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Reaper guide - 2017 - Overwatch

Our essential and updated guide to taking charge with Reaper in Overwatch.

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About John Bedford

John is Metabomb's Editor in Chief, and is responsible for all of the Hearthstone news, features and guides content on the site.

Our Reaper hero guide for Overwatch contains loads of tips, tricks and strategy advice for mastering this sinister hero.

Reaper's an Overwatch hero who will suit those assassins who like to get right up in an opponent's face before dishing out the pain. His Hellfire Shotguns pack a hell of a punch, firing off two shots every second from an ammo clip of eight. This angel of death can also glide around the battlefield with total immunity, or even teleport to a new location within his field of view. True to his name, the very grim Reaper can also harvest a tasty 50 points of health from the souls of his deceased victims.

Because of these special abilities, Reaper tends to be a good pick if you don't mind operating as something of a lone wolf in Overwatch. You'll be spending most of your time scouting around the map, picking off any enemies you find who are close to death, getting behind enemy lines to take down turrets, and otherwise frustrating the opposing team's core elements of defense. He's an outstanding pick when battle's reached something of an impasse, and you need a hero to help your team push through in order to make significant progress.

In today's Overwatch Hero guide, we'll break down all of Reaper's core abilities and explain how each one can be used to provide your team with a powerful advantage on every map and game mode. After that, we'll talk through some tried and tested tips that will help you make a bigger impact on the battlefield. We've also got the lowdown on all of Reaper's special Lootbox unlocks for you, just in case you fancy sprucing his looks up a bit.

Editor's note - Update #4: We've completely overhauled the cosmetics section of this guide to reflect the many news additions to this area of the game over the last 12 months or so. We've also added a little extra advice for playing Reaper on specific maps.

A new event has just hit Overwatch! Check out our essential Retribution guide for all the tips, tricks and strategy advice you need to master this new PVE mode.

Reaper's abilities and strategy tips

Reaper's got a few tricks up his generous sleeves, and they really set him apart from the rest of Overwatch's heroes. Here's everything you need to know about his combat moves.

Hellfire Shotguns [LMB] - Reaper's core weapons can dish out an immense amount of damage, but there's a large element of spray to their output which means you need to get right up close to an opponent if you want to enjoy the full effect of these deadly guns. Thios doesn't mean they can't be effective at all from range, and they're still capable of doing a small amount of damage to a large shield.

Wraith Form [SHIFT] - When in Wraith Form, Reaper will be immune to all damage but also incapable of firing his own weapons. Note that you move a little quicker while this is active, which makes the skill useful both for escaping to safety, and getting back into the thick of battle after respawning. A final important note about this skill - the activation process also removes any debuffs that Reaper might have been afflicted with.

Shadow Step [E] - Arguably Reaper's most powerful Ability, Shadow Step allows you to mark out a forward position in your current field of view and then - after a short delay - whizz over to that spot. If you've even been frustrated by an enemy turret, you can well understand just how much of a game-changer this ability can be. Use this to pick apart your opponent's defenses wherever possible.

Death Blossom [Q] - Every Hero in Overwatch has a juicy Ultimate ability to enjoy, and Reaper's is called - appropriately enough - Death Blossom. When detonated, this skill will unload Reaper's weaponfire extremely rapidly in the direction of all nearby enemies. Note, however, that Reaper can still be taken down while unleashing this particular flavour of fury.

AbilityAmmoFire RateCast TimeDurationCooldown / ReloadDamageRange
Hellfire Shotguns82 RPS--1.5s2-7 per-
Wraith Form---3s8s-20-22m
Shadow Step--2.5s2s10s-35m
Death Blossom-170 p/s-3s-5108m radius

Struggling to score your kills with Reaper? Here are a few tips that should help boost your kill streaks.

  • Death Blossom is particularly powerful if you use it while jumping down from height. This adds an extra layer of surprise that your opponents may not be able to account for in time. Grab their juicy soul globes as well for an instant health pool pick-me-up!
  • You can use Reaper's mobility Abilities to get behind tanks and turrets and pick them to pieces while their shields point uselessly ahead of them. You never want to charge into battle with this deadly assassin - rather, you should be picking targets and ticking them off one by one.
  • A particular powerful combo involves using Shadow Step to get close to the enemy, then dropping Death Blossom onto your fresh batch of victims.
  • The casting of Shadow Step is pretty apparent to any nearby enemies, so only use it to either escape or head to a position that you feel absolutely sure is safe. Be ready to start firing when you drop out of this mode.
  • Here's a tip for staying out of the clutches of a Reaper. If you see his discarded pistols on the floor, watch out! The game stores a handful of these at any one time, and he may well be close by with a fresh round of ammunition, just waiting to be unloaded into your face.
  • While Reaper cannot use his weapons while in Wraith Form, he can collection health packs and Soul Globes. Try to use this period of invulnerability to top your health up a little. Note that Wraith Form also removes any debuffs you have active on you.
  • Try to avoid activating Shadow Step when you're out in the open. You're very vulnerable while it charges up, and a Widowmaker in particularly would just love to take your head clean off while you prepare your relocation!

