This is a general guide on what to do with tentatek in solo/tournament play made by a silly man with a fruit name who somehow winded up in S+. It will give a quick overview of the weapons stats and following up by going over neutral, engaging, pushing, defending, gear, common weapon matchups at higher level, and maybe other tidbits. The things being said in this guide will vary from the basics to more in-depth stuff and there’s going to be definitions given to terminology that might not be known to newer players in an attempt to make this guide accessible to as many people as possible, so if you are a bit more experienced bear with me if it sounds like I'm stating the obvious. Probably not going to look too fancy seeing as I'm not all that great at design and what not, the main focus is the actual content, which there’s going to be a lot of because I’ve got a lot of stuff to talk about here, it's going to be a long read if you make it and most likely a bit of a wall of text which I apologise for, so make sure you’ve got some time, maybe a snack or drink too. Let’s get this over with.
Stats of the Gun's stuff and why it works
The splattershot is a fairly all round main weapon with a kit of suction bomb and heavy depletion Inkzooka. Stats wise the gun does 35 damage under normal conditions and fires every 6 frames, giving it a fast 3 shot assuming there is no defence or fall off (Reduction of damage in a shot as it reaches the end of it's straight range and drops to the floor). It's also reliable in terms of accuracy and ink efficiency and inks reasonably well however is nothing to write home about range wise. Suctions alleviate this however, providing effective zoning and pressure, allowing for more inking and the ability to flush people out while conveniently falling just beyond the range of the gun to help deal with the aforementioned range. They're also effective at combating splash walls, they do a lot of damage to them and if the enemy steps too far fowards or is too greedy with his wall placement you can throw the bomb at the side he is standing on for an instant kill. This also applies to the rainmaker shield and suctions are good for popping it. They also explode on contact with Inkstrikes. Inkzooka's purpose, in rather frank terms, is there to kill absolutely everything in sight, especially things that stand further back thanks to it's obscene range, hitbox and speed for a one shot. While incredibly strong, zooka can leave you open so be careful when pulling it out, also be wary of chargers that are right side peeking (peeking around the right side of cover, exposing little of your body as inklings hold weapons in their right hands) as they tend to be a bit pesky to hit head on, giving them an opportunity to shoot you. Ideally you want to shoot at a right angle to where they peek from so there hitbox is still exposed. You have 6 shots (without duration), don't be afraid to hold off from shooting to move and line up a new shot, quality is better than quantity and just blindly firing off shots often does nothing other than give away your position, making it easier for people to stay safe from the zooka. Overall the weapon functions primarily as a frontline slayer, pushing up, putting some ink down and getting kills, often by ambushing, to allow it to quickly cover up the map in it's own ink and to make it easier for teammates (or perhaps itself) to push the objective. It'll switch between aggression and defence often, you need to be staying alive for a decent amount of time to put ink down and keep your Inkzookas because of heavy depletion. It's known for versatility and rightly so. The combination of the main weapons well rounded stats and good CQC (close quarters combat) with the zoning power of suction bombs make it able to hold it's own in a lot of situations, and Inkzooka gives it the ability to kill almost anything in the right situation.
Neutral - The state of the game in which neither team has an advantage in either players alive or map control, occurring at the start of the game and after a push is stopped
The first thing you are going to want to do in neutral is ink around, you need the space to move to function as a tentatek. Throwing a suction once you approach mid is common practice, often you'll want to use it to zone out longer range weapons to give you some space to ink around and back off. When it comes to engaging, anything with shorter range (eg. Lunas, Krak-ons, carbons, jr. etc.) can usually be dealt with fairly safely if you appraoch while maintaining your space and staying out their range. For anything with equal or greater range, rushing in immediately will likely result in a trade or death, it would be much more advisable to wait for an opportunity to ambush when they aren't aware of you. Pressuring with a suction is a safe way to occupy them while you scout for an engagement that's safe to take. In general sharking (hiding in your ink and ambushing people who get close) with a tenta is a good way to get kills, but be careful not to sit around for too long at the start of a game when it's important to establish map control. Once a significant advantage is obtained in map control and enemy numbers you can start...
