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(Music Plays)

"Quoted from Red Fork's Rampage"

Meanwhile, the gang reaches Dr. Zack's room, ready for the final confrontation.

  • Green Shadow: I believe this is Dr. Zack's room.
  • Jelo: Dr. Zack, eh?
  • Red Ruby: You cowardly doctor! Come out and fight us, if you dare! *takes out dynamite*
  • Dr. Zack: Oh, Locked Room Gang? Came back for more?
  • Blue Ocean: Yeah!
  • Blast: We're ready to take you down!
  • Dr. Zack: Interesting affirmation. But can you back it up with actions?

Dr. Zack presses a button, and his chair floats in the air, while below, the floor opens to reveal Dr. Zack's battle machine: It's a giant machine with the shape of a giant turtle, with spikes on it's shell. Dr. Zack's chair enters the machine, and then the machine is closed shut, with Dr. Zack inside it.

Introduction

Yes, folks, it's a series that Fork and I are doing together. If you haven't seen the first blog of the series by Fork, you should check it out here. It's about a tier list of the hybrids in HoEC. Anyway, let's move on!

In Heroes of Echo Creek (HoEC), it consists of one of the biggest plots, which is the plot involving Blast and his side of the roster. Blast is the main protagonist who gained superpowers by accident and has became a renowned hero ever since, while Dr. Zack is the main villain who aims to kill Blast through various methods, from creating more superpowered teens to kidnapping a child as young as Allison.

Despite the fact that this plot focuses on superpowered humans, there is also a nice variety of other villains, from plants to inklings and even hybrids. And there's many differences between the characters in terms of their strengths and combat styles, so they're unique in their own ways. Today we'll be analyzing these characters and see where they'll be in our tier list. From the low to high tiers, let's begin!

F Rank

We have four characters who fall under the F rank, and they're in the same group. They are none other than Miss Bloomina's plant minions: Squash, Bloomerang, Petal and Thorn. In general, they aren't nearly as powerful as most of the gang members, and they don't really have stats that can match that of characters like Red Fork, Green Shadow and Starcade. However, they are also different individually, so I'll explain them briefly.

Squash has one of the highest stats among the four plant minions, but his range is short enough to be classified as melee, so characters with long-range attacks would be able to easily defeat him while being able to stay far away from his attacks. Bloomerang and Petal are common in a way that they are both fast and are able to attack from a range, but they are too weak to stand against powerhouses like Red Fork and Ace. Thorn, on the other hand, is the best of the worst, as he does have stats that can almost make him qualified to be at least an E rank character. However, the only reason why he is still in the F rank is because he does not have good matchups against most characters in the gang.

Apart from the weaker characters like Re-Peat Moss, Blowy and Emma Emerald's advisors, Miss Bloomina's plant minions do not really stand a chance on their own, which is why they are placed at the bottom-most rank.

E Rank

Two characters fall under the E rank, Alice and Splash. Let's start with Alice.

Alice is considered the brains of Blast's group of friends, due to her high intelligence and her ability to use a wide variety of weapons. Now you might think at first that Alice should be placed in a higher rank due to her high intelligence, which I agree is a key factor for a character to be placed in a high rank. But while Alice shines in intelligence, she does not shine well in her stats. She is able to hold off her own against other superpowered teens with her weapons such as the flame cannon and the plasma cannon, but does not have high defensive stats like the others, and has to rely on her technology to fend for herself. She does well against ice enemies that can take more damage from her flame cannon like Winter and Blizzard, but is unable to do much against characters who can easily survive or dodge her attacks such as Red Fork, Ace and Kyoji.

Next, we have Splash, who's even more powerful than Alice. If we're talking about underwater characters for a tier list, Splash would be at least an A rank, due to his great proficiency in water combat. While he shines underwater, he shows his weakness above the surface, as he is barely able to walk on land. He also has only two types of weapons: bubbles and water blasts. Against fire enemies like Scorch and Dark Jaiden, he excels. However, his hard counters include ice enemies as they are able to freeze him easily and characters who can pop his bubbles with sharp blades, such as Blade and swordfighters like Kyoji and Captain Red Shell. Furthermore, Splash has to rely on his bubbles outside of water, so against such hard counters, he doesn't stand a chance. With low stats and many easy counters to the point where even Blade can counter him, it makes sense that Splash falls under this rank.

D Rank

Five characters fall under the D rank. They are Payton Piranha, Blade, Scorch, Boulder and Tommy.