Map-specific advice for Reaper

An intricate knowledge of the game's maps is vital when it comes to mastering Reaper. His strength comes from travelling the paths less travelled after all, and giving his enemies a thoroughly unpleasant surprise.

Reaper: Assault tips (Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries)

On attack - and if the enemy have come far too close your spawn point - you should try to Wraith, Shadow Step or do whatever else it takes to get around to their rear and drop one or two of their team. Otherwise your goal is to flank in by whatever means is possible and pick off the team's Support or Tank. Just be ready to use Wraith Form when the heat gets too much, and get to safety.

When defending, Reaperr again excels at using side passages to pick off the enemy who are choosing to sneak their way in, or just to generally disrupt their progress. If the team is travelling as a pack and you can get in behind them, all the better.

Reaper: Control tips (Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal, Oasis)

Reaper's not quite as effective a pick on these maps, but once you've actually taken the point he's good for roaming around the edges of the enemy team's approah path and picking off the backline support to seriously hamper the enemy's push.

You want to seize the element of surprise when dropping Death Blossom on these maps. Try to drop down from height before letting ripe with this Ultimate, as it'll cause the maximum confusion for the enemy team. You really don't want to let them see you coming with this...

Reaper: Escort tips (Dorado, Route 66, Watchpoint: Gibraltar)

Coming soon!

Reaper: Hybrid tips (Hollywood, King's Row, Numbani)

Coming soon!

Our most popular Overwatch articles:

Reaper counters and match-ups

As with every Hero in the game, there are good and bad targets to pick a fight with for Reaper. Here's a quick look at some of his most important match-ups.

Reaper is strong againstReaper is weak against
BastionGenji
MeiMcCree
WinstonPharah

As well as the prime targets outlined above, Reaper's also good at dealing with other tanks like Reinhardt, Torbjorn and his bothersome turrets, and Support heroes like Mercy. A possible exception to this final category concerns Lucio, who can all but negate Reaper's Ultimate with his own. Lucio's buffs also make Reaper's life that little bit harder as he tries to punch through.

For help with other heroes, make sure you check out our complete Overwatch: Counters guide.

Reaper Skins, Victory Poses, Emotes and Voice Lines

Like every Overwatch Hero, Reaper has some pretty cool customisation options to work towards. Here's a complete list of all of the items (minus sprays) that you can either purchase or get out of Loot Boxes - fingers crossed...

UnlockCostNotes
Skins
Classic0Common
Blood75Rare
Midnight75Rare
Moss75Rare
Royal75Rare
Desert250 Epic
Wight250Epic
ShiverSeasonalEpic
Blackwatch Reyes1000Legendary
El Blanco1000Legendary
Mariachi1000Legendary
Nevermore1000Legendary
Plague Doctor1000Legendary
PumpkinSeasonalLegendary
Emotes
Heroic0Common
Cackle250Epic
DanceSeasonalEpic
Not Impressed250Epic
Shrug250Epic
Slice250Epic
Slow Clap250Epic
Take A Knee250Epic
Victory Pose
Heroic0Common
Casual75Rare
Enigmatic75Rare
MedalSeasonalRare
Menacing75Rare
R.I.P.SeasonalRare
Shrug75Rare
Voice Line
Amateur HourSeasonalCommon
Dead Man Walking25Common
Give Me A Break25Common
Haven't I Killed You25Common
Holiday SpiritSeasonalCommon
I Work The Graveyard ShiftSeasonalCommon
I'll See You In HellSeasonalCommon
I'm Back In Black75Common
If It Lives, I Can Kill It75Common
It's In The RefrigeratorSeasonalCommon
Moving OnSeasonalCommon
Next25Common
No One Left BehindSeasonalCommon
Now Those Are FireworksSeasonalCommon
Psychopath75Common
Seen A Ghost?75Common
Too Easy25Common
Was That All?25Common
What Are You Looking At0Common
Highlight Intro
Heroic0Common
Random0Common
Death Blossom250Epic
Eternal Rest250Epic
Executioner250Epic
Shadow Step250Epic

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