The Heroes Never Die crew have been making some tough calls. We’ve taken it upon ourselves to rank every class in terms of fun. We started with the humble support (Ryan insisted Zenyatta be number one), and we moved onto the noble tank after that. There are two classes left to go, and today we bring you the Defense class. Which Defense heroes are absolutely radical, and which ones leave us feeling bored?
Cass: There are people out there who will be angry at us putting Widowmaker last. “Have you tried hitting headshots with her?” they’ll ask. Of course I want to be good at Widowmaker. I also wanted a Playstation for Christmas, and that’s when I learned that we don’t always get things we want.
I’m sure that these hypothetical readers out there have a blast as they line up headshot after headshot, eliminating the enemy team with style. I am not one of them. Other Widowmakers, Pharahs, Soldier 76s, and a whole variety of heroes just mop me up. Sorry, Widowmaker, it’s not you—it’s me.
Ryan: Bastion is so weird and honest to god I am not even sure if I hate everything about him or think that he is fine in certain situations. At some point, it is easy to look at him and go, what a cool, situational hero. I get that. But Bastion suffers the feast or famine issue that we see from a lot of characters like him in other games. Either he solo wins the game for his team by annoying the other team so much they quit, or he is absolutely useless. Overwatch is so mobile that having a roadblock like Bastion can be very frustrating or easy to bypass. Bastion falls low on this list because I think he could have potential, despite being in rough shape at the moment.
Cass: I’m absolutely terrible at snipers, and Hanzo’s primary fire is a little bit tougher to land than Widowmaker’s, but he has more tools in his kit. Wall climbing remains super fun and satisfying, and scatter arrow and his ult ensures he can do something and hit someone. The key is just trying to make yourself useful when those abilities are on cooldown. When you hit a long distance headshot and one-shot the enemy Widowmaker, this feels amazing. When you uselessly plunk arrows into the enemy D.Va, and then get roasted by two rockets from an incredibly precise Pharah, it’s somewhat less so.
Firing a blind scattershot into a room and getting a kill, then hearing Hanzo scoff “simple geometry!” remains one of the best experiences in the game.
Cass: This is probably going to be the most controversial choice on the list, but I’m ready to defend my opinion. Sure, Torbjorn doesn’t appeal to my sense of design, and some might say that he’s overly reliant on his turret. I’d like to argue the opposite: Torbjorn’s turret is absolutely hilarious and you can feel your opponents get increasingly frustrated through the Internet.
Torbjorn is a character who has a low skill floor, and sometimes, all I want is to settle down, build a turret on the Hollywood elevator, and throw some armor out. Even when he’s dead, there’s such a profound sense of joy in seeing your little turret light up with an exclamation mark and watching kill notices pop up. Is he kind of a dumb character? Yes, but if you’re playing him, you get to reap the rewards of him being a little bit dumb, and it completely owns bones.
Ryan: Junkrat is one of those dudes that is just ... bizarre. Everything about him from the way that he talks, moves, thinks and plays just feels strange, but in maybe one of the best ways I have ever seen in a game. Junkrat does something amazing, which is that he makes using a grenade launcher fun.
He feels so much like a character that should be a troll. His bomb passive when he dies, all the annoying ways that he can kill you, it all fits into his annoying ass MO. However, he manages to be a troll-y character without being useless. And that is a feat worth celebrating.
Ryan: Defense is the strangest hodgepodge collection of heroes in all of Overwatch. What does it even mean to be a defense hero? Who knows. However, Mei to me is the spirit of Defense, mostly because she is the perfect pick to take when you want to ... defend something.
With her ability to freeze individuals as well as a massive area, she has the perfect kit to keep folks in place for her allies to deal with. Not only that, but she is fun as hell and has a decent learning curve to her. Mei is not an instant win, but if you have a good one, your point just got a hell of a lot safer.