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How to Play Ash in Apex Legends

Zakaria Almughrabi

Season 11 of Apex Legends has brought with it a brand-new character. Meet Ash, the Incisive Investigator. Ash is classified as an Offensive Legend who functions like a scouting and leading character. Fans of Wraith and Octane should have an easier time adjusting to her playstyle. However, the way Ash can engage in fights differs enough from previous Offensive Legends enough that there will be a learning curve.

Apex Legends Ash

Ash is the newest Legends introduced to Apex in Season 11. Her kit may seem simple on the surface, but she brings many possibilities. (Image Credit Respawn)

Abilities

Passive – Marked for Death

Ash’s map shows the location of recent Death Box. Press H on a Death Box to mark surviving attackers (once per box).

  • Ash can interact with the Death Box of any player killed by another squad to find that squad’s current location. If the attackers are dead, it will return “No Surviving Attackers”.
  • The locations of the attackers are marked on the map with the Enemy Here ping for ~8 seconds.
  • For ~4 seconds, Ash is told the number of marked enemies. Those enemies are notified “POSITION REVEALED BY ASH” on their HUD.
  • Ash’s map screen displays a marker over every Death Box that is less than ~200 seconds old. She can use these markers to ping them from any distance.

Ash’s Passive is Marked for Death. This ability can be incredibly powerful for locating enemies, planning third parties, or even trying to avoid fights. By knowing where recent Death Boxes are, Ash can lead her team in whatever way fits their current objective.

Season 11 introduced a new map in Storm Point. This map is very large, containing many wide-open fields and drastic elevation changes. As such, traditional Recon characters like Bloodhound and Seer may have a harder time gaining information this season. Ash’s Passive allows her to bring some of this information-gathering power, letting her teammates play more mobility or defense-focused Legends.

Tactical – Arc Snare

Throw a spinning snare that damages and tethers the first enemy that gets too close. Cooldown: 25 seconds.

  • Unlike other projectiles, the trajectory is a straight line, but the travel speed is very slow.
  • The radius is 4 meters. The first enemy to enter takes 10 damage and is snared for ~3 seconds.
  • Deals double damage against shields.
  • Lasts up to ~5 seconds if no target is snared.

Arc Snare is Ash’s tactical ability. This is a very straightforward skill that has a multitude of uses in combat. It can be thrown at a doorway to stop a push in its tracks, at an enemy’s cover to keep them locked in place, on the edge of a Gibraltar Dome to stop them from jiggling, and at anything you want to zone off.

Arc Snare cannot be destroyed and it will lock any enemy down (unless they can phase or teleport out) for the full duration if it hits them. The projectile can “stick” an enemy if you hit them directly. Otherwise, it will stop on the first solid surface it hits and create the tether zone there. This ability is perfect for combining with Grenades. For this reason, you should always try and carry extras on Ash. A well-thrown Arc Snare can be the difference between a won and lost fight.

via GIPHY

Ultimate – Phase Breach

Tear open a one-way portal to a targeted location. Charge Time: 2 minutes.

  • Ash immediately enters the phase tear upon activation.
  • Maximum range is 62.5 meters.
  • Lasts ~15 seconds.

Ash’s ultimate is Phase Breach. This ability functions as a portal to any location that Ash can put her crosshair on within the range. Since Phase Breach works in a straight line, Ash can cast it at any angle, horizontally or vertically. Any player can enter Phase Breach, whether they’re on your team or not. However, it is a very quick one-way trip. If players aren’t sure exactly what’s on the other end, it could mean a ticket back to the lobby.

No character in Apex Legends can relocate Legends faster than Ash. Phase Breach casts incredibly quickly and players move through it at high speed. It can also be cast through open windows and doors, making it useful for moving in and out of buildings. Additionally, this ultimate is not just for rotations. Phase Breach can bring a ton of fighting power if used properly. Just know that this ability is the core of what Ash’s gameplay revolves around.

How to Fight as Ash

Ash is primarily played as a leading and scouting character. She will be in the front lines starting off most engagements much like a Wraith. However, there are some key differences in how Ash needs to approach fights. Wraith is at her best when she plays as aggressively as possible, looking for damage and openings for her team to move up on. If she ever gets in trouble, she has her tactical ability to phase back to safety.

