Anthem Combo Guide: Primers, Detonators, And Each Javelin’s Special Effect

There’s quite a bit that Anthem doesn’t explicitly tell you in its tutorial or first few hours. The basics–such as shooting, dodging, and flying–are covered, but several of the game’s more nuanced mechanics, like executing a combo during combat, are left for you to figure out. Setting up and executing a combo isn’t necessary for beating Anthem, but understanding how to do so–and also knowing how each Javelin does so differently–can really help with tackling the game’s Grandmaster difficulties.

To combo in Anthem, you’ll first need to know which of a Javelin’s unique abilities act as a primer and which are a detonator. Primers typically cause a status effect to an enemy, such as ice or acid, and set an enemy up for a combo. A detonator, meanwhile, will execute a combo on an enemy that has been primed. There are also standard abilities in the game, which neither prime nor detonate, and the Storm’s Ultimate attack–Elemental Storm–is both a primer and detonator. In-game, primers are marked in the Forge customization window with a circle icon, and detonators are identified by a four-pronged star icon. If a weapon does neither, you won’t see either symbol.

Both primers and detonators can be used alone and still cause enemy damage, much like a standard weapon. However, you’ll want to execute combos as often as you can to do the most damage in the shortest amount of time. Some enemies tend to be bullet sponges and take a while to kill with firearms alone, so detonating a primer on them is a much easier way of dealing with them.

Detonating an enemy won’t remove a primer’s effect either, so you don’t have to worry about neutralizing status effects by pulling off a combo. If you freeze a group of enemies with a Ranger’s Frost Grenade, detonating the combo with a Colossus’ Lightning Coil won’t unfreeze them. You will have to prime the enemies again for another detonation, but the ice status effect remains until it naturally melts away.

It’s also worth noting that each Javelin creates its own unique special effect when it detonates an enemy, so if you’re playing in a group, you should know when to combo and when to let a teammate take the lead. Each Javelin and their corresponding combo effect are outlined below.

Javelin Combo Effects

  • Ranger — Critical Target Damage: Detonating an enemy causes more damage than any other Javelin’s detonation
  • Colossus — Explosion: Detonating an enemy causes an explosion which damages all nearby enemies
  • Storm — Spread: Detonating an enemy causes an explosion which spreads the enemy’s elemental status effect to nearby foes
  • Interceptor — Aura: Detonating an enemy causes its elemental status effect to imbued into your Javelin, which can then be spread to nearby targets through proximity

Each Javelin’s Role When Setting Up A Combo

Ideally, you’d have Ranger handle all of the detonations when fighting a boss, as its combo effect allows it to do the most damage on a single target. Colossus, Storm, and Interceptor, on the other hand, are great for handling mobs of enemies bunched up together.

That’s not to say these roles can’t be reversed, though. Ranger’s Ultimate, the Multi-Target Missile Battery, hits a bunch of enemies and is a detonator. If you prime a mob, you can do huge amounts of combo damage with this attack. Conversely, Storm and Interceptor’s combo effects are ideal in situations where a boss is joined by enemy mobs. Also, Colossus’ Ultimate, Siege Cannon, launches three detonators, which can do a lot of damage if your teammates can quickly prime a boss between each shot.

Each Javelin’s melee attack needs to be taken into consideration as well. The Ranger’s Shock Mace is a primer, while the Colossus’ Heavy Smash, Storm’s Fiery Strike, and Interceptor’s Bladed Daggers are all detonators.

Going Solo Vs. Being A Part Of A Team

In Anthem, it’s good practice to have at least two loadouts for each Javelin, one for solo play and another for when you’re with others. Because when by yourself, you want a Javelin that can both easily prime and detonate so you’re not scrambling against high-powered foes. For example, it’s not the best strategy to play by yourself with a Ranger armed with Inferno Grenade and Venom Darts–both of which are primers–as then you’ll only be able to detonate a combo with the Javelin’s Ultimate. It’s a great loadout, however, when playing with another player who’s armed with a powerful detonator.

