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Brawl Stars Character Guide: El Primo (Melee Bruiser)

This is the third part in our series of Brawl Stars character guides, but before we get to the heart of the matter, let us bring you up to speed as we always do, and give you a brief overview of the game. This is a new kind of MOBA from Supercell, aka the company that had a couple of huge hits over the past several years with Clash of Clans, and later on Clash Royale. The game comes with multiple game modes that offer their own brand of multiplayer gameplay, and if you need to try out new strategies or practice in a less stressful environment, you have the option to fight AI enemies. But as we always say, multiplayer is where it’s at, as this is 5-on-5 MOBA gaming where you’ll need to work together in order to emerge victorious at the end of the game.

Now that we’ve given you the customary overview, let us move on to our third character guide in the series. We’ve already covered Brock and Dynamike, so let’s move on to El Primo, a Melee Bruiser character who’s recognizable by his mask, his wrestling belt, his burly frame, and as we’ll mention several times in our guide, his tons of hit points.


El Primo is a common Brawler who can be best described as a tanky melee character. That’s because he does his damage from close range, beating up his opponents with his fists, while boasting of a healthy 1,300 HP — that makes him potentially the longest-lasting, most durable character available in the game. His primary attack is called the Slap Sandwich — that’s three consecutive slaps, with the middle one “sandwiched” in between the two, leaving enemy Brawlers worse for the wear. But what’s interesting in terms of this overview is his Super Ability — the Flying Elbow Drop. It is just as you imagine it to be, as Primo goes up in the air, and comes down on opponents with his elbow, knocking them back as he lands on them. This ability is primarily used to close gaps, or as an evasive maneuver.

As we mentioned above, Primo’s HP is one of his primary strengths — his HP is, in fact, the highest of any character in Brawl Stars. He’s a good choice for beginner players, and as we’ll explain later on, this applies regardless of your favorite Brawl Stars game mode.


Although you would usually think of tanks as high on HP and not necessarily strong on offense, El Primo is packed with power, as the damage he unleashes is among the most potent in the game. Of course, you’ve also got that 1,300 HP to deal with, making him a handful to take out if he’s the enemy Brawler, but allowing you a lot of wiggle room to get hit, if you’re controlling him. But don’t mistake the fact that he’s a melee Brawler with a lack of range — his range is actually quite decent, all thins considered. While you wouldn’t want him to hang that far back, he can stay farther back than what you’d expect, as the punches he throws tend to emit “shock waves” that could reach a decent length beyond his hands.

El Primo’s super, the Flying Elbow Drop, isn’t just an offensive move, but also a defensive one as well, or an evasive one, to be more precise. When used on offense, you can use the Flying Elbow Drop to separate an enemy Brawler from their team, or simply to take out an enemy with that impressive power of his. As we mentioned above, the Flying Elbow Drop can also allow Primo to escape, but on top of this, his Super is capable of destroying walls and other forms of cover, while knocking back other Brawlers in the vicinity. We’re going to go into further depth later on, but you can use him as a line of sight character in Heist mode, or to destroy cover and flush out enemies in Bounty and Smash and Grab mode.

The list of Primo’s weaknesses, as you see below, may be much longer than his list of strengths. But you can be rest assured that the weaknesses we will be mentioning won’t completely negate the strengths that we had mentioned above.


El Primo may be a handful out there, but that doesn’t mean he’s the perfect character. As he is a melee Brawler, that means he’s a prime target for kiting attempts if you don’t have his Super charged to where it should be. Essentially, this means that if Primo isn’t able to get into the right range to launch his Slap Sandwich, he won’t be able to generate his Super, and can be taken out by Brawlers who have a ranged Super. Any ranged enemy would be able to take him out from a distance, while being able to charge their own Super.

Additionally, Primo can be vulnerable when up against enemies in an extremely close-contact situation, meaning they could be standing right on top of him, leaving him unable to get proper aim to land his attacks on his opponents. If this happens to you while playing as El Primo, you may end up as toast, with the enemy leaving you helpless as an open target. Sure, you’ve got your extremely high HP as a consolation, but it’s no joke being in such a situation.

In relation to the above, players tend to run toward Primo instead of doing the ostensibly obvious thing and running away to find safer ground. That makes it challenging for players using Primo to get a good aim at the enemy, especially if other Brawlers run around and try to confuse him, further throwing him off his focus.

Another weakness manifests when he’s up against spawned-in enemies, meaning Jessie’s turret, and Nita’s bear. El Primo will need to be really close to these spawned enemies in order to do serious damage, and that isn’t always easy — he’s a bit slow on his feet, and either one of these characters could get some hits in and help Nita and Jessie charge up their Supers. That’s not a situation you want to be in — you may have taken out Nita or Jessie’s “pets” (the bear and the turret respectively), but there will be a new one summoned that you need to take out, and that could go on until all your HP has been wasted.

When And Where To Attack

When playing as El Primo, you should take advantage of that 1,300 hit point total. Use this character to establish early control of the map — for instance, when gems spawn in Smash and Grab, your team will have control, and it will be up to everyone on the team to keep the upper hand that Primo ideally could establish in the early goings of this mode.

Talking about his primary move, the Slap Sandwich could be used when you’re standing in a corner. Try unleashing an angled attack so you could focus on any enemies that make their way around the corner; those three slaps would come down at just the right time, and while it might take some time for you to master these angled attacks, they can be very useful in the heat of battle.

