Realm Royale will be dropping a major update later in February. Called Deviled Eggs, it will introduce a round of big balance and map changes, and add 2 new abilities to the game: Ground Shock and Fortification. While we await these new additions to Realm Royale, I though I’d highlight an old Mage ability which many low level players tend to pass up: Ice Block.
Unlike most other healing abilities in the game game, Ice Block is functionally a burst heal: it cannot be cancelled by enemy interference. While Healing Station dishes out a much larger overall healing amount, enemies can knock you out of its AoE with stuff like Soul Gust or Concussion Grenade, or force you to re-position with Fire Bomb.
This is something new Realm Royale players are left to discover on their own, but Ice Block doesn’t actually put you in complete stasis. You can still do a couple of things while frozen. First, you can reload your weapon – and always should.
Second, you can interact with near-by items. You can pick up abilities and potions, and disenchant things. This is rarely helpful in a big way, but it’s still something you can take advantage of over the course of a game to save time. If you’ve just taken down a player, Ice Block while you loot them to heal up.
The ultimate counter
Besides healing you, Ice Block is there to let you counter enemy offensive abilities. At the beginning, it’s a handy way to avoid damage when getting Fire Bombed inside a building, or to stop DoT from Shredders and Flares. That last one might not sound like a serious threat now, but the upcoming Realm Royale update is increasing Flare damage by 50%. A Hunter with the right loadout could soon tag you with a 700+ damage Flare – unless you Ice Block to completely cancel it, of course.
There are even stronger counter-uses for Ice Block. A Skull of Chaos could normally do massive damage if you are standing close to your teammates or turrets – Ice Block cancels that. If an enemy Warrior rushes you with any combination of Onslaught, Brutality and Hammertime, a Healing Station will not be able to out-heal the damage they’ll dish out. However, a well-timed Ice Block will completely negate all of it.
The more you use Ice Block, the better you will get at timing it to nullify whatever your enemies throw at you. You will know you have hit peak performance when you can block Blast Arrows from close range.
As strong as as Ice Block is in solo Realm Royale, it can be very useful in team games too. First of all, you can use it to deny kills. When you Ice Block, you become impossible to finish off, which will force the enemy team to re-target and lose their advantage. In rare situations, you could also use Ice Block to turn yourself into a piece of temporary cover for your teammates.
That said, Healing Station is often the stronger option for team games, strictly because of how much durability it can provide to your entire squad.
Mages are a very interesting class in Realm Royale, as they have access to two separate forms of temporary invulnerability. If this is your desired playstyle, you could combine Ice Block and Ghost Walk to maximize their effects. This combination gives you more chances to undo your mistakes. By extending fights, you also get more mileage out of your offensive ability, and more instances of Ice Block healing. Depending on the temper of your opponent, your slippery tactics will likely unnerve them and possibly get them to drop their guard.
This loadout is not nearly as overpowered or as irritating as it used to be, but it’s still very much a strong option for Realm Royale Mages. For your talents, take Sorcerer and Mage’s Speed – this will reduce Ice Block cooldown by 50%, and Ghost Walk cooldown by 35%. These are both starter talents, so you could try this combo out right now, even if you’ve never played Mage before.
If you are in the mood for a history lesson, Realm Royale streamer Baggins demonstrates exactly how strong this loadout used to be in the video below.
Plan your next move
At baseline, Ice Block offers you something no other ability in Realm Royale does: the option to take a breather right in the middle of a fight and re-assess your situation. Many players misinterpret this as a disadvantage, focusing on the fact that Ice Block immobilizes you and gives enemies the upper hand. In reality, the Ice Block user gets a much stronger benefit than their opponent.
You might have noticed this when using Ice Block in your own games, but when you freeze yourself in front of someone, they immediately start circling you, anxiously awaiting the thaw so they can land that headshot. Typically, their entire focus is consumed by this effort to capitalize on their perceived advantage. They will often not use this free time to heal or reload, where-as you do both. They also don’t know exactly when you will become targettable again, while you can clearly see the countdown.
So there you have it! Ice Block is a lot more versatile and powerful that most Realm Royale players give it credit for. It will be interesting to see how it compares to the new ability Fortification, which sounds functionally similar from its description in the patch notes.