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Tip of the Week #80 - Countering Devourer/Corrupter rush + MCV move

By Perfi - 14th December 2009 - 08:52 AM

At one point or another of your Kane's Wrath career, you are probably going to see a Vanilla Scrin or Reaper-17 strategy known as the "Devourer Tank, Corrupter and Drone Platform combo", called "Dev/Corr/MCV move" for short. The usual reaction after the first encounter is something about the lines of "omgwtfbbq imba imba no counter wtf omg". Today, I would like to tell you that this is simply not true. It might be WTF, it might be imba. It might even be BBQ. But it is definitely not uncounterable. Most people don't know how to counter the rush, and that's why it is usually seen as overpowered and BBQ.

Date: December 14, 2009
Game: Kane's Wrath 1.02
Author: Perfi
Definition. A Dev/Corr/MCV move is rush usually manifesting with the build order
Reactor, (perhaps Portal), Extractor, Warp Sphere, Nerve Center,
Reactor (or an upgrade to the first Reactor),
followed by lifting off the Drone Platform and moving it towards the enemy base for anti-air or anti-infantry support (or weaker anti-vehicle support in the form of Disintegrators or Photon Cannons) for charged Devourer Tanks, which do a ton of damage from huge range, and Corrupters, serving mostly to heal damaged units.

General Tips

The rush actually isn't that difficult to counter. Most people's problem with it is their inability to adapt to the strategy. Here ares some basic tips.

The "MCV move" rush is essentially an all-in rush. The only difference from the more popular rushes is the fact that instead of getting a cash boost from selling the MCV, the Scrin rusher gets the ability to support his units on the battlefield with great anti-air capabilities, Buzzer Hives, Disintegrators and whatever he might come up with. This means, in most cases you can go all-in, too, with the difference that you're already defending your own base, so you do not need to move your MCV. Therefore, if you are one of the human factions, you can get a cash boost yourself by selling your Construction Yard. In the time it takes the Scrin's Drone Ship to travel across the battlefield, you can get a superior economy going (4 Harvesters, 2 Refineries; as opposed to the Scrin's 2/1-economy), and you can build another MCV later on. This does not work so well for Scrin-vs.-Scrin, but see below for advice on countering the "Dev/Corr/MCV Move" as as Scrin.

One thing you might be afraid of is a combination of the "MCV move" variation and the "Stasis" variation, in which the Dev/Corr is accompanied by a fast Stasis Chamber, and a Stasis Shield is deployed on your defense units and factories, crippling your ability to resist. That, however, happens about as often as a vScrin spamming double-airfield PACs on Tournament Tower - in other words, doesn't happen. The Stasis Chamber requires a Portal. It also costs 1200 credits, and each Stasis Shield requires another 2000 credits. That's quite a bit when running off a 1-Refinery economy, and the enemy is going to need the money for spamming turrets and the likes near their MCV. They're also unlikely to get a Stasis Chamber first before moving the Drone Ship, since that delays both the Drone Ship move and the Devourer/Corrupter rush a lot. However, if you can see that the rusher has his Drone Platform deployed nearby and isn't spending money on anything, be wary, as that might be a sign of a Stasis Chamber coming up.

Now some words about the nature of Devourer Tanks. It is true that they can deal with most ground units, being able to one-shot Bikes when charged, kite Predators for some time and snipe the mighty Mammoths with their huge range. There is one thing they cannot handle, though - spam. Enough Bikes will be able to one-shot Devourers without giving them a chance to kill all of them. Enough Predators will be able to survive the onslaught of Devourer beams and eventually push them back to the map's border, where they can no longer kite. And with enough Mammoths... you might want to consider switching to Orcas here. Either way, if you give Devourers the chance to pick off single units one at a time, you will lose. If you jump out at them all at once, they're going down quickly. I'm not saying you should ignore your units dying. If you can avoid the Devourers, sure - for example, removing heavily damaged Predators from an advancing tank column - but make sure you kill the Devourers.

There is also the ancient question whether to kill Corrupters or Devourers first. Most of the time, you should concentrate your efforts on the Corrupters and switch to shooting Devourers once the Corrupters are busy, dead, or once you have enough firepower to take down a Devourer faster than the Corrupters can heal it - for example, with overwhelming tank, Bike, or rocket forces.

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Although the rush can be countered by even the craziest strategy, not every strategy is worth the effort.