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Cthulhuphant [4.8.6]


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So Cthulhuphant...

I love this hero and have had no small part in making him what he is today, but as I look at him I feel like he has fallen on the wayside (with a ~45% Win Rate in normal mode games). Between the changes to the game as a whole and an erosion of his identity, my favourite Non-Euclidean Elephant has (outside of a few competitive games) become pretty much outdated as an initiator and as a jungler. While he has gained some number changes as of late (mainly to the cooldown of Obliterate W and Dreams of Madness R), and they have helped, he lacks a presence and more importantly a niche that other initiators hold. He does not have the huge disruption that Behemoth offers, the slipperiness of Magmus, the massive area stun on Apex, or the carrying potential of Maliken, he is ultimately a hero who tramples in once, does some AoE damage and hopes to survive long enough to trigger a disable on R (which, truth be told is a decent payoff, but isn't particularly engaging as the Cthulhuphant player).

While none of the following are changes that I feel are required, I'm proposing the following to help maintain his identity and playstyle. In the area below I will try to make him a more disruptive hero with the ability to peel for allies, as well as giving him a unique playstyle that revolves around his facing abilities and dampening autoattack damage to allies and himself.

My thoughts will be detailed after the changes as well as in the end.

Quote

 

Obliterate - W

[Same functionality as it currently has]. While active, Cthuluphant gains a shield from the front that absorbs up to A / B / C / D damage from sources in front of him.

 

Reasoning:

- Cthul is a hero that was initially built around facing, and this gives Cthul a strong way to run in and act as a vanguard against AoE damage while chasing.
- This has additional power while jungling with E, giving him sustainability as his normal jungling method with Maddening Revenge (E) is slow and dangerous compared to most competent junglers
- The face of Cthul can be played around and the visual can borrow the old Shield visual from before, adding little new resources
- Improves his survivability when used cleverly and not just spamming it mindlessly once someone is stunned.

Ultimately the goal on Obliterate is to make him scary when it is active. Going toe to toe with Cthul while it is active is a losing proposition unless he is already in a losing spot himself. This puts the choice into the hands of the opponent, almost acting like a soft disable that dissuades them from going for Cthul. Additionally, by adding this functionality he has the ability to think about when to use the charge of Obliterate, is it in a pinch defensively (or to counterpunch) or to harry foes and effectively corrale them around? Perhaps he  won't even optimize the damage and instead use it to block incoming damage when surrounded. The choice goes into the hands of the player as well as the opponent.

Quote

 

Part the Veil - E

Cooldown: 10 seconds

Whenever Cthuluphant is dealt physical damage he deals 20 / 30 / 40 / 50% of his Strength as physical damage back to the source. If damaged by a physical source from the front or by a non-hero unit he instead deals double this damage.

Activate E to send tentacles out to 200 / 250 / 300 / 350 Units around himself to pull all nearby enemies in, restraining them, inflicting a 15 / 20 / 25 / 30% tapering slow, and reducing their base damage by 20 / 40 / 60 / 80% for 2.5s.

 

Reasoning:

- Maddening Revenge is probably one of the weakest skills in the game as it currently stands and could use some spice to make the level up choices for him relevant without ultimately increasing his damage by an absurd amount, instead focusing on giving him utility.
- Activating Part the Veil allow him to keep people well within the range of Obliterate, or can be used as an alternative initiation with the aid of a Portal Key or to peel enemies off allies.
- The damage reflect is now doubled when attacked from the front (non-Creeps only), granting it synergy with both Dreams of Madness (R) and with Obliterate (W). 
- While Part the Veil's active deals no damage, it instead allows him to reduce enemy autoattack damage, dampening their effectiveness against his allies should they move out or choose to stand their ground against Cthuluphant

Ultimately the goal for Part the Veil is to give him a tool that many tanky heroes don't really have. The ability to pull people in (a la Johanna in HotS) has many uses, whether it is aggressive or defensive, holding Part the Veil and knowing that being near Cthulhu could turn into a quagmire makes him all the more threatening. By being able to shut down people's mobility options, he doesn't gain another hard disable but instead gives him the power to cripple certain heroes and force them to move normally (which also synergizes with the slow on Dreams); combined with his big body makes it hard to really get around without it being impossible. Additionally, damage dampening of autoattacks was in his oldest iteration (in the form of Attack Speed Reduction) and while that would have worked as well, this gives it more synergy with the madness from R. Making more hits against Cthul at less damage is ultimately better than slowing AS. Another interesting synergy is that by pulling in creeps he can then Launch them with Trample, adding damage and always providing a possible projectile at his disposal.
 

