Reaper is part of the legacy of Overwatch. Not only was he one of the first heroes to be announced and marketed during Overwatch’s official announcement, but he was also used in the initial testing of the game along with Widowmaker, Tracer and Pharah.
Gameplay-wise, Reaper was around since the Overwatch beta and served as a respectable but overshadowed damage hero in the game. After a series of buffs, the Talon assassin is now a viable force in the Season 18 meta. Despite his newfound power, Reaper can still be a vulnerable target.
Here are the pros and cons of playing Reaper.
10 PRO: Shoot To Life-Steal
When Overwatch launched, Reaper’s passive ability The Reaping offered orbs from slain enemies and allies. The ability was changed to become innate life-steal from any damage Reaper dishes out, including melee attacks and environmental kills.
Right now, Reaper returns 40 percent of the damage he deals back to his health. This makes him a terror against tanks like Orisa and Roadhog. Damage heroes have more difficulty dueling him now. The Reaping also applies to his Death Blossom, making him more tanky when he reigns havoc on the battlefield.
9 CON: Large Hitbox
Most Damage heroes are rather slim and have a skinny or oddly shaped hitbox. Reaper, along with Bastion and Doomfist, are on the far side of that spectrum. Larger-sized characters where its easier to land shots on them.
Naturally, this makes Reaper more susceptible to things like headshots or crowd-control abilities. If he’s fighting up close to enemies like Tracer or McCree, they can land more devastating shots on the Deathbringer. Characters like Doomfist can juggle Reaper all day. For a character who’s all about getting in the enemies’ face, Reaper’s hitbox size serves as a good negative to his oppressive damage.
8 PRO: Great Dualist
While Reaper’s hitbox serves as an issue most of the time, he gets maximum damage output from being close to the enemy. If the player can land their shots accurately, Reaper can put down the majority of the roster in two clicks. For 250 HP targets, this may include an extra shot, but that’s just more ult charge and health regained.
His life-steal buff makes him the second-best duelist next to Mei. Toggling Wraith Form allows him to mitigate crowd control like Doomfist’s Rocket Punch, Ashe’s Dynamite and McCree’s Flashbang completely; he also gets a reloaded magazine from it! Reaper has the full arsenal to combat most heroes in the game as long as he doesn’t have cooldowns.
7 CON: Susceptible To Crowd Control
Remember that large hitbox mentioned earlier? Besides Bastion, no other Damage hero is more susceptible to crowd control than Reaper. If the enemy is smart, they can force out his Wraith Form and immobilize him then.
Sleep Dart, Flashbang, Shield Bash and Accretion are the worst crowd control abilities against Reaper, mainly because it renders Reaper immobile for a second. Immobility means he can’t shoot or regain health.
Death Blossom is when Reaper is at his most vulnerable. Enemies have a clear shot on him, and his voice over for DB practically demands the players’ attention. It feels really bad when players use their Death Blossom, and suddenly gets stunned or slept out of it.
6 PRO: Tank Deleter
When Overwatch was released, the community knew him as the one true tank buster. That Roadhog giving the team trouble? Go Reaper. That Winston keeps diving the backline? Pick Reaper. Orisa being annoying? Send in Reaper.
Thanks to the Reaping buff, Reaper can shred tanks better than he could before. He also has two ways to restore his magazine to full capacity without having to do his reload animation. Reaper can effectively pick off both tanks if given the opportunity.
This is part of the reason Reaper became a meta pick in Season 18; he has not enjoyed such celebrity status since Season 2. He deals enough damage to break barriers and put down Orisa and Sigma.
5 CON: Snipers
This is one of the biggest negatives out of playing Reaper. Since Reaper thrives off close combat and duels, take a good guess what he’s horrible at. This has been the case since launch.
Even though he got massive buffs to Shadow Step and Wraith Form, that’s not stopping Widowmaker, Hanzo or Ashe from making some distance and prepping well-placed headshots.
God forbid the enemy team is running double sniper. Unless both snipers suck, players won’t get anything done on Reaper if the snipers can see most of the battlefield.
4 PRO: Reload All The Time
Besides The Reaping, another great addition to Reaper’s current kit are the two ways he can maintain a full clip. Finishing Death Blossom automatically reloads Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns. Toggling in and out of Wraith Form reloads his shotguns.
As stated before, this makes him an excellent dueler and can help him in a pinch; his reload takes 1.5 seconds. Reaper can also keep up his high damage output: eight shots, Wraith Form, eight more shots, Death Blossom, eight more shots. That’s at least 2,300 damage right there.
3 CON: Anti-Grenade
The Reaping is arguably the best thing in Reaper’s kit. It makes him a better duelist, adds utility to his Death Blossom and drastically improved his survivability in a team fight. However, there is one ability in the game that renders all of that useless: Biotic Grenade.
Arguably one of the best abilities in the game, Ana’s Biotic Grenade can disable healing against an enemy completely for four seconds. Not even Sombra’s Hack turns off Reaper’s life-steal. While Reaper can nullify Bio Grenade’s by toggling his Wraith Form, a smart Ana can wait for his cooldown. Bio Grenade can also shut down a Death Blossom.
2 PRO: Amazing Disengages
A good assassin can get a kill and have a great escape plan. Like Doomfist and Genji, Reaper has a great kit to disengage from any sticky situation. Wraith Form is the most effective disengage for Reaper; the 50 percent speed buff it got a year ago was a blessing for Reaper’s mobility.
The Shadow Step buff can put the player far away from enemy lines and back in the safety of a team. A resourceful player recently mitigated an entire D.VA Self-Destruct by Shadow Stepping in the same spot.
1 CON: Long Distance
Continuing on from the Sniper section, Reaper will not get much gains from sticking around in the backline. Yes, it deters flankers like Genji, Tracer, Winston and Wrecking Ball, and the healers can survive before the team fight starts. Characters like Pharah can maintain high ground for the majority of the game.
But that’s not being optimal with Reaper. Reaper is a shotgun-user, so he gets more value from mid-range fights at the least. Flanking is also a popular option with Reaper, but he needs to get the jump on them from a relatively close range to execute a quick kill. Any less than that, and it’ll bring the entire team’s attention to his position.