ByJacob Peach, writer at
Witcher, Player, Monster Slayer. Check out my twitter page at @PeachyBaws!
Jacob Peach

Overwatch is a competitive multiplayer shooter developed by Blizzard, in which two teams of six heroes battle each other in a variety of exciting, hectic game modes.

My first experience Overwatch experience came during the open beta, and from the first second of entering Blizzard's vibrant take on a near-future Earth, I was hooked. I was spoilt for choice in terms of playable characters, with an impressive roster of 21 unique heroes, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and diverse personalities.

After having an amazing experience playing the open beta, I decided to purchase a copy of Overwatch on release. This probably wasn't the wisest choice, considering the fact that my university exams were looming closer by the day. But now I can confidently say that although I don't understand the vast majority of my revision notes, I do have a comprehensive knowledge of the best heroes I've had the pleasure of using in Overwatch during my many hours of procrastination.

So here it is, my personal favourite Overwatch heroes list. Trust me, you really should watch out for these guys (and gals)! The list is in no particular order, and of course, you may not agree with my choices; and if so, I would invite you to direct all complaints to my complaints department email address at "[email protected]".

#5 Roadhog

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Roadhog is arguably the most annoying, overpowered, rage inducing tank available to play as in Overwatch...and I love him.

Nothing quite instils fear in the enemy team as hearing the gruff voice of Roadhog approaching them with the words "I'm a one-man apocalypse", their futile attempts to flee brought to a crashing halt by his long-range chain hook.

Roadhog possesses two key abilities, the chain hook (as mentioned above), and the "Take a Breather" health bottle. The chain hook is used to latch onto enemies from afar, dragging them close to Roadhog, and allowing him to unleash a brutal blast from his Scrap Gun. For heroes with medium/low health, this blast at close range is devastating and can cause some pretty satisfying insta-kills. And if by some miracle Roadhog's prey manages to squirm away, and gain a few feet of distance, his Scrap Gun's secondary fire mode allows him to engage enemies from a longer distance, meaning that the chances of escaping his brutal barrage are truly slim.

And as if his offensive capabilities weren't enough, his "Take a Breather" health bottle really takes Roadhog to another league. Roadhog can already take a beating, with a very impressive 600 health. However, his health bottle allows him to restore a HUGE chunk of his health (around 300 HP, I think) on the move. This makes Roadhog a nearly unstoppable force on the battlefield, as he can support himself without the need for a Lucio or Mercy for example.

Finally, his ultimate "Whole Hog" is an incredible way to clear out confined spaces; or simply to take control of an objective in an intense overtime standoff.

When his ultimate is activated, the scrap gun temporarily becomes fully automatic, dealing around 5,000 damage over a duration of 6 seconds. This attack is unstoppable at short range, and any enemies caught in a confined space are more than likely dead. At longer ranges, this ultimate doesn't have much of an effect; however, enemies will be knocked back repeatedly, making "Whole Hog" perfect for pushing a payload the last few metres in overtime uninterrupted. Therefore, thanks to his wide array of abilities and his dominating presence in close-quarters combat, Roadhog is always my go-to tank class.

#4 Reaper

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Reaper is a hero who divides opinion among the Overwatch community. Some players hate using him, due to his non-existent long range abilities. However, some players swear by him, and I myself absolutely love him.

Picture the scene, your team are happily sitting on the control point, watching the timer tick down and successfully defending the point from the ongoing enemy onslaught. But suddenly, behind you, a booming voice shouts "Die. Die! DIE!", and before you know it your team have been wiped out by a one-man killing machine, the control point is captured, and your team is one step closer to defeat. This is what reaper is capable of.

Reaper posseses a number of useful abilities, though he is not an easy class to play by any means.

His main means of attack takes the form of his dual-wielded Hellfire Shotguns. At close range, these can take out an enemy in no time at all, dealing huge damage over a short period of time. The only weakness of this attack is the huge spread of the fire pattern, making the Hellfire Shotguns nearly obsolete at medium to long range.

This is where Reaper's first ability comes into play. Reaper can use his "Shadow Step" ability to teleport long distances across the map. This makes him the perfect class for flanking an unsuspecting enemy, and unleashing his shotguns into their backs at close range. However, it is important to know that this ability doesn't make Reaper invulnerable from damage, and while he is materialising in an area, enemies can damage him before he can react. Therefore, teleporting head-on into a group of enemies probably isn't the best plan.

Reaper's other ability is "Wraith Form", which allows Reaper to become a shadow for a duration of 3 seconds. This ability makes him invulnerable to damage, but does not allow him to use weapons. This ability is perfect for escaping from certain characters' ultimate abilities. If Reaper is grabbed by Roadhog's hook, he can simply Wraith Form away from the almost-certain death he would experience at the end of his scrap gun. It can also be useful when Mei throws her "Blizzard" ultimate, as Reaper can escape before inevitably freezing-solid. Personally, I love this ability, and it has saved me from certain death more times than I can count.

