By GrimBrother One -
Until now, we’ve seen the Halo Wars 2 Leader lineup grow in awesome ways – from classic heroes and elemental ferocity, to enhanced alien armies and iconic adversaries. With all this potent firepower on deadly display, it seems like the evolutionary vectors have been leading to an epic eventuality – an all-powerful legion-leading lord of the battlefield, bent on nothing short of total dominance and opponent annihilation.
Instead, we get Yapyap.
Before you overlook this unheralded Unggoy however, take note – this is no garden-variety Grunt. This is Yapyap THE DESTROYER. Claimer of crowns. Giver of gas. Founding fodder of an unstoppable Unggoy army. GALAXY’S. GREATEST. GRUNT. Or at least, that’s what the memo said that was sent out by his PR department. Either way, Yapyap THE DESTROYER brings a refreshing dose of lethal levity to the Halo Wars 2 experience, capping off an already-awesome run of Season Pass content.
Yapyap the Destoyer is available now for both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC as part of the Halo Wars 2 Season Pass, or for individual purchase at $5.99 USD. Read on for more details from Yapyap, explore the new units and abilities he brings to the battlefield, and check out an overview of broader balance changes coming to Halo Wars 2 with this latest update!
YapYap’s approach to leading his troops is…unusual, to say the least, and always results in massive casualties among the Banished Grunts – but Grunts are cheap, and explosions are fun, so mostly Atriox lets YapYap keep at it. And now, you can too.
Witness the pungent power of the mighty YapYap THE DESTOYER Leader Pack, with powers and units including:
- Giant(ish) Grunt Goblin mechs to stomp on everybody who’s been stompin’ on poor ol’ Grunts for, like, ever.
- Methane Wagons and Methane bombs to spread sweet, sweet methane infusion around the battlefield and inspire all your Grunts to laugh (rather than whimper) in the face of danger.
- Brute Riders, because who doesn’t want to hop on the shoulders of a murderous nine-foot space monkey and get up to some violence?
LEADER PROFILE – YAPYAP THE DESTROYER
Yapyap THE DESTROYER is more of an “idea Grunt,” and has better things to do than come down to the battlefield personally (his managerial expertise would be wasted on the front lines). With style and panache he leads the Grunts to glorious victory or not-so-total defeat from his secret lair, throwing good Grunts after bad with Grunts from Above troop deployment and Shade Drop, while also playing the long game with defensive abilities such as the Surprise Party and Gruntdome deployable shield tower. And if Yapyap THE DESTROYER runs low on bodies, he can always put on a thrilling display of tactical cowardice with the Please Don’t Shoot Me ability, which puts a temporary armistice in place.
While the rebellious Grunts don’t have much of a long-term strategy, they can avoid a loss simply by denying the enemy a win, with abilities such as Guilt Trip ensuring combat losses don’t embolden the enemy and the Get Back Out There advanced ability which returns injured Grunts back to the nearest HQ. When the combat music starts late in the Blitz match he can also send out invitations for the Methane Party, which drops gas-filled explosive barrels that damage the enemy and leave behind a lingering aura that makes Grunt units more effective.
Below are new combat mechanics, each unique to Yapyap – all of his unique abilities are built around these primary mechanics in some way.
Large numbers: With Cannon Fodder and his other Grunt units, few armies can similarly field the large and angry mobs Yapyap is capable of bringing to bear, and few can replenish those numbers as quickly.
Methane: Methane buffs the armour and damage of Grunt units in its area of effect, making them much more combat effective. Methane is highly useful even when using non-Grunt units – it debuffs enemy units caught in its area, reducing both their damage and armor.
Guilt: One of Yapyap’s greatest leadership skills is his ability to play upon his enemies’ emotional weakness and innate sense of revulsion and disgust. His shameless pleas for mercy and pity can weaken his opponent’s resolve and gain him valuable time to maneuver and re-arm in the face of overwhelming odds.
Large and in charge.
