How to counter Reinhardt: heroes, strategies, and tips

 How to counter Reinhardt: heroes, strategies, and tips

Reinhardt is countered by heroes with a high damage or abilities able to break his shield quickly. Junkrat, Reaper, Pharah, and Sombra are among the best choices.

I decided to complement my Overwatch counter list with a series of guides explaining how to counter each character. All the articles contain info on heroes, strategies, and tips.

This is a long project that will require months of work, but eventually all the heroes will be covered. I am aware that the game keeps changing with each major patch, and that there is an almost endless amount of mechanics and interactions among the heroes, so the guides will be updated over time with further info.

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Reinhardt

Strong Against

Ashe, Hanzo, Soldier: 76, Widowmaker

 

Weak Against

Bastion, Doomfist, Junkrat, Mei, Moira, Pharah, Reaper, Sombra, Torbjorn

 

Using D.Va’s Self-Destruct against Reinhardt

Reinhardt’s Barrier Field is obviously a great counter to D.Va’s Self-Destruct because he can use it to protect himself and the entire team. There are some methods to counter his impenetrable shield:

Charge him. This is the best way to deal with it: ask the Reinhardt in your team to charge the opponent one, and then drop your bomb at the right time. If you are well-coordinated, the enemy Reinhardt won’t have the chance to both dodge the charge and protect his team from your ultimate.

Break the shield. This is the second best approach which I suggest the most in solo queue. Due to the lack of communication within the team, it is preferable waiting for the shield to be down. Most players just mindlessly attack the barrier, so there are good chances you will be able to predict the exact time it will break, and time your ultimate accordingly.

Combo with other abilities and ultimates. Heroes such as Sombra and Mei are a perfect choice because they can disable the shield and limit the opponent’s movements, so they won’t be able to escape from the area of the impact. Zarya’s Graviton Surge is particularly strong if the shield is down, otherwise you might even waste the bomb.

Exploit the positioning mistakes. The victories in most pub games are determined by the mistakes committed by the loser team. For example, if the entire enemy team is placed at a certain distance from Reinhardt, you can drop Self-Destruct between him and his teammates, so he won’t have the time to reach and protect them. If the fight takes place in an area without sufficient covers, they won’t be able to avoid the explosion.

Achieve kills indirectly. Self-Destruct can be used as a zoning tool which compels the opponents to leave their current placements, potentially creating chaos in the enemy lines. It can force Reinhardt to turn his back on your team to block the explosion, so they will gain an open line of fire on the enemy heroes. The bomb might not kill anyone, but your team will take advantage of the situation.

DVa Overwatch Nerf This.jpg

Mind games between Reinhardts

The mind games between Reinhardt players are not as prioritary as in the past because now there are several heroes with mobility and/or disables who can interfere and change the tide of the battle.

Nevertheless, as a Reinhardt you must keep track of the enemy’s ultimate charge by calculating his successful Fire Strikes and any extra damage via melee attacks. Likewise, you must do your best to charge your ultimate as soon as possible.

Once the ultimates are ready, the Reinhardt who drops or breaks the shield at the wrong time might doom his entire team as Earthshatter is a big AoE disable with a 2.5s stun duration.

You can try baiting the opponent’s ultimate by dropping your shield for a few moments (alert your teammates to avoid unnecessary deaths) and blocking Earthshatter at the right time. If he falls into the trap, you will gain a massive advantage and the chance to engage in combat to advance past the choke (or to hold the position for a longer time if you are playing as the defenders).

Do not Fire Strike the enemy Reinhardt at a close or medium distance if he might have the ultimate charged up because he will exploit the momentum to Earthshatter you.

Reinhardt versus hitscan heroes

Just a few words on the hitscan heroes I have indicated among those who are weak against Reinhardt.

Any kind of barrier with a reasonable duration is superb against them because it protects the team (particularly the squishy support) preventing most kills and headshot attempts.

The snipers will be forced to flank the shield, exploit Reinhardt’s mistakes (such as a shield dropped or broken at the wrong time), or capitalize on the wrong positions used by the enemy DPS and support players.

Reinhardt Overwatch shield down.jpg

Breaking Barrier Field is crucial to advance

For some reasons, many DPS players believe they must focus all their resources and attention on the shield, so in most average-ranked pub games breaking the shield is a fundamental requisite to move past a choke.

If your team doesn’t have enough sustained damage to destroy Reinhardt’s Barrier Shield, someone must switch character.

Be aware that when the shield will start cracking, Reinhardt will put it down to regenerate it. Considering the general lack of communication within the team, this can be the perfect moment to score a kill on a support or DPS as they might remain in the open for a few seconds.

If you are playing Reinhardt, update your team on the status of the shield so they will have the time to find cover!

The best shield destroyers

Bastion, Junkrat, Reaper, and Pharah are among the heroes who can destroy Barrier Field in the lowest amount of time. In particular, Reaper might become a more popular choice versus tanks in general thanks to the recent nerf to armor.

Bastion

Bastion completely annihilates both Reinhardt and his shield while in Sentry mode, instead the Recon mode doesn’t provide enough sustained damage.

It is worth to note that Reinhardt counters Bastion’s Configuration: Tank because the shield is more than adequate to block all the projectiles.

The Blizzard team announced that Bastion will be reworked in 2019, so hopefully this year he might become a reasonable hero to play against more lineups. At the moment, the hero generates a lot of hate in ranked games, so I suggest to not pick him unless the team agrees with your tactic. At the very least, alert them about your plan, so they won’t think you are trying to throw the game intentionally.

Junkrat

Junkrat can inflict a huge amount of damage with his Frag Launcher. He is both able to break the shield quickly, and to damage the opponents positioned behind it thanks to the projectile’s trajectory and the splash damage.

A well-placed Concussion Mine can also separate Reinhardt from the rest of the team, which gives your own team the chance to initiate a fight.

Rip-Tire is controlled manually by Junkrat, so Reinhardt can’t just block the explosion easily as he does with D.Va’s Self-Destruct. Smart Junkrats won’t certainly activate the bomb just in front of the shield, so as a Reinhardt the best way to deal with Rip-Tire is to Fire Strike it or to bait the explosion with your shield.

I must point out that at higher ranks the entire team knows how to react against Rip-Tire: they try to detect and destroy it quickly together, alerting whenever they spot it. Instead, at lower ranks most players tend to either run randomly, or even to not notice the tire bomb at all.

Junkrat Overwatch Rip-Tire.jpg

Pharah

Pharah is a long-range DPS who can melt the shield from a safe distance, and there is nothing Reinhardt can do to avoid it. A friend of mine who mains Reinhardt love to kill Pharahs with Fire Strike, but this is a lucky occurrence.

Unfortunately, she is a quite powerful hero at lower ranks because most players are unable to aim properly and kill her, particularly if she is constantly healed by Mercy.

As a Reinhardt, the best you can do is keeping her under control and alerting your teammates about her movements. Your shield is useful to protect the hitscan heroes who are dealing with her, but Pharah can flank you easily in most maps, and destroy your barrier and the entire team with Barrage.

Similarly to Junkrat’s Concussion Mine, Pharah’s Concussive Blast can also separate you from the rest of the team.

Sombra

Sombra is very strong against Reinhardt because Hack and EMP block all his abilities, so potentially she can keep his shield down for a good portion of the team fight.

If you decided to engage him, be aware that Reinhardt can kill you easily 1vs1 with his Rocket Hammer if you stay too close. Overall, I suggest shooting him from a nearby high-ground as he won’t be able to fight back, escape, or protect himself.

Mei

Mei can just freeze Reinhardt before he can kill her. Of course, Barrier Field blocks both the primary and the secondary fire of Endothermic Blaster, but in a team fight it is a big nuisance and prevents you from using the shield to protect your teammates.

Blizzard is a massive AoE disable, and if frozen you won’t be able to move or use any ability. This ultimate works the best if in combination with damaging ones such as D.Va’s bomb or Reaper’s Death Blossom.

Ice Wall is a great tool in the hands of an expert player because it can zone out Reinhardt from the rest of the team, potentially killing him or transforming the battle in a 6vs5 situation for 4.5 seconds. This skill is particularly strong at choke points where there isn’t a lot of space for flankers, such as the bridge at the first point of Eichenwalde.

Torbjorn

Torbjorn isn’t in this list thanks to his turret, but due to the new Molten Core. This ultimate grants the team a position advantage by denying space to the enemies. Reinhardt and his team will be forced to relocate because they can’t just stand on the magma, plus it is extremely strong versus armored heroes as it deals bonus damage to armor.

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All the images and hero icons: Blizzard

Vincenzo is an esports writer with five years of experience. Former head editor for Natus Vincere, he has produced content for DreamHack, FACEIT, DOTAFire, 2P, and more. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.