How To Counter Zarya In Overwatch 2

EsportsHeaven 2023-03-09 12:00:47

Zarya. She walks forward, takes space, and can even allow her teammates to do the same.  This flexibility can seem overwhelming and oppressive in the right hands. As one of the premier secondary tanks in Overwatch 1, her role in Overwatch 2 opens a brand new playstyle. One that centers around facilitating her team more than anything.  And that can be tricky to wrap your head around. So how do you counter Zarya in Overwatch 2? The key is to slow things down.  The way Zarya functions now is fairly similar but her use cases are much wider. With the move to one tank in Overwatch 2, Zarya now has two charges of her Particle Barrier. With one less tank on the field in Overwatch 2 and the added resources available to the team, Zarya fills a unique niche. In a sense, she enables DPS picks to better control space and duel opponents.  This all stems from her cooldowns and, like many cooldown-based tanks, the way you counter them is to eat away at their resources. And countering a strong Zarya player is no different. Which heroes would be best at slowing down the tempo of the game? Well I'm glad you asked!     DPS   Ashe and most mid-to-long range hitscan threats are strong into Zarya. Ashe specifically due to her consistent pressure with Dynamite alongside her overall pick potential.  Cassidy and Sojourn are also strong candidates as well for their ability to score a quick kill before the Zarya can react. Quick first kills and high sustained damage makes Ashe a strong counter here.  Tracer can be potent but using Pulse Bomb has to be a much more intentional. If you're too flippant with your Pulse Bombs into a quick Zarya, you'll just be trading a bubble for your ultimate.  However, Tracer oftentimes is enough pressure to bait out Zarya's first bubble without committing much. It is riskier, but Tracer is worth a shot when countering Zarya.  Mei is also a great go-to counter for Zarya. Ice Wall not only cuts her off from any form of support, but this also goes for DPS aiming to receive support from Zarya. Limiting line of sight is a very, very powerful tool, so don't sleep on Mei.    Tank   First and foremost, let's address the tanks we shouldn't look to play into Zarya.  D.Va should be avoided at all costs. Nothing D.Va can provide plays well into Zarya and her Defense Matrix doesn't protect against beam weapons.  Junker Queen and Roadhog's pick potential get mostly countered with Zarya's bubbles.
Also read: How to Counter Bastion in Overwatch 2
Doomfist has a difficult time harassing the backline due to Zarya's second charge of Particle Barrier.  And Orisa can only rely on Fortify to protect herself, leaving her really dependent on landing Energy Javelins.  This leaves picks like Sigma, Winston and Ramattra. Sigma and Ramattra do a fantastic job of slowing down the tempo of the game and allowing high-pressure situations that force Zarya to want to use her bubble. Landing a high-impact stun with Sigma or through sheer damage with Ramattra, Zarya's resources should quickly dwindle, costing her team precious space. Reinhardt provides protection but can find it difficult to provide openings outside of Earthshatter. That said, while it's not incredibly engaging, you will bully Zarya with how long you can walk forward.    Supports   Zenyatta with his Discord Orb can really become a nuisance to the enemy Zarya. Increasing the damage done to a specific target can result in some fast picks. This alone will counter a Zarya or, at the very least, slow her down quite a bit.  Zenyatta also provides high consistent damage on his own merits and his ultimate Transcendence counters Graviton Surge one-for-one. 5/5 good counter, would pick Zenyatta again. Brigitte plays directly into Zarya's effective range and can displace her enemies to slow down the enemy. Either Zarya's DPS or the tank herself will have to respect your Brigitte or fear being shoved backwards losing precious bubble uptime.  Again the goal is to either bait out Zarya's cooldowns through a consistent bombardment of damage. You need time and space for that. So Lucio, while tricky, can also help your team kite the enemy Zarya, effectively countering her as well.  Lastly, while she doesn't inherently "counter" Zarya, Moira does provide some close-range throughput that allows your team to stay in the fight longer. With how much damage Zarya can output, your team is also going to need a support that can pump the healing numbers and Moira isn't a bad fit.
Images via Blizzard Entertainment

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