Overwatch champion guide - MEI (how to play in-depth)
MEI GUIDE - In depth analysis on how and when to play and dominate your games! (FREEZE!)
2. Strengths and Weaknesses
3. Skills and Abilities
5. How to use your abilities + combos
6. How to play Mei strategically (in-depth)
7. How to improve your mechanics
8. Picks and counterpicks
•Role - Defense
•Difficulty - Mid-High
•What the champion is good for - Mei is essentially the most annoying hero to play against when in the hands of a good player. She is the only hero in the game which can physically disrupt the enemy team without having to risk her live. Unlike Mccree and Hanzo, a good aim is not necessarily required, a well placed Ice Wall can create just as much impact. Mei's true potentials are in defense hybrid and assault maps where her ability to catch enemies and stall time creates the most impact. Mei may not be the strongest hero out there, but her ability to easily disrupt enemy lines makes up for it and is why she deserves her place in the Overwatch champion tier list
•When to pick/not pick - Mei should usually be picked based on several factors. Mei thrives in maps which have significant choke points and should mainly be picked in defense. It requires strong team communication and a team composition which can reliably deal damage. Mei is a very situational pick and should only be chosen when not matched against her counters. Most players like to pick Mei when trying to buy time for their team during Overtime as an example. Because Mei has a 4 second invulnerability as well as a 4.5 second wall which she can hide behind, Mei can easily buy her team the time required for them to hold the point.
Strengths and Weaknesses (in-depth analysis)
•Strengths - One of Mei's main strengths is her crowd control. With the combination of Frost Stream, Blizzard and Ice Wall, Mei can single handedly annihilate the enemy team with little to no effort. Mei is extremely strong in close-up combat due to Frost Stream and her ability to nullify damage and heal with her Cryo-Freeze ability. This buys time for your teammates to join you, which potentially makes Mei unkillalbe. Mei's Icicle Projectiles makes up for her lack in long range combat abilities. When in the hands of a good player, Mei's Icicle Projectiles can make her not only a strong close combat hero, but also a threat in long range combat.
•Weaknesses - Mei is most deadly when extremely accuturate with her Icicle Projectiles. This makes aiming an important assert when it comes to being a good Mei player. Her lack of long range crowd control means that she is required to participate in close-up combats to provide utility for the team. A well placed Ice Wall can create significant impact in a team fight, however, a misplaced Ice Wall can be fatal to allies. For this reason, it is essential to have a good game and surrounding knowledge. One of Mei's major weaknesses is her slow mobility. This makes Mei the center of focus as it is easy to catch her out if her skills are on cooldown.
•Frost Stream (Primary Fire): Mei's blaster unleashes a concentrated, short-range stream of frost that damages, slows, and ultimately freezes enemies in place.
•Icicle Projectiles (Alternate Fire): Mei can also use her blaster to shoot icicle-like projectiles at medium range.
•Cryo-Freeze (Shift): Mei instantly surrounds herself with a block of thick ice. She heals and ignores damage while encased, but cannot move or use abilities.
•Ice Wall (E): Mei generates an enormous ice wall that obstructs lines of sight, stops movement, and blocks attacks.
•Blizzard (Q): Mei deploys a weather-modification drone that emits gusts of wind and snow in a wide area. Enemies caught in the blizzard are slowed and take damage; those who linger too long are frozen solid.
A good aim is required to be effective at medium-long range when playing Mei. Mei's main shooting skill is her alternate fire, Icicle Projectile. Because of its fall-off damage at longer distance, Icicle Projectiles is most efficient in close-mid range. With a fire rate of 1 shot every 0.52 seconds, shooting every shot with precision means Mei can easily eliminate any target without the need of her crowd control. Unlike Hanzo's arrows, Icicle Projectiles do not drop in height over time making Icicle Projectiles easier to hit. The travel speed of Icicle Projectiles is incredibly fast, however, due to the delay for the Icicle Projectile to be launched from the gun, it requires prediction when shooting targets using Icicle Projectiles, similar to Hanzo's arrows.
How to use your abilities + combos
A good Mei player will be able to switch to Ice Wall incredibly fast. Mei's Ice Wall should not always be used for buying time, but also be used for disrupting and catching enemies.
Mei can deal the most damage when headshotting with Icicles Projectile. Keeping this mind, a frozen enemy can easily be headshotted with Icicles Projectile to deal an insane amount of damage, which can take out most heroes. A simple combo for Mei would be to freeze enemies either by using Frost Stream (Primary Fire) or by using Blizzard (Ultimate), followed by Icicles Projectile to the head. In situations when multiple enemies are frozen by Blizzard, it is not always possible to hit every single enemy frozen with Icicles Projectile. This requires knowledge of target prioritization.
When played in maps with choke points, make sure to use Ice Wall to block the choke off only when 1 or 2 enemies have entered. This seperates them from their team making them an easy target and potentially makes the game into a 6v5 for a decent period, making the fight advantageous towards your team. A common use for Ice Wall is to block off enemy entrances on defense. There are both downsides and upsides for this. The obvious upside for this is that it buys your team around 4 seconds. However, when defending on maps where its choke point is close to the enemy spawn such as Kings Row, Ice Walling the entrance would allow enemy teams to rush right through the choke while your Ice Wall is still on cooldown. Keep in mind that there are always multiple entrances that the enemy team can exit.
