Overwatch has gone through dozens of different meta games motivated by balance adjustments from Blizzard and innovations from professional teams. Those compositions have ranged from the tanky and slow moving to the lightning fast glass cannon. Here are the five most dominant of all time.
The Beyblade composition is a classic Overwatch comp from the early days following Ana's release. Her Nanoboost originally bestowed extra speed in addition to bonus damage, and players quickly realized just how valuable that speed could be.
Beyblade draws its name from the combination of Nanoboost and Reaper's ultimate Death Blossom. Complimented by a Lúcio speed boost and a Zarya bubble for even more damage resistance, this combination would seem to shoot in among the enemy ranks with a flurry of death. Enemies would be further locked down by a Mei, with Reinhardt providing the initial cover to get into position.
Glowing, spinning and dealing destruction brought to mind the anime "Beyblade," in which deadly tops fight one another, and the composition received its name. It fell out of favor as soon as Nanoboost lost its speed buff.
4. El Presidente, aka Pirate Ship
El Presidente is Bastion, and in this composition, you must protect the president. This whole strategy is built on planting a Sentry mode Bastion on top of the payload, covering it with shields, and damage boosting it to hell and back. It's also known as Pirate Ship, as Bastion and company sitting on the payload is like a crew of pirates on their cannon-wielding ship.
The strategy excels at shredding shields and defending players as it rolls inexorably through the map. To accomplish that goal, the Bastion is typically supported by an Orisa and Reinhardt for shields, Mercy for heals and damage boost, Zenyatta for Transcendence in emergencies, and Junkrat for more shield-breaking potential. Junkrat is sometimes swapped out for Widowmaker, who provides more long range pressure.
El Presidente is still trotted out occasionally, especially on the first point of Junkertown.
Deathball was one of the first dominant strategies in Overwatch, and its composition shows that. The strategy is entirely built around Reinhardt's shield, with almost all the rest of the heroes up for substitution. Common accompaniments include Lúcio, McCree, Zarya, Ana and Genji, though the compositions sometimes swap in Soldier: 76, D.Va, Roadhog, Reaper, Moira, and Junkrat.
Deathball thrives on the slow advance and on the solid defense. The strategy died only when players found a way to push its lack of mobility to its breaking point.
Before GOATS, there was Dive. Dive meta dominated the Overwatch meta like no other composition before it, becoming so vital that a team's effectiveness was dictated almost entirely by its Dive proficiency.
Dive's game plan was to fly into the enemy backline in an instant, using speed and burst damage to blow up the first enemy player to step even slightly out of position. It required precise execution, but done correctly was very difficult to beat back.
Though Dive began with Widowmaker and Zarya in the lineup, the optimal composition quickly made itself known. It included Winston, D.Va, Zenyatta, Mercy, Genji and Tracer. This composition was the strongest and most widely used in Overwatch for more than a year, dislodged finally by the introduction of one shield-wielding Swede.
GOATS stripped Dive of the crown it wore for longer than any other composition in Overwatch history. This composition, reminiscent of the Deathball comps of old, leverages massive health pools and brutal close range damage to bowl over enemy teams.
GOATS, named for the North American Contenders team that pushed the composition to the forefront, quickly became the most used composition in the game. It's been just about the only composition in Overwatch League Season 2, with GOATS master the Vancouver Titans pushing it to its limits.
The composition itself employs Reinhardt, D.Va, Zarya, Brigitte, Lúcio and a second support that shifts between Zenyatta, Ana and Moira depending on the situation. A variant using Winston instead of Reinhardt occasionally appears, but it's the classic Reinhardt strat that has made GOATS into the force it is today.
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Photo courtesy of Blizzard