Blog Update for end of June!

Blog update 6/21/16

I apologize for the lack of consistency in keeping my blog updated.  I want to work on this for everyone who uses this as a resource.  I am ...

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Blog update 6/21/16

I apologize for the lack of consistency in keeping my blog updated.  I want to work on this for everyone who uses this as a resource.  I am going to give you guys my honest goals as well as work from the last week, and the upcoming week. I hope that this clarity will help keep you guys on the same page about my content and when its coming out.

What I have done in the last two weeks


ESL Go4 Cup #2

SuperStarLeague: EU Premier League Season 1

ESL Go4 Cup #3


Summary: This episode will be going back to the basics and look at the core mechanics of First Person Shooters that you will need to work on mastering to improve your game. As well this episode will look at the more ethereal concepts like: Positioning and situational awareness; these concepts take time and studying to develop a large enough conditional understanding of the game.

Summary: We finally look at Kings Row. This episode highlights how to defend on Point A and streets phase of kings row. We look at the previous patches compositions as well as the new patches. Specifically we look for the differences that are present on Point A defense; and for streets phase we focus on how to regain tempo and defend with Pharah.


Most of you are probably here for this. I am going to be honest that this has been lower on priority list in the last 4 weeks because I feel as though casting and video creation are the best ways to go about getting my ideas out there. However I feel as though this is still an important resource for you guys.  I have begun real work on the Reinhard Counter Guide and Want to say that my tentative goal is to have the counter list done with all 21 current heroes (and update previous guides with appropriate numbers) by the end of the summer.

As well I am going to start working on a guide similar to Purges: Welcome to Dota2: You Suck. I feel there are plenty of guides explaining Overwatch at every level, but not a guide that strictly covers transitioning from other games and how to play in centralized read. If you have any thoughts or suggestions on this please do let me know!

Up-coming content this week

Thank you

Thank you so much everyone for the support, viewership, and readership I have received. I hope to continue to put out quality casts, reads, and analysis videos.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Stratwatch 7 is out!!

Summary: Nubris vs Teamliquid on Nepal was a very clean example of the current KotH standard composition in 1HL. As well this game displayed the key core concepts to winning King of the Hill with this composition, or one that uses Zarya. I hope this episode helps navigate these concepts with multiple examples, instancing how situational awareness and understanding the conditions of those situations improves your play on KotH maps.

If you have any feedback suggestions or ideas please let me know!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Stratwatch 6 - Shutting out the Offense (GFE's Hold against TL @ Agents Rising Lan)

Summary: This Stratwatch will cover Gale Force Esports defensive hold against Team Liquid in the Agents Rising LAN run by EsportsArena. How does Gale Force Esports hold Team liquid where other teams couldn't? What compositions do they use to do it? And what concepts can we learn from them for our own play? This episode aims to answer those very questions.

Any feedback is greatly appreciate! If you have any suggestions for topics or strategies please let me know!

Week 3 Content update

I am still in the process of writing the Reinhardt counter guide, and I apologize to those of you looking for more text resources. I hope to get my schedule stabilized so I can more regularly write about overwatch! If there is a lot of need/requests for more guides I will try to find more time than I am now. As it stands I have to devote most of my time to work. casting and video production. Let me know what you want and prefer!! Best thing I can do is hear from you guy AND listen! :)

1. Casting Thursday for TierMonsters MonsterWatch again with - Stream will be at TierMonsters's channel starting at 7PM EST Thursday 6/9

VoD link will be added here

2. I will be casting for ESL's GO4 Cup #2 again. It will be on my stream at 7AM MST (9AM EST) sunday 6/12

VoD link will be added here.

3. I might be starting a new series here, I have some ideas but I want to have a series where I can stream it. Tentative plans are to pick a match and do my best via Youtube VoDS to follow one pro and see what he/she does and how to emulate that specific players play in your own games!

Episode 7 of stratwatch will be released at the beginning of next week, or sunday evening (6/6). If you are interested in this weeks episode it can be found here

If you want more regular updates follow my twitter youtube or twitch located on the right as well! I will try to update you guys as often as possible!

Thank you so much for the support, and feedback. Enjoy week 2 overwatch, and I hope to see you guys out there!!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Week 2 update!

Hey guys! Wanted to give you another text update for week 2/weekend 2 for me and the content I am making.

1. I will be casting Friday and Saturday for the SuperStar League on their stream. Visit the information or stream for more info.

** VoD link **

2. I will be casting the GO4 OW Cup #1, hosted by esl, Sunday.  The casts can be found on my stream for this tournament.

** VoD Link **

3. I am still in the process of writing the Reinhardt guide, and I apologize to those of you looking for more text resources. I hope to get my schedule stabilized so I can more regularly write about overwatch!

4. Episode 6 of stratwatch will be released at the beginning of next week, or sunday evening (6/6). If you are interested in this weeks episode it can be found here

If you want more regular updates follow my twitter youtube or twitch located on the right as well! I will try to update you guys as often as possible!

Thank you so much for the support, and feedback. Enjoy week 2 overwatch, and I hope to see you guys out there!!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Episode 5: Cloud 9's Gibraltar Defense

Summary: This Episode is another break down of defense. Cloud 9 on Gibraltar is terrifying, the best at it in the game at the moment. How do they do it? This video will break-down the main two parts of the defense, and how its almost impossible to break-through.

Any feedback is greatly appreciate! If you have any suggestions for topics or strategies please let me know!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Launch Week Update!

Wanted to give you guys an update for what will be happening with me, the blog, and my youtube. Follow my twitter for daily/weekly updates!

First I will be casting Thursday Evening at TierMonster Stream Starting at 6PM EST. More Information

Twitch VoD

I will be casting again on my channel, covering extra matches for the ESL EU Cup #1, Starting at 11:45AM EST. More information:

Update: Finals Monday 5/30 22:00 CEST (4PM EST) My channel

Twitch VoD

Youtube Cuts

3rd place decider twitch vod 

I will be getting the Reinhardt guide out in my free-time over the next week, and then will move on to requested heroes. If you would like to request a hero, leave a comment on any post or email me at

The next Stratwatch will be coming out this weekend! I am sorry to have to delay the series a bit, but I have to be ready for these casts to give it my all! If you have a request for the series again comment here or any other post, or email at the email above.

Thank you for your support, and I hope to keep getting quality content out to you guys!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Stratwatch Episode 4: Importance of Individual Decisions in Strategies

Summary: This episode will be covering the elephant in the room, can individuals shape the outcome of the game? In this match between Luminosity and EnvyUs, Seagull and Enigma prove how much value there is in strong individual plays. Without their abilities in this game, Luminosity would have lost.

Any feedback is greatly appreciate! If you have any suggestions for topics or strategies please let me know!

Friday, May 20, 2016

First Cast/Commentary - Practicing for Launch

Hey everyone! Did my first cast/commentary of a professional Overwatch match, let me know what you think!

Second Commentary for Overwatch. Two matches on Kings Row from Professional teams.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Stratwatch Episode 3 - Hollywood Defense

StratWatch - Overwatch Analysis Series dedicated to bringing pro strategies to everyone.

This episode we will finally cover a Defensive strategy by Reunited against Cloud9 in the Overkill.GG Finals. Using spam, position and information manipulation Reunited's strong individual play lets them take the map, and tie the series.

If you have any feedback or suggestions for the series or any of my content please let me know via Email comment or on Reddit /u/RaptorZGaming

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Stratwatch - Episode 2: Goggles and Glasses

In the Stratwatch Series I will cover professional strategies so that you can better learn them and use them in your own play. If you have any suggestions, feedback, or thoughts on this series let me know!!

Monday, May 16, 2016

How to Counter and play against D.Va
Hana "D.Va" Song, can disrupt any setup and block any projectile based ultimate in the game. She comes in second to Winston in Mobility for tanks, but still has an amazing amount of close range damage. D.Va will harass and punish static setups for heroes like Widowmaker and Hanzo, making it impossible to get strong peaks. When playing against a very strong D.Va it will feel as if the pressure is never stopping, the mech is always flanking, and by the time you react to her you have already ceded the tempo.

Let's take a look at D.Va's numbers to better deal with her: Having 500 Health Points in her Mech, 400 of those points being Armor makes it very hard to actually kill her Mech.  The Fusion Cannons the MEKA Suit come armed with are serious threats in close range shooting 7 blasts per second, each firing 8 pellets that will do at least .5 damage or 3 when in close range (giving her up to 24 Damage per blast fired).
Defense matrix is the star skill for any D.Va, when used properly. Defense Matrix is a 3 second duration that blocks every projectile fired at or around the defense matrix (this includes Barrage, Whole Hog, Graviton Surge, Pulse Bomb, etc). Because D.Va can block every projectile based ability in the game, shutting down a D.Va is no small feat. When you factor in that the cooldown on Defense Matrix is 10 seconds, it is quite easy for D.Va to consistently use it and negate your teams power-plays.

