Fair warning, this is gonna be a pretty long post but that means it includes a lot of things which will be helpful, so bear with me.
shield is by far the most important part of your kit. Even when you are doing
other things you always need to keep your shield close to the front of your
mind, because it will always be useful.
As a main tank,
communication is absolutely vital. Voice chat is always best, but if that is
not possible use the built-in commands and occasionally text chat to let your
team know what you need them to do.
If nobody else is
doing it, you need to call out whenever you see a flanker going behind your
team, and alert your teammates to the position of any sniper in a threatening
position. You should not make them a priority because you need to anchor your
team with your shield but calling them out will at the very least make your
team aware of threats and ideally they will focus them.
Call out when your
shield is at half and quarter health, and when you’re about to put the shield
down. This will give your team time to get into cover so they don’t get picked.
This is not as vital, but calling when you will use your firestrike will also
let your team know they won’t have shield momentarily. Don’t be afraid to call
people to get behind your shield if they are walking too far forward, because
the magic blue rectangle saves lives.
Being the anchor tank
means there’s a good chance you will be the one calling the pushes. If your
team makes one or two key picks, or has some other advantage, call out for your
team to move in and start walking in yourself. If your team moves all moves in
as a unit, there’s a much better chance you’ll win the fight. This also means
you need to call for your teammates to fall back and regroup if you’re
obviously losing the team fight. This will stop them throwing away precious
ults in an attempt to turn around a fight you’ve already lost. It takes time
and practice to know when to call your team out of the fight and when it’s
worth pushing a bit harder, but you’ll improve over time.
You want to hold
either in or just behind choke points most of the time. You are your team’s
first line of defense against front-on attacks, so you should be in front of
your teammates. The area behind your shield becomes a space where your low
mobility teammates will gather, so make sure that it’s up as much as you can
have it. It’s also very important to have permanent cover at the edge of your
shield, so your teammates can retreat to safety when the shield is down.
Setting up at the back of a doorway or choke means your team can easily retreat
to safety when your shield goes down.
When you’re playing,
always be thinking about what you’re going to do when the shield breaks and the
enemy pushes. You need to have an escape plan and ideally you want to have a
clear path to the next place you’ll be holding. For the first point on
Hollywood, you want to hold to the left of the car so that you can fall back to
the point instead of being forced to the right and being cut off from your
High ground above a
choke can also be effective, particularly at the start of Gibraltar and Dorado
defenses, and to a lesser extent Junkertown. If you do this, remember taking
cover can be as simple as stepping back from the edge. You also need to drop
down quickly with your team when the enemy does push through, and call out that
you’re doing that.
When the hold falls
apart and it turns into a skirmish on the point, your positioning becomes
slightly less vital, but you need to make sure you are still close to your team
and you don’t overextend. Never ever lose sight of your healers, they are your
lifeline in a team fight and there is nothing worse than a healer who could
heal but their team is just slightly out of sight.
It is not your job to
take care of flankers, because you have an extremely limited range and your
main job is to protect the team from the front. Call out to your team to try to
take out the flankers, and don’t let them distract them from your main task. If
a Tracer or Genji pokes you and you turn to try to take them on or walk away
from the choke, you’re giving the enemy team a huge opening to push in and take
out your teammates. Try to only turn your shield when your teammates are in
need of shielding from behind, or if the rest of the enemy is not at the choke.
This is Rein’s most
valuable ability, and what your gameplay should be focused around. You want to
have it up as much as you can. Never let your shield break from chip damage
through a choke, you need to take it down when it’s at about 250-100hp,
depending on how much damage it’s taking. A broken shield will be unusable for
several seconds while it recharges, while even a very low health shield in an
emergency can be invaluable. Save the last hp of your shield to block single-damage
ults such as D.Va’s bomb or another Rein’s shatter.
Try to recharge your
shield in between team fights when there is no danger to your teammates. If
this is impossible, call your team back to cover and take cover yourself while
it charges back to full.
When you’ve got your
shield up, you will move slowly. Jumping and then putting your shield up will
allow you to cover valuable ground while moving at full speed in the air. This
is especially useful around corners. Jump around a corner and put your shield
up, so you’ll end up in the right position to hold much faster. That way your
shield also won’t start taking damage until you’re in a good position to shield
This is how you will
gain most of your ult charge. Try to use it pretty much as soon as it’s off
cooldown, but keep your shield up and wait if your teammates are at very low
hp. You need to exploit the firestrike’s ability to travel through enemies when
you use it, so try to fire at dense groups of enemies, or wherever gives you
the best chance of hitting multiple times. For example, this line on hollywood
almost always hits 2 or 3 enemies. With enough practice you’ll start seeing
good lines for firestrikes in a lot of chokes.
The Firestrike puts
out 100 damage (130 damage boosted), which means it’s great for finishing off
low hp targets. Low mobility heroes are easiest to hit but with enough practice
you can predict where low health flankers will go and take them out a
surprising amount of the time.
Your charge is very
effective, but also very risky. Before you charge, think to yourself “what
will happen if I miss”. There’s a good chance your target can avoid your
charge and you want to be able to recover from that without losing the fight.
This means you DO NOT charge straight through a choke at the enemy team.
Ideally, you want your target close in front of you and a wall not far behind
them. When you’re defending a choke, wait until a tank or support has walked
through the choke and then charge sideways across the choke at them. This way
when your charge ends you are still in the defending side of the choke and you
DO NOT charge off a
cliff, it’s almost never worth it. You will most likely kill the enemy when
they hit a wall anyway, or at least damage them enough that your team can
finish them off.
