SPLASH or CRASH: Rapid Blaster Deco
Joseph "WALKMAN" Hamdan
Feb 06, 2018
Disclaimer: SPLASH or CRASH is an opinion and prediction by one person, me, and therefore can be wrong. Do not let me dissuade you from using a weapon you think is really good.
Finally on my list of weapons to catch up on is the Rapid Blaster Deco. The regular Rapid Blaster would already easily receive a SPLASH from me as it’s a great main weapon with a solid supportive kit, but does this new kit in the Deco also deserve one?
The Rapid Blaster despite never really catching on in Splatoon 1, has pretty much always remained as an upper tier weapon in Splatoon 2. Although, it is still never the most popular weapon by any means. Perhaps because it isn’t the most satisfying weapon to kill with or that its playstyle is boring to many. Regardless, I believe that as long as the weapon remains unchanged it will probably stay at a relatively high place in the meta, and so let’s discuss why it is so good. First off, the range of the Rapid Blaster puts it in a great place to win a lot of 1v1s and hold great positioning as a result. Most of the meta weapons are short range so the Rapid can pick them off quite easily as long as the user stays at the right range. The Rapid does 35.0 Damage on each indirect blast and 85.0 damage for any direct. While this may not seem like much, if someone is in your optimal range and you land a shot whether direct or not, in most cases you can secure the kill quite easily after or force a retreat. The Rapid Blaster can often hold down key positions and entryways for the team by itself, especially if you already have map control.
(First)- Depicts Rapid Blaster max range to land a direct shot for 85.0 damage, around 3 test room lines. (Second)- Depicts Rapid Blaster max range to land an indirect shot for 35.0 damage, around 3.5 test room lines.
A huge factor in the Rapid Blaster’s ability to dominate, is that a lot of the maps in the game are well designed for its range and playstyle. There are plenty of safe positions to keep an enemy locked out with the Rapid Blaster. One of my favorite maps for the Rapid Blaster is Musselforge Fitness because once you have control of mid you can lock out the enemy team’s main entrance back in. Standing from mid one can use the Rapid’s range to shoot over the enemy's bridge to cover the enemy’s plat area and snipe (Images below). From personal experience both using the Rapid and playing against it, this is extremely effective because it limits the enemies entry points to them having to either go all the way right or all the way left. Both of these options put them in a low ground and often unfavorable position. Generally people want to build special and push in, not allowing the enemy to safely paint from their own plat area can be key to preventing them from pushing in. If you happen to get that pick off on a player that drops onto their plat the rest of the enemy team may have to wait for them to even attempt a proper push, further allowing you to focus on gaining objective points. Finding places to lock out the enemy on various maps is basically how you want to be using your Rapid Blaster.
These two pictures show how the Rapid Blaster can be a pest to any enemy on their plat area trying to get back in through mid. The second picture also shows that the Rapid can pester the enemy snipe easily. Essentially, the Rapid Blaster can easily take away the main entry points for the enemy team while remaining safe to most weapons itself.
The Rapid Blaster as a main weapon can be a formidable pick on a lot of the maps in the game, but without a good kit there will be no reason to use it. Thus, we will look into whether the kit of Suction Bombs and Inkjet is good enough to make this weapon see use.
The Suction Bomb as a sub weapon is often a great option to have on any weapon. Bombs in general are great at regaining ground by getting a pick on the enemy team. Most of the time tossing them when pushed into your spawn is the safest method to get an enemy to move or create an opening for your team. Suction Bombs are also fairly decent at covering some turf and charging your special, granting the second most p per toss of any sub at 31.41p. This isn’t much but it is something considering Blasters usually aren’t the best painters. In addition, they can provide support to the objective well by providing turf and pressure to the zone, tower, or popping the Rainmaker shield. Overall there is no real downside to having a Suction Bomb on this weapon.
Compared to the sub on the regular Rapid Blaster, the Ink Mine, the Suction Bomb definitely allows for a more aggressive approach to situations. Throwing it forward and then pushing off their reaction can be a valuable way for a normally passive weapon in the Rapid Blaster to gain some footing. One could also use them to force enemies into specific positions and then follow up with the Rapid Blaster for an easy kill. This is something not really possible with the passive Ink Mine which are really only effective on the Rapid Blaster for chip damage when an enemy comes in close. Another aspect of note, is that with the far radius of the Suction Bomb dealing 30 damage normally a direct or 2 indirect shots can follow up to kill as well, leading to a solid method to splat opponents. The Ink Mine basically only has this option if the enemy rushes you down and then you follow up with the Ink Mine Rapid direct combo. Another thing the Suction Bomb does allow that the Ink Mine doesn't, is the ability to sub-strafe which can be a great mobility tool to stay alive or play a little more aggressively. The Suction Bomb therefore does have its merits over the Ink Mine in a fair bit of situations. Still the Ink Mine is no slouch on this weapon so I would say preference is up to the users playstyle, their teammates weapon composition, and map.
