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Overwatch

Overwatch: Character Guide - Tank

It's a tough job, but someone's got to take all that damage for the team.

  • Text: Sammy Cooper
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No character guide would be complete without a look at the Tank role, an essential part of any team that has aspirations of greatness, because someone's got to get stuck into combat and lead the line.

D.va - 100 Health/400 Armour (inside mech) 150 health (outside mech): D.va is a brilliant offensive tank hero. Her abilities give her the incredibly useful power to charge into the enemy and completely shut down their attacks. A common strategy is to charge in using the dash, get a melee hit off if possible, and then proceed to delete enemy projectiles allowing the rest of your team to push further forward with relative safety. She is a great counter to someone like Bastion, who relies on most of his damage coming from his turret. When paired up with another hero, D.va can block out all of Bastion's bullets while someone else takes him out with ease. On top of this, her Self Destruct ultimate ability enables her to wipe out entire areas of the map in seconds, though it can easily be blocked. On defence, D.va is no pushover either. She is able to shut down other heroes' attacks with Defence Matrix, knock them away with boosters, or once again clear out entire areas. Couple this with the fact she has two chances to take someone down, D.va can be formidable on both sides.

Passive/Weapons: Has essentially two lives; when her Mech is destroyed, D.va dumps it and jumps out, though now she is now much more vulnerable. When inside the mech, she has two powerful cannons that fire spreading projectiles. Outside, though she has little health, and is armed with a particularly potent automatic pistol that has a good deal more range than the cannons.

Ability 1 - Boosters: Dash forward with rockets. Does 50 flat damage and knocks enemies back on impact.

Ability 2 - Defence Matrix: Shield that blocks incoming projectiles. Removes projectiles headed your way. Makes for an effective counter to Bastion or S76's Ultimate.

Ultimate - Self-Destruct/Call Mech: When in mech: Dumps the mech and causes an explosion in a wide horizontal radius, taking out any enemies provided it isn't blocked. Syncs up well with shift to create a huge bomb. Note that the mech will keep any momentum when you exit, meaning you can use your boosters to push the self-destructing mech towards the enemy. When not in mech: Spawns the mech and puts you inside it, giving you a huge shield that adds up to more health.

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Reinhardt - 300 Health/200 Armour: Reinhardt is another formidable hero. The range of tools at his disposal makes him effective on both offence and defence. His barrier field blocks all enemy attacks, except melee, while allowing his allies to shoot through it without penalty, meaning a Reinhardt should always be on the front line preventing as much damage as possible. His charge enables him to shoot into battle at high speeds, and gives him the chance to deal high damage to one of the heroes, outright killing the ones with less health. Reinhardt definitely shines in close range battles, but Fire Strike allows him to deal a fair bit of damage at range if he is in a pinch, giving him a little breathing room. His ultimate is really powerful, stunning any grounded enemies in his line of sight for quite some time, letting he and his team pick off anyone stunned without resistance.

Passive/weapons: Wields a giant rocket hammer that can do good deal of damage, but is obviously limited in range. His secondary attack puts up a wide forward-facing Barrier field that is able to block considerable amounts of damage (2000!) before going down.

Ability 1 - Charge: Charges forward in a straight line, allowing for little movement left or right. Grabs hold of the first enemy in his path, doing very high damage to them upon colliding with a wall. Any other enemy in his path during his charge will also get knocked into the air.

Ability 2 - Fire Strike: Swings his rocket hammer, throwing a flaming projectile with high range, damaging enemies for 100 if hit.

Ultimate - Earthshatter: Slams his hammer onto the ground, stunning and damaging all enemies in a cone.

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Roadhog - 600 Health: Roadhog works best on defence. His moveset revolves around singling out enemies, and removing them from play one at a time or, with his ultimate, pushing the entire enemy team away from the objective, maybe not killing them, but certainly stalling them. His Chain Hook is an effective counter to the squishy offensive heroes, like Pharah, who he can pull out of the sky and take out with one shot. His healing ability, Take A Breather, gives him time once he's taken out a single enemy to recuperate any damage he's taken, wait for his hook to finish its cooldown, and then head back into the fray.

Passive/Weapons: Roadhog wields a scrap gun that acts like a shotgun at close range, doing often lethal damage at close range with just a single shot. The gun's secondary attack allows him to fire a shrapnel ball that detonates at range, having a similar affect to the standard shot.

Ability 1 - Take A Breather: Heals Roadhog for a maximum of 300 health. When using this ability, Roadhog is unable to move for 1 second whilst he heals.

Ability 2 - Chain Hook: Throws a chain in a target direction. If the chain hits an enemy hero, it stops them in their tracks and pulls them in for a close range attack.

Ultimate - Whole Hog: Roadhog shoves a top-loader into his gun, turning it into a machine gun that fires shrapnel and knocks back any close enemies.

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Winston - 400 Health/100 Armour: Winston is probably the most mobile of all the tank heroes, but is only at his most effective in certain situations, for example when clutching victory from the jaws of defeat. He can use his Jump Pack to fly into the enemy, followed by the Barrier Projector letting him single out enemies or prevent damage from other sources, whilst doing damage over time with his Tesla Cannon. An interesting thing to note is that Primal Rage fully heals Winston, so you could wait until you are low on health then activate to maximise your damage output.

Passive/Weapon: Winston's main weapon is his Tesla Cannon, firing a short range electric beam that targets any enemies in a cone. It's not blocked by any barriers or deflect moves.

Ability 1 - Jump Pack: Winston flies through the air in the direction he is facing, damaging and staggering any enemies he lands on.

Ability 2 - Barrier Projector: Places down a bubble-shaped shield that absorbs medium amounts of damage until it is destroyed. Allies can fire through the shield.

Ultimate - Primal Rage: Winston goes on a rampage, giving himself much more health and allowing him to use his jump pack more often, but limits his attacks to melee only. Though he does less damage this way, his attacks can now knock enemies back and away from the objective.

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Zarya - 200 Health/200 Armour: Zarya is the most difficult of all the tanks, relying on clever use of shields and her passive to gain damage on her weapon. At full energy, she rips through the enemy team with ease. Perhaps the most impressive trick up her sleeve is her Graviton Surge, which allows for excellent synergy with heroes like Hanzo or Pharah, as it holds them all in one place.

Passive/Weapon: Zarya holds a Particle Cannon that unleashes a beam of energy which can devastate at close range. The alt fire for the weapon fires an explosive charge that strikes multiple opponents at range. Passively, any damage blocked via her other abilities boosts the power of the Particle Cannon.

Ability 1 - Particle Barrier: Emits a personal barrier that shields Zarya from damage, in turn boosting the power of her weapon.

Ability 2 - Projected Barrier: Shields a teammate instead of herself, with the same function as the Particle Barrier.

Ultimate - Graviton Surge: Launches a gravity bomb that pulls in all enemies, dealing damage over time when they are in its pull.

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