Lifeline, Octane and Wraith have received the biggest changes.
The Lost Treasures Collection Event is now live on Apex Legends, and it brings with it a plethora of new content, buffs, nerfs and adjustments to just about anything you can think of. However, the biggest changes come with the Legends themselves.
Following on from the big changes to Pathfinder and Mirage at the beginning of Season 5, Apex fans were both delighted and devastated at the ability reworks. Pathfinder, in particular, was given a considerable nerf, which increased his Grappling Hook cooldown from 15 seconds to 35 seconds. Mirage’s buffs however were met with relief by long-suffering Mirage mains, now giving him the power to control his decoys, cloak when reviving and much more.
These changes to Legend abilities severely affected their pick rates, and on the week of Season 5’s release, Mirage’s pick rate shot up from 1.81% to 6.82%, whereas Pathfinder’s pick rate took a dive of 22% to 10.56%.
It seems Respawn Entertainment aren’t done with their Legend balancing shake-up just yet, as the patch notes for the Lost Treasures Collection Event feature yet more changes to ten Legends, but mainly for Lifeline, Wraith and Octane.
Lifeline’s role of the healer was all but replaced by Mirage when he became the ultimate combat medic thanks to his cloaking passive, but Lifeline is ready to step back into the role, with a new set of reworked abilities.
Passive – Combat Revive
Deploying the D.O.C will now revive teammates as well as deploying a shield, leaving Lifeline free to physically revive another squad mate, or defend. Lifeline no longer has the fast heal passive perk.
Tactical – D.O.C Heal Drone
Lifeline now has even more healing capabilities, as the cooldown for releasing her healing bot has been changed to 45 seconds from 60.
Ultimate – Care Package
Lifeline’s care package now contains more items, and when spawning small healing items (such as shield cells or syringes) will now spawn 3x as many. If the care package spawns attachments, it will now give 2x.
What does this mean for Lifeline?
Lifeline is about to snatch back her Healer crown, and her ability to revive two teammates at once with the help of the D.O.C is about to shake up competitive play in a big way. Our only suggestion for reworking her Ult would have been a 100% chance of a Purple shield spawn in her Care Packages (once a match).
Octane has long been thought of as a “selfish” Legend and appears in Tier C of our Apex Legends characters tier list for this very reason. The reasons cited were his speed and healing abilities didn’t necessarily help the team, and in a squad-based Battle Royale, you need all the help you can get. The jump-pad was also discussed as being… a bit rubbish. It isn’t nearly as effective as Wraith’s portals or Pathfinder’s ziplines when it comes to movement. However, the devs at Respawn are doing their best to combat his suggested unviability.
Tactical - Adrenaline Junkie
Movement impairing effects such as Caustic's Gas and Revenant’s Silence will now be removed upon activation of the stim, as well as a handy speed increase of 10%.
Ultimate – Launch Pad
Now players can double-jump following the use of Octane’s jump-pad and change direction easily from the jump itself.
What does this mean for Octane?
He may climb the ranks of our Tier List for one, but other than that, Octane may actually be viable as a fast-moving offensive character for the first time since he was added to the roster of Apex Legends. Using his Launch Pad Ult to move away effectively from harm's way could prove very useful in third-party scenarios, and the fact he will not be affected by movement impairing abilities of enemies is also a substantial change.
In the patch notes for the Lost Treasures Collection Event, the Respawn devs cite the changes for Wraith are due to her “exceedingly high win rate and kill rate.” The stats speak for themselves; Wraith has the highest pick-rate of all the Legends, at a whopping 26.37% average (PC). Wraith players are widely known in the Apex community as being the hardest character to face off against, as the people who choose her are usually highly-skilled, with some referring to them as “sweats.”
But is her high win and kill rate down to the skill of the players, or her “overpowered” abilities?
Respawn explain why the new changes to her abilities are being implemented.
These changes are meant to disincentivize Wraith players from using Phase Walk as a “get out of jail free” card, and move it into more of a repositioning and scouting ability.
As a character in the “Offensive” class, these changes may seem odd, but some believe they are purely to try to level the playing field. Wraith appears in Tier S of our characters tier list, where we mention that she is the top-pick for pro players, and no competitive squad would be caught dead without a Wraith on their team.
Tactical – Phase Walk
Phase Walk has had a lot of adjustments. Activation now takes 1.25 seconds, increased from a lightning-quick 0.4 seconds. Wraith will also incur a 20% move slow during activation, but now moves 30% faster in the void and can actually see enemies while in the void, for the first time in the history of the game. Phase Walk lasts four seconds (up from three), and the cooldown has been decreased to just 25 seconds (from 35). It seems to us like these changes are balanced, but Wraith mains may not see it that way. Flitting from fighting to retreating by activating the Phase Walk, was, as Respawn stated, a “get out of jail free” card, that some players may not be willing to give up.
Ultimate – Phase Tunnel
The distance in which you can place both portals for movement has been decreased by 25% - no more spanning half the map to get away from danger.
What does this mean for Wraith?
Her apparent Class change from Offensive to Recon seems like it is going to be hard for a lot of Wraith mains to swallow, but her skill is still solidly in repositioning, rotation, and movement, just over less distance. We don’t see Wraith’s pick rate dropping any time soon regardless of these reworks and may end up balancing the gameplay for the better overall.
Who came out on top, and who has been nerfed too hard?
Lifeline has definitely incurred the best changes possible and could become a viable and necessary team member in future competitive play, thanks to her new reworks regarding double-reviving. Octane’s viability remains to be seen, while Wraith mains may have trouble adjusting to her nerfs.
All in all, Respawn Entertainment are clearly dedicated to balancing all of the Legends’ abilities to make Apex Legends a fairer experience for everyone.
Check out all the Legend ability changes right here.
Images via Respawn Entertainment