SPLASH or CRASH: Undercover Brella
Joseph "WALKMAN" Hamdan
Jan 06, 2018
Although the Brella class started off the game practically unusable, they began to see tremendous amount of use after some balance patches. The Brella’s have died off a little bit as new weapons have taken the forefront as the go to support weapons, but the regular Splat Brella is still very much a solid option. Now a new Brella subclass has been released, the Undercover Brella, which is effectively the current light class Brella group sporting is own set of unique mechanics, but are these enough for us to get another SPLASH!?
The Undercover Brella separates itself from the other Brellas in that it has the unique ability to shoot while the shield is out. This means that while you are blocking enemy fire you can fight back the enemy with shots of your own, unlike the other Brellas which require you to keep your opponents shots in mind when releasing that shield to fire back. The weapon also being of a lighter class than the other Brellas, has a faster fire rate and is a quicker strafer. These two things make it a pretty solid painter and it can definitely contribute to team turf control (see paint comparison images below). The huge drawbacks of the weapon are that its power per shot is much weaker than the others and that its shield has a way lower endurance as well. The weaker bullets mean you have to get even closer to your opponents than the other Brellas to reliably secure a splat, however even if the full shot lands point blank you will be doing a maximum of 40 damage meaning it is always a three shot kill. The other Brellas have the capability to do much more damage making them reliable two shot kills and the Tenta Brella can even kill in one shot if it lands its full clip. The shield of the Undercover Brella also only does 15 damage when it makes contact with the opponent, meaning that a perfect shot then shield combo will do 55 damage. This means that the weapon will still be a three shot kill even if the shield hits the opponent. Yeah I’m sure there will be times when the enemy has taken 5 damage already so you can maybe kill in two shots after, but it is a little situational and means the shield won’t be helping to do extra damage in a 1v1 situation. This isn’t groundbreaking, but contributes to the overall detriment of the damage output.
(First)- Undercover Brella painting, strafing right to left while holding up shield. (Second)- Splat Brella painting, strafing right to left. Shows that Undercover Brella is a solid painter overall.
Next let’s talk about the shield endurance. Although you will be holding up that shield during a firefight to prevent taking damage, your shield will break to most weapons in the game rather easily leaving you defenseless. The only weapons that you will have an advantage over are short to mid range shooters, sure there are a lot of them that you may run into but a lot of the meta and even niche weapons used right now completely destroy you. For example, the blaster breaks your shield in one direct, a charger does the same with a fully charged shot, and a roller in one flick. The thing that gets me the most is that you don’t even have the advantage over long range shooters that the other Brellas have. In the case of the matchup with a Splattershot Pro, a weapon that has been seeing a lot of use lately especially with the rise of the Forge Splattershot Pro, my advice for the Pro has always been to just avoid the Brella as its shield was just too much for the weapon to take reliably. You could try and take the shield down with suction bombs, but that may not leave enough ink to finish the job. Overall the Brella won the matchup quite handily. This is not the case at all for the Undercover Brella, if you outrange it as a shooter honestly just shoot the thing and it will break. If your shooter has a bomb just throw the thing at it and it will break. The only time the Undercover Brella wins is against weapons that are shooters/dualies with no bombs and short range, leaving you only capable of consistently being able to beat only a handful of weapons and pretty much no weapon that is used in the meta.
I’m also not a big fan of the firing while the shield is up with this weapon. To fire with the shield up you need to hold the ZR button and shots will come out at specific time intervals. This makes it impossible to fire or deploy the shield forward like you can with other Brellas, but that isn’t the biggest deal. The big deal to me is that you will be shooting at specific time intervals with the shield up and basically in a firefight you will have to be lining up your shots to the rhythm of this fire rate. In 1v1s this is a huge disadvantage as you don’t hold the upper hand and pace of the fight like other Brellas, particularly the Splat Brella. The Splat Brella often controls the pace of a 1v1 by timing its shielding and firing to put itself in the best situation to win the fight. The mystery of when will that Splat Brella drop its shield to fire at you was a vital aspect to keep in mind when engaging one. With the Undercover Brella there is no mystery, there is only a shield that will break easily and your shots which are easy to predict as they are on a set timing and even if they do land it won’t do much damage. I believe the specific fire rate is a huge detriment to the weapon, because it means you will be trying to lineup your reticle with the enemies movements rather than firing when you line up your shots yourself. If you miss that timing or don’t hit all of the bullets during that clip you will be doing little to no damage and will be at the mercy of the timing for your next shot. Sure you can put the shield down and mix up your shots timing, but then why are you using this weapon if you are not protecting yourself with the shield while firing. You are just better off using a different weapon that is a much bigger offensive threat. It may sound broken to be able to hold your shield up and shoot at the same time, but in reality the weapon is just not good enough to utilize it well due to low damage output and other main weapons being able to handle it easily in 1v1 situations.
