Overwatch Pharah is a particularly interesting hero because she has the ability to fly. Although it is for a limited time, it allows her to sow death and chaos from the sky among her opponents. Armed with a rocket launcher that can do concentrated damage or spread destruction over an area of effect, she is actually quite a target for snipers on the opposing team. Playing this character required judgement and finesse, and that’s exactly what this pro playing article is all about.
Overwatch Pharah – Background Story
Pharah is an Egyptian security agent based in Giza, and affiliated with Helix Security. She belongs to a family of highly decorated warriors and soldiers, and has a subtle sense of honor. Pharah is a reasonable pick on most maps, as her mobility is almost limitless, and her damage is not insignificant. Whether in defense, attack, or point capture, if your team requires a good DPS, you could do worse than to choose Pharah.
- Use the left click to launch rockets.
- Press shift to fly, and space to stay in the air.
- Access E to fend off your opponents with Pharah’s concussive blast.
- Press A to launch her ultimate ability.
Overwatch Pharah’s skills
The Rocket Launcher
The agile Pharah uses her main weapon to fire rockets that can inflict significant damage in a large area of effect. The damage of the rockets is so significant, that Pharah’s only weakness is her relatively low hit points. However, as you will see, Pharah has a wide range of skills that can help her to preserve her life.
Reactors within Overwatch Pharah’s armor power jump jets that allow Pharah to fly. Pharah’s jump jet also allows her to hover. Remember, though, that she can only fly for a limited period, which is represented by a timer. Remember also that the jump jets have a ten seconds cooldown.
The jump jets remain Pharah’s main capability, as they make her one of the most agile heroes in Overwatch. While Pharah’s jump jets allow her to attack from above, or to reach structures that few other heroes could, the role of the jump jets is also more tactical. For example, the jump jets can be used for scouting, as Pharah flies over a map, discovering the location of members of the opposing team.
The jump jets can also be used for highly tactical attacks, from the rear of or from the flank of an opposing team. Certain heroes are almost indestructible from the front, but very vulnerable from the rear. Bastion is one such example, with a vulnerable headshot area in the rear. As Overwatch Pharah, you can fly behind a Bastion that is holding up your team, and destroy him. The same applies to Reinhardt. Attacking vulnerable heroes from the rear, or surprising an opposing team by such an attack, can destroy the coherence of their defense, and cause it to crumble before your forces.
Overflying an opposing team is an ideal way to open up a defense, forcing an enemy team to give ground. The only vulnerability is that you become an ideal target for the opposing team, and there is very little place in which to take cover in the air. The ideal is to stay mobile so that you can fly behind buildings when an opposing team targets you. You need to be especially careful of snipers like Widowmaker or Hanzo, or Torbjörn’s turret.
Overwatch Pharah launches a special wrist rocket that violently repels all enemies in its vicinity. This can be used in a number of ways, not least of which is to push enemies into environmental kills. A well placed concussive blast can push an entire team off the edge of a chasm. Another capability of the concussive blast is that it severely depletes shields. In certain maps, it can force enemies away from an objective, or push then out of their formation, flush them from hiding places, or simply disorient a team that is in offence or defense.
However, concussive blast can also be used as an escape route by Overwatch Pharah herself, as she does not take damage from it, and so can use it to quickly propel herself away from a fight.
Overwatch Pharah’s Ultimate – Barrage
Barrage is Pharah’s ultimate skill and possibly one of the best ways to do heavy damage in Overwatch. Pharah fires a continuous stream of mini-rockets that can destroy groups of enemies on the ground. The rockets cause damage in an area of effect, which can decimate an opponent’s offence and defense.
This ultimate ability also has another advantage, since it allows you to not consume fuel when used in the air during a fight.
However, Pharah’s ultimate ability is also her ultimate weakness
While it might be the best way to massacre an entire opposing team, it is also the best way to make yourself the target of that entire team, and considering how little cover there is in the air, is perhaps the best way to get yourself killed and wait for the next respawn.
So you have to pay attention to certain things while using barrage
Firstly, do not get too high in the sky before unleashing this ability, otherwise the rockets will disperse over to wide an area, which massively reduces the effect of this ability upon affected opponents.
Also, the higher you are in the sky, the less chance you have of finding any cover, which turns Pharah into an ideal target. This skill must be used with cunning, usually after coming up behind an enemy that this distracted by other members of your team. You must use Pharah’s flight capability to put her in an advantageous position, so that barrage can catch the opposing team by surprise.
Playing Overwatch Pharah effectively
Overwatch Pharah has just 200 hit points, and must compensate for this with her high mobility. She is capable of covering large distances in the time it takes for her jump jets to be depleted, and can reach most places on a map without much difficulty. Pharah can also deal an enormous amount of damage, with her ultimate ability launching thirty rockets per second for three seconds, with each rocket inflicting forty damage. With a combined damage of 3600 Pharah can potentially reduce Reinhardt to dust despite his shield, armor and health.
Accuracy can be difficult
Pharah’s rocket launcher works rather similarly to Junkrat’s grenade launcher. Each rocket does 120 damage, but Pharah’s rate of fire is lower than that of Junkrat. It is advised that you try to directly hit your target with the missiles. However, that can become difficult when you are faced with an extremely mobile target like Tracer. With this in mind, aiming at the ground or at the point where your opponent will be when your missile arrives is a better option.
