By now you may have tried Mauga for yourself. The Samoan tank – Overwatch’s 39th hero, was available for everyone to play this past weekend as part of BlizzCon. But if you haven’t yet had a chance to take control of the shooter’s newest character, or want to know how he’s likely to fit into the meta (and whether he needs a nerf), here’s our experience with Mauga.
Mauga feels like a Reinhardt-like tank. He wants to get to know his enemies up close, tackling them while getting healthy again as he fires and shoots more people with his huge machine guns. His primary fire comes from “Gunny” and can incinerate enemies if they take enough damage, which works perfectly with his secondary fire, “Cha Cha,” which deals critical damage to your burning enemies. Although Mauga deals critical damage, this also gives him a bit of temporary HP. It may sound like these chain guns are most useful from mid-range, but since you can fire them both simultaneously as a rapid-fire rifle, you’re at your most powerful when at close range.
You easily get close with Mauga’s attack, which is similar to Reinhard’s, but ends with a big stomp, dealing damage and knocking back enemies at a longer range while crushing and stunning those right under Mauga’s feet. Mauga is not just a tank looking to run away from his team, however, as his Cardiac Overdrive skill allows teammates and Mauga himself to heal while doing damage for a short time in an AoE. His ultimate can also lock a group of enemies in place, creating great synergy with other ultimate that do damage in an area such as Reaper or Pharah’s.
With his abilities out of the way, how does Mauga play? Well, he really is an absolute beast. It’s very hard to die on this hero, even if you don’t have someone following you like Mercy. Your own healing tools are incredibly strong and as long as there are enemies in sight and you have Cardiac Overdrive out of cooldown. Mauga feels especially overpowered when he rips through other tanks. As mentioned earlier, it works incredibly well to use both of his weapons simultaneously at close range, and if you’re near another large tank model, it’s hard for your bullets to miss. When I met another Mauga in combat, it was often a matter of who pulled both triggers first to decide who got out alive.
This hero is very easy to pick up. In only a few games did I feel like I understood the essence of him, with one minor exception. Mauga’s ultimate can take a few tries to get right because it also traps you in the AoE, so if you only catch a few enemies and then kill them, there’s a chance that those on the outside can now make you an easy target. Fortunately, you can just cancel the ultimate before it runs out naturally, so it’s easy to escape if you lose your ultimate or quickly deal with all the enemies in it.
It looks like Mauga will shift the meta more toward rushing alongside your team. With the healing provided by his Cardiac Overdrive, he not only makes himself an intimidating presence, but as long as his team is doing damage, they’re also pretty hard to kill. That’s just one skill, of course, but it really feels like the game changer with Mauga. The rest of his equipment is strong and his weapons pose a huge threat to enemy tanks, but they can be flown by heroes like Sombra, Moira and Tracer.
However, Mauga can’t do much to protect his team once Cardiac Overdrive is disabled. He can attack and make himself a target, but if the enemy team just runs away and ignores him, they can take out his team without much trouble. He will probably get some nerfs in time, as almost every Overwatch 2 hero feels too strong when they are first released, but Mauga doesn’t feel nearly as broken as, say, Rammatra. He has his own niche as a tank, able to tear through enemy tanks and create a lot of chaos by running to where the fighting is thickest. Despite looking like a meathead on paper, there is also the potential to be very strategic with Mauga, and choosing the moment you decide to cause the most chaos is probably how your games will swing with him. He’s been teased since 2021, but with his personality, looks and gameplay, Mauga feels like he’s been worth the wait.