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Wrecking Ball guide (Hammond) - Tips, tricks and strategy advice - Overwatch

Our essential guide to playing the latest tank hero to hit Overwatch.

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

Our Overwatch Hammond (Wrecking Ball) guide contains tips, tricks, strategy advice, counter advice, and everything else you need to master this new tank hero.

We’d like to take a moment to applaud Blizzard for having us on this entire time. Hammond was first revealed to us when Horizon Lunar Colony made its grand entrance as a map that would bring us closer to Winston’s story. If Winston was a curious, gentle (mostly) “Yin”, then practically everyone believed Hammond to be his “Yang” - a raging, hyper intelligent ape out for revenge.

Nope, it’s a Hamster. Hammond the Hamster. In a mech equipped with miniguns. Well done Blizzard.

Overwatch’s latest hero actually goes by the name Wrecking Ball, the enormous mech that Hammond controls. It’s similar to D.Va’s mech at first glance, but give it a whirl and you’ll find it’s very different indeed. Honestly, we’d liken Wrecking Ball to one of those Droidekas from Star Wars. You can go from a minigun-wielding, towering menace of a robot, to a sphere that rolls around the battlefield at a blistering pace.

Wrecking Ball’s even got a rappel you can attach to objects to career around corners with and his Ultimate coats the ground with a load of lethal mines. We’re fans of this new hero.

Below we’ve put together everything you need to know about Wrecking Ball, including a breakdown of his abilities, skins, emotes and more. Expect further updates over time!

Editor's Note: For Wrecking Ball's release we've tidied up the existing tips on this page, added in a brand new "When should I pick Wrecking Ball?" section and included a gallery of all his skins towards the bottom of the page.

Wrecking Ball: All Abilities

To kick things off, let’s do a quick overview of all Wrecking Ball’s abilities. We’ll be adding in some tips for making the most out of each one throughout the day - stay tuned.

  • Quad Cannons [LMB]- Automatic assault weapons.
  • Roll [L.Shift]- Transform into a ball and increase maximum movement speed.
  • Grappling Claw [RMB]- Launch a grappling claw to rapidly swing around the area. Enables high speed collisions to damage and knockback enemies.
  • Adaptive Shield [E]- Create temporary personal shields. Amount increases with more enemies nearby.
  • Minefield [Q]- Deploy a massive field of proximity mines.
  • Piledriver [L.Ctrl]- Slam into the ground below to damage and launch enemies upward.

Wrecking Ball: Ability Specific Tips

Quad Cannons

  • While they might not seem like they're capable of doing much harm, they're actually a lot stronger than they look. You've got a big chamber of bullets to spew at enemies and it's suprising how quickly you can whittle down vulnerable targets if you keep the reticule trained on them until it's time to reload.
  • Remember that your Quad Cannons are your primary damage source, so avoid prioritising Roll and Piledriver when in a fight. Engage your Adaptive Shield and take the time to rain bullets on enemies as you'll have a much bigger impact on the outcome of each battle.
  • We've made the mistake of ignoring enemy tanks with this weapon believing that it won't even dent their health bars, but you'll be surprised at how pelting them with Quad Cannons can really harm their advances and force them to back off.

Roll

  • Think of this as your main tool for traversing maps faster than anyone else in the game.
  • Be aware that you're still pretty vulnerable when rolling around, so do your utmost to avoid barrelling into teams without any backup.
  • Junkrat's trap can still immobilise you in Roll form.
  • Bump into someone with Roll and it won't deal any damage. It's purely for utility.
  • Roll is best combined with Grappling Claw to fling yourself across the map and onto highground.
  • If you're in the air, look for opportunities to drop onto the enemy team with devastating Piledriver.

Adaptive Shield

  • It's absolutely essential that you're using this when you're near the enemy team. You'll gain a heftier shield this way and give you far more survivability too.
  • You can't pop Adaptive Shield when in Roll form. You can only activate it before and after.
  • We'd recommend using Adaptive Shield after you've emerged from Roll form, or after you've Piledrived a few unlucky enemies.

