Overwatch Compositions Explained: Bunker
Sat 6th Jul 2019 - 12:48pm
The GOATS meta finally seems to be on its way out of the Overwatch League and in its place is the return of the rock-paper-scissors meta. In essence, this meta means that no one composition is so dominant that it can be run in every game without exception. Rather, there are several viable compositions, each of which should be used in specific situations. However, even in their optimal situations, none of these compositions are unbeatable. They all have a counter to them, just like how every option in rock-paper-scissors has a counter. Therefore, teams must be able to adapt in-game to the composition the enemy throws at them, ready to play the counter.
This then leads us to talk about one of the compositions viable in the current meta: Bunker. With recent buffs to both Orisa and Baptiste (central pillars to Bunker), this composition has never been in a stronger position. The following sections will explain how each piece of the Bunker contributes to the composition and provide tips on how to use these heroes.
Perhaps the most important hero in the Bunker composition, Orisa uses her shield to be the frontline for her team. Barrier placement, although seemingly an easy task, still must be something that an Orisa player in Bunker pays constant attention to. Ensuring that your Bastion is completely covered by the barrier from the angle the enemy is attacking from can make or break the composition. The shield creates a cone of engagement for your entire team, a sightline where they can safely deal damage while being protected from the enemy. That being said, communicating when your Orisa barrier is breaking is another important aspect of the hero. If the shield breaks before the eight-second cooldown is up, you must tell your team so that they can find cover to hide behind.
However, in some cases, when your barrier breaks, it might be necessary for Baptiste to use his Immortality Field, which can accomplish a couple of things. One, it allows your team to keep dealing damage without having to duck behind cover. Two, it buys you enough time for your barrier to come back off of cooldown. This is quite a heavy investment for your team though, because Immortality Field is such an important ability with a long cooldown. Therefore, it is typically better to just hide from damage and wait for Orisa to have a new barrier.
Fortify proves to be a useful piece of utility for Orisa as well in Bunker. In the situation where your shield breaks unexpectedly and you don’t have time to go into cover beforehand, Fortify can be used to buy yourself a couple of seconds and find cover. This ability also finds use when the enemy tries to dislodge you from the high ground positions that Bunker typically wants to occupy. In many cases, a D.Va will use her Boosters or a Wrecking Ball will bowl through you to knock you off of the high ground, into the waiting jaws of their team. However, Fortify stops you from being able to be displaced from your high ground position by such abilities, so long as you use it preemptively to being hit.
Although many OWL teams will opt for a D.Va in this spot of the Bunker composition due to her excellent peeling abilities, certainly the more deadly and potent option is Roadhog. In addition, when it comes to the competitive ladder and the inherently uncoordinated play style seen there, Roadhog’s ability to make plays on his own and also self-sustain with Take a Breather make him a more viable option.
That being said, Roadhog has two main purposes for being in the Bunker composition: synergy with Orisa and pick potential. Regarding his synergy with his tank partner, Orisa can combo her Halt ability with Roadhog’s Chain Hook to drag an enemy into their team, even if they were behind a shield. Referred to as the Halt-Hook combo, it starts off with an Orisa using her Halt to pull an enemy out from their cover into an exposed position. Roadhog then uses his Chain Hook to drag the enemy into his team where they should be quickly killed. This combo can be performed every eight seconds because Halt and Chain Hook are both on an eight-second cooldown. This is an example of the low-risk/high-reward plays you should constantly be looking to make in Overwatch. In order to make this combo easier, it is advantageous to have your Orisa call out when she is about to Halt a target so that Roadhog can be ready to go fishing with his hook.
As briefly mentioned at the start of the last paragraph, Roadhog also excels in the disjointed play style found on the competitive ladder. Although categorized as a tank, there are many instances where Roadhog acts like a 600 HP DPS character with his ability to find picks via Chain Hook. This is particularly useful in the Bunker composition because of how susceptible it is to being flanked. If your team suspects that the enemy has sent someone to flank you, it is typically a good call to send your Roadhog to check and drive them away. Few heroes are able to win a duel with Roadhog, thus making him a good deterrent to flankers.
One strategy against Bunker is to put pressure on the objective with the goal of forcing out a rotation of the Bunker. With a high probability of the rotation to be sloppy, the enemy can then pounce on the Bunker and eliminate them before they can set up again.
