Advanced Interceptor Mechanics

Gotta Go Fast

The Interceptor is already a quick javelin. With practice, you can speed yourself up even more, traversing quicker and getting your damage out faster. Once you get the hang of these mechanics, Interceptor can easily become one of the most technical and impressive javelins in the game.

Dash Canceling

Use an Interceptor Javelin's dash to cancel out of almost any animation

First up is the Dash Cancel. This lets you cancel out of certain skill animations, and plays a small part in one of the movement techniques as well. This technique is not without risk though, as trying to cancel an animation early will cause the damage to not go off, while doing so too late will lock you into the skill animation as it normally would. 

In a lot of cases, this generally removes any “end lag” from the animations, or the parts that’d lock you in place. For Aerial Melee attacks, both melee and melee skills, this can be very noticeable.

Here’s a quick list of things you can Dash Cancel out of: 

  • All Strike System Skills
  • Cariff’s Talon 
  • Sudden Death
  • Sanadeen’s Respite (not helpful besides repositioning between casts)
  • Wraith Strike
  • Viper’s Bite 
  • Rally Cry (support)
  • Aerial melee

Dash Jumping

Dash and then jump in an Interceptor Javelin to get a lot of extra distance on your jump

Dash Jumping is the next basic tech that can be used. Just like Dash Cancelling, it’s also part of a much larger chain of techniques that increase your movement. However, this one has the most broad application, and tends to be useful in any situation, combat especially.

Simply put, a single dash into a jump will allow the jump to carry the dash’s momentum for much longer. It’s a very potent burst of speed that can be used to quickly move a short distance. It works best being performed out of a Sprint.

Bunny Hopping

Another basic component of the full movement combo. Those familiar with the term Bunny Hopping will already have an idea of what to expect here. It’s very similar to other games, allowing you to conserve movement speed when done right.

This is as simple as performing a jump as you land from another jump. Doing so with good time will prevent you from losing any momentum you’re currently carrying from your jumps.

Melee Slingshots

The Interceptor Javelin can use a quick melee attack and immediate jump while airborne to gain a huge burst of speedShowing the effect of the Interceptor melee locking on to a target and jumping to slingshot at high speed

There’s two types of this technique; One is very situational, while the other makes up the final part of the full movement combo.

The first type is the more common one, where you use the instant momentum change of performing an Aerial Melee and use a jump to redirect it forward, rather than downwards. You can make use of this to cover large distances quickly. It’s important to note that jumping right after the melee will often grant the highest momentum possible.

The second and less common type takes advantage of the Melee’s aggressive enemy targeting. When you perform a melee, you may notice the game pushing you forward so your attack will connect, rather than coming short or overshooting. You can take advantage of this extra momentum and carry it into a jump, with even more momentum than the basic slingshot. Be careful though, as the aggressive targeting can also kill your momentum if you’re time it poorly.

The Full Movement Combo

Interceptor Javelin movement combo, chaining together jumps, dashes and melees

Now, let’s take the pieces and put them together. Laid out plainly, the full combo looks something like this:

Bunny Hop / Dash Jump >> Melee Slingshot >> Melee Slingshot >> Repeat

To explain this, without using the terminology, it can be broken down to these button presses:

Dash >> Jump >> Melee >> Jump >> Melee >> Jump >> Repeat

The faster you can manage to execute this, the faster you can be overall. However there are times where it’s worth performing certain parts slower, based on terrain. Like when going off a high cliff, let the first melee carry you almost to the ground before jumping out of it. This prevents you from losing the momentum by going into a freefall after your last jump, preventing the hard landing animation.

Air Melee

An Interceptor Javelin uses hovering melee attacks to easily dispatch an Outlaw Elementalist

Ever wanted you grounded melee attacks, but be able to use them in the air? This technique lets you do exactly that.

It’s relatively simple to perform, requiring you to press Melee and Hover at the same time. It generally takes 3 taps (hover-stop-hover) but it may take a little bit of mashing to get it properly sometimes. Once you get into the melee animations  though, you can just hold the melee button as per usual to perform consecutive melee attacks.

Skill Specific Techniques

Now, for a couple small things that are exclusive to a few skills.

Sanadeen Support Cancel

Interceptor Javelin uses animation canceling to rapid fire Sanadeen's Respite

Yup, Support canceling is still a thing, even on PC for this skill. While it’s not incredibly useful overall, it can increase the speed of the burst damage of Sanadeen’s Respite. Done fast enough you can empty the standard 4 charges in just over a second, at roughly double the speed of normal casts.

