An Intro to the Splatana Stamper

An Intro to the Splatana Stamper

Hello!

For those of you who may be reading this who aren't especially active on Squidboards, my name is Deez. I'm a bit Splatana enthusiast, but primarily a Splatana Stamper player who has a lot of experience playing with a div 6 team. I stopped playing Splatoon around Splatoon 2's launch but returned for Splatoon 3 and have been hooked ever since. I was always into the Splatana weapon class to some degree but I really sunk time into both Stamper kits when the Nouveau kit came out six months ago. Since then, despite the comparatively short time frame, Stamper is a few dozen games away from being my single most used main weapon.

This weapon has a bit of a reputation for its difficulty and I love blabbing about nonsense people may not even read. So, while I'm waiting for Sizzle Season 2024 to drop, I figured it'd be a good use of my time to write a little guide on this weapon, possibly even opening up room for me to talk about some of the other weapons I'm better with. Its learning curve has felt more rewarding than anything else in the game so I'd encourage you to try it out if anything here sounds at all interesting to you!


Introduction

Quick disclaimer - I will be referring to this weapon's wind-up attack as its "vertical slash," and its regular attack as its "horizontal slash" through this document. These are the most common names these attacks have in this community.

The Splatana Stamper is without a doubt one of the best weapons in the game. It's a mid-range weapon that is best known for how well it performs in one-on-one fights. I call it a "mid-range" because that's how its playstyle works, but the range on its vertical slash goes further than most other mid-range weapons, deals 70 damage, and can very quickly be followed up with a horizontal slash that does 35 damage. As long as you don't wait too long between the two hits, then that's a guaranteed easy kill.

If someone gets closer to you, hitting someone with the vertical slash while you're right next to them will one-shot. If you use the move while on the ground and holding Up on the control stick you'll get a quick little dash forward at the cost of the attack itself being slower. So to summarize, you have two ranges you can play at with very fast kill times.

When trying to paint the ground, the Stamper primarily uses vertical slashes. It can paint pretty effectively for how much range it has, but you're not picking Stamper if you want a weapon specifically for its painting. Its attacks themselves aren't notably slow or fast, but throwing out an attack can take long enough to give you less time to react to things like a Splat Bomb being rolled at your feet. It is fairly ink-hungry, enough to the point to where you will often want to run a little bit of Ink Saver (Main) on your gear.

While it's less relevant now than it was at the start of the game, it is noteworthy that the Splatana Stamper has the single best object damage in the game. This makes it exceptionally good at dealing with specials like Booyah Bomb and Big Bubbler while also making it very effective against the Rainmaker shield.

For weaknesses, as a weapon primarily meant to be fighting others, it does have a poor matchup into a handful of other high-tier or top-tier weapons. The speed its vertical slash moves at is pretty slow, meaning if someone's moving you'll have to match up the timing it'll reach your opponent with that. The imperfect firing rate makes it so missing even a single shot can be very punishing. I've said before and I'll say again that this is a difficult weapon, and all of this combined makes it impossible to be perfectly consistent with.

Overall, the Splatana Stamper is a very strong and flexible weapon for one-on-one fights, but will take a long time to learn and is very punishing if you haven't played it much.


Playstyle and Gameplan

When using either Splatana Stamper kit, your main goal is to blow up and act like you don't know nobody sit in spots that pressure a lot of important space for the opposing team. Abuse your big range and try fighting primarily with your projectiles instead of the up close one-shot. Otherwise, Stamper absolutely loves to poke over the sides of ledges with its vertical slash. Ideally you jump, only the top part of your body goes over a ledge, and your vertical slash travels along the ground. You are very hard to hit for most weapons in those situations. If you can find a spot that does both of these then you're absolutely golden.

Vertical slashes in general should be your main tools when fighting. They have the highest DPS at a distance and paint the ground in front of you better than horizontals. Horizontal slashes are mainly used when you know an enemy is weak or can't directly challenge you since they are more ink efficient and in general are easier to connect with because of their wider hitbox.

I wouldn't use this weapon's closer-range fighting options super often. It's hard enough to be consistent at a distance but it's even harder when fighting up close to people. If someone gets close to you without taking any damage, if you're near someone who hasn't seen you, or if you need to kill someone immediately rather than quickly, then those are ideal times for you to get up close with a vertical one-shot. I wouldn't use horizontals up close very often because the kill time is very bad when you need to be right next to someone, although it does have situational use if you think someone is already below half health and want to preserve ink.


