Falstad for idiots by ifeellikewritingaguide

Falstad for idiots

By: ifeellikewritingaguide
Last Updated: Jan 24, 2016
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Build 1 of 1


Build: Easy-going DPS

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Threats to Falstad with this build

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Threat Hero Notes
  No Threat
Jaina After level 7 Jaina is easy pickings - Barrel Roll out of her Blizzard (or wait until she used it) and Q-E-AA her until she dies.
Nazeebo He can't keep you in his Zombie Wall and doesn't out-damage you. Plus, he can't run from you. Interrupt his Ravenous Spirit with Mighty Gust!
Kael'thas If you get caught in his Gravity Lapse you might have to retreat - other than that you'll just kill him with your basic combo.
Murky Being Octo-Grabbed is problematic but if you instantly Barrel Roll afterwards you can often dodge the Pufferfish-explosion. Not a problem otherwise.
Li Li Her blind is annoying and her Water Dragon, although unreliable, potentially puts you in a bad position. You can usually out-damage her healing (bar her Jug of 1,000 Cups).
Gall The Shadow Flame-damage alone can really be a problem and your Hammer Time-ministun just doesn't do anything against Gall. With Mighty Gust you have a great option against Shadow Bolt Volley though. Of course, take Giant Killer and you can still do a lot of burst.
Cho See Gall for most of the points. If you can't dodge Upheaval with you Barrel Roll it's pretty bad. In case you read over it at Gall's section: Giant Killer!
Raynor Out-ranges you and possibly does a lot of damage before you get in the position to do so yourself. Be aware of his heal and run early enough if you think you won't be able to kill him.
Zeratul Similar to Nova with the stealth-thingy but between Barrel Roll and Mighty Gust you should be able to get away from him even if he Blinks after you.
Tyrande Hunter's Mark is strong against you because the burst it facilitates can take you unawares. Her stun too, but you can usually dodge it with your Barrel Roll.
Valla Especially scary early game. Can do comparable single-target damage to you if she skills for it. Matchup get's better in late game though.
Illidan Annoying and not a great one on one-matchup. For the most part, you should be ok though since you can always just walk away. When his evasion is on cooldown and you manage to hit him with your skills and some auto-attacks you can turn the tables.
Muradin While not a threat on his own Muradin still is a pain in the ass: high health pool, stuns and a reduction in either damage or CC-duration at level 20 hurt your game-plan somewhat. When he overextends to get on your nerves consider unloading your burst on him to at least get him out of the fight.
Zagara Hard to kill on her own during most of the game since she can try to dodge damage while still hitting you hard with her Hunter Killer. Wait until she used cooldowns or bring friends to punish her splitpush
Nova Even if you see the shimmer, hitting her with your Hammerang to reveal her and apply your damage can be tricky, so she'll usually get the first strike. As soon as she's visible and you're still healthy enough you can go after her an kill her. Dodge her Precision Strike with Barrel Roll and reveal her with Mighty Gust if you have to.
Kerrigan Good gap closer and strong lockdown make for a bad time if you don't have your Barrel Roll up.
The Butcher Has a strong gap closer and more damage than you in the late game. If you're clever you can still kite him, but prepare to GTFO with Mighty Gust if things go south (this should mostly work out even if he gets you with his chain).
Sonya High damage, higher movement speed and a solid gap closer make for a scary package. The later in the game the more problematic since she gets Ignore Pain and possibly Nerves of Steel, effectively negating your burst.
  No Threat

Introduction Top

Usually, at this point you'll get a whole lot of credentials telling you why you should listen to mine of all guides. Well, I am someone who doesn't bother stutter-stepping and doesn't look at the mini-map the whole ****ing time. You also won't get a highlight reel, I would just embarrass the **** out of me. In short, I'm an idiot but with this build even I play a half-decent Falstad. Since you are reading this you are most likely an idiot too, so I guess this'll work for you.

Here you won't learn advanced Falstad-sorcery and awesome tricks but the bare minimum to keep you alive (for the most part), get some kills and not be a ****ing liability for your team like you are the rest of the time.

Abilities Top

So, I guess that's how you start a guide, right? Let's take a look at Falstad's abilities, so you know what the **** we're talking about.

