Main hitscan player here, Main Ashe. (And not good English speaker, sorry in advance for errors)
I recently see a lot of people trying out Ashe and/or asking for advice. A lot of vods i’ve seen in lower sr (2k~3.8k) seems to not have a good grasp of the kit usage of the hero, as well as to get value from it, so i thought it may be useful to break down the basics.
First of all you gotta realize you’re neither Cree nor Widow, so you have to keep a different playstile:
You will never get the same sightline control as you do with Widow and you have to play at a more close range since your damage felloff deny you that range and you don’t have that oneshot potential, anyway don’t sit in the middle of the fight (more like a mediun range behind), also you do not get the same value with narrow angles and it’s better to keep more wide angles to control the areas;
You will never get the same peel value as McCree and you have to keep a slightly longer range than him, the shield pressure is important but you cannot do it the same way you do as McCree dumping ammos in the shield (or not only) cause the way you reload limit the amount of spam you can output, and you don’t wanna break the shield just to be reloading when you have a window of dealing real damage, so a middle ground (ignoring the dynamite for the moment) would be shooting 3-5 times then reload, if the shield is broken you’ll have from 10 to 15 shots stored to deal damage at the team.
The rhythm: is really important and a good ammo management is the sure starting point to be able to deal consistent pressure and this is the aspect of ashe where i see the most errors made. As said before you don’t want to find yourself into a situation where when you have a window to get value you’re realoading (or even worst shooting a bullet at a time). So what do we do? Reload every dead moment you have, while you movin, while you’re airborne, while you get a lil bit of cover, while the enemy gets to cover and so on. Try to never go to zero ammo, if it’s not THE teamfight for the choke/point/corner. You can reaload mid fight keeping track of what your teammates are doing and knowing their cooldowns, taking advantage of the lower pressure moments.
The Aim: Ashe is a really aim requiring hero, it’s not possible to expect a great performance if you do not have the mechanics. I’d suggest to aim for at least a 60% in-match scoped accuracy.
Anyway i cannot stress enough how much benefit anyone can get from some warmup/aimpractice. Theres a code for the custom games [KAVE5] that’s a really nice starting point to work on your aim, and 20/30 mins (even an hour) a day, before playing, can be really beneficial. I’d suggest you to do expecially the “frenzy” and “flick” modes to warm up and to use hero models as targets, not spheres. Start up with frenzy, select hog, and try to do at least 60-70 points, then Zarya, then Lucio (always aim to at least 60-70 pints), when you feel ok with it go to the flick section, select “heroes” and start with a really slow time loke 0.75s to work thinking on the movement, then gradually go down with times trying to keep the max accuracy and a score at least of 50+ (i personally never go under the 0.30s, and i maily tain for 0.40s) to work on making automatic the movements.
You can also find other modes, expecially to train aiming at pharas and genjis these days is nice.
The Scope: Ideally you wanna hit only scoped shots, and if you are in a safe position and fairly uncontested do so. This is almost never possible tho, so it’s good to know when to scope and when not. Mind that the hipfire spread is’t pretty strong and it fucks up a lot your accuracy, but if you find yourself in a really close fight (against anyone that’s not tracer) and you dont have the couchgun you have to try pump in a lot of damage quickly, so you have to do unsoped shots, try to aim at the neck with those cause the spread makes inconsistent aiming at the head. If you figt mid-range a good initiation/oneshot combo is to hipfire bodyshot (aiming at the chest possibly) into a scoped headshot, you have a really fast 2hit combo and a lot of burst this way, able to burst down every 200hp hero.
The Dynamite: It’s probably the most important part of your kit, and the one from you can really farm a good chunk of your ult charge. How do we wanna use it? Mainly in cluster of enemies, say the enemy team core behind a choke, with the tnt a great feature is that you can thorw it over the shields dealing damage both on the tanks AND the shields.
It’s crucial to get consistent in hitting the dynamite to explode it where you want it since just throwing it usualy results in a totally wasted cooldown since usually noone will walk onto it. It finds great use also to get enemies behind cover, to clear up a choke from sym turrets and to deal damage through abilities like the deflect.
