Competitive:Custom Hydra Splatling
This article discusses content that is not part of the official Splatoon series canon but is part of the community or competitive gaming space.
Like the original Hydra Splatling, the Custom Hydra Splatling is a longer-ranged, higher-damaging version of the Heavy Splatling — albeit at the cost of lower mobility and a longer charge time. Unlike the Vanilla variant, this variant has a kit that is more consistent with its role as an anchor. However, its lack of mobility and long charge time makes its user very dependent on their team composition for protection and support.
The long range and low mobility of the Custom Hydra Splatling make it suited as an anchor's weapon:
- The Custom Hydra Splatling, like other chargers and splatlings, has to charge to get the maximum firepower.
- Its charge time is incredibly slow: 120 frames, or two seconds, to charge its first ring – even longer than that of the E-liter 4K (92 frames, or 1.533 seconds) – and 30 more frames, or half a second, for the second ring for a total of 150 frames, or 2.5 seconds.
- Due to both the long charging time and the reduced range when not fully charged, the Hydra Splatling is vulnerable to attack from shorter ranged weapons while charging, so it is generally advised to remain out of sight from the opponent (e.g. behind an obstacle) and not too close to opposing ink while charging.
- Once charged, the Custom Hydra Splatling's high firing rate (4 frames between shots, or 15 shots per second), solid damage (32-40 health points, or HP), long firing time (4 seconds), and long range allow it to mow down opponents near and far:
- Unique to the Hydra Splatling line is the increase in damage when reaching a full charge, going from 32 damage to 40. This allows a Hydra to splat an opponent in three shots. This, combined with the fast fire rate attributed to all splatlings, gives the Hydra Splatling the highest DPS of any weapon.
- Its long range (203.92-257.68 DU) allows it to fight many other short ranged weapons and even some backlines with ease, such as a Custom Jet Squelcher (212.64 DU), a Heavy Splatling (178.05-218.37 DU), or a Ballpoint Splatling (225.04-237.094 DU).
A Custom Hydra Splatling user has two types of opponents they have to be most wary of:
- The weapon's low mobility and long charge time leave its user vulnerable to flankers and sharks wielding short-ranged weapons with rapid fire, heavy damage or both, such as a Sploosh-o-matic 7 or a Carbon Roller Deco.
- As a backline, a Custom Hydra Splatling user is usually required to regularly check the map for suspicious spots or trails of opposing ink and constantly keep track of all four of their opponents — which ones are present, which ones are splatted, and which ones are back at their spawn point.
- Planting an Ink Mine either on a common flank route or nearby your location can provide either an advance warning or a layer of protection against flankers.
- Remember that you do not need a full charge to splat a lone short-ranged opponent. If rushed, just charge enough to fire four to eight shots and focus your fire.
- A more serious threat to any Custom Hydra Splatling user is an opponent wielding a long-ranged charger. They can splat you in one fully charged shot, takes less time to charge, and usually has an advantage in either range or mobility (if not both):
- All variants of the Splatterscope (260.37 DU), the E-liter 4K (290.5 DU), and the E-liter 4K Scope (310.5 DU) outrange the Custom Hydra Splatling.
- While variants of the Splat Charger have a shorter range (240.37 DU) than the maximum range of the Custom Hydra Splatling, their users are more mobile, thanks to their ability to store their charge.
- While a Custom Hydra Splatling user has reasonable countermeasures against flankers and sharks, they have almost no answer against a competent long-ranged charger user on the opposing team. Focus instead on suppressing the opposing charger user's teammates and rely on your teammates to harass them.
- The low mobility of a Custom Hydra Splatling user also makes them more vulnerable to certain opposing special weapons, such as Tenta Missiles, Sting Ray, Inkjet, and Booyah Bomb. Be wary if an opponent possesses any of these weapons, especially if they can farm them quickly.
Ink Mines operate differently from conventional bombs but have unique applications:
- An Ink Mine planted in a Splat Zone will re-turf the area around it once detonated. While this is usually not enough to either hold or recapture a zone, it can stall the opponents' efforts to capture it.
