Apex Legends Likely Won’t Be Getting An “Anti-Scan Legend” Any Time Soon

It looks like Apex Legends won’t be getting a hard counter to any of the legends who can scan enemies anytime soon. Though the meta of Respawn’s battle royale has favored squads that have at least one recon legend–particularly Bloodhound and Valkyrie–Apex Legends live balance designer John Larson isn’t for putting in an “anti-scan legend” to outright counter that strategy.

“Not thrilled about the idea of an anti-scan legend,” Larson posted on Twitter. “Mostly because in a scan meta, now the counter is tied to a specific legend, which limits options.”

In Apex Legends, there are a lot of different types of scans. Bloodhound, Crypto, and Seer can all use their tactical abilities to reveal the positions of enemies and traps, and Bloodhound and Seer can also passively track enemies through their passive abilities. Seer can scan and reveal the location of all enemies within a select space with his ultimate ability, Exhibit, as well.

Additionally, Mad Maggie scans anyone she damages, Ash scans deathboxes to reveal the positions of all the victim’s killers, Fuse scans and reveals the positions of anyone caught inside his ultimate ability, Valkyrie scans and marks all enemies that she spots while dropping at the start of a match and then whenever she’s redeploying, and Horizon highlights the position of enemies sucked into her ultimate ability.

Wattson and Caustic also get notified when their traps damage an enemy, and Mirage reveals an enemy’s location when said enemy shoots one of his decoys–admittedly not the same as previous examples, but you could argue that these three can “scan” enemies too. Plus, all recon characters can scan survey beacons to reveal the position of the next ring during a match. Basically, “scan” is a fairly loaded term for Apex Legends, and since it can be generally applied to the abilities of over half of the roster as of Season 13, an anti-scan legend would outright counter a lot of characters.

“‘Scans’ can mean a lot of things in Apex as we’re seeing with the Seer meta,” Larson tweeted. “Much different feel. Legend agnostic options are more intriguing to me, personally.”

At the moment, the only way to counter a legend who can scan is with Revenant, a legend whose tactical ability, Silence, disables all the abilities of those it touches. Things are a little bit different in Apex Legends Mobile, where Season 2’s new Mobile-exclusive character, Rhapsody, can block scans with her flashy ultimate ability, Rowdy’s Rave.

Apex Legends’ community has been clamoring for a means of countering the ever-growing scan meta for several seasons now, especially given how much it makes characters like Valkyrie into “must-picks” in competitive play. Her ability to scan enemies while airborne and then also, as a recon character, scan survey beacons makes her exceptionally powerful within the meta. And that’s not even taking into account her incredible utility, as her ability to go airborne offers her paths of navigation on every map that very few characters on the roster can also take.

“So, funnily enough, we were close to pulling the trigger on removing beacon scan from [Valkyrie],” Larson tweeted. “At [least] remove that so she’s not an auto-pick in [competitive], right? But on second thought, we realized it may be counterproductive.”

In another tweet, Larson continued: “Teams would just pick [Valkyrie] (for the ult) + [Gibraltar] + scan recon. So we figured we could go back to the drawing board while we let this comp split play out with more legend diversity.”

Larson doesn’t hint at what going “back to the drawing board” for Valkyrie might mean; however, it may be a part of a larger effort from the Apex Legends team in their attempts to shake up the battle royale’s meta in a big way in future seasons.

In response to pleas that Respawn address the stagnant competitive meta in Apex Legends–specifically making it less necessary for teams to have Gibraltar, Caustic, and Valkyrie, and adding another map that’s viable for competitive play–Apex Legends senior producer Josh Medina tweeted, “Working on it best believe.”

These changes could be coming soon too, given that Apex Legends Season 13 is finishing up. The final chapter of Season 13’s Quest releases July 12 and there are only a few weeks left to complete its battle pass. Season 14 is likely to kick off in early August, which will add–if that giant Apex Legends leak is to be believed–Vantage, a sniper-focused character who can scan enemies from afar. That said, I’d be okay with Apex Legends taking a break from new content if it meant giving Respawn more time to better address the mounting number of issues in the game.

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