Most heroes have to flee powerful crowd control abilities. Most heroes live in fear of being stunned, silenced or otherwise slowed. But not Gwen. Gwen can shake off negative effects, turning the tables in her favor due to her powerful Skedaddle ability. This “get out of jail” free card gives her a way to slip away from slows, roots, stuns and silences that no other hero possesses. Plus, her two blazing guns provide a perfect complement to her hit-and-run tactics. With her Buckshot Bonanza, she has one of the most reliable damage-dealing abilities in the game that also slows opponents — perfect for setting up the kill or ensuring her own escape. While not possessing the greatest range, Gwen has an intriguing mix of mobility and power. Read on to learn how to master this slippery sniper…
BOOMSTICK (HEROIC PERK)
After not attacking for 1.6 seconds, Gwen’s next basic attack deals 30-115 + (50% bonus weapon power) additional damage. Attack speed reduces the time before this empowered attack becomes available.
BUCKSHOT BONANZA (A)
Gwen blasts enemies in the target direction, damaging all targets in a cone. Enemies hit by this ability are slowed and revealed for 2 seconds
When activated, Gwen instantly removes negative effects from herself and blocks further effects for a short time. Additionally, she gains a temporary burst of bonus move speed.
Passive: Gwen gains bonus move speed. This effect is disabled for a few seconds upon taking damage from an enemy hero, but it is otherwise permanent.
ACES HIGH (ULTIMATE)
Gwen pulls an ace from up her sleeve and flings it in the target direction. The card deals damage to everything it passes through. The ace impacts and stuns the first enemy hero in its path.
While Boomstick is a great heroic perk, when engaging with enemy heroes 1v1, you’ll actually do more damage stutter stepping. But, if you find yourself on the losing end of a battle, don’t stutter step in your retreat. Instead, wait for Boomstick to cool down, fire — and then run.
Her Buckshot Bonanza is one of the most reliable abilities in the game because of its large area of effect and guaranteed damage. But her range is somewhat limited. When you initiate against an enemy hero, you should get in range and attack with Buckshot Bonanza, which both damages and slows enemies. Then, Gwen should hit with her Aces High while the enemies are still slowed. While a powerful ability, Aces High is a slow-travelling projectile and therefore dodgeable. Combined with the slowing effects of the Bonanza, however, you increase the odds of actually hitting with Aces High.
Skedaddle is fantastic for getting a player out of bad situations by clearing CC debuffs and granting her a half-second immunity from further crowd controls (being rooted, slowed or silenced). She can also use Skedaddle to chase down enemies in order to finish them off. But be careful not to use Skedaddle and leave yourself in a vulnerable position. Without an escape route, Gwen can become a sitting duck.
Gwen is a fragile character who prefers to be on the edge of a fight. Her Skedaddle has a long cooldown so it should really only be used in emergencies and to deal with major enemy crowd control.
Similar to her dueling strategy, Gwen players should use her Buckshot Bonanza + Aces High combo to secure a kill on the enemy carry. Alternatively, you can use this combo to peel for yourself. If you need to do more damage, you should stutter step. But if you need to be more mobile, utilize your Boomstick perk. If you’re using this latter strategy, then it’s recommended that you buy as much weapon damage as possible; stutter stepping will give you more constant damage output but being able to unleash a more potent attack every few seconds does have its benefits.
Let’s say you’re in a 1v2 situation not in your favor. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of your heroic perk. Stay mobile and fire back once the perk is ready. Once they’ve utilized a crowd control move on you, use your Skedaddle to escape. Alternatively, if you have vision, you can avoid an unfavorable fight entirely by using Skedaddle and heading back toward your turret.
If you’re part of a 2v1 scenario in your favor, then the same basic-attack principles for dueling and teamfighting apply: Use your Buckshot Bonanza to slow, your Aces High to stun and your Skedaddle to negate any slowing effects an escaping hero may throw at you.
While not recommended, Gwen can also build crystal items. Crystal items give her longer range but also a much slower rate of attack. Crystal Gwen strategies take advantage of her high movement speed and — through purchasing items such as Clockwork — the low cooldowns on her abilities. Essentially, Gwen’s approach to teamfighting is to stay far out and then run in and use her Bonanza to catch as many enemies as possible. After that, a Crystal Gwen should use her Aces High, and then Skedaddle away and out of range of retaliation. The benefits of this strategy is how well this utilizes her speed bonuses and the reliable and long-range damage-dealing abilities of her kit. The downside is that Gwen will be much less effective in sustained fights, so if she gets caught by Phinn’s anchor or some other enemy-slowing effect, she’s dead meat. Also, her heroic perk, arguably one of her best attributes, scales with weapon. It’s useful for last-hitting minions but with a CP build, it’s not going to help in the late game.
Sorrowblade: A great pick for Gwen because it increases her base damage and scales with her perk.
Breaking Point: An item that offers more weapon damage over time and grants Gwen more attack speed. Plus, Buckshot Bonanza does weapon damage which gives you easy Breaking Point stacks.
Tyrant’s Monocle: Want more damage per second? Then look no further than Tyrant’s Monocle. If you critical hit with your initial hit, you’ll have a very strong burst opening. Unfortunately, perk damage is not being amplified by critical damage.
Bonesaw: If your enemy has a lot of armor, Bonesaw is a great choice. Plus, it will lower the cooldown on your heroic perk.
Aegis: Since Gwen is fragile, having a reflex block is exceptionally useful.
Ardan: Ardan’s ultimate is easily countered by Gwen’s Skedaddle, letting you walk through the gauntlet.
Krul: Gwen can get away from his heroic perk or his ultimate but not necessarily both. With her Buckshot Bonanza, she can also slow him.
Catherine: Gwen’s Skedaddle ensures she can’t be held down by Catherine’s silence or stun.
Ozo: Ozo has too many ways to close the gap between him and Gwen. He also has no abilities that her Skedaddle counters.
Reim: Reim’s abilities at maximum rank have too much range for her to contend with. Baron, similarly, has too much range for her to handle.
- Skedaddle gives you a move speed boost so long as you’re not being hit by enemies. So, you can use it to move to objectives faster.
- Her Buckshot Bonanza ability will reveal stealth. If you want to check bushes, why not fire and see what stumbles out?
- Hitting multiple heroes with Buckshot Bonanza will give you multiple Breaking Point stacks. So Breaking Point should be a high priority for nearly all Gwen builds.