Any original Splatoon player can attest to the Tentatek Splattershot's dominance in its game. A long-term meta, it was capable of employing devastating tactics with its powerful main weapon, its strategic sub weapon (Suction Bomb), and its excellent special, the Inkzooka.
Upon the release of Splatoon 2, the Tentatek Splattershot's set was replaced by the Splat Bomb and the advent of the Inkjet, a destructive tool that further enhanced the Tentatek's abilities. This left many advocates of the original speculating that another Splattershot with Suction Bombs would be released.
When the Kensa Splattershot was announced as part of the series of updates including various Toni Kensa weapons, players were thrilled to hear that its kit consisted of Suction Bombs - but were simultaneously dismayed when discovering that its special would be Tenta Missiles.
This guide to the Kensa Splattershot will allow you to judge for yourself whether it is a worthy successor to the renowned Tentatek Splattershot, and, by comparing and contrasting weaknesses and strengths, will supplement your knowledge of the Splattershot series.
Please read the following disclaimers before beginning the guide:
- This is my first guide (indeed, my first substantial contribution to the site), so if you have any feedback, ingratiation , or suggestions, I would be happy to hear it.
- The guide itself is not meant to cover weapon data, specifics, and the like. While it reviews such context, it primarily delves into strategies and roles within team composition.
- Reading lists can quickly become dull, so allow me to finish with an inquiry to the readers of the guide: if you think a certain strategy works well with the weapon, or if you agree or disagree with any points within it, let me know! Again, I am glad to hear it, and would like the guide to be as consequential and helpful as possible.
Breaking Down the Weapon
To efficiently comprehend the aggregate set, one must first look at the individual components of it. Each provides an important factor, and is used in classifying the weapon.
The Splattershot - the main weapon. Splattershots, only considering their base, tend to have good potential and adaptability, with few notable strengths and weaknesses. They are the Mario of Splatoon weapons, but can still be effective and quite strong. They function as shooters, with a three-shot splat and an average fire rate which result in good ink coverage and, simultaneously, a weapon that can more than easily hold its own.
The Suction Bomb - the sub weapon. Suction Bombs are among the most powerful subs, with the consequence of a delayed explosion longer than that of a Splat Bomb. In addition, they are also capable of sticking to practically any surface for more strategic and ambushing purposes, as well as for spacing out opponents.
The Tenta Missiles - the special weapon. Tenta Missiles, aptly, rain missiles from its launcher, which can target all four opponents, provided they are relatively close together. The closer the opponents are to each other, the more effective this special is, as more missiles are fired.
Classifying the Weapon
Most Splatoon 2 players recognize three different denominations of weapons, with each allotted different roles for a game. These include slayers, which provide emphasis on mobility, power, and sheer charging abilities, thus enabling them to primarily take out opponents; supporters, which provide emphasis on mobility and often are less powerful but possess outstanding coverage, subsequently allowing them to help their teammates with mobility and map control; and finally, backliners, which provide emphasis on range and often coverage as well, performing mostly similar actions to supporters, but are safely sheltered and can give teammates an easy jump to get back into the battle.
Any other Splattershot is classified as a slayer. Take, for instance, the original, with Burst Bombs and Splashdown: this set enables it to take down opponents with ease, classifying it as a slayer. The Tentatek: Splat Bombs and Inkjet, creating new opportunities for splatting opponents from afar, classifying it as a slayer. Then you have the Kensa Splattershot, with Suction Bombs and Tenta Missiles. How to classify such a diverse set into one category?
The key to understanding this dilemma is appreciation for the adaptability of the Splattershot itself. The Splattershot, while traditionally a slayer, can, in truth, perform the role of a supporter. Conversely, it can even move back and forth between acting as a slayer and a supporter. What, then, is it classified as? My personal, objectively based opinion is that the Kensa Splattershot is neither. Instead, it acts as a dynamic tool that can alternate between roles.
That being said, allow me to justify this. Taking just the main weapon, the Splattershot, and the sub weapon, the Suction Bomb, anyone would classify it immediately as a slayer, because that is the only viable option. When you obviate this premise with the introduction of Tenta Missiles, forcing the user to retreat slightly, you have a mix of a frontliner/slayer and a midliner/support (since Tenta Missiles don't really require that much distance between you and your opponents, especially with the reduction of the firing rate). This will be addressed more in the strategies section.