When D.Va is ejected from her mech she only has 150 Health Points all being standard HP. Her ultimate recharge turns into "Call Mech" ultimate, allowing her to pilot a new MEKA suit when its charged. D.Va's Light Gun is also a decent weapon. Having no damage or distance drop, it does 14 damage per shot can head shot and fires 6.66 rounds per second. This Light Gun can still be a threat, do not ignore a D.Va outside of her mech.
Most noteworthy for D.Va's amazing tempo creation abilities is her Boosters. Having a 5 second cooldown that begins when activated, they last for 2 seconds and can be cancelled at anytime. This is where D.Va gets her amazing mobility from. Exploiting the short downtime of this ability is critical to scoring a kill on the MEKA suit. Remember this ability can knock heroes off cliffs, ledges, or bump them into disadvantageous positions. It also will deal a minor 25 damage on impact, and ?cannot hit a target more than once?
Finally on D.Va's Self-Destruct is the strongest damage from an ultimate in the game. Dealing 1000 damage in a 20 meter explosion distance, D.Va's mech when critical will kill any hero not behind a wall or barrier (note: Standing behind even just putting a market stand between you and her mech will prevent the damage). D.Va can also use her Boosters to quickly get the MEKA suit into an enemy setup for a Self-Destruct that is impossible to avoid. Be aware of D.Va's position and always be ready to turn tail and run from this ability.

The key to shutting down D.Va is never let her isolate targets on your team, D.Va excels at small skirmishes where she can either pick off a hero or create discord and leave an opening for her team to seize tempo. Working in pairs consistently will force D.Va to work with her team more concertedly, which can open up space for a hero like Widowmaker. Much like Winston, her goal is create havoc and open an opportunities for her team by drawing attention. Map awareness is critical when playing tempo disrupters like D.Va.  Actively take efforts to protect your snipers and supports from her when on defense. If preemptive the threat D.Va brings is heavily mitigated by being ready - coupled with the pairs or trios system, some of the team will still be ready to respond to simultaneous aggression while D.Va is dealt with. If you cannot shut down D.Va's attempts at flanks or disruption, flank her team and disrupt their tempo. If able to get enough picks, or create enough pressure, it will naturally force D.Va to fall back and deal with you before perusing more. If she doesn't, she will isolate herself.

Hard Counters to D.Va

Genji (High Difficulty)

Operating a lot like Tracer would, Genji's high mobility and burst damage allows him to kite and out maneuver the D.Va. His Skurikens are incredibly strong at both long distances and up close. Each Shuriken does 28 damage, leading to both primary and secondary fires doing 84 damage total. Against D.Va, the Alternate fire shooting a fan of 3 skurikens can be used twice as often as the primary fire (3RPS for Primary, 6RPS for Secondary). Because the Fan is more spammable, and when combo'd with a melee and swift strike will dish out incredible damage (84 from Shurkiens + 30 Melee + 50 from Swift strike = 164 damage in less than a second). This allows Genji to instantly dispose of D.Va when she has left her Mech, or push her out of it.

Most hard counters against D.Va rely on putting your team in a position to stop the D.Va's advances, and negate her discord. However Genji is amazing at intercepting D.Va and stalling her out, or Flanking and killing D.Va's teammates. Being able to avoid any advances D.Va could try to make, Genji is well suited to avoid D.Va and go about his own game-plan. Being consistently mobile and map aware the key cruxes to playing Genji well, and are also the keys to shutting down D.Va in an offensive sense.

D.Va thrives on tempo, Genji does more so. With one of the highest skill floors and ceilings Genji is the strongest hero at gaining tempo and translating it into objective time. Being able to wall climb and double jump Genji can access almost every vertical location on the map. Using Wall Climb and double in sync can allow him to hide near ceilings for short periods of time and pick enemy heroes. Using the combo mentioned above will almost one shot every hero - be sure to use a fan while closing the distance to soften targets up or use deflect on the escape to kill frantic players. 

Once D.Va has died a few times because she has no team to back her up, because they are dealing with Genji - she might consider stopping him; the Mobility factor then allows Genji to quickly evade her advances if properly map aware. That is the ultimate key to defeating heroes that seek tempo through discord - being aware of their advances and potential routes gives you a consistent one up on the mental game. If D.Va refuses to deal with Genji, and no other threat has come to stop him, feel free to terrorize the enemy back. Eventually if enough picks occur as Genji the enemy team will be forced to group up and push as larger groups or one large group.

Unlike Reaper, Genji should always avoid protecting his back line if he can. There are better heroes at this because of their outright burst compared to Genji's harassment based damage. Using your fan in close proximity to soften targets up is key to securing the kills. Be careful about careless use of deflect as it can be the only ability to save Genji sometimes. Lastly steal D.Va's lime light by killing her team better than her.

Mei (Medium Difficulty)

D.Va will always have a very hard time against Mei because the ability to slow her down, and create artificial terrain changes to lock D.Va in, or give her team a wall to hide behind. Add that Mei is among the few that can harass at long range, and still have  a strong effect at close range. Even if Mei does get isolated she is able to use her Cryo-Freeze to stall D.Va while teammates arrive to assist.

Mei's primary strength against D.Va is her natural inclination towards stalwart defenses. Any flanks or advances by D.Va can be easly walled off - if D.Va over commits or gets through most likely she used boosters to do so and Mei's Endothermic Blaster will stop D.Va cold. Dealing moderate damage at 45 damage per second, it applies a stacking slow that eventually stuns the target by freezing them. If D.Va recently used her Boosters, she will have no way to escape and will quickly be focused down by you and surrounding teammates. 

As mentioned above Ice-Wall is amazing at manipulating the lay-out of the map. Even when on the offense, Ice-Wall can create advantageous angles for your team, or wall off defenders completely. Against D.Va ice-wall may be flown over, but not all heroes can follow her. Being relatively spammable ability with a 4.5 second up time, and 10 second cooldown - Ice-Wall will consistently shut down attempts from D.Va from flanking. Do not forget the dual purpose of walling off her escape if you can isolate her. Being aware of the map will allow Mei to decide whether to wall off or wall in. Remember at all times that a well timed Ice-Wall give Mei's team a new wall to hide behind when D.Va ults. Walling the moments before it explodes is key because you do not want it to fly over if boosted, or the wall to expire before it explodes. 

Never forget when your life is under threat you have Cyro-Freeze to quickly heal up. If D.Va manages to isolate you with the upper hand, its all a ruse because of block. Simply block and call for help - D.Va either stays and dies to support or flees and has effectively wasted some time. Because you are so well equipped to deal with D.Va alone do not be afraid to roam alone. Mentioned above, Mei can shut down the Self-Destruct of the mech with Ice-Wall, but if Mei is alone or targeted by the Mech simply block the explosion.

Mei is a defensive response to D.Va - not only because she is a Defensive specialist, but because her tool-kit absorbs and negates D.Va's tempo. Usable on the offense as well, Mei will give her team room to work with and close off key angles. Mei literally freezes any tempo created by D.Va, and can flip the tempo on D.Va's team when D.Va is dead. Remember the power to negate D.Va's ultimate with a well timed wall.

Roadhog (Medium Difficulty)

Chain hook is one of the only reliable ways to stun D.Va out of Defense Matrix. Most other stuns: Flashbang, Reinhardt's EarthShatter, etc. Have a "Projectile" element that can be absorbed by the Matrix. Chain hook, being Hitscan, will go right through the Defense Matrix and stun her out of it. Coupled with his self-healing and terrifying DPS, D.Va will have to mindful of where Roadhog is and avoid him at all costs.
Another defensive response, Roadhog rely's on his ability to hook D.Va to help his team shut her down. Chain hook having a insanely low cooldown at 6 seconds gives Roadhog the ability to consistently shut down D.Va as she flanks his teammates. Remember this ability can be used through Defense Matrix and can setup a quick kill on D.Va's mech.

Roadhogs true power as a hero is a self-sustaining pick engine that creates heap of tempo. This is still an effective method of dealing with D.Va, but if you can pick heroes like Tracer, Genji, or Reaper they will always be better. Primarily use Roadhog if you need a stable foundation to consistently shut down D.Va while other heroes help finish her off. 

Roadhog sits right in the middle of mobility for tanks, so favor him in situations where your tank needs to be moving occasionally. Chain hook is the most important reason why Roadhog shuts down D.Va. Use hook to stop defense matrix, hook her support if she has one near by, and hook her when she tries to boost away. Never let D.Va escape your clutches. 

