While Blizzard’s latest patch for their multiplayer shooter Overwatch buffed some fan favorite heroes like McCree and Reaper, one character got a complete reworking of his kit. Not exactly a nerf or buff, this change has drastically affected how the hook throwing Roadhog plays. Now despite many users declaring him dead, Roadhog is still a strong off-tank that can deal some serious damage.
Given the new meta is focused more around dive, Roadhog players will need to play smarter and closer to their team if they want to secure kills. You can still pull players in for that valuable pick, but most heroes will require follow-up damage to ensure their death.
Here are 5 tips and tricks for mastering the new Roadhog after the 1.12 patch:
1. Practice Your Alt FiresRoadhog’s Alt Fire has always been a powerful move and thankfully it’s still quite potent after the 1.12 patch. Roadhog’s increased fire rate now allows him to more consistently land this powerful mid range attack that can still one shot targets if spaced correctly. At around 10 meters you can still instantly kill a 200 health hero if the rounds are almost all critical hits. This means you will need to be more accurate in not only judging your distance, but consistently landing headshots.
Given his new fire rate, Roadhog’s Scrap Gun has a far higher chance of landing these kinds of death blows to squishier targets. However, since his damage is now more inconsistent, we recommend focusing on targets that are either already weak or are bound to take a lot more punishment in a team fight such as healers or DPS. His Alt Fire is a fantastic way of whittling your foe’s health down to the point where anyone, including Roadhog, can easily follow up and finish them.
2. Suppress, Suppress, SuppressRoadhog’s gun has one of the biggest spreads in the game, which allows him to now suppress a team trying to push into a chokepoint. It’s always been important to attack enemy barriers, but Roadhog’s gun changes allow him to absolutely shred through Reinhardt, Orisa, and Winston’s defenses. Roadhog is no longer a viable flanker tank that can pick targets and then vanish around a corner. You will need to play closer to your primary tank and other team members if you want to have a bigger impact.
Start learning to join in “barrier fights” between two enemy teams and focus your attention on cracking their shield first. Open firing with either your primary or alternate fire can also make it difficult for squishier targets to advance towards the enemy without cover. Always be firing down the primary choke point when enemies are around, as his Scrap Gun can be an obnoxious weapon to dodge.
His increased fire rate has also turned his Scrap Gun into a surprisingly effective flak cannon for fighting Pharah. While it certainly can’t be considered a counter, the increased fire rate allows you to force Pharah players back or prioritize you over the healers they usually jump on. Don’t be afraid to look to the skies and open fire with a hail of bullets.
3. Know Who to Hook
Since Roadhog can no longer consistently one shot non-tank targets you will need to start focusing on hooking less mobile heroes. Characters like Tracer, Genji, Pharah, Lucio, and Winston can be extremely hard to consistently kill thanks to their escape mechanisms. Because of this, you will want to start focusing on heroes that have no way of running away from your team when you reel them in. This will not only allow players to focus fire their hooked targets, but ensure a kill if the first Scrap Gun blast doesn’t kill them.
Here are some prime targets you should start prioritizing for hooks:
- Soldier: 76
These heroes will typically not have enough time to escape your effective range once they’re pulled in. You should always try to land hooks when you can, but in big team fights prioritize these targets first to ensure they can be killed without any issue. Also, learn to be more vocal and call your hooks out so when you land one your team should focus fire that hero quickly. If you have played Zenyatta before this will act the same way as calling out Discord Orb targets. Speaking of, hooking any target that is Discorded will virtually negate the damage reduction that Hog’s gun suffered.
4. Play Together or Die AlonePreviously, Roadhog players were fully capable of going off on their own and seeking out targets that may have strayed from the pack. While this wasn’t the only method, his former one shot capabilities made him a dangerous foe to meet in an empty hall away from your team. Now, users will need to play far closer to their teammates if they want to have a larger impact on the game itself.
Roadhog is now more of a support tank than one that could brawl with other heroes, so it’s important to understand this role alteration. Your primary job as Roadhog is to now pull key targets into your team for easy kills and to help suppress/crack the enemy team’s barrier. However, given the prevalence of the dive meta, this might not be as viable in higher ladders. He is more situational now and thanks to the Reaper buff can be killed much easier now by DPS heroes.
5. Shoot, Hook, Shoot, MeleeTypically, Roadhog players could secure a kill by simply hooking a target in and then firing a shot off from their Scrap Gun. However, players will need to be a bit savvier when it comes to killing heroes and this is one of the more consistent combos to land. While it sounds like a lot, performing this sequence enough will simply make it muscle memory for when you look to pull someone in.
To start out you will want to at least try to do some damage with an alternate or primary fire blast before you launch the hook out. Many heroes have very small critical hit boxes so you cannot bet on one shotting them when they’re dragged in. Follow up your hook with a primary fire and then quickly melee them to add an extra 25 damage to your foe. This should be enough to kill targets you pull in around 200 health, but anything higher and you will need a third follow-up shot at the end of this chain.
Despite many players claiming Roadhog is dead, he isn’t. However, his playstyle has been drastically changed and it may take some more time for people to learn how to use him in combat. Despite the meta not really working in his favor, Roadhog is still a decent off tank if you’re running a more traditional, barrier focused build in Overwatch.