Competitive:Kensa .52 Gal
This article discusses content that is not part of the official Splatoon series canon but is part of the community or competitive gaming space.
Introduced in the Version 4.3.0 update, the Kensa .52 Gal – like its previous Vanilla and Deco variants – has a threatening two-shot splat and – ever since the Version 5.4.0 update – good turfing ability, which is augmented by its range, which exceeds that of other short-ranged shooters. Unlike its other variants, the Kensa .52 Gal has a kit that emphasizes survivability, zoning, and area denial.
While the Kensa .52 Gal's high damage rate allows it to be a competent slayer's weapon, its kit makes it an even better tank skirmisher and support weapon:
- The 52 HP of damage per shot guarantees a two-shot splat its range of maximum damage. Outside this range, falloff reduces the damage to a minimum of 30 HP, which increases the number of shots to splat an opponent to three or four.
- Its range of 124.944 DU is slightly longer than that of a Splattershot or an N-ZAP (both 116.99 DU). Both the high damage and higher than average range make it difficult for shorter-ranged opponents to approach its user; when their Splash Wall (see below) is also factored in, these opponents will have an even harder time to directly confront them.
- Its turfing is also efficient — even at further away since Version 5.4.0, allowing its user to farm Booyah Bomb and help their team maintain map control.
However, The Kensa .52 Gal has a few notable drawbacks:
- While the Kensa .52 Gal has a comparable shot deviation (6-12 degrees) to that of a Splattershot (6-12 degrees), its chance to shoot towards the outer reticle while on the ground – initially 2% (1% for the Splattershot) – increases more rapidly with each consecutive shot (+3% per shot, 25% maximum) than that of a Splattershot (+1% per shot, 25% maximum).
- Since Version 5.3.0, releasing the trigger for 25 frames, or just under half a second, will restore its precision. Therefore, it is often recommended to fire this weapon in short bursts and then reposition yourself by swimming before firing again.
- Its slower firing rate leaves it vulnerable at close range to more rapid-firing, medium-damage weapons, such as a Splattershot or a Splash-o-matic — especially if the opponent lands the first shot. Always be wary of opponents either flanking or sharking.
- It is less mobile while firing (0.60 DU/f) than are other weapons of comparable range, such as the Tri-Slosher (0.66 DU/f), the Splattershot and the Splash-o-matic (both 0.72 DU/f), and the N-ZAP (0.84 DU/f).
- It is outranged by a number of other weapons, notably the Splattershot Pro, the H-3 Nozzlenose, the Dualie Squelchers (all 160.396 DU), and most sloshers (e.g., the Slosher at 150 DU). Give yourself enough time and space to plant a Splash Wall to mitigate the range advantage of opponents wielding these weapons.
When placed properly, a Splash Wall can provide great utility, even in stages and areas that are more open:
- Splash Wall provides strong protection against opposing fire, allowing its user to safely control space while turfing and farming Booyah Bomb.
- Any bombs thrown by an opponent that hit a Splash Wall will instantly explode, potentially splatting the Splash Wall's user or their teammates.
- Refrain from either showering in or rushing through the wall until it is certain that the opponent has no bombs available in the area.
- Defensively, it can hinder the opponents' push, blocking both their movement and their fire.
- Offensively, a Splash Wall can restrain the opponents' movement and range, allowing its user and their teammates to push forward or gain map control.
- Throwing a Splash Wall behind an opponent can prevent them from fleeing.
- A Splash Wall can nullify a Brella shield — even a Tenta Brella shield.
- If an opposing Brella user launches their shield, dropping a Splash Wall in front of it will cause both to negate one another, potentially denying a Rainmaker or Power Clam push.
- At maximum, it takes 36-41% of the ink tank to launch a Brella shield and 60% to drop a Splash Wall. However, the Splash Wall can be deployed far more quickly, allowing its owner more time to reload ink or reposition themselves to a more favorable location.
- In Splatoon 2, the Tower will destroy any Splash Wall it collides into. However, a Splash Wall may still be placed onto the Tower to protect its user or their teammate while riding it. (Once again, watch out for the opponents' bombs.)
