Didn’t find too much coverage of the copper shark, so I thought I’d make a guide that covers the shark in more depth for players who want to learn or master it.
I don’t have much hours unfortunately and my knowledge of the game can leave much to be desired, but I am hoping to benefit any potential readers with what experience I have considering I’ve spent almost all of my playtime with copper.
Terms and Definitions
A quick list of terminology you will see in this guide:
GW – Short for Great White.
Hit and run – A playstyle where the shark snatches or kills a diver or two before fleeing to heal and/or prepare for the next attack.
All out aggression – A playstyle where the shark attempts to kill as many divers as possible until it dies or all four divers are dead.
Multi-kills – Two or more kills performed within a single life.
Teamwipe – When all four divers are killed in one attack by one or two sharks.
Bomber – A diver that deploys mines frequently throughout the game.
Tunnel vision – To focus too much on something, to the level where you start lacking in awareness and get caught off-guard easily.
General Outlook / Abstract
The copper is a shark with relatively good stats. The health is adequate, the stamina is enough for 2 or 3 lunges before running out, the sprinting speed is good and so is the thrash damage. Its preferable method of mobility is sprinting. What it’s really there to show off is the rage ability it employs akin to the bull, the difference being that the ability specializes solely in durability rather than all 3 of health, damage and stamina.
The shark can be used for hit and run if the divers allow you to get away with it, but the optimal strategy is following all out aggression throughout the whole match as much as possible. It can uniquely be independent of its teammate and pulls off multi-kills regularly and consistently on its own when played right.
I’ll be explaining the causes behind this potential the shark offers and how you can utilize it to your advantage in your games.
This ability and how you use it is what makes or breaks your performance as a copper. Mastering this is your primary focus, as it plays a disproportionately large role in achieving your victory.
Similar to the bull, you gain rage by simply being near divers and your meter juices up a lot more if said divers happen to be firing their weapons nearby. The rage meter requires to be at a minimum of 25% to be used, and the time period ranges from 1 second to 4 with 25% rage equating to 1 second and 100% rage equating to 4. Your rage gain can also be increased by 20% and 40% by evolving the ability to levels 2 and 3 respectively.
Endure is essentially a few seconds worth of extending your life, often enough to score 1 or 2 more kills against the divers. Contrary to the GW’s juggernaut, copper’s endure is time-based rather than damage-based. Forms of focus fire or high burst damage that would challenge or completely neutralize a GW aren’t as threatening to a copper, who can tank the damage and still thin out diver numbers despite the beating it receives.
Timing and predicting
Naturally, you would want to make the most out of your ability’s time period. A well-timed extension secures your current kill and can sometimes allow you to get more than just 1, which is massive for you and your mate if you manage to pull it off consistently throughout the match. Triggering the ability too early means wasting precious time that you may regret not having later in your attack, but triggering it too late is even worse since you waste all of your accumulated rage instead of just a portion.
Popping your endure before entering a room can be considered too early as the divers may not have even been aiming at you, you haven’t let your health take some damage nor have you capitalized on some extra rage from the divers firing at you. Unless a harpoon or a volleyjet is in play, it’s more efficient to use your ability when the divers start firing at you or when your health drops to a certain level.
One good method of determining when is the best time to use the ability is by observing your health bar. A good rule of thumb is to pop the ability when it reaches near halfway, to avoid being caught off-guard by damage that would’ve killed you otherwise. This method works pretty well against pistol and rifle users, in addition to P.A.Ts. You can try for using it at lower health, but unexpected bursts of damage and sometimes even delay with input (which I’ve experienced too many times) make this maneuver risky, though pulling it off yields better rage efficiency. Of course, this is just a general rule and doesn’t always work due to the varying levels of aiming skill that divers can have, so it’s more reliable to build up a sense of awareness through your own experience and practice.
If weapons like harpoons and volleyjets are acquired by the divers or the damage you receive in your attacks is too much to reasonably react to, it would serve you better to wait outside the room a bit and build up some rage. This is where it’s better to pop the ability before entering the room to at least guarantee a 1-for-1 trade instead of getting obliterated by a harpoon straight through your gullet. You can also let your mate go in and make a play on their own, then directly follow through after benefiting from both the distraction and the rage gained from the amount of shots fired at them.
