The 2023 ALGS Championship featured plenty of jaw-dropping highlights and high-powered action. One weapon it didn’t feature much of? The Nemesis AR, one of the strongest weapons in Apex Legends.
When it was introduced in season 16, the Nemesis was quickly dubbed the best weapon in Apex, and for good reason. Its easy-to-control burst and ramping rate of fire made it excel at basically all ranges, and not just the mid-range niche most assault rifles settle into. The gun also didn’t need any attachments to be deadly; you could and still can easily take down an enemy with one clip of a Nemesis. It was also one of the rare things in Apex that casual players, streamers, and pros all seemed to agree on: It was far too good.
Respawn gave a slight nerf to the Nemesis in season 17 following player outcry that the gun was far too good, but the changes to projectile speed and bullet drop did little to curb its popularity. The gun was still a menace in ranked and dominated pro play in the ALGS Pro League and at the Split Two Playoffs.
Despite that dominance, Respawn didn’t nerf the Nemesis in the slightest for season 18. Instead, the devs tried to tune back its place in the meta by putting it in the crafting rotation, effectively locking the weapon in the game’s Replicators. And if ALGS Championship statistics are anything to go by, the move worked.
Despite still retaining strong damage output and usefulness at many ranges, the Nemesis lagged behind the Hemlok, the Flatline, and even the R-301 at the ALGS Championship in both kills and damage output during the event, according to stats site Apex Legends Status. The only assault rifle it outperformed was its energy ammo brother, the HAVOC.
This wasn’t due to a drop-off in stats, a shadow nerf, or even a sizable buff to other weapons, however. Teams just weren’t crafting the Nemesis, even when they were lucky enough to receive a Replicator at their landing spot. Faced with the option to create a Nemesis over more batteries, high evo shields for the team, and the all-important Digital Threat weapon sight that allows players to see enemies through obscuring smoke from Bangalore, crafting a Nemesis simply wasn’t a priority for most teams.
That lack of use was even more evident in the final lobby, where the Nemesis only managed to record three kills and 2,265 damage, compared to the Hemlok managing 46 kills and more than 20,000 damage on its own. There were only two more Nemesis kills in the grand finals than there were melee kills (when LG Chivas secured a victory with a bit of BM in game five).
When the Nemesis eventually returns to floor loot, as so many guns in Apex do, we’ll most likely have to revisit just how strong the weapon is. But for now, the respite from the Nemesis meta that Respawn said a move to the crafter would accomplish seems to be real.