Apex season 13 care package weapon seemingly leaked

The shotgun meta looks like it will get yet another shake-up.

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

Another day, another leak from Apex Legends.

While season 13’s crafting rotation possibly containing the R-301 and Rampage was leaked by Apex developers themselves, this one comes from multiple leakers that have an accurate track record. And players that like to take fights up close and personal should take note.

The shotgun pool in the ground loot may get a little bit smaller next season, with the Mastiff apparently going back into the care package.

Multiple images and videos of the Mastiff have surfaced online, showing the upgraded rarity of the gun to the game’s red mythic tier. If the Spitfire comes out of the care package next season, as rumors and leaks suggest it will, Respawn will need to add another weapon back into the care package to replace it. This time, it seems the Mastiff will head back to the care package for the first time since season five, when it swapped places with the Peacekeeper.

For those players that didn’t play in the early days of Apex, the Mastiff was one of only two care package weapons when the game first released and was the short-range counterpart to the Kraber. However, in those early seasons, the shotgun was far more terrifying than it is now. A well-placed headshot with the Mastiff could put 212 damage onto enemies with one shot, effectively making it a much simpler one-shot kill than the Kraber, since the maximum health and shields for players at the time was 200. 

While it looks like the Mastiff is getting buffed for its rumored re-appearance as a care package weapon, season zero players don’t have to worry. It looks like Respawn isn’t quite going to turn the shotgun all the way back up to its previous values. The gun still looks strong. The firing range leak suggests it can do 144 damage to the head in one shot, while body damage looks to hover somewhere around 100 damage. It’s just not “I was knocked in one shot by a shotgun that’s fairly easy to use” strong.

This change has the potential to shake up the weapon meta quite a bit at most ranks. With the Mastiff not in ground loot pool, players that like to run shotguns will face some slim pickings. The EVA-8’s usefulness tapered off after a series of nerfs. There are still those players that swear by the Mozambique, especially after Hammerpoints were reintroduced in season 12. But for many players, weapons selection will come down to finding a Peacekeeper or picking up a different style of weapon entirely.

At the highest levels of play, this change also potentially nerfs Gibraltar somewhat. The instant choke that the Mastiff’s ADS mechanic offers made the gun especially strong on Gibraltar, thanks to his gun shield deploying. Many pro Gibraltar players still favor the Mastiff over other shotguns for this mechanic, and the edge it gives them in fighting around and through the Gibraltar dome shield at close range with enemies. Without it, players might look to adopt other play styles with different characters.

But if you hear Mastiff shots in your season 13 lobbies, on the other hand, it might be best to take that fight from a distance. The gun’s bite will be far, far worse than its bark.