Overwatch Beginners Guide 2: Defense Heroes
For this part, we go deep into the world of the often misunderstood Defense Heroes! Support DPS are heroes that specialize in controlling space, crowd control, and other forms of debilitation. Unlike Offense heroes, Defense heroes tend to lack sustained damage and/or mobility, but they make up for it with their burst potential and their utility. These heroes are the sorts of characters that most players hate because of how unconventional they are to fight against. Without further ado, here’s our Overwatch Beginners Guide!
He/she/it is as “The Bane” of all noobs and possibly the literal physical manifestation of the word “Bastion.” In fact, to be Bastion, one must transcend a skill level that goes beyond mindlessly clicking on your screen until something dies. Bastion is the noob filter, the destroyer of the unskilled, and the master of shoot-at-it-until-it-dies. His gameplay is straightforward: see an enemy? Turn into a turret and shoot it. Is it dead? No. Well, keep shooting!
- Configuration: recon is Bastion’s humanoid form where he can run and jump like a regular person, except he has a gun for one arm. Also, he’s a killing machine.
- Configuration: sentry is where the horror starts. Bastion roots himself onto the ground and transforms into a turret capable of shredding even the mightiest of tanks within seconds. With 300 rounds per clip, there’s nothing to do but fire. Fortunately, Bastion cannot move apart from looking around but cannot be headshotted. However, he still has a glaring weakness. Right behind him is a small, blue core where he’ll take critical damage if shot at. So, if you’re using Bastion, watch your flank or make sure someone else is, and if you’re against Bastion, rip him from behind!
- Ironclad: 20% damage buff every time he’s in turret mode, which is the reason why he’s somewhat more robust.
- Self-Repair: a self-healing skill that allows Bastion to heal himself for 4.3 seconds or until stopped. With a 7-second cooldown, this ability can be a lifesaver when caught on a rock and in a hard place. Bastion cannot fire while repairing, so it should be used with caution.
- Ultimate: the Tank configuration gets interesting. Bastion turns into a mobile tank and shoots powerful explosive shells from his long-range cannon. A direct hit is more than enough to kill DPS like Reaper and McCree, and the splash damage is enough to damage a passing Tracer or Sombra. This ultimate is one of those that can indeed change the tide of battle given that it’s in the right hands.
For all the memes about bad Hanzos, he certainly gets a bad rap sheet as a hero. Hanzo is far from a bad hero. In fact, he can be deadly in the right hands and even game-changing. Similar to his brother Genji, Hanzo is a mobile character that can scale walls and prefers to assassinate opponents via subterfuge and stealth. The only real differences they have are Hanzo’s slower pacing (since Genji has his dashes) and Hanzo prefers his bow and arrow over a melee engagement.
- Storm Bow: Hanzo’s weapon of choice. A single shot from his bow hits like a truck and a headshot is pretty much all he needs to take down almost the entire Overwatch Roster. The firing speed is slow due to having to nock an arrow and charge up. The arrow also isn’t quite as fast as McCree’s bullets.
- Sonic Arrow: Hanzo launches an arrow with a sonar tracking device. This device will then activate and reveal all things within its radius. Whether through walls or floors, the Sonic Arrow will reveal any enemies that pass through its range. It’s like a mini version of Widowmaker’s Infra-Sight.
- Scatter Arrow: it splits upon impact, bouncing around surfaces that can hit multiple targets at once. While this was meant as an AoE of sorts, its true power lies against fighting single targets. Regardless of where they hit, if an enemy is struck by scattered arrows at once, it will instantly kill him. Great Hanzo players normally shoot the ground right below their target so that all the arrows will bounce upward, hitting their target and gaining an instant advantage in the fight.
- Wall Climb: similar to Genji and does what it says on the tin.
- Ultimate: Dragonstrike (Ryuugawagatekiwokurau!) Hanzo lets loose an arrow that transforms into a massive and slow-moving dragon spirit that hurts everything in its path. Lingering even for a second in the dragon’s path can instantly kill anything as the dot ticks of the attack happen quickly in rapid succession. The attack goes through walls and floors, so no amount of cover is going to help you here. Your only option is just to not be in the way!
Trashmouse! The explosive Aussie is a popular choice amongst TF2 and Quake veterans because of his amazing grenade launcher. Immune to all his explosions, Junkrat revels in his explosive personality while splashing damage to everything around him. Quite a complicated character to use but, once you get the hang of him, he can prove to be an indispensable pick for defense and offense.
- Frag Launcher: Junkrat’s patented junker-based grenade launcher that lobs grenades with reckless abandon. Solid but can be difficult to get used to before being able to use it effectively.
- Concussion Mine: Junkrate places a mine on the ground in front of him and pulls out a detonation switch. Pressing the skill button again will make the mine explode. The mine is for blowing up unknowing opponents, but it can also be useful as a mobility option. When the mine explodes, it launches Junkrat into the air, making it capable for the Aussie to either escape or chase down a target.
- Steel Trap: As the name implies, Junkrat throws down a bear trap that will immobilize any enemy that steps on it for 3 seconds. When the trap activates, Junkrat will see a prompt on his screen to indicate that something got trapped. Paired with the Concussion Mine, it’s a favorite anti-flanker combo often employed by veteran Junkrat players.
- Total Mayhem: when Junkrat dies, he releases several grenades at his corpse’s location that deals massive damage to anybody nearby. You’d be surprised at the number of people Junkrat can still kill after dying.
- Ultimate: RIP-Tire, one of the scarier ultimates in the game, Junkrat unleashes a remote-controlled tire wired with explosives. He can wind it through the battlefield and choose where it explodes for massive damage at all those nearby, basically one-shotting everything. However, enemy players are capable of destroying the tire, so be wary as to where you take it, as a skilled McCree can simply two-shot the RIP-Tire from a distance.
