In Overwatch Mei is perhaps one of the best team-support heroes. She is able to use her powers and abilities to actually physically create obstacles on the battlefield, and thus is one of the most strategic and tactical characters. She is perhaps the most dynamic hero in the game, and specializes in defense and control of the battlefield. Though she only has 250 hit points in health, Mei is a potential game changer.
Overwatch Mei – Abilities
The Endothermic Blaster
The Endothermic Blaster works on both the left and right click, and delivers different types of fires for each. On its basic setting, the Mei blaster releases a concentrated short range barrage of ice that damages, slows, and eventually freezes enemies on the spot. The Endothermic Blaster does not inflict a lot of damage, but, of course, its real advantage is in the fact that it slows and freezes opponents.
Do note that the blaster is extremely short range, not extending to about two or three meters out in-game. It’s generally a waste of time to continue using the blaster if an opponent retreats beyond this range. The Endothermic Blaster is extremely effective, and therefore very useful in close quarters or if you come face to face, with an opponent indoors, around a corner, or in a corridor.
The alternate fire of the Endothermic Blaster
It’s important to know that when you use Overwatch Mei’s alternate fire there is a short delay of about 1.2 seconds between the moment you right click and when the shot is fired. Remember that the shot will go not where your blaster is pointing when you click, but rather where your blaster is pointing when the weapon fires. It is therefore important that you use the 1.2 second delay to properly aim the weapon in the right place. Mei’s alternate fire is used with the right click, and is effective at medium to long range.
One of the best ways to use both of Overwatch Mei’s fires in combination in a short range duel is to slow and then freeze the opponent with the basic fire, then use the alternate fire to kill the opponent with a headshot.
When using Cyro-Freeze in Overwatch Mei surrounds herself with the thick block of ice. While the Cyro-Freeze is operating – and it does so for a few seconds – Mei is completely invulnerable to damage, and can heal herself. However, while in Cyro-Freeze, Mei cannot move or use her abilities. One obvious use of Cyro-Freeze is when you happen to be cornered, where you can use it to ward off attacks for a little while, while you shout for your allies to come to your aid.
However, that is only the most obvious use of Cyro-Freeze. Since Mei is completely invulnerable when in Cyro-Freeze, the Cyro-Freeze ability can be used a bait, or even as a diversion. You can throw yourself into the line of fire of an entire enemy team, or into an area surrounded by turrets, and trigger the Cyro-Freeze, so that all enemy fire is focused upon you. This allows your own team to counter attack while the enemy is distracted, and to gain the advantage.
Invulnerability over healing
As you become a more advanced player you will find yourself using this skill more and more for the fact that it grants you invulnerability, rather than merely for the healing. The skill can also be used to cancel out the ultimate attacks of powerful opponents such as Hanzo, Bastion, Zarya, D.Va, Mei herself, and Junkrat.
The Cyro-Freeze can also be used to counter Pharah, though if you have the option of shooting Pharah, that works much better. However, it all depends upon the situation, and in some circumstances the Cyro-Freeze is a better way of countering Pharah. The same goes for McCree, Solder: 76, Roadhog, Reinhardt, though in the case of the last you would still need to be able to recover from his stun. The Cyro-Freeze can also be use to counter Tracer if you realize in time that she has attached one of her explosives to you.
Be alert, because the opportunity to play Cyro-Freeze can vary from situation to situation
For example, sometimes, if Roadhog catches you with his hook, you should spam the Cyro-Freeze button to use it as soon as the ability becomes available again. This is because whether the ability is disabled or not depends upon how Roadhog catches you with his hook, and can be different in differing circumstances. While you can use the Cyro-Freeze as a counter to Reinhardt, the Ice Wall can also be use to counter him, depending upon what the particular circumstances are.
Timing is also crucial when using Cyro-Freeze as a counter
For example, if you encounter McCree in a corridor, or around a corner, but trigger Cyro-Freeze too early, McCree will hold off his attack and then attack when you come out of Cyro-Freeze. However, if you time your Cyro-Freeze too late, you will actually take the brunt of McCree’s attack. This shows how small the window is in which you can use this ability.
While Cyro-Freeze can preserve your life for a few seconds if you are taking the brunt of the attacks of the entire enemy team, there are times when you should use it and there are times when you should not. For example, if your teammates are nearby, and can come to your aid almost instantly, you should use the Cyro-Freeze and shout for help.
However, if there is no one near you, and you cannot possibly survive, then you should not use the Cyro-Freeze, because the extra hit points that the Cyro-Freeze provides will only charge your opponents’ ultimate attacks. You should not give them this advantage.
