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Bastion is a damage hero, typically seen on a defensive team, as it excels at planting down roots and controlling a specific point with its Sentry configuration (though seeing it on an offensive team is outrageously too common for my liking).
Without a shield tank defending it, Bastion is particularly vulnerable due to its Sentry form forcing it to be stationary. However, if properly protected, Bastion is a menace.
Bastion sits at 300 health, which is the largest health pool of all the damage heroes in Overwatch. This makes sense because it is, quite literally, a tank (at least when it’s using its ultimate). That, coupled with its ability to self-repair makes it one of the tankier non-tank heroes. It also happens to be one of the most hated heroes in the game, so play it at your own risk!
Bastion was formerly known as “SST Laboratories Siege Automaton E54.” Under this “name,” it was a soldier of the rebelling omnics during the Omnic Crisis. But, it is now somehow changed, likely because of its newfound connection to nature.
As such, Bastion is a kind-hearted machine (do machines have a heart? A post-human discussion for another time), that goes against its original programming and seeks peace instead of conflict. Except in the actual game, of course, because there he’s a violent murderer (but then again, so is everyone when it comes to gameplay).
What is Bastion?
Let’s get something clear: initially, Bastion was not unique whatsoever. A Bastion unit was a mass-produced piece of machinery by humanity, but they were eventually programmed against their creators during the Omnic Crisis. Once the war was over, all the Bastion units that weren’t destroyed were deactivated and taken apart to avoid history repeating itself.
Bastion was forgotten for a decade in Germany after the war but woke up thanks to a friendly little bird named Ganymede. Upon waking up, it remembered its programming to attack Stuttgart (a city in Germany) and began its trek over there.
To see how that turned out, I think watching this incredible animated short from 2016, “The Last Bastion” will serve you better than my explaining it:
Meeting up with Torbjörn
After the events of the animated short “The Last Bastion,” Bastion finds itself in Sweden, where it accidentally scared a bunch of kids. Naturally, things are blown out of proportion because of what the Bastion unit represents post-Omnic Crisis, and the local authorities attempt to hunt him down.
Torbjörn observes, finding it curious that this particular Bastion unit is running away from conflict instead of fighting, and concludes that something is different about this one. So, with his mind made up, he fights off the authorities himself (he didn’t kill them; he just restrained them), pursues Bastion, befriends it, and gets to work upgrading it to what we see in Overwatch.
Abilities and Some Tips
Alright, with some backstory out of the way, time to take a look at its abilities.
Configuration: Recon is Bastion’s base form. It walks around on two legs and utilizes a submachine gun. This weapon is effective up to a medium range, holds 35 ammo, and functions as a hitscan weapon.
Configuration: Sentry is Bastion’s secondary form. It is rooted in place and utilizes a gatling gun. This weapon has a similar, medium range to the submachine gun in Configuration Recon, holds 300 ammo, and functions as a hitscan weapon.
While in Configuration: Sentry, Bastion is immune to knockbacks (knock-ups will still force him out of Sentry form), as well as Orisa’s Halt ability, so to pull Bastion out of this deadly form, other crowd-control (cc) tools are required, such as Roadhog’s Chain Hook, or Anna’s Sleep Dart.
One more thing: just because Bastion’s head is no longer exposed in Sentry form doesn’t mean it can’t take headshots. It has a glowing blue box on its back that, if hit, deals headshot equivalent damage, so make sure you’re keeping an eye on your back when in Configuration Sentry.
Reconfigure lets Bastion swap between Configuration: Recon and Configuration: Sentry at will. It has no cooldown, but transforming into Sentry form takes one second to complete, whereas transforming into Recon form only takes half a second.
- Unless you have two shield tanks and a Mercy sitting on you, it’s generally a bad idea to remain in Sentry form for too long. Being stationary makes you incredibly vulnerable, even with a shield tank or two protecting you. It’s easy enough for a Roadhog or an Anna to get the right angle to knock you out of Sentry form, and perhaps even easier for a Doomfist to sneak behind your defensive line and bonk you away from your teammates (or just kill you).
