Kings Canyon And The Octane/Revenant/Caustic Meta
Apex Legends Season 8’s slogan — Mayhem — is a fitting description of the impact it’s had on Ranked Mode and the competitive scene.
Pros and high-level ranked players have been super vocal about their disdain of this Ranked season. Kings Canyon is not popular in the competitive community.
The main reasons for this being a few fundamental issues with Kings Canyons and a new Octane/Revenant/Caustic meta that’s evolving. Both of these things have been very frustrating to deal with, leading to a lot of outcry on social media.
To understand where this outcry is coming from, we must examine the logic behind this new team composition, and why merged with Kings Canyon; it’s a perfect recipe for disaster.
The Problem With Kings Canyon
Kings Canyon holds a special place in many players’ hearts as the OG Apex Legends map. However, the map is plagued by a few key issues that top-tier players have problems with.
When designing World’s Edge and Olympus, loot was made quite prominent. When Apex Legends first dropped, this was not the case. High-tier loot was much rarer. In the time since, much of Kings Canyon has still not been adapted to this change. Many of the legacy points of interest (POI) are thin on acceptable loot.
Kings Canyon has choke points that lead to much frustration in the stacked lobbies of Ranked Mode—rotating throughout the map forces teams to cross through many tight chokepoints. When playing on Kings Canyon, players will notice that a lot of the fighting takes place in a select few spots on the map. This is because to reach certain target destinations, all of the teams have to travel through the same few chokepoints. Surviving these chokepoints is a dangerous proposition when you have a team gatekeeping them. Other maps like World’s Edge and Olympus offer more avenues to go from point to point and avoid these death spots.
The size of Kings Canyon leads to third-party galore. Even with Season 8’s expanded version, Kings Canyon is still the smallest map in the game. Gunshots can be heard from such a distance, that team after team will swarm the area looking to prey on weak, distracted teams. Third, fourth, and fifth parties are all too common on Kings Canyon.
Finally, Kings Canyon has some simply unplayable zones. It’s possible for the final ring to end on Mirage Voyage. The only way to get to this POI is to fly to it on a balloon. Good luck surviving this expedition with an enemy team already waiting for you.
Together, these factors led to Kings Canyon being removed from the Apex Legends Global Series map pool. It may be gone from professional play, but Kings Canyon is here to stay for this Ranked Mode split at least.
The Octane, Revenant, Caustic Meta
Ranked Mode in Season 8 has opened the floodgates to a new meta. A combination of Octane, Revenant, and Caustic has become the team composition of choice.
The basic idea behind this comp mimics the Wraith, Revenant, Crypto comp that plagued the game in seasons of past. It starts with Revenant’s Death Totem. When used, players turn to shadows and are protected from death. The team uses the Ultimate and immediately takes Octane’s Jump Pad, allowing them to cover a huge distance and “ape” enemy teams. Caustic’s gas traps protect the Death Totem, ensuring the team is safe on their return.
This style of play is frowned upon in the pro community. Many pros are used to slow, tactical gameplay. They despise when teams play ultra-aggressive.
Usually, the counterpoint to this argument is that aggression comes with risk. Playing in this style is high risk, high reward. However, this particular team composition almost entirely eliminates that risk.
There’s little punishment to mass aggression with these Legends. If you die as a shadow, you simply get sent back to the Death Totem. From here, teams can either return to the battle and finish the fight on their weakened opponents or heal up and reset. Octane, Revenant, and Caustic offer the best of both worlds.
A common sentiment in the Ranked and pro community is that Apex Legends is turning into Ability Legends. Legend abilities have taken over the game. The original design philosophy of gunskill first and abilities second has reversed. Legend abilities are deciding fights and matches, not individual player skill.
Respawn’s lead game designer, Daniel Klein has gone on record saying, “Apex is a game about gunskill first and foremost. And only a Hero-Shooter 2nd or even 3rd or 4th.” Klein continued, “your aim, core movement-skill and especially your positioning should be the determining factors to come out on top. Your Legend abilities should only contribute maybe 10% towards your win.”
Clearly, this design philosophy has shifted. This newfound team comp of Octane, Revenant, and Caustic has only added fuel to the fire. This combo is extremely ability centric, and it’s running havoc in Ranked Mode.
Recipe For Disaster
Alone, Kings Canyon and the Octane, Revenant, Caustic meta wouldn’t be major issues. This aggro comp may not thrive on other maps. Kings Canyon would not be so frustrating if these Legends did not synergise so well. However, these two factors combined create a recipe for disaster.
Stay tuned here @GGReconEsports for Apex Legends news, guides, features, and more.
Images via Respawn Entertainment