Tracer - Who says I can't burst ?! In-depth guide for maximum damage. (Patch 2.26) by Santy

Tracer - Who says I can't burst ?! In-depth guide for maximum damage. (Patch 2.26)

By: Santy
Last Updated: Aug 8, 2017
10 Votes
Build 1 of 2

Tracer

Build: Chain kills and burst.

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

Threats to Tracer with this build

Threat
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Threat Hero Notes
1
  No Threat
2
Li Li Lili is the peskiest support you can face. 1v1 she kills you. Her AAs and Cloud serpent deals high damage (relatively to your health), she can continue to heal herself, and she has blind, basically negating most of your damage.
3
The Butcher If he charges you while your Recall is off cooldown you are in trouble. The real reason he is a threat though is his heroic - Lamb to the slaughter. You get cough be it, and it's "good-night" time for you.
3
Azmodan If Azmo goes for stacking Q build, make sure to newer clump with your teammates. Late game single hit will take 1/2 to 2/3 of your health. After Using Recall a good Azmodan player will try to dunk his Q on you, so don't use all your blink charges immediately or you will die.
3
Kerrigan Any place she jumps and uses her Maelstrom heroic is officially a "No Tracer" zone. To add to this she can jump on top of from far away and take 40% of your health before you can react in any way.
4
Artanis As long as you are in range, to attack him, he is close enough to use his charge and blow half of your health. If he takes Suppression Pulse he makes you useless for a long time so run away if you get hit by it.
4
Kael'thas The most broken hero in the game. HE can simply lock you down wit his gravity lapse and blow you to bits. If he takes Pyroblast expect to be the target of this ability any time he sees you. Unfortunately Recall will not cancel Pyroblast! You can avoid it by using blink, just as the Pyroblast explodes, (Like Li-Ming can), but your timing has to be perfect.
5
  No Threat
6
  No Threat
7
  No Threat
8
  No Threat
9
  No Threat
10
  No Threat

Tracer

Build: Max DPS and AOE.

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

Changelog Top

Created 07 June 2016.

Updated 07 July 2016. PTR update patch 19
No significant changes. Fixed some minor issues.

Updated 22 July. Added Kerrigan to list of treats. Fixed minor issues.

Updated 10.08.2016 After the last patch the dive in, blow ppl up, and get away Tracer got destroyed. As result all builds were changed dramatically. Some were removed. The talents section got huge rework too. No change to the play-style chapter.

Updated 08 August 2017. Some minor changes, minly to the talents section. Redutions and removal of old information. Updating the builds to fit the META better.

Intro. Top

Hi there :)

I thought it is time to reevaluate Tracer, now that my nerf rage has subsided, after the huge nerfs she got a while back.

The goal of this guide is to help you burst heroes fast, while newer geting killed yourself. And with Tracer's health pool you want to do damage fast and get out, not do damage over long period of time, exposing yourself to the enemy. You can do that too, but only on the edges of the fight, poling people, but never committing to a hard fight.

I am not saying this is how you should play. That is just my play style. I hope you try and like it. Keep in mind that you should pick your build based on the teams and the development of the match. Take builds as guidelines, to help you learn what works best for you. Everyone has different preferences and gets best results with different builds. It might not work for you. If it does I would like to hear your feedback or ideas for improvement.

Please rate and comment. If you like this guide, I might want to check my other guides on Artanis and Nova.

The Playstyle. Top

I feel like most builds on Tracer (on this site, other sites, or just seen in game), are kind of noob-friendly, and focus on geting most our of the hero, while providing the simplest, easiest playstile. That is great in my opinion, because they let people, get familiar with the hero, when they start playing. Yet when you get more experience and get better with the hero, the simplicity of those build, make Tracer seam dull to play. At lest in my opinion. More importantly, with my builds you will get way better results, for just a bit more extra effort.


For maximum damage press "W" when you hear the beep!


