How to Get Better With: Mei
Mon 7th Aug 2017 - 1:27pm
You just lost another game of Overwatch. Perhaps it’s your third time in a row, or maybe your 15th. Either way, you’re tired of losing and your go-to heroes just aren’t working anymore. You need someone who can stand on their own, someone who works well as a team but doesn’t need a Mercy or any other healer by their side. You need a Mei.
This guide won’t tell you how to be the best Mei in all of Overwatch, but whether it’s for offense and defense, mastering these tips and tricks will help you turn a lot of your games around and help you climb that rank ladder out of bronze.
Like a lot of heroes in Overwatch, they all come with their own difficulty. Fortunately, Mei isn’t that hard to learn. If you know how to use Soldier 76, you know how to use Mei. Coming in with two out of three stars, she’s very easy to pick up. She’s not a run and gun sort of Hero like soldier 76, but rather a nuisance to the enemy team. You want to slow the enemy team down and turn their attention to you so your team can deal as much damage as possible or to give an opening for your team.
Getting to know Mei
After playing a few games of Overwatch, you already know about Mei’s infuriating skillset, but for the sake of the guide, I’m going to break down her skills and what makes them so useful. Mei is the “Batman” of Overwatch. Yes, there are characters who have a wide range of utilities, but none of them compares to Mei.
The Endothermic Blaster.
When Mei shoots her blaster, she slows down her target and freezes them for 3 seconds. The secondary fire is an icicle that can be used to pick off heroes with a little bit of health left, Torbjörn turrets, snipers, and, if you have the accuracy, taking out Pharahs. Whether you’re 1v1ing, taking out a Mercy who is in the backline, or picking off a lonely Torbjörn, this gun will always have your back.
Mei’s Ice Wall is simply that, a wall made of ice. This wall sounds pretty lackluster but it’s far from it. It’s what makes Mei so useful. Being a defense hero, it’s the perfect way of defending your team from divers such as D.Va and Reinhardt. Besides protection, it can also be used to traverse areas and help you sneak past enemy front lines. (For details about the video watch this video by this YouTuber GLHFtv, who explains the significance of Mei's Wall.
Cryo-Freeze is Mei’s “eraser.” With the click of a button you can erase your mistake of going way too deep and instead let your teammates deal with your problem, or stop an enemy team Reaper, Genji, etc. from annihilating you from the backlines. It’s especially useful for the forgetful healers.
Who needs healers when you can freeze your mistakes away?
Mei’s Ultimate is Blizzard, a chilly wide-area attack that slows down and slowly freezes anyone caught in its icy tundra for as long as the duration of the animation. This Ultimate is spectacularly useful on a well-fortified defending team and, if defending, a second chance to turn the tides on an enemy team’s engagement.
After playing a few games of Overwatch, you already know that anyone can be played anywhere, no matter the role. (Never underestimate an attacking Torbjörn. Never.) If you have a full grasp on your hero, nothing is impossible. And, it’s a good way to surprise unaware players who still stick to the archaic way of playing. Mei doesn’t truly fall in line with “unexpected heroes”, but she is still a hero that can surprise the enemy team.
Surprise your enemy team by heading to the backline. Mei is specifically good at this because of what she brings to the fight. In a majority of 1v1 situations, Mei is not a pushover. Heroes who usually make their way to the backlines, such as Soldier 76, Reaper, or McCree have a real hard time fighting Mei because she can simply freeze them. If they’re winning the fight, she can freeze herself and gain health back, and if the 1v1 becomes a 1v3, she can put up her Ice Wall and make a run for it. Hence why I refer to her as “The Batman of Overwatch”. She’s packing a utility belt for any situation.
Mei has a huge advantage in 1v1s but there are still some heroes she will have trouble fighting.
Here’s a list from easy to a little difficult when it comes to Mei and 1v1s.
Easy-Peasy: Mercy, Ana, Lucio - These guys are easy to take out… seriously. For Ana and Lucio, you just need to freeze them and feed them an icicle with your secondary shot to their head for a critical hit. You just have to dodge their abilities (Ana’s Sleep Dart and Lucio’s Soundwave, otherwise known as his “boop”) which can be dodged or avoided with using your Cryo-Freeze. Being that Mercy’s abilities aren’t that useful when it comes to 1v1-ing an enemy player, especially a Mei that can just freeze her in her tracks, you can remove her easily. Your deal is to try to freeze her as soon as possible and then pick her off before anyone notices…which they won’t because no one notices when the support is dying. To make it easier, put up an ice wall in between the Ana and her allies to buy yourself some time.
