Overwatch Counters and Tips on Outplaying Them



Fri 1st Sep 2017 - 12:00pm

If you want to be a true main, you also have to be able to outplay your counters. Once you learn a few good tips to keep in mind, you'll be able to say you're unstoppable. Let's begin.

Counter: Ana's number one counter is Genji. If she can't hit her dart before he gets to her, all she's got is hoping the Genji is bad enough not to kill her. As an Ana main, you could get really good at prediction and aiming your Sleep Dart. You can do enough damage and have enough time to kill the Genji. Chances are, you'll miss it. His hit box is very small and his mobility is the best in the game. Don't fight the Genji up close, he beats her out in melee range. Distancing yourself is also difficult because she is much slower than Genji.

Outplay: Save your Sleep Dart for that crucial moment when Genji jumps and lands. If a Genji jumps, and you know his cooldown on his dash, you know exactly where he's going to land. Use that moment of time to keep him asleep or kill him yourself. If you have no time to calculate all of this, the best move you can do is land your Biotic Grenade on both you and him and hope you get a few good shots. If you truly cannot trust yourself in a 1v1 with Genji, plan ahead. Force him into a 2v1 and always stick to someone. What are your escape routes? Who in your team is willing to help you if you are in trouble? Where is the nearest health pack and can you get to it first?

Counter: Where there is a Bastion there is an enemy Genji. Bastion has the highest output of damage and Genji easily reflects that damage right back at him. Bastion is literally immobile when he is in turret form, and Genji's mobility can make it difficult to hit him even at Bastion's perch. At a distance, Genji's shurikens have a slight upper hand, but their range damage is mostly equal throughout. The real threat is when Genji catches the Bastion off guard and Bastion allows the Deflect to kill himself.

Outplay: Surprise: don't shoot at Genji's Deflect. It takes some timing, self-discipline, and control. Don't. Shoot. Genji's Deflect. Even if it doesn't hit you, he could be using his Deflect to kill someone else. Once Genji is in your sights for 2 seconds, he should be dead. A jumping Genji is also an issue when he's making you twirl in your position, but it's difficult for him as well. Know when to shoot and know when not to shoot. Switching positions also doesn't hurt. Switch every so often so the enemy and the Genji are not used to your positioning.

Counter: Without D.Va's charge, she's basically free to be a popsicle until it comes back up again. Once Mei has you in her grasp, you can say bye-bye to your mech and your life. It's difficult to deal with Mei one on one as a D.Va in and out of your mech. Defense Matrix does nothing to Mei's spray, but can block her icicle from a range. Mei's wall, larger and harder to maneuver around than Rein's shield, blocks your ult much more effectively than any other hero in the game. This is mainly the reason Mei is considered a bigger counter to D.Va than Zarya. Even if you were close to defeating a Mei, she can put herself in cryo and heal up.

Outplay: Fret not, you can block Mei's ult with your Matrix so that's something positive in this matchup. To succeed in this matchup, be very careful not to be caught out without your Boosters. Stick to the team as much as you can so you'll never be in the one on one situation. There's no way Mei can freeze you and get away with it if there are multiple people attacking her.  Randomly flying around helps prevents you from being frozen. Keep track of her cryo as well. Knowing she doesn't have it gives you time to shoot her head. Right before she freezes you, you can turn around quickly to prevent her from hitting criticals. If the Mei is too oppressive, catching you in one on one situation and making you scramble to help your teammates, then it’s time to switch. Boosters are your friend here, use them wisely.


Counter: Winston is such a hard counter to Genji that if you ever get countered you might as well switch. There's no way for you to one on one a Winston as Genji. He may not do significant damage, but he does enough damage to get your HP to 0 before you get him to half. If you try to run away, good luck. His cooldowns are lower than yours. Not to mention you can't reflect his lightning. All in all, this is a hopeless match up that you can't win.

Outplay: If you're that stubborn and refuse to switch out because you're waiting for that one really good play, then there are two crucial things you need to know before facing off the Winston. Number one is "Where are your teammates?", because you absolutely need them. Getting one or two more teammates involved increases your chances of surviving. If there is no one near you, then we go to number two. Use his bubble shield to your advantage. It won't kill Winston (unless he's low), but you can either do the most damage you can to him and live a little longer. Pray to the elo gods that the Winston is a terrible Winston and he dies in the bubble. As a desperate attempt to get out, dash, ult, dash could safely get you away from a Winston but with a huge cost. It's not worth going up against a Winston as a Genji and you should probably just switch.

