Nobody Escapes Gravity: A Closer Look at Sigma
Sun 6th Oct 2019 - 5:43pm
Overwatch’s latest hero is a tank with an arguably higher skill ceiling than his other counterparts. Since his release, he’s made a huge impact in the competitive ladder, showing up in almost every game across the board. So what makes him so powerful, and how does one take advantage of his versatile kit? Let’s take a closer look at his skills.
Hyperspheres – Sigma’s primary fire is unique in that it’s a pair of balls that implode after a short time, dealing damage in a small area. Not only can it be used to attack enemies hiding behind barriers or corners, the balls also deal a significant amount of damage on direct hits, making him very dangerous in the hands of someone who’s good at hitting projectiles.
Experimental Barrier – His right click ability is a floating barrier that can be aimed at any direction he wishes. Holding the button down will move the barrier in the direction he chooses until he lets go or it hits an obstacle, while tapping makes it disappear, keeping whatever health it has left.
Kinetic Grasp – His shift ability absorbs incoming projectile, similar to D.Va’s Defense Matrix, except it also converts some of the damage absorbed into temporary shields.
Accretion – Sigma’s other ability slows him down for a second as he charges up a mass of debris that will deal damage and knock down the first person it hits. Upon a successful hit, he can follow up with Hyperspheres to quickly melt squishies, or pretty much anyone who isn’t a tank.
Gravity Flux – Sigma’s ultimate grants him temporary flight and lets him lift enemies in a targeted area. Lifted enemies are kept in the air for a few seconds before being slammed to the ground for 50% of their max HP.
Strengths and Limitations
Right now, Sigma is incredibly powerful as he not only has a very versatile barrier, but he can also deal a respectable amount of damage in close range fights, which is what the current meta seems to favor at the moment. With the addition of Sigma and role queue, people have been going for double barrier compositions that allow him to abuse his flexible shield and fast recharge times, forcing enemies to choose close range damage dealers and dive heroes, which he can dispose of with a well-aimed Accretion and Hyperspheres.
He’s in a very good spot right now and doesn’t seem to have that much in terms of weaknesses. He’s slow and can’t really engage in long range fights, but this is easily remedied by having teammates such as Orisa, who can spam her barrier alongside Sigma’s. DPS players will have to opt out of hitscan in favor of heroes such as Reaper and Doomfist, who funnily enough both counter and complement him in the current meta.
Teams who choose to go with the double barrier composition will want to go with Orisa, who’s also in a really good spot in the current meta. As mentioned earlier, she and Sigma can potentially spam shields to the point where the other team will have to find a way to go through them instead of breaking them. Unfortunately, this means you’ll be dealing with heroes who can burst him down before he can finish charging Accretion. Because of this, you’d want to have a pair like Reaper and Mei in your team in order to compensate for his low mobility and potential missed projectiles (also note that Hyperspheres can inflict self-damage).
With a really high pick rate across the board, you’re likely going to be seeing a lot of mirror comps where people will just pick around and against Sigma. Expect to see a lot of Lucio and Moira, with the former being great for charging through barriers and countering Gravity Flux, and the latter just being a generally solid healer in the current meta.
As a Sigma player, you should also be wary of heroes such as Symmetra, Mei, and Zarya. With the exception of Mei, their beams can easily eat through your barrier once they’ve charged up a bit, and when you can’t rely on your shield anymore, you’re left vulnerable as their attacks completely negate Kinetic Grasp.
Observe the Barrier
While you are a tank, that doesn't mean you should act as a second Reinhardt/Orisa. Sigma can act as an anchor for most of the game, especially when the team needs to push through a choke, but when your other tank can hold out on their own, you should take this opportunity to cut off long range DPS heroes' (if they have any) sight lines. The idea's simple enough, just throw your barrier upwards where it forces your enemy of choice to relocate. This works especially well against heroes such as Widowmaker and Pharah, with the latter being easily exploitable as you can keep a barrier in her face and let her eat her own splash damage (especially when she's ulting).
Sigma is a tank without any armor, which means he's also more vulnerable than his other counterparts. As such, don't hesitate to use your own barrier to save yourself. The fast redeployment time allows you to take it down from the frontlines for a quick second to block attacks aimed towards you or to peel against a flanker.
Personally, I think Sigma is a really good addition to the game. He has a very engaging kit and is just fun to play in general. Unfortunately, he further strengthens the already powerful barrier-centric strategies that dominate the ladder, making heroes such as Soldier 76 and Ashe completely unviable. While I do think that he’s slightly overtuned in his current state (as of writing this, Experimental Barrier is about to receive a slight nerf that adds a cooldown after recalling it), his addition to the game shines a bigger spotlight on another hero who people believe is way too strong (Orisa), but that’s a topic for another day.
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