While we've long had a Lucio guide on the site which explainins the ins and outs of playing this hero to perfection, for a while now we've wanted to start expanding on our hero articles with deeper dives on specific abilities. With Ultimates providing the most powerful means of shifting the course of a battle, it seemed sensible to start with this category of abilities!
First up is Lucio, who's one of the game's most popular heroes, and so is a natural starting point for our new series. In our Sound Barrier Ultimate guide, you'll find some game-changing tips for squeezing more out of this defensive ability, as well as a guide to completing the Support Achievement that's associated with the skill.
If you've any tips of your own for getting more out of this ability, we'd love to hear about them in the comments - we'll add them, with credit, in a future update to this article.
Lucio's Sound Barrier damage absorption
Let's get started with the basics.
Sound Barrier provides all teammates within 30 metres with a 500-damage shield that decays by 100 points every second. It is particularly effective at providing teammates with the means to survive - or reach safety - following the casting of damage-focused enemy Ultimates.
While there are exceptions to every rule, you typically want to use your speed boost over healing while the barrier is up to aid your team.
If you're not playing as this character, note that a friendly Lucio will announce the casting of Sound Barrier with "Oh, let's break it down!", while a Lucio on the other team will sound off with "Let's drop the beat!"
Managing the range of Lucio's Sound Barrier
It's important to learn the radius of Sound Barrier and be very wary of using it as you approach the point where you intend it to be useful (eg a capture point). If some of your allies are already working on the point, there's a danger that you won't tap them.
There's a six second limit to the shield's duration too, so it's not necessarily a bad thing to have the Ultimate go off after your team have begun taking damage. This might seem like a minor point, but a little patience can be the deciding factor in a team brawl.
There will, of course, always be exceptions to the rule, but it's worth setting up some solo Skirmish rounds to get a feel for where your optimal "trigger" points are as you approach important strategic locations on any given map. To speed up your practise, make sure you increase the gain-rate of the Ultimate before jumping in.
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Casting Lucio's Sound Barrier more quickly
Lucio's Sound Barrier ability comes into effect the moment he actually hits the ground, not when the maneuver animation itself begins. From a stationary position that means there's a potentially catastrophic delay between throwing out your Ultimate and your team actually benefiting from it.
To negate this problem, you can use the jump aspect of Sound Barrier to actually reach a higher surface faster. Once you touch that surface, the radiating shield effect comes into play immediately. Use your Wall Ride or environmental ramps to enable this effect.
Lucio's Sound Barrier Achievement: Supersonic
To tick off Lucio's Sound Barrier Achievement (Supersonic), you will need to block a total of 1,000 damage from a single use of the Ultimate in Quick or Competitive Play.
While it's tempting to think that you'll tick this one off easily enough by just waiting for a large but even team brawl to get going, your best bet for completing it is to actually wait for an enemy to use one of their damage-heavy Ultimates.
D.Va is by far and away your best option here for getting this done. When you hear her cry "Nerf this!" and the mech is flying towards you and your team, drop your Sound Barrier fast. Even if you still get wiped out, there's a great chance you'll have soaked up enough damage to trigger the completion - no-one said your friends had to survive, after all...