Hammerang (Q)
Hammerang (or "Q", as we'll call it) is a skillshot nuke that goes in a straight line forward and then back to you, wherever you are at the moment. It also slows things that you hit with it. For this build, for the most part you're not even required to hit it on your target, although it helps. So do your best.

Lightning Rod (W)
Lightning Rod (or your "W") works pretty weirdly: At first it's a nuke that you target an enemy with which does a bit of damage and afterwards keeps hitting this enemy for a few seconds for some damage per seconds as long as you keep relatively close to them. Helpful for finishing of enemies that go out of your AA-range (you can't stutter-step remember?). This also synergizes well with your Q (since your Q has a slow component).

Barrel Roll (E)
Barrel Roll is the first reason why Falstad is such a great Hero for us ****ty players: Not only is it a decent escape, it gives you a ****ing shield on top of it. So, when you got in too deep, this is your panic button out. Never (!) use this to engage - there may be situations where this could be warranted but remember, you're a ****ty player and without an escape you're just going to get ****ed up by some The Butcher, Kerrigan or Valla (or whoever, really). This is your main tool to be able to not die all the time - so managing it is important.

Mighty Gust (Heroic)
Why is this here, you might ask, isn't Mighty Gust Falstad's second Heroic? No, I'll say, it's why you'll only be playing Falstad from this day on. Mighty Gust made Falstad an absolute comfort-zone hero for me again. Basically, you'll use this as a disengage.
Say, you 1v1'ed this Valla in some lane and you inexplicably almost killed her. Being herself and all, Valla vaults out of danger and, being the ****ty player you are, you did what I explicitly told you not to do: You Barrel Roll'ed after her. Well, of course you didn't look at the mini-map and saw all of her teammates are missing. Now Valla is full health again because of that Rhegar who is much better at Heroes than you'll ever be and their Johanna is slowing you to a standstill. Gladly, you prepared for your stupidity and took the "bad" Heroic that now puts a screen between you and their team and slows them so much you can now go to your fort and shamefully drink from the fountain so that you're able to soak some XP at least.

Hinterland Blast (Heroic)
In the case of Hinterland Blast, it seems hard to argue against so much damage just one button-press away. Yet there are a few things about this ability that make it worse than it seems at first - a very obvious visual cue that let's people know to get the **** away and a pretty long activation time that you could spend throwing magic lightning energy balls or whatever they are at people's heads for a lot more useful damage as you (especially you!) are going to get out of this ability.
The only way I see this as a good alternative is if you have someone to line the enemy team up for you, like an E.T.C. with Mosh Pit, for example. But let's not make our little head hurt by thinking about such things too hard, shall we?

Also, Falstad has those two things that make him special:

Tailwind (Trait)
This is looks straightforward and boring but is actually a pretty useful trait. It won't help you escape from a sticky situation for the most part but it helps you chase people down as it only switches off if you take damage, not when you dish it out. So that's cool.
It also helps you not take ages from lane to lane when your Flight is on cooldown.

Flight (Mount)
Speaking of which: Falstad doesn't have a usual mount - instead he can make the gryphon he rides anyhow take Flight across the map. This is super useful if you're again late to fights around the objective or didn't realize that your team wanted to push a fort and now gets chased by the enemy team because you had to stay in lane for "your stacks" (more on that in a second). Also, if no one is anywhere near a huge minion wave you can just go there and get "your stacks" from time to time.
Note though that this has limited range - somewhere, I don't know, around a third of the distance between cores (not on big maps though). So keep in mind that if you just klick somewhere on the map with it, Falstad might first have to move in range - and if along that way the whole enemy team kills you dead you'll feel pretty stupid. And rightfully so.

Talents Top

So, this talent build is as easy as it gets - you can just take the talents at the top of the guide and be mostly fine in almost every situation. The idea here is to maximize your auto-attack damage and still give you enough panic-buttons so you can really feel stupid if you still die all the time.