- You don’t have to be grounded to use Reconfigure, meaning you can use this ability in the air. So, imagine you’re in a situation where you’re falling from high ground to low ground (ignore the unfortunate Star Wars reference here, please) to escape the clutches of a flanker. You can Reconfigure midair, saving you the time it takes to do so once you hit the low ground. That way, you’re ready to spray the enemy chasing you immediately instead of first having to Reconfigure upon landing.
- Bastion automatically reloads its ammo in the form it swapped out of after staying out of it for a second-ish. For example, if you’re in Sentry form, out of ammo, and in a hairy situation, don’t bother taking the time to reload. Instead, swap into Recon form to move to a more favorable position, so when you plant roots again you’ll have all your ammo in your gatling gun upon swapping back.
Bastion’s passive is one of the few things that make it the tankiest damage hero. Ironclad grants it a flat 20% damage reduction from all incoming damage while transformed. The caveat here is that its passive doesn’t apply to it while it’s in base form, Configuration: Recon, because it’s not transformed.
On the flip side, while in either its Sentry or Tank form, the 20% damage reduction is active, granting it more protection.
Bastion can heal itself with its Self-Repair quite efficiently, though it is unable to take any offensive actions while casting, meaning it can’t shoot.
This ability functions around a resource meter that allows up to 300 health to be healed before being depleted (it recharges on its own as long as it’s not being used). Furthermore, while originally Bastion had to remain stationary while casting Self-Repair, that is no longer the case. Now, it can freely move around while doing so, making it even more difficult to kill.
- Self-Repair is usable in all of Bastion’s forms, so if you’re in Sentry form, there’s no need to swap into Recon form to Self-Repair.
- Self-Repair is a great tool to have in your kit, but make no mistake: it cannot replace a healer. Since this ability is a pacifier, Bastion can only move around during its cast time and can’t fight back. Bastion is a hero that excels with a team that plays around it, and if you happen to be in a game where everyone picked damage heroes, you might be in a pickle. A little Self-Repair won’t save you from three to four damage heroes rushing you.
Configuration: Tank (Ultimate)
Bastion’s ultimate ability is a transformation ability that turns it into a powerful tank with wheels for eight seconds (transformation time is 1 and a half seconds). No more submachine gun or gatling gun; Bastion wields a powerful long-range canon that has massive splash damage and can one-shot heroes with 200 health or less (the cannon shots deal a max of 205 damage).
More impressive is that Bastion’s head (Recon form) and blue box (Sentry form) are hidden when in Tank form, so it’s impossible to headshot it during its ultimate, making it quite the tanky tank.
- Like Pharah, Bastion can inflict damage on itself and knock itself back with the shots from its cannon. Keep that in mind in case you need to bop yourself to a slightly higher position (just try not to kill yourself while doing so).
- You might feel invincible while in Tank form, but Bastion can still be cc’d quite easily, by Roadhog or Anna, for example. In other words, just because you have wheels doesn’t mean you need to move from your defensive cover (that is, if you’re taking on a defensive role in an escort or capture-the-point map). Read the game, and if you see a Roadhog right in front of you, it might be a better idea to stay behind your shield tank until said Roadhog tucks tail and runs.
- Bastion’s ultimate will not be canceled by Sombra’s hack (neither her base hack nor her ultimate hack). So, if your enemy team has a Sombra, don’t be too hesitant to transform, as you get guaranteed value (unless you die, of course). Sombra has some complicated interactions with Bastion, so more on that in the next section.
What Counters Bastion?
As a stationary target, Bastion is subject to be countered by many heroes, but there are a few more pressing counters to Bastion to look out for, so let’s get right into it.
I’m starting with Sombra not because she is the hardest counter, but because I spoke of her at the end of the last section. As mentioned, Sombra’s hack does not force Bastion out of his Tank form, and the same is the case with his Sentry form.
If Sombra hacks Bastion in either of these configurations, he will remain in whatever configuration he’s already in. But, he will not be able to Reconfigure or Self-Repair until the hack is over. While this may not seem too bad, removing Bastion’s ability to Self-Repair is quite brutal, especially if it lacks any shield tanks or pocket healers to help it out.
Furthermore, if Bastion is hacked while in Sentry form, he’s stuck until the hack wears off, meaning he cannot move at all, making him extra vulnerable.
Roadhog is probably one of Bastion’s hardest counters, and that’s due to his Chain Hook. Unlike other crowd-control abilities, Chain Hook pulls Bastion away from the safety of his shield tanks, as opposed to simply incapacitating him amidst the safety of his shield tanks like, say, Anna’s Sleep Dart would do.
