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Be an Artist: Inkbrush Stage Guide and Tips

Be an Artist: Inkbrush Stage Guide and Tips


Hi, I’m Zeph the Blue, and I’m currently an S rank brusher player. I decided to make this guide to help fellow brushers out with the current meta of shooters. In the right hands, a brush can be a deadly weapon of mass inkage.

The inkbrush is a very interesting weapon. Although it falls under the roller category, it plays unlike any other weapon in the game. This brush was designed to paint over large areas with ease, as well as move like lightning to key spots. It’s not an easy weapon to master, as your ink coverage and damage all depend on how good of a trigger finger you are. If you’re not good as mashing a button, perhaps it’s better to stay away from this weapon.

Now, after working my way up from C- to my current position, I’ve come to learn that some stages can make the inkbrush a one man army, while others can make it nearly useless. For now this will only cover Ranked Splat Zones only, as I still need to test out all the stages in Tower Control and Rainmaker. (all with negative results so far unfortunately). The good news is that these strategies can be transferred somewhat into Turf War.

(Also a quick note: this is still a WIP. I want to add some miiverse posts as guides for each stage, which will help with small tips and images. Problem is, I gotta wait for the stage to be selectable in SZ.)


The Best Stages

Blackbelly Skatepark –
This is by far the GREATEST stage you could play on. This stage is basically king of the hill, because once the brush has secured the top platform, it guarantees you’ll get both zones for your team. Your job is to camp and make it rain on your enemies and the zones, as it only take about 3-4 swings to convert one zone to neutral or yours. Turning around with Y can make this job easier too, as you can paint, turn paint, turn as many times as needed if the enemies try to sneak around and paint your side’s zone.

As soon as the battle starts, head immediately for the top center stage. Keep in mind that a few of the enemies will do the same too. A good option is to drop a sprinkler on the edge of the platform next to the enemy side turf and hide in ink. If someone falls for the bait to climb up and shoot the sprinkler, splat them the moment you see an opening .

Throwing sprinklers on the walls that are facing opposite from the enemy spawn point are amazing, as it will force them to expose themselves to get rid of them, giving your allies a chance to shoot them down.

You can also jump from above and splat an enemy in the air as you fall down, but only try this if you see them distracted, unsuspecting of your secret attack.

Make sure that most of the middle area walls are painted in your ink, as this will give you escape options in case you fall or if enemies try to climb up to the top (and believe me, once you show how much of a threat you are, people WILL hunt you down.) a good strategy is that if you see someone headed to your spot, swim towards that side and turn around. As you fall, quickly starts to paint the wall. If you predicted it on time, you should splat the enemy that was trying to climb, and if not, you at least painted the wall so you can climb back up. You can also drop an inkstrike on the center and run in as it falls to regain your spot.

Watch out for chargers on the upper side paths and blasters from just below the center, as they will try to shoot your off the platform.

Kelp Dome –
This is another great stage for the inkbrush. A great start is to head for the closest box that goes over the wall and to the center. Once on top you can throw a sprinkler on the middle platform. The large area will give you room to maneuver around enemy fire if they also climb up. One you’re the king of the hill, a simple 360° splatter will most likely secure the turf. Make sure that you drop sprinklers near the edges and hide on the opposite side, as this will let you see how they react and give you information on how to take down the enemy. Using sprinklers as bait also works well here.

Another great detail about this stage is the massive size. This gives you the chance to throw a sprinkler over a wall and into enemy turf or unpainted areas. Remember that this will charge up your inkstrike to use in case you lose the zone. Dropping one in the center and then immediately climbing up into the eye of the ink storm to 360° splatter will pretty much guarantee the zone to become yours.

Great Stages

Walleye Warehouse –
This stage can be a very tricky one, as how well you do on this stage depends on how aware you are of your enemies and how fast you can react. The strategy here is similar to Blackbelly in the beginning, but you want to throw the sprinkler over the middle high ground before climbing up and making it rain. The main difference here though is that because of the small high area, you are practically a sitting duck if you stay on top for more than a second. A great strategy is to climb up, jump off and paint, rinse and repeat until the zone is yours. Make sure that you drop a sprinkler on the side or the top of the crate on the enemy side, as this will paint their half as they try and shoot you down.

Also, constantly check your map to see if an enemy is coming from the sides, and hop off and on the center platform accordingly. Being on higher ground maximizes your chance of survival as long as you keep moving. And be very careful, as dying on the platform will practically guarantee the zone getting neutralized and possibly changing to their side.

Dropping an inkstrike on the enemy side and immediately rushing in to splatter all over your half can change their zone to yours, but keep in mind that enemies might be hiding on your half of the map to strike you down.

Moray Towers
Height advantage: This is the stage where you wanna get as high as possible. Paint from above, drop sprinklers in choke points, ink up the slopes and make it rain! You need to watch out for others that will try to sneak up on you and especially chargers, as there is a lot of open space for an E-Liter to snipe you from the other side of the map.

