No, surprisingly, you shouldn't run LDE on everything in Patch 1.2


Oct 30, 2022
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Howdy. Call me Paz.

You don't need to look hard to find pros or any semi-competitive cephalopod calling for Last-Ditch Effort nerfs or raving about the ludicrous 72AP it brings to a loadout for the low cost of one Main Slot. It currently dominates all discussion about builds as people will often ask "Why no LDE?" when looking at any build or explanation that doesn't at least consider the ridiculous ink efficiency value it provides.

I'm by no means arguing that it isn't a strong ability, from an objective value stand point it absolutely is, but that the benefits it provides are something you have to consider on every headgear slot before everything else is overselling it.

What I am going to put forward instead is that the weapon and kit LDE is on is a more important factor of what makes LDE good rather than the absurd value the ability brings to the table.

The Breakdown

Last-Ditch effort in Ranked/Anarchy starts activating the moment the enemy team is 50 points away from victory, scaling it's bonuses upward until the enemy team is 30 points away from victory. In Turf War it activates in the last 30 seconds of a match if you were curious, but the former is why the ability is the current center of attention. It's very likely you'll get value from it for a lot longer depending on when you start taking the L in a competitive map mode.

At max bonus you get 24 AP (or just over 2.1) Ink Saver Main, Ink Saver Sub, and Ink Recovery Up each, this is where the "72AP-more-than-a-loadouts-worth" argument comes from. Even if you don't get the max bonus your opponents only need to be about 47 points away from victory to get your value back in the main slot across the three abilities or triple the value of a Main at 42 points.

If that was hard to follow, the ability has been unchanged since it's buff in Splat2, Patch 4.7, so the chart from the Splatoon wiki underneath "Splatoon 2" still has an accurate break down of ability point per enemy's score.

The Analysis

Setting aside the obvious observation that ink efficiency abilities usually take a secondary role to other abilities in a well rounded loadout, with a few exceptions, let's engage with the argument that the sheer value from LDE is so attractive that other Main options needs to have a compelling reason to take the head slot. The value proposition brought by LDE counter acts the other intuitive argument people will make: "Why would I want an ability that only activates when I am losing, just win 5head."

LDE has a similar dynamic as Quick Respawn, but in the macro perspective of a match in Splatoon; it's something of an insurance policy. If you were gonna win anyway, ink efficiency wasn't the reason. If something goes completely wrong, but your team stops the push just short of a loss, the bonus abilities may help stabilize and make the difference in bringing things back from behind.

However, the latter point is what I want to hone in on. There's an intersection of ink guzzling but potent main weapon, combined with a lethal sub and powerful special that needs to be met to make LDE unequivocally worth it, and only just a consideration if you only have one or two of these factors in a weapon's kit.

For example, the Ink Saver Main component isn't as useful on something like standard range shooters such as the Splattershot, .52 Gal or Splash-o-matic as they are generally regarded to be ink efficient with good play. The Ink Saver Sub component isn't going to be as useful on a weapon with a Sub that doesn't poke or can be spammed like Ink Mines, Squid Beakon, or Sprinkler.

Let's take two extreme examples at both ends of the spectrum to further highlight my point. The Undercover Brella doesn't need any more people dunking on it, but makes an obvious example of how 72AP worth of ink efficiency couldn't hope to save it from being one of the weaker weapons in the game and a further liability in disadvantage state.

Ink Mines aren't something that help you get in, zone, or harass the enemy team, but control the opposition on territory you already have, which really only covers advantageous game states and if we are charitably including theoreticals, neutral state. More shots from a weapon that has a slow time to kill even when at it's effective range means that the Ink Saver Main is really only useful to maintain paint up time. Paint that is in service to arguably the weakest special in the game, Reef Slider.

On the flip side, and I wager most of you knew where this was going, we have a weapon that sits on the aforementioned intersection of powerful but inefficient Main weapon, spammable and lethally annoying Sub weapon, and incredible Special that you want to farm as much as possible.

The Sloshing Machine's actions per ink and uptime go through the roof when you have max LDE bonus, whether you are zoning out the opposition with your silly sloshing hit-boxes or safely spamming Fizzy Bombs to farm Booyah Bomb, it's got it all. LDE compliments the weapon so well that I believe it's solely to blame for the misconception that LDE should be ran on everything as it's basically the undisputed top tier of the current patch. The Sloshing Machine is a perfect storm of several competitive qualities that make it really strong, LDE not with standing, but that's a different conversation.


So what about the other weapons? The two examples I gave are clear cut, but does that mean that I think these are the only cases where you don't or do run LDE? LOL NO

I ultimately want to encourage people to think twice about slapping LDE every which way. The popular consensus that it is a given in any build is so pervasive that it presently flattens discussion about loadouts in a system that I firmly believe is designed to compliment your play-style, support a novel idea, or provide an answer to gameplay scenarios.

For fun however, I've made a tier list with some loose notes about how amenable our current roster of weapons in patch 1.2 are to having LDE in it's loadout.

LDE Tierlist.png

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and would love to hear your thoughts. What I got right, what I got wrong, or if you want me to expand on something a bit more. Take care.


Nov 11, 2022
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You mentioned the dominance of machine in this patch, but I feel like there’s been a shift in quantity of machines and more of a favor towards Splash’s. Unrelated to this prompt, but why do you think this is? A byproduct of it is LDE being phased out from the gear of Splash’s because imo it’s relatively useless on that weapon, though interestingly you forgot to include it on your tier list.

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