Everything you need to know about Astra
Astra enjoys playing methodically and safe, with all of her abilities revolving around stars she places on the ground around the map, make sure you are safe when doing so- don’t do it out in the open!
Is Astra right for you?
Do you like playing at the back of your team and waiting for the enemies to come to you? If so then Astra is the perfect agent for you to pick up. Placing stars in nooks around the map, Astra springs her abilities on enemies, catching them off guard and killing them in an instant!
Gravity Well (C)
How to use Gravity Well (C)
After Astra places a star in Astral Form (X), she can then activate it to create a Gravity Well (C). Players caught in the range are pulled into the middle of the area- it then explodes, causing all enemies caught inside to be afflicted with the Vulnerable debuff.
This ability has one charge and the Gravity Well (C) lasts for 2.75 seconds and the Vulnerable debuff lasts 5 seconds. There is also a 45 second cooldown on the ability.
When and where to use Gravity Well (C)
Use Gravity Well (C) on a well-hidden star Astra has pre-emptively placed- usually in the buy phase- which can drag multiple enemies in. This means that you can easily mow down enemy agents as they will all be clumped up!
When defending, use Gravity Well (C) on stars placed in common entryways and chokepoints to prevent the enemy team from pushing through onto spike sites.
Nova Pulse (Q)
How to use Nova Pulse (Q)
Nova Pulse (Q) has Astra activate a star which winds up for 1.25 seconds and then it explodes- leaving all enemy agents caught in the radius concussed for 4 seconds.
The ability has one charge at the start of the round and Astra can gain another every 45 seconds after it is used.
When and where to use Nova Pulse (Q)
Nova Pulse (Q) is a very good tool for preventing spike plants or spike defusals. If you are defending and there is a very common plant spot on a certain spike site, then you should place a star there to prevent the enemies from planting there!
Alternatively after planting on attack, you can place a star on the spike and then if the enemy team tries to defuse, you can explode it and stop them from doing so- We suggest staying at a safe distance so you can stay alive for them to try and defuse!
How to use Nebula/Dissipate (E)
Nebula/Dissipate (E) is Astra’s smoke ability. This is one of the best smoking abilities in the game due to Astra being able to pick up the smokes and replace them! Astra activates a star to turn it into a smoke (Nebula) and can recall the star with Dissipate.
This ability is Astra’s only ability to have two charges at the start of a round. Nebula smokes last for 14.25 seconds and have a 1 second recall delay timer on Dissipate. There is a 25 second cooldown before replacing a smoke you have picked up.
When and where to use Rendezvous (E)
We recommend using Nebula/Dissipate (E) at the beginning of each round to smoke off enemies who are pushing or defending and looking out for your push. This is because you can make the most of that 25 second cooldown timer if you need to relocate your smokes. They also last 14.25 seconds so you shouldn’t have much time with no smokes up or available!
You can fake push a site on Attack by placing some stars across the map and then pushing the other spike site too!
Astral Form/Cosmic Divide (X)
Astra’s Signature ability, Astral Form is also part of her Ultimate Ability Cosmic Divide. This may sound confusing but it really is not!
Astra can use fire (left click) to place stars after activating Astral Form (X), where she can place them across the whole map. She can then activate her other abilities to alter the stars she places. These stars cost 150 credits each for the four she can have per round.
Cosmic Divide (X) is the second part of her ultimate. Whilst in Astral Form, Astra can alternate fire (right click) to aim Cosmic Divide (X). A massive wall spawns covering the angle across the whole map. It blocks bullets and nearly deafens between the sides of the wall.
Cosmic Divide (X) costs seven ultimate points and lasts for 21 seconds.
When and where to use Astra Form/Cosmic Divide (X)
Astral Form (X) is a must for every round as Astra’s whole kit revolves around her placing stars, and with four stars and four abilities each round- this is a perfect match!
Cosmic Divide (X) is best used to provide cover or prevent a push. Enemies cannot shoot or see through your wall, but they can move through it. This applies to allies too. Place the wall to block off both spike sites when defending, or enemies when attacking.