Reinhardt (Medium-Hard Difficulty)

Creating a stable foundation for your team, Reinhardt is excellent at protecting your team from D.Va's assaults and Ultimates. Barrier Field is one the best abilities at negating her ultimate because of its large width/height, and it has 2000 HP being able to absorb all of the self-destructing mech. If D.Va is just harassing and pressuring using her mobility with Boosters, she has to stray away from Reinhardt. Being able to Charge her Defense Matrix, or simply swinging away in close range.
Similar to Roadhog but more immobile in nature, Reinhardt is a strong defensive answer to D.Va. Using his Barrier Field will completely negate D.Va's ultimate or flanks. D.Va can never risk getting into any skirmishes with Reinhardt when he stands in the way. As Reinhardt you have extra responsibility to be aware of both your team and the enemy teams positions. When Reinhardt rotates the direction of his shield there is additional openings for enemies. However when properly aware Reinhardt can effectively shield his team and protect them from D.Va's flank. Be aware that Barrier Field when Destroyed will go on cooldown for 4 seconds and respawn with 500 HP - where as sheathing it will heal 225 HPS after 1 second.
Charge can be used similar to hook and interrupt Defense Matrix, or even when D.Va has committed too far and you can charge her further into your team. Again be aware of positions of enemy and friendly heroes as a poorly timed charge leaves Reinhardt and his teammates vulnerable. However when used properly is can shut down and out-right kill D.Va. If you are unable to setup a Barrier Field to negate a D.Va's Self-Destructing mech you can Charge it away from your team. Not ideal, but can save your team.

Reinhardt is a more stationary and defensive response to D.Va. Shutting down her chaotic methods of creating tempo by giving teammates a strong hero to stand around. Barrier protects Reinhardt and his teammates not only from D.Va's advances, but also her Self-Destructing mech. Charge can quickly end any hopes D.Va had of picking off a teammate, and act as a last ditch effort to save his team from that self-destructing mech.

Soft  Counters to D.Va

Reaper (Medium-Hard Difficulty)

D.Va will always have a hard time against targets that can burst her down quickly, Reaper is explicitly one of these Heroes. His Hellfire Shotguns do incredible damage at close range, firing 2 blasts per second, with 20 pellets per blast that deal 2 to 7 damage per. This gives Reaper, in close proximity, 280 damage per second (140 per blast, at 2 per second). Even with D.Va's innate armor on her Mech, Reaper can shred through it in less than 3 seconds. Couple this damage with his tool-kits mobility and he is a very strong answer to D.Va.

While Shadow-Step itself is not useful against D.Va, it is a key ability to deal with her team. Playing Reaper gives you two deviating methods to deal with D.Va. Utilizing your mobility with Shadow-Step to consistently pressure her team and force her to react to you, gaining tempo control. Having a 10 second cooldown this ability is amazing at navigating the peripheries of the map and finding victims for your Hellfire Shotguns. If Reaper is consistently successful in picking key heroes, such as supports or snipers, D.Va will have to turn tail and deal with you. If she doesn't, there won't be follow up from her pressure and she has isolated herself for your team. Because D.Va has to use her boosters to get in for flanks, and Reaper should have Wraith-Form available when he flanks, D.Va's tempo creation  relies on follow up; Reapers doesn't. Use this to your advantage and force D.Va's hand.

Assuming there is already a hero creating havoc in the enemies back lines already, Reaper is a strong choice to protect snipers and supports from D.Va. While in a vacuum Reaper shouldn't really be sticking with his team, even if you are defense Reaper should naturally poke out and find picks. However assuming a world where D.Va is creating hell on earth for your back line, and there is already someone harassing the enemy; Hunt that D.Va down and set traps with your squishies. D.Va has no offensive counter play to Reaper in close quarters, all her responses are defensive and afford Reaper chances to push her away or kill her.

Remember as Reaper you either steal the tempo from D.Va, or you negate hers. In general Reaper excels at the former response, but be ready to adapt to the flow of the game. D.Va is a tempo controlling hero with high mobility and Defense Matrix, but she lacks self-sustain and uses her escape as a entrance. Even if D.Va has a Mercy paired with her, Reaper is uniquely good at just walking through her and popping that said support. 

Zenyatta (Medium Difficulty)

Although very weak to D.Va in isolated situations, Zenyatta should strive to be around teammates at all times, especially ones like Roadhog or Reinhardt. Using his Orb of Discord D.Va becomes a very easy target to burst down, even when inside her MEKA suit. Amplifying damage on the effected target by 50% (or 1.5X multiplier), Orb of Discord is an amazing ability to help take care of high health threats.
Proper use of Orb of Discord is why Zenyatta would be picked in response to a D.Va getting out of control. Giving his team a easy way to deal with her quickly, even heroes with low damage per instance but high dps (i.e. Tracer) can do it. Orb of Discord has no cooldown when used, but will unlatch from the target when they broken LoS from Zenyatta for 3 seconds. However in a world where D.Va is pressuring his team, Zenyatta should not have a hard time teaming up with another hero and keeping his Discord Orb on D.Va.

Again Zenyatta is not a 1v1 answer to D.Va, few heroes are. Rather Zenyatta amplifies his teams damage, and augments their ability to quickly deal with D.Va and prevent any meaningful pressure from her. Remember you are a very squishy target with 50 HP and 100 Shields, so pay extra mind to your position and consistently buddy up.

McCree (Medium Difficulty)

The go to Tank hunter, McCree is strong at dealing with D.Va, between the 420 damage one fan of the hammer can do and the stun his Flashbang creates allows him to dispense of D.Va. However because D.Va comes with Boosters and Defense Matrix (which can absorb Flashbang) D.Va can avoid and escape McCree when played properly. Because of this McCree will usually need teammates to help him deal with D.Va.

If D.Va is having a strong game and consistently pressuring your team, McCree is well equipped to help them shut her down. While he could do this on his own, a strong D.Va player will avoid risky confrontations with McCree and only engage when she can get the Flashbang and Fan absorb'd by Defense Matrix. If you wait for D.Va to pounce on teammates, and then pounce on her you can quickly dispose of her.  Again one Fan will do 420 damage in 1 second and leave her Mech extremely low on health, being a naturally big target if D.Va did advance on McCree's teammate with Boosters the second Fan is guaranteed to hit and remove D.Va from her mech.

Because McCree is a more immobile duelist, relying on advanced map awareness and positioning I feel that this matchup may be a wash. I might remove/change this section for launch as I feel there is a lot of experimentation and game data to properly understand this match up. D.Va can always be more aware, and avoid risky situations saving boosters to escape and advancing more methodically. Thus, McCree may be suspect as a counter.

Use McCree to supplement the ability to kill D.Va when she is harassing the flanks, or commits to a full on skirmish. The ability to quickly stun is very handy, but can be negated with Defense Matrix so position to avoid it. McCree should have troubles catching an aware D.Va, so use teammates to bait her out and prevent any successful pick attempts.

Junkrat (Low-Medium Difficulty)

Steel Trap is an absolutely amazing against a careless D.Va. Over commiting to a chase, your team can use this ability to control her and kill her, making D.Va think twice about how she executes her plays, and may negate the threat from her entirely. However, because D.Va can always just avoid Junkrat or steel trap it is not guaranteed to work.
Junkrat is primarily a strong hero at securing room to push with grenade spam, or locking down attackers routes to objectives through the said grenade spam. However against highly mobile flanking tempo heroes, such as D.Va, Steel Trap is amazing. Having forethought and map awarness allows a good Junkrat predict the movement of D.Va and have a trap ready to snap on her when she moves to harass key backliners. Quickly pounce during this 3 second root, and D.Va will be left flipping out of her mech helpless and surrounded by very unhappy heroes.

Junkrats tool-kit around mobility and verticality are very important in all cases, against a D.Va its slightly more. Hieght gives Junkrat additional vision and reaction time, and when in confrontations with D.Va Junkrat using Concussive mine can still fire grenades down while he is ascending; D.Va cannot shoot while she is boosting.

Junkrat is a jack-of-all-traits response to D.Va, giving his team ways to shut down her tempo disruption and ways to isolate D.Va from her team through effective grenade spam. Remember every ability Junkrat has can be absorbed by Defense Matrix if thrown out during it, so be preemptive, read into the map, and enemy movements.

Pharah (Low Difficulty)

Although Barrage and Rockets are Blockable by D.Va, these responses are defensive in nature and still give Pharah presumption in any duel. Using Pharah's more consistent mobility allows her to avoid D.Va if necessary, but also punish D.Va if she over commits and chases Pharah into her Team.

Pharah does not have to go out of her way to counter D.Va, by naturally existing on the map and exploiting veritcality D.Va has to go out of her way to avoid Pharah. If Pharah is left unchecked above D.Va, she will be forced to retreat and use Defense Matrix to shield her team from incoming rocket fire. Ultimately this has snapped tempo back from D.Va, and will inherently make gaining it back through playing D.Va significantly harder. Any flanks will leave D.Va vulnerable to Pharah, or leave D.Va's team.

D.Va cannot chase the Pharah in vertical planes because D.Va cannot fire while boosting, but Pharah can while using both Jump and Hover Jets. Consistently exploit that Pharah's playstyle is naturally hard to counter from D.Va's perspective, and she will consistently be on the backfoot. Remember all your rockets and ultimate are blockable by Defense Matrix, but baiting out bad usage can open up the one second needed to eviscerate D.Va and her team.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

StratWatch Episode 1 - Protect the President

Here with my first analysis video. In the Stratwatch Series I will cover professional strategies so that you can better learn them and use them in your own play. I apologize for any quality issues, I have to use Youtube until there is a replay client.