A good route to start is by not going straight down, but going off to the side of the area just above your zone. dropping a sprinkler there will help capture it faster and let you jump down to look for a way up their side.

OK Stages

Urchin Underpass –
This stage can be very hard to regain if you lose the zone to the enemy, so make sure to run in and paint from the ledge as the match starts. Hopping into the zone will probably get you killed. Good places to drop a sprinkler are on the usual walls opposite of the enemy spawn, both in and out of the zone to either regain control, or limit the enemy’s options. you can also jump and stick a sprinkler on the ceiling to make it hard for the enemy to get rid of. Painting your side of the stage and dropping a sprinkler will get you a quick inkstrike to try and regain the zone, or to use on the other side of the slope that leads to the center in case the enemy is camping that area.

Camp Triggerfish –
Huge empty areas means free sprinkler drops to charge up that inkstrike! you can even toss a few over the gap and onto the enemy turf to distract them. Another great strategy is to sneak into their area and climb up the wall in order to rain down on their zone. Be weary of chargers though, as they can be waiting on top of the wall to shoot you down before you even get there.

Flounder Heights
This stage is all about all about wall climbing, and although the brusher loves to strike from above, climbing is practically impossible unless you want to waste precious time. A good solution to this is to get to the top areas first and jump off, while turning back and painting the wall as you go down. Then you can use that painted wall to climb back up, and repeat on a different wall. This gives you more approach options. It's also good to hide under the bridge and climb up when an enemy passes by. Just watch out if there is more than one.

Bluefin Depot –
This is a pretty awkward stage for the inkbrush, since it lets you snowball if you have the zone. the brusher has the tools to easily reclaim the turf, by popping a sprinkler on the center cross wall, or the pillar and slope just outside. Another option is to paint the opposite side for a quick inkstrike. problem is, if you lose the turf, it's very hard to get it back. You heavily depend on your allies to extend the turf and reclaim the area. Ambushing from the other side or behind their territory is an option, but it can also put you in a very bad situation, being between enemy inklings.

Hard Stages

Port Makarel –
The long and narrow hallways that lead to large and flat areas make it a great stage to dash around and leave trails. At the start you can rush past your zone (as well as hope that your allies paint it first) and hide behind a box before the enemy open area. Sprinkler baits work well here, but be weary of enemies that might sneak up behind you, and it’s possible for the enemy to hide behind a corner. Corners are you main enemy here, as the inkbrush splatters will most likely hit the wall instead of the opponent. Putting sprinklers on the walls opposite of the enemy spawn is also viable, but be weary of the upper side routes, as some might sneak through there to take the sprinkler and you down.

If your allies do not take advantage of the trails you leave, then you are wasting your time. You pretty much have to play the decoy in this stage in order to advance into enemy ink, since you are able to move fast in their turf. Distracting enemies will then give a chance for your allies to rush in and quickly strike.

Make sure that every now and then you drop sprinklers on those small square protrusions in the open areas, as this will charge up an inkstrike to drop down on any turf that the enemy might have taken control of.

Saltspray Rig –
Blasters and chargers have a huge advantage in this stage, so in this stage all you can really do is drop sprinklers in the zone and hunt down the ranged threat by climbing up the enemy side. Be aware that they might be expecting you. Going into the zone alone is practically suicide. Painting the north and south areas with sprinklers can help get a free inkstrike to drop on the turf if it needs to be secured or neutralized, but other than that, this stage can be really tough for a brusher.

Arowana Mall –
Another annoying stage where blasters and chargers reign. You can either go for a full frontal assault, throwing s sprinkler on the middle sign to paint some, but it will most likely be shot down by the enemy instantly. You can also run in from the sides and paint from there, but chargers and blasters can easily shoot you down from the other side platforms. Other than inkstrikes or sprinklers, a brusher here is a sitting duck.


These are the abilities that I’m currently using that seem to work the best. It may not be the thing for you, but I will offer explanations as to why you should consider these.

For large abilities, I currently have:

:ability_inkresistance: Ink resistance up – This is by far the most important ability you will need, as this will reduce the slow effect when you run into enemy ink. Unlike the roller, the inkbrush size is very small, and the quick turns make it hard for your inkling to follow. You WILL slip into enemy ink every now and then, so using this will keep your turns harp and your speed up. I’d say this is practically mandatory for every inkbrush player who plans on running around.

:ability_runspeed: Run Speed Up – This ability is very powerful on a brusher. Not only does it naturally scale better than Swim Speed Up, but the speed effects also multiply your run speed when you brush. I haven’t done much testing, but I’m pretty sure that equipping one large and one small RS will make your brushing speed equal to swim speed, and adding another small will make you faster than a squid! Because an average player has to shoot before entering squid to move fast at the start of a match, a brusher can get to the center area with 5-10 seconds to spare! The only thing that could make this better was if allies followed your trail…

:ability_inksavermain: Ink Saver (main) – Because of the nature of the brush, one might find themselves painting or splatting for too long and running out of ink. a large Ink Saver (main) will keep your tank safe from running out in case you need to escape. This also extends the time you can run.

