Lena Oxton, AKA “Tracer”
Purpose: Let me just start with this: Tracer is a very weak character, however in the right hands she is your mother &#$*ing worst nightmare. Tracer is an offensive character who relies on speed to overwhelm her opponents. Her strength lies within her Blink (L-Shift) and Recall (E) abilities thus making her an excellent skirmisher, giving her the image of a pesky mosquito that you can’t kill if your life depended on it.
Playstyle: Tracer’s play style is unique and highly versatile, an overall great choice for both attacking and defending. While she is mainly played for flanking she can be used for rushing objectives, keeping supports pinned, and just being an overall annoyance to enemy teams. Tracer’s main weapons are Pulse Pistols, they fire quickly, dealing heavy damage at a short range however damage drops off quickly at a distance. Her pistols and abilities give Tracer a “hit and run” or “glass cannon” play style. Lena’s weakness of course is her health, her fragility makes her an easy kill to even the most weakest of characters. Much of Tracer’s usefulness will be wasted if shes unable to sneak up from behind enemies. With all this being said she can also be very difficult to control, constant blinking and recalling around can make aiming difficult and might cause some people to lose track of where they are or whats happening around them. The overall consensus to Tracer is to rely on your Blink and Recall abilities to get close to enemies, eliminate them, then get away.
“Cheers love! The cavalry’s here!” – Tracer
Priorities: As Tracer, first focus on support heroes – especially when they’re behind tanks. An effective Tracer can really turn a game around when shes focusing on supports such as Mercy and Zenyatta, keeping them pinned and hindering their healing output. The key of keeping healers pinned as Tracer is coming from behind enemy lines while they’re focusing whats in front and not behind. Tracer also can help keep Widowmaker and Hanzo pinned if Winston is having trouble.
Ultimate: Tracer’s Ultimate, Pulse Bomb (Q), is pretty much a sticky bomb. Tracer tosses a bomb about 7 feet in front of her and adheres to enemies and surfaces, allowing her to stick it to a passing foe. If the pulse bomb lands on a target there is not much the enemy can do about it to get rid of it. Pulse Bomb has a 2 second detonate time and can inflict damage to Tracer as well. Tracer’s Pulse Bomb is 400 damage on direct contact and also includes splash radius damage. Note that there is an additional 5 damage instantly if Tracer sticks the bomb to a target. Pulse Bomb builds very fast as long as you’re playing proficiently so use it liberally. Being able to stick pulse bombs takes a bit of practice, some good applications of pulse bomb is blinking behind Reinhardt’s shield and throwing it on him, bombing teleporters, bombing supports, ect. Just remember to Blink or Recall away after throwing it.
Playing Against a Tracer
The only DPS I really play is Tracer (I logged over 100 hours with her alone during Beta) so I have some pretty good insight against her. I’ve found that she is weak against:
Mei: Mei is a “meh” when it comes to countering Tracer. She can be both tough and an easy kill, depending on how methodical the Mei is. Mei’s Icewall can trap Tracer making it harder for her to use blink to escape, allowing Mei to freeze Tracer with her gun. Mei also can self heal with Cyro- Freeze. The Pulse Bomb/Recall combo on Mei doesn’t really work since she can just Cyro-Freeze really quick to save her. However if Mei uses Blizzard, Tracer can just blink out of it before being frozen.
Winston: Winston I would say is the hard counter to Tracer (Well, actually any tank to be honest). Winston’s Tesla Cannon works very well against Tracer thanks to the automatic aiming, it does alright damage even while blinking around. As Tracer you don’t want to be around a Winston for long because of his Tesla Cannon and his high health pool of 500. Do yourself (and your team) a favor and harass weaker heroes.
Pharah: Pharah is always at a long distance, not to mention Tracer has very, very poor vertical mobility. It is this one reason that Pharah has an advantage over Tracer. While Tracer’s can be fast and quick thanks to Blink, a few rocket shots from Pharah is enough to kill Tracer. If you’re going to try and kill Pharah while shes airborne remember that Pulse Pistols damage diminishes by distance. It also doesn’t help that Tracer’s pistols shoot in a “V” cone.
Playing With a Tracer
Zarya: Zarya’s Particle Shield is really great for Tracer since most of the enemy players will be trying to focus a Tracer down because of her low health and annoyance. Zarya’s should place their particle shields on support first, Tracer second. Gravity Surge and Pulse Bomb synergize very well together because of the splash damage of Tracer’s pulse bomb, Zarya’s ultimate makes out for an easy multi-kill for Tracer.
Zenyatta: Since Zenyatta’s Orb of Harmony stays on the target as long as they’re in line of sight, Tracer can really use this healing when shes trying to capture an objective point.
Mei: Mei’s ultimate, Blizzard leaves targets vulnerable to Tracer by freezing them giving her free kills. Just be observant of whats surrounding you while you get free kills as Blizzard doesn’t always freeze everybody.
Tracer is an absolute blast to play, however due to her swift speed I recommend getting the feel of the game first before you try her out. I suggest picking her up if you’re an accurate shooter and are really aware of your surroundings. Go ahead and dish out amazing damage and have an extremely fun time, but be ready to die or even feel motion sick if you’re not used to this kind of fast gameplay. I’ve never played a hero as fast as Tracer in any other game so be prepared to keep track of yourself and surroundings at all times or die trying!
All pictures and information are copyright of Blizzard Entertainment. Gameplay tips and interpretations are copyright the writer.