My Favourite Overwatch Heroes So Far

After the surprise extension that absolutely nobody saw coming, the Overwatch open beta has finally ended. And from all accounts it's been a smashing success — the servers didn't collapse, the performance was solid on consoles and most people had fun.

So now that everyone's had the chance to spend at least a few — if not a few hundred — hours with the game, let's talk about the heroes. Here's my favourites.

Mei

Mei's listed as a defensive character. She should really be in a separate section for "bloody annoying" though: her ice wall is ridiculously versatile, her secondary attack provides reasonable damage at long range and her base health of 250 HP allows her to poke in and out of firefights long enough without collapsing in a heartbeat.

In a lot of ways, Mei fills the role of a super aggressive support. Freezing an enemy with the primary fire and then launching an ice shard into the head kills just about every hero minus the most powerful tanks. Her self-healing and ice wall can be deployed almost instantly, so if you're caught out of position you'll often be able to fashion an opportunity to escape.

Her ultimate can be pretty handy, but it's also the least versatile of her abilities. It doesn't instantly freeze opponents, although a cleverly placed wall — behind a moving payload, say — can impede enemies long enough for you to put a few players on ice.

The ability to zone enemies out with the ice wall alone is powerful though. It's especially valuable for separating healers from their target whenever they're careless with their movement, and its generous range makes it one of the most versatile tools in the game. Mei's ridiculously good, and with a shred of awareness you shouldn't have any troubles staying alive for long stretches. She'll probably get nerfed at some point, so enjoy her while she's OP.


McCree

Let's get real for a second: McCree needs a nerf.

Every single one of his abilities has an incredible amount of power, and his burst combo — stunning an enemy with the flashbang, followed by his revolver's secondary fire — will kill just about every hero instantly. If it doesn't, a follow-up punch to the face often does the trick (with a handy backdash to get out of trouble afterwards).

There's a reason why people wander around pretending they only main McCree or Reaper: their damage output is ridiculous, and their ultimates are infinitely more versatile than Hanzo's or Widowmaker's. Reaper's shotguns are horrendous at long range, however, while McCree can be a pest at distance until an opportunity arises to close the distance.

These kind of ridiculous plays are a dime a dozen, and the minimal amount of skill for the raw power is something that will inevitably get addressed. It's not limited to the PC either; with sniping a far harder prospect on console, keeping McCree at bay is a far trickier task. Until then, however, I'll happily keep the peace with the cowboy's revolver.


Reinhardt

When is Reinhardt not useful? His shield makes him the most versatile tank in the game, allowing for weaker characters like Tracer or Genji to minimise the amount of time they're exposed in an open area.

He'd be worth a mention for that alone, simply because the shield is one of the few abilities that's consistently useful for pushing a payload forward or moving through chokepoints. Bastion's shield is a touch too small and too fragile, while Zarya's utility is vastly minimised without another body to act as a bullet sponge. Roadhog and D.Va are better distractions than they are protectors, although D.Va's booster rockets can be an exceptionally good for harassment and pushing people off edges in a pinch.

But using the former South Korean pro-gamer to send people flying isn't anywhere as fun as going on a suicide charge off the cliff. And the armoured beast's ranged attack has a quick enough cooldown that to buy a few seconds against snipers and targets at longer ranges. His ultimate has its limitations, but it sounds and feels good — even if I always end up wasting it with a follow-up charge, breaking the other characters out of their stun.


Lucio

The support for people who don't play support. That's how people describe Lucio.

I like him because I can run on walls all day. Or around opponents all day. Pop the speed boost and just fly past people to be annoying. It's not quite as effective as Tracer's blink, but there's no cooldown on the charge. And Tracer can't run on the edge of the map if she accidentally goes flying.

Lucio's movement reminds me of ridiculously one-sided duels in Quake 3, where one player has just started learning the ropes and the other is flying around at hyperspeed, picking up every weapon and armour power-up on the map. Lucio's more of an annoyance than someone rocking a railgun with 200 health and 100 armour, mind you, but that doesn't make the Brazilian rollerblading DJ any less fun.


Zarya

Zarya's characterisation is fantastic. She's like a Russian bodybuilder: she can absorb damage for days, has a fairly generous pool of shields that regenerates quickly and her ultimate has unparalleled game-changing potential. It's literally the black hole of Overwatch.

But like any good character, it takes some skill and coordination before all the pieces come together. She's not a natural bullet sponge and without a Roadhog or a Winston to take direct hits, she'll never do the maximum amount of damage. Until then, you've got to play patiently — and when that particle cannon is charged up, you can scythe through weaker characters in seconds.

The Russian soldier is a character that rewards awareness and coordination; she's not the kind of character suited to any type of situation. But she's destructive when used correctly. The fact that her primary fire goes through Genji's deflect is a massive bonus right now, given the popularity of the cyberninja, and I wouldn't be surprised if she finds more popularity in competitive play than she does in public matches.


What have been your favourite heroes in Overwatch so far?


Comments

    Been playing Lucio a lot as well. He can heal his team mates and still be able to provide fire. He's best when you're attacking with the team.

      Having a Lucio on offence is worth it just for the speed boost at the start.

    I've had my best results with Soldier 76, McCree was also quite good. It's a very clever game and lots of fun - but it just makes me want to play TF2!

    I think all tanks except reinhardt are better served as distractions than protectors a 2000 damage shield with a 7-8 second cool down is too powerful I assume a nerf is bound to happen either reducing its potency or freezing his movement or giving it a duration. many other ways to make it more balanced.

    Last edited 11/05/16 12:21 pm

      The shield isn't that strong if PEOPLE SHOOT IT. It seems people just let him sit there with a shield up and everyone stops firing. Concentrate fire on that thing and it gets torn down pretty fast.

