Before we begin, if you have not read our El Primo guide, feel free to check it and our other brawler guides out!
Since the release of Brawl Stars, the community has been outraged by the utter strength of one brawler in particular—El Primo. His health is the highest out of any other brawler, his main attack consists of 4 rapid blows which deal significant damage, and to top it off his super allows him to jump a lengthy distance, over walls, to land on top of his enemies. There is no escaping El Primo… Or is there?
In the recent June balancing update thread on the Brawl Stars subreddit, the official Brawl Stars Reddit account responded to a comment concerning the tank by stating, “We’re watching El Primo very closely. Right now we don’t think he’s too overpowered, but he’s on thin ice!” That being said, let’s dive into how to break the thin ice ourselves without the need for a nerf.
Take Advantage of Your Range
El Primo has one of the smallest ranges in the game meaning that he is easy to take out if dealt with correctly. For instance, brawlers such as Colt and Ricochet which have long ranges can snipe him before he can get in range. Due to his short attack range, El Primo players typically try to run straight at their opponents to take them out, not worrying about dodging enemy fire. With their long range and high damage, Colt and Ricochet can take advantage of El Primo’s lack of strafing to take him out. Additionally, his high health makes it easy to save up for supers which, in turn, make his demise even easier.
In fact, even brawlers with shorter ranges such as Nita and Bull can outrange El Primo’s melee attack. As long as you are running backwards, the Mexican will not be able to catch up, and you can still get hits off of him. Additionally, short ranged brawlers can use obstacles such as walls to avoid being hit while still being able to deal damage to the tank by poking out around the corner.
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
No matter how strong he may be, being attacked from multiple fronts strikes disaster for El Primo. Make sure to coordinate with your team to take out El Primo and he will not be a problem.
Support brawlers such as Poco can help immensely when dealing with El Primo. Poco’s healing ability allows teammates to defeat the El Primo with ease by essentially giving them the same amount of health as the Mexican giant. While still taking advantage of range, being healed makes the job a breeze.
Another useful support brawler is Jessie, who deploys turrets. Her super gives her team a 4v3 advantage meaning that two teammates can work on El Primo while the turret keeps the other opponents at bay.
Knowing the importance of teamwork, disabling the enemy’s ability to work together can make El Primo’s health a worthless asset. To do this, simply play aggressively and constantly apply pressure. Once he is taken out, his teammates will be vulnerable; use this time to take them out as well. Taking five seconds to respawn will cause the enemy team to come out in waves instead of all at once.
What better way is there than to fight fire with fire? Having an El Primo of your own will basically take care of the entire issue. Even if the enemy El Primo gets the last punch to defeat your El Primo, he will most likely be left with a sliver of health.
Other tanks such as Bull and Nita’s bear can help to distract El Primo as well. Just remember that these tanks also have lackluster ranges, so still utilize teamwork.
Perhaps the single most effective way to counter El Primo, Shelly’s shotgun is not a force to be reckoned with. Her damage often strikes fear in her enemies, allowing her to fight the tankiest brawler in the game at point-blank range. She has enough health to take out an already damaged El Primo while still surviving, and to sweeten the deal Shelly’s super will push the giant backwards. This advantage is especially noticeable in Showdown, where her extra close range damage often get the better of the Mexican.
Can’t Touch This
One comical way to counter El Primo is to hide inside his fat body. Pointed out by iLoveVuri on the Brawl Stars subreddit, dancing around on top of El Primo makes it difficult for him to hit you since he can’t tell which direction to swing in.
Turning El Primo’s Body Slam Into a Belly Flop
While El Primo’s damage and health make him the most powerful brawler in the game, the one aspect of him that players can’t stand is his super, which all of a sudden turns the tank into an extremely mobile brawler. By using the tactics discussed above, you can minimize the amount of damage the Mexican deals to you which will reduce the frequency of his super. However, when he does use it there are still ways around it.
For long distance jumps, gauge where he will land and simply move in the opposite direction. By the time he lands, you will be well out of range and have the advantage on him.
For short range jumps, escaping is more difficult. If you already are low on health, El Primo is probably using his super to finish you off. However, sometimes the giant will use short range jumps when he is low on health and desperately try to win his final fight. In this case, use the tactic in which you hide inside El Primo’s body and strafe back and forth to defeat him.
Possible Indirect Nerfs
After going over all the ways to overcome El Primo, he may seem like a mediocre brawler. While in most cases this is true, skilled El Primo players are still a threat. They will hide in bushes and wait for the right time to strike, making them hard to deal with. Here are some ways to create a more balanced playing field while not reducing his stats.
Better Brawler Selection System
Instead of selecting your brawler then entering a match, having a lobby where players can pick their brawler based on teammates and opponents similar to League of Legends and Dota would create more strategy and enable teamwork even in public games.
The big problem with El Primo is having multiple of them in a game. In lobbies, teams should not be allowed to select two of the same brawler which would prevent the Mexican, or any other brawler for that matter, from being overpowering. It would also keep gameplay diverse, giving players a chance to face different brawlers and develop strategies against them.
More Support Brawlers
By introducing more support brawlers into the game, there would be more ways to deal with El Primo. For example, having brawlers that can push back enemies, place obstacles, and enrage teammates would help with crowd control and reduce the threat of the tank.
Advanced Map Features
Recent Heist maps have reduced the advantage offense has by creating choke points. More features could be added to Heist as well as other game modes to combat Primo. For example, indestructible walls would help prevent him from destroying everything with his super, and fewer bushes would lower the chances of a sneaky El Primo ruining your day.
At the end of the day, El Primo is a tank. His purpose is to distract the other team, and nerfing him would lower his ability to do so. As long as you stay alert and don’t allow him within reach, El Primo is not a threat.