Note: This is a guest post by Dmitro.
Today I will be talking about Barley, a rare Brawler who is known for his strong ability to control areas of the map and deal lots of area of effect damage. Let’s look in-depth into this brawler and take a look at how to properly use him.
Since Barley’s buff in August, Barley became the favorite character of many players. This is not only because he features a different playstyle compared to other brawlers, but also, because Barley is an excellent damage dealer with a devastating super.
The main use for Barley is area control. Barley is able to use his main attack and his super to deny the enemy from accessing vital points on the map such as the middle in Smash and Grab, or a choke point when defending the safe on Heist.
However, Barley can also work well as a Brawler used for splash damage. His main attack as well as his super are easily able to hit multiple opponents, making him a decent option to deal some damage to multiple opponents.
Main attack – Undiluted
Barley throws a bottle filled with acid. Once the bottle lands, it makes quite a large puddle of acid on the ground that stays there for around 2 seconds.
The attack does 120 damage (+30 with upgrades) upon hitting the ground and does the same damage a second later if the enemy steps or stays into the acid puddle.
Because of how his attack works, Barley is very good at holding people off and controlling area. The acid stays on the ground for a while meaning that if thrown at a choke point, enemies will either have to wait for it to go away or take damage to get through it, which is often unfavorable.
This brawler’s attack has a big advantage over others, and that is that it can go over walls. It is also important to note that Barley’s attack takes less time to hit the ground the closer he aims his attack to himself.
The puddle that Barley leaves behind after his attack covers quite a large area, making Barley good at crowd control and area damage.
Super – Last Call
The character’s super is very different from the supers of other characters. Barley throws 5 fiery bottles into the air, that once upon hitting the ground, will deal 120 damage (+30 with upgrades) and then create a fiery puddle that will stay there for around 5 seconds. Again, just as with his main attack, the closer Barley is to where he wants to hit, the less time it will take to hit. The five bottles he throws will also be thrown closer together the closer he is to his target. This means that if this character uses his super at its maximum range, which is 8.5 tiles, the super will cover a very large area of the map. This makes this super very effective in taking control of the map and holding back enemies.
At close range, this brawler’s super won’t spread far at all and hit the ground almost immediately. However, at long range, the 5 bottles will spread out very far and will take as long as 2-3 seconds to hit the ground after you use your attack. Fun FacT: If all of barley hits absolutely everything with his super, it can deal 3500 damage at maximum level!
Fun FacT: If all of barley hits absolutely everything with his super, it can deal 3500 damage at maximum level!
Using Barley in a Smash and Grab match
This is one of Barley’s most effective modes. Barley is able to control of critical choke points to prevent the enemy from pushing forwards to attack your team.
Because of this, Barley is primarily used to delay the enemy, which in turn means that Barley should be used in a very different way than other brawlers.
Instead of using your attack to damage other players, you want to use your attack on choke points where enemies will have to push forwards to take control.
That’s right, your main goal isn’t to damage the opponents – that should be the goal of more damage based characters on your team such as Colt, for example.
Of course, if you locate your attack in a good place while hitting an enemy it is only better for your team, however, focus on holding off and delaying the enemy instead of getting damage in. This difference in gameplay is the difference between an average Barley player and an excellent Barley player.
By using your attack on this critical choke point every couple of seconds, the entire enemy team can be held off for a significant amount of time
Keep in mind that the best way to counter Barley’s main attack in to flank and to push from two or even three different choke points. This means that Barley will just not be able to get his attack out fast enough to actually delay the enemy.
When it comes to Barley’s super, you have to understand that Barley’s super has an incredible amount of potential, not only in raw damage but also the power to influence the game.
Think about his super like this: the closer you aim it to yourself the more you it should be geared towards dealing damage, while the farther away you aim it the more it is effective at controlling area. Let’s look into this to see why it works that way.
The first factor that comes into mind is that Barley’s super covers a larger distance the farther he is to where he aims. This means that at a long distance, the 5 bottles that this character throws spread over a long distance, meaning they are great at denying area.
