We love Overwatch’s diversity of characters and abilities. Everyone on the roster is a little superheroic, helped by the fact that they can all drop game-changing ultimate abilities with a casual touch of the Q key. Collecting the enemy team into an easy-to-kill ball with Zarya’s Graviton Surge and then blowing them up with Pharah or Junkrat is the FPS equivalent of smashing it out of the park with the bases loaded.
But when you’re on the receiving end, that abundance of power can be frustrating. We’re not salty—this is the type of game that Overwatch is, and honestly, we love annoying our opponents with some of these techniques.
Teammates who refuse to switch
It’s usually “We need a Lucio,” or “We need more tanks,” or “Someone counter their Widow.” Character switching is a fundamental part of Overwatch, but every so often you’ll run into that player who expects everyone but themselves to swap heroes. If you run into one of these nerds, drop some Ghandi wisdom: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
Putting Torbjörn’s automated gun on moving platforms is a great way to mitigate one of its biggest weaknesses. I see this tactic often on Hollywood or Volskaya Industries, where a turret can extend out of the last portion of the map to surprise attackers who are staging outside. At slightly greater risk, Bastion can also throw himself on one of these moving islands.
It’s no secret that Overwatch’s end-of-game highlight reel needs some tuning. A month after release, it’s already been . We respect that , but the letdown of a mundane POTG at the end of an exciting match—especially when an epic save or multikill is fresh in your memory—is something we’ve all experienced.
Mr. Angry, “Death, But With Guns,” whatever you call him, Reaper is as slippery as he is angsty. With his three-second Wraith Form, he’s one of the few that can escape Zarya’s Graviton Surge, Roadhog’s hook, Mei’s Blizzard, Tracer’s Pulse Bomb, or McCree’s Deadeye, and it also shrugs off Zenyatta’s Discord Orb or Widowmaker’s Venom Mine. On top of that, Reaper can contest or capture objectives in his incorporeal form and steal health kits.
Tracer’s infuriating pep
The teleporting mosquito of Overwatch. If a Tracer’s good, you’re one step behind her. If they’re great, they make you abandon your post just to chase a perky gnat around the map. Her cheerful voice lines just make that playstyle more grating. “Wheee!” "There you go!" "Let’s try that again."
Omniscient Zarya shielding
Right now, nothing’s scarier to me in Overwatch than a smart Zarya. In terms of raw stats, she’s one of the softer tanks and her damage output relies on her outsmarting enemies. But in the hands of , she can create synergy and sustain with almost any other hero. It takes patience, restraint, a ton of physical awareness, and even a little aim to get off a perfect Projected Barrier, which protects a friendly target for a mere two seconds and carries a 10-second cooldown. When it’s dropped on an ulting Genji, McCree, or Pharah, though, it takes away the weakness of abilities that are already powerful.
The Bastion-Reinhardt buddy system
Ranged burst damage is one of the easy counters to Bastion, who has to transform for a second or two before moving out. Pair him with a Reinhardt, though, and you’ve got an annoying (but one-dimensional) combo with reach. Put that duo on a moving payload, and you’ve got a harder-to-hit, hard-to-kill that heals passively. Add a damage-boosting Mercy or a Torbjorn to that pile, and you’re suddenly up against a mobile weapons platform. Like some of these frustrations, what sometimes rubs us the wrong way about these combos is that they’re easy to set up, but can take is proportionately more skill and coordination to dismantle.
Mei, The Ice Queen
Tom wrote at length about , so I’ll just focus on the Mei Maneuver that irks me most. The situation: You’re attacking, and you’ve all but wiped the enemy team on a control point, executing smart ults or combos to clear them out. The match is yours! Then a Mei emerges, seals herself in the world's most durable ice cube, and blocks objective capture, buying enough time for her team to return to the fight.
Cryo-Freeze has ludicrous utility in this situation. With a touch of the shift key, Mei:
- Is invincible
- Is immovable
- Heals herself
- Blocks point capture or payload movement
- Blocks attacks
What’s the counter to Cryo Freeze? Waiting. If a Junkrat’s around, they can drop Steel Trap to snare her on exit. Among Overwatch’s long list of feats, Cryo-Freeze stands out for the lack of hard counters. If Mei can exit Cryo-Freeze into an Ice Wall, or her ult, it’s even more aggravating. Comic book artist and fellow Finn Marko Raassina captured my Mei-rage perfectly.