Utilising the MEKA Pilot of Overwatch
Mon 31st Jul 2017 - 5:57am
D.Va is that kind of hero that you either love or hate, that’s a definite. While she hits you up with the cringe and unnecessary one-liners, she still dishes out lovable interactions with the rest of the characters in the Overwatch universe. If you’re considering finding out why people love D.Va for more than just the lore and "Happy Halloween" spam, then you’re looking in the right place. Although she's a tank, she's mobile and definitely not an anchor tank, and alongside the Defense Matrix, this can lead to some serious aggression. In this guide, you’re going to learn what makes D.Va so strong, what you’re going to want to do when playing D.Va, and other little pieces of useful information. Let’s just jump right in…
Your Playstyle When Playing D.Va
D.Va is an aggressive tank. It’s undeniable, with a matrix that can block out almost every ability in the game and stop your entire team from being wiped with the press of a button, you kind of feel a bit cocky and aggression is warranted. Whether you’re attacking or defending, you’re going to want to make sure that you utilise your boosters and Defense Matrix the best you can. But how can you do this? There are multiple different ways, and you're going to be playing a little bit differently each time. Due to D.Va's high mobility and insane damage blocking abilities, she's a master of gaining control no matter where she goes when played correctly. Backline retaliating? Defense Matrix and boost out of there. Support out of position? Boost over there, punish them. However, let's look into this in some more detail.
- Attacking with D.Va
The strength of D.va is possibly the fact that she's unbelievably tricky to counter. You can dive in there and get a kill, then run away afterwards with your Defense Matrix. And that's what you do! Look for priority targets, and you want to do this by judging a few things. If it's a group push, for example, you're going to want to block out that Soldier 76 using Tactical Visor or McCree's Deadeye. If you're in the middle of the fight and you can chase after a running low health target, that's also a huge advantage for D.Va. Your boosters have basically no cooldown if you time them correctly, so pay attention to them and don't waste them before a team fight.
Another thing that is useful with D.Va is the damage from those boosters. For example, if you're pushing into a group of enemies, try to break them up. Boosting in there and flying right back out is a great tactic. You damage them, knock them around a bit, and more importantly the mind game that you're possibly diving in with the rest of your team. And it's not just good for groups of enemies. Is the opponent really low health but they're jumping around like a maniac? Booster around and spin around by them, this will almost guarantee you hitting them with your mech and finishing them off. Maybe you can't seem to deal with a really annoying Soldier or Widowmaker on the balcony. Use your boosters to knock them off and also, if they're really annoying, flying at them with your Defense Matrix up is helpful too.
Something that a lot of new time D.Va players might undervalue is the strength of her MEKA shotguns up close. They do damage, you may think that they only tickle the enemy but if you dive in there and get up close and personal, just a couple of headshots will melt down even enemy tanks. Try to utilise them. This will probably require you to improve your aim and tracking too, but once you get the hang of it, or maybe you just play/practice loads, you won't have to worry about this as much as you think. Make sure that you're always spamming these into shields when you're not doing anything too. It may not be heavy damage, but it forces the enemies to keep propping up their shields and makes it easier once you're all ready to dive into the enemy team.
- Defending with D.Va
A problem with D.Va is that she isn't really an anchor tank, which makes her have to do a little bit more work when it comes to defending. However, her kit is godlike, so there's nothing to worry about! First off, be slightly more sparing with your Defense Matrix depending on your playstyle. For example, if your team composition is something along the lines of a Soldier and a McCree, Mercy and Ana, worry about them more than killing the enemy at the crucial moments. That's what McCree and Soldier are there for, and they can do serious damage with their ultimates. Usually, however, if it's high noon you don't even hear McCree finish his infamous line, and Soldier will just get zoned out completely. If you're there with your teammates and you're protecting them with your Defense Matrix (even when they're not using ultimates), they can do so much more work without taking any real damage.
However, another useful trick that I've personally done is to play like you're on the attack before the push starts. If you see the enemy starting to group, jump in! Of course, be careful you don't go too far into the enemy team, but mess them up a little. Try to get a pick on their support, try and force out some abilities and shields. The more you do this, the more you stagger a proper, coordinated dive/push from the enemy team which is exactly what you need. Especially in normal ranked gameplay. You may need to use your Defense Matrix to protect any other teammates who overextend with you, so keep an eye on the meter to make sure you've got enough to save them and yourself when backing out of your little aggressive stunts.
If you know your mech is going to die in a team fight, it's usually not a bad idea to Self Destruct if all else fails. It may not be a wombo combo with Zarya, but one thing it definitely will do is zone the enemy away. If it's overtime and they lose focus, you could clinch the game with their mistakes. If they have shields and block it, it was worth a shot and you probably would have lost point anyway. It's very situational, so make sure you try to do this only if there aren't any other options or the rest of your team is dead. You could try to catch them out and distract them a bit by boosting into the air and using your ultimate then since it might catch the enemy in some odd positions or other places such as on balconies and the high ground.