In Smash and Grab, an example of when it is useful for you to use your super at maximum distance when you don’t have control of the centre. Use your super right on the middle of the map – the enemy will be forced to retreat back, while your team gain control of the centre. This is how good Barley’s super is – the momentum of the game can be changed with just one well placed attack.
The Bull and the Jessie will be forced to abandon the middle of the map unless they want to take serious damage. This allows my team to push in and retake control of the centre.
Another factor that contributes is that his bottles take less time to hit the ground the closer he aims. If Barley throws his bottles right next to him, his bottles will land onto the ground almost immediately, which means that they can quickly devastate an enemy nearby.
Many players with low range such as El Primo and Bull will often try to chase you. Don’t worry about getting too close – if you have your super, use it right next to you so that the enemy will run into all 5 fiery bottles and takes some very devastating damage.
Because of the above factors, Barley’s super should only be used at very close range, or at maximum distance, and almost never at the middle, since it will neither be good at dealing damage or controlling area.
Using Barley in Heist
Heist is an amazing mode to play with Barley, as it’s one of his best modes. Barley is able to effectively utilize the fact that he can attack over walls to damage the safe when attacking, and competently control area and choke points when defending.
When it comes to Barley’s super when playing Heist, when defending, you’ll want to use it to hold off the enemy. If you can use it on choke points, it could buy you around 10 seconds of time – which is quite beneficial in winning a game. However, you can also use it in the case if a close ranged character such as El Primo or Bull is shooting away at your safe.
If that is happening, you can use your super right at the safe – the enemy will be forced to run away from the flames unless they want to take a huge amount of damage. When attacking, you primarily want to use your super on the safe, specifically as close to it as possible (refer back to the scale of damage vs area of Barley’s super).
However, you can also use it on some of the enemy players if you see a good opportunity to deal some good damage, as if you hit a lot of the players, you super will be able to recharge and you will be able to use it again, this time, on the safe.
Using Barley in Bounty
This is a mode that is not recommended for Barley. The problem is, it’s not that Barley can’t damage enemy players, it’s just that this is not what this character’s main use is.
A much better choice for bounty is a character more geared towards dealing lots of damage quickly and then being able to run away when needed. An example of a better choice for bounty than Barley is Piper or El Primo.
However, if you are so inclined in using Barley in Bounty, focus on hitting multiple enemies at once. Try to throw your bottles in a way that the enemy will get hit by your attack both when your bottle hits the ground and when the enemy steps into it.
Also, don’t forget to use walls to your advantage. Most enemies won’t be able to hit you through or over walls, so the cover will be your main way of staying alive.
In regards to your super, try to use it mainly to get kills, as that is the main goal of the game mode. Since it will take your super a long time to hit the ground if you use it at long range, you want to get in close to your enemies, preferably keeping a wall in between you and the enemy to keep yourself safe. This way, the damage of your super can quickly stack up and take out your target quickly.
Using Barley in Showdown
After August’s changes to Barley, the meta of playing Shelly, El Primo or Bull quickly changed. As of right now, Barley is a solid pick on Showdown. However, it may take you some time to get used to him, since you have to be able to hit your targets consistently. In
addition, unlike many other brawlers, Barley struggles in open maps. Because of this, avoid Feast or Famine. It is too open and you will die quickly.Barley is certainly not on that list, and that is for a reason similar to why he is not the best in bounty.
Your super should be reserved for close range brawlers pushing you, or if you just need to get that kill on a brawler with minimal health. Otherwise, try not to waste it, since it has a ton of potential.
Just as before, use walls to your advantage. It will allow you to stay safe while dealing consistent damage and let you charge up your super.
Avoid: (Feast or Famine)
To make a good team with Barley, you first have to understand his strengths and weaknesses, and then “fill his gaps” with brawlers who are strong in what Barley is weak in. Barley has strong crowd control abilities and provides good utility for the team.
His weaknesses are that he doesn’t have a lot of health and he doesn’t have amazing range and damage. Some characters that make up for Barley’s weaknesses are: