The Heal Aura ability, when activated, places a 1x1 structure that heals units within a certain radius around it (the healing rate is constant and isn't affected by how close a unit is to the aura, its health, its lifetime, etc.). It heals all players, friend or foe, and also heals zombies (in applicable modes). The Heal Aura structure can be damaged, and will self-destruct after a certain period of time. It costs 45 energy.
The Heal Aura ability has 3 upgrades: Heal Rate, Lifetime, and Radius. Each ability point (up to 3) put into Heal Rate will increase the healing rate of the Heal Aura will increase the healing rate of the Heal Aura by 3 HP per second (from a starting value of 6 HP per second). Each ability point (up to 3) put into Lifetime will increase the duration of the Heal Aura by 30 seconds (from a starting value of 45 seconds). Each ability point (up to 3) put into Radius will increase the Heal Aura's radius by 0.9 squares (from a starting value of 3.5 squares).
|# of points||Heal Rate||Lifetime||Radius|
|0||6 HP/sec||30 secs||3.5|
|1||9 HP/sec||75 secs||4.4|
|2||12 HP/sec||120 secs||5.3|
|3||15 HP/sec||165 secs||6.2|
Heal Aura Deathmatch Strategy
In a Deathmatch game, Heal Aura is a primarily defensive ability. When upgraded, it can replenish your HP very fast, which you should use to your advantage. This ability, however, costs 45 energy, and so you must take care with when and where you use it; it's almost always a bad idea to put down a heal aura to gain a handful of HP.
Heal Auras are best used when not in a direct fight. If you've just finished an engagement but are at low health, putting down an aura while you reload will bring your health total back up to a comfortable amount.
Another way to use a Heal Aura is during an undecided engagement, when both you and your opponent are low on health and available weapons and there's some sort of cover that prevents them from firing at you / destroying your aura. Putting down an aura places your enemy in a bad situation. If they retreat, you can chase them down later with a significant health advantage. If they decide to try and kill you before you heal much, then you've got the upper hand in the fight; all you need to do is delay them long enough for your health to overbear theirs (not to mention that by rushing you, your opponent is an easier target).
Note that this sort of healing, while decisive when applied correctly, requires your opponent to be unprepared. If they have the right weapons or abilities at the ready, your advantage can get neutralized with minimal risk on your opponent's part.
Placing down a Heal Aura during a melee battle is useful and can often be the right play, but it's risky business since you might become an easy target in the small healing field, or get driven away by an opponent who can then use your aura to heal themselves up. Placing an Aura in this sort of situation is best avoided when you can, but can be useful as a last resort.
Anti-Aura Deathmatch Strategy
If your opponent is using a heal aura, your goal is to try and prevent its high healing rate from having a large enough effect on the fight to win it for your enemy. You can accomplish this via two different approaches:
- Attacking your opponent. This is the riskier option, but sometimes your best bet is to go for the throat and finish the fight. If you're able to go all in and kill your opponent, then this is the better option. Even if you lose some health, you should still be able to patch yourself up with the aura. You can also consider not even going for the kill, but forcing your opponent to retreat while you heal yourself.
- Destroy the aura. If you have the right toolset, this is a safer option and allows you to avoid pushing into unfavorable situations. Your best friends here are snipers, explosives and grenades (especially acid grenades, which will take out an aura without letting anyone heal), as they can force enemies to jump out of the way as you assail their Heal Aura. While you won't be able to prevent your opponent from gaining a bit of health, mitigating the aura's effects from a safe distance can swing the fight in your favor.
Heal Aura Builds (Deathmatch)
When it's not upgraded, the Heal Aura is a somewhat lackluster ability; in order to make it worthwhile, you want to invest points into upgrading its heal rate or radius. An upgraded lifetime is rarely useful (especially in Deathmatch). Upgrading the heal rate is usually better than upgrading the radius, since that way you get faster healing and don't have to defend the aura's fringes against enemies. A large radius does let you dodge around more while healing (it's easy to stray out of a small radius), but it's not comparatively worthwhile.
There are a few different archetypes of heal aura build:
- Tanking: This archetype prioritizes high strength and a high heal rate, and is the most commonly used archetype in Deathmatches. With a large pool of hit points, you should be able to survive most fights and then heal yourself back up afterwards. The main issue with this archetype is its lack of agility; combined with the stationary effect of the heal aura, tanky aura builds don't do well in pursuit scenarios.
- Spamming: Instead of attempting to gain lots of life from individual auras as the Tank archetype does, the Spammer archetype tries to have auras constantly available through high intelligence. A spammer build is far more fragile than a tanky one, and is much harder to play. It's more survivable in certain situations, but is vulnerable to combos; it's easy for you get deleted before your aura can have any effect.
- Dual-Ability: This archetype sacrifices a measure of resilience in order to gain a secondary ability (typically a defensive ability like Wall or Shield) and increase the versatility of the build. Due to the high cost of a heal aura, it's necessary to put several points (at least 3) into intelligence, which makes you significantly less beefy than a tank archetype. Shield and wall may be able to prevent enough damage to offset the lower strength and lower frequency of auras, but a tank build is oftentimes better at not dying.
In short, the best Deathmatch build for Heal Aura tends to put lots of points into heal rate and strength, specializing in survivability even if other attributes may suffer.