Payton Piranha may seem like one ferocious enemy anyone would fear to face, but in actuality, he does have low stats and many counters. That includes characters who can deal splash damage with their attacks such as Dark Shadow, Red Ruby and Gary Guppy and electric enemies like Electra and Takeshi. Despite these setbacks, Payton leads the largest army in Dr. Zack's team, which shines against characters who can be overwhelmed easily such as Bonk Choy and Boulder. And the fact that he is able to dish out a lot of damage at once is enough to place him at a D rank.

Next, we have Blade. He used to be one of the weakest characters which would be enough to place him at F rank, but he has gotten improvements from Ace and Metalshoe Jet over the course of HoEC, which allowed him to rise through the ranks. However, they aren't enough to make Blade as powerful as other superpowered teens like Boom and Electra. Nevertheless, his cutting blades are able to make the "cut" by being able to cut through wood or any other weaker material, popping bubbles as well as conducting electricity that come into contact with them. His best matchups are against Bark and Splash, but his hardest counters are earth enemies like Boulder and Earthquake, since his blades are unable to cut through stone. If Blade's improvements were slightly stronger, he could eventually be a good match against more superpowered teens.

Next up is Scorch. Now this might be confusing at first, since Scorch has always been more powerful than Electra. However, unlike the latter, he is reckless and rather unintelligent, and he also just happened to receive a weaker upgrade from Metalshoe Jet than Electra. He excels against ice enemies like Winter and Blizzard, but is weak against water enemies like Splash, Sasuke and Tsunami. He can also be easily countered by characters smart enough to use his recklessness against him, such as Blue Ocean and Starcade. I think Scorch would be ranked higher if it wasn't for his recklessness, which is his main setback.

Let's move on to Boulder. Out of all superpowered teens, he has the highest stats, but lacks speed and intelligence. He excels against enemies whose attacks are unable to cut through his stones, like Blade. However, due to his low mobility and lack of intelligence, most of the gang members will be able to outsmart him and take advantages of his weaknesses to defeat him. Highest stats don't necessarily determine a character as the strongest, and Boulder is a good example.

Lastly, we have Tommy, who never had fighting capabilities himself until Powered Up. He has super speed, flight and the ability to summon different toys including water guns. He excels against fire enemies like Scorch and Dark Jaiden and ink enemies like Jenny and Johnny McSplat. However, he does not stand a chance against stronger and more experienced fighters like Red Fork, Starcade and Kyoji, due to his lack of fighting experience and his relatively low stats, which is why I think he might rank higher once he gains more experience. 

C Rank

At C Rank, or the mid-tier rank, we have Blast, Boom, Electra, Johnny McSplat, Breeze, Tempo and Bark.

Blast has the powers of an average superhero: super speed, super strength and flight. In addition, he has ice powers gained from Fridjitzu and energy powers gained from an explosion. He is a well-rounded character who is decent in most areas, and his only real counters are characters with higher stats than him, such as Red Fork, Ace and Kyoji. 

Next up, Boom. He is pretty much equal to Blast, minus the ice and energy powers and plus the slightly higher stats. Interestingly, Boom used to be stronger than Blast, but tables have turned now and it's vice versa. It isn't much difference, so that's why Boom's still in the C rank.

Electra is smart, fast and has the ability to fly. However, unlike the previous two, she does not possess the same amount of strength and speed, which she makes up for with her intelligence. She excels against non-electric sea enemies like Captain Red Shell and Payton Piranha, as well as unintelligent characters like Boulder, Scorch and Bonk Choy. This might make her seem rather powerful, but she is rather weak to water, so characters like Sasuke, Tsunami and Tommy with water guns would be able to easily defeat her. 

Johnny McSplat may not be a superpowered teen, but he's a ranged combat specialist who is able to damage his enemies from a distance. He excels against characters who lack ranged attacks, but like all other inklings, does terribly against water enemies like Sasuke, Tsunami and Tommy with water guns. With average stats and matchups, Johnny McSplat fits the C rank.

Back to superpowered teens, we have Breeze. She excels in air combat, due to her agility, intelligence, and ability to control the wind. She also excels against lightweight characters like Re-Peat Moss and Blowy due to how easy it is to blow them away. Her main counters are heavier characters that can't be blown away as easily, such as Boulder, Red Fork, Earthquake or Ink Splash, as they are heavy enough to be immune to her attacks.

Tempo has time powers that give him an advantage against anyone who have low defense capabilities and high dependencies on speed, as speed is considered negligent when Tempo uses his powers. However, he is weak against characters who are strong enough to withstand his attacks, as well as electric enemies like Electra and Takeshi, as electricity is able to cancel out his attacks. While Tempo's time powers might prove to be useful, it is also dangerous as the more he uses it, the more he gets exhausted, which is why Tempo has to use them wisely. 

