SPLASH or CRASH: Octobrush Nouveau
Joseph "WALKMAN" Hamdan
Jan 08, 2018
The Octobrush has been seen as one of the most annoying and tilt inducing weapons to play against since the beginning of the game. No matter how you die to an Octobrush player you will feel cheated and probably end up yelling at your screen. With all of this said, the original Octobrush is still not seen as one of the strongest weapons. Though, it does fulfill a decent niche on certain maps and can definitely be a viable option from time to time. Does the newly released Octobrush Nouveau have what it takes to give the weapon the boost it needs to go from niche to meta? Well we are going to find out!
The Octobrush as a main weapon is pretty solid as far as close ranged weapons go. Of course the weapon struggles at a longer range, but it isn’t supposed to be a long range threat. It sets out to be a devastating melee weapon and it accomplishes this about as well as any weapon can in the game. Get within range of a good Octobrush player and you will be splatted before you can escape nearly every time. The Octobrush excels in a few situations, such as the holding and camping crucial positions once you have control or being aggressive to get a pick on the enemy team.The rolling mechanic of the Octobrush adds a bit of mobility to the brush, especially on grated areas, that is appreciated. However, don’t make the mistake of trying to roll toward your opponent as anyone with good aim will kill you. Overall though, the Octobrush has too many drawbacks that prevent it from being a more popular pick. For one, the Octobrush struggles against Ink Armor and Bubble Blower, which are strong in the current meta. Needing another flick to land will hurt any weapon in a 1v1 especially those without range and the brush can't pop Bubbles from a decent position to not be in danger. Building on this lack of range, obviously it struggles to kill things that can outr ange it. Therefore, the Octobrush has an extremely hard time approaching when the enemy team has turf control. This is the biggest gripe with any short ranged weapon, they can be great if you have ink on the ground, but are completely unusable if you don’t. Another trade off, is that it is great when you have a high ground position, and terrible when the enemy does. With the Octobrush, one of the strongest positions to take is above the enemy. It can rain down ink and lunge at an enemy with ease as elevation makes up for its lack of range. However, if the brush user is at a low position with an enemy on high ground, think of my go to example of the center tower of BlackBelly Skatepark, the brush can’t really do anything to get them down or approach because of the angle and range. The exception to this can be if the enemy has high ground on grates where the Octobrush can hit through them. At the higher levels of Splatoon this can make the Octobrush unplayable as map control is prioritized and the players get too smart to fall into the trap of getting in one’s short range. Basically, if you decide the Octobrush is the weapon for you, you will face an uphill battle as it clearly has its disadvantages. It isn’t the best painter, isn’t the best killer in enough situations, and it has a lot of trouble gaining ground in the current meta and just in general.
The main weapon of Octobrush Nouveau is a passable option if you need a melee weapon, but how about the kit? I say this all the time, but once again the kit is what makes or breaks a weapon and so to see if the Nouveau’s kit of Beakons and Tenta Missiles has what it takes to bump the weapon into the meta it will all depend on this kit.
As usual, we start with the sub weapon of the Beakon, a staple of the octobrush going back to the original game’s kit of Beakon and Kraken. That was a pretty solid kit back in Splatoon 1, but how do Beakons fare with the Octobrush now? Not many weapons have Beakons and overall Beakons aren’t used except on a couple of maps, such as Moray Towers. This means that the more Beakon weapons we get the better chance that they see more use. However, I don’t believe that in Splatoon 2 Beakons are a good enough sub with the Octobrush to warrant one using the Nouveau. Beakons are a great supportive sub that can be a tremendous asset if the team utilizes them and implements them into their style of play. They are also great for maps where the spawn is far from the objective such as the aforementioned Moray Towers. Obviously, Beakons do have their uses, and with the Sub Power Up you will be helping your whole team get back into action even quicker, but overall they just don’t work on this version of the Octobrush. As I mentioned earlier, the Octobrush is a weapon that struggles at gaining ground by itself for the most part. This is mitigated a bit by the autobomb of the regular Octobrush kit, because as avid readers of this series know, the best way to get back in sometimes is to just chuck bombs and hope you get a pick or at least push an enemy out of position. The Nouveau with its Beakons is not going to help you get back in. If the enemy has turf control you are practically useless to your team unless somehow your Beakon was behind the enemy and they didn’t notice, but then you are still at a bit of a disadvantage trying to flank without turf control with a weapon that does poorly in these conditions. Yes, I will acknowledge the fact that Beakons on Octobrush in Splatoon 1 worked decently, but that was because the Octobrush had a way of getting in still. That Octobrush had the invincibility of the Kraken on its side so that when it didn’t have the benefit of turf control it could still make something happen. This Octobrush doesn’t have anything near that level of a special in the Tenta Missiles, but we will get to that in a bit.