- Placing a Splash Wall in front of yourself before activating Booyah Bomb provides frontal protection during the special weapon's charging stage.
The Booyah Bomb can either turn the tide of a battle or fully tilt it in its user's team's favor, but only if used properly.
- In general, activate the Booyah Bomb in a relatively safe place, as even an opposing Aerospray user within range can break the Booyah Bomb armor.
- The Booyah Bomb can force opponents – particularly anchors – to move out of position or delay an opponent's offensive push.
- The explosion of the Booyah Bomb often places enough ink to uncap most Splat Zones and single-handedly capture some smaller Splat Zones.
- When deployed, the Booyah Bomb is capable of protecting oneself and one's teammates from attacks - including bombs - and clearing an area of opponents, whether forcing them to flee or splatting them outright.
- Because the Booyah Bomb can nullify an opponent's bombs, it serves as a great counter to an opponent's Bomb Launcher, particularly when maintaining control over a zone.
- When aimed at the Tower in Tower Control, a Booyah Bomb covers a large area around its point of detonation for a brief amount of time, as opposed to a Bomb Launcher, which covers an area with multiple bombs for a longer period, or a Sting Ray, which fires a narrow line for a more sustained period. There are situations where a Booyah Bomb is preferable over either a Bomb Launcher or a Sting Ray in stopping or slowing down the Tower and others where either a Bomb Launcher or a Sting Ray is more effective.
- Since special weapons are also free ink tank refills, a Kensa .52 Gal user can use its Booyah Bomb to stay alive and throw down another Splash Wall after throwing the Booyah Bomb, keeping up the pressure for a longer amount of time. Due to the weapon's solid turfing, a Kensa .52 Gal user will often have a Booyah Bomb at their disposal.
While a team might get away with having one or two users of short-ranged weapons, such as the Kensa .52 Gal, 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.
The Kensa .52 Gal's lack of lethal bombs – particularly either Splat or Suction Bombs – generally necessitates its user's teammates to equip weapons that include them. Lethal bombs 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.
While Booyah Bomb is capable of both splatting opponents and turfing surfaces it comes in contact with, it is not necessarily the best special weapon at either task. Therefore, it is advised to have other special weapons available to fill those specific roles whenever necessary, as having too many users of Booyah Bomb in a team composition will limit a team's arsenal of weapons:
- Due to their longer duration, faster firing rate, and easier means of aiming, Inkjet and Sting Ray are more capable of targeting and splatting opponents than is Booyah Bomb, which is better suited for displacing opponents for a brief amount of time.
- Bomb Launcher and Baller can drive away opponents longer from a contested area and turf more thoroughly than a Booyah Bomb, whose turfing can be nullified by opponents re-turfing over its point of impact.
Given the Kensa .52 Gal's specific set of strengths (zoning, turfing, Booyah Bomb farming) and weaknesses (lack of bombs, relatively short range), its user would benefit if their team composition included at least one mobile slayer whose kit includes bombs (e.g., Neo Splash-o-matic or Kensa Sloshing Machine) and at least one longer-ranged weapon user (e.g., Bamboozler 14 Mk I or Nautilus 79). The former can finish off confrontations initiated by the Kensa .52 Gal user while the latter can help watch the flanks to prevent opponents from attempting to work around the Kensa .52 Gal user's Splash Wall.
- Users of slayer's weapons that are less efficient at either turfing or farming special weapons–such as the Soda Slosher and the Kensa Sloshing Machine–stand to benefit from the consistent turf and Booyah Bomb support provided by a friendly Kensa .52 Gal user.
- A Nautilus 79 user benefits from a friendly Kensa .52 Gal user's Splash Walls, which can limit the range of opponents' Burst Bombs, whose instant turfing would otherwise limit the Nautilus user's mobility.
While thought of as a personal protection aid, a Splash Wall can also provide protection for teammates:
- When throwing a Splash Wall nearby a teammate, make sure that it lands in between them and the opponent(s), as an opponent's bomb thrown into a misplaced Splash Wall can instantly splat your teammate.