Minefield

  • Combine Minefield with Zarya's Ultimate and you've got yourself a potential team wipe. Wait for the Graviton, drop your mines right in the centre and they'll have no choice but to soak up all the damage.
  • Drop your Minefield in a tight corridor or sweep it across a certain space to zone enemies or prevent them from reaching a location without taking a hit to the health bar.

Piledriver

  • Use Piledriver to engage a fight a bang. Even just stunning one damage dealer or healer can immediately swing things in your favour from the outset.
  • Piledriver has an initial wind-up of around one second. Bear this in mind when you're above an enemy as they'll be given a brief chance to escape.
  • Once you've landed Piledriver, engage Adaptive Shield to prevent taking too much damage.

Wrecking Ball: Tips and Tricks

  • You can't pop Adaptive Shield while you're in Roll form, so there are two ways you can go about getting the most from your shield. Pop it before activating Roll so you can barge into the backline with a buffer, or just after you've re-entered mech form in the middle of battle for an extra boost of survivability.
  • Don't be afraid to use Roll to escape a fight if things aren't going as planned. Grappling Hook's also a great way of building momentum quickly!
  • Minefield is Wrecking Ball's Ultimate and should be used primarily as a zoning tool. Place mines down a corridor so you can escape or unleash them in the middle of a skirmish to force enemies into repositioning.
  • Be wary that the mines take a second to activate.
  • Piledriver's the hardest ability to make the most of as it can only be activated when you've gained some air time. The best way to do this is to enter Roll form, aim your Grappling Hook up a wall and as you're in the air, press Piledriver. Of course, you can also press [Space] off a set of stairs or a clear drop before activating Piledriver too.
  • Combine your Roll, Grappling Hook and Minefield to shower mines over enemies as you soar through the air.
  • It's difficult, but try and aim your Piledriver over vulnerable targets to pop them in the air and make them prime targets for your allies to clean up.
  • Grappling Hook doesn't deal any damage to enemies and Roll won't either. Combine the two, gain enough speed and you'll gain a fiery aura. This means any enemies you hit will take a small amount of damage and get knocked back.
  • Fire Grappling Hook under an archway while you're rolling and you'll fling yourself into the air with ease. Combine this with Piledriver for an aerial slam.
  • You're primary damage source comes from Quad Cannons, not Roll, Grappling Hook or otherwise. Don't go overboard and use Roll all the time as you won't be involved in fights enough. Think of them as forms of utility!

When should I pick Wrecking Ball?

Wrecking Ball's kit isn't like a Reinhardt or Brigitte. He can't stand on the frontline and soak up damage, so instead you've got to focus on being a disruptive menace capable of manipulating the outcome of teamfights.

It's best to choose Wrecking Ball when the enemy has a team a number of offensive heroes like Genji, Tracer and Doomfist. They all rely on harassing your backline and have to get quite close in order to do so. You're mobile enough to put an end to this, and tanky enough to absorb damage too.

If you're playing a dive composition, then Wrecking Ball also fits the bill with this mobility. Piledriver's also a great way of initiating fights as soon as your team has closed in on the point.

Wrecking Ball struggles against heroes who are able to poke away at him from a distance or lay down serious amount of burst damage. Junkrat's able to ensnare Wrecking Ball in his traps and his grenades are tough to dodge in both mech and ball form. Widowmaker and Hanzo also pose threats as they can keep a safe distance while Wrecking Ball has no way of taking them out from afar.

Wrecking Ball: Video guides and gameplay

Overwatch Central have done a brilliant job of breaking down Wrecking Ball's abilities and showing off some gameplay in a competitive environment.

Video by Overwatch Central

Here are some key takeaways:

- You're actually quite vulnerable when in Roll form, so don't go barreling into the enemy team without backup.

- Use your mobility to reach high ground, escape and harass the backline.

- It's best to use your Adaptive Shield when surrounded by enemies as you'll gain a higher armour bonus.

- Use the knockback from your Roll to smack vulnerable enemies out of position.

- Don't go overboard with the Roll and Grappling Hook combo, most of your damage will stem from using Quad Cannons effectively.

Wrecking Ball: Skins

This concludes the third edition of our Wrecking Ball guide, but we'll keep this updated as time goes by, stay tuned!

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