Overwatch GOATS In-Depth Guide

by PHrez

My name is Gabriel “PHrez” Garcia and this guide is titled “Basic” because ioStux will hopefully release a longer, more comprehensive guide after goats is dead. But do not take it the wrong way, I am still going to go as in depth as I can with my limited knowledge. I worked with Neon Sunset heavily over the past several months and several teams before them. Today is April 2nd, 2019. And I am writing this guide on the same day Baptiste is being released for comp. This is after the rework of lucio and zen, And although goats is being used less and less, they are still prevalent at higher echelons of play (Tier 3 and above). Quad/Triple dps + WB is starting to see play in 4K+ as well as OWL and other high level matches. The mainstay and prevalence of goats even after all these changes may be due to teams being comfortable on the composition, rather than the intrinsic strength of the comp itself. Fair warning, I have consumed an immense amount of free overwatch content from all the different reddits, Dallas Fuel’s Support Coach Jayne on Twitch/YouTube, Skyline/KarQ on YouTube, and Uprising Academy / Boston Uprising’s Head Coach ioStux on YouTube. I will try my best to credit them where credit is due, but sometimes I forget where it is I originally heard the tip I am presenting or if it is even my own.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The strength of the 3-3 goats compositions are seen on maps which have little to no high ground. And have several avenues with multiple routes of retreat into either indoors or area with low ceilings where you can’t get dove. (Lijiang Control Center, King’s Row, and Rialto are good examples) Also, with 3 healers (one of them being brig) The 3-3 composition is also exceptional at shutting down any comp which relies on sustain damage to whittle down their opponents. Winston and Tracer both do sustained damage. That is, they do very small knicks of continuous damage, which has its downsides vs armor. When they are focusing an armored target, both of them do 50% less damage compared to an unarmored target, (assuming tracer is bodyshotting and winston does not melee) which is insane. Genji and Rein are both examples of burst damage. That is, large chunks of instant damage which do not get crippled so much by armor. Let’s use Rein’s hammer as an example. The first 3 damage of rein’s swing is negated, so he does 72 instead of 75 damage (only a 4% reduction). And Genji’s shurikens do 25 damage to armored targets and 28 damage to unarmored targets (only an 11% reduction).

There is no single dps in the game which successfully hard-counters the goats compositions. It is the combined effort of many different cross-fire angles created by controlling high ground which the goats composition cannot easily contest even if they wished to pressure someone. If you have ever played static tanks into a well-coordinated 3 or 4 dps dive composition on a map with a lot of verticality like Gibraltar 1st or Numbani 1st, you know this pain all too well. You have no front line to swing into, your zarya has no front line burst damage to get free charge from. You cant even get to blue box or tarp without an absurdly long rotation / telegraphed pathing option. It isn’t just the pharah, or hitscan holding up top, or flanker behind. It’s the combination of all 3 that makes your life miserable.

Fight Phases and Pace

I wanted to start with this because it is difficult to grasp the reasoning behind many of the answers given unless you have a basic understanding of why it is a fight progresses a certain way. Simply put, there are 3 stages to a fight in Overwatch (in both dive and goats), these 3 stages are pre-fight, mid-fight, and clean-up. Pre-fight is that calm before the storm when you are making your way to point or respawning. During the pre-fight, enemy ultimate percentages or combos are called out, in your comp games/Tier 4 level teams someone might also discuss pathing in pre-fight. Higher level teams such as Tier 2 and Tier 1 already know pathing for every map and every comp and even rotations based on which comp the enemy team is running. There is no need to discuss these things during a pre-fight, instead they go over more valuable comms such as planning combos / dry fight engages / tracking enemy ults. The pre-fight then transitions into the posturing phase. This is in between pre-fight and mid-fight but isn’t necessarily its own stage, since both teams might not be entering the posturing phase at the same time. During the posturing phase both teams are fighting over areas of the map they consider critically important and worth dedicating resources to getting. Then there is the mid-fight, this is where one of the teams has seen an opening and called the initial engage to take place. Unlike in your comp games, when everyone asks “why aren’t we pushing in,” good teams are actively seeking for a reason to go in. This is because whoever flippantly uses cooldowns first, is the team which is at a severe disadvantage. As soon as you use your cooldowns, there is a window in time which you no longer have the option for or against using it. You just can’t. What triggers this engage varies depending on the comp and situation, but usually you can assume its when someone on the enemy team has poorly managed their health / positioning / cooldowns and are now able to be punished. A brig wasting a slam and now being a few feet away from their own Rein shield, is a good goats example. She can no longer reposition back to safety since she no longer has slam, and if her team wants to save her, they might need to use even more CDs. Now the team which didn’t have a feeding brig can punish this because they have CDs and the brig’s team doesn’t. What I described might have taken you a few seconds to read and digest. However in even a fraction of that time, a good goats team could have already sped into your brig and ran you over. It’s that miniscule of a window. Clean-up is when the victor of the fight has already been decided and the losing team is trying to either get out or intentionally die as quickly as possible. The winning team is trying to stagger kills while pushing out, but neither team is dedicating resources into swinging the fight anymore.