Making Sure to land many headshot Icicle Projectile is an important aspect when playing Mei. It allows for a fast ultimate charge rate as well as a high damage outcome. Because self heals contribute towards ultimate charge rates, it is okay to use Cryo-Freeze to heal and charge your ultimate, even when there are reliable healers. This is extremely situational however, as it leaves you vulnerable to enemies.
How to play Mei strategically (in-depth)
•Payload maps (attack & defense) - Mei struggles the most in Payload maps. Payload maps revolve around movement and the ability to fight in a constantly changing environment. For this reason it is good for a Mei player to be aware of their surroundings. Mei on defense would be the better pick when coming across payload maps, however she is very situational and you should think about your team composition before selecting her. Your main goal as Mei on Payload maps is to utilize your Ice Wall making sure you wall off those over-extending tanks from their team, and wall those which are a potential threat such as a Soldier in the high ground, or a Mccree using his deadeye etc. It is relatively easy for Mei to take out any flankers using her Frost Stream and Icicle Projectiles combo, making her an anti-flanker pick. Blizzard is Mei's most important skill on payload maps. The ability to zone enemies from a 10 metre radius allows for an easy payload push.
•Capture maps (attack & defense) - Most capture maps consists of a choke point which is where Mei excels in. On Defense, the normal and most efficient strategy that you'd want to do as a Mei player is to wall off an enemy player as they go pass the choke point. This separates them from their team making it an easy target for your team. This strategy buys about 30 seconds for your team, as it turns the game into a 6v5. Nevertheless, a properly positioned Blizzard can act as an insurance when Ice Wall is down to prevent enemies from getting through the choke point. Mei is most effective around choke points, thus you should always hold the choke point as Mei. Nevertheless, Mei on attack in capture maps can work the same way. The same "walling off an enemy" as they pass the choke point strategy should be used. When an enemy over-extends, walling them from their team would provide the same result. This is, of course, harder to perform as the enemy team is defending. Nevertheless, on maps such as Hanamura, there are multiple stategies which can be used to bypass a defending Mei wall. Simply coordinating a team to walk on top of the Ice Wall through the choke point would prevent the enemy Mei from walling the choke point.
•Control maps - Mei can excel in control maps. As a Mei, you want to prioritize on controlling the point using your crowd control. It is important to work with your teammates as Mei does not have a consistent flow of damage, but consistent crowd control. Don't go solo, or at least time your flanks with the attack of your team. Because most control maps have tight corridors, it is important to stay around corners to easily get in close range with enemies without taking too much damage. This close range allows you to perform your Frost Stream and Icicle Projectiles combo, making it extremely easy to take out squishy and moderate healthed enemies. You'll want to save your Blizzard ability for control over the point. If your team is dead, and you feel you can't do much even if you ult, save it. It is much better to regroup and take over the point using Blizzard, then to try and go solo.
How to improve your Mei mechanics
•Basic mechanics you need to know / masterWhen playing Mei, the basic mechanics you'll need is to be able to track enemies well with Frost Stream. This provides crowd control for your team. To actually have a decent impact with Mei, you need to be able to land an Icicle Projectile on a frozen enemy's head. Knowing these simple mechanics, you'll be able to provide your team with sufficient support.
•Advanced mechanics you need to know / masterBeing able to use your Ice Walls to save your teammates and catch over-extending enemies is an advance mechanic you should know in order to create significent impact. Your overall damage comes mainly from Icicle Projectile, so you need to have a decent aim and understand the travel time for these projectiles. You do not want to randomly use your Cryo-Freeze when you've lost some health, but use it smart such as preventing a reinhardt's charge, removing an orb or even prevent getting hit from a high damage skill.
•Pro mechanics you need to know / masterUnderstanding the range of your ultimate and how far you can throw it. Don't throw your ultimate where you think they will run to when they hear it, but where they have to run to. By comboing with your Ice Wall and Blizzard placement, you should be able to prevent the majority of people from escaping, leaving for an easy 2-3 kills. Your E skill (Ice Wall) is not just for catching enemies out, or saving allies when they over-extend, you should also be able to block high hitting or threatening skills such as Zarya's Ultimate, Pharah's Ultimate, Reinhardt's Flamestrike and Charge etc. You will need to know and master travelling with Ice Wall over certain terrains to get into tight spots and flank, giving your enemies a surprise. This makes Mei from a once low mobile hero, to a potential dangerous flanker.
Picks and counterpicks
Pick Mei when your team has reliable damage. It is also a good idea to pick her when your team lacks the teamfighting force, as picking out enemies would make it a whole lot easier to team fight.
Mei is easily countered by Pharah, Junkrat, Widowmaker, Reaper, Mercy, Zarya. Pharah, Widowmaker and Junkrat has the ability to poke you from a far making it extremely difficult to position. While stronger close range DPS such as Reaper will easily beat you in a 1 on 1 combat.
Playing against a good Mei
We've all had that frustrated and annoyed feeling when a Mei freezes you, blocks you off, and even snipes you from a mile away. If you meet these sorts of players, Pharah would probably be the best pick to poke her down, and get her out of the way of enemy team. In some situation, a good tracer or genji who knows the limits of Mei can easily distract her and cause problems.
This Mei guide give a well rounded information about how to play the hero. A million situations can arise that are not described in here, but if you get experienced with the champion you will instantly know what to do. Mei is one of the most challenging heroes in the game but can become an extreme threat when played correctly. If you can master all the mechanics of Mei, you'll become an a-mei-zing Mei player, and dashing through the ranks should not be a problem!
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