A Comprehensive, In Depth Guide from Gold/Silver to Grandmaster By: space-artifact


Hello guys, it has been a week since I posted my Reinhardt guide and the feedback on that was so overwhelmingly positive that I have decided to make more. Before I begin, let me do my little introduction for anyone who has not read one of these guides before. My name is Prion, and I play main tank for a collegiate overwatch team. I have been GM on main tank for many seasons since role queue. You can see my role queue stats in the Reinhardt post. Now I know Sigma is not a main tank, but when he came out I was just so captivated by his origin story, gameplay style, voice acting, abilities, everything. Whether or not Sigma is healthy for Overwatch is up for debate still, but he is extremely cool. Also I did not want to be in Orisa jail. (lol)

Like my Reinhardt guide, I am going to divide this one into sections. Basic mechanics, basic theory, intermediate theory, advanced mechanics, and advanced theory. So let’s begin with the most basic mechanics of playing Sigma.

Basic Sigma mechanics – Sigma is a pretty mechanically intensive hero with a lot going on in his kit. This means he’s hard to pick up if you are new to overwatch. Here are some basic tips aimed at the metal ranks, and those who are looking to pick him up for the first time.

  1. Sigma is the third overwatch hero to have a recharging barrier (brig was number 2). This means that the same Rein technique of not letting your shield break applies to him. Letting your shield break puts it on a much longer cooldown than if you recall it and let it recharge on its own. There are certain situations where it is ok to let your shield break, such as you need to block an incoming ana nade, or an enemy shatter, or the shield will buy you the time you need to get your shift off of cooldown. But as a general rule of thumb, try not to let if break.

  2. Sigma is a projectile hero. The same mechanics you train to get better at Pharah and Junkrat apply to Sigma too. Aim is actually a huge part of being a good Sigma, much more so than other tanks. A GM Sigma player plays at such a high level that squishy heroes cannot enter his space (Sigma’s space = 18 meters in a circle around him, his effective orb range) without taking 110 damage (a direct hypersphere volley). Sigma is an incredible duelist, and you should constantly be looking for dps and supports that can’t take a 1v1 against you. Force them into that situation, either claiming the space as they are forced to back away, or outright killing them.

  3. Accretion can be an animation cancel for your volley, if you need to use it quickly. Also, accretion and gravitic flux can be popped to cancel kinetic grasp early.

  4. Whenever a target is in melee range of you, punch them after completing a hypersphere volley. This does not lower Sigma’s fire rate at all and raises your volley damage from 110 to 140 for free. You should be doing this every time, there is no excuse not to have that extra damage.

Basic Sigma theory – A lot of thinking goes into playing Sigma. These are the basic theory type tips for Sigma play.

  1. Always remember where your shield is! Make sure you are actually using your shield! By far the biggest problem I see in metal rank Sigma players is that they either don’t use their shield at all, or they put it up and leave it in one spot, forgetting about it until it breaks later to random damage. Your shield needs to be mobile as Sigma or you are not playing the hero correctly. For some new players it might be too much thinking to actively move the shield around all the time, but really try and train yourself to be constantly thinking about where the shield needs to be relative to yours and your teammate’s positioning.

  2. Do not use your cooldowns simply because you have them. Accretion and Kinetic grasp are very long cooldowns and should not just be thrown out randomly. When these cooldowns are not available, Sigma is a very fragile tank. This applies especially to Kinetic grasp. Accretion is a bit more spammable, it’s great to rock an enemy hog whenever he is in your line of sight. But it should also be saved for flankers if they are plaguing your backline.

  3. Kinetic grasp rules of thumb: it is not acceptable to use kinetic grasp to eat singular, slow projectiles such as firestrike, and moira orb. Never trade a 12 second cooldown for a 6 second one.

Intermediate Sigma theory – These are the tips that when internalized, will help you climb up and out of the middle ranks. They are how you can just do more than the opposing tanks in your rank.

  1. Blocking snipers is one of Sigma’s most important functions. if you are facing an enemy widow, ashe, or hanzo, and there is not an immediate need for you or a different teammate to have the shield, you should be looking around for the enemy sniper and shoving your shield in their face. Make it nearly impossible for them to take the angles they want by tracking them as they move around the map.

  2. Gravitic flux deals 50% of the target’s max health PLUS 50 lift damage, so it’s very useful to know
    how much damage it does to each hero (without factoring armor). If you know exactly how much
    damage your flux is going to do and pay attention to enemy health bars, you’ll always know
    whether or not you have to go for a volley in the air or if it’s safe to simply fly behind cover during
    your ult. Here is a dump of the total damage that flux does to each hero. Subtract 50 from each
    number to get the kill threshold.

Also, don’t be afraid to chase a kill after the drop if you can’t get your fluxed targets to the threshold in time. It’ll only take one direct sphere after the drop to kill a 200hp hero.

