Overwatch Compositions Explained: Clockwork
Wed 14th Aug 2019 - 8:17pm
A new era of Overwatch has been ushered in by the introduction of 2-2-2 role lock. The dominance of GOATS has been dismantled and in its place is a brand new meta. Among the most prominent compositions in the current meta has come to be known as Clockwork.
Originating in Overwatch Contenders: Europe with the team Clockwork Vendetta, the Clockwork composition consistently features an Orisa, Roadhog, Mei, Ana, and Mercy. The second damage hero slot can vary based on players’ hero pools, the map being played, or other specific situations. In this article, we will explain how each hero works in the Clockwork composition and present a couple of logical options for the second damage hero spot.
The thankless, but important, position.
Orisa has already carved out a large place for herself in the current meta, so it should come as no surprise that she is the main tank of one of the meta’s strongest compositions. Due to her shield’s fast cooldown, Orisa can withstand the slow, long-range poke battles that have become prevalent with the popularity of Orisa-Roadhog as a tank duo. Although it is not the most exciting duty, shield placement and management as Orisa are a vital central pillar to the Clockwork composition’s success.
The real fun of playing Orisa in Clockwork centers around the Halt-Hook combo. This combo is particularly powerful because of its low risk, high reward nature. Your tank duo can perform Halt-Hook safely from behind cover and only need to commit two short cooldowns in order to get a kill. As far as neutral plays go, this is among the easiest to setup and execute. Performing this combo successfully on a consistent basis should be a goal of the Orisa and Roadhog players in Clockwork.
The interesting thing about the Clockwork composition is that it counters itself, because, for as strong as Halt-Hook is, Clockwork has numerous ways to counter it, such as Orisa’s Fortify. She can use this ability if she gets halted above her shield or from out of cover to prevent from being hooked. However, Fortify (or ‘gold’ as many high level players call it) has a longer cooldown than the Halt-Hook combo, meaning Orisa can use Fortify to stop one combo but not have it off cooldown before the next combo. Therefore, there is a two second window where Orisa cannot save herself from Halt-Hook. Thankfully, there are other heroes in this composition that can also stop the combo.
We’ve already talked ad nauseum about the strength of Halt-Hook, which is the main reason Roadhog is in this composition, but he does have other uses in Clockwork. Shield breaking is something that Roadhog can do best out of all tanks thanks to his high amount of spam damage and is another key role he has in the composition.
With the enemy likely also running Orisa-Roadhog as their tanks, who can break whose shield faster becomes important as it will give that team a small window to punish the other team's lack of cover. In addition, this tank duo wants to take space by advancing their shield forward. However, if their shield constantly breaks before they can take that space, then they are then denied said space. Even holding space will require a greater resource commitment out of the enemy if their shields are constantly breaking.
Finally, Roadhog also synergizes well with Ana in Clockwork. Not only does he have a large hitbox, making him easier to heal, but their ultimates also work well together. Roadhog becomes very susceptible to damage when using Whole Hog, but also wants to be able to push into the enemy aggressively. Nano Boost’s 50% damage reduction and instant 250 healing enable Roadhog to use Whole Hog to its full potential. This combo can be particularly powerful during the devolved teamfight phase, catching the enemy off-guard with devastating close quarters damage and crowd control.
The Halt-Hook Counter
After seeing almost no playtime in Overwatch, Mei finds herself a nearly indispensable part of one of the meta’s strongest compositions. Ice Wall has become perhaps the most important ability in her kit because of it being able to stop the Halt-Hook combo. If someone from your team gets hooked you can use Ice Wall to break line of sight with the hook and stop them from getting pulled in. This is one of the few reliable counters to Halt-Hook, making her invaluable in stopping the typically deadly combo.
In addition, you can still use her Ice Wall to manipulate chokepoints, which works particularly well against Orisa-Roadhog compositions. A lot of the time these compositions have difficulties moving quickly through chokes, meaning you can typically use Ice Wall to cut off the frontline from the backline, creating easy kills.
