Blitz Needle at Clockworks

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Understanding Handgun Behavior

Rocket Explosion

Recall when you were at Ironclaw Munitions Factory, you defended an incoming rocket. It hit the shield and exploded. The explosion also hurts unaware party member close to you. Handgun behaves similar to rocket. The bullets either hit an object or reach the maximum range, and exploded. Bullet does not deal damage, but the explosion does. Bullets normally does not destroy Grass, or Puppy's Rocket except either in maximum range or near wall (explode earlier). Hence, Handguns or even all weapons in Spiral Knights does Area of Effect (AoE) damage. The AoE is not necessarily big like Polaris. Blitz Needle bullets explosion is like 50 times smaller than Polaris.

Benefit: If you are capable to kill Zombie in one shot Blitz Needle charge, you are also capable to kill two or three Zombies close to each other by aiming right in the middle of crowd (auto target off). The explosion is not always at the exact position where the bullets disappear. The bullets can disappear in one side of Force Fields but explode at the other side. It also bypass Gremlin Mortafire's shield (not sure on other shield monsters).

Disadvantage: Sometimes the bullet explosion location is behind the location bullets disappear that they can't break blocks or deal damage. Hate Knock Back Blitz Needle AoE is too tiny that even a small knock back on targeted monster would cancel few bullets damage, then you need to re-charge again. The monster get away because of some delay between disappearing bullets and the explosion. Bullets hit the target, however the explosion could not reach monsters. In Blitz Needle case, there will be less damage numbers than it supposed to. (e.g. 6 numbers instead of the usual 15 numbers per charge)

Basic Attack vs Charge Attack

Action List (also works on all types of swords and guns)

  1. Basic Attack: Action → Action → Action and so forth
  2. Small Steps In-Between Attack: hold Action → move a little bit → release Action right before it starts Charging
  3. Shield Cancel Attack: Action → hold Defend → Action (give delay between Action to avoid reload)
  4. Switch Attack: Action → hold Defend → Weapon 2 → Weapon 1 → release Defend → Action
  5. Basic Charge: hold Action
  6. Shield Charge: hold Defend → hold Action → delay → release Defend → release Action → hold Defend
  7. "Running" Shield Charge: hold Defend → hold Action → immediately release Defend but still holding Action → move around freely → tap Defend → release Action → Hold Defend

Animation Cancel done by Defend is a common trick used on action video game (ex: Zero's Saber Dash cancel in Megaman). The short Defend animation cancels out the long animation of other moves. Holding Defend could cut these following: basic attacks, charge, taking minerals, finishing typing invisible tablet (open/close recipe/arsenal window), Reviving, standing up from /sit or other /emote (which I recommend you to exploit).

"Running" Shield Charge is the best move since it gives most freedom movements, while basic attacks stop you mostly.
The comparison on what happening on these actions:

Basic Attack (Action → Action): Longer StanceShoot BulletsShoot BulletsReload
"Running" Shield Charge (above): DefendMove AroundInstant DefendLong, Long ChargeShorter StanceLonger Shoot BulletsReload

Red means stop or stationary.
Blue means movement with penalty (50%).
Green means movement without penalty.

Note: In this video, I keep holding move right while doing action list so that you could see clearly when I could move.

Charge Attack Damage equals to 5 times of Basic Attack Damage

The damage list of Blitz Needle against Wolver at Guild Training Hall tier 3: Charge Attack = 229 * 15 = 3435. Basic Attack = 6 * 110 = 660. Damage comparison = 3435 / 660 = 5.2. Duration time needed for one charge with CTR:Med (from heat level 10) is about two full combo (4 basic attack). Damage comparison = 5.2 / 4 = 1.3. CTR:Max! is about one and half combo (3 shot). Damage comparison = 5.2 / 3 = 1.7. The damage gap difference is even higher with Damage Bonus. It's even higher when using Bullet Explosion feature. ASI made both action faster.

Don't hold Charge too long

Simply because of less dps (damage per second). You could release charge as soon as you find a safe position. Ex: you are waiting a good position to kill Trojan. You hold charge more than 10 seconds because it was far away. In the other case, you could release charge and kill one - two Zombies, and recharge again for Trojan within the same 10 seconds duration.

Bullets triggers Dodge

Few types of monsters, Chromalisk, Thwacker, Mender, Demo, Devilite and Wolver, have dodge ability when bullets come near. Both Basic Attacks and Charge initiates dodge however Charge is better. Monsters have slower response on charge (I think it's) because of shorter stance before actually shooting bullets. The charge bullets can also flinch monster and stop their dodge animation.

General Info about Monsters

Monster's Target Priority

  1. The most damage dealer within Monster's sight range. The non-damage type like mist bomb's status effect, and damage absorbed by shield (Trojan etc) also counts. Most of the time Monsters target mist bomber until get high damage from others.
  2. The first damage dealer when two or more players deal the same damage.
  3. The nearest when no damage applied.

