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High risk, high reward: Why Apex Legends pros are taking a chance on Octane

Octane and Revenant are proving a devastating combination in the Apex Legends Global Series

Octane Apex Legends

The Apex Legends meta is in a constant state of flux, but a few things are certain: the Kraber will one-shot, Wraith will be a top-tier legend, and Wraith mains will leave your pub games if they get downed. However, one unexpected combination is becoming an increasingly common sight when climbing the Apex Legends ranks – Octane and Revenant.

The unlikely bedfellows form a key part of a hyper-aggressive playstyle, combining the legends’ ultimate abilities with lethal results. While individually, they may not rank too highly on our Apex Legends tier list, together they become a nigh-unstoppable force at every level of play. The combination of Revenant’s Death Protection, which teleports you back to his totem when you would usually be downed or killed, and Octane’s jump pad, which sends you flying into opponents’ faces at high speeds, can be game-ending for your opposition.

This was proved during the Apex Legends Global Series Last Chance Qualifiers last weekend when multiple squads ran the brutal combo. In Europe especially, Octane made up 17.5% of the picks, according to Apex data researcher Singh Labs.

One such squad was Alliance, which came third in the tournament and booked its place in the Winter Circuit Playoffs. John ‘Hakis’ Håkansson, the team’s resident Octane main, tells The Loadout why the team made the switch to the more aggressive combo.

“We played Wraith, Bloodhound, Gibraltar – which is a safer composition – in the first game to figure out the lobby,” Hakis says. “But we quickly realized that Octane/Revenant was going to work with the way people were playing. So we decided to swap in game two. It was just a better adaptation to the lobby.”

With an aggressive lobby and lots of opponents “apeing,” according to Hakis, it made sense to make the switch. Apeing is a term that describes opponents who take aggressive routes whenever possible, often charging straight at you in an attempt to score kill points or take out enemies early in the game.

Apex Legends Revenant

Alliance thought that the lobby might be particularly aggressive ahead of the tournament, says Hakis, because of the fact that the top five teams qualify for the Winter Circuit Playoffs, and there is little else on offer for lower-placed teams.

“The only thing that matters is [getting in the] top five, so people are going to naturally try to play more aggressive for more points,” he says.

However, once Alliance had assessed the lobby and the meta, they made the decision to switch to a Revenant/Octane team composition in the second match. Hakis took the role of Octane, Kha ‘iPN-k0u’ Nguyen switched from Bloodhound onto the Revenant, and Simon ‘Vaifs’ Bellini stuck to his Gibraltar role for some defensive support.

The difference was immediately clear. After one game using the more conservative and on-meta legends – in which they placed fourteenth with no kills – Alliance’s numbers spiked in games two and four, which saw them take nine and 15 kills respectively. They placed third and second in those two matches, and their 15 kills in game four was a tournament-high result.

“It worked out well,” says Hakis. “We had two really good games out of six. It’s high risk, high reward, so if we just iron out a few mistakes even just having a third good game would have won us the tourney.”

Alliance was only ten points away from winning the tournament – that’s ten more kills or a couple of better placements away from victory. But Alliance is keen to practise with the composition, and Hakis is confident that it will use the pairing more in the future.

“Revenant/Octane is really strong and you will most likely see us play it in the Playoffs,” he explains. “[However,] I can’t say for sure about the ALGS Championship, since that’s so far in the future.”

The combo has its counters, but after Caustic’s Chaos Theory nerf, your defence from such a fast and devastating push is severely limited. “I think Revenant/Octane is strong against any meta that isn’t Caustic,” Hakis explains. “The recent Caustic nerf allows a lot more plays to be made since the gas barely does damage anymore.”

Apex Legends Octane

Caustic’s gas now does a meagre five damage per second – the same amount as the ring during the first round. While its vision impairment can be disorientating, this is much less of a problem to navigate for a professional team. It is worth noting that, despite the recent nerf, NEW Esports won last weekend’s LCQ with a Wraith, Crypto, and Caustic composition which was unchanged across all six matches.

However, Octane’s fast fun could be cut short, as Respawn’s lead game designer Daniel Klein writes that an Octane nerf is potentially in the works, readjusting his tactical Stim ability so that it would cost more health to use, but could be used more often. High risk, high reward.

“It feels bad that we keep nerfing characters that have good mobility instead of characters with offensive abilities,” says Hakis. “I would much rather see nerfs towards Crypto, Bloodhound, or Caustic than Octane.

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“But I also don’t think changing Stim will affect him that much. It’s the jump pad that is insane at the moment.” That’s for yeeting yourself and your teammates into the enemy’s face while under Revenant’s Death Protection. A similar strat using Wraith’s portal had to be nerfed after teams abused it – you can no longer use a portal immediately after entering or exiting Death Protection – so something similar for Octane could potentially be on the horizon.

It admittedly seems unlikely that Respawn would introduce a delay on using Octane’s jump pad – after all, it is just gravity propelling you across the map. However, a nerf to the base functionality of Octane’s ultimate would impact him greatly.

Apex Legends' robot assassin Revenant uses his glowing red Death Totem in a desert landscape

While Alliance isn’t sure whether it will be running the combative combination at the ALGS Championship – if the team manages to qualify – its comfort in switching team compositions bodes well for the tournament.

“We are an adaptive and reactionary team, so I’m not worried about the other regions or metas,” says Hakis. “We just focus on ourselves and our games and we usually do pretty well.”

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Everything is on the line at the Winter Circuit Playoffs this weekend, as the top five teams will earn automatic qualification to the million-dollar ALGS Championship. Earning enough points and coming outside the top five could also net you a place based on your cumulative points tally from every ALGS tournament so far. The Winter Circuit Playoffs could be many teams’ best chance of qualifying for the biggest and most prestigious Apex Legends tournament yet, and as such, we can expect aggressive strategies as teams try to rack up kills and placement points.

This all points to increasing the potential of more Revenant/Octane team compositions stimming and jumping their way into the spotlight. It seems almost guaranteed in Europe’s experimental meta, but the real test will be seeing if any teams in North America utilise the aggressive strategy, going against the region’s notoriously on-meta grain.