“Walkman you are so dumb, the Brellas are support weapons who cares if it loses 1v1’s.” Yes you are right, so let’s look at the weapons kit of Inkmines and Splashdown to see who this weapon will be supporting outside of possible turf control that other weapons like the Splat Brella do infinitely better.
The sub weapon for the Undercover Brella is the Inkmine. Because we are looking at the kit in a supportive context, I will compare it to other Brellas and weapons to see just how much more support it can offer. The Inkmine as I’ve said in the past is an extremely underrated sub weapon, however only if it complements a specific weapon. The Undercover Brella though is probably not one of these weapons. Weapons that benefit from Inkmines are those that are a long range threat and that when rushed can use the extra chip damage from the mine to help finish off their enemies. They also help weapons play objective by adding extra pressure to the tower or a little more ink coverage in the zone if a weapon can’t paint well, such as in the case of the Rapid Blaster or E-Liter. The Undercover Brella does not really have this problem, or rather it shouldn’t have it. As I mentioned the Undercover Brella is a solid painter by itself, in fact painting with it is pretty satisfying to me while the Inkmine adds just a little more turfing and tracking of the enemy which doesn’t hurt much here. However, if you really want to turf the zone and play a Brella, just play the Splat Brella which will outink the Undercover Brella ten times over with Sprinkler and Inkstorm. Then there is the extra chip damage support that Inkmine provides in Tower Control, but once again why not just play the Splat Brella whose shield can actually survive one blaster shot in the mode that is most likely to have a blaster. Try riding the tower with the Undercover Brella and maybe if you are lucky your shield will be unbroken long enough to get more than a couple points. Overall the Splat Brella is just a far superior support weapon on just its sub and main weapon alone. Moving on, I’ve made the argument before that Inkmines are terrible for some weapons because they don’t allow sub-strafing, however it isn’t that big a deal in this case. The Undercover Brella does have a pretty high movement speed while strafing with the shield out and with a little run speed it improves further. While the ability to sub-strafe just for extra mobility would be great, it isn’t the end of the world here. If you want to make the argument that Inkmines are great support because they track opponents, fine go ahead you are right but the Undercover Brella is not the best Inkmine weapon so honestly just play the Rapid Blaster an actual solid weapon that complements the sub. In short, the Undercover Brella and Inkmine provide no support that other weapons can’t do at an extremely more efficient rate.