Next, we go on to the special of the Inkjet. The Inkjet isn’t considered one of the scariest specials to go up against, but it is far from useless. After the most recent patch especially, more specials have been seeing some play among the top competitive players. This is mostly, because the N-ZAP ‘85 and the Forge Splattershot Pro don’t seem to be essential (they are both still in the higher tiers, just not essential) to team compositions anymore after their special nerfs. Inkjet was a niche pick before these changes and it still is, but I would say the niche has expanded a little more recently. In my opinion this is mostly because people have begun realizing to not just pop the special and push forward with it, but rather to get up to high positions and rain down death from above. With good aim and teamwork an Inkjet user can deal some serious damage from high up. Also, being at a high position where the enemy can’t reach takes away the Inkjet’s greatest weaknesses in that is very vulnerable to pretty much anything if you use it on level ground with the enemy. One other reason why Inkjet can be strong is because the meta has evolved to hold a lot of AOE (area of effect) or splash damage weapons like the Blaster, Rapid Blaster, and Sloshing Machine alongside the chip damage of Burst Bombs and Stingray. The combination of all of these means that a lot of the time the enemy has taken some damage, or your teammates can follow up your Inkjet blast with easy damage of their own. Not to mention the Inkjet’s 1 shot capability for a quick pick as well.
These two pictures show a great place to Inkjet from and get a high position on Walleye Warehouse. From here you can cover most of the left and middle of the map very safely. High up positions like this are also really good for gaining vision of the map and calling out where enemies are.
I’ve mentioned this in earlier SPLASH or CRASH write ups but just to reiterate, with the Inkjet, Special Power Up is essential to stack. It widens the area of the near hitbox’s radius so that you get more consistent 50.0 blasts in as well as creates a much larger radius of turf on the ground for each blast. The extra turfing may not seem like much, but it is probably the most influential to the Inkjet’s success. It is great for providing turf to the Splat Zone if the fight is centered around it and also enables the enemy to be trapped in your ink more often to be finished up by you or a teammate. Therefore, you definitely want to include Special Power Up in a build for this weapon, it isn’t a weapon that generally needs any specific abilities so you can definitely fit in a good amount of it.
Dream kit time is here, and similar to the last weapon I did, I’m not really sure I would actually change anything here. Not because this is the dream kit for the Rapid. It is probably far from it, but between this Rapid and the regular there is a nice balance. The original Rapid kit plays a little more passive due to the Ink Mine, even though Splat Bomb Launcher can be used both aggressively and defensively fairly effectively. The Rapid Blaster Deco has an option to be a little more aggressive due to the sub weapon alone, while the Inkjet can come in handy on certain maps like Walleye Warehouse and Port Mackerel. Maybe the Rapid Deco has a place on Kelp Dome as well, but I am a big fan of the Rapid Blaster Pro there for the extra range. Overall though, these two kits are both usable and definitely aren’t useless for a Rapid Blaster player. Personally, I would put the original Rapid Blaster kit as closer to the dream kit for the weapon because of its Splat Bomb Launcher. Perhaps combining this with a bomb as the sub weapon as well would make for a really amazing kit. For example, Burst Bombs could fit in well with the Rapid for some quick kill combos while the other Bombs could so something similar to how I described the Suction Bombs before in the sub weapon section. Even Curling Bombs I could see having some merit on the Rapid, as they build special and grant greater mobility for the weapon. With all this said, the Ink Mine is still a decent sub weapon for the Rapid and probably pairs the best with the Rapid Blaster than with any other weapon in the game. In the end I’m happy with these two kits even though a bomb and Splat Bomb launcher would probably make up the dream kit to me.
The Rapid Blaster Deco is a nice alternative to the regular Rapid Blaster kit that allows players to shake up their playstyle for the situation. The Suction Bomb is definitely appreciated and an overall improvement over the regular variant, however the Splat Bomb Launcher secures the original as the better of the two to me. Bomb Launchers are just incredibly powerful and while the weapon doesn’t put much turf presence on the field all of the bombs surely can. I would only recommend using this on specific maps as it is undoubtedly a more niche pick. Although niche, the Rapid Blaster Deco combines a strong main weapon, a strong sub weapon, and a passable/niche special weapon into a SPLASH! Out of all the Blasters this one probably won’t be the one turning heads just yet, but it can definitely be a strong option if used correctly.
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