Map Essentials: Arowana Mall
Welcome to the 2nd installment of Map Essentials. Due to popular demand, I've decided to do Arowana Mall instead of Kelp Dome (though Kelp Dome will happen) If you haven't checked out my previous guide, you can click this link to Blackbelly Skatepark.
For ease of navigation I've modified this overhead map, due to all the marking I've done to it however I've also decided to include an unmarked overhead for reference. Every section will be color coded and numbered according to it's location, you may use this map as reference point if you're unsure of which point I'm talking about.
Arowana Mall is a tricky beast for some. It's a Chargers paradise because of all the nests with easy access from the base. The Splat Zone is located directly in 4, and for this reason I did not mark it with an X this time. As pictured in my marked map, it's important to split this map into five segments. Yours and opponent's areas 1 & 2, and 4 being neutral territory. Not surprisingly 3 ends up being quite important, and I'll be covering the dynamics surrounding it and 2 - With 1 and 4 being less important in Turf War.
Area 1 - The Base, and Exit Strategies
So right off I want to talk about one of the least important bits of the map. This area, your base, is one of the hardest areas for the enemy to capture and I'll cover why in a bit. Upon leaving Spawn you are greeted by three different paths (as most maps are formated). Two ramps, one to your left, and the other to your right. We'll cover those in a second. One thing I can tell you is that the two ramps lead into each other with a small gap between them. This gap can be jumped if you get a swimming jump - Not a super useful thing to do, but I've done when I wanted to change my mind about which path I take.
One thing that confused some in my last guide was the eye (the oval with the circle inside) just to reiterate, this signifies an eye - which means that this area is a vantage point. --- Anyways, here we've taken the middle path, as you can see it leads down into a sunken area right below your spawn, and in between the two ramps. This leads directly out into area 2. This exit is also the ONLY entrance into yours and your opponent's area 1. This makes it the easiest territory to claim due, and as such should be used for charging special attacks, and not generally inked at the beginning. Your opponent will rarely be coming in here, as the ramp directly in front of me here leads directly towards the shielded spawn point, it's an extremely risky area to take making it the least important as far as control goes.
The path directly to the left will take you up to a vantage point over area 2, though you won't have very good access to the action, and this should only be used as way onto the left side Charger nest in area 2, or as a defensive position in the case of invaders, though it's tad bit too high operate effectively from for anyone but Chargers and Squelchers. From here you can see your area 2, and 3.
The path to the right takes you either into the discrete pathway of area 3, or down onto the alcove of area 3, or straight down into area 2. As you can see it's a fairly decent vantage point of your surrounding area 2. This path is often the best one to take for anyone not equipped for range, as it leads into 3's nice closed off hallways, away from deadly Chargers which we'll touch on momentarily.
Some last thoughts on area 1 I have are about the different weapon approaches. The path on the left is great for most Chargers, and longer ranged Shooters like Pro's, L-3's, Squelchers, and the .96 Gal... while the path on the right will be a better option for all other mid-range, and short range Shooters. The middle is a decent option for anyone equipped with seekers, but as a general rule shouldn't be used. I'll go over that in the next segment. All in all area 1 is only really used for travel, and charging your specials, it's not a high priority point what so ever really. It should not be inkstriked either because of it's use to charge specials... don't give the enemy a free special.
Area 2 - The Frontlines
So here I show what the bottom of area 2 looks like staring back towards your base (Area 1). Enemies will not be able to get around behind you from any point other than 3, so it will be the only point to look for intruders from this view. As you can see there are two ramps, the one on the left here leading up onto 3, and the path leading to the Charger nest on the left (on the right from this point of view, sorry for the confusing wording), with the only path back into area 1 is straight through the middle. Area 3 will be covered in more detail later but it's the second most important portion of the map, with area 2 being the most important.
Here you can see I've take the path on the left from area 1. You cannot go back up the wall into 1 since it's covered in uninkable glass, so once you're over it, your only path back in is through the center exit. This shows how the upper path gives you a very good vantage point of the outlying area of 2. There is a second path up onto this path via the ramp pictured in the bottom left. As you can see area 2's quite big, but well touch on that in a bit.
