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Apex Legends pick rates trend might mean new meta on horizon for FPS

We know Apex Legends' pick rates aren't everything, but it's hard to ignore a spike as large as this when it comes to thinking about this battle royale's meta.

Apex Legends Season 16 Catalyst pick rate ImperialHal: an image of the woman from the battle royale FPS

The minutia of Apex Legends‘ meta is always shifting and it isn’t always as easy as it could be to find out who you should be picking when someone like Octane or Wraith has already been chosen in your pre-game lobby. While it’s always worth checking out our Apex Legends tier list (if you’re not bothered about who you’re playing as), the latest Apex Legends pick rates can often provide some useful information – particularly if you’re trying to climb the Apex Legends ranks. Looking at what’s going on at higher ranks right now, it’s becoming clear that a new legend meta is on the horizon.

What do we mean by this? Well, while the most popular legends aren’t changing just yet, Apex Legends’ defensive conjurer Catalyst has seen a relative boom in popularity at this battle royale’s higher ranks. As shown by Apex Legends Status, her Platinum rank pick rate is up 72%, her Diamond rank pick rate has shot up around 150%, and her pick rate at Master rank and above has risen almost 250% recently.

For a legend that has been rather unpopular since her inception and addition to Apex Legends, this drastic increase in popularity is exciting – and it could be a sign that a major shift in the legend meta is coming.

But, that doesn’t really explain why Catalyst has seen such a spike in popularity over the last week and a half. It’s fairly safe to assume that this isn’t the direct influence of a major Apex Legends esports tournament; the latest one of these was a couple of weeks ago and Catalyst only featured a handful of times during it. Similarly, Catalyst was one of the legends left relatively untouched by Apex Legends’ Revelry update – so, this spike can’t be attributed to a buff either.

As someone in Apex Legends’ rejuvinated Controller class, Catalyst is one of several legends who can access ring data using Ring Consoles. Information about where the next circle is going to end up can be invaluable in the latter stages of a battle royale game; having someone who can access this information in your squad could be the difference when it boils down to it. Paying attention to the benefits of each of Apex Legends’ classes is an important part of things, now.

However, she isn’t the only option when it comes to legends in the Controller class. So, there has to be something else to it, right?

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Well, as suggested in this Reddit thread on the phenomenom, this rise in popularity could just be a result of the game being more balanced overall. Although, if this was the case, you would expect to see a similar spike for other legends like Maggie and Newcastle.

So, we actually think that her increased popularity has sparked from her unique ability to isolate enemies and facilitate effective rotations – and the fact that Apex Legends pro ImperialHal has been playing a lot of Catalyst over the last week.

We know Apex Legends’ Season 16 update hit the scan-happy Seer with a massive nerf, but he can still be paired with Catalyst to cause a lot of problems. She’s also a legend that offers a fair bit of versatility; her abilities are great in defensive situations, but can also be used to push – something not all defensive-focused legends can claim. This does require some teamwork and communication, though, which might be why we’re not seeing this spike in popularity reflected at the lower ranks.

If you want to see ImperialHal’s Catalyst in action, you can see some curated footage from an Apex Legends news content creator right here.

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If you’re a fan of this particular pro, you can read more on TSM’s ImperialHal on ALGS victory, NRG, and a Scump-like legacy in our exclusive interview right here. It’s also worth keeping an eye on the latest Apex Legends patch notes, you never know what’s going to change with this battle royale.