Target Priority

There are 3 main factors when determining if the target chosen is an efficient investment of your time / cooldowns:

[1] Whichever hero is susceptible to being discorded (or marked).

[2] Any immobile target. There are heroes with movement abilities which can still become an immobile target for a certain period of time. Winston without leap and DVa without boosters are prime examples.

[3] Whoever is closest to you. This goes hand in hand with the discord susceptibility. Since zen has better sight lines on targets closest to the front line engagement. And your team has a higher degree of presence or map control over the surrounding vicinity.

In the goats mirror, this is almost always Rein or Zarya for the following reasons: Both are, for the most part, vastly immobile. When Rein’s shield is up everyone on the enemy team is protected from getting discorded, and once Rein shield is down, Rein or Zarya is the most obvious person to attempt to discord since both of them alternate who is in the most aggressive position in the goats formation. When Zarya has personal she will swap positions with rein and stand in front for (~2 seconds). And when Zarya has ally bubble + the remainder of the time (~10-12 seconds) Rein will be in front.

Ultimate Economy

Being in sync with the enemy ultimates provides your team with an escape route if things go wrong. And you should always assume things will go wrong when the enemy team has their key ultimates. Ult tracking, a macro skill which can be developed through practice, will help in determining which play is best with quick and succinct tact. When you do not have ultimates ready when the enemy has theirs, you should still be looking for ways to force the enemy ults in inefficient ways. For example, focusing the enemy zen / zarya in an attempt to proc trance / grav before they wanted to. In those situations, the enemy is forced into having to decide between using their ult or dying. Bomb + Grav combo is the only reliable ult combo left since the change to brig stun makes it much harder to land shield slam + shatter combos. Playing with an ultimate advantage vs disadvantage takes practice, and the majority of this guide will be focused on winning neutral rather than the follow up fights when both teams have their ults.

Positioning and Rotations

When playing goats against dive or compositions with multiple dps heros, a good rule of thumb is to hold low to the ground and close to walls, preferably indoors with low ceilings (think server room on Gibraltar 1st). Against other static tank line ups (in the goats mirror, or other deathball/brawl centric compositions) it’s the opposite. Hold high ground with as much LoS with the enemy as possible. Zarya and Zen benefit the most from it, but the rest of the line up does not necessarily have that much long range damage to fully utilize high ground the same way traditional 2-2-2 comps can. The main advantage is they also can’t get to you, forcing a stalemate or at least a long winded rotation from the enemy, granting your team valuable time to pressure the enemy Rein shield and come up with a countermeasure. Do not over commit to an engagement, and if you can pull back and stabilize if a fight isn’t going your way, it is almost always better to give up a tick or a few more % on the objective in order to take a fight with even odds rather than continue at a severe disadvantage. An application of this can be seen when goats teams defend dorado 1st in OWL. Most choose to begin the map holding red building close, which is good for 2 big reasons. It allows the defending team to get a guaranteed 2nd fight for 1st point if they all die on cart, as well as gives you a good starting location for fighting a variety of compositions (quad/triple dps/dive). If the enemy decides to run goats, it’s not the worst location to hold either given the strength of corners. But you will see some teams decide to rotate back to the archway (this is where most teams hold in your comp games) and hold there as soon as they see the enemy is on goats or they get too weak to keep a sustained fight going. The archway provides a natural choke point, and is exacerbated once the payload is pushed through it. Good attacking teams know not to push through the natural choke point and will rotate through courtyard if possible (rarely, if ever, is this seen in comp). But keep in mind, as long as the rotation ends at a location where the surrounding terrain is more suited to benefit you rather than your enemy, it’s a rotation worth taking, given the down side of time and loss of shield. A quick succinct phrase I tell my teams when choosing roll outs or rotations is “play for map, not kills.” Once you have map, the kills will come as a result. [1]

