For those of you who tend to be more Visual / Aural learners than readers allow me to first draw your attention to the following video which contains most of the information in this guide with more flashy production elements and deep music cuts.
Hello! Salutations! Welcome! Let me ask you a question. Do you love violence and death but hate to get your hands dirty? Prefer to watch others dish out brutality while you sit upon a shining throne perched high above the carnage and influence the course of a battle from afar? Are you the sort of person who after a match thinks to themselves "I may not have gotten the most kills, but I think we all know who REALLY carried."
Well have I got the weapon for you.
The Jet Squelcher is the only fully automatic back line weapon. By pressing the ZR trigger you will instantaneously begin shooting a stream of deadly, deadly ink. This makes it's play-style unique amongst other long range weapons because it has an easier time repositioning and mitigating bad situations. If you're the kind of person who's wanted to get better at weapons like charger but don't want to dive in head first and spend dozens of matches getting bodied, the Jet Squelcher can be a reasonable entry point. However this is not to say that it isn't viable in it's own right.
1.) Your Duties as a Back Line Weapon
Back line weapons are support weapons that luxuriate in the disconnect between the chaos of battle and their position. You are best suited to hanging back and using your long range to bolster your allies' offense and provide them safe passage back into your side of the map. You are the embodiment of "the best defense is a good offense". To put it plainly, pay attention to what the slaying weapons are doing. If they are going after someone, then you should fire upon them as well. Your hail of bullets will at worst be a nuisance they have to respond to which will draw attention away from your team and at best the enemy's untimely demise. If you see that your allies are retreating then that's your cue to suppress the enemy to discourage their pursuit and gain map control.
"What is Suppression?"
While basically all firepower in the enemy's direction is intended to kill, sometimes that's not the primary goal. Suppressive Fire is when your first priority isn't to earn splats but to control enemy movement. Typically in Splatoon this takes the form of deterring forward movement and is best accomplished when you can fire at an enemy who can't return fire effectively. Jet squelcher is great at Suppression because of it's extremely long range and it's lack of a charge between shots.
Let's talk about another important duty. As a weapon who tends to be behind everyone else you should be keeping your eyes peeled at all times for opponents sneaking up behind the team or "flanking". Anybody who's played Splatoon for a minute will tell you that nothing shuts a team down worse than a sneaky pair of Emperry's blind-siding them from behind. Tragically, if you are playing solo ranked then you can do little more than haplessly mash "THIS WAY" to alert your team. The lack of support from your team-mates is a silence equivocal to the silence the devout believer hears when their god leaves their prayers unanswered, but this is Solo Ranked and you have three cracks in your bar so you are not afforded the luxury to wallow in despair. If you can it's up to you to try and stop the flanks. If you've noticed the offending flanker in time, try to keep out of their lethal distance. You can probably count on a flanker being a shorter range weapon than you which will afford you some advantage. Jet Squelcher's automatic fire also allows you to quickly alternate between firing and retreating which will increase your odds of survival. If all else fails, then you have but one option.
Sometimes as a back line weapon you've gotta look out for #1 (yourself). Slayers march grimly into the enemy turf knowing in the bowels of their hearts that only a thin 13 frames stands between them and Squid Heaven. You are not a slayer. You are the pillar whom your friends count on for safe retreats and secure super jumps. So it's up to you to SURVIVE. Unless the match is about to be over and you are about to lose, don't be a hero. Heroism is what the NZap 85 is for. Be prepared to run away from danger, superjump out of un-winnable 2v1s, and hide behind stage geometry waiting for the enemy to grow impatient with bloodlust.
2.) How to Win the Game
In ranked your job outside of helping your teammates win fights is to push the objective. The range and play style of the Jet Squelcher brings unique approaches to each of the 4 modes.
How to Win Splat Zones
Your ink output is decent, so you should spend time not fighting painting the zone. You can paint the zone pretty safely during the neutral game since you can ink areas far away from where you are standing. While ultimately the zone is the only are you have to hold to win you will NEVER hold the zone for very long if you don't make an effort to push your map control inexorably forward. The more ink you put down in between the zone and the enemy spawn will create a buffer that the opposing team has to fight through before they can start to even think about putting points on the board. This also limits the opponents options to get in, which Jet Squelchers love because so much of your offensive game centers around Prediction (covered later).
