SPLASH or CRASH: Neo Splash-o-matic
Joseph "WALKMAN" Hamdan
May 04, 2018
The 3.0 update changed a lot about Splatoon 2, but one of the more interesting changes to the game in my opinion is that now we get four weapons released at the beginning of every month. I think this is a pretty exciting way to go about things. It allows multiple weapons to come into the meta at the same time and see how they develop in a larger scheme Now there is more opportunity for one weapon to counter the other weapons it is releasing with, or improve overall balance as more weapons will have a chance to be played before the next balance update. It was often frustrating when a new weapon was released right before a new balance update and because there was only a couple days worth of data on the weapon it couldn’t get accurately buffed or nerfed to find its rightful place. Now all four weapons have a month to develop before the next major balance changes hit allowing for a much greater sample size for each weapon. Regardless it gives us more to talk about and be excited for so let’s begin with one of the new weapons, the Neo Splash-o-matic!
The Splash-o-matic isn’t the most powerful shooter class weapon, nor is it the longest ranged. It is pretty much one of the most average things you can find in the game. It is a four shot to splat weapon with a falloff range that leads to a five shot weapon, while things like the Splattershot are a three most of the time unless its falloff damage leads to a four shot range. If you want to use a shooter class weapon to be leading your team in splats or on the frontlines the Splash-o-matic is not the weapon for you, especially because its range is subpar compared to the other shooters like the Splattershot or N-ZAP. An advantage it does have in terms of splatting opponents is that it has little to no bullet spread meaning that if you are accurate you should be landing all your shots. Other shooters can have some annoying spread to the bullets at max range that causes you to miss a couple shots, not the end of the world but it can cause you to lose a splat or two occasionally.
(First)- Image shows the Splash-o-matic's damage output of 28.0 at it optimal range. (Second)- Image shows the falloff damage output of the Splash-o-matic which in this case is 22.8.
The strength of the Splash does not come from splatting opponents, it comes from supporting your team and it is capable of doing this through its high turfing and quick special charging capabilities. The Splash-o-matic has a maximum turfing potential of 50.6 pps (p per second). To put this in perspective the Splattershot and the N-ZAP have maximum turfing potentials of 39.7pps and 42.5pps. In the heat of the game this can be a large difference and can dictate you having your special in a crucial moment or not. Yes, some other shooters can build special slightly faster like the Splattershot Jr. and the Sploosh-o-matic, but as far as splatting opponents and range go the Splash-o-matic has the advantage over them. The Splash is a weapon capable of spewing out a large amount of specials if necessary, thus a reserved and turf focused playstyle is the main method it should be utilized. Build up that special and use it to help coordinate pushes, do not brute force your way into things with the main weapon alone.
(First)-Splash-o-matic turfing, strafing right to left. (Second)- N-ZAP turfing for comparison, strafing from right to left. Comparison shows the Splash-o-matic can turf with the best of the shooter class.
Up to this point we have discussed how the Splash-o-matic is not the most revered shooter out there, but it is capable of charging special quickly and pumping out a large amount of specials because of this. Therefore, the main weapon would need a kit that can maybe cover its weaknesses and allow it to be a little bit of a more established splatter if necessary. Beyond splatting, it needs a special worthy of being used in large amounts and by this I mean that the special is effective if used a large amount of times throughout a game. Enter the Neo Splash’s kit with Burst Bomb and Suction-Bomb Launcher.
The Burst Bomb is one of the best sub weapons to add to the arsenal of a weapon that needs a bit more splatting potential. This is mostly because the numbers most of the time just add up perfectly. As mentioned previously, in its optimal range the Splash does 28.0 damage per bullet while the falloff damage can range from about 20.0 or so to 28.0. Now if you remember, the Burst Bomb can deal damage to opponents in three different ways. It’s furthest hitbox does 25.0 damage, the near hitbox does 35.0 damage, and a direct shot does 60.0 damage. Just looking at these numbers you can see just how easy it is to get splats with a combination of these values. You can get three optimal range shots with your Splash for 84.0 damage and one Burst Bomb hit of any distance (far, near or direct) to splat, even if they are wearing some bomb defense as well. Another potential splat, is two of any type of shot with your Splash ranging from 20.0 to 28.0 damage mixed with a direct Burst Bomb hit for 60.0 damage.
There are many other possibilities between falloff/optimal Splash-o-matic damage and all hitboxes of the Burst Bomb which will further allow you to have a greater chance of splatting your enemies. While yes if they are within your range to splat the quickest way to splat is through your main weapon, if a target is moving the most effective way to secure that splat may be to chuck a Burst Bomb in their direction. Furthermore, the Burst Bomb helps you pressure enemies out of your range and this is one of the most valuable options in team fights. Not to mention how a quick Burst Bomb throw toward a enemy engaged in combat may save their life as well. This is simply because the Burst Bomb can stack with any damage they have taken and may mean splatting in one less shot for a teammate. There are so many variables in this game add to the total chip damage an enemy builds up and just a simple Burst Bomb can help finish them off. Overall the Burst Bomb can be a critical addition to any weapon and definitely helps secure you splats with your Splash-o-matic.
