How does Loba fit into Apex’s meta?

The new legend has meta-defining potential.

Image via Respawn Enterainment

Apex Legends’ latest playable character, Loba, dropped earlier this week along with the season five update. Loba is referred to as a translocating thief in the loading screen and all of her abilities revolve around finding, stealing, and controlling the best loot in the game.

It’s hard to say for sure how Loba’s arrival will impact the Apex competitive meta. But so far, it seems like she has the potential to be one of the strongest legends in the game.

Video via EA

Loba has a strong mobility ability and her passive to spot and steal loot from around the map is incredibly useful, regardless of what level players compete at. She could be one of the most meta-defining legends in Apex season five.

Loba’s early-game loot will force teams to spread out

One of Loba’s abilities, Eye For Quality, allows her to see epic and legendary loot through walls. This ability is especially powerful in the early game and will allow squads who run Loba to quickly acquire high-tier loot immediately after dropping in. Eye For Quality significantly increases the threat of running into enemy teams while looting early, though, since they could have a Loba who’s already highly equipped. 

As a result of her high threat in the early game, the season five meta will likely see teams spreading out more than in the past. A general strategy for advanced Apex lobbies is to drop into a hot area, loot to full ammo, and then rotate to where your team thinks the final circle might be. With Loba in the mix, you’ll likely see people spreading out more in the initial drop since teams with a Loba will be able to locate all the best loot regardless of where they go. Avoiding crowded zones will maximize your chance of not immediately getting wrecked by an enemy Loba with legendary loot.

Loba helps teams replenish ammo during the end game

A big concern for high-level players in the end circle is ammunition. If you rotate to the final circle in the early game, it’s possible that players will run out of ammo by the time the game is ending. This is because players who rotate to camp a final circle also aren’t looting new areas throughout the game to replenish their ammo. In end circles, it can be a big risk to acquire the ammo left behind by eliminated players since it often involves running across open areas.

This is where Loba’s ultimate ability, Black Market Boutique, really shines. Loba is able to use her ultimate to teleport nearby loot to her location, where she can select two items from the Black Market list. This means that she’s able to take some of the ammunition off of eliminated players without having to expose herself. This ability essentially allows squads with Loba on them to occasionally replenish their ammunition with little to no risk. Of course, enemy Loba’s will also be able to steal ammo.

Loba may replace Pathfinder because of her mobility

Along with season five, EA released a number of balance changes for Apex. One of the most notable changes was an adjustment to Pathfinder’s Grappling Hook ability, which saw the cooldown increase from 15 to 35 seconds. The 130-percent increase in cooldown is a massive nerf to Pathfinder’s mobility since he can now only use his ability to get in or out, not both. Before this nerf, Pathfinder was a necessity on most team compositions. But after the nerf, Loba is actually looking stronger. 

Loba’s tactical ability, Burglars Best Friend, allows her to throw a telelocation grenade that she can then teleport to. This ability allows her to take unexpected angles, reach high ground, and escape from trouble in a similar fashion to Pathfinder’s Grappling Hook. Her translocation ability has a single charge with a cooldown of only 25 seconds. This means that Loba is now one of the most mobile and flexible legends. She’ll likely replace Pathfinder in the meta since he’s far less usable after the mobility nerf.

Loba is a powerful new legend. She’s effective in the early and late game, and sports one of the most powerful mobility-focused abilities in the game. She’ll definitely be a popular pick and the implications of her abilities are meta-defining.