We could spend all day talking about ways to improve with specific heroes, but what if you’re having problems dealing with certain heroes rather than playing them? Today we’ll go over the current lineup of Offense heroes in Overwatch, and talk about what you can do to raise your chances of beating them.
Overwatch’s newest playable hero made a pretty huge impact on both the professional and competitive scenes, and with good reason. His Rocket Punch gives him instakill potential on a low cooldown, whilst also turning him into one of the most mobile heroes in the game. However, despite his potential for carnage, he’s also a sitting duck when facing certain heroes.
When facing Doomfist, you should consider playing one of these to make life easier for yourself:
Pharah is relatively self-explanatory as a counter; Doomfist wants to get up close and punch people, and Pharah is way, way out of reach. Fly up high and rain down rockets on him, and there’s little he can do to stop you. Hanzo and McCree both exploit his reliance on Rocket Punch to be effective, as it does have a charge up time that leaves him relatively vulnerable.
For Hanzo, either line up one good headshots or simply aim a Scatter Arrow at his feet when he starts to charge up his Punch. As for McCree, you have to play it a little riskier and knock him out of the punch with a Flashbang, unless of course you are close enough to hit him preemptively. Doomfist has a pretty sizable hitbox, making him a good target for a Fan The Hammer. It’ll turn him into mincemeat when combined with your Flashbang.
The most brutal of all Doomfist counters, however, is Sombra. Doomfist is unlike most other heroes in that he is incredibly reliant on his abilities to be effective, and Sombra can take them all away with a quick Hack. Since he’ll lose the majority of his damage and all of his mobility, it’s fair to say that a hacked Doomfist is a dead Doomfist!
Skilled Genji players are one of the most intimidating things to face in a game of Overwatch, thanks to his ability to constantly find a way to sneak into your backline and pick people off one by one. He’s one of the most mobile characters in the game, which can make him tricky to lock down, and even if you manage to corner him he can always stall for his Swift Strike to escape by Deflecting all your attempts to kill him. So what can you do to shut down an enemy Genji?
Let’s start with your hero choices. If you have the opportunity to switch to something different, some good heroes to try use to defeat Genji are:
Zarya, Mei and Winston all share a particularly powerful trait when it comes to fighting Genji—they can bypass his Deflect entirely. Since Genji always wants to be on the backline and up close where his attacks are easier to land, picking one of these three and hovering near your supports is a great way to punish a Genji pick. He still needs to get into your backline to be effective, but he can’t get too close or he’ll lose the trade with you every time.
Mei can cut him off from his team with a wall and freeze him up, Zarya can shield her supports and use the charge to burn him down with her primary fire, and Winston can follow Genji anywhere he goes thanks to Jump Pack.
As for McCree, that’s more of a skill matchup, and it really comes down to how you use your Flashbang. Use it too predictably, and Genji will Deflect it into your face and win the fight. Wait till after Genji has used Deflect or throw it just outside of his Deflect—you can actually still catch him with the stun from Flashbang even while he’s deflecting if you aim it right. Try aim over his head or towards one of the sides; it’ll stun him, canceling Deflect, leaving him open to your follow up shots.
Remember that without getting kills to reset it, Genji’s Swift Strike is on a reasonably long cooldown, so he’s pretty vulnerable after using it. The same goes for Deflect, make sure you go in for the kill when those cooldowns have been used. As for his Ultimate, your best bet is to focus him down as soon as you hear it activate—splitting up doesn’t really help against Genji thanks to the Swift Strike resets, so you need to counter him with your own Ultimates or burst him down before he can do too much damage.
Unlike Genji, McCree tends to be a little more upfront about team fights He’ll tend to stick with his team and use his tanks as cover to make him for his lack of defensive abilities. This can make him quite irritating to deal with, particularly if the player has good aim, since you can’t take the fight to him without getting past his tanks first. That being said, McCree does like to get up close with his Flashbang on occasion, making him formidable in close quarters. Unlike some of the other DPS heroes, McCree does suffer at long range however—his Revolver has pretty high damage drop-off; at range it can take an extra 2-3 shots to take down even a relatively target.
Your first hero choices to counter McCree should be:
Widowmaker is arguably the most well known McCree counter, although this only works if McCree isn’t using his tanks for cover as much as he should. If you find him out in the open though, he’s as good as dead. Reinhardt is a pretty soft counter—you might not be able to kill him yourself, but you can block all his damage and help protect the rest of your team from being picked off. Just don’t let him get too close to your shield, or he can throw a Flashbang over the top and stun you.
Roadhog is a hero that most people don’t really consider anymore thanks to the one-shot kill nerfs, but he’s still a solid McCree counter. The issue for McCree is that his effective range is the same range as Roadhog’s hook. This means to be close enough to deal meaningful damage, McCree has to risk being pulled to his death. Keep an eye open for him to be out of position, then reel him in and shut him down.
It seems strange to list Genji as a counter to McCree when the inverse is also true, but that’s the nature of a skill matchup. If you can get a good read on the enemy McCree, you can Deflect his Flashbang to make him an easy kill. You can also deal more damage than him at a distance while avoiding his shots, poking him low enough to finish off with a Swift Strike.
Pharah is one of the most dominant heroes in the low to mid ranked brackets, although she can be played to devastating effect at the highest levels too. Her ability to disrupt a team with Concussive Blast and pick off low health targets with her rockets is pretty well known.