If you continue on the path, you'll come across grating. The tricky monster to this is the water below. It's generally safe to squid through it, but it you should avoid doing so on the last panel right before the Chargers nest, else you fall into the water. This grating gives the Charger good defense against sneak attacks from behind - be advised however that most far reaching weapons can still reach you from below, since it's less risky than approaching the Charger directly. This also great defense against Krakens, since they'll fall through the grating and you'll be saved. (Seen many amateur Krakens fall into a watery death this way)
We've finally arrived at the left sided Chargers nest. This nest gives you a prime view of both area 3 exits into 4, and nice panoramic view of 4, and 2. It's hoisted directly over water, making jumps and escapes tricky. This nest is a very popular spot for Chargers, like the E-Liter 3k, and Splatterscopes. These Chargers easily lockdown 4, making approach very difficult for Shooters and Rollers... As you can see here, the only cover incoming opposition has is that small kiosk in the center. The exits of 3 are ultra visible as well. This position is very powerful for Chargers, however well placed Splat Bombs can dispatch you. This makes Bomb Range Up a very good skill for this map, since this point is so incredibly powerful. The primary use of this nest is offensive suppression for your allies to bust through 4 into the oppositions area 2. This area can also be used for covert travel INTO 4. The small X to the right of me with the arrow below it shows you the ledge you can squid jump onto, and if you're decent at it, you can jump onto the wall as well, but we'll cover that approach more when we cover area 4. Now, onto the nest located on the right.
Note: The E-Liter 3k can easily reach the opposing nests... this particular nest is a favorite of E-Liters, so keep that in mind upon seeing the enemy team.
Another thing I need to note is that in Splat Zone, this nest has a grate connecting it to the enemies area 3 exit. This makes it a very unsafe nest to camp, since you can be approached so directly.
Here I show you (while facing your own base) where the nest on the right side of 2 is located. Just like the left, there's a ramp allowing you to squid up to it. Now this nest is located very close to area 3 ---a decent invasion point, so it's not as safe the nest on the left. It compensates for this by having that small rectangle to use as cover from the front. Also like the opposing nest, this one gives you a very good vantage point of your area 2.
So here I show what the view from the front looks like. You can see your opponents area 3 exit, their opposing right sided nest, and a decent view of 4. As you can see you have a travel route into 4 as well via the wall, using squid jump. Again, there is water directly below you, so you'll need to aim your jump pretty precisely (more so than the jump from the other nest). This nest is meant more for defensive Charger use, since throwables won't be able to reach you as easily. This nest is great for keeping incoming opposition from 4, and 3 at bay, you also have a better view of the ramp into 4 down below making it easy to catch any lucky invaders who make through into your 2. When a team has two Chargers these two positions create a devastating lockdown on 4, which happens to be the only way into the opponent's area 2. This means that a stealth strategy should be formulated upon the start of each match, taking into consideration if the opposing team has any Chargers... My tip: use their charge time against them, it's actually a large flaw with the charger, and making them miss even once, will give you an opening to slip by, or approach and splat them.
This is a direct view of the middle approach into 4. Here you'll find a lot of opponents attempting to punch through 4 into your area 2, where they can wreak the most havoc. It's fairly self explanatory, but I'd like to add a couple of tips. To the right there you'll see an elevated section covered with a grate. This sits directly below the nest on the right. The grate leads directly into water, so it's an unsafe location to be generally, however directly to the right of it is a small alcove. This area can be used to place Beakons should you or your enemy successfully invade. Pretty much any corners in 2 can be used for Beakons, but that one is particularly unseen/unchecked. As another note, the middle ramp is amazing for Seekers. They will travel up the ramp and right into 4, making Seeker use here great for making the opposition proceed with caution, or giving you a safe path up into 4, assuming there aren't any pesky Chargers camping the nests.
Area 2 is huge, and interestingly enough the point with the most value in Turf Wars! That's right, unlike most maps where the center point is the most valued, both teams frontlines are the prize. Where in Splat Zones area 4 (the center) becomes the prize, which we'll cover when we get there. Area 2 can be invaded from only two different points, 4 (the direct route), and 3 (the side/stealth route). This makes it difficult to push through into the opposition's side if they have a skilled Charger waiting in one of the nests. If you play any mid/short range weapons, stealth is the only option you have, which leads us to the 2nd most important area...
Area 3 - The Corridor, and Alcove
From area 1's right path you can reach area 3. This is your covert option into 4. The corridor gives you a nice path outside of the enemies vision. The corridor doesn't have any cover aside from that plant there and can be entered from 4 as well, so enemies can invade through here into your area 2, and vice versa. This corridor is the best route into 4 in Splat Zone due to Chargers being such a threat, having any cover against them is vital. The elevated area I'm standing on cannot be be climbed up, so once you hop down into the corridor, you only have two options.
The first option is immediately to your left, and perhaps the most vital. It leads directly into area 2. This makes 3 a very good invasion point, assuming there's no enemy traffic coming from 1. It's vital to keep watch over your own area 3 because of this, let's go ahead and analyze why this alcove is so key.