Ash on the other hand will start fights from a bit further back. The lack of a low cooldown phase means that getting caught out of position away from your team comes at either the cost of a two-minute ability, or your life. While ulting out to safety is certainly a good option in many cases, it’s a play that puts you on the back foot for a while, greatly reducing what you can do for the rest of a fight.

What Ash CAN do that Wraith can’t is use her ultimate as an instant pushing and angling tool. If Ash and her team want to wipe a squad standing in their way, Ash can portal to a new forward angle which will put her enemies in an unfavorable position. If Wraith wants to do something similar with her portal, she needs to run in manually with it and likely use her phase getting there, giving her opponents time to prepare for the play and punish it. Ash’s Phase Breach does this play instantly (and nearly silently), making it a much more oppressive and surefire option. By getting to a new position quickly, Ash can pin opponents in place with angles and Arc Snare, buying time for her teammates to close the gap and help her end the fight.

via GIPHY

You may wonder, “how is it any different using the two-minute cooldown to reposition offensively instead of defensively?” By using Phase Breach to a new forward angle, you gain your team more space to work with and a higher chance at ending the fight in your favor. This means more loot, a better position in zone, and getting a step closer to winning the game. Ulting defensively is used exclusively for keeping you and your team alive to fight another day. Again, this can be the right choice in many situations, but much of Ash’s value as a character comes from being able to decisively close the gap to win fights.

If anything, Ash should be played much more like Octane instead of Wraith. Both characters have a low cooldown ultimate that is very useful for making aggressive plays at a moment’s notice. They are both useful for rotation, albeit excelling in different kinds of rotations. Jump Pad has more horizontal potential, while Phase Breach brings much more vertical potential. Both ultimates can also be used to get players out of a sticky situation in a flash, even for a fully grouped team.

Team Compositions for Ash

While Ash does act like a leading character, her team compositions are actually very versatile. Her primary play of ulting towards teams to win quick fights works very well with characters who support this. Bloodhound, Seer, and Crypto are all fantastic choices. Their ability to scan for information makes it very easy for the team to determine where and when to portal forward. Additionally, Seer and Crypto can use their tactical and ultimate abilities respectively to gain massive advantages right before the instant push comes in.

Gibraltar is a great option as always in fight-heavy compositions. He can Dome out of Phase Breach to get a bubble fight started in a flash. His Arm Shield and Fortified passive also make him an imposing target to take down in close range. Revenant can also bring fighting power via his ultimate. Pairing Phase Breach with Death Totem is a very powerful play that has big payoff for fairly low risk.

Lastly, Ash doesn’t have to be the only aggressive character in her team. Compositions that allow for multiple angles to be taken quickly are amazing at rolling through fight after fight. Wraith, Pathfinder, Valkyrie, and even Loba are all phenomenal Legends for assisting Ash in her goal of running through opponents.

Loadouts for Ash

Since Ash wants to be ulting towards teams, one mid-range and one close-range weapon is the ideal loadout. Assault Rifles are great for her, especially the Flatline since it can be hip fired for high damage. The Volt and the CAR are SMGs that excel in mid and close range, as does the Wingman. A Mastiff or Peacekeeper shotgun is the perfect pairing to allow Ash to crush in close quarters. In general, most weapons in the game are fine for Ash, just try not to run too many Marksman or Sniper weapons.

As for your backpack management. Try and keep as many Grenades as possible. If you have to choose between a third stack of Shield Cells or a fourth stack of Ammo, pick up a Grenade instead. While your ultimate is a very impactful skill that you should be looking to use every chance you get, it has a very short cooldown and you won’t need to carry Ultimate Accelerants for it. If you do need one late game, grab it off a teammate.

Conclusion

Ash is a simple character on the surface that can bring tons of potential impact. While her ultimate may be fairly short-ranged compared to other rotation tools, the value that an instant teleport can provide make her a unique character with a very high ceiling. She may take a while to get down, but the payoff for learning how to use her kit will be well worth it.

Zakaria Almughrabi

Zakaria Almughrabi

Zakaria is a former professional TF2 player turned caster and analyst. He has had a passion for gaming and esports for years and hopes to use his skills and experience to convey why gaming is so great. His specialty games are League of Legends, CS:GO, Overwatch, Super Smash Bros, and PUBG.

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