In order to prevent this situation from happening, you can instead send your Roadhog to deal with the one or two heroes the enemy sent to pressure the objective. Usually, the Roadhog alone will be able to force a retreat out of the enemy, but you could also commit your non-Baptiste support to this play if needed. Long story short, Roadhog can be used to deal with flankers and enemy plays to force a rotation out of your Bunker.
Bastion has always been one of the highest risks, but the highest potential reward heroes in Overwatch. His lack of mobility in Configuration: Sentry makes him an easy target for the enemy. Therefore, Bastion must be seen as the focal point in the Bunker composition; the most important hero to keep alive in order to leverage his insane damage output.
Staying behind the Orisa shield at almost all times is a must for Bastion. That being said, he will also want to be set up in a position where he can track the enemy through open spaces on the map, maximizing his time to deal damage before the enemy reaches cover. Ensuring that this position also cannot be easily flanked should be a priority as well. Bastion’s “head” in Sentry mode is easy to hit if an enemy gets behind him, thus you should prevent this from happening by being in a hard to approach position or by having your flanks well covered.
Bastion has a relatively forgiving damage drop-off, therefore, he should stay a sensible distance away from the enemy to keep himself safe. In order to accomplish this goal, it will be necessary to occasionally rotate your composition to set up in a different location if the enemy is no longer playing in your sightline or is getting too close. You want to make the enemy cover as far of a distance as possible to attack you so that Bastion can pump damage into them for as long as possible. The most important part of rotating is ensuring that everyone gets to the new location safely. Expending cooldowns to accomplish this will be necessary if you are rotating through your enemy’s sightlines, do not be afraid to use them.
Target selection for Bastion is a relatively simple choice. The enemy will be trying as hard as they can to never give you an opportunity to shoot at them. Therefore, whenever they do appear in your sightline, let your Gatling gun fly until they find cover. When the enemy is finally able to bring the fight to your composition in a more close range setting, your top priority will be shredding through tanks as nobody else in your composition can accomplish this as fast as Bastion. Able to pump out 450 DPS before any damage buffs, you can kill any full health tank in less than two seconds, if given the chance to free fire onto them.
Bastion’s ultimate can also be a boon to your team in the mid-fight after your enemy has burned through their tank’s damage mitigating abilities. Without barriers or Defense Matrix in your way, Bastion can either deal massive damage to tanks or delete squishy characters while in Configuration: Tank. A direct hit from his rocket deals 205 damage, enough to one shot almost any support and most damage characters. If used properly, this ultimate can single-handedly turn a team fight in your favor. While ulting, it is also a good idea to heal yourself during the delay between shots. Doing so will significantly reduce the recoil and allow your shots to be more accurate.
In terms of a DPS to run next to Bastion, there are many options for the Bunker composition, depending on the strategy your team is going for. Generally speaking, however, you want a DPS that can safely take an off-angle to attack the enemy. Your Bastion will already be dealing a high amount of damage from his angle, thus forcing the enemy to commit resources to defend that angle. Therefore, there should be many other relatively unprotected angles to attack from.
Tracer and Sombra can both work well in this role with their ability to operate independently and harass the enemy backline. They can also make rotations very hard for the enemy. It’s hard enough to keep everyone covered from Bastion damage during a rotation, but if you are also being harassed by Sombra or Tracer those rotations are all the more difficult. Another reason to pick Sombra is her EMP ultimate. One of the top five most powerful ultimates in the game, it does not lose any of its potency in the Bunker Composition. An excellent time to use it is while the enemy is running in to engage onto your frontline. You can use EMP to get rid of their damage mitigating abilities, leaving them completely exposed to devastating. close-range Bastion damage.
Pharah is another option in this DPS spot, so long as your team is willing to move your Mercy from damage boosting the Bastion to running a Pharmercy. This pick could work particularly well if your opponent is running GOATS or a similarly tank-heavy composition. They won’t have any long-range hitscan threats for you to worry about, meaning you can play aggressively and deal constant damage into their deathball. This would also allow you to build Barrage quickly, which, combined with Immortality Field and Damage boost, presents a low risk, high reward play.
A final recommendation for this slot is a sniper such as Ashe, Hanzo, or Widowmaker. Each of them can occupy an angle far away from the Bastion and look to pickoff backline members who are not covered by their shield. These opportunities should present themselves more often than usual as the enemy will typically need to have their shield pointing at Bastion, leaving the backline more exposed. If your opponent does choose to shield the sniper angle, then that turns into a situation where your Bastion can fire into the enemy for free.
