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There’s a reason Overwatch is one of the most popular shooters of this generation. It has great gunplay, imaginative characters, and varied abilities. Its short and punchy matches give way to beautifully choreographed competitive games that can take the better part of an hour to complete. It’s just such a shame that you have to play it with other people. Playing with friends might be fun, but daring to join a game by yourself can end in frustrating disaster. Whether your team fails to communicate, fails to assist you, or just generally fails, newly released hero Ashe can save the day, as she takes on more or less every role you need in a game.
Ashe isn’t perfect, but her particular set of skills allows you to flex into whatever role is sorely missing from a team that doesn’t work together. She might not fix everything, but if you’re tired of your team not picking up the slack you can probably do alright with Ashe.
Team composition is one of the common problems when queuing by yourself in Overwatch. While the game tries to gently encourage the teams to play with a complementary loadout, it rarely works out in practice. Tanks are incredibly useful for soaking up damage and initiating pushes, but are an unpopular choice for a lot of players.
But equally as frustrating are teams that can’t communicate properly. Offensive heroes often rush to the front and to fail protect the backline of healers from flankers or snipers. Teams hardly focus on high priority targets, allowing them to slip away or disrupt key elements of your own team makeup. Ashe can’t heal or soak up much damage but she is versatile enough to help avoid these issues if you play her well enough.
B.O.B., Do Something!
Ashe can provide some much needed relief to a beleaguered team. If your tank isn’t initiating a push when you need them to, Ashe’s ultimate can save the day. B.O.B., a gigantic robotic henchman charges straight forward, bulldozing defensive lines and allowing your team to rush in. Ashe’s mix of weaponry can also provide support for the healers, as she can focus down pesky snipers and any other long-range combatant. Closer targets can be dealt with or pushed back by the sawn-off, allowing low-mobility heroes the chance to escape. Even teams of squishy enemies can be effectively dispatched with a well-placed dynamite.
But that’s not all. Ashe’s sawn-off powered mobility can even be utilized for flanking if you know the maps well enough. But assuming your team is already stuffed with the usual plethora of Genjis, Tracers, and Reapers, her repeater is excellently complimented with a tank’s shield that allow you to slow down and line up killer shots.
Obviously, its unlikely one player with be able to simultaneously launch a successful push while providing covering fire from an encamped Widowmaker and fending off an aggressively chirpy Tracer. But assuming even the worst teams are managing one or two of these tasks, Ashe can just about handle the rest.
Unfortunately, she does have drawbacks. Her ultimate charges slowly, so using B.O.B. as a substitute tank can’t be frequently used strategy. And with her mobility tied to her sawn-off attack, you can often be left out of luck after launching yourself into a skirmish. Worst of all, without any way of healing herself, Ashe is left to the mercy of Mercy, any the other healers, or your knowledge of medkit locations.
An Unlikely Hybrid Among Hybrids
As Overwatch’s rooster of heroes continues to grow, we are starting to see more and more experimentation come from Blizzard. These new heroes are starting to take on more and more roles, and Ashe is no different. From the very first additional hero, we saw that the Overwatch team likes to create hybrid heroes. Ana is a sniper and a healer. Brigitte is also a healer but with some tank-like properties. All these new heroes were designed to encompass several roles for the team.
But, despite the initial appearance, Ashe is the most hybrid class of them all. While she might look like a standard Damage character at first glance, her abilities allow her to flexibly fit into so many roles. While she notably lacks healing and obviously can’t hold her own against an entire team, she can squeeze herself into whatever the team might be missing. We’ve had healing snipers and even healing tanks, and now we have a flexible offensive hero that is perfect for the solo player who is tired of completely relying on others. As long as your team isn’t absent from the match, Ashe will almost always be able to pick up some of the slack and become a valuable member of composition.