Known as the Devil herself or the female incarnation of the Lich King, Mei is the frozen terror that roams the battlefield, annoying friend and foe. Mei is a force to be reckoned with due to her superior skills in crowd and space control. What makes things even more impressive is the fact that she’s relatively easy to use.
- Endothermic Blaster: Mei’s first basic attack is a concentrated stream of frost that will freeze opponents hit by it for a long enough period. This deals a moderate amount of damage depending on how long she’s able to string an opponent. The other mode of her blaster, however, is far more dangerous since she’s able to shoot out icicles from her gun that deal damage similar to Hanzo’s arrows. In fact, these icicles can be just as deadly as the Storm Bow’s arrows and is much easier to control.
- Cryo-Freeze: Mei covers herself in a block of ice, healing her and preventing incoming damage for the duration. In this state, she cannot move or shoot, but she can cancel the skill earlier than the maximum 4 seconds at the cost of some healing lost. It’s a great tool to use when trying to avoid a powerful attack like D.Va’s Self-Destruct or Reaper’s Death Blossom. Not only does it protect Mei, but the ice block also serves as a potential cover for your allies that they can also use to avoid attacks.
- Ice Wall: the crème de la crème of Mei’s utility skills; the Ice wall is a massive barrier in which Mei can erect anywhere. This can serve as a way to block off or secure an escape, funnel enemies into a trap, used to save the team from a big ultimate like McCree’s High Noon, or just to piss off your allies by blocking off the entrance of your respawn area.
- Ultimate: Blizzard is one of the frightening ultimates in the game that’s designed not to deal massive amounts of damage, but to be one of the most annoying to deal. Mei throws out her tiny robot onto the ground which then creates a huge area of permeating frost. Any enemy stuck in this area will be slowed and then frozen to a standstill, making them unable to do any action at all. Her allies or Mei herself can go on a rampage killing them with ease.
The rivet gun-wielding Swede is one of Overwatch’s more interesting heroes. Similar to Bastion, he specializes in key defensive positioning to control space as much as possible with his patented turret. While most of the work is done by the turret, he isn’t exactly a pushover when it comes to fighting either. He’s a solid character all-around with his only weakness being a rather chunky dwarf that’s easily headshotted by most of the roster’s weaponry.
- Rivet Gun: the first form of his attacks with the Rivet Gun is shooting out a single, arcing rivet projectile that’s good for medium to long range poking. Despite its weak-looking animation and slow uptake, don’t be fooled; landing a headshot is enough to kill off any careless DPS and severely hurt Tanks. The second form of the gun’s attacks is a shotgun-like blast that’s helpful for close-range encounters. It packs a punch regardless of what it hits and is extremely effective with large targets like Roadhog or D.Va’s Mech for easy and powerful weak point shots.
- Build Turret: torb constructs a formidable, enemy-tracking turret designed to kill anything hostile that moves and within its line of sight. This is Torb’s bread and butter skill that can deny mobile squishies like Tracer and Sombra from entering a certain area. The turret hits so fast and hard enough that these sorts of characters will last only but a second or two before succumbing to their wounds. It’s also almost as effective as Soldier:76 at maintaining damage on a large and hefty target like Reinhardt’s shield or Roadhog’s health pool. What’s more, if Torb brings out his hammer, he can upgrade the Turret, making it even more powerful.
- Armor Pack: Torb can collect scrap from defeated enemies and produce armor packs to give his team extra armor health. Having armor on you will significantly reduce damage as long as that specific yellow health bar exists. It may seem meager, but this helps in ways you wouldn’t even believe.
- Ultimate (Molten Core): named after the World of Warcraft raid, Torbjörn unleashes the power of the Molten Core, upgrading his turret to level 3 and himself to become tankier and more powerful. A rampaging Torb isn’t exactly something that you want to charge in against nor is he something you want coming after you because of his near-invincibility.
Finally, we’ve made it to the last Defense hero, the sexy Widowmaker. As a sniper, she supports her team and can pin down opponents at a location for fear of getting headshotted or dying due to a Widow player’s skilled flick shots. Deceptively mobile, Widowmaker can change the tide of battle with just one bullet for that decisive first pick.
- Widow’s Kiss: a versatile sniper rifle that switches to the semi-automatic mode when scoped and automatic mode when unscoped. A straightforward weapon of choice for the purple princess.
- Grappling Hook: Widowmaker’s main mode of transportation, the grappling hook can grab onto anything and launch Widowmaker towards the focal point. Not only does this help her get to the high ground faster or escape a flanker like Tracer, but she’s also able to use this to pull off sweet air-shots that most enemies won’t expect.
- Venom Mine: a simple mine that attaches to any surface. Used to help Widow know if a flanker is approaching by revealing on her interface if it was triggered or destroyed. Triggering the mine causes poison damage for a short period that effectively softens up and incoming opponent, making it easier for Widow and her allies to take them out quickly.
- Ultimate: Infra-Sight is one of the few non-damaging ultimates in the game, Infra-Sight grants Widowmaker and her allies the ability to see enemies through walls, no matter how far they are. This is a huge advantage considering that no enemy will be able to flank you, set up traps, or just hide from your flanker hunting down squishies. Unfortunately, this ability is only as useful as the team you’re with. A pro team with Infra-Sight is unstoppable while an inexperienced team may just waste this golden opportunity.
All right, that’s it for the defense heroes! Watch out next time for the Support Heroes and the newer heroes that have been added to the game after Overwatch originally came out. Until then, continue playing, and keep that esports dream alive!