Not finding too many discussions of the fantastic game mode Last Stand, I thought I would offer my opinion/tips for playing last stand as the Tyranid Hive Tyrant. A few things about my play style, I generally try to kite/tank with my Tyrant and hope that my teamates have high dps. If I see that my teamates want to tank then I will usually go Ork or Sorc.
I have a 3rd stage Elite Tyrant now (I have hit level 20 twice) and at the end I will explain what I have found to be the best build for the Hive Tyrant. If you have anything to add or maybe I have misunderstood something about a skill please feel free to comment.
I will not be explaining what levels you get a certain piece of gear at, nor will I be explaining the exact stats of a piece. If you want this information then visit-- http://dow2.info/TLS_Wargear:Contents#tab=Tyranid
(Organized by item type.)
Bio Feedback : When one of your minions die you gain a temporary invincible buff. It lasts about 5 seconds. This skill is nicely paired with Genestealers as it triggers if just one of them die. And Genestealers die...ALOT. It also triggers when you recast any of your minions. I would not suggest using this if you only use the Warrior/Guard. This skill is very nice against wave 10 (plasma marines) or any wave with heavy plasma/power weapon usage.
Ravener Nest : You get these towards the end of your Tyrant career, level 19 I think. They are a set (3) of ranged pets. They have 3 attacks. A melee attack (rarely used). A ranged attack which ignores armor. And a burrow/burst(knockback) attack that they use far too often. It is this last attack that keeps me from using them. The burrow mechanics are bugged I think, often times they will burrow and just kind of...forget...about the fight that is raging around them. I've had my Raveners stay burrowed through an entire wave before. This can be very frustrating. If the AI is patched then the Raveners could be usefull when paired with Crushing Talons. If you do plan on using raveners, you need to buff them with other wargear. Unbuffed, they are far too weak to make it past wave 8.
Psychic Scream : I'll be honest, I haven't used this much. When I have used it I really didn't notice a difference in the damage being done. On the later stages the game is all about kiting the enemy and a point blank aoe just isn't that usefull.
Explosive Decomposition : When your minions die they spawn a poision cloud on the ground that damages any enemies that stand in it. These clouds stack, both with one another, other players clouds, and with the cloud spawned from Poison Cysts. This is another great skill to stack with Bio Feedback and Genestealers. Again, skip it if you only field the beefier minions. This skill also triggers when you resummon a pet.
Genestealers Nest : Ah Genestealers, how I love these little guys. What's that you say? They suck because they die so fast? I know. That's why we pair them with Explosive Decomposition and Bio Feedback. Even if you don't want to go the route of an army of space jihadists this is still a very good set of pets to take. Yes they die quickly, but they are cheap and they can be used to "shut up" a squad of ranged. Summon them into the middle of that pesky squad of marines that is shooting you and most, if not all, of the marines will stop shooting and switch to melee to kill the Genestealers. This should give you enough time to run away/close the distance. Very good skill even unbuffed.
Implant Attacks : 30% damage for you and your minions and +20 health for the minions. What's not to love? This is generally the "filler" buff for you and your minions. When in doubt, whip it out.
Seismic Roar Crappy skill. Mainly due to it's almost laughable short range. I guess it would be ok to fend off banshees that jump into you but biofeedback serves that purpose better imo. I dunno, it's another skill I rarely use so I may be wrong. Let me know.
Toxin sacs : The sister skill to Implant Attacks. Also gives 20 health to minions but instead of a flat 30% buff to damage it adds a dot to your damage. I have no idea which skill comes out on top dps wise, but generally if I am only taking one of these skills then I take Implant. This is a nice skill to add to Raveners though, as their ranged attack switches target often and that means you can dot up a huge group of mobs rather quickly.
Tyrant Guard : Your tank pet. It has a ton of HP, armor and a charge it also has an AOE taunt that it uses about once every 30 seconds. It however can barely kill an Eldar Guardian on it's own. That's ok though, it's not there to deal damage. It's a good pet if you are bringing other pets. If it's just you and one pet I suggest a buffed Warrior though. The reason I say this is both the warrior and the Guard die almost instantly against power weapons/plasma so you might as well bring the cheaper pet that can also knockback/deal good damage (aka the warrior). However if you are bringing 2-3 pet squads then the Guard is practically a must have.
Warp Field ; A toggle that halves incoming damage at the cost of energy when you run out of energy the skill fails. This is another crappy skill unless you can get a good support teamate that does not mind refilling your energy. Without that it is simply too wastefull for your energy and again, against the later stages 50% damage reduction is not that impressive.
Warrior Nest Great unit. You only get one but boy does he pack a punch. Unbuffed I have had a Warrior solo the wave 4 FC. Add HP/rege/damage to him and he is a one man army. He is also cheap(ish) to recast should he die. He can get knocked down easily so fix that with Heavy Talons if you plan on using this unit to it's full potential.
Ok, that wraps up the accessories. I'll move on to the other Wargear and what my personal set up is at the end.