Best and worst team compositions for Astra
The best team compositions for Astra
The best team compositions for Astra to be involved in include agents who can set up and help secure a spike site, as well as make the most of her smokes. It could line up like this:
This team composition works because of the two Controllers in Astra and Viper. It allows the team to block off and prohibit vision from a large majority of the map, especially on a spike site. Skye as the Initiator still allows for some aggression as enemies who are holding close angles that Viper and Astra cannot cover, will be Nearsighted or Blinded.
Killjoy can cover the flank whilst attacking and set up her bots and turrets as a Sentinel, so that the enemies are walking through Astra’s smokes into immediate damage! Lastly, the Duelist of the composition is Jett, who easily has enough damage to make up for the lack from some of the other agents.
The worst team compositions for Astra
The worst team composition for Astra would not include other agents who can successfully lock down an area or capitalise on it. It goes as follows:
Raze has no abilities that can help control a spike site and apart from raw damage, can be overlooked as an agent to pair with Astra. Neon does not like staying in one place for too long and considering Astra wants to set up and secure an area, it doesn’t work.
Sage’s main ability is her Barrier Orb (C) which is sometimes made obsolete by Astra’s smokes and their longevity, and it can also prevent some of Astra’s stars from being effective if it is not communicated properly.
Fade is the newest agent and apart from players struggling to get used to her, Her Haunt (E) needs to look for enemies. Considering Astra blocks off a lot of vision with her Nebula (E) and Cosmic Divide (X), sometimes these can overlap and not allow Fade to get her Trails.
The Best and worst maps for Astra
The best map for Astra
Split is seen as the best map for Astra. This is because of the small size of the map, meaning she can rapidly replace her stars and spreading them further out across the map means that they are more likely to have an impact.
Being able to place a Nebula (E) smoke to control Mid is key for winning Split, especially as she can place the star, wait and bait enemies who are assuming she will use it to smoke. Placing stars in key locations on small maps also prevents the enemy team from playing too aggressively as they do not want to get caught out by a Gravity Well (C) or a Nova Pulse (Q).
The worst map for Astra
Icebox is the worst map for Astra- hands down. This is because of all of the entryways and chokepoints, there are simply too many to smoke off for Astra! Letting the enemy push to you and trying to control a certain area, which is how Astra likes to play, is not the best way to play on Icebox.
Another Controller such as Viper is a better choice due to her wanting to force enemies away with her abilities. Alternatively, Sova is a very good pick due to him being able to scout out a lot of enemies on Icebox.
Best and worst guns for Astra
The best guns to use when playing Astra
The best guns to use with Astra are guns that allow her to be good at range. This is because she wants to be able to survive to pick up and replace her stars as well as get the timings right to activate them. The best guns to use on Astra are these:
The Vandal and Phantom are very similar and if you want to know which gun is better, the Vandal is slightly better for Astra as it is better than the Phantom at longer ranges. The Operator allows for Astra to wait for enemies to peek, or get drawn in by her Gravity Well (C) and shot instantly. The Guardian does a similar job to the Operator, but on a cheaper scale.
The Ghost is always a good pick up, especially on pistol and eco rounds, considering Astra does not need to buy all of her stars on these rounds.
The worst guns to use when playing Astra
The worst guns to use on Astra are guns that will force her to play aggressively and up close to enemies. They are as follows:
The Stinger does not have the range, damage or magazine for Astra to consider purchasing it. Some Controllers can viably pick guns such as this or the two shotguns- the Bucky and the Judge- but Astra cannot as she des not like lurking in her own smoke.
The Frenzy and Shorty are never worth purchasing on pistol rounds, Astra is better off going with a Ghost or Sheriff.
Defending Tips for Astra
- Place your stars in the buy phase! Waiting to place the stars until the round has started loses you valuable time each round. This does not mean you have to place all four straight away, but make sure you can quickly place the others mid-round.
- Use Nebula (E) early on. The cooldown is 25 seconds, so do not play sparingly with the two smokes in your kit- the sooner you use them, the sooner you can use them again!
Attacking Tips for Astra
- Cosmic Divide (X) can get you an easy plant! If you want to force your way onto a spike site, block off as many defender entryways as you can, then charge forward. Enemies are apprehensive to push through the wall, so you should be able to plant easily enough!
- Replace your stars after planting. This means that if you pick them up when rotating between sites, place them backdown in entryways and chokepoints as if you were defending!
The last Astra guide you will ever need to read, Is the Cosmic goddess for you? Let us know!