Each turn in Atlas Reactor consists of four main phases. These phases are Prep, Dash, Blast and Move. All abilities in the game can be categorized as a Prep, Dash or Blast ability. Knowing how these phases and their sub-phases work will allow you to maximize your gameplay.
Prep phase can be broken down into two sub-phases. They are Defensive Prep Phase and Offensive Prep Phase. Defensive prep phase consists of shielding and healing abilities. Offensive Prep Phase includes skills that affect the enemy and trap placement. It is important to know how prep skills work and which sub-phase they belong to as they can cause interactions with each other.
For example, Rampart’s Bulwark is a shield wall so it is considered a defensive prep phase ability. His shield wall will trigger before offensive prep abilities. Because of this Rampart’s wall will block some offensive prep abilities.
Skills that are offensive prep abilities that are blocked by Rampart’s Bulwark:
- Gery’s Tranquilizer Dart
- Juno’s Lockdown
- Zuki’s Missle Storm (unless modded with Enhanced Targeting)
- Nix’s Overwatch Drone
- Phaedra’s Putrid Spray
- Su-Ren’s Spirit Bend (unless modded with Resonant Spirit)
- Titus’s Dirty Fighting
Skills that are offensive prep abilities, when casting, are NOT blocked by Rampart’s Bulwark:
- Khita’s Take-Aim
- Elle’s Lurker Drone
- Lockwood’s Trapwire
- Celeste’s Proximo Charge
- Zuki’s The Big One
- Helio’s Disruption Matrix
- Garrison’s Missle Barrage
After all Prep Phase skills have concluded, Dash Phase beings. All dashes will play out simultaneously including catalyst dashes. Because of this, any dash that also applies damage will not trigger damage on another dashing target. This is important as it can give you protection from ultimates such as Lockwood’s Run and Gun.
Blackburn’s Blitz is the exception to this. This ability is split into two parts, a dash in Dash Phase and an attack in Blast Phase. He can use this to avoid other dash attacks but can still do damage to targets who dashed in the same turn.
Some dashes, such as a catalyst dash, happen instantly. Other dashes travel along a movement path. The vision granted by freelancers will also change during these dashes. This allows you to use your dash to scout out areas and camo.
Similar to Prep Phase, Blast Phase is also split into two sub-phases. The two phases are the Attack Phase and the Knockback Phase. During the Attack Phase, all normal attacks (that do not include a knockback) will happen first. After, all abilities that involve knockbacks or pulls will play out. This is important to know as certain abilities can be used together to create powerful combos. For example, Gremolition Inc.’s Splort will place mines in Attack Phase but they can knock freelancers over them with Big Bang during the Knockback Phase.
Move Phase also consists of two sub-phases. First, all freelancers who input regular movements paths will take their positions.The position the freelancer ends in could be different from the one selected due to debuffs, such as slow, that were applied earlier in the turn. After, freelancers who chose to auto-follow other freelancers will move. This can be important information when selection your move as you cannot path into a spot that is occupied by a freelancer who will move during the auto-follow phase.
In the example below, Asana has an auto-follow movement on the enemy Aurora. Khita wants Asana’s current spot behind the cover and inputs a movement path for it.
However, since Khita and Aurora move before Asana, Khita can only move to the closest available tile.
Asana then auto-follows Aurora to her new position, but Khita is unfortunately stuck out in the middle with no cover.