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Jet Squelcher 101

Jet Squelcher 101

This guide will explain the basics as well as some advanced techniques of how to play the longest range shooter in Splatoon 2. But first, a bit about the history of the Jet Squelcher and my experience with it:

I’ve been playing Jet since the early days of Splatoon 1. Back then, the Jet was pretty obscure, because most other long range weapons, especially chargers, outclassed it. In Splatoon 2 however, the Jet received noteworthy buffs, and is even sometimes used even at the highest level of play!

As for me, the Jet has always been my favorite shooter weapon, and I have stuck with it throughout Splatoon 2’s lifespan. Now that patches have become relatively infrequent, I’m excited to share what I’ve learned playing it with you! I generally hover around 2200 X power, certainly not the best by any means, but I think it’s respectable enough to provide some insight. With that being said, let’s get onto the Guide!

Understanding the Jet Squelcher
First, let’s go over the Jet’s most important stats and what they mean for the weapon. I’ll be covering the numbers within the Jet’s optimal firing range (when the crosshair becomes an “X” on the opponent).

Range: ~4.1 lines
The Jet’s defining characteristic. With its enormous range, it can start shooting most opponents before they can shoot back. Only the longest range weapons, such as chargers and the hydra splatling (even the heavy splatling gets outranged!) can pressure the Jet in a pure range game.

Fire Rate: 8 frames
Of course, you have to pay for that range somehow. The Jet is burdened by a sluggish fire rate that is equivalent to that of the splattershot pro. For comparison, the splattershot shoots every 6 frames, so the Jet is 33% slower.

Damage: 32
Unlike the splattershot pro however, the Jet also outputs rather poor damage, making it a 4HKO weapon. This low damage, when combined with a mediocre fire rate make the Jet arguably the weakest shooter weapon in Splatoon 2 (it takes longer to splat than even the aerospray, but has better accuracy).

Understanding these stats is crucial to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of the Jet.
It has plenty of opportunities to shoot enemy inklings thanks to its range and automatic fire. However, actually splatting opponents with the Jet is challenging. Consider: It is said that inklings are controlled by beings known as “humans” who have an average reaction time of 0.25 seconds (15 frames, which is about how long it takes the splattershot to splat).

Even under optimal conditions, the Jet takes around 30 frames to splat depending on distance, giving enemy inklings plenty of time to react to being damaged. This highlights an essential fact about the Jet: Unless the opponent decides to just stand still, or has slow reactions, you should not expect to get splats in fair firefights. Even at optimal range, the Jet simply gives the opponent too much time to escape or reposition. And of course, at close range, the Jet’s chances of survival are slim.

This is why despite being in the straightforward shooter class, the Jet has a high learning curve. Its attributes make its playstyle a lot different from other shooters, as it cannot expect to succeed by directly engaging opponents and coming out on top. The opponent will either outgun the Jet by virtue of their superior damage, or simply escape from the Jet’s annoying, but often non-lethal shots.

In terms of pure statistics then, the Jet doesn’t sound too great does it? In the next section, we’ll see how the Jet succeeds as a weapon despite these glaring weaknesses.

To understand the Jet’s strategy at a high level, a fantasy battle analogy is useful. Offensive weapons (splattershots, dualies) are the swords of your team, putting themselves in the most danger to push back the enemy in direct, close range confrontations. Defensive support weapons (brella, nzap) are like shields. They keep turf control to allow defensive maneuvering and assist the swords however possible. Powerful long range weapons (chargers, long range splatlings) are like catapults, decisively smashing the enemy line when they can find the right position to get direct hits. Among all these roles, the Jet would be like an archer. What the archer lacks in raw offensive and defensive power, it makes up with its reliable damage, constant area denial, and overall flexibility.

Like other backline weapons, the Jet prefers to stay at long range. However, its strength lies in the unique niche it fulfills among the other long range weapons. Namely that by virtue of being a shooter, it is incredibly balanced and flexible. Other backline weapons might need to utilize terrain as a defense, rely on team support to cover their weaknesses, or have limitations such as charge time (chargers, splatlings) and high end lag (dynamo roller, explosher). They also tend to have poor mobility, either because they are literally heavier and swim slower (hydra, dynamo, eliter 4k) or they can’t always output the ink needed to escape bad positions (chargers, splatlings).