You can also predetermine how much you can do at the minimum and maximum with the amount of rage you have with you, something like I’ve done for myself below:
25% (1 second) – Enough to secure 1 kill after catching a diver by surprise. Seldom works fine against a diver that’s aware of your location but not guaranteed to be successful, and is difficult to get a 2nd kill with if the divers can at least spot your red outline and land some shots while you thrash the first victim. Little to no room for error.
50% (2 seconds) – Can easily allow you to pull off a multi-kill if your 2 victims are close enough, like in a small room, and if your reflexes allow you to both time the ability suitably and nail your lunges. Could also be used for hit and run after one kill, although this play isn’t optimal and is easily shut down by poison and bleed modifiers. Room for one missed lunge’s worth of error, maybe 2 if you’re really lucky, and you can still get a kill after said mistake.
75% (3 seconds) – Provides a more generous window of time to pull off a multi-kill of 2, in addition to a small chance of a triple if your lunges and timing are virtually perfect. Room for two lunges worth of error, you’d still have enough time for a kill before going out.
100% (4 seconds) – Gives a decent chance at a triple kill, though still demanding in reflexes and lunge accuracy to do so. Plenty of room for error, you’d still be able to get a kill or two with this much spare time.
It’s important to note that this list is based off my own experience and skill level, and it has functioned excellently for me thus far. You are encouraged to adjust your expectations of rage potency according to your own knowledge and skill with lunging, in addition to how good the divers’ aim is in your current match.
Also bear in mind that the actual percentage of rage accumulated at the time you activate endure will be higher than what you see right before you enter a room due to both the slow gain still applying for the entirety of combat and the small bursts of rage gained from the divers firing their weapons. It’s always helpful to take one quick glance at your rage meter right after you trigger it to know exactly how much time you have to do things in your attack.
In the early-to-midgame part of the match, your primary focus is to be utterly aggressive and ruthless. Waste time as little as you possibly can and go straight for lunging at the enemy divers. This applies to any shark for attaining the life ticket and/or time advantage, in addition to farming evolution points to prepare for the later parts of the match. However, this is particularly important for you as a copper because you will need the time advantage and the evolution points for the mid-to-lategame where divers are likely to have bought several counters.
The reason you need the time advantage is because some of these counters, of which their appearance is not that uncommon, require you to slowly accumulate some rage beforehand instead of rushing and relying on the extra rage gained from the divers firing at you. The major two here are the net gun and the harpoon, among other things explained in the counters section.
If you get a teamwipe, don’t linger around the divers’ room. Divers will soon spawn and they will have invulnerability to being lunged at and thrashed for a few seconds, yet they can still shoot you and kill you. They can be thrashed only when the red outline appears on them shortly after spawning. To avoid wasting your life needlessly, exit the room as soon as possible after a teamwipe.
Remember to always aim for all out aggression throughout the whole match. Do not ever switch to hit and run unless the enemy lets you get away with it, which is usually when you manage to lose the divers behind a wall or other parts of the environment. Only then can you choose between changing your tactic for the attack or continuing with the same one. If you’re still being shot and receiving potential damage, maintain all out aggression.
You and your teammate
If you go out sharking with a friend or you’re the type of player who pays attention to how they can benefit from their teammate where possible, then it’s helpful to keep the following in mind.
Tanky sharks like bull, GW or even another copper work better with you, mainly because their bulkiness requires more damage to neutralize and this draws out more fire from the divers which in turn feeds your rage meter more. Goblin also synergizes with copper due to its hallucinations often causing divers to react by firing their weapons, although it is arguable whether it’s worth picking a mediocre shark stat-wise for the whole match in exchange for several instances of more rage.
Furthermore, you can also benefit your fellow sharks. Your ability to mitigate damage for a period of time has better odds of grabbing the divers’ attention, hence creating distraction. Those few seconds of distraction your endure creates can be enough for squishier sharks like the mako and the tiger to make a play, where they would’ve otherwise failed due to incoming fire or unfavorable map/room structure. Beware though, as higher-skill players are aware of tunnel visioning at a copper being inefficient, and will certainly remain vigilant for your teammate should you start combat.
Consequently, you should try to attack the divers first before your teammate if they are playing a squishier shark. Their chances of surviving focus fire doesn’t fare as well compared to yourself, and they are more likely to yield more value for your team if you assist them by improving their opportunities.