These two images show great positions to pressure the enemy with Burst Bombs. (First)- Often times an enemy backliner such as a Rapid Blaster or Splatling will position here and some Burst Bombs and their direction can push them back and allow a teammate to go in and finish them. (Second)- Another position long range backliners like to set up, also in modes such as Rainmaker and Tower Control splatting an enemy camping this position can allow your team to make a strong push.
Is the Splat Zone in the enemy’s control and you need a way to cap it quickly before things get out of hand? Are you in control of the Splat Zone but the enemy is in the middle of a push and trying to throw some specials at the zone? Well if you’ve picked up the Neo Splash-o-matic you’ve got the perfect special weapon for the job, the Suction-Bomb Launcher. The Suction Bomb Launcher I’ve mentioned in the past is one of the best specials to have on Splat Zones because it gives you so much turfing and essentially guarantees you the zone. On single zone maps it would take a concentrated effort by all four members of the enemy team painting the zone in order for you not to cap it. Pair this with the quick special charging nature of the Splash-o-matic and you will be able to both start your own pushes and end the enemy’s if you just play smart and safely. Often times a couple seconds can be the difference between building a special before you get splatted or having it in time to create a successful push. By building your special rapidly you minimize the time where you and your teammates might have to make heroic plays to get back the zone without a proper entryway
The Suction-Bomb Launcher is a great special on a lot of modes not just Splat Zones because it will always be of help in defending and starting pushes in either direction. It will contribute to providing turfing for your team to gain map control and is even a quick Rainmaker shield pop or create space for your team to score a Power Clam. While not as necessary on the other modes, you can see how it can be a phenomenal asset to have. On Splat Zones because of the fast charging capability of the Splash it can turn into quite the game changer. Often times in Splat Zones the team that holds the zone for the single longest period that wins the game, therefore having a special that can quickly swing the zone in your control and put up a penalty timer for your opponent is invaluable. Something people often underestimate is that even if you lose the zone for a couple of seconds it can be alright if you have a quick way to get it back and win the team fight. Perhaps the enemy team throws some Bubbles and an Inkstorm on the zone, and you just simply can’t prevent them from capping. Well if you have a special like the Suction-Bomb Launcher which is capable of swinging it quickly in your favor then the correct play may be to give up the zone, ensure your team stays alive and respond quickly with the Suction-Bomb Launcher.
(First)- Image shows one of the safest areas to use a Bomb Launcher into the Splat Zone while being effective. (Second)- A less safe position, but can be effective to perform a quick Bomb Launcher from here if you were just in the Splat Zone and had to back up due to enemies pushing you.
Not every kit in the game matches the weapon and this is why some weapons simply aren’t played. Other times a kit may fit a weapon but it is ultimately outclassed by some other weapon fulfilling the same role. This is not the case for the Neo Splash. No weapon can charge up a Bomb Launcher quite as fast, turf as well doing so, provide at least average ability to splat, all while having both a sub and special that contribute heavily in team fight situations. I believe that the entire combination of all these aspects give the Neo Splash a definitive place in team compositions for Splat Zones at least and may even slip into teams in other modes. As I mentioned the Suction-Bomb Launcher is most effective on single zone maps as it can easily secure them, two zones maps can be difficult to cap with a single use of special depending on the map and how far apart the zones are. Maps like Humpback Pumptrack are amazing for the Splash where there are plenty of areas to stay safe from, paint up and toss your Suction-Bombs into the zone. Additionally, you can help your team with some nice Burst Bombs into the zone or into the bumps where the enemy often tries to approach from (Refer to the images in both the special and sub weapon sections of this article for ideas on how to effectively use the kit on Humpback Pumptrack). In my opinion this is the dream kit, it is exactly what the Splash-o-matic needs to excel in its own specific role.
The Neo Splash-o-matic easily holds its own as one of the best turfing weapons in the game due to its main and special weapons. In a game with no shooter weapon capable of outputting turf so quickly it definitely fits its way into team compositions. Yes, you can go the Dualies route and add either Dapple Dualies variant to your arsenal to provide a lot of turfing to your team, but you don’t have an offensive sub weapon on those like the Burst Bomb for an additional damage output. No it won’t be used on every map, no it won’t be used in every mode, but it does solidify its niche in a successful manner and fits itself into teams with other current meta weapons. You definitely still want an aggressive weapon on the team like a blaster, slosher, or other shooter and a long range backliner like a Rapid or Splatling, but boy does this add a lot of turfing to these compositions. Also pairing a Burst Bomb in a 2v1 with one of those weapons can be deadly in finishing off opponents. The Neo Splash-o-matic is a weapon many have been wanting for a while and it was worth the wait, it is a tremendously powerful support option and every team should have a member of the team capable of pulling it out. With that said, just like the name suggests the Neo Splash makes its SPLASH into the meta for a well rounded turfing kit.
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