Bark has rather decent stats despite being the weakest character in the C rank, and shines in forest areas with the ability to grow plants to help him fight. He may be proficient in the forest, but he has quite a number of bad counters, which include fire enemies, any character who can cut through his wood and characters who use poison such as Toxico and the Grass Sword, which is why he is the weakest among all seven characters in the C rank.

B Rank

Now we're moving on to the more powerful characters, those in the B rank. There are two of them, and they are Mr. Simon and Miss Bloomina.

Mr. Simon, or the guy who pretended to be Blast's father in Father Knows Best, has a surprisingly good matchup against superpowered teens despite his age. He is smart and manipulative, but his abilities are not very special, and he excels against characters who can be easily influenced as well as superpowered teens. His hardest and only known counters so far are characters who cannot be easily influenced by others such as Ace. In this case, Mr. Simon is one of the few characters who prefers using the power of manipulation rather than his own actual powers against his enemies.

Now you may think what is Miss Bloomina doing here, especially since she's a flower with supposedly weak stats and minions who are placed under the F rank. Well yes, those points are true, Miss Bloomina and her minions are weak in terms of their stats. However, what places Miss Bloomina at a much higher rank than her own minions lies solely in her own abilities. She can spread her fragrance which either hypnotizes enemies or makes them fall asleep. She excels against characters that are slow and lack ranged attacks, since they are much easier to affect. Her abilities alone are very powerful, but however, she does have quite a number of counters as well. Aside from long-ranged and fire enemies, she is also bad against robotic enemies who are immune to her gas or characters who wear masks. 

A Rank

Here comes the more powerful ones - Ink Burst, Dr. Zack, Ace and Bob the Blob, the A ranks.

Since Fork has explained about Ink Burst who was also placed as an A rank on the previous blog, I think I won't need to explain about her all over again. But here's Ink Burst in a nutshell.

She's the youngest hybrid on this list, and she has the devastating combination of powers from two of the most formidable classes in the entire game: The Pony class and the Inkling class. She's a very powerful character overall. She has the highest mobility and intelligence stats out of the PHX siblings, and unlike her siblings, has unlocked the "flight" ability, allowing her to increase her mobility even more.

However, despite all these advantages she has over her siblings, she's still not an S tier because she lacks the sheer strength and power from PHX-001 and PHX-002. Ink Burst is more inkling-based than her siblings, meaning she has higher mobility and offensive stats, but she's much smaller than her siblings, meaning she has less defense and hp stats than them. She also doesn't have access to the "Gigantic Growth" ability, which allows her sister Ink Splash to boost her stats to insane levels, similarly to Galaximus.

Overall, Ink Burst is a very powerful character, but has traded a lot of power and hp for mobility, something that didn't quite turned out as well as Dr. Zack thought it would. The PHX subclass works best with high hp, defense and attack stats, even if they have less mobility stats.

Next up we have Dr. Zack, the main villain of this plot. He has an incredibly high intelligence which he uses to build numerous bases, construct powerful machines, create superpowered villains, formulate brilliant plans and so on. On his own, he does not have any fighting capabilities, but with his machines, he is able to put up a good fight against the gang on several occasions. His machines are very powerful and usually require a strategy to take down, which is not as easy as it looks. Dr. Zack, however, becomes completely vulnerable once his protective layer is destroyed, and even then he will rely on his intelligence in order to save himself and deceive his enemies before he can be harmed. Overall, Dr. Zack, like many other scientists, is heavily reliant on technology and will be crippled if he does not have access to it.

Next is Ace. Like most superpowered teens, he has super strength, super speed and flight, as well as some great intelligence close to Dr. Zack's. However, he is also a shadow ninja which completely changes the game, as he has a wide variety of abilities he can use at his disposal, which allows him to have a good matchup against almost any character in HoEC. As a shadow ninja, his main weakness is mostly only light, but even that won't be enough to stop him. Ace is special in a way that he also owns an almost indestructible shield known as the Ace Shield, which gives him extremely high durability and resistance against attacks, to the point that it is hard for powerful characters like Red Fork, Kyoji and Akasha to even hurt him. And that's not all, his years of training or rather torture under the Shadow Sensei has made him completely immune to shadow effects, and he becomes much faster if he does not hold the Ace Shield with him. We also see that Ace has also fought the gang on his own on several occasions, and he has rarely been defeated. With such incredibly high stats, good matchups and a lack of counters, Ace would almost make a S rank character, but what stops him from reaching that rank is his weakness to light, even if it is minor, and his overall hard counter being characters who have higher stats than him.