Any feedback is much appreciated! I hope you find this useful! I will continue to work on the quality and ideas for this series!

How to Counter and play against Symmetra

Satya "Symmetra" Vaswani is one of the most frustating defensive heroes to deal with. Being a support, she naturally assists her teammates more than traditional defensive heroes. She comes equipped with the most deadly weapon in close quarters combat, Sentries to fortify herself and teammates, additional shields for all her friends, and of course the dreaded Teleporter. When given proper time to setup, Symmetra will completely shut down the side lanes of the map. She will do this through sentry placement, and combo'ing her sentries with her Photon Projector. Do not let Symmetra's setup persist, much like Torbjorn and Bastion shutting down her setup consistently is the key.
Numbers matter, lets take a look at Symmetra's. She has 200 HP, 100 being normal health and 100 being Shields. Shields take the same damage as health, but will automatically regenerate after 3 seconds of not taking damage. Her Photon Projector's primary fire is a short-ranged beam that both follows the target (note it will "stick" to a target for 1 second, even if they run 180 degrees behind you) and ramps from 30 damage per second to 120 DPS. Symmetra's secondary fire also features a charging effect that create an orb of slow traveling energy, starting at 25 damage and ending at 125 damage (based on time charging the orb). Symmetra is able to fire 5 fully charged orbs before reloading, and more disgustingly can use her primary fire for 20 seconds before reloading. The range on her primary fire is 5 meters, giving her quite the distance to work with. The orbs however will travel forever until they collide with a surface or Hero. Remember both of Symmetra's weapons methods of firing pierce and ignore barriers.
Sentries will give new players hell, and in the hands of a skilled Symmetra, leave any player wishing they were on the other side of the map. Having 3 charges of this ability, Symmetra is able to have 6 total Sentries active at any time. A sentry charge will be regained every 10 seconds. Each Sentry only has 1 health, but will deal 25 damage per second, and stacks with Symmetra and other sentries additively. Meaning if Symmetra finds you in the wrong room with her Sentries, and 3 are focusing you with her, you will take a base of 105 DPS and up to 195 DPS if Symmetra is at full charge. Note that each sentry does apply a minor slow that is also additive with each other sentry. At 4+ sentries focusing 1 hero it will psuedo-immobilize them. This is explicitly why the two ways to counter and hamper Symmetra are to avoid her using the other sides of the map, or take your time and destroy her nest.

The ability for Symmetra to augment her teams HP is a massive factor to her success. The game is naturally balanced around the base HP's of heroes; for instance a Widowmaker will full charge on Widow's Kiss will kill Tracer no matter where she is shot. However, if Tracer has Symmetra on her team the 25 shields will allow Tracer to live if it is not a headhshot. Small breaking points like this is why Photon Shield can be so quiet in game, but massive when exploited properly. Again Symmetra combo'd on the defense with Torbjorn will give every member of their team an additional 100 HP as long as they have an Armor Pack up. Its important to note that shields will always take priority on damage, meaning shields will always drain before Armor or Health.
Teleporter is what completes Symmetra's tool-kit, and can be the deciding factor on a close hold or push. Because of Symmetra's Sentries and her DPS from Photon Projector, Teleporter can be charged up quickly, and deployed only a minute into the game. Holding 6 charges, one Teleporter can transport an entire team that has been wiped directly near the key point of the map. While the Teleporter does have 200 HP, Symmetra cannot charge a second one until the first Teleporter is used up or dead. This is why Teleporter placement is an important factor to good Symmetra play. It is always worth it to out of your way to find and kill the Teleporter - taking a fight when one is up will allow the enemy team to reinforce as fast as they die. Denying Symmetra this ability consistently can not be stated enough; find the Teleporter and destroy it!

Remember no matter what heroes we choose to counter Symmetra, we have to give respect to what she does. All static defensive heroes exploit irrational aggression, and quickly turn frustation into out-right anger. Systematically and precisely destroy Symmetra's nest, working with teammates. If the enemy team is hunkering down in and around her nest, actively seak to avoid it and flank the enemy team using the other paths of each map. Symmetra is static in nature, while she counters mobility in her nest, using mobility to by-pass her setup can be just as devastating as destroying it.

Hard Counters for Symmetra

Junkrat (Low-Medium Difficulty)

Here is one the strongest spam heroes in Overwatch, and spamming down Symmetra's setup is key. Junkrat's Grenades are ideal for getting to a Symmetra without risking your own life. Add the benefit of being able to use Concussive mine to change your verticality, and Junkrat becomes a top teir counter to Symmetra.

Junkrat's Frag Launcher is both a strong defensive asset, but also amazing at breaking defenses. Each Grenade, in a 2 meter explosion radius, does 120 damage. Every Grenade will bounce up to 3 times before shortly exploding, unless they come contact with a Hero or Barrier and will then instantly explode. Having 5 Grenades per clip, and firing 1.6 Grenades per Second, Junkrat is a terrifying hero for Symmetra to deal with. In most cases Symmetra will setup on the sides of the map, controlling rooms or enclosures to get maximum value out of her Projector and Sentries. This inherently works out great for Junkrat, as he will have many angles and avenues to lob Grenades into Symmetra's setup, ideally killing her and the Sentries.  As Junkrat we should always take an extra responsibility to shut down Symmetra, and other defensive heroes. Junkrat is equipped with the ideal tool-kit to shut down static defenses. Learn to master the geometry of each map with your Frag Launcher, and Symmetra will be hard pressed to sustainably setup her defenses.

Important to keep in mind when spamming: 1. Pros and top Junkrats only use 4 of the 5 grenades to ensure they have 1 left to answer incoming threats. 2. Vary angle and distance to vary the ending location, this allows you to catch heroes as they run like crazy from the grenades that are incoming; it also make it hard to predict what is actually a safe area to stand.
Concussive mine is the key reason good Junkrat's are extremely annoying and terrifying to play against. Concussive mine has no duration (meaning it will last until another one is placed) and does 120 damage in a 3 meter explosion radius. It has a major knock back element, which is the reason it propels you into the air, but can be destroyed by enemy abilities or gun fire. However against Symmetra this shouldn't be a concern. Primarily Junkrat will use concussive mine to gain verticality and find new perches to rain his Grenades from, or to detonate in an enemies face in conjunction with a normal Grenade. Executing the latter combo correctly will deal 240 damage in less than a second, leaving heroes like Symmetra watching the Kill Cam. So again against Symmetra this ability she be prioritized to navigate the map for better angles, or should be used in conjunction with a well aimed grenade for devastating damage. Remember that this abilities cooldown is relatively short at 8 seconds, and should be used consistently to re-position and maximize the effect of your Grenades.

As outlined before, Junkrat is one of the best answers to static defensive strategies. Symmetra may be able to have 6 Sentries at any time, and can hold up to 3 charges, but Junkrat simply does not care. No matter where Symmetra is a top Junkrat will bring the mayhem to her, and crush her static position. Spam with Junkrat, pressure with him, and never let your foot off the gas. If you are consistently doing this, re-positioning, and pressing - Symmetra will have to swap because of the inability to setup. Add the benefit that playing Junkrat against styles of defense like this will charge your ultimate very quickly!

Pharah (Low-Medium Difficulty)

The hardest counter to strategies that rely on setting up static positions is Pharah. Her rockets are prefect for long range harassment, and close range killing. She comes equipped with Hover and Jump Jets to give her a deceptively high mobility factor. Pharah gets even better because of Concussive Rocket being able to re-position herself and enemies. Ultimately Pharah is a strong choice when cracking fortified positions.

Pharah's Rocket Launcher is built to punish slow moving targets, and can still be effective against more mobile threats. Dealing 120 damage per rocket in a 3 meter explosion radius, these rockets hurt and are hard to avoid when aimed predicatively. Although the Rocket Launcher only fires 1 rocket per second, it has a minor knock-back element to compensate (it is possible to rocket juggle like quake, but is extremely hard). When playing against a strong Pharah, Symmetra will find it almost impossible to properly setup. Between Symmetra's out-right inability to kill Pharah, coupled with Pharah's ease of excution against a tactic like this, Pharah will remain a top answer to Symmetra for some time. Properly aiming rockets into an enclosed area is much easier than predicting heroes movement in open areas. Much like Junkrat, spam rockets as Pharah into/around Symmetra and her setup. This will slowly chip down her setup and allow your team regain access to the side of the map she was constricting.

