The Bubble Blower is a new special weapon introduced shortly after the release of Splatoon 2. Although the bubbles it creates are capable of turfing inkable surfaces upon bursting, they are better suited for either protecting their user and their teammates from opposing fire or creating large, potentially lethal explosions, especially when paired with bombs.
The Bubble Blower can launch up to three bubbles, which have a number of applications if used wisely:
- Upon activation, its user will be holding the bubble wand in lieu of their main weapon, which is disabled during the duration of the special. This means that a Bubble Blower user is vulnerable at close range.
- Create some distance from your opponents before activating Bubble Blower.
- While the main weapon cannot be used, sub weapons can still be used. This nuance enables some Bubble Blower users to instapop their bubbles (see below).
- Pressing will launch a bubble, with each successive bubble being larger than the previous one since Version 5.2.0.
- Bubble canceling – performed by morphing into squid or octopus form (by pressing ) during the bubble blowing animation – will cancel its end lag, allowing you to both reduce vulnerability time and launch bubbles more quickly.
- Special Power Up increases not only the initial size of each bubble blown but also the size of its blast radius upon bursting.
- Upon being blown, a bubble will either inflate when hit with your team's weapons or deflate when hit with your opponents' weapons:
- A bubble that is struck with enough friendly ink will burst in a large explosion, splatting any nearby opponents. Bombs are a particularly quick means to inflate your team's bubbles.
- A bubble that either is hit with enough opposing ink or remains on the stage for 14 seconds will diffuse without an explosion.
- Players will inflict 20% more damage to their team's bubbles than will their opponents. As long as you are not outnumbered, you should be able to inflate or sustain your team's bubbles more easily than your opponents can defuse them.
- Throwable sub weapons can also either inflate or deflate bubbles but lose their intended function. For example, a Splash Wall thrown at a bubble will not deploy or protect its user. To launch bubbles behind a Splash Wall, deploy the Wall first before activating the special weapon.
- Object Shredder increases damage dealt to bubbles – both friendly and opposing – by 30%, hastening either the growing or defusing of bubbles.
- Any bombs and blaster shots – both your team's and your opponents' – that come in contact with bubbles will instantly detonate, potentially splatting their respective user's opponents. Thus, be aware of your teammates' and opponents' positions whenever using Bubble Blower:
- Avoid launching any bubbles if a teammate is directly in front of you, especially when an opponent armed with lethal bombs is within throwing distance.
- Avoid getting flanked from behind when pushing forward while either behind or within your own bubbles.
- Blowing bubbles can protect their user and any teammates from incoming opposing fire whether during a push or while stalling an opposing push.
- A few weapons have both Bubble Blower and throwable bombs in their kit, enabling their users the use of a bubble-bomb combo, known as an instapop. For example, a Foil Squeezer user who is equipped with both Object Shredder and enough ability points of Special Power Up can use the instapop to push into any contested areas:
- Roll a Splat Bomb slowly toward the opponent or contested area.
- Activate Bubble Blower and launch a bubble or two toward the Splat Bomb, which will detonate and enlarge the bubble(s).
- Remembering that activating any special instantly reloads the ink tank, throw a second Splat Bomb towards the bubble(s) to pop it/them.
- Launch any remaining bubbles to push the opponent further back.
Bubble Blower is great for either initiating a push into contested territory or repelling the opponents' push. However, it is neither a very reliable means of turfing territory – such as a Splat Zone – nor always a dependable means to splat opponents — particularly ones with longer-ranged weapons. Therefore, it would be redundant to have two Bubble Blower users in a team composition:
- Bomb Launcher and Booyah Bomb are more reliable means of turfing territory.
- Other special weapons, such as Inkjet or Sting Ray, are intended for splatting opponents and more capable at this than is Bubble Blower.
Besides providing protection while pushing the objective, the Bubble Blower works well in conjunction with other special weapons:
- During a push or counter-push, bubbles provide an extra layer of protection for a team already using Ink Armor.
- Bubbles can provide cover for a teammate using certain mobile special weapons, such as a Baller.
Remember, teammates of a Bubble Blower user can assist by either keeping the bubbles inflated or bursting them, thanks to their 20% bonus damage inflicted on them:
- Players who have Bubble Blower but no bombs in their kit will likely need more help sustaining their bubbles than those who have both Bubble Blower and a bomb.
- A well-placed Ink Storm can help sustain bubbles before eventually bursting them in an explosion of ink, pushing the opponents back.
- Before the battle begins, pay attention to the opposing team's composition to check if any opponents have both Bubble Blower and throwable bombs in their kit. If so, keep an eye on the HUD to know when that opponent has Bubble Blower ready to use, and generally keep a safe distance from them when this occurs.
- Picking off an opponent using Bubble Blower too close will stop the production of bubbles outright.
- Trying to diffuse an opponent's bubbles is usually an exercise in futility since the opponents can damage their own bubbles more quickly than you can damage theirs. Unless your team grossly outnumbers the opposing Bubble Blower user, keep a safe distance from their bubbles and try to work around them.
- Bombs and blasters can still damage opponents hiding inside them via splash damage.
- Splashdown and Ultra Stamp are usually the quickest means to destroy an opponent's bubbles. However, getting caught in the bubbles' explosions is very likely. The Booyah Bomb and an explosion from the Baller can be safer alternatives.
- Tenta Missiles can both track opponents hiding underneath bubbles and destroy the bubbles.
- If activated early enough, Ink Storm can quickly defuse any opponent's bubbles that travel underneath the cloud.
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- "Splatoon 2 European Championship 2018-2019 – Day 2" Sendou (Ämpäri Gang) uses Bubble Blower to shield himself as Grey (Alliance Rogue) negates Sendou's Tenta Brella shield with his own
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