Thornback : Gives the Tyrant a charge with a huge range. Almost as large as the Orks teleport radius. It's your typical charge, you bowl through anything (well almost) that stands between you and where you click. The skill has it's problems though, for one it destroys terrain which some players will complain about. Seocondly you stop if you hit your Guard or Warrior pets (not the other pets though) so it can be annoying if you are not paying attention to your trajectory. It's a good skill, and one I suggest using until you get Synapse/evolution (but you really should replace it with one of those when you can). This wargear helps solves one of the major problems the Tyrant has, that pesky -15% movement speed.
The Horror Ugh. That's all. It's a single target fear. Are you impressed yet?
Synapse : -50% to all skills energy cost and +50% recast for all skills. This piece of wargear is amazing. And will probably be the one you use at all times until you hit 20 and get Evolution, and even then you will probably use this for most builds. With this skill you can turn Genestealers into a 5 energy cast, and Poison Cysts into a 12 energy cast. It's a great piece that opens many different builds up to you.
Evolution Your level 20 skill. This one's for the minion masters out there. This conveys a significant Health and damage bonus to minions. It's a great piece but I still can't help feeling gimped when not equipped with synapse. Basically it comes down to "Do you want your minions to live a bit longer/deal a bit more damage or do you want to be able to summon them for 50% cheaper?"
**Armor** (all Tyranid armor besides Articulated Caracpace adds the ability of being "unshakable")
Articulated Carapace : Basically this armor can help solve the Tyrants movement speed problem. It also conveys a similar buff to your minions. Personally I am not that bothered by the Tyrants (nor my pets) speed. Just pay attention to where the waves are coming from and you should have little problem with being in the right place at the right time. The other major problems with this is that it removes the "Unshakable" buff (the best buff in last stand) and it has the lowest armor value of all the armors. This is just not a good piece imo.
Bonded Exoskeleton : Lower than average armor for yourself, but it greatly boosts your minions durability. This is a great piece, probably the best, if you take pets with you. If not, then don't bother. 134 base armor.
Exteneded Carapace : Gives you a plasma cannon attack. Great against grouped up infantry or anything that is knockback-able. If using this then Synapse is almost a must have. when coupled with Synapse your plasma shot is nearly spamable and very cheap. If you take this piece then it will likely be your main attack so be sure to bring lots of minions to tie up the waves while you blast away. Personally I'm not a big fan of the skill mainly because of the play style that accompanies it. (ie standing in the middle of the map and rarely moving) 144 base armor.
Poison Cysts : The highest (base) armor of any of the pieces. This armor gives an ability that creates a huge poison cloud on the ground that deal 1/2 of your maximum life every second to all enemies that remain in it. This ability scales incredibly well meaning if you buf your life then it has the potential of being one of the most damaging attacks in the game. It is very pricey though, 25 energy per cost. However, stacked with Synapse it becomes much cheaper and a very solid piece. This is also a great tanking piece as it lets you grab the attention of many mobs at once.
Base armor 160.
Reinforced Chitin : Low initial armor (98) but it has a stacking armor buff that procs every time you get attacked. The buff lasts long enough to get full stacks but again, once you hit powerweapons/plasma the armor becomes useless and you are suddenly wishing you had chosen something different. Not a fan of this armor. Base armor 98 but stacks to over 200.
I made a mistake earlier that I caught, Ravener skill only summons one pet, not 3. Not sure why I was thinking that...anyway, on with weapons...
Crushing Talons : The lowest damaging melee scythes. Every time your minions deal damage you are healed for 3. Only consider using this if you use Genestealers or Raveners and even then I still think the other scythes are better.
Enlarged Scything Talons : High damage scythes that give both yourself and your minions a damage boost and your minions armor piercing. These are the scythes to use if you are relying on your minions for all your damage output.
Heavy Talons : Highest damage melee scythe. Adds knockback to ALL of your melee attacks including your aoe. So yes, this gives you an aoe knockback, very nice. Also makes your minions immune to knockback. (imo unshakable is the best buff in last stand) All around very solid scythe. I use these in almost all situations.
High Toxin Venom Cannon : The second of 2 ranged weapons you get. It does a pathetic amount of damage, like 4 dps. However all damage it deals is transfered as life to your creatures. So you shoot to heal your minions. Great idea, horrible in execution. It's just a crappy piece all around. It does a have a small AOE affect for it's rounds so there's that I guess...
Venom Cannon : The first ranged weapon you get. Medium damage when compared to the scythes and it gives you Armor piercing (240). Personally I'm just not into the "stand still and shoot" scene for last stand, so I generally don't bother with the ranged weapons on the Tyrant. Good if you have a player that is willing to tank the mobs for you, but that rarely happens in pugs.
Ok, that clears covers the individual pieces of wargear, and my thoughts on them. Again, please feel free to correct me or add your own opinion. even being on my 3rd "playthrough" I am still learning new tactics and such so lets hear those pointers.
Next I will discuss the build I use and how I use it.
