Ideal survivor and hero traits

JayZJayZ Member Posts: 3,675
Last updated: November 4, 2019

Okay everyone! Now that we have the nifty ability to reroll traits, I'm sure a lot of us are thinking about how we can buff our survivors and heroes. I previously posted a badging strategy guide (click here) that people seemed to like, so I'm going to try something similar for survivor traits. I am primarily viewing this from the perspective of high-level Distance and Challenge play (NOT Outpost or Guild Wars), so more PvZ than PvP combat.

Without further ado, my thoughts are below. I categorized traits into three groups and ordered traits from most valuable to least valuable within each group. I also provided a brief description of how I primarily use each class.

Hunters: light things on fire and weaken/kill lines of walkers. Great to use with Sasha.
- Must-have traits: Marksman, Revenge, Ruthless, Lucky, Critical Aim
- Nice-to-have traits: Vigilant, Sure Shot
- Useless traits: Retaliate, Dodge, Iron Skin, Defensive Stance, Bullet Dodge

Assaults: stun large groups of walkers. Great to use with Sasha.
- Must-have traits: Revenge, Retaliate, Iron Skin, Lucky, Dodge
- Nice-to-have traits: Marksman
- Useless traits: Defensive Stance, Ruthless, Sure Shot, Vigilant, Bullet Dodge

Shooters: deal massive amounts of critical damage to targets from a safe distance. Great to use with Sasha, but also the most versatile of the ranged survivors because the Winter Bow allows you to pair them with melee survivors.
- Must-have traits: Marksman, Revenge, Ruthless, Lucky
- Nice-to-have traits: Sure Shot, Vigilant, Critical Aim
- Useless traits: Retaliate, Dodge, Iron Skin, Defensive Stance, Bullet Dodge

Bruisers: stun walkers and absorb damage. Must-have survivors beyond RSL40.
- Must-have traits: Punish, Retaliate, Iron Skin, Dodge, Lucky
- Nice-to-have traits: Defensive Stance
- Useless traits: Power Strike, Strong, Vigilant, Ruthless, Follow Through, Bullet Dodge

Warriors: weaken large groups of zombies, perform crowd control, and take some hits. TBH, probably my least favorite survivor class.
- Must-have traits: Retaliate, Iron Skin, Strong, Power Strike
- Nice-to-have traits: Dodge, Ruthless, Lucky
- Useless traits: Follow Through, Vigilant, Defensive Stance, Bullet Dodge

Scouts (threat reduction): be able to take a few hits and primarily focus on killing normal walkers to reduce threats. I treat Huntsman Daryl as this type of Scout.
- Must-have traits: Iron Skin, Lucky, Strong, Dodge
- Nice-to-have traits: Retaliate, Ruthless, Power Strike
- Useless traits: Follow Through, Vigilant, Defensive Stance, Bullet Dodge

Scouts (crit damage): fuck up all anything that moves with massive amounts of crit damage (glass cannons). Pair with Bruisers which can better absorb damage.
- Must-have traits: Power Strike, Ruthless, Strong
- Nice-to-have traits: Vigilant, Lucky, Follow Through
- Useless traits: Retaliate, Dodge, Iron Skin, Defensive Stance, Bullet Dodge

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. There are a ton of amazing players on these boards, so I welcome your thoughts as well!
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  • WellyLugaWellyLuga Member Posts: 2,814
    Fantastic work as always! @JayZ. I especially liked the crit damage scout description :lol:

    I know you haven't mentioned follow through for the above reasons but you missed out retaliate which is now available for ranged survivors. Personally, this is my most sought after trait for Abraham :smile:
  • FirekidFirekid Member Posts: 2,812
    Thanks @JayZ for taking the time to do this. Nice little quick reference guide!
  • ReeconnReeconn Member Posts: 540
    Brilliant , thats bookmarked for future references
  • JayZJayZ Member Posts: 3,675
    Hey! Great reminder. Thanks @WellyLuga. I'm still behind on the new traits, as you can tell. Retaliate has been added for Assaults to the "Must-have" category and for Shooters and Hunters to the "Useless" category.
  • BiggsDarkLighterBiggsDarkLighter Member Posts: 47
    Awesome thanks for sharing
    Amazons (Dazzler)
  • JankelJankel Member Posts: 255
    @Jayz and @WellyLuga just for the record, here is an example of Retaliate and Revenge on a survivor

  • JayZJayZ Member Posts: 3,675
    WellyLuga said:

    JayZ said:

    Hey! Great reminder. Thanks @WellyLuga. I'm still behind on the new traits, as you can tell. Retaliate has been added for Assaults to the "Must-have" category and for Shooters and Hunters to the "Useless" category.