So... what am I NOT supposed to do?
There's so much you can get away with D.Va. It's pretty clear why she's such a strong pick as of the time of writing this. Her Defense Matrix is silly strong, and she has the tank mobility rivalled pretty much only by Winston. So, what exactly isn't D.Va good at? Well, there are a few things. First, let me clear this up. You may have high mobility but you're not a flanker. Just because you can flank, doesn't mean it's all you should be doing. I mentioned earlier that you could go for low health targets in the backline or elsewhere and use your boosters/shotguns to finish them off quickly. And that's great, since that target may be a high priority one such as Mercy, or they could fall back, heal up, and come back wrecking everything your team fought for. But don't just go dive on the supports for no reason. That's what the flankers on your team are actually for. If that Ana in the back is at full health, you flying over to her could just lead you catching a Sleep Dart, then being de-meched almost immediately afterwards, putting you at a major disadvantage for the next fight.
What else shouldn't you do? Well, here's something I always see D.Va and Genji players do. Zarya, Winston, Mei, Symmetra, you're not going to block them. If you're up against one of these heroes, you're going to fight. If you're running away from any of them, don't even bother using Defense Matrix, it's guaranteed to get you out of your mech. Winston and Zarya, it's really dependent but again if you're running away from one (or both) then just run, or try to get as much damage off as you can before you go down to make it easier when you've only got your Light Gun. And if you're in pilot mode, make sure you're aiming for the head! The way you charge your "Call Mech" ability is through damage, not just through hitting shots. If you get a headshot, it's more damage. Therefore you're going to get your mech quicker. A pretty simple little thing that not many D.Va players actually do or know.
Finally, don't zone out. You need to stay alive in a team fight and if you get caught up in some D.Va vs D.Va battle or the enemy isn't putting too much focus on you, keep an eye on your support. They're possibly being flanked or focused which is why they're not trying to take you or your other teammates down. Fall back, block the flankers damage onto your support and boost around trying to keep them away. If not, still keep an eye out on your teammates unless you're really trying to secure a vital kill or something extremely important. An easy way is to listen out for people calling how they're going to use their ults. Look at who would do the most damage or be focused down, and protect them instead.
Tips and Tricks for D.Va
Just like any other hero in Overwatch, D.Va has some small little useful tricks up her sleeve that can make or break a fight. Although these are going to be extremely situational, make sure to utilise them. I'm not going to include every single little trick in the book, however I'm going to include ones that I've ended up using the most or ones that I think are probably the most useful to you. Let's get on with them then...
1) Self Destruct works with boosters, remember to make use of this. It's a simple trick, that a lot of players seem to have forgotten about since the Self Destruct time was reduced. You may not be able to "shooting star" like you could in Season 1, but with the right timing and angles, you can get pretty close. This isn't something you'll just be able to do, and I can't really tell you in a guide either. Just practice hitting Self Destruct at the right time/position and you'll eventually just get the hang of it.
2) Melee people after boosting. This only really ever came in handy for me when I'm trying to knock people off of high ground who are extremely annoying and on KOTH maps. You remember I said the booster knocks people back? If you time it right after you've just boosted into them, an extra melee attack sends them a little further. Not a Lucio boop, but it's definitely something.
3) Try and get Mercy's damage boost in Pilot mode. Seriously. While you can't do much about it, try asking your Mercy for damage boost when you're trying to get your mech back. It's significantly quicker because remember, it's based on damage done, not just off of the shots hit. Extremely situational, but extremely useful.
4) Quickly switch heroes then switch back to gain your MEKA back. I didn't think about this until actually fairly recently, but I caught it on someone's stream. If you're on something like Temple of Anubis or another 2CP map and you're de-meched near spawn and you need it back quickly but safely, just run back to your spawn and do this. I usually don't do this unless we just won a fight and I only got taken out of my MEKA near the end of a fight or something.
5) Stagger your opponents. What does this mean? If you've just won a team fight and you only have one enemy left, don't kill them just yet. Hold your Defense Matrix up to their face and leave them be until a little bit later, maybe even until the enemies respawn. This will mess up their grouping and let you get a little bit further than before. This applies to all heroes, not just D.Va, but your Defense Matrix makes it a whole lot easier. Hell, if you want, you can even have a bit of fun while you're doing it to taunt or tilt the enemy.
Thanks for checking out this little D.Va guide I created. Hopefully, this has been able to help you out even if you've just skimmed over it or are already a Grandmaster tank main, maybe you've just learned a new trick or two. In conclusion, D.Va is a tank with strengths all around. She's tanky, she can eat up damage (and ultimates), and she has high mobility. There's not much to lose by learning how to play D.Va, so I'd definitely say go for it! She's extremely strong at the time of this guide being written, so your SR can only be thanking you at the end of the day.