Your ultimate ability is a high damage dealing ability that takes time to charge before you can use it. The reload speed can be boosted through racking up kills, dealing combos (or having your combos detonated by others in the case of the Storm), or in late game, through certain inscriptions on gear. For all but the Interceptor, you’ll be unable to move whilst in this mode, so positioning is key to get the most out of it when you set it off. You’ll be completely invulnerable to damage for the brief time that you’re in this mode, and you can use that to your advantage as well.
Consists of a single launch of 12 rockets, which can and will target anything in the visual range that can be destroyed. Timing is key, allowing all rockets to prime before launching. The absolute highest burst damage in the game, nothing else will kill a large enemy faster than this.
Melee focused, speed of attacks is slightly increased, you deal extra damage and leave behind shadow clones that continue to hit enemies for a few seconds after you’ve moved onto the next target. A long lasting Ultimate that keeps you immune to damage for an extended period of time and deals huge damage over its duration. Less burst damage, but over its full duration, the Interceptor ultimate will put out more total damage than any other Javelin's ultimate attack. Extremely effective boss killer.
A barrage of three meteors, each priming and detonating itself over a radius. The first is always ice, freezing enemies in place before detonating them, followed by electricity, followed by fire. Unfortunately, the weakest of the four Javelin ultimates by far. Very effective at lower levels but near useless for a powerfully geared Storm, in end-game its best use case is simple for the heal/damage immunity because your other attacks will deal similar or greater damage.
Three large enemy-busting missiles that do massive area damage. It’s slow to start and slow to finish, but built correctly has the ability to take out entire groups, leaving the rest of the team to take out the stragglers. Nothing else in the game comes even close to the huge numbers you can get with each shot (well over 10 million is possible). Theoretically the highest total damage, but realistically there are little to no scenarios where you will be able to land all 3 on weakpoints without running out of targets, or having a boss move into a phase transition (Scelos shield bubble for example). The Ranger ultimate hits so fast, and has a relatively wide targeting area, that it will generally deal more damage and can sneak in extra damage on some fights (like Scelos, who can be killed from 100% health by 2-3 strong Rangers).
Priming and Detonating
If a weapon or ability can prime, it will have a circle such as the above to indicate that it is a priming weapon or gear. The effect applied can be either fire, ice, electric, or acid which we’ll go into more detail on below. Priming is most often a case of point and shoot, though there will occasionally be prerequisites such as hit-streaks before an enemy is primed. Once an enemy is primed, the corresponding symbol will appear above their head, and then it’s a go for detonation.
It’s worth noting that even after detonating a combo, effects will stick for some time, meaning that your applied one needs to be cancelled out before the enemy can be primed with the same element again. Enemies will remain on fire for some time after the detonation can be triggered as an example, and this can be reset by priming them with ice, detonating and then setting them on fire again to cancel out the ice.
Synergising your primes is an important part of team-work, and perhaps even more important in solo-play, if you’re planning on doing any of that.
The elemental primes that are available to you are Fire, Ice, Electric, and Acid. You can prime any enemy with a red or yellow health bar, though some enemies may be resistant to certain elements e.g. Frost Brutes are more resistant to cold and it will take longer to prime them, and they will throw the effect off more quickly, and Elite and Legendary enemies have additional resistances. Shields must be stripped from enemies that carry them before they can be primed.
You’ve successfully primed an enemy! What now?
Any item that has the symbol above next to it will detonate a prime. Be it a missile, grenade, gun, elemental or melee attack, this is where you get your combos which can scale up your damage, often massively, and it is one of the fastest ways to destroy an enemy health pool. Enemies that have been primed with multiple effects can be detonated multiple times. Once an effect has been detonated, it cannot be detonated again until the effect has expired and been reapplied. Certain abilities at end-game can hit multiple times, and therefore detonate multiple times (up to three).When a target has multiple primers they will always detonate in the same order:
Each Javelin has a different Combo mechanic, and very different strengths.
Ranger - Combo Impact
Ranger combos deal the most damage out of any of the Javelins, but they are strictly single-target. If there is a big target that needs to be taken down, thats when you call a Ranger. No other Javelin can put up the Combo damage numbers that Ranger does, but Rangers will strugle against large groups of smaller enemies because of their extreme single target focus.
Colossus - Combo Blast
Colossus Combo damage is second only to the Ranger. There is one very important difference though, Colossus Combos are explosive. A Colossus Combo detonation will hit every enemy in the immediate area, making detonating groups of enemies absolutely devastating. If your enemies are foolish enough to cluster up, a Colossus can vaporize them in seconds.
Storm - Combo Chains
Storm has the lowest Combo damage in the game, which means that in the end game Combos are not really ever a focus of Storm builds. Unlike Ranger and Colossus, Storm Combo damage does not increase with "Combo Chains" inscriptions. Instead, Storm Combos will spread the elemental effect to nearby enemies. This can be a good thing, if you actually plan for it, but it is more likely to actually hurt your squad than help it. Combo Chains inscriptions will increase the spread of your elemental effects on Combo.
Unfortunately, when a Storm chains the elemental effect to other enemies it does not prime them, only add the status effect. This means while they will burn or freeze, for example, they can not be Combo'ed and will not be able to be primed with that element until the effect wears off. This means that Storm Combos often prevent other Javelins from priming and detonating Combos of their own, while also doing the least damage.
The exception to this is when you are intentionally trying to spread high damage fire or electric effects which can deal tremendous damage when properly geared for it, or with a very strong Ralner's Blaze assault rifle.
Interceptor - Combo Aura
The Interceptor has the same lack luster Combo damage as the Storm, except that there are some Interceptor Components like Way of Integration that can give it a little bit more power, though still FAR short of Ranger and Colossus.
When an Interceptor detonates a Combo, it gains a damaging Aura of the element that was detonated. This Aura is refreshed each time you Combo (regardless of element) and will apply the elemental status effect on nearby enemies. Like the Storm though, this will not prime them. "Combo Aura Effect" seem to do absolutely nothing and certainly don't boost any damage at all.