Becoming a Breaker
Spellbreak is now available through the Epic Games launcher, and if your PC can run it, I highly recommend signing up for the Alpha. Spellbreak’s intense Battlemage combat is excellent, but the gameplay is so deep it can be daunting for newbies. Like all Battle Royales the competition is brutal and trying to learn everything at once is difficult when you’re constantly dying. To save some trouble I made a breakdown of how Spells work in Spellbreak. Be warned, there’s far more magic in Spellbreak than just Spells; Sorceries and Classes also exist, but for simplicity’s sake I’ll cover those separately later. Aspiring apprentices can understand how the 6 Spells work with these 5 fundamentals.
1) Manage your Mana
Spellbreak’s basic gameplay revolves around managing Mana. “Breakers” use magical gauntlets to channel Mana into elemental Spells. Mana is your ammunition, and technically you have an unlimited supply, but you must recharge after you’ve used your stockpile. You’re more vulnerable while recharging since you can’t cast Spells, and enemies will try to attack you at that moment. Try to time recharges when your Breaker is behind cover or moving quickly. Mana efficiency is very important because Spells have lasting effects, so every cast counts. Most Spells require some getting used to, travel times and range differences makes aiming tricky at first. Take the time to line up your shots and learn the nuances of each gauntlet.
2) Know your Gauntlets
Mana is your ammunition, gauntlets are your weapons. You can find gauntlets in chests around the map or loot them off of fallen enemies. Breakers can cast an attack Spell without gauntlets, but it’s weaker and has no additional effects. The 6 types of gauntlets in Spellbreak, all have special attributes and ways to Exile enemies. Gauntlets have five different rarities, from Common to Legendary. Higher rarities do more damage and cost less Mana. This is important because not only does it take less Spells to banish enemies, you can cast more of them before recharging. Rarities are identifiable by color, but for those who suffer from colorblindness like me I’ve created a handy visual guide above. While Legendary weapons look cool and feel great, the higher rarity is not always the best choice. It doesn’t matter how strong your Spells are if you always miss. Some gauntlets, like the Toxic and Stone gauntlets, are much harder to use. While it’s beneficial to learn them all, the different play styles of each gauntlet can be tough. The only way to get better is to practice, but don’t fall into the trap of picking up a Legendary gauntlet that you’re bad with. The stats on a gauntlet don’t matter as much as mastery of its effects. Just remember the 3 Spell effects: Creation, Activation, and Cleansing.
3) Corral with Creators: Toxic Spray and Ice Lance
Toxic and Frost gauntlet create residual Spells that stay on the battlefield. The Toxic spell Toxic Spray shoots four arcing jets of acid with a shotgun-like spread. This acid creates bubbling green puddles on impact. The puddles deal constant damage to anyone standing on them, including the Breaker who cast it. This makes Toxic Spray the most challenging spell to use; the projectile is weak at long range, and at short range careless casters can accidentally kill themselves. By contrast, the Frost spell Ice Lance is a safer sniping spell. The projectile is near instant and leaves a long path of ice players will slip on. This path reveals the caster’s location, but when used well it can make it much harder for enemies to aim or run away. Eventually, ice paths melt, staying on the field as a path of water before finally disappearing. While the residuals from creation Spells aren’t permanent, they pose a threat as long as they remain on the battlefield. One important thing to note is that creation Spells can negate each other’s residuals. Toxic Spray turns ice paths into poison puddles, cancelling the slip effect. Vice versa, Ice Lance freezes the puddles, stopping the damage over time effect. This encourages Breakers to use creation Spells in concert with other Spells. After corralling enemies into deadly situations with creation Spells, hit their residuals with Activator Spells for devastating and deadly new effects.
4) Light em’ up with Activators: Lightning Bolts and Fireball
The Lightning Bolts and Fireball Spells are each strong in their own right. Lightning Bolts travels quickly in three bolt burst, and has a small chance to stun the enemy when hit. If Lightning Bolts strikes a residual Spell, regardless of what it is, it will create a miniature electric storm in the area, damaging and probably stunning enemies struck by it. Fireball isn’t as fast, but it makes up for it by basically being a rocket launcher with a large splash damage around the impact area. If Fireball strikes a poison puddle, it will explode, damaging enemies and leaving behind a poison fire for a few seconds. If Fireball hits an ice or water path, it becomes scalding steam, damaging enemies inside it and reducing their visibility. Steam lasts longer than poison fire, but when either effect ends the residuals are removed. By contrast, Lightning Bolts does not remove puddles or paths, and the active effect is shorter than fire. While these may seem like trivial details, it can make a tremendous difference when it comes to clearing residuals or avoiding them once they’ve been activated. When used together, Ice Lance and Fireball can create long walls of steamy death. The stun from Lightning Bolts also makes Poison spray far easier to land and sets up another deadly combo. No two games are the same and every chest is different. Breakers must adapt their strategy with the equipment they have. It may not be possible to get the perfect gauntlet combination every time, but knowing how Spells interact with one another is key. If the idea of combining Spells sounds too chaotic, there’s no need to worry. All of these effects can be countered, or to put it another way, cleansed.
5) Counter with Cleansers: Wind Shear and Shockwave
Wind and Stone gauntlets cast the best defensive Spells of Spellbreak. The wind gauntlet Spell Wind Shear doesn’t do a lot of damage, but it travels fast and has a rapid fire. When a Breaker aims Wind Shear at their feet it launches them into the air. This can be great for climbing mountains, looting castles, or dodging enemy Spells. This launching technique can also be used offensively; skilled Breakers can get high to hit enemies behind cover, or as a sniping perch for Ice Lance. Be warned, while in the air you’re an easy target for other Breakers, but if you have a Stone gauntlet you can get back to earth quickly. The Stone gauntlet spell Shockwave fractures the earth in front of the caster, traveling across the ground in a straight line. Shockwave can only be cast by punching the ground, so if a Breaker is in the air they will fall to earth for a badass superhero landing before casting the spell. Because of how it travels, Shockwave has some weaknesses compared to other Spells. It cannot travel across gorges or gaps, and it will stopped by steep terrain. These weaknesses are balanced out by Shockwave’s utility. Shockwave destroys all residuals in its path, and if it passes through fire, the Spell deals more damage and leaves a fire trail. For those that aren’t pyromaniacs, Wind Shear will put out the fires, and the launching effect can make you safe from Shockwaves.