Seasoned Marksman - This talent just does the most for you at this level. For Gathering Storm to be worth it you have to hit a lot of people with your Hammerang. Actually hitting your Hammerang isn't required, I promised you and moreover Seasoned Marksman synergizes better with the rest of your talents here. Also, these are the "stacks" you'll get.
Concerning Updraft I feel there is only a very small amount of situations that you'd survive if you had this talent and wouldn't with your basic Barrel Roll. Still, it's a good talent for getting in range of an enemy for your auto-attacks, I guess. But we're not doing offensive Barrel Rolls, remember? Also, there might be situations where it's clever to pick Bribe but I don't know anything about that.

Power Throw is just fun - your Hammerang just has such long range after picking this! You probably won't hit anything at this distance though - it's got mainly to do with your next talent ( Secret Weapon) that you take this here. See, Power Throw upgrades the range of Hammerang, but not its speed - thus it stays in air for a longer time, giving us more time for your buffed auto-attacks. The increased slow duration isn't half-bad too if you want to stay in AA-range of someone (and you do want that).
The other choices at this level are actually all pretty ok, although I'm not crazy about Charged Up, it just adds very little damage, I feel.

Alright, now we get to the fun part: Secret Weapon provides you with a lot (A LOT) of front-loaded damage against single targets. Although the talent probably seems a bit weird it provides the cornerstone for this build. From level seven on, you'll deal so much damage within these few auto-attacks (supplemented by the damage from your Hammerang and Lightning Rod) that almost no one will be able to stay and fight you afterwards, even if you can't kill them outright.
Keep in mind though that after you've used these two abilities your damage will drop off quite significantly. So if you didn't send them running and they come back to get you don't stand there like an idiot wondering why you can't finish them off.

Well, from the first section I think you got why I'm a fan of Mighty Gust. Also, let's remind ourselves that Hinterland Blast is just a ****ing boring ability and people who take it probably are too.

Ha, I guess I lied about not having alternatives after all, huh? Well, yes and no. You see - even against squishy teams, Giant Killer will provide some damage (especially if you're behind, because they'll have more health relatively) so you can just go with that for all I care. Still, I found Static Shield actually better against (generally squishy) teams with strong duelists and bursty assassins like Zeratul, Sonya or Valla since it basically gives you an additional 25% life when you are fighting someone. That provides you with a bit more time to evaluate if you think you can take them and acutally improves your chances to do so.

With Hammer Time you'll get access to another incredibly powerful talent at level 16. If you can land your Hammerang by now it's a great tool to get some late-game pickoffs which become more and more important the longer the game lasts and even if you can't land a Hammerang to save your life you can throw it into a teamfight and are basically bound to hit something with it. The trick is then to also hit that enemy with an auto-attack within the next two-and-a-bit seconds ( Power Throw also increases the slow duration, remember?).
Out of the talents on this tier, Aerie Gusts is also pretty great - with that you are practically always moving at almost the speed of someone mounted. Still, I feel it's too great a sacrifice to pass up on Hammer Time.

Finally, we arrive at the "Storm"- or "Nexus"-tier or whatever: This is actually the saddest of all talent choices because you'll always be wondering how it would be if you could have Epic Mount all the time. Seriously - this is, I imagine, how playing Falstad was supposed to feel. You now can go anywhere, anytime, fast. You can even use your Flight as an escape now since the cast-time is reduced to half a second! An escape that takes you to the other end of the map! Except, of course, it doesn't.
When using Flight as an escape, do actually watch out for its range, as I said above. If you just click on your nexus on the mini-map that'll usually not end up going very well for you.
For the other talents: Nexus Frenzy can be pretty decent if you're lacking some damage. It also increases your AA-range, keeping you (slightly) safer. If you want to grab Wind Tunnel, you should have a plan what to do with it and I imagine you don't. Since you're using Mighty Gust mainly as a disengage-tool this doesn't do much more for you. Very gimmicky.

Strengths and Weaknesses Top

Now that the build is pretty clear, let's look at what Falstad can and cannot do for you with those talents
Strengths Weaknesses
+ huge burst-damage
+ global presence with Flight
+ good scaling into late-game as an auto-attacker
+ good for picking off individual enemies
+ great at kiting melee-heroes
+ hard to lock down and kill
- no way of clearing waves quickly
- susceptible to CC
- damage is cooldown-dependent

Phases of the Game Top

Finally, here is an outline how to use Falstad to at least his average potential. That's what we're aiming for here, after all.

