If jumping around like a gorilla is not your cup of tea, you might consider playing Reinhardt instead of Winston when your team needs you to tank. If you’ve played a couple of Overwatch games before, chances are that you saw Reinhardt on your team or the enemies’. That’s how I learned of this badass Lich King-looking German dude with a hammer. He charged my poor Lucio into a wall and killed me. It was traumatizing, I tell you.
When playing Reinhardt, there are two distinct play styles for you to use: defensive and aggressive. This distinction between play styles comes from Reinhardt’s most noticeable ability, Barrier Field.
It’s a bigass shield projected in front of Reinhardt. The shield has 2000 health points, which decrease when enemies deal damage to it. To keep it up, Reinhardt has to hold down the Right Mouse Button, use of any other skills makes the shield go down. One thing to be careful of, Lich Ki… sorry, Reinhardt’s shield, unlike Winston’s, only protects you from the front, meaning that you are vulnerable from the back and the air. While it’s not up, the shield recharges health at the rate of 225 health per second. You should take advantage of natural terrain provided by the map or a lull in opponent’s attack to get it down to recharge.
If the opponents manage to burn through the shield’s entire heal pool, it shatters, going on a 3 second cooldown, leaving you unprotected. When it’s about to go down, you can either let it go like Elsa and hide behind the terrain to allow it to recharge for a second or two if you will need to come back into the fight in the next couple of seconds, or you can just let the opponents burn through it.
Once your shield duties are not necessary, for example, when it’s down or when the team is going for kills aggressively, the rest of Reinhardt’s kit comes into play. To go aggressive on Reinhardt, you will most likely have to get into melee range, as Reinhardt doesn’t have a ranged weapon, unlike Winston, for example. Instead, Reinhardt swings his hammer, dealing 75 damage to enemies hit. Yes, I said enemies. Reinhardt melee attack cleaves, so you can damage several opponents in one swing.
While Reinhardt is quite slow, he does have his Left Shift ability called Charge to get up close and personal to his opponents. When activated, Charge makes Reinhardt… charge forwards in a straight line, grabbing enemies in his path. Each enemy hit suffers 50 damage. If your charge ends with a collision into a wall, enemies suffer 300 damage, which is enough to straight up kill any non-tank heroes. If, for some reason, they’re still alive after getting pinned to a wall, feel free to smack them around with your hammer. If you hit an enemy with Charge, it will go on cooldown for 10 seconds, while it will be reduced to 3 if you miss, letting you get out of there to group with your team or try again.
The long cooldown of Charge makes it important to decide if you want to play aggressively or defensively. If you Charge the enemy’s backline, you will be deep behind enemy lines, which can easily result in your death, while also leaving the team without tank presence, which is a VERY. BAD. THING.
While certainly melee-centered, Reinhard isn’t without any long-range reach. His E ability Fire Strike launches a flaming projectile towards your cursor. It moves quite slowly, however, it can go through any shield like opposing Reinhardt or Winston. When it hits, Fire Strike deals 100 damage and goes on cooldown for 6 seconds. It does decent damage on a medium cooldown, so it’s a good idea to throw it out at enemies when you can afford to not have Force Barrier up.
Reinhardt’s ultimate ability is called Earthshatter. Once it’s charged up and you press Q, Reinhardt will smash his hammer into the ground and knock down any enemies hit, while dealing 50 damage. While that won’t help you kill everyone, it’s a nice CC, provided your teammates can take advantage and burst the enemies who got hit.
When playing Reinhardt, you should be careful when you see McRee on the enemy team. His Flashbang can stun you, making you drop the shield and leaving you vulnerable to his awesome damage and the rest of the enemy team. Reaper can also be very effective against you, because he can use his Wraith Form or Shadow Step abilities to get past your shield and then rip you apart with his Hellfire Shotguns. Another good hero against Reinhardt is Pharah. She can hover over you and hit you with her rockets from above, bypassing your Force Barrier. Junkrat’s grenades can also quickly eat through your shield