ashe overwatch pic

How To Play As Ashe

ashe overwatch photo 2019
Art By: denn18art

Hey there Overwatchers.

I’ve been working on a comprehensive Ashe guide for a while now, and I’ve finally finished it.

If you’re already a small-time Ashe player, or completely new to the hero and want to pick her up, then read on!

Stats and Detail

Ashe is OW’s 29th hero, and exists under the Damage category. She has the standard DPS 200 health, is unable to heal herself, and has moderate mobility.

She’s a gun-focused hero, and requires high mechanical skill to get the most value out of her.

Weapon


Ashe’s gun, the Viper, is a rifle that deals 40 damage while unscoped, and 85 while scoped. It has 12 shots before you need to reload, and a unique trait is that unlike all other guns in OW, Ashe’s gun reloads by each bullet instead of by magazine. Thus, the more shots are used, the longer the reload will be, all the way up to 4.25 seconds reloading from empty.

Both scoped and unscoped can headshot, for double damage. (Unscoped headshots for 80, scoped for 170)

However, The Viper experiences standard hitscan falloff to 50% of normal damage beginning at 20 meters for unscoped shots, and 30m for scoped shots. This means that she can be out ranged by projectile heroes and Widowmaker.

Damage thresholds and Damage/s


Unscoped, The Viper deals 160 damage per second as all bodyshots. Scoped in, it deals 119 damage per second as all bodyshots.

For headshots, DPS values are 320 and 238 for unscoped and scoped, respectively. This is lower in many cases than rapid firing heroes, so Ashe’s main value is in her Damage thresholds. These are key breakpoints of damage that result in a kill.

Getting headshot by Ashe’s scoped mode puts a standard 200 hp hero down to 30 health. While not a one-shot like a widow headshot, this low amount of health puts someone in great risk of dying. People at 30 health can be killed by another bodyshot from the ashe, a melee from any hero in the game, a genji swift strike, a shot from a McCree, a headshot from Mercy’s pistol, (lul) etc.

Inversely, any hero that has taken any of these forms of damage will die instantly to an ashe headshot. Additionally, of course, any hero with sub-170 max health will also be one-shot.

For tanks with 400 health, it takes 2 scoped headshots and an unscoped headshot, or another scoped bodyshot. (This means an ashe can 3 shot any 400 health tank, provided they can aim)

For tanks with 500 health, they can be killed with 3 scoped headshots. (After the PTR armor nerf)

Tanks with 600 health take 4 scoped headshots to kill.

Because Ashe’s headshot damage sits so close to the 200 hp mark, if Ashe’s damage is boosted in any form (Mercy boost, or discorded target, or nanoed, etc) then her scoped headshots will one-shot 200hp heroes, because it becomes 221 with 30%, and a whopping 255 with 50%.

Thus, 400 HP tanks can be 2 shot, and so on.

Abilities


Ashe’s first ability, Coach Gun, is her Mobility and “get off my ass” ability. It propels her away from the direction it’s shot, and if it hits anyone they’ll be sent away as well. Ashe is always knocked away regardless of the pellets hitting anyone/thing. It has a 10 second cooldown.

It deals up to 90 damage when shot at someone point blank, but in practice deals paltry damage.

Coach gun can also be aimed downward to launch Ashe upward, this is her main tool for getting to high ground, or escaping ground-locked heroes like Tracer.

Coach gun should primarily be used for mobility, and self defense. When used for self-defense, try to hit your attacker with it, in order to maximize the distance created between you. This can allow for free headshots as targets get knocked into the air.

And of course, since it is a boop, you can indeed use it to boop people off cliffs. Be careful however that you don’t get yourself killed using this ability by knocking yourself off a cliff.

Ashe’s second ability, Dynamite, throws a grenade that flies through the air in a long arc. It’s fuse only begins once the projectile touches the ground. However, the grenade can be shot by Ashe to instantly detonate it.

The explosion radius is large, and will deal a burst of damage in the realm of 75-30 damage depending on distance from the grenade, and 100 afterburn damage, for up to 175 damage total.

The grenade does damage Ashe, for up to 87 damage.

Due to the high damage of this ability it’s valuable for building ult, as well as gaining elims on people not being healed. Healers can counteract the burn, however they cannot remove it early. Only abilities that purge other debuffs like Zarya bubbles, invincibility abilities, etc will purge the burn. Taking a healthpack will also extinguish you.