Early Game (Levels 1-7)
When the air is still crisp on the battlefield and your minions are just starting to bash in each other's skulls you should take it easy at first and take in the rhythm of the game. That, by the way, is a nice way of saying: Don't ****ing die! (Stupidly.) You'll soon recognize whether you have a good or a bad matchup in lane - play accordingly. It's fine to just soak experience and don't leave the safety of your towers for long as long as you get XP for your team (and therefore your Seasoned Marksman-stacks!). If you already used up your well and you're low (again!) you can still take your Hearthstone to base and use Flight to be in lane again quicker. That's still not great because your Flight is on cooldown now but it's preferable to dying trying to soak XP.
Unless someone is making a really stupid move or someone sets up a gank for you, you'll most likely won't get a kill in lane, so don't worry too much about that. On your own you just can't lock someone down long enough.

Mid Game (Levels 8-16)
Reaching level 7 and therefore Secret Weapon you get really scary for the first time in the game. Usually, if you stick around your team then (probably for the second objective) you'll be able to get a few kills just because the other team is not used to your burst yet. If you feel confident that you're not being lured into an ambush you can also start trading aggressively if you find yourself in a laning-situation after this point. With the burst from your buffed auto-attacks you'll be able to push almost everyone out of lane or outright kill them if you find them in a bad position.
At this stage, try to find out when you should be with your team and when you can afford to clear a wave or two to get some more stacks. If your team is gathering for an objective, team fight or boss-attempt and you're late to the party you should clearly use Flight to make it in time - it has a 45s-cooldown though so try to make sure it's up when you need it. A way of doing this is, for example, not to use Flight on the way TO a lane to farm but rather staying there a bit longer and use Flight on the way back to your team.
You'll also get your Heroic in this stage - a short note on that: Mighty Gust has a pretty short cooldown, so don't be afraid to use it. In general, using it will not kill anyone on your team - at most you'll COST them a kill. So if it's your only way out, don't worry - just do it!

Late Game (16 and onwards)
Level 16 and with it Hammer Time is another big one for you. A stun of 0.75 seconds doesn't sound like much but makes a big difference when trying to get picks in the late game. And that's what you want to try - getting picks. If you're still on equal footing with the enemy team there aren't many Heroes that you can't kill on your own at this stage of the game, especially if you can take them by surprise. So, stick with your team and try to force an advantage.
Epic Mount at level 20 is another big one: As mentioned above, the decrease in cast time allows you to also use Flight as a semi-reliable escape which is just brilliant. The more important change is the cooldown-reduction though. 20 seconds are just right for flying to a lane, clearing a big wave and fly back to your team to be ready for the next fight. You can use Flight pretty creatively with this talent, so try to figure out where you are the most useful at the moment and gank, sneak camps or fly behind the enemy lines and flush them into your team with Mighty Gust (seriously, don't - you'll just die embarrassingly).

A Note on Matchups Top

If you look at the matchups on top of the page you'll notice that, A, there are almost no "high threat" enemies and, B, not all of the Heroes are in there.

The first part is easy to explain: With this build, Falstad is very survivable after level 10 - so without backup and your cooldowns up you shouldn't be dying to any Hero alone. Bursty melee assassins are somewhat dangerous but a well-placed Mighty Gust (and it's not terribly hard to place well) will usually take care of them. So - good news time - Falstad doesn't have any obvious counters with this build. (Except of course your incompetence.)

As for the second part, let me explain: Supports are generally not out to get you but rather on the run from you. Supports that can lock you down can not kill you and supports that could kill you don't have the necessary lockdown or chasing potential. Much the same is the case with warriors - the exceptions you find mentioned above.

Closing Remarks Top

Well, this was fun for me and I hope the plan outlined here works out for you. If not, don't come whining to me, I won't know what you are doing wrong. Seeing as I do pretty well with this here you don't seem to have to be a terribly gifted player in order for this build to work. So don't worry about that and just go have some fun blowing up people and die lots to a lot of people, you'll get the hang of it eventually. Although, with you it might take a little longer.

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