Some Math on E

Spoiler

Strength of 23 + 3.2

At 5th level in laning, assuming one maxes E, he will have 39 Strength without items. We can assume he will have a Chalice or Supply as well as some other stat items so let`s round that to 45 Strength. 

This means that an attack against his front will deal 80% of that, dealing 36 Physical damage. This isn`t really that much but it does add up if you have a lower armor hero or have multiple attacks (or something like Armadon Spines). This does come at a massive cost of levels into Obliterate (200 / 300 / 400 / 500 total magic damage over the duration) or into Trample (which does damage as well as increased Stun duration). While it makes him hard to trade shots with 1 for 1, it does allow him a more defensive build (but then, he also loses the shield on W). 

Skilling E early makes him a hard target to want to hit but also gives him more area denial using his body and the activation on Part the Veil, to pull people in, slow them and sap their damage; giving him less selfish utility early on.

By maxing E and W first, he does gain the ability to jungle but does lose out on Trample early on, making him more of a commitment farmer than one who can just rush on out. So while it gives some versatility it doesn`t entirely make it a no brainer in terms of choice.

---

As stated before, he has a 45% WR in normal (non-Comp) games, and is generally considered to be a sub-par initiator compared to a lot of the alternatives. While the recent number changes to Obliterate and Dreams were very helpful, the perception of the hero is fairly lukewarm. The object of this isn`t to give him a kit that makes him completely overwhelming or oppressive but to instead give him something that no other initiator can really boast, decisions by the opponent that usually always end up being bad ones; as well as countering melee (and some short range carries) that revolve around physical damage.

I wish that we can make my elephant great again, he has a ton of design space to work with.

Unrelated, but can we add "Serve Your God Mortal" back to the hero? With Hook 'Em being gone, its a shame to not hear it anymore, slap it onto when R activates.

Edited by Hubaris
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I need to know something, Newerth. The way we used to be together... I... I don't mean lately, but before... It was real, wasn't it?

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He also had a Cooldown reduction on R recently (at least on International).

Sadly number changes can only do so much unless the numbers become too big to handle.

I need to know something, Newerth. The way we used to be together... I... I don't mean lately, but before... It was real, wasn't it?

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He has 2 roles, suicide and dual offlane together with preferably a ranged stunner.

His long range stun and his massive W damage makes him basically part of the strongest offlane you can have. Paired with anybody like geo, tort, ds, basically any support with a disable.

There is no shortlane combo that can compete a cthul long lane. Meaning that even with a trilane or a helping jungler, your carry will likely remain underfarmed. When he picks up his PK he is one of the best initiators in the game and his ult slow shouldn't be underestimated.

His E might not be the strongest spell but he can clear creepwaves rather fast with it. Also, since he has incredibly strong Q/W spells it's more or less obvious why he cannot have the greatest E as well.

Removing his jungle ability was the best thing that could happen.. He is one of the strongest offlaners and one of the biggest threats for the enemy carry early/mid game. He is also incredibly fun to play.. I personally don't see why his winrate is that low. Maybe the numbers there are a bit misleading idk. I think he is in a decent spot rn.

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Hero falls like a brick and does little in the late game. E being negligible pvp and R falls just short of being useful late game imo. R doesn't proc that reliably, either played around by SH, expires without much result, or proc during bad/irrelevant moments. Because it's a delayed effect really, 2s is enough to unload all the spells and burst down your allies, and unlike legio he doesn't get extra armor or exponential return damage.

For a hero with such strong early game to have 45% winrate means his late game is really bad, he can't capitalize advantage at all.

Don't think you should buff Q or W, this winning formula is already good as is, problem is when he has to rely on E and R.

Maybe something like this. Deals 20/30/40/50% strength + 2/3/4/5% extra for each subsequent attacks, target deals less attack damage by the same amount to cthuluphant, up to 20/30/40/50% after 10 attacks.

Or maddened units deals 20/30/40% less damage, persisting for 4s afterward.

Edited by Rezziedahl
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2 hours ago, hegelsohn said:

He has 2 roles, suicide and dual offlane together with preferably a ranged stunner.