    Nice! It will be interesting to see how having two assaults with revenge and retaliate will work. Something like this I imagine :lol:

    It'll certainly be great for Archives and Kill Room!
  • JasonZJasonZ Member Posts: 34
    Great information. Thanks for sharing it. Anyone have suggestions on where to focus first with the trait reroll? I have all heroes at gold level with the exception of the new ones. I play every day, but I think it’s going to take a while to get enough reroll tokens saved up. Which hero/trait should I try to replace first?
  • FirekidFirekid Member Posts: 2,812
    Brusier Morgan’s vigilant for punish or retaliate.
  • JayZJayZ Member Posts: 3,675
    Agreed with @Firekid. If Morgan gets Retaliate and Punish and then two of: Lucky/Dodge/Iron Skin, he will be the single best hero in the game.
  • RML_MCFCRML_MCFC Member Posts: 29
    @JayZ can you explain why Morgan would be better than RGG?

    If you change RGG strong for dodge/lucky you have the list of traits you have given.

    I’m trying to work out who to make my main hero in each class for badging etc.
  • Danski_46Danski_46 Member Posts: 1,096
    I wouldn't call ruthless a useless trait on assaults, mine does big damage on a charge attack.
  • RML_MCFCRML_MCFC Member Posts: 29
    Thanks @WellyLuga I will make Morgan my main bruiser
  • RML_MCFCRML_MCFC Member Posts: 29
    @Danski_46 I would agree with @JayZ because assault charge attacks stun so nullify any threat and so extra damage is not important.
    Same reason for strong being useless on bruisers
  • RML_MCFCRML_MCFC Member Posts: 29
    @JayZ @WellyLuga @Firekid
    You guys have a great knowledge of the game and post excellent info on here, thanks.

    I was wondering if you could help me, I’m trying to pick a best hero in each class, to focus on for badging and tokens.
    So far I’m thinking:

    Definitely Michonne.
    She has great base stats, 4 great traits, and excellent leader trait. On lead with a scout SS kingdom spear and winter bow shooter is the perfect scavenge team.
    No re-roll needed.

    His leader trait is excellent for all ranged teams.
    He has 3 must have traits.
    Need to change defensive stance for retaliate/revenge.

    Morgan (thanks to this thread)
    His leader trait puts him ahead of negan and Glenn.
    Need to change defensive stance and vigilant for retaliate and punish.

    I’m thinking Gabriel. (Not sure)
    His leader trait adds lucky and dodge to his traits.
    Need to change power strike for strong/lucky.

    Not sure here, think it’s between Aaron and Maggie.
    Aaron has 4 great traits already and a useful leader trait, but Maggie seems to have a much higher base damage??
    Aaron no changes
    Maggie change defensive stance for marksman.

    No idea!!
    I see a lot of people raving about Sasha, but daryls 30% critical chance on every shot seems more appealing than 30% chance of a charge point on body shots??
    Sasha seems to have better base damage and needs less changes. Is Morgan an option? I’m really lost on this one.

    Any insights would be greatly appreciated
  • FirekidFirekid Member Posts: 2,812
    For scouts you have two approaches. Glass cannon power house which is survivalist rick and no changes needed. Then you have a well rounded threat reduction scout which would be Hunstman Daryl or Gabe. With gabe you could double up his luck by removing powerstrike.
  • FirekidFirekid Member Posts: 2,812
    Hunters I’d go Sasha and swap vigilant for revenge. Daryls trait sounds good on paper but when you get to +5 RSL it becomes almost redundant as you can’t get a crit hit on a body shot and all hits (if piercing doesn’t kick in) are bodyshots at that leve. Sasha is 30% per bodyshot for a charge so if you give her a weapon with wide without piercing at +5 and and hit 5-6 walkers you’ll get a charge point or 2. It’s invaluable.
  • RML_MCFCRML_MCFC Member Posts: 29
    Thanks @Firekid that’s great.
    For scout I’m looking for the well rounded threat reduction approach so I’ll go for gabe.

    At the moment I don’t go to +5 RSL but I guess when I make the switch to hard mode distance Sasha will be the best. (What level of survivor do you guys think I should be making that switch at?)

    Any thoughts on shooters?
  • FirekidFirekid Member Posts: 2,812
    Yeah gabe was my go to scout before SR and HD now it’s HD for his extra prowl attack. You are pretty spot on for your description of shooter hero’s. I have both of them badged up similarly. Damage and crit damage only. Will be swapping maggies def stance for lucky when I get the chance.