        Problem is while the shield is up your own team is being torn up, look at those tournaments they had over the weekend, - majority of the teams used a Reinhardt - even pro players saw the problem and had to mirror him.

        Even if you had 3 players pounding on it, it would still take 15+ seconds to drop it. and than guess what.. its back in another 8 seconds.

        Last edited 11/05/16 1:25 pm

          I've posted this elsewhere .... but Reinhardt's shield is irrelevant if someone uses Symmetra's Photon Orbs (particularly if you charge them all the way before releasing). They pass straight through his shield and hit him.

          You'd be surprised how many people who play Reinhardt who don't know this ... and it appears to confuse the hell out of them that they have a shield out ... but ... "WTF is that that keeps HITTING ME!"

          To a degree, some heroes can tear through ti very quickly (Bastion for example).

          I think at 1,200-1,600 hp the shield would be more balanced, (during closed beta they dropped Winstons bubble to 400 hp).

          Pharah's concussive blast also do 800 damage to the shield.

            Hey thanks, I didn't know that. this changes things. :)

          I've taken down a Reinhardt's shield with a widowmaker, by myself.

          junkrat can be fun to brake it too..richochet grenades . and the bomb placed under him can be used to send him flying

        Exactly what I do.. Especially with bastion set up as a turret! Once that shield is down he really is pretty useless.

          Unless he charges you as a bastion. Then you're pretty much fucked. :) Been on the receiving end of that a couple times, yeah.

    Pharah and Zenyatta with some love for bastion and the dwarf even though they can be extremely cheesy

      Pharah is loads of fun its amazing how rarely people look up to the skies, overextending like crazy however at the higher skill caps it will most likely be punished more often.

    Reaper for Offense, Mei for Defense, Reinhardt for Tank and Zenyatta for Support.

    Loved teaming up with a Symmetra as Zenyatta, beams plus discord orb makes each hallway a death trap

    Hmm. It must be a lot easier to keep McGraw's quick shot thingo on-target when using a mouse than a controller, the kickback on that was way too nuts for me to handle unless the other character was huge and I was right up in their face.

      That's pretty much what it is. Similar story with Black Widow and Hanzo. They're very, very good on PC (which is how I played the beta) as the aiming is so much more precise. All I've heard from console friends tends to suggest they're not as strong with a controller.

        Need summadat Splatoon tilt-control aiming.

    Junkrat and Roadhog <3

      I agree.

      Roadhogs design is my favourite and I enjoy playing as him. I love using the mine to shoot myself up in the air as Junkrat too.

    I had heaps of fun with Symmetry on D while very hit and miss in some games people just kept on running repeatedly into my trap rooms and failing. I also found Roadhogs hook kills to be very satisfying so he got a lot of love.

    I've been "maining" a mix of Pharah, McCree, Soldier 76, Reinhardt and Genji on offense.

    Defense has been a mix of Hanzo, Reinhardt again, Black Widow, Torbjorn and Road Hog.

    Played a little bit of everyone else, but those are my main ones.

    My favourites (not the ones I think are best, but the ones I just have fun with):

    - Pharah
    - McCree
    - Genji
    - Reinhardt
    - Hanzo

    Last edited 11/05/16 1:28 pm

    Mercy, while playing a support character does mean being somewhat of a sucker for punishment, there is a certain reward to it. Had a couple of plays where team members were downed thanks to the enemy blowing their ulitmates (Looking at you Hanzo and your Dragon), and then undoing their efforts with a mass rez.

      I love playing Mercy! I got killed off one match and then did a 4 player rez underneath the ground in the spawn area! Clutched the win and didn't let the payload onto the checkpoint.

        Checkpoint Gibraltar? Nicely played.

          You know it ;) and cheers, needless to say I got play of the game for that haha

      I love Mercy but if she is left on her own (which happens often) she's screwed. She needs something like McCree's flashbang, just to let her escape

        I never got tired of watching a Mercy wander out of a doorway or chokepoint in front of the target she was healing, only to drop the ice wall behind them.

          I always stayed behind my Tank =P But there were a lot of times where my whole team was dead and the enemy came after me. D=

    Genji and Mercy are loads of fun but..

    Widowmaker.

    Those thousands of hours in CS are really paying dividends now with her and then some!

    Mei is the only choice. Jet Pack Eqyptian girl who's name I can't spell properly is also acceptable. Highest KDRs with those two.

    Bastion is hands-down the best. All my many 'play of the game' awards say so. Fin.
    :D

    First day it was Roadhog , then everyone started whoring Bastion, so now Genji is the greatest.

    Watching those fools kill themselves is the best.

    Pharah's the best for me so far, though I've had to unlearn instinctively rocket jumping now that I have a jetpack to go with my rocket launcher.

    Tracer is probably the next best. Not because I'm great with her or that she's the most effective, just that she's great at causing confusion if you spend some time getting behind the enemy on payload or control. Most times they'll let you go because she's a pain in the ass to catch. Then you come back and gun them down. Her ult could use a buff though IMO.

    Mei is so troll. Her skillset is just unreal, and I've had some very one sided shut outs against teams that weren't particularly outclassed just because maps like Hollywood are brutal with a Mei on D. So many choke points, so much freeze.

    I'm having trouble justifying the price tag on this game, but boy do I miss playing it already.

    Tracer's my fav.

    In reguardes to Zarya "she can absorb damage for daysl" No she can't. Maybe the people you play against can't hit but surviving is not something she's good at, shield or no. I've almost never had a fight against her where she didn't die fairly fast. The blackhole is good I suppose but she needs a buff to health and shield by a lot before I start worrying about her

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