His long range stun and his massive W damage makes him basically part of the strongest offlane you can have. Paired with anybody like geo, tort, ds, basically any support with a disable.

There is no shortlane combo that can compete a cthul long lane. Meaning that even with a trilane or a helping jungler, your carry will likely remain underfarmed. When he picks up his PK he is one of the best initiators in the game and his ult slow shouldn't be underestimated.

His E might not be the strongest spell but he can clear creepwaves rather fast with it. Also, since he has incredibly strong Q/W spells it's more or less obvious why he cannot have the greatest E as well.

Removing his jungle ability was the best thing that could happen.. He is one of the strongest offlaners and one of the biggest threats for the enemy carry early/mid game. He is also incredibly fun to play.. I personally don't see why his winrate is that low. Maybe the numbers there are a bit misleading idk. I think he is in a decent spot rn.

Those aren't really roles, they're positions. He is an initiator, but he's honestly not very good at it unless you can really line up creeps to actually maximize Trample (which is incredibly rewarding). 

There are plenty of heroes that can deal with Cthul, mainly because he has 0 Invulnerability on his charge and his W requires him to be moving toward the danger. While Obliterate does cap off at 500 damage, its over the course of 4 seconds and doesn't exactly have a massive area of effect.

E is actually the worst spell in the game bar none. It's only saving grace is that it is better than stats.

Maddening is alright, the 50% AoE slow really shouldn't be undersold honestly, and a good AoE Madness can very well turn the tide of a fight. I would like to see a possible increased duration on it (+1 second) or a Staff that allows it to proc more than once during its time per person.

Edited by Hubaris

I need to know something, Newerth. The way we used to be together... I... I don't mean lately, but before... It was real, wasn't it?

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I like the suggestion. If I may suggest something, how about if the shield from 2nd ability starts at low health (though I prefer 0 health knowing Cthulhuphant is quite tanky currently) but the damage dealt to enemies regenerates it (limited version of Kinesis' shield)?

If anyone wonders about my intelligence regarding this game, then consider yourself visiting this thread:

Alternatively, visit this blog below to see the compiled version of the threads/posts I made on this Official HoN Forum:
newerthbrainstorm.blogspot.com

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6 hours ago, datfizh said:

I like the suggestion. If I may suggest something, how about if the shield from 2nd ability starts at low health (though I prefer 0 health knowing Cthulhuphant is quite tanky currently) but the damage dealt to enemies regenerates it (limited version of Kinesis' shield)?

That is a possibility. Numbers can obviously be modified but the concept is to absorb damage, I didn't consider whether it should be a % absorb like Armadon or a shield like Kinesis.

I need to know something, Newerth. The way we used to be together... I... I don't mean lately, but before... It was real, wasn't it?

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  • 2 weeks later...

They did add an additional buff to the ult tho i believe, where it also proccs if you re long enough within his ults range.
but i agree i want cthulhu to be more viable again, only fun thing about him rn is midlaning on lower brackets which i believe should not be his only strength, or any strength at all, lol.

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4 hours ago, MerryHONmas said:

They did add an additional buff to the ult tho i believe, where it also proccs if you re long enough within his ults range.
but i agree i want cthulhu to be more viable again, only fun thing about him rn is midlaning on lower brackets which i believe should not be his only strength, or any strength at all, lol.

I didn't see that in the tooltips (or the advanced ones). It is the SotM effect so that could be what you're getting mixed up with (or I missed something).

I need to know something, Newerth. The way we used to be together... I... I don't mean lately, but before... It was real, wasn't it?

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On 10/22/2020 at 12:50 AM, w3_StarBoy said:

Fun fact:
Swiftblade's W deal more damage than Cthuluphant's E

Comparing skills like that is generally not the way to go, but Counter-Attack actually does a ton of work and nulls a lot of damage (even 4 autoattacks at 100 damage is effectively 400 HP and 4 Way of the Sword Crits).

I need to know something, Newerth. The way we used to be together... I... I don't mean lately, but before... It was real, wasn't it?

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  • 3 months later...

I'll consider something minor for E. The hero is in an odd spot where the reason he's picked up is for the power of his Q (much like Magmus) and his laning capabilities and not much else. He does need durability because he falls off fairly quick, but that's about it - it's not like he really needs more CC than his ultimate.

