countdown to the nerve of Newcastle

Apex Legends just released season 13, introducing changes to how players earn RP in Ranked mode, as well as a new Storm Point hotspot and a series of balance adjustments. But the highlight of the new season is, of course, the new character: Newcastle. Enjoy it before it inevitably gets nerfed.

Newcastle upsets the whole dynamic of Apex Legends – especially in the endgame, where a tight circle brings players together and limits coverage. It’s shiny, but it seems a bit too powerful at the moment. Before we dive into the why, here are its abilities, for context:

Recover the wounded [Passive]: Slide your allies as you revive and protect them with your Revive Shield.

Movable shield [Tactical]: Launch a controllable drone that creates a mobile energy shield.

castle wall [Ultimate]: Jump to an ally or target area and crash, creating a fortified fortress.

What makes it too powerful is how these abilities stack. Castle Wall lets you leap about 70 yards, catching up with your teammates in one bound before placing an almost impenetrable fortress wall (unless they’re climbing or flanking). All enemies caught in the impact are stunned.

Mobile Shield fires two energy shields stacked on top of each other, creating a barrier for bullets, but not bodies. Enemies can cross this one.

Picking up the wounded allows you to push your allies away from the fight (at a fairly high speed!) while protecting them with a knockdown shield.

Now collect them.

If a teammate is downed, you can jump straight to them, knock down a castle wall, immediately place a mobile shield, then move away to relaunch it. That’s three layers of shields between you and the enemy. They must scale your castle wall and pass through two more layers of energy shields to kill.

To make matters worse (or better, if you’re the person using Newscastle), his revive skill doesn’t sound the same as a standard revive or self-revive. That audio cue that tells you when to press to prevent resuscitation? Forget it – you have to learn another one now. All that muscle memory needs to be tweaked. This is perhaps the most disconcerting decision.

Newcastle also dominate play in the end zone. When there’s no cover and people are forced to push at odd angles, Newscastle becomes the cover. It creates more dynamic endzones with slightly less RNG involved, but I can’t think of another hero who shook up the meta in the same way.

Like I said, he’s a great character to play, but he needs a little work to make him less effective. Either that or other characters need a significant buff. Sure, Lifeline can pick up two allies at once and fight while doing so, but Newcastle makes her all but obsolete – especially with the introduction of loot-stuffed IMC Armories, making her care packages less useful.

If you like playing with Newcastle in Apex Legends: Season 13I would mentally prepare myself for a big old nerf.

Written by Kirk McKeand on behalf of GL HF.

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