You rely moderately on catching divers by surprise, as it means that you don’t have to waste rage triggering endure before entering a room. So being detected isn’t beneficial for you in any way. If you are detected, your first option is to lunge away until it’s gone. This is much easier if you are outside the room or your movement is not too restricted in whatever area of the map you’re in. Once the detection fades and the divers can no longer see you, you can return and try again for a better attack. It’s not too problematic if you take some damage.
Your other option is to pop your endure and charge right in, try to at least get a kill before dying. This option isn’t always as good as the former, since you lose the advantage of a first strike/ambush and the divers can deal damage to you earlier, sometimes before you are capable of reacting. However, copper is one of the few sharks who can respond like this and it’s a decent if not a good way of responding to detection if your movement is restricted, your death seems certain without endure or modifiers are slowly damaging you and catching seals seems like a waste of time.
Your rage would also start to drop back to 0% if you stray too far away from the divers to heal from seals, so this approach makes use of whatever you’ve accumulated due to the preemptive fire you’ve received. Both of them can be viable, it is up to you to assess the situation and decide which method is better suited for the issue at hand.
If sonar buoys and flares are in the way, either find a different angle to attack from or quickly lunge at the divers before they can react after you’re detected. Don’t bother trying to destroy sonar buoys intentionally unless they are well out of the divers’ reach, to ensure they don’t punish or damage you. You can also wait a bit outside the room to get some rage for your endure, which needs to be used a bit earlier if you are entering a room and getting detected the moment you’re at the entrance.
As far as maps go, those with smaller and more enclosed rooms favor the copper shark more. The reason is because less distance between yourself and the diver in addition to the diver having less movement options means less time needed to aim a lunge, less time to get to the diver, and overall easier chaining of lunges to pull off multi-kills.
Small rooms can mean more concentrated fire, close range weapons like the bang stick and the volleyjet being more dangerous, and easier coverage of the area with detection consumables + sea mines. However, your endure helps you counter and overcome all of these obstacles, so it’s ultimately the divers who remain at a disadvantage here. Some of these maps include crude, station, and galleon.
Even though larger and more open rooms allow more diver spread, which can make it harder for you to chain kills together as smoothly and demands more rage/endure duration, the copper can still do well in said maps if played well. It’s simply that smaller rooms are the best environment for the shark to make plays in.
Evolutions: Part 1
This section goes through each evolution and how valuable it is for you as a copper shark, listed in no particular order but in sections of variable importance.
Early game/Top priority
These evolutions are of utmost importance for your build in every game, and you can end up with severe disadvantages without them. It is highly recommended you stick to getting those first and foremost.
Double-time – If you were to follow through with maximized aggression in the early-game, then this upgrade is a must-have. Given that the copper shark is more of a sprinter than a lunger, it is preferable to pick this over hangry. Getting to the divers faster means more kills scored, more evolution points gained, more frequent deterrence of divers from collecting gold all in less time, and acting on time or faster is essential for sharks in every match. It also benefits you on the few occasions where you manage a successful hit and run attack or a teamwipe, meaning you can finish up healing from seals faster and return for another attack sooner.
Endure (levels 2 & 3) – This ability is the main component of your all out aggression attacks, so it goes without saying that you should place this very high on the priority list. Faster rage gain saves time for the rest of the game, and provides you with more time to make plays when you trigger the ability due to the greater rage you get from divers firing guns as well, which in turn means more frequent and better multi-kills pulled off. It also maximizes the rage benefit from your teammate’s plays if they engaged with divers first while you’re nearby.
These evolutions should be looked at right after all the early-game ones are in place. These talents should be selected and sorted through based on your capabilities and your enemy’s too. They’re not all mandatory, but they’re not all worthless either depending on the status quo. Given that copper’s builds are not all that demanding in evolutions compared to other sharks, you’ll have plenty of spare points to iron out certain issues that bother your gameplay.
Minesweeper – You are perfectly capable of learning to spot mines without it, and sonar buoys are pretty obvious anyway. However, you might be struggling with that or you don’t want to waste too much time looking around for them or perhaps the divers have a dedicated bomber on their side. If any of these apply, consider picking up this evolution. It’ll be safer for you and will sharply reduce your risk of dying from mines and wasting any accumulated rage. It does cost 30 points, so don’t bother buying it if there are little to no mines.
