Overwatch features an extensive cast of diverse characters to help fill out your six-hero team. All of them bring their own set of abilities to increase team success. It helps to know all of the tools that your selected character has and how best to use them. It’s also worth knowing the weaknesses of your character as well.
In the case of Chinese climatologist, Mei, there are several strengths she brings to the table when playing her, and some shortcomings as well. If you want to play as Mei, it’d be best to keep these pros and cons in mind to be as efficient as possible with her.
10 Pro: Little Babysitting Needed
Most damage characters in Overwatch often need a pocket healer. Pharah, Widowmaker, McCree, just to name a few, require a healer to be close for them to keep up constant pressure. Mei is a DPS character that doesn’t need a support to babysit her all the time. Her Cryo-Freeze ability makes her self-sufficient.
If she gets pressured, she can always just turn herself into an ice block and recover her health without having to retreat from the fight. She can also take flanks more comfortably as well, since the Cryo-Freeze makes her slightly harder to punish. This allows the healers on your team to concentrate on other team-mates more effectively.
9 Con: Limited Range
Mei’s Endothermic Blaster has two firing modes. One mode is a more reliable close-range freezing stream, while the other is a long-range icicle launcher. The launcher gives her a long-range option but it isn’t very dependable. The rate of fire is very slow and it’s a projectile, which means that the icicles have air travel time before they reach their target.
Mei struggles against any character that has better long-range options. Even some mid-range characters can give her a run for her money as well. You’ll have to be pretty good at landing shots from a distance, and even then, picking your targets is crucial.
8 Pro: Good Crowd Control
Mei has excellent crowd control and zoning tools. Between her blaster, Blizzard and Ice Wall, Mei has a plethora of ways to deter the other team from setting up in a particular area. The blaster’s freezing stream gives her mini instances of crowd control by stopping anyone it’s hitting in their tracks for a few seconds.
Her Blizzard can stop a whole team simultaneously and zone anyone else out of an area. The wall can split up a team or just block off pathways, approach angles and incoming damage. Mei is the crowd control and zoning queen in Overwatch.
7 Con: High Learning Curve
Mechanically, Mei isn’t super difficult to master, but some of her abilities do take time to learn how to use effectively. The Ice Wall is probably the biggest offender. A new Mei will probably be throwing up more Ice Walls that hinder their team more than helps them, or just not be using them at all.
Using Cryo-Freeze means that your team is fighting a 6 vs. 5 for a few seconds, and that may be all the time the other team needs. Telegraphing a Blizzard could easily get it negated by the enemy D.Va. Mei’s abilities may be fairly simple at face value, but they take a lot of good game sense to use efficiently.
6 Pro: Good Stall Potential
Mei can be quite an annoying character to remove from the objective. On assault maps especially, Mei’s abilities can buy the few extra seconds your team may need to stabilize on defense. Cryo-Freeze makes you unmovable and untouchable while still contesting the objective. A good wall can also make you more difficult to get to for most characters.
On top of that, Blizzard is an Ultimate that the other team has to deal with. They can’t afford to ignore it if it comes out, which means that it can make them step off the objective for an extra couple seconds. In stalling situations, Mei has more options than most other characters on the roster.
5 Con: Few Offensive Options
Remember when Overwatch had a defense role? Even in her current categorization of damage, Mei still largely feels like a defensive hero. Most of her abilities are highly dependent on enemy players making mistakes. Mei only becomes a real offensive threat when she’s up-close and personal. But unlike most damage characters who excel at close-range, Mei has few movement options to help her get to her optimal range safely.
Because of this, her flanking potential is also limited. You’re mostly relegated to the basic map flanking routes as her, barring some savvy usage of the Ice Wall. Even then, Mei isn’t the fastest or most reliable flanker. She’s a hero who is more suited to a defensive or safe style of play.
4 Pro: Excellent Defensive Options
On the flip side, naturally, Mei has some of the best defensive options in the game, especially at close-range. You really have to wake up super early in the morning to get the drop on her if she has Cryo-Freeze off cooldown. Her slightly-above-average health pool and her ability to freeze people at close-range means that any flanker is going to have a tough time in a one-on-one with her.
The wall can block sightlines and make it a pain for the offensive team to approach comfortably. Mei is a tough defensive wall to crack for a DPS character.
3 Con: No Mobility
Overwatch is a game that puts a lot of emphasis on mobility. If you’re a character that has a severe lack of movement options, you’re more than likely playing at a disadvantage. Mei is, unfortunately, one of those characters.
Without any movement tools, it’s harder for Mei to chase down kills or escape if the pressure becomes too real for her. She also might not be able to peel for someone fast enough. Solid positioning --along with positional mistakes from the enemy team-- is the name of the game with Mei.
2 Pro: Good Frontline Cover
Usually, most damage characters are better when they’re working autonomously from the rest of the team. Characters like Sombra and Tracer can cause distractions or capitalize on them. Mei, on the other hand, does well co-ordinating with the rest of the frontline to better fortify a forward push or a defensive hold.
While you aren’t going to be doing much flanking as Mei, she’s a dependable cover for tanks, especially low mobility ones like Reinhardt, Zarya and Orisa. A Mei will definitely make a team think twice about their approaches when facing her and force them to adjust.
1 Con: Low Damage
Although she is categorized as damage, Mei’s actual damage output isn’t very reliable, due to her limited range and dependence on set-ups. Mei is mostly useful for her utility and defensive options.
She isn’t a character you’re going to see very often in the kill feed, unless an unlucky soul gets much to close to her and is frozen before taking an icicle straight to the dome. Her kill potential is very high in those situations, but her overall damage output leaves much to be desired otherwise.