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Overwatch

Overwatch: Character Guide - Offence

Sometimes attack is the best form of defence, but sometimes attack is also the best form of attack.

  • Text: Sammy Cooper
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In this, our second character guide for Blizzard's Overwatch, we consider the abilities of the more offensively minded players included in the roster of quirky characters.

Genji - 200 health: Genji is probably the most mobile hero, with the ability to get to almost any area of the map, no matter the height. He can't deal damage in combat as well as Tracer, but Genji really shines in his ability to flank the enemy's back line, taking down their essential players. If Swift Strike is used properly in conjunction with Dragonblade, Genji can tear through his foes one after the other. He is an effective counter to a hero like Bastion, who would normally be sitting on the back lines of the enemy, and won't be able to keep up with Genji's speed.

Passive/weapons: Genji's weapon of choice is a lot of shurikens. The main fire throws three shurikens in a straight line in quick succession, while the alt fire throws three at once but with a wide range. Passively, Genji can double-jump and climb walls.

Ability 1 - Swift Strike: Genji dashes forwards, slashing his katana and damaging any enemy in his path. If Genji kills his target, the cooldown resets.

Ability 2 - Deflect: Genji blocks any oncoming projectiles, firing it back in the direction it came from and potentially damaging enemies. Can even deflect and reverse many Ultimates.

Ultimate - Dragonblade: Genji draws his katana for a short time, dealing high melee damage. He can use Swift Strike during this time.

How to counter: Winston is a pretty hard counter to Genji as, despite his mobility, Winston's weapon locks on, and also goes straight through his deflect. Mei also works well against him, as she can freeze herself to stop damage getting too lethal, and completely stop Genji in his tracks.

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McCree - 200 health: McCree is most effective when duelling with his enemies. Up close, he can easily throw a flashbang and fire all six shots into an opponent, which will most of the time end up killing them outright. He is suitable for use at medium range too, with his primary fire and ultimate being the most effective at executing enemies from a little ways out.

Passive/Weapons: McCree uses his trusty and reliable revolver in combat. The gun's main attack is to fire off a single round that has medium-range cabilities. The alt fire for the gun is to quickly fire off all six shots in fast succession, dealing high damage in close range.

Ability 1 - Combat Roll: McCree rolls quickly in the direction he is facing, reloading his gun in the process.

Ability 2 - Flashbang: McCree throws a grenade in short range, stunning enemies in a very small radius.

Ultimate - Deadeye: It's high noon. McCree slows right down and aims at all enemies in his vision, 'charging' damage on enemies. When ready, he fires off a barrage of bullets that hits every enemy he aimed at. If the enemy is weaker, a killing blow will take much less time to execute.

How to counter: McCree is a fantastic tank-killer at close range, but struggles against the likes of Widowmaker and Hanzo, who can take him down before he even has the chance to say 'howdy'.

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Pharah - 200 health: Pharah is designed to stay high above the battlefield, laying down fire on the enemies from directly above their heads. She has the ability to stay in the air for a long time thanks to Jump Jet and her ability to hover, allowing her to fire off a lot of rockets down on the enemy at once. Jump Jet can be used to amazing effect when used in conjunction with Barrage, letting her rain hell upon anyone below her. She is locked in place when using Barrage, so it would be wise to wait for the perfect opportunity to use the ability, lest you want to be blown out of the sky. We've had great success using it as a flanking move on defense, unleashing from behind the enemy's push.

Passive/Weapons: Pharah uses a powerful rocket launcher as her weapon, which deals high damage on impact and knocks enemies back. She can also use her jetpack to hover through the air for a short time.

Ability 1 - Jump Jet: Pharah uses her jetpack to soar high into the air.

Ability 2 - Concussive Blast: Fires a projectile that does low damage but has high knockback within its radius. Can be used to knock enemies off the map, but also for quickly moving Pharah herself.

Ultimate - Barrage: Pharah fires off a barrage of rockets from where she is, doing extreme damage if all the rockets hit.