Counter: Lets go down the list. Genji can Deflect your Scatter Arrows AND your ult. You lose in melee range if Genji manages to get up in your face. Genji's Dragonblade can easily outmaneuver your dragon and is better at killing you than your ult is at killing him. He's mobile and fast, making him hard to hit. It's a difficult match-up, but it certainly is not a losing match up.

Outplay: Unless you are Master+, your shots are more or less luck than precise aiming. With this in mind, this match-up is going to consist of you keeping the distance and getting him before he gets you. Your arrow hitbox is big, so Genji's hitbox isn't as difficult. It's just you and your trusty bow in this duel. Bait a dash and Deflect from Genji. Land a few headshots and some Scatter Arrows, making sure he doesn't have Deflect of course, and that should kill him. Work on your aim and this counter should be no problem.


Counter: Have you ever tried to throw a water balloon at a bird? That's what this matchup is. Pharah has aerial superiority and can take her sweet time launching projectiles (with splash damage might I add) at you. Her Concussive Blast further distances her from you and there's really nothing you can do about it. You can't stop her ult either. You can run from it and you might be able to escape. Overall, Pharah is a devastating counter to Junkrat.

Outplay: It's possible for a Junkrat to single or double mine his way up to Pharah and get two bombs at her. This requires practice and the hope that Pharah doesn't kill you before or while you do this. Though Junkrat isn't out to kill Pharah throughout the game, Junkrat mains have found a way to make get up there. You could also wait for your ult and have your tire climb up and kill her. Your bombs launch high enough to kill her during her ult, as long as she doesn’t see you first. Lure her into a room and hope she steps on a trap or succumbs to the room’s geometry. You could also do a little bit of geometry and bounce your grenades off of walls. Or you could just blindly launch your grenade up in the sky and one of them will luckily hit her. These methods aren't all that reliable. The best way is to Concussion Mine your way up to her or throw one up in the air towards her. The struggle you'll have facing the Pharah isn't worth it. All of your effort and damage is going to her and that's not what you need to help your team. Switch immediately.


Counter: One of the best features of Lucio is his speed and wall ride. Mei is the only person to stop that consistently. (Not counting Junk's trap or other CCs). With his low health and low damage, he doesn't stand a chance against Mei in a one on one situation. Other damage heroes will have a difficult time getting a clean kill on Lucio, but Mei will have no problem whatsoever. Lucio's ult helps just a little bit when Mei ults. Her icicles to the head will get rid of the additional shields no problem. It may save some of his other teammates from the damage over time, but Lucio is like a shark: he dies if he stops moving.

Outplay: Even if you boop Mei back, you could still be frozen. React quickly, boop her out of range, and speed boost as fast as you can to your team. That's about the best you can do to outplay a Mei. Even if Mei has falloff damage, she can still kill you in 3 hits. You could use her wall against her and use it to climb your way out, but that isn’t likely. If you do pull it off though... nice.

Counter: This is a pure range fight. For one, the distance Widowmaker makes between her and McCree renders McCree's Flashbang ineffective. Second, McCree loses the duel because he has falloff damage and Widow does not. Third, his mobility is poor (his Roll is not mobility) and he is an easy target for experienced Widows. McCree relies on the element of surprise to catch his opponents off-guard. Widow's ult renders him vulnerable for the duration. That's not to say he can't take down a Widow but if each player was absolutely equal in terms of skills, Widow would win this matchup.

Outplay: This isn't an absolute loss and a smart McCree knows how to even the playing field. There's always the classic sneak-up-on-Widow and kill her with a Flashbang technique, which is the most reliable. Great Widows won't make this easy for you to do though. You can also definitely outshoot her with carefully timed peeks and precision aiming. It just might take a while and that's if the Widow you're trying to kill is horrible at aiming. When you're ulting as McCree, you have to be careful for Widow's headshot. You can certainly catch her off-guard, but it takes skill in reading the game and positioning. Some might find this matchup challenging and fun.

Counter: Distance is the key for Pharah here. Mei's spray is too short to reach Pharah. Her wall has no effect on Pharah or her ult because Pharah can quickly get rid of it as long as she's alive for her entire ult. Mei's ult doesn't reach Pharah and Pharah can kill her before she walks around with that smug face killing people. The only thing Mei has going for her against Pharah is her icicles. It takes some skill to land them at least twice on Pharah or some good luck. The good luck is partly due to the enemy Pharah's bad positioning and hover in the sky.  