    Note that these are all my opinion and based on going past +5
  • WellyLugaWellyLuga Member Posts: 2,814
    Yep, nothing much more for me to add there. @Firekid has it covered. Gabe and Rick are the two best scouts IMO.

    For shooters I think Aaron has the best traits and highest damage potential in the game and Maggie has an interesting leader trait, a bit situational though.

    As for hunters yes, Sasha is still queen I think. Although if NG does something with piercing or buffs ranged in a similar way then I'm going to throw Hunter Morgan into the mix :smiley:
  • JayZJayZ Member Posts: 3,675
    Agreed with all of the above!

    Morgan's leader trait makes him a better Bruiser than Glenn. Glenn has a one-shot bonus, while Morgan's will last the entire round. You just need to do a bit more to get Morgan to have the right combination of traits, so he's more expensive. But even without Retaliate or Punish, Morgan is already excellent.

    Rick and Daryl are the best Scouts and should be the focus of your badging. However, Gabe is an excellent third Scout, which is very necessary on some maps. He has the perfect traits for a threat reduction Scout, and I would probably go with Strong because he already has pretty great lucky/dodging bonuses.

    Sasha has a great leader trait and used to be the best hero before the recent buffs to melee and the new heroes. I would go with her.

    On all of my ranged survivors, I like having Revenge. Getting an extra attack is super valuable.
  • JediMasterYodaJediMasterYoda Member Posts: 88
    @JayZ Thank you!
    Do you have a similar post for weapons and ammo?

    GutsAndGlory Leader
  • GrendelGrendel Member Posts: 305
    JayZ said:

    Bruisers: stun walkers and absorb damage. Must-have survivors beyond RSL40.
    - Must-have traits: Punish, Retaliate, Iron Skin, Dodge, Lucky
    - Nice-to-have traits: Defensive Stance
    - Useless traits: Power Strike, Strong, Vigilant, Ruthless, Bullet Dodge

    Thanks for all the work you put into this.

    I'm curious why you feel Defensive Stance is nice to have? Aren't bruisers normally maxed out on Damage Reduction, making Defensive Stance useless?
  • GrendelGrendel Member Posts: 305
    I need someone to sell me on the Lucky/Dodge combination.

    With Level 6 Traits, Lucky and Dodge combine to give you about a 20% chance to dodge an attack. Is that worth using two trait slots? If you tack on another gold Lucky from gear, it comes up to about 22%.

    If you filled those two traits with Ruthless (+29% total damage at L6 for charge attacks) and Power Strike (+43% final damage / critical chance), you have the potential to greatly increase your damage.

    I'm thinking definite extra damage may be more valuable than the potential dodge. Walkers dropping faster means fewer attacks/hits. So would I rather have a 20-22% chance to dodge an attack or 25-50% fewer walker attacks overall?

    (I currently use Morgan as leader, RG Glenn, and either Scout Daryl or Scout Rick in Challenge; I normally get to Difficulty 40.)
  • jimmorrison369jimmorrison369 Member Posts: 2,062
    @Grendel .
    If it takes longer to kill your walker doesn't necessarily mean you get an equal amount more hits.

    Especially when talking about bruisers, you can get through lvl 40 missions with 3 stars. Not because you've killed the walkers faster, its because the 1 or 2 hits you did get got weakened by dodge and or hazard suit. The rest of the time it can be a dance of stunning, poking, blocking and funneling etc...

    Your point is not invalid, but my bruiser will take forever to kill high level walkers.
    With or without some extra damage. It's more important to prevent the hits and absorb those you do get best you can.
    I believe that most situations need a bruiser that can take the most damage in stead of giving it.

  • FirekidFirekid Member Posts: 2,812
    Don’t forget that lucky will also increase your chances of starting charged or gaining charges with Morgan, along with concussing enemies for 2 turns. Also “dodging” and attack from a high level walker is about 50% less damage taken then if you are 80% damage reduction it’s almost like not being hit at all and makes a massive difference. Combine that with hazard suit and you find that Morgan can be an absolute tank! Can’t wait to get punish and retaliate on him!
    If you are talking about scouts or long range then I agree dodge isn’t as useful.
  • FirekidFirekid Member Posts: 2,812
    Here’s one for people, would you swap Aaron’s lucky for revenge? Lucky seems to be a bit of a wasted trait on him. I also seem to remember that his leader trait would still be in effect during the walkers turn? So his revenge could be 44% more damaging?
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