First look at Atlas, new front line champion for Paladins

Paladins received its newest champion today, frontliner Atlas. The update also brought in a new and improved match lobby and a ton of bug fixes.

The Paladins Future’s End patch comes live on all platforms today. It heralds the arrival of Paladins’ terrifying new champion, Atlas. Atlas is a front-liner built around the theme of turning back time. Unlike Cher in her iconic song however, Atlas is specifically out to hurt you.

His kit consists of abilities sure to be god-tier in the hands of a skilled player. They are also designed in a way that makes them somewhat effective when used incompetently.

Atlas’ main offensive ability is Setback. It sends an enemy champion back in time to wherever they were four seconds ago. It also reverts their health to its lowest value from that period, presumably ignoring all damage reduction effects.

With the Déjà Vu talent, Setback becomes a grenade that can undo team-wide heals. This aggressively counters Grover who is currently one of the best supports for objective control maps. It’s also potentially a force multiplier for Atlas’ Lessons of the Past card, which grants Atlas shields when hitting enemy champions. If the amount of shield gained is per target hit rather than just a fixed value, this card-talent combo will let him tank a lot better on objectives.

Watch out when you use this ability as Atlas. A careless blast can potentially save an enemy rather than dooming them. For example, throwing it at an enemy currently under fire by your team could potentially bounce them behind cover. It could also make your teammates miss with skill-shots.

Second Chance is Atlas’ personal safety and repositioning ability. It sends him back in time to where he was five seconds ago and sets his health to its highest value during that period. The nature of this ability makes Atlas less affected by Cauterize than other front line champions.

His third ability is Stasis Field and it’s essentially the final word on team defense. It places down a barrier which lasts five seconds and completely stops all incoming ranged attacks. It’s an outrageously superior version of the shield-walls other front-liners get, as it’s indestructible. It also doesn’t care about Wrecker or Life Rip, and it doesn’t block vision or movement like Inara’s wall.

Atlas’ ultimate ability – Exile – is quite frankly a free double or triple kill. When activated, Atlas can use his weapon to lock out enemy champions for four seconds. Affected champions cannot be interacted with in any way, by enemies or their own team.

Being able to completely remove a key enemy champion from the equation for a moment is a massive power-swing in team fights. Atlas can also use Exile to save himself from imminent death when outnumbered. The only downside is that the ability seems to cap at three uses per cast. It’s not yet clear whether that’s three shots total, or three successful exiles.

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Judging by this impressive skillset, Atlas is a force to be reckoned with. But he does have his vulnerabilities. At 3,500 his health pool is low for a front line champion. He also has no access to damage reduction cards and instead relies on boosted healing. This makes him very susceptible to properly timed burst damage.

His reset-potential renders Atlas a priority target. When playing against him, make sure to keep vision on him with trackers like Vivian, Lex, and Tyra. Mobile champions should try to chase him down after he teleports with Second Chance, and finish him off while the ability is on cooldown.

The bug hunt is on

Hi-Rez is keeping up the work to rid Paladins of its many bugs and this patch brings a staggering list of fixes. Recently-added champion Imani has received a lot of attention in particular. The war to make Terminus fully playable rages on too.

Terminus is particularly vulnerable to bugs due to his ambitious design. His Power Siphon allows him to completely absorb enemy fire on demand. His Reanimate ultimate respawns him much faster and at the place of his death rather than in the starting area. It also deals massive area-of-effect damage, often enough for a full reset. The combination of these two abilities makes him hard to dislodge from objectives.

Unfortunately these same mechanics are prone to glitching, especially when they accidentally interact with each other. Terminus has always been a risky champion to play thanks to the ever-present possibility that he will not function as intended, or at all. It seems Hi-Rez is taking strides to make these problems a thing of the past.

Future’s End brings a lot of improvements, including a completely rebuilt match lobby. From now on match countdown will end the moment all players have locked in their champions and skins. The community has been asking for this change for a long time, and it should help match queues a lot.

The patch also brings a ton of map and general fixes, along with a list of bugs the studio has in their crosshairs for upcoming patches.


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