Croak is undoubtedly one of the most challenging Champions to fight against in Battlerite. In fact, I’d say he’s probably the most difficult Champion to fight against. Stealth, mobility, i-frames, crowd control and high damage, all rolled into a frog package, make him incredibly frustrating to deal with. While I can’t guarantee any of the tips below will allow you to instantly stomp Croak players, they should provide you with a greater understanding of how to deal with him. Make no mistake, a well skilled Croak will punish the smallest errors, and you should expect to die plenty before you get better.
Understand His Kit
I regularly read complaints about Croak, and while there’s no doubting his kit is incredibly strong, he can be killed quickly. Key to killing him however is understanding his kit, and how it works. In simple terms, Croak is all about trading health quickly before escaping. Once he has, he’ll repeat the process to whittle you and your team down.
Croak achieves this through a variety of means:
- Stealthing, in order to lock you down and eat a chunk of your health.
- Diving, in order to have you waste your abilities, before retreating.
- A combination of both the above in order to trade health.
While there’s many variables on how Croak will engage, he will typically:
- Jump towards you using Frog Leap. When besides you, he’ll leap a second time to bait your abilities and/or retreat after several basic attacks.
- Flank towards you using Camouflage with a view to attacking you from behind. At this point he’ll navigate away or continue to damage you before retreating.
- Poke with his ranged attack, Toxic Muck or Sludge Spit.
Players often make the mistake of trying to punish Croak, before he has exhausted his Frog Leap charges.
Often is the case, Croak will use a combination of these tactics in order to avoid damage, continue to deal it (Camouflage and Frog Leap increase his attack speed) and generally cause a nuisance.
The main things to be aware of are when it comes to his key abilities are:
- His stealth only lasts 3.5 seconds and you are free to move away to let it fade.
- His stealth grants him movement speed, so be sure to retreat the moment you see him stealth.
- His stealth will stun you for 1 second, granting enough time to lop off a large amount of health.
- His leap is an i-frame and makes him invulnerable to damage.
As long as you back away when he stealths, you are instantly in a better position than he is. His reliance on landing his stealth attack is integral to his burst and nuisance potential. If you can evade it, simply by moving away, you stand a better chance of punishing him when he appears.
In regards to his jump (or Frog Leap), it deals damage on landing and with two charges, can be used in quick succession. Most Croak players use both back-to-back for a double dose of damage while avoiding defensive abilities. It’s typically best to save any defensive abilities you have until both charges are consumed, otherwise you’ll likely miss or have them negated.
Finally, even if these two key abilities are exhausted Croak still has access to self sustain through Toxic Blades and Toxic Muck, while he can still evade using Noxious Lunge (which allows him to pass through enemies). He is undoubtedly weakest without Camouflage and Frog Leap, and it’s at this point you should ensure you and your team attack him.
Conserve Your Abilities
Failing to land your abilities, or wasting them against Croak while he’s using his Frog Leap is a sure-fire way of leaving yourself incredibly vulnerable. I’ve lost count at the number of Blossom players I’ve seen attempting to hit Croak with Boom Blossom, only to miss after Croak uses the second charge of his Frog Leap, or they don’t wait for his Noxious Lunge. At which point, they’re forced to use their only guaranteed means of escape, which Croak can quickly capitalize on.
Key to fighting against Croak is conserving your abilities, while forcing him to use his. If you know he has used both charges of his Frog Leap, he only has Noxious Lunge or Stealth to avoid you. Even then, that severely limits his options for escaping and attacking.
If you can bait both his leaps, it’s an ideal time to punish him with crowd control. Alternatively, you can always hit him with a silence before his second, in order to instantly interrupt his rotation. Either way, as long as you have more abilities available than he does, you’re in a better position to punish him, or at the very least survive his attacks.
It might sound obvious, but a Champion such as Croak needs to be punished quickly by you and your team working together. If you’re constantly fighting him 1 on 1, irrespective of the Champion you’re playing, a good Croak will typically get the edge over you if you make even the tiniest of mistakes.
If you and your team can work together, by spiking him at the same time, rotating your defensive abilities and sharing crowd control, you’re in a much better position to shut him down the moment he’s vulnerable. I’m not suggesting that you all have to babysit your Support, or that you can’t play aggressively against his teammates, but knowing when to retreat, peel or focus him is often key to succeeding. With many abilities in Battlerite castable without line of sight (such as Sirius’ healing, or Iva’s shield), you can still alleviate Croak pressure from an ally, even if you aren’t next to them.
Adjust Your Battlerites
Customising your Battlerites for a more defensive play style can work well against Croak.
It might sound obvious, but it’s surprising to see how many players never adapt their Battlerites based on who they’re fighting against. Depending on your current build, you may not have to, but certainly against Croak, it’s often advisable to pursue more defensive Battlerites. A Champion such as Ashka, with only a short range knockback, long cooldown escape, and a predictable AOE stun, is a perfect example of a Champion that often needs to adapt their build. Taking Fire Ward (which provides a shield on Searing Flight), Knockout (to stun anyone you hit into a wall with Molten Fist) and Lava Punch (to knock you and enemies further apart) are often ideal in dealing with Croak. While these choices might limit Ashka’s damage potential, they go a long way in helping him survive for lengthier periods of time (especially in 3 versus 3).
I make no suggestion that every player has to adapt their build to deal with Croak (some, such as Thorn or Freya, handle him fairly well anyway) but many certainly benefit from choosing Battlerites that are much more defensive.
Watch For The Eye
Stealth in Battlerite provides complete invisibility. While stealthed Champions can be damaged if you hit where they’re stood, they’ll only be revealed once they activate an ability. At times it’s a frustrating mechanic, as the only indicator of a stealthed Champion being near you is a small symbol of an eye above your head. The nearer a stealthed Champion is to you, the darker the eye will become. When they’re immediately next to you, it will turn from light yellow, to orange, to red. Unfortunately this mechanic isn’t in any way guaranteed to allowing you predict where a stealthed Champion is, or when they will attack. Instead, you’ll have to guess when the eye turns red. Sometimes you’ll know just when to trigger your defensive abilities, sometimes you’ll completely miss and take a beating from Croak. After 700 hours, the eye still doesn’t ensure my ability to adequately defend myself, but it does - at the very least - provide some basis for knowing when Croak is a little too close for comfort.
Have a tip on how to beat Croak? Let us know in the comments below.
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