Tanks: Reinhardt/Winston 300, Hammond/Roadhog/D.va 350, Zarya/Sigma 250, Orisa 275

DPS: All 200hp heroes: 150, Tracer 125, Doom, Mei, Reaper and Torb 175

Supports: all 150

Armor not factored^

3. Another flux tip. Are you on the low ground using flux with high ground nearby? Take that high
ground for free as you fly out of flux. The importance of high ground can never be overstated, even
for shield tanks.

4. While playing Sigma you need to take into account how much ranged crowd control the enemy
team has. If they have a lot, such as a team running hog, ana, sigma, and mccree, you should
almost always be flying behind cover during your ult, or even if you can shield into the air before
ulting, and hover behind your shield in the air. If there’s no threat of mid air CC, go for those killing

Advanced Sigma mechanics – Sigma has a lot of playmaking potential from his shield alone. Here’s what separates the masters Sigma from the Top 500 one.

  1. There are a lot of dynamic actions you can make with a Sigma shield, and from range at that. This is part of what differentiates him from Rein in the recharging barrier category. Here’s a good list of things you should be looking to do with your shield besides just protecting your team from the front. Blocking earthshatterBlocking a grav by catching it midair on the shieldShielding off teammates from a self destruct if they can’t find coverSplitting transcendence healing or lucio beat generation by shielding it offBlocking hog hooksPlacing it behind a tank that is aggressing onto you to cut off their healingLooking directly down and placing shield into the ground should block the entirety of a doom ult that is on top of youShielding through an ally that is about to be stuck by tracer should block the bomb. You can usually read the enemy tracer when she has bomb, because she will double or triple blink towards your backline.

  2. Sigma thrives when his enemies are kept at range, You should always strive to keep your enemy at arms reach when you are playing Sigma. An enemy that can close the gap onto you will almost certainly be able to kill you. Actively managing the distance between you and enemies is one thing that I see a lot of low elo Sigmas missing. For example, standing in melee range of an enemy Rein when there is nothing preventing you from standing at 18 meters, your perfect effective range. Do not make the enemy’s job easier than it needs to be. And when you are Sigma, their job is usually to get into your shield radius and mess you up at close range. If someone does manage to get up close with you, you have a few options. Grasp, rock, and volley+melee should allow you to deal with singular targets that get on you. But it’s still ideal to keep them away.

Advanced Sigma theory – Sigma in relation to coordinated team play, off angling, double shield, and an important flux tip.

  1. Off angling on Sigma means to be playing disconnected from your main tank, from a different angle than the main choke. Sigma is amazing at this, as his poke damage is extreme when correctly aimed and he can deal it with no danger to his own life thanks to his shield. Whenever your main tank isn’t being actively bulldozed by 6 enemy players, it’s almost always worth seeing what you can find on an off angle with sigma. You might be shocked at how much damage you can put in for free.

  2. In higher level play, flux is best used to catch enemy rotations and retreats, and punish them. For example if your team controls the Eichenwalde castle, and the enemy team is trying to rotate back to the end of point B across the bridge, flux them before they get there. Flux is the highest order of crowd control. Use it to hold enemies in very bad spots that they wanted to just run past to get somewhere better. The higher you go in SR, the more often your teammates will shoot your fluxed targets out of the air for you. Now that’s teamwork.

  3. In double shield play (mirror), Sigma is forced to off angle less and peel for his Orisa more. Blocking enemy halts with your shield is extremely important, as is stepping in front of Orisa and using grasp when all shields are down. Double shield could come back at any time… so I just wanted to include this in case of that.

  4. In double shield play (mirror) when an enemy amplification matrix is placed, don’t grasp immediately. Wait for the enemies to pull/rock through the matrix, block or dodge it, then grasp. Likewise, pull/rock through an amplification matrix for your team will be a winning combo. Most Sigmas will succ as soon as the see the matrix go down, take advantage of that.

  5. When dealing damage as Sigma, always be thinking like this. Where are the squishy targets? Where can I sneak orbs around corners and past shields to direct hit the squishies? This was the most important thought process for me as I played Sigma in high masters and GM. Is that an Ana in my range? 110 damage. Tracer on my ana? 110 damage. Hog on the flank? Rock. Oh they have barrage? Don’t use grasp on spam. Enemy widow grappling? Shield in the air.

Lastly, one completely useless but funny thing you can do with Sigma

Using melee as soon as one orb goes out cancels the other one and lets you throw one orb at a time, which probably stops the black hole in the second hypersphere from collapsing and breaks Sigma’s entire set of equipment. Yeah… I told you it was useless.

If you have read this far, thank you for reading! I hope you all found this guide as helpful as my last one. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. If you want more personal and in depth advice, I do free vod reviews on my twitch channel. The vod reviews are coordinated in my discord server. I do tank vods of any rank, dps vods of gold and below, and support vods of diamond and below. Thanks again for reading!

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