Monster "special" abilities

  • Zombie's Lunge, Trojan's Charge and Sword Slam require the target (close to) stationary/stop. It does not need to be long time, but only a split second is enough. Keep moving prevents the monsters to use these attacks.
  • Most Monsters can't keep track the target after they charge. They will attack in the same position the target was even though the target moved. Few monsters exception are Devilites, Mecha Knights/Phantom/Almirian Crusader, Greaver, Snarbolax's Bite, Oiler (Oiler doesn't track but it slides and makes curve-path attack).
  • Mecha Knight/Phantom/Almirian Crusader's Charge Attack could be cancelled by Shock or Stun Status Effect.
  • All Monster attacks have cool down, idle time needed to use another attack. Some attacks has longer cool down than others, Trojan/Vanaduke's Charge (not followed by Sword Slam), Vanaduke's Fire Snake, Greaver's Attack, etc.

Dealing with Monsters

Versus One Monster

The safest way to kill monsters is either:

  1. Trigger Monster attack (to enforce cool down), dodge, and attack back. You don't need to wait monster finishing attack. You could attack immediately when on the safe position.
  2. Trigger Monster attack, and interrupt to cancel their attack. To interrupt, you need to flinch the monster. (explanation later)

Versus Multiple Monsters

The strategy is the same as above but you need to take attention more than one monster. You probably need to trigger attack most of the monsters. Also, you should exploit Bullet Explosion feature. On zombie swarm, mostly you need to care on first 2 nearest Zombies. These 2 could hurt you while the other Zombies would be blocked by these 2 Zombies. The safest way on Monsters group is keeping your position outside the group, only approach with powerful (charge) attack and keep away. You would have hard time when Monsters comes at you on both opposites sides.


Monsters could be flinched by final swing (swords) and charge attack, not first swings. Charge attack has slightly stronger effect. Handgun normally doesn't have final swing except Pulsar's expanded bullets and Magnus line. Alchemer has disadvantage since only initial charge bullet counts, not ricochets. But Blitz Needle is the most powerful because all 15 charge bullets counts. Bombs only have the charge attacks. The more members in a party and the deeper the depth, the harder it is to flinch the monster. Shadow Lair monsters is also harder. Based on depth 25+ (vanguard prestige missions and FSC exclude Shadow Lair) and 4 party member, I categorize monsters flinched by:

  • Poke any attacks including resistant, vial/pot throwing.
The category shouldn't exist but some monster abilities could be interrupted by poke such as Scuttlebot's Bullets, Devilite's Throw Projectiles, Greaver's Attack, Oiler/Quicksilver/Toxigel's Tackle, Wolver's Bark, Zombie's Breath and Stunned Snarbolax.
Note that Devilite, Scuttlebot, Greaver and Oiler has only this attack. One good strategy is to keep spamming attack on them.
Monster Types: Chromalisk, Wolver except Alpha, Puppy, Devilite, Trojan, Gremlin, Jelly except Rock, Royal and Tier 3 Jelly at RJP, Lichen except Colony, Kat, Deadnaught.
  • Moderate full combo at medium damage bonus or final swing/charge attack at max! damage bonus, and must be the correct damage type. (ex: elemental against Zombie)
Full combo is either the regular basic attacks or charge attack → first swing → final swing combo. This category is the main reason why newbie having hard times. Ex: A player wearing Vog Cub set with no damage bonus joins in 4 members party. He always finishes combo but still got hurt by Zombies that charge their attack before. Even worse, he use shield bump after finishing combo that throws Zombies while they are attacking. In this case, Zombie acquired the new move, Back-Dashing Swipe instead of plain Swipe that can hurt teammate on the path.
Monster types: Alpha Wolver, Lumber, Mecha Knight, Retrode, Devilite Overtimer, Rock Jelly, Lichen Colony, Phantom, Zombie, Almirian Crusader, Royal Jelly.

Note: monsters would recover from the latest flinch. This means Trojan/Deadnaught can escape from one-shot-kill Blitz Needle charge when other player sword charge at them. On Blitz Needle point of view, these categories only means different amount of charge bullets. I need about 4 - 6 charge bullets to flinch Zombie.

Conclusion: Blitz Needle only, Proto Solo at Firestorm Citadel

These videos are to summarize this wiki page in hope that you could do similar challenge after learning all of these. I used bullet exposion feature many times for double kill, used both dodge and interruption strategies especially to interrupt Oiler and Blast Cube (each attack make my heart skip, cries), I tried to target both 2 nearest Zombies within one charge, and I always use shield cancel. I also wanted to point out that ASI, CTR and Damage UV is not mandatory. I skipped Depth 28 since someone have uploaded better challenge and game play. You can type "proto solo" at youtube search bar to look up his video.

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