Out of all of the Heroes in Overwatch, Mei is one of the most unique!
Despite her timid appearance, Dr. Mei-Ling Zhou is a scary adversary who can significantly affect a team’s plans and strategies. At the same time, she can deal tremendous amounts of damage to any Hero who isn’t a burly tank.
Even with all the changes made to the game, Mei is still a force to be reckoned with in 2021. This guide is going to give everything you need to rock the house with this Chinese queen of ice!
We’re not going to beat around the bush here — Mei is a tough character to pick up.
Her ability kit is that of a damage dealer’s, yet it significantly skews towards being on the defensive side. Doing the necessary due diligence, however, and becoming competent with Mei is extremely rewarding. Her freezing abilities make her highly annoying to deal with, and her damage potential post-freeze is just downright scary. Mastering Ice Wall placement and its various use cases will also give any team you are in a significant tactical advantage!
- She can freeze enemies to make them easy prey for her own and her teammates’ attacks.
- She can use a combination of her skills to survive nearly any problematic situation she encounters.
- She has a highly versatile Ultimate that can disrupt enemies and freeze them in groups in various situations.
- She can use her abilities creatively to disrupt the enemy team and lead them into disarray, giving her own squad the upper hand.
- In tandem with her freeze, she can take down most Heroes with a single combo.
- Her weapon’s bullet drop-off makes her damage very low at mid-to-long ranges.
- She struggles to freeze Heroes that have good mobility, like Genji and Lucio.
- Her team is needed in order to optimize her Ultimate by helping to take down frozen and slowed enemies.
In this section of our Overwatch Mei Guide for 2021, we’re going to take a deep dive into her abilities.
Mei’s frost-based weapon is called the Endothermic Blaster. Its primary fire shoots a short-range spray of ice that freezes enemy Heroes while dealing damage over time. This stream of frost juts out in front of Mei and will begin to slow any enemy caught in it. The longer they get hit by the stream, the slower they become.
After sustaining the spray on a target for 2 seconds, Mei’s weapon will freeze them solid, rendering them unable to move and perform any action for 1.5 seconds, after which they break free. Mei must spend another 2 seconds spraying them to place her target back into a frozen state.
Endothermic Blaster’s secondary fire shoots a long-ranged icicle that deals 75 damage (150 when landing as a headshot). As a projectile, it has some travel time, but it’s pretty fast. Mei can also fire two icicles per second, making this a particularly lethal attack when placing headshots.
One thing to note is that the icicles have quite a bit of damage drop-off, so it’s best to use this secondary fire on targets that are at most mid-range distance. It’s a solid harassment tool when you’re facing off against less mobile heroes, as the icicles do significant damage even with body shots.
Endothermic Blaster has an ammo capacity of 200. Each second you channel her primary fire spends 20 while each icicle of her secondary fire spends 25. This means you can reliably fire off eight icicles before you need to reload.
Ice Wall is Mei’s most important abilities and arguably one of the toughest ones to master among all of Overwatch’s Heroes. Upon activation, the ability will generate a line of ice pillars with 500 health and last for 4.5 seconds. By hitting the ability multiple times, you can change the orientation of Ice Wall to line it up any way you need.
Ice Walls behave just like any other wall or obstacle in Overwatch. They can obstruct line of sight and negate damage. Characters with special terrain-based abilities, such as Lucio’s Wall Ride, can also be used on Mei’s Ice Walls. Payloads that find Ice Walls in their path will smash through them regardless of how much health they have left.
This ability’s applications are pretty plentiful, which is why it’s quite tough to master. A common use for Ice Walls is to block escape and flanking routes. Should an enemy Hero find themselves too close for comfort, you can prevent them from fleeing by placing an Ice Wall in their path of escape. You can also use Ice Wall to negate damage from a powerful ultimate, such as Solider 76’s Tactical Visor.
Since Ice Wall obstructs line of sight, you can use it to disrupt the enemy team. A well-placed Ice Wall that splits the opposing team in two will effectively prevent them from benefiting from heals and make squishier Heroes easier targets. Placing Ice Walls at critical choke points and corners can also severely disrupt an enemy team and their plans. You can cast Ice Wall on top of an allied Hero as a bonus effect, which will place them at the top when it’s erected. This can be used as a sneaky way to boost an ally over a wall which they otherwise can’t.
Cryo-Freeze is one of those abilities that seems like it has a narrow use case at first blush, but can be used in many creative ways. Upon activation, Mei encases herself in solid ice, negating any damage to her for up to 4 seconds. Any debuffs she’s been given will also be removed. While frozen, Mei will self-heal for up to 150 HP over the 4-second duration. You can also cancel Cryo-Freeze at any time, which will stop the healing effect.