Beakons I feel, can have their place in the meta as a niche for certain team comps and strategies on some maps, but in this game that place is not on the Octobrush, or at the very least not on an Octobrush with Tenta Missiles. If a team needs Beakons honestly why not just go full support and use the Dapple Dualies who’s Suction Bomb Launcher builds quick and provides great turf control. I would also rather use the Tenta Brella over the Nouveau for Beakons as it will be providing much better support with Bubble Blower which, well, is currently blowing other specials out of the water. The Octobrush can’t provide further support with the Beakon, is hindered by the lack of a bomb in place of the Beakon, and isn’t the best killer in a variety of situations to backup a passive sub weapon. In closing of the sub weapon section, Beakons are a decent supportive sub but there are better options to use them with. Overall though, I’m kind of uncertain whether a Beakon weapon can be anything but niche in this game without being literally perfect in every other aspect. Being niche is not a bad thing, but if a weapon is limited to a niche that is already occupied by another better weapon then there is even less reason to use it.
Next up, we have the real detriment of the Octobrush Nouveau, the special of Tenta Missiles. I’ve said this on the first ever SPLASH or CRASH, but i’ll say it again, close range weapons and Tenta Missiles do not go well together at all. Generally with a close range weapon you will be for lack of a better phrase, up close or in the mid to front lines of your team composition. Brushes like to camp key areas, it’s just the general strength of short range weapons that have a fast time to kill. Tenta Missiles are special that require you to be far away from the action and therefore to use your special you will have to backup to do so. Thus, you will leave that crucial position that you were holding for your team to go and use a special that is probably in the worst two in the game right now. You may get a kill, but more than likely you will not, and overall you probably wasted more time than it was worth. Staying at your position preventing enemies from pushing up is often just the better move if you are a close range weapon with Tenta Missiles. I say Tenta Missiles may or may not get you a kill because in reality they are just too unreliable and depend on too many factors outside of your control while using the special. To get a kill you are relying on the enemies being in an unfavorable position in relation to one another and that somehow they will be in a point on the map that is hard to maneuver through due to lack of ink or terrain. Furthermore, the enemies maneuverability in that situation has more to do with them and their weapon choice rather than anything in your control. Do you really want a special where it’s basically luck rather than something in your control on whether you have an impact or not? No.
Now hold on, I know what you clever squids are thinking. “The Octobrush Nouveau has Beakons to go alongside the Tenta Missiles, I’ll just super jump to spawn, use my missiles, and then jump right back to my Beakons. Damn, I’m so clever I should write these articles.” Bravo, you created a fun meme not a legit strategy...unless you want to waste 10 seconds or more (further details in image caption below), for absolutely no reason at all. Tenta Missiles are likely the least reliable special for getting kills and offers little to nothing other than tracking the enemy for a short period of time. The latter of which can be a useful tool, but other specials are just flat out better. Tenta Missiles on a close range weapon take a situational special that isn’t very good in the first place and puts further limitations to the special and its use. You are pretty much banking on getting a lucky kill that is going to open up the game for your team or your teammates capitalizing on that very brief period where you are tracking and those missiles are a slight threat. If you were attempting to jump out for the Stingray and then jump back in with Beakons this may be effective on some maps, as the Stingray is a much more consistent threat than Tenta Missiles. Overall, I’m just not a big fan of jumping out and wasting time for Tenta Missiles. It’s a similar thought process that you may have heard from me when I have done tournament casting whenever I see an offensive Stingray being used in Tower Control or Rainmaker, your team could have used you more up front. Essentially, if you aren’t getting at least a kill you wasted time and left your team a player down when they could have used you to push with them. Sure on defense if you have that Stingray jump back as you know exactly where the enemy will be, around the objective, but the same is just not true of the Stingray on the attack. The same applies to the Nouveau and honestly the Tenta Missiles on any close ranged weapon, if you didn’t get a kill your special was more harm than it was worth as your presence elsewhere in fulfilling your role was more vital.