Don’t make the mistake of trusting too much in Primo’s strengths — in Brawl Stars, teamwork is at a premium, and you need to communicate with the other four players in your team in some way or another. Team up with your allies to take on one or two members from the opposing team. An easy trick to use here is to split up the enemy Brawlers’ spawn times in such a way that you’ve only got one or two enemies to deal with at a time. You want to force them to re-spawn while the next group of one or two enemies comes along, so that you’re perpetually keeping the opposing team busy. That allows you to gain map control — a key element in any MOBA — by separating the enemies from each other, especially since El Primo can soak up a ton of damage and allow other Brawlers on the same team to deal out damage without taking much of it.

To sum it all up, the last thing you want to do while playing as Primo is to try doing everything by yourself. Don’t get too cocky just because you can deal out massive damage and take in a lot of it. Brawl Stars rewards teamwork, and you want to be a team player, even with a character this powerful.

When To Use Super

We’ve already told you about how El Primo’s Flying Elbow Drop can be used on both offense and defense, as well as a few basic ways in which you could use it. But what about some other ways? Well, you could use the Flying Elbow Drop to leap from one point of the map to another, and buy yourself some time to strategize and think of your next move. Of course, your opponents wouldn’t be too keen on chasing you, especially if you’ve got most or all of your HP intact, so such a maneuver would be a good way to stay alive even longer.

Basically, the Flying Elbow Drop ensures that El Primo is always a force to be reckoned with in battle, as it could allow him to close gaps. That’s on top of the thundering Slap Sandwich he delivers once he gets within the right range to launch his basic attacks.

Best And Worst Game Modes

El Primo’s dual abilities to withstand damage and deal it out in spades makes him an ideal choice of character when playing in Showdown. If you want to have a lot of wins in Showdown, then you might as well play as El Primo. With all that power and HP, he’s just the right character in a mode where it’s every brawler for themselves. This is, by far, his best game mode, though there isn’t really a game mode that he isn’t too good at. If you use him right in Heist and Smash and Grab, he could be a game-changer for your team. Don’t ignore him either when playing in Bounty mode.

Good Matchups

Talking about the best matchups for El Primo, you could get some good mileage out of him if you’re up against Barley, Brock, Dynamike, Mortis, or Ricochet.

Barley, Brock, Dynamike, and Ricochet all fall into a similar category. These are ranged characters who could give Primo a hard time when he’s trying to get into optimal range. But when you’re able to do so while playing as El Primo, taking out any one of these four could oftentimes be like taking candy from a baby. All of these characters can be considered “squishy” due to their low HP stats, which means Primo won’t be breaking much of a sweat when he’s in range to wipe them out.

Although Mortis is a formidable Brawler in his own right, he falls short in terms of both hit points and damage; his HP doesn’t hold a candle to Primo, while the damage he deals out, while powerful enough against many other Brawlers, won’t cut the mustard when trying to take Primo down as quickly as possible. He can feast on a low-HP Primo, but if Primo’s in his prime, pun intended, he’s going to be a handful.

Bad Matchups

Surprisingly, the list of unfavorable matchups for Primo is longer than his list of favorable ones. To wit, you’re going to have to bring your A-game if you’re using Primo against Bo, Bull, Colt, Crow, Nita, or Spike. These are all characters who could kite you quite easily if Primo happens to be your character.

Let’s start out with Bo, who launches explosive arrows that could potentially wipe El Primo’s health out completely while using a kiting strategy. The arrows could also create a trap of sorts between both characters, making him an even more difficult matchup.

Bull’s strength makes him a great counter against El Primo. As he also has a solid amount of HP, that makes him a very similar Brawler in terms of damage and HP being among his main strengths. Expect an even fight if playing as Primo and dealing with Bull, but expect some players who use Bull to get within range and take just a couple hits or so to take Primo out. He’s also got a Super that could be used for evasion purposes, then return for yet another round of damage-dealing.

Colt and Spike are similar in their ability to kite against Primo, while being able to take him down quickly and efficiently. Colt achieves this through his sheer power and ability to deal out damage. Spike, on the other hand, uses his abilities to provide ground coverage and lure Primo into a trap, putting him in a situation where he’s not able to escape, or not able to get within range to deal out some damage.

The damage Crow deals out may be negligible at first, even when he’s kiting Primo. But the thing with Crow is that the damage he deals out adds up over time, and when Primo gets kited toward enemy territory, he could get into some real trouble. That could mean not having enough HP to deal with Crow once Primo is finally within optimal range, or not having enough HP to stand up while vulnerable to multiple enemies after being kited.

As we explained earlier, Nita is a hard Brawler to deal with due to the fact that she has a pet who could spawn — her bear. Sure, she may not have a lot of HP, but aside from the bear serving as her second, you’ve also got to take her Rupture ability into account, as it could do a lot of damage. The bear, once spawned, turns Nita into a tank-like character due to his ability to suck up damage, and we did explain earlier that he could prevent El Primo from heading to higher ground through that possible cycle of re-spawning.

The Most Difficult Matchup

Oh, we’re not finished with El Primo, as he’s got yet another Brawler to worry about — Shelly. She’s probably the most difficult character to fight against when using Primo, as her primary attack allows her to chip away at his HP while at a safe distance. More importantly, she has the Grapeshot as her Super Ability, and this is pretty much her primary ability, only hepped-up and far more effective, as it could reduce Primo’s health by more than 50 percent. If you’re using Shelly against Primo, you could take advantage of her range and her Super by playing hit-and-run, ideally staying as far back as possible so you could continue kiting him and leaving him at your mercy.