Outplay: Aside from her icicles, Mei can protect herself from Pharah's ult with her self-heal. Mei can also take her time to be up on high ground where freezing Pharah is possible. All of this comes with a cost. You're essentially leaving your team to chase this Pharah that may have killed you before you got to her. Mei does best in a team or catching a few in one on one situations. But to seek one a one on one situation where it isn't guaranteed you'd freeze and kill Pharah is not only reckless but dangerous. If Pharah is a problem and there's no counter to her on your team yet, it's best to switch to McCree or Soldier: 76.

Counter: I like to think of this matchup as Sharks and Minnows. Mercy will die eventually and it's a constant chase to get away from Tracer. If her team left her with nowhere to fly to, Tracer should kill her easily. There are situations where Mercy pistol kills Tracer, but that's on the Tracer. Tracer is small and quick, making Mercy's slow pistol difficult to use. Tracer also does much more damage in such a quick amount of time. That's why she's the support killer. Both of their ults are effective against each other, but in the end, Mercy can't ult if Tracer got to her first.

Outplay: Spray and pray. If you're an experienced Mercy, use your aiming skills (yes, Mercy needs to have skill in aim to be great) and kill Tracer before she gets to you. It's unlikely, but if you have nowhere to fly to this is your best shot. Guardian Angel is also effective against Tracer. If you have a Winston or Pharah, creating the distance between you and certain death will be easy. Stay up in the sky if you'd like and create a Pharmercy bond between you and that stranger. Tracer's falloff damage is awful so you should be okay if she didn't make it up on high ground to kill you. Thankfully Tracer can’t blink vertically.

Counter: Orisa is awful against flankers in general. This also includes Tracer, Reaper, and Sombra. Orisa can keep distance, but against Genji her bullets aren't fast enough to keep up with his mobility. Orisa's shield doesn't help her much either if Genji is dancing around her. Her hitbox of her head is enormous and him hitting headshots with shurikens should be no problem. Almost all of Orisa's abilities can't help her in a flanker match up. Her Fortify does nothing to protect her head or reduce damage, her ult is easy to destroy, and her Halt! does almost nothing to stop mobile heroes.  

Outplay: If you're great at shooting with her gun, kill them before they get to you. Position yourself where it's difficult for flankers to reach around your shield. You can use your mini grav to halt them for a while, but you have to be wise about it. Genji can easily dash out so wait for him to use that. All of this is still not guaranteed to keep yourself from being absolutely rolled. If you're having a difficult time, this is one of the match-ups where you should switch to Winston.

Counter: There are two other counters with Pharah: McCree and Widow. But because Soldier is the most common to be picked, he's the most frequent counter. His ult is probably the most reliable way to kill a Pharah. She can't drop down fast enough to find cover if she's really high up in the air and can't steer around. Soldier's Helix Rockets travels the fastest for a projectile that does that much damage. Obviously, for a Soldier to efficiently counter you, they must be skilled. As of now, Soldier is the best counter for a Pharah, but make sure the Soldier has the mechanical skill to keep her in check.

Outplay: If the enemy hitscans are awful, you don't need to worry too much. Pharah kills in 2 shots and that's enough to keep her counters in check. When you fly up, make sure there are natural obstacles you can hover peek around. This gives hitscans a harder time keeping track of you. Soldier can't do much if you boop him off of the map either. It's an instant kill and a good for a few laughs. If the Soldier is great, your best hope is that Mercy is there to pocket you. A good indicator of when to switch as Pharah is if you haven't been alive for over 20 seconds. You spend a great deal of time dead and you should probably switch off of Pharah. 

Counter: Pharah's distance on Reaper already gives her the upper hand. There's no way Reaper can get to her unless the Pharah made a mistake. Even a bad Pharah wins the match-up so long as she doesn't misposition herself. Pharah cannot only Concussive Blast Reaper away if he gets too close, but she can also disrupt his ult by blasting him away from the group. Pharah can be hit with Reaper's Death Blossom, but she can remain safe above a certain height. All in all, this match-up is one of those hopeless match-ups with a clear winner.