- A Kensa .52 Gal user can lead a push and deploy their Splash Wall to either shield their teammates from opposing fire or stall the opponents' advance into a contested area while allowing their teammates to claim it.
Like other special weapons, Booyah Bomb benefits when it is used in conjunction with other special weapons. Depending on your team's available special weapons, you can use your Booyah Bomb during a push to complement whatever other special weapons are available:
- Using Booyah Bomb to turf either one end of a large Splat Zone or one of two Splat Zones can make it easier for a teammate with either Bomb Launcher or Baller or a group of teammates protected by either Ink Armor or Bubble Blower to turf the other end or Zone.
- Opponents already fleeing your teammate's Tenta Missiles become easier targets for your Booyah Bomb — or at least will have difficulty dodging both special weapons.
The Booyah Bomb is a unique special weapon that enables its user's teammates to directly assist in powering it up. However, there will be times when it is wiser to refrain from charging a teammate's Booyah Bomb, such as if you are…
- …in the middle of a confrontation with an opponent.
- …advanced into the opponents' territory (e.g., while either flanking or sharking) to avoid exposing your position to the opponent.
When used properly, a Kensa .52 Gal can make its user an nearly immovable obstacle for their opponents, due to its kit and zoning capability. Specific strategies, tactics, weapons, and abilities are required — not so much to eliminate an opposing Kensa .52 Gal user but to work around their strengths and expose its few weaknesses.
- Similar to double teaming an opposing brella user, it is recommended to double team an opposing Kensa .52 Gal user from different angles to work around their Splash Wall, which is a major component to their survivability against single opponents. However, do not get too distracted from the objective.
- Conversely, do not get caught alone against an opposing Kensa .52 Gal user, particularly if you are wielding a blaster or a short- to medium-ranged slosher with no bombs, as the latter can punish players who overextend.
- Slow firing weapons, particularly blasters and sloshers that lack bombs, tend to fare poorly against an opposing Kensa .52 Gal user due to their relative inability to destroy the opponent's Splash Wall quickly.
- Tenta Missiles are the most effective method of displacing an opposing Kensa .52 Gal user from an area. They can also splat an opposing Booyah Bomb user in three direct hits. A support player expecting to be opposing a Kensa .52 Gal user might want to consider substituting Ink Armor for Missiles.
- A user of a shorter-ranged weapon should rely on flanking or sharking to safely approach an opposing Kensa .52 Gal user, land the first shot, and exploit either their lower firing rate and slower mobility.
- If you have a long-ranged weapon, such as a charger or a Jet Squelcher, and you have a chance to pick off an opposing Kensa .52 Gal user from long distance, then do so quickly before they plant their Splash Wall to protect themselves.
- An opposing Kensa .52 Gal user's Splash Wall is often a hindrance, but it can be worked around:
- Object Shredder multiplies damage inflicted onto an opposing Kensa .52 Gal user's Splash Wall by 125%. Because of their heavy reliance on Splash Wall, this ability is highly recommended if your team is expecting to face one.
- Lethal bombs are generally the most efficient means to damage and destroy opposing Splash Walls. Their explosions can also splat opponents who either stay too close to the Splash Wall or attempt to rush through it.
- If bombs are unavailable, rapidly-firing shooters and some quicker-charging splatlings are more effective at destroying an opponent's Splash Wall than slower-firing weapons, such as blasters and sloshers.
- If wielding a brella, refrain from launching the shield at an opposing Splash Wall user unless it is to clear out a planted Splash Wall.
- An Ultra Stamp will easily destroy a Splash Wall, breaking through any chokepoints the opponent may be defending. The Ultra Stamp wielder can then proceed to splat or chase out opponents while teammates follow behind to either mount or continue a push.
- Regularly watch the HUD to know when the opposing Kensa .52 Gal user's Booyah Bomb is fully charged, and both watch and listen for when it is activated.
- If they activate a Booyah Bomb in an unsafe position, try attacking them, particularly with bombs and chargers.