The Jet suffers from none of those problems. It is ready to contribute to the team at any time and under any condition. As a shooter, the Jet’s fire is limited only by its ink tank, allowing it to constantly shoot and occupy positions that other long range weapons cannot. With its good overall mobility, the Jet can also reach key engagements more often, and stay closer to teammates. This makes the Jet an exemplary support weapon, among the best in the game. The Jet should utilize these strengths to accomplish three goals: assist teammates, harass and distract opponents, control space. Here is how the Jet should go about accomplishing its goals:

Assist Teammates
The Jet is a true team player. Because it lacks raw kill power, it should rarely be occupying sniping perches or make aggressive pushes and flanks, as it is simply not threatening by itself. Rather, the Jet should position just behind its teammates. In this position, the Jet can provide covering fire should the team decide to become aggressive or provide suppressive fire if the team is eating too much pressure from the enemy and need to retreat. Without teammates, the Jet has no option but to retreat immediately. It cannot safely engage opponents on its own because of its low splatting potential. It cannot “shark” (hide in ink and wait to ambush the enemy) well for the same reason.

In this clip, the Jet fires some empty shots coming out of spawn, and hears the "hit" sound. It finds a Pro engaging an allied charger and deals with it accordingly. Assisting teammates in such a way is the Jet's most important role.

Harass and Distract Opponents
The Jet’s long range and automatic fire make it an incredible “poking” weapon, in that it is excellent at tacking on a shot or two for chip damage. The Jet should utilize its good mobility to occupy positions closer to the front line than other backline weapons. Because these other long range weapons are hard pressed to push up to these positions, the Jet can chip away at opponents from unexpectedly aggressive angles, and then safely retreat if things start to look hairy. The goal of such fire is not to get splats, as it has been established that this is not the Jet’s forte. Rather, it is to harass opponents with constant chip damage and displace them from their optimal positions. For example, the Jet is excellent at dislodging chargers, as all it needs to do is shoot in the general area around them from a safe position. The chargers weaknesses then become more pronounced and exploitable as their surrounding area is inked, and they’ll be forced to retreat to find a safer position. The Jet may not be able to get the splat, but it specializes in such disruption tactics which open opportunities for aggressive weapons to safely approach.

Control Space
While the overall turfing ability of the Jet is average at best, it is perhaps the “safest” turfing weapon in the game. This is because the Jet has long range, and can check distant areas of enemy turf with little risk. Unlike other long range weapons, the Jet can also endlessly pressure said enemy turf with its automatic fire. Any shorter range weapons in that area must then respect the weak, but constant stream of damage that the Jet outputs. And longer range weapons in the area become extremely vulnerable when their area has become contested by the Jet’s steady turf output. Often the strongest place to control space from is the sniping perches of the map. This further illustrates the Jet’s unique play style. It uses sniping perches not to get splats, but to greatly restrict the enemy team’s movement, returning to the ground to assist once the team begins to push. When turfing with the jet, always use its range to the fullest, shooting parallel to the ground in long lanes, similar to a charger. This will control the most space and output the most ink to charge your special. The Jet is ineffective at inking smaller, closer patches of ink, so it shouldn’t waste time doing so.

An example of area control. The Jet uses the sniping block for a good vantage point and begins to exert control in mid to see if any opponents react. The roller reveals itself, and attempts to escape the Jet's zone but leaves its back turned. Because it chooses to ignore the shots, the Jet is narrowly able to secure the splat. The Jet then returns to leisurely turfing mid to see if any other opponents will show themselves so the Jet can pester them.

Tying it together
As the enemy team is constantly bombarded by chip damage and the inability to execute strategies due to a lack of space, they will be pushed into a weaker position for your teammates to exploit. The Jet’s job is to keep up this pressure until they make a mistake, such as overextending the frontline, or losing control of a key flanking area. At this point, it is the Jet’s duty to sense that its own team has the advantage, and move into a more aggressive assist posture, pushing up with the team and primarily helping win firefights. And while the Jet rarely wins a fair fight, it is more than capable of snatching a splat (and plenty of assists) when such an opening appears in the enemy formation.