As well as his active abilities, Reaper benefits enormously from a passive ability called "The Reaping". Every enemy killed in the match drops a soul orb, which Reaper can walk over to collect 50 health. This is a very good ability to have after a particularly hectic fight, when no health pack is in Reaper's immediate vicinity. For me, it's been very useful in allowing me to go on long-kill streaks, and staying behind enemy lines for extended periods of time.

And last but CERTAINLY not least is Reaper's ultimate ability, "Death Blossom". Upon activation of his ultimate, Reaper enters into a furious rampage of killing, firing Hellfire Shotguns shells in every direction whilst screaming "Die. Die! DIE!" at his enemies. This deals devastating damage to every enemy within a certain radius, and I found it worked perfectly alongside a Shadow Step flank on a heavily defended control point.

Overall, I think that Reaper is a very effective flanking hero in Overwatch, and though his medium to long-range capabilities are near-enough non-existent, with the right planning and use of his abilities, you'll be reaping souls in no time at all.

#3 Lucio

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Do you like dubstep? Parkour? Small Jamaican men on rollerblades with awesome dreadlocks? Then Overwatch has the hero for you!

Lucio is a support class hero who can be an incredibly valuable asset to any team, particularly on control objective modes. He has an incredible number of varied abilities, making him versatile in both attack and defence.

First of all, his main weapon is essentially a supersonic dubstep cannon. Now, if that hasn't already grabbed your attention, then quite frankly I have no idea what will. Anyway, the official (and frankly boring, just saying) title of his main weapon is the "Sonic Amplifier", which has two main fire modes. The primary fire mode launches 4-shot bursts of pure supersonic destruction at his enemies, dealing around 16 damage per projectile. This attack is good at all ranges, but most effective at close or mid-range due to the travel time of the projectiles. After all, they're only travelling at the speed of sound...

*tumbleweed slowly rolls by*

The second fire mode for his Sonic Amplifier is also one of his three main abilities. The secondary fire mode, "Soundwave", knocks enemies back with the full might of Lucio's bass cannon. This ability is only effective at VERY close range, and after the enemy moves a few feet away, they'd probably be blown back more by a gentle gust of wind. Therefore, Soundwave is used most effectively on control points, near ledges, and generally at ranges so close that you couldn't slide a piece of paper between Lucio and his foe.

But even though Lucio carries an ultimate weapon of bass-fuelled annihilation, he's still a simple DJ at heart, and that's where his next abilities come into play. "Crossfade" allows Lucio to switch between two songs; a healing beat, and a speed-boosting dubstep track of pure awesomeness (not sure if that's a word, but it is now). These two songs give numerous benefits to both Lucio and his team mates, providing healing to all those in his vicinity, or providing a much-needed speed boost to return to a contested objective quickly, helping to beat the clock in a tense overtime countdown.

But what's the point of music if it's not ear-splittingly loud? Lucio's other ability, "Amp It Up", boosts the effectiveness of whichever song he plays, either causing rapid healing to nearby teammates or making them run faster than Usain Bolt in rocket-powered shoes. This ability can be crucial in achieving a last minute victory, whether that be when defending an objective from a final enemy onslaught, or pushing towards an objective in the dying embers of a match.

And we haven't even talked about his ultimate. "Sound Barrier", when activated, provides huge personal shields to both Lucio and his teammates for a duration of 6 seconds. This makes a team essentially impossible to kill for the duration of the ultimate, and this can be unbelievably effective in holding on to a control point or knocking another team off of one, as speedy ravers protected by shields completely dominate the opposition.

Oh, and did I mention Lucio can parkour on walls with his rollerblades? No? Oh right, well yeah, he can do that, it's f***ing awesome. So if you're stuck as the player on the team who has to pick a support, because your teammates have chosen all their favourite heroes and you've ended up with 3 Hanzos, a Reaper and a Winston on your team, then don't despair, because now you can use arguably the most fun Hero in the entire game; and the one with the coolest hair by far!

#2 Mei

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Want somebody to hate you? Tell them you main as Mei (or Mei-n, you could say... *tumbleweed*). If you haven't found yourself shouting "F*CK YOU MEI!!!" during at least 1 Overwatch match, then have you really been playing the game?

Mei, though innocent looking on the outside, is pure evil on the inside. Like that kid from "The Omen", she really is the spawn of the devil himself. And she is SO FUN TO PLAY AS.

Her main weapon, the "Endothermic Blaster", really sends a cold shiver down the spine of anyone who comes across it at close range. With the main fire mode, Mei unleashes a torrent of frost which damages, slows and freezes enemies solid. This move alone is enough to scare pretty much any player away from battling Mei at close range, as nobody really wants to be to next Captain America popsicle.

When an enemy is frozen, Mei and her cheery little face will line up a devastating headshot with her secondary fire mode, "Icicle". This mode launches a high-velocity icicle from Mei's blaster, causing huge damage and usually instant kills from headshots. Combined with her freezing ability, this can cause even the calmest of players to scream out every profanity imaginable as they smash the quit button and throw Overwatch out of the window. Put bluntly, it's f***ing annoying, but so funny to do if you're playing as Mei.

