Just like the Inkbrush and the Permanent Inkbrush, the Inkbrush Nouveau is the fastest, most mobile weapon in Splatoon 2, enabling its user to quickly flank opponents, harass them, and escape unfavorable situations. While its lack of a bomb limits its user's options on defense, unlike the Vanilla variant, it has a special weapon that provides better survivability, allowing it to turn the tables on an otherwise unfavorable matchup.
The Inkbrush Nouveau's mobility makes it suitable as a skirmisher:
- The greatest asset any Inkbrush variant has is mobility. Unlike other weapon classes, its mobility is not restricted by either opposing ink or un-inkable surfaces, provided that its user's ink tank is not depleted.
- Unless you already know your opponents' locations, it is usually inadvisable to travel deep into opposing turf since an opponent may well be sharking in it.
- Without any Ink Saver (Main) equipped, the Inkbrush Nouveau consumes 2% of the ink tank on the initial swing and 0.135% per frame (8.1% per second) the brush is rolled. From a full tank, its user can roll for 12.10 seconds – 4.69 seconds after using a Sprinkler – before running out of ink. Keep an eye on the ink tank as you roll the brush to avoid getting caught without ink.
- The Inkbrush Nouveau's very high mobility has a number of applications:
- Its user can take various flank routes to get behind the opponents, harass them, and possibly splat high-priority targets, such as an opposing charger.
- An Inkbrush Nouveau user can user their speed and mobility to harass, distract, and annoy their opponents, consistent with their role as a skirmisher. In this case, your objective is not necessarily to win battles but simply to not lose them too easily or quickly, buying time and weakening opponents for a teammate to splat them.
- Its high speed enables its user to more quickly respond to opposing pushes, provide support for a beleaguered teammate, or punish an opponent caught out of position.
- A Inkbrush Nouveau user can cover ground quickly to help establish map control or collect clams.
- To avoid detection by the opponent, refrain from collecting a tenth clam until you are either on your side of the map or very close to the opposing goal.
- While it is tempting to use your speed to quickly score on the opponent, a better long term strategy would be to pass completed Power Clams to a support or anchor – someone who is less likely to directly engage the opponent and risk getting splatted – and help maintain clam control until a bigger scoring opportunity arises.
- Most of all, very high mobility allows an Inkbrush Nouveau user to pick their battles:
- Flee from matchups or situations that are unfavorable. Most opposing rollers or an opposing Tri-Slosher or Clash Blaster Neo are usually difficult for any Inkbrush to defeat.
- Ideal targets for an Inkbrush Nouveau to attack head-on are lone users of any slow-firing weapon that lacks one-shot- or one-burst-splat potential. An opposing user of a Kensa Sloshing Machine, a Kensa Rapid Blaster, or a Custom Explosher fits these descriptions.
Ink Mines operate differently from conventional bombs but have unique applications:
- They may be planted on any non-vertical surface, after which they remain hidden from opponents.
- Once planted, they detonate when…
- Upon detonation, an Ink Mine…
- …inflicts 45 HP of damage onto any opponent within a 40 DU radius (as of Version 4.0.0).
- …inflicts 35 HP of damage onto any opponent within an 80 DU radius (as of Version 4.0.0).
- …tracks any opponents surviving the damage for a base duration of five seconds.
- …turfs the area around it within a radius of 50 DU.
- Planting an Ink Mine or two at or around the objective of a Ranked Battle can provide some objective control:
- 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.
- Although no longer able to inflict lethal damage, an Ink Mine's chip damage and tracking effects can still deter opponents from immediately taking possession of the objective when placed either on the Tower or nearby the Rainmaker (when its shield is popped).
- 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 users of heavy, slow-firing weapons, such as the E-liter 4K.
- The greatest drawback of Ink Mines is the inability to plant them in areas that cannot be reached. Therefore, in Splat Zones, a team that is locked out will be unable to use Ink Mines effectively to push its way back to the zones.
The Baller is a versatile special weapon with a variety of uses:
- It enables its user to take control of a certain area of the stage, such as a Splat Zone or underneath the opponents' Clam basket.
- It can force the opponents to clear an area, whether leading a Tower or Rainmaker push or stopping one.
- It provides its user an extra layer of protection, such as when fleeing an unsafe situation or while riding the Tower at a checkpoint. In the latter case, be wary of getting knocked off of the Tower by the opponents' weapons. The Inkbrush Nouveau's lightweight nature also increases the Baller's movement speed.
