Hey there! Symmetra was reworked in a recent patch, and pro teams are already using her new kit. Let’s see how they play her!
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Pro teams started to use the new Symmetra. She became viable due to the changes to her in the patch of 29th of November. Her kit has been reworked a bit and some of her abilities were enhanced. Let’s see these quickly.
The main goal of the Symmetra rework was to make her more viable through the whole match. She had little to no value in a team after losing a point, and players usually had to switch har, making Symmetra a really situational pick. The changes are helping you to stay relevant for the full course of a side. Keep in mind that they did not change Symmetra to be an attacker hero, just to make her more solid as a defender. Let’s see the exact changes:
Her primary fire is easier to use, the length of the beam was changed from 5 meters to 7. The other aspects of the primary fire are the same: three stages of damage, increasing the stage every second, falloff after three seconds.
They left the secondary fire ability intact, still charges and fires an orb of energy that tears through any enemy it touches.The more you hold the ability the bigger the orb will be and the more damage it will do.
She is not able to give shields to her teammates any more, as a new ability, Photon Barrier was introduced instead. This creates a slowly moving shield that has 1000 hp. They changed the turrets for good. You start with 6 of them, able to carry 6 at a time. The cooldown was lowered to 10 seconds from 12.
The ultimates got a rework too. You can decide if you want to put down a teleporter, or a shield generator that gives 75 shields to everyone within 50 meter radius (and that’s a lot, 2.5 full length Roadhog hooks). The ultimate deployables now have 50 hp and 350 shields, so they are harder to kill by a lonely flanker, as they can regenerate the shields.
Primary fire: 5m -> 7m
Secondary fire: unchanged
Ability one: Photon Shield removed -> Photon barrier added
Ability two: 3 turrets, 12s cooldown -> 6 turrets, 10s cooldown
Ultimate: Teleporter -> Teleporter OR Shield Generator + increased survivability
PROS PLAY SYMMETRA
So these changes made her viable in the pro scene again. We will analyze a match played between Team EnvyUs and Complexity.
This match was played during the MLG Vegas. The map is Dorado, Complexity attacks first. They use a 3 tanks lineup and Mei, getting Zenyatta for more damage with Lucio. EnvyUs defends with 3 tanks, one DPS that is Soldier 76, one healer and a Symmetra. They use Ana for the sole healer, as she is able to burst heal the team from safety. They want to turtle and defend the arc, which Symmetra excels at. We will analyze the full match, paying close attention to what she is doing.
STAGE ONE : TURRET PREP
When the match starts, Symmetra’s main objective is to farm up the ultimate as quickly as possible. The turrets are the best tools to do that, so the initial placement is very important.
She is placing her turrets spread out around the main entrance and will place some on the side too, covering all potential enemy routes. It usually pays out to place some of the turrets in forward positions, where the enemy is not expecting them, usually around their spawn entrance. This helps Symmetra farm the ultimate even more quickly, but she has to be careful to reinforce the main entrances after the enemy comes out of spawn.
Her current placement is really defensive, expecting a strong push from the enemy. There are three main entrances on dorado, a gap on the left, the window of the bridge and the arc in the middle and the stairs on the right. The current placement covers all entrances, some turrets can shoot to both directions.
So the preparation stage is over, now the Symmetra have to farm the ultimate and stay alive while doing that.
STAGE TWO: ULTIMATE FARMING
The match starts and Complexity pushes the payload slowly. They are grouped up on the payload, their lineup is really meant for head on pushes.
You can see that the Symmetra is spamming her orbs to positions where she is expecting the enemy. You can learn the timings and spam your orbs to chokes where the enemy will most likely be. Just make sure to do that from a safe distance.
As Complexity gets to the arc, you can see the orbs of doom coming from the Symmetra. Every hit matters, so just she just spams them blindly.
The attackers group up on the high ground to attack from the stairs. Taimou gets a huge prehook on Complexity’s Reinhardt, giving the chance for Envy to quickly repel the first push. They can not kill him immediately however, being protected by his teammates. Meanwhile the Mei wall comes into play from Complexity in haste, trying to split the defenders in half, but the wall is not perfect and they can not utilize it.
The Symmetra helps her team making sure that she survives the fight. Staying behind the Reinhard’s shield all the time is really important. Her primary attack, the microwave is locked on the D.Va to charge her ult quickly and help the backline in the same time.
She is using the photon barrier to help mitigating some of the enemy’s damage, protecting herselft mainly.
The attacker Reinhardt dies, so Complexity has to fall back and regroup. Envy successfully defending against the first push.