Being stationary in Sentry forms makes Bastion a convenient target for Doomfist. He has two knock-ups to get you out of Sentry form (which removes your Ironclad passive) and a giant punch to either knock you into a wall (and kill you) or knock you off your high ground and into the enemy team. Be super careful of this guy since he’s one of the more dangerous flanking heroes for Bastion to avoid.
Mei and Symmetra
In addition to Mei’s Blizzard ultimate, which can easily catch Bastion due to its Sentry form’s stationary nature, her Ice Wall is another reason she’s one of the more effective counters. She can build it in front of Bastion, blocking his entire frontal field of vision when in Sentry form, or even beneath him, which would forcibly change his position.
Yes, the Ice Wall can be broken with sufficient damage, which Bastion can most certainly provide, but the time it would take for it to do that alone isn’t that worth it, especially if you’re only breaking one pillar of the wall, which doesn’t give you much space to work with.
For efficiency’s sake, it’s easier to Reconfigure into Recon form, move away from the Ice Wall, reposition yourself in Sentry form, and continue shooting. Regardless of how you choose to work around the Ice Wall, it will always end in you wasting valuable time that could be used helping your team in a team fight instead.
When it comes to Symmetra, her Photon Barrier ultimate functions similarly to Mei’s Ice Wall, it’s just on a much longer cooldown (because it’s her ultimate, not a base ability), can soak more damage, and is incredibly larger. Either way, if you’re trying to zone an enemy Bastion from your team, Mei and Symmetra will do with their walls.
Easy One-shot Ultimates to Land on Bastion in Configuration: Sentry
This list will also include relevant heroes who were already mentioned as counters to Bastion.
- Tracer’s Pulse Bomb: Unless there’s a friendly Baptiste nearby to drop an Immortality Field, there’s no reliable way to get out of this one once you’re stuck, so you might as well stay in Sentry form for the Ironclad passive.
- D.va’s Self-Destruct: You’re going to have less time than your teammates to run away from this one because of the time it takes to turn back into Recon form. Maybe a friendly Roadhog will pull the exploding mech suit away from you?
- Doomfist’s Meteor Strike: Get out of Sentry form as soon as you hear his voice line. Doomfist will almost always be going for you with his ultimate because you’re a sitting duck, so get a head start on running before it’s too late.
- Hanzo’s Dragonstrike: This is probably one of the easier ultimate abilities on the list for you to avoid due to its travel time. That said, if the Hanzo used his Dragonstrike directly behind you, you won’t have much time to react and run.
- Junkrat’s Rip-tire: As soon as you hear his voice line, unless you’re confident in your ability to kill the Rip-tire before it reaches you, get out of Sentry form and start moving just in case. It’s better to be safe than sorry, as chances are, the Junkrat is going for you if you’re in Sentry form.
- Mei’s Blizzard: From her voice line to when it lands you’re not going to have a lot of time to run here, so you might as well stay in Sentry form and spray away until you’re frozen.
- Pharah’s Barrage: The best thing to do here is to try killing her before she kills you. Chances are the Pharah will be right in front or behind you. If it’s the former, you might be able to kill her first, but if it’s the latter, it was nice knowing you.
As you can see, Bastion is outrageously vulnerable when in Sentry form, so it’s crucial to have a team that plays around you. Otherwise, you’ll be slain without much effort on your enemy’s part.
Who to Pick Bastion Into (A.K.A. Who Does He Counter?)
To reiterate, Bastion excels against shield tanks, as his Sentry form shreds through their shields in a matter of seconds. That said, some of these shield tanks can cause you some trouble if you don’t play your cards right, so let’s take a gander at a couple of them, in addition to some particular non-shield tank heroes that Bastion does super well into.
Let’s start with the shield tanks:
- Reinhardt: Bastion shreds through his shield with no problem. Just be careful not to be on the same floor level as him while in Sentry form, since you are an easy target for his Charge ability. If you can avoid that (and his ultimate), Reinhardts will be eager to swap to a different tank.
- Winston: Bastion shreds through Winston’s shield with the least effort since it’s the weakest shield of the tanks. Winston also has a chunky hitbox, making Bastion’s job to hit him easy. Just beware his ultimate, as he can knock you out of Sentry form.
