Mastering Roadhog, The One Man Wrecking Ball

Mastering Roadhog, The One Man Wrecking Ball

Roadhog is easily one of Overwatch’s most deadly tanks. His mechanics may not be devious as other heroes in the game, but there’s a number of tricks to make use of. Known for his ability to take out players, there’s much more to Roadhog.



Skill & Info breakdown:


Scrap Gun -


Ammo: 4


Fire Rate: 1


Reload Time: 1.5


Damage: Max Damage hits for 225 broken down into 25 pellets per shot, each with a damage range of 4-9 depending on range.


Acts as Roadhog’s primary attack


Headshots can be achieved


Scrap Gun Ball -


 Ammo: 4


Fire Rate: 1.3


Damage: Max Damage, once again, hits for 225 if all pellets hits after ball detonates. The initial ball damage is 50.


Headshots can be achieved



Chain Hook -


Range: 21 meters


Damage: 30


Duration: 4 Seconds


Stun Duration: 0.15


Cool Down: 6 seconds



Take A Breather -


Heals: 300 HP


Duration: 1 second


Cooldown: 8 seconds



Ultimate – Whole Hog


Damage: 2,500


Duration: 6 seconds

Causes Knockback



Vital Information:

Roadhog has the largest basic health pool of all the tanks.

He’s the only tank to not posses some form of shield/barrier ability.

Damage range is short/mid.

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Roadhog Strengths:

High HP pool

High damage output

Good disabler

Great at taking/holding points

Destroys shields and barriers


Roadhog Weakness:


Small ammo count per clip

Large, easy to hit

No shield/barrier abilities



Roadhog is about as aggressive as you can get. Play him on the front line. That is where he is most effective. It’s that simple!



Chain For The Win:

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The main reason people fear Roadhog is his chain. Players hit by the chain are stunned and dragged towards Roadhog. This sets up a pretty simple combo of Chain grab + shotgun to the face, which one hits most soft targets. This ability is how Roadhog will earn most of his kills, but it does have more diverse effects on the game.

Given the chain’s range and stun properties, Roadhog can cancel a number of ultimate attacks -


Reaper – Death Blossom

McRee – Deadeye

Pharah – Rocket Barrage

Roadhog – Whole Hog

Mercy – Resurrect


The chain grab can also be used to grab D.VA’s self destructing Mech and Junkrats tire. The latter serves as opportunity to try and take out the tire before it explodes. In the case of D.VA, it’s more to do with trying to save team mates at the cost of your life.

Roadhog can also use his chain to cancel/counter normal abilities such as Widowmaker’s grappling hook and other Roadhog’s take a breather. Quick minded Roadhog players will also find the chain grab as a great way to cancel Reinhardt’s charge.

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It’s important to remember that the chain grab will not go through Reinahrdt’s shield or either of the barriers that Zarya can produce. Winston’s shield dome will also block the chain. It should go without saying that Zenyetta’s can not be grabbed while his ultimate is in effect.

You can break down the general stages of a chain grab -


1 – Initiation: The chain fires in a straight direction. Hitting the target will stun them and drag them towards the player. Be wary of walls and obstacles which can sometimes mess up the ability.


2 – Scrap Meets Face: A handy tip is to hold down the primary fire button while the target is dragged towards you. You’ll be fully ready to instantly unleash a shot directly to the face of your victim. Not all heroes will die in one shot, so be prepared to follow up with either another shot or a melee.


3 – Reposition: Roadhog can not move while performing a chain grab. This often means he’ll soak up some damage while hooking victims. After taking out your hooked target, move yourself to a safe location, use Take A breather, and repeat.



Who Should I Hook?


Overwatch can be chaotic to say the least. A Roadhog with a good sense of priority targeting can change a game.

General priority order should go as follows -


Support > Defence > Offence > Tank


There will be times that you’ll have overrule the list in order to take out the biggest threats. If you have a shot at Mercy or a McRee whose just hit his ultimate, go for McRee. Make use of Roadhog, shutdown any ultimates first and foremost before trying to kill anyone. The cool down is pretty short, so you’ll be able to quickly switch back to the priority list.



Chain + Environment = Death:

On maps like Ilios, Nepal and Lijiang Tower, Roadhog’s chain grab becomes even more deadly. If positioned in the right place, you can drag people off the map. This method can change the flow of a game, even more so if you target heroes with no leap/flight abilities.


Position near the black lines, red represents chain reach



Scrap Balls May Surprise You:


If you’ve played any hero that lacks a healing ability, you’ll know how annoying it is to take chip damage. Roadhog’s gun ball ability does have the ability to kill, but it’s also great for causing pressure. Think you see a Widowmaker or Hanzo shooting from above? Fire a gun ball. The damage will be enough to make them more cautious in how they play.


The gun ball can also force Pharah players into playing safer. If they don’t, a fun gun ball shots can take them out. It’s also a handy skill for lowering Reinhardt’s shield and supplying a level of covering fire at range.



Take A Breather Is When You’re At Your Weakest:


While it heals for 300hp, using the skill will leave you vulnerable. The skill can’t be cancelled out, nor can Roadhog move or perform any abilities. Before using the skill, take cover or at least look for a less dangerous area to bunker down in.

It’s also worth using the skill if you find yourself in Zarya or Mei’s ultimates, just to boost your chances of survival.


Whole Hog Will Ruin People’s Day:


Whole Hog is Roadhog’s ultimate ability, and by god does it wreck things. He’ll move much slower, but his damage output while using the ability is immense. It hits heavy and knocks players back, in some cases earning environmental kills.