The Symmetra ultimate has charged in the fight, and Internethulk puts down a shield generator for the team, giving them +75 shields.
She comes back to the team, reinforcing the turret defense, and spamming the stairs with the orbs. Complexity regroups in the meantime and tries to push in again from the stairs. The attacker D.Va finds the shield generator, and destroys it quickly.
You can see the microwave caressing the enemy again on the right side. The turrets are placed a little bit backward to help against the current push. This is why you always want to keep 1 or 2 turrets ready to deploy. You can see that she is helping the team from a safe position behind cover.
You can see another photon barrier use, she wanted to engage the enemy, covering her and the teammates with a barrier. This is an aggressive, close quarter combat use of her ability. Projecting the barrier first, running with it and locking on the enemy target with the beam. Her microwave has three stages, increasing once per second. So by staying behind her cover, she can easily reach the second or third stage of the beam and do a lot of damage.
Getting back to the game, the attackers withdraw, as they lost both their supports and their D.Va mech, forcing them to retreat yet again. The attacker’s Reinhard barely lives through this encounter.
Symmetra’s turrets are mostly on the right side, expecting the enemy to come from the stairs. She is spamming the orbs to the main gate.
Complexity regroups yet again, trying to attack from the main entrance, using their graviton to initiate their advancement. They manage to kill the defender’s Reinhardt, but a the Mei ultimate is not in a good position to help the fight. The defenders defend the push with the Ana plus Soldier ultimate, plus the Roadhog fires his rain of bullets too, killing the attacker’s Zarya and Reinhardt, then eliminating Zenyatta too.
The remaining forces of the attackers fight in the rooms. Symmetra helps her team with orbs from a safe position, because she has her ultimate to deploy.
After they drive away the attackers, a photon barrier is helping the tanks to get into position, providing them cover from the enemies.The Symmetra ultimate charges again, and Internethulk decides to use the shield generator well hidden, far away from the fight, placing it behind the defender’s gate.
Complexity decides that they need burst heals, so they switch Zenyatta to Ana.
The attackers engage from the main entrance, starting the fight with a D.Va ultimate, but they can not eliminate anybody with it. A well placed Mei wall allows Complexity to eliminate the defender’s Reinhardt. Meanwhile the defending Soldier goes on a rampage yet again, killing the two supports, while the Mickie’s D.Va ult goes off too.
Symmetra is using her orbs and photon barrier to have her team in the fight. Her turrets are placed around the fountain to help against the forward push.
The fight goes on, Complexity switching to Tracer for a last chance of push. Complexity pushes the payload again trying for the last chance.
You can see the Symmetra dueling with the tracer in the back line. After that she goes to help her teammates on the payload using the photon barrier against their Reinhardt but the shield doesn’t protect you against hammers.
The defenders in the fight repelling the last push of complexity.
MORAL OF THE MATCH
The moral of the match is that Symmetra is really good for defending small chokepoints with the sentry turrets and spamming the orbs into the enemy team. The shield generator is a huge advantage for the defenders, allowing them to be more aggressive and survive prolonged battles. Besides that, Symmetra’s beam is really powerful if she is able to lock on her target.
WHEN AND HOW TO USE HER
So now that we saw how pro players use Symmetra let’s talk about her in a little bit more detail. While she can be very strong, Symmetra is a really situational for defensive purposes only. She excels at defense, but her offensive use subpar. The Symmetra rework affected her quality of life, meaning that she is viable through a full side now, but this doesn’t mean that she should be used as an attacker. You have a lot better choices instead of her on the attack, and using Symmetra is really just trolling. Her abilities doesn’t help the team taking a point, doesn’t provide immediate help to the team, and are mostly wasted in attack. You have far better choices then her.
If you want to play Symmetra in defense, it is advisable that you take her in the role of the second DPS, not the second support. A team of random people will have hard time playing with only one support, but you can provide the DPS to the team with her.
ULTIMATE USAGE IN SOLO QUEUE
A quick word about the ultimate usage: if the team is lacking teamwork, you nearly always want to use the teleporter. The shield generator provides a lot of utility to the team, but needs the players to stay together and fight prolonged battles. If your team is just throwing themselves one by one to the enemy, just use the TP.
WHEN TO SWAP
There are no hard counters to Symmetra, as the whole team has to work together to either deny her ultimate charge or to push in together and take care of her defensive lines. If your team is unable to defend a position even with your turrets, it is highly advisable that you swap her to something that helps in the current situation, as you are heavily teamwork reliant. Placing turrets to random places and trying to utilize your ultimate in a situation like this is really unfavorable, so it is better to swap to something else.
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