Time to Gaze into the Iris: 5 Tips on How to Improve Your Zenyatta Skills



Mon 26th Nov 2018 - 9:01pm

As a support player, your main priority is keeping your team nice and healthy so they can keep focused on their specific roles, be that tanking or damage dealing. What many players don’t understand, however, is that each support has a different playstyle and other than healing, can also help their team with tanking, enemy disruption, and even damage dealing. In this article we're going to cover one support that at first glance might not seem like a big threat but placed in the right hands can dish out more damage than many DPS heroes while also providing consistent heals. That hero is Zenyatta and today we're going to give you 5 tips to help improve your skills with the omnic monk.

Use Your Discord Wisely

Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord is very simple to explain. You throw it out at a target and it sticks to them while they are in your line of sight (will come back after 3 consecutive seconds of the enemy being hidden from your sight). The orb makes the target take 30% extra damage from any source. This means that if you discord an enemy that is being focused by your team, they will most likely die because the damage will surely outweigh the heals this unit can receive. As for who to target, with time you will learn who should be prioritized, but as a basic rule try to discord whoever your team is focusing. This will ensure you gain value from its use. It is also a good idea to have your discord on the main tank, this will make the target have a huge hit point pool to help your team build up to their ults much faster. Another piece of advice is to always call out who you discord! If you place a discord orb before the fight begins, you will create a target for your flankers and dive tanks to focus on and have an advantage early on.

Last but not least, try to have your discord on an enemy at all times. If you only have one enemy in sight, land that discord. Even if this unit is not focused, the knowledge of being discorded will make them play a bit more defensively or even hide for the time it takes the orb to be removed from them.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Zenyatta is the only support that can’t self-heal (other than the larger portion of his life that is a shield that regenerates). He is also the only support that has no self-defense skills in his arsenal other than his Transcendence (a skill you don’t really want to use for individual survivability unless truly needed). This makes Zen a very tasty looking target for enemy flankers and dive tanks. Because of these factors, you need to improve your chances of survival by proper positioning and by having a general awareness of your surroundings. Always look at the composition you’re playing against and find spots where you can fulfill your role as safely and efficiently as possible. If the enemy team does not have flankers, you can probably keep safe staying a bit further back from your team but if they do have someone like a Tracer or Sombra you might want to keep yourself a bit closer to the heroes that will be able to protect you if you’re being targeted.

Keep Your Squishies Up and Running

Your harmony orb might not be a strong source of healing, but it is consistent and only requires one click. Once it's on the hero that needs healing, you can turn your focus towards throwing discords and dishing out damage. While it might not be ideal for healing tanks, a low hp hero like Genji, Tracer, or Sombra can make great use of it because you add healing to their mobility and can help them ensure kills before their enemy can deplete their small health pools. That being said, always make sure to throw that orb on any hero that is at low health just in case your other support can’t keep them alive alone.

Your Ultimate Is Precious! Cherish It!

As Zenyatta, you have one of the most powerful defensive ultimates in the game (if not the most). Transcendence will not only make you invulnerable, but it will also help your team survive through most enemy ultimates and even ultimate combos. Zen heals for a whopping 300 hp/s during the 6 seconds of its duration and will outheal offensive ultimates like Dragonstrike, Dragonblade, Death Blossom, and more. If you have a notion of the skills you can counter, you can foresee what possible combos the enemy team might be planning for upcoming teamfights. An enemy team with a Zarya and a Pharah might be looking to combo that Graviton Surge with Rocket Barrage. In almost any other case, this would be a won teamfight but if you save that Transcendence, you can counter their combo with your ultimate alone, changing the tide of the fight instantly.

Zen's Transcendence takes a long time to charge (unless you’re Jjonak). If your team is in a big fight and the enemy is already down in numbers, don’t use your ultimate to save a teammate unless that death would mean losing that objective. Your ultimate is of high value and if you waste it, it will give the enemy team a green light for the next fight as the probabilities that you will have your ultimate up by then are very slim. If you have a teammate playing Lucio or Mercy, make sure to communicate who will pop their ultimate to prevent overlapping one another.

Value your Orb Volley

Each of Zenyatta's orbs can deal 46 damage. With your right click, you basically do a charge shot and launch a maximum of five orbs that can deal 230 damage to an enemy if they all hit. This number does not reflect landing any headshots or hitting an enemy affected by your Orb of Discord (headshots deal double damage and your Discord Orb increases damage received by 30%). Since Zenyatta is such a high-value target, charging your Orb Volley while safely behind cover and just poking out once charged might increase your survivability when playing against a team with snipers. Another fact about Zenyatta's Orb of Destruction and Volley is that it has no damage falloff. This means that if you have an enemy on the other corner of the map in your sights, you can land a shot. It all depends on your aiming skills.

A skill worth dominating surrounding your Orb Volley is discording your target (if he/she is not already discorded) right after your volley is shot. If you have enough distance, the discord orb will reach the enemy before the first shot lands thus increasing your total Volley damage from 230 to 299 if you land every shot.

Zenyatta is a great support hero and, based on his lack of survivability, is one of the best heroes to play to help you develop your in-game awareness. I know many players steer away from support roles because of the general idea of it being a more passive playstyle, but support heroes and players are the backbone of any composition and if you have any doubts of that, just remember that this year's Overwatch League and World Cup MVP is none other than JJonak, a Zenyatta main! I hope this guide can help you all improve your Zenyatta skills even a bit.

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