Your flight capability can allow you to place yourself very advantageously
At high areas of the map, however, you are both visible and vulnerable, so you should learn how to use your flight capability to best effect to allow you to ambush enemies. Remember that your flight capability allows you to not only reach targets that usually ambush others, such as Widowmaker, but also to bypass obstacles. Do not hesitate to fly over Reinhardt’s shield, putting the opposing team in considerable difficulty.
In dangerous situations do not hesitate to use Pharah’s area of effect damage, rather than aiming precisely. Pharah is fragile, so you should concentrate on evading enemy fire as much as upon causing damage.
Remember, when you play Pharah, that part of her role is to defeat opponents that are blocking the path of your team, such as Torbjörn’s turret, Reinhardt shield, or a Bastion in sentinel mode. To be effective in this role, however, you must use a strafing technique, rather than a direct attack.
Flight capability in tactics
You must use your flight capability to take you to an inaccessible high position that is still hidden from the opposing team, but within range of them. If you play Pharah, you must co-ordinate and communicate with your team members to be sure to attack at the right time. You must then let your team members attack and engage the opposing team.
Once your team members have engaged the opposing team, and are occupying the opposing team’s attention, you can then swing into action by flying out of cover, shooting at the opposing team, using your ultimate attack on them, and then flying back to another hiding place. It goes without saying that in order to do this effectively, you need to know all the maps as well as the back of your hand; and especially those portions of the maps that provide the best cover for Pharah, and which can only be used by her.
Pharah, more than almost any other Overwatch character, requires a great deal of practice to master, as well as spending a lot of time exploring all the Overwatch maps.
Reinhardt is an obvious synergy with Pharah, as he can offer her a shield that can dramatically increase her chances of survival. With Reinhardt by her side, Pharah has the ability to strike at an opposing team with devastating damage while herself being protected from enemy fire. Most opposing teams will hammer at Reinhardt’s shield, while being decimated by Pharah’s rockets in the process. This is, of course, the classic DPS–tank combination. The main problem for Pharah is aiming effectively. As her rockets are relatively slow moving, you must show considerable judgement in aiming where an opponent will be when the rocket arrives.
Mei is an excellent synergy with Pharah because the snow queen has the ability to massively slow opponents or even freeze them on the spot if she manages to deal them seventy points of damage with her weapon. This, of course, makes them an easy target for Pharah.
Mercy is an ally of choice for Pharah, because the Egyptian hero disastrously lacks any ability to heal herself. Pharah can also massively benefit from Mercy’s damage boost when using her ultimate attack, to make it even more destructive. Provided that the support can manage to keep up with Pharah as she flies, it is a deadly combination. Another hero that Pharah synergies very well with is Zarya.
Pharah is strong against
It goes without saying that Pharah is extremely strong against Bastion and Torbjörn, as these are two relatively immobile heroes. Bastion, in his turret configuration, and the dwarf, with his need to stay close to his turret to repair it, are both very vulnerable to Pharah. Pharah can therefore down both these heroes with very limited risk.
Reaper and Junkrat are very formidable in their own areas of effectiveness, but those areas of effectiveness don’t include the sky. Therefore, Pharah can threaten them from heights at which it is impossible for them to retaliate against her.
Using your strengths most effectively
Reinhardt’s shield is very vulnerable to Pharah’s fire power. However, using barrage against a Reinhardt shield could be rather a waste if you have a Bastion in your team, for example, who could simply deplete it with sheer DPS. However, in certain situations, you can very well use barrage to deplete Reinhardt’s shield, such as when there are no other options, and your team is ready to follow it through with the destruction of the opposing team. Basically you would use it in a situation where it could be a game changer.
Counters to Overwatch Pharah
Since Pharah must regularly land to recharge her jump jets, she is vulnerable at these times, and even when she is not very high in the air. One of McCree’s grenade could easily sign Pharah’s death warrant.
Hanzo and Widowmaker are the two biggest threats to Pharah. While she can escape attacks from the ground by taking to the heights, this actually puts her right in the field of fire of these two snipers, as they are already ont the heights and waiting for a clear target.
Pharah is also vulnerable to being caught by Roadhog’s steel hook. If Roadhog catches you with his grapple, your life expectancy can be measured in moments. Therefore, if you see this hero on the ground, be sure to keep your distance, and especially to stay out of range of his steel hook.
Maps that favor Overwatch Pharah
Pharah is an exceedingly versatile character, and can play reasonably well on virtually every map. Though she is labeled as an attack hero, she also can excel in defensive situations, if she combines and synergies with other characters in those situations. For example, its rather obvious that Pharah is an excellent support when your team is attacking, as she fires her streams of rockets at the most powerful enemies, destroying turrets and forcing the enemy team to take cover with preemptive fire.
Other applications of Pharah’s strengths
However, the fact is that her capabilities are just as valid in defense. When your team is defending a point, Pharah is just as capable of unleashing her massive DPS at an attacking enemy team in this situation, depriving them of mobility, blocking them from using certain high risk passages, and them away from key spots. This is especially true, when as we explained earlier Pharah’s skills can pierce Reinhardt’s defenses, who will then not be able to ensure the advance of the payload, or that of his team.
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Overwatch Pharah is best played by someone who does not hesitate to exploit the character’s qualities, without necessarily aiming at the perfect frag. It is extremely frustrating for an opposing team to face a well-played Pharah, as their health is depleted by a character who appears seemingly out of nowhere, to unleash a barrage of lethal and extremely damaging rockets.
Once Pharah has damaged an opposing team, her teammates can move in to finish the job. This is Pharah, arguably one of the most mobile and damaging heroes in Overwatch. It only remains to add your personality and your own unique style of play to this character to give it absolutely lethal capabilities in game.
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