- A Splashdown within range can severely damage Booyah Bomb armor if not destroy it outright.
- Whenever an opposing Kensa .52 Gal user charges a Booyah Bomb, any of their teammates – whether active or splatted – who help in powering up the special might expose their positions. Use this opportunity to locate, call out, and – if possible – splat any active opponents who are powering up their teammate's Booyah Bomb.
- A Booyah Bomb turfs surfaces starting from the center before spreading out. If your weapon has the range to maintain a safe distance from the explosion of an opponent's Booyah Bomb, it is possible to maintain possession of a Splat Zone by turfing the center of where the Bomb landed.
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. A Kensa .52 Gal user will likely be a constant target of their opponents' bombs and Tenta Missiles to break through their Splash Wall/Booyah Bomb zoning tactic. Therefore, they can greatly benefit from reducing the damage taken from their opponents' bombs and special weapons. Just three ability points, or one sub, provide 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.
A Kensa .52 Gal user will inevitably come in contact with the opponent's ink on various surfaces — mostly resulting from opposing bombs and Tenta Missiles, 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:
While powerful, the Kensa .52 Gal has a high shot spread compared to other short-ranged shooters, reducing its ability to splat opponents consistently. Main Power Up reduces the angle of deviation of the Kensa .52 Gal's shots – whether fired from the ground or while jumping – increasing the main weapon's precision. In addition, Main Power Up will reduce the chances of shots going towards the outer reticle when jumping, further improving its accuracy.The 715 Kensa .52 Gal builds submitted to Sendou.ink tend to have 9-16 ability points of Main Power Up:
|Mains||Subs||Angle of devi-
|Chance to shoot|
towards outer reticle
While the traits and kit of a Kensa .52 Gal provides its user great survivability, there will still be moments in a match when it is more prudent to retreat back to the safety of their spawn point rather than attempt to hold off multiple opponents. Quick Super Jump decreases both the "charge" time before and the travel time of a Super Jump, allowing a Kensa .52 Gal user to escape unfavorable situations more easily to preserve precious special gauge progress.
- Three ability points, or one sub, of Quick Super Jump decreases the "charge" time from 80 frames (1.33 seconds) to 58 frames (0.97 seconds).
Special Charge Up accelerates building up the special gauge for Booyah Bomb. While the Kensa .52 Gal does a great job of farming Booyah Bomb, its user can benefit from constantly having Booyah Bomb available to ensure more opportunities to either zone out the opposing team or force certain opponents out of position.
- Just six ability points, or two subs, are enough to reduce the special gauge requirement from 190p to 180p.
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 this shoes-exclusive ability is equipped, Stealth Jump better covers this indicator from long-distance opponents, allowing a Kensa .52 Gal user to more safely return to the front lines and more quickly maintain turfing pressure on and zone out the opponent. Over 77% of 715 Kensa .52 Gal builds submitted to Sendou.ink include Stealth Jump.
A self-explanatory ability, Swim Speed Up specifically benefits a Kensa .52 Gal user by allowing them to more quickly retreat from an advancing opponent whenever necessary. It also allows them to establish position more quickly to restrain the opponents' mobility with their Splash Wall. Kensa .52 Gal builds submitted to Sendou.ink typically have 13-19 ability points of Swim Speed Up.
- Thirteen ability points, or one main and one sub, increase the swim speed from 1.92 to 2.10 DU/f.
- Sixteen ability points, or one main and two subs, increase the swim speed to 2.14 DU/f.
- Nineteen ability points, or one main and three subs, further increase the swim speed to 2.17 DU/f.