The way to maximize your damage with Tracer, is to empty your entire magazine on someone, and in the time it takes to reload, you Blink close and use your Melee, at this point you have finished reloading and can continue shooting. This play-flow lets you do continuous damage using the reload time to sneak in your Melee attack. If you use Melee at the middle of a magazine, you will stop shooting for a second, so its like you are reloading, while you are not. Before level 16 that technique gives you nice continues damage, and will increase your damage significantly over time. So anyone playing Tracer will do better in their games, if they learn it. An easy way to do this, without having to constantly look at your magazine, is to just pay attention to the sound of Tracer's guns. Also there is subtle reloading indicator. Make sure to notice when it appears, but DO NOT focus on it. Soon you will start noticing the moment she stops shooting easily. And you will also get a feel for the timing. With a bit of practice, you will learn to time your Melee on instinct, and even stop noticing that you are actually doing it by reflex.


Please press "A" to confirm your kill!


A great thing about Tracer is that she moves and shoots at the same time. The problem is making her shoot the target that you want. And ONLY the target that you want! When ganging a hero during the laneing faze, you want to hit that hero, not the minions. If you use an attack-move command, Tracer will fire at the first target she sees in range. That will waste half of her ammo before she gets to the hero and often will cost you the kill. Same is true in a team fight later in the game. Even in case you are stuck in a lane for some reason, you usually want to hit the hero and force it away from the lane first, and then clear the minions. Tracer is not horrible at laneing, but she is not good ether so try to avoid laneing all together. The way to hit, EXACTLY WHAT YOU WANT to hit, is to use attack command (A + left-click, or right-click) on the target before you get in range of it, hit your "D" to reload, so you have a full magazine and then Blink in range. That is especially helpful when joining a team fight, and you want to dive for a back-line hero with low health. That way Tracer will focus on a target, and will only fire at that target. In "Target mode" you now only have to worry about your positioning. You can get in and out of range and maneuver, while still landing all of your damage where you want it. Don't forget to change targets when needed, or you will not shoot at other heroes, even if they get in range. Use attack-move command again, to return to normal.


For double damage hold "D"!


OK maybe not double, but still ;) It makes me sad when I see Tracer getting in a fight with half empty clip. I will say it again - Tracer has low health, so she wants to go in, make a kill, and get out, spending as little time in danger, as possible. That means reload any time you are not shooting at your target. Its the simplest thing, but many people don't do it. If you are not one of them kudos mate. This also teaches you to always have your finger at the "D" button. Which is essential after level 16, so you can use your Locked and Loaded talent.


Locked and Loaded! The cavalry is here, and it hits like a train.


But how to never miss the time to press "D"? Well this is where it all gets together. Here is the second reason you learned to use Melee in the intervals when you reload. Now you trained yourself to follow the flow of Tracer and instinctively know when you are reloading. So instead of using Blink and Melee, you use "D". Trying to do both is tricky. At this point its better to keep your Melee to finish a hero that is about to get away, or as follow-up to Pulse Bomb, for maximum burst. The reload indicator is not important to look at, but now it will be more noticeable. In fights when you are constantly in range and shooting, its really easy to time your "D", since it is basically the same interval of time between reloads. Also now you instinctively reload any time you get out of range. All you need to add, is a second press of the "D" button, exactly 1 second later. With little practice you will succeed every time. The only time you might miss, is when mounting or backing to base. To avoid that just reload every time before using "Z" or "B".

The example builds. Top

So some explanation for each example build. Keep in mind those are just examples and its best to learn to pick talents according to each match.

So only 2 builds were left viable after patch 19.4.

Chain kills and burst.


This is high risk, high reward. As Tracer has no safety talents left, you cant make a single mistake with this build. The first time you die and lose all your stacks of Untouchable it's game over. Since the point of this build is to get in fast, get a kill and get out, once your damage output is cut short, you are 2 times less useful.

Max DPS and AOE.


The boring Tracer. Stay at the edge of fights, get some damage in, blink around a bit... generally be as annoying as you can. If someone is out of position go hit them with a Melee in the face, drop a bomb and go back to the boredom of your day. Perhaps get some minion waves killed here and there..... Yeah folks that is how Blizzard wants us to play Tracer now ;)

Talents in depth. Top

Here is a breakdown of all the talents as well as some notes on them. I have rated them as:
[bad] - No useful benefit and no synergy with other talents.
[average] - Useful only in builds dedicated to 1 function / boosting 1 ability.
[good] - Nice talent with good synergy with other talents. Useful in multiple situations.