Arrows Represent sniping angles and avenues to exploit jets
Pharah is built around the Rocket Launcher, having both Jump Jets to cover a large vertical distance, and Hover Jets to maintain/gain minor verticality. This is the key to playing Pharah well. Because she can so easily traverse the vertical portions of the map, she should never be bogged down by Static defenses. Simply Jump Jet to the side and use alternative paths throughout the map. Remember that your Jump Jets have a 10 second cooldown that begins as soon as the Jets stop propelling you vertically. Exploit this ability in fights/duels to make hitting you much harder or simply clear the distance of the energy based weapons. Combine Pharah's strengths with rockets and her ability to move very freely through the map; you get a Hero that can easily find static defenses and dispense of them from many different angles. Naturally being very Mobile with Pharah will open up the map for your team because Pharah acts, by herself or with a Mercy, as a pincer effect. Forcing an enemy team to account for Pharah being around the peripheries raining justice makes it increasingly difficult to sustain any position that is also pressured from the front.

Concussive Rocket is like having Concussive Mine that explodes on contact, but does no damage (except to barriers) and has a major Knock-Back element. Used effectively, Concussive Rocket can manipulate the enemies positions and isolate targets for easy pick-offs. Against Symmetra specifically, we can use this to knock her out of the enclosure and into our team. If we are ever in a sticky situation on the ground, using this between Pharah and the target pursuing her will create double the distance between them. Remember because this Ability can knock heroes off of cliffs, and into horrible positions, timing our usage of it is critical. Having a 12 second cooldown, this ability will only be able to be used once or twice per major engagement; or at max, 5 times a minute.

Pharah is a staple choice for the attacking side (or defending side if Symmetra is using her Sentries on the pay-load). Rocket spam, Vertical mobility, Knock-back potential, Pharah comes excellently equipped to disrupt and destory Symmetra's feeble creations. Remember to always save one rocket in your clip while spamming, similar to Junkrat. Exploit vertical aspects of each map to maximize your punishing effects on static defenses. Plan usage of your Concussive Rocket to isolate targets, or escape near death situations. Lastly exploit the effect of being able to pressure from multiple sides at once, accounting for 2 angles of pressure will always be harder than accounting for just 1!

Reinhardt (Medium-High Difficulty)

Not an intuitive counter to Symmetra, Reinhardt is the foundation a team needs to actually push into a Symmetra. Providing his team with a large Barrier that blocks Sentry beams, allows Reinhardt to assist his team in systematically destorying the defensive setup. Add that he also comes with a ranged ability that does moderately high damage, Reinhardt will force Symmetra to consolidate her defenses very close to her teammates.
Barrier Field is what truely allows a strong Reinhardt to shine. Providing himself, and nearby teammates with a large shield to stand behind with 2000 HP worth of damage absorption. It is critical to remember that if we let our Barrier get destoryed we have to wait ~3 seconds to use it again, and it comes up with a minor 500 HP. However when Reinhardts sheathes his barrier, after 1 second it begins to heal 225 HP per second, until it is either completely healed or is used again. Although Symmetra's Photon Projector does go through this barrier, allowing her to potentially kill Reinhardt if he is solo, Symmetra should never find a good Reinhardt without a buddy or two behind the Barrier. Because the Sentries are actually blocked by the Barrier, Reinhardt provides his team with a window to quickly dispense of the Sentries and regain control of that area. Factor in that because the Sentries only do 25 damage per second, Reinhardt provides his team with more than enough time to even kill a room of 6 stacked Sentries.
Fire Strike is an ability that is often over looked when first playing Reinhardt. Because Reinhardt moves naturally slower than other heroes, players tend to fall towards using Reinhardt solely to protect and push with Barrier, and swing away with his hamer at close range. However, Reinhard comes equipped with an infinite ranged projectile, that travels through heroes and barriers, and does 100 damage. Fire Strike can help turn the tides of any engagement, and against Symmetra will destroy multiple Sentries and do half her HP in one strike. If Symmetra and her team are dug in deep and using your Barrier Field to push with your team is not working, spam like everyone else. Fire Strike only has a 6 Second cooldown, and again will pierce everything except surfaces. Use this to poke at Symmetra and her teammates alike, so that when you do push up with Barrier Field there is not much resistance to begin with.
Charge can be very useful against a multitude of situations. However against Heroes like Symmetra, Bastion and Torbjörn it can be a liability. Remember that it has a 10 second cooldown, that only starts at the end of the charge, doing 50 damage on the impact and 300 upon pinning a target. While this will instantly kill Symmetra, it can also be a quick way to get killed and leave your team Vulnerable. Actively be aware of the enemies capabilities and positions when using charge; if done properly, Charge can open up a window of tempo to capitalize on, and cement into actual map gains.

Reinhardt is the strongest supplemental counters you will find against Symmetra. His naturally large presence in the game gives your team room to advance and destory Symmetra defenses. Strong usage of Barrier Field will buy your team the space and time to destroy said setup, or push directly onto the objective. When the defenses are too strong, Fire Strike is an ideal ability to help soften up targets for Pharah, Junkrat, Zarya, or other heroes that can finish the job with their spam. Remember, Reinhardt is weak and feeble alone and isolated, but strong and terrifying when augmenting his teams advances.

Soft Counters for Symmetra

Roadhog (Medium-High Difficulty)

The one man apocolypes is just that for for Symmetra. Roadhog loves getting up close and personal with his pray, by hooking them to him and filling their face full of scrap. When encountering heavy static resistance, his Scrap gun makes quick work of Sentries being able to kill multiple at a time with its shotgun firing pattern. If Roadhog exhausted a large amount of his HP pool to get these sentries or Symmetra killed, he simply steps away for a breather and returns gassed up and ready to terrorize the defense.

Hook is game breaking to deal with for heroes like Symmetra. Because Roadhog has such a high HP pool, there is no way Symmetra could kill him after being hooked. Factor in that all 200 HP heroes die in one primary fire and quick melee, Symmetra will be forced to actively avoid where Roadhog goes. Chain Hook is much better than most realize at first, having an almost 22 meter distance and 6 second cooldown, it is both spammable and effective at medium range. Add in the minor 30 damage it deals when it connects, and Roadhog is a pick generating machine. Hunt Symmetra down, find her defenses and hook her out of them for easy kills. Use Roadhog to generate power-plays with hook (where its 5v6 or 4v6 because of picks) and cement that tempo into objective time.

ScrapGun hurts, a lot. Shooting 25 pellets that do 4 - 9 damage per pellet gives Roadhog a close range burst of 225 damage if all pellets connect. His Alternate fire, only doing 50 damage before splitting into pellets, allows him to more accurately damage heroes at medium range. His primary fire also fires 1 blast per second, making Roadhog almost impossible to out DPS in close quarters. Landing a Chain Hook into primary fire should always kill Symmetra, making Roadhog an ideal choice to be consistently killing her. Remember when using your alternate fire that the large pellet does less damage than all the normal pellets combined, time the expansion to be right in front of targets and at ~5 meters you can still be one shotting 200 HP heroes. If executed perfectly, the expansion can occur right in front of a targets face dealing 450 damage.

Roadhog being a tank naturally has a very high HP pool. Sitting on the higher side with 600, he has no armor and no shields. This makes it so Roadhog takes 1 to 1 damage from all heroes (except when head-shot, or damage amplified), and cannot regenerate any health out of combat (like Zarya can). However Roadhog loves gasoline to the point where inhaling it heals him. Having a 8 second cooldown, Take a Breather will heal Roadhog 300 HP in 1 second time. Making it only have a 7 second down time, Roadhog can consistently poke out for hooks and harassment, then step back and Take a Breather. When pushing extremely aggressively, Roadhog can use this mid-fight to negate already incoming damage and focus. All of this gives Roadhog a strong tool-kit for picking, pushing, generating heaps of tempo.

Roadhog is the strongest pick generator in the game. Being able to hook Symmetra and her teammates ~22 meters away, directly into Roadhog and his teammates makes positioning a difficult task. Add that Roadhog does 225 Damage at close range with Scrapgun, very few heroes can even survive a Hook + Primary fire + Melee combo. If Roadhog needs to push, or is getting pushed, he simply step away for a Breather and comes back healed up ready to level any defensive setup.

Zarya (Medium Difficulty)

Zarya is a personal favorite when dealing with strategies that contain Symmetra. Because Zarya has a naturally high HP pool, self-barrier and projected barrier, she is well equipped to push into a Symmetra's setup. Add that her Particle Cannon comes with a lobbed alternate fire, that explodes similar to grenades, and she can quickly dispense of any number of Sentries.

