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This will be a guide for Bomb King, your true king.
Paladins: Bomb King Guide
Bomb King is undeniably the king of all blasters. Out of all champions, he may indeed have the best weapon of the bunch – but we’ll get back into that part later. It’s also important to note that there are particular maps he clearly excels on, which we will also discuss later. Most importantly, Bomb King is most definitely a ‘carry champion’ a Bomb King’s skill can make or break how they perform, and a good Bomb King can make the enemy team’s life absolute hell. Either way, let’s get into making you a better Bomb King, because there are plenty of people out there that cannot play him well – at all.
Ability Overview: (A run through of Bomb King’s abilities, when to use them, and how to maximize their impact.)
(Sticky Bomb & Detonate) (LMB/RMB) (Blast)
In my view, BK’s most crucial abilities – his primary fire is a massive part of his kit and brings him well into viability. If you want to master Bomb King, arguably the most important skill you need to learn is your primary fire – practice sticking bombs in shooting range as the strange trajectory can really throw off your aim, you’ll also want to master learning the correct timing for detonating so that you do not blow bombs up too close or too far from the target. You can deal up to 900 damage per sticky bomb and can be thrown every 0.7s – a very fast fire rate that gives BK an insane DPS score, with a maximum of six out at once which means you can bring out possibly the largest burst in the entire game if you are prepared to set up for it – keep in mind that shooting bombs that are stuck to walls can destroy them, so a trap setup can easily be thwarted by a careful enemy. As you all seem to like knowing, you gain 3.5-4% ultimate charge per bomb that deals full damage, with decreasing percentage as the bombs explode further away from players. Out of all the blaster weapons, sticky bomb has an incredibly large blast radius which means that sometimes accuracy is not so key on Bomb King – for example, many a time I have finished an enemy champion across the map by throwing a crudely aimed bomb and doing ~100 damage or so, so when not in direct 1v1’s etc., do not be afraid to chuck some more inaccurate bombs round corners and the like in an attempt to finish kills and continue applying pressure.
Another thing to always keep in mind when playing Bomb King is that you should always aim to do damage to multiple enemies if possible. His high blast radius, high damage bombs mean you can easily punish grouped up enemies – which is what his kit excels in as a whole – so when playing BK try and focus on shutting down chokepoints and congested areas by destroying clumped up enemies. To add, when attacking tanks or other shield characters eg. Khan, Vivian, you can explode bombs above their shields/heads (or to the sides/below) and easily kill them when they attempt to shield on low health – a very useful tool to busting tanks even more easily. One question people seem to have a lot: ‘Should I detonate my bombs individually or stack them on a target then detonate?’; unless running chain reaction I would always recommend detonating individually as it maximizes your chances of doing as much damage as possible – this is because of the loadout you will most likely be using (more info in the loadouts section), as well as the fact that CC Immunity & Reduction can greatly decrease the time bombs stick to enemy targets. Finally, although high ground is important, it is not as important as many other blasters due to the nature of BK’s projectiles.
(Grumpy Bomb) (Q) (Blast) – [12S]
Another very powerful tool for Bomb King – the grumpy bomb. In high-level games, this ability rarely serves its true purpose of stunning, but is an incredibly effective ‘crowd-control’ ability, in the way that it completely denies certain areas. If you want to be an amazing Bomb King, you’ll want to learn how to position your grumpy bomb in a way that it is the most effective – otherwise it can be a fairly lackluster ability (I am still working on perfecting this myself), this can mean denying flank routes or placing the bomb in an obscure position around the point. Having said that, if an enemy is unfortunate to be stunned you can easily stick them with a few bombs and easily deal incredible amounts of damage, often netting you a free kill on a squishy. Finally, it’s important to remember that being an effective grumpy bomb user can force the enemies (particularly the tanks) into buying resilience, which takes away from their survivability and means they miss out on something else, such as rejuvenate.
