Brawl Stars’ most recent addition to the hero roster has caused the meta to be shaken. To some degree, at least. Piper, the new sniper, has been one of the few steps Supercell developers have taken to stray away from the tank heavy, close ranged world Brawl Stars has seen as of late. For the most part, she has helped diversify matches and make each battle more unique. However, even with the recent nerf to her super, she has made a few heroes obsolete. Most notably, Brock.
Many people can agree that, while having a few differences, Brock and Piper are essentially the same brawlers in different bodies. They fit a similar role as backline snipers, looking to get picks. They have the same health and movement speed. Both brawlers only have a half tile range difference when it comes to their primary attack. These stats would lead you to believe they are both equally as good, but that is definitely not the case. Brock is one of the worst brawlers in the meta right now, while a half decent Piper can wreak havoc on an entire team. So, why is one of the two predominantly identical brawlers horribly ineffective while the other can get kills easily?
Unlike many underpowered or overpowered brawler problems, the Brock and Piper issue has unique kinks that need to be worked out. These can not be done with a simple buff or nerf, although that could help. If the brawlers are carbon copies of each other, one will always be better. The real problem between these two is that their respective abilities are too similar. Both brawlers primary fire and long-ranged sniping weapons used from a distance. However, Piper’s damage changes depending on her range. From her longest range, she does a staggering two-hundred more damage than Brock. Some may argue that this just makes Brock more viable at mid-range, where Piper’s damage begins to drop off. While this is true, Brock is not a brawler meant for mid-range engagements. This would make his astounding range useless and leave him more vulnerable to brawlers with a higher damage and health at closer ranges.
As for their supers, the differences begin to grow a small amount. Piper drops off three grenades and has the ability to create space between her and her enemies. Brock, on the other hand, drops a barrage of 5 missiles. At their core, both supers complete the same job — zoning. Each ability covers a large space of the map and can do incredible amounts of damage. Brock’s has more choice when it comes to where he’d like to fire the rockets and is able to squeeze out a bit more damage. Piper, while not dealing as much damage, is able to distance herself and flee oncoming brawlers. Nonetheless, each super accomplishes the task of zoning an entire part of the map. This analysis leads back to the conclusion that to fix the brawlers, Supercell must help to make each have their own distinct identity.
To differentiate each brawler, changes must be made at the core of the individual through abilities and modifying stats afterwards. There are three conceivable fixes to changing the two brawlers at hand. Supercell could change Piper and not Brock, Brock but not Piper, or change both. The final option out of the three could lead to more confusion and would most likely be unnecessary. So, which brawler do they modify?
The clear choice here is Brock. Piper is too unique to be changing her core mechanics. Her primary weapon provides an interesting twist to a regular sniper, while her super combines elements of El Primo and Bo. Brock’s identity is confusing, to say the least. His slow-moving missiles and super say he wants to be a crowd control or zoning specialists. His range, damage, and newly decreased reload time say he wants to deal burst damage from a distance.
Brock is just about average at both of these styles, but if they were to be combined, he’d be much more viable. That’s why my proposal is to make him a spamming sniper who is great at holding choke points. He has a quicker reload time and more range than Piper, which allows him to fire more ammunition and to keep a fast pace from further behind. There are a few adjustments needed to make this spamming dream a reality.
Small Blast Radius Upon Hitting an Enemy/Wall
This would be the main change to Brock’s kit in helping him have a different play-style than Piper. When one of Brock’s painfully slow moving rockets hits anything, except his own teammate, a blast from the rocket affects enemies nearby. This radius could be as small as two meters and do as little as fifty damage. The actual numbers would be on Supercell to assess what is fair or not. This ability would help a spamming style that Brock could develop.
As I’ve mentioned before, the meta consists mainly of close ranged tanks. It is common to see them grouped up, attacking one choke point or objective. This ability would help Brock do damage on all the targets, instead of trying to focus on just one. The more forgiving blast would also counteract the easily dodged rockets and help Brock gain an advantage Piper does not have. The new blast would obviously not affect any enemy directly hit. If there were one change I could see to Brock’s abilities, this would be it.
Faster Rockets During Rocket Rain
If a player is patient and precise, Brock’s super can be deadly. Again, though, the tank meta tends to affect this. If Brock needs to move up further to get off an effective super, he puts himself in danger of being ambushed by a Shelly or a Bull. I often find that Brock’s super is able to be dodged easily and rushed. Even if brawlers are hit by it, they can escape with some health. Faster rockets make Brock’s super dangerous and easier to use for the actual player. This increase in speed also reinforces the new fast-paced, spamming nature of Brock’s kit.
I know, I know. I have said over and over that stats are not the change needed to help decipher Brock and Piper. This is the one stat that if the developers decided to change, I would not be mad. As stated before, at Piper’s longest range, she can deal two hundred damage per shot more than Brock. Increasing Brock’s damage by fifty would help in more ways than one. Obviously, Brock would be able to deal a bit more damage at his comfortable distance. The increased damage would also help every time both Piper and Brock move closer to their targets because of Piper’s damage drop off.
Once both brawlers are at about mid-range, Brock would be out damaging Piper, and at close range, he’d be doing a considerable amount more. I have stated before that neither brawler should be at mid or close range, ideally. This is certainly not the case. There will be situations where brawlers move out of their comfort zone to gain an advantage. Brock, with the damage boost, would excel much more than Piper in these positions. That could be the difference between someone choosing Brock rather than Piper. Overall, the change would make Brock a more consistent damage dealer at all ranges, while Piper would become a long range specialist.
Clearly, these are just ideas to help bring Brock out from the bottom of many tier lists. These changes would also not happen all at once, turning every match into a three versus three Brock only session. If the adjustments were to be added though, I believe they could solve the Brock vs. Piper problem. Brock would shine in heist with splash damaging rockets where choke points are the name of the game. His faster super would also help him tear through the safe quicker.
Not only would Brock be picked more in heist with these changes, but he’d also improve in smash and grab. The newly acquired blast radius from his rocket would clear more space where gems are left to be picked up. Finally, these changes would further help to balance the close ranged meta by putting another valuable ranged option out there. I hope these changes can see the game soon.