 

Conceptually (at least in my opinion), the hero is just really boring to play.

Edited by ElementUser
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I think his Q->E combo is quite fun. My main problem with cthul is that his ulti (at least the 2nd part) is quite unreliable and feels a bit lackluster. I feel like this could be reworked. Currently it has a bit of synergy with his E, however, it might be better to remove that synergy and rather add something unique to the game.

I could think of some fear spell forcing enemies to ran away from cthul without being able to control their hero. Or some aoe perplex.

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7 minutes ago, hegelsohn said:

I think his Q->E combo is quite fun. My main problem with cthul is that his ulti (at least the 2nd part) is quite unreliable and feels a bit lackluster. I feel like this could be reworked. Currently it has a bit of synergy with his E, however, it might be better to remove that synergy and rather add something unique to the game.

I could think of some fear spell forcing enemies to ran away from cthul without being able to control their hero. Or some aoe perplex.

Peel isn't as valued in HoN because it's a fast-paced lethal game with lots of burst, and you want to kill your enemies as fast as possible. You actually want fighting to happen when playing Cthulhuphant.

 

There are heroes for better suited for defensive peel (Monarch, Pearl, etc.) than Cthulhuphant, who wants to be in the front line (rather than protecting your back line).

Edited by ElementUser
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On 10/19/2020 at 5:49 PM, hegelsohn said:

He has 2 roles, suicide and dual offlane together with preferably a ranged stunner.

His long range stun and his massive W damage makes him basically part of the strongest offlane you can have. Paired with anybody like geo, tort, ds, basically any support with a disable.

There is no shortlane combo that can compete a cthul long lane. Meaning that even with a trilane or a helping jungler, your carry will likely remain underfarmed. When he picks up his PK he is one of the best initiators in the game and his ult slow shouldn't be underestimated.

His E might not be the strongest spell but he can clear creepwaves rather fast with it. Also, since he has incredibly strong Q/W spells it's more or less obvious why he cannot have the greatest E as well.

Removing his jungle ability was the best thing that could happen.. He is one of the strongest offlaners and one of the biggest threats for the enemy carry early/mid game. He is also incredibly fun to play.. I personally don't see why his winrate is that low. Maybe the numbers there are a bit misleading idk. I think he is in a decent spot rn.

This. I'm of the opinion that Cthulhuphant is underrated. Cthulhuphant is my 2nd most played. And for what it's worth, I think I could take him to Diamond I if I really tried(currently D3), but I don't take my ranking that serious. This hero seems pretty good to me. This phant is such a threat in lane that the enemy carry will be afraid to farm just by him standing there. That's huge. And it's not a misplaced fear either, getting hit by one trample after lvl 2+ means you probably die unless you have some sick defensive support like Martyr Accursed etc. And once a likely successful laning phase is over, Cthu probably has a bit of head-start items to let him begin farming pretty fast. With E and W he can get some surprising gpm. And due to his kit/stats/item path he can usually afford to go further into enemy lines to do so. And yes he is a great sui, to put it lightly. As for role, I think he is at minimum one of the best frontliners in the game. If he's beefy, and in front, he can legit just go up to their base and beg the enemy to initiate on him so he can soak damage and threaten with R.

Also, let's not forget Cthu got a shadow buff with Barbed Armor being pre-mitigation, not post.


Question for EUser: Is Maddening Revenge (E) intended to be countered by carries with lifesteal? If not check my suggestion in green.

I find problems with Cthu arise when the following doesn't happen:

He doesn't do good in laning phase/early game
He doesn't get space to farm.

These problems are avoidable with solid play and are not exclusive to the hero. But why it's a problem for Cthu specifically is because if he gets behind he will almost never be at the state of being fat enough to where the enemy cores will have to respect him since he is playing catch-up. So forcing stronger heroes to hit him is kamikaze. But granted, he still has his CC.

I think people just not playing him right personally. Even myself at times, because if you look at the numbers he can be kinda insane if you land stuff right.

His Q is 2s stun at lvl 4. His R will make you mad if you stare at him for 2s. So with the right trample you can actually make someone stunned for 4-5s. This is something I realized I wasn't even trying. Granted this might be hard to pull off without PK.