The alcove itself is a prime Beakon location. As you can see it gives anyone a full view of area 2, and direct access to the nest on the right of area 2. This alcove is also where a lot of invaders run to upon breaking through the middle into 2. This spot has a small kiosk as cover located in the center, and can be held until allies super jump to you or your opposition, this area right here is where you will find many invaders. Luckily if they get stuck up here, they don't really have a lot of escape options. They can escape via the tricky squid jump off of the Charger nest into 4, or come down and go back up the ramp into 4.
As you can see if they, or you drop into the alcove via the corridor, it cannot be climbed back up due to the pipes blocking the way.This makes the alcove a risky point to hold, however in my experience during Turf Wars - I've seen a lot of opponents hold up in my area 3 alcove... be it through invading via the corridor, or busting through 4. This alcove is a prime place for specials like Bomb Rush, since you can cover a huge portion of your opponent's area 2 in no time.
Area 4 - The Center, the most dangerous point of the map
Area 4 is very dangerous. It's the most open point of the map, and in Splat Zone, it IS THE SPLAT ZONE! This area is necessary however, since it's your only route into your opponent's area 2, and 3. It's made up of very little surface area, and in Turf War that great of an asset, and mostly your path through into enemy territory. It's a choke point - sort of. See it's surrounded by Charger nests, it's not easy to access via the middle due to the ramp being your only option up onto it. The kiosk is your only cover option once there, though you can kind of use your own ramp up as cover (not a wise choice however since you can get overwhelmed by enemies coming from over the top of it.) and the ramp with the railing at the top drops off into the water. You can climb the walls into each area 3's corridors, though you'd need to be quick about it, and even then enemies can wait around the corner inside the corridor to ambush you. This point right here is what get's people splatted the most, and there really isn't anything to do about it aside from some recon, and careful planning.
One thing to note, is that you don't want to be down here very often. Your primary point of interest is going to be breaking through over the wall into 2 in Turf War, or getting up into the corridor of 3. You can usually take the corridor straight into 4, but sometimes moving into the enemies corridor is a good strategy, so you'll need to drop down into 4 to make it over. Erratic movement is key here, since Chargers will be biting at the bit to take out any inklings brave enough to travel through their domain. Arowana Mall is their territory and they know it. If you want to survive, and better yet WIN, you'll need to respect that.
Once on the ledge on area 3 (just up the wall) you will have an equal vantage point to most longer ranged opponents. Chargers in the nest just across from you will be in danger of many mid-range weapons from this point, so when exiting the corridor you should be immediately checking your right for lasers, they love taking out incoming Shooters, and Rollers from 3. Proceeding with caution and ambushing a distracted Charger is the best way to bust through, though you won't have the same access to the Charger on the opposite side.This can still create an opening for your team. This point of 4/3 is also a key defensive position in Splat Zone, since it gives you easy retreat, and cover into the corridor while also giving you immediate access to the zone. This spot can also be used by Chargers for a more unorthodox nest. The Charger will be more open due to the wall below them being an easy access point to their location.
One last thing to go over before we go over our closing thoughts. Area 4 does have a sneaky alternative to it's approach, though it takes a little skill... Using the outside walls to wait for an ambush, or moment can give an edge here. You can swim horizontally across the outside of the wall and pop up in unexpected places. It's a little difficult to do, but it works.
Arowana Mall is a Chargers paradise. This makes most other weapon approaches difficult, especially when their own team has none... Squelcher can make great makeshift snipers, while rollers have the hardest time traversing past the center area. Splat Zones is very difficult when the opposing team has skilled Chargers... however since the Splat Zone variant gives you easier access to their prime nest, they are less of a threat. This makes it harder for them to lock down 4. Your primary goal should always be the enemies area 2, while keeping note of the Chargers on the map. A skilled Charger won't let you through easily, so being creative is a must on this map. Keep in mind that the Bomb Throw Up skill is actually really useful on this map, allowing you to distract or kill Chargers that make use of the nests easier. Killer Wails are also a nice skill to keep your opponents out of 4, and off of those powerful nests.
Thanks for giving my second guide a read. Arowana Mall is tricky for a lot of people due to it obviously favoring chargers. Not only is this a hard thing for a lot of people to overcome, but it's often misunderstood that the center is the primary point of value in Turf Wars, when it's actually the opposing area 2 that is basically the middle. In Splat Zones the map is more streamline to take out pesky chargers since it makes the nests closest to the zone (4) a lot less safe, by connecting the enemies area 3 to it. The middle is very dangerous, but it can be tackled with a gameplan. -- my next guide will be: PORT MACKEREL, but it will be at an unannounced date... sorry.
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Map Essentials: Arowana Mall
A series of guides designed to outline core areas of each map.