How to counter: While she spends most of her time in the air, she is actually lacking in manoeuvrability while up there. This makes Widowmaker an easy way to take her down, and from below Soldier: 76 also makes mincemeat of her thanks again to his steady damage at mid-range.

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Reaper - 250 health: Reaper works best when flanking, and is one of the best offensive heroes at taking down tanks. He can use Shadow Step to get close or behind enemies, then open fire from close up and shred their health, before using Wraith Form to escape to safety. His ultimate is extremely effective on groups provided he doesn't get too focused, and if used on a group he can easily wipe out the entire team.

Passive/weapons: Reaper holds a pair of shotguns, doing insane damage at close range, and he's able to fire them in quick succession. Reaper's Passive is The Reaping; on a kill, enemies drop soul globes which can be collected to restore health.

Ability 1 - Wraith Form: Reaper becomes a shadow for some time, he can't be targeted and is able to pass through enemies. During this time, he can't use his guns.

Ability 2 - Shadow Step: Reaper marks a destination and after a short delay, teleports to his marker.

Ultimate - Death Blossom: Reaper empties his guns at high speed, moving forward and dealing massive damage to enemies around him.

How to counter: Reaper excels at close range thanks to his dual shotguns, meaning Pharah isn't threatened at all by him, and she can take him out in relative safety. If you're feeling brave, you can try McCree, but you'll need to make sure to be perfect with your stun grenade, which can also pull him out of his ult. Other than that, heroes like Roadhog or Reinhardt can pull him out of his ult easily enough, but it might be a tough fight taking him on after that.

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Soldier: 76 - 200 health: Solider: 76 is one of the simplest heroes to play as, and his gameplay style is similar to what you might find in more conventional shooters. He works best at short to medium range, where you can use the power of his assault rifle (with its good sized ammo clip) to tear away at an enemy's health. Sprint lets him get to the frontline quickly, but is even more useful for repositioning. His ultimate is effective at taking on enemies in groups one at a time.

Passive/Weapons: 76 utilises an assault rifle that is fully automatic and has little in the way of recoil. The gun's alt fire shoots of a trio of rockets in a straight line, damaging and knocking back enemies in a radius.

Ability 1 - Sprint: Allows 76 to sprint, moving slightly faster.

Ability 2 - Biotic Field: Places down a radius of healing energy, giving health to 76 and his allies.

Ultimate - Tactical Visor: 76 activates his visor, allowing him to lock on to the enemy closest to his crosshair. Acts as a sort of 'aimbot' letting you easily mow down enemies.

How to counter: Roadhog makes short work of 76, who can easily be pulled in and taken down in one shot. Reinhardt works, too, using his shield to absorb all of 76's damage, slowly closing in for a lethal few hammer shots. Reinhardt's charge is great too, as 76 lacks mobility for the most part.

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Tracer - 150 health: Tracer, the poster girl of Overwatch, is really effective at close range, dashing around her target and doing heavy damage. She is a squishy champion with only 150 health, but she makes up for it with her high versatility and damage. She is used at her best when flanking enemies, taking them out one at a time. Make sure to blink often when you engage to confuse your opponent, and go for the headshot! Another good tactic to use is to Blink in front of an enemy, stick a Pulse Bomb to their face, and use Recall to get quickly to safety.

Passive/Weapons: Tracer holds a pair of pulse pistols that fire extremely rapidly and have a fast reload time.

Ability 1 - Blink: Tracer dashes a short distance in a direction of her choice. This ability stacks up to three times, meaning she can dash quickly in multiple directions.

Ability 2 - Recall: Tracer goes back in time a short way, reverting her health to what it was before and putting her back in that position.

Ultimate - Pulse Bomb: Tracer throws a grenade that detonates very quickly. It sticks to any opponents and does a high amount of damage.

How to counter: Tracer is weak to those who can immobilize her and quickly take her down before doing anything, making Roadhog and McCree her obvious counters.

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Why not check out our guides detailing character roles for Defence, Support, and Tank.