Victory after defending a point or protecting a payload in Overwatch can feel better than when you’re on the attack. The other team is trying to wear you down, and smart teams wait until the final seconds to clear the floor so as not to be contested. It can be horrible.
To be strong in defence, you need to take the fight to the opposition rather than sit back. While there’s no ideal/perfect set-up – the very best players will swiftly counter what they see upon first entering the map and spotting the silhouettes out for blood – there are clear favourites for very good reasons when organising your pain-in-the-ass defence.
We’ll look forward to your comments below as always (!) but here’s who we feel confident in pressurising attacking teams to the point where they feel like they’ve run out of options. Yep, no Reinhardt or Bastion; they’re possibly the start of where you’ve been going wrong.
Zarya (Role: Tank, Difficulty: Hard)
Why Zarya: In an organised team that knows how to stick together and coordinate, the damage dealt by Zarya to multiple foes can be sensational. She’s engineered to fend off attackers; her Particle Barrier empowers her Particle Cannon when it takes damage.
Basic Job: Move with the team, and keep them protected with Projected Barriers which also benefits Zarya’s attack power. Never go lone-wolf, this seldom makes sense as Zarya is slow-moving in any case, but mainly because she is designed to be more powerful among friends.
Zenyatta (Role: Support, Difficulty: Hard)
Why Zenyatta: The core of this team are comparatively stationary but high-damage dealers, meaning that their targets fall much faster if weakened. Zenyatta’s Orbs of Discord helps to eradicate annoying threats such as Torbjörn and Bastion, especially if communicated well.
Basic Job: Staying alive long enough to remain effective! Seriously, the trick with Zenyatta is to spot and taint targets then slide back into hiding. He is horrible to use if opposing teams are good at spotting him, but is more formidable than Mercy. Stay close to Zarya!
Widowmaker (Role: Defence, Difficulty: Medium)
Why Widowmaker: In no small way for her ultimate, which is indispensable for the whole team with one an eye on the next corner. She can remove Bastion and Torbjörn turrets from the table in an instant. Venom Mines weaken attackers and alert to their presence.
Basic Job: Use height to oversee large areas of the map, familiarise yourself with common placement areas for Bastion and Torbjörn turrets. Don’t stay in one place for too long, and especially not after some good kills. Protect your back using Venom Mines.
Mei (Role: Defence, Difficulty: Hard)
Why Mei: The ultimate shut-out, shut up and sit down hero in the game. Mei can close off routes using Ice Wall, which also serves as a great stopping tactic against certain ultimates. With this team being DPS focused, Mei’s Blizzard ultimate can reliably deliver Team Kills.
Basic Job: Keep an eye on choke points. Elevate slow-moving rivals onto Ice Wall to a) surprise the heck out of them, b) make them an easy target. At all times call out when you’re going to raise that Ice Wall! Many ultimates have been wasted because of Mei.
Tracer (Role: Offense, Difficulty: Medium)
Why Tracer: This team is about harassment and confusion, which Tracer excels at. If you’ve Zarya in your face and Tracer up your behind, this is not a pleasant place to be. An amazing Tracer player is hard to stop and a major distraction for minutes on end. 100 percent major ally.
Basic Job: Scoot around the map, flanking attackers, shepherding frustrated pursuers into the reach of Zarya’s Particle Beam and in sight of Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord. Constantly harass any Hanzo, Reaper and McCree that the attackers have brought to the map.
Reaper (Role: Offense, Difficulty: Easy)
Why Reaper: Similar to Tracer, but more clear-cut enforcement than harassment. Reaper can Shadow Step beside Bastion and Torbjörn to finish the job that Widowmaker started. He’s an absolute menace to heroes that need to focus on steady aim: Hanzo and McCree.
Basic Job: Spot targets, Shadow Step beside them, Wraith Form to safety, rinse and repeat. We’re over simplifying the role of an excellent Reaper, but this is his forte. Attacking teams are so occupied with what’s ahead of them that not watching their backs is usually fatal.
This team is built around Zarya; the mutually beneficial roles that they all play. Its weakness is obviously Zenyatta and arguably Widowmaker who’s often out on a limb. However, when it comes down to the crunch, the close proximity of the entire team works so well. Zarya protects Zenyatta, who the attackers will want to prioritise. Mei is of benefit to everyone, and can clutch games by contesting points in her Cryo-Freeze.
Again, Zarya and Zenyatta – the robot monk is nought but a glass cannon otherwise. With Zenyatta kept in play, it can be him plus Widowmaker/Reaper/Mei as a death dealing team.
Only Reaper is interchangeable here, and this could be for Symmetra whose Teleporter and Sentry Turrets are always tactically sound for defence. You could also fly in Mercy, but DPS would suffer, and it would mainly be Zarya and Zenyatta to heal, unlikely to make you MVP. Soldier: 76 could slot in comfortably for Reaper, serving to protect Zarya and Zenyatta.
As Zarya says (in Russian): “together we are strong.” This isn’t a team for beginners, or those that play ‘casually’ off mic. If you’re working together the opposing team will wonder how they’re constantly running into Zarya or being assassinated no matter where they stand.
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