The Ice Wall
The Ice Wall is perhaps Overwatch Mei’s the greatest tactical advantage. Simply put, she creates a huge wall of ice that can block lines of sight and movement, as well as block attacks. The greatest advantage that Mei has to offer a team, is that her wall of ice can change the very shape of the battlefield, and so allow for advanced tactics and strategies. Walls that cannot be destroyed by the weapons of your enemies can serve as shields, or as a corridor or bridge for your allies. They can serve as a barrier restricting movement, or allow your team to move under cover. Mei’s ice walls can also be used as a trap or cage for your opponents.
Used judicially, this ability gives Mei a considerable advantage
If an opponent like Genji or Reinhardt is pushing you or your team back, putting an ice wall between you and him can provide safety for enough time for your team to recover. Never forget that Mei can also build a wall under her own feet to propel herself to a higher ground or to escape opponents that specialize in hand to hand combat.
Another important tactical use of the wall is to split an opposing team into two
This can be crucially important at times, for example if you can manage to isolate the Reinhardt of the enemy team from the Mercy. However, while using Mei’s ice walls in this way, you should be careful that you place the ice walls precisely, and not in such a manner as to encumber the movements or strategies of your own team. Also, be particularly careful not to place a wall under an opponent, in which case the opponent will rise with the wall and be sited on the top of the wall, allowing him the strategic and tactical advantage of being able to choose which side of the wall he can most advantageously place himself.
Defensive options of the wall
The wall is, obviously, especially useful when defending a point, because it allows you to close off access to that point. On Anubis, for example, your wall can considerably slow down the Reinhardt who is usually used to advance through the center aisle, or it can be used to block the passage to the right. If a sniper is targeting you and your team, and you have to cross an open area, you can use the wall as an extended shield from the snipers, allowing your team to pass that area safely. Mei is not at all a character to play solo, but if you happen to find yourself alone in a corner, the wall can slow the opposing team down for a little while, but will leave you defenseless when it disappears if rest of your team has not arrived by then.
The wall can also be used tactically, to prevent opponents fleeing your Blizzard, or the powerful ultimate attack of some ally. Other defensive uses of the wall are in front of a Reinhardt who has started to charge up, in front of one of Junkrat’s Rip-Tires, or in front of a McCree or a Soldier :76. It has also been noted that Mei’s wall is exceptional against automated turrets. This would not work on Bastion, of course, who would stop firing and change his position as soon as Mei put up a wall. However, against an automated turret, the turret responds as if the wall were not there, and continues to fire, which can prevent it from engaging more vulnerable targets.
The wall can also be use to tactically ‘herd’ the enemy team
For example, if you want the enemy team to use a particular route where your allies lie in ambush, the wall could push them into using that particular route. However, this will obviously not work against tactically more proficient commanders, who will simply wait for the wall to dissipate before pushing on with their own strategy. A much better plan to try convince an enemy team to change its route is to use some character as a diversion or bait to draw then into the new route.
Beware of trying to place the wall just in front of a sniper at long range, because you will often take a headshot in the time it takes you to place the wall, and even then the wall might not be placed correctly. In Escort mode, do remember, if you are defending the payload, that you can place an Ice Wall in any direction except in front of the payload when your convoy is attacked by enemies. If you place an Ice Wall in front of the payload it will instantly stop the advance.
Blizzard is Overwatch Mei’s most powerful ability, and she employs a climate modification drone that creates gusts of wind and snow over a wide area. Enemies caught in the Blizzard will be slowed and damaged, and those who linger too long in the area of effect will be completely frozen. Blizzard is a powerful ability, but it is best used in conjunction with some other heroes’ ultimate attack, for example with D.Va’s Self-Destruct sequence, or by using a Pharah to finish off the enemy team. You must make sure that rest of the team knows when you are going to use the Blizzard.
The Blizzard can be used tactically, to take a control point, as your opponents will be forced to abandon the area when you unleash this ability. It can also be a good idea to unleash a Blizzard when your convoy has only a few meters left to go, as this can discourage your opponents in the very middle of a desperate attack and push them away from the convoy. The Blizzard can also obviously be used when a convoy is in transit, by unleashing it in an area around the payload that you are escorting. As your enemies are frozen, or slowed, you can use your alternate fire, along with the DPS of your allies, to finish them off.
Some more tips
It goes without saying, that in Overwatch Mei cannot directly duel tanks with a lot of health, and if you happen to encounter them alone, it is best to freeze them and flee as quickly as possible. For example, with a Winston, you would possibly not even waste time in trying to kill him, but instead put as much distance between him and you as possible. This is unless he happens to be low on hit points for some reason, which case you will of course make the kill. Mei is especially vulnerable to Pharah, who is a horror to deal with, as is Widowmaker. Against characters like these, the best thing you can do is take cover, or move evasively.
