In October, Overwatch’s beloved hacker, Sombra, underwent a subtle yet significant rework to her kit. These changes aimed to make her kit more active and force her to commit to the fights she was adept at starting. This was a direct response to the biggest criticism Sombra faced. Before the rework, Sombra’s Translocator ability was a get-out-of-jail-free card that could instantly teleport her to safety.
Sombra clearly isn’t going anywhere soon, and fans can expect to see more of her in 2024. In the meantime, she continues to be a nuisance to unprepared players, striking where they’d least expect it. That said, a few characters can turn the tables on the hacker and make her regret engaging them.
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Shift the Advantage with her Ultimate Ability, but is an Easy Target
For the most part, Widowmaker isn’t a great counter to Sombra. The sniper’s tendency to narrow their focus to a single point makes her especially easy to flank. However, Widowmaker does have a useful tool in her ult. Being unlike any other ability in Overwatch some have suggested Widowmaker get a new one, but it does ruin Sombra’s main strategy.
The last thing a Sombra wants to hear is “Personne n’échappe à mon regard.” Suddenly, they’re no longer invisible, and everyone knows where she is. However, when she’s not ulting, Widowmaker is, unfortunately, an easy kill.
Jump Where Needed with the 360 Degrees Shield
Sombra’s plan to attack the back line means that mobile tanks are better suited to answer her. If their supports are being taken out, players can jump back and make Sombra regret it. However, this does mean that Winston players are not leading the charge as tanks are meant to, and their attention is divided.
In the time Winston is away, the DPS can be picked off, or the opposing tank can gain ground, so it’s always a gamble. Winston does have one thing about normal tanks in his shield. Sombra can’t hack through shields, and Winston’s covers every angle in a circle (although its small size makes some call for a rework). Regardless, this means anyone inside is safe unless Sombra gets inside, in which case her cover is blown.
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Put Sombra to Sleep, Just Don’t Miss
Ana is a good support for many reasons, but it almost always comes back to her sleep dart, which, when used right, can lead to some impressive plays. It’s a very powerful disruptor tool. If Ana manages to sleep and attack Sombra, they’re done for.
While this is easier said than done, it gets easier when her target is close, something a Sombra often does to improve their accuracy. Then, if that doesn’t work, Ana’s biotic grenade provides a nice healing boost and doesn’t need precise aim. However, once those two abilities are used up, Ana is out of tricks and is easy pickings for a Sombra lying in wait.
Use Biotic Orb at the Right Time to Win the one-on-one
Moira has several options when Sombra tries to take her out. She can either dash away with her Fade ability or throw out her Biotic Orb and try to win the one-on-one. Both are solid options and can end or postpone the fight. This aggressive playstyle reinforces the Moira DPS joke but is an effective strategy for a reason. Sombra has one advantage: Biotic Orb won’t target her if she’s invisible. With careful timing and the strategic use of her abilities, Moira can, more often than not, deal with Sombra herself.
Careful Turret Placement can Create a Safe Haven
Symmetra players can rest easy because her turrets will make Sombra think twice about engaging your team, even if she gets hacked. If she leaves stealth, the turrets will automatically lock onto her, preventing her from hacking; this means that turret placing is critical.
This is relatively easy to do when playing defense, but on attack, it’s a whole other story. If Symmetra can keep a turret on the backline to protect her supports, it means she is not doing as much damage as she could be doing. A Symmetra playing against a Sombra has to divide their focus to win, but several characters don’t have that problem and can be just as effective.
Chase Sombra Down when She Tries to Disengage
While Sombra’s rework prevents her from immediately teleporting out of danger, her new Translocator can still be used to get out of a sticky situation. In this situation, players need a character who can run her down, and few are better at this than Genji.
Whether she throws it vertically or horizontally, Genji’s dash and wall climb are perfect tools to catch her. Playing Genji against Sombra is sort of like a cat-and-mouse chase. If she hacks a Genji player, they become the mouse. But if Genji players can disrupt her game plan, they will be the cat and can take her out.
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Switch between Sonic and Storm Arrows to Adapt to the Situation
While most snipers are easy picking for Sombra, the same isn’t true for Hanzo. His Sonic Arrow is a great tool for revealing an invisible Sombra. Use this ability to help the team pinpoint her location or fire it nearby.
Hanzo’s Storm Arrows are great for close-range combat. As long as he can land four, Sombra is done for (although that’s easier said than done). If that doesn’t work, Hanzo’s lunge is a good mobility tool that can help him create some distance. A well-placed arrow can easily force a Sombra to retreat or, if players are lucky, send her back to spawn.
Kiriko can Cleanse Sombra’s Debuffs
Kiriko has quite a few tools that can directly answer Sombra. Not only can she teleport to the safety of her allies if Sombra tries to take her one-on-one, but she can also use her Protection Suzu to cleanse Sombra’s hack and Virus abilities.
This is especially useful if the tank gets hacked and can prevent her from getting a lot of bonus damage. Just be careful when using this powerful ability, as it has a 15-second cooldown. If timed right, a Kiriko can nullify Sombra, but if players misread the situation, Sombra will take the opening before Kiriko has time to think.
Make Sombra Think Twice about going after Teammates
If a Sombra’s dream is a back line full of easy targets, then Briggite is her worst nightmare. Not only is she an easy hero to play, but Briggite’s shield makes her a bulky target that’s difficult to pick off quickly. She can also protect her teammates, who would otherwise be easy targets. Not only that, but Briggite can also watch her tank’s back and prevent them from getting hacked.
If Sombra does choose to engage Shield Bash and Whip Shot can create distance between Sombra and her targets. Against Brigitte, a Sombra either has to pick off targets far from the main party (such as snipers) or change to a different character; there’s not much else she can do.
Protect Teammates with his Vigilant Turret
Torbjorn is often criticized for being an easy character to play because of the turret’s auto-aiming, which can come in handy when fighting an opponent you can’t see. While Sombra is safe as long as she’s in stealth, the turret can target her as soon as she tries hacking someone.
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So long as teammates stay within line of sight of the turret, they’re essentially safe from being hacked. All Torbjorn has to do is watch his own back if Sombra tries to deal with the problem at its source. Torbjorn’s alt fire should be useful in close quarters, and with the turret’s help, the odds are more than in Torbjorn’s favor.
- October 4, 2022