Different from the Three Little Pigs, you shouldn’t be afraid of the big bad wolf when playing Roadhog. Instead, you ARE the wolf. At least to any squishy that’s unfortunate enough to get hooked by you. Despite his strong identity as the hook-er of Overwatch, however, that isn’t the only part of Roadhog’s kit that gives opponents trouble.
Like usual, let’s discuss Roadhog’s gun first. Called Scrap Gun, its two modes of fire are suited for short and medium range combat. The Primary Fire uses 1 of your 4 ammo to release 25 pellets per shot every second, dealing from 4 to 9 damage per pellet, depending on your range. The pellets can headshot, however, they are spread out a lot, so it’s practically impossible to headshot with all of them. With the primary fire dealing twice as much damage in extreme short range, it’s best to be used after hooking an enemy to you. More on that later.
Scrap Gun’s Alternate Fire mode is a mid range ball of shrapnel that does 50 damage, consumes 1 ammo and can release a shot every 0.75 seconds, while able to headshot too. The shrapnel ball detonates after traveling some distance, scattering metal fragments. This mode of fire allows Roadhog to be an effective midrange fighter, though it still isn’t his niche, of course
Chain Hook. The ability that puts the fear of hog into the hearts of your enemies. When you press Left Shift, Roadhog throws out a long range chain towards his crosshair. If it hits, the target is stunned and pulled towards you, dealing 30 damage to him, most often bringing it into melee range, where you can just one shot any squishy Hero with your combo. Speaking of the combo, the basic one is Chain Hook into Scrap Gun Primary Attack + Melee Attack. If your target has more than 200 health you could perform a more advanced version of the combo, which would have you hitting the enemy with an alternate shot of Scrap Gun before hooking, shooting the enemy in the face with close range pellets and meleeing to finish him off. Keep in mind that the hook can cancel the animation of secondary fire, so this combo shouldn’t take much longer to perform if you do it right.
Roadhog’s Left Shift ability is good for more than starting executions of enemies too. As a stun, it can stop channeled Ultimates, like Reaper’s Death Blossom or Pharah’s Barrage. Also, you can hook someone out of other channelled abilities, like Reinahrdt’s Charge. Keep in mind that your hook can be stopped by terrain and Barriers, so be careful about that, because even though Chain Hook’s cooldown is reasonably low at 6 seconds, your playmaking potential will be crippled during that time.
Instead of a shield like Winston’s Barrier Projector or Reinhardt’s Barrier Field, Roadhog has a heal instead. His E, called Take A Breather, is a channeled ability, which heals Roadhog for 300 health. You should use this ability whenever you take considerable damage and can use it safely with no high-damage enemies closeby, as you’re a sitting duck when using it, not able to use any abilities, vulnerable to stuns which would interrupt the effect. If you’re fighting someone who doesn’t deal that much damage and doesn’t have ways to interrupt the channel, you can probably use it safely in combat. One of the best situations to pop Take A Breather is when falling from considerable heights as you can’t do anything in either case, so you might as well take the time to heal up.
While Take A Breather is a source of great sustain, rejuvenating half of your life on an 8 second cooldown, it also has a downside. You see, Roadhog is a big lumbering… hog with no mobility and no Barrier. This means that he’s easy to hit for the enemy team. As we know, when you hit an enemy, your Ultimate gains charges. Next to his hook-ing ways, Roadhog is also known for being the ultimate Ultimate charge battery.
Speaking of Ultimates, Roadhog’s is called Whole Hog. When you activate it, Roadhog will start channeling for 6 seconds, firing a broad cone of pellets in front of him, knocking back any enemies hit and dealing decent damage. This ability has great recoil, so you will have to control it with your crosshairs. Being a channeled ability, it can be interrupted by stuns. You should rely on this ability to straight up kill the enemies, it’s not Pharah’s ult, after all. Instead, use it to split the enemy team or knock them into a corner. A particularly cheeky thing to do would be knocking them off the edge of the map.
Roadhog is a weird tank. While Winstone and Reinhardt can play a defensive role due to their Barriers, Roadhog is meant to straight up kill fools. If your team needs defending, Roadhog probably isn’t your best choice. With that said, if your team has a Reinhardt already and the enemy lineup is full of squishies, go pick Roadhog and go nuts.