To do this, your support skill must be on cooldown. Then simply mash both buttons alternating between them as fast as you can. Due to the control scheme for Consoles, this may be much harder to perform there due to needing both rapid inputs and both skills requiring the same button (unless you can remap)

Aerial Raneri’s Charge

Showing Raneri's charge when used from the air

To keep this simple, you can use a melee skill, like Cariff's Talon shown here, immediately after connecting with Raneri’s Charge if the target is airborne (like a Dominion Valkyrie or Scar Hunter). 

For some reason the skill prevents this if the target is on the ground. It’s not known why this is the case, I just assume it’s mainly because it put priority on the “landing” animation over any other possible animation.

Melee Skills - Aerial vs. Grounded

This isn’t so much a technique but a brief thing to consider when using Cariff’s Talon or Sudden Death. Since both skills operate with similar mechanics, both cases can apply differently to each.

Aerial Melee Skills

Showing the effect of Carrif's Talon when used by an Interceptor while in the air

The biggest gain you get from using these skills while airborne is increased damage. Aerial casts after a short jump can be the fastest and strongest usage of the skill. There’s two factors that play into this. 

First there’s a slight damage multiplier that increases the damage of these skills when used in the air, the same also applies to melee. Not sure why this is a thing, but it exists and you should be aware of it.

Second, the skill can hit twice, directly and the small ending AoE when you land. Again, why it works this way is unclear. May be a purposeful design choice to balance risk vs. reward.

However this speed and power also is not without risk. Unlike a grounded version of the skill, if you miss and hit the ground, you still lose a charge. This is the main risk of using one of these skills from the air.

These factors often make Cariff’s Talon prefer being used Aerially rather than Grounded. The extra damage can let you kill the initial target easier allowing it’s high damage explosion to go off and clear large groups with ease.

Grounded Melee Skills

Interceptor ability Carrif's Talon used while on the ground

The biggest advantage grounded melee skills have going for them is Area of Effect or Cleave. When cast on the ground, the skill is more likely to hit multiple targets in a cone in front of you.  While you lose out on single target damage, the potential for AoE damage is much higher against clusters of enemies.
As opposed to Aerial casts of Melee skills, if you miss the attack while grounded, you will retain the charge until it connects. Keep inmind that hitting anything, enemy, wildlife, bomb or otherwise will consume the charge.

Another smaller factor that can play into using a grounded skill is more targeted at Sudden Death specifically. Since it’s a detonator, if the kick hits multiple primed enemies, it will detonate each individually, instead of all at the same time. This occasional instance (potentially a bug) can lead to getting more Ultimate Charges out of a pack of enemies.

Due to this factor as well as Sudden Death’s perk being on hit, rather than on death; Sudden Death can generally be more effective as a grounded cast. However, the situations where you’d benefit from a grounded attack are much less common.

Aura Usage

The Interceptor has four Auras, one of each Element. While these don’t particularly scale well for damage, each does have its uses and utility. As a general note, Auras will not prime by themselves. They do however enable Wraith Strike and its Masterwork variants to prime. Your melee will also gain damage of the currently active aura as well.

Acid Aura

You’ll use or have this one active the most, thanks to Serpent’s Veil.  Since it quickly debuffs targets that aren’t Legendary or a boss with acid, it makes it considerably powerful. It makes it so you don’t have to fully rely on Venom Bomb to apply acid. It’s a solid supportive or debuffing aura.

With the bonus damage property it grants to melee, it works really well along with the rest of the Acid Melee build for Interceptor. More acid damage on melee hits for an Acid focused build is pretty good.

Electric Aura

The Electric Aura is one you might commonly see if you run Cariff’s Talon. It works great into that build as well, as the Electric Aura plays into the AoE of Cariff’s very nicely. It’s easily the highest damage option for groups of targets, but does absolutely nothing for single targets.

The Electric element helps it remove shields, especially since it applies to your melee hits as well. Since both Acid and Kinetic damage (the melee damage types) are both weaker against shields, this can be a very beneficial aura to keep in mind against shielded enemies.

Fire Aura

This one will only occur after detonating a Ralner’s Blaze DoT or another player’s fire primer. While aura’s aren’t great for damage, the Fire Aura is still the highest single target damage option out of all of them. 

The Fire element helps it against Armored enemies, like most bosses typically are. It can also be a good way to ground valkyries if you’re also carrying Raneri’s Charge and Raneri can pop their shield, the Aura will almost instantly ground them.

Ice Aura

Few common sources of this Aura, but it’s also a very double-edged aura. It’s ability to freeze legendary units is quite strong in its own right. It just has a tendency to freeze enemies that haven’t fully spawned, rendering them immune to damage until they thaw (naturally or by fire prime). 

If not for that issue, this could easily be a go-to aura, as it's a very defensive aura. There’s a lot of potential benefits for both you and your allies. Freezing enemies and holding them still for incoming damage has a lot of potential. Similar to Electric Aura, it can also benefit your melee damage to shields.