But, equally well known, are her most effective counters:
Precision is key when it comes to taking down a Pharah, and McCree and Widowmaker pack the most powerful and precise weapons for dealing with her. Pharah is most effective when she has free reign over the skies of the battlefield, but that also makes her open to counter-attack by a strong hitscan player. DVA is also an effective Pharah counter thanks to Defense Matrix, but don’t expect to be killing her either!
Soldier 76 is often viewed as a strong Pharah counter, but he lacks the burst that Widowmaker and McCree posses, giving Pharah time to be healed back up. If you’re choosing between a hitscan to counter Pharah with, Soldier 76 should only be used when he’ll prove more useful than the other choices against the rest of the enemy team (such as when they have a Reinhardt shield that you can help break, for example).
Reaper’s effectiveness lies in his ability to get as close as possible to the enemy team before revealing his position. This means there are two main ways to combat a strong Reaper—either you need to have a hero that has the advantage in a close range 1v1, or you need a hero that can create distance and exploit it.
Some good examples include:
The most powerful close-range tool in Overwatch is McCree’s flashbang, and it will usually allow you to win any trade with Reaper and either secure you a kill or force him to abandon his flank attempt. That makes McCree a pretty effective Reaper counter, and a good choice if you are looking to change from a tank to a DPS.
Reaper prefers small passageways and flank routes that allow him to sneak up on the enemy team, and this is where Junkrat gets the upper hand. If you discover Reaper’s location on the flank or are stuck with him in close quarters, Junkrat’s ability to deal high AoE damage can make it almost impossible for Reaper to survive, forcing him to Wraith Form away.
Pharah is an effective Reaper counter for the same reason that she’s strong against Doomfist; there’s just nothing they can do to her from so far away, and she can gain distance quickly with her Concussive Blast and Jump Jets. Even if Reaper manages to sneak up on you, unless he’s close enough for a one-shot kill, you can react quickly by boosting yourself to safety, then simply clean him up with rockets.
Arguably one of the only heroes in the game without a hard counter, Soldier: 76’s well-rounded kit makes him incredibly hard to deal with unless he makes a mistake that you can capitalise on. Almost every hero that counters 76 is also countered by him, it all comes down to the situation you find yourself in.
Notable examples include:
Mei is one of the most clear cut examples for dealing with Soldier—if he’s far away, you’ll probably lose the fight, but if you can get into close quarters you should be able to easily take the fight by freezing him. McCree and Roadhog are both skill matchups—McCree can take down Soldier faster thanks to headshots, but good aim is required and even a single missed shot could result in a lost fight. Roadhog’s hook and burst is an effective tool, but you could just as easily miss the hook and just act as an Ultimate battery for him.
Widowmaker and Hanzo carry an advantage when it comes to long-distance fights, but again this is reliant on your ability to land those shots. Catch him early and you’ll be fine, but if the fight is prolonged by his Biotic Field, the chip damage will add up and he can take you down too.
Sombra is a bit of an oddity on today’s list of heroes, simply because in the current meta she serves her team more as a support—rather than a true Offense hero as Blizzard’s categorization implies.
Sombra is also a hero without what you’d usually call a ‘hard counter,’ although there are definitely heroes that fair well against her in a 1v1, such as:
McCree is pretty straight forward, his Flashbang is a death sentence for any Sombra that gets too close. Hanzo’s scatter shot or headshots are a similar story, but he also has the benefit of Sonic Arrow, which can detect Sombra even when she’s otherwise invisible.
Torbjorn and Symmetra both counter Sombra for the same reason—she’ll be quickly targeted by the turrets as she attempts to flank, revealing her position and allowing the rest of the team to discover her location. Unlike Symmetra’s sentry turrets, Torbjorn’s turret cannot spot Sombra while she’s invisible, but invisibility doesn’t last forever, and that means Sombra has a very limited amount of time to sneak past undiscovered.
Our final hero to talk about today is the poster child of Overwatch, Tracer. Despite her seemingly simple kit, Tracer is one of the most difficult to play heroes in the game, with an insanely high skill ceiling. When facing her in the lower ELOs, she’s often not much of a problem—but as you climb higher, you’ll start facing Tracer players that will make you wish she never existed.
So what can you do to deal with this highly mobile powerhouse? Start off with one of these heroes:
There’s a lot that Tracer players can do to avoid being caught out by their counters—staying out of Flashbang range, for example, makes life a lot easier when playing against McCree. That being said, if you can force her to fight in close quarters with smart positioning, McCree is the most lethal and direct counter to Tracer’s mobility, and it only takes one headshot after the Flashbang to secure a kill.
Secondary counters include Torbjorn and Junkrat, although both require a little bit of forethought. For Junkrat, focus on getting trap downs on commonly used flank routes, it will reduce Tracer’s options and raise your chances of picking her off before she does too much damage to your team. Torbjorn can play a little more regularly, your turret will be a constant threat to her low health pool. Tracer players will often be tempted to hunt for your turret before a teamfight breaks out; fortunately for you, this means you can expect where she’s going to show up, allowing you to finish her off yourself.
Continue upping your Overwatch game with more guides from InvenGlobal. Up next, how to predict your opponents with Competitive Empathy.