Hello everyone! This post is going to discuss Brock, and his place in the meta.
This post is made to analyse Brock's position in the meta, using pro opinions and cold hard stats.
Without any further ado, let's talk about Brock, his nerfs and the impact.
Before Brock pre-Byron was an interesting brawler. He was nearing 2 years of being a consistent meta pick, after dominating the world finals with an obscene amount of usage there, being far more than other brawlers .
Simply put, Brock had a stranglehold on the sharpshooter pick. If you wanted a sharpshooter, you'd go with Brock, other brawlers like Piper, Bea, Nani, Mr. P, Colt and Rico were only picked in very specific circumstances or if they were blatantly overpowered.
Essentially, Brock being so reliable at all levels of play gave him a rather high usage, especially in competitive play.
His kit made him useful basically everywhere. His range making him good in Bounty and Heist, Incendiary making him great in Siege and Heist, his super making him great in Brawl Ball and Heist, Rocket Number 4 making him good in Showdown and Rocket Laces giving him a pocket knockback and on demand mobility.
Life was good for Brock players. Supercell decided he was a bit too good, even nerf worthy. People agreed that the combination of Jump + Incendiary was far too much for the meta to handle.
Thus, Brock got his first nerf, a health decrease to 3640. This was rather huge, as it made Brock 3 tapped by Mortis, Penny and Sandy.
However, Brock's strongest aspect was unchanged, Jump + Incendiary made a formidable combo. He was still a meta pick.
Then, he received Rocket Fuel, a gadget that made his next attack be supercharged, double the damage, faster speed, more radius and the ability to break walls.
This sent Brock over the edge, allowing him to effectively synergise with Piper and Bea, all abusing their gadgets to scary effect.
The gadget could be spammed at the start to chip the enemies, to break important walls or quickly grab a KO that would be just out of range otherwise.
The community as a whole was quite pissed at this gadget, which flooded the servers, and it led to many people questioning the implementation and execution of gadgets as a whole.
Then, that happened.
The event Brock got its buttcheeks clapped. 4 nerfs. 4 heavy nerfs.
People in the community had different ideas on how to nerf Brock, ranging from reworking Rocket Fuel to take 2 ammo to even reducing the uses to 2 to reducing the radius.
Nobody expected 4. The nerfs were the following Health reduced to 3360 Damage reduced to 1456 Incendiary Damage reduced to 520 Rocket Fuel Bonus reduced to 50% / damage reduced to 2184 from 3080
These nerfs were a lot for him, so let’s tackle what changed by each nerf.
Health nerf 3640 is a highly requested number for buffing Crow’s health, as so many damage values are balanced around 3360: Frank, Darryl, Dyna, Lou, Penny’s turret, Byron and Nita’s bear have their damage balanced exactly on that number, with many more doing slightly more damage than that.
It’s also quite frail, 26 of the 44 brawlers can KO brawlers at 3360 with at least 2 complete attacks. Both 3640 and 3920, his previous health values, survive a lot more, which really adds up when you see how much random chip damage brawlers take throughout the course of a battle.
3360 is also the same as Piper and Bea, increasing the competition that Brock has with them.
Damage Nerf Not that many interactions were changed by this, only Tick, Carl and Mr. P’s home base are able to take 1 more projectile before dying. However, the damage still stings, as now, Brock ends up dealing 5% less damage with just his main attack, which can make defending and pushing ahead a lot harder.
This also means that Piper ends up doing 31% more damage compared to the previous 27%. This isn’t even considering the next point.
Incendiary Damage nerf Incendiary was very prevalent in the Heist and Siege meta, increasing his damage output by 78% per attack. That wasn’t even its only use, it also provided nice control as 600 damage for walking over it was quite punishing. It also also scanned bushes. It also also also helped in Showdown, allowing you to break boxes in minimum 3 attacks.
The Incendiary nerf decreased the total damage of 1 attack from 2740 to 2496, which makes a world of difference while base rushing. It also decreases the value of every one of the previous uses by 13%.
Rocket Fuel nerf Rocket Fuel had many problematic issues, mostly the radius and the projectile speed, but the damage wasn’t seen as the main one, it was seen as more of a side bonus.
