Overwatch boasts six different defense heroes, namely Bastion, Torbjorn, Mei, Hanzo, Widowmaker and Junkrat. All six heroes are common staples of pub games, but are rarely used when it comes to competitive Overwatch. Regarded as a specialist class in elite games, defenders are often only useful in specific scenarios and are never considered as an essential part of a team’s general lineup.
Below is a list of all the defense heroes in Overwatch, as well as how they currently fit in the game’s Meta :
Defending isn’t your style? See our Overwatch meta for all other hero roles.
As often as you find Bastion in Play of the Game highlight reels against poorly coordinated pickup groups, this hulking robot rarely sees any playtime in competitive play. He’s just an absolute non-factor against elite and well-coordinated teams. This is mainly due to his lack of general mobility. In fact, there are only a few situations where Bastion becomes useful in competitive play. Examples are when the team doesn’t really move much, or if he’s positioned behind corners or in front of walls. Even then, though, Bastion’s going to need a protector and well, Bastion doesn’t really bring that much to the table for any team to be okay being a hero short.
Regardless of the state of the metagame, however, Bastion will forever be an excellent choice for newbies and beginners.
Torbjorn is very similar to Bastion in many aspects. Both pack a lot of punch and generally lack mobility. Both also dominated during the early stages of the Overwatch Beta. Also, both suffered once players got wind of their preferred play styles. Once players knew the turrets’ likely locations, dominating with Torbjorn became almost impossible. That is, in tournament play. Even in pubs, especially against beginners and uncoordinated teams, Torbjorn’s turrets are just as effective as they were in the past.
In competitive play, Torbjorn has a bit more situational value compared to Bastion. Both heroes almost have the same DPS, and Tobjorn is not exactly as immobile and is generally much harder to flank. Still, though, even the most elite teams have a hard time compensating for Tobjorn’s lack of mobility, making him suffer from the same problems that Bastion does.
Mei is actually quite enjoyable to play and watch in pub games. She’s quite mobile and she can use an Ice Wall that can slow down the other team for 4.5 seconds. She also has Cryo-Freeze, which makes her invulnerable and at the same time heals her. Both skills also make her quite useful in competitive play. The ice wall gives her the ability to make an impact everywhere and her Cryo-Freeze gives her added survivability. Also, teams have found ice walls extremely useful in blocking off important opposing heroes from their teams and using that opening to finish them off.
Pending a buff, a new map that gives her freezing abilities a significant advantage or a new hero that she’s a hard counter to, Mei is more of a middle-of-the-pack hero than a must-pick in both competitive and pub games.
Hanzo’s another cool hero that people are obviously going to pick in pub games for that “awesomeness” factor alone. Although he’s not exactly all for show, as he’s quite mobile and is an effective counter against turret classes, as well as slow heroes such as Roadhog.
But, in competitive play, where players are constantly moving around, Hanzo proves to be far too inconsistent to be of significant use. His Scatter Arrow is just way too unpredictable, and despite how awesome it looks, Dragonstrike is just too slow for even elite players to be able to constantly land a hit.
The cream of the crop of snipers (granted, there’s only two of them), Widowmaker is effective in both pubs and competitive play. In both types of play, her role is quite simple – protect a point in defense, or take out opposing heroes from afar so her teammates can push forward. She excels in doing both and even when the opposing team finds out where she is, she’s mobile enough with her grappling hook to escape. Beware of Tracers and Reapers, though, Widowmaker is quite helpless against those types of heroes.
Junkrat is as good as a defender as they come and right now, is one of the most powerful heroes in the game. In particular, Junkrat excels in defending choke points and in claustrophic maps, thanks in part to his very useful ultimately. But, his non-line gameplay makes him effective all around, either way. His Frag Launcher grenades, for example, can do a whole lot of random damage. Newbies will find it somewhat easy to dominate using this hero. Also, the fact that Junkrat lacks any hard counters makes him a particularly useful hero in competitive play.
Written by Ray Ian Ampoloquio