How to Win at Tower Control
When it's time to make a push (characterized by an advantage in players on the field / map control / specials ready to be deployed) you are a strong candidate for Tower Rider. I know it can be a frightening prospect. The tower's path will invariably slide into the enemy's ink and the enemies shall rapidly descend upon you like piranha's on a filet of raw ahi. If you can try to suppress the enemy approach for as long as possible. You can usually predict where the enemies will becoming from. If they do get to close you should leave the tower unless you are about to clear a checkpoint or secure the lead.
How to Win at Rainmaker
First of all as a support weapon it's not a bad idea to carry it yourself. However, if a team-mate grabs it then do what you'd normally do to provide support. Suppress enemy approaches, help slayers to eliminate the opposing force. You want to try to keep pace with the Rainmaker unless they decide to just gun it. If they're rushing ahead just do what you can to make sure wherever they are rushing to is as safe as possible.
How to Win at Football
Football is tough because it involves a lot of disparate elements coming together to make a good push. The clams are scattered all around the map and often times so will your teammates. Like the devoted Quarterback shepherding his delicate Wide Receivers, you must take not of the position and clam count of your allies. Once it looks like you've accumulated enough clams to make the Touchdown, take your time accumulating map control or man advantage before traveling to the Clam Basket. Your weapons long range painting allows you to quickly create lanes to the basket which can result in some fast breaks.
How to Win at.... MURDER.
So while the game is determined by the points you manage to score over the course of the game obviously the easiest way to create openings to score those points is through the Forbidden Act of Murder, and act that will forever corrupt the soul of your squid kid / octo tyke but is worth it so that you can rank up. Efficient and Quality murder can be summed up with the 3 P's
Perception: Paying close attention to your friends and enemies seems like a know brainer, but as you play in the magical world of Splatoon you will soon find that there is a lot of subtle cues you need to be looking out for. Things like periodically checking the map can give you hints as to your enemy's current position, and if you can suss out where they are you can attack them from places they can't attack back. Other important indicators for where enemies will be are watching where your allies are attacking as well as where as where ink is being flung from. It is not uncommon to blind fire at areas where you don't see an enemy but can be reasonably sure that one is hiding. For the Jet Squelcher especially blind firing is a viable tactic since if you are wrong you are less likely to get punished because you've read through this whole guide and therefore the next P which is...
Positioning: Where you choose to attack from is probably the biggest determiner of whether or not you are dead. You are rarely obligated as a long range weapon to swim up the the very edge of where your team's map control ends to fire on an enemy. Firing from deeper within the enemy ink will force opponents who want to splat you to first create an approach which will usually end up in a death for them or at worst you just retreating further into your own ink. Jet Squelcher LOVES to retreat by the way. The fact that retreating doesn't mean a canceled charge means there is very little opportunity lost by swimming back. Additionally, using the stage geometry in the form of perches and gaps can make it even harder for enemies to get within effective ranges of their respective weapons.
Prediction: Probably the hardest of the P's to master because it is mostly gained through experience. To put it simply, objectives on maps tend only have so many ways you can approach them. When a game first starts, you can pull up your map and see which approach enemies are using. You can start suppressing those approaches before enemies can get there which will result in a lot of free kills for you. Certain maps are harder to make predictions about due to a greater variety of approaches / more verticality. Good examples of hard to predict maps are Moray Towers and Musselforge Fitness. Still, even on these maps there are routes that certain weapons like to take and learning how to cover these routes while putting distance between you and the enemy is key to playing the Jet Squelcher well.
"What do I do if an enemy gets close and I can't escape?!"
You are now obligated to fight from a very disadvantageous position. You should try to be as mobile as possible. Squelcher has a very poor strafing speed so swimming / sub-strafing is your best bet to not die. Let me assure you my friend that if you are up against an opponent of reasonable competence you will probably die, but you must fight to the bitter end no matter what. Additionally, if you are running the Custom Jet Squelcher now is the time to bust out those bombs.