Electroreception – While some weapons do have a distinct shape and can be identified by a keen eye, not everyone is capable of accurately doing that or they don’t want to waste too much time eyeballing divers. If you’re one of those peeps, definitely evolve this one for your copper. The health information is virtually worthless, but determining and prioritizing divers who threaten to one-shot you or waste your endure time will increase your rate of successful attacks and kills in the mid-to-late game. It’s very cheap too, only 10 points so you can easily spare a few to get it.
Adrenal Glands – If you find yourself running out of stamina one too many times in combat, you can aim for this evolution. Copper would gain the most stamina out of this because of how much damage its endure is capable of mitigating. Adrenal glands also comes with the benefit of negating stamina loss from tranquilizer rounds entirely, which is due to how every single weapon with the modifier inevitably deal damage as well.
Combining this with nimble finned makes for receiving significantly less punishment after missing a lunge. Remember that this evolution costs 60 points and totals up to 80 if you attempt putting it together with nimble finned. This is a hefty price and can limit you from getting other important evolutions, so either leave this one for when tranquilizer rounds show up or don’t bother with it if you’d prefer to improve/rely on your lunging accuracy.
Nimbled Finned – Just like adrenal glands does, this evolution helps with recovery from a missed lunge and lessening the punishment of said missed lunge. It can also help with faster escapes on the few occasions you carry out a hit and run attack, miss a lunge or even pull off a teamwipe. It costs 20 points, which makes it easy to get.
Placoid Scales – This evolution is not for bleed and toxic modifiers for reasons explained in the counters section of the guide. It is actually an alternative to adrenal glands for resisting tranquilizer rounds. If you’d like to settle on resistance to the modifier rather than absolutely negating it in exchange for a cheaper price, placoid scales is a good option to look at and compare with adrenal glands.
It costs 30 points instead of 60, which is helpful if you want to spend the rest of them elsewhere or are running short on evolution points. Other modifiers are rarely a concern for the copper, so no need to get placoid scales for them.
Razor Fins – Essentially the evolution you rush to when those vein-popping net guns show up. Net guns are a major problem for the copper because a successful netting will force you to trigger your ability early and/or waste time from your endure when it’s active. Reducing time wasted is absolutely recommended, and razor fins is the go-to supporting tool to help with handling net guns.
It only costs 20 points, a pretty good price for the advantage it gives. The damage from swimming by the divers is merely a welcome bonus, not worth evolving razor fins for this alone.
Blindside – Another good choice for when you find yourself missing a significant amount of lunges. This evolution allows you to curve or change direction of your lunge to a certain degree, an adequate bend but nothing too crazy or sharp. It is recommended that you try this out either in a private match or on your way to the divers from spawn. Give it a few lunges to see how far you can curve it, and try getting accustomed to it as well. You have to remember to move your camera to where you want yourself directed mid-lunge, or else you won’t be benefiting from blindside optimally.
With this evolved, you don’t need to predict and lead your aim as precisely any more for when divers are moving. Instead, you can simply track them and try to keep your sight on them to get the most out of this evolution. This can also be used to curve your lunge route while escaping to throw off divers’ predictions, causing more of their projectiles to miss. It only costs 30 evolution points, which is decent enough considering it can score you kills you wouldn’t have gotten without it. If your lunging accuracy is sufficient or good enough anyway, then there’s no need to get blindside.
Evolutions: Part 2
Not recommended/Bottom priority
These evolutions are either worthless or pale in the face of the aforementioned ones so far. Only look at these if you’ve sorted through the more important ones and happen to possess evolution points to spare.
Blood Feast – The damage taken by the copper outweighs the benefits of this evolution vastly, furthered by bleed and toxic modifiers. The shark doesn’t possess much health, and can easily have it kept at 1 by the divers since the regeneration is slow. Endure does an excellent job of maintaining your survival anyway, and you’re not trying to survive regardless if you’re going for the optimal strategy of all out aggression.
Your goal is to score as many kills as possible per life, whether you live or die makes little difference. If you aren’t scoring enough kills, it’s not because you’re not healing. It’s because either your lunges or your usage of endure are iffy, and trying to compensate in healing is the equivalent of band-aiding a corpse.
Blood Rage – In the case of copper and with the presence of adrenal glands, this evolution is rarely ever the better choice. Copper is quite capable of getting kills, but he is far more capable of taking damage due to endure being time-based and divers being almost always trigger-happy upon having a shark in their range and vision. You’d gain more stamina from taking damage than you would from scoring kills overall.