An example of how the Jet should help the team retake a zone. At the beginning of the clip, all 3 members of the yellow team are stuck in the snipe area. The Jet makes the first move, jumping down to challenge anyone across the bridge and create breathing room for the clash blaster. The Jet lands a hit on the 96, who is then easily finished off by the advancing clash blaster. Noticing that most of the opponents are on the left side, the Jet drops down into mid and takes an aggressive position on the right side of zone just outside the dualie squelchers range. Weakened by 2 shots, the dualies must retreat or aggressively push the Jet. It chooses the latter, which turns out to be a mistake that the Tenta Missles punish. Staying close to the allied dualies, the Jet takes advantage of the 3v1 and uses its range to splat the eliter across the bridge.

In this clip, the Jet fires from a safe distance at all times, and also allows itself retreat options should the 96 or dualies push it. After each kill, the Jet pushes up with the team to provide continuous support, rather than remaining behind on snipe like a charger would.

Finally, it is imperative to repeat that the Jet should never hang too far back from the frontline, like other long range weapons might. While it is a safe position, you must remember that the Jet is just not threatening. A charger shooting from far behind the frontlines is still scary and must be respected. A Jet in the same position is just mildly annoying and will usually be ignored. The Jet cannot “camp” and expect to be successful. It must be always mobile, checking in on teammates, claiming new ground, and pestering opponents to distract their attention from your team’s deadlier weapons.

Kits and Gear Abilities
The Jet Squelcher has two kits, the standard “vanilla” Jet Squelcher, and the Custom Jet Squelcher. The following gear abilities are recommended for both kits as they enhance the Jet’s overall performance:

At least 1 sub of QSJ is a must have for long range weapons such as the Jet. Even with optimal play, there will be times when the Jet is caught in an un-winnable position. Being able to quickly escape such situations, saving time and special, is one of the most essential skills to improving all long range weapons play.

The Jet attempts to execute its usual gameplan of scouting out enemy positions through area control, but is quickly threatened with both Tenta Missles and an Inkjet. This lethal combine forces the Jet to super jump out, saving time and special meter compared to being splatted. This is why the Jet (and probably most weapons in general) need at least 1 sub of QSJ. The shortened jump time is significant even with just 1 sub.

MPU gives a myriad of powerful effects to the Jet. It slightly increases its range and shot velocity, making the Jet’s continuous pressure more consistent and threatening. It also increases accuracy for the Jet when standing on the ground. When combined, this suite of effects amplifies all of the Jet’s goals, and is simply too good to ignore! 1-2 mains is recommended.

This is a lucky stream of shots for sure, but it shows what is possible with MPU and predictive shot leading (shooting where the opponent is likely to swim, rather than at them). This is an especially important skill for the Jet, which is often shooting at long range and therefore must factor in travel time of shots to pressure opponents.

To accomplish its goals, the Jet will be shooting and throwing subs almost all the time. There’s little need to be subtle or stealthy with the Jet, as its strength is not in making such offensive plays. It may not always be a glorious job, but there is always some goal that the Jet can be accomplishing, and the only limitation it has is its ink tank. So any enhancements to its capacity are welcome.

“Vanilla” Jet Squelcher (VJS)
The VJS takes all of the Jet’s strengths and amplifies them. It is the ultimate flexible defense and team assist weapon. Toxic Mist is an excellent sub on the Jet, as it allows it to control even more space for even longer than the main weapon already does. You can toss a mist to a flank area while you control mid, for example, making it easier and less risky to keep tabs on both. Toxic Mist is also among the best team support sub weapons in the game! Tossing one into the middle of a duel between your teammate and an enemy inkling is often a death sentence to the opponent, especially when combined with the shots of the Jet Squelcher itself. The combination of mist and Jet Squelcher is amazing at locking down areas and getting assists. If you toss a mist and then shoot into that area, it forms a makeshift chokepoint that can halt entire teams in their tracks, especially in modes such as rainmaker and clam blitz. This ability to halt multiple targets from progressing illustrates the defensive and space denying potential of the VJS, and it can easily turn the game around by doing so and granting your own team valuable respawn time to counter the push.

