Respawn has officially explained the abilities of new Apex Legends character Catalyst, and her powerful abilities have plenty of room for creativity.
Catalyst is the 23rd playable legend added to Apex Legends, but her kit manages to carve out an entirely new niche. Her abilities point to a defensive-oriented legend with lots of area denial. While relatively simple compared to other new legends, clever Apex players will quickly discover new ways to exploit their unique traits.
Catalyst’s Barricade traps enemies where you want them
Catalyst’s passive ability is Barricade, which allows her to seal off doors. She can apply her sticky metal to two different doors at the same time, potentially locking down entire sections of the map. In combination with her other abilities, Catalyst can trap entire enemy squads into single rooms with nowhere to run.
The trailer depicts Catalyst performing Barricade on a hallway exit before circling back to flank trapped enemies. While this ability has a lot of offensive potential, it seems best suited for shutting attacking groups out of key areas. Indoor areas with lots of doors like the sorting factory and train yard on World’s Edge will be hotspots for new Catalyst players.
Piercing Spikes is area denial in its purest form
Catalyst’s tactical ability is Piercing Spike, an area denial grenade that covers a wide area in a thin layer of black ferrofluid. When enemies come close, the layer erupts into damaging spikes that slow anyone caught within it. Unlike other floor traps, Catalyst’s grenade is immune to damage until enemies get close enough to trigger the spikes.
The logical decision is to throw Piercing Spikes down in tight spaces to deter enemies from advancing. It can also be preemptively placed to block off vulnerable flanks. Clever players will quickly realize that enemies are incentivized to get close to the spikes to destroy them, so try placing it in an open spot and finding an odd angle to camp it. Catalyst is notably immune to the spikes, which also applies to Catalyst players in enemy squads.
Catalyst ultimate ability Dark Veil explained
Most of Catalyst’s abilities are based on locking down small areas, but Dark Veil turns things up a notch by cutting the fight in half. The ultimate summons a humongous wall of black ferrofluid that blocks enemy vision over a wide area. Enemies can still pass through the wall on foot or in vehicles, but they will be both slowed and blinded for a short duration afterward. Abilities and bullets, friendly or otherwise, also pass through unscathed.
The obvious use for Dark Veil is to reset a fight and revive teammates. In late-game situations, it can also be used to cut enemy players off from reaching a shrinking ring. Information is key in Apex Legends, so tactical players should find plenty of opportunities to exploit the new ultimate. Remember that Dark Veil always travels ahead of Catalyst’s current position, so setting it up mid-fight may be difficult.