Economy of Attention

A topic not talked about much in the Overwatch community is the economy of attention. This takes form in the goats mirror by keeping tabs of your enemy counterpart. This goes hand in hand with ult tracking. If you divvy up the load between the 6 team members, it makes ult tracking easier than if your main IGL having to keep track of all 6. There is of course a trade off in the pre-fight. If 1 person on your team is the IGL and ult tracking by themselves, they will have to estimate more on the exact ult percentages of each enemy, but the benefit is your IGL will be able to quickly give you a plan on what you are going to do in response without having to wait for updates from all 5 other members of the team and their respective enemy ult %s. Rein should know when the enemy rein has shatter, Brig should know when the enemy brig is going for a ballsy slam. Lucio should know when the enemy lucio is going for a boop on your rein. If any information is critical and needs to be relayed to the rest of the team, you do so. Otherwise all 6 players are trying to keep track of everyone at the same time, which is a very inefficient use of your attention.

Use of Cooldowns, Sorted by Hero

In the neutral fight (that is, when neither team has ultimates) by far the most critical component of the goats composition gameplay-wise is the use of cooldowns. Think of cooldowns as mini or less impactful ultimates. The allocation of cooldowns and timing them in such a way that you just slightly out-value your opponents’ cooldowns is the cornerstone of winning the neutral fight in the goats composition. So much so, that it could even be argued that the entire basic formation and position of each hero in the goats composition is because that is the place where each hero can maximize their use of cooldowns while minimizing risk of death.

Rein Cooldown Usage

Rein’s Charge being used with a major resource advantage can be a fantastic engage. Doing 300-350 on the enemy rein (burst damage, not sustain) is very powerful in 3-3 compositions where healing runs rampant. If you can burst him down before the healers get a change to heal him back up, the benefits can be tremendous. However, it is important to note the circumstances when this is relevant. How much threat does the enemy team possess to punish the charge in? Does the enemy rein have shatter? Are you down 1? Do they have key cooldowns? If no then it might be alright to consider charging in. If yes, this decision can be more questionable. Especially if you are not in the position to favor the trade (spawn advantage favors who?). We already discussed how target priority works in goats, and a Rein fleeing away from his team and into the enemy team is almost certainly dead. If you are fine with both reins being dead, then maybe this is an OK option to look into. But for the most part, most high level teams aren’t looking to trade one of their heros for one of yours. They are not happy even trading 1 for 2, they want to constrict you of resources until you have no options left and are forced to retreat. Even if they do not get any kills in the process, them simply forcing you to retreat off of the critical part of map they wish to control is enough of a victory in it of itself. If you are charging short distances and not throwing your life away, the question gets a lot more complicated and isn’t as obviously incorrect or correct. Long distances are alright for an initial rollout, just to get to point first, especially in comps which thrive on defending a specific location, but are weak retaking it. Torb, orisa, sym, mei are all examples of heroes who are very good at defending a critical area of map, but poor at retaking it. Charge is also useful for comboing gravitons. Knocking rein out of a grav opens up your team to target focus a hero down through trance.

Firestrike should be used it around corners and try to time it right so that DVa‘s have a hard time eating it. Can force cooldowns quite effectively. Keep in mind where their Zenyatta is. When you firestrike the Zen WILL discord you and that can lead to a disadvantage. Keep in mind rein mind games, that is, if you stop firestriking every time you have shatter, then the enemy Rein will know you have shatter when you stop firestriking. Be sure to mix it up and throw a few in, without being predictable (i.e. using it every time its off cool down) or else you could be punished and shattered if he knows your firestrike timings. Use it to build ultimate charge and confirming kills. Can also use it to bait out enemy Zarya bubbles.

Probably the most important ability under Reinhardt’s command, his 2000HP barrier, allows your team to safely maneuver the map. However, be sure to save it for when it is needed most, and use natural cover whenever possible, in order to conserve shield and maximize up-time. Whenever you traverse the map (either backing up or advancing into the enemy team) you should be hopping from 1 form of cover to the next so that if your shield is low you can regen safely behind something. Also wait for your team before shielding at all, too many Reins shield when no one is available to do damage or stand behind it. This should be viewed as wasted shield 100% of the time. Only use it as a tool to escort your team from areas of map under your control, to areas your opponents control.

Reinhardt’s ultimate ability, Earthshatter, travels in a cone shape away from its starting point at tremendous speed. There is enough time to react to the voice line before the shatter comes down, but you must be looking for it. Be ready to apply the shield and expect him to shatter, if you are too preoccupied with something else (this goes back to economy of attention) you might miss the opportunity to block the shatter, even if you heard the voice line in time. After you have shatter, it’s a lot more tempting to never firestrike since all the damage dealt will probably be healed anyway, feeding the enemy supports ult charge. However most decent mid to high level rein players will know you have shatter if you all of a sudden stop firestriking whenever you get ult. It’s still a good idea to throw a few out as a mix up so they are never sure.

Zarya Cooldown Usage

Personal bubble is best used during pre-fight or posturing phase if you are relatively sure the fight won’t take place in the next ~10 seconds. It is efficient to use early if you can guarantee free charge from obvious damage (firestrike, a zen 5 orbing, etc.), make sure to communicate with your Dva your intentions so she doesn’t defense matrix the incoming damage. If you are able to consistently keep high energy 50-100 never feel the need to use personal other than to save yourself. It is always better to have it, and not need it; than to need it, and not have it. Unless it is during the clean-up phase, consistently using friendly will keep you with high charge alone. Try not to use either bubble preemptively, that is, when the enemy rein is approaching your rein and makes it look like he is about to swing. Do not be so quick to take the bait. He may be feeling out the team and intentionally trying to fake and force out your bubble before the fight begins.

Projected bubble should almost exclusively be used to save people and very rarely used to get charge. If for whatever reason you see fit to use both bubbles at the same time (ex: enemy Rein firestrikes your spawn doors on Hollywood), be sure to communicate with your team to play slower because you don’t have bubbles yet. In normal rein/zen goats, Rein is your primary bubble target because he is the primary damage target for the enemy team. Choosing when to use bubble on him is sort of a mental 1v1 vs. the enemy Zarya, as using bubble second generally gives your team an advantage (this does not mean be afraid of bubbling first!). You should look to bubble your Rein when you can see he has been discorded by the enemy Zenyatta and the enemy team is actively trying to kill him, he is low HP (<250hp), or any combination of the 2. In comps other than the goats vs. goats matchup, choosing who the bubble varies. Generally you should save your bubble until the enemy team poses a threat (say you’re playing against floats, look to bubble whoever monkey jumps on, like zen or lucio). If you are playing goats vs. quad dps and they have pharah go back to spawn and press H.

Zarya has an interesting dynamic with her primary weapon, the particle cannon. Unlike zenyatta, and lucio, where their alternate fire is fairly straightforward when to apply each, Zarya players often use both primary fire and alternate fire constantly throughout a team fight. When to spam right clicks from a distance orThis is again the sustained vs burst scenario. Except this time the burst also has AOE. Sustained damage (or primary fire) does more dps, so it should be used on solo targets which can be easily tracked and do not have armor. (i.e. Roadhog, or a single squishy in a grav) However when there are 3 or more targets in a grav, it is usually more efficient to alternate fire the ground beneath them (right where the grav is located). But if DVa is matrixing her entire team within a grav, you can primary fire until the matrix drops, then switch back to alternate fire. You will see Zarya maintain high ground a lot of the time in OWL matches, even after her team has dropped. This is because when Zarya is above the enemy team, she can hurl right clicks over the rein shield, even though she may be too far away to reliably primary fire someone down. You can primary fire in between alternate fire for higher dps than regular alternate fire spam.

Zary’s ultimate or graviton, applies a small black hole which traps the enemy team and disables any enemy hero who falls prey to the grav’s movement abilities (with a few exceptions). All of the mid-high level zarya players know how to use grav proactively, it is when to use it reactively that is a harder question to answer. Jayne said it himself, counter-graving is the most misunderstood concept at every level below T1. And just as expected there were a variety of answers from all the high level Zarya players / coaches I asked about that topic. /u/Howlwyn said this about proactively graving vs reactively graving: “Depends on tempo. If they have only support ultimates feel free to grav. If they have grav and you’re defense, just counter grav. You should win the trade in most cases. Don’t be timid, you can build these quite quickly. It can force ultimates such as trance and such.” /u/Doctor_Pep was convinced one option is always better: “Proactive grav is ALWAYS the better option. Plan before the fight and play proactively, I cannot tell you how many maps my team got rolled because we just didn’t ult first. Don’t go for the huge POTG grav. Get one or two in it and you will win the fight. I’ve even taken to solo graving lately.” /u/Lum_ow disagreed: “Counter graving is like a support ult, and you can use it like one depending on the situation.” Lab also agreed with /u/Doctor_Pep in that he does not counter-grav, but was more hesitant as to why. He did not think proactively graving is better necessarily, he just does not know the situation where counter-graving would be better than the alternative.

Counter graving should be viewed as a means to negate or foil some plan your opponents are about to employ. It may be predictable and cause your grav to be eaten if the enemy DVa has not thrown her bomb yet and has DM available. However, the bomb combo is a valuable tool in the goats composition. If you see the enemy DVa toss her bomb into your team which is stuck in grav, it may be a good opportunity to counter grav and avoid the re-mech and incoming damage from rein swings. This is situational and you must be sure you have an answer to the grav bomb combo before attempting such a feat. Lucio sound barrier and zarya bubbles are options you can rely on. Rein simply shielding the DVa bomb usually isn’t enough of a guarantee since he can be charged out of the grav or bashed by brig, but if you grav the enemy rein and enemy brig, that’s no longer the case. The shield now becomes reliable again, given your rein still has shield left at this stage of the engagement. If you toss out the grav without having this insurance, you risk losing the fight and wasting grav in the process.

Dva Cooldown Usage

(answered by u/wackygonz)

Rockets can be used for both shield break and to get kills. Let’s say your team has a high charged Zarya but the opposing team just lost the last team fight so no their Zarya is at 0. Shield break is viable but in my opinion can be used for bursting down a target. One cool parts of Dva is that she can easily one shot Zens who play really far back. You can see this in the early games of the Uprising where Note would assassinate the opposing Zen with the burst combo. Helps if your Zen can get a discord on the opposing Zen for the Dva for burst combo on.

Defense Matrix is largely used to absorb key cooldowns such as Firestrike, Ana nade, Ana sleep, etc. Or save a friendly hero who is out of position. Similar to how rein can make an area safe, DVa can also escort friendly units through tight choke points by preventing an absurd amount incoming damage from being hurled at your team. (Junkrat or Bastion trying to deny access to a critical choke point).

Using boosters to displace an enemy is usually a set play by pro teams and is partnered with the Lucio. The common times you will see it is displacing a Zarya or Zen off of high ground. If it must be used it to escape then you’re probably in a bad position in the first place or your whole team is disengaging.

Dva bomb is generally used to combo with grav as much as possible. The only times I would say use it to remech in a goats mirror is if that’s the last option and you need to stay in the fight.This one also has a lot of context. The only times I would say use it to remech in a goats mirror is if that’s the last option and you need to stay in the fight.

Brig Cooldown Usage

(answered by u/wackygonz and myself)

Reinhardt is the most beneficial target to apply armor pack onto. The most efficient time to use your armor pack on rein is when he is missing 100 Health. This is because when you armor pack your Rein at 400 HP, it maximizes the amount of healing being done to armor rather than normal health, as well as extending his health pool above the normal 500 HP cap for a short period of time. Armor health is worth more than normal health because it raises his effective HP (EHP). Whenever you are healing an armored target’s health pool (this applies to all healers, not just brig) that last 100 or 200 armor health healing has more weight point for point than healing a normal health target or shields.

Shield Bash is dependent on your teams play style. For the most part bash is used to punish overextending enemies or can be used aggressively to burst down a target quickly. Let’s say if a Zarya uses her bubble early, a team may decide to go in aggressively and burst that Zarya down quickly. It can also be used defensively to prevent an enemy from advancing onto a critical location / target. We discussed the posturing phase a little bit, and sometimes it can feel like a tug-of-war over those last few feet. And forcing that rein backwards just a tad with bash + flail combo is all that’s needed to secure

Rally can be used proactively in order to force out cool downs from the enemy team and overcome them with the sustain. Or it can be used reactively to counter-rally when you have ultimate advantage and have already finalized the posturing phase or secured the objective. If the opposing Brig has Rally, well then you just match rally and have a sustain war. There are niche scenarios like stalling a point or combining rally with trans to sustain through a grav or shatter. Most of time Rally will be used to initiate or matching the opposing Brig rally.