Weapon Kits and their Differences

Nearly everyone agrees that the vanilla kit is the better of the two, but the Nouveau kit is also very strong! If you prefer it more for whatever reason then you would absolutely be okay to learn that one instead. They don't play the same so it's important to go over what changes from one to the other.

With the vanilla kit, it's even more important that you keep track of how much ink you have. Burst Bombs are an extremely powerful tool but your weapon is ink hungry as is and if you throw one and are left low on ink, then you'll need to spend a lot of time recovering ink without doing much else, which isn't ideal. It's still important that you learn to make use of the vertical to horizontal slash kill combo for the sake of ink efficiency, but Burst Bombs are a great finisher after a vertical slash for people who are trying to retreat behind cover or at an awkward angle for you to hit. They're also useful for poking at enemies you can't hit with your main weapon in general and it can be very nice to throw them at people your teammates are currently fighting just to help them out.

Zipcaster is the single hardest special to use in the game and gives vanilla Stamper an argument as the single hardest weapon kit the game. In general, it's at its best when you use it while your teammates approach the enemies. If you and your teammates approach an enemy at different angles, it becomes impossible for them to look at both of you at the same time.

You also need very solid aiming and reflexes to use this to its fullest since it's very fast and zipping somewhere ever so slightly different from where you mean to can be the difference between being inside and outside of an opposing weapon's range. This is something you'll just need to play around with to get used to, but if you're not comfortable fighting people yet, you could just try to get somewhere difficult for the opponents to hit and use Stamper's long range to scare people and take their attention.

No matter which of the two you're trying to learn, I would actually recommend trying the Nouveau kit at least for a little while until you've gotten a decent grip of how the main weapon handles. Both Toxic Mist and Crab Tank have a lot of different qualities that would make this a fairly easy Stamper kit to use even without comparing it to the vanilla kit we ended up with.

The Nouveau kit plays a bit more to the area control part of Stamper than the aggressive part. You can afford to use repeated vertical slashes to keep people out of an area more often than the vanilla kit can because you won't be using Toxic Mist as much as Burst Bomb. You should still play at least somewhat aggressively, but it's not as pivotal that you get as many picks because Crab Tank is so much more consistent at helping your team push forward. This is especially the case with how many more Crab Tanks you can get from the higher amount of painting your vertical slashes will naturally do. However, the lack of a Burst Bomb makes it even more important to learn the vertical to horizontal slash combo, but this is very manageable even if tricky for some.

Toxic Mist on this kit is, to be completely honest, one of the least useful sub weapons I've played with on any weapon kit. Its main goal of blocking enemies from moving through it is actually covered better by your main weapon in a lot of cases. Your vertical slashes have a very long range and will be scaring enemies out of where you're attacking as is. This is also an ink hungry main weapon and Toxic Mist costs 60% of your ink tank, which is often hard to justify when it does something your main weapon can already do while painting for your special.

Even when you do want to use Toxic Mist for something...in most cases, there is little stopping an opponent from Squid Rolling into it to cover most of the distance they'd need to get through. As a result, it's most useful when your opponent straight up can't Squid Roll through it. Examples are when it's over climbable walls or near gaps that opponents need to jump over. There's not very many of these though and in most other cases it's best to avoid throwing these just to preserve ink and to let yourself paint so you can get more Crab Tank sooner.

Crab Tank is one of the best specials in the game. You should be using it in wide open areas to control as much space in front of you as possible so your teammates can move forward with it. Don't worry if you can't get a lot of kills with it since that's not Crab Tank's primary goal, although of course getting used to both firing modes so you are able to kill people when a good opportunity arises can be ideal. Also, if you're more desperate, using it to clear the opponent's main route to approach you can be nice on more linear maps if you just want to buy some time. This is the kind of special where experimenting with when and where you use it can go a long way.

Just...try not to use it when your opponent has a Trizooka ready. Trizooka DESTROYS Crab Tank. And Zipcaster can too depending on where you use it.


Matchups

In general, as a weapon whos main strength is how well it fights, Stamper matches up neutrally to positively against most other weapons in the game. I won't go over too many of them because you have the tools to handle most weapons and if you play better then you will win. There are a handful that aren't great for it though and it's worth going over how you should play against those.

First though, I'll briefly mention some of your easiest matchups. Weapons that rely on objects like the Splat Brella with its shield and Forge Splattershot Pro with its Booyah Bomb are fairly straightforward. You outrange all of them and aren't effected very badly by some of their most important tools. Mid-range or long-range weapons that don't have an especially fast kill time like the Dualie Squelchers or Ballpoint Splatling also have a difficult time against you, with both of those in particular having a choice between two specials that you also do well against for one reason or another.

