Ballistic Groove Gun!
Hi there! So you've decided to check out the newest grooviest blaster of all time eh? Well let me give you the skinny.
This blaster like all other blasters fires a singular blob of ink in a straight line. During the projectile's trajectory it leaves an ink trail, before exploding at it's maximum distance. However this rendition is tad bit different from the Blaster, and Rapid Blaster.
The Luna Blaster fires almost as fast as the Rapid Blaster, but has much shorter range... It is however stronger. It explodes in the widest radius of either of the other two, and it kills in one direct hit like the vanilla rendition.
As you can see the blast radius is very large.
The Luna Blaster is a blitz all or nothing kind of weapon. It functions horribly against most ranged opponents if proper caution is not used, yet can keep up better than its relatives in close quarters combat situations. Due to the awful range on the weapon almost all other popular Splat Zone mainstays will have an immense edge against it, and unfortunately the weapons sub/special don't do much to alleviate that.
There are some common guidelines that pro blaster users stick to in A Rank Splat Zones which I'll go over at the end of the guide. For now let's study what sets this puppy apart from its relatives.
- Range, and Fire Rate
So here I show the difference in distance between the weapons. The Rapid Blaster shoots the farthest, spreading arguably the worst amount of ink per shot. The Vanilla Blaster (The regular one - for those unfamiliar with the term "vanilla") has probably the best coverage per shot, but not as much distance as the Rapid Blaster. The Luna Blaster has the shortest range but the widest spread of ink. So why would you want to pick the Luna Blaster with the shortest range as opposed to the Vanilla?
Easy answer: Fire Rate. The Luna Blaster fires at a rate somewhere in between the Vanilla, and the Rapid... and I should probably note that the Vanilla Blaster fires VERY slowly. So while the coverage per shot is better with the Vanilla, it's slow, and less efficient making the Luna Blasters wider, shorter blast, but faster fire rate and larger spread a more ideal ink spreading tool. The key to this weapon's ability to spread ink better than its relatives is momentum, and use of bunny/dive-hopping (a lot of people have different names for it) which I made a tutorial on how to do as well - you can view it here. Using this technique coupled with forward moving momentum you can quickly cover a very large area with ink, and strafe mid air which I'll get into when study the weapons kill potential, and gameplay strategies.
- Ink Efficiency
Just to touch on a fairly small detail. Here we have the ink efficiency of all 3 blasters. The Luna Blaster actually uses the least amount of ink per shot compared to the other two which seem tied... however it's by a very minor margin.
- Blast radius, Damage, and Kill Potential
The Luna Blaster has the largest blast radius of the three weapons. This is important because blasters splash damage is an important feature of the weapon type. The ability to hit enemies from the air, or from behind cover, this makes the blaster a real threat. Of course the range helps, and unfortunately the Luna Blaster has awful range, mirroring the Splattershot Jr. --- Not good. A few things that it has to make up for that however is it's power, and radius! The Luna Blaster has the largest blast radius, all the while retaining the power of it's Vanilla sibling. This makes it a very good warning tool. One shot with this anywhere near point blank will do a hefty chunk of damage, and force your opponent to respect your "space" -- Eh!? Get it? Space?... okay...
Anyways the ability to control the territory around you with such a threat makes the weapon a great suppression tool, and deterent. Enemies that approach with caution however and use their range to attack you, will likely win a one on one. So the Luna Blaster is kind of screwed in that regard. Let's take a look at damage potential.
Here I show how a direct hit can deal a total of 125 damage. This is great, but do you notice how close you have to be to hit with it? One other thing to note, is that blasters projectiles moves pretty slowly, and because of that, they are often easy to dodge. On top of that you have to be pretty precise with your shots if you want to utilize the OHKO (One Hit Knockout) ability of the shot.
See how the Vanilla Blaster can OHKO from much further back? This makes it the better option for a decent Charger player, since their accuracy can be put to better use. The Luna Blaster requires such close range to OHKO, that it just isn't cut out for taking out opponents this way. It's wide blast radius exists for this reason... The Luna Blaster has a much wider explosion, letting it deal splash damage a lot easier, if you can close it for a OHKO, by all means... just know that it's not really built for that kind of approach like it's siblings.