(Poppy Bomb) (F) (Movement) – [8S / Resource]
When playing any damage champion, it is important to master positioning – BK being no exception. When using Poppy Bomb I like to face backward to the direction I want to travel and pressing F twice very quickly, which will send you flying in that direction, however many good Bomb King’s also like to throw it on the floor and detonate it for more controlled movement – it is up to you to choose your preferred method by trying out both.
Poppy Bomb is very useful; it can allow you to quite quickly reposition, including giving vertical mobility which is crucial on many maps to control important and congested areas. It is also very useful in doing an incredibly aggressive rush into the enemy – often times an effective Bomb King will find an opening in the enemy lines and quickly jump in using poppy bomb, often times taking out multiple members of the enemy team and giving quick multikills as the enemies fail to realize you are there before they are blown to pieces. This can be combined with Bomb King’s ultimate – you can achieve this by throwing a non-Jolt sticky bomb on the floor behind you, then ulting, detonating it as the power-up time comes to a close.
It wouldn’t be a BK guide if we didn’t mention the fact that Bomb King can easily displace enemies from their positions using Poppy Bomb – surprisingly a very controllable CC mechanism that when paired with the right maps and certain cards (eg. Jolt), can send enemies flying off the map if you learn the direction it sends people. This feature of Bomb King can be especially effective when playing against characters like Ash, where you can quite easily boop her out of her ultimate and kill her.
(King Bomb) (E) (Ultimate) (N/A)
Bomb King’s ultimate can be quite weak if used improperly, and can often end up getting you killed. This is because it has a very long windup time of two seconds, which coincidentally is the same as being stunned by it – so keep this in mind when thinking about going for an ultimate: sometimes you can do just as much with your normal sticky bombs. Keeping this in mind, it is very important to ult in a good position where you are kept relatively covered and will not be killed during the ult-windup, but can also quickly reach enemies without getting caught on corners due to the odd turning mechanics (you will get stuck sometimes, it’s part of learning how to use this ultimate).
Apart from the tip in the poppy bomb section, there is another incredibly important idea to keep in mind when ulting as Bomb King, speed effects will last the duration of King Bomb and will make you go FAST. I implore you to try Bomb King Ult combined with Grohk Ult, it is arguably one of the most fun things you can do in Paladins, and will allow you to reach the enemy very quickly and thus stopping them from escaping or using abilities to turn invulnerable.
Furthermore, an extremely important tip is that you can press the ultimate key again to detonate King Bomb early, which is very useful as sometimes hitting enemies directly can be hard and end up with you too far into their backline, try detonating when near to stun them and thus stop you from dying as you roll. Also, you are CC immune during King Bomb and cannot receive Knock Back’s, slows, etc. Finally, a quick but useful fact is that BK Ultimate will win in a direct collision against a Drogoz ultimate, so keep this in mind.
Talents: (Which talents are most viable, which are fit for different situations?)
When hitting an enemy with multiple bombs, each bomb after the first will deal 30% more damage.
For a high level Bomb King, chain reaction can be absolutely insane. It allows you to deal massive amounts of damage to tanks, as well as to easily take out enemy squishies in 2 or so bombs. This gives BK even greater burst. However, I will warn that in my view this is a much harder talent to use and requires a significant amount more skill – I would personally recommend Royal Subjects in almost all situations, however this can definitely be viable against high HP teams. Having said that keep in mind that CC (as mentioned earlier) stops bombs for sticking for as long, so this talent against a CC immune Inara or the like is really not very effective.
Increase the explosion size of Sticky Bombs by 20%.
The go-to talent for any beginner or intermediate Bomb King in virtually any situation, and still a prime choice even for professionals. Royal Subjects makes bomb spamming to kill low targets and provide damage in clumped up areas to grouped enemies even easier and compliments many cards such as bonus reload speed after detonating very well. This card is particularly powerful for beginners as it means they aren’t hurt as much from the initial inaccuracy a new BK player will have due to his difficult weapon fire.
Grumpy Bomb explodes 40% faster.