Pushing (the objective)
So you got a double/triple or your team killed people or whatever and you've inked the map (also I'm going to take the time here to stress that map control is very important, it doesn't matter if lots of people are dying if people can't actually move anywhere. Map control leads to kills which lead to more map control, giving you the space to win). Now it's time to push tower/rm or hold zone, what now? If you have zooka, pushing ahead with it as a tower or RM go forward or as a zone counter goes down can be a great way to secure a good few kills to get a solid lead on the board, with the map control you now have, sharking for kills near to or ahead of the objective becomes a lot easier, especially on zones as the enemy team has to come to the middle of the map as opposed to the objective coming to them. In general there's the theme of pushing up, having the tower/rainmaker going into enemy ink is a death wish and staying behind the zone just gives them space to reclaim it. Be sure not to overextend though, don't just make a beeline for the enemy spawn as soon as you can, otherwise you'll just find yourself either stuck in enemy ink or wondering where the enemy team is as they jump to mid. Taking a flank route while your team takes objective can be very effective as the enemy team may tunnel-vision on objective, however be aware that people may watch the mini-map and catch you out, especially at higher levels, and make sure that the objective has a decent amount of support so the enemy team doesn't just stop it dead while you're taking the long way around. As a slayer objective work isn't usually your job, however on zones your good inking power lets you help challenge zone, and there still is a time and a place to touch the tower or rainmaker. Now being able to turn an advantage into a win is all well and good, but knowing how to stop stop a disadvantage becoming a loss is rather important too.
Defending (against a push)
So this time the enemy team has won neutral, taken map control and have decided to start pushing. The first thing to do is to not facerush into the objective. Now I'm sure you've been told this before, but seriously, just don't do it, your life is worth more than this and you have so much to live for, don't throw it away like this. As always your own ink is where it’s safe, outside of that isn’t. Often times your best bet is to stay safe and really get as much as you can out of suctions, putting them pretty much anywhere of relevance, zoning people out, pressuring objective and getting ink down. Keep an eye out for anyone who moves too far in after being forced out by a suction, this is an oppurtunity to snag a clean kill, which will give you numbers and access to more map to stop the push. Focusing on getting some turf control down is overall key, at worst you're pressuring the enemy and slowing them down while charging special. On rainmaker and tower control, sharking out near the objective can work if the enemy doesn't have too much map control, although it's harder to do on zones as the objective doesn't come towards you. Keep a glimpse out on common flank routes that are taken as the objective is pushing as well, it can be all too easy for the whole team to focus on stopping the objective head on just to get blown out by someone behind them that slipped through. Using Inkzooka to stop a push can be effective, however it’s by no means a free way back in. On rainmaker Inkzooka is particularly strong as the carrier is very easy to hit due to their slowed swim speed and revealed location and the large shot can often pick off someone who’s tagging along as well. Hitting people on tower is a bit like hitting right side peeking chargers, you want to be at an angle that exposes their hitbox more. Throwing a suction onto tower forces them to stand at the opposite side of the pole to the bomb if they want to stay on, which can be used to line up a kill, zooka or no. Zooka can often turn scenarios where you're out of position to stop the push into a flank when you're too far ahead too, it also makes it easier to hit people on the tower as they are usually hiding behind the pole, which isn't a problem if you're behind the tower. Zones can be a little harder to take back with Inkzooka due to people not being focused around the objective as much and Inkzooka isn't going to be inking the zone anytime soon. Combining Inkzooka with an echo user (dynamo is one of the strongest picks, gets more echoes than most other weapons due to sheer amount of ink it puts out and can easily take back map control while your inkzooka is out) can create a huge power play however, capable of swinging control to you swiftly. Outside of that on zones you really want to focus on pressuring and putting ink down and using movement created by suctions to potentially fish out a kill. Going for a flank around the objective is a risky but potentially very rewarding way to regain some control, be wary though that if you are seen it's you're at very high risk of death, so be careful about it. If people see you towards the end of the flank you can potentially apply pressure with suction bombs and the main weapon to distract them to make it easier for the rest of your team to group up on the remaining people and kill them.
Tentatek isn't the most gear dependant weapon in the world, but there's definitely some gear that's more advisable than others.
No tentatek set should realistically go without one of these two abilities, ink resistance is so powerful for movement, which is so key to Tentatek, while also reducing the amount of damage you take from enemy ink. It allows for extra aggression or the ability to escape in a lot of scenarios. Meanwhile stealth jump (SJ) allows you to get back into the game much faster, especially on maps where it takes a long time to swim back to mid such as Arowana Mall, Moray Towers, Flounder Heights, Urchin Underpass and Hammerhead Bridge among others. Even fairly safe regular jumps can be caught with a simple grenade on the marker or a charger watching from a distance. Do be careful about making jumps still as they aren't guaranteed to be safe, and in some scenarios, especially on small maps like blackbelly, you could just swim back faster anyway.
