Barley the barkeeper is a very versatile and underrated brawler. If played right, he can be very dangerous in all game modes. In this guide, we will be discussing Barley strengths, weaknesses, and how to use him effectively in different scenarios.
Description: “Barley just wants to be a regular barkeeper. Grinds his gears though – steam comes out and bottles start flying!”
Damage: 120 damage, 2 ticks
Reload time: 2 seconds
Super: Barley hurls a flurry of fiery bottles, covering a huge area in flames.
Super damage: 120, shoots out 5 bottles
Max order: Damage, Super, Health
High Radius and Attack Range
Barley has one of the highest attack ranges in the game. This is very useful when trying to block your opponent’s path, which I will go into later. His attack radius is large and unlike Dynamike, his attack goes off instantly. As a result, it is difficult for opponents to dodge at long distances because there is no indicator that shows where your attack will land. At short ranges, you should be able to land your attack all the time.
Barley’s attack doesn’t do all its damage at once. Instead, the attack does half it’s damage (120) instantly, and leaves a puddle on the ground. After a second, anyone standing inside takes another 120 damage. This discourages opponents to walk on top of the puddle. If you play Barley, you can abuse this by “blocking” paths your opponent would otherwise take. After all, who would want to take 120 damage?
Extremely Versatile Super
Barley’s super is arguably the best in the game due to its versatility. It does huge damage, has a range that nearly covers your phone screen, lasts for a very long time, and can be used in a wide area or be concentrated into a single spot. If Barley concentrates the super in a single spot, he will be able to take down any low health brawler easily. It takes 2 ticks to kill medium health brawlers(anything over 600 health), and 3 to kill Bull or El Primo. The damage occurs once every second. If you super in a wide radius, you have a very high chance of damaging any brawler in the area, and zoning any opponent out of that huge range for 5 seconds.
Barley has a low reload speed, and brawlers are easily able to avoid the second tick of damage. Most of the time, Barley will be doing 120 damage with a 2 second reload speed. It is important to use every attack efficiently, and focus on your strength – zone control, rather than “dpsing” the enemy.
Easy to Kill
Barley has low health and no escape tool. His health can get chunked very hard if he is hit by Colt’s barrages, Brock’s rocket, Piper’s sniper, etc. He is no better at close range (unless he has his super up). He can get killed very easily by any mid or short ranged hero. Nita, Shelly, Bull, and many other brawlers, can outduel him and kill him quickly. However, if Barley has his super ready, he can instantly kill most brawlers at a short range, and kill Bull or El Primo if they decide to chase you through your super. Positioning is essential for playing Barley right.
Shelly is a tough brawler to beat. She has no weaknesses that you can abuse and doesn’t need to get up close to kill you. At longer ranges, this matchup is more even. I suggest you keep your distance and poke her down, while letting your other teammates take the brunt of the damage. The only way you can kill her in a duel is surprising her in the bush and one shotting her with your ult.
This is a skill matchup. Although Colt has more damage than you, the damage is easily avoidable. Your first priority in this duel is to make sure you don’t get hit by his bullets. A common way is to walk in zig zags, which increases your dodge chance. Since his health isn’t spectacular, the Colt has to be wary of your damage. Eventually, he will lose enough health and back off. I do not suggest chasing him unless there is a wall between you 2. It is a lose-lose scenario, with little chance of killing him. If you walk do not walk in zig zags, he can kill you with 2 ammo. If you do walk in zig zags, he will get away and you will have wasted time chasing him.
This matchup is similar to Colt, except it favors you. Brock’s rockets do high damage but are easy to dodge and his reload time is much slower. The only difference is if he uses his super; it is important you get out of his super’s radius. DO NOT underestimate it. The rockets travel and land at the same time, disregarding the range he uses the super at, unlike yours. They do 260 damage a piece and just 2 rockets hitting you can bring you down to 80 health. Other than that, the same concepts that apply to Colt apply to Brock.
In a 1v1, you should win at long and medium ranges, while she wins at short ranges where it is very hard to dodge her attack. She has more health and immediate damage with the same reload speed, but her bullets should be easy to dodge. If she uses her super, I suggest you stay away or hide in a bush. The bullets from her turret are very easy to dodge at long distances, and will not attack you if you are in a bush (regardless if you are seen by the enemies, does not apply if you are in the same bush). I don’t advise dueling her if her turret is attacking you because dodging both her turret’s bullets and her attacks at the same time is difficult. Because her turret is stationary, you are able to get the 2 ticks from your attack off. Although it is usually better for your high DPS allies to destroy it, you can destroy it if you want. As a final note, don’t stay close to your teammates if she is around.
This is a pretty hard matchup for you. She can kill you at mid-range, while avoiding your “one shot” super because she can keep her distance. She can outduel you with ease and is hard to kill due to her high health. It is best to keep your distance from her and poke her down from high ranges. Don’t try to kill her bear, whether by using your super or attack. It is too tanky and a waste of time to deal with. Unless you absolutely need to, let your teammates take it down.