- An Ink Mine's chip damage and tracking effects can still deter opponents from immediately taking possession of the Tower when placed upon it. These effects make surviving opponents easier to splat.
- Placing an Ink Mine in an area where clams spawn can help track opponents who attempt to gather them.
- An Ink Mine's tracking ability can provide its user's team valuable information:
- If placed on a potential flank route used by the opponent, its detonation can track an opponent's movement and dissuade them from sharking.
- Even if a detonated Ink Mine neither splats nor tracks an opponent, the first Mine's detonation should indicate that the opponent was in its vicinity (unless its user planted a third Ink Mine).
- If pursued by an opponent, quickly planting an Ink Mine can provide a measure of protection, inflicting chip damage to make it easier to splat a pursuer. This survival tactic can be valuable in a pinch for a Custom Hydra Splatling user.
- Time the activation of Ink Armor carefully so that you and your teammates receive its protection before engaging the opponent.
- Try to activate Ink Armor when most or all teammates are active. Slayers, who risk getting splatted more often, benefit from Ink Armor more than supportive players do.
- Using Ink Armor also refills the ink tank. While this is particularly beneficial for a Custom Hydra Splatling user, refrain from using Ink Armor solely for this purpose.
- Upon activation, Ink Armor will protect its user and their teammates except for those either carrying the Rainmaker or using either Baller or Booyah Bomb.
- Also, players protected by Ink Armor lose it upon gaining possession of the Rainmaker.
- While the Custom Hydra Splatling is not a recommended weapon for Rainmaker, if you ever use one, you should be the player on your team tasked with carrying the Rainmaker. While Ink Armor will not protect the Rainmaker carrier, it will still benefit their teammates, so cast Ink Armor just before picking up the Rainmaker whenever possible.
The Custom Hydra Splatling has great range and powerful damage but is lacks mobility while moving or firing and has trouble leading pushes and pursuing opponents. Be sure to include some mobile, shorter-ranged weapons in the team composition. Otherwise, a team with too many longer-ranged weapons will have major drawbacks:
- The lack of mobility will make it difficult for such a team to mount a push.
- The reduced ability to battle in close range will make the team vulnerable to a well-timed flank or a well-positioned shark.
Ink Mines cannot be thrown and cannot inflict lethal damage, making them less versatile than most bombs. Therefore, it is advised for at least one teammate of a Custom Hydra Splatling user to have lethal bombs in their kit. Splat or Suction Bombs provide its user's team many advantages over another team that has no lethal bombs in its composition:
- Their one-hit-splat offers its user's team chances of instantly gaining a numbers advantage, from which a game-winning push can arise.
- Their lethal explosion provides space for its user's team to either push into an area held by the opponent or stall an opponent's push.
- The turf inked by the resulting explosion contributes to both maintaining map control and building up the special gauge.
- As a heavyweight weapon user, a Custom Hydra Splatling user should not go out of their way placing mines onto distant flank routes. Instead, focus on planting a mine around either the objective or a nearby flank route.
Multiple Ink Armors used by the same team do not stack. Therefore, it would be redundant for a team to have more than two Ink Armor users.
- In general, when two Ink Armor-based weapons are on a team, the user of the more aggressive weapon should activate Ink Armor first, freeing them to engage the opponent without potentially losing both a potential Ink Armor and special gauge progress. Because the Custom Hydra Splatling user has a slightly high special gauge requirement and is not particularly quick at turfing, they should generally wait for another Ink Armor-equipped teammate to activate their armor first then follow up with their Ink Armor as the first one wears off.
An opposing Custom Hydra Splatling user who is fully charged and well-positioned – behind cover and with a great vantage point – can be a formidable force; most attempts to directly confront this opponent often result in a one-way-ticket back to the spawn point.
- If using a short-ranged weapon, try to either get behind them without getting noticed or shark until they come close enough for you to exploit their low mobility and long charge time.