Speaking of stealth jump, you'll almost always be using it alongside quick respawn (QR). QR SJ is often considered the strongest among some people for it's ability to keep you in the game as often as possible to apply constant pressure. However a common misconception about QR SJ is that you're supposed to be blindly aggressive with it or play it to "die more". However at higher level play people will consistently punish the excessive aggression and read your constant jumps, resulting in you doing nothing but feeding the enemy team more kills. It's much better to play as you would, using QR SJ to make your deaths you would of had less relevant to the game, give the enemy less time to push the numbers advantage they have if you're picked off and to get back into key areas quickly while on offense. It also allows you to force invincibility specials and get you back in faster if you die. To sum it up, don't play quick respawn just to die more, but to spend more time alive. It also can be used in combination with SJ to cheese a few extra points on tower control by jumping to the tower. Chaining QR SJ people jumping to tower is possible, but can be countered with good awareness and by placing bombs and splash walls on tower whilst staying on it to push it back, or using a kraken, bubble or wail on the tower.
Comeback is an ability commonly placed alongside QR SJ, due to it activating upon death, but it is also a viable option for other builds. Tthe buffs it gives are all useful to tentatek, the mobility (approx 4 subsand) is always helpful, helps offset heavy depletion and get you more inkzookas, and the ink efficiency (approx 4 subs ,and) really helps you get more ink down while trying to get back in, especially so in zones. The sheer amount of abilities it gives you makes it worthwhile on any tentatek build.
As I said earlier, movement is key to Tentatek and swim speed is one of the best ways to enhance that. Swim speed up allows you to get in and out of engagements faster and more reliably, relocate swiftly, improve your swim strafing in fire fights (moving to the left or right of shots being fired at you while swimming in ink to avoid them) and push the RM faster on most maps.
Defence gives you more survivability, it can help in firefights vs other tentateks to push them into your favour, however it's main use comes from it's ability to protect you from various AOE (area of effect) damage. The combination of things like blaster shots, roller flicks (especially dynamos) burst bombs and weak hits of grenades as you're trying to escape can often add up to just over 100 damage, and defence pushes that to under 100 damage, allowing you to get away alive.
Damage up allows you to increase the consistency of your three shot and the weak suction hit + 2 shots (which hits exactly 100 damage with no damage or defence) allowing you to counteract defence and fall off that would otherwise affect this. It's somewhat similar to defence in that it helps you in fire fights and while it doesn't help you against AOE damage, it is more effective in smaller amounts, with only 1 sub of damage counteracting a main of defence.
While it may seem a bit pointless due to how ink efficient the weapon is, the main use of ink recovery up is to allow you to spam more suction bombs. This helps particularly while trying to get back in and just allows you to apply more pressure over the course of a game and also indirectly get you more special as you'll be putting more ink out. I wouldn't recommend more than a main of this ability as the weapon is pretty ink efficient as is.
Other notable abilities:
Another ability commonly seen on QR builds is haunt due to it activating on death, tagging people is always nice, especially on QR builds where you see the enemy on your respawn screen for less time. The buffs to defence, damage and run speed aren't unappreciated while tagged either, helps firefights be a little less unfair for you while tagged and makes you more likely to survive the AOE that will have no trouble finding you now. It's particularly notable on port mackerel in competitive play due to how good tagging is on port and how hard it is to call people out on that map.
Being tagged on your end sucks, it leaves you particularly open to things with more range as you can't fight back as well and ruins attempts at sharking, so despite the nerf cold blooded still fairly usable. More notable on zones due to silver dynamo and vanilla e-litre being more prevelant and how you spend more time sharking on zones.
Somewhat of a gimmick but is strong on specific maps where the opening moments of the game are particularly deciding, the biggest examples being Saltspray Rig and Arowana Mall on zones, both are rather known for being very easy to lock out after the opening moments and on Arowana OG can be used to rush to their left alleyway (commonly referred to as closed) and catch people off guard before they've come all the way down.
Combining this with swim speed used to be the most popular build, but run speed tentatek has fallen off a lot recently, can make you harder to hit while strafing (running while shooting, usually to avoid enemy) but it's not guaranteed to make your opponent miss and is usually outclassed by swim strafing, also lets you run around faster while inking, but your ink already spreads itself well with no run speed up. Can be used on certain maps for faster rainmaker pushes and faster movement across non inkable surfaces, hammerhead being by far the most notable example.
Some other abilities can be used with tentatek to some effect, but I believe that these abilities are going to contribute the most to a tentatek.
Common Weapons Matchup Analyses
Just as a precursor, I won't be talking about inkzooka a lot for each individual matchup as inkzooka beats every main weapon in the game pretty damn easily in a straight firefight once you've got it out and is only really countered by kraken/bubble at closer ranges. I'll just mention in the descriptions of the matchups whether it's a particularly notable target for inkzooka.
