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Lavamancer still useful in c7?

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Hi, I am not really new to the game but its been about 2 years since I played it and now decided to play it again. 

I decided to buy the Lavamancer and have been playing him ever since. My question is if he is still a viable char in c 7?

Can he be as functional as a tank as the squire and can he be a good builder?

Ap or just tank in general?

Which of has towers are useful?

I though about these things a lot and havent found a clear answer since I dont know what is going on in this state of the game.

Would appreciate help. 

Sincerely MelancholicDefender.

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Definitely no hero is not viable at any stage!

Now, first, the Lavamancer makes a great builder. His Fissures and Oil Geysers are great for AoE damage and massive CC respectively. His other 2 defenses are still not bad, but they are more about preference if you would want to use them or other defenses.

As far as his active playstyle goes, you can comfortably build him with AP (can oneshot things with Molten Cores), HD (can punch things, I mean come on), and a Tank (you live, I guess).

So the Lavamancer is definitely viable, and he has quite a bit of room for preference in his DPS and building.

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@MelancholicDefender quote:

Sorry to be the party-pooper, there are just other more attractive options. I've left my Lavamancer in the dust for a while now and been using other stuff. I've tried some really interesting builds, like the molten core nuke, triple volcanos, and more. Somehow the elements in what combination still feels lacklustering.

For example, Fissures are perhaps the only auras that don't hit air, so they aren't even replaceable to the flame aura. Which means as a lavamancer builder, you'd have to overcompensate against AA with another additional source of AA, (Maybe 1 Air tower might not be enough, you might need 2 now)

Guy who is Running C7 comfortably

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I bought him like a year ago, played him once or twice and moved back to the other heroes.  I have him fully equipped and other than using the Maw of the Stone Drake (the health on it was amazing) when breaking into C7 I have not really used him in C7.  Personally I just prefer the dps of the AL, with the healing fountain dark assassins don't bother me much, as well as the Abyss Knight knocking them off and stunning them easily if I time the cast right. 

So, in the end, I think he might be a viable hero but I think other heroes are much more viable than him.

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If you have full ascension and the Mana Capacitor shard, with 300 mana you at least keep Harden/Enflame up for a whole wave and he will regain full each new one. With that and the two shards for that power, he will bounce projectiles and have a .5M HP shield at all times, and hide underground and heal quickly. So yeah - he is hard to kill with that. Buff that up to a full HD/HCD/HP with Radiant Power and the usual HD shards, and he can take out rollers without taking damage.

But you just can't really make an AP version of him unless you spend DU on a fissure. Eruption costs 80 DU, and Molten Cores are 40 so you burn through even 300 quickly. They really need to make the fissure similar to the Abyss Lord healing well - no DU cost, but you can only make one and it disappears if you change characters, and speed up the mana generation. Even with that though, his AP damage is still below most other chars AP bursts and doesn't have much CC.

And his towers - meh. Oil Geyser is good with precise placement, and helpful if you want leaderboard scores (you need 20 DU defenses). Fissure is weak thanks to not hitting air, walls are ok but a lot of DU, and the volcano is a nice idea that is ruined by geodes.

So viable DPS sure and you could play with his towers if you are overgeared, but still a couple of tweaks or good shards away from being a contender.

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I play Lavamancer quite a bit, and often like to use exclusively him in C7. ( 4 of them to be precise because Volcanoes). I'm at max gear though so its a little skewed but I find it very easy to do, so it's probably not that bad without max gear right?

Wall of Text warning.

His Hero damage/hero crit build was already mentioned above, and I love running it myself. Don't personally run Mana Capacitor but that's just a preference. No need for fissures to regain his "mana", with just the extra 100 from Ascension you've got 10 casts of harden/inflame, and as long as you're not spamming on Cooldown then it's enough to last a wave. The 2 main shards (beyond standards like crit and speed) are Lets Rock and Tectonic Breaker. Let's Rock giving you a giant shield every time you use harden/inflame, and tectonic breaker giving you a ton of damage when you're in inflame, and a decent amount while hardened. Pop inflame and go to town on a roller. Might not be a nuke monk but it gets the job done.

Molten Charge seems like a decent mobility skill but for whatever reason doesn't feel great to use on mobs. The damage seems lackluster.  Half the time it feels like it should be called Molten Lag teleport.

His AP setup is somewhat awkward imo (and I'm certain is shared by many). Fissures being required to regen his "mana". It'd be nice if there was a way to spawn a fissure at Tier 0 where it didn't do damage and just placed his mana node, and then you could upgrade it to tier 1 at it's standard 30 Mana cost where it would work like it currently does.

Eruption is a really nice aoe nuke, but it's animation keeps you in place for a long time so it doesn't feel great to use. It's really nice though as a way of buffing his volcano. 