Outplay: As mentioned, there is almost no outplay. Any outplay that is to be had is on behalf of Pharah's mistakes. If you catch her while you're on high ground or when she's out of fuel then she's fairly easy to kill. The distance between Reaper and Pharah is far too great and there's no reliable way to get close. Reaper is loud and visible. Unless you plan on crouching like a crab the entire game, don't expect to get the jump on Pharah. At least you can Wraith Form out of her ult?


Counter: How is a lion going to kill a bird? He doesn't. This match up for Rein is going to be an annoyance. He is not Pharah's main target, and Pharah is not his target. But when the two clash, Rein loses. His shield is not strong enough to block her ult. The only time Rein can get a kill on Pharah is if the Pharah dropped down, low on fuel, or Rein Fire Strikes her down during her ult. Rein does little to protect his team from her except for when his shield is up. But, he must raise his shield at an angle leaving a small opening for the enemy to break through. If you want to be an efficient tank against Pharah, switch to D.Va.

Outplay: Aside from the listed above (Fire Striking her during ult or smashing her when she drops down) there is a chance for you to catch her with your ult. If you want her included, you should be mindful of her positioning. You can also get a really lucky Fire Strike if she's in the air. But again, that's the Pharah's fault more than anything. It's best for you to switch to Winston or D.Va in this match-up if Pharah is giving you a hard time.

Counter: Roadhog is just a big fat target walking around to provide ult charge for Reaper. A great Reaper could even cancel your hook by Wraith Forming away. He can escape your ult this way as well. With how Roadhog is now, even if he gets a hook, that just gives Reaper a greater chance of headshotting you at close range. Reaper is known to counter tanks in general, but Roadhog doesn't really defend himself or his team. You have one hook to make it count and if it's on cooldown or you miss, that decides the winner of the match-up.

Outplay: There are a few ways for you to win this match-up. Hook him first and force him to Wraith out while you team hunts him down. Roadhog is a hero that doesn't rely on anyone else, but in this case you will need your team. Roadhog's self-healing is also a good way to stall for a few seconds and hope someone comes by to help you. If you self-heal during Reaper's ult, chances of you living through it are very high. You can also hook him to interrupt his ult. When Reaper ults, it's most likely with a group of people around. Hook him and your team should burst him down. You have two choices when Reaper ults: save yourself or your team.


Counter: Damage on damage, Genji can provide greater burst than Soldier. Any attempts for Soldier to take Genji down will easily be deflected. Even if the Soldier did have good timing, Genji was made to one on one and Soldier would still lose the fight. At melee range, Genji will dance around Soldier and that'll be a done deal. Not to mention Deflect during Soldier's ult can be difficult to avoid and all that damage is reflected back to your team.

Outplay: Soldier needs exceptional tracking or his ult to be safe in this 1v1. A lucky Helix can do the trick as well. For the most part, you're going to need someone to be completely safe. You can certainly try to take him on and get some mechanical training. However, don't be surprised if you lose this match-up. This is one of the more hopeful match-ups, so you don't have to switch immediately. But know when you're getting rolled and switch before the time runs out.


Counter: Sombra's game play heavily relies on her being stealthed and out of mind. Winston's gun doesn't require precise aim but can still take Sombra out of stealth. Once a Winston is on you, it's incredibly hard to get away from him with his jump on a low cooldown. Furthermore, it's difficult to hack him because his damage spread is immediate. If Winston isn't hacked, you'll have a hard time playing around his bubble since Sombra is not mobile outside of her stealth. When Winston ults, you have a chance to get away, but that doesn't mean you can kill him. Due to this, if the Winston is a great Winston, the match-up is hopeless.

Outplay: There's only one way for you to literally get away: your translocator. If you don't time your translocator properly, you will almost always die to the Winston. He's definitely going to limit what you do and how you do it, but if you're a tactician like Sombra, you can still find ways out of the match-up. Your EMP hurts Winston too, but again, it's all about timing. There are ways to win this match-up but if you're not used to Sombra's playstyle, you can't win this with mechanics.


Counter: Sym's balls are too slow to accurately hit her. Her beam is too short to latch on to her. Her shield is too slow, small, and weak against Pharah's ult. Pharah can easily find and destroy her Shield Generator and Teleporter. Pharah's splash damage ruins that perfect smiley-faced turret assembly that Symmetra worked so hard for. Pharah can break Symmetra's beam by throwing her back. Pharah is just a bully in this match-up and there's nothing Symmetra can really do about it.

