A Guide to Isida
Isida, in a nutshell, is a unique weapon. It opens a variety of unique play styles to the user, but take note now lest you be disappointed in the future: Isida is not a pure offensive threat. Countless tankers haplessly wield this tool, ignoring the gravity of the responsibilities it requires and becoming more of a liability than an ally. This guide is made to diminish their number, and in their place, sprout responsible and capable users of Isida.
This guide covers tips on how to use Isida to its full potential, its strengths, and weaknesses, its functions with different combinations, strategies against different weapons, and we will even touch on its history.
The Amazing History of Isida
Isida first came out on September 28th, 2009. Since the beginning of Tanki, only Smoky, Firebird, Twins, and the Fear Machine (Railgun) were out, and Tanki knew that to increase their player base, a wider range of weapons and tanks were required. As a healing and damaging weapon, Isida significantly changed gameplay. Up to that point, the player pool consisted almost entirely of Dictator-Railgun at high ranks, due to their massive advantage against the “Tier-1” weapons and tanks. However, the introduction of Isida brought an entirely new facet to the game, being one of the only two methods of restoring a player's health in the game (the first obviously being a Repair Kit). Isida Mania didn't kick in immediately, however, since seasoned veterans still preferred to use Fear Machine instead. However, this new weapon made sure that Tanki Online's overall gameplay would never be the same again.
Isida's history is pockmarked with the scars of many past mechanical reorganizations. After it was first brought to the field, Isida sported several characteristics that may sound completely absurd at the moment – for example, it used to be able to self-repair itself without attacking an enemy. Just by holding the Spacebar down, you could slowly boost your health, even with nobody within range. This mechanic was removed two weeks later after developers realized the ability was incredibly overpowered, and not suited for Tanki's gameplay.
On December 30th, 2009, Isida was shifted from healing in “Percentage” to healing in “HP”. To put it simply, Isida formerly healed by "HP in comparison to the full life of the tank". Its points were given by the percentage of the tank it healed. Afterward, the points given to Isida were given by the amount of health they actually gave back. So, previously, healing a Wasp was easier to get points than a Mammoth. However, now, a Mammoth would give you lots more if it was low on health due to its higher health to heal, but it'd use up more of your fuel reserve.
Also, a fact you may not have known about Isida: the bringing of Isida into the game changed the supplied name from “Double Damage”, as it was called then, to the name of “Double Power”; since Isida could heal as well.
Another subsequent update also changed the point gathering abilities of Isida. Now, one only receives points once they let go of the spacebar, not simply after performing the repairs. Thus, if you are in the middle of healing and you suddenly perish, you do not receive any points, due to the fact you failed to let go of the spacebar.
In Fall 2016, another update cut down Isida to size, since its damage per second and vampire-like health suction abilities had reached obscene levels and popularity. Healing and damage were no longer equivalents, with the weapon's healing factor being overall decreased. This way, trains of Isidas could no longer stay alive indefinitely and ruin the balance of many TDM and CP matches.
Recently, in 2020 and 2021, Isida (no longer able to heal itself by attacking enemies) got buffs to its damage, allowing it to compete effectively with other short-range weapons once again. It has also received a number of augments that diversify and strengthen its gameplay capabilities.
What is it and what does it do?
Isida connects a beam of nanobots to one tank at melee range. It happens to have the highest damage per second, even compared to its two siblings, Firebird and Freeze (though it can only attack for 5 seconds before a 10 second reload). Its special effect is unlike any other, allowing it to repair a teammate's wounds, at a lower rate than damaging, but for extended periods of time.
Healing teammates with Isida gives experience points and battle score, scaled by how much you heal and rewarded when you release the spacebar.
Now that we know what isida does, it's worth pondering what to use it with. What is the best hull to accompany this weapon? All combinations with Isida can set itself upon are listed below in detail as a short overview of the best places to use each of the combos.
