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The Joker Overview
The Joker is a marksman hero that plays like an assassin. An icon of the DC universe, The Joker’s abilities help him quickly tear down his enemies with the tricks and toys that he loves. He is a rather squishy hero, but can still be a damaging force to be reckoned with.
- High Burst Damage – The Joker is able to deal large amounts of damage very quickly and from a distance. When used together, Punch Line, The Killing Joke, and Canned Laughter can tear away an opponent’s HP before they have a chance to react \.
- Great at Kiting- The Joker’s ultimate and passive slow the target’s movement speed, making him adept at chasing enemies as he damages them. The speed boost offered by Pick a Card, Any Card can also help him stick close to his target.
- Slippery – Pick a Card, Any Card is a very strong ability that removes slows while granting immunity to all physical damage and a movement speed boost for two seconds. This allows The Joker to freely escape ganks and tight situations. Canned Laughter is another great way to escape from enemies who get too close, slowing the target and giving The Joker a bit of distance away from them.
- Squishy – The Joker is vulnerable when Pick a Card, Any Card and Canned Laughter are on cooldown. Getting stunned or caught without his abilities will leave him unable to survive much punishment at all
- Unreliable in Extended Fights – The Joker plays like more of a physical-damage dealing mage than a marksman, so you’ll be missing the consistent DPS that a “normal” marksman provides in fights. His auto attacks leave much to be desired when his passive is down and his abilities can require some set up to reliably damage foes.
Hero Basic Strategy
- The Joker can either farm up a lane or act as a roaming support. His high damage and variety of slows make him great at ganking.
- Use The Killing Joke to harass enemy heroes during the laning phase. You can also use it as a means to farm enemy minions.
- You will generally want to save Pick A Card, Any Card for escaping. Using it too often just to harass can cause it to be unavailable when you need it. The physical damage negation can be a useful tool when trading with the opponent as well, or useful when dealing with the enemy’s towers.
- Gank other lanes and surprise the enemies as often as possible. Use Pick a Card, Any Card to escape if the enemy tries to slow you.
- Max The Killing Joke first. Pick a Card, Any Card’s movement speed bonus rises with each rank, but is more valuable as a damage block and slow cleanse. Thereby, it can be saved for leveling later.
- Level Canned Laughter whenever it is available. It allows you to go all-in on enemies and instantly burst them away. It can be used defensively as well.
- Solo Battle – The Joker is at his best when solo fighting with squishy targets. Poke them with The Killing Joke before running in to attack them with Punch Line. Follow through with Canned Laughter before finishing off whatever health they have remaining with normal attacks. If you lack a clear shot early, start the fight by jumping on the target with Canned Laughter and follow up with Punch Line. Use the time that the enemy is slowed to nail them with The Killing Joke and finish them off with normal attacks. We alternate abilities and normal attacks here under the assumption that the user has Omni Arms equipped. If this is not the case, quickly chain Punch Line, Canned Laughter, and The Killing Joke in any order. The Killing Joke will be easier to land when the target is slowed by one of the other two abilities.
- Team Battle – The Joker wants to sneak behind enemy lines and pick off squishy heroes with his combo in team fights. Harass the enemy with The Killing Joke rockets if you are unable to draw near squishy targets. After chipping away their health, burst down tougher units with your combo before waiting for a chance to spring on squishier targets. The Joker is reliant on his cooldowns, so has to wait for the proper moment before striking. That said, his damaging abilities have relatively low cooldowns and so he can cast them multiple times within a single fight. Use Pick a Card, Any Card to avoid enemy damage and slow effects as you prepare your burst combos.
- Escaping the Battle – The Joker has a number of ways to disengage from battles. By using Canned Laughter, The Joker can gain some space between himself and his enemies. This additionally slows the affected target, making escape much easier. Pick a Card, Any Card can also be used as an escape tool, allowing The Joker to slip out of slows and run away at an enhanced speed. Punch Line can also be used to help yourself escape if it’s available (they’ve jumped you from a bush, for example). Because the cooldown on Pick a Card, Any Card can be a bit long in team fights, Flicker is Joker’s go-to talent.
|PUNCH LINE (Passive) – After exiting battle, the Joker reloads his gun with enhanced bullets so that his next normal attack has an increased attack range and deals 200((+1.0 AD) ˀ *(SG Note: See Below) physical damage. The enhanced bullets also reduce targets’ movement speed by 90% and gradually weaken over 1.5 seconds.|
- The damage written in the ability description in-game is incorrect. The actual damage is 200(+20 per level)(+2.0 AD)
- Punch Line refreshes its cooldown after spending five seconds out of combat.