Using the wall under your feet will allow you to rise into the air, and you can use this to tactically change your position.
One way to catch an opponent by surprise by using your Cyro-Freeze is to interrupt it prematurely. This can take some opponents by surprise, who may not expect you to interrupt the Cyro-Freeze before it runs its course.
Overwatch Mei is strong against…
Mei is a character who excels against fast enemies, and against those who need to have an unobstructed view to be effective. When your team is on the attack, Mei’s Ice Wall is the best way to overcome bottlenecks, and to block the sight of snipers, and the heavy fire from turrets like Bastion. Mei is also good in defense against highly mobile enemies. She can limit their movement by placing ice walls, or use her Endothermic Blaster to immobilize these heroes, and render them vulnerable to your DPS allies.
The Endothermic Blaster is also an ideal tool for limiting the capabilities of extremely short range enemies, such as Winston and Reinhardt. The latter’s charge can be interrupted by the Ice Wall. Some of the enemies most vulnerable to Mei are Bastion, D.Va, Reinhardt, Genji, Winston, and Torbjörn.
Overwatch Mei is weak against…
Mei’s vulnerability is the short range of her weapon. She is also helpless before heroes who can break through her freezing capabilities. While Mei’s Cyro-Freeze does allow her to survive some difficult situations, she is extremely vulnerable to characters who are capable of quickly inflicting enormous damage on her before she can activate her Cyro-Freeze. Characters like Reaper, Pharah or Junkrat pose difficulties for Mei. Junkrat, especially, can easily send his grenades over Mei’s ice wall to continue inflicting damage on her and her team.
Lucio can also be a problem for Mei as the movement boost that he offers his allies that can make them difficult for Mei to deal with, and make it difficult for Mei to immobilize them with either her Endothermic Blaster or her Blizzard. Lucio’s natural mobility also makes it difficult for Mei to shoot him, whether with her primary or secondary fire. Characters that are most difficult for Mei to deal with are Junkrat, Widowmaker, Hanzo, Reaper, McCree, and Pharah.
Characters that synergize with Mei
Mei does very well when teamed with heroes who rely upon their aim and extreme damage to get results. Some of the best synergies with Mei are Bastion, D.Va, Junkrat, Reaper, Lucio, Genji, Reinhart, McCree, Zarya, and Soldier: 76.
Learning to play Mei effectively
Remember that in Overwatch Mei is a difficult character to master, and that your first games using her will not be easy. Remember that Mei is far more effective in medium and short range, so you must close the distance between you and your opponent for best effect. Even as you do this, you need to be alert for snipers. Open up with your right click at medium range, and use your left click fire extensively at close range.
You must rely heavily upon your main weapon
Mei is a team player, and cannot be relied upon to make kills. However, she can facilitate kills. It is her task to freeze opponents in with her basic fire or her Blizzard in a team fight leaving the actual kills to the DPS heroes.
Your Ice Wall is a game changer on all its own
Use it to isolate a target from the rest of his team, or to negate a tank, or push it out of the fight. The Ice Wall can also be used to move less mobile characters. If you use it under a character, it will send the character up as the wall rises. Remember that the Ice Wall can be a game changer in more ways than one. Place an ice wall incorrectly, and your team could well lose a fight because of it.
Your Blizzard is very good for taking objectives
Use it at the right time, and the enemy team will be forced to retreat, abandoning the objective. Your Cyro-Freeze ability is also a tactical advantage. Its more obvious use is to activate it when you are about to die. However, one excellent tactical method of using it is to activate it when you are at an objective to capture it while being invulnerable for a certain period of time. Because of this, the opposing team will not be able to shift you.
Brutal in hand to hand combat
Though Overwatch Mei does not look like it, she is actually one of the best duelist in the game, and can take down almost any other character at short range. Of course, the emphasis here is upon short range. If you can get an enemy alone at short range, you can eliminate that opponent.
Remember that Overwatch Mei is a character that is completely oriented towards team work, and play her that way. Yes, you will not appear in the highlights of the game, but your entire team will hinge upon your efforts. Bear in mind when playing Mei that she is at a severe disadvantage in open areas.
Playing Overwatch Mei as a team
This character is not a character that can go solo, so do not use Overwatch Mei to scout. Stay behind your tanks, and help to mitigate as much damage as possible with your Ice Wall. If someone gets too close, and starts to endanger your players, put them down with your Endothermic Blaster.
Your most important task is to use your Ice Wall effectively, placing it correctly to that it benefits your team’s strategies and tactics, so always pay close attention to those around you. As for the Cyro-Freeze, if you have good reflexes you can avoid ultimates from characters like Hanzo, McCree or Tracer.
If you liked this article, don’t forget to read our other pro play articles on Overwatch Characters.