With the recent announcement of the newest hero to join the Overwatch, Ana, it only makes sense to talk about her daughter Pharah!
Pharah has a relatively unique ability for a first-person shooter: the ability to fly! By launching herself in the air, she can stay above everyone else for a huge tactical advantage that no other character really has. The fact is when you're playing Overwatch, chances are you're not going to be looking above you. You might see Pharah in the air from a distance, or if you're at a high vantage point yourself she does stand out, but when Pharah is right up above her enemy, there's almost nothing they can do.
Pharah's Abilities Include:
- Primary Fire
- Pharah's main weapon is a rocket launcher, which is very straightforward as she fires a rocket at wherever she is pointing. These rockets do have a small amount of splash damage, so you don't always need to hit your target dead on. However, hitting an enemy directly does a large amount of damage.
- Concussive Blast
- The first of Pharah's side abilities is a knock back blast that she fires forward. This blast will knock away anyone nearby, including herself. This can be very tricky to use, as it's hard to aim in such a way that it knocks players in the direction you want. I personally find that using the Concussive Blast to knock yourself away from enemies is best, or to use it to break up groups of enemies.
- Jump Jet
- This is Pharah's key ability, the Jump Jet launches you into the air and gives you an enormous tactical advantage over anyone below you. This can also be used to just reach higher vantage points if hovering in the air isn't in your best interests. It's also a fantastic escape from characters like Mei or anyone who might mess you up.
- Mobility Skill: Hover
- By holding down the jump button Pharah will activate her jetpack and propel herself upward very slightly. Her jetpack has a fuel gauge that appears in the middle of the screen that decreases as you hold down the jump button. She can gain a little height by using this ability by itself, but it's best used in conjunction with the Jump Jet. Launch yourself up and stay in the air for a short time. While in the air, you can either keep holding the jump button to keep using fuel, or you can space out your jetfuel and fly for more distance instead of gaining more height.
- Ultimate: Rocket Barrage
- Pharah has an incredibly powerful ultimate. When used, she fires several rockets where she is facing and will stay in the air wherever she uses it. The classic strategy is to Jump Jet yourself into the air and pop your Rocket Barrage onto everyone under you. However, you don't need to be in the air to use it; if you're on the ground or in a tight corridor, you can get a few easy kills. It's worth noting that getting hit with a rocket does not instantly kill an enemy, instead you want to aim for enemies in eyesight and hit them with as many rockets as possible. One last thing to keep in mind, if you're in the air while using this, you are an enormous target for snipers and you don't move at all so be careful.
Tips and Tricks for Playing Pharah
- Like I mentioned earlier, take advantage of the fact that you are the only character that can fly in the air. Enemies below you likely won't be looking up until they notice you.
- If you use your concussive blast while in the air and aim behind yourself, you can get a very fast boost in the direction you need to go. This can be very helpful for catching up if you die.
- There are essentially three different times when your going to be firing your rockets: when you're on the ground, when you're on a high vantage point, and when you're flying in the air. It's very much worth practicing landing your hits in all of these conditions.
- If you're cornered by an enemy, shoot the ground at your enemy while launching yourself into the air, it will both save you and deal damage at the same time. Then, chances are you can get a free shot on the enemy you just jumped from.
Pharah is one of the most powerful direct damage dealers, she can hit enemies from quite a distance, her damage output can be quite high if you land most of your shots, and characters with naturally low health can't do much to her at all. Your main job as Pharah in most cases is to observe your surroundings from the sky and take out enemies that your team won't see. Stealth is your ally in this sense—Pharah won't do that well on the front lines. Pharah's biggest weakness is that while in the air, she can be an easy target for snipers.
Heroes Pharah is Best Against
The bigger the target, the easier they are to hit. Reinhardt and Roadhog are great targets for Pharah, as are stationary and slow heroes like Bastion and Torbjorn (or at least his turret). Mei is also good prey for Pharah, as Mei's weapons won't be able to hit her easily, and she's a slow target. All you really have to watch out for is her ice shield and wall of ice. This is on top of the fact that out of all the heroes that can escape Mei's cold icy grip, Pharah is easily one of the best (next to Tracer).
Junkrat and Reaper can't do much of anything to Pharah, and in general Pharah is quite the support killer. A floating Mercy in the air is a perfect target for Pharah.
Counter Heroes To Watch Out For
Snipers are the bane of Pharah's existence. Really any character that can attack from medium to long range is going to be a struggle for Pharah. While you're in the air, you can't move very quickly at all, and any sniper could quite easily pick you off. While stationary characters and turrets are easy pickings, they can mow you down quite easily. If there's more than one turret in play, I would avoid playing Pharah altogether. Lastly, while Roadhog is a very large target for her, his hook can very easily yank her out of the air, and interrupturrpt her ultimate.
And that is how you play Pharah! Have any strategies I didn't say? Feel free to write a comment below and let us know! If you're enjoying this series and want to see a specific character let me know that too!