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How To Play As Io




Art By: dachampmaz

Overview

  • Strengths:
    • Good weapon
    • Long range damage
    • Moonlight’s long range
    • Luna’s utility (contesting point, meatshielding, stun, etc.)
  • Weaknesses:
    • Vulnerable, squishy, low self-sustain
    • Moonlight’s low healing and limited resource meter
    • Moonlight requires constant LOS on target and exposure
    • Luna is hard countered by Bulldozer

With a character this complex, it’s hard for anyone to tell what her status in the meta would be. The good aspects about Io are really good and the bad aspects are really bad. Right now, she seems below average but not necessarily bad.I think she has a niche somewhere: maybe the DPS route, or players fully tapping into the vast utility of Luna, or maybe being used some weird Torvald/Jenos/Io pocket comp.



Abilities

Lunar Leap – While it offers vertical mobility, it limits air control, and knocks Io into a predictable arc. Good hitscan/DPS players can track the upward and downward movement, so use it carefully by cover when possible.

Interesting facts about Luna (her fox / deployable):

  • 4500 HP. Can only be resummoned while active. Does’t regenerate health by resummoning.
  • Like a normal player, Luna can receive healing from other players (including Io), contest objectives and even gets the out of combat regen.
  • Has a deploy range of 50 units ; Attacks and Stuns enemies within 100 units.
  • Deals 180 damage – every third hit 350 damage – to the enemy that has been marked by your Light Bow.

Information about Begone (Ultimate):

  • Io is CC and Damage Immune, but only during cast
  • It goes through shields
  • The projectile keeps moving until it hits a wall or world border.
  • Resilience DOES NOT work on Io’s Ultimate
  • You may need Medium or higher particle settings for it to be visible.

Details




Role

Io’s kit is more specialized to be an off-support (like Pip) rather than a main healer (like Seris, Maldamba, etc). She is most appropriate for double support compositions with a second support. Sometimes Io might have to fill that main heal slot if you don’t get that 2nd support. Like a Mega Potion Pip: not ideal, but a player with good skill can still pull it off.

Why is Io not ideal as a main support?

  • She may be able to pocket 1 tank with her Moonlight, but it might not provide enough healing per second for her to heal up two tanks that are actively taking damage.
  • She would be able to heal everyone in the early and mid part of the fight, but as the fight draws on longer, her resource meter eventually depletes. However, if there’s a second support, that support can help take the strain off of that.
  • Io must continuously expose herself in the open to heal. Other supports like Maldamba or Furia can quickly peek cover, give a team mate a quick tap and then go back to cover. Jenos and supports with AOE can heal through walls while they stay by cover.
  • Her weapon is fantastic. It has very long range, good speed, no damage falloff at all and it rewards players with good aim. If Io is solo healing, she will have to spend a lot of time holding right click and may be forced to forgo a lot of good opportunities to confirm kills with her weapon.

The reason why Io works as a second support is because she has the freedom to choose what she wants to do on a second to second basis. She can provide what the team needs to win the fight: whether it’s the long-range kill, the stun, the healing/pocketing.

Talents

  • Goddess Blessing (25% DR) – Good for builds in which you intend to pocket a player with healing, speed boost and damage reduction simultaneously so they can frag out.
  • Lifelink (Luna AOE heals) – If Luna has to perform the solo heal/main heal role, this talent can help her because Moonlight alone doesn’t offer enough healing in long fights. In this playstyle, Luna is placed safely by corners like a Grohk totem.
  • Sacrifice (Luna dies instead of you) – This is the talent for the DPS style of Io. Luna can be placed in a safe location while Io can play as aggressive as she wants since she teleports back before dying. Similar to a Talus rune. Also, Luna is used as a tool in a 1v1 duel to stun.

Items

Io itemizes more like a DPS than a support. Rush Cauterize to III. Buy Wrecker, Bulldozer and/or Resilience depending on what the situation needs. Then, a couple of Haven/Blast Shield and Rejuvenates to increase her sustain.

Some of the other supports Chronos and Morale Boost. However, her Ultimate isn’t supportive and it’s not a defining aspect of her kit. Also, while Luna is a good long cooldown, her Lunar Leap already has the Crescent card and her healing Moonlight is not a cooldown.

Loadouts

For Goddess Blessing. Swift Arrows isn’t as versatile as I thought it would be. Unlike Maldamba, you can’t peek and have the speed boost applied passively; as a result, it might only be used in pocket builds.

This is for the Lifelink talent if they need to use the main heal.

Lunar Connection is good. The other card (Spirit Arrows) only works on the redeploy cooldown, so it’s not as essential. This deck is somewhat like the previous deck; good for Lifelink though more focused on Luna than healing resource.

The Luna deploy range boost helps her use it more offensively for stuns and allows her more freedom in choosing which location she can escape to with Sacrifice. Full Moon offers good sustain combined with 3 copies of Crescent.

This is a build from Kusqt. I like the ratios of the core cards. I honestly have doubts about the low gravity cards though; being an easier target to enemy hitscans is a trait that nobody wants to have.

Gameplay

This post hasn’t covered positioning, playstyle and Ultimate usage much. Pros know way more about these than I do so I’ll leave it to them. Here are some pro VOD’s I’ll update this list as more become available.

Information sources for this post include Io’s Gamepedia Wiki page and Mr. Haze’s Youtube tutorial of Io.


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