In my view Accelerant is a casual talent. It can work, just not reliably. If you can master timing and placement of grumpy bomb, this talent can net you many more stuns – especially if the enemy are not aware that you have picked the talent, thus it can be incredibly effective in the first round of a match. I would personally recommend fake picking Royal Subjects then changing to Accelerant if you really wish to use it. Ultimately, this talent pales in comparison to the others due to the fact that it is hard countered by resilience (which hurts other parts of Bomb King’s kit too). I reckon that if you want to play this talent, do it in casual rather than ranked.
Itemization: (General notes on what to purchase with credits.)
Bomb King is fairly simple to buy for, but as always, this is a very subjective matter. Often on these guides people in the comments like to argue their favourite items, and if you think they are effective, honestly go for it. Here I will just give what I personally believe works the best for him.
What You Should Buy For Bomb King
1- Early Game: Cauterize. In almost all situations Cauterize is your go-to, Bomb Kings powerful blast means spreading Caut to enemies is easy and effective, and like all damages (or champions in general, bar support) Cauterize is almost always a must have. The exception to this would be if the enemy has a heavy shield comp and no other DPS can take Wrecker, in which case it’s fine if you take it.
2- Late Game: There are a couple of items that I think work quite well here… apart from situational items Nimble is always nice to strafe more effectively, and can be very useful with a more aggressive playstyle. Rejuvenate is of course amazing with a good healer or Jenos, and helps to keep you alive a lot more, especially considering your already larger healthpool. Apart from these, a blue item such as Haven or Blast Shields works very well depending on the enemy team composition.
Buffing & Countering Bomb King
Buffing & Countering Bomb King: Which Champions, abilities or playstyles counter Bomb King.
More of a situational one but maps – Bomb King really doesn’t do too well at all on maps with long open sightlines. For example Fish Market and Ice Mines. On this kind of map a long range hitscan such as snipers or Lian can easily win the engagement with Bomb King due to the difficulty of hitting long range bombs. Another way to counter Bomb King is by simply focusing him down, BK’s aggressive nature can be turned against him simple by targeting him when he leaps into your backline – often times a support and damage can team up and shut him down if they are paying attention.
Some hints and tips for optimizing Bomb King might be useful! BK excels in 1v1’s with tanks which is important to keep in mind if you are a tank player as it can be easy to believe that you can take down any damage in a one versus one. Another thing to note is just how powerful Bomb King is with Torvald (who is otherwise really not that good in this patch) – or any damage boost for that matter, such as Luminary and Hunter’s Mark Tyra – it means BK can absolutely decimate any squishy and quickly clear your team in a 4-0 victory before wrecker comes online.
I recommend not leaving both Torv and Bomb King open for the enemy if you want to be safe. As for maps that are awesome for Bomb King, there are a few that stand out – simply put the opposite of the type mentioned in the previous paragraph: short range, close-quarters maps such as Brightmarsh and Jaguar Falls. In fact, I believe BK’s best map is for certainly Jag due to the close-quarters areas such as sunroom and mid.
Ranked: Bomb King in ranked, when he is banned, who he might counter, who counters him.
Immediately one thing about BK that stands out from the tips above is maps; picking BK on his strong maps is exponentially more powerful than his weaker ones, for example, Jaguar Falls makes BK a must pick / must ban in my eyes due to his sheer power in holding the key areas. Another thing to note is that Bomb King is very powerful against very squishy targets, particularly flanks such as Maeve and Evie, where you can often kill them with two bombs.
This is even worse for Talus and Wormhole Evie in particular as he can camp their teleport spots with Bomb Traps and insta kill them. With this being said, I wouldn’t pick squishy flanks into BK, and you can pick BK to counter them easily. As mentioned earlier, Bomb King works very well with a damage amp heavy team so this is important to note when banning/picking – I wouldn’t really suggest leaving Torvald open on one of BK’s stronger maps because of this.
Generally, BK can work against pretty much any tank, however, Terminus can give him some difficulty due to the power of his siphon in blocking bombs, and how easy it is to feed him this way when spamming. One final thing to note is to try and pick up a flank if the enemy has a long-range hitscan such as Lian (use Royal Subjects to more easily hit her slim body) or snipers.