TRACER

Role: / HP: 150 / Difficulty:

OVERVIEW

Tracer is an extremely agile skirmisher, as her Blink and Recall abilities allow her to engage and disengage the enemy before they have time to react. She specializes in fast paced close quarters combat which enables ambush, flanking, and harassment tactics. Unlike other skirmishers, her kit allows for creative play styles and is not limited to team structured stratagem which also provides a high skill ceiling in terms of threat potential.

Her devastating moveset is offset by her limited range and fragility, but this gives players the chance to set themselves aside from the competition. She only has 150 HP which requires the player to make intelligent split second decisions to either continue the engagement or withdraw in time to avoid fatal danger. Once the team is aware of an enemy Tracer’s presence, it is highly recommended to focus attention in mitigating or eliminating her. Tracer is dependent on timing and cooldown management and cannot sustain any duration of focus fire thus making her one of, if not the most, difficult heroes to play at a high level.

OVERVIEW

Tracer is an extremely agile skirmisher, as her Blink and Recall abilities allow her to engage and disengage the enemy before they have time to react. She specializes in fast paced close quarters combat which enables ambush, flanking, and harassment tactics. Unlike other skirmishers, her kit allows for creative play styles and is not limited to team structured stratagem which also provides a high skill ceiling in terms of threat potential.

Her devastating moveset is offset by her limited range and fragility, but this gives players the chance to set themselves aside from the competition. She only has 150 HP which requires the player to make intelligent split second decisions to either continue the engagement or withdraw in time to avoid fatal danger. Once the team is aware of an enemy Tracer’s presence, it is highly recommended to focus attention in mitigating or eliminating her. Tracer is dependent on timing and cooldown management and cannot sustain any duration of focus fire thus making her one of, if not the most, difficult heroes to play at a high level.

ABILITIES

Damage: 120 direct, 20-80 splash (within 5m)

Rate: 40 bullets/s

Damage Fall-Off: 11-30m

Reload: 1s

Tracer empties both her pistols at a breakneck speed, administering a potentially lethal burst of damage to an enemy. The pistols suffer from a heavy damage fall off penalty which starts at the short range of 11 meters, and an accuracy penalty which builds up rapidly due to the speed she offloads her ammunition. These penalties prevent Tracer from being effective at a long distance, but they can be negated at a close range, allowing her to excel in close quarters combat.

Animation: 1.25s

Cooldown: 12s

Tracer rewinds back to her position from 3 seconds ago. She will retain the higher value of health points between the 3 second position or at the time of casting. Her ammunition will be fully reloaded after cast. This ability allows her to be extraordinarily creative in her play style, as she can evade lethal damage and remove debuffs.

Distance: 7.5m

Cooldown: 3s per charge (3 charges max)

Tracer instantaneously repositions herself horizontally in the direction she is moving. She is unable to move vertically with this ability. However, there is no down time in between Blinks, allowing her to get into uncommonly creative positions to ambush the enemy.

damage: 400 Area of Effect within 3m, 5 stick damage

Detonation: 1s after stick

Tracer lobs a bomb that will stick to any surface or hero it comes in contact with. After a 1 second fuse, the bomb will explode dealing an area of effect damage. Be warned, Tracer can also sustain lethal self-damage if caught within the bomb’s radius.

ABILITIES

Damage: 120 direct, 20-80 splash (within 5m)

Rate: 40 bullets/s

Damage Fall-Off: 11-30m

Reload: 1s

Tracer empties both her pistols at a breakneck speed, administering a potentially lethal burst of damage to an enemy. The pistols suffer from a heavy damage fall off penalty which starts at the short range of 11 meters, and an accuracy penalty which builds up rapidly due to the speed she offloads her ammunition. These penalties prevent Tracer from being effective at a long distance, but they can be negated at a close range, allowing her to excel in close quarters combat.

Animation: 1.25s

Cooldown: 12s

Tracer rewinds back to her position from 3 seconds ago. She will retain the higher value of health points between the 3 second position or at the time of casting. Her ammunition will be fully reloaded after cast. This ability allows her to be extraordinarily creative in her play style, as she can evade lethal damage and remove debuffs.

Distance: 7.5m

Cooldown: 3s per charge (3 charges max)

Tracer instantaneously repositions herself horizontally in the direction she is moving. She is unable to move vertically with this ability. However, there is no down time in between Blinks, allowing her to get into uncommonly creative positions to ambush the enemy.

damage: 400 Area of Effect within 3m, 5 stick damage

Detonation: 1s after stick

Tracer lobs a bomb that will stick to any surface or hero it comes in contact with. After a 1 second fuse, the bomb will explode dealing an area of effect damage. Be warned, Tracer can also sustain lethal self-damage if caught within the bomb’s radius.

PLAY STYLES, & COMPOSITION

Tracer runs around the map and does Tracer things, “Let’s get to it already!”. Tracer offers the fastest play style out of all heroes in Overwatch which requires the player to have a high level of response time and the ability to make proper judgement calls, leading her to be unpredictable to the enemy team.

A Tracer’s playstyle ranges from being a disrupter to a sneaky timed assassin to a teamfight-finishing guru. Using ambush and flanking tactics, Tracer’s goal is to dispose unprotected and distracted supports or damage dealing Heroes with low value health pools. As the popular term describes “getting one clipped”, her kill potential against an enemy Hero with 200 HP can be executed with a single clip of Tracer’s Pulse Pistols. Tracer can unload 240 DPS (damage per second), when standing next to her target. An unprotected Zenyatta being ambushed by Tracer can be rendered lifeless in the blink of an eye before Zenyatta or his teammates can respond.