Take a glance below at some strategies for this weapon, keeping closely in mind its classification as a hybrid between support and slayer.
At the beginning of the match, prepare your team for an initial push by inking turf for your Tenta Missiles. Tenta Missiles' great (some may inveigh only) strength is forcing opponents to move, either retreating, relocating, or hopefully, into your line of fire, or better yet, caught between your missiles and your team.
During a push (particularly in game modes Tower Control, Clam Blitz, and Rainmaker), display your supportive mode by assisting teammates/Tower riders/Rainmaker carriers. Suction Bombs can help keep opponents at bay, and a constant barrage of Tenta Missiles will keep the momentum of the push. When necessary, advance to the front lines and skillfully utilize your main weapon (this is crucial when your team is unable to help push). Again, you should alternate between slaying and supporting, all the while charging specials and obtaining more splats than most supporter weapons acquire.
If you are the least supportive member of your team, the time to activate your slaying mode has come. The Kensa Splattershot is completely capable of primarily acting as slayer and only reverting to a supportive state to fire Tenta Missiles. In this case, don't place priority on the objective, but instead, focus on securing splats.
In Splat Zones, being on or near the zone is helpful. Your steady main weapon and Suction Bomb (with a large blast radius) can stall enemy progress and simultaneously go on the offense, long-range with Tenta Missiles, and short-range with your main weapon.
As for Clam Blitz, place yourself slightly behind the slayers, but not so much as supporters. This will allow you to fire Tenta Missiles without placing yourself in inherent danger.
Tower Control and Rainmaker modes are covered above.
More specific situations are below.
Recovering from a team wipe - first, depending on the severity (for example, how much map control you have), it may be wise to ink up your Tenta Missiles prior to going back into the action. If a push is inexorable, attempt to ignore your supportive tendencies and strategically rush in with your fellow slayers.
Contesting long-range weapons - such as chargers, Splatlings, and Exploshers. The obvious answer to this situation is also the most applicable: Tenta Missiles, fire away! This will force them to relocate, and, if you're quick enough, you can cut them off with Suction Bombs and engage them up close.
Contesting short-range weapons - such as brushes, rollers, and Sploosh-o-matics. Be wary of their mobility. Most close-range weapons secure their splats by moving unpredictably around opponents and then seizing the opportunity of the opponent's confusion. Don't be afraid to bide your time and keep your distance, forcing them to move with Suction Bombs and Tenta Missiles, keep your aim in check, and eventually you will be able to push through them.
Contesting medium-range weapons - such as shooters, sloshers, and blasters. Because these weapons share strengths with you, staying in or out of their range is not possible. Instead, use tactics to outsmart them. This is where your Suction Bombs shine - sever escape routes from their grasp with a well-placed sub and anticipate their movements.
When the opponents are pushing - again, Suction Bombs can elucidate your opponent's locations, preventing ambushes on you or your team. Tenta Missiles can halt or stall a push, making opponents separate/relocate. Your main weapon can, with aim and practice, also provide a solid defense.
When in a 2v1 situation - this is tricky to counter, but an effective way to do this is locking onto your two opponents with missiles, either dismissing them from your area or forcing them to come into your bullets. If firing missiles is not possible, use both your main and sub to their full advantage, and remember to focus your attacks on one, then the other. Attempting to attack both in a 2v1 situation is fruitless and will usually lead to your splatting and both opponents' survival.
- Sub Saver - this allows you to mitigate the massive amount of ink Suction Bombs consume and continue using your main weapon.
- Special Charge Up - the Kensa Splattershot only requires 180p to charge its special, so Special Charge Up lessens this even more and can shorten the interval between different instances of Tenta Missiles being fired.
- Special Saver - after being splatted, you will still retain some of your charge and can hopefully launch Tenta Missiles from your base, giving you a higher chance of attacking all four opponents.
A Worthy Successor?
Is the Kensa Splattershot a worthy successor to the Tentatek Splattershot of Splatoon? At first glance, it does all the things the Tentatek did: the same main weapon, the same sub weapon, and a special that damages opponents long-range. However, there are some substantial differences that cause deliberation. In truth, it is up to the player whether they will follow the more aggressive precedent set by the Tentatek, or adapt to a more supportive role, placing an emphasis on Tenta Missiles. Both are applicable, and sometimes, both are necessary to play the Kensa Splattershot.
Thank you for reading!