How to Wreck Your Foes With Junker Queen in the Overwatch 2 Beta
The new tank hero requires an aggressive play style and accurate knife work.
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Junker Queen is the main attraction in the second Overwatch 2 beta, which launched on June 28. She enters the roster as an aggressive new tank hero who wields a shotgun, ax, knife and jaw-dropping abs.
If you have beta access and want to start ripping and tearing as the Junker Queen, be ready to charge into the front lines and stay up in people's faces. She needs to be up close and actively dealing damage to be effective, but if you learn how to work all of her abilities, she can be an absolute monster in battle.
I played only a handful of games as Junker Queen on day one (first tip: Find some support players to lower your queue times), but I didn't lose a single one of those games. Based on that early experience, here are my tips for playing as Junker Queen.
Practice your knife throws
Knife throws are the most difficult part of the Queen's kit but also the most important. Junker Queen's jagged knife ("Gracie") increases her melee damage and can be thrown at enemies. If you stick an enemy, you can recall the knife to drag them toward you. Landing the knife deals an initial burst of damage, and deals damage over time, which heals you. And dragging the enemy toward you brings them into range of your close-range tools like your ax ("Carnage") and shotgun.
However, the knife travels along an arc, meaning you have to be very good at predicting where your target will be when you throw it. I recommend jumping into "Junker Queen Blade Massacre" custom games, where primary fire is disabled and your knife and ax are both one-hit kills. Fortunately, the knife toss is on a relatively short, six-second cool down that starts when you throw it, so you should actively look for opportunities to toss it, rather than waiting for the perfect moment.
Use your knife to displace enemies
Pulling enemies in range of your high-damage abilities is the obvious use of Junker Queen's knife, but it's a lot more versatile than that. The knife can pull people vertically, making it a great tool to use from high ground, making pulled enemies an easy target for your teammates. Even better, you can use it to yank enemies off the high ground, usually leaving them stranded in the middle of your entire team.
Keep up wound damage
Junker Queen's abilities do damage over time, through what's known as wound damage. Her passive ability heals her for 100% of wound damage dealt. Keeping those wounds active on enemies is the key to surviving long team fights because it ensures you're constantly restoring HP regardless of what your supports are doing. Here's how much you'll heal from different abilities:
Jagged Knife (including quick melee): 15 HP
Carnage: 50 HP
Rampage: 100 HP
Note that Carnage and Rampage can hit multiple enemies with one activation, so the total healing can be even higher. That's especially true of her ultimate, Rampage, which dashes through enemies 25 meters in front of you -- you can restore several hundred HP if you hit most of the enemy team.
Learn to weave shots in between your abilities
Junker Queen's blades do a lot of damage, but they're not enough to kill someone on their own, especially considering your enemies are likely getting healed while you're fighting them. To maximize your damage output, learn to shoot in between your abilities. Shooting before and after swinging your ax deals much more damage than the ax does alone. Similarly, if you land one of your knife throws, fire your shotgun before you pull them in, and follow up with another shot or an ax swing once they're close.
Focus on the squishies, not the enemy tank
Most tanks have some form of damage mitigation -- think Orisa's Fortify ability, D.Va's Defense Matrix or Reinhardt's hefty shield. Junker Queen, on the other hand, is all damage all the time, with no way to reduce incoming damage. Combined with a lack of armor for the Queen, that means most other tanks have a major advantage against you in a 1v1. Though it's tempting to take the tank duel to win glory over your tank-playing opponent, you'll get a lot more value by focusing on the enemy damage and support heroes, who are much easier for you to burn down. A single ax swing and shotgun shot can take down a 200-HP hero if that hero doesn't get any healing. Two shots, or a well-aimed headshot can take down the hero even through healing.
Use your Commanding Shout to engage or escape
Commanding Shout provides a speed boost and temporary health to Junker Queen and nearby allies (note that the Queen gets 200 temporary HP, while her allies get only 100). It's a great tool for rushing down enemies, especially if your whole team is around you. Try to time engages for when your opponents are moving through open space where they won't be able to retreat behind cover.
And while Junker Queen would never back down from a fight, she probably knows when it's time to slow down and regroup. Commanding Shout is an excellent escape tool if a fight is going the wrong direction -- it gives you the health and speed to get behind cover and regroup with your team before charging in again. That way, you avoid giving the enemies ultimate charge and ending up on a respawn timer.
Position for close-quarters fights
Junker Queen wants to be up in her opponents' faces. Make it easier by positioning yourself in places where they have to go past you but they can't poke you down from range. Hug doorways and arches and greet your opponents with a swing of the ax. Choke points are the Queen's friend, but you'll want to wait off to the side so they have to push through the choke and come to you to shoot you.