Spedemix

Countering Porcupines

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It has come to my attention some people are struggling hard against Porcupines so here's a guide on how to handle them. I've had the pleasure and honor of playing with some of the best porcupine players in this game both in SIXX and SW4T and hone the strategies revolving around a porc spooder. Working with the Porcs has taught me how to counter them too. I might focus quite a lot on CW but all these things apply to PvP as well. When I say "In CW Helios hover is the single most lethal enemy to a Porc spider" it means if you're playing a Helios hover in PvP and spot a Porc spider in enemy team, you're likely in for an easy kill.

 

Porc builds:

Most of the "OP" Porcupine builds nowadays are Spiders which have 3-4 Porcupine launchers, 1-2 Kapkans and perhaps an Aegis. SIXX used to use 4 Porcs on a spider builds but I think we dropped one Porc in favor of an Aegis to increase the craft's survivability against things which prey on the Porc spider. Nice thing about the Porcupine launchers is their low energy usage which allows for lots of customization. 1-4 Porcupine launchers in a build are all viable options. You got dual Tsunami, one Porc setups. You got single Drake, dual Porc setups. And the you got 3-4 Porc setup with or without Aegis.

 

So it's a Spider, a slow moving target with low range ground-based weapons (the launchers are often put under the cabin to protect them more) that's somewhat risky to approach due to Kapkans.

 

In CW the Porc spider is often complemented with two Aspect spiders which can delete sparks and attack hovers while the porc goes on about its business. Fourth member is often either a hover or melee of sorts.

 

Hard counters:

Two words: Helios hover. Hovers in general counter Porcupines since they just float above the mines and Helios is a good weapon against Spiders. Whenever we run Porc spider in our squad and see a helios hover on the enemy team, we know that's the primary target. If we're running the aforementioned Porc + 2 Aspect spiders and see a double Aegis hover on the enemy team, we have very little chance of winning those matches. If hovers didn't exist in this game, Porcupines would likely be much much more popular. Porcupines can harm hovercrafts only when the hovercrafts have lost some hovers so they drag on the ground. That's something to keep in mind.

 

Spark is one of the most used weapons both in PvP and CW. It counters Porcupines since buzzing the spark in front of Porc players will detonate the mines as soon as they exit the launcher and thus hurt the user. In CW I've even witnessed full melee squads making a type of push where the first melee player just drives around and destroys all the porcupine mines which have been littered across the place. It looks like a mineclearing operation. When using spark you wanna make sure you don't overheat it. Use it sparingly in short bursts since even a split second of sparking will destroy the Porcs.

 

Reapers in general are also fairly good against Porcupines since you can just keep shooting at the guy often at a longer range than what the Porc mines can reach and shoot the mines too while you're at it. Point is you can use Reapers kinda the same way as you'd use Spark against Porcupines. Back when I used to run Reapers in CW I would often 1v1 any enemy Porcs while my squadmates could handle everything else.

 

Long range obviously wins against Porcupines. Never miss the opportunity to take a potshot with a cannon or AC when you spot them at a distance. If a Porc is making a move towards you and you have long range cannons, do the reasonable thing and get the hell out! :DD Keep the Porc at an arms length so you can hurt it while it can't hurt you. If you ever rushed a Porcupine with cannons, you have no right to say "Porcupines are OP". What you need to do is Buff your common sense.

 

Gravity:

Gravity works in favor or Porcupines. Many of of the Porc players will attempt to reach high ground and spam the Porcs from there because the reach will be longer and barrels roll faster downhill. Initial part of fighting against Porcupines is to prevent them from reaching these high points. If you're a faster player, you'll probably get there first and can defend it reasonably well. Porcupines work really poorly when shooting uphill. When I have a high ground against a Porc, I just shoot the barrels and the Porc might give up.