The biggest risk with choosing a sniper is if the opponent is running any Dive heroes. Seeing as the majority of your team’s resources are committed to the area where Bastion is set up, you are operating essentially on an island with little help from your supports. Therefore, efficient use of your movement abilities (Ashe coach gun, Hanzo wall climb/dash and Widowmaker grapple) are essential to keeping yourself alive.
Some teams will opt to play an Ana in this spot, but Mercy will be your safest option for a support next to Baptiste. The combination of her Regeneration and Guardian Angel abilities give her a high degree of survivability, requiring little to no resources from your team to stay alive. She can easily move from cover to cover during a fight with Guardian Angel, giving the enemy few chances to kill her while still healing her team. Guardian Angel also allows Mercy to quickly move into a position to help the secondary DPS hero in the composition. Especially if this second DPS is a sniper and the enemy dives onto them, Mercy can potentially fly in to help them survive long enough to escape.
The biggest reason Mercy is in this composition is for her damage boost. Bastion is a dangerous hero on his own, but with a 30% damage boost, his kill potential is even greater. Mercy can also pocket Bastion during his ultimate, enabling him to play more aggressively due to the healing.
Although it seems like an easy task to play Mercy in Bunker, the real impact from a Mercy player comes from their ability to shot call for their team. Mercy should be relaying important information about enemy cooldowns to her team in order for them to make better decisions about their play. For example, she can tell her Bastion when the enemy has burned through their shields or Defense Matrix, allowing Bastion to use his ultimate at an optimal moment of the fight. Mercy should also be ultimate tracking, which is particularly important for her Baptiste because of his ability to counter enemy ultimates with his Immortality Field. Overall, communication is a key aspect to playing Mercy and is something that many people do not do, especially at lower ranks of the competitive ladder.
With his introduction to Overwatch, Baptiste set in motion the wheels that brought the Bunker composition to the place of power it is in today. The combination of his area of effect healing, Amplification Matrix, and Immortality Field lends itself to the stationary style of play we see in Bunker. Biotic Launcher’s healing allows Baptiste to easily keep Bastion and Orisa at full health because of how close they typically play together. Baptiste can even position himself at a safe distance away from the Bunker and still be able to pump in healing thanks to his range. Regenerative Burst can also amp up your healing output in a pinch, but be careful when using it as it is also one of your few forms of self peel.
Amplification Matrix pairs nicely with Bastion in Bunker for obvious reasons. When positioned in front of him and combined with Mercy Damage boost, Bastion can deal over 950 DPS, which is outright terrifying for the enemy team. If timed correctly, you could catch the enemy crossing over a long, exposed section of the map and decimate them. Amplification Matrix can also be used in a defensive fashion if you find yourself in a dire situation. The ultimate also doubles healing projectiles that pass through it, meaning that Baptiste can do 120 healing per grenade, helping to sustain his team in a fight.
Although his entire kit synergizes well with Bunker, the most important part of it is Immortality Field. This ability enables Bunker to be significantly more durable in general and much less susceptible to ultimates that can take advantage of stationary targets, such as Dragon Strike and Graviton Surge. However, timing on this ability is a difficult skill to acquire. On a 20 second cooldown, Immortality Field needs to be saved for crucial moments. If your Orisa shield breaks unexpectedly, it can be used to keep your Bastion and Orisa alive until she has a new barrier. This maximizes the time that your Bastion can be firing on the enemy and will likely catch them off guard as they would expect the Bastion to find cover when the Orisa shield breaks. Immortality Field should also be used to save teammates that otherwise could not be saved by normal healing. For example, if your Orisa gets knocked off of the high ground into the enemy, you can throw down Immortality Field, hopefully giving her enough time to retreat back into the safety of your team. This example can be applied to any teammates who find themselves in dire situations; it is worth using Immortality Field to try and save them.
A quick tip with Immortality Field deployment. The arc that the disk flies in is identical to the arc that Biotic Launcher healing grenades are shot at. Therefore, use the same aiming mechanics you use with Biotic Launcher to throw your Immortality Field. You could also fire your Biotic Launcher beforehand to check where the field will land.
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