In addition, blood rage doesn’t help you when you miss your lunge since you won’t get the stamina regeneration for getting no kills. Adrenal glands doesn’t suffer from this problem, and will grant you the necessary stamina for a second shot with ease. Blood rage is also useless if tranquilizing rounds hit you before you manage to get a kill and this will especially be a problem if the divers are highly emphasizing on detection, while adrenal glands negates their effect all the time. They both cost 60 points, so blood rage doesn’t save up points for you either.
Hemogenesis – The health regeneration is too slow which makes it easily countered by bleed and toxic modifiers even with placoid scales, especially considering the fact that you will often end up with 1 health after the rage and that you are following the all out aggression tactic. Even on the few occasions where you survive, you can simply heal from seals or passively gain rage outside the room for your next attack, making the evolution unnecessary.
Powerful Tail – This evolution only services a hit and run playstyle, which is not viable or suitable for copper. Even if you managed to escape the room successfully, you will likely be bleeding or poisoned and divers will chase you to reduce your health even further. Better divers will also position themselves in corners or spots in the room that are difficult to perform a hit and run attack on, they will exploit the structure of the map’s rooms to inconvenience you as much as they can.
You may not even have enough stamina for a hit and run attack. You can try combining it with adrenal glands and maybe nimble finned for better results, but this is a 100/120-point combo. It is very inefficient and sucks up all your points, which you could’ve used for more vital and more relevant upgrades that also improve your performance and cover up for your weaknesses.
Headstrong –The extra damage to S.T.E.V.E is meaningless considering that all divers can repair it. While it does double the time needed to fully repair S.T.E.V.E, divers can easily find the time to do that and they can exploit your focusing on it to score more kills and gain a life ticket advantage. This evolution doesn’t help you at all in terms of durability or kill scoring which are both your main strengths and tools to achieve victory with, making it quite the unnecessary one.
Hangry – This evolution is inferior to double-time, since sprinting is better for mobility to copper than lunging is. You can always reach the room with double-time and sprinting before your stamina bar is exhausted, meaning hangry is not needed as a complementary evolution either.
Hydroacoustics – This evolution is only useful for DPV users and divers who break off from the pack. If it’s a DPV user, your shark is not even remotely ideal to handle that and it would be better if you exploited the temporary reduction of firepower by attacking the remaining 3 divers, which will help massively later in the game when they receive stronger weapons.
If it’s just the usual diver, they have left their teammates in a weaker state and thrown themselves into your playing field simultaneously, so you can easily handle them without the evolution.
Vitalized Frenzy – This one is 100% useless. Endure has no cooldown, you immediately start gathering rage once the ability’s duration ends and can even trigger it instantly after if you somehow gain the rage fast enough. Pay this evolution no attention whatsoever.
Killer Instinct – This evolution is only useful in the presence of vitalized frenzy, blood rage, or blood feast. Given that they’ve all been placed at bottom priority for reasons explained prior, this one accompanies them too.
Ignore Pain – Endure makes this evolution unnecessary, simply put. Having your stamina drained for durability that you can already effectively bolster is unneeded excess, and it doesn’t protect you from toxic/bleed modifiers either. Since toxic and bleed modifiers are quite commonly used, in addition to endure placing you at 1 HP but already being able to protect you from them while ignore pain can’t, it’d be suitable to not waste 60 points on this upgrade.
Serrated Teeth – While the extra damage may seem appealing, this evolution isn’t as useful as it looks. Divers will start deploying medkits if they catch up to you having the upgrade, which significantly lowers the chance of it scoring a kill. Wasting the divers’ money is not viable either, since medkits cost $200 and have multiple uses.
Even if it does kill, rarely does it ever make a difference in the match. Either you would’ve won anyway because your team is more than barely good enough, or you’ll lose because of time or life ticket restraints regardless. Ultimately, it is extremely rare to yield enough value from this evolution to justify the 30 points cost.
Counters: Part 1
Last but not least, the counters divers employ against the copper and how you can respond to said counters. I’ll bring your attention to the several ones that you really need to be aware of, those which can definitely give you a hard time if not handled correctly. Posted in no particular order.