- Tenta Missiles and Booyah Bomb are both great ways to disrupt a Custom Hydra Splatling if they are charging. Due to the weapon's low running speed while charging, the user will be forced to drop the charge and swim away to avoid the missiles or bomb.
- Users of other anchor's weapons have different advantages and disadvantages against an opposing Custom Hydra Splatling user:
- Certain chargers – all variants of the Splatterscope, the E-liter 4K, and the E-liter 4K Scope – can hard-counter an opposing Custom Hydra Splatling user due to their superior range and one-shot-splat potential and the latter's lack of mobility.
- While variants of the Splat Charger have a shorter range than the maximum range of the Custom Hydra Splatling, their ability to store a charge and one-shot-splat capability give them the advantage.
- While the Custom Jet Squelcher, the Bamboozler 14 Mk I, the Heavy Splatling Remix, and both the Fresh Squiffer and the Nautilus 79 are all outranged by the Custom Hydra Splatling, each of the former weapons can more easily farm their respective special weapons – Sting Ray at 190p, Tenta Missiles at 200p, Booyah Bomb at 190p, and Inkjet at 180p – and use them to dislodge the latter, whose lack of mobility makes them a slow-moving target.
- If you see opposing turf, use bombs, a Sprinkler, or medium- to long-ranged weapons to sweep the area of any mines to avoid getting tracked. Special weapons that turf large areas without endangering their user – such as Bomb Launcher, Ink Storm, and Booyah Bomb – can also remove any hidden mines.
- If caught by the tracking effects of an opponent's Ink Mine, consider either retreating or diverting the opponents' attention away from the objective.
- Keep an eye on the HUD to know when the opposing Custom Hydra Splatling user has Ink Armor ready to use, and both watch and listen for when it is activated.
- The best way to prevent the opponent from using armor is to splat the opposing Custom Hydra Splatling user. However, unless a charger user can pick them off or someone can sneak behind them, this can be difficult to pull off.
- Fight fire with fire by having and using Ink Armor to counter the opposing Custom Hydra Splatling user's Armor. Skirmishes between armored teams will depend on when each Ink Armor was activated, the players' skill and positioning, turf control, and the availability of other specials.
- Ink Armor can negate up to 30 HP of damage, so there are a few main and sub weapons that can remove an opponent's Ink Armor in one hit:
- For example, all variants of the Splattershot, the Splattershot Pro, and the Splat Dualies all inflict at least 30 HP of damage per shot and fire relatively rapidly. All variants of the Splash-o-matic and the Dualie Squelchers can also accomplish this with enough Main Power Up.
- Object Shredder triples damage inflicted onto armored opponents, allowing weapons that cannot otherwise inflict 30 HP of damage to break an opponent's Ink Armor in one hit. Combining Object Shredder with Ink Storm can nearly neutralize armored pushes by the opponent.
- The splash damage of most bombs will destroy the Ink Armor of opponents who have no Bomb Defense Up DX equipped. Burst Bombs are quite effective at this due to their instant explosion and low ink consumption.
- Otherwise, focus fire on armored opponents for longer than usual - preferably while ganging up on one opponent at a time - to compensate for their armor.
Gear abilities provide different effects in battle that benefit the player with their equipped weapon. This is a guide to gear abilities in relation to the weapon. Strategy, synergy, viability, and purpose may be written here.
Ever since its introduction in Version 4.3.0, Bomb Defense Up DX will not only reduce the damage taken from opposing sub and special weapons that are not one-hit-splat but will also reduce the duration of the tracking effects of certain opponent's sub and special weapons, such as Point Sensors and Ink Mines, allowing the user of this ability to evade detection more easily. Since the Custom Hydra Splatling is prone to being attacked by bombs and Tenta Missiles due to it being an anchor, having this ability is great for improving its survivability - especially considering how slow it is. Just three ability points, or one sub, offer plenty of utility:
- The splash damage of most bombs is reduced from 30 HP to 28.6 HP. This reduction in damage provides two benefits:
- It prevents its user from being exposed on their opponents' map by the splash damage of most single bombs.