"What do I do if I'm being challenged by another Backline Weapon"
You have now been robbed of your greatest strength. You are at a disadvantage against every other backliner because their offensive options are far more deadly than yours. However, you can still come out on top because you are not restricted on WHEN you can fire. Firing in between their charges and using the stage geometry to break line of sight and hide then fire when it's safe(r).
3.) The Kits and the Clothes.
4 out of 5 experts agree. The Custom Jet Squelcher has a better kit. This is primarily thanks to the Win the Game Laser being just so much better than Tenta Missiles. Utilizing your special weapon well is a pretty big factor in making those game winning pushes, so it comes as no surprise that the kit with Sting Ray is preferred.
But for fun, let's just pretend winning isn't everything (lmao).
The Vanilla kit does have very good internal synergy. Out of all the weapons I play that have a tenta missiles variant I think this one utilizes them the most effectively. While the pressure applied from the missiles themselves are pretty lacking, the utility provided by the reticles and targets you paint is good especially for a long range weapon. If a marked opponent is near by you don't have to travel far to get them within range of your gun, and you'll find yourself often marking a target with your missiles and then picking them off with your main gun. You also get one of my favorite sub weapons, the Toxic Mist. One of Sheldon's most heinous examples of biological warfare, Toxic Mist deploys a sizeable cloud that fills the lungs of any inkling unlucky enough to be inside it with a deadly hemotoxin that slows movement and drains ink. These debuffs will make it much easier for you or your allies to pick off enemies trapped within your war-crime eligible cloud. More specific examples of when it's useful include:
The Custom Jet Squelcher has as mentioned before one of the Best Specials in the game. Sting Ray shoots a giant laser of death that passes through walls and which according to most scientists extends all the way to Splatoon 3. Deploying this during pushes is a very good way to deal massive damage to enemy teams as you will often find enemies gathered around the objective to either defend it or push it. As some of you more savvy squids may know in tower control if you are ahead in points and the game is about to end you can shoot the laser at the tower to seal the victory regardless of what may be happening. The Burst Bombs are a great sub to fill in for some of the Jet Squelcher weaknesses. They are a decent option in case an enemy does get too close and can also be used to hit enemies that are difficult to reach with your weapon's straight trajectory. They can also be used to help you get around quickly if you suddenly find yourself swimming through uninked or enemy inked ground.
- Denying an enemy from approaching you
- Cutting of certain choke points
- Slowing down enemies approaching with certain objectives (like the rain maker or a power clam)
- Trapping enemies targeted by your Tenta missile reticles making them take much more damage from your special.
All 3 ink efficiency perks are good choices for the Jet Squelcher but I am partial to Sub Saver. I find myself using the toxic mist / burst bombs quite often during play and being able to deploy them while still having enough ink left in the tank to clean up is really helpful. If you are a crazy person, you can run two mains and one sub of sub saver to throw two toxic mists or 3 mains and 3 subs of sub saver to throw 3 burst bombs. I personally don't think it's worth it because there are other perks you could be using and these allocations will leave very little ink left in your tank to follow up.
Sub Power up is a good ability since it will extend the range of your sub weapons which will help them to keep pace with the range of your main gun. To roughly match the range of the Jet Squelcher you will need to run approximately one main and one sub of Sub Power Up.
Quick Super Jump is a strong perk for almost every weapon but especially for Jet Squelcher. When enemies start to close in sometimes running away isn't an option. Having the ability to quickly jump out will do wonders for your survivability. It's also not bad for getting back in the action as well, but typically you don't want to jump to frontline weapons if you can help it.
Thermal Ink or Respawn Punisher are worth considering for your main body slot. If you are just starting out to this weapon and predicting enemy movement is proving to be a challenge Thermal Ink can be a good tutor to help you learn what enemies like to do given a situation. On the other end of the spectrum if you are a Veteran of the Great Turf War then Respawn Punisher is a good option for any weapon that employs a playstyle centered around survival. Keep in mind though that unlike other backliners you will earn more assists than the likes of the Splatlings and Chargers and Assists do not activate Respawn Punisher.
Finally if you are running the Custom Kit I recommend perks like Special Power Up, Special Charge Up, and Tenacity. The more time you spend shooting that death laser the more kills you will get and the more matches you'll win. That's just math.
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The Jet Squelcher
Finally, a gun for cowards