Level 1


0 good talent here ;)

[*] Pulse Strike -[bad]- Faster recharge of Pulse Bomb? Yes please :) Unfortunately it has little synergy with any other talent. On top of that getting in melee range can get you killed in seconds. Still the best talent in the tier. But best among terrible is nothing to be prowd of.

[*] Slipstream -[bad]- We were taking this for the cool-down reduction. Now it is useless. Especially since the diving into dangerous situations play-style is no longer possible, so 3 or 4 seconds back, you will be recalling to the same place.

[*] Tracer Rounds -[bad]- This has 2 uses. 1 - keep a hero in vision, when they run behind fort walls. And 2 - completely mess with stealth heroes. For 2 you might need Ricochet at level 13. To be honest Tracer doesn't need ether of those things 95% of the time.

Level 4


[*] Parting Gift -[average]- The damage is not big at all, also only 1 charge can hit a hero, even if that. Most importantly Recall is you way out of a bad situation, not ability to use for damage! Especially with the cool-down of over 20 seconds. However vs composition that can lock you down and kill you, its the best choice simply because you won't be able to get anything out of Untouchable.

[*] Is That a Health Pack?!. -[bad]- Useful in some situations. Big maps with long fights, while we have no healer in the team. Realistically with her health pool Tracer gets full health from 1 or max 2 healer spells. On top of that the globes got changed, so you get a huge chunk of health from them even without this talent.

[*] Untouchable -[average]- Definitely the strongest talent in the tier, but also useless if you can't stay alive through the game. Tracer lost all her escape mechanics, other than the basic Recall. So keeping the stacks is nearly impossible, unless you are perfect in your control.

Level 7


Again 0 good talent here ;)

[*] Jumper -[average]- The only time you have all 3 charges up is at the start of an engagement. Now they are 4 instead. But after the initial attack you get 0 use from this talent. However after lots of testing, it proves teh best simply because the rest provide little to no use at all. With this talent at least you have a bit more liberal use for your Blink.

[*] Bullet Time -[bad]- This is purely offensive talent. It gives no benefit unless you are attacking. If you use your Blink well in combat, you can be just as effective without this talent. It can make you get yourself in bad spots.

[*] Spatial Echo -[bad]- Now you get 2 extra charges of blink when you kill someone. Telling a Tracer player to kill someone or die, is like giving drugs to an addict. Unreliable, badly conceived, and just useless. Thank you Blizzard ;)

Level 10


For the heroic upgrades at level 10 - to each their own. They all have merits.

[*] Sticky Bomb -[average]- I often find myself holding on to a Pulse Bomb, because I just didn't need it in fights. I treat the heroic similarly to Nova's Precision Strike, and so I prefer the extended range and slow of Sticky Bomb, just to disrupt the entire enemy team, which is something Tracer struggles with. Also this is quite useful as a "final resort" mesure, when you want to get away from the enemy. Dropping Sticky Bomb behind you, will force the heroes chasing you to stop. Even if they decide to continue and take the damage, you will slow them so you can still get away.

[*] Quantum Spike -[average]- In need of little extra damage? Quantum Spike can help. This is good against high-health tanks or Cho Gall. The real value though, is that the damage is based on percentage and works on all targets.

[*] Pulse Rounds -[average]- This will recharge your heroic very fast, as long as you attack heroes. Unfortunately you will miss the opportunity to get any extra utility from your heroic, and the basic version of Pulse Bomb is not that powerful. Also lets not forget that Pulse Bomb is a skill-shot, which is hard to land.


Level 13


[*] Bullet Spray -[average]- Gives you much needed extra wave-clear. And for some reason it got nerfed too. I really wonder why, since Tracer has wicked sick waveclear. ;)
On the serious side I strongly recommend it on Tomb of the Spider Queen. If you take Bullet Spray it's great with Pulse Strike at level 1. Versus multiple melee heroes, or just teams that tend to clump together, you can recharge Pulse Bomb with Melee and some AAs. Hitting multiple heroes dose not stack, but its much easier to land it, with the increase to range. And Much safer. Get Stuffed! at level 20 has nice synergy too, and can help a lot in defensive situations. Still do not think you can AOE the whole enemy team, if you try getting in the middle of all 5 enemy heroes, you are dead. This is purely wave-clear talent.

