With the second season of Apex Legends now underway and the release of the newest and tenth character in the game, we have to ask: how good is Natalie "Wattson" Paquette according to top players?
We realize that it's only been a short while since the season began. First impressions, good or bad, are likely to shift as time goes on. Maybe we'll see new strengths and tactics developed around her toolkit, or conversely, vulnerabilities to exploit as an opposing player. For now, though, we'll jump right in by taking a look at her unique abilities and the opinions of the best players in the world.
Tactical Ability – Perimeter Security
Wattson’s primary tactical ability is named Perimeter Security. It grants players the ability to place down nodes that connect to form up to four electrified fences. Opponents who pass through are both slowed and damaged.
This makes Wattson a useful addition to teams seeking to dominate through area denial. If an opponent can be guided or kited to follow a certain path, it can result in what can only be described as a turkey shoot. With that in mind, this strength is highly reliant upon environmentally aware teammates who recognize when and where to establish these types of tools. Teammates who are generally not aware will ultimately waste Wattson’s potential in this regard.
Ultimate Ability – Interception Pylon
This is another tool with fantastic utility, and this time it does not require an adept or aware team to be of use. The ability will deploy a single electrified pylon that destroys all incoming ordnance, and also repairs nearby damaged shields. Like Perimeter Security, Interception Pylon provides extensive area denial. This ability renders certain enemy munitions entirely useless, such as:
- Every type of grenade.
- Caustic’s Nox Gas Grenade.
- Bangalore’s Rolling Thunder.
- Gibraltar’s Defensive Bombardment.
Interception Pylon gives trigger-happy opponents no quarter. Their shots are wasted, and if they were trying to unload on shields, that would also be an uphill battle, as the Pylon repairs them.
The ability is even better when we consider Wattson’s passive ability.
Passive Ability - Spark of Genius
The Spark of Genius passive allows Wattson to recharge her ultimate ability from zero to full by utilizing a single Ultimate Accelerant. Note that other characters only receive 20% towards their ultimate charge, making Wattson unique in this way, and reliably able to pop that Interception Pylon far more often.
All of these combine to create a dynamic and reliable defensive player, but once again, require a team that acknowledges these qualities and puts them to good use.
Pro Commentary and Tips
As stated, Wattson is still quite new to the game for players to have her completely figured out. Consider the short guide below by avid player Drift0r, who begins his video by stating that unlike many other character guides, this one for Wattson is far more focused on how to best make use of this defensive toolkit.
A common feeling among most pros in the game right now seems to be that the ultimate ability is outstanding. There truly are few situations where one would not want Interception Pylon for themselves and their teammates, and it is likely to shape the meta going forwards. Right around the five-minute mark, we see how a Gibraltar grenade is effectively made useless when thrown at the pylon, which in itself is of tremendous value.
One final point to consider is how Wattson may shift the gameplay of Apex Legends for players on their PCs and those on console. While the game has released on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, styles of gameplay are inherently different when compared to PC play. This is due to the speed and precision with which a keyboard and mouse and operate a character, making for more fast-paced action and eliminations.
Console players, meanwhile, are slower by default, and more conservative in their actions because they cannot match that speed and precision on their controllers. Therefore, Wattson is a perfect addition to a console meta, where defensive playstyles may be far more useful.
For now, there seem to be new thoughts on the character daily, as the new season continues to move forward. So far, however, there aren't many fundamental shifts in opinion over the character. More interesting is how this might shift the development of future character releases. Is this style of defensive toolkit something players will want more of or is Wattson enough?
Be sure to jump into the action in Apex Legends season 2!