 

If you're in a close range brawl with a Porcs, do everything you can in your power to stay above to Porc to inhibit the potential of The Porcs. If the Porcs manages to get a firm hold on the high ground, consider the brawl lost and retreat. If the Porc holds its ground, you can increase the distance and kite it with MGs or whatever weapons you have. If the Porc chases you, it gives up the high ground it worked for.

 

Any high ground the Porc has taken, I consider it lost territory. Do not attempt to approach those areas without some consideration. If the high ground is not a super important spot like a cap point, usually you can just leave it and go somewhere else. It's still a spider so it's slow and will take its time to relocate to another good spot and during that time it'll be "out of the game".

 

If a Porc reaches an important high ground spot like a center cap in Fortress or Nameless Tower or the Cap in Rock City, you know sh*t's about to hit the fan. In Domination modes if a Porc takes the B cap, I'd say just forget it and cap A and C for an easy win. The single cap points in Rock City or Fortress are where the Porcupine truly shines. Usually in those cases you're gonna need multiple people to take down the Porc asap (and will likely suffer casualties) or try to kill it from outside the cap before the counter reaches 100. Or you focus on shooting the barrels in hopes they will hurt the Porc itself enough to weaken it for a kill. No easy way to handle it unfortunately. Just don't do anything stupid like wedge it from the front alone or block your teammates from shooting it.

 

The valley center cap in Broken Aroow is not that much of problem since there are loads of high ground around the cap point to kite the Porc should it choose to cap. Old Town is a bit so-so. It's a valley but the map is pretty small so there is little room to maneuver around the mines.

 

Shooting the Barrels:

The Porcupine players are genuinely afraid of their own weapons. And for a good reason. When I've gone through CW logs to see which players have received most damage from which weapons, often the Porcupine player received most damage from - you guessed it, Porcupines!! Use that to your advantage. Shooting barrels is surprisingly effective tactic against against Porcs. I've even managed to hold an enemy Porc from entering home base alone just by shooting the barrels it kept laying using Goblins. It was too afraid to come in in fear of being damaged by its own explosions and fire puddles. My teammates capped the enemy base while I suppressed the Porc alone in home.

 

Nice thing about shooting the barrels is also the fact they won't damage anyone else anymore and it's easier to spot a glowing fire puddle than a dark tiny barrel on the ground and thus avoid it. Even when the real damage is in the explosion and not so much in the fire puddle, shooting the barrels signals the Porc player you understand what you're doing and Porc will much more cautious when engaging you. It'll be afraid you blow the Porcs right in their face.

 

Conclusion:

If you are a hover or a fast build, Porcupines should not be too hard to deal with as long as you're not dumb as rock. Just keep outrunning them and/or outranging them with your weapons. If they catch you, it's likely your own fault.

 

If you are a slow tanky ground build like a spider or Goliath, you need to understand these Porcs will kill you if you're not careful. As a spider I try to avoid the Porcs as long as I can and engage them only when they're in a bad spot. If a Porc catches me in a bad spot, I need to understand I'm in an incredibly unfavorable situation which I need to get out of asap or die like a dog.

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Very informative post. Thanks for this, Spede.
Will try to improve my behavior around porcs further based on this :014:

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Since the Porcs are still relatively rare, I don't get to fight them as often. Here's one match which showcases pretty well how situational this weapon can be. When the Porcupine is out of range, he's basically free food.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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My dream build is a 4 or 5 porcupines either on spider or on fast build cuz they are unique and a blast to play :D

But for now Scorcupine is really fun aswell.

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What is with all the useless decor?

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Well another match where we met Porcs, didn't prove to be much of a challenge. We know the Porcupine's a short-range weapon so as long we keep our distance to it we should have no problems dealing with it. Someone calls out the Porc's in the the middle of the map and is coming to us so I order a retreat. As long as the Porc doesn't get too close, it's not gonna be a problem. Here we have quite a lot of Typhoons in our team but you could totally pull this off with Tsunami spiders as well.

 

Spoiler

 

 

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