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Reaper is one of those characters that we don’t see in high level competitions or competitive ranked games that often. His kit enables him to strive in close range combat, but a lot of other offense heroes out-shine him in other areas of gameplay.

This doesn’t mean Reaper can’t be useful on certain narrow maps against a tank-heavy lineup, and if for some reason you haven’t noticed yet; we are at a time in overwatch where meaty hero compositions are getting more popular. Let’s start with a few general tips, shall we?

General tips

  • Most importantly, you have to know when NOT to pick Reaper. Playing against long range heavy damage dealers like Pharah and Widowmaker is extremely hard, maybe even impossible if your enemy is really skilled at these heroes. On top of this, try to avoid picking Reaper on big open maps, like Junkertown’s first point.
  • Don’t forget about the recent buff to your Reaping passive! Now, instead of picking up health globes after the fact that you killed someone, you constantly have a passive lifesteal when you hit your shots. Hitting one extra meatshot to an enemy tank can save you in some situations.
  • Shadows Step can be tricky to use, due to the fact that you are really vulnerable while the channeling animation is active. You want to primarily use it as you get out of spawn, and to get behind enemy lines. When doing the latter, make sure you use it in cover, not in the enemy team’s sight line, and try to aim for a location with the same principles.
  • Similar to McCree’s ultimate ability, if you use Death Blossom in front of a barrier, you are going to deal damage depending on how many enemy players are in your range behind the barrier. This was a welcome buff, enabling you to burst down barriers faster than before. Your Death Blossom also enjoys the benefit of your Reaping passive, healing you for a lot if you manage to hit multiple people with it.

 

Hero specific tips

  • Be mindful about crowd control abilities like McCree’s Flashbang, Reinhardt’s Charge or Mei’s Blizzard, etc. You can dodge these with a well-timed Wraith Form, giving you the option to back out if your team is already unsaveable or alternatively, you can aggressively push in while Wraith Form is active and go for the enemy supports.
  • If Roadhog hooks you, he can’t reliably kill you instantly without the help of his team. If you do have a bit of support, instead of backing out with Wraith Form, you can be really aggressive against the Roadhog, healing yourself with every meatshot you land on him thanks to your Reaping passive.
  • Comboing your Death Blossom with Zarya’s bubble and Lucio’s speed boost is a great way of ensuring a successful ultimate. Make sure you communicate your plan to your teammates before executing.
  • Even though you excel against more tank heavy lineups, you are not useless when it comes to dive, as you are a natural counter to Winston. Wait for him to jump in, and shred him with your shotguns. Just make sure you only play Reaper against dive on narrow maps like King’s Row.

 

+1

Reaper is one of the very few heroes that can benefit from the reload animation technique since you are always close to your target. As soon as you see your shotguns are reloaded on the HUD, do a quick melee instead of waiting for the animation to end. This way you can squeeze out a bit of extra damage.

 

+2

When you drop down from a high ground, hoping to surprise the enemy team with your Death Blossom, shoot one extra round to a key squishy target that could cancel your ultimate before using it. This way you make sure that target dies faster.

 

Reaper is an interesting mix of a flanker and front-liner. Mastering his mechanics is one thing, but you also have to know the maps really well to use your abilities to their full potential. Your damage at close range is extreme, don’t be afraid to play on the edge of dying, but don’t forget: unfortunately, you have to switch to something else if the enemy team is full of long range heroes that you can’t reach.

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