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Pokéwatch: Barrier activated!


Welcome back!  Apologies for how late this installment went up, I lost a lot of work when my mouse broke and somehow caused my computer to crash, wiping out a couple of hours of work.  If you're new to the concept, what I've been doing is analyzing each of Overwatch's heroes and assigning them a team of 3 Pokmon based on their abilities and personality in the game.  If you've missed any of the other installments, you can check those out right here.

Part one: Genji, McCree, Pharah

Part two: Reaper, Soldier: 76, Tracer

Part three: Bastion, Hanzo, Junkrat

Part four: Mei, Torbjörn, Widowmaker

Part five: D. Va, Reinhardt, Roadhog


I had meant to finish up the Tanks and begin the Supports today, but losing so much work put me behind schedule.  Instead, we'll just finish up the Tanks today and do all four Supports tomorrow, so today we'll be looking at Winston and Zarya.  Let's get to it.


Don't get me angry.  You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Winston features heavily in the early promotion for Overwatch, and apart from Tracer, he's probably the best known member of the team.  It was he who initiated the activation order to reform Overwatch, and his face that greets you when you first boot up the game.  He's a reluctant leader, but his strong moral code wouldn't allow him to sit by and do nothing, watching the peace the first iteration of Overwatch worked so hard for beginning to fall apart.  His videos tell a lot of the backstory of Overwatch; essentially, the extensive property damage that resulted from their battles caused the governments of the world to disband the program.  It's a lot like the backstory of The Incredibles or Watchmen.  

Lead Pokémon: Darmanitan (#555)

Type: Fire (normal) Fire/Psychic (Zen Mode)

Reason: The 600 lb. primate in the room is that Winston is the only member of Overwatch who isn't human.  He's a genetically enhanced, superintelligent gorilla who was raised on the moon, but loves humans enough to fight for them wherever they need assistance.  Oddly enough, in 6 generations and over 700 Pokémon, there hasn't really been one that you can point to as having definitively been inspired by a gorilla.  Darmanitan is pretty close though, and it shares a special trait with Winston.  When Winston triggers his ultimate, Primal Rage, he changes from a mild-mannered scientist into an unthinking rage-beast for a few seconds, losing access to his more scientific abilities but gaining vastly a improved health pool, increased mobility, and a much stronger melee attack.  A Darmanitan that has taken sufficient damage will enter a state called Zen Mode, gaining access to the Psychic type and becoming immobile, like a statue.  It's a bit backwards since Darmanitan actually gets smarter and less mobile when it changes, but much like Winston's shield generator, this isn't an exact science.

Support Pokémon: Tropius (#357)

Type: Grass/Flying

Reason: Though Winston's favorite food is peanut butter, he's been known to indulge in a banana or twelve from time to time.  Selecting Tropius as his second ensures that he'll always have a ready supply of yellow fatty beans around to munch on.  Goes great with cereal!


Picture from Funnyjunk.

Finisher: Primeape (#057)

Type: Fighting

Reason: People who watched the first season of the Pokémon animé may remember an early episode where a wild Primeape steals Ash's hat, and he endures several savage beatings trying to recover it.  Primeape is one of only a few Pokémon that can use Anger Point, which raises its already considerable attack to the maximum when it suffers a critical hit.  This Pokémon is also known for its short temper and tendancy to rage uncontrollably when provoked, making it a perfect analog for Winston.  The difference is that Winston always seems apologetic for his fits of anger, while Primeape never does.


Analysis: Winston has an unusual team makeup, though perhaps not as unusual as a talking monkey with a jump pack and an electricity gun.  Primeape and Tropius will both need to watch out for Flying type attacks, and Tropius will have to avoid anything capable of Ice attacks since it takes quadruple damage from those.  Darmanitan and Tropius will both take double damage from Rock attacks, though Primeape's Fighting type will let it hit Ice and Rock types twice as hard.  Apart from these issues, Winston's team actually does a pretty good job of covering each others' weaknesses, especially once Darmanitan switches to Zen mode and gains the Psychic type.  He'll still have an uphill climb though, as none of his Pokémon are particularly hardy.  Like Winston himself, they would benefit greatly by having a healer around.



Zarya/Machamp artwork found at ElStrawFedora's DeviantArt page.  They've done one for each character now, check it out!