Zen Orb Priority

(answered by u/wackygonz)

Harmony Orb should almost always be on the Rein, if the Rein is dead then it would either go on the Brig so she can act as the main tank or the Zarya, especially if she is high charge. Again depends on the scenario. If you wanted further explanation as to why see target priority. Similarly, Discord Orb is almost always on the opposing Rein unless there’s a clear overextension by the enemy. Other scenarios I see discord being used is on the opposing Zen for either the Dva or the Zen to kill, although that one is a little more niche and is either a set play or a stylistic play the Zen player to clutch a team fight. Zenyatta’s ultimate does an insane AOE 300 hps and covers a large area. Most of the time it is used reactively rather than proactively. Trans defensively if the enemy has grav. Should be matching the opposing grav with trans. It is possible to trans aggressively if the opposing team doesn’t have grav and both of their support ultimates. It’s a tough thing to pull off unless you get someone discorded before you pop trans and the team is prepared to follow up on it.

Zen vs Lucio Defensive Ults

Zen’s Trance is better for dealing with Damage over Time (grav + dragons) while Lucio’s beat is better for mitigating burst damage (grav + pulse bomb) Nano + Blade is also considered burst since he can kill through trance. Always check to see the enemy key ults (such as grav + dragons, nano + blade, emp + shatter, etc.) And make sure you have a gameplan to deal with each one. Having a plan also prevents your team from over-committing ults to a fight and keeps the chances of winning alive. Cycling ults on defense is very strong for this reason, the attackers never get a break, they are constantly trying to win a fight in which you have at least 1 or 2 ults. On Attack however, the defensive ult is a lot less important. When you get wiped, you just group up and try again. Sometimes even intentionally trying to bait out the key ults from the enemy team just so the next push they won’t have them. You can choose to use trance or beat proactively rather than reactively since you only have to win 1 fight on hybrid / 2CP in order for the objective to be taken. The other important factor to consider is zen isn’t able to do damage or discord targets when he enters Transcendence. You are effectively sacrificing 25%-30% of your teams damage for 300 HPS AOE. This is why using it during an enemy grav is good value, you aren’t very concerned about doing damage when your entire team is in a grav, your main concern is keeping your team alive.

Zen vs Lucio Utility

Zen functions as a glass cannon, able to put out more dps than almost any other hero in the game due to his invaluable discord orb, as well as heal without looking at the person he is healing (only criteria is an LoS check every 3 seconds) However, zen and ana both suffer in the mobility department. They can’t escape easily if they get dove, and although Ana has some tools to buy time (she can nade herself or sleep the enemy who is diving her) zen has almost no tools to defend himself with. Which is why playing in a safe position is so important. In goats, behind your team, but still with your team is the default location zen players take not because it is the safest location, or the spot where you can do the most damage. It’s about balancing the fine line between the two. Relatively safe, and you can still get a ton of value by putting out damage on critical targets your front line is also focusing.

Lucio Cooldown Usage

Lucio should be on Speed at all times during the Pre-Fight and Clean-Up phase, however the mid fight it is up to debate. Sometimes only a single friendly hero is low, and it may be more efficient to allow another healer to heal them up. However if everyone on the team has take some poke damage, it may be more effective for lucio to swap to healing. Especially if you have already succeeded in the posturing phase and no longer wish to relocate your team. For example, you are running mei goats on Nepal Village and have already taken control of point. u/wackygonz said this about crossfade: Lucio should be on speed like 75% of the time. In the pro level you don’t win by trying to out sustain with healing but by taking paths that the team is able to take minimal damage, which needs speed boost. Teams are also very good at managing the Rein barrier, Defense Matrix, and Zarya bubbles so that they won’t need the Lucio to be on heals. General rule is that the Lucio will be on speed before the team fight starts and will change to healing in the mid fight. Amp speed to initiate, disengaging, and going through areas of the map where you are most likely to take the most damage. Amp heals in the mid fight if you need to sustain.”

Lucio’s ultimate, sound barrier, applies a large temporary shield that rapidly decays to anyone within his LoS. Use Beat reactively if the team can’t sustain through a DVa bomb. Can also be used after the enemy team uses one of their support ultimates. Can also be used to save your team if the enemy Rein lands a good shatter. Basically use it to catch aggression. Just make sure to communicate with your Zen before the team fight starts. Niche scenarios you can use beat if the opposing team doesn’t have support ultimates and you can go aggressive with beat and still have the effectiveness of discord. The timing of beating aggressively can be tricky though because you don’t want to do it too early or else you don’t get the full value out of the shields before it decays and you don’t want to do it too late or else someone on the team can get bursted down before the beat casts.