 

10 hours ago, ElementUser said:

I'll consider something minor for E. The hero is in an odd spot where the reason he's picked up is for the power of his Q (much like Magmus) and his laning capabilities and not much else. He does need durability because he falls off fairly quick, but that's about it - it's not like he really needs more CC than his ultimate.

 

Conceptually (at least in my opinion), the hero is just really boring to play.

oOf. Despite that flagrant disinformation, you hit it on the money once again EU. The hero does need early sustain/durability and ironically his kit itself doesn't provide him this at all except in the form of innate STR gain(tied for 3rd with Blacksmith) and above average armor(13th highest). This helps for sure but obviously isn't enough by itself to make him not need to buy some tank juice.

This is the main conundrum I find with the hero, you're stuck between two choices: early PK initiation with sub-par durability, or early durability with sub-par initiation (no PK). To be honest though, this might be a healthy conundrum. His E and by extension R will suffer some effectiveness because he won't deal as much damage if he just goes early PK. Not only this, he may not be able to withstand the onslaught of insane attackers(his job) in the front and die in the process. And at that point, with PK, you're basically just using him for his Q + W + R, with his R being relegated to a glorified stun. I've been building him as a frontliner/2nd core and I think it's pretty strong because you can have the respectable tankiness which translates into a more fearsome R + E combo. Then you can just kinda keep the enemies at bay while your team has more confidence with you in the front.


So I think he needs minor buffs if anything. And I would focus on E. I could get behind something like Hubaris' specific suggestion of:

Quote


- The damage reflect is now doubled when attacked from the front (non-Creeps only), granting it synergy with both Dreams of Madness (R) and with Obliterate (W). 


Some other ideas:

Maddening Revenge (E):
- Grants health regeneration rate increase by 0.X% per non-hero unit physically attacking [from the front] briefly.
- Grants health regeneration rate increase by X% per real-hero unit physically attacking [from the front] briefly.

The regen rate increase helps sustain when farming jungle later on, and when there's a lot of heroes attacking him. (But since it's only regen it's not true tankiness he can still be bursted). Basically, this would make PK rush not as risky.

OR

- Auto-attackers (self) healing briefly reduced by 10/15/20/25%.

^This is a personal favorite idea of mine. ((Assuming this ability is meant to help him scale into lategame efficiently)) This change would make lifesteal not completely shutdown his E and thus help him contend with carries into lategame. I think it's kinda dumb he can be countered by virtually any lifesteal item a carry chooses. Weakening lifesteal directly is a cool little niche itself, and really works imo. This would indirectly nerf Predator very slightly, but with the right numbers it shouldn't affect him much(though it would be nice for E to be relevant vs Pred). This is mainly aimed at lifesteal in general. This makes E damage more consistent across the hero board and game timespan, instead of being negated lategame by carries. Unless it is intended for Cthulhuphant's E to be weak vs carries who pick lifesteal, of course.


Or for Dreams of Madness (R):

Duration increased by 1s at all levels 7/8/9.
Movespeed slow intensity tapers with duration (counterbalance)


Makes it slightly more consistent and less extreme. Just something to consider really, not convinced this ability needs a change. Food for thought.
 

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8 hours ago, ElementUser said:

Peel isn't as valued in HoN because it's a fast-paced lethal game with lots of burst, and you want to kill your enemies as fast as possible. You actually want fighting to happen when playing Cthulhuphant.

 

There are heroes for better suited for defensive peel (Monarch, Pearl, etc.) than Cthulhuphant, who wants to be in the front line (rather than protecting your back line).

I didn't really think of it in a defensive manner but more in an offensive one. Like you jump in and make enemies run into directions away from cthul to split up enemies and follow up team could catch the one running into their direction. But sure, it was just a thought, I still think there should be a change on the ulti to make him feel better.

If you force them to attack cthul when within range for like 2s it would be more reliable but likely too similar to legios taunt..

Edited by hegelsohn
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Never thought about the lifesteal thing - that's something that can be added ever since I made lifesteal work with the heal multiplier, there's practically no risk to adding it in.

Yes, something like the frontal-temporary regen or frontal-temporary damage mitigation of some kind on E will be fine.

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Just a fun story

Back then, when elephant was reworked and his E deal 3x damage to creep. I used him to jungle, maxed his E frist and ignore the ultimate until lv 13. I end up with 600+ GPM and carry my three "good" carry teamates against silhouse and puppet master as the same times. That was really a funny match

HoN SEA Player

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