A match up you'll likely see almost every game, obviously you're both even in a 1v1 fire fight under normal circumstances, making it advisable to try ambush opposing tentatek as opposed to dueling to avoid trades. Should you end up in a fire fight, don't run and shoot for no more than about 6 shots, often after 3 or 4 if they aren't dead it's likely best to start swim strafing to avoid their fire, reposition and line up your next shots. Obviously those winning the defence vs damage creep will have an advantage as they have to land less shots but outshooting them is still possible, just don't try it unless you are forced to.
A weapon that's fallen off a fair bit recently, still prevalent on certain maps though. Somewhat similar to the mirror in the dueling aspect, has a better time to kill than you but at longer ranges it's more varied shot RNG and slower fire rate can cause it to miss shots, also you're better at right side peeking and turfing than 52 so use that to your advantage. Pushing it while it has a wall will probably get you killed and it's has a lot more time to win the duel than you do with a wall up. Instead you can safely throw bombs at walls from outside it's range to take out the wall, and if they push in front of or too far up with their wall, you can punish by bombing the side of the wall they are on. Try to avoid point blank engagements as it's spread and faster kill time favour it in that scenario. Apart from that though a fairly decent matchup for tentatek.
.96 Gal Deco:
52s big brother, a bit more common and much more of a problem thanks to it's range and kraken, you can't rush in on it with it's wall up or even down. Once you're in range you're at a fair advantage due to it's low rate of fire and lack of movement speed while firing, making even one missed shot on it's part punishing, but it's hard to get there. Krakens can be tamed by shooting them back although with swim speed they can usually push through and duration being more common makes this riskier too. Bombing the wall is still good, although you have to be a little more careful due to 96s larger range, you can still stand at a safe distance where bombs will reach though. Overall hard for Tentatek to deal with, just stay away and maybe throw a nade at it's wall and wait for an oppurtunity to ambush.
Outranges you significantly, doesn't care about defence at all, also able to push you around with bombs (bar forge), less punishment on a missed shot compared to 96 when you're in range but you're still likely to win the duel if you're in range. Most likely want to ambush it. Somewhat in pro's favour. Forge is a bit less threatening as it's less likely to force you out, point sensors tag you but you can still safely stay behind cover and kill them if they try to approach round the corner.
Incredibly easy matchup for tentatek, you outrange it, kill faster, are more accurate and can push back it's bubble, the sub weapon is honestly far more threatening than the main weapon to you, just be wary of it ambushing you or getting too close while it has bubble.
Luna Blaster Neo:
Again you outrange it and kill faster (outside of directs), but it can hit you at weird angles and can apply some pressure with bombs, just stay out of it's range and you'll be fine though. Fairly in tentatek's favour, pretty standard example of most matchups that you outrange like krak-on, brushes, splash-o-matic etc.
Custom Range Blaster:
A weapon that's picked up a lot usage wise recently, and for very good reason. It's arguably the best slayer in the game with it's near immediate one shot kill with good range and a kit of bomb kraken. For tentatek specifically, you're outranged by it's splash damage so don't try to engage at your max range as you'll just get zoned out and popped, but even scarier than that it can direct you to make use of the aformentioned one shot, however due to it's low fire rate and it being relatively hard to hit, if you have the ink to move in and you see them fire a shot, you can take advantage of the delay after firing it has by rushing into it. If you're forced into a firefight with it, stay closer to it so it can't get the easy kill with the blast radius, and move erratically with swim strafing to try avoid being directed, be wary of it having kraken charged though otherwise it will turn on you and kill you. Sometimes it's just better to avoid it, it can't ink to save it's life so you can just put more ink down than it can. Overall a bit in CRBs favour but not horribly so.
Grim Range Blaster: A bit like CRB in terms of matchup but it has the burst bomb combo to kill you a lot faster, although you might live if you have defence on. Dealing with it is similar to dealing with CRB except you don't have to worry about kraken, just be wary of it sharking as it can do so from a distance and around corners.
Rapid Blaster (Deco)(Pro):
Another weapon that's been more common recently, more so in solo queue if anything, it has lots of range, especially the pro, so stay outside of it's blast radius or it will kill you very easily. You can deal with it in a similar manner to the Range blasters, getting in close so it can't use it's blast radius, however it will play enough damage to make a direct do 99.9 damage so you'll get one shot should you touch ink on your way in and it's fire rate is faster so be careful, although you don't have to worry about it using directs to ambush you as they won't kill you from full health. Defence hurts the one shot direct, making it a bit easier to rush down. Not too bad either way.