Those nasty humans and Banished bullies won’t know what smacked them when the Grunt Goblin enters the battlefield! Piloted by Top Grunt jockeys, each Goblin is armed with unstoppable power wrists and heavy needle cannon right from the start and can upgrade to the Shardstorm launcher for additional crystalline explosive fireworks. When the Goblins fancy feet get to stepping they can be upgraded to allow Furious Charge, increasing the movement speed for all nearby friendly units for a short period of time. While footloose and fancy free under the effect of the Furious Charge the Goblin and nearby Grunt units are also invulnerable. And nest-mother said those dancing lessons would never pay off!
Flamethrower guitar attachment is on order.
The Methane Wagon is a superheavy vehicle unit which can be deployed by Yayyap THE DESTROYER. It’s slow, rickety, unstable, and the parking brake is a chunk of wood, but other than that it works as well as you would expect a Grunt contraption to. Whether by design or malfunction the Wagon emits a Methane Aura: clouds of infusion-enriched methane that enhance the aggression and damage of nearby Grunts, while confusing and reducing the damage of enemy units in the stinky cloud. The Wagon can also make special deliveries of enriched gas clouds by catapult-launching kegs with the Methane Delivery special ability. The aura and clouds can be upgraded with The Good Stuff by drawing upon illegal infusions stashed aboard by its party-hard operators. Unfortunately, these special brews are rather…volatile. The Methane Wagon will detonate violently when its structural integrity is compromised.
The Brute Rider is an infantry unit which replaces Suicide Grunts. The Grunts chosen to lord it over captured Brutes still lack much common sense, so going from carrying a backpack to being a backpack may not be a step up. Grunt Riders have a simple partnership with their Jiralhanae steeds: the Brutes punch things with their fists, while the Grunts tell them where to go and shoot plasma pistols at enemies, allies, small animals, inanimate objects, and strange noises. The Brute’s attacks as-is, they can upgrade their punch force with Grunt-engineered plasma gloves by investing in Punch Harder, You!
They eat Spartans for breakfast!
Heavy Grunts are elite infantry who replace Jump Pack Brutes. Heavy Grunts are Yapyap THE DESTROYER’s enforcers, wearing heavy armor and armed with plasma pistols. When they need to break out the big guns the leader swaps out his plasma pistol for a Fuel Rod Cannon. This cannon can be upgraded with the Party’s Over special ability, which fires an EMP round that stuns vehicles and aircraft. And though war never changes, their unit size can. The My Plus One upgrade adds an additional squad member to the entourage.
ADDITIONAL NEW UNITS
The Grunt Swarm is an infantry unit which replaces standard Grunts in Yapyap THE DESTROYER’s army. They are led by a Heavy Grunt who gives the Grunt Swarm direction by shooting his plasma pistol in the rough direction he wants the group to shuffle towards. They’re otherwise unarmed, excitable, and poorly trained, but they’re free: they cost no resources to deploy (just takes time and population cap). Though each unit is not exactly a powerhouse combatant, the Grunt Swarms are very useful for scouting, overwhelming enemy positions, and capturing points.
It’s extremely easy to fill out your population with swarms of Cannon Fodder at no cost to you; choking the enemy positions, grabbing fast map control, and causing your enemy to waste their ammo and shield your stronger units. Cannon Fodder start off very weak, but under the effects of Methane or when inspired by a Goblin, can become capable combat units, able to overwhelm an unprepared enemy.
In addition to standard infantry upgrades the Swarm can be trained in ancient Unggoy art of being Anklebiters, which gives them a weak close-combat capability and ability to dogpile the enemy and slow them down. Yapyap can also get them fired up with his Refer a Friend upgrade, which gives the unit a self-heal by packaging his best-selling novel on Grunt leadership together with some bandages.
Drops in a set of Grunt-crewed turrets onto the battlefield, using multi-shot. Can surround a position or add essential firepower to an engagement.