You’ll primarily use this ability to defend yourself when all enemy eyes are on you. The 4 seconds should give your allies enough time to support you. You can also use those 4 seconds to plan your escape route should help come too late. What’s important to note is that the cooldown of Cryo-Freeze won’t trigger until the 4 seconds have passed or you cancel the ability manually.
Apart from being a self-defense ability, Cryo-Freeze can be used in a few other ways that significantly benefit your team. Since the block of ice Mei generates counts as a solid object, allies can hide behind it to use you as temporary cover from enemy Ultimates, such as D.Va’s Self-Destruct and Reaper’s Death Blossom.
Another cheeky tactic you can use is to run up to McCree as he activates his Ultimate and Cryo-Freeze in his face! This will negate all damage from Deadeye. Finally, another cute tactic you can use when faced with a group of enemies is to Cryo-Freeze, then instantly cancel and activate Blizzard. The confusion should give your Ultimate enough time to freeze a couple of foes in place!
Blizzard is one of the easiest Ultimates to use in Overwatch. When activated, Mei will launch her drone, Snowball, onto the ground in front of her. Once it reaches its destination, the drone will begin spraying frost in a wide range around it for 5 seconds. This effect works similarly to Endothermic Blaster’s primary fire. It will deal tiny amounts of damage over time. Enemies who sustain damage from Blizzard for 3.5 seconds will be frozen solid for 1.5 seconds. To be affected by the drone’s effect, enemies must be within its line of sight.
Blizzard is easy to use because you don’t need to aim it very accurately. However, it takes some experience to figure out the best time to let Snowball loose. Most players these days will react quite quickly to Blizzard’s activation, which means you’ll need to pick the right time and place to use it. One common way is to toss the drone behind your enemies to catch them off-guard. You can also activate Blizzard near enemies that another ally’s ability has already hindered. One of the best ways to use Blizzard is when you have the high ground and have several enemies beneath you who haven’t noticed you yet. This should give the drone ample time to at least slow them down enough to force them to scramble. Blocking escape routes with Ice Wall in tandem with Blizzard is good to practice when you want to take your Mei to the next level.
Now that we have a handle on Mei’s ability kit, it’s time to explore how to play her effectively.
Mei’s Gameplan & Role
Mei may be a tough character to get to grips with, but she’s quite easy to slot into any team composition. There are no concrete Hero synergies and counters, so if you’re competent with using her, you can be sure she’ll be helpful.
Your primary role as Mei involves disrupting the enemy team and annoying them as much as possible. Use your Ice Walls to give your team the advantage by cutting off routes or splitting up enemy groups. Use Endothermic Blaster’s icicles to harass any target that isn’t a burly tank. If someone gets in close and you’ve got support, hit them with your ice spray in an attempt to freeze them. If a nasty line-of-sight-based Ultimate is used, bring up an Ice Wall to prevent your team from getting affected.
Ally Hero Synergies
As mentioned above, there are no natural synergies Mei has with other Heroes. It’s important to remember, though, that Blizzard is pretty strong when paired with highly damaging Ultimates like Death Blossom and Tactical Visor. Let your drone loose when you know your teammates are ready to unleash their own brand of mayhem.
In a pinch, Widowmaker can also use Ice Walls as vantage points if needed. Reinhardt and Doomfist can also use Ice Walls for smashing enemies into.
Mei Counter Picks
Again, Mei doesn’t have any hard counters in Overwatch. It’s essential to be wary of her big head hitbox, making her a prime target for snipers, such as Hanzo and Widowmaker. High mobility Heroes like Genji and Tracer can outpace her freeze quite easily.
Mei Ability Combos
Mei’s Endothermic Blaster has a nasty combo that can take down pretty much any enemy that isn’t a high health tank:
After freezing a target with its primary fire, you can land two consecutive icicle headshots for a whopping 380+ damage. If the target is slightly above average in health or is being healed, you can supplement with a melee attack, netting you 410+ damage. Bear in mind that this combo is not advised against big tanks like Reinhardt.
Mei Tips & Tricks
To close off our Overwatch Mei 2021 guide, we’ve got a few tips and tricks you can add to your sleeve:
- You can partly nullify Doomfist’s Meteor Strike with a well-placed Ice Wall.
- Wreck the day of any high health tank by freezing them with Endothermic Blaster, then following up with Blizzard for 7 seconds of immobility.
- You can out-range Reaper’s Death Blossom and freeze him with Endothermic Blaster to prematurely end its effect.
- Place an Ice Wall in the middle of Winston’s barrier to reduce his movement options.
- When in doubt, an Ice Wall on most enemy Heroes’ side will significantly reduce their effectiveness.
- Attacking tanks with sustained and consistent damage will recharge your Ultimate faster.
While Mei is a slow-and-steady type of combatant, some of us prefer to deal killing blows in as few shots as possible. For those of us with keen eyes and quick reflexes, you might want to consider trying Hanzo instead. We have his specs analyzed, along with the best way to optimize his skills and teamwork!
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