Onto the harder ones, both the Range Blaster and Rapid Blasters play from a similar range as you would want to and can obviously hit behind cover. Approaching them can be a bit awkward and if you get hit by one of these before you can hit them, you're probably going to get stuck in their ink and will get killed by another shot or two of theirs. They also do at least decently well into both of your specials.

If one of these is on the opposing team, try to play a lot more patiently and use your weapon's solid painting. Blaster players need their teammates to compensate for their outright bad painting so making those teammates' lives harder inadvertently makes a blaster player's life harder as well. In addition, you can try to get close to them while they're looking away from you to make it harder for them to hit their shots, although it still won't be impossible. Hiding in the ink to approach them more slowly or to wait for them to approach you might also be pretty nice but admittedly isn't something I've thought to try there very often.

Mid-range weapons with Splash Wall like the Glooga Dualies and Squeezer are also difficult for you. You lack a subweapon with a one-shot and while your object damage is very good, there's no way you're shredding a Splash Wall fast enough for any of those weapons to do what they want to first. They also play to a similar range as you and can kill you somewhat quickly on their own.

Try to keep in mind that these two weapons are both ink hungry as well, especially after throwing out a subweapon. This is something you can absolutely play around. Don't approach them right away but try to get at a different angle from them compared to where your teammates are at so someone can hit them no matter what. If you can't do this, and you may often find yourself unable to, then you'll need to respect what they're doing and give up a little bit of space to them, maybe using your time to do other things like paint more to get your special. It's worth note as well that Nouveau can throw a Toxic Mist at their Splash Wall to limit how far forward they can push with it, which is especially nice against Glooga Dualies, since that weapon likes rolling directly next to their thrown Splash Wall.

And while it's not a matchup I particularly have struggled with, I won't deny that shorter-range Dualies like the Splat Dualies or Tetra Dualies might be difficult for a budding Stamper player to learn. I have a background playing other competitive games so I was prepared for this, but in order to play against these weapons, it's important that you get used to predicting when and where they're going to roll out to try and attack you. Here more than anywhere else, you will need to get used to throwing shots in a direction your enemy isn't at yet. I'm not a top-level player so this matchup might be tough there as well but I've yet to see for myself.

Don't go into any of these feeling like it's a lost cause. You can and will find yourself winning against these weapons just like many other Stamper players have before you. It is a bit harder though and you will need to play more diligently than usual, ideally with a teammate's help.


Gear Abilities

Rather than the paragraph format of previous parts, it makes a bit more sense here for me to go over all of the gear abilities I'd consider running in a bulleted list. This is ordered and generally grouped together from most to least importance. You can't run all of these at once, and a lot of this does boil down to preference, so go right ahead and experiment with whatever here sounds most interesting to you!
  • Quick Super Jump - Just as a rule of thumb, no matter what gear you build in this game, it will almost always want at least one sub ability's worth of Quick Super Jump. That's the exact amount I would personally recommend for this weapon. It saves so much time over the course of a game for very little cost. You can absolutely run more than one sub but you have a lot of other options that I'd argue are better.
  • Stealth Jump - With this ability, there are so many more places you can super jump to than you would be able to without it. More opportunities to jump closer to a more important part of the map means more time saved. Jumping in against a long-ranged weapon is basically impossible without this ability unless they specifically mess up or don't happen to be looking. I would consider this and one sub of Quick Super Jump absolutely mandatory, and if you're newer to Splatoon or gear building, I'd consider getting a pair of shoes with both Stealth Jump and one sub of Quick Super Jump. They will come in handy for basically every weapon.
  • Ink Resistance Up - Similar story to Quick Super Jump where one sub ability is extremely useful on most weapons. Touching enemy ink just a little bit without this ability makes it so enemy ink immediately will start effecting you, but one sub gives you a sixth of a second of leeway. Moving around becomes a lot easier if you have just a little bit of this, and it's in a way that's a bit difficult to put into words. If you plan on getting a pair of shoes with Quick Super Jump and Stealth Jump, I'd heavily consider adding a sub of Ink Resistance up to that.

  • Comeback - Comeback is extremely important when the enemies are holding off a large portion of the map from you and is very useful regardless unless you're very explicitly winning the game, in which case you're winning the game and at a huge advantage anyways. I was very close to considering this mandatory as well, but there is an argument to be made that Last-Ditch Effort can sometimes be worthwhile.
  • Ink Saver (Main) - Running two subs of this ability gets you over a lot of important benchmarks. It's just enough for exactly nine vertical slashes instead of eight on a full ink tank, or five instead of four if it's after throwing a Burst Bomb, among other things. Running either four subs or one main and one sub also hits a few similar benchmarks if two isn't enough for you, but not as many. I could see an argument for running either amount.
  • Swim Speed Up - Being able to move faster is nice, plain and simple. There's no set amount of this you need to run as long as you're just not running "too much." I have never seen someone run more than four subs, or one main and one sub. It's also not nearly as useful if you're running exactly one sub.