Molten Core does a ton of damage but it's terribly unreliable if you're looking to get it to bounce around. To me it just feels clunky and could really use a QoL pass. 

I think he's a pretty good builder overall. His fissures as mentioned above could really use a way to be a du-less "mana" source.

That being said they're a great aoe defense. I'll be comparing it to Flame Auras. Damage scaling is the same as flame auras, but it's attack rate is a little slower. It has longer range and can be placed much closer together than Flame Auras but it doesn't hit air. It will apply it's lava damage to any surface in it's vertical cone, so you can double dip lane's with (like a bridge). I'm not sure if there's a limit to it's vertical range but if there is I haven't found it with just using them in lanes. Unsurprisingly I run a medallion with power transfer and range. (they may be getting a lot more from upgrades than they should when using power transfer but you didn't hear it from me).

His wall, Maw of the Earth Drake is pretty decent. Double the cost of a spike blockade, but a little less than twice the health. It's only slightly wider, but twice as thicc front to back. It's also a little taller, which imo is important to note, since it make's a better meatshield for towers you might be hiding behind it from EMP Kobolts. It's petrify can act as a sort of second wall. Petrified mobs will take aggro from enemies, keeping stuff off it longer. Giving it a Deadly Strikes shard and Crumbling Stone is a great way to make use of this effect. Though, maybe you don't want mobs getting killed faster while petrified if you value the CC.

I'll go in saying I'm definitely biased but I love oil geysers and I think they're low-key the best 20du trap in the game (specifying trap so not including Snake Coil or Lightning Strikes, also 20 du but not "traps"). They have great CC and good damage, but lack the range of a sand trap or the dps of an explosive trap. People generally avoid them because of the low range (and I think it could use a buff) but they're hitting quite a bit wider than you might initially think. With most defenses in this game all it take's is a warboar's arm hair to touch the edge of an aoe and it'll take damage. 

Oil Geysers are great for a few reasons. They'll hit flyers over top of them in a very generous vertical range. Their slow magnitude is insanely good, though it doesn't last super long. They have a shard that gives them a chance to stun on hit. They have pretty good dps for a cc tower. Running them with a medallion, power transfer and their stun shard (oil spill) makes them very good at taking out lanes. I say they're maybe the best trap because they will keep mobs on themselves for a long time and keep dishing out the hurt. Unlike Explosive traps they don't need something to keep mobs on them (like a wall or a slow/stun) since they do it themselves, which makes up for the dps discrepancy. Also since they're a 20 DU defense they scale great with upgrades.

With Chaos 7 they can be used to take out EMP Kobolts, but generally you'll want to pair them with another damage source. They combo well with towers to take them out, placing them at the end of a tower's range so they hit Kobolts at the same time as the tower. I actually like to use his volcanoes for this. 

I've been using Volcanoes as walls even though recently Trendy changed them to Towers instead of Blockades (maybe not that recent but the wound is still fresh </3 ). I can't really comment to much on a full Damage setup with them since it's been quite a few changes since I've tried it. Also, C7 isn't a horrible spot for them since there's only a small number of Geodes.

As a wall though I run Totem with Vamp Empowerment, Power Transfer and Volcanic Shock. The DP gained from Vamp gets converted to Crit with Power Transfer so the shards combo nicely. The Stun is from Shock is great CC. Though they cost a ton, their health scaling is decent for a wall without a fortitude, and because they're not a wall most mobs don't attack them until they've run their nose into it for a few seconds. I like to keep their range short so that their dps is focused mostly on the lane I have it in. With giant range it's dps is sporadic, but concentrated on one lane makes it quite potent and reliable. The shots being aoe and stunning make it decent lane clear/cc. 

It interacts with Kobolts in weird ways if you use it like me because technically it's classified as a tower. Though lane mobs ignore it until they've been running against it for a good bit, Kobolts will rage onto them very quickly, recognizing them as a tower. As mentioned above you can use oil geysers and the volcano together to take care of them but it's not reliable. What is reliable is that they're going to steal the Kobolt's aggro, and because they're using a totem, will tank the damage and barely notice it. Though it stops attacking, it effectively negates Kobolts entirely, just by existing. As interesting as this interaction is, I'd still wish Trendy would revert Volcano to a Blockade.

TLDR; He's hot stuff.

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@SidewalkHero quote:

That being said they're a great aoe defense. I'll be comparing it to Flame Auras. Damage scaling is the same as flame auras, but it's attack rate is a little slower. It has longer range and can be placed much closer together than Flame Auras but it doesn't hit air. 

It took me far longer than I care to admit to figure out why my builds were failing with him in C7 until I realized the fissures didn't touch the Kobolts.

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