Reinhardt Guide: Landing Better Earthshatters
Hey everyone! I made a video guide to playing Reinhardt and landing better earshatters. Check it out, I hope you guys learn something from it
I will also include a transcript in case you guys just want to read it!
Hey everyone, this is CoachScottT and today I have a Reinhardt guide that will help you land bigger earthshatters and block more as well. The first thing I want to make clear is that as a Reinhardt you will never earthshatter randomly in hopes of the enemy dropping his shield. You will always wait for specific situations where you can predict the enemy Reinhardts behaviour. The difference between a good and a bad Reinhardt is how many situations they can recognize, and how successful they are at predicting the enemies behaviour in these situations. A good example of a situation would be an Ana nano boost. The Rein who gets nano boosted is going to start swinging to deal damage, meaning his shield will be down. At the lowest level of play this behaviour will not be recognized. At a slightly higher skill level the Reinhardt who is not nano boosted might try to earthshatter the nano boosted Reinhardt, knowing his shield will be down while he swings. At the highest skill level both Reinhardts know the behaviour and will try to bait out the enemy earthshatter by dropping shield and picking it up again very quickly. The rest of this video will be explaining how Reinhardts act in different situations and how you can abuse predictable behaviour.
The first Situation that you need to recognize is the most basic one. The enemy Reinhardt either dies or his shield breaks. Listen for the sound queue “Barrier is Broken” and a shattering noise and then feel free to smash them. The only thing you need to look out for at this point is possible interuptions on your ability. This could be A Brigitte stun, A Brigitte shield, A Brigitte booping you away, you get the idea Brigitte is really annoying. But also things like Zarya using her barriers to body block the stun or save herself and an ally from the CC landing. As Reinhardt you should never let your shield be completely destroyed. Always keep some health alive so you can block Earthshatters and other CC abilities. The reason that most of these clips are from one game is because it is one of the only times I have ever ran into a Reinhardt in Grandmaster who let his shield completely die
The next situation is A Graviton surge. Zarya is really common right now so this situation happens quite often. What you will notice over the next few clips is that Whenever I get stuck in a graviton surge The enemy Reinhardt charges in. There’s a few reasons for this, my shield blocks follow up damage from his team as well as key abilities such as a biotic grenade from his teams Ana. But also because a Reinhardt can charge and pin a zenyatta in transcendence mode and take that healing away from his team still stuck in the graviton surge. The point is however, If you are in a graviton surge, the enemy Reinhardt will likely drop his shield to charge into you, giving you an opportunity to use earthshatter. Here it becomes important to realize when this is a good idea, If the enemy hanzo has not yet used dragonstrike you can stun him and save your entire team. Or if the enemy mercy is withing range you can stun her to prevent her from damage boosting her teams Hanzo, which would make it possible for your team to survive the combo with help of a transcendence. I want to remind you now that every situation has the same relationship with skill level. At the lowest level the Enemy Reinhardt won’t react. At the middle skill level he will likely act predictably. At the highest level he will act unpredictably and you will have to as well.
The next situation is also really common. The enemy Reinhardt will play extra aggressive when you are low health. He knows that the easiest way to land a big earthshatter is to kill you completely so there is nothing to block it. This means that when you are low health the enemy Reinhardt will not have his shield up. Your shield blocks damage from most abilities but not from Reinhardts melee swings so he will want to be the one damaging you. This creates an opportunity for you to earthshatter when you are low health and he is not expecting it. At the same time you can also expect him to try to earthshatter when he is low health. This can be a great way to block his earthshatter by faking a swing and putting up your shield. You can also abuse the enemies movement when he is low health. He will be backing off quickly in order to not die. And because you move faster with your shield down a lot of Reinhardts will retreat by Jumping, and dropping their shield mid-air. With practice you can time your earthshatter to land as he is jumping, earning you free stuns much of the time.
