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When playing as the Commando in Risk of Rain, I always feel disadvantaged when I have the Sky Meadow as my second area. Particularly, I am having trouble handling large groups of children. While taking out a child or two, even of the tougher variants, is not a problem, these guys tend to spawn in rather large numbers. Seeing how they are very mobile and can dish out considerable amounts of damage, I am usually overwhelmed rather quickly.

I usually keep large groups under control using Suppressive Fire, but their numbers tend to be large enough to have a few still coming after me even if I use that skill. Full Metal Jacket also doesn't help too much, as I need to fire off at least several of these to take most of the group down.

My main problem is that I feel I do not have enough stopping power to handle this situation (a problem I do not have when facing this situation while playing as the Enforcer). What would be the best approach here?

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    Both title and question are brilliant. – Andalur Jan 28 '14 at 10:05
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Success in risk of rain is mostly based on three parts:

Learn to play your class

You must learn to play your class very well and need to know, when you can stand against an enemy or when it's better to back off and/or kite. Just play some random rounds, not with the aim to complete the game, but more to test all your abilities. In your case for the Commando you need to use your roll and knockback skills in the most efficent way. So dive through big amounts of enemies to get a bit away, then fire your knockback into them and back up more. Use your primary attack from far away, to get constant damage on your opponents.

Know what you need to buy

For this part you should already mastered part one, so that you know weakness and strength of your class. As you mentioned in your question, you're uncomfortable with your knockback. So save some money and buy wisely. Some Boxing Gloves will increase your knockback for 15%, which is very nice and stacks. If you manage to get 3-5 of those you will knock enemies out of your viewdistance. Keep in mind that there won't be a perfect build for any class, because everyone plays a bit different. I would say you need to go for knockback, hp regen (per kill, nugget and out of combat if you want) and of cource damage.

Be lucky

As in any games where you need to get itemdrops you need to be lucky. You can be a master at your class, but when you just get garbage, you won't be as good as you could be. I can play one run for 2 hours and lose the next try after 5-10 minutes. To extend your luck keep an eye for 56 Leaf Clover. This dropchance-booster helps a lot to get better loot and can turn the table in a round with bad drops.

secret 4th part - active item

The secret 4th part to success is your active item! Read about them in the wiki and try to find the one which fits your class and playstyle the most. So I used the Instant Minefield a lot. With some good damageboosters and evation-skills (like your roll) you can nearly oneshot champions. This party is totally up to you, but there are some very crappy active items. One of the strongest of those - based on my knowledge - is Jar of Souls. This will help to smash so many enemies on the map, but be careful. Jar of Souls can drop your Frames below 10 in the later (farm-)stages.

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It's all about abusing your invulnerability frames (your roll) and knockback (the shotgun type attack). Never use your primary attack or the machine gun attack, just kite as much as possible and keep as much distance as possible. Risk of Rain is also just one of those games where it really helps to get some early lucky drops, sometimes you just get screwed.

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Commando doesn't have particularly good base dps but is virtually unkillable due to his dodge skill. So the first thing you should do is focus on damage. The best way to do this is to get soldier's syringe (fire rate) or lens maker's glasses (crits), you'll max out at around 15 of each. That takes care of your common items, so load up on missile launcher mk1 and mk2 for your uncommon and rare items. Can't recommend artifact of command enough if you want to win easily.

This strategy is fun because once you have max fire rate and missiles you'll be firing 4 missiles per hit times a large number of hits per second. Missiles everywhere, things die, low fps, etc. Good times.

Almost forgot! Pairing wicked ring with 14x lens maker's glasses allows you to use suppressive fire continuously. Definitely enjoyable with this strategy. Combine with ancient scepter for extra boom.

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Commando. This class is EXTREMELY good, and I will show you how to use it in an unkillable fashion.

Pros~

  1. Highest attack speed, which makes great for any on hit effects

  2. Can kite pretty good. The only one who can outclass in kiting maybe huntress, but I don't have much play with her so I can't say

  3. With my build, you will be unkillable, and still pump out amazing dps

Cons~

  1. Early game kind of bad, but you can get through it by some quick Soldier Syringes

The Build~

(WARNING This assumes you have Artifact Of Command(o), if not you must rely on rng)

You want to for the first stages, just get a bunch of Soldier Syringes, and Leech Seeds. If you ever get a T3 chest, I would get The Ol' Lopper and The Wicked Ring. It is very open to what you build, but keep to the basic principals of attack speed, life steal, crits, and on hit! You should have 10-13 Leech Seeds, and about 13 Soldier Syringes as soon as possible. Because you have the largest attack speed from these items, since you shoot twice, you are practically unkillable. You will be healing soo much, and still keep up with large damage. I would suggest getting 2 Wicked Rings with The Ol' Lopper, and the item that upgrades your ult (forgot name), since everytime you use your Ult, it will reset itself because of crits, and your other abilities as well, and you can just spam this. You can get infusions, a guardian heart, and tough times if you feel you need to be a bit tank. Any have a chance items are very good, like the taser, missles, or crowbar, etc. The drill is pretty useful as well for the first few stages, but I think the other ones listed are better together, but if you have bad luck, and can't get enough just get the drill, but I would suggest The Rings more.

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