The biggest changes you might’ve missed in Apex’s Shadow Society patch

When the Apex Legends patch notes come around, I always keep my fingers crossed for our beloved Ash, hoping Respawn will give her her due with a viable upgrade. While the Shadow Society patch brings a lot of changes, the players most affected by these seem to be the pros.

The Apex Legends Shadow Society Event will run until April 16, with exclusive skins, cosmetic items, limited time modes, and mid-season changes to balance out the most popular legends. Here is our take on the biggest changes you may have missed in the Shadow Society patch notes.

Is the competitve meta changing yet again?

Bloodhound's raven looking over a body in Apex Legends Shadow Society trailer
Is this the last we see of Bloodhound within the pro scene? Screenshot by Dot Esports via Apex Legends YouTube

It feels like only yesterday when the Digital Threat was removed from the Wingman and SMGs. Apex was forever changed by the gigantic legend and EVO changes on Feb. 13. The loss of the Digi-Threat (although welcomed by every pro player) was quickly replaced by Bloodhound.

The scan meta has persisted since Seer’s domination (thanks to HisWattson) back in July 2022 at the ALGS Championship. Since Seer, the scan meta continued to grow in popularity, followed by a Catalyst counter. When Seer shifted out of the meta, it made space for Bangalore. Her smokes and the Digital Threat created a blinding experience for pro players and avid watchers like myself.

Bangalore and Newcastle in Apex Legends Breakout Launch trailer
Will Bang fade into the background? Screenshot by Dot Esports via Apex Legends YouTube

While Bloodhound continues to provide that scanning meta with their Tracker and Beast of the Hunt, Bangalore appears to have taken the brunt of the Shadow Society nerfs. Her Rolling Thunder 30 second increase could be overlooked, but her Smoke Launcher no longer dealing damage to low-health opponents hiding behind cover and the smoke duration decrease to 11 seconds (when it was previously 18) weakens Bangalore’s kit substantially.

With these nerfs, it’s highly likely Bangalore will leave the comp meta in favor of a composition like Bloodhound-Caustic-Valkyrie. Perhaps we’ll see the return of Gibraltar. But if the Gibby pick rate increases, so too will his counter, Mad Maggie.

But will Bloodhound remain in the meta if Bangalore smokes are no longer in play? Interestingly, Seer has received a big buff with his Focus of Attention activation delay shortened from 1.4 seconds to 1.2 seconds. When Seer was at his most powerful, this delay only took 0.9 seconds. There is a good chance that Seer will make his return, right before the Split One Playoffs on May 5.

Fixing the overpowered Care Package weapons

Ash throwing her Tactical with Horizon running past in Apex Legends Launch trailer
Will Ash ever get buffed? Screenshot by Dot Esports via Apex Legends YouTube

The Care Package EVA-8 and Wingman have been altered. Respawn clearly wants more players using the EVA-8 in close and mid-range. It’s buff focuses on improved handling and a tightened blast pattern.

The Wingman cannot equip the Digital Threat, but it now includes the option to add other optics to it. Both the EVA and Wingman have had their ammo reserved decreased. To add to this, Care Package weapons will be replaced by Gold Weapons for the first round of packages. These are great changes towards a balanced future.

Shadow Society attempts to equal the playing field

Lifeline crouching above enemy and putting finger over her mouth in Apex Legends Shadow Society trailer
Could Lifeline be a viable combat medic? Screenshot by Dot Esports via Apex Legends YouTube

Based on the current meta and most picked legends in the pro scene, these are the biggest changes in the Shadow Society patch:

  • Caustic balance: Gas Slow effect only affects first damage tick for two seconds. Gas Damage increases by one per damage tick.
  • Bangalore nerfs: Smoke Launcher no longer deals damage, duration decreased by seven seconds, with faster dissipating smoke particles.
  • Bloodhound nerf: Tactical cooldown reduced by five seconds has been moved to level three upgrades.
  • Wraith buff: Ultimate Cooldown moved to level two upgrade, reducing her cooldown from 180 seconds to 120 seconds.
  • Lifeline balance: EVO Cache, Gold Knockdown Shield, and Backpack replacing her Gift Wrapped Care Package for level three upgrade. New Tactical Cooldown upgrade lets Lifeline always have D.O.C. drone.
  • Seer buff: Racing Hearts (faster movement in passive) is now integrated into his base tactical. Focus of Attention activation delay shortened to 1.2 seconds.

Overall, Caustic and Lifeline have received balanced changes. Although Lifeline is primarily used by Aurora over in EMEA, her D.O.C. upgrade may have other regions looking to integrate her into their team composition. While Wraith is currently only used in ALGS by Dezignful for Disguised, her pick rate could skyrocket thanks to Bang’s nerfs.

These changes may completely shift the meta to three new legend picks. TSM coach Raven theorized Seer-Catalyst-Horizon may return as the staple meta comp. Horizon returning to comp wouldn’t be that surprising due to her verticality. Bangalore gave players the ability to safely rotate, but if she is out of the meta, Catalyst could easily replace Bang with her extended Veil, or increased Veil duration.

How will the Shadow Society patch affect the casual playerbase?

Revenantt in Apex Legends Shadow Society trailer
An appropriate nerf for an OP legend. Screenshot by Dot Esports via Apex Legends YouTube

The biggest nerfs for casual players are Revenant and Conduit. Targeting players who thrive with this comp, knocks no longer refresh Revenant’s Tactical, nor does his tactical cooldown shorten during his ultimate. To put the nail in the coffin on this comp, Conduit has had her cooldown increased to 31 seconds (previously 26), and her Regen Interruption delayed to two seconds (was one).

The hope is to lower the ridiculous strength of Revenant-Conduit, as her shield regen ability is overpowered with Revenant’s ultimate. Other legends like Fuse and Octane have received a 50 percent explosive damage buff (previously 25 percent). Multiple legends now have some form of Bangalore’s Double Time. While Octane’s speed boost with his Stim has always been in the game, his abilities now paired with Fuse’s Knuckle Hustler and Ballistic’s new Speedy Whistler create a ridiculously fast and aggressive composition for W-keying everyone in the lobby.

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