Bleed + Toxic – Starting by addressing the elephant in the room, these are the most overrated “counters” to copper. The claim goes that they shut the shark down because it’s guaranteed dead when the ability wears off and the health is at 1. This viewpoint only looks at the shark’s lives individually and in terms of the shark dying or not. It doesn’t take into consideration the net benefit of the encounter that the shark can produce (like kills) or the implications of them for the match overall.
These modifiers exclusively counter the hit and run playstyle for copper, they don’t go beyond that. It makes a difference there and only there. For example: If the endure wears off and the shark gets away without being shot one additional time with normal rounds, it ends up surviving and keeping its life. With modifiers, the divers don’t have to chase for it and worry little about its survival since it inevitably dies, preventing the sharks from gaining too much of a life ticket advantage.
If the hit and run playstyle is off the board for this reason, then the shark player has no choice but to go with all out aggression and this makes the modifiers completely futile. All out aggression involves expecting a death if not a teamwipe, making the copper’s survival irrelevant as long as it gets at least one kill for a net benefit to the sharks. The utility of instantly killing the shark upon endure’s end is overshadowed by 2 other sources as well.
The copper rarely gets teamwipes, meaning there will often be a diver or more spamming bullets at the shark to make sure it dies right as the ability’s duration ends. If the bullets don’t kill it due to reloading or terrible aim, your current victim’s knife would. Toxic and bleed become utterly pointless because either of the other two damage sources have their utility handled and locked in.
One could say the modifier will kill the shark in case he gets a teamwipe, but that doesn’t mean anything because in a worst case scenario for the sharks, a teamwipe means a 4-for-2 exchange and that’s a net benefit for the sharks. The divers still lose on this trade.
Think of it like this; When is the copper the most threatening, and when are the modifiers actually effective? Prior to triggering endure, the shark often has an ambush/first strike advantage that will allow it to snatch a kill without needing the ability. After that, endure can last for up to 4 seconds and the copper can kill as many divers as it wishes without worrying about damage, including toxic and bleed. Lastly, the endure wears out and any type of damage in any capacity will kill the shark since it often ends leaving it at 1 HP. It usually can’t thrash an extra diver after endure either, because one knife stab kills the copper.
So not only are the modifiers made useless by other sources of virtually guaranteed damage, but they are effective only when the copper is at its least threatening stage of an attack. The smashing majority of the shark’s kills come from the other 2 stages before that combined, so what significant value do these modifiers offer to the divers when the damage has already been done? Swapping the kill symbol with a skull and two bones does not make up for the multi-kills the shark can consistently pull off beforehand, and this leads to the divers being at a severe life and time disadvantage.
The one and only case where bleed and toxic significantly counter the copper is if the player persists on a hit and run playstyle instead of switching to all out aggression, which requires the shark to either be a newbie or to be inexplicably bad at the game. There’s a difference between how hard it is to remove either modifier, but it’s negligible and isn’t worth talking about.
To deal with these two, simply follow the strategy mentioned previously in this guide; all out aggression. Just don’t perform hit and run attacks, and the modifiers will pose very little to no issues to you. Remember that you dying to divers is unimportant as long as you get an exchange that favors your team, including 1-for-1s.
Tranquilizer – Starting with actual counters now, the tranquilizer rounds are severely underused. It’s not just the endure that allows the copper shark to score multi-kills, it’s also the availability of stamina that allows it to continue lunging for more victims after a kill. Take away the stamina, and the shark becomes helpless for a good while or it becomes forced to spend evolution points on a response. Without stamina or regeneration of it, the copper is as good as a sitting duck.
The more bullets hitting the shark, the more stamina drained, hence making the rounds most effective with rifles. The one deal-breaking disadvantage to this modifier is that if the copper manages to negate or reduce its effects, then the divers will just have rifles firing lots of bullets… and more bullets fired mean more bursts of rage gained for the shark. The divers are not going to be happy about the tide of slaughter that’ll follow after with all that rage and stamina provided to the copper player.
Luckily for you, there are a couple of viable evolutions that fit this job; placoid scales and adrenal glands. Placoid scales only resists the effect of the rounds and halves the stamina drained, but it’s cheaper for 30 points. Adrenal glands negates the stamina draining of the rounds entirely and provides more stamina the more damage you take, but it has an expensive cost of 60 points.