Mei can also save herself from the Halt-Hook combo by using her Cryo-Freeze. In much the same way that Orisa uses her Fortify to counter the combo, Mei also uses this ability. If she ever finds herself halted into a vulnerable spot, she can Cryo-Freeze and deflect any potential hooks from landing. The fact that she can save herself from Halt-Hook is important because that’s one less hero in Clockwork that needs to have other heroes’ resources used to save them.
Not a troll pick, by the way.
When Clockwork Vendetta first began running this composition, they would almost always put a Torb in the second damage hero slot. However, the hammer-wielding Swede is certainly not a must-pick in the way the composition has evolved from its origins.
Essentially, Torbjörn makes the Clockwork composition particularly obnoxious to play against, especially on maps with tight chokepoints. The spam damage from his left-clicks and turret help you decisively win the shield break war, making it difficult for the enemy to take or hold space. The turret can also be used to protect your backline from flankers, making for a frustrating situation for enemy damage players.
However, it is his ultimate, Molten Core, that can become a nightmare for the enemy, especially if your team is defending a point. This ultimate does a remarkable job of denying the enemy space because nobody will voluntarily want to fight in your pools of molten slag. You can then use Molten Core to manipulate where the enemy will fight or not fight, pushing them into disadvantageous positions.
Just click heads.
Widowmaker tends to be a strong pick in most compositions, but even more so in Clockwork. She will tend to get a lot of free space and time to operate because the enemy will likely be dumping the majority of their resources into fighting your Orisa setup. This means that Widowmaker can more aggressively look for favorable firing angles to get around enemy shields and target squishies in the backline.
Widowmaker also synergizes decently well with Orisa. Using her Halt ability, Orisa can pull enemies out of cover, into her Widowmaker sightline. For the brief moment that enemies are immobilized when they get pulled into the Halt, Widowmaker can then line up an easy kill.
Although she contributes next to nothing to winning the shield break war, it is Widowmaker’s ability to play off-angles, find picks and make crossfires with her Orisa setup that make her a strong pick in Clockwork.
An Ana type of meta.
Running two main supports might seem like an odd thing to do, but for the purposes of Clockwork, it works wonders. You want Mercy to be damage boosting her team as much as possible, meaning that the bulk of the healing duties fall on Ana. She should have no trouble keeping her tanks alive thanks to her high amount of healing per shot. In addition, the favorable range of engagement (long-range) for Clockwork plays right into Ana’s wheelhouse.
Just as Widowmaker would synergize well with Orisa’s Halt, so too does Ana. Sleep Darts and anti-nades are difficult to land in the posturing phase against an Orisa composition due to a shield constantly being in the way of your targets, however, Halt can make it much easier. By pulling enemies above the Orisa shield, Ana has a clear sightline on the enemy to hit them with her abilities. Anti-nading enemies pulled up by a Halt can be particularly useful when the enemy is getting closer and your team can rush forward to kill the targets before the effects of the grenade wear off.
Ana does not have any abilities that can stop her from being dragged into the enemy by the Halt-Hook combo. This means that she should try to position herself in a way that makes her less likely to be hit by it. If you see the Halt ability coming towards your team, you should try to walk out of its range before the Orisa activates it or, better yet, be in a position where you can still do your job, but not be in the range of the combo.
Damage boost simulator.
As mentioned in the Ana section, Mercy wants to be damage boosting as much as possible in Clockwork. Doing so can help your team break the enemy Orisa barriers faster than yours are broken, giving your team an advantage. You can also lend damage boost to the Halt-Hook combo, resulting in a higher chance the target pulled in gets killed. A good technique for Mercy is to start damage boosting your Roadhog once you see him start looking for a hook, that way you can apply the 30% damage amplification onto the hook and his follow up shot/melee.
Mercy makes even more sense in the Clockwork composition if your second damage hero is a sniper such as Widowmaker or Hanzo. Her damage boost allows them to have even greater kill pressure and Guardian Angel can allow you to quickly peel for them as well. Snipers also make for a good escape tool for Mercy due to their typically safe distance away from combat. If Mercy finds herself in trouble and in need of someone to fly to, looking to your snipers can be a good bet.
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