Picking and Playing Lucio

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As the second support on the current roster, the beat master is always ready to lay down some funky tunes.  There is a big divide between merely average Lucio players and exceptional ones.  With multiple tools at his disposal, Lucio provides a level of utility to a team that is second to none.  He fits in almost every team, almost every map, almost all the time.  The most flexible of supports, he can skate around and provide a lot of different assets to a team when played correctly.  Let’s discuss teams Lucio fits into best, as well as maps that are great for him, and what kind of things he struggles against, before finishing with a short list of tips that players can employ immediately to amp up (pun intended) their play.

 

Comps for Lucio

First we will discuss teams Lucio likes to play on.  First, he synergizes well with short range heroes such as Roadhog, Reaper, and Reinhardt, because of his speed boost.  As the only ability of its kind in the game, Lucio’s boost empowers his allies with double their regular movement speed, so brawlers can get up close and personal with the enemy team before they have time to back away.  Because of his supreme flexibility, Lucio prefers to be a secondary healer, especially on teams with two tanks, as Lucio’s healing is the lowest per-second of all supports at 12.5 health per second, and he can struggle to keep low-health allies alive in risky situations, even with his healing song boosted.

Because of Lucio’s ult, he is extremely strong against heroes who have burst ultimates, such as Junkrat or Pharah.  Do not bother using your ultimate against an enemy D.Va’s Self Destruct, because the Sound Barrier is only 500 hit points, but Self Destruct inflicts 1000 and is not lessened by distance.  Anyone hit by the damage from her ultimate will not be saved by your ultimate.  Lucio also pairs well with heroes who have channeled DPS ults such as Pharah, Soldier: 76, and especially Genji.  Sound Barrier helps these relatively squishy heroes to channel their ultimates safely and get full use out of them.

 

Map Selection

Lucio is best on Point and King of the Hill maps.  These game modes are the most focused on team initiation, which is where Lucio shines through proper use of his Amp it Up and Sound Barrier.  Each point capture map has at least one choke point that attackers can struggle to break through.  Both on attack and defense, Lucio provides a lot of teamfight utility on either side of the choke point.  For example, Hanamura Point A has the infamous gate choke point.  This is a defender’s dream, as there is only one other entrance to the courtyard other than the large gates, and even that is right next to the choke point!  With his speed boost, Lucio can get his team through the choke and into the building on the right side for cover, or perhaps straight in onto an annoying Bastion posted up in the courtyard.  Further, King of the Hill maps have the most cliffs and areas where players can fall to their death.  As Lucio has the strongest “boop” ability in his alternate fire Soundwave currently in the game, with the possibility of being tied with Pharah, Lucio is a strong pick to control these areas simply from the area denial he provides near cliffs.

Lucio is less useful on payload maps, which are often continuous, skirmish-type fights, as it can be a difficult decision as to when to use Amp it Up or Sound Barrier.  Players not extremely confident on Lucio can struggle to provide their team with effective use of his kit in these situations.  That said, if you can correctly decide when to use Amp it Up, as well as have the observation and prediction skills to preemptively ult against an enemy initiation, Lucio can be a great pick even on a payload map.  The bottom line is simply that Lucio’s kit is so flexible and versatile, he ultimately can play well on any map and on virtually any team.

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Quick Tips

  1. Alternate between songs while using Amp it Up for a quick burst of speed before topping your allies’ HP off. Use Amp it up while on speed song to energize your allies for a quick second before swapping over to healing song for the burst heal.  A half-second less healing is not really noticeable in terms of life-or-death, but a quick moment of double movement speed could be.
  2. Pay more attention to allied health and positioning to maximize your songs than to doing DPS.  Although Lucio has good DPS with his weapon, ultimately you are a support, so you should always be making sure your teammates are safe before aiming potshots downrange.
  3. Communicate when you are about to ult.  This is key, especially when playing with an allied Zenyatta.  If you both ult at the same time, it’s a huge waste.  Take a moment at the beginning of the game to communicate with your Zenyatta, and ask him to wait for you to ult and for most of the barrier to wear off before he ults, and then communicate during the game when you are preparing to use your ultimate.
  4. Right before you ult, use Amp it Up, so that you can ult while your team charges in.  While you are Amped Up, your team should be moving through a choke or into an initiation.  Amping up before ulting allows your teammates to begin using their ultimates before the enemy team has a chance to use theirs, and hopefully by the time they begin reacting, you will have already dropped the Sound Barrier.
  5. Consider swapping to Lucio from another support when you find yourself constantly dying.  With the mobility tools at his disposal in the form of wall riding and speed boosts, as well as the protection from his ultimate and his alternate fire, Lucio is easily the most survivable support in the game.  If you are playing another support and are struggling to keep yourself alive, especially in solo play where team coordination is lower than in premades, swap to Lucio, even if you feel like you can play another support better.  You will contribute to your team much more simply by being alive as a hero you aren’t as good at, than dead as your main support.

 

Hopefully, this guide has enlightened you about what team to play Lucio on, as well as some things you can do today to improve your play, and become the world-renowned DJ you were always meant to be!  Rock on, my friends.  Rock on.

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