Overwatch: That’s Not How You Play Them, Reaper

Last time on “That’s Not How You Play Them” we looked at bad Reinhardt charges in Overwatch. If this series is following any sort of pattern, it means that it’s a damage character’s turn.


And boy is this a good one (or bad one, depending on how you look at it). DPS is a role that gets just as much praise as it does scrutiny in Overwatch. It’s the role that makes the most visual impact to any spectator. Their portraits are always in the kill feed and they provide the team the punch they need with some of the biggest playmaking abilities.

With that said, you still have to understand how to play the role just like any other. If you don’t know where you need to be or are not familiar with when, where and how to use the tools your selected character has, then you’ll never be able to contribute effectively. This is the problem with the Reaper you’ll see here.

So… Where do we start? At first, things don’t look too bad. His team gets control of the payload as soon as he walks in and they’re moving along here. Some poking back and forth. The defensive team is now looking for a new place to hold. In this situation, the Reaper could possibly pursue a chase down on one of the slower tanks through the little underpass you see. I wouldn’t be totally upset with that since the cart isn’t that far away as it passes by. If he does get into some trouble, he could just use his wraith form to get back to his team safely.

What actually happens isn’t a bad option either though. It’s a safer option anyway. Just use the Reinhardt shield as they pass by and lay down some more pressure damage. That’s a fine choice. It won’t net you a kill but it will at least discourage the other team from trying to make a push through the underpass. It’s never a bad thing to play it safe in Overwatch.

The issue is what happens afterward. Once the cart gets to a certain point away from the underpass, there’s no reason for either team to stick around there. The defending team will never actually stop the cart if they do and the attacking team can just stick to the cart as it moves. So, why does the Reaper stick around? The moment to make a solo push for him has already passed. Now, he’s just meandering about, unsure about where he needs to go.


This allows the enemy Tracer to get the jump on him. After she empties her first clip on him, believe it or not, he’s still savable. It’s a guaranteed win for the Tracer in this situation though because she came into the one-on-one with advantage. She’s got the Reaper on the backfoot with her first clip but she needs to reload to finish him off. At this moment, the safest thing the Reaper can do is use his wraith form to get back to his team. A healer in his Zenyatta is right there next to him just off-screen! Wraith form can definitely take him that distance and then his Zen will see he’s low health and probably throw a healing orb on him. No harm, no foul.

Instead, the Reaper takes the one-on-one and loses badly by not only misjudging the range of his weapon but also underutilizing his tools. Not to mention his bad positioning and map awareness. He’s running into the walls practically all the time throughout the entire clip. Reaper may have some of the worst abilities in Overwatch but if you’re going to play him, you at least have to learn how to use them effectively.

So, Reaper player, if you’re still out there getting bopped by Tracers, I hope this post gets to you. And please, believe me when I say that’s not how you play him!

What’s the most clueless Reaper play you’ve seen? Leave a comment below.

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