Mei has one of the most unique playstyles of all Overwatch heroes, one that focuses on slowing down opponents, blocking off key areas, and providing excellent crowd control.
In this Overwatch Mei guide, we’ll highlight the best tips, tricks, and strategies for playing as the determined freeze-gun toting climatologist.
If you would like more tips and tricks, check out our Overwatch Beginner’s Guide, where we dive into hero roles, team composition, and best practices for winning.
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Mei Abilities and Role Explained
Mei is a formidable damage hero capable of holding her own in 1v1 fights with most heroes, though her kit is better utilized for crowd control, trapping, and distracting the enemy team.
Armed with the ability to heal herself and gain momentary invulnerability, she borders on tank territory but ultimately lacks the necessary defenses to truly fulfill the role.
With that said, Mei’s Ultimate is one of the strongest in the game, and in the right player’s hands, can turn the tide of almost every battle.
How to Use Endothermic Blaster
Mei’s primary weapon is her Endothermic Blaster, a freezing gun with two modes of fire, with the main one being a short-range frost stream that damages, slows, and eventually freezes targets for 1.5 seconds.
The Blaster’s secondary fire launches an icicle projectile that travels in a straight line and consumes more ammo than the primary fire but deals increased damage if a target is hit.
Both modes have their uses depending on Mei’s positioning and the opponent but combining the two will get you the best results.
Keep in mind, the icicle projectiles have a short casting time (0.4 seconds) during which Mei is vulnerable; additionally, the primary freezing gun requires 30 shots before a target becomes frozen.
How to Use Cryo-Freeze
One of the best abilities in Mei’s kit is her Cryo-Freeze, which creates a thick coating of ice that surrounds her and makes her both invulnerable and immobile for 4 seconds.
During this time, Mei is immune to most debuffs and can recover up to 150 health for the entire duration, or less if Mei manually cancels out Cryo-Freeze earlier.
This allows Mei to avoid burst damage and deadly Ultimates such as D.Va’s self-destruct, as well as heal herself in a pinch if no healers are nearby.
When combined with Mei’s other abilities, Cryo-Freeze does an excellent job of drawing the enemy’s attention and creating openings for teammates to capitalize.
How to Use Ice Wall
Ice Wall is a great complement to Cryo-Freeze and serves as a more straightforward physical object that can distract, separate, or deter enemies from the objective.
When triggered, it sees Mei creating a wall of five ice pillars on a flat surface chosen by the player, with the option to switch its orientation from side-to-side and front-to-back by re-pressing the ability’s button/key.
After making a selection, Mei will spawn the wall from the ground, lifting any players underneath to the wall’s height and breaking off in sections that intersect with the map’s geometry.
While Ice Wall has an impressive 400 health per pillar, it can be destroyed in several ways including by the enemy team, Mei herself, a moving payload, or after its 5-second duration is completed.
How to Use Blizzard (Ultimate)
Mei’s Ultimate ability sees her deploying a weather-altering drone at a targeted part of the map that, once summoned, travels toward the point from Mei’s current location as a slow arcing projectile.
Once the drone reaches the ground, it starts turning the surrounding area into an icy tundra, slowing the enemy’s movement speed until they’re completely frozen and dealing damage over time.
Since Blizzard’s freezing effects take 2.5 seconds to kick in, any enemies caught in its radius have a chance to escape before becoming frozen, though they will likely still have taken some damage.
An important thing to remember when using this ability is that the enemy team will still have time to attack Mei before they’re completely stuck, so try to block them with Ice Wall or Cryo-Freeze in the center of the Ult.
Considering Mei has one of the more advanced playstyles in Overwatch, her strengths may not be apparent when you’re just starting.
However, anyone who’s faced a really good Mei will know how annoying it feels to deal with Ice Walls blocking your line of sight or getting trapped by her freeze-gun.
Her unique approach to combat doesn’t mesh well with every hero or map, but there are a handful of allies who can synergize with Mei’s tools.
Which Heroes Combo Best With Mei?
- McCree – Can quickly finish off any targets Mei freezes, namely by combining Dead-Eye and Blizzard.
- Hanzo – Can also piggyback off Blizzard by triggering Dragonstrike to pierce through any frozen targets.
- Reaper – Can initiate Death Blossom during Blizzard to get a big team kill.
- D.Va – Can combine Self-Destruct with Blizzard and push the enemy around to stop them from focusing Mei.
- Reinhardt – Gives Mei an additional layer of defense, allowing her to play more aggressively and plan out her Ice Wall placements more carefully.
When a hero has a playstyle as specific as Mei’s, it usually limits their potential to certain maps and team compositions.
Without good chokepoints, her strategies usually break down, and it’s hard to gain any momentum when Mei’s teammates don’t follow up on her Ice Walls with big plays.
She’s also not exactly the best hero for getting damage and works better as an annoying nuisance that can be hard-countered by a surprisingly large number of heroes.
Which Heroes Does Mei Struggle Against?
- Junkrat – Can place traps under Mei while she’s frozen and deals high damage at close range.
- Orisa – Resists Mei’s freeze with Fortify and gains ranged superiority using her deployed shield.
- Winston – Can slip into backlines and catch Mei by surprise; high mobility and deployed shield also make Winston hard to freeze.
- Zarya – Can remove Mei’s freezing effect using her bubble; at max charge, she can force Mei to trigger Cryo-Freeze while her bubble is on cooldown.
- Pharah – Can keep her distance from Mei, preventing her from utilizing her primary fire and Ice Wall ability.
- Widowmaker – Another hero that can pick off Mei from afar; while Widowmaker can be blocked off with Ice Wall, there are generally better applications for the ability.
- Lucio – Superb mobility prevents Lucio from getting trapped by freeze; additionally, he’s able to recover health and buff allies to help them resist Mei’s combos.
- Reaper – Can also gain momentary invulnerability using Wraith form and has the close-range advantage over Mei.
- McCree – Can stun-lock Mei, preventing her from triggering her Cryo-Freeze to avoid dying.
General Tips for Playing Mei
If you’ve got the time and patience to master Mei’s kit, then you’ll find she can be an absolute monster on maps like Dorado, Blizzard World, Anubis, and King’s Row.
On the other hand, she’s easier to counter on maps that allow for more verticality since enemies can simply go over her Ice Walls.
As long as your teammates are following up with attacks of their own, you should have no problem keeping control; for everything else, keep these last tips in mind.
- Practice freezing targets and following up with an icicle to maximize Mei’s damage and increase the chance of securing the kill.
- Ice Wall can be used for more than just blocking the enemy team from the objective; try isolating individual targets or lifting your allies up and out of harm’s way.
- If you find yourself surrounded, Cryo-Freeze then lift yourself with Ice Wall to get away safely.
- Communicate with teammates where and when you plan to drop an Ice Wall so they can prepare and follow up with a coordinated attack.
- You can bait enemies into using various movement abilities by triggering Cryo-Freeze to survive the initial attack before canceling to take the upper hand.