Lucio is the only member of the 3-3 composition which can roam for an extended period of time and break formation constantly. This is because he doesn’t need to look directly at any of his teammates at any moment in time to apply his passive auras. He can look for boops on the enemy rein, stay high up on the walls to avoid getting shattered, look for environmental kills, etc. He is also the best suited to be IGL for this reason and he controls the speed cross fades as well as amp timings. An off support or Main Tank can be IGL and call out those cooldowns, but if Lucio is the IGL, he doesn’t need to announce when amp is up or how many seconds is left until the team can go in. He can declare when it is being used for disengages or engagements, without having to conflict with the pacing of the MT.

Ana Cooldown Usage

Aggressive nades are the best nades for a number a reasons. You can nade your rein and the enemy Rein at the same time. Double healing on friendlies isn’t worth as much as completely denying 100% of healing on enemies. This is because it is more than a reduction, it is a complete shutdown of all incoming healing. The Nade cooldown is also much shorter than the sleep dart cooldown, so feel free to use it more flippantly and don’t be too greedy saving it for 6 man purples. Sleep dart should be treated as a get-out-of-jail free card 90% of the time. Treat it as such, use it on a rein charging your rein (he could die if you don’t) Use it on a bob who expresses map control over the entire point or when Genji nano-blades you or an ally (you are trading a cool down for an ultimate or even 2 in that case)[2]

Nano has been recently changed from 300 instant healing to 250. While this has no effect at on when nanoing squishy targets such as genji, it is a small nerf when nanoing tanky targets like Rein. Nano can be used proactively or reactively, ioStux went over when to nano proactive targets in a GM VOD review with an Ana player: “There are 3 huge positives you want from a potential nano target as Ana. Tankiness, Mobility, and Damage. A good nano target has 2 out of 3 of these things. Genji during blade has damage + mobility. Winston and DVa have tankiness + mobility. Hog during his ult has tankiness + damage. High charge zarya has tankiness and damage, but a low charge zarya only has tankiness.” [3] Use Nano reactively to save a potentially dead friendly hero. If you are about to reload and can’t keep them up or if they are taking so much damage, they might die even as you are healing them (your rein gets charged, and you do not have sleep). Similar to how good Zen players will trance just to save rein, Nano isn’t as important of an ultimate to save. So if your rein ever gets too low and is at risk of dying you can nano and save him. Do not feel obligated to save it for a combo such as nano + blade. and you failed to nano him and he dies, it should be viewed as a mistake.

Alterations of Goats


Winston’s Role in the floats composition is much different than Rein. He doesn’t have the raw damage output or front line presence Rein can obtain with his cleave. Instead winston is only really better than Rein at 2 things: Mobility and Isolation. He can contest high ground in a matter of seconds and he can drop down onto an opponent and isolate them from healing using his projected barrier. As soon as winston gets low, he can use his jump pack to easily disengage. He is picked on maps with too much high ground to be realistically contested without a long winded rotation or in areas with high ceilings and verticality (Numbani 1st). This is because brawl centric compositions thrive indoors and closed off areas where they can’t be dove as easily (server room Gibraltar 1st)


Moira has good AOE heals, but she runs out over time. She is best on maps where you do not plan on having long, drawn out fights. 2CP Point A attack is a good example of this. The healing orb can be used to heal yourself, and your allies will intentionally try and stay within range of it. The damage orb can be eaten by the enemy DVa or avoided all together, for these reasons it rarely gets more value than the healing orb. And you can only apply one one of the other.

Closing Remarks

With the introduction of Baptiste, it is still unclear which direction the meta is headed. Some claim we will see more bunker comps which can fully utilize the Immortality Field and survive any dive. Some say goats will stay, but with maybe 4 supports instead of 3. Even dive could make a comeback now that armor’s effectiveness has been reduced slightly. It is interesting to see how many OWL teams have made the triple dps comp work on MEKA Base, and how they have chosen to opt out of locking goats for the initial rollout. Scouting has also improved significantly since the last season, especially on KOTH maps which benefit from scouting the most. Allowing teams to make quick coordinated swaps to deal with goats more efficiently than ever before. Only time will tell.

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