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Best Tank Hero - December 2018 (Season 13) - Overwatch

Our updated evaluation of the best Tanks in Overwatch this month.

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About Ed Thorn

Ed joined Metabomb in May 2017 and puts together many guides across the site.

Now that Overwatch is well into its metagame stride, we thought it might be useful to take a look through the roster of Heroes that currently exist, and lay out our ratings of the five tanks you can choose to head into battle with. Like every Overwatch character, each one brings something pretty different to the table, and there's bound to be one that suits your tastes - however us or anyone else might choose to rate them!

This is all perfectly sensible and a good thing indeed, because different Hero designs match different playstyles. Some of these characters fulfil a very traditional role of providing cover for their team as a marching unit, for example, while others specialise in going a little more solo in order to isolate and pick off the more fragile enemy Heroes who would rather be left alone manning the backlines if that's alright with everyone else. Remember as well that they all have situational benefits, so you should keep an open mind on Hero selection as every battle wears on wears on.

For that reason there's a little bit of art mixed in with the science of how we've gone about ranking the tanks in the game this month. First of all, we have to consider which of these Heroes perform better across a broad range of different maps. Then there's the overall balance of power to consider, based on how Blizzard has currently chosen to tune each character's abilities. Finally we consider the metagame as a whole. With each month that passes after launch, players are getting wiser to both playing and countering individual heroes.

We'll be reviewing this list on a monthly basis, taking all of the above into consideration each time. For this reason, should you choose to make this category of character your preference, you might want to keep us bookmarked - you'll always be directed to the latest and most up to date version of this article if you do so.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Tanks are in a good spot right now, with Winston, D.Va, Reinhardt and Zarya all viable in the current meta. Reinhardt still holds the top spot, but by no means does this mean he's the strongest, he's just the most popular pick right now!

Winston's certainly not as dominant as he once was, but can be a great choice for dive compositions when coupled with the likes of Zarya who can bubble him for some extra protection.

Despite Blizzard's constant tweaks, Roadhog's still not gained much traction. His hook still presents some threat, but otherwise he can't compete with all the other tanks who provide more utility to a team. Hopefully we'll see him back in the meta next year.

Tank hero rankings - Season 13

Here's a quick look at the standings, with links to the relevant guides. Read further on down the page for a discussion of how we came to place each tank in our tier list.

RankHeroGuideRole
7RoadhogRoadhog guideTank
6OrisaOrisa guideTank
5Wrecking BallWinston guideTank
4WinstonWinston guideTank
3ZaryaZarya guideTank
2D.VaD.Va guideTank
1ReinhardtReinhardt guideTank

7. Roadhog

Roadhog's not in the best of places right now and it's all down to the rise of barriers, shields, armour packs and consistent healing. His hook and scrap gun don't have the same potency of old, and he ends up being more of a bullet sponge that feeds enemy Ultimates if anything.

However, there are some changes to his Scrap Gun and Hook on the way which may make him much stronger if they go live. Expect to see the return of the hog very soon!

6. Orisa

Orisa's a fantastic pick when it comes to increasing a team's defensive capabilities. Paired with a Reinhardt, it can make things very frustrating for enemy teams as they struggle to break through their Barrier combo. Unfortunately her lack of versatility means that she'll always struggle to break into the top tiers. She's a niche pick and one that fits into a very specific team composition with a particular plan of action. Strong in the right hands, but a risky pick if you're unclear what your team's got in mind.

5. Wrecking Ball

We're not completely sold on Wrecking Ball's capabilities just yet, so that's why we've placed him a little lower than you may have expected. We feel that he lacks the utility of tanks like D.Va and Winston who simply accomplish more when they dive into the opposing team with all their damage mitigation tools.

Give it some time and perhaps Wrecking Ball will gain some traction, but for now he's more of a character who'll round out a dive composition than a main tank who'll hold the frontline.

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3. Winston

Winston once occupied the top spot for a great deal of time, but has since slipped a little since the dive meta's not quite as potent as it used to be. He's still a formidable force when it comes to diving into the fray, laying down a disruptive bubble shield and dipping out of the action when things get too hot. Although, he does need some assistance from Zarya and his team when doing so - unlike the old days!

3. Zarya

Zarya's found herself in a great spot lately, and with good reason too. She pairs well with other frontline heroes like Reinhardt, giving them shields that raise their survivability while siphoning the damage they take to bolster her own. Admittedly, her Energy system can be a little tricky to master but once you've got the hand of balancing ability usage and cooldowns - you're onto a winner.

We're happy to see Zarya back in the competitive fold after a lengthy slump last season. A skilled Zarya player can single-handedly change the course of a match and while she requires more mechanical nouse than some of the other tanks in the roster, we highly recommend picking her up and getting stuck in.

2. D.Va

D.Va's still one of the very best tanks out there, especially if you're aiming to round out a squad with an all-rounder who can accomplish practically everything. She's capable of soaking up damage, harassing the backline, flanking enemies or protecting her most vulnerable healing companions. If there's a tank slot free, more often than not, D.Va is the right choice.

1. Reinhardt

Reinhardt's still clearly the best tank hero in the game right now, having surged in popularity since the death of the dive meta and, well, staying there. He's so strong right now, that he can be played in almost every situation and on every map.

Like all of the best Overwatch characters, there's a simplicity to Reinhardt's character design that makes him extremely effective at his core role, and yet there's mastery to be had for those who want to invest in him more heavily.

Comment on this article

  • annielytics #1 A month ago
    I am not sure I agree with the Winston placement on this list. Firstly, is he really #4? Maybe to some. Secondly and more importantly, he cant just jump in, drop his shield and jump out like in past seasons - With all the boops, stuns, hacks (need I say more) that often find Winston on the battle field post jump in, his ability to quickly swoop out is greatly hampered. It feels like the description at #4 lacked a bit in real world character game play experience, IMHO. As an aside, 100% agree with your D.va placement and call out but I am biased as a D.va main.
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