Respawn just revealed its patch notes for the upcoming season of Apex Legends and it turns out a lot of characters are getting some meaningful buffs in season 7.
Seems like Respawn has really started making previously unpopular legends into meta territory with each new update. While in season 6 players were blessed with buffs to recon characters, this time around Respawn decided to buff a bunch of legends with some really interesting changes.
Furthermore, Pathfinder is finally getting some really impactful buffs in season 7. While the last update seemed like a buff on paper, but in reality, it actually wasn’t. Players still wanted some sort of cooldown reduction on his tactical to make this friendly robot viable once again. And it looks like Respawn finally listened.
Legend meta season 7:
- Rolling Thunder: Reduced the time it takes for explosion from 8 seconds to 6 seconds.
Not much to say here. Rolling Thunder will continue to function primarily as a zoning ability, but with a somewhat shorter fuse, it will encourage enemies to leave the zone slightly faster.
- Nox Gas Trap/Nox Gas Grenade: Legends no longer get a blurred vision effect while in the gas. Damage updated from 4-10 ticks of damage to 6-12 ticks of damage.
Fighting in Caustic Gas is one of the most frustrating things in Apex Legends, and yet we need the gas to represent a meaningful threat or else enemies will just ignore it. With this change we’re attacking what we think is the greatest contributor to this frustration: the fact that your vision is blurred while you’re in gas. This made it extremely hard to fight back. To make up for lost power, we’re upping the damage from the gas a bit.
- Psyche Out/Life of the Party: Decoys now have 45 health
Our bamboozler-in-chief is a hard Legend to keep relevant. Every time we make a change to decoys, there is a clear uptick in usage and power as Mirage mains learn to use their new tools, and then as the rest of the world catches on and starts being able to tell the real Mirage from his equally handsome holographs, that uptick disappears. This time around we want to try and make it a little bit harder to clear out decoys. We’re giving them health, but to make this very clear up front: they will not work as a shield. While they take damage from bullets, the bullet also passes through them and hits whatever’s behind them. This is what we call the hallway test: you should not be able to win an engagement against an enemy in a straight coverless hallway by snapcasting a decoy and having said decoy eat an entire Wingman shot. Decoys will also play unique hit effects and briefly flicker out of existence when taking damage to help you differentiate between them and the real Mirage.
- Swift Mend: Doubled healing rate (from 0.5 hp/s to 1.0 hp/s)
Octane is a Legend for players who like to go fast, run face first into the enemy, and get knocked down a lot. We think that’s absolutely fine; the fact that his Trios winrate isn’t great doesn’t really bother us because both his encounter win rate (think of this as his ability to score knockdowns) and his pick rate are very healthy. That said, we figured we could give him a little extra out of combat help. His passive’s heal rate was very slow, requiring up to 200s to fully heal your health bar.
- Perimeter Security: Increased damage per touch from 10 to 15.
Wattson is the anti-Octane: not super powerful individually, not picked very often at all below Plat, but an absolute must have for competitive squads. We’re also happy with that niche, but figured it would be safe to give her a little extra power in her best case: people running into her fences. We’re aiming for this to bring up her power and attractiveness at lower levels of play especially, since we don’t see a lot of players run into Wattson fences in high skill matches.
- Black Market: Ammo taken no longer counts towards Black Market’s maximum. You can scoop up all the ammo in range.
We’re taking another swing at making Loba the ultimate Legend to bring to solve all of your team’s loot needs. We have heard your feedback that you want improvements to her tactical as well, and while that’s certainly not off the table, our data suggest that her encounter win rate (how many knockdowns she gets compared to how many times she’s knocked down, across all matches) is quite healthy. It’s her Trios winrate that’s worryingly low. Make no mistake: this is a major swing at making Black Market powerful.
- Sheila: Now takes 1.25 seconds to fully spin up, down from 2 seconds.
- Amped Wall: Now takes 3 seconds to fully build, down from 4 seconds.
In patch 6.1, we made a small change to how long it takes Sheila to tighten her bullet spread. This didn’t meaningfully increase her winrate. The other half of that change is in this patch. We do not want to change Rampart away from being a Legend that requires setup, but we do want to make it faster to set up. Amped Wall should remain a mostly out of combat setup ability rather than a reactive ability and Sheila should remain an area denial tool rather than a murder machine, but like all things, these balance points exist on a spectrum, and with this patch we’re moving them slightly closer to reactive/murder machine territory.
Pathfinder continues to be an overachiever in terms of win rate. The good news is that his grapple change in 6.1 didn’t move his win rate by much (it went up 1% in total). We’re doing two things this patch: we’re adjusting his hitboxes and we’re putting in tuning for Grappling Hook that will firmly move it into buff territory. More context below!
Hitbox: Pathfinder has a tall but extremely skinny hitbox. A lot of his model isn’t actually shootable and particularly his arms and legs do not represent a lot of shootable area either. Here is a before and after comparison of Pathfinder’s hitboxes:
As you can see, there is still a lot of negative space around his arms and legs. We’re hoping that by making it a little easier to hit Pathfinder, we can bring his win rate under control to the point where we can put meaningful power into his kit.
Because the question is sure to come up: we are not yet removing Low Profile from Pathfinder with this change. Even with these increased hitboxes, Pathfinder will still be considerably harder to hit than most other characters in the game. If this change does make a meaningful difference in terms of his win rate we will drop Low Profile; but we really didn’t want to take it off him this patch only to have to put it back next patch when it turns out his winrate spiked.
Grappling Hook: We’re making a number of changes to Grappling Hook. In 6.1 we shipped a very conservative version of this change; now that we know this didn’t meaningfully affect his winrate or, anecdotally, how frustrating it is to fight him, we’re shipping the much more aggressive version of the changelist. We also want to make it clear that players should not be punished for chaining grappling hook perfectly into other movement mechanics.
- Pathfinder no longer needs to be on the ground for Grappling Hook to be considered finished.
- The speed to which Pathfinder needs to drop for us to consider Grappling Hook finished was increased from 300 units/second to 500 units/second
- The maximum cooldown grapple can be set to was lowered to 30 seconds, from 35 seconds; the maximum amount of travel time before a new cooldown is set is now 5 seconds, rather than being uncapped. This means that effectively, you can never incur more than a 35 second cooldown.
- The amount of distance you can travel before you hit maximum cooldown was roughly doubled.
- More Related: Apex Legends data miner suggests damaging the trident will also inflict damage to the players
Basically, except for Caustic, every other legend in the game received some clear buffs in season 7. However, Caustic received some changes that still left him in a pretty good state. At least players won’t have to be completely blind while dealing with a Caustic Bunker. All in all, the overall legend meta might change into something completely different on November 4th when the new season 7 finally drops.