Winning the Reinhardt/Ana Matchup

TLDR: I want tips/discussion on you win the frontline fight in the Rein/Ana mirror as Rein/Ana. See replay for example

Hello r/OverwatchUniversity,

Context: I am ranked mid-to-high Plat on both Tank and Support Roles (currently 2793 and 2802 respectively). I have 70 hours played in Reinhardt and 41 hours on Ana. I would say Reinhardt is my best hero and I nearly got into Diamond this season with him. I'm realizing my Ana is pretty mediocre/bad, my ability usage/aim in particular is pretty bad for my rank so I need a lot of practice.

In my ranked grind, I find myself often performing poorly in the Reinhardt/Ana mirror, a fairly common matchup in my games. Since I play both Tank and Support roles, I try to apply the gamesense from one role to the other, but I am still stumped on why this matchup is so difficult for me.

As Reinhardt, I find that:

  • I often get punished while swinging hammer or launching Firestrike with Antinade and sometimes Sleep Dart
  • I do try to look for the Antinades and Sleeps to block with shield, but enemy Ana's seem able to hold their abilities until I am pressured to drop shield (or just go for a firestrike when I shouldn't)
  • Recently I am even getting slept during or just after my Shatter animation

As Ana, I find that:

  • Enemy Reins are usually blocking my abilities with their shield
  • I see hardly any periods of vulnerability (such as launching Firestrike), or when I do, I cannot react fast enough to capitalize
  • If I play far back from the frontline (playing safe/conservative), the travel time for my abilities seems to long to punish the Rein for dropping shield
  • If I play close to frontline (aggressive) to land abilities, I get punished by their frontline or DPS, end up using abilities defensively and too often die early in the fight anyways

Some general thoughts I have about these issues:

  • In general, Reinhardt needs to avoid being vulnerable (swinging hammer, launching Firestrike or even Shatter) when away from cover in the sightline of threats
  • I suspect really good Ana's are anticipating windows of vulnerability (when will Rein drop shield to reposition? when will he go for firestrike/charge/shatter?) and send out abilities just before, while the shield is still up
  • Enemy Ana's sometimes send grenades right to the corner that I am holding as Rein; I don't see the ability coming (no Line of Sight to enemies, safe to drop shield, right?) so I get hit in cover
  • If enemy Ana's save abilities to punish me in the frontline duel, they probably aren't being pressured by my friendly DPS who could force them to use abilities defensively (but I cannot control that, I am focusing on my play)
  • As Ana, difficult to save abilities to win frontline matchup if I need to peel for myself OR if our frontline is taking a lot of damage so I go for the friendly grenade

To help this discussion, I am including a replay for a recent game of mine. I reviewed my match and tried to include a helpful writeup focusing on the Rein/Ana gameplay.

I wouldn't mind this being a replay review thread (there's a lot I need to improve on beyond the Rein/Ana dynamic), but I'd also just be interested in getting some general advice from knowledgeable players about the matchup (not just specific to this particular game).

I also have a replay for a loss where I was the Ana player. However, this writeup is already way too long, so I won't include it here, but if this discussion takes off I'd be happy to follow up with that.

Thanks for reading!


Reinhardt Loss on Kings Row

Replay Code: ZKJH0Z

IGN: Blanderman

  • Start of match, I see friendly Ana holding high ground back left of point, I decide to hold at statue thinking that sightline would work for her (should I instead have held the hotel corner close to point?)
  • 00:00:54: I step out from cover with Zarya bubble (probably a bit too far), retreat with shield, enemy Ana rotates behind her Rein to hotel, she launches a sleep dart WHILE I AM HOLDING SHIELD (anticipating me dropping shield?), I drop shield (mistakenly thinking I was safe, to restore shield) and get slept.
  • Enemy Rein goes to pin me while sleeping, friendly McCree stuns him out of it, friendly Ana has now rotated to high ground behind point, she sends out grenade right around when enemy Rein goes for pin, hitting both Reins, we kill Rein and clean up a few more, winning first push.
  • 00:02:49: Friendly Ana goes for sleep on enemy Rein after he was nano'd and misses, sends grenade that hits both Reins during his Shatter (good) but she can't follow up and heal me since she gets hit by his Shatter, so I die. Enemy commits two more ults and clean up fight, taking point.
  • 00:03:19: Enemy didn't take space away from point, my team has grouped up so I decide to hold at the arch, in the replay I see friendly Ana went for a Sleep while the Rein had his shield down, it was up in time to block
  • 00:03:35: We get a pick, I try to play aggressive and end up taking too much damage, friendly McCree with the deep angle probably thinking same thing but enemy Ana hits him with sleep and antinade, I cover him and friendly Ana uses grenade to hit both Reins as enemy pushes up. Friendly Ana sent her nade while enemy Rein had his shield up, but he dropped it to push up (did she anticipate the shield drop? its a long distance for the nade to travel).
  • 00:03:55: Friendly Zarya gets 4 man grav, friendly Hanzo launches Dragons, I step forward thinking I'm going to clean up the fight but only Baptiste dies, so I end up feeding (I lost LoS from my healers), my team tries to give up space but they get chased down and we are staggered, this is my oof! of the game
  • 00:06:04: We have regrouped to contest cart, I hold behind cart, both teams dump a few ults into the Rein melee, at one point enemy Rein has shield up to our team, he turns around and friendly Ana nades both Reins
  • We lose our Zarya to a Deadeye, I push up and get a 4 person shatter behind their Rein (but I'm behind cart, not in LoS of our Ana), our Ana hits a good grenade on our area, but enemy Ana hits a nade on me and herself as she gets up, before I can finish her off
  • 00:07:01: Enemy Ana goes for a sleep on me, barely around the corner, I am going for a firestrike and get slept, follows up with easy antinade as I am waking up. Somehow we don't lose to that, or even to my pretty bad pin attempt, but we do lose to a big shatter (I was firestriking instead of positioning to block it, yes I know one of my problems!). Enemy caps point
  • Attacking round starts around 00:09:16.
  • 00:10:45 I get nano'd, pretty sure the nano was meant for our Genji's Blade (I can relate to this Ana), trying to make the best of it I go around the statue, get my Shatter blocked, and I get slept shortly afterwards (I should have been able to block it if I noticed it), we lose the push but I do turn around and block the next grenade! (and die anyways)
  • 00:11:21 Friendly Zarya hits a grav on their frontline, I pivot to the statue so I can swing at their tanks without LoS on their backline, but their ana hits a grenade on me (around the corner) and their tanks. Our Ana went for a grenade but it hits the Rein shield right before it breaks (is she timing it to hit as the shield breaks?). I'd say that sequence of events basically countered the 2 man grav, we don't win that push
  • 00:12:22 Fight on point starts with me getting nano'd, both Rein's trade Shatter, our Ana has attention focused on McCree in hotel (understandable, she is pressured by him), I realize I'm dropping in health so I back off briefly, enemy Ana goes for nade on me while I am swinging, I don't see/react and get hit by the nade at half health, I get pushed and die
  • 00:13:08 Last teamfight, time almost expired so need to fight on point, so I walk toward the ulting McCree with shield up, shield breaks (friendly Ana dies), I am taking a lot of damage even through friendly Transcendence and a bubble, I back up breifly and eat an antinade and die. I think between the timer and the smart enemy ult usage, that was a lost fight anyways, but I could still improve my micro play there


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