Here's what I use if I want to ensure my team gets at least to wave 19. With this build, and a little luck, you can solo most waves up through 18. And it's nice because it is very easy to deal with on wave 16 (the dopelgangers.)
Weapon: Heavy Talons
Armor: Poison Cysts
Acc #1: Genestealers
Acc #2: Bio Feedback
Acc #3: Explosive Decomposition
With this build you will have a 5 energy cost (spammable if need be) genestealers. You will use this to feed Bio Feedback and Explosive Decomposition. Remember, when you recast the Genestealers it procs both of these abilities. And each genestealer that dies individually will proc them.
What I do is I grab a pack of mobs and start kiting them, I constantly recast Genestealers to keep my bubble up (and to damage the mobs following me with Explosive Decomposition). Once enough are following me I lay down A poison cloud via Poison Cyst. With this build, you will have 225 life (Cysts damage scales with life) so you will kill most packs in 2-3 seconds if not instantly.
The major problems this build has is wave 15(?) the one with the 10 or so nobs and the eldar wave with the wraithlords. Both waves you will need to be proficient with your kiting skills, but that is what this build excells at so it is very easy provided your teamates were able to stay alive. Try to help them out by explaining that they should drag any aggroed mobs over your cyst clouds.
With this build I have an average progress level of 17. All my other characters have an average of about 12. I have soloed from 14-18 before and I know I could solo the earlier stages as well.
Wave 16 : Don't bother attacking this guy on wave 16. As he is built he will always be invincible because the genestealers he summons will constantly be dying. He will lay out the cyst cloud so be sure to move out of it ASAP. (remember it does 112 damage a second, most sorcs run around with 100 life) Good news is he is a Tyrant and as such is very easily kited, his only pet will be genestealers so for the most party you can just ignore them. Just kill the other players then focus on the Tyrant Clone. (Playing as the Tyrant against the clones your only real threat is a teleporting orc, you are pretty much SOL as it's almost impossible to get one to stay in your AOE, just pray that he is the first one to die)
Try it out and let me know what you think.
I usually go with Crushing Talons, Poison Cysts, Psychic Scream, Bio Feedback, Genestealers and Synapse.
Psychic Scream is an awesome ability. It has a huge range, and when it goes off, combined with genestealers healing you with every attack, you're able to wade into the middle of huge groups to lay down the poison cloud. The only problem is the cool down. It's easy to use Psychic Scream, then have mobs that weren't affected come into range doing full damage to you. If you have all of your genestealers alive healing you, and psychic scream up, you're able to stand toe to toe with some of the heavier hitting mobs.
Ps. You only get the invulnerability from bio-feedback if you cast genestealers while you still have some alive. When you cast it, it kills off your remaining ones, triggering the effect. If they're all dead, then you don't get the invulnerability because none of them died from your recast.
here's the loadout a hive tyrant i was playing with used that i found impressive (pulling form memory)
i think it was toxin sacs
we were with a plasma/jetpac marine and me as tele/fortune/confuse eldar. the impressive thing about his build is that fortune takes effect before warp field does, so he was only taking a quarter damage to his energy. combined with his already reduced energy costs, he was comfortably able to tank carnifexes while we relied on plasma, confuse, and exploding genestealers to do the dirty work. come wave 16, the tyrant fell quickly because the ai did not work together like we were. only thing that would have made it better is if i had the eldar regen aura, but i've not gotten that high again yet.
i don't know if it works like this or not, but does the damage over time form poison heal you through crushing claws?
Psychic Scream is overpowered. It pretty much makes any mooks debuffed within it's radius completely unable to do damage to any of your teammates or minions, and bigger units like Nobs, Wraithlords, etc hit for 10-20 damage. It's one of the greatest team survivability buffs in the game if used at the right time. Mix this with something like the Chaos Sorcerer's Orb of Blood and you literally cannot die until you hit Wave 20 and those massive AoE's are dropping everywhere.
Tyrant Guard Nest
with another Tyrant geared to do silly amounts of damage
Synapse (could be swapped for Evolution for even more lulzy damage if you're 20)
And a Chaos Sorcerer with Greater Sorcery, Orb of Blood, and Warpfire Staff, Icon of Summoning and one of the daemonic summoning armors.
I beat wave 20 with this group. Notice the lack of teleport or jump pack. You don't really need those escape mechanics with Psychic Scream as long as you kite around.
Best part is that you can debuff your clones on wave 16 (since it reduces defense as well), focus one and they drop within two seconds. My only advice is to not have a Mek with Trophy Rack around, because you'll never do enough damage to kill anyone if you're debuffed by your clone on 16.
I'll need to check out Psychic scream some more, but the build I posted is OP so I can't really justify using it with that build until they nerf Poison Cysts. Which I believe they are going to do as currently, with Synapse, it is OP.
It kinda makes Last Stand a joke. I've never beat wave 20 without a team of friends working together. With the build I posted I beat wave 20 about 8 times last night with different pugs. Most of those games I was completely carrying my team.