Try to avoid charging
onto the point as initiation unless you have teammates there who can support you.
The last thing you want is to be separated from your team.
That said, charge is
an extremely powerful tool because it has the ability to open a team right up
by picking a key hero right out of the middle of the team. If you do have
support, by all means charge aggressively onto the point, because even if you
miss the charge you’ll send the whole enemy team back to the point to defend
it. With enough practice, you’ll eventually get a feeling of when it is good to
charge and when you need to walk forward with your shield instead.
You’re most likely to
pin tanks because they are slow moving and have large hitboxes, but supports -
especially mercy - are also valuable picks so choose whichever is likely to
have the best results with the least chance of catastrophic failure.
attacking, targets such as rein and Orisa are good targets, but watch out for
Orisa’s fortify - make sure it’s been used before you charge. While bastion is
a stationary target and easy to hit, you are quickly melted by the damage, so
unless the bastion is immobilised by a shatter or you have a Zarya shield, or
the bastion is distracted by your team, avoid charging at a bastion.
This is great as an
initiator ult for a team fight, so try to use it when there are two or more
enemies in the area of effect. Be very aware of what blocks your ult. Rein,
Orisa and Winston shields stop it dead in it’s tracks, while a Zarya shield
will save their target AND anyone standing behind them. Mei walls will also block
the effect. Try to use your team to bait out or break these before you shatter.
A great opportunity to use shatter is when the enemy Rein is using fire strike
since they can’t put their shield up to block, but you have to be quick if you
do decide to go. Tell your team when you’re going to ult so they don’t blow
extra ults (grav) and so they can get ready to take out the stunned enemies.
After a good shatter, you can often gain as much as 70% of your next ult just
from the damage you do. You won’t get ult from enemies who are stunned but once they get up, you’re already in the middle of them and doing damage. Firestrike and charge the ulted enemies and then start
When you’re swinging
your hammer your shield is down and your team is vulnerable so you have to pick
your moments. In very close chokes such as Hanamura or Hollywood 1st, get in
close, make a single swing, and then quickly put your shield up again. This
minimises the time your team is left exposed.
When the team is on
the point and all hell breaks loose, it’s a different story. Swing that hammer
at low hp enemies to finish them off, or at groups of enemies to exploit the
fact that your hammer hits everyone in its arc. Always remember your shield
though, and alternating between shield and swing is important. You want about a
60/40 split of hammer/shield, with more shield if you’re taking a lot of damage.
Your ult can charge surprisingly fast like this, so be sure to use your
shatter if there is a good opportunity to do so.
another good Rein is one of the great joys in the game. Your main job is to
protect your team, but you also play a big part in ensuring the enemy Rein
can’t do their job.
The enemy team will
be gathered behind the shield and Rein moves slowly so he’s a great target for
firestrikes. Try to jump out of the way of the enemy firestrikes if you can.
Sometimes dropping your shield for faster movement is worth it to deny the
enemy rein ult charge.
Rein, and tanks in
general, are good charge targets.
Shatter when the
enemy Rein doesn’t have their shield up, after it’s been broken or while
they’re firestriking. Try to bait out the enemy ult by momentarily dropping
your shield when you know the rein has ult and pretending to use firestrike,
but instead bring the shield up again to block the shatter.
Try to figure out
when an enemy rein has ult by looking at how they position themselves and how
they act. Some players are very eager to use ult and baiting them can draw it
out pretty easily if they have it.
D.Va’s Defense Matrix
can delete your firestrike, so try to strike when it’s on cooldown. Sometimes,
coordinating a firestrike just before a Zarya, Hanzo or Mei ult can ensure DM
is on cooldown so the ult won’t get eaten.
Your shield blocks his
hook, so keeping it up will save your team from being picked. When you
firestrike you are vulnerable to hooks yourself so try to stay out of range or
be somewhere the hook will break. Close range he is dangerous but also an easy
charge target, but beware of being hooked after the charge.
There’s not much you
can do against a free roaming Pharah apart from asking your team for
assistance. Try not to be too distracted by the Pharah and keep your shield
focused on where the other enemies are unless your teammates are very low.
These heroes melt
your shields very quickly. Use map cover as much as you can, But if your shield
isn’t staying up long enough to be useful, consider switching to Orisa or
Snipers (fight toe to toe you cowards)
You’re the team’s
main protection against these threats, and you have to rely on your team to
take them out. Call out sniper positions and keep your shield up as much as
Attacking and Defending
attacking, you want to play more aggressively. Your firestrike becomes a
valuable tool for making opening picks or taking out a torb turret, and your
charge is a good way of peeling open the enemy defense. If you have a lot of
heals, you can afford to play very aggressively but make sure you don’t
overextend. Your shatter is a great way to secure the win in a team fight. Even
taking out a support and one other player with a shatter can really turn the
tide of a battle. Exploit the fact that your ult starts charging the second you
use your ult and do as much damage as you can while the enemy is down.
defending, play a lot more conservatively. Use your charge to punish enemies
who push too far into your team, and use your firestrike to do damage to key
targets like tanks and supports. Your shatter can shut down a push completely
and it’s a great way of stopping the enemy from reaching the point in overtime.
How do I get better?
The only way you’re
going to get better is by practice and perseverance. Spend time playing Rein
and try to think about what you’re doing and where you’re positioned. When you
die, or lose a push, or miss a shatter, don’t get upset. Instead, try to think
what you could of done differently to improve your play. Losses are always
going to happen no matter how well you play so be gracious in defeat, because
if you’re angry or bitter you’ll learn nothing about how to play better next