Beginners Guide to Reinhardt

written by Hopalong

He’s the large man you see in almost every game of Overwatch, the well armored behemoth, and a wielder of an incredibly scary hammer. Sorry Torbjorn mains, we’re talking about Reinhardt. Reinhardt is currently the most picked hero in Overwatch, and has been for quite some time. What’s not to love about Mr. Big Rectangle Man? However, many Rein players find themselves stuck in lower ELOs for various reasons, so my goal here is to reveal the various tricks and tips I use on Rein in ladder and scrims to give myself and my team an advantage.

The first thing you need to iron out is Reinhardt’s incredibly high damage kit. Reinhardt’s primary weapon is his rocket hammer, which deals 75 damage a swing every 0.9 seconds in an absolutely massive hitbox. Rein’s alternate kit damage is his fire strike, a slow moving linear projectile with a 6 second cooldown that does 100 hitpoints of damage to everything in its path, passing through shields. The final damage part of Reinhardt’s kit is his charge. Charge locks Reinhardt in an animation giving him very little control over his left/right movement, and pushing him forward fairly quickly. If you can manage to get square on a target, it will pull them into the animation, dealing 300 damage when you hit an obstacle. Charge also knocks back heroes, dealing 50 damage. The most obvious and most important part of Reinhardt’s kit is his barrier, a 2000 HP shield with a massive hitbox attached to Reinhardt’s arm. When broken, the shield has a 5 second cooldown. The shield regenerates at 195 HP/second when not deployed. The final part of Reinhardt’s kit is his ultimate ability, Earthshatter. Earthshatter has a 0.6 second casting time, and does 50 damage to everyone in a conical area in front of him, knocking them down for 2.5 seconds. The passive charge rate for Earthshatter is 1% every 2.75 seconds, or about 4.5 minutes for a completely passive charge.

Enough numbers, lets talk gameplay. Reinhardt’s primary concern is protecting his team. Reinhardt’s shield is the most durable and active in Overwatch. It’s fast deployment time and good mobility allow it to let teams push into mass amounts of damage without taking that damage to their HP pools. There’s a few ways to do this effectively. The first is hard shielding. Hard shielding is walking with your shield deployed, giving you a reduced movement speed. You generally want to hard shield when there one-shot potential on the enemy team, for example a Widowmaker looking down your shields sightline. The second way to move with Reinhardt’s shield is “shield hopping”. Shield hopping is jumping forward, and after leaving the ground deploying your shield, dropping it again after hitting the ground repeatedly. Reinhardt keeps his momentum in the air while shielding, so He loses very little speed while shield hopping, although making his team more vulnerable. Shield hopping is very useful in fast moving compositions that want to get as close to the fight as quickly as possible

The best way to think about Reinhardt’s shield is as your teams hitpoints, rather than your own. Every point of damage your shield takes is a point of damage that could’ve potentially hurt your team. At the end of the day, your shield is there to keep vulnerable teammate alive while still getting value. A few examples of things you should shield are: Resurrecting Mercys, low HP teammates, or a dueling Widow. Basically, you want to keep your shield up when your team is vulnerable, and not waste it when they’re not. There’s no point in bleeding shield HP for nothing, all it will do is leave you ill prepared for the upcoming fight. Try to move from hard cover to hard cover, using the shield to block everything in between for your team.

We’ll go over some of Reinhardt’s key damage combos next. Tracer and baby will die to 2 swings from Reinhardt’ hammer when they’re not being healed. Most squishies(heroes with less than 200hp) will die to Reinhardt with a a swing-firestrike-swing combo. The idea is that You swing your hammer once, and as soon as you get a damage marker for the swing you fire strike the same target, cancelling the swing animation, then finish it out with a second hammer swing. In just about 2 seconds you can put out 250 damage, enough to kill any squishy in the game. Beyond that, you can weave fire strikes in with swings as often as you want to increase damage output. The more non-chip based damage you can put out, the better. Just keep in mind that pointless fire strikes in to enemy teams will be giving their healers ultimate charge, so try not to be too wasteful with fire strike.

Finally, Earth Shatter. Earth Shatter is an incredibly powerful ultimate. It’s fast charge rate allows it to be in the majority of team fights, and it does well on ladder either combo’d or naked. Earth Shatter charges so incredibly quickly that it can be valuable to just use on 2 enemy heroes. Getting a healer and a DPS or healer and a tank knocked down is invaluable, and most of the time will lead to your DPS or off tank managing a pick. Granted big shatters are nice, but sometimes hard to land depending on the skill of enemy tanks. Dancing with an enemy Reinhardt of similar skill to yourself is simply exhilarating when both of them have Earth Shatter and are looking to engage. Lower ELO Reinhardts often find themselves out of position, so landing 3+ person shatters is fairly easy and common. Just do your best to stay in front of your team to keep their Rein away from a Shatter and consequent team wipes. If you have a stun hero on your team, higher value shatter are easy to land, just communicate with your stun heroes and figure out your timing to get tons of value. Sombra, McCree, Doomfist, and Brig all come to mind first when combo-ing CC with shatter. Against other main tanks, Shatter is usually fairly easy to land. With Orisa you can just walk past her shield soon after she throws it, and with Winston his shield is easy enough to burn down before shattering.

Despite Reinhardt’s numerous counters, and sometimes frustrating play he still remains the go to main tank for nearly every team composition. He is the anchor for the team and a large enticing target for the enemy. His kit allows him to get away with being hyper aggressive when enabled by his team, but also allows him to play defensively to keep a lesser team in the game.

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