Outplay: Place your turrets higher. They may not kill her, but an unaware and unskilled Pharah can easily hover next to it and die. Hide your Teleporters in a safer location that has a ceiling or somewhere Pharah can't easily get to without dropping down. You can't always rely on how bad the enemy is, so if there's nothing you can do, you should switch out of this match-up. A good indicator of you getting rolled as a Symmetra is that you don't have your ultimate before your first death. On the first point you're important and you want to at least get one Teleporter. On the second phase, if you're still dying too much and your shield gen is up, you really need to switch. The defense plan you had no longer works.


Counter: She won't let you heal your turret up. Wherever you are, she'll see you. She also outranges your turret and you, so it isn't just your turret that's in trouble. Unless you're strafing while hammering at your turret, you're the easiest target for a Widow. If your turret isn't up and you find yourself one on one with Widow, she'll beat you long ranged, but she's easy to kill close up. Good luck! Great Widows would never let that happen.

Outplay: You need your team for this match-up. Get a shield like Orisa or Reinhardt. Preferably the Orisa since she can help you focus fire on Widow. If you don't have that type of tank, you can always have your turret in a corner or a place where Widow can't see from long range. Usually, flanking your turret is dangerous when you have it in a corner. Keep you and your turrets out of sight and Widow won't be too much of a problem.


Counter: If a McCree is saving his Flashbang just for Tracer, he wins that match-up as long as he doesn't mess up his headshot. McCree limits the options that Tracer has in terms of flanking. She can't be conservative with her blinks and has to constantly re-route herself to get away from McCree. Without her blinks, McCree's Peacemaker is good at killing her quickly.

Outplay: Tracer is still a highly mobile hero with many dodging abilities. If both the Tracer and McCree are good, this is a pure mechanical match-up. McCree has to be good enough to hit her small hitbox and Tracer has four opportunities to dodge everything McCree throws at her. If Tracer isn't dead yet, McCree should be. Or a healer should be at least. Definitely not a hopeless match-up.

Counter: A well-timed Deflect is enough to end this match-up. Genji absolutely wins at melee range without question. He can get to Widow faster than most heroes. D.Va and Winston can get there too, but their kill potential isn't as sure as Genji's. Widow can't do much when Genji is dancing around her, her gun close up doesn't do that much damage. If she Grapples away, Genji can catch up and kill you in the process with his dash.

Outplay: You really need to be smart about your escape. You can drop down and grapple to a place he didn't expect. There's always the classic and reliable way of outplaying a Genji: kill him. Shoot him before he gets to you. With great aim, this match-up should be no problem.


Counter: This is one of the most hopeless counters in Overwatch. Reaper absolutely melts Winston and no amount of shield or jumping can save him. Reaper's ult also destroys his shield fairly quickly. If your team isn't handling the Reaper efficiently and he has free rein to kill you, you might as well switch.

Outplay: You could ult before you die, but how many times will that happen? You can also position yourself away from him in high ground where he can't get to you easily. But as a tank and how Winston's game-play works, there's no point. Winston needs to be on someone squishy or be there to shield for his team. If he can't do either of those, there's no point in playing him.


Counter: When your shield isn't up, expect rockets to start flying at you. Zarya can't do much against Pharah to kill her, so she's a free target. When Zarya is lasering someone down, Pharah can easily disrupt her by throwing her back. If Pharah ults, there's not much you can do either. However, this isn't a hopeless match-up and definitely not in heavy favor for Pharah. Pharah's main advantage is her distance and Zarya can work on closing that distance.

Outplay: If Pharah is hovering low enough, you can definitely laser her down. Time your shields so Pharah is giving you energy. Her rockets do more damage so that means more energy for you. Keep an eye on her because she can't outright kill you in seconds. Not if you're with your team at least. Use your utility as much as possible to mitigate her effectiveness across the map.

Counter: Zenyatta is slow moving, has low HP, and is a healer. Widow's priority is already on Zen and he can't really outplay her in terms of damage. She's going to get him before he gets her. Assuming the Widow has great aim, as she should, Zen doesn't stand a chance. He can Discord her, but peeking to get some shots in can spell death. Ulting doesn't help either. It's announcing where you are and she'll predict your path and shoot once it ends.

Outplay: Best to switch if the Widow is only attacking you. Play someone she can't confidently hit. However, if you manage to get your Discord on her and you're out of sight, you may have a chance. The outplay here is involving your team getting to her with Discord on her so you can freely move about the map. If that's the case, keep doing what you're doing.

Good luck on your main!

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