By yourself, one of the best Ranger loadouts is Frost Grenade and Seeking Missile if you prefer fighting from long range. This loadout will allow you to keep enemies in place and detonate them from afar. For close range, consider Inferno Grenade and Pulse Blast. Colossus has a devastating solo build with Lightning Coil and Flamethrower, and it’ll put you right in the enemy’s face where the Javelin can do the most damage. Interceptor, who also excels at close-range, has two solid solo loadouts: Cyro Glaive and Tempest Strike for those who prefer to shoot firearms or Venom Spray and Spark Dash if you enjoy using melee attacks and a hit-and-run playstyle. You’ve got a ton of choices for solo builds with Storm, since most of its primers and detonators are really good and can be mixed and matched.

Netflix’s The Dragon Prince Season 2 Ending Explained

Warning! Full SPOILERS for The Dragon Prince Season 2 below. You can read our spoiler-free review of the second season right here

The Dragon Prince Season 2 ended with a few surprises that we didn’t see coming, like Ezran’s bold choice to return home and the sudden appearance of a dragon named Soul Regan at the Xadian boarder, to name a few. In order to find out what all of these exciting new reveals could mean for Season 3, we spoke to creators Aaron Ehasz and Justin Richmond.

What’s up With Ezran’s Mental Connection to Zym?

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Get Ready for Wolverine’s Busy Week

With dozens of comic books to choose from, let us show you which are the best coming out this week. Take a look at this list spotlighting our favorite comics that we know are money-well-spent and new books that look cool and are backed by some top-tier talent.

Check out our picks, then head to the comments to let us know what you’ll be buying this week!

Return of Wolverine #5 – $4.99


Writer Charles Soule | Artist Steve McNiven (Marvel Comics)

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Tetris 99 Review

Tetris 99 is the “This is Fine” meme in video game form – only instead of ignoring encroaching flames, you have to keep your cool during an onslaught of gray garbage blocks piling onto the screen from any of 98 other players in the match, making each moment more panicked than the last. Sometimes it really is fine, and the right sequence of movements mixed with a little luck returns my grid to a nice, orderly structure. Other times the garbage is too much, and all that remains of my screen is a gray dumpster that signals an early exit from this frantic, pulse-racing spin on one of the most beloved puzzle games of all time.

I get irrationally nervous during a seemingly solid run; a palms sweaty, heart beating out of my chest, jittery kind of nervous. If I had a blood pressure cuff on during a top-10 run, my doctor would probably tell me I need to be on medication. When I make it into the top five, I feel like I can run through a brick wall. I also feel like I’m going to pass out. I’m 99 percent sure Tetris 99 is bad for my health. It’s a vice I will gladly live with, though, because the overbearing tension is also what makes it such a thrilling and ultimately fulfilling multiplayer experience.

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Battlerite Royale Going Free to Play

The MOBA brawler Battlerite Royale has officially gone free to play.

As of today, Battlerite Royale has moved out of Steam Early Access and into a free to play structure. Stunlock Studios is also releasing the “BIG PATCH” today, which introduces three new Champions, two new areas, and new regional objects added to certain parts of the map.

The new Champions are Oldur who can bend space and time, Taya the tornado summoner, and Pearl who can unleash the ocean’s fury. The two new areas are the Frozen Plateau and Trade’s Islet. On top of this, players will be able to purchase the Legendary Adventure Pack 2, which features a new mount.

The BIG PATCH also introduces the Battle Pass system, which gives players a Free Pass and the option to upgrade to a Premium Pass, which can unlock exclusive cosmetics. The All Champions Packs for Battlerite and Battlerite Royale are priced at $20.

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Umbrella Academy: What Happened to Ben?

This story contains spoilers for The Umbrella Academy comics and Netflix series.

Whether you’re watching the Netflix show or reading the comics, Umbrella Academy fans are dying to know the answer to one burning question: what happened to Ben Hargreeves AKA Number 6 AKA The Horror. We know he’s dead, but how?

An Unhappy Child

In the comics, the flashback scenes we do see of Ben show whipping tentacles emerging from his stomach, and we get a sense that he’s insanely powerful, but we really get no insight into what kind of personality he had as a young child.

Sir Reginald Hargreeves does mention in a personal note in the comics that #6 is “easily manipulated due to enthusiastic if naive nature.” And in Vanya’s book, she writes about The Horror, calling him “the kindest of my siblings, but he was so eager to please Father. He was easily manipulated, dragged into Father and Luther’s little games — and those two simply let him die.”

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