Next up we have the special weapon of the Undercover Brella, the Splashdown. Splashdown is a fairly good special, definitely above average. Unfortunately though, it doesn’t really do anything to make me want to play this weapon. Literally the only redeeming aspect of this special on the weapon is that it is 160p, meaning it requires the least amount of turf to get the Splashdown out of any weapon with the special. Therefore, if for some odd reason you want to be spamming Splashdowns I guess this is the weapon for you. Though, I don’t see the merit in spamming this special all the time with barely any follow up from the rest of the kit. It isn’t like Ink Armor, Tentamissiles, or Inkstorm where the more you use them the more you get out. To be spamming Splashdowns means you are going to run forward at someone just to do it, unless you want to just use the special for no reason. So let’s say you do run forward at someone or sneakily attack them from above with Splashdown, what if you don’t get the kill now what? You may be able to kill them, maybe a 50/50 chance or so if you already got some damage on them since the max range of the weapon is a bit unreliable to finish off a weakened opponent after Splashdown. Why not just play the Splattershot for Splashdown, you will probably have a much greater chance of picking off more enemies after Splashdown with one use on the Splattershot than on two or more uses with the Undercover Brella. Splashdown is not a supportive special weapon and therefore this Brella will be doing no supporting with it even if in theory it can spam it more than any other. Splashdown is not a special you want to spam in the first place, it is one that needs to be used more tactically and efficiently, which it really can’t on this weapon. Of course the Splashdown is a great panic special that can be used to help you create some space in a dire situation, which honestly you will probably find yourself in a lot if you play this weapon so I guess that’s a thing. Still though it is just a far more effective special on other weapons like the Blaster and Splattershot who have the correct quick follow up to take advantage after using it. Splashdown is also an effective special on some Splat zones maps because it can be used for quick caps of the zone for control, but once again just play the Splat Brella which is even better at capping the zone especially on maps where the zone has any type of object in it as part of a Splashdown will be blocked by said object. No matter what perspective you look at this special from it just doesn’t make much sense, and even if it is decent in some situations just play a different weapon and you will experience more success more often.
I normally create a dream kit for the weapons and even though I think the main weapon needs some type of buff to be used over others, I will attempt to form a dream kit, or at least a better kit because this one is pretty awful for this current weapon. To see some type of use over the other Brellas I would say it needs a pretty busted kit. Thus, I would give it either Sprinkler and Ink Armor, Burst Bomb and Splashdown, or maybe even Sprinkler and Bubble Blower. Sprinkler and Ink Armor is pretty self explanatory, it would be one of the fastest Ink Armor weapons in the game at a time where Armor is the go to special. Burst Bomb and Splashdown would allow for an actual follow up after Splashdown and although Blaster and Splattershot are far superior main weapons perhaps keeping the special at 160p would mean more effective spamming of the special. Then, Sprinkler and Bubble Blower would make the weapon one of the few weapons with the special and not only that, it may also be the fastest charging Bubble Blower weapon once again maybe enticing people to play it just for the fast special. The only problem with this one is that with no bomb to pop the bubbles you may need to rely more on your teammates to help pop them reliably. This weapon needs to be given a unique or just an extremely spam happy kit to see any use honestly, which speaks to how bad the weapon is overall. If it had the same kit as any other weapon, 9/10 times you should probably play the other weapon unless that weapon is also just as bad or this one’s points to special is significantly lower. I’m not suggesting that these kits should all charge their special at 160p, but for sure they need to be the fastest charging version of the special in the game or else there is nothing to entice me to use it.
The Undercover Brella needs a buff for sure to see some use. I’m not sure what would help it work honestly, but I will throw some suggestions out. First off, there needs to be some type of way to time your shots yourself with the shield out, as the current way just doesn’t cut it. I recognize that this may be hard given the current control scheme for the weapon but something needs to be fixed here. Next up, the shield needs way more durability as most weapons in the game can break it before you get out 3 shots to secure a kill. Once again I recognize raising the durability of the shield may make it too close to the regular Splat Brella’s durability, but maybe the lower damage per shot would make up for it so that it isn’t broken. If the Shield durability isn’t raised than maybe the damage needs to be raised to like 45 so that the aforementioned shield combo can kill with 2 shots and just to get more consistent damage output overall. In its current state there is nothing to convince me to use this weapon, in fact I believe the development team knew how bad the weapon was before they released it which is why they gave it the lowest recorded turf to charge special in the game to date at 160p. If you like the Brella class, play the Splat Brella and even the Tenta Brella is a better weapon than this one. If you love Inkmines play the Rapid Blaster as it is an actual good weapon with the sub. If you are a big fan of Splashdown, play literally any other Splashdown weapon such as the Splattershot or Blaster who can actually secure kills. If you want to provide support for your team, just play the Splat Brella or N-ZAP two actual good weapons. Literally for whatever reason you can think of to play this weapon there is another weapon that can do it better. Although you may look cool like the Kingsman while playing the weapon, I can assure you that you won’t be stopping any crimes with this gadget and therefore, the Undercover Brella gets a big CRASH as it offers nothing that other weapons can’t do better.
Register to leave a comment!