The burn effect also affects structures like turrets and barriers, damaging them over time.

This ability has great damage thresholds:

  • Grenade detonation + scoped headshot = 200hp kill
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  • Grenade detonation and afterburn + (Un)Scoped bodyshot = 200hp kill
  • Grenade detonation and afterburn + Scoped headshot = 250hp kill
  • From my testing, damage boosts seem to boost the initial burst of the blast, but not the afterburn. Feel free to correct me on this if your testing says otherwise.

Ultimate


Ashe’s ultimate, BOB, summons her faithful butler to enter the fray. Upon summoning, BOB falls out of thin air in front of Ashe, and begins running in a straight line where Ashe is looking. He’ll continue running for great distance (looks like 70m, Wiki says 65m, dunno) or until he contacts a wall or enemy. If he hits an enemy, he’ll deal 120 damage to them (by the way, this makes them killable with a scoped bodyshot) and fling them into the air, and stop charging.

After stopping, he switches to turret mode, where he proceeds to gun down anyone he can see, dealing about 122 damage per second, with perfect aim, totaling up to about 1100 damage overall if he’s allowed to shoot the whole time he’s down. (10 seconds)

While he’s in play, he contests any objectives he’s on, (including capturing) and can also be healed and boosted by supports.

After expiring via death or time, he’ll jump away again into thin air.

Counterplay includes:

  • Crowd controlling BOB. He’s effectively a player, and so can be slept, stunned, hacked (he stops shooting/charging), frozen, etc.
  • Killing him. He has 1200 health, which can be burned down easily by high headshot damage heroes, since his head doesn’t move. Do note that damaging BOB doesn’t yield ult charge, nor does healing him.
  • Knocking him back into a useless spot. He can be booped or charged into a useless sightline, greatly reducing his impact.
  • BOB requires 2000 charge to obtain. It’s very fast to charge if dynamite is used on large groups, or if the ashe player has a high headshot percentage. Charge towards her next ult can still be obtained by Ashe while BOB is in play.

Hero-specific options

Ashe possesses a few hero options that can be seen by selecting her on the controls screen of options, and you should definitely look through them if you’re picking up Ashe.

Relative scoped sensitivity

This is the same option all other heroes with a scope have, play around with this to find a good number you like. I personally use 45, apparently 51.66 is 1:1 relative. It depends on what you’re used to.

Recoil compensation

So many people get what this option does wrong. Ashe doesn’t possess recoil. The only true recoil any hero in the game has is McCree’s fan the hammer, and Whole Hog. (Both of which actually move your crosshair up over time) Everything else just visually moves your crosshair up, but the crosshair will always return to center before you can fire again. This is true for Widow, Ashe, McCree, basically any hero that has this option. Thus, you never have to factor in recoil, like you might have to for other FPS games.

So what does this option do, then? If you happen to come from another FPS with recoil mechanics where a gun “kicks up” after shooting (and shooting again with shoot higher than the last time, even if you don’t move your mouse), then you will have a natural habit to sharply pull down on your mouse while firing to counteract this recoil. However, since OW doesn’t have recoil, compensating like this will make your crosshair end up too low.

So, this option was added for those people. If the option is enabled and you compensate for recoil, your crosshair will stay still when you fire, instead of ending up below. If it’s off, then your pull-down will make your crosshair end up too low.

If you don’t compensate for recoil manually, then this option does nothing for you either way. The only reason you’d want to have it a certain way is if you have the kicking-down reflex.

Thus, enable it if you have the reflex to compensate manually, and if OW’s your first FPS, then turn it off to make it easier to flick downward. (Flicking downward while enabled requires enough motion to overcome the “kick-down threshold”.) I personally have it on, as I have this reflex.

Toggle scope


Completely up to your preference, this option makes it so you either have to hold right click to scope, or just tap it on and off.

Personally I keep it on toggle, so the weight of pressing down on my right click doesn’t weigh my mouse down and slow down my aim. If you’ve already been aiming with that weight on widow or ana, then keep it off.

As a little tip, if you have toggle scope on, you can exit scope and start reloading in one action by just pressing reload. Inversely, if you interrupt reload with a right click, you’ll stop reloading and scope in with one action.

General Tips

  • Always be reloading when you aren’t actively trying to kill someone. Get into the habit of tapping reload, since you can always interrupt your reload early.
  • Reload can be interrupted with left/right click, melee, ult, or emoting.
  • Actively try to get headshots. They’re harder for enemy healers to keep up with than repeated bodyshots.
  • Change positions often. It’s harder to dive you if people don’t know where you are, and the same goes for avoiding your shots.
  • Try to keep your ammo above 5 in case you suddenly need to defend yourself. It’s very hard to fight if you aren’t decently reloaded, so manage it like a resource.
  • Ashe isn’t a flanker, but she can flank. Doing this can be very effective in the mid-stage of a teamfight when the enemy can’t devote too many resources to dislodging you. Only try it a few times though, if they’re too woke for it to work, stop trying it.
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Positioning and Playstyle

How you position depends on your team and the enemies’ positioning.

Generally, the rule is stick to high ground (preferably highground that cannot be reached without vertical mobility, to protect from a good amount of heroes) as long as you can, and if you get bullied off, stick behind your team’s shields.

You should be back line, but not so far back that your damage falloff comes into effect. Long range supports should be behind you, and you should be between them and midline DPS. In an extremely general sense, the “order” of your team from back to front should be:

Ana/zen – Ashe – – – Offtank – Main tank.

If you’re playing double sniper DPS with Ashe, you want to position at a different angle than your other sniper, so you cover more ground. Playing split like that also makes it hard to kill both of you with a single dive, or shield both of your damages.

Techs

Ashe, while a simple hero, does possess a few techniques and optimizations that can be done.

Speed-kill Combo


Because of the way Ashe’s scope works, there’s a delay where you aren’t able to shoot after unscoping. Thus, to quickly deal fatal damage, you should fire a single unscoped shot (40 dmg) then immediately scope and headshot (170), for a total of 210 damage. This will, of course, kill any 200 hp hero. If the first unscoped shot is a headshot, this will be a total of 250 damage, perfectly enough to kill 250hp heroes like Reaper. (Making it very easy to kill him if you catch him shadowstepping, as you can do this combo before he can move)

A demonstration.

Easy Dynamite Detonation


Ashe throws the game her dynamite in such a way that as soon as you’re able to shoot, the dynamite will have crossed your crosshair. This means that if you press and start holding left click without moving your crosshair, you’ll always detonate the dynamite as soon as possible.

If thrown straight forward, this means that the dynamite will explode about 8-10m away from you. This is useful for igniting flankers trying to fight you.

A demonstration.

Matchups

In this section I’ll talk about enemy matchups against Ashe, assuming average (gold-plat) and equal skill. Things change at different ranks, but I’m trying to make this section as “majority friendly” as possible.

D.va

D.va is somewhat of a hassle if you don’t respect her. She’s a dive tank, and thus is typically run to dislodge you from your position to limit the effect you exert on her team, same as she’d do for a Widow.

Be on the look out for her, and if she dives you, wait for her boosters to end (very important), then coachgun her away, and back up while scoped-headshotting her. Since her head hitbox is in the front of her model and she can’t turn away to avoid headshots (because she has to track you) you can very easily repeatedly headshot her. She has issue closing distance without her boosters, and if applied correctly the coachgun shot will render her too far away to do any meaningful damage.

If your healers have picked you up, she loses and gets demeched, or runs away. If you’re alone, then you need to make sure you headshot her repeatedly. You can only 1v1 her if you deal enough damage to demech her before she gets her boosters back. If she gets them back and you aren’t being healed you’re dead.

Upon demeching her, try to dink her as she pops out of mech. Otherwise, be careful as she’s tricky to hit and can pistol you down. If she’s doing the cancerous ADAD spam, keep your crosshair still and wait for her to walk into it, or just dynamite her and call it a day.

Winston

In the same vein as D.va, with one exception, you want to try to coachgun him during his leap. If you’re on high ground this will reject his leap giving you time to flee or shoot him to death. Falling short of his jump can also land him in the center of your team to be melted too.

If fighting him on equal ground, aim for headshots (scoped if you’re low on ammo, if you’re full just spam unscoped. Your whole magazine landed as bodyshots will leave him with 20 health, even better if you manage to headshot him a few times) while backing up, and hope someone bails you out. Winston actually counters you better than D.va.

Rein

You’re entirely out of his range if you aren’t being silly, so just headshot him when he puts his shield down, or help burn down his shield.

You can also really easily throw dynamite over his shield and detonate it to set him and his squad on fire.