Bumo bumo, lastly we have Bob the Blob. He has high defense stats, being immune to most elemental attacks, as well as melee attacks. He can absorb his enemies, and overall is a very tough opponent if one does not know how to counter him. Since he is made of gelatin, he is able to take down Green Shadow and Dark Green Shadow, who are weak to gelatin. For this case, he would be suitable as an S rank, but even a character like Bob the Blob has his own counters. His most known counter are magic users that can get rid of him, like Amelia Amtheyst or Twilight Sparkle. He has another counter, which is that he is unable to reform if he is split into pieces that are separated from each other. An example happened in Red Fork's Rampage, when Ink Splash defeated Bob the Blob, splitting him apart and trapping his parts in tiny capsules. These two counters are the only things keeping him from being an S rank, as Bob the Blob has rather good matchups against most characters in HoEC in general.

S Rank

Finally, we have reached the S rank, and the character that will take this rank will be none other than PHX-001. And since PHX-001 is also placed as an S rank character in the previous blog of this series...

Control C + Control V

PHX-001 is the most powerful hybrid of them all, the one who could almost be considered an SS Tier, is PHX-001, the first hybrid to ever be created. What makes PHX-001 so special? Well, here's why he's the most powerful hybrid of them all.

First of all, let's have a look at his stats. Sure, he may have very low mobility and intelligence stats, but all his other stats reach an insane level. His attack stats are very high, thanks to his ability to dish out some of the most devastating ink-based attacks in the entire game. His hp stats surpass those of Ink Splash or Ink Smash, but out of all his stats, the most outstanding one are his defense stats. With near perfect defense stats, PHX-001 is completely unvulnerable to attacks from the outside. Even Captain Dark Shell and Sun Fork are unable to deal any damage to his exterior. The only part of PHX-001 that can take damage is his interior, so an enemy with high intelligence stats will use the strategy of shooting at his mouth to deal damage.

However, this is very hard to achieve, since PHX-001 has a huge variety of offensive and defensive abilities to aid him in battle. With the ability to form dozens of ink and magic spheres to either shoot them at enemies, or form a barrier around himself, and his huge size, PHX-001 is able to repel almost any opponent that picks a fight with him. He also has a unique ability to alter the gravity around him. Very few characters have access to physics alteration abilities, and most of the characters that have those abilities are top tier, such as Discord.

Having ranged attacks is a must if you want to have a chance to even damage PHX-001, since getting too close to his mouth is very dangerous. PHX-001 has a long tongue which he can use to easily trap enemies, and from there he can perform an gaming-ending combo by swallowing his opponent whole. The opponent would then fall to his stomach, causing them a game over.

Very few characters have ever succeeded in defeating PHX-001. The first time, in The Ace Plan, it took the combined effort of all of Team Hybrids to take him down. In more recent times, two characters have managed to defeat PHX-001 on their own. The first one was Captain Dark Shell, and the second time it was Sun Fork. Still, despite these defeats, there's no doubt that PHX-001 is a nightmare for most characters, and most of them would prefer to jump off a cliff than have to face this monstrous hybrid.

Conclusion

And that's all for today! I hope you enjoyed this episode of IaLR: Tier Lists. Remember to stay alert for new entries in the series. If there's any set of characters or any aspect of the game you'd like us to analyze, feel free to request it in the comment section below. Have a great day, and let's end this episode with a bang!

"Quoted from Red Fork's Rampage"

Amelia Amethyst activates another forcefield. Blue Ocean activates his own forcefield, and combines it with Amelia's forcefield. Then both of them use the forcefield to protect Gary Guppy, who dashes towards the hole on the Z-Turtle's shell.

  • Dr. Zack: What is that guppy doing?

The Z-Turtle shoots several homing missiles and spikes at Gary Guppy, but the forcefield takes the damage.

  • Blue Ocean: Hold on, he's almost there!

One more missile makes the forcefield deactivate, but Gary Guppy jumps into the hole right after that happens.

  • Blue Ocean: Phew! That was a close one!
  • Captain Red Shell: Now do your thing, Gary Guppy.

Dr. Zack sees Gary Guppy in the machine with him.

  • Dr. Zack: What are you doing here?
  • Gary Guppy: Nothing special. Just something a bit... CRAZY! *puts a bomb and jumps out by the hole*
  • Dr. Zack: What? No!

The bomb explodes, destroying all the internal systems of the Z-Turtle, and defeating Dr. Zack. The Z-Turtle explodes, and falls apart, leaving Dr. Zack exposed to the gang.

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