Of all the major changes coming in Apex Legends Season 11: Escape, a very small portion of the competitive FPS game’s player base will be excited for one in particular. With but a measly 1.8% pick rate, Wattson has rarely been seen recently. But now Respawn is giving the Static Defender some love in the hopes that we’ll be seeing more of her on new map Storm Point.
As noted in the patch notes, Wattson’s paltry pick rate is more than made up for by her exemplary win rate. According to Apex Legends Status, this sits at an incredible 19.3% in the battle royale mode – making her the most successful legend in the main game right now.
According to Respawn, there could be a number of explanations for this: “her defensive playstyle correlates to higher average placements, Wattson mains are diehard loyalists, and her hitbox has been the smallest in the game ever since Lifeline’s adjustment.”
Despite her success, Respawn is aware that the data doesn’t quite match the generally low perception of her. As such, “the goal of these changes is to redistribute her invisible power into the parts of her kit that shape the battlefield in a unique way.” By making Wattson visibly more impactful, the studio is seemingly hoping to fix the disconnect between her poor play rate and high win rate.
With balance tweaks, quality of life updates, and new ways to place her deployables on the way, there’s a lot happening with Wattson going into Escape. You can check out the full rundown of Apex Legends’ Wattson buffs, nerfs, and changes below.
Apex Legends Wattson changes
- Improved the reliability and responsiveness of placing Wattson’s Tactical and Ultimate in-world objects.
- Wattson can place her Tactical and Ultimate objects on valid surfaces above Wattson’s eye level (to a reasonable extent).
- General hitbox size increase, to compensate for the removal of low profile in the Legacy update.
Tactical – Perimeter Defense
- Increased damage on crossing a Fence by 33%. (15 to 20)
- Increased debuff duration on crossing a Fence by 100%. (1.5 to 3 seconds)
- Increased the time allowance to be hit again by a subsequent Fence effect by 100%. (0.5 to 1 second).
- Decreased recharge time by 50% (30 to 15 seconds).
- Increased placement range by 50%.
- Decreased the delay between Fences shutting off and reactivating after an ally passes through them by 60%. (1.0 -> 0.4 seconds)
Wattson now moves at Unarmed-speed while readying/placing Fence nodes.
- Fence nodes can now be placed as soon as the weapon is readied, instead of waiting for the animation to finish.
Ultimate – Interception Pylon
The Pylon output has been significantly reworked.
- Reduced the number of active Pylons Wattson can place from 3 to 1.
- The Pylon now lasts forever (instead of timing out after 90 seconds).
- The Pylon now has a pool of 250 Shields that can be distributed to nearby players, instead of effectively infinite Shields.
- Increased the Pylon shield recharge rate by 150%, and smoothed regen rate. (2/second -> 5/second, or more accurately: 1/0.5 seconds -> 1/0.2 seconds).
- When a Pylon is out of Shields, it no longer recharges players’ Shields, but can still zap incoming ordnance.
- Taking damage while regenerating Shields via the Pylon delays continued regeneration by 1 second.
Pylon ordnance-zapping has been moderately reworked.
- Ordnance is now zapped when the Pylon detects that it would hit any surface within range and line of sight of the Pylon, instead of being zapped as soon as it comes within range.
- As a part of the changes, current issues where the Pylon doesn’t reliably zap ordnance (particularly concerning airstrike abilities, and ordnance that bounced off surfaces near the Pylon) should now be addressed.
Additionally, the UI on the ground and HUD elements now display the amount of Shields that remain in the Pylon. You can check the percentage of Shields remaining in a friendly Pylon by pinging it.