I personally use it practically on cooldown.
If you can AVOID making it explode with the couchgun, it’s both inconsistent and dangerous; and keep track of enemies cooldowns like the dm, the bubbles and the grasp to not risk losing it.
In some situation it makes a fairly good use for self defence if you and/or your backline are flanked: defending your gealers is ALWAYS a good trade for a cooldown and it’s often enough to scare off a flanker. Also it’s great to deal damage at a deflecting genji.
Remember that not only you get a lot of ult charge from setting on fire the enemy core, but you force their supports to invest resources on healing not allowing them to do pressure on your team.
Using the dynamite to blow up Hammond’s Mine filed is almost always a good trade.
Couchgun: this is a decent mobility cd, but you have to be careful using it, since jumps always put you on a predictable trajectory. Use it in-between fights to assure you an advantageous position (maily high ground, as Obi Wan will be proud of you) when the fight starts keep it safe and use it if you get booped off or forced out of position.
If pressured dont hesitate to use it to knock yourself asap behind a cover.
If flanked it’s great to put some space form you and yor agressor, additionally doing them some damage and most importantly putting them on a predictable trajectory, while they’re airborne it’s pretty ez to connect a headshot on them. A neat trick to greatly increas your self defence value is always try to connect an unsoped shot right before you use the knockback as if you then connect the couchgun either they die (or the die when you align the airborne scoped shot) or they find themself heavily damaged not able to sustain a fair fight in your backline, forcing them to retreat.
It finds great use also messing up the enemy dives, expecially against ball slams, being able to displace them, or when winston is trying to jump out of your team, boop him back in so it can be bursted down (WARNING! DO IT ONLY IF THIS DOESNT PUT YOUR TEAM IN DANGER YOUR TEAM!).
I’ll say it again here: never use the couchgun to blow up your dynamite: it’s inconsistent, dangerous, ad a waste of cooldowns.
Bob, the sometimes useful: bob can be a good ult if used correctly. The main thing you wanna know about it is that you don’t have to think of it like it’s a “damage ultimate” but instead more a “space ultimate”. What does it mean? Easy, it means that the primary function of bob is denying an an area, and/or contest the point (since he counts as player for the objectives) or making it difficult. It can be a great way fo start a fight if you attack, and we can distinguish two different cases in this scenario:
1) The enemy defence is ON the point (great exaple can be Gribraltar C): in this case you ideally wanna put the enemy team core BETWEEN you and bob forcing them to reposition to not be in a crossfire or not have the bacline fucked up by our butler.
2) The enemy defence is OFF the point (i.e. Hanamura B): in this case you can force the enemy to contest the point throwing bob in it (expecially at low ranks this creates a panic situation in the enemy team) and keep pushing with your team the enemies off their position forcing them to fight out of their confort zone.
He can also be a good way to prolong a fight if you are defending, contesting the point while your team stabilize and drain the timeclock, maybe buying more time for your team to respawn… but it finds usually a better value if used proactively and not reactively: mess up the enemy attack route putting bob behind them, forcing them to burn cooldwns and time to heal/reposition, often causing them to not have then enough resources to engage safely and forcing them to retire and/of take a fight low on resources that usually goes the way of your team.
IMPORTANT TIP: Always make sure to have the TNT when you use bob, to get max value. The combined overall damage and shield pressure caused by bob and the tnt is enough to singlehandedly outsource any enemy healing, and it often results in really weak tanks with the shield broken or low, supports with no cooldowns and a overall weak and low on resources team, making the fight pretty easy for your team to win. (Anyway, do not believe for a single instant you can win ALONE the teamfight. Always rely on your team.).
TL;DR: In general you must see yourself as a great “cooldown trader” as Ashe, playing safe and be consistent is the key. Do not suicide in attempt to get a pick, do not try to do other damage’s things. Again, CONSISTENCY is the name of the game, pressure them, drain them and then click heads.
Now I’m running out of time, i’ll add an edit with the hero-specific tips and tricks (to play against and with later) and matchups if someone is interested or i can do it on a separate thread as you prefer.
Feel free to correct my english errors so i can learn better english and obviously add more if you think i missed something.