Wrecking Ball Abilities and Strategy

Last updated on Jul 06, 2018 at 19:40 by Mournflakes 2 comments

Table of Contents

On this page, you will find a detailed overview of the abilities that Wrecking Ball has access to. We also explain how to best use these abilities.

The other pages of our Wrecking Ball guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

1. Wrecking Ball TL;DR Tips

  • Wrecking Ball is not a traditional off tank; he does little to protect allies but a lot to harass enemies. If you are going to play Wrecking Ball, you need to get aggressive and make plays!
  • Adaptive Shield Icon Adaptive Shield should not necessarily be the first thing you use when you engage an enemy. Sometimes saving your shield as an escape tool is better than using it to secure a kill.
  • Use Minefield Icon Minefield to defend objectives, choke points, or important allies if they are being attacked. Using Minefield to counteract enemy actions will result in more kills than dropping them in an effort to get kills.

2. Wrecking Ball Abilities

2.1. Quad Cannons

Wrecking Ball Quad Cannons
Quad Cannons (LMB) Wrecking Ball

Automatic assault weapons.

Wrecking Ball's primary weapon is called Quad Cannons Icon Quad Cannons. Quad Cannons are heavy machine guns that deal 5 damage per shot. While the damage may seem low, Quad Cannons are capable of firing 25 shots per second, which means their total damage per second is 125. Additionally, Quad Cannons can deal headshots damage, which means their true damage potential is actually 250 damage per second.

Aim, while important, is less of a factor for Quad Cannons as it is for other weapons because they hold a hefty 80 rounds of ammo. With that much ammo, taking out healers and some damage heroes should be a piece of cake.

Quad Cannons are most effective at close range for two reasons. First, the cannons have a damage falloff distance (begins at 15 meters, is capped at 25 meters where the damage is reduced by half). Second, the cannons do have some spread, which is more pronounced at longer distances. Therefore, the cannons are more accurate and more lethal at close range.

2.2. Grappling Claw

Wrecking Ball Grappling Claw
Grappling Claw (RMB) Wrecking Ball
  • Cooldown: 5 seconds

Launch a grappling claw to rapidly swing around the area. Enables high speed collisions to damage and knockback enemies.

Grappling Claw Icon Grappling Claw is Wrecking Ball's secondary-fire but rather than dealing damage, it is a mobility ability. Grappling Claw is exactly what the name suggests, a claw that grapples onto objects/walls in the Overwatch universe. While one side of the grapple is attached to an in-game object, the other side is attached to Wrecking Ball's mech. Once firmly attached to something, the attachment point of Grappling Claw becomes a pendulum from which Wrecking Ball can gain momentum and swing from.

Wrecking Ball cannot attach to any in-game objects that can be destroyed, that move of their own free-will, or can be pushed or shoved when a player shoots at it. Additionally, Wrecking Ball cannot use Grappling Claw while not in a ball. If the ability is used while Hammond is in Quadruped mode, Wrecking Ball will instantly transform into his Roll Icon Roll ability while shooting out Grappling Claw.

Wrecking Ball's Grappling Claw is capable of going through solid in-game objects with no resistance. Therefore, Wrecking Ball can swing around structures even though his Grappling Claw should realistically wrap around the object and stop him. Additionally Grappling Claw can be used to reach high ground areas thanks to this rule.

When Wrecking Ball is attached to an object through Grappling Claw, his movement speed can increase to the point of injuring enemy players. In fact, at maximum speed (indicated by Wrecking Ball's mech turning white hot), he will deal 50 damage to any opponent caught in its path. Additionally, any opponent struck by wrecking ball will be knocked backwards a certain distance based on Hammond's speed on impact (the knock back is capped at 10 meters.)

It is crucial to note that Hammond's full speed (white hot) status will only last 1.5 seconds after Grappling Claw is released. Therefore, if an enemy is more than 1.5 seconds away from Hammond's top speed, Grappling Claw cannot be used as a weapon. Additionally, Grappling Claw's 5-second cooldown starts once Grappling Claw is released. It is also worth mentioning that Wrecking Ball can turn into his Quadruped form while in midair, giving Wrecking Ball a second or two of extra damage while flying towards a target.

Wrecking Ball stays attached to a surface as long as the player holds down his or her secondary fire key. Hammond will only drop his Grappling Claw if the player lets go of the keybind or uses one of his other abilities. Additionally, enemy crowd control abilities can force Hammond off of his Grappling Claw.

Wrecking Ball can attach to an object from up to 18 meters away, however, if he moves in towards his point of attachment, he cannot move back out again. Hammond only has the freedom to move away from his attachment point within six meters of its epicenter. Therefore, if a player attaches from ten meters away, moves in to 4 meters away, then wants to move back out again, they will only be able to move back to 6 meters away. However, if a player attaches from 15 meters away and only moves sideways in a circle from the point of contact, then Wrecking Ball is capable of staying 15 meters out all the way around his point of contact. To put it simply, if you move towards your attachment point, you will not get that length back (unless it is within 6 meters of the attachment point).

In regards to gaining momentum with Grappling Claw, players must move Hammond according to camera angle first, than according to the plane on which the ball is located. For example, assume a player is attached to the bottom of a walkway. When the player pushes his forward key, Hammond will rock forward. When the player pushes his back key, Hammond will rock back. However, if Wrecking Ball rocks enough to reach above the point of attachment, a player must change his rocking controls to move Hammond accordingly. So when Hammond is above his point of attachment, pushing forward will stop Hammond's momentum as the player is now pushing against Hammond's trajectory. Instead of pushing forward to continue Hammond's momentum, the player will have to push the back key towards him or herself to get Wrecking Ball to complete a full circle swing. Watch the video below for a visual aid.

