On this page you'll find tips for countering Pharah in Overwatch, without upsetting the balance of your team composition.
If there’s one epidemic that’s spreading throughout Overwatch, it’s a total inability to deal calmly with a Pharah who’s killing everyone on your team. A good Pharah is immensely mobile, and capable of hitting you with her rockets from anywhere at any given moment. Lose track of her, and she may well even tilt your team off the planet with a well-delivered Barrage.
Often we see teams respond to Pharah in ways that are actually more detrimental to their chances of victory. Damage dealers - particularly Soldier: 76 - are yelled at for not focusing her, team compositions are destroyed as others scramble to find a counter that ends up creating more vulnerabilities. It’s not always a simple problem to solve.
Sometimes, all you need to do is switch to a different hero within your current team role, so that you can respond to the threat without upsetting the fundamental balance of your team.
Here are a few options that anyone can try, and take some of the pressure of Soldier: 76 at the same time.
Get Ana on the case
If you’re playing as Ana and find yourself screaming at Soldier:76 to, ‘do his job properly’, you’re already making the situation worse. She’s a sniper, which means she’s perfectly equipped to weaken or finish off a Pharah with some nicely placed shots - harass her as much as you can.
With that said, don’t focus all your attention towards killing the Pharah, as healing your team still remains a top priority. Just make it so she’s less comfortable in the sky, and help your damage dealers out when you can. Be sure you’re not being part of the problem by not adapting yourself.
D.Va’s a great counter pick
D.Va’s the perfect tank hero for bullying Pharah out of the air. She’s capable of flying right in her face and chipping away at her health at the same time. Her Defence Matrix can also completely negate Pharah’s rockets and Ultimate abilities, meaning that if you stick to her, she’s unlikely to have any impact at all.
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Zenyatta should focus on using his Orb of Discord
While he embodies peace in Overwatch, we’re looking to bring out Zenyatta's nasty side and send Pharah spiralling from air in double quick time. It’s as easy as slapping an Orb of Discord on the target as she’s floating about. This’ll significantly increase the amount of damage she takes from enemies and make her think twice about facing your team again.
If you’ve got a mic, communicate to your team that you’ve just plonked an orb of death on her head. If you can get a few of your own damage-dealing shots in as well, even better, but don’t let yourself become blinded to the healing needs of your team in the process.
Potentially the hardest counter to Pharah, a decent Widowmaker with a deadly aim can frighten her out the sky. Incite fear by taking the high ground and sitting there, propelling bullets into Pharah’s skull. It won’t be long before she switches, especially if her body has already thumped to the ground a few times over.
Even if you're not the best shot in the world - and even if it's not an optimal change for your team - switching to Widowmaker even for a little can be enough to rattle the enemy Pharah into switching. It's a surprisingly effective way of tipping the scales in your team's favour.
We wanted to pick these primary characters that you can switch to, to make that difference. If you’ve got any other tips to deal with a Pharah, let us know in the comments.