Overwatch Mei boasts one of the most unique kits in the whole game, so it’s no wonder that she’s generally considered a relatively niche pick. She’s difficult to play properly, but a competent Mei revels in versatility and is probably the most effective nuisance hero in the entire game. Although Mei’s learning curve is steep in Overwatch, you can consistently wreck shop with her if you master her abilities and playstyle.
Overwatch Mei abilities and ultimate
Mei has the most defense-oriented abilities out of Overwatch’s entire damage roster. They’re also some of the most difficult to master. Her first ability, Ice Wall, is constantly used incorrectly in competitive play. Most people use Ice Wall as a last-ditch attempt to block damage, whereas others press the ability as soon as it comes off cooldown. In reality, Ice Wall is best used for covering up lines of sight and isolating targets at choke points. If a Bastion is set up behind a shield on the high ground, placing a wall in front of it will render it completely ineffective, allowing you and your team to push through a choke and beeline toward the point. If you’re the one controlling the choke, however, you can lure an enemy through the point and then build a wall in the narrow space they filtered through, isolating them from their team and allowing you to go one-up before the team fight has even started.
Cryo-Freeze is another ability that should be used sparingly. It allows Mei to regenerate health inside an invulnerable cryogenic stasis pod, but once the ability timer is out, Mei is left susceptible to attack. It’s best to use this in conjunction with Ice Wall so that you can play unpredictably. Be ready to place your Ice Wall in a way that will provide you with an escape route before you jump out of your pod, and try to jump out earlier than necessary to throw your opponents off. Cryo-Freeze is also a fantastic ability for stalling points in overtime, and because you’re invulnerable within it, it can shield your teammates from area-of-effect damage like D.Va’s Self-Destruct.
Mei’s Ultimate ability is called Blizzard. Although many people use Blizzard as an attempt to stay alive after being overwhelmed, Blizzard is best used as a tactical area-denial ability. With Blizzard, it’s best to make your way to the high ground above a group of enemies. Once they’re in position, drop down and throw Snowball, Mei’s drone, into the mix. Most enemies will try to run out of the field-of-effect, and some enemies can react to it, such as a Zenyatta with Transcendence or a Reaper with Wraith Form off cooldown. However, this will catch most of the enemy team off-guard and freeze them in place, priming them for a massive damage Ultimate like Genji’s Dragonblade or Pharah’s Barrage.
Overwatch Mei tips and tricks
Use both forms of the Endothermic Blaster: Mei’s cryo-weapon has two settings. Its primary fire emits a spray of frost that freezes enemies in place. Although this is great for close-combat encounters, and is particularly good for slowing down mobile targets like Genji and Tracer, Mei’s alternate fire is also remarkably powerful. If a target is frozen or is at mid-long range, use Mei’s right-click/left-bumper ability to unleash an icicle spike. For frozen targets in particular, make sure you use the brief window in which the enemy is immobile to aim for the head.
Know who Mei’s counters are: Although there’s no true counter to Mei - especially a talented Mei - it’s important to remember that her head hitbox is quite big, which makes her an easy target for snipers like Hanzo, Widowmaker, and Ashe. Because of this, traverse open areas with caution and always be ready to use your abilities at a moment’s notice. Mei is also vulnerable to heroes who can out-sustain her post-freeze. High-damage tanks like Roadhog can take a headshot without issue, which means that they’ll likely be out for the climatologist with a vengeance should she fail to kill them while they’re frozen. Also, always remember that Mei really doesn’t like Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord.
Best strategies for Mei: The best way to sum up Mei’s playstyle is to separate it into a few core rules of thumb. First, know when to use your alternate fire. It’s a projectile-based shop that’s easy to track and can do devastating damage at incredible distances. Also, always remember to communicate with your team to the best of your ability, as a stray Ice Wall could isolate a team member and leave them vulnerable to the entire other team, or even worse, could trap your team in a corner with a D.Va bomb or an ulting Roadhog. Finally, remember that your job is to annoy the other team, not to get Team Kills every fight. Mei has massive potential to distract enemies, so use that to draw their attention away from your team, who can then close in from the flank and finish them off.
Heroes with the best synergy with Mei: Similarly to a lack of true counters, Mei doesn’t exactly have a pool of heroes who emphatically synergize with her. However, heroes like Reinhardt and Doomfist will love the Ice Walls Mei sets up because they can use them as a surface to Charge/Rocket Punch enemies into. Blizzard combos well with every high-damage Ultimate, from Death Blossom to Tactical Visor, and Mei’s ability to freeze targets in place is a dream come true for high-mobility tanks like D.Va and Winston. Once you freeze someone, call in your dive tank so that they can jump in and help you finish off your frozen target.
Just remember that when it comes to Mei, communication is king. Although your abilities can protect you from even the most precarious situations, they can also cause your teammates to die if you’re not careful. Let people know where you’re putting the wall and when you’re building it so that they can use it as a shield, a surface to charge into, or a temporary barrier that splits a route in two. Finally, always remember to wave before you headshot an enemy you just froze.