(Guide) Playing the Thor

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(Guide) Playing the Thor

Post  rut on Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:52 am

I know a lot of people consider the Thor to be highly underpowered, but I think with a little bit of strategy it can be a very successful unit. I personally love playing the Thor, and I'd like to share with you what I consider to be the most effective way of doing so.

Thor's Base Stats
Health: 5
Power: 3
Speed: 0
Right off the bat, let me just say that the Thor is not meant to be played like a standard combat unit (Stalker, Marine, etc.). The Thor has very weak base stats, so its abilities were made to be very powerful in order to compensate. Learn to use its abilities and recognize that you're in a support role in order to do well.

First Round
The Thor is weakest during the first round because it's so ***** slow. Stay in the back and try to stun enemies with Strike Cannons as much as possible. I wish I had some good advice, but there's not a lot you can accomplish this first round.

Upgrades
After the first round is over, you will ALWAYS want to put your first 9 minerals into Speed. Always. What to upgrade next is a little more varied and suited to personal taste. I tend to upgrade Speed then Power after the first round. After the second round, I put points into Defense Matrix and Health, and also possibly into Auto-Spawn Dodgeballs if I can afford it. Before the final round, I'll buy as many extra lives as I can afford, then one point into Strike Cannons if my other upgrades feel sufficient.

Strike Cannons
As I said before, the Thor's abilities are frighteningly powerful to make up for its ridiculously bad base stats. Strike Cannons have gotten me a lot of negative feedback from people who think it's too long a stun and does too much damage. Thing is, the Thor needs a borderline-OP ability or two to be viable. When using Strike Cannons, you have to be good at predicting where the opponent is going to want to go. I find using Strike Cannons on clusters of dodgeballs or right on top of an ultra or master ball is an almost guaranteed way to score a hit. Make sure you know that you can start your Defense Matrix at any time during your Strike Cannons attack--it is highly recommended that you keep one in reserve while you're immobile. If you've caught an enemy in your attack, I highly suggest "pinging" the map with Alt + Left-Click in order to alert your allies so they can finish that unit off. Also note that upgrading Strike Cannons only increases the damage it deals so it's not necessary to upgrade it further unless you have money to kill (the stun is the most important part).

Defense Matrix
Believe it or not, I find the Thor's Defense Matrix the more important and powerful ability of the two. Each upgrade increases the duration significantly, and is probably what you'll want to spend your money on after maxing speed and possibly power. A good player will use Masterballs against a Thor to negate its amazing health, so try to keep a Defense Matrix ready just in case. If you've used Defense Matrix and are not immobile from Strike Cannons, you want to be very active about moving around the center of the map and absorbing incoming dodgeballs in order to protect your teammates. You can also clear mines and absorb scourges this way. When you've died and respawn, try not to use your Defense Matrix until your respawn one runs out--this may seem like common sense, but it can be hard to fight the urge to hit "r" for that long!

Playing with a Thor teammate
It is okay to hide behind a Thor if an enemy is coming at you (Mules, ultraballs, masterballs, etc.). With any luck, the Thor will have a Defense Matrix ready and the two of you will survive the attack. If you see your partner starting a Strike Cannon, hold onto your dodgeball almost until the end of the attack so you can hit any units caught in the stun after they've taken a majority of their damage. Use lobs if possible to hit multiple enemies in the stun and to prevent obstacles from blocking your path. In the first round, if you've found an abundance of dodgeballs, it's not a bad idea to throw one towards your Thor friend so he can score some kills too.

Playing against a Thor
Yes, Thors have some major weaknesses. If you keep tabs on the enemy Thor, you can see its Strike Cannons coming a mile in advance and you'll never get trapped in it. Use any masterballs you have to threaten the Thor. I say "threaten" because if a Thor has a Defense Matrix in reserve, you want to pretend you're about to throw to try and get it to use its ability prematurely. In the later rounds, try not to wait around the Thor until its Defense Matrix disappears--it may seem like a good idea, but you will be a little distracted watching it and open yourself up to getting hit. When the Thor's upgraded it Defense Matrix, it will last a very long time and you don't want to stick around without throwing dodgeballs for that long. If you have a greatball or ultraball, try to get as close to the Thor as possible before throwing in order to hit it with multiple dodgeballs simultaneously. I almost find it a good idea to avoid trying to kill a Thor in the third round unless you have a masterball, as it can shrug off a ridiculous number of hits once its health has been upgraded.

FFA
In theory the Thor is useless in FFA. It is slow, weak, and its Strike Cannons immobilize it completely while not allowing you to score kills in progress. However, I've seen good Thors do well in FFA, and here's how. The whole idea is that you want everyone to realize that they're gonna waste precious dodgeballs by attacking you. In the time it takes to bring down a Thor, they could have been out killing two other units. Strike Cannons seem useless in FFA, but any damage you do to an opponent can give you assists! Auto-dodgeball also becomes very important, as you can bet no one's gonna give you dodgeballs like in a team game. In the last round, don't worry about getting kills. Just survive. Remember that it doesn't matter who had the most kills, what matters is who lasts the longest. Use Defense Matrixes and move constantly, and don't use Strike Cannons unless you know for sure you're safe. Just flat-out refuse to die, and you can pull out a win, I guarantee!

Conclusion
Thanks for reading this guide! I think the Thor is quite underrated and would love to see more people find ways to enjoy playing it. On the side, if you want to write a guide for a unit you like to play, please do! And if you have more to add about playing as/with/against a Thor, I'd love to hear it!

rut


Last edited by rut on Wed Jan 16, 2013 4:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: (Guide) Playing the Thor

Post  RuffRidah on Mon Jan 14, 2013 5:22 pm

I think Thor is more a support for teammates. Maxing Strike Cannons would be my first goal. With Sentry on the side, Thor wouldn't need speed for dodging (but who wants to play Sentry in pub games?).

If playing against Immortal, I think Thor's offensive ability could be a minor counter to Immortal's offensive ability. Other than that, it would be countered by Stalker, with his defensive ability.

I definitely agree that Thor is weaker in FFA though.

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