Guide to playing in Magistral effectively
Overview: Magistral is an incredibly unpopular map. There are hardly any battles with this arena, but by no means does this mean that it isn't worth playing a few times somewhere in your career. Several XP/BP based clans tend to hold this map in high esteem as a clan war choice stage, and supply wars are fairly engaging due to there being few places to effectively hide in comparison to the map's size.
Battle Modes: DM, TDM, CTF, CP
Size: 20 players, 10 vs 10
Magistral is on the larger side of the medium maps spectrum, having lots of square area and a massive open space separating both teams. There is only one bridge that crosses this rift, otherwise leaving this no-man's-land without a breach.
There are many different spots that suit different combinations of turrets and hulls. Granted, this doesn't mean that the combination will be unstoppable in said areas, nor will it be ultimately doomed should it leave for another (in most cases, that is).
- Wasp / Hammer – This particular setup is incredibly effective in Magistral due to the massive damage output by Hammer, the great reload time guaranteeing you won't empty your clip before taking out at least one opponent, and the insane speed and agility that Wasp has to offer. This combo suits the narrow, close quarter partitions of the map, specifically the sections shrouded with buildings, cliffs, and other various geometry. Supplies such as Double Damage and Speed Boost will significantly increase your lifespan, if only for the surprise factor of your opponents suddenly being hit with a Railgun's base power with a Smoky's reload speed and being able to effectively dodge any attack thanks to Wasp's blinding speed.
- Viking / Ricochet – Not only can this combination fare well in the places where Wasp / Hammer thrives, albeit dealing damage at a slower pace, it can also take control of the bridge and its surrounding areas with next to no difficulty. Ricochet’s wide firing angle and decent range means you can be on the ramp and still be able to hit an enemy on the other side of the ramp. You can also use the bounce feature to hit enemies under the bridge. The bridge support offers the perfect wall to bounce your shots from to shake the aim of less stable hulls.
- Hornet / Shaft – This combo is seen less often than the others, but don't underestimate it -- under the right circumstances, this combination can be lethal and rather difficult to fight. Sporting better stability than Wasp and high overall speed, Hornet is the hull of choice for a mobile self-defense across the map, and Shaft pairs beautifully with this turret on this map due to the massive amount of open space, the perfect hunting grounds for a sniper. Shaft thrives in areas where shrubbery and other various geometry can be found, but just propping yourself against a back wall will do the job just as well. Hiding your laser is vital, unless you want to scare off all of your potential kills. A good piece of geometry to hide your laser with can keep the unsuspecting victims passing through, so make sure to have a spot like that as your top priority. An excellent example of a proper Shaft position is demonstrated to the right.
Both bases in Magistral are incredibly open to attacks, but the flags themselves are buried further into the respective buildings. It's fairly easy to attack opponents floating around the base, but actually invading said base is more difficult than it appears.
You will need to have more than one person playing defensively if you wish to keep your flag for very long. A short/medium-ranged turret and heavy hull in conjunction with an Isida sporting a medium hull will generally do the trick, so long as they know how to find cover when long-ranged combatants try to soften them up for their allies. The Isida's purpose is fairly obvious (to heal the heavy hull and aid their quest to destroy unwanted visitors), while the primary defender's role can vary depending on what types of opponents you're facing. Don’t forget to place mines as well; while the map is fairly large and there are many places to breach both bases, a well placed mine will make enemy onslaught that much easier to deal with. As stated before, Viking / Ricochet can easily dominate the bridge, a critical point to hold for both teams. Anyone with control of the bridge can lay permanent siege on the other team's base, effectively pinning them to their side and ruining their offensive.
As for attacking, you would want to take the path that has the best cover to get to the flag, but the quickest path back to the base. It’s recommended that you use Hornet or Wasp, as most other hulls just don’t quite have the speed needed to get in and out with the flag and outrun the other team if needed. However, medium hulls paired with mid-ranged weapons are great for supporting the attack and keeping opponents pinned down as the primary offense does their job. Any turret can perform well; it just depends what you are comfortable with and what you are trying to do. For example, Firebird and Hammer are great for clearing the area around the flag, Striker, Ricochet and Thunder support flag-takers well from behind cover, and Smoky is best for attacking enemies from a medium distance, whittling them down and throwing off Magnum, Shaft and Railgun's aim. Try to refrain from using the bridge to attack unless you have range on your side and are quick to react, should you suddenly become a target. Going underneath the bridge near the support struts provide some brief cover on your rendezvous back to your base. While coming back, just drive straight across the middle section and aim for teammates and cover. Speed Boosts are recommended, Double Armor even more so.
Hornet or Wasp is great for getting to those control points that are closer to the enemy base. When partnered with a powerful turret, such as Twins or Firebird, you become both fast and extremely suppressible, deterring opponents from coming anywhere near you. These work better in the alleyways of the map's corners, where you have the opportunity to get the jump on unwitting tankers and blow them sky-high before they ever figure out what happened. Freeze is especially effective in this role, since it takes the most advantage of a surprise attack by slowly paralyzing their enemies to the point where they can no longer fight back.
Hunter and Viking fare well with hunting down points near open space, such as the one right in the middle of the map, as it a take a few hits as well as being basically impossible to flip with a high impact force weapon. They're best mounted with something that suits the map's expansive amount of open field, such as Smoky, Thunder, Magnum, Railgun, and Vulcan. This gives you the ability to counter an opponent from any distance, keeping close ranged fighters like Firebird at bay and throwing off the aim of likewise-designed challengers such as Dictator / Thunder. After you have captured the central points, concentrate all of your fire on enemies trying to take back their territory. If you've been weakened beforehand when you claimed the territory for your team, you're undoubtedly going to be destroyed unless you focus all of your efforts in keeping these newcomers away from your side.