Smash and Grab is one of Brawl Star’s main game modes. It consists of a 3 vs 3 mode where players try to grab gems that fall out of a mine in the middle of the map. Players can kill enemy players to be able to take the gems they drop when they die. The first team to 10 gems will receive a 16 second countdown. If the 10 gems are still in the players’ possession by 16 seconds, the game is won.
Smash and Grab may seem like a bit of a hard mode to play at first, as you have to be very careful with your positioning and be able to work well as a team. However, it is also one of the most entertaining mode to play for many players, and can make for some of the best matches in Brawl Stars. Here are some tips to help you improve when playing this mode.
1. Create a balanced team
If you are matching up in a team of 3 with your clan mates or friends, it is very important to have a properly balanced team. A team with not enough health or that is too focused on utility can make it very difficult for you to win. Because of this, it is important to think which characters will work well together.
For example, Poco and El Primo are a great combination together because when the El Primo is pushing in, the Poco can support with his decent range, and then follow up with his super when the El Primo is running low on health. For starters, if you want to make a well balanced team, it is usually a good idea to have one person playing a close range character, one playing a mid range character, and the other a long range one. Here are some examples of a well balanced 3 person team:
El Primo + Shelly + Poco
Mortis + Jessie + Colt
2. Take control of the center
Smash and Grab is all about getting gems, and those gems are located in the middle. This means that unlike in the gamemode bounty, you don’t need to kill players. Your main goal is to control the center. The longer you hold on to this part of the map, the more gems you will be able to get, leading you closer to victory.
A great way to control the center is by having a long ranged character control the choke points and the flanks. However, on more open Smash and Grab maps, you will have to rely on your aim a bit more, in that if you damage enemy players enough or even kill them, they will have to waste some time recovering.
If at any point your team is struggling to control the middle, consider adding a character such as Barley, Bo, or Spike into your match, as they have some very good crowd control capabilities.
3. Kills aren’t everything!
This is a huge mistake that I see newer players making all the time. Smash and Grab isn’t bounty, you don’t need to kill the enemy to win! Yes, getting a kill is a nice advantage because it buys you around 10 seconds of time, but that does not mean that you should sacrifice yourself to do that!
I often see a players with a couple of gems rushing in to get that kill on one of the enemies who doesn’t have any gems on them. They usually succeed in getting the kill, but inevitably die to the other players on the team. All that that push did was give a couple of gems to the enemy, leading them closer to victory.
Getting kills while sacrificing yourself is only important when you are losing and you need to kill the player with all the gems to stop the countdown. Otherwise, only get kills when you know you will be able to get away. These kills from a safe distance when you can run away can reward you with some gems, some extra time and a positional advantage.
4. Learning how to flank and countering it
If done correctly and in a coordinated fashion, one of the most devastating tactics in Smash and Grab is the flank. The flank involves a player sneaking through bushes behind or to the side of the enemy, surprising them, and often scoring a quick kill. This tactic is even more deadly if all players push in at the same time. This will make it very difficult for the players who are being attacked to fend off all the players, which should give you center control and even a couple of kills.
The flank is most beneficial to do when you don’t have control of the center, however it can also work in many other situations.
However, the flank can easily be stopped by shooting at the bushes to check if there is anyone there. Since you can briefly see a player in a bush when you hit them, firing at a bush to check it can give you a better understanding of where some of the enemies are on the map. Another great way to check if a player is in a bush or not is by sending out Nita’s bear. The bear targets the nearest player to them, so if you see the bear heading to a direction where there looks like there are no players, this most likely means that there is someone hiding in the bushes.
Keep in mind that if you see a player on the enemy team that constantly checks bushes to prevent a flank, it might be a good idea to avoid flanking.
5. Communication is important!
A team that communicates well has a very good advantage over a team that doesn’t. This is because you can inform your teammates about low health enemies, possible flanks, and other information that may give a superior advantage in the brawl field.
It is understandable that a lot of players may not be able to talk directly during the game. If you are not able to do that, try to formulate some kind of a plan in the game room chat. A well coordinated team is a winning team.
6. Change your play style according to the situation
Although this might be a bit of a more complicated tip, it is important to understand what you should do when you are in a certain situation.
For example, if you see a Piper on the enemy team, it is vital to take this into account and understand that you will need to avoid standing in the open and stay close to cover to avoid getting hit. Another example is to avoid clumping up with your teammates when there is an enemy Jessie. Her orbs will be able to hit all three of you when you are close together.
Knowing what to do against each character in Smash and Grab is important to dealing with them. This comes from experience by playing with the different characters and understanding what their strengths and weaknesses are.
7. Be smart about picking up gems
It is very critical to understand how to manage gems for high-trophy games. Usually, it is smart to have one person collecting all the gems, as long as the person is well covered by his teammates. Having all the gems on one player means that his teammates will be able to afford to be more aggressive. In addition, if one of them gets ten, it will be very difficult for the enemy to take down that last player, as the two other teammates can be very aggressive when holding off the attacking players and they don’t need to care about dying.
However, it is worth mentioning that the player collecting gems should not sit in the back doing nothing. This player should still be supporting the team as much as they can. Because of this, it actually makes more sense for a ranged character to collect the gems instead of a tank since the ranged character won’t have to be aggressive to still be helping out the team. A close range character (except Mortis) is not great for collecting gems as their low range makes them have to push in to deal damage. Nevertheless, the player with the gems should have lots of health and be able to defend themselves well when teammates aren’t around.
Here are some good choices for brawlers that can be used well to collect gems:
8. Tying the gem count
A common fact that many players don’t realize is that the countdown stops if the gem count is tied for both teams. Players with gems often do a last resort rush to stop the player with gems, however they end up dying, and ultimately don’t realize that the gem count could have been tied.
Use this feature to your advantage: If the enemy team decided to fall back immediately after getting 10 gems, you will have enough time to grab 2 more gems during the 15 second countdown, allowing you the possibility to stop the countdown and gain center control. Keep in mind that if a team has 11 or more gems, you will have to tie the gem count to theirs as well (for example, make the score 14:14).
9. What to do when you are losing
We’ve all been in the situation when we are losing a Smash and Grab game. When the enemy countdown starts, it may be difficult to recover the gems and stay alive afterwards. When you are in this situation, there are a couple of things you can do. Look at the enemy gem count. Now look at the enemies and see if there are any players that you can take out that when they go down, they will make the gem count below 10. That’s right, you don’t have to kill the player with the most gems to restart the countdown, but anyone that will make the number of gems on the enemy team below 10.
Another tactic is when defeating an enemy with ton of gems, it is not always a smart idea to grab all their gems. Wasting time to collect all the gems leaves you open for other brawlers to come in and take you out, giving the gems back to them. Try to grab enough gems to disallow the enemy team to collect 10+ gems and run back as quickly as you can.
10. Not all brawlers do well in Smash and Grab!
Although most of the brawlers are good in multiple modes, some are just not suited for Smash and Grab. Some brawlers to avoid in Smash and Grab are Bull, Brock, and Ricochet. Even though Bull’s super can prove to be useful at times when recovering and retreating with gems, he is still easily kited by many characters and simply doesn’t have the range to land most of his shots.
Brock is overall a mediocre character in most modes, including in Smash and Grab. His missiles are slow and he has very little health, making him useless many times during the battle.
Ricochet is a similar story to Brock, he simply doesn’t have enough health to do particularly well in the game mode.
These brawlers aren’t very effective in Smash and Grab:
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