Halo Wars 2 latest new content brought a new character leader with it. Serina is here! She is the AI from Halo Wars 1 but here… she is an ice AI. That’s right, she just might be a bit too… cool (We see you laughing).

When we first knew that it was Serina we only wondered what she would bring to the game. Maybe a new concept or just crazy abilities. She brought both! She also has new units as well. These new units are Cryo troopers, Frost ravens and the hero unit Bison. All three are capable of freezing enemy units. How this works is that as they attack the enemy a meter appears under their health and it fills up. When that meter gets full, that enemy unit is frozen and cannot attack or move. If you shatter a frozen unit though, they will take a large amount of extra damage. This applies for both enemy units and structures. 

Now Cryo Troopers are exactly the same as Hell bringers but instead shoot ice. They are good against infantry and structures. Frost ravens are basically ice nightingales that don’t heal but shoot a beam of ice to freeze enemies. They also come a with a missile that does damage but better used to shatter frozen enemies. The hero unit Bison is a strong, shielded vehicle that launches ice grenades (or bombs whatever) at all enemy unit types, doing good damage. The attacks help to freeze the enemy units as well. Once upgraded the Bison can create a field of chill aura once planted. By the way, chill auras  and effects basically slows enemy units down and slowly freezes them meaning movement is harder and if they stay there too long they will be completely frozen and susceptible to being shattered. Bison has both interesting offense and defense.

Serina’s leader powers are very interesting and what gets things rolling.

  • ‘Ice Barrier’ allows you to drop in giant blocks of ice which blocks enemies but also have a chilling effect so slow down enemies and can freeze over time.
  • ‘Cryogenic detonator’ is basically the  cloaked mines which do damage but freezes or chills enemies.
  • ‘Cryotech advances’ grants all Cryo troopers, turrets and power nodes chill auras. Kodiaks and siege turret rounds also chill enemy units.
  • ‘Frostraven’ unlocks the Frostravens to be built at your base.
  • ‘Seismic blast’ allows you to shatter frozen enemies in a selected area for huge damage.
  • ‘Restoration drones’ which we all know and love for their healing goodness.
  • ‘Cryobomb’ which just like in Halo Wars 1 drops a bomb to freeze enemy units.
  • ‘Turret drop’ as usual drops a turret which fires on any enemy unit.
  • ‘Cryo drop’ which fires down three seismic blasts and drops in 2 Cryo troopers, 2 scorpion tanks and 1 frostraven
  • ‘Glacial storm’ lets you drop in a huge cryogenic charge which creates a long lasting ice storm that chills enemy units over time.


Now if you are quite strategic then you would have come up with some ideas and combinations right now concerning her leader powers. You could get a good amount of Cryo troopers equipped with Cryotech advances, call in a Glacial storm but trap the enemy army with ice barrier, land cryo bomb on any high priority units by this time most are weak or frozen so drop the seismic blast to ruin the entire army. There is quite a bit you can do.

Serina is a very good addition to Halo Wars 2. She brings a whole new concept and shakes things up. When there is a Serina on the enemy team you know that you can’t keep your staying still for too long. You have to spread out a bit. What happens if Serina fights Kinsano? Ice vs fire. Interesting. Overall she is fun to use and with more practice, will figure out her true power.

Halo Wars 2 is at it again. We must say though that the developers are doing an awesome job so far in bringing us new content, which is actually good and charging us at reasonable prices. Great Job 343 Industries and Creative Assembly. The newest character leaders are The Arbiter and Spartan Jerome.

So many gamers where looking forward to these two leaders and boy do they deliver. Both of these new Halo Wars 2 leader function very differently from all the others, which isn’t an easy to do while keeping everything balanced. 

The Arbiter is definitely more focused on his stasis leader powers. He has regular stasis and also mass stasis which is just stasis but on a larger scale. Basically if you use stasis on enemies their units can’t move or attack but cannot be harmed. So it buys you time. Time to escape or time to attack turrets first or destroy a base and they have no choice but to watch. If you use stasis on your own units then they can’t move or attack either but also become invincible. Use this to survive an eradication power from Atriox or keep your army alive until your team mates can show up etc. The Arbiter also has stasis mines which function like regular but also slow down units that trigger them. A mine is still a mine at the end of the day. What is most dangerous about his leader powers is Conduit of rage. This is because it causes any units or buildings near to heal and get a brief boost to damage and speed when near a leader power. So if you use plasma bolt to hit some enemies and your army is near the point of contact then they are instantly buffed. Rage of conduit can be upgraded to make the buff stronger and last longer. Combine this with Power surge and the match is pretty much as good as won. Power surge reduces the cost and cooldown time of all your leader abilities. So imagine upgrading that as well to reduce cooldown even more. You will be dropping mines so frequently, firing plasma bolts and buffing your troops more frequently for complete destruction. Arbiter requires planning and timing. You must be strategic. As a hero unit on the field he is really fast, probably the fastest unit in the game and does great melee damage. When he enters rage though he does more damage and once upgraded gains health from attacks and can even buff his allies while raging.

Commander Jerome is heavily focused on inspiring units. Inspired units have increased damage, armour (defense) and speed. Jerome has to keep his soldiers inspired at all times. Jerome’s leader powers in some way centers around inspiration. Firstly ‘Time for heroes’ naturally gives all your units a buff in terms of speed, armour and damage as long as your unit count is 40 or below. This is useful for the early game. Enduring Salvo let’s you drop debris from the ship ‘Enduring conviction’ to damage anything it lands on but it also grants inspiration to any of your units that are near where you used the leader power. Victory turret functions like any other turret but this turret also inspires any nearby units. Victory mine is like other mines but when it explodes it inspires nearby units. Field promotion is very powerful. It lets you instantly turn units you selected to level 1 veterancy. This sounds simple but can really change the tide of a battle. The most favoured leader power of Jerome is ‘Omega Team’ which drops in three spartans: one carrying a plasma turret, one carrying a railgun and one carrying a beam sword. When used properly they are destructive. Jerome as a hero unit uses a hydra mini missile launcher and functions like any other spartan but comes with a aura circle around him which inspires units within. Jerome can call down his own mantis which fires lasers. Jerome can enter the mantis and grant it more fire power. Once upgraded the mantis can call in a laser strike as well.

Lastly in Halo Wars 2, both leaders bring in a whole new type of unit to the game. The arbiter has the Phantom ships while Jerome has the Mastodon. What’s special about them? Both are tough units that have the ability to carry infantry units. For example, you can place a sniper and and some marines in the Mastodon and they can fire from the mastodon while being protected. This especially looks cool when you have hunters with the beam upgrade in a phantom because you see the hunters beams coming from the ship attacking enemies. Very cool indeed. We won’t give away our personal strategies but the rest is up to you.

Overall these two new leader for Halo Wars 2 are an awesome addition to the game. They are worth buying and worth checking out. X35 Earthwalker himself has tried both and he loves them. If you love them, that’s great but make sure… to love the ‘Earth Walk!’

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Halo Wars 2 is absolutely amazing. The graphics, sounds and whole gaming mechanics are top notch. Even the matches can be intense and take up some time. Halo Wars 2 is even more strategic than the prequel. More leader characters that brings more flavour and options to the matches. Even so, there are some big issues concerning balancing.

Straight up we are going to say it. The Banished have a big advantage over UNSC and it’s big enough that it makes a difference in every match. Seriously. The biggest advantage is the fact that Banished bases get the chance to place shields in the turret sections. These shields are powerful and soak up all kinds of damage. Why is that so bad? Didn’t Halo Wars 1 have shields. Well yes but their shields occupied a slot for building like energy generators, and supply pads. So if you wanted to stack two shields then that’s two less slots for you. The shields in Halo Wars 2 are more powerful because if the shield was dropped due to too much damage but another shield gets built, instantly the shield goes up regardless of whether the base is taking damage or not. The if another shield is built in time then it’s a double layer straight away. Also any Banished (or allies of the banished) withing the shields are protected and take significantly less damage until the shield drops. The problem is that an UNSC army would spend a hard time fighting the enemy army and lose because the shields protect the enemy army but if through leader powers and other means beat the army then you still have the shields which lasts long but skilled banished players leave a slot at the back ready for when they get attacked just to build another shield for instant shield regeneration. It’s so unfair. Don’t listen to stupid who say it isn’t an issue when it clearly is.

The next big Banished advantage are the Banshees. The banshees are practically the strongest units in the game. Surely X35 Earthwalker is exaggerating though. No we aren’t. We have seen a group of banshees beat wolverines and reavers of same group size. We aren’t joking. X35 Earthwalker himself has had his banshees beat anti-vehicle units many times even when there were more of them and vice versa he had his anti-air vehicles lose to banshees. How does that work? How do air units beat anti-air units? Sure air has a advantage over vehicles but anti-air is ANTI-AIR, full stop. Now in recent matches pretty much every Banished character user is always using banshees in great numbers. Either full population of banshees with engineers or half locusts (or something) mixed with them. It gets boring and predictable. It’s too strong. Banshees are suppose to be main air vehicles, in other words basic air units but their strength is much higher. Thanks to their own anti-air upgrade, they can take on two groups at the same time. The anti-air lets them attack nightingales and hornets while their fuel rod cannons and main plasma guns can fire at tanks, wolverines and whatever. That doesn’t sound fair at all.

Lastly, many, almost all, banished players are copying and using the chopper rush and then get engineers as fast as possible. It just makes matches boring now and predictable. X35 Earthwalker himself likes discovering and trying new strategies to accomplish different things. Some work and some don’t. This is how he ended up discovering a big secret. Choppers are vehicles. They are stronger than jack rabbits. They counter marines very well. They counter hellbringers. The way to beat them is to rely on your marines and turrets but that strategy is defensive, meaning while you stay near your base, the banished players can grab power nodes, mini bases and control the map. If you go out there then your marines will get caught by the choppers who can also ram for maximised damage. If you get the grenade throw ability for your marines then you can destroy some but you would have spent so much energy that the banished players will reach tier 2 way before the UNSC do. It’s not fair either way you look at it. 