One very useful ability Mei possesses is Cryo freeze, which freezes Mei in a chunk of ice for up to 4 seconds, healing 150 health. This can be an amazing ability to use in a one on one fight, as Mei can become invulnerable to damage for a short time, whilst healing a huge chunk of her health. By the time she jumps out of the ice block, chances are, the enemy she was fighting will have either run away, or have to battle (and probably lose) against a newly-healed Mei.

Next up, her "Ice Wall" ability is perfect for defending from an attack, or blocking off incoming fire for a few moments of respite from battle. Mei's ice wall puts the Wall from Game of Thrones to shame, she can block off corridors, launch enemies (or friends, or herself) high into the air, or just block off incoming fire to give her team time to heal. Also, it's really funny to put up a wall in front of the enemy spawn point as they're about to rush through the door, just saying...

Finally, her most terrifying ability is her ultimate, "Blizzard" (they just couldn't resist putting their name in could they?). Mei throws out a weather-modifying drone, damaging, slowing, and freezing every poor soul trapped within it's 8-meter wide area of effect. Some say if you listen carefully, you can hear the sound of controllers being thrown against the wall by the players trapped inside this maelstrom of rage inducing snowflakes.

Once the enemies inside the area of effect are frozen, Mei can gleefully skip through, cheerily executing each frozen enemy with a single shot to the head from her popsicle blaster.

So, if you see a Mei on the enemy team, maybe just quit and save yourself the pain. However, if you're playing as Mei, firstly screw you, and secondly, get ready to enjoy playing as the most evil animated character since Cruella De Vil.

#1 Junkrat

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Despite sounding like an angry teenager, and looking like Willem Dafoe on a bad hair day, Junkrat is BY FAR my favourite hero in Overwatch.

Junkrat is classed as a defensive hero, but in my opinion, his range of abilities are far more versatile and diverse to simply classify him as defensive. In fact, on a number of occasions, I've found him perfect for playing on the offensive; pushing the enemy team away from an advancing payload with his (freaking awesome) frag launcher.

His main weapon, the aforementioned frag launcher, is the physical representation of Junkrat's explosive personality. He's the best at causing mayhem on the map, launching grenades left, right, and centre, turning the control point or payload into a minefield.

I found that I could use his frag launcher as a mortar of sorts, sitting behind a wall and launching grenades over to the objective. In fact, this got me quite a few kills, and I really found the frag launcher to be one of the most effective weapons in the game.

His abilities only continue to support his chaotic rampage, with the "concussion landmine" being a personal favourite. Junkrat can throw a landmine, which can be detonated at any time. There have been quite a few occasions, when I've stopped to reload, and suddenly a Junkrat mine has landed at my feet and sent me flying away; usually to fall to my death over the edge of the map. On the flipside, using Junkrat's mine is hilarious. Throw it at a players' feet, detonate it, and if you listen carefully, you'll hear them screaming expletives as they sail over the horizon...or just die from the huge explosion the landmine causes.

His next ability, Steel Trap, allows Junkrat to place a bear trap on the ground anywhere on the map. When an enemy walks onto the trap, it pins them in place, whilst dealing around 80 damage and then continuous damage for the duration they are trapped. Nothing is as terrifying (ok...maybe Mei is slightly scarier) as walking round a corner, hearing the crunching sound of the trap clamp around your legs, and being unable to do anything as a smiling, laughing, Willem Dafoe lookalike-ing monster stands in front of you, and ends you with a few shots from his frag launcher. But sorry Junkrat, you're still not scarier than Mei.

Another fun little addition to Junkrat's arsenal is his Total Mayhem ability, a skill which has rewarded me with many afterlife kills, but has also had me screaming some pretty colourful words at whichever horrible individual has chosen Junkrat on the opposite team. Essentially, the skill allows Junkrat to drop a bundle of several live grenades upon death, which can deal up to 300 damage depending on how close the enemy is. If anybody remember the "martyrdom" death streak from the older Call of Duty games, you'll fully understand the rage inducing power of this type of skill. In short, screw you Junkrat, you can even stop my kill streak after I've already killed you.

Finally, Junkrat's ultimate, RIP-Tire. What can I really say about this skill? Escaping the horror of this ability is like being covered in raw steaks and trying to outrun a pack of bloodhounds. It's literally impossible, and the end result is you'll most likely become the bloody leftovers of what once was a body. Essentially, Junkrat activates a huge explosive-packed tire, which rolls around the map with a menacing roar of its engine. Against tightly packed groups, it can easily wipe out a whole team in a single blow, and being chased by the RIP-tire is nearly as scary as suddenly hearing "It's High Noon" and having no idea where it came from. Essentially, you can run, you can hide, but this thing will find you, it will destroy you, and then you will proceed to throw your controller and run away in terror.

Overall, I really think Junkrat is an exceptionally versatile hero, with his range of terrifying and rage-inducing abilities, he's a real force to be reckoned with. And one last thing, if you hear the words "Fire in the Hole", run.

Anyway, that concludes the list of my personal favourite Overwatch heroes. However, if you feel I've left anyone out and want to shout at me about it, make sure to write to my complaints department at "[email protected]". Otherwise, if you want to tell me which heroes you feel deserved a spot, tweet me @PeachyBaws, it'd be awesome to know what you think!

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