Other viable abilities are:

:ability_inksaversub: Ink Saver (Sub)
:ability_coldblooded: Cold Blooded
:ability_specialcharge: Special Charge Up
:ability_openinggambit: Opening Gambit
:ability_bombsniffer: Bomb Sniffer
:ability_stealthjump: Stealth Jump
:ability_comeback: Comeback
:ability_ninjasquid: Ninja Squid


When it comes to one on one situations, the inkbrush will always lose if it’s not from a sneak attack, but these weapons can be the toughest to avoid or take down so it is advised to avoid them.

Chargers – Because you want to stay on higher ground, a charger will most likely try and aim for you. If you’re far away, make sure you’re always moving around. If you’re mid-range, you should try to sneak up on them or zig zag your way in while brushing to get close enough for melee range. Be careful if you’re zig zagging towards a Squiffler though, as they charge faster and will have a better chance at hitting you in that range.

The Gal series – These monsters have crazy damage that can kill in 2-3 shots, and the splats they do on the way down on the arc can kill in 3-4 shots so avoid them at all cost. Try and distract them with a sprinkler before going in from behind.

Blasters – The explosions they do on the end of their range will usually kill in 2 shots when it's not a direct hit. Whenever you see one moving towards you, make sure you’re either away from the blast, or that you can avoid by brushing to the sides. Zig zagging is possible, but if they predict your move, they can space accordingly and blast you down.

Dynamo Roller – This roller specifically can be very annoying to fight against, as the wide and long range of the flick will make it impossible to run or zigzag on reaction. Your best bet is to take them down as they wind up, or if you’re close enough, try and run behind them. It is possible, but very hard to do so.

Inkzooka A special and not a main, you want to watch out for those that have weapons with inkzookas. the range is massive, nearing a charger's, and its a one shot kill. whenever you see someone using it, immediately search for large cover (because apparently sometimes it can go through small walls) and hide.


So you thought I was gonna leave the inkbrush's twin, huh? honestly, the sub weapon and special weapon are overall pretty bad, especially in solo ranked mode. Here are my reasons why:

:inkmine: Ink Mine – In order to use this weapon you have to stop running to plant it, and the moment you stop is the moment the enemies will fire down on you. It's great for leaving in your side of the zone or in choke points to catch opponents off guard, but the dream of running and leaving a trail of bombs is sadly just a dream. It is also worth mentioning that the inkbrush needs a distraction (AKA the sprinkler) in order to advance safely. The mine removes this option, forcing you to depend solely on your teammates to run in.
:bubbler:Bubbler – The only good quality about this is the fact that you can share this with your allies, so it's a great tool for saving them when they're caught in enemy ink. Just rush right through their turf and bubble them up! Other than that, the bubbler is mainly used as a defensive option. It will save you from getting killed off, but you cannot use it to counterattack like other weapons can, due to the fact that enemies can shoot you to keep you out of your brush range.

Overall, this set is for someone who wants to play full support, keeping the turf painted while running in with a clutch shield save.


Unfortunately for us brushers, this weapon is not the jack of all trades like most shooters, but give this weapon some time. Learn how to move with it, paint the walls and floors with your ink, and you will see that you will start to move like an artist. With the stage as your canvas and your creativity, there is no limit to what a brusher can do on the battlefield! Hopefully, allies will see the hidden potential in the openings the brusher can make to capitalize on, and with shooters or rollers or chargers on your side, you will lead them to victory!
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Hum I agree with almost everything, but you shouldnt just dismiss the potential of the 2nd brush that has a bubble has main defence ability. Yeah its not ideal to multykill, but doesn't mean it sucks, u know?
That brush is.more of a tactical play nature, assuming you will know the paths and predict ur enemys.movmments and lay mines and keep pressure like u said in the 1st map skate park, leave a mine in the top and flick from.above is far more usefull then charging inkstrike cause when u do so u will.stop swinging ink, and thats when u will likely be killed and the bubble can save u from it and Still allow u to keepp unleashing ink when you shouldn't even be able to(During a Inkstrike 4exmp) also wih this brush u can effectivly fight Kraken users!!!!
There lots of maps where i find her more usefull then others, like that port makarel where u said we "suck" there, but actually we can turn ties easly with a well placed mine or make a swift ambush jutst arround thr conner by sprinting ZR and get behindthem without trouble. But overall, its a nice build.

Ps:4stars not 5, becouse u didnt consider other inkbrushs usefullness
A good guide, very insightful. My only real problem is the idea that Run Speed Up gives you a bonus while you brush; to the best of my knowledge, it doesn't really. My recommendation would be to replace it with Ninja Squid, as the nature of the brush is to get in, ink face quickly, get out. Defense Up may also work, as it will allow you to survive if/when you get caught out by opponents in your attempts to duel.
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