So basically Banished have the advantage in defense, early game and mid game. This stuff has put some of us off the game for a while because unless we also play as banished, mainly Atriox, Decimus and Colony, you will have a real hard time. Until this is fixed we won’t be playing this game as frequently as before. Either way, this is what we and many others have experienced. If you are a banished player then aren’t you happy but if not, you could always do… The ‘Earth Walk!’ 

Colony is the newest leader in Halo Wars 2. First of all Colony looks cool. He is a hunter but a hunter in charge. His voice is like one of the coolest voices ever. He speaks simple short sentences but that voice just make us wish we could have it as the new default voice for announcements, answer machines etc. It’s so cool. Now as usual when a new character comes out everyone does nothing but just play that character. X35 Earthwalker yesterday did a livestream where he only uses Colony and in every match there was a Colony. Colony on Colony violence.

Colony stands out greatly from other Banished leaders, not just from how he’s designed but from his units and leader powers. He actually brings some new units into the battlefield. Now when Kinsano came out, We never cared to get her at all. She seemed not that fun to use still seemed similar to the other leaders is many ways. Can’t really blame her since the UNSC are humans meaning they will be similar in units but Colony takes things to the next level.

Colony seems to excel most at being at the front of the battle. Colony has the Goliath infantry units which are giant sized hunters that behave like gorillas. They are all about melee. Goliaths are strong against buildings, alright against infantry, weak against vehicles (for some reason) and can’t hurt air. I know they need to balance out the units in the game but how comes a big strong creature (twice the size of a hunter who are 12 feet tall) are weak against vehicles. Those things could smash them apart but whatever… balancing and all that. Goliaths are no joke. They are literally the best units against buildings. Just two of them do some serious damage against enemy bases. Goliaths also have the ability to ram which is great for dealing with annoying vehicles as it is fast and travels quite the distance.

Colony also brings skitterers which are small little mech bots that scuttle along the ground and fire lasers. These mechs are easy to build and come with the ability we have been waiting for. They can attach themselves to another unit becoming invincible and attacking enemies that come near the attached unit. So you could attach skitterers to Goliaths meaning Goliaths can now defend themselves against air units. You could attach them to hunters so they can defend against air as well. It’s up to you gamers to figure out some crazy combinations. You can attach two skitterers to units by the way.

Colony’s leader powers are very different cool. They really have the ability to mix things up. You immediately have access to living barrier and skitterers. We all know about skitterers but living barrier is something X35 Earthwalker underestimated at first but later saw how good it is. Living barrier let’s you drop down Lekgolo caltrops in a line that completely blocks infantry and vehicles. The enemy has to fight and destroy these barriers to get through. So while they are fighting the barrier you can target the enemy. It’s good for distractions, cutting of the enemy while fleeing, blocking movements, extra eyes around the map and more. It’s only for the strategic.

Engineer swarms calls in many engineers to start healing any units or buildings in range. They stay for quite a while and can really help turn the tide of a battle. Upgrade this ability to make killing your army near impossible. Combat repair makes all your units and buildings slowly heal over time, even in battle. This encourages strikes and retreats, keeping your units alive and building their veterancy since they heal by themselves. Colony drop calls in two level 2 veterancy Goliaths meaning they hit harder and themselves are harder to kill. Vehicle symbiotes allows you to buff selected vehicles and buildings with increased range and armour. So good for turrets on defense and off course your vehicles like locusts. Hunters brand allows you to fire 3 glassing beams that quickly converges in the middle. It’s actually very strong and doesn’t take too long to recharge but when it’s level 2 or 3 it is devastating. Lastly Devastating host lets you drop in multiple different vehicles like wraiths, locusts etc but get a instant buff from a vehicle symbiotes. This is powerful indeed. As you can see Colony is something powerful.

His leader unit, The hunter captain, is a very useful leader. It is a giant hunter, pretty much the same size as the goliath units. This hunter instead comes with shields and can actually fire his cannon at air units (wow). As he does damage he siphon some health back. He’s great against vehicles and infantry, alright against air and buildings. Once upgraded his cannon beam has area of effect so he can damage groups and does more damage overall. He can be upgraded to get the taunt ability which forces nearby enemy units to target the hunter captain instead. This is good since he can take lots of hits and siphon health meaning he won’t die easy. Combine him with Combat repair and Engineer swarm and he’ll never die. His main weakness is that he is so slow. Completely slow. The slowest thing ever and because of this he slows down the whole speed of your army so it takes you forever to cross the map and attack or help out an team mate. That’s the only negative thing.

During the livestream X35 Earthwalker won all his matches with Colony except the match where he was teamed up with a rank 7 and he had to go against level 32 and 41 (round about) and the level 7 team mate left the match. Through practise we have seen just how useful Colony is. He is very powerful and when used correctly can be devastating against everything. He is a lot of fun to use and it’s so satisfying when you beat another player who is using Colony as well. He is worth getting. Whether you try out Colony or not… you can always try the ‘Earth Walk!’

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