I've never watched any of the HP films, nor have I read anything past the first seven books. Armed with scarce knowledge of HP lore, here's how to play Pharah:
- The element of surprise. The greatest of the seventeen elements the mages in the Harry Potter universe can wield, this is also the greatest weapon of a Pharah. A predictable Pharah is a dead Pharah.
- Off-angles and flanks. Like floo powder and flu medicine, those are two different things that you have to figure out which to do at the right times. The only right answer is to not be near your main tank and stay in LOS of your off-healer.
- Flight control. You know how Harry Potter won a quidditch world championship and brought it home when he was four? It was all thanks to his flight control. This leads directly into –
- Using cover. You know how Harry Potter got his forehead scar because he was a dumbass that floated in the open over the quidditch pitch and got hit upside the head by a thrown Viking war axe? Don't be that guy. Take cover.
Angles and Potions
The most potent thing a Pharah could do is take a good angle and engage at the correct timings. The potion ingredients are:
- A vanishingly small amount of common sense
- Being able to use the common sense you have
Fortunately, they can both be substituted with literally nothing. Just follow these steps:
- Make sure the entire enemy team combined can never see both of your shoulders at the same time.
- The sky is NOT cover.
- Make sure you can count up to five people alive on your team, other than you. I recommend using your mouse hand to count instead of your keyboard hand, since you might be flying over a pit.
- Make sure you're not floating over a pit for anything other than a rotation or a kill, because you will float into it.
- That's it, everything else is completely up to you. You're playing Pharah, you have more movement space than almost any hero in the game, use it.
This is Pharah's bread and butter. Her Expelliarmus and Stupefy. At it's core, it has only one use – to boop. The use-cases are to:
- Boop you –
- Out of spawn (free)
- Into an isolated DPS you can probably take in a 1v1
- Away from danger
- Boop voldemort –
- Away from a rez
- Out of position
- Away from Barry Podger's parents (free but it ruins the trilogy)
- Into your own team (free)
The concussion blast, widely known among all none of my friends as the Conca-blasta-adaba-kadabra, is very versatile, but kind of 2-dimensional when boiled down. At any given moment it can only do one thing, and you just have to decide which will be the most useful thing you can do for the next 9 seconds.
Personally, in this order of importance for what to search for with your conca-blasta-adaba-kadabra:
- Boop yourself away from danger
- Boop enemy Mercy rez
- Boop enemy into your own team
- Boop enemy out of position
- Boop into a kill
- Boop Kelly Rodger's parents into the enemy team (it keeps the trilogy alive)
Just don't do into the open when there's literally any hitscan in line of sight of you. And not when you hear any of the hitscans ult. And also not when D.Va ults. And actually if they're a doom one-trick, don't jump-jet either they have a meteor-strike
bug trick for flying enemies.
Don't be near walls when junkrat ults because junkrat mains take our ears as trophies so they hunt us for sport. Speaking of hunting for sport, don't fly near walls in a Pharah v. Pharah – stay out of LOS of the rest of the enemy team though.
The good news is that a kill is always guaranteed with this. The bad news is it might not necessarily be more than one, and it also might not be on the enemy team. When barraging, try not to go beyond roughly the edge of McCree's effective range- you'll figure that out quickly as you play more Pharah. Otherwise, there's no set rule besides
- Fire a rocket right before you barrage – it animation cancels for a free rocket and fully reloads your launcher.
- Even a single enemy kill is worth it.
- If literally anyone on your team has an ult, do your best to combo with them.
- Don't hold it too long
- It's really funny to fly directly over a door-choke-thing like King's Row's second choke then just drop and barrage when they walk through.
Q1: I don't have a mercy pocket so I can't be as cool as you?
A1: Good question, a mercy pocket would let a Pharah pop off, and some might argue that it's the only way a Pharah is viable. A Pharah should be playable at least under masters without a mercy pocket in a way that the Pharah is not worse than any other hitscan. Worse comes to worse just embrace the mythical ground pharah.
Q2: I run out of fuel a lot, how do I not?
A2: Jump jet + rocket for height, hover jet to… well… hover. Just tap it gently until you start going up, then release for half a second, then tap it again. It should last you long enough to get shot in the head by the enemy DPS.
Q3: How come these are getting more and more low effort?
A3: They're still plenty of effort, I just have finals and uni's been kicking me in the ass. It'll probably get worse before it gets better. And also I already picked all the low hanging fruit now I have to start coming up with new material >:(
I enjoy playing Pharah, this is what I know of her and some of the mistakes I spot Pharah players making both on mine and the enemy team. Idk, she's a fairly simple hero and really only her angles get a bit complicated and you can kinda squint and rule-ify it and I'm sure someone will correct me and I'll learn something new about how to play pharah.
- Pharah changes from the perspective of a GM Pharah
- Flexing to a hero you’re much worse at- how much does team comp matter?
- how to check stats for every support in an lfg (revised)
More about OverwatchPost: "Fantastic Off-Angles and How to Find Them, except it’s a Pharah Guide and I don’t really like Rowling" specifically for the game Overwatch. Other useful information about this game:
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