Tenta Missiles are also an excellent special for the VJS. They provide a cheap way for the Jet to contribute direct frontline pressure without risking its own position. As with Toxic Mist, they also make keeping track of the enemy team even easier, allowing the Jet to safely push up and continue harassing the enemy team with its shots, as well as deny flankers. Throw out a toxic mist before and after launching the missiles to create chaos for the enemy team as they try to reposition from the missiles.

An example of how Tenta Missiles work on the VJS. Here the missiles call out the flank from closed, and the VJS can easily dispatch the unaware opponent (note that this is possible because they are sitting completely still). Then the VJS empty fires over the crate to create room for the rest of the team to push up. What was once a dire situation for the purple team has been swiftly reversed.

While the VJS takes the disruption and area denial of the Jet up to 11, it does nothing to address the Jet’s weaknesses. Besides the small damage from the Tenta Missiles, the VJS has absolutely no offensive presence, which becomes a huge liability when the team decides to push forward. Overall, when the team is under pressure, the VJS is stalwart sentinel, able to diligently and reliably slow down enemy progress, and watching the team’s back at all times. But when it comes time for the team itself to attack, the VJS needs to find creative ways to use its range to attack opponents, and support teammates as aggressively as possible. While it is easy to make a notable contribution to the team with VJS, its overall influence on the game peaks lower than most weapons. The performance of the VJS is rarely the reason a team loses a game, but also rarely the reason it wins. Nevertheless, it is the perfect weapon for learning Jet Squelcher fundamentals.

An example of how when the VJS can still capitalize on weak enemy positions to make rare offensive plays. The orange team has secured all of mid, and the VJS has cleared the right lane on Port Mackerel. Knowing that the Green team is trapped in their court, the VJS takes a second to observe their behavior. They are obviously unaware of their compromised right lane, and the opposing CJS, who should be the eyes of the team, activates a sting ray on the left lane anchoring its commitment to that area. These are two mistakes which the VJS can capitalize on. It first fires empty turfing shots into the court to see if any surprise attacks pop up, which the VJS could quickly escape from. No one is there, but the tenta brella is taken by surprise. This splat and a volley of tenta missiles allows the VJS to continue pushing its aggression and secure a team wipe.

The clip also highlights the perils of using sting ray, which will be explored further in the CJS section. In this case, the opposing CJS would have been better off assisting its teammates instead of locking itself into the ray, which only briefly damaged the VJS. The stingray here produced little turf control, splatted no opponents, and compromised the green team's court so much that even a weapon as offensively weak as the VJS could take advantage of it.

Tenta Missiles are the VJS's most reliable way of generating offensive presence. Locking onto multiple enemy inklings allows the normally passive VJS to make bolder pushes and secure more turf for the team. Because the Jet will often be firing empty shots to gain turf and scout enemy positions, special charge up will often grant the VJS a couple extra volleys of missiles. You'll especially want to combine missiles with other specials during a push to get the most out of your normally defensive kit!

In a similar vein as special charge up, the VJS enjoys having special power up to make its short bursts of offensive more impactful. Special power up increases the missile targeting reticule, making it more likely to lock onto, and most importantly provide more information to the VJS. It also improves the turfing ability of the missiles, an excellent perk for the VJS, which appreciates anything to increase its supportive turf output.

Object Shredder is a bit of a niche pick that is still extremely useful on the VJS. Because it lacks a bomb and has low damage output, the VJS is susceptible to being overwhelmed by specials such as bubble blower and baller. The VJS will often be shooting at these and other important targets such as splash walls, but simply not deal enough damage to threaten them. Object Shredder remedies this problem by giving the VJS a much needed damage increase. The added bonus of shredding armor with falloff damage, and destroying sprinklers/beakons with a single shot further improves the supportive abilities of the VJS.

Custom Jet Squelcher (CJS)
A more advanced Jet Squelcher kit that makes for a more balanced weapon overall with greater options and higher offensive presence. The CJS’s burst bombs help to shore up some of the weaknesses of the main weapon, while the Stingray gives the Jet a lethal offensive presence from the backline.

Burst bombs are the foundation to the CJS. They improve the Jet Squelcher’s splatting potential, mobility, and close range defense all at once. To splat opponents, lead a confrontation with a bomb and then finish them with a few shots, or catch them as they flee with another burst bomb. Use the bombs to enhance the Jet’s good mobility, and to deter mid-close range threats from approaching.