- This is the source of a lot of The Joker’s burst damage. After building damaging items, a single shot can come close to completely destroying squishier heroes.
- Punch Line is great for catching enemies and applying a slow on them. Use this to prevent their running away or catching up to you.
|THE KILLING JOKE – The Joker lights a cannon and launches a powerful rocket that deals 365/475/585/695/805/915 (+1.8 AD) physical damage to enemies in its path, but each subsequent enemy hit reduces its damage by 10%, up to 40%.|
- Be careful when aiming this ability as it has a short delay before launching. It is also a projectile that may be harder for some players to land.
- This ability is also great at clearing minion waves fast and also harassing enemies from afar. Shoot the minions as they march single file to clear the wave in a single shot.
- You can also use this when ganking by hiding in a bush and blasting unsuspecting enemies. This deals more damage to the first enemies hit, so try to hit priority targets first.
- The Killing Joke has a fantastic range that extends off of the screen. Very few enemies will be able to retaliate against the rockets when poked from maximum range.
|PICK A CARD, ANY CARD – With deceptive magic, the Joker removes movement impairing effects from himself and gains 30/36/42/48/54/60% movement speed as well as immunity to physical damage for 2 seconds.|
- This ability also allows you to remove any movement impairing effects, but not hard control effects like stuns or knock ups.
- Using this ability can allow The Joker to safely dive targets under towers, as towers deal physical damage.
- While best used as an escape, a well fed Joker can chase enemies with the speed boost that the ability offers as well.
|CANNED LAUGHTER – The Joker rushes towards the target and ties a canister of laughing gas to them that stuns them for a short period. He is immune to control abilities during the action. The canister then explodes, dealing 530/715/900 (+2.4 AD) physical damage and reducing the target’s movement speed by 90%. The movement reduction effect gradually weakens over 1.5 seconds and the Joker saunters back to his original position after the explosion. Joker also receives a 50% attack speed bonus after casting.|
- The Joker becomes invulnerable while moving. You can time this to dodge abilities and other high damage attacks.
- You can also use this to escape the enemy as it also applies a slow. Be careful when using this on enemies with gap closers as they can use their abilities to catch up to you.
- Use Canned Laughter to put distance between you and an enemy that has gotten too close. The slow they will suffer will keep them at bay as you finish them off.
How to Counter The Joker
- Hit The Joker with hard control abilities to prevent him from escaping. His Pick a Card, Any Card won’t help him escape from stuns.
- The Joker is much more vulnerable to magic damage than physical damage, so should be focused by mages. Mages who are able to survive some of his harassment like Lauriel or Tulen can be particularly good at putting him down.
Hero Item Build
|SG Recommended Build|
|Rankbreaker||Hermes’ Select||Omni Arms|
|Fenrir’s Tooth||Muramasa||Death Sickle|
- The Joker’s optimal arcana build is Onslaught, Assassinate, Skewer. These fit perfectly with his kit, allowing him to start bursting down enemies much more quickly in matches.
The Joker has the ability to kite most tanks with The Killing Joke and Punch Line. When a tank gets too close, use Canned Laughter to escape. While The Joker can kill tanks, it takes quite a bit of effort. Avoid them and focus on bigger threats like marksmen and mages instead.
A warrior who has damage and a great gap closer like Zephys or Maloch can give The Joker a hard time. On the other hand, warrior heroes without such reliable gap closers are prime targets for kiting. Either way, most warriors rely on physical damage and thereby can be avoided by using Pick a Card, Any Card.
Assassins can kill The Joker with a single combo. Keep your distance from those that try to approach, using Canned Laughter or Pick a Card, Any Card to escape if they manage to get close. A majority of assassins rely on physical damage and thereby can also be avoided using Pick a Card, Any Card.
Mages will be a big threat to The Joker, he unable to mitigate magic damage with Pick a Card, Any Card. What’s more, most won’t mind fighting The Joker at a range and thereby will be hard to kite or harass. Burst them down immediately if able but avoid them otherwise.
The Joker excels against marksmen due to his burst capability and Pick a Card, Any Card. When you encounter a marksman, quickly use Canned Laughter and Punch Line to rip through their meager health pools.
The Joker can fend off most supports, provided they are alone. Supports don’t deal that much damage and only thrive when they are near their teammates. Many have hard control abilities, which can be annoying for the clown prince. Your burst combo will be enough to deal with any that start to get too annoying, however.
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