Our pick of the best Reinhardt players in the world, and the tips and tricks you can learn from studying their best plays.
As one of the most popular tanks in Overwatch, Reinhardt is a go-to hero for many players determined to make themselves the first line of defence for his friends. Not only is he an anchor for the team to sit behind, he’s also capable of stunning an enemy team with his game-changing Earth Shatter, or crushing almost any hero’s health bar with a Charge and hammer blow.
Although the players we’re highlighting in this round-up represent the very best of the best - and have well-hone mechanical skills - we believe that there’s a lot to be learned from their mastery of the hero, and regardless your current skill level. Compare their own approach to combat with your own, and try working small changes into your Reinhardt play little by little.
You will improve if you do so!
Kaiser’s the main tank player for Korean team Runaway, which took the recent OGN Apex Season 2 tournament by storm. Coming into the tournament as the underdogs, his impeccable Reinhardt play went a long way towards proving they deserved to be among the best in the world. What’s more, he’s responsible for one of the most clutch five-man Earth Shatters to ever hit Overwatch - and it’s one that ultimately cemented their place in the grand final.
Throughout these highlights, take note of just how aggressive his Reinhardt playstyle really is. While many players would struggle to get away with such ballsy plays, Kaiser always makes the situation work in his favour.
Consider his uncanny ability to find the perfect moment to land an Earth Shatter.
From 4:30 on the defending team, you’ll see how his team are being forced backwards as the enemy Reinhardt pushes forwards. Kaiser predicts that the enemy Reinhardt is going to throw down his Ultimate, so he keeps his shield up and simply sidesteps the Earth Shatter with a neat little jump.
He then notices that the enemy Reinhardt is looking to capitalise on his stunned opponents with his shield lowered and hammer swinging, so he drops a counter Shatter of his own, knocking the entire enemy team to the floor.
It’s this acute awareness of both the enemy team’s movements and the status of their Ultimate abilities that you should take away from watching Kaiser play. With each Reinhardt game you play from now on, focus on the enemy’s ability usage and this will help you predict what’s about to be flung your way. It will only be a matter of time before you start dodging Earth Shatters and pinning your targets at just the right moment yourself.
The vast majority of Reinhardt players will position themselves defensively, mainly holding their shield up with the intention of protecting their team and letting them dish out the damage. Notice from 6:15 onwards how Kaiser isn’t sitting back and playing passively. He’s taking on a Tracer whom he duly Firestrikes, before moving forwards and pinning Winston. It’s a simple passage of events, but one that you can learn a lot from.
We have to acknowledge of course that he’s able to play so aggressively because he trusts his team, while doing the same with a bunch of randoms might end in disaster. With that said, we still believe it highlights the importance of injecting some initiative into your Reinhardt play, especially if you’re guilty of going into auto-pilot and raising your shield 99% of the time.
Cocco is a Swedish player currently playing for team EnVyUs, winners of Overwatch Apex Season 1.
Using Lucio’s speed boost at 1:25, he sprints to the right of the enemy Reinhardt and immediately drops an Earth Shatter. Flanking and even hiding for a surprise Ultimate can be really effective.
At 7:52 he hits an Earth Shatter on Roadhog and Ana. It failed to stun the whole team, so why are we highlighting it? Well, by hitting these two targets he’s taken out both an enemy tank and healer. This means that by thinning the numbers, the enemy are then forced to fight 4 vs 6 - an encounter they are very unlikely to win.
Note also that throughout the game Cocco makes the enemy Soldier:76’s life an absolute nightmare. He uses his Barrier Field to block most of Soldier’s bullets, even chasing him down and bludgeoning him to death from around 2:22!
Panker is a tank player for Korean team Kongdoo Uncia.
We’ve picked out two videos and separated the highlights into two sections.
Every Charge you’ll see Panker hit is short and sweet. He never charges headlong into the enemy team - hoping to pick someone out from the pack - and instead he’ll seek out the nearest targets causing trouble to him and proceed to slam them against a wall.
As a general rule of thumb, we ourselves like to pretend that our SHIFT key doesn’t work when playing Reinhardt and only activates when we’re absolutely certain the Charge is worth it. Never throw caution to the wind and career into the enemy team from a mile off - it’ll leave you and your team as good as dead.
Like Kaiser, Panker has the ability to lay down a devastating Earthshatter as soon as the enemy Reinhardt drops his shield. This time we see McCree Flashbang above the enemy Reinhardt’s shield at 1:51 onwards, stunning him and creating the perfect opportunity for Panker to bludgeon the opposing team.
Take note of how he never gets too keen and charges into the stunned enemy team. He maximises his damage output by Firestriking the low-health targets, and then smacking them all with his Rocket Hammer. Cleverly, he only turns his attention to Roadhog until the end, know full well that if he’d focused him from the start, the enemy team would still be alive.
From 1:20 onwards, notice how Panker covers ground more quickly by popping his shield while jumping, rather than creeping forward with it up. Isn’t he just taking free damage though? Yes he is, but that’s allowing his healers to build a little Ultimate charge too.
Again, it’s the little things that make him a great Reinhardt player. At 4:10 he pushes forwards into the enemy team, although his Barrier Field’s charge is declining rapidly. Rather than sticking to his guns and getting eliminated, he wisely takes a step back and sits behind the wall, waiting for both his shield to regenerate and his healers to top him back up. Remember that you aren’t an unstoppable force, and sometimes the smartest decision is to back out of a fight to gather yourself and consider another plan of action.
One brilliant counter-Earth Shatter comes in at 11:19 when the team all get caught up in Zarya’s Graviton Surge. He hears the enemy Genji unsheathe his Dragonblade, and without any hesitation at all, he unleashes an Earth Shatter to catch them all off guard. This is a great example of how Reinhardt’s Ultimate isn’t only a great way of initiating a fight, but also a great way of negating enemy Ultimates.
Another Swedish player, this time for team Misfits.
At 2:11 he sidesteps an Earth Shatter, hits a counter Ultimate, and then proceeds to charge the enemy Reinhardt, taking him out of the equation for his team.
Bear witness to the insane prediction Charge at 2:48 as well. It’ll take you a lot of practise before you can pull this kind of move off, but we thought you’d appreciate seeing what’s possible.
Note also that Reinforce is always on the lookout for enemy backlines that can’t escape his Earth Shatter.
Korean team Kongdoo Panthera’s tank player is an incredible force to be reckoned with.
There’s a brilliant opening play on the first choke of Dorado from 1:54 onwards. He pushes forwards and darts to the right, setting himself up for the quick Charge kill on the enemy Reinhardt. Rather than play passively, he takes a risk that pays off. Yes he dies, but Fissure’s given his team the man advantage to push through the choke point. He knows that his spawn is also closer than his enemy’s, meaning he’ll get back into the fight quicker too.
We’re aware we’ve only drawn attention to a handful of the best Reinhardt players and there’s a lot more of them out there. We’ve compiled a list of honourable mentions below, which are well worth checking out and learning from.
Check the links for their streams where one is available: