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Does Wraith’s viability warrant a nerf?

Apex Legends Wraith

The Apex Legends Preseason Invitational concluded last weekend, and a particular team composition dominated the meta. Watson, Wraith, and Pathfinder were heavily picked for map navigation, turtling and damage mitigation in the final circle. Whilst Pathfinder and Watson are great for the early and midgame, Wraith had a much larger impact in winning rounds. Her Into the Void and Dimensional Rift abilities mitigated circle damage, crucial for avoiding large damage ticks in the final moments of the game.

Let’s take a closer look at the top plays from the event and breakdown Wraith’s impact.

Circle race

In many matches, Dimensional Rift became the go-to tool to mitigate incoming damage from the final circle. G2 Esports and SEN found themselves in a game where the final ring closed on a building. As a result, both teams used their portals to keep the Wraith alive whilst pushing the other team’s floor. Consequently, G2 Esports won the trade and took the round win.

G2 Esports vs SEN in a late-round Wraith battle

This is one of the most extreme cases of Wraith’s utility in the closing circle, but nobody would argue against the fact that proper management her abilities makes Wraith one of the best Legends to play. Wraith seems to be the new Lifeline in terms of survivability. Previously, Lifeline could use her health drone to mitigate damage outside of the circle, ending many games anticlimactically. Respawn eventually nerfed Lifeline for the same issues that now seem to be presenting themselves in Wraith.

This not the only instance of a Wraith portal battle in the tournament. Another took place when Team Liquid White faced off against QGR. Unlike the above clip, Team Liquid White and QGR were isolated from one another – Liquid was in an open field, whilst QGR held up in an undergrown bunker. A battle between the best portal-users begun. Who could best conserve health within the closing moments? To say the least, it was a disappointing finish to an otherwise great round.

The difficulty

In contrast to Lifeline’s sustain, Wraith’s abilities are difficult to pull off successfully. Most matches at the Apex Legends Preseason Invitational were closed out in great gunfights. One of the most dramatic was when TSM found themselves in a 1v1 showdown with GamersLegion. This is the kind of excitement you want from professional games, and Wraith can certainly deliver in this department.

The final duel in the eighth round of the Global Finals

Furthermore, The Wraith technique is never ideal. In most cases, the Dimensional Portal is used simply to stall out a push against a team holding the advantage. It’s also great for finding a surprise angle in the closing circle. In the Global Finals, Rogue got in an uncomfortable situation and were forced to stall out an inevitable loss against Wyvern.

Further Reading: Wyvern were one of the most surprising teams at the event

Rogue in a tricky situation.

It’s clear that in most situations the Wraith combo is either unnecessary or very tricky to execute effectively. It will be interesting to see what changes Respawn make to the legend, if any.

Do you think this is a big issue, or should Wraith be left alone?

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