- Ink Armor will not break due to splash damage from a single bomb whose splash damage normally inflicts 30 HP of damage.
- The splash damage of near-misses from either Tenta Missiles or Inkjet, the minimum splash damage of bubbles, and the collision damage from Baller are all reduced from 50 HP to 48.3 HP, enabling one to survive two hits from any of these specific means of special weapon damage.
Being a splatling, a Hydra user is expected to come in contact with the opponent's ink on various surfaces, which can both be damaging and reduce mobility. Ink Resistance Up not only partially offsets the reduction in mobility but also delays the damage taken from contact with opposing ink:
The Custom Hydra Splatling is one of few weapons that receive a boosted effect from Ink Saver (Main). One sub ability will let the user complete a third full charge at normal speed without running out of ink.
The primary use of Main Power Up is to let partial charges splat opponents in three shots instead of four when the opponent touches enemy ink.
- 15 ability points, or one main and two subs, will allow partial charges to do 33.3 damage per shot, splatting an opponent in three hits if they touch enemy ink for even a single frame.
- 13 ability points, or one main and one sub, is a slightly cheaper investment that will make partial charges do 33.2 damage per shot, which is almost as good as it splats an opponent in three shots if they touch your ink for two frames, with ink on surfaces dealing 0.3 damage per frame - hardly a difference from 33.3 while leaving room for an extra sub ability.
Quick Super Jump decreases both the "charge" time before and the travel time of a Super Jump, helping its user escape unfavorable situations more quickly. There are some situations where a Hydra will have to jump back to spawn to avoid getting splatted and preserve its expensive Ink Armor, and Quick Super Jump will help in this regard.
- One sub, or 3 ability points, of Quick Super Jump decreases the "charge" time by 22 frames, or 0.36 seconds.
Run Speed Up is the bread and butter of most splatling builds, and the Custom Hydra Splatling is no different. This ability will help the weapon's strafing speed, which is valuable for doing standard splatling actions such as charging up behind a wall and peeking out faster to fire.
- 19 ability points, or a pure is the minimum that should be ran and…
Due to being a heavyweight weapon, the Custom Hydra Splatling inherently slows the swim speed of its user. Swim Speed Up enables them to more quickly return to the site of engagement, more quickly respond to an opponents' push, and better keep their distance from aggressive opponents.
- Just three ability points, or one sub, will increase the Hydra's swim speed to 1.88 units per frame - which is roughly the same as a middleweight weapon without any Swim Speed Up, at 1.92 units per frame.
- "Splatoon 2 - Weapon Roles and Playstyles (Classifying every Weapon)" by Wadsm
- "Hydra Splatling Guide - Splatoon 2" by ShockWavee
- "Splatoon 2 5.3 Tier List Part 4 (Main Weapons - High Tiers) (Splat Zones Only)" by Chara of Climb
- Splatoon 2 range list compiled by DrFetus
- "Tenta Missiles Vs Ink Armor: How To Design A Simple Special (Splatoon 2 Special Design Pt 1)" by Chara of Climb
- "Splatoon 2 U.S./Canada Inkling Open 2018 Finals" Winners Semifinals, Game 1, Penguitt (StDx) uses a quickly planted Ink Mine to finish off Fake JP (quantuM)
- "Splatoon 2 U.S./Canada Inkling Open 2018 Finals" Winners Finals, Game 3, Penguitt (StDx) quickly plants an Ink Mine and lands a direct hit to splat Zig (Saikai)
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- loadout.ink - Stat Calculator & Gear Planner for Splatoon 2, applicable for Version 4.8.0
- "Splatoon 2: Educational Perfect Placement Matches (Splat Zones)" Kiver of Radiance (EU) destroys an opponent's Ink Armor with a Burst Bomb
- Sendou.ink Splatoon 2 Build Analyzer
- Lean's Loadout Database - Useage of abilities in Ranked modes