(First)- Common Beakon placements on Moray Towers. (Second)- Tenta Missiles from spawn of Moray Towers, 1 main of Special Power Up. Jumping from mid back to spawn to Tenta Missile and then jump back to a Beakon was timed using 1 main 3 subs of Sub Power Up and clocked in at about a fastest time of 10 seconds assuming you launch the missiles right away and don't try and aim them.
The Octobrush Nouveau just doesn’t cut it and the kit provides no real synergy throughout the weapon. The regular Octobrush’s kit is just a better option as the Autobomb and even Inkjet allow the Brush to do things that it normally can’t, kill and be a threat from a greater distance. They allow the brush a way to approach that the Nouveau doesn't. I’m unsure if the regular Octobrush already has its most optimal kit given that it is a close ranged weapon with a fair bit of options, but I will try and create at least a couple usable sets for the weapon. First off, if you really want those Beakons on your Octobrush, this needs to be paired with a special that helps the Octobrush approach safely. Sure this could be provided by the use of Ink Armor or Inkstorm even, but generally the Octobrush is not the type of weapon to want these specials as it doesn’t build them as fast as other weapons. Though, I believe Inkstorm would help the Octobrush approach different elevations easier by forcing enemies out of position. The special that could help the Octobrush approach as well as back out easily if needed is the Splashdown. It allows for a little bit of reckless play, which is needed at times if you play a close ranged weapon. You see with the Splat Roller that Splashdown is extremely useful as a tool for this. You will be out of an active sub weapon but perhaps the Splashdown will allow you the opening to make something happen. Of course with this kit you are still at the mercy of elevation making the difference in your advantage or disadvantage, but this is the price to pay when you have a close ranged weapon with a passive sub. If you rather not have Beakons, then the best options as a sub are pretty much any bomb. I would actually love for them to just copy and paste the kit of the Splat Roller onto the Octobrush, the Curling Bomb and Splashdown is by far the best kit any close range weapon has of approaching an enemy. They let the Krak-on Roller and Octobrush have the same kit in Splatoon 1 and they both had their own dedicated users. I don’t see why they can’t reuse a kit that seems to provide the best chance of a weapon at seeing use.
The Octobrush Nouveau offers you pretty much nothing that other weapons don’t, and even if it seems like it may be a good option on some map I can assure you another weapon can do the same just as well if not better purpose. I say it a lot, but unfortunately it is true, if another weapon does the same but better there is no reason to play the worse weapon if you want to succeed. If you like Beakons, this is not the weapon for you as you can play Dapples or even Tenta Brella. If you like Tenta Missiles for some reason just play the N-ZAP ‘89. If you are a big Octobrush enthusiast this is not even the best Octobrush there is, the regular kit offers more to you and covers more of the brush’s weak points. The kit of the Nouveau just completely turns me away from the weapon. The Octobrush even with a perfect kit is going to be a situational and niche weapon, just like the Splat Roller. The Nouveau further limits the situations of the brush by pairing a sub par special with a passive sub on a weapon that clearly needs other options. I believe the Octobrush Nouveau should see no use at an upper level of Splatoon 2 and I have to give it a big CRASH as there is no reason to play it over other weapons.
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