In competitive play
The Kensa .52 Gal didn't garner much attention upon its release. The main weapon was very lackluster due to poor accuracy, and Booyah Bomb was also weaker as it did not do as much damage as it currently does, the armor not continuing to protect the user for a brief moment after throwing the bomb, and the bomb's slow explosion. When Main Power Up was added to the game in 4.3.0, which was made to remedy the weapon's accuracy, and Booyah Bomb's buffs in 4.4.0, the Kensa Splattershot Pro rose to the top instead, as Main Power Up would make the weapon have a pseudo-two shot, dealing 49.9 damage and having a similar time to splat compared to the Kensa .52 Gal, in addition to having longer range and a lethal bomb. Therefore, many competitive players considered the weapon to be outclassed by the Kensa Splattershot Pro. Throughout the 4.0 patches, the Kensa .52 Gal would be considered a low-mid to mid tier weapon on competitive tier lists, such as those by Chara and Sorin.
Versions 5.3.0 and 5.4.0 would bring the Kensa .52 Gal the buffs needed that pushed it to the top. 5.3.0 significantly improved the weapon's accuracy by making the weapon's accuracy reset to normal much quicker, from 55 frames, or just under a second, to 25 frames, or just under half a second. It also now takes 8 shots to reach the lowest accuracy, compared to the original 6, with the weapon's first shot being the most accurate and decreasing the more shots are fired. Additionally, 5.4.0 gave it a major buff to its turfing ability at the end of its range, allowing it to more safely turf for Booyah Bomb, increasing its survivability. These buffs, combined with nerfs to previous top tiers like the Dualie Squelchers and Sorella Brella, made the weapon rise up to the top, only receiving a slap on the wrist nerf in version 5.5.0 that barely reduced its turfing capability and slightly increased its special gauge from 180p to 190p. Chara in his 5.5.0 tier list stated that the weapon is meta-defining, where specific team compositions have to be ran to counter this weapon - with the easiest method being spamming Tenta Missiles. The weapon's rise also invalidated several weapons, which lack the DPS needed to contest its Splash Wall or Booyah Bomb, or do not have ink efficiency to throw bombs at it to break the wall easily and follow up. Such weapons include sloshers and blasters.
- "The BEST AGGRESSIVE WEAPONS in Splatoon 2" by Kyo of FTWin
- Fluid Priorities and Roles in Splatoon 2 by flc
- "The BEST Weapons In Splatoon 2 - Ver 5.5 Tier List (Top Tiers)" by Chara, formerly of Prophecy and Climb
- "How To Get Good Using .52 Gal?! (+ Handcam) | Splatoon 2" by ThatSrb2DUDE, formerly of Team Olive
- "How A SILVER AEROSPRAY WON A Major Splatoon LAN Tournament" by Chara, formerly of Prophecy and Climb
- Splatoon 2 range list compiled by DrFetus
- "PAX East Finals Pt. 3 | Splatoon 2 NA Inkling Open 2019" Game 6, Arashi (Lowkey) prevents Kyo (FTWin) from fleeing
- "Splatoon 2 - What is a good team comp? (TOP 6 mistakes)" by Sendou, formerly of Team Olive
- "25 USEFUL Splatoon FACTS You SHOULD Know" by Chara, formerly of Prophecy and Climb
- "How To Build An AMAZING Team Comp (Splatoon) Ft. Dr. Prodigy" by Chara, formerly of Prophecy and Climb
- loadout.ink - Stat Calculator & Gear Planner for Splatoon 2, applicable for Version 4.8.0
- "How To Make A PERFECT Gear Build for ALL WEAPONS?! (Gear Building Guide) | Splatoon 2" by ThatSrb2DUDE, formerly of Team Olive
- "Splatoon 2 - The Ultimate Gear Guide! (Tips and Tricks + all Abilities explained)" by Wadsm
- "Add 3 Abilities To EASILY Improve Your Gear on ANY Weapon (Splatoon 2 Gear Guide Pt 1)" by Chara, formerly of Prophecy and Climb
- Sendou.ink Splatoon 2 Build Analyzer
- Sendou.ink Kensa .52 Gal Builds
- Lean's Loadout Database - Useage of abilities in Ranked modes, data based on Version 5.2.0
- "SPLATOON 2 - 4.0 WEAPON TIER LIST (In-depth Analysis)" by Sorin, formerly of Team Olive
- "Splatoon 2 4.6 Tier List Part 2 - Mid Tiers" by Chara, formerly of Prophecy and Climb