symmetra is good actually

overwatch is unplayable tonight because of ddos affecting people from certain service providers so i thought i’d play no man’s sky instead, then remembered last time i played i got stuck an hour from any planet because i beat a pirate raid and the game refused to let me boost or warp anyplace because of pirate influence that now shouldn’t exist and fukkadat. so, let’s write about overwatch since i can’t play it.

symmetra is a horribly underutilized, situationally powerful denier of areas and returner of teammates to the fight. she’s misunderstood and looked down on, and totally absent from the pro scene because pro flankers will kill your teleporter in a hurry. but in our scrubby pub games, symmetra can get your team that point A defense that almost guarantees your team delicious MMR.

in season 1 I pulled 61% winrate on this hero, and so far in season 2 on PTR i’m 5-1 on her. on PC her season 1 winrate was 63.87% per Overbuff, which is easily the highest. yet her pick rate is only higher than hapless widow, brainless bastion, worthless until late in the season zenyatta, and brand new ana.

her pick rate is so low because her utility is limited to the first point of capture and hybrid maps. but her winrate is so high because she’s SO GOOD in that situation. i’ma talk a bit about how i utilize her because i can’t play her right now because of that ddos i mentioned.

its all about the teep

part of why teams lose hard on the capture and hybrid maps is the first point drops as soon as you lose a single fight. all the capture maps are designed so the attackers have a spawn distance advantage for point A. this reverses for point B of course, but once you die at point A, it takes the defenders a much longer time to get back and fight than it does the attackers. that’s why her teleporter is such a game breaker. you can cut a full 10-15 seconds from that return trip and suddenly there isn’t an advantage anymore. what was going to be 6v4 after your teams traded evenly and theirs  got back faster, is 6v6 now.

other parts of symmetra’s kit are nice. the aim-free weapon is great for killing slippery targets like lucio and genji, and the alt-fire makes the safe area behind reinhardt actually deadly, but that teleporter is why you want the hero instead of some other damage dealer or a second healer. so your goal is and HAS to be charging and placing the teleporter as quickly as possible.

more than once i’ve been told as a game started not to put my turrets there, because they were gonna be destroyed quickly. um i can make more guys. it’s not like the sentry is in front of the choke, just in the open behind it. i have more places i want to put them soon anyway. all i care about is that they do damage quickly. preferably loads of it, but as long as you get some it’s fine because the warp charges really quickly. ideally you want 2 or 3 covering the initial choke point and at least one on each flanking route around it for vision purposes. (tell your team when someone runs through a flank sentry, or destroys it.) you’ll want another 2-3 in a common route teams take after running through the choke. that’s your kill room. poke from in there and spam your alt fire at reinhardt, plus MELT anyone who walks in. feeding the zarya is going to happen here but it’s pretty worth it to have the teleporter.

on volskaya and anubis i can often get a TP up within 45 seconds. hanamura takes a few seconds longer. (usually i don’t play her on hybrid maps, but she’s strong on king’s row. it’s harder to find the right sentry spots on numbani and the teleport is always dealt with on hollywood because there is always a genji. eichenwalde i haven’t tried yet.)

don’t place the teleporter THAT close to the point, because it will be easily found and killed. if it’s a few seconds’ walk away you’re still cutting a ton of the advantage the attackers had, and the TP doesn’t get murdered immediately. as soon as you place it drop at least two sentries on it. it won’t kill an enemy before they kill the teleporter, but it might buy you time to get there and kill them before they can do the deed. you should always know the flank route to your teleporter and keep an eye on it for incoming buzzkills.

when a teleporter gets destroyed or runs out of charges, for the love of jeff DO NOT PLACE THE NEXT ONE IN THE SAME SPOT. they KNOW WHERE IT IS BECAUSE THEY KILLED IT or THEY SAW YOUR TEAM RUN IN FROM IT.

and that’s pretty much it. now TP is up you can use your sentries more conservatively, to deny health packs around the point and the point itself, use your primary fire to melt lucios and naked dvas and genjis, and hope you don’t have to farm up another porter without having ten seconds to reset your setup.

helping symmetra

if your team has a symmetra (and it makes sense) you can help her in a few important ways.

  • make damn sure there’s a primary healer. that means lucio or mercy, preferably lucio since resurrect isn’t as powerful when a teleporter is up. a solo zen or ana isn’t going to output enough healing unless you have seagull on ana.
  • hold enemies in the sentries. this means mei and roadhog specifically should play around the sentries, and to a lesser extent dva. the longer they get zapped, the faster your team has a teleporter.
  • sentry turrets slow the enemies they’re zapping. mccree, soldier, irritating hanzo main, this means easy headshots SO USE THEM.
  • if you get picked off and a fight doesn’t break out, especially if you have movement abilities, just run back. you can tell by watching the kill feed and the tab screen. if nobody else dies (on either side, but especially on yours) and the point isn’t under attack, just run back. we might need that teleporter charge soon.
  • when you do teleport in, run in front of symmetra at your earliest convenience. the shield key will prompt her to shield you. this also applies to dva every time she gets in or out of meka.
  • know where the TP is and help protect it, if not physically, by calling out flankers headed in its direction so symmetra can meet them there.

switch off

  • if you lose point A. no one needs a teleporter at point B or the payload section worse than they need a second healer, tank, or DPS, and unless you dominate you will get allchat flamed for not switching.
  • if they have a winston that decimates you and your kill room instantly. you don’t have time to reset and he hard counters you. bring more heals when you respawn.
  • if teleporter is down and you don’t have time to farm a new one. bring heals for the last defense or two, and if the point falls you don’t have to start over on ultimate charge for B.

finally, do NOT FIGHT REINHARDT OR MEI. winston, use judgement. the other tanks you can often hold your own against (roadhog needs to be distracted), but REINHARDT = NO unless he’s super low and mei will either freeze you before you kill her or just hide in an ice block and then freeze you before you kill her. your priority targets are genji, lucio, naked dva, distracted reapers, and tracer while you can reach her, basically in that order, and all can be easily soloed. symmetra, like winston, can secure kills easily on hard targets to shoot, and the deathlaser goes through reflect.

this took much longer than i expected to write up but i am proud of the words here and if you think i can improve these advices in any way you know where i live on twitter. please learn to play this hero, we need more of them, and happy teeping 🙂

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