Light Hulls: Wasp, Hornet, and Hopper
High speed and maneuverability make it ideal for zipping through an enemy base or circling a slow enemy
Fast enough to easily catch up with and keep up with up with teammates who need healing
Good for chasing down enemies and getting in the face of enemies who might self-damage with splash turrets like Thunder
Low health means you may get killed while healing
Wasp is great at chasing down enemies, but may find itself flipped or knocked around, and unable to right itself or attack. Hornet is a fantastic pairing with Isida, thanks to its stability and its Overdrive, which includes stripping nearby enemy armor and Supercharging the turret - an effect that lets you fully heal any teammate nearly instantly.
Medium Hulls: Viking, Hunter, Dictator, and Crusader
The Stun and EMP of Hunter's overdrive are very helpful for a turret with such limited energy capacity, and the maneuverability of Hunter lets you dance around enemies. Crusader can make Isida a bit hard to aim at times, but its overdrive lets you take out distant enemies that would normally be unreachable with Isida. The the Supercharge of Dictator's overdrive turns Isida's healing abilities up to incredible levels, and sharing supplies with teammates complements its role as a support turret. However, its height can make it difficult to connect the beam. Viking is great at chasing down enemies, but may find itself knocked or spun around due to its low traction.
Heavy Hulls: Ares, Titan, and Mammoth
- Defending the base in Assault
- Holding a point in Siege
- Any battle on the Archipelago map
Generally, Isida is not paired with heavy hulls. Though they can be useful in some crowded or healing-heavy situations, generally mobility is preferred to strength as a pair for this turret.
The Strategic Tips to Isida Domination
- The most important factor to take into account when using Isida is the balance between attacking and healing. Many Isidas on the battlefield are either too focused on healing teammates or too focused on attacking or capturing flags. The key to capturing the essence of Isida, especially in a mode like CTF or RGB, is supporting your team to help aid you in scoring, be it through your effort to keep your teammates alive or to grab the flag yourself and heal your supporters.
- A crucial thing to remember if you are an Isida is that you are the healer. It is almost always best to drop the flag off to another attacker if you are together in an attack, so you can heal him as you return to base. Don't be selfish. It's a nice way to show you care about your team, and it likely will result in more flags being captured and, notably, more rewards at the end of the battle.
- This is even more true if you are using Support Nanobots. Heal your teammates, and let them do the killing, even when it seems like you could help with the attack.
- It's key as an Isida to appreciate all players around you and not stick with a single player, only healing them (with exceptions made when your team-mate has the flag and needs healing). You need to be always on the lookout for those who “need a hand”.
- It is important to remember that if the enemy flag is in your base, and your flag in the enemy base, then at minimum one Isida should be sticking with the flag holder. Whether that be you or otherwise, it is always useful to have someone healing them in times of need. If you see them alone, don't be afraid to stick with 'em. If you're getting bored, remember that you're doing your entire team service by backing up your flag-bearing teammate.
- Isida should not be under-rated in its threat to kill enemies. Due to Isida currently having the highest damage per second, you need to know that, as an Isida, if you're healing a teammate that's currently dealing insufferable amounts of damage to an enemy, you have the potential to not only nab a kill in the end if you switch targets and sweep your beam over them but save your ally some energy for a secondary onslaught. Take the kills, and you'll be on your way to success with Isida's resources. One must realize that a solely healing Isida is not going to get you many points – which will lead you to not getting many crystals, respectively. However, as always, there is a balance with this – healing and attacking are both critical.
- Remember: you only get points once you let go of the spacebar. Thus, if you are in the middle of healing when you die, you do not receive any points, due to the fact you failed to remove your spacebar. As an Isida now, it is key to remember: if you are in very low health, stop healing every now and again by letting go of the spacebar. This will mean you can get extra points you would not get, should you held on and were suddenly killed.
- If playing with Isida in Deathmatch, be very careful about monitoring your charge: only attack a heavy or armored hull if you have a full energy tank.
- Nanomass Reactor can help you maintain a kill streak without becoming drained, but it effectively removes your ability to take out a heavy enemy in a single tank without reloading.
- Know your range and cone angle.
- The angle at which you can attack enemies is far more variable with the Broadband Radiators augment. You will be able to attack or heal people on levels above you or below you, close-circling enemies will be less problematic.
