Welcome back, Paragonian protector, to the Power Pool Spotlight. We’ve all had those dreams. Some nightmares, some fantasies, where you’re moving along and suddenly, as though you always had it in you, your feet leave the ground. Without wings, rockets or solar sails you’re airborne! Soaring with the eagles, playing with the clouds, picking the bugs out of your teeth! What is a superhero without fly? Well, CoH gamer philosophy has grouped four pools into “movement powers” which are: flight, teleport, superspeed, and superjump. Many have ranked the powers in order of their own perspectives. Flight rarely tops the list and frequently finds itself at the bottom. This is by tactical analysis, of course, and is usually not written by a blaster or controller. I suppose it’s time we leave the intro now and delve right into the aspects of…

Flight:

Flight is what allows heroes to rise above the streets and get a bird’s eye view of the city. Being pool powers, Hover and Air Superiority become available at level 6. Fly is offered at level 14 provided that one of the lower powers has been purchased; and Group Flight opens up at level 20 if the hero has taken flight.
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[P ALIGN=”CENTER”][FONT FACE=”Arial” SIZE=2]Power[/FONT] [FONT FACE=”Arial” SIZE=2][P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Target[/FONT] [FONT FACE=”Arial” SIZE=2][P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Endurance Cost[/FONT]
[P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Hover [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Self [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]1
[P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Air Superiority [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Target [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]7.5
[P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Fly [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Self [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]2.5
[P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Group Flight [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]Team [P ALIGN=”CENTER”]1.5

Hover:

Hover allows the hero to fly at speeds rivaling that of moving continents, advancing glaciers, or a Ford Tempo… with no engine… being pushed by sloths… sleeping sloths. You get the picture. It’s slow.

What hover does allow for is battle perspective, increased defense and tactical positioning. In a fight the hero can place themselves out of melee range and launch ranged attacks. The power allows about a 5% accuracy debuff for your foes and takes very little endurance. You can slot the power with increased speed, increased debuff or reduced endurance cost. Hover does not reduce the hero’s accuracy.

So who should take Hover?

Unless it’s for roleplaying reasons, this power isn’t really for a tank or scrapper. Certain defender builds might not want to take Hover as well. Some tanks will take Hover as just one more thing to toggle on for protection.

This is a good power for a blaster to put themselves in a great position for the fight and increase their pitiful defenses. Controllers are the same way. Combat oriented defenders or those that don’t use themselves as the center of an Area of Effect power can find it useful as well. Basically, ask yourself if the three bonuses (accuracy debuff, overhead perspective of the battle, and out-ranging the melee crowd) are beneficial to your hero. If you believe them useful, then fly up into the sky and blast away! But watch out for those baddies with…

Air Superiority:

This oft-maligned power comes in useful for me as a tank or scrapper. I don’t use it much as a blaster and am usually dead before needing it as a controller. This power is described as an overhand strike that knocks airborne opponents to the ground. What is does is shut off fly, knock them on their back, and give you a few seconds to deal some serious damage. What some people don’t know is that Air Superiority can be used on the ground. You don’t need to strike a flying foe or be in the air yourself.

This power works almost every time, even on bosses. Some baddies take longer to get up than others. Certain Lost bosses seem to take forever to regain their feet and with my dark scrapper I can usually whittle them down to nothing before they can even get an attack off. What I am not certain of, but suspect, is that Air Superiority shuts off all toggle powers a villain may be running. I have used this attack on Tsoo Sorcerers and watched their hurricane drop. Could be coincidence…

Your own animation time is minimal and the power zips right back up to usefulness again. Damage is low but that’s not what you should be using it for, really. Take it as a good way to get a bad guy off his feet and you won’t be disappointed. If you’re a tank or scrapper, this is the power you want instead of hover because there’s no need to float slowly when you can…

Fly:

Sorry Batman, but this is the reason capes exist! What’s more exciting? Some spandex clad weirdo hops off his skateboard to save the day or the vibrant vixen that swoops from above, fires bolts of power into the creeps, and flips off a salute to the onlookers as she rises into the setting sun?

Fly is the slowest of all the travel powers. Yes it’s easier to use in Terra Volta. Yes it allows you easy access to rooftops. There are certain instances when it’s better. But compared to Superspeed, Superjump and, especially, Teleport, it’s slow. It’s also an endurance hog. And it makes you miss the mark when attacking more than you’d like.

That being said, how slow is it? It’s really not that bad. At the even the mid-20 levels, properly slotted, Fly can get up to near 40mph. I’m not using a stop watch here, but multiple heroes have reported this to the official CoH forums and few offer arguments against. Three slotting Fly with Single Origin enhancements seems to be the most popular option.

Warning: DO NOT ATTACK WITH THIS POWER ACTIVE. You will miss, miss some more, watch your endurance fall like the value of a peso, and soon find yourself on the very street with the people you were just shooting at. It is worth it to put Fly and Hover on keybinds to toggle back and forth. Fly into a battle, toggle on hover, and you’re good to go.

Sprint, Quick, and Superspeed do not stack with Fly.

Group Flight:

What in the world is this used for? Well, all I can say is “fun.” It’s slower than Fly, faster than Hover, and starts off with a lower endurance cost than Fly, but only slightly. Then when you add heroes to your “flight radius” you can almost hear the endurance leave your hero. Add to that the fact that everyone in the group has an accuracy penalty, some speculating it may be as high as -50%, and you end up with the slowest travel power with the worst combat penalty. What can I say? Woot.

This power is great for taking a bunch of lowbies to the top of Atlas for their badge or griefing them by turning it off at the top of the world. Your choice.

Final Analysis:

Hover: GGGG
Air Superiority: GGGG
Fly: GG
Group Flight: -GG
G = Good or “Glowerific”

Flight has no powers with the coveted Glow Girl rating of uberfantasticoolio. This is because flight is really a roleplaying or character concept pool I believe. Hover has great uses but other powers can be taken by Blasters and the like to mitigate its effects.

Where flight comes in is with the caped crowd. I know you see speed demons and jumpers zipping from one end of town to the next; caped, cowled, frocked and tricked; but they just look right on a hero in the air.

That’s the view from 5’2″.

-Glow Girl

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