Maleficent is very frail, so she is very vulnerable against backline divers who easily reach her like Darkwing Duck, Mr. Incredible, and Moana(Me). One of her greatest enemies is Woody, who can pull her out of position and into the deadly range of powerful melee fighters like Beast and Bo Peep. She also has to be careful against backline snipers like Elastigirl(Va), Jack Skellington(MH), and even Sally(Ti). Elsa(Fr) gets a special mention because not only does she cause a lot of damage, she can freeze Maleficent even longer if she has Frozone’s disk. Kevin is also a hard counter. He is completely unfazed by her stuns and can cleanse his team in retaliation, vastly diminishing her value.
+Strongest CC skill in the game
+High value utilities
+Tremendous burst damage potential
+Solid offensive stats
+Works well in auto and manual
-Low defensive stats
-No Tenacity or Evasion
-Very high aggro
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 also to 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
More in part 5 (CLICK HERE)