Hi there, Casul here! With this article I’m continuing the “Meet the …” series and focusing on the role of the Tank. If you missed the last article covering the Support Role you can check it out –> here <– .
Tanks act as the “Big Daddies” of Overwatch, safeguarding teammates and controlling the area around them. In almost all scenarios a tank should stay with the main group, being the entity who controls the team’s movement, and deciding when and where the team should advance next.
D.va is an agile tank specialising in survivability, making her the go-to pick for hanging onto overtime in the tense final moments of a game. Her defence matrix is capable of completely absorbing up to 4 seconds of projectile damage, triumphing where Reinhardt fails in protecting the team from high DPS heroes such as Bastion.
- D.Va is the best tank for contesting a capture point during overtime, often being able to survive long enough for her team to return after wiping. To maximise your time alive follow these steps:
- Use the full duration of your Defense Matrix.
- Boost above the point, avoiding fire.
- Upon losing all the health of your Mech, use your ultimate.
- Survive until it explodes and then gain another full health Mech to repeat the process.
- Mei’s, Hanzo’s and Zarya’s ultimates can be eaten by D.va’s Defense Matrix in the second before they activate, negating all of their effects.
Out of all the tanks Reinhardt, with his Barrier Field, is best suited for protecting and guiding the rest of his team through the battlefield. Even though he lacks much ranged damage, he is a force be reckoned with in close quarters combat, especially when nano-boosted, being able to kill most heroes in 2-3 quick swings.
- Reinhardt is a great counter to another Reinhardt, the three types of attacks, firestrike/charge, earthshatter and the shield counter each other in a rock, paper, scissors style relationship. Being able to read subtle changes in the enemy Rein’s playstyle you can play the counter to any move they make.
- On defense, try and time a firestrike to hit the enemy team as they leave their spawn doors. Each strike charges your ultimate by 9%, giving you up to half of your ultimate charge in the first initial seconds by hitting the whole team.
Winston is best labelled as a “Disruptor” tank, being best suited to jumping in and separating an enemy team, instead of protecting his team unlike most other tanks. His high health, quick jump recharge, and health restoring ultimate make it easy for him to dive in and out of enemy strongholds without dying and overall being a persistent menace.
- Upon activating Primal Rage, Winston’s jump pack comes off cooldown and its recharge time is reduced to 2 seconds. You can use this to cover ground quickly to hang onto overtime.
- Winston’s jump pack shouldn’t be overlooked as just a movement tool; landing directly on an enemy deals 50 damage, meaning you will need a whole second less of Tesla Cannon damage to secure the kill.
Roadhog is the lone ranger of the tanks, providing almost no team protection (apart from body blocking) and being able to sustain himself easily with a quick recharging self heal. This lack of reliance on your team makes Roadhog a highly recommended pick for anyone wanting to climb the ranked ladder by solo queuing. His hook also makes him a brilliant assassin, being able to pluck out enemies one by one and kill them in one quick scrapgun shot.
- Try and get used to the range in which Roadhog’s alternate fire splits. The alternate fire only does 50 damage if it hits before splitting, however if you space yourself perfectly so the shot splits just before hitting you do 225 damage before any headshot multipliers!
- A few heroes like Ana and Reaper are very difficult to kill in one shot even once you have hooked them. However you can sidestep during the hook animation to pull the pesky heroes closer to you and land all your pellets into their head. This video by Spumwack demonstrates this tech in the first of his tricks.
Juxtaposing Roadhog, Zarya is a very team oriented Tank. Half her damage capability comes from protecting her teammates from fire with her Projected Barrier, and her Graviton Surge being the ultimate with the greatest playmaker potential. However Zarya’s kit makes her quite challenging to play, requiring good aim, team awareness and communication skills to coordinate ultimate combinations.
- Zarya’s right click can be used to rocket jump! By firing at your feet and jumping simultaneously, the knockback from the blast almost doubles Zarya’s jump height. The following video by Kopenich showcases lots of positions which become available with this jumping technique.
- A Zarya’s bubble blocks line of sight, so by having teammates stand behind you during a D-Va or Reinhardt ultimate will save them as well as yourself. This may take a lot of team coordination to pull off, but it is well worth knowing about.
Even though Mei is placed within the Defence category in-game, her abilities and playstyle match the characteristics of a Tank archetype. She excels in crowd control, often being able to split the enemy team into two at a choke point, turning a 6v6 battle into two much more winnable 6v3 fights.
- As Mei, chokepoints are your best friend. Separate the enemy who is leading the charge from the rest of their team by placing an ice wall across the choke, leaving one or two trapped on your side as easy pickings. Working together with a Roadhog to hook enemy tanks to your side of the chokepoint and then walling their retreat is also super effective!
Check back next time where I will be breaking down and studying the DPS role!