The Art of Duo Comp - An Overview of the Winston-Zenyatta Duo Composition Synergy



Tue 8th Jan 2019 - 10:26pm

Since launch, there has been much talk about what’s the ideal way of climbing the rank ladder in Overwatch. Some say a six stack is the way to go, others lean more towards duos and trios, and a general consensus is that solo ranking is the hardest route of all (unless you're able to constantly carry most of your games on your own). In the end, the best way to go is the one that is most effective and fun for you. I personally prefer going with the duo and trio stack route because it finds matches faster than full stacks and knowing one or two teammates from the beginning of a match is always an advantage.

Today however I wanted to talk a bit about duo stacks and focus specifically on a hero duo that in my opinion is very powerful and fun to play. This duo brings a great balance to your team by filling a tank and support role (we all know how the majority of players want to lean towards the DPS roles) while also being very deadly when used by a well-synced team. The pair I'm referring to is Winston and Zenyatta and today I’ll cover the strengths and weaknesses of the ape and omnic duo.


We all know that Winston is a beefy gorilla that can reduce the ranged advantage on an enemy in an instant. He's capable of diving on an isolated target, dealing significant or even fatal damage and, with help of his bubble, can survive long enough for his jump to come off cooldown letting him escape with ease. We also know that because of his size and movement, a miscalculated jump can leave him in the lion's den while being too far from his team to receive heals and peel to survive. In situations like this, there are only two supports that can provide long-range healing and stay safe while supporting a Winston dive and these are Ana and Zenyatta. While Ana can provide more healing, her darts can be blocked by enemies making her heals less accurate and more circumstantial.

On the other hand, Zenyatta can orb the Winston before he even lands and, while his heals are weaker than those provided by other supports, it’s a constant flow that won't stop unless the Zenyatta loses sight of the Winston for three consecutive seconds. This can translate to any situation in which Winston dives on the enemy backline because Zenyatta can babysit him by simply applying his Harmony Orb, leaving Zenyatta able to focus on applying Discords, dealing damage, and shot calling.

When it comes to Zenyatta's survivability, Winston can be a powerful support for the omnic because he can come to his aid with ease whenever his jump pack is off cooldown, bubble incoming damage, and also be a nuisance against quick moving flankers that might want to target Zen due to his limited mobility. Winston can easily defend Zenyatta from incoming Genjis, Sombras and even Tracers. Winston's pressure on the enemy flankers can keep them at bay and this can help your Zen conserve his ultimate until critical moments instead of using it defensively to ensure his individual survival.


The strongest aspect that this combo can bring to a team is their ability to single out an enemy and get a kill early in an encounter providing an advantage for their team. If you are playing Winston and your duo calls out that he Discorded the enemy Zen, you can get a quick and easy kill if the enemy team doesn’t react fast enough to peel for that hero. This duo can also be very effective against enemy snipers that tend to play from a distance and have a very limited health pool.

This synergy works both ways meaning that it's not only a matter of Winston reacting to Zenyatta's calls but Zenyatta reacting to the Winston's jumps. If I’m playing Zen and I see my Winston jump to the enemy backline, I immediately throw a Harmony Orb on him and land a Discord Orb on the target he is focusing (this second part might be more complicated if the enemies are clumped together but as long as your discord in on an enemy he is damaging you are already providing useful support to that initiative. On top of all this, an aggressive Winston is a force to be dealt with and while the enemy is focusing on killing him, Zen can lob his Destruction Orbs freely and dish out immense amounts of damage. If playing the Zen in the duo, make sure to always call out your Discords and try to keep them on the weak backline units as much as possible because that way you allow the rest of your team can provide support on that initiative and ensure the enemy's death or the ape's survival. Having Discord on the enemy before Winston lands can make that player's death much faster because the damage multiplier would also be applied to the Rocket Jump upon landing.

This due is not perfect and definitely circumstantial based on the lineup you might be facing, but it can be very fun and very useful for building a strong communication with your duo partner. If you haven’t really given this pair a shot, go on and give it a try. You won't regret it! Till next time, happy gaming.

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