Your bomber counterpart. He has a similar attack to you but does much more damage. In a duel, this is a skill matchup. Like Brock’s super, it takes the same time for the bomb to detonate no matter the range he shoots it at. Because of this, I advise you to get close to him so you have a big heads up for where the bomb will explode. Stay away from his super at all costs. One hit from that and one hit from any of his bombs is an instant death sentence. If you are hit by his big bomb, you should try to heal up since avoiding all of Dynamike’s attacks and killing him at 100 health is a very difficult task.
This matchup is pretty self-explanatory. Keep your distance, poke him down. If he gets close to you, use your super. The best place to use it is the space between you and him. He gets damaged instantly, and if he keeps chasing you, he will die. I would say this kills him 7/10.
Bull is a more dangerous version of El Primo. Just keep your distance and poke him down. However, he can kill you in 2 attacks; 1 attack if he lands hit super.
The same concept as Colt applies here. However, he is more forgiving if you get hit, but has higher range and walls won’t always protect you. You still shouldn’t chase him. He is easier to kill because he has lower health.
All you need to do is land more hits on him than he does to you. Real talk: As I said before, positioning is essential for Barley. Since Barley is an expert at zoning, this makes Barley a big counter to himself. If you are facing him, use your attack in places where he would otherwise want to be. Make sure he doesn’t get any good supers off, and force him in a vulnerable position.
This little fella is one of your hardest matchups. More damage, more health, equal range, undodgeable attack, and has a heal. You should never try to duel him; just zone him and use your super attack from a bush if you really need him to die.
This grave-digger is also one of your hardest matchups. He has more damage, but a (slightly) lower attack speed. The worst part of him is he can dodge your attacks and your super. Your one-shot super won’t kill him, as he can just dash away. He also has a heal, so poking him down will be even harder. Your best bet is to stay with your team (but not too close) and use their help to take him down.
Although you can outduel her at short ranges, you won’t get there against a decent Piper. Her long-range attacks are deadly. You should try to stay behind a wall if you are against her, and focus on other enemies.
This guy is very tanky but also has very low damage at long ranges. Most of the time, it is a skill matchup between you and him at long-medium ranges. At short ranges, all 3 of his attack can usually damage you, and this turns the tides into his favor. Unless you have your super, don’t get into melee range of him. The most important thing is to not get damaged by his bombs. Just 2 of them can kill you. You can easily detonate them without getting hit by stepping on them and quickly stepping off.
Personally, my least favorite brawler to fight. At short-medium ranges, he can kill you with just 2 spike balls, so don’t engage him even if you have your super up. At longer ranges, he only does 120 damage, and his attacks are relatively easy to dodge. If you see him cast his super, RUN AWAY. That thing slows you to a crawl and does 100 damage every second. Overall he is only a problem if he is in range to land his spike ball on you and if he uses his super.
This guy is very hard to duel. He is fast, and can easily dodge your attacks. Your super won’t work either since he can just use his. His poison attacks are annoying and prevent you from healing, but aren’t that worrisome otherwise. It is best you ignore him, but if he makes a mistake, feel free to kill him.
Smash & Grab
Barley would excel in Smash and Grab if his counters (Nita, Mortis, Piper, Poco) didn’t dominate it. Nonetheless, he is still strong and you can play around his counters. His attack is a great zoning tool when contesting for the gem, and he is very strong in chasing/running away. When chasing, he can super the area his enemies are running to and force them to take heavy damage. When running, he can zone the enemies with his attacks and ult. I would refrain from getting the gem from the middle unless you have your super up. Let your beefier teammates do it.
In my opinion, this is Barley’s weakest game mode. He has a hard time getting stars due to his low damage, but also has a hard time keeping starts because he is so easy to kill. I would say try to help your teammates get stars and help them survive using your zoning power and super. Play more like a support, but always adapt to the situation.
In my opinion, this is by far his greatest game mode. He is strong on both the defensive and offensive side. For defense, his zoning power excels in delaying enemies. If the enemies ever get too close to the safe, a quick super can clear them away. As for offense, it takes a bit more skill. His strength comes from getting on top of the box and using your super. This takes away around one third of it’s health(more if you upgrade your super) plus however many basic attacks you can get in. The best case senario is to super both an enemy brawler and the box at the same time. By doing that and charging up your super a bit more with basic attacks, you can super the box twice! Barley pairs up best with El Primo or Bull, as they can charge into the box, destroy the walls, and delay them so Barley can get a good super on the box. Don’t be afraid to super enemies. Most of the time, one-shotting an enemy with your super instantly recharges it.
This guy is massively underrated in Showdown. After Shelly, Bull, and El Primo, I would say Barley is arguably the fourth best. The only other brawlers that rival him are Spike, Colt, and Mortis. The trick to winning with this guy is surviving until the end. Run away if an enemy tries to contest a box. It’s not worth risking death for a powerup. It is important to charge your super during this time. You can team if you want to (Supercell recently stated this is allowed), but betrayal is very common. Once you survive until the end, try your best to surprise and one shot the last enemy. Throughout the game, if you see an opportunity to one shot using your super or see a sitting duck, just kill them and take the power-up.
Many people think Barley is only good in heist. I would say he is strong in all game modes, while excelling in heist. He is good at zoning, and has a very versatile super. However, he has low DPS, low mobility, and low health. If you want to take on thing out of this guide, just remember that positioning is what seperates a good Barley player from a great Barley player. Definitely give this barkeeper a try.
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