The optimal strategy here is to use placoid scales if the amount of tranq rounds are little, and adrenal glands if the amount is more than just little.
DPV – This speeding daredevil of a device is what lets divers collect the most gold possible. Some divers are terrifyingly skilled with this item, not even the fastest sharks like mako and blue can catch onto them or land any lunges when the DPV user knows what they’re doing. The copper shark is not as fast as those two, and will definitely struggle to get ahold of a good DPV diver as well. You will often end up wasting precious time trying to do that.
However, the DPV does have a downside aside from leaving the diver exposed to lunges from the open water. It leaves the other 3 divers fighting in a potential 3v2 for a combat or two, which might be how many the sharks need to get a life and/or time advantage for the rest of the game. You might not be good at chasing DPVs, but you’re great at scoring multi-kills and one less source of fire definitely helps you do that. Use this opportunity and kill as many of the room divers as you can, it will benefit you in the mid-to-late game even when the divers get powerful weapons.
Counters: Part 2
Bang Stick – This weapon is quite the pesky cretin to confront. Not only does it one-shot you with a single strike, but it barely provides any rage when the diver tries hitting you with it compared to pistols and rifles. You have to depend on the other divers to be trigger-happy and to give you the rage needed to counter the bang stick user or you have to gain it passively beforehand, but players can sometimes struggle to fight them off because they tunnel vision into the victim they’re currently thrashing and then get caught off-guard.
It’s actually not that difficult to handle though. You could either get electroreception or manually look for the diver with a spear-like item and prioritize them first to avoid getting bang sticked. There is another way if you don’t want to waste too much time however.
If you know there’s a bang stick in play, aim for the most distant diver of the group, whoever’s farthest from the pack. When you successfully catch the victim in your jaws, quickly turn around to face the other divers and have them in your vision. Continue thrashing your current victim and watch the other divers. If you see a diver swimming towards you, you can be certain that it’s the bangstick user. Pop your endure before he lands his blow, and lunge at him right after you’re done with your first diver for what is hopefully an easy double kill.
If there is no diver swimming towards you but you know there’s still a bang stick in play? There are 2 possibilities; Either whoever you’re thrashing is the bang stick user or it’s one of the divers you’re watching, waiting for you to come and trying not to make themselves obvious by swimming towards you. Just to be safe, remember to trigger your ability right before you land your second lunge. Also remember to watch your health bar, you don’t want to tunnel vision onto one factor and die with rage wasted because you didn’t pay attention to the other one.
Harpoon – The harpoon is a dangerous threat to the copper. It also one-shots like the bangstick, but now from long ranges as well instead of just melee. Harpoons are easier to catch sharks off-guard with because of the range and speed of the projectile. All your accumulated rage goes to waste along with your life ticket if you don’t time an attack well against a wielder of this weapon.
Depending on the diver to miss is too flimsy and unreliable of a solution. A better option is to prioritize the harpooner, either by manual identification or with electroreception, and try to catch them off-guard so that their lethal firepower is neutralized for the rest of combat. This tactic doesn’t work if there are multiple harpooners or a netter along with said harpooner.
If prioritizing doesn’t work, your next best option is simply using endure. Accumulate some rage beforehand and don’t rely on extra rage gained from shots fired upon your attack, since the harpoon would kill you before you can capitalize on it. When you have enough rage, pop it right before you enter the room and try to go for the harpooner first. It doesn’t matter who you go for since your ability would tank the harpoon, but going for the harpooner can help your shark mate out. This tactic works with multiple harpooners and any netters accompanying them.
But wouldn’t that take a long time to do, and we sharks have a time limit? Yes, accumulating rage takes a while, but that’s why you want to be so aggressive and to score as many kills as possible in the early game; So that you have plenty of time to accumulate rage and guarantee yourself kills in the mid-to-late game where it’s harder to get them.
Net Gun – This weapon is more threatening than the harpoon due to its delay capabilities. If a copper shark cannot be killed before his endure is triggered, the next best counter for the divers is to simply survive for as long as possible until the ability’s duration runs out. The net gun helps a ton with that, and it really does waste a good deal of your precious endure time along with dropping your victim from your jaws.
Just like with the harpoon, you should try prioritizing the netter with or without electroreception. If there is a harpooner and a netter, strike the netter first. You can tank the harpoon’s damage, but the net will always end up wasting your time so it’d be better to get rid of the netter first before moving onto other victims.