Zarya is probably my least played character in Overwatch, and I confess I haven't figured out how exactly her mechanics work just yet.  I've played a few matches with people who are good with her, like Old-toid contributer Toneman, and that was fascinating.  Her particle cannon weapon can project an energy barrier on herself or on a friendly teammate, and it gains charge based on how much damage is absorbed while the barrier is active.  The higher the charge, the more damage she does.  Her weapon constantly loses charge at a slow rate, though, so part of playing Zarya is knowing when and who to place barriers on to maximize your damage output.  She's a strategic character, one better suited to advanced players, among whose ranks I cannot currently count myself.  Her ultimate ability, Graviton Surge, creates a gravity bomb that will suck in enemy players and immobilize them temporarily, though they can still aim and fire their weapons.  

Lead Pokémon: Zoroark (#571)

Type: Dark

Reason: I had originally thought to place Zorua here, a creature that very nearly shares Zarya's name, and also has a shock of pink hair.  Zarya values strength highly though, so it's unlikely she'd have any unevolved Pokémon on her team.  Having Zoroark in the lead position allows her to take advantage of its ability, Illusion, which will cause it to look like her last Pokémon until it takes a hit.  This will work especially well if the opposing trainer tries to capitalize on Machamp's weakness to Psychic type moves, since Zoroark is a Dark type and completely immune to Psychic attacks.  Zoroark can also make use of Night Daze, a move which both deals damage and frequently causes enemies to become less accurate.

Support Pokémon: Scrafty (#560)

Type: Dark/Fighting

Reason: Like Zarya, Scrafty sports a sweet mohawk hairdo.  It usually has the ability Moxie, which boosts its attack whenever it defeats an opposing Pokémon.  Similarly, Zarya gains attack power by mixing it up on the front lines of a battle.

Finisher: Machamp (#068)

Type: Fighting

Reason: There's a lot we don't know about Zarya, but we do know that she's very proud of her guns... all three of them.  Many of her emotes and victory poses show her flaunting her impressive biceps or proudly wielding her particle cannon, and it's clear that she has a lot invested in her physicality as well as her scientific knowledge.  Machamp is the archetypal fighting-type Pokémon, and its descriptions in the games make it clear that it's just as proud of its power as Zarya is of her own. 

Analysis: With only two types of Pokémon on her team, Zarya may have some difficulty fighting against anyone with a strong counter to Dark or Fighting types.  Fortunately, the two types complement each other pretty well, and anyone who tries to hit her starter with a Psychic attack is in for a nasty surprise.  Both Scrafty and Machamp will need to avoid Flying type moves, and Machamp will also need to stay away from Psychics.  Zoroark and Scrafty share a weakness to Fighting type moves, since Fighting doesn't protect from itself.  All three of Zarya's team will have to be very careful of Fairy type moves, and Scrafty in particular will take quadruple damage from moves of this type.  Although none of Zarya's team can use Gravity, her team will do well against Ice, Rock, Psychic, Dark, Steel, and (perhaps most importantly), Normal type Pokémon, by far the most common type in the game.  


That finishes up the Tank team, and while I'd normally start on the Supports now, losing so much time earlier today means I don't really have enough to get another Hero's team put together.  Sorry about that.  We'll finish up tomorrow and do all four Supports at once.  


That's all for today.  As always, thanks to Pokestadium for the Pokémon sprites, and especially to Pokecharms for their trainer card macro.  Thanks also to Curvedlines, who posted all the sprite sprays for the Overwatch heroes.




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About Kevin McCluskyone of us since 5:34 AM on 02.16.2007

I'm a longtime member of Destructoid, and you may have known me in a prior life as Qalamari.
In other words, hi. I've been here a long time. There's a good chance I'm older than you.

I write freelance articles for other publications, so you might see my name elsewhere occasionally.
Disclosure: I wrote a paid testimonial for the Speedify VPN service in April 2017.

Here are some things I like.

May want to stay out of the old stuff. I really didn't know what I was doing when I started here.

Like most other Dtoiders I am male, 15 to 30 something, introverted to the point of social ineptitude, and grew up obsessing over videogames, somewhat to the chagrin of my parents. I am a moderately slavering Nintendo fan because-- let's be fair... they were easily the biggest influence in my formative years. Because of this, it is my belief that Smash Bros. was created specifically for me. The fact that the rest of you may enjoy it is merely coincidence.

I was interviewed, once.

I used to be the Cblog Recapper for Mondays. It was a good run.

Beyamor's avatar fathered mine's love child at PAX East. It's ok though, 'cuz he gave me a picture of a Kirby as child support. Cheap bastard...

I inspired a song. (Thanks, Alphadeus!)

You can reach me on twitter @Qalamari, and that's my handle pretty much everywhere. You can also reach me at [email protected].
Xbox LIVE:Qalamari
PSN ID:Qalamari
Steam ID:Qalamari
Mii code:5015 7633 5088 2932


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