The main thing to remember is the ultimate can be shutdown via stuns. Try not use the ability without having an idea where the enemy is, or while being exposed from behind. Recoil is also a problem. Whole Hog requires the player to wrestle with keeping the gun aimed forward. Walking backwards and slightly dragging down the mouse/analogue stick should serve you well.

Whole Hog acts as a great way to knock people off points, which is also useful.

Try to use it in small areas/rooms, avoid using at long range.




Roadhog may be powerful, but every hero has their counters.


Zenyatta -


If Roadhog manages to chain him, he’ll be dead with one scrap blast. So how is Zenyatta a counter? Simple, those bloody discord orbs. Increasing damage taken by 50%, whenever Roadhog has a discord orb stuck onto him, it’s bad news.

Zenyatta tends to stay far behind his team, making use of his range. He’ll throw orbs around the game, all while supplying a fairly decent damage output. Roadhog is large and slow, making him easy pickings for a orb.

It’s worth noting that Zenyatta ultimate won’t be cancelled, but he will still be dragged towards Roadhog. This can be used to pull him away from team mates, stopping him from healing them.



Junkrat -


Once again, Junrat uses his range and Roadhog’s size and speed to act as a counter. Firing grenades from afar, good Junkrats will rarely be on the front line. He can take down Roadhog pretty easily due to his size. Grenades are hard to avoid as it is, never mind as a stumbling sack of chain throwing meat.


Soldier 76 -

Yet again, Roadhog’s size means Solider 76 can hit him with ease. The damage output of Solider is strong, even more so when his Helix Rockets are used. As Roadhog, you’ll have real issues trying to dodge incoming misses.

On the plus side, Whole Hog will cancel out Soilder’s sprint, and he can he quickly dispatched with a chain grab + scrap to the face combo.




You can’t grab turrets, nor do you have any shields as Roadhog. This makes turrets a real issue. They’ll cut through your health and send you back to spawn pretty damn fast.

Chain grabbing Torbjorn comes with a number of risks. His gun can inflict heavy damage, dragging him towards you may not always be the best move. There’s also the risk of him popping his Molten Core ultimate which will result in Roadhog’s death.



Her walls can block Whole Hog and chain grabs. She can counter chain grabs by ice block. She can freeze Raodhog easily given his size and speed. She’s pretty much a pain in the arse while play Roadhog. Icicle shots are easy to land on Hog, again due to his size and speed.



Given how far back he is in most game, it’s harder to grab him. The running theme of Roadhog’s size and speed being a weakness is also relevant here. Even a new Hanzo player will have a easy time piling arrows into the chest of Roadhog.



Watch Out For:

They may not be counters, but they still provide a few problems.


Tracer -



She’s super fast, which makes it tricky to grab or even hit her. After a fair amount of time put into Roadhog, you’ll start to nail grabbing her. New players will struggle to catch at her first, but don’t get too down on yourself. Short cool downs means you can keep trying.

Beware of her ultimate, it won’t straight up kill you, but it will leave you with a small amount of HP.


Genji -

He may be fast, but he’s not tracer fast. Grabbing him isn’t too hard, but he can deflect the chain grab.


McRee -

At the time of posting, McRee can kill most tanks pre-nerf. He can stun Roadhog out of his ultimate and Take A Breather skills. His fanfire can pretty much kill Roadhog, and every other tank. This will change in the coming future after he is nerfed.


Widowmaker -

Pretty simple, she can hit you with little effort. Upon being grabbed by a chain, she can also use her grapple hook to escape before you mange to hit her with the scrap fire.


Lucio -

While he won’t be murdering Roadhog anytime soon, he can still do a fair amount of damage. Roadhog is easy to hit, Lucio can exploit this with ease. His ultimate can also reduce how effective whole hog is.


Reinhardt -


This is a weird one. Roadhog can kill Reinhardt up close pretty easily. Large hit boxes make the steel covered German a easy kill, but he can also hammer Roadhog to death. His charge is also something to watch out for. Chain grab can be used to cancel out the charge. In return, Reinhardt’s charge can cancel out Whole Hog and Take A Breather. Watch out for First Strike too, it hurts.



Who Does Roadhog Counter?

Roadhog can make light work of the following heroes.


Pharah -

Once she’s hooked, that’s pretty much the end of her. Low hp makes her a easy kill assuming you can grab her. The chain can also shutdown Rocket Barrage, which your team mates will love. Roadhog’s high HP ans healing acts as a good means to counter the damage out put of Pharah’s basic attacks.



D.VA -

In her current state. She’s pretty much a free kill. The large hit boxes of her Mech means Roadhog eats her up with a chain + scrap combo. Outside of her suit, she’s even easier to kill. For the most part, two scrp gun balls will end her.

Only thing to watch out for is running away from her ultimate. Roadhog is slow and may struggle to escape the blast area.



Mercy -

There’s not much to say, she should be on the top of Roadhog’s kill list. Grab her, shoot her, sorted. There’s very little she can do to counter or survive. The chain grab can also cancel out Mercy’s Resurrect ultimate.



Which Composition Does Roadhog Work In Best?


Roadhog does not require the full attention of a healer. This means he can play well in a team with any healer setup. From a personal recommendation, Mercy is a great partner when playing in defence. Holding points in the likes of Hanamura and the Temple of Anubis can be effectively done with this combo.

Symmetra’s turrets also work well with Roadhog in these maps. Point A in both stages present areas in which turrets can be placed. When Raodhog chain grabs heroes into these areas, both he and Symmetra will benefit from a kill, increasing their ultimate percentage.


Zarya is also a great partner. Roadhog will always be on the front line, allowing Zarya to shield him in order to gain energy rapidly.


I often play Roadhog over at if you’re curious to see how he plays or have any questions.

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Sean Halliday

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