- If you don't like the limited range of Broadband Radiators, make sure to get very good at pointing your turret exactly where you want it: otherwise, your beam may not connect. Also, it's best to fight on flat terrain.
- Mine usage with Isida can make for a support unit surpassing all expectations. As with all short-range guns, using mines as a standoff or delay tool can be a legitimate lifesaver, delaying opponents from brandishing their own short-ranged weapons against you or simply halting the progress of offensive threats like Wasp. One of the best times to use a mine is during a close-ranged confrontation with an attacker who wants your head on a pike. Wait for them to charge at you, lay a mine, and then back off a touch. Most will follow you and run straight into your loading mine. Also, of course, use mines when running away with the flag or backing up the flag carrier in tight spaces, as your “hunters” will very possibly be at least slowed down by them, if not killed off immediately.
- Finally, something a bit more obvious, but Isida has no recoil. Thus, when you need to leap from a ridiculous height, you can only count on your driving skill to keep you upright. The tried and true method is simple and reliable (i.e. Twist and Jump). Just turn as you leave the height in question (make sure you have a suitable speed), and you should land straight up after rotating horizontally a bit.
- Choose your augment carefully!
- Adrenaline should be your default augment for Isida - it's very powerful, and boosts your attacking and healing power.
- If you are higher ranked than many players in a battle, you might do well with Nanomass Reactor. If 4 seconds of charge is enough to destroy someone, you can maintain a good kill streak.
- If you want to heal, Support Nanobots is hands down the best augment. Don't expect to keep a good k/d ratio, though.
- Broadband Radiators can make aiming easier in tight spaces, elevation changes, or while moving around a lot. It's often paired with hovering hulls.
- If you can get your hands on it, the ultra-rare Vampire Nanobots augment turns Isida into the premiere attacking tool, at the expense of being unable to heal teammates.
Finally, we come to how to take out (or simply survive) enemies using other turrets! Here are some quick tips.
Against Firebird and Freeze
The strategy for these two turrets is essentially the same, as it involves taking advantage of a shared mechanic. Both of these turrets, unlike Isida, have damage that gets weaker at the outer ends of their range. Thus, if you stay as far from them as you can while continuing to deal damage, you will deal much more damage to them than they will to you.
Hammer's impact force is a problem: your aim will probably get knocked off thanks to Isida's small angle of a possible attack. If you still think you can take them, shoot at them between when they shoot at you, using the recovery from getting knocked back as a time to recharge your own weapon's energy.
Agianst Twins and Ricochet
Run. You probably won't even be able to get close enough to them if you try to take them head-on, and even if you do, their impact will stop your beam from connecting. The best thing to do is try to sneak up on them later from behind.
While approaching, try to move a bit unpredictably so that they miss a few shots. Once you're close enough, your job is basically done: Isida's DPS is far higher than Smoky's.
Against Thunder, Striker, or Gauss
Try to not reveal yourself to these enemies until you are fairly close - even if you can dodge a few shots or rockets, just one or two is enough to weaken you too much to be a threat up close. If you can get close unscathed, then press against their tank, forcing them to self damage themselves or not shoot you at all.
Try to not reveal yourself too early, and get close before attacking. Circle around the Vulcan, and its turret slowdown while firing will mostly prevent it from hitting you.
Usually, it's best to just ignore a magnum. If they're camping, a couple of mines and a well-placed shot will take you out after dealing just a bit of damage. If they're out and about, they probably know how to aim. If, however, they can't aim at you (especially if they can't turn their turret horizontally), just circle them very closely, and you can take them out. Getting super close can also lead to them overshooting or self-damaging.
The key here is to watch when their barrel is warming up, and change your movement pattern just then. If you can get them to miss just a shot or two, you can eat them for lunch. Also, don't give up firing just because you see a shot warming up - often those last couple of ticks are enough to kill them before their weapon discharges. As with hammer, if you're hit, briefly let go of the spacebar, using the time while you recover your aim to also recover some charge.
Wait for them to scope, and then approach them outside their field of view. They'll never see you coming.
For more information, check out the Pro's advice on Isida in the Tanki Online V-Log (do note that this is a bit out of date, so not all tips are relevant today). here.