By Isaac Chandler
July 6, 2019
Overwatch has a vast array of characters available in it. With over 30 heroes to choose from in three different classes, it can be a bit difficult figuring out what’s strong and what is just average. Should you pick that Bastion, or would Tracer be a better option? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here’s an early look at our July Overwatch tier list.
As a note: we evaluate characters based on their solo queue rating, not Overwatch League rating.
We’ll start out looking at the top heroes in the game currently. These characters are lynchpins in the current meta, and while you can do well with other options at any level, running these heroes will net you wins much more easily.
GOATS is still the go-to strategy for winning games, though what it consists of has changed drastically. With recent nerfs to Zarya and the rise of Sombra to counter D.Va, more traditional tanks have risen to the forefront as the go-to heroes.
Orisa provides a similar level of protection as D.Va and Reinhardt but doesn’t have to fear turning into a pet rock if she’s hacked by Sombra. Her Protective Barrier, though smaller than Reinhardt’s shield, allows her to set up defensive lines for her team while still being able to reposition, and Fortify allows her to absorb twice the damage she normally would before falling, making her a great bullet sponge.
She also provides a crowd control level similar to Zarya’s ultimate with her Halt! ability, though with much more frequency considering its non-ultimate cooldown. Her ult also helps her team build their ult gauges faster and increases damage output, perfect for the tank-support heavy GOATS.
Roadhog is even more of a bullet-sponge than Orisa, with one of the largest health pools in the game at 600 health. His Take a Breather ability allows him to halve the damage he would normally from enemy attacks and heals him for 300 health, allowing him to effectively triple his health pool in fights.
With its low eight-second CD, he can have it up multiple times in a fight without stopping to hide. Comboing this with three supports means that Roadhog is basically a god pig, and with his Chain Hook, he can easily dive towards the enemy team to fish for hooks on squishy targets to bring back to his waiting teammates.
His ultimate Whole Hog also allows him to shove enemies off of objectives or choke points, and combined with Orisa’s Halt!, it can allow for some cheesy plays.
For the supports, both Ana and Zenyatta allow for high playmaking ability, especially Ana’s Nanoboost ability, which can turn Roadhog into a walking cannon. Their ability to heal from long distances and fight if they get caught makes them much safer bets than other options like Lúcio and Mercy, and their ability to both buff allies and weaken opponents allows them to remain more flexible in fights.
Widowmaker is a surprise here and mostly arrives due to the lower mobility of this variant of GOATS. With no D.Va to stop sniper shots and no Lúcio or Mercy to shield or revive their teammates respectively, Widowmaker can run rampant, picking off Zenyatta and Ana in the back line and easily putting full Sniper shots into Orisa and Roadhog that negate a lot of their tankiness.
Her high mobility also allows her to escape dives by the comp and reposition for continued target practice, making her invaluable as a GOATS counter.
This tier includes heroes that, although not quite as powerful as their tier-one counterparts, are still viable options to pick if your team is trying to be a bit more flexible or doesn’t feel comfortable on the ones above.
Moira is especially noteworthy a hero, as she dominates in platinum and below with her ability to both heal and do immense damage. Her ultimate, Coalescence, is especially effective in this regard, as it shoots a massive beam that both heals allies and damages foes as well as breaks through shields in barriers.
So why is Moira only good at platinum and below?
Well, her major problem lies with the fact that, outside of healing, she provides nothing else stat-wise to help the team, meaning she’s effectively useless when her team doesn’t need a heal. Her damage is also gated behind her ult, as her regular attacks are weak and do little damage. Also, while her heal is strong, it does have a resource meter it uses, which takes some time to recharge unless you get close to enemies for Biotic Grasp. That’s definitely something that will get you killed at high levels of play.
Still, she’s effective in less coordinate lower elos, so if you’re down there, use her to run wild. Just because she isn’t at the top of the Overwatch tier list doesn’t mean she still can’t be a ton of fun.
Hanzo, Lúcio, and Mercy are all great heroes as well; they’re just weaker versions of the tier-one ones is all. Hanzo can snipe targets from afar, and his Storm Arrows allows him to quickly pick off targets he catches out. His Lunge ability allows him to double-jump and get out of harm’s way but isn’t quite as versatile as Widowmaker’s Grappling Hook.
Mercy’s issue is her lack of ability to defend herself and single-target healing, while Lúcio also struggles with damage and being forced to stand in the middle of his team to be effective, making him highly susceptible to CC and area of effect (AoE) abilities.
All three are good options to play if you aren’t comfortable on their tier-one equivalents, but you won’t steamroll quite as hard as with them.
Last up, we have Wrecking Ball. This little hamster in a mecha is weird in that he’s actually incredibly powerful right now, one of the best in the game, but there is something that holds him back from being tier one: his difficulty to play.
His playstyle of utilizing his ball form and Grappling Claw plus Roll to swing wildly around the map and push enemies out of position is incredibly impactful, forcing them to reset while you burn time off the clock. It can take a bit of time to get used to this mobility since it’s a swinging motion instead of a straight grapple like Widowmaker’s is.
The fast speed and long distance it allows him to travel as well make it difficult for your team and support to stick with you, meaning you can make a good play but still fail because you got too far ahead of the team.
He’s a great hero but has a high skill cap that requires strong coordination with your team to be effective, meaning he’s not as great in solo queue as he is in competition.
Tier three is the largest section of our Overwatch tier list, and for good reason. The heroes here are all mostly average or have had themselves nerfed recently (Zarya, for example). Some of them are constant picks in meta, but only for certain compositions, while others are effective on certain maps or points on the map only.
Either way, they’re all still reliable heroes and can be a strong and surprising pick to bring out to get the drop on your foes. Certain heroes like Tracer and Genji do have high skill ceilings and floors, so it’ll take some time to get good with them, but keep at it; you’ll only get better as time goes on.
Who knows? You may end up being the highlight of your team in certain comps.
Ashe is a good character to pick up if you want to practice your aim and get used to long-range sniping while still being able to duke it out up close if you get caught. She also gets better with experience, though not quite to the degree as the two above.
However, while her skill ceiling is a bit lower, her team fight potential is honestly much stronger, with B.O.B. able to set up engages and turn an event fight into a numbers-advantaged win.
If you’re looking for something a bit easier, try Reinhardt, Brigitte, or Soldier: 76. Reinhardt and Soldier are relatively easy to play and good first picks if you’re just getting used to their role.
On the other hand, while easy to play, Brigitte will teach you some higher-level support mechanics that can help you climb the ladder, such as when to make a push with her ult Rally or how to properly position to protect allies with Barrier Shield (you can learn with Reinhardt, too, but positioning isn’t quite as key with him since he and his shield are so massive).
Our final stop is the bottom of the barrel, tier four. These aren’t bad characters (those don’t really exist in Overwatch), but they’re all highly situational picks and are only good in very niche or specific scenarios.
Doomfist and Junkrat are the closest to being generalists, although their difficulty to execute and Doomfist’s fall-off in coordinated play make them difficult picks to justify.
That being said, if you’re good with them, go for it. Individual play is much more important in solo queue. You’ll also likely see some of these flex depending on which meta is currently the most viable (the old Bastion meta saw Bastion shoot to tier one for a bit).
What do you think of our Overwatch tier list? Think we should’ve moved your favorite hero up or your most hated down? Let us know on social media. And stay tuned: we’ll have more Overwatch content coming up in the weeks and months ahead, including a new power ranking next month.