Air drop in a portable shield generator, similar to the Banished base shield. Protects all damage directed at friendlies under the shield, until the shield is depleted.
Lil’ Yapper’s Ultimate ability. A devastating salvo of bombs, which annihilate enemy forces, and burst with methane, causing any Grunts in the area to become berserk and fight harder, whilst enemies are choked and confused by the fumes. It’s a furious and frightening fartatious fight fest.
GRUNTS FROM ABOVE
A drop of several Grunt infantry units and Methane Wagons, including one Veteran Brute Rider, one Heavy Grunt squad, and one Methane Wagon. Can be upgraded to include an additional Veteran Brute Rider and Veteran Heavy Grunt.
PLEASE DON’T SHOOT ME
Yapyap humiliatingly (but cunningly) begs for mercy from his opponents, triggering a short ceasefire. For a short amount of time, no combat occurs in the game – units won’t attack or use offensive special abilities. Additionally, offensive leader powers can’t be triggered once the ceasefire is active (though you can finish off ones already activated). Excellent for escaping from a bad battle, saving a teammate, or stopping your opponent from intercepting your base strike en route. Perhaps most usefully of all, Please Don’t Shoot Me can be used to troll opponents when the game is already decided in your favour. I mean, what could go wrong?
The opposite of Battle Hardened – enemy experience and veterancy bonuses gained from killing your units is greatly reduced. Killing innocent Grunts is bad, and you should feel bad about it.
GET BACK OUT THERE
Infantry units lost in combat for a short duration after this ability is activated are returned for free at the nearest base.
A special mine which, upon being triggered, bursts with confetti and unleashes two fully veteran Cannon Fodder squads. These squads are only temporary, but aren’t subject to the pop limit.
Your standard-issue Banished orbital plasma beam attack. Damages all unit types and buildings and can upgrade to increase beam area and damage. Just don’t ask where it comes from.
OVERALL STRATEGY AND COMBAT THEMES
Mass hysterical: With the available bonuses from Methane and Grunt Goblins, Yapyap’s Grunt swarm can stack multiple buffs, allowing them to overpower the enemy. His cheap, plentiful units also allow him to swarm the battlefield quickly, overwhelming unit population numbers even when deprived of resources.
Location, location, location: An early advantage in unit numbers allows Yapyap to quickly gather resources and capture critical points around the map. Expansion into new bases gives him the ability to produce units more rapidly providing him with an early battle advantage. Additionally, by keeping unit numbers high, Yapyap can react to new threats and re-capture lost points and bases.
Don’t make us kick your gas: Any unit composed primarily of Grunts, or with a Grunt crew (such as Shade Turrets and Locusts) is considered a “Grunt unit,” and as such, gains the beneficial effects of Methane, or the additional bonus from the Goblin’s Hustle ability.
Halo Wars 2’s latest DLC also brings along a few new Achievements to chase down. There are a total of three YapYap-themed Achievements available for a combined additional 30 gamerscore.
- You met me on Reach! – Win 3 matches as Yapyap (Multiplayer, Skirmish or Blitz) – 10 gs
- Piggyback! – Activate the Grunt Goblin charge 10 times. (Multiplayer, Skirmish or Blitz) – 10 gs
- That sweet smell of home – Fire 15 methane shells from the Methane Wagon. (Multiplayer, Skirmish or Blitz) – 10 gs
PATCH NOTES & BALANCE CHANGES
Included with this latest content for Halo Wars 2 is a collection of updates and bug fixes, all designed to improve player experience in a wide range of areas. Below is a quick overview on what players can expect to be addressed. For the full patch notes, head HERE!
YapYap THE DESTROYER is out NOW for both Xbox One and Windows 10 PC! This new Unggoy champion is available as part of the Halo Wars 2 Season Pass, or available for individual purchase at $5.99 USD.
As a reminder, if you missed last month’s new content – UNSC AI Serina, and the Operation: SPEARBREAKER story missions – you can read more about them RIGHT HERE.