Is Mad Maggie enough to shake up Apex Legends’ meta?

Maggie has lots of skills, but are they enough to shift the balance of the game?

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

The new legend Mad Maggie looked like a big threat to Gibraltar before the launch of Defiance, the newest season of Apex Legends. The 55-year-old freedom fighter from Salvo had everything she needed to counter the Shielded Fortress and bring an end to Gibraltar’s stranglehold on both ranked and competitive play. Many in the Apex community believed she could end the camping meta as well, allowing teams to easily break through strong defensive positions.

Players got excited over the possibilities of her tactical drill that fires a thermite-like flare right through shields, a passive that gives her bonus move speed with shotguns, and an ultimate that drops speed boosts, theoretically letting her close the gap to enemy bubbles before the opponents inside can reset.

But while Maggie’s Gibraltar-killing abilities looked great on paper, her release proved that even a character who looked specifically designed to hard-counter defensive legends was not enough to take down the Shielded Fortress.

First and foremost, her tactical drill was not really a death sentence for Gibraltar’s signature protective bubble, as many in the community had assumed. Instead, it plays more like Ash’s tactical, Arc Snare—an annoyance more than a Gibraltar-buster. Because it pierces walls or bubbles and has an area of effect, it can force enemies to reposition and deny area to them. But it’s hard to land, and it’s easy to avoid being hit with the brunt of its destructive force. Players who like the ability would probably be better off using Fuse, whose Knuckle Cluster has two charges and a larger, less visually distinct impact zone.

Maggie’s ultimate, while fine, is another area where other legends outperform her. On damage, other Gibraltars are far more deadly than Maggie is to Gibraltar. The ability’s secondary utility as a tool to push entrenched enemies is outmatched by Ash, whose quiet and near-instantaneous ultimate makes a whole team invulnerable to damage. Wraith’s ultimate is similar but even safer, allowing retreats if things don’t go according to plan. Pathfinder, Octane, and even Valkyrie all have abilities in their kit that can be used to quickly attacked unprepared enemies or finish off weakened ones. Maggie’s bouncy ball, a bit like Seer’s ultimate or the reworked audio cue of a Revenant’s Death Totem, is an advance warning of an impending enemy push, making it difficult to catch teams off-guard. Finally, Wattson’s ultimate zaps it out of existence.

Maggie’s entrance into the Apex Games also coincided with other important changes in the meta. Shakeups to Caustic nerfed the Toxic Trapper. Instead of making Maggie stronger, Caustic’s fall from grace makes Maggie less useful, since her kit is built around attacking entrenched positions and now other legends hardly need the help. Worse, Crypto’s buffs threaten to make Maggie irrelevant as a Gibraltar counter. Always a pain for Gibraltar mains, it’s now easier than ever for Crypto players to pop Gibraltar bubbles, making him the clear choice for those looking to knock Gibby down a peg.

Just a few days into the season, the hype around Maggie has cooled drastically, and it’s easy to see why. She won’t shake up the meta in a major way. That’s not to say that Mad Maggie is a useless legend. Even if the shotgun movement speed bonus underwhelms, the other part of her passive gives her wallhacks. Her drill ability can do massive damage in the right situation. Sure, she hasn’t made it into the repertoire of legends that pro players use. But her kit, despite shipping with less power than many expected, is packed with utility, making her a fine choice for most of us.