With the second season of Overwatch’s Competitive Mode in full swing, it’s time to look at our large roster of heroes and see which ones are standing out above others. With 22 characters to choose from, there is no doubt that some choices are better than others even when we factor the recent balance changes that went live. It’s also important to note that these are not the only choices you should make when trying to decide a team composition, as certain situations will almost require the use of different heroes.
However, if your team is lacking in certain departments or if you’re looking to practice more with strong Competitive Mode characters these are our recommendations.
McCree has gone through some serious changes since the launch of Overwatch and it finally feels like he’s properly balanced with the rest of the roster. One of the biggest strengths of McCree is the sheer amount of damage he can output when firing down range. Landing critical hits consistently is a necessity for Competitive Mode, as it can allow McCree to quick eliminate problematic heroes with relative ease. His flashbang is also fantastic for stopping flanking characters such as Genji and the High Noon ultimate, if timed correctly, can single-handedly win an engagement for your team.
The tank buster himself, Reaper is a fantastic choice to help balance out the distance damage offered by a McCree or Soldier 76. His flanking abilities can make him seriously dangerous to any team that isn’t listening for his audio cues. However, the best aspect of Reaper is actually his sustainability thanks to him being able to collect souls to heal himself and being able to disengage with Wraith Form. This allows Reaper to not always rely on his team’s healer to keep him going, which can make him a serious problem if left unchecked. Plus, his ultimate ability can utterly decimate any non-tank characters and help stop enemy team advances.
Mei has seen an incredible surge in use over the coming weeks thanks to her recent buff and is fairly viable for certain game modes. She has an incredible ability to stall control point captures and halt the progress of a team pushing payload to a checkpoint. Her ability to seal off areas with her ice wall can be critical for dividing up an advancing team since you can wall of tanks from the rest of their backup. However, the crown jewel in her arsenal has to be her ultimate, which received a serious buff to its effective radius. A well-placed ultimate can literally covered an entire post and deny opponents from even advancing close to your team.
Suprised? Look, I realize that Junkrat is a fantastic character that can do some great area denial, but Hanzo’s buff has made him quite dangerous. A skilled archer can easily pick off key characters, while still offering his team a lot of utility through his secondary abilities. His Sonic Arrow can help scout advances from your opponents and the Scatter Arrow can either finish off players who are trying to hide from gunfire. Unlike all of the other characters on this list, you will need to have a lot of practice with Hanzo before bringing him to competitive. If you cannot consistently land shots on your foes, then you are just going to drag your team down dramatically.
Zarya is a tank that should be a part of almost every team, regardless of your composition or which game mode you’re playing. Outside of Reaper, Zarya has no direct counters or any hero that can really stall her energy build up. This can make her a potent tank that can not only save her allies, but output a ton of damage to the other characters if her main weapons energy levels are above 50%. Even her ultimate is considered one of the best in all of Overwatch since it can enable complete team kills or stall advances when you are in overtime. She should always be one of the first targets in a team fight so you can stop her power from snowballing out of control.
Reinhardt is still the best choice for pushing onto an objective with your team and can be a great line breaker with his charge attack. Combined with Zarya, this hero can take an insane amount of punishment and offer your team enough of an opening so you can push past chokepoints. Always make sure to use his shield to your advantage and try to combo his ultimate with others so it doesn’t just give him a kill or two. Your Reinhardt should be considered the team captain and there are only a few instances when you should push onto an objective without him.
He is still the best choice for a team needing a primary healer, even with the 30% nerf to his speed boost ability. The area of effect healing that Lucio can offer is critical to keeping your team alive and help you win team fights when the odds are against you. Add on his ability to knock enemies either off the map or away from others and you have one of the best Supports in the entire game. It’s also important to consider how critical his Sound Barrier ultimate can be when another hero pops their ultimate or when you need to push through some damage onto an objective. Plus if you practice enough you can stall a team for ages when wall riding around a point. Lucio should be a part of every team, especially if you are in need of support players.
My personal favorite and a fantastic pick for a team needing an off healer. While Ana can be great, Zenyatta’s Orbs of Harmony and Dischord can significantly alter the outcome of battles. Even though his Dischord Orbs damage debuff got brought down to 30% it doesn’t make it any less potent when used correctly. Much like McCree it’s critical that a good Zenyatta lands his headshots consistently since he can output a ton of damage. His ultimate is great for countering others and should be used in reaction to others attempting to cause a lot of damage in one move.