So, it finally happened, I hit S Rank in Splatoon. I actually didn’t even seriously start giving Ranked Battles an attempt until January, so this only took two months of playing it, more or less. Let’s face it, I’m more of a fan of Turf War than Ranked, but Ranked is appealing due to the competitive aspect of it – particularly at higher ranks. I haven’t done much competitive gaming since Comic Con 2014, with the Mario Kart 8 Tournaments there. Just Mario Kart 8 and Splatoon and all online essentially, with the possibility of the Nintendo World Championships being an exception.
But I digress. After reading sites like SquidBoards and r/Splatoon it became quickly apparent that most people didn’t consider the InkBrush competitively viable. I was devastated, in a sense, as I love using the InkBrush. But why, why do I love this weapon so much, and why do I actually seem to do decently well with it?
Well, my playstyle in competitive environments, first of all, is far, far outside the norm. In Mario Kart 8, I don’t pick a large character with the pipe frame and such, I pick Ludwig or Daisy, with the Master Cycle. A balance of control and speed, and inside drift. And I do well. When I played Pokemon competitively, I used strange Pokemon with peculiar movesets – Choice Scarf Jolteon, Whimsicott, Froslass. And the reason these things work, the reason that we find outliers like this, is the anti-meta aspect of all of it. They’re odd, they’re peculiar things that work well, when applied in specific ways to the environment, and people have a hard time adapting to it. It can be done, and it’s not hard, but for me, this strategy works well.
With the InkBrush specifically, two other things suit my playstyle: the speed, and the terrorizing/trolling aspect of the weapon.
In my opinion, the speed makes this weapon, and more than makes up for the weakness of it. Yes, I know it takes five hits to kill someone, and you’re likely going to be splatted along with them, at best, if you charge someone head on. But that isn’t why this weapon exists. Charging someone head on with and inkbrush? You’re an idiot if you do this. Hit them from the side, abuse the high ground, and mash the trigger as fast as you can. Before I got into ranked, Ninja Squid was an indispensable part of my setup. Just stay the hell away from 96 Gals and Octobrushes, unless they’re completely unaware of your existence.
This gif just tickles me, is all.
And yes, abuse the hell out of the high ground with the InkBrush. At first, maps with open areas like Flounder Heights and Ancho V Games were extremely appealing in Turf War to brush users, but it didn’t take me long to see why – there’s plenty of opportunities to abuse heights, such as in the direct center of Museum D’Alphonsino. That’s why these maps work. This concept easily transfers to more closed in areas like Hammerhead Bridge, and the brush works very well in most cases due to this.
And the brush terrorizes very, very well. The inkbrush in the center of the skate park, on the tower, is difficult to reckon with. It can very quickly rain down ink in any direction, and sprinklers are amazing bait few people can resist, and can deal with most chargers from a distance long enough to keep moving. Inkstrikes have multiple applications as well, from nuking yourself when the tower gets surrounded, picking off the E-Liter or Splatling who just won’t stay at bay, or filling up turf. The trick to both the speed and terrorizing with the InkBrush is to be constant and relentless, no matter what.
Now let’s see if I can hit S+…