Zarya's Particle Cannon is an amazing weapon, dealing a base of 80 DPS with her primary fire and 46 damage per grenade with her alternate fire. Combine this with her Hero Passive that she gains 1% damage per energy charge gained from barriers, Zarya can deal up to double; and once Zarya gets over 90 energy, she can reliably stay there. Although irrelevant in the persepctive of killing Sentries, maintaining a high charge will make killing Symmetra an easy feat. When near max charge Zarya can be doing an average of 150 DPS with her primary fire, killing Symmetra in less than 2 seconds. If Zarya feels unable to get in close and utilize this damage out-put, well aimed and predicted lobs can kill Symmetra, her sentries, and Teammates. Again when at full charged the damage out-put from Zarya becomes horrifying, allowing her energy grenades to deal up to 92 damage in a 2 meter explosion radius.
Zarya's Barriers are the crux of Zarya's tool-kit, and when used properly will negate entire ultimates, or stuns such as Flashbang or Earthshatter. Each barrier, wether self-cast or projected, will absorb 200 damage over 2 seconds in instances (meaning if its 200 damage per second dealt in smaller instances, the barrier will absorb exactly the 200 damage in 1 second, however if its 600 damage in one instance, the Barrier will absorb all 600). Although the self-projected barrier has a longer cooldown of 10 seconds, your Barrier for allies only has a 8 second cooldown. Properly timing this ability when your teammates poke out will not only give them more time and safety to harass, but will augment your damage. When pushing into Symmetra, Barriers will stop her Sentry and Photon Projector for 2 seconds, giving Zarya or a Teammate plenty of time to destroy her nest. Remember your Barriers will remove the slow effect from Sentries and this will assist foolish teammates from escaping said nest.

Zarya has AoE damage with her alternate fire, barriers to protect her self and teammates, and therefore makes an ideal supplemental counter to Symmetra. Zarya's ability to deal with Symmetra her self, or make teammates dispense of her that much more safely gives Zarya a huge leg up when pushing into static defenses. Remember to consistently spam your opponents, especially Symmetra and her setup. Focus your attention on your enemies and when they are doing damaging your allies, this will assist you in timing your barriers for maximum absorption. When at full charge, press your advantage with aggressive pushes and barrier usage. Lastly in the game deciding fights, never forget to use every barrier off cooldown - it can and will turn the tide of those fights.

Winston (High Difficulty)

Tanky, mobile, and Tesla Cannon being able to cleave up to 4 targets for 100% of the damage; is why Winston is well suited to help push into enclosures where Symmetra is setup, and even clean up the Sentries himself . The primary reason why Winston is a soft counter instead of a hard counter like Reinhardt is his limited range. Although ideal for jumping into/around enemy setups, barrier kiting, and then leaving -- against Symmetra the risk becomes greater when you have no crowd-control and her weapon pierces your barrier and sticks to a target longer. Because you naturally separate from teammates when Jump Packing, Winston requires a high game sense to execute properly.

Tesla Cannon deals 54 damage per second, slightly follows targets in Winstons vision for 5 meters, and will hit up to 4 targets at once. This gives Winston a naturally powerful weapon at clearing out multiple Sentries at once while killing Symmetra. Only needing 4 seconds to actually kill Symmetra, timing your Barrier well as Winston will give that precious time to destroy Symmetra and her Nest. 

Barrier Projector acts very similar to Reinhardt's Barrier field when dealing with Symmetra. Lasting for 5 seconds, or until is has absorbed 600 damage, it becomes situationally weak when used imporperly.  Remember to always time Barrier Projection a second or two after you leap in, to make the duration of the barrier equal to the remaining cooldown on Jumpack (which has a 6 second cooldown). This allows Winston to quickly get into position shredding Symmetra and her Sentries with Tesla Cannon, while absorbing the Sentries damage into the Barrier. Winston is always subject to be focused down when he leaps in with his Barrier. Pay mind to barriers status (as it becomes more cracked the health pool wanes), and be ready to leap away when the pressure is too high.

Winston naturally seperates himself from his teammates when played to his potential. Jump packing into as many squishy targets with his Tesla Cannon as possible, Winston will be hard to follow into this situations. This is why being aware of the conditions of the skirmish around you are so critically important as Winston. Unlike heroes like Reinhardt, you will not be able to rely as much on the presence of your teammates around you. So know the limits of Winston himself, his barrier, and your abilities to properly barrier kite. However, when executed properly, Winston is a menace to deal with and almost impossible to catch.

Thank you for reading this! I will be editing all guides after launch with relevant details and fixes! If you have any thoughts/feedback feel free to comment or Email me!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

How to Counter and play against Torbjörn

Torbjörn Lindholm is an incredible hero at fortifying a location. Be that on offense for a Pay-load, or defense for a Control-point - Everyone will experience a Torbjörn completely shutting down their teams efforts. Not only will Torbjörn's turret get in the way of every effort you make, his gun and armor packs are also a major threat that usually go unnoticed. Dealing with Torbjörn takes time; much like when dealing with Bastion, Torbjörn naturally punishes careless aggression. To defeat him, and his team, you will need to coordinate your advances when his turret is down or after molten core. Pushing at any other time will be significantly harder to execute.
Torbjörn sits right in the middle of HP pools at 200. He has no armor or shields. His Rivet gun can be a devastating; dealing 70 damage per shot using his primary fire, Torbjörn has a long range harassment option. Note that his primary fire as no damage drop, but does have distance drop and can be lobbed over walls because of such. His alternative fire turns the Rivet Gun into a close range shotgun, dealing 15 damage per slag pellet. Rivet gun is very useful for Torbjörn because it allows him to respond to any threat at any distance.  When under extreme duress Torbjörn can activate his ultimate Molten Core. This will give him 300 Armor, that is lost at the end of Molten Core, and upgrade his Rivet guns attack speed by 100% (This applies to his hammer and may upgrade and heal the turret twice as fast). Be extremely wary of fighting Torbjörn in Molten Core.
Armor Pack is an absolutely amazing ability, giving 75 armor at the cost of 50 scrap. Torbjörn gets 25 scrap whenever a enemy hero dies, or his level 2 or higher turret dies thus farming it up is not that difficult. What is difficult is killing a target with Armor. Reducing every instance of damage greater than 10 by 5, and halves the damage if it is less than 10 per instance; makes Armor Pack a quiet but impactful ability. When Torbjörn is properly setup with armor packs on his team, any offensive push or defensive hold becomes that much harder. Your Widowmaker head-shotting their Widowmaker no longer is a guaranteed kill (if they have full charge it is, but there is no room for error anymore). Specifically if the enemy team is comboing this with Symmetra, you will need damage to break their setup.

Torbjörn's turret is a nightmare for newer players, and in the right hands, still terrifying for skilled and experienced players. Having 3 separate levels, this turret comes equipped with Auto-aim, and a dwarf to protect it. At level 1 the turret only as 150 hp and does 17 damage with 2 Rounds per second; this is the ideal time to hammer a Torbjörn. Once Torbjörn is able to get it to level 2 the turret has 300 HP, fires 4 rounds per second, and still does 17 damage per shot. Finally when Molten core is activated Torbjörn's turret becomes level 3, has 800 HP, fires 5 Rounds per second, and now fires 4 rockets per second for 17 damage per rocket. This is explicitly why spamming Torbjörn's turret down from a distance is key, and timing our efforts for when Molten Core is down.
Countering Torbjörn is very similar to dealing with Bastion, and if they are on a team together every point becomes increasingly important. Always spam the defensive position down (if you are on defense and they are using the turret on the Pay-Load, apply all points to siegeing the pay-load). Consistently using Rockets, Grenades, or any other fire to force Torbjörn to heal his turret will draw him out of cover - use this opportunity to try to pick him. If Torbjörn doesn't respond in time and his turret falls, you have opened up a window to pressure and find plays. Do not stray to close, Distance is our friend when harassing Torbjörn, because his turret as a 40 meter target aquisition radius. 

Torbjörn's true weakness is the "down-time" of his defensive play. If we consistently harass him and his team, timing our plays when the turret is down as well as molten core, Torbjörn is just a dwarf with a gun. Synchronize your efforts during these times and it will be significantly easier to gain ground and win the match.

Remember no matter what hero we play to counter Torbjörn he naturally punishes thoughtless aggression. Plan your moves, use precision, and strike when he is weak; Torbjörn cannot recover his setup mid fight even with Molten Core.

Hard Counters to Torbjörn

Pharah (Low-Medium Difficulty)

This will be the most natural counter to Torbjörn you can play. Her Rockets have no distance or damage drop make long harassment an easy feat. Concussive Rocket also gives her the ability to manipulate Torbjörn's position, to either put him in harms way or to get him away from the turret. Not only can Pharah freely shoot rockets from any distance at the turret, but she is also one of the best heroes to exploit vertical elements of the map.

Pharah's rockets are simply amazing in these situations. Each rocket does 120 damage per direct hit, has a 3 meter explosion radius, and  she can fire almost 2 rockets per second. This makes Pharah's Rocket Launcher ideal for spamming down Torbjörn. Because Pharah is also one of the highest damage out-put heroes in the game she is perfect for helping soften up all the armor packs and negate their impact. This is critical, like mentioned above, pushing into a full health and properly setup team is near impossible. Pharah will uniquely give you angles and opportunities to work with when looking for picks. Combo her rocket spam with any hero that is strong at picking, and you can destroy Torbjörn's turret while taking his life. Keep in mind because Torbjörn's natural inclination towards static positions farming your ultimate charge is easier than most other heroes!
With Jump and Hover Jets Pharah is built to move around the map freely. Jump jets will propel you vertically ~25 meters. Combo'd with fluttering Hover Jets, Pharah can maneuver freely through the vertical parts of the map unlike any other hero. This video (featured to the right) will assist you if you are not aware of some of the alternative paths heroes can take in Overwatch. Exploit Pharah's mobility and there will be many windows to take care of Torbjörn's turret.