- After the Baller's explosion, nearby opponents not splatted are often damaged enough for a couple of hits from the Inkbrush Nouveau to splat them.
- Baller can be used to survive a Splashdown, although the Baller is instantly destroyed.
- One of the most effective means of scoring in Clam Blitz, especially on stages that are medium to large, involves the Baller providing a safe Super Jump landing point for teammates carrying Power Clams:
- To conceal one's position, the Baller player should not carry a Power Clam, as doing so would mark one with a Ranked Battle symbol on the screen. If one obtains a Power Clam, they should pass it to a teammate, preferably the Anchor, who will remain relatively safe until a Super Jump opportunity presents itself.
- Once the Baller player has built up their special gauge and at least one teammate has a Power Clam, the Baller player activates it in a spot that is nearby the enemy Clam Basket but relatively safe from attack, then rolls underneath the basket, and detonates the Baller, spreading ink around the basket, all while signalling their teammates with , indicating that they are within throwing range of the enemy Clam Basket.
- Any of the Baller's teammates who has a Power Clam will Super Jump to the Baller's position, landing within a throw's reach of the enemy Clam Basket, and toss their clams (Power Clams first) into the basket.
- Ink Armor and Stealth Jump will improve the survivability of teammates who super jump toward the enemy basket. Activating the Splashdown just before landing can also clear out the landing point of enemies and claim a large area of turf, but note that doing so will force its user to drop all clams in possession.
While a team might get away with having one or two users of short-ranged weapons, such as the Inkbrush Nouveau, having a team composition with too many short-ranged weapons and no longer-ranged weapons to provide support fire is often disadvantageous for a number of reasons:
- An opponent with a long-ranged weapon can more aggressively position themselves to zone out the entire shorter-ranged team.
- The opposing slayers can play more aggressively, knowing that there is no long-ranged threat to pick them off from afar.
Another weakness of the Inkbrush Nouveau's kit is that Ink Mines cannot be thrown and cannot inflict lethal damage, making them less versatile than most bombs — particularly either Splat or Suction Bombs, which provide their user's team a couple 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.
- Any weapon with an effective range longer than the lethal range of the Inkbrush Nouveau can counter an opposing Inkbrush Nouveau user who attempts to challenge opponents head-on. However, a good Inkbrush Nouveau user will rely more on flanking and sharking, so anyone facing a team with an opposing Inkbrush Nouveau wielder must take a few proactive measures to avoid getting flanked or sharked:
- Keep track of all four members of the opposing team – which ones are present, which ones are splatted, and which ones are back at their spawn point.
- Check the map periodically for opposing ink forming around flanks to anticipate a flanking attack.
- To prevent sharking, check suspicious puddles of the opponents' ink, preferably with a thrown sub weapon.
- Weapons that track opponents, such as Point Sensors, temporarily prevent an opponent from sharking and makes them an easier target for long-ranged teammates to pick off.
- 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.
- When attacked by an opponent's Baller, if possible, concentrate fire on the Baller – especially with bombs – to quickly destroy it and prevent its explosion.
- If an opponent riding the Tower activates Baller, attack it at a proper angle – away from the Tower's stake – to knock it off of the Tower.
- Splashdown can destroy a Baller if executed before the Baller initiates its explosion. The Baller's user will remain unsplatted, so prepare a follow-up attack.
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. This is a useful ability for almost any player, including an Inkbrush Nouveau player who can play aggressive when needed. Just one sub, or three ability points, offers 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.
Although the Inkbrush line prevents its users from taking damage from enemy ink on the floor while rolling, they can still be 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. Just one sub, or three ability points…
- …delays the damage taken from opposing ink by 10 frames.
- …reduces the damage taken from 0.3 HP/f (health points per frame) to 0.2 HP/f.
- …lowers the limit on the amount of damage opposing ink on surfaces can inflict from 40 HP to 38 HP.
- …increases the normal running speed in opposing ink from 0.24 DU/f to 0.33 DU/f.
- …increases the jumping height in opposing ink from 0.8 to 0.854.
- It triples the amount of damage inflicted onto armored opponents, allowing them to break an opponent's Ink Armor with one shot from their main weapon.