  • Special Power Up (vanilla kit ONLY) - Two subs of this will make your Zipcasters last much longer than before. Speaking on a personal note, I've found it very hard to go back to running Zipcaster WITHOUT Special Power Up after trying two subs of it here. Genuinely feels impossible to get anything done with the lessened time. I wouldn't bother with this ability for Crab Tank since it lasts long enough as is.
  • Sub Power Up (vanilla kit ONLY) - More than one sub of this will let you throw a Burst Bomb a lot further. Pretty useful, but again, I wouldn't run it with Toxic Mist since its effect isn't as useful to begin with and you have plenty of better options.
  • Special Saver - You keep a decent amount more of your special gauge than usual after dying with just one sub of this ability. The vanilla kit in particular has a lot of other things it likes running but it can be nice on either. Wouldn't run more than two subs of this.
  • Special Charge Up - Special Charge Up in general is one of the best abilities in the game and you can afford to run as much or little as you need to, although it's not as good on the vanilla kit because Special Power Up is usually just better if you want more value out of Zipcaster. I don't think this ability stacks the best if you just want one sub's worth, but it honestly is a decent candidate for your shirt's main ability for Nouveau if you aren't already running Swim Speed Up or Ink Saver (Main) for that.

  • Sub Resistance Up - Now we're getting into stuff you won't see super prominently. I would advise against all of the ones from here on out unless you REALLY like how they sound way more than the options above. Anyways, this ability's problem is that it's way too situational to justify one of your nine sub ability slots. One sub can save you from very, very specific combos, with the only prominent one I can think of immediately being a Slosher's max damage hit with the least damaging hit of its Splat Bomb. Won't come into play very often at all, but it can literally be the difference between life and death when it does. Any more than one sub isn't worth it at all.
  • Quick Respawn - You need to run A LOT of Quick Respawn for it to be useful, usually a bit too much. The minimum is around one main and three subs worth since it doesn't scale very well if you run too much less. If you think you play much, much more aggressively than the average Stamper player then it could be worthwhile. It's definitely not conventional though.
  • Last-Ditch Effort - Mostly just worse than Comeback. If you're not already a high-level player on a competitive team, I'd just advise against running it on Stamper entirely.
  • Ink Recovery Up (vanilla kit ONLY) - Running a sub or two of this is fine if you both find yourself killed from running out of ink too often and use your sub weapon a lot. Even still, this only applies to you if you're already running two subs of Ink Saver (Main). Ink Recovery Up just straight up saves you less ink than it.

  • Everything else - If an ability is not listed here then it's not worth your time. Dishonorable mention to Drop Roller. If you're landing from a super jump, you should just be using the dash from your grounded vertical slash instead of this.


Other Notes

I mentioned while talking about Gear but when you're landing from a super jump, try using the dash you get from your grounded vertical slash the moment you land if there's any chance you're under enemy fire. This isn't foolproof, especially against a well-timed bomb, but giving yourself any chance of survival in these situations is a big deal. You also have the one-shot from that attack if anyone gets overly careless about how dangerous it can be to catch a Splatana's landing.

There's also a small tech with this dash. If you turn the direction of your camera after you start the dash, your following attack can be in a completely different direction than the one you just dashed in. This is most prominent with the Decavitator but can be done with every Splatana so far. It's very useful for the landing situation I just described but can also be used to make your movement a little bit trickier in general, which is always handy.

Splatanas do struggle a little bit more when they have to angle their shots especially far up or down because of how much easier it is for the shot to end up going straight into the ground or flying above opponents even if your alignment is right. If at all possible, it's ideal to fight people who are at a similar elevation to you. Not mandatory, but it's nice to keep in mind.


Conclusion

The Splatana Stamper isn't for everyone. There are a lot of weapons that have a lot of depth while also being a lot simpler to pick up, so the learning curve of this one might be a bit too harsh for someone to stomach when they could just go for something easier. But for this weapon, so many more of your deaths feel like entirely your fault. Even its harder matchups leave you with room to think about the decisions leading to your loss. If any of this sounds appealing to you or if you click with the weapon quickly, give it a shot!
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