If somehow he gets close to you, shotgun him/yourself away.

Try to send BOB in when he doesn’t have charge so he can’t just displace it somewhere useless.

Zarya

Again, you’re out of her range, so just dink her from afar. She’s fairly easy to headshot because of her obvious head hitbox that isn’t hidden by her shoulders like rein’s is.

Look to throw dynamite at her when she’s used her self-bubble, as it forces her to take the damage.

Since you’re a high damage hero, do your best to not shoot her bubbles.

If she gets close to you, shotgun yourself to high ground, or just away and run.

Roadhog

Stay out of his hook range. His hook range is 20m, which gives you about 10m of leeway before you start falling off, so stay inside that and farm him. Look to headshot him when he goes for a hook or ults, since his mobility is limited and his head doesn’t move much.

Try to send BOB when he doesn’t have hook so he can’t displace it somewhere useless.

Orisa

This can be tricky, as her shield is curved and can be difficult to burn down. Either try to take an off angle and shoot around it, throw dynamite over it, or help your team kill it.

She’s able to contest you from far away due to her projectiles, so don’t get dinked from afar slowly to death.

Try to send BOB when she doesn’t have halt/fortify….you get it.

If she’s ever without a shield, use that time to dink her enormous head.

Wrecking Ball

Ashe, like widow, struggles greatly with WB. If he dives you, you either need to get peeled for by your team, or accept your death. You can’t run from him effectively, and can’t kill him in realistic time.

He’s also able to greatly displace BOB far away.

I would advise switching if he’s all over you.

Ashe

Exactly like a Widow Vs Widow duel, completely up to the individual skill and positioning sense of the Ashes. Git gud.

Generally whoever lands the first headshot or lands a successful dynamite will win.

Bastion

Generally kinda useless against Bastion. He’s tricky to headshot, and tends to be shielded and pocketed so much that running Ashe into him is silly.

He’s also immune to BOB knockup and can burn him down really fast.

I’d advise switching if you encounter a Bastion.

Doomfist

(inb4 playing Doomfist in 2019 LUL)

Since you lack a form of CC, you’re going to struggle to fight him if he surprises you. The trick is to shoot him before he can get within ability distance. Keep an eye on where he is and lay down suppressing fire.

If he ults you, shotgun yourself horizontally out of it.

Genji

Same as Doomfist (or Genji vs Widow) in that you optimally don’t want him to get close to you. Shoot him down from afar, and be careful not to get deflect headshotted.

If he does get close to you via dash, shoot him with unscoped shots until he deflects, then intentionally coachgun his deflect so you fly super far away. (You’re hit with your own knockback pellets) Use this distance created to shoot him dead. If you fail that and he re-closes the distance (and you still aren’t being peeled for) you’re kinda dead.

Similar to Widow, if he’s ulting and you don’t headshot him dead then you’re dead. No CC to stop him.

Hanzo

Extremely dangerous to fight. Ashe has a large head hitbox (larger than Widow’s), and you can’t one-shot him, so the already disadvantaged Widow vs Hanzo duel is multiplied for you. Avoid peeking him and only contest him if you have a shield.

Widow

Same as Hanzo, avoid fighting unless she isn’t paying attention to you or you’re shielded. She out ranges and out-damage-thresholds you, so don’t risk it.

Junkrat

If you’re outside of about 15m and on high ground, he can do pretty much jack squat to you. Easy headshots if he peeks you.

Unfortunately your damage isn’t enough to outright one-shot his tire, but a shot will probably kill it if it’s taken any random damage.

Mei

Stay out of her freeze range, and be careful not to get icicled from afar. Apart from that, easy dinks.

Try to use dynamite on her when she iceblocks, then detonate it when she pops out. This forces her to take the damage and can finish her if she walls herself off.

McCree

Your falloff range is longer than his, so at proper range you should win. He does have the advantage of significant dodging while shooting (since he doesn’t slow down while scoped like you do, and has no scope), but you have higher damage thresholds.

If he’s ADADing, keep your crosshair still and let him walk into it.

If he gets close enough to flashbang you, you’re kinda dead.

Pharah

In my opinion, ashe is the best hitscan to take down a pharah. While she’s unable to one-shot her like widow, Ashe is less susceptible to the “hide until you get close and then pop out of nowhere” pharah strategy that works on widow.

If a pharah does this to you, you should be able to burn her down with rapid unscoped shots, unless she’s super accurate with her rockets.