The next situation is one of the most important but also one of the most difficult for new rein players. It involves timing ability usage of the enemy Reinhardt. Most Rein players will use their fire strike whenever it is off cooldown. If you can count down 6 seconds after the last Fire strike that the enemy used, then you can predict that the next time he drops his shield, he is going to be stuck in the animation for a solid second. This is plenty of time to land an earthshatter. As a side note, the closer you are to him, the more time you have to react to the ability. This works because earthshatter acts as a projectile somewhat, so he will be stunned earlier in the projectile, and wont be able to put his shield back up to block the stun. Again, at the middle skill level this should be a really consistent way to land shatters. But, at the highest level you are going to have to play some mind games. A great way to do this is wait for your fire strike to come off cooldown and then fake a swing. The animation looks very similar to a fire strike so anyone who is predicting you to use fire strike might waste their Ultimate.
Another situation you need to be knowledgeable about is when your teammates are not behind your shield. It is very common for a Reinhardt to watch for a key player on the enemy team to step out of line and try to land a solo shatter on them. If you can kill a Mercy with Valkyrie ready, or a Zarya with Graviton ready, this puts your team at a huge advantage. You should be looking for these shatters as well as they are a great way to win teamfights before they even begin. This is more so related to your positioning and the enemy Reinhardts positioning but not so much Earthshatter usage. However, there is an opportunity to outplay the enemy Reinhardt here. By walking away from an ally who is not directly behind your shield, you may be able to bait the Rein to try and earthshatter that player. All you have to do is quickly jump in the direction of your teammate, and hopefully they will be trying to jump towards you as well, and you can consistently get the enemy Reinhardt to waste his ultimate.
My favourite situation to use earthshatter in, is when the Enemy Reinhardt either, doesn’t know that you are there, or doesn’t think you have earthshatter ready. Rein players act very differently when they think you have your earthshatter ready, as opposed to when they do not. You can get periods of time where the Rein won’t put his shield up for over 10 seconds because he isn’t afraid of getting slammed. If you landed some huge fire strikes and have gained an ultimate advantage, this situation usually happens at the first engagement, then you can be much more aggressive with your earthshatters. The second half of this is when the enemy Reinhardt doesn’t know where you are. Coming around corners quickly or hiding behind walls can catch the enemy off guard and hopefully without his shield up. The way you outplay this is by constantly thinking about where the Rein should be. If you push up to the point and 5 memebers of the enemy team are standing in the middle of the point without their Rein present, you can expect him to be hiding behind you somewhere so just watch out for this.
I’ve included this next situation, even though it wasn’t common enough for me to get many clips on it, it’s still important. It ties in to the situation where the enemy is low health. If the enemy Reinhardt is retreating as fast as possible he is going to be putting his shield down at predictable intervals. In the situation where he is running form something specific, like a Hanzo dragonstrike or a Mei Blizzrd, then he might not put his shield up at all. These situations are abusable if you recognize them happening.
This second last situation isn’t super easy to pull off but it feels amazing when you do. If something is causing you to turn your shield in a certain direction, think a McCree using High noon or D.va bomb behind you, then you are a really easy target to earthshatter. That is, unless you are predicting the earthshatter to happen and turn instantly to block it, hopefully with enough time left to turn back to the other thing grabbing your attention. There is a trick where if you use the free look, press left click while holding your shield up and turn it backwards, then instantly drop and put back up your shield you will turn that direction without and delay. Use this to catch the enemy Reinhardt off guard and block his shatter.
The final situation is one that you should be thinking about in combination with every other situation. This is when the enemy uses their cooldowns that can block your shatter. Zarya bubbles, and stuns like the ones that Brigitte and McCree have are the most important ones. Other ones to watch out for are things that can boop you away like Lucio’s right click and Brigittes shift ability. The best Reinhardt players will track every ability on the enemy team that can mess up their shatter and then time their ultimate to be when these are either on cooldown, or out of range of you. Very often I have seen an opportunity to use earthshatter and had it completely negated because the Brigitte was too close to me. Thank you for watching. If you found this helpful or interested please show some support in the comments or wherever else.