Pharah will always be the all purpose counter to static defensive strategies. She naturally exploits the vertical aspects of each map, and dishes out ridiculous single and multi target damage. Use Pharah to harass and spam down the defense, softening them up. Effect use of Pharah will quickly charge your Ultimate and allow you to dispense justice upon Torbjörn and his gang of friends. 

Widowmaker (Low Difficulty)

Widowmakeris terrifying to play against, let alone when your strategy relies on static defensive structures. Snipers naturally counter this kind of play, but Widowmaker is an exceptional sniper with vertical mobility and has information gathering abilities.
Widow's Kiss when scoped at full charge does 150 damage. It takes Widow's Kiss 1 second to reach full charge, allowing Widowmaker to quickly fire off deadly round after deadly round. Remember that it uses Hitscan and has no damage drop at all. Against Torbjörn Widow's Kiss will kill in 1 head-shot, and will destroy the turret in 2 shots at full charge (only taking 1 second from the time of the first shot). Use the map to your advantage when you play Widowmaker. Learn the angles, and advantages/disadvantages associated with each peak. Against Torbjörn it is imperative you conceal your position until ready, he can poke at you similarly to Hanzo and block your angle.

If you fail to kill Torbjörn in one head-shot, it is probably because of Armor Pack. Remember this; and be ready to follow up a half charge shot into his body. Alternatively, if you begin to take down his turret he will be forced to repair. This is a great way to force him out of cover, or in the reverse force him back to cover to finish off the turret. A good Torbjörn player will account for your angles and consistently alter his setup; this makes it imperative for you to do the same.

Grapple is what allows Widowmaker to access all the angles of the map, and escape any threats that come her way. With a 20 meter latch distance, and 12 second cooldown use this to get into better angles to find Torbjörn and his turret. On maps like Temple of Anubis, there are a lot of environment obstacles to peak around for close angles. Knowing where Torbjörn has his turret setup allows you to choose which angle is best at the time. While this defense point (point b) on Temple of Anubis is considered one of the hardest points to crack by newer players. However when exploiting the vertical angles of the map the offense has amazing room to work with. Strong Widowmakers on offense can exploit this map, as well as others, to create hell in Overwatch for Torbjörn.

Widowmaker is a reliable long range option to harass and pick Torbjörn. Use your grapple to exploit better angles and peaks, consistently reconsider how Torbjörn would want to setup, and move accordingly. Never forget that if you get a large tempo advantage from picks, you can zip in and use your Widow's Kiss and an assault rifle to hold/capture the point.

Hanzo (Low Difficulty)

Very similar to Widowmaker, Hanzo is an excellent long range harassment option against Torbjörn.
Although Hanzo's arrows only do 125 damage at max charge, they can be arc'd over cover to hit targets that would otherwise be safe. This is especially useful when he equips his Scatter or Sonic arrow. This property makes Hanzo the go to choice when Widowmaker would be under too much duress. His ability to move quickly, fire and move, and lob arrows will make high risk situations easier to manage and break.

Again similar to Widow, Hanzo has no damage drop to his arrows and can effectively harass at any range, and when considering the nature of arrows he can predicatively harass by already having arrows where people will be. This allows Hanzo to shine in situations where Widowmaker is shut out, or lacks utility.

Sonic arrow is useful against Torbjörns'; with a 20 second cooldown sonic arrow is very handy to help against Torbjörn's team; Torbjörn himself is static and more often than not is out in the open. Use Sonic arrow to gain information on the rest of Torbjörn's team while you pick away at him. This will help you avoid the awkward situations where you almost kill the turret but die to another hero flanking or sniping you. Remember that whatever the Sonic Arrow sticks to, in this case barriers or heroes, will stay on and follow, revealing more than just the impact point.

Scatter arrow is essential when dealing with Torbjörn, or any static hero for that matter. In the right image, the split pattern of the arrow is static and can be used to our advantage. Every scattered arrow will deal 75 damage, and can deal damage to the same target after every bounce. If Hanzo properly lands this arrow the 3 center splits will deal 225 damage, instantly killing Torbjörn. If Torbjörn sets up his turret in a enclosed area, one well placed Scatter arrow will kill the turret and possibly him if he is near by. Remember against targets like Torbjörn that have structures, tagging him or the turret with Scatter arrow will deal the damage of the arrow normally; and then add the splitting arrows which could potentially clean up both targets.

Although Hanzo has no grapple, he has fast hands and feet and quickly climb up walls to achieve similar effects like Pharah or Widowmaker. Using the vertical aspects of the map is critical to being a good Hanzo. Much like Widow, being able to use these portions of the map opens up a whole new world of angles. Learn where you can go and what angles/peaks it offers - in time Hanzo will become the nightmare of Torbjörn and Bastion alike.

Ultimates will normally be ignored in counter guides, however because Torbjörn and his turret are inherently static, Dragonstrike can be devastating to synchronize with your push. Using Hanzo's ultimate at the right time opens up large areas of space for your team to push. Not only does the enemy team have to avoid the dragon, but Torbjörn can't move his turret without having to upgrade it again. Running inside a Dragonstrike that is aimed towards the focus of the enemies setup, creates a moment of tempo where your team can strike and dispense of the defense. Again the key here is that Torbjörn will naturally fall pray to your Dragonstrike, this is a guaranteed window of opportunity when pushing and why it gets mentioned here.

Hanzo and Widowmaker will always operate very similar when countering static defenses. However, Hanzo offers more utility, where as Widow offers more damage. Use Hanzo to pick more safely, and use Dragonstrike to great windows for your team to push and seize victory. Remember, arrows being "lob-able" allows Hanzo to reach Torbjörn in covered corners - Scatter arrow and Dragonstrike make it that much easier.

Junkrat (Medium Difficulty)

Junkrat's Grenades are ideal for reaching Torbjörn no matter where he is setup. Concussive mine allows skilled Junkrats to exploit the vertical aspects of the map and rain hell down onto their prey. Junkrat, like Pharah, is a more natural and easier counter to static defenses. Because you can lob your grenades from behind cover, the enemies will be hard pressed to respond; unless they have a Junkrat as well.

Frag Launcher deals 120 damage per grenade around a 2meter radius of the explosion. Additionally it will bounce 3 times, then shortly explode; if it makes contact with a hero or barrier it will just explode. Knowing this will allow you sneak grenades behind enemies, or right into their faces. Being able to shoot 1.6 grenades per second allows Junkrat to rain volley after volley of explosive death. Torbjörn's have to respect what a Junkrat can do, and how much area they can deny. Using your Grenades well is critical to playing Junkrat against static defenses, so learn the angles and where to spam.

Small things to keep in mind when spamming: 1. Pros and top Junkrats only use 4 of the 5 grenades to ensure they have 1 left to answer incoming threats. 2. Vary angle and distance to vary the ending location, this allows you to catch heroes as they run like crazy from the grenades that are incoming; it also make it hard to predict what is actually a safe area to stand.

Junkrat is among the top heroes at using the vertical avenues of each map; learn to master this aspect of Junkrat. It will open entirely new angles to spam and reduce the amount of safe area from your grenades. Especially when playing against static defenses, they naturally lack mechanisms to deal with vertical threats. Get above the Torbjörn and his turret and you can shoot the walls behind him without having to risk getting shot by his turret. On a map like Kings Row; if Junkrat is standing in the red rectangle to the left of the image, the black arrows represent potential paths to bounce Grenades. This doesn't cover all the paths, and some are accessible without being there. However, positioning up there makes the angles easier to hit, does grant access to all 3 paths to the final section of the map, and offers a retreating path. If the enemy team uses a turret on the pay-load, this kind of Junkrat play will help negate it quickly.

Ultimates should not be looked at when countering heroes, usually because having them only once or twice a minute is far less reliable of way to counter a hero, than an ability with 5 to 10 seconds cooldown. However like Dragonstrike, Rip Tire is uniquely powerful against static setups. Because Rip Tire does 600 damage in a 10 meter explosion radius and it can climb walls, Junkrat can use this ultimate to create a window of opportunity for his time to push while there is no longer a turret up. Any hero that dies to this, in addition to Torbjörn and his turret, makes the following push that much easier.

Junkrat is an all purpose counter to Torbjörn. Using effective grenade spam destroys Torbjörn's gameplan, and creates large windows for your team to sieze tempo and capture the point or win the match. Because Junkrat can propel himself vertically using concussive mine, he is uniquely suited to dealing with this style of strategy.