[*] Ricochet -[bad]- I have tested this extensively, thinking it's the best talent in the tier. Unfortunately it under-performed a lot. The damage bonus is minimal in comparison to Bullet Spray, and when fighting with heroes Leeching Rounds, gives you the self-sustain to continue fighting for longer, so in fact it amounts to more damage.

[*] Leeching Rounds -[average]- This is a simple concept. You deal damage - you heal. 20% doesn't sound like much, but with your small health pool and high damage, it often means the difference between dying and not. When used together with Untouchable and Locked and Loaded, you can basically heal for 98 per second at level 16. At level 20 you get 172 health per second. Again though the problem of keeping your stacks is an issue. This talent lets you actually duel in 1v1 and trade damage.


Level 16


[*] Sleight of Hand -[average]- Nice, but kind of unnecessary. Sleight of Hand shortens the reload, so using Melee between magazines, is no longer relevant, and the reload too, but if you practice the play-flow, I describe in "Playstile" chapter, you won't notice any significant increase in damage after you take Sleight of Hand. Locked and Loaded and Focus Fire give much more damage. And again I repeat: With Tracer's health pool you want to do damage fast, and get out, not do damage over long period of time, exposing yourself to the enemy. The lack of reload time however has advantages, when tracer is being buffed by things like attack speed.

[*] Focus Fire -[bad]- Its a decent talent that allows you to continue using the play-flow, I describe in "Playstile" chapter, while giving you nice damage boost. The catch is you have to land the whole magazine on the same target. That can get you in trouble, because it might make you stay in a fight just half a second longer that you want. And that could get you killed.

[*] Locked and Loaded -[good]- 40% extra damage. Need I say more?!? See the explanation on how to use this properly, in "Playstyle" chapter if you somehow missed it. This is the only good talent Tracer has left. But it also takes higher skill to use.

Level 20


Hmm I have a feeling of Deja vu. Anyways here goes: 0 good talents here ;)

[*] Get Stuffed! -[average]- So what we have is a cool-down reduction, for a skill, that when used can get us killed. Is that good or bad thing?! We can certainly use cool-down reduction to something like, I don't know...... Recall maybe? Again - still the best talent in the tier. Deja vu confirmed! Sick style points, when you put a Pulse Bomb on someone an hit them with Melee. That is a good enough reason to take it right ;) Only useful if you take Bullet Spray at level 13, and only in limited situations. Good on Tomb of the Spider Queen.

[*] Total Recall -[bad]- And now Blizzard presents the heroic with the shortest cool-down in the game - Recall. The winner is at the mere 34 seconds cool-down, and lets you get back the health you lost in the past 3 seconds. It also has the bonus of moving you where you were 3 seconds ago, so you can eat the same damage again. Oh.... Wait what? Oh Recall is not a heroic?! Oh sorry my bad. Thank you Blizzard for the clarification. ....... Please disregard what I just said. What I meant is, this talent gives you the healing functionality of Recall, that should have been part of the core ability in the first place. And only for the price of almost double the cool-down. Ain't that just great ;)
With other words don't waste your time with this ever. Even if you get healing out of it and live, now you have no Recall for 34 seconds, so you cant really engage for 34 seconds. So that healing is basically useless.

[*] Composition B -[bad]- Another talent with limited use. The main goal of Composition B is to zone away heroes, so it is worth considering only in case you took Sticky Bomb at level 10. And no one takes Sticky Bomb. I used to take it, but diving in the middle of 5 heroes to use it, can't be done anymore, unless you like the Japanese tradition of Seppuku.


Using Untouchable at level 7 and Locked and Loaded at level 16 takes some extra effort, especially to keep your stacks, but adds +30% and +40% to your damage. So at level 16 instead of 51 damage per attack, you do 92 damage per attack. Or that at level 20 that is 861 DPS instead. With that you can hold your own and heal the incoming damage (if you take Leeching Rounds) when tradeing with heroes such as Sylvanas, Valla, Raynor.


Anyway I hope I didn't bore you with all this rambling. Thanks for taking the time to read my guide. Please rate and comment.

See you in the Nexus :)

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