I'll go ahead and just mention the obvious on the Rapid Blaster - It outranges both weapons but it's damage is very sad, and it's poor blast radius really reduce the effectiveness of the weapon. There's no OHKO for this weapon... This unfortunately turns the Rapid Blaster into a kind of support weapon - I won't touch on it here, since this is all about the FABULOUS Luna Blaster, but it can make a decent Chargers aid.
Here I'm just showing off how splash damage works. Notice how it softens up targets? That's right. Two effective blasts can splat an opponent very fast. It may take two shots, but since you don't really need great aim to hit with it that's really good considering. Again - If you can approach the opponent safely or you feel you have the element of surprise, go for the OHKO, but as a general safety rule use this to deal your damage.
- Air Strafing, Mobility, and how to mix with Splash Damage
I don't have a capture device I can hook into my WiiU unfortunately, and because of this I have to use decent writing and pictures to convey these tricks. Dive/Bunny/Squid/Splat Hopping or whatever variation you'd like to call it is important in blaster play. Blasters rely on this because they can strafe mid-air, and hit jumping/swimming opponents with the splash damage of their shots. I made a short wordy pictureless guide which I will link to again here. It's very useful for weapons like Rollers, and Blasters, but not really as useful for the more rapid fire weapons.
One thing I should mention is that your ink will splatter further, the higher you are. This why when shooting from a cliff side you can cover so much more territory than usual. Using this Hopping trick you can essentially strafe mid-air if you gain momentum before its execution. This makes you a much a deadlier adversary to Gals, Splattershot Pros, and even short range shooters like the Junior... While you can be moving in and out of your own ink causing explosions like a fireworks technician. This weapon relies on this technique, since it's projectiles are so easy to dodge counter attacks are fairly easy to execute towards you. So staying unpredictable is key to the blaster - Making it a favorite of more skilled players.
Good news however is that since the Luna Blaster comes with such a large blast radius, and the same damage as it's Vanilla sibling - you won't have to worry about this AS much. It's still important to learn this trick if you're thinking of branching out with the blaster line of weapons.
- Sub-Weapon, and Special applications
- Ink Mine: The Ink Mine seems like a strange choice to give such a gimped weapon with poor range, however due to the blasters play style, however it's best to think of think of the ink mine as an emphatic point to the Luna Blasters close range combat abilities! An easy strategy often used is laying down an ink mine right where you're standing as you initiate battle with an opponent. Laying down the mine and fighting around it can create a lot of chaos for your opponent if you're staying mobile. Protect your mine essentially, and when you're annoyed opponent attempts to approach for the kill - boom, eve if it misses, the mines explosion coupled with you blaster can frazzle the enemy enough for a splat. with already great ink efficiency of the Luna Blaster, Ink Saver Sub is a decent choice as far as gear abilities go.
- Inkzooka: The Inkzooka is meant to alleviate your horrible range. That's fairly straight forward, and the Inkzooka really needs a guide of its own since it's basically its own weapon. However for the sake of this guide I'll go over it's use. Since the Luna Blaster is actually very good at covering turf assuming your using it's mobility to ink territory, you should generally have access to the Inkzooka most of the time if you need it. It's really good for those opponents who are approaching you from a distance, pop the Inkzooka and surprise them... a tip - Don't stand in place while wielding this piece, stay hidden in the ink and surprise your enemies with a well placed shot. Most people who wield this sucker just spam it... That's not how you should use it though, because it makes you a sitting duck, and a LARGE target, because everyone will know where the shots are coming from.
The Luna Blaster is really awesome! It's kind of weak in bigger more open maps like Arowana Mall though... Most maps that favor far reaching weapons can easily make this weapon struggle, but if played right you can be a dangerous adversary who the enemy will never expect to pop out and kill them... The splash damage surprises EVERYONE who goes up against a blaster, and the Luna Blaster has the biggest explosion yet! The biggest flaw this weapon actually has isn't even it's range for good blaster player... it's the sub/special... both are very underwhelming, and force creative tactics that often feel less beneficial than say giving the weapon the Bubbler would have done, and perhaps some form of throwable. This is an in the fray chaotic weapon - make note of that.