- It also enables them to pop the Rainmaker shield more quickly with either their main weapon or Splat Bombs, allowing their team to start or restart a push more quickly while gaining a large amount of turf control in the immediate area.
Because the Inkbrush Nouveau does 30 damage and has extremely short range, falloff damage can often occur. Object Shredder provides its user a valuable damage boost against opponents using either Ink Armor or Baller. Its only drawback is that it occupies an entire main ability, reducing the amount of ability points allowed for other potentially important gear abilities, such as Special Charge Up or Quick Respawn.
Quick Respawn shortens respawn time after getting splatted (under specific conditions), encouraging an Inkbrush Nouveau user to remain aggressive even after getting splatted.
- 19 ability points - a pure, or one main and three subs - will reduce the respawn time from 8.5 seconds to 6.38 seconds.
- 26 ability points – two mains and two subs – will reduce the respawn time from 8.5 seconds to 5.8 seconds.
Quick Super Jump decreases both the "charge" time before and the travel time of a Super Jump. A Inkbrush Nouveau user will be outmatched by most opponents, and Quick Super Jump can help them escape unfavorable situations more quickly, which avoids getting splatted, maintains a presence on the stage, and preserves precious special gauge progress.
- One sub, or 3 ability points, of Quick Super Jump decreases the "charge" time by 22 frames, or 0.36 seconds.
Special Charge Up accelerates building up the special gauge for Baller. Since the Inkbrush Nouveau relies on its Baller often for survivability, having it readily available is rather important.
- 6 ability points, or two subs, of Special Charge Up are enough to reduce the special gauge requirement from 180p to 171p.
- 16 ability points, or one main and two subs, are enough to reduce the special gauge requirement to 159p.
When splatted, half of the special gauge progress is lost. For example, a player with 120p of special gauge out of 180p upon getting splatted will lose 60p of the special gauge. Special Saver allows its user to keep more of their special gauge progress whenever they are splatted. This allows an Inkbrush Nouveau user to more quickly build up its Baller after respawning.
- 6 ability points – two subs – are enough to increase the amount of special gauge progress saved from 50% to 64.6%.
Super Jumping to a teammate after respawning carries the risk of getting splatted upon landing, due to the appearance of a Super Jump indicator. When equipped, Stealth Jump better covers this indicator from long distance opponents, allowing its user to more safely return to the front lines and maintain pressure on the opponent.
A self-explanatory ability, Swim Speed Up enables an already mobile Inkbrush Nouveau user to more rapidly close the distance towards an opponent, more quickly respond to an opponents' push, or even escape unfavorable situations.
- 16 ability points – one main and two subs – increase the swim speed from 2.02 to 2.19 units per frame.
- Swim Speed Up can reduce the swim speed penalty from Ninja Squid. However, it takes at least 28 ability points – either one main and six subs or about two mains and three subs – of Swim Speed Up for an Inkbrush Nouveau user to fully offset the swimming speed penalty of Ninja Squid.
- Therefore, an Inkbrush Nouveau user with Ninja Squid will have to decide between either having fewer ability points available for other abilites or swimming at less than the base maximum speed. For example, just 13 ability points – one main and one sub – are enough to restore the swim speed of an Inkbrush Nouveau user with Ninja Squid to 1.92 units per frame.
Inkbrush Nouveau is a very fast and very mobile weapon in Splatoon 3. It comes with Ink Mines which can be used to set up traps quickly to deal some chip damage and reveal enemy locations, and the Ultra Stamp which can be used as a push-starter, a slaying tool, or a long-ranged throw for targets out of range.
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- "The Most Improved Class From Splatoon 1?! Rollers And Brushes Discussion Ft. Robbe And Omega" by Chara of Climb
- "The BEST Weapons In Splatoon 2 - Ver 5.5 Tier List (Top Tiers)" by Chara of Climb
- "Splatoon 2 - Tricks on Every Map! (2021 UPDATED!)" by Kiver of Radiance, applicable for Version 5.3.1
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- "How To Make A PERFECT Gear Build for ALL WEAPONS?! (Gear Building Guide) | Splatoon 2" by ThatSrb2DUDE, formerly of Team Olive
- loadout.ink - Stat Calculator & Gear Planner for Splatoon 2, applicable for Version 4.8.0
- Sendou.ink Splatoon 2 Build Analyzer
- Lean's Loadout Database - Useage of abilities in Ranked modes, applicable for Version 5.2.0