Grappling Claw Movements When Changing Planes

2.3. Roll

Wrecking Ball Roll
Roll (Left Shift) Wrecking Ball

Transform into a ball and increase maximum movement speed.

Roll Icon Roll is Wrecking Ball's main source of mobility. In fact, Roll is one of the highest mobility abilities in the game thanks its infinite use. When Roll is in effect, Hammond will enter his mech and transform into a metal hamster ball. This ball moves at 10 meters a second, beating out plenty of heroes movement abilities. When Roll is activated, it is instantaneous. However, if Wrecking Ball leaves Roll and wants to go back into it, he must wait for an invisible cooldown of one second. Roll can be cast in midair, and every ability (aside from Minefield Icon Minefield) will force Hammond out of Roll and into his quadruped state.

2.4. Piledriver

Wrecking Ball Piledriver
Piledriver (Left Control) Wrecking Ball
  • Cooldown: 10 seconds

Slam into the ground below to damage and launch enemies upward.

Piledriver Icon Piledriver is an area of effect damage ability that slams Wrecking Ball's mech into the ground, damaging and launching enemies caught in its blast. Piledriver is attached to a player's crouch keybind, and is only available when Hammond is at least 5 meters above the point of impact.

When used, Piledriver will stop all of Wrecking Ball's momentum, channel for one second, then drop his mech straight to the ground. Depending on the height of the drop, the time it takes for the ball to make contact with the ground will vary, although the time difference is minuscule.

Piledriver deals 100 damage to any enemy who is in the center of the attack, and the damage is mitigated by 10 for every meter out from the center. Therefore, if an enemy is 5 meters from the center of the blast, he will take 50 points of damage. Additionally, Pildriver only hurts enemies who are in line of sight of the ability, which means in-game objects are capable of blocking Piledriver's effects. Piledriver has a cooldown of 10 seconds from when the ability is activated.

Piledriver can be used while Hammond is out of Roll Icon Roll, but the ability automatically places Wrecking Ball into the Roll formation. Once Piledriver is finished, Wrecking Ball stays in Roll formation unless the player changes into his quadruped form or uses one his abilities (aside from Minefield Icon Minefield).

2.5. Adaptive Shield

Wrecking Ball Adaptive Shield
Adaptive Shield (E) Wrecking Ball
  • Cooldown: 15 seconds

Create temporary personal shields. Amount increases with more enemies nearby.

Adaptive Shield Icon Adaptive Shield is Wrecking Ball's only form of self sustain, but this ability has the potential to be one of the best sustain abilities in the game. The ability always gives Wrecking Ball at least a 100 hit-point nonchargeable shield. However, the ability tacks on an additional 100 hit point shield for every enemy within its range (which is 7 meters from Wrecking Ball's character) and within line of sight. This means Wrecking Ball can have a total of 600 hit points on his shield.

The shield(s) stay on Wrecking Ball's health for 7 seconds, and they do not give enemies ultimate charge when damaged (just like barriers). The ability has a 15-second cooldown from the ability's use (rather than its decay).

It is crucial to note that when Adaptive Shield is used, it will force Wrecking Ball out of Roll Icon Roll. However, after Roll's invisible one-second cooldown has passed, Hammond can enter Roll with his Adaptive Shields going strong.

2.6. Minefield

Wrecking Ball Minefield
Minefield (Q) Wrecking Ball
  • Ultimate

Deploy a massive field of proximity mines.

Minefield Icon Minefield is Wrecking Ball's damage-dealing ultimate, and is arguably a defensive, rather than offensive, weapon. Minefield is an apt name, as the ability drops a field of 15 proximity mines around Wrecking Ball's current position. Each mine deals 130 damage, which means two mines effectively kills most of the heroes in the Overwatch universe.

When first deployed, the mines take a second to become armed. During this time, the mines can be destroyed, but they are harmless to enemy players. Once the mines are armed, they are still able to be destroyed, but they will explode on impact if an enemy touches them. Each mine has around 50 health, but they are not given a health bar. This helps the mines stay hidden from enemy view. If the mines are not destroyed or triggered, after 20 seconds, they will automatically disappear from the map.

The mines are always placed in the same position, in three separate rings pushing out from Wrecking Balls' mech. The first ring contains one mine, and is placed directly on Wrecking Ball's position. The second ring contains six mines and is placed further away from Wrecking Ball's position. The third ring contains 8 mines, and is even further away from Wrecking Ball's position than the second ring. In fact, the furthest mines are placed at least 6 meters away from Wrecking Ball's mech. However, it is important to note that if Minefield is used while Wrecking Ball is in the air, the placement of the mines will shift out from Hammond's position. Therefore, the higher Hammond is in the air, the more area the mines will cover once they reach the floor.

Players should also note that Wrecking Ball can begin to build ultimate charge towards another Minefield once the first Minefield is deployed. However, damage done by the first Minefield will not count towards the ultimate charge of the next Minefield.

About our Author

Mournflakes is a flex Grandmaster Overwatch player who boasts a career high SR rating of 4433. His favorite heroes are Roadhog, Soldier: 76, and Ana. He has played Overwatch since its initial release, and has put over 700 hours into competitive play. When not writing guides, you can catch Mournflakes streaming on his Twitch channel.