If she’s just hanging around in the air, you can shoot her down like a McCree would. If you wanna be stylish you can coachgun yourself into the air so it’s a less elevated shot, if that’s easier for you.

Reaper

I’m looking forward to this reaper buff. Gonna make a lot of people try to play him…and get shown why Reaper is still really bad.

Essentially, he has no real way of closing distance to you, provided you aren’t blind and deaf. If he’s trying to get to you just stay on high ground. If he teleports up to you, dink him. If he’s fighting someone else, dink him.

If he’s ulting, dink him.

Just dink his massive 4head that can’t close distance on anybody.

Use dynamite on him after he’s wraithed, so he has to take the damage.

Soldier

You have the same range, but he still holds the advantage unless you can quickly burst him down with headshots, because of his heal station and higher ability to evade while shooting.

Avoid fighting him unless your aim is really good, or he doesn’t have his heal.

You can try landing a dynamite on him while he’s healing, this can reduce his healing/s and make it slightly easier.

Sombra

Kinda a skill matchup, as you don’t really have a long range escape like widow, or CC.

I’ve found that dynamiting her makes her scared and usually forces her to teleport away. You can also be stylish and coachgun her into the air and headshot her as she falls, since she can’t dodge without translocating.

If you get hacked you’re dead unless you have great aim.

Symmetra

You out range her as long as you avoid her orbs, so just play at range and dink her. Destroy her turrets with dynamite or your shots.

Try to use BOB when she doesn’t have her ult as it negates a lot of his value.

If she teleporter bombs you (sending 3 turrets through the tele near you) then shotgun yourself away, or dynamite the teleporter.

Torbjorn

Really easy to dink, just be careful of his long range primary fire. Destroy his turret from afar, you can 3 shot it if you’re inside your falloff range.

Don’t get snuck up on and shotgunned.

Tracer

This is an aim test. If you’re of low accuracy she counters you, if you’re good you counter her, since you can one-tap her with a headshot. Two bodyshots also work, of course.

Avoid staying scoped in for long periods as it gives her an opportunity to blitz you down, and seek to headshot her if she isn’t engaged on you. Placing your crosshair and firing when she crosses it is very effective.

If she’s used recall and you dynamite her, she’s very likely to die. At the very least, she must hard-disengage in order to get a healthpack or healed.

You can also evade her by just staying in areas that she can’t reach. Shotgun yourself up to sniper perches and she won’t be able to get to you, since she can’t vertically blink.

Ana

You actually counter Ana really really well.

Not only can she be dinked easily if she hardscopes in your sights, but you can kill her really easily with dynamite if you see her use her nade.

Upon seeing her throw her nade, shoot her once (body or headshot, whatever) and dynamite her. Boom, she’s automatically dead unless she gets a healthpack or gets healed by her second healer. (If she even has one)

She also has great trouble healing teams that get mass-dynamited, since her healing is really single target.

Only thing is to be careful not to send BOB until she’s used her sleep, since getting slept makes him useless for half his duration.

Brigitte

She can do nothing to you from afar, so just blast her with headshots. If she’s shielding from you, throw dynamite above her shield to wear down her health. As soon as she goes to swing on someone resume blasting her.

You can instantly remove any rally armor from any non-shield-health enemy by headshotting them once.

Lucio

No specific tips, just shoot him. Try to land dynamites on him because it forces him to stay on healing so he doesn’t burn to death.

If he ults, try to shoot him during the predictable arc he follows. If you’re really good you can probably headshot him out of his ult.

Mercy

Same as Lucio, just shoot her. Land dynamites on her to prevent her regen.

Do note that coachgun doesn’t work for knocking her back while she’s rezzing, for whatever reason. Don’t bother, just headshot her. If you’re really close while she’s rezzing you can also spam her down with unscoped shots.

Moira

Stay out of her range, and avoid her long range damage balls. If she fades put pressure on her, and try to zone her out from healing her tanks.

She can’t crouch while in ult, so potential for easier headshots.

Zenyatta

Same interaction as with Widow and him, don’t get orb-volleyed from across the map. Keep moving, and keep an eye on him. He’s also a super high value dynamite target since he can’t heal himself easily.

I recommend shooting at him when your flanker does. The combined damage will kill him.

Wrap up

Thanks for reading this novel! If you have any further questions or corrections, do let me know.

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