If there are multiple netters, you will inevitably get trapped by one no matter who you target. If the netters can constantly stack their nets on you, they will waste a significant amount of your rage time and force you to wait longer to accumulate enough in future attacks, but bear in mind that you will be fine if you’ve done your early-to-mid game aggression right just as mentioned previously. You’d have plenty of time to accumulate rage for the netters.
If the faecal matter hits the boat turbine and push comes to shove or you can’t get anything higher than 1-for-1 trades in other words, your last plan is to continue these exchanges to a slow victory and to make space for your partner to make plays while the netters are occupied with you. Don’t forget to get razor fins for these nets, it’ll help you get out faster.
LJ-10 Volleyjet – The volleyjet is not as threatening as the harpoon due to its range and spread limitations, but you should still keep your eyes peeled for any of these. Their burst damage is still very high, and can even one-shot you if it’s close enough.
You should prioritize them if no netters or harpooners are in play. You can also aim for divers distant to the volleyjet user, forking them into a decision between wasting time getting closer or firing from afar and granting you rage rather than killing you quickly enough. Remember to turn around and watch for said volleyjet users after getting a victim, just like you do with a bang stick user.
If the volleyjet divers are too good and keep killing you too quickly, consider accumulating rage before entering a room and attacking.
Counters: Part 3
Sea Mines – These traps will one-shot you if you run into them, and divers will use them to block entrances or try and get cheeky kills against you. If they block entrances with it then they will either force you to use another angle which makes you more predictable, or to accumulate rage and use it to get right through the mine which can waste time and is rage inefficient.
It is preferable to look for another angle first. If all entrances are blocked, look for breakable parts of the environment you can use since divers often forget to place mines behind these. If there are still no mine-free entrances, you’re left with no choice but to use endure and break right through them. If your teammate is another copper, a GW or a Thresher with a level 3 tail lash, they might be able to help you out with taking care of mines.
Don’t rush too quickly if you know mines are in play. Swim around the room and use your 3rd person camera to look for mines. While some new players struggle to spot them, the mines eventually become obvious for you to see with practice. They are often left in the center of an entrance for sharks to easily see, they have a chain that falls to the first floor it touches, and they make a distinct sound when deployed nearby. Even though sonar buoys make the same sound when placed, you’d easily tell it apart from the mines due to the visual and auditory cues.
If the entrance or area where the mines were deployed are larger in width and length, there might be enough space to preemptively trigger them without harming yourself or your mate. You can lunge by the mine and an explosion will occur after a short delay, though this method of countering mines takes practice and care since any contact between your hitbox and the mine means you get blown to smithereens. You can also grab a diver and sprint with them into a mine with endure active, both killing the diver quickly and getting rid of a mine.
If you still end up facing problems with mines because they catch you off-guard, you struggle to spot them or there’s too many of them, it might be worth spending 30 points to get minesweeper and reveal the locations of all mines for you. It would greatly assist you in avoiding them if the other solutions don’t work out.
Shark Screen – They’re always trouble by forcing sharks into either waiting it out entirely, destroying it ASAP, or something somewhere in between the 2 ends of the spectrum, sometimes even having to aim for divers without the help of red outlines.
If you’ve done your early-to-mid game aggression and multi-killing right, you’ll have a life ticket advantage or plenty of time with which to spend planning and fighting against divers. If you have plenty of time, you can wait out the shark screen in its entirety in some cases and then continue attacking unless the shark screens are used too many times. If you have a life ticket advantage, you can risk spending one to take the screen out and help your teammate out. Since you are a copper and possess endure, you can also trigger your ability after destroying the consumable to try and get at least one kill with whatever rage you’ve been able to gain.
If you don’t have a time or life ticket advantage nor can you spot the divers within the bubble, you may have to destroy the shark screen as quickly as you can keep up the pace with the time limit imposed by S.T.E.V.E’s progress. Also know that your early-to-mid game play wasn’t efficient enough if you ended up in such a state at the start of the mid-to-late game.
If destroying the shark screen is too risky or not viable, you can learn to spot divers within the bubble with practice. Divers can easily be exposed by the direction of their blatant flashlights, and their swimming movements are easy to spot if you pay attention. If you activate endure after getting fired at, you can track where their projectiles are coming from to find your shooters and kill them.