If just the damage of this was nerfed, and none of the previous 3 things happened, Brock would have still been good. The bonus damage nerf, combined with the aforementioned damage nerf, makes it so that it deals 2184 - which means it so that it can’t OHKO Tick, which was by far the most satisfying aspect of this.
This nerf was very heavy handed, it didn’t fix the radius issue which made it such a scary attack and the fact that it can still terraform if it wants to.
As you can see, these 4 nerfs were huge. Individually, none of the nerfs are too much, but combined, these nerfs were far too much.
After Both of Brock’s win and use rates suffered a massive dip due to the massive effect of these nerfs. He went from arguably the best brawler - at least top 5 - in the entire game to one of the worst, being rated by almost everyone in the bottom half and even bottom 10 by some.
Analyzing the stats by usage and win rates, Brock sees a massive increase in both use and win rates at the start of November, primarily caused by the release of his new gadget, peaking at a massive 5% use rate and almost 60% win rate. Keep in mind that this data is for the 600-1000+ trophy range, so these numbers are even higher when you take all the matches.
After the nerfs that happened on Mid-December, Brock has an unreal decline in both stats, with his use rate going to a 1.2%, and his win rate falling to sub-50% levels. While both stats are seeing a slight climb up, this could be due to either trophy inflation due to the map competition winners or due to people readjusting to Brock’s new stats.
However, I feel that the sudden climb is due to the new free Brock skin, which ultimately means that he is still at the bottom of the tierlist.
This brings us to the next point, all of these stats don’t mean anything if you don’t know what they represent and how they relate to the game.
What this ultimately means is that Brock has been supplanted in the sharpshooter role by Colt, Piper, Bea, Nani, Rico, 8-BIT, Lou and especially Mr. P. Each of them occupy the niches that Brock held and they are thriving. In fact, this is a boost for the assassins as the meta is out of tanks, making sharpshooters more common, which makes assassins more viable, and with THE SHARPSHOOTER out of the picture, the 101 roles that Brock held (control, sniping, wall breaking, pressuring, bush checking, etc etc) (and did every one of them to a decent degree) are now taken by the more specialized sharpshooters, which give assassins more targets than just Brock and maybe Mr. P.
Colt, who was fine stat-wise, had a knock-off version of Rocket Fuel. But after the Brock nerfs, and the buffs he got, he has exploded in terms of usage, peaking at an unprecedented 8.69% usage rate at the 600+ trophy ranges, even higher than the free Edgar.
Brock on the other hand, languishes with a 2.2% use rate, which is mediocre, and a fall from grace from his initial position. Lou and Byron, two other sharpshooters, have a similar use rate, with Lou’s at 2.3% and Byron’s being at a 1.8%, which makes sense as he is a new rare brawler.
Where these two brawlers differ from Brock, is in their win rates. Byron has a massive 72% win rate, the highest above 600. Lou has a respectable 69% win rate, putting both in the top 8 brawlers when using Adjusted Win Rates, which is basically the win rate, adjusted by the use rate of those brawlers. Brock is at the bottom, with a AWR of 52%, close to Dyna and Mortis. Every sharpshooter has a higher AWR than him, with the closest being Piper, at 55%.
Most pros and players alike rank him at the bottom alongside Primo, Shelly and Dyna.
This ultimately means that any way you dice it, from stats to pro opinions, Brock’s nerfs were too much for him. He has lost the sharpshooter monopoly, never being picked at the highest levels of play, with a 1% pick rate there, having 15 times less pick rate than Brock.
This sucks a lot, however, I feel it is warranted. Being viable everywhere and basically being the ideal pick was unhealthy for the game, hence, the heavy handed nerfs. The meta has improved a lot, with the exception of Colt, who is doing the same things that Brock did, but with more flexibility of choice in brawlers.
I hope he gets buffed sooner rather than later, having him languish at the bottom of the barrel is quite sad, as I, alongside many others in the community, like Brock.
Like a great Brock once said before: "Brock got nerfed"!
Thanks for reading and Keep Brawling.