The next class we’ll be looking at for our character guide is the Tank. These characters are often low-mobility with limited damage capabilities to balance out their massive health pools and shielding abilities.
But that doesn’t mean that there’s no glory to be had as a tank. Most Escort games feature a Reinhardt proudly standing tall on the Payload as his teammates gather behind him, while D. Va and Roadhog have been able to get Play of the Game often enough when using their Ultimates wisely. Whether they’re on the frontlines or leaping in and out of combat, the Tank is a necessary element to every successful team.
Here’s how you can tell which Tank is right for your Overwatch playstyle.
While most of the Tank classes are limited to close-ranged combat, D. Va and her mech suit can provide sustained fire at both close and long-ranges. Her playstyle will mostly revolve around the use of her Boosters, which allow her to quickly fly in and out of combat, as well as her ability to survive the destruction of her mech.
An out-of-the mech D. Va may be vulnerable, but she’s a small target who can easily live long enough to call in another mech and return to the fight without any waiting to respawn.
D. Va’s Ultimate can be extremely useful on the Defense side of Escort. If the enemy is having a particularly strong push, D. Va can abandon her mech on the payload – either obliterating the enemy team, or forcing them to clear the point and scatter until your teammates can arrive.
On the opposite side of an Escort game, the most effective Tank will almost always be Reinhardt. Once your team groups up on the payload and Reinhardt deploys his shield, there is little that can get in your way short of a bastion or a well-timed ultimate.
He can be useful on defense, as well, especially when protecting a Bastion or a set of turrets. Overall, he is an easy-to-understand character who can be extremely effective on both offense and defense.
The only way Reinhardt can be ineffective is if he’s overly aggressive. Charging headfirst into the enemy lines may be fun, but it’ll end your life early and leave your team exposed. It’s best to save the offensive Reinhardt plays for when he has his ultimate or when surrounded by one or two low-health characters like Tracer or Zenyatta.
Roadhog may be the least-mobile of the tanks, since he is slow-moving and lacks a burst maneuver like Reinhardt’s charge or Winston’s jump, but he has the ability to heal half of his massive 600-point health pool every eight seconds. Despite lacking a shield of any sort, this gives Roadhog sufficient survivability, even when on the frontlines, where he will be most effective.
Roadhog is worth trying out just for the satisfaction of hooking a highly-mobile, disruption-focused character like Tracer or Pharah. However, it’s important to keep in mind that he requires a more aggressive playstyle, as his lack of protective abilities for his teams requires him to be a more active damage dealer.
Winston is pretty similar to D. Va in terms of his special abilities and his maneuverability. His jump pack acts like a more one-directional version of D. Va’s boosters, while his shield functions as a much larger, but breakable, counterpart to her Defense Matrix. Both will be most effective with hit-and-run-style tactics, never staying at the head of the pack for too long.
Winston is not a frontline tank, however. He and his shield are slightly more fragile than the others. For him to be effective, he has to jump around and over enemies, absorbing blows and acting as a more erratic and unpredictable opponent. When his health is low, he can jump out of trouble, heal up, and then return to the fight to cause more chaos.
Zarya is perhaps the most complex of the tanks, as her skillset requires much more of her than just being a damage sponge. She has the lowest health pool of the set and, despite this, has to receive damage in order to increase the power of her Particle Cannon. She can also apply shields to her teammates which, when damaged, also add power to the cannon.
This risky ability essentially transforms Zarya into a high-risk, high-reward character. At minimum power, she will barely pose a threat to the enemy team and serve as little more than a distraction. At full power, she can tear through ranks and bring a number of game-making plays to the table.