How to Play as Echo
Echo is currently live on Overwatch servers, and you’ll be hard-pressed to play a quick-play match without her flying around the skies on one team or the other. Because she’s so new to the game, most people have not figured out the best way to play her; we’re all just experimenting and learning at our own pace. After a little bit of research – and a lot of in-game practice – I’ve found a couple tips and tricks to playing Overwatch‘s newest hero.
Tip 1: Play With a Mercy
Tip one has less to do with the Echo player and more the heroes that make up the rest of her team. If you’re lucky enough to be queueing with a group, this tip should be easy enough. You’re going to want a Mercy on your team. Now, I’m not claiming that other supports don’t have the capabilities to keep Echo in tip-top shape, they most certainly do, but pairing Mercy with Echo can make for a deadly duo.
Echo can launch herself in the air and glide as she falls – a combination of Pharah and Mercy’s flight abilities. Because of this, Echo is reminiscent of the Pharmercy combo many players despise. It’s hard to focus an airborne Echo with a Mercy in her pocket, and killing a Mercy protected by an Echo can be just as challenging. That’s why the combination works so well.
Tip 2: Understand the Beam
At first, I thought Echo’s beam felt pretty weak. It hardly does any damage and doesn’t feel like a viable attack option. The beam ability does 50 damage per second for 2.5 seconds, which isn’t that bad, but it most likely won’t help you secure a kill. On the other hand, if the enemy is under 50% health, the beam does 200 damage per second. That means if your tracking is perfection, you could do a total of 500 damage in one use of the ability. On top of everything, this ability also works on shields. Once a barrier starts showing cracks, which only happens once it’s under half health, using Echo’s beam can shred through the shield’s remaining health.
Tip 3: Practice Duplicate
Echo”s ultimate, Duplicate, allows her to copy an enemy player and turn herself into them, abilities included. Does your team need more healing output for the last push? Now you have a third support. Need more damage? Echo copied the enemy reaper, and now their team’s tanks don’t stand a chance. Her ultimate depends heavily on timing, as most do, and you need to know when the best time to invest is, or when you should back out.
The best way to use this ability is to get up in the sky. When you have a bird’s eye view, it’s much easier to pick and choose your Duplicate target. One of the best heroes to duplicate right now is Reinhardt. This choice gives your team an extra shield, not that the copy is going to use it, as well as a target to tank more damage if necessary. One of the best things about this Reinhardt duplicate is that the Echo can charge in without worrying about death. If she loses all her health, she reverts back to her original form and can fly right on out of the fight. If you manage to build up the copy’s ultimate, which you probably will, your hammer down can change the whole flow of the battle.
Be careful though, if the target you’re intending to copy is close to death, you might miss out on the window to Duplicate them.
Tip 4: Know When Echo isn’t Working
Echo is similar to Pharah, and we see a lot of the same counters between both characters. A good Widomaker, Ashe, or McCree can take Echo out of the sky before she has time to do anything, and a competent Sombra can keep her on the ground indefinitely. If the enemy team suddenly switches to hard counter your Echo, it may be time to switch it up. Of course, don’t expect anybody to give up Echo at this point in the game. A new hero will be all the rage for a few weeks, but once the hype dies down, common sense should rear it’s head again.