While the burst bomb does a lot for the CJS, it does have one important drawback. The burst bomb’s function is directly contradictory to the Jet’s goal of maintaining space control, as it takes up a hefty 40% of the ink tank, and only puts a small puddle of ink down. Overuse of burst bombs will greatly weaken the Jet’s ability to fulfill its primary purpose of denying space to opponents. As such burst bombs should be used in a controlled manner, as an attempt to splat opponents, or assist in team fights.

The Stingray provides the Jet with a lethal, splatting focused option. It is hard to understate how important this is the CJS, it gives it an option to contribute to team pushes that the VJS can only dream of. Like the burst bombs however, the Stingray also has a notable downside in that it provides almost no turf control and makes you extremely vulnerable to attack. It must be deployed very far back from the frontline, requiring time spent first retreating, and then moving back up after the special is completed. While this is less of an issue for the Jet since it tends to stay behind the frontline, it is still not as convenient for the Jet as for, say, the splat charger. The Jet loathes having to leave its teammates and locking itself in one position for a long period of time. Like the burst bombs, the Stringray must be used with care, usually to crush opposing team pushes.

Both these caveats highlight an important truth about the CJS. Its kit can fulfill more diverse roles than the VJS, but if it doesn’t adapt to the situation at hand and use its tools appropriately, it will perform worse all around. A CJS played poorly does not contribute as much turf, team assistance, or area denial as the VJS. Nevertheless, the CJS has a much higher impact potential on the game than VJS. It can reliably get splats at all ranges, and is much more threatening offensively overall while still maintaining the Jet’s trademark support and defense qualities. Because it is so dynamic, it can also be more unreliable at each of its roles, unlike the VJS, which is outstanding at its one role of hard defense and support. But when it is played to its strengths, the CJS is a terror, maintaining all the strengths of the main weapon while gaining a frightening splat potential.

This clip shows the strengths of the CJS. It begins by safely dispatching the sploosh caught in a poor position. The CJS then uses the burst bomb and a couple shots to splat the opposing CJS from the high point. The VJS would never be able to secure a splat here, but the CJS does so easily by trapping the opposing CJS with the burst bomb. The sting ray is used to cover the upper area and greatly support the push from the backline.

Finally, another sploosh flanks the team attempting to remove the CJS, but the CJS uses its burst bombs and agility to turn the tides on the close range aggressor. In this situation a VJS would be recommended to super jump out immediately, but the CJS can defend itself. Thus in this clip, the CJS plays the role of mid-long range attack, hard backline with the stingray, and melee duelist with success, highlighting its versatile nature.

Sub power up is extremely useful on the CJS, as it increases burst bomb range and velocity. It is highly recommended to use enough sub power up to allow burst bombs to reach the same range as the Jet itself, as this will allow for faster and safer splats. The amount to use varies, but at least 1 main 2 subs is a good starting point.

This is the bread and butter of CJS offense. Sub Power up makes such "CJS Snipes" much easier and safer to execute.

Stingray is one of the essential functions of the CJS. It builds it quickly with its low 180 point meter, and is great at getting into position to use it. The most essential time that the CJS needs to have a Stingray ready is when the opposing team is making a key push, and your team has been splatted. In these cases, special saver ensures that you are more likely to have Stringray ready to stop the opposing push, even if you are just respawning.

And that’s all I have to say about the Jet Squelcher! Hopefully you found this guide informative, and were even inspired to give the Jet a try! It’s not the easiest weapon to play, but it is immensely rewarding, startegic, and overall fun to play once you start to get the hang of it! A properly played Jet is a flexible tactical asset to any team composition. So get out there and start Jet Squelching!

The Jet is always a reliable contributor, even in a 3v4!
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Amazing job at explaining what the Jet Squelchers roles are in competitive play. Unfortunately, I see many rushdown JS players in S-S+ that need to see this guide.
This guide does a spectacular job at effectively explaining any previous misconceptions about both Jet Squelchers and leaving the reader with a mind full of new tactics and strategies. It's impossible not to admire the skill of the writer in smoothly yet carefully establishing the weapon's role, and is one of the best available guides for the Jet Squelcher.
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