Zink Mini Splatling:
One of the most problematic weapons for tentatek to deal with. It outranges you while inking faster as well, disruptors make you a much easier target for it and you can't push back it's bubble unlike jr. because of it's longer range. It's hard to take advantage of it's charge time because it's so small as well as being very maneuverable, making it hard to hit. The only option is to ambush it or zooka it most of the time. Can be kept out by suctions although be wary of doing so for too long as you'll just feed it's special meter. In Zimi's favour on the whole.
Has a lot more range than you and can still kill you up close with a small amount of charge while inking decently well, deco also has kraken so can punish you for being too close when it has it charged. Can't really be approached while holding a charge unless you're completely out of it's sight. Not as fast as zimi so it's a little easier to hit but can kill you from a lot further away as well. Overall in splatling’s favour. Worth considering where this weapon is specifically on the map for using inkzooka.
Custom Hydra Splatling:
Can kill you from wherever most of the time, but easier to ambush as it charges slower and has reduced swim speed. Be cautious around it's bubble, if it's holding any sort of charge it will be able to kill you, but if it's just emptied it's charge you should be able to bait bubble and get away safely. Very similar match up to heavy overall, although you can ambush it easier than heavy making it a little less in hydra's favour. Worth using zooka on, be careful if it see’s you use inkzooka while it has bubble as it’s actually got enough range to challenge your inkzooka with bubble from a distance.
Very hard to deal with, puts out hideous amounts of ink much farther than your range goes so approaching it head on is actually stupid. Can pressure you out across wide angles due to the width of it's flick, and it's one hit kill part of the flick tends to roughly tie with your range. Can be ambushed fairly easily thanks to its slow movement speed and long delay on it's flicks that let you punish it for standing in a bad position, although silver dynamo gets like 7 echos a game to make that harder. In dynamo's favour but is a really easy target for zooka.
Can hit you from a long way away so don't stay out in the open visibly although you shouldn't really do that anyway. Can potentially hit you up close if you rush it down, although things generally in your favour the moment you're in range. Try to flank it generally though, even after it's just fired it's shot you don't really have much time to get into range and start firing due to it's fast charge time. Defence helps against ones that wear damage and make them have to full charge which gives you a decent amount more time. It also puts almost no ink down so you don't really have to worry about it doing that much if you just sit out of it's way and ignore it. Good zooka target.
Has the best range in the game so can hit you from silly distances. Really slow charge time and movement speed though, not too hard to approach it between it's shot charge times. You have to be somewhat careful of being burst bomb combo-ed to death by vanilla (defence helps). Custom does have kraken, but it's fairly easy to bait it's kraken due to it's reduced swim speed if you're careful, although be wary of duration up/swim speed builds that are becoming more common on custom e-litre as well. Watch for it when you zooka, it technically outranges you. Overall not that hard to deal with when you know what you're doing.
Pretty nasty matchup, outranges you by just that little bit and inks well so it can keep you out. Can also hit you at weird angles making it hard to take cover from. Often want to zone it out with suctions or leave it, being at very close range makes it easier to deal with as the slosh is very thin up close, but vanilla can use burst bombs to make things easier on itself. You can punish deco's walls with bombs but have to be wary of it's light depletion kraken. One of the poorer matchups for tenta.
Overall with the Tentatek you've got a very versatile kit at your hands, it's the go to all round shooter for a reason, decent match up spread, good time to kill, inking speed, modest range that'll get you by, suctions to help out when it won't and a special to let you reach wherever. You're not going to need pin-point precision to hit things but your mistakes will likely go punished without a panic button to press. It's capable of being aggressive and getting a lot of kills while also inking the map to give the team space to move while zoning defensively with suction bombs. It might be a bit of a jack of all trades, but it's the master of it. If you managed to survive this far, cheers! It's nice to know that somebody wanted to read my input on the weapon I've put a damn lot of time into. (I've likely spent well over 1000 hours on this weapon alone, Also apologies for any potential spelling and grammar mistakes, I did go over it myself but go easy on me, this is about 5000 words so I might not of got everything). Gonna throw some plugs here I guess, if you want to watch some tentatek gameplay, I'd recommend heading over to www.twitch.tv and checking out livestreams of users such as PKfuzzy (shoutouts to him for inspiring me to play the weapon in the first place), Blueman2171 (AKA Taylor) and SorinMH. I occasionally stream there myself so if you want to see where all this came from my twitch is the same as my username on here. Once again thanks for reading and have a good day.
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An In-depth guide to Tentatek Splattershot
Both basic and in-depth information thoroughly explained and (hopefully) accessible to varying ranks