Another season of Overwatch is here so naturally, players will be flooding the competitive game mode to test and prove their skills. There are a lot of different characters that players can choose from, so deciding who to use this season can be tricky. This is especially true for newcomers who just picked up the game or have avoided the competitive bracket. Sadly, not all heroes are created equal in competitive Overwatch. Now, this isn’t to say that users can perform well on any of the characters in the game, just some are more versatile and adaptable than others.
When deciding upon our list we took into consideration the recent buffs/nerfs, that heroes function in the meta, and the overall functionality of that character on a team. If you are new to Overwatch or looking to pick up a new character for the season, here are our top 5 choices along with some honorable mentions.
(This list is in no particular order)
There was a time when Winston didn’t see a ton of play in competitive Overwatch, but thanks to the changes to his bubble’s cooldown he has become a powerhouse. Winston is the backbone of the dive meta, as his Tesla Cannon and mobility allow him to damage multiple foes with little effort. Winston thrives in the chaos a dive can cause, especially since he can act as a big distraction so your team can move in. His jump also allows him to disrupt and corner a number of key targets that hang out in the backline. Being able to stop a troublesome Widowmaker so your Pharah can move can win entire matches.
Additionally, Winston’s bubble can act as a nice way to not only cover an escape but block incoming damage. This hero offers a lot of flexibility, which can make him a strong addition to a lot of different team compositions. Plus, Winston’s Primal Rage ultimate is fantastic for stalling in Overtime, distracting a team, or keeping them stuck in a chokepoint.
Remember Ana? There was a time when this hero was a must have for any team, but she slowly faded away as Mercy rose to prominence. Much of this was due to the various nerfs she received to her kit, as her damage was greatly reduced. Thankfully, some of this has changed and Ana has reached a nice balance of being effective in combat and keeping her allies alive. Ana is quite a strong support hero, especially after Mercy’s resurrection cast time changes. Being able to keep your distance and heal a diving team can be invaluable. This is especially true since a skilled Ana can sleep an enemy Winston attempting to counter dive, allowing for a quick escape.
Nano Boost is still a potent ultimate that can easily breakthrough chokepoints or a force back an attack. Ana also acts as a wonderful compliment to Moira thanks to her distance focused healing. This allows Moira to stay with her team while the Ana players keep a bit more distance from the combat. Additionally, Ana’s Biotic Grenade works wonders with Moira’s healing orb, allowing the two to quickly heal up an entire team.
3. Soldier: 76
A staple of the competitive scene, Soldier: 76 has always been one of the most reliable DPS heroes in Overwatch. His ability to output consistent damage both at close and long range make him a great choice for most team compositions. Soldier: 76 can also sustain himself in a fight in case the healers go down or are pre-occupied. While he may not have the flashiest of plays, 76is a useful DPS hero that can deal with numerous different threats. Despite dives popularity, 76 is an excellent pick if you are looking to solo queue or are working with a team that lacks coordination. Players should also practice rocket jumping with Soldier since there are a lot of fantastic vantage points he can reach.
Our second tank on this is list is the diving and harassment tank, D.Va. This hero has received a number of changes in 2017 that has altered her functionality. Instead of simply holding down Defense Matrix to block incoming damage, D.Va is now a mobility tank that can shut down enemies like Zenyatta, Windowmaker, Hanzo, and Ana with little trouble. Her versatility and ability to fire while using her rocket boosters makes her especially dangerous. Locking down certain targets and cutting them off from the rest of their team can really provide strong openings.
Plus, D.Va is a fairly strong counter to the newest Overwatch hero, Moira. Since her Defense Matrix can absorb both the healing and damaging orbs she throws out, D.Va can strip away one of her strongest skills. Just remember, use Defense Matrix in short bursts and save it for specific targets like a Reinhardt’s Fire Strike or to use when approaching a sniper. If you are looking to fill out a tank role, but don’t want to hide behind a shield then give her a try.
Junkrat is still obscenely powerful in the right hands. Ever since the addition of a second mine and the buff to his RIP Tire’s speed, Junkrat has transformed into a damage outputting machine. While he doesn’t work on every map, a smart Junkrat player can cut through a team’s defenses with ease. Due to his damage, Junkrat can help shutdown emplacement focused teams that run heroes like Orisa, Reinhardt, and Symmetra. He is one of, if not the best defense hero a team can run in any Assault based map. The only time Junkrat players may have a problem is when they are on King of the Hill levels.
What separates the average from the great Junkrat players is RIP Tire use and understanding the physics of his grenades. Mastering how these works will be critical, so we recommend loading up a Custom Match and just practicing how to move the tire around the map. Never go the most obvious route and try to always catch your foes by surprise. Finally, it’s important to understand when your foes have shifted their strategy to counter you. If you see heroes like D.Va, Pharah, or Zarya show up then it might be time to change characters.
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