Puts Up a Fight: Zenyatta, Torbjörn, Symmetra – Zenyatta can easily fall under the “Easy-Peasy” category, especially since he’s only packing a mere 200 HP; however, his orbs can pack quite a punch if you’re not too careful. Don’t ignore the Discord Orb, it turns the tides of battle really quick. He’s also the “siren” of the team; if you’re unlucky and you’re attacking a Zenyatta with Ultimate, he will use it and fly around his team, alerting them and informing them that there’s an out of position Mei behind them. This also applies for Torbjörn and Symmetra. Symmetra and Torbjörn’s turrets must be taken out before dealing with them. If dealing with Torbjörn, treat him like Zen. If he uses his Ultimate, it will be harder to kill him and you’ll have to deal with his team. Symmetra doesn’t have any ults that can alert her team, but her primary weapon is quite the doozy that not even your cryo-freeze will help you. Most Symmetra mains jump around while using primary fire so it’s all about prediction and accuracy (and praying.)
Ugghh: Winston, Roadhog, Zarya. D.Va… just tanks - It’s not impossible. It truly isn’t, but taking out a tank with Mei is almost a suicide mission. Of course, these guys usually aren’t in the back, but if you so happen to find yourself dealing with them, you will have a hard time taking them out. It’s not only Winston’s shield deployer, Roadhog’s hook, and D.Va’s boosters you have to worry about, but also their health. What makes it easy to take out Attackers, Supports, and some Defenders is that they have a small amount of health that a simple headshot can fix, Tanks require more time and more agility to deal with. Freezing a Winston isn’t an option when you know that simply shooting him in the head doesn’t kill him. Once he’s unfrozen he can jump to his team for safety. Zarya doesn’t have a lot of health, but the shield generator can interrupt your freezing process and simply give her a chance to run to safety or eliminate you. A tip to take out the Tanks is “don’t”. Let your team handle them and focus on the little guys during big team fights. Pay attention to enemy abilities. Did the Winston jump? Did Zarya use her shield? Did D.Va use her Boosters? This matters because during the team fight you can ult (watch out for Defense Matrix!) and watch as all the tanks stand there helpless as you pick off their weaker allies.
These are only a few Heroes, but learn from it, because one technique can apply to some and can help you understand how to deal with other heroes. For instance, you know your secondary fire works on lower health Heroes like McCree and Soldier 76, but a hero like Pharah is much harder to take out. So instead of trying to sneak up behind her and freeze her like you do with every other low health hero, you should instead try to take her out from a safe distance with your secondary fire.
More Attacking Tips:
Besides realizing what you can take on and what you can take on when playing Mei, you must also remember to deactivate your abilities. People that play Mei usually make the mistake of leaving their abilities active, whether it's leaving an Ice Wall up that is no longer protecting your teams/you or using your Cryo-Freeze long enough for the enemy team to gather around you or for the team to time the moment your ability deactivates. Like every Hero, you want to be unpredictable and you want to always have your abilities ready because you don't know what can come around the corner. When using Ice Wall, always make sure to deactivate it to restart your cooldown. For your Cryo-Freeze, if you're surrounded by the enemy team or just have an enemy readying their skills, make sure you have enough health and an Ice Wall when you deactivate. This can surprise them and also gives you a chance of escaping by putting your Ice Wall up. This technique is more of a Hail Mary move because there's a chance that the enemy will be prepared to take you out as soon as you pop out of your Cryo-Freeze
...but it doesn't hurt to try.
Playing Defense with Mei is all about positioning and, most importantly, being annoying. Like I stated above, Mei has an Ice Wall that can be used to block off enemy attacks, but it can, and should, be used as a way to separate the enemy and catch them off-guard. Like I stated above with attacking, you still want to separate the enemy team from their Support and Defenders but separating anyone mostly works as long as it planned. Whether it’s a Mercy or Orisa, an enemy taken down is always a point for the team.
One of the more important factors for a Mei defense, other than, of course, protecting your team, is holding on to your Ultimate. As stated in the description of Mei’s Blizzard, it’s the second chance for your team. A well placed Ultimate use can bring help your team back on their feet and give them to rebuild their defenses after being hit from the enemy team’s big push. Just make sure you take out Mercy after doing so because the last thing you want is for your whole team to waste all their Ultimates on the enemy team just to have Mercy run in and bring them back to life.
Other than being a pest and using your Ultimate: Defend, defend, and defend. Freeze whoever’s the biggest nuisance and protect whoever needs protection.
Now You’re Ready to Play Mei
After reading this I can safely say you’re ready to face anyone with Mei. If this is your first time using Mei, you’ll face people who know how to get past your wall and who will time your Cryo-Freeze and even cancel out your Ultimate. OH, THE HORROR! These will be just mistakes that you will have to learn from and in the end, you will get better with Mei and learn and master the art of freezing your enemies. You may even become an expert at freezing those slippery Tracers, but for now practice, practice, practice
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