Tracer failing to assassinate the enemy hero does not mean her efforts were wasted. Her enemies will react by adjusting their attention and even force the use of vital support or defensive cooldowns in order to stay alive. With this tradeoff, Tracer’s teammates may gain an advantage in the overall team fight since the enemy may not be able to successfully capitalize or confirm elimination on Tracer’s teammates (i.e. Ana’s Biotic Grenade preventing all healing effects).

Don’t let Tracer’s popular mantra of eliminating squishies with “one clip”, sum up her only effective target focus. Her ability to output high amounts of burst damage can pressure an enemy Tank into panicking, forcing a reactionary retreat. Enemy tanks possessing a static play style kit can be highly at risk without their support healing ally close by. A seasoned Tracer can elusively weave around a slow moving tank and quickly dance with her Blinks, she is able to take down large enemies with her Pulse Bomb mixed with a few clips from her Pulse Pistols.

However, Tracer must precisely time her engagements. Hidden in a position away from the team, her team potentially starts the team fight at a disadvantage. If she engages the enemy too late, her team could be overwhelmed and the fight lost before she is able to deal any effective damage. Early engagements when trying to catch the enemy off guard requires timing practice and game awareness. The importance of locating all players on the map is essential before her initial engagement. It is highly encouraged that players wanting to master Tracer while utilizing her strengths at a high level, study map terrain that can provide her with stealth coverage.

Tracer’s mobility allows her to bring creativity to any composition in all tiers of play since she can be paired with majority of the damage dealing heroes in the game. However, the most common Tracer compositions are usually fast paced with high intensity, did someone say DIVE!? On the other hand, Tracer can still be highly effective and dangerous within a slow moving static composition, which requires her to play a more timed and patient engagement game.

Support heroes such as Lucio and Zenyatta are two of the most optimal forms of healers that keep Tracer healthy during a fast paced team fight. Ana requires skillshots in order to heal, isn’t necessarily ruled out of the healing lineup. Bear in mind, a well seasoned Ana may still miss Biotic Rifle shots while an inexperienced Zenyatta is able to support Tracer with his Harmony Orb.

Winston and Genji are very common Dive partners for Tracer due to their fast, in-your-face style of engagement pace which requires the enemy team to have a quick reaction time. With proper communication, the deadly Dive trio can simultaneously engage the enemy’s backline supports segmenting their team. Winston’s Barrier Projector (or bubble) will prevent the enemy outside from supporting any enemies within the barrier. By doing so, the three are able to single out a focus fire target. The Projected Barrier’s presence allows both Genji and Tracer to break line of sight and cut off incoming damage as they dance in and out of the shield’s walls. Their win condition is within the first 5-10 seconds of a team fight breaking out dependent on enemies eliminated and were pressured to retreat. When the Projected Barrier disappears, the Diving trio may face danger in an evenly matched sustained fight. Without Genji’s Swiftstrike and Tracer’s recall ability both offensive heroes can be easily eliminated leaving Winston to face the enemy alone. It doesn’t help that Winston’s large body is the size of a minivan making him very hard to miss.

Quick Composition Terminology:
321 Tank = 3 Tanks, 2 Supports, 1 Damage Dealer
222 Standard = 2 Tanks, 2 Support, 2 Damage Dealers

As mentioned earlier Tracer can also be a very effective threat utilizing her burst damage within a slower paced team composition. The team may take up a Deathball formation style of play in a 321 Tank, or 222 Standard composition. Tracer and her mobile kit does not force only hyper aggressive dive style of play; she is able to adapt and outsmart her opponents with timed engagements and smart disruptions. Her presence playing from an off angled direction around an enemy team’s vulnerable backline can turn the focus of multiple enemies, leading to mispositioned plays or uneven fights. With Tracer’s bait tactics of cat and mouse, she can tempt multiple enemies into chasing her, kiting them away from the providing her allies with a numbers advantage in a team fight.

In some instances where a Soldier 76 and Ana may be partnered in defending a specific position, Tracer is able to blink past the duo with the intentions of turning their vision and focus 180 degrees, letting her teammates be out of view for a few seconds. A correctly timed dive onto their location by Tracer’s teammates may impact their position before they can quickly adjust their focus. If performed successfully, the enemy duo will have no time to react and synchronize their abilities before the burst damage from the dive team overwhelms them. This is a great example of how creative Tracer engagement plays can be and is commonly used in high and professional tiers of play.

TRACER QUICK TIPS

Tracer requires the player to be creative and never use the same travel path twice; if the enemy anticipates her coming from a certain angle she has already lost her surprise advantage.

Timing is everything for Tracer; attacking too early she will be vulnerable to focus fire, but attacking too late her team may already be defeated.

High tier Tracer gameplay requires players to be aware of their Blink management since they cannot engage effectively without at least 2 blinks.

PROS & CONS

Pros

  • 1. Excels in close quarters combat, extremely effective against slow and static targets
  • 2. Very quick and agile allowing her to swiftly engage the enemy and instantaneously withdraw
  • 3. Destructive burst damage allowing her to promptly distract and draw enemy focus from supporting their team
  • 4. Allows players access to cross large gaps between high ground balconies where most heroes are required to detour

Cons

  • 1. Requires a very high level of skill and response time to effectively utilize her abilities
  • 2. Low health pool which limits the amount of total damage she may endure
  • 3. Requires immense game awareness and knowledge to gauge her engagement timing within specific team compositions
  • 4. Hero that requires a lot of mechanical practice developing muscle memory for High & Pro Tier play

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