Soldier: 76 (Medium Difficulty)

The modern war hero, or all purpose infantry, Soldier: 76 is a strong asset to deal with Torbjörn and his cohorts. Because Soldiers rifle is incredibly accurate and has a rocket launcher, he is suited for picking away at Torbjörn and his turret. Couple that with his self healing, and he can even temporarily tank the turret to ensure its destruction. Soldier in almost all counter situations is a supplemental counter, and will naturally work better when coupled with another counter.

Heavy Pulse Rifle and Helix Rockets are 100% accurate with no distance drop. the Pulse Rifle does 17 damage in close proximity, dropping down to 5 damage at max distance. Helix Rockets will do 120 damage at any distance and have a 8 second cooldown. This inherently gives Soldiers a leg up in any medium, or even long range, aim battle. Against Torbjörn, he can poke at the turret from 41 meters without worrying about accuracy. If Torbjörn decides to defend the turret, Soldier is already well equipped to fight back with self-healing and the better damage.

Positioning is a critical aspect of every competitive game. It decides who fires first, who knows what first, and where the fights take place. Soldier is the only hero in the game with a no downtime mobility ability. Sprint can be used for any time, and cancelled at any time. Giving Soldier a unique role to consistently manipulate where the enemy meets resistance, or is being suppressed from. Against Torbjörn we can use this in two manners. Consistently changing our angle from where we harass and kill Torbjörn forces him to consider switching, especially if he can never find a safe location to setup. Sprint also gives us the option of flanking, although less reliable than blink, Soldier can use Sprint and Helix Rockets to clear additional air and reach otherwise unreachable locations. Soldier is meant to be mobile; use him this way and static defenses will feel very uncomfortable.
Bitotic Field is a poweful tool, healing 40 health per second for  5 second duration, it will out heal the DPS of a level 1 turret. Additionally, it heals in an AoE, so your teammates can use it to supplement their life expediencies. Using this in conjunction with your harassment will make it near impossible for Torbjörn to stop you, let alone kill you. Remember the 15 second cooldown (resulting in a 10 second down time). Maximize every use of Biotic field, by harassing more aggressively and forcing the enemy to pay mind to you.

Soldier: 76 is an all-purpose response to static defenses. His mobility, self-healing, and accuracy make him well equipped to suppress the defenses, while having the potential to pick them off. He can stand in teamfights, and assist the entire team with Biotic field. Overall Soldier is a solid response to most situations, but especially solid against Torbjörn.

Soft Counters to Torbjörn

Reinhardt (Medium Difficulty)

Reinhardt does not counter much, but he does greatly enhance pushing into static defenses. He also is very well suited for helping a defensive position from any threats (especially payloads with Bastion or a Torbjörn turret on them). Because his barrier can block up to 2000 damage, Reinhardts team has plenty of time to dispense of the static defenses, and then enemy heroes.

Charge is an amazing ability when you want to press the advantage and get into the fight. It has a 3 second duration, with a 10 second cooldown. The cooldown will only begin after the charge is completed so the down time is the same as the cooldown. Charge is especially useful when your team is heavily pressuring the turret and Torbjörn is moving in to heal it, because you can charge him off of it. Be wary that this kind of play is only attempted when your team can back you up. The folly of Reinhardt players is aggressive charging without follow up. Communicate and coordinate with your team to get maximum usage out of Charge.
Fire Strike is what enables a great Reinhardt to have a presence no matter the situation or conditions. Dealing 100 damage at any distance, with no drop of any sort, Fire Strike is only stopped by walls. Having only a 6 second cooldown, Fire Strike can pass through heroes and hit multiple heroes at once laterally. This ability is what makes Reinhardt shine; the 100 damage is nothing to scoff at, and will half the HP of Torbjörn or deal a 1/3 of a turrets health. Spam this ability much like other heroes spam their gun fire, it will assist in softening up Torbjörn and his defenses. This makes that game winning Earthshatter and Charge that much easier.

Barrier field is the only ability of its nature, and it is the only Barrier that will absorb 2000 damage. The wide area Barrier Field covers makes capitalizing on picks, or destroyed turrets that much easier.
The key to good Reinhardt play is noticing these opportunities and pushing forward with your team behind your Barrier. Be aware that it takes a full second for the Barrier to begin healing when sheathed, and it has a 4 second cooldown when destroyed. When you use your Barrier to create room for harassment, be sure to give it ample time to heal before you push in aggressively!

Reinhardt is inherently a supplemental counter to static defenses. He gives you the presense to push when you have seized tempo, and the protection needed to find picks on the defenders. Because his Fire Strike is so effective at harassing, Reinhardt himself can be a threat if the defense doesn't respect his potential. When the moment arises, Reinhardt can charge in and start the point winning or match winning fight.

Zarya (Low-Medium Difficulty)

Zarya is another example of a supplemental counter to static defenses, but on her own Zarya can be a devastating force moving around the map. With her ability to simotaneously block and gain damage, Zarya is a tank that puts out damage numbers second to non. The key to effective Zarya play, especially against Torbjörn and static defenses is aggressive use of Barriers to gain charge and calculated Particle Cannon spam.

Zarya's primary fire on her Particle Cannon may not be too useful against Torbjörn specifically, but its good to know it does 80 DPS at 0 energy charge. Her alternate fire, which is extremely useful against Torbjörn, does 46 damage with 0 energy charge. Zarya gets 3 charge for every 5 damage the barrier absorbs, allowing her to charge up to 100 energy. She recieves 1% damage for each point of charge, at max giving her double damage. This will cause Zarya's alternate fire to deal 92 damage and because it is lobbed Zarya can effectively harass and kill Torbjörn from pretty great distances. One of the main reasons Zarya is not a hard counter is because these energy grenades are very hard to aim, they fall quickly and do not bounce. Precision aiming with Zarya will take time and feeling out the trajectory, but when mastered can effectively destroy a Turret and Torbjörn in 1 clip.

Remember, like Junkrat we want to reload at 25/100 ammo to avoid being empty if pressured, and to vary our angles to vary the ending location. There is always chance when we vary our shots, more than one connect as the enemy flees.

Zarya's Barrier Projector is unique in a few ways. They block up to 200 damage over 2 seconds, and will also block more damage than that if it occurs in one instance; i.e. Pulse Bomb, Rip Tire, etc. These Barriers also block all crowd-control effects during their duration, and will remove some status effects (Mei's building freeze/slow [before the actual stun]). Zarya can also simotaneously project a barrier on herself and a teammate to protect 2 of the 6 heroes during a push. 

D.Va (Low-Medium Difficulty)

D.Va is the most unique tank in the game, having a health pool in her mech of almost all Armor, D.Va is hard hero to kill. When in her mech she has 400 Armor and 100 HP. Add that she is as mobile as most offensive heroes, has an ability that blocks all projectiles including ultimates, and comes equipped with AoE damage to crack the defense.

D.Va with boosters becomes a flying mass of metal that is consistently in your face and around your soft spots. With a 2 second duration and 6 second cooldown, D.Va can consistently reposition. Even more, she can easily aggressively push in fight for 4 seconds, and then quickly boost back out. D.Va is only matched in mobility by Winston, and exploiting mobility versus static targets is key. Remember that your boosters also do a small 25 damage upon impacting an enemy, and will slightly knock them back. On maps with cliffs near control points, you can knock off enemies doing this! Again remember, learn the map and the potential paths. D.Va is an exceptional hero at exploiting the veritcality of the map, and when done properly will make her a menace!

Defense Matrix is a game winning ability when used properly because it will block every projectile in the game. This includes ultimate's like Barrage, Whole Hog, Blizzard, Etc. Mastering use of this part of D.Va will never be easy, but when D.Va has a very high level of game sense she can negate every hero in the game. Specifically when dealing with Torbjörn she can use Defense matrix to stop a level 3 turrent from barraging her team while they retreat. D.Va can use it when pushing in, to negate all damage coming from Torbjörn and his turret for the 3 second duration. Be aware that the cooldown on this ability is 10 seconds and does not start cooling down until after it expires. Wasting this ability can cost D.Va her mech, so be aware of the heroes around Torbjörn and which abilities you should be prioritizing to block.

Mech: Self-Destruct deserves a mention for similar logic to Rip Tire and Dragonstrike; while ultimates are not reliable counters to strategies or heroes, static defenses suffer from high damage AoE abilities. Because D.Va's mech does 1000 damage in a 20 meter explosion radius, Torbjörn and his team will be hard pressed to escape this ultimate when thrown at their setup. Remember D.Va can use her boosters to lob the mech in, boost in straight in, or even boost it straight up and have it fall back where started. Being able to aim your ultimate is key on D.Va, so take some time to practice it. Once mastered, you can shoot your mech into a door from across the map and surprise your opponents.

D.Va is an all purpose harassment tank, that will help you both create and capitalized on tempo. Know your cooldowns, play aggressively, but use fore-thought. D.Va excels when you can capitalize on the mayhem, so think out your moves and always be ready to escape using boosters!

Thank you for reading this! I will be editing all guides after launch with relevant details and fixes! If you have any thoughts/feedback feel free to comment or Email me!