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A Beginner's Guide to Pharah

by Josh Bury Feb 6 2017
Thumbnail image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

If you've ever wanted to soar majestically through the air as you rain death down on your opponents, Fareeha "Pharah" Amari might be the choice for you.

The high-flying offense character enables new angles of attack while remaining safe from short-range attackers, and she can punish teams that group up in narrow chokepoints with both her Rocket Launcher and her Barrage.

Abilities

Pharah's Rocket Launcher is her primary weapon. To any veteran of old-school shooters like Quake, the weapon's handling should be familiar: it fires a slow-moving projectile that travels in a straight line and deals splash damage, requiring Pharah to predict enemy movement for maximum effect.

By holding the jump button, Pharah can hover. This lets her gain altitude or slow her descent, but she can only use the ability for so long before it has to be recharged.

Jump Jet uses Pharah's Raptora Suit to throw her into the air, allowing her to gain great height efficiently, without using her hover ability.

Concussive Blast fires a wrist rocket that knocks players back away from the center of the blast. This includes Pharah, and thus she can use it to push off of a surface quickly. Using it to blow enemies off the map is also an option.

Barrage is Pharah's Ultimate ability, unleashing a volley of micro-missiles. Pharah is suspended at her current height during this ability, making her an easy target for enemy DPS players.

When is Pharah a good choice?

Pharah can be a solid DPS addition to a team, but she can be easy prey to certain characters. When confronted with those heroes, Pharah needs to play carefully.

Pharah is a good choice when:

  • The enemy has few heroes that can apply pressure at long range
  • The enemy team's supports are not being actively defended, or the enemy team is playing over a very large area which permits Pharah to choose her engagements
  • The enemy is forced to group up into chokepoints, where Pharah's rockets can do serious damage
  • Her team has a friendly Mercy who can help enable her aerial assault, or a Zenyatta who can keep his Orb of Harmony on her

Pharah can be more difficult to play when:

  • The enemy team has a Widowmaker, McCree or Ana who can easily deal with her with accurate, long-range attacks
  • The enemy has a Roadhog, who can yank her out of the air at medium ranges

Pharah excels in areas where:

  • There is enough vertical height for her to use, but enough structure that she doesn't have to be out in the open, like the second section of Watchpoint: Gibraltar
  • There are sections where she can use her Concussive Blast to knock people off the map and earn environmental kills, like Ilios: Lighthouse and Ilios: Well
  • She can use the open air to flank over structures, like the final point on Watchpoint: Gibraltar

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.

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