Purpose: Winston is a tank who can also deal constant damage while providing a huge amount of crowd control. Winston’s kit allows him to focus on two things: peeling (protecting the priority carries) and soaking up damage for his team. The key features to Winston’s role in a team comp are his shield, Barrier Project (E), his ability to go in and out of fights quickly with Jump Pack (shift), and his ability to instantly regain health with his ultimate, Primal Rage (Q). This makes him a very safe pick and useful in multiple game modes. Some may argue that there really is no situation where Winston isn’t a great pick.
Playstyle: When you’re playing Winston you have the ability to play aggressive or defensively. To play offensively, use Winston’s Jump Pack to get into the enemy team and start a fight. Winston’s Tesla Cannon does a high amount of AOE (area of effect) damage, and can be used to focus on the priority targets. Beware: due to the Tesla Cannon’s very short range, you put yourself in a vulnerable situation to deal damage. To play more defensively, make the best use of your Barrier Project skill by predicting incoming damage to your team and using it accordingly. Barrier Project will create a defensive barrier that will ricochet bullets and soak damage before shattering.
Winston’s most crucial ability is Primal Rage. Primal Rage will bring you back to full health, allow you to push your enemies away, and lower the cooldown of Jump Pack by three seconds. If you’re dueling against a DPS, do not be afraid to use your Barrier Project. Barrier Project will allow you to protect yourself and apply pressure on to the DPS, any bullets that ricochet off your shield will do damage to your enemy. A good Winston will not only be able to protect his team but provide extra-damage for his team. When it is time to go defensive, Winston’s kit will provide some of the best defense in the game. Winston’s Barrier Protect covers a large radius, this can be used to block D.VA ultimate, Pharah’s ultimate and any other projectiles.
Priorities: Winston has different objectives depending on the game mode, enemy team, and your personal preference. Since Winston can play defensively or offensively, you can either focus on killing the priority targets or escorting the payload while peeling for your back line. If you decide to focus on tanking and peeling, stay near your back line, use Barrier Protect defensively, and use your ultimate. To play offensively, just jump into the fight and focus the enemy priority targets.
Ultimate: Winston’s Ultimate is Primal Rage. You’re about to go bananas! This ability can be used multiple situations. When you’re defending and you get pushed into Overtime, you can use Primal Rage to push the enemies off of the objective. Winston’s Primal Rage is a great ‘oh shit’ button. When you’re low on health and in a pickle, use it! Primal Rage will bring you from 100HP to 1000HP in a brief second. If you enjoy playing aggressively, it will allow you initiate as well. If you want to prioritize on damaging your enemy back line, use Jump Pack to get in range and start a fight, do as much AOE damage to their back line as possible, then use your ultimate when your health gets low or just to split up team members or push them off the map.
“Imagination Is The Essence Of Discovery.” – Winston
Playing With a Winston
Mercy: Having a constant heal is ideal for Winston. This will allow Winston to output a ton of damage. Instead of just giving you the survivability of your ultimate, you also have her Resurrect to bring you back in crucial moments.
Bastion/Torbjörn: Since Bastion and Torbjörn are stationary and high priority targets, you will be able to provide excellent protection with your Barrier Project.
Playing Against a Winston
Road Hog: Winston has a hard time fighting against Road Hog due to his Chain Hook and high amount of close-range damage output. If both Winston and Road Hog use their ultimate simultaneously, Winston will be pushed away from his enemies, making his utility useless.
Zenyatta: Zenyatta’s Discord Orb is Winston’s worst enemy. If inflicted, all damage you receive is amplified. If a Zenyatta throws it on you, take out Zenyatta as soon as possible!
Reaper: Due to his double shotguns, Reaper can take out a Winston with ease. The slippery nature of his Wraith Form and Shadow Step also make him a difficult target to eliminate. However, if you see a Reaper using his ultimate, Death Blossom, throw up your Barrier Project between him and your team!
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