Junker Queen is Overwatch 2’s newest and latest tank to join the roster. Previously only heard as the announcer voice in Junkertown, we can finally play as the Queen. Junker Queen’s playstyle is unlike any other tank we’ve had before. While it’s a tank’s job to create space, absorb damage, and generally initiate most fights, Junker Queen’s kit allows her to do so much more. She’s unique in how she employs buffs, debuffs, and distinct abilities that the other tanks do not have access to. Junker Queen’s kit allows her and her team to engage in aggressive, rush-style fights that debilitate the enemy team’s healing capabilities as well as temporarily increase her entire team’s total health and movement speed for a short duration.
Junker Queen takes advantage of these types of team fights with her special passive ability, Adrenaline Rush. Adrenaline Rush allows Junker Queen to receive passive healing over time for all Wound damage she deals to her enemies. The source of Wound damage comes from her special melee, the Jagged Blade. Wound damage can be considered as bleeding damage or damage over time, which most people might be more familiar with. This allows Junker Queen to stay in the fight a little bit longer and get close to her enemies to deal even more devastating damage to her team. Junker Queen boasts an interesting arsenal that constantly puts her up and closes with both her allies and opponents.
If stabbing her enemies up close and dealing wound damage wasn’t enough, she can throw her Jagged Blade like a tomahawk at her enemies. With only 6 seconds of cooldown, Junker Queen can use this ability very often (even multiple times throughout a single fight). Jagged Blade still retains the passive wound damage and Adrenaline Rush healing, but adds more synergy and long-range capabilities to them. Once the Jagged Blade hits an enemy, it can be called back, allowing Junker Queen to pull her enemies towards her. Even if the Jagged blade misses its mark, it can still hit enemies on the way back. Both directions of the blade apply the passives, however, while the Jagged Blade is out of Junker Queen’s reach, she cannot deal wound damage from her regular melee as the blade is not in her hands.
The Jagged Blade also has different reactions depending on what it strikes. If it hits a shield or if an enemy dies, uses a teleport, or intangible ability such as Moira’s Fade or Reaper’s Wraith Form, the blade will detach from them. The danger isn’t over though since, while it is falling out of its previous target, it can stick to a different enemy. It takes abilities like Dva’s Defense Matrix, Orisa’s Javelin Spin, and Genji’s Deflect to negate the blade and force Junker Queen to call it back into her hands.
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This ability is incredible for picking out enemies that are already weak, punishing overextending ones, and focusing on important heroes. With the addition of wound damage on top of its unique extra damage, Junker Queen can prevent or even force the enemy team to use its resources to either escape her or mitigate the constant barrage of damage they are receiving.
If Jagged Blade wasn’t enough, Junker Queen can unleash an even bigger melee weapon upon her enemies for even more base damage and wound damage. Carnage allows Junker Queen to swing down her axe at all enemies within a short distance in front of her. This ability has an 8-second cooldown, which isn’t that far from her Jagged Blade’s cooldown, but it also gets reduced by 2 seconds for each enemy it impacts. This makes Carnage a better source for dealing wound damage and a better way for Junker Queen to make use of her Adrenaline Rush passive to gain more health back. Using both of these abilities in tandem and balancing the timings between their cooldowns allows Junker Queen to stay in the fight that much longer.
This ability does come with a few drawbacks as, unfortunately, you can be stunned out of the move during its casting animation. On top of that, characters like Orisa, Doomfist, and Roadhog will have an easier time mitigating or even preventing the ability altogether. Junker Queen also does not have as many health points as other tanks so, while she will be able to heal off of the wound damage, it will not be enough sustain to be able to compete with the other tanks. She might not survive being focused while she is casting Carnage, but this is where her next ability comes to play.
Whether it’s to push to the offensive or sustain the fight, Junker Queen rallies her allies with a shout granting the team 50 over health points, a 30% increase in movement speed, and 200 over health points to herself. The cooldown for this ability is extensive at 14 seconds and starts when the uptime of the ability ends, making it all the more valuable. It was overwhelmingly powerful in the betas leading up to the official release and has received a few nerfs in the current version.
Over health is a new type of health point that replaces what was previously known in Overwatch as temporary armor and shields. The reason for this change is to differentiate between the different behaviors of regular health, shields, and armor, and from where the points are being sourced from. For example, Lucio’s Sound Barrier ultimate and Sigma’s Kinetic Grasp provide over health now. Essentially, any ability that would provide additional health, not in the form of direct healing like what the supports do, gives over health.
Additionally, Junker Queen’s Commanding Shout can reach past enemy barriers. Combine that with the speed boost it provides, and you’ve got a great way to keep up momentum when engaging the enemy team. The healing allows for some damage mitigation mid-fight by easing some of the pressure off of Junker Queen’s supports and gives her better synergy with her Adrenaline Rush passive as she uses Carnage or Jagged Blade to initiate or continue the battle. With this, she’ll have more staying power and can potentially compete with the other tanks in terms of staying alive and taking damage overall.
Combining all of her abilities, Junker Queen charges her gauntlet with her axe and rushes into the enemy team dealing massive wound damage and preventing the enemy team from being healed. Just like Carnage, this ability does have a casting animation and characters like Orisa, Reinhardt, Doomfist, Roadhog, Sigma, and Ana (to name a few) can potentially prevent Junker Queen from unleashing her ultimate. If an enemy is behind a barrier or a wall they won’t be affected by the super at all, so it is best to utilize this super when the enemy has used up most of those abilities. Be especially wary of characters like Kiriko and Orisa who can almost completely negate the effects before they happen, or after they happen.
Even with the drawbacks, Junker Queen’s ultimate opens up plenty of opportunities for her team to focus and take out specific enemies or allow Junker Queen to heal up via Adrenaline Rush, finish off weakened enemies, create space for her team, or force the enemy to use up their resources.
Junker Queen excels at close-range, aggressive, burst-style combat. With her passive capability to wound the enemy team over time, she can scramble their use of resources as well as spacing to take advantage of these types of moments with her Commanding Shout and Rampage ultimate.
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