My badging strategy

JayZJayZ Member Posts: 3,675
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Lasted edited June 18 to add some new thoughts.
I frequently see a lot of posts on the forums about how to badge certain survivors. I also get a lot of questions from guildmates, so I'm going to share my thoughts here so that I never have to retype this
In general, my strategy with badges is to (1) enhance the strongest aspects of survivors, and (2) allow my survivors to survive at high levels which means maxing out damage reduction at 80% between your gear, badges, and survivor traits.
I have three categories of badges:
1. Defensive badging to create a tank: 3 damage reduction, 3 health
2. Offensive badging to create a killer: 3 damage, 3 critical damage
3. Balanced badging for the toughest missions: 3 damage, 2-3 damage reduction, 0-1 health (if you can get 75-80% damage reduction with only 2 DR badges, then slap on a health badge to add some bulk)
Here is how I badge (and use) my survivors. Keep in mind that I'm an end gamer that regularly plays to RSL37-38 and finish the Distance every time, which is what motivates my badging strategy.
Scouts: I use both balanced and offensive badging.
- Scouts with Strong/Ruthless/Power Strike are great to badge offensively in order to build up massive charged attacks.
- Scouts with Iron Skin/Retaliate (e.g., Gabriel) are great to badge in a balanced manner. These are the Scouts that I use with Michonne on high levels as threat reducers.
- Survivalist Rick is a stud, and can be badged either way. I originally badged him offensively and enjoyed the 150k+ critical damage on a charged attack. However, I realized I don't NEED him to deal that much damage, so I switched to balanced badging. However, now that I'm getting to the 40s in the challenge, I have again found that I do actually need huge damage output from him, so I'm back to offensive.
- Huntsman Daryl can also go either way. Similar to Rick, he was originally defensive for me but is now full offense. This depends a lot on how far you go in challenges. Up to 40, balanced Daryl will help save you a star or two. After 40, you need more firepower, so you should go full offense.
- Carol is a great Scout to go full offense because she has extraordinarily high base damage, but she needs her traits to be rerolled to be more useful.
- Top heroes that I like to badge (in order): Survivalist Rick, Huntsman Daryl, Gabriel, Carol (with rerolled traits)
Bruiser: Defensive badging all the way.
- Maybe with the release of the new special Bruiser weapon, there could be a case for balanced badging. However, Bruiser damage is currently so low that it's more important to take hits and stun.
- In some cases, not killing Z's is better on some maps where you have to open a gate and escape. If you can stun a circle of walkers around your survivors, then newly spawning walkers can't reach you.
- Top heroes that I like to badge (in order): Riot Gear Glenn, Morgan, Eugene
Warriors: I prefer balanced badging on my Warriors, but offensive badging is starting to be more useful.
- Because Warriors are on the front line and don't have a ranged weapon like the Pitchfork for Scouts or an escape mechanism like Swift Strike, you'll want them to be able to deal damage but also take hits.
- Update: With the release of the Chainsaw and the Dragon's Tongue, there are useful cases for going full offense with Warriors.
- Top heroes that I like to badge (in order): Michonne, Jesus
Assaults: Either balanced or defensive badging is best for Assaults.
- With the recent boosts to melee survivors, Assaults are best used for their ability to stun.
- Assaults have a high base health compared to other ranged survivors, so use them to stun and to take hits on high levels when you are playing with all ranged teams.
- Assault damage is too low to make it worth using Critical Damage badges. Their charged move is also NOT a guaranteed critical attack, so it's even less worth it.
- For farming and grinding out low levels, balanced badging is nice. At high levels, go full defensive.
- Top heroes that I like to badge (in order): Abe, Rosita, Rufus
Shooters/Hunters: Offensive badging, with a few exceptions.
- Shooters and Hunters have a guaranteed critical attack on their charged attacks, so enhance that damage with badges and Ruthless armors.
- Shooters and Hunters don't have enough health to withstand too many attacks. It's not worth trying to maximize their damage reduction.
- Sasha is a notable exception. Because Sasha's leader trait is so useful in so many different situations, some people like to give her a balanced badge set. Like Rick, I previously used a balanced badge set on Sasha but am finding that the increased damage is more valuable at the highest levels where she gets into one-hit struggles regardless of how much DR she has.
- I also like to give one Shooter and Hunter a balanced badge set for Guild Wars and maps with ranged Freemen. Personally, I prefer Merle and Dwight for this. Both of them already have a great set of traits for PvP (Iron Skin, Retaliate, Bullet Dodge), so I badge them for the purpose of using them against human enemies.
- Tara is the lone exception. She is a good candidate to go with full defensive badges to be used with Bruisers.
- Top Hunter heroes that I like to badge (in order): Sasha, Dwight, Daryl
- Top Shooter heroes that I like to badge (in order): Aaron, Maggie, Tara, Merle
As you can see, Critical Chance badges are the least desirable. However, with the introduction of the melee Razor trait, they may have a more viable role in high level combat than they previously did.
As always, you can see my badges and survivors in action on my Youtube channel. I upload videos for almost every challenge, so feel free to subscribe and watch videos for strategy tips:
Hope this helps you and your guildmates. I'd love to see if people have drastically different strategies with their badges.

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