- Orisa: Nothing to worry about here. Her Halt ability can’t force Bastion out of Sentry form, and Orisa’s shield is just as easy to shred through as Reinhardt’s.
- Sigma: Sigma is the trickiest shield tank for Bastion. Yes, you can mow his shield down, but you must be extra careful of his Kinetic Grasp ability, as the temporary self-shield he gains is proportional to the damage he absorbs while casting this ability. Indeed, there is a cap to how much shield he can gain, but there is no cap to how much damage he can absorb. Regardless, if you see him casting this (he might even drop his shield to soak up your Sentry form damage with Kinetic Grasp instead), change targets or stop shooting. You don’t want to give him a free 400 health shield and waste your time shooting at him.
Quite frankly, I don’t even have to list them off here because Bastion obliterates them all the same. The only thing you need to be wary of when talking about non-shield tanks is Roadhog’s Chain Hook. Otherwise, Bastion is probably the second-best tank slayer in the game, below the one and only Reaper.
Brigette has an extremely hard time with Bastion because her shield is useless against it. Her shield is weak compared to those of the shield tanks, and she has a significantly lower health bar than tanks in general, making her an easy target for Bastion.
Pharah and Echo
These two are only here because hitscan counters them in general. Both Bastion’s Recon and Sentry forms utilize hitscan guns, making these two flying heroes easy to take down with good aim, especially with Sentry form.
As of writing this article, the following list includes all of Bastion’s available skins in the in-game shop:
- Dawn (base rare)
- Meadow (base rare)
- Sky (base rare)
- Soot (base rare)
- Defense Matrix (base epic)
- Omnic Crisis (base epic)
- Gift Wrap (epic ‒ Winter event)
- Rooster (epic ‒ Lunar event)
- Null Sector (epic ‒ Archives event)
- Tombstone (epic ‒ Halloween event)
- Antique (base legendary)
- Woodbot (base legendary)
- Gearbot (base legendary)
- Steambot (base legendary)
- Avalanche (legendary ‒ Winter event)
- Dragonfire (legendary ‒ Lunar event)
- Gwishin (legendary ‒ Archives event)
- Dune Buggy (legendary ‒ Anniversary event)
- Stealth (legendary ‒ Anniversary event)
- Coffin (legendary ‒ Halloween event)
- Overgrown (legendary ‒ unlocked with the purchase of Overwatch: Game of the Year or Legendary editions).
The last skin, Overgrown, is straight out of the Overwatch animated short, “The Last Bastion,” as linked earlier in this article.
Question: Is Bastion viable as an offensive hero?
Answer: Unfortunately, as much as it pains me to say this, Bastion is viable as an offensive hero. Don’t get me wrong: it is far more effective on the defensive team, but, as I’ve mentioned, I’ve seen Bastions on offensive teams more times than I care to admit.
If it’s an escort map, you can set up shop on top of the payload. But that would only work well if you have one or two shield tanks to sit there with you, plus flankers to deal with enemy Junkrats or Bastions before they shred through your protective teammates.
Alternatively, you can be extra sneaky with your Sentry form positioning, as your enemies on defense will certainly not be expecting a Sentry Bastion to come to them.
Question: Who does Bastion synergize well with?
Answer: As you can probably guess from this entire article, Bastion synergizes well with any shield tank and pocket healers (namely Mercy). Those that can offer Bastion a significant amount of protection enable him to remain in his Sentry form with greater safety, which is all you could ever want as a Bastion.
On top of this, Bastion also works well with heroes who have a tough time dealing with shields. For example, shield tanks counter Cassidy pretty darn hard, but if there’s a Bastion teamed up with him, the Bastion can shred through the enemy’s shields, allowing Cassidy to get off a nasty High Noon ultimate. Same thing with D.va: if she drops her explosive ultimate into the enemy team and they all cower behind a Reinhardt’s shield, what do you think will happen to them if Bastion shreds through the shield they’re all hiding behind?
Question: What changes is Basion seeing in Overwatch 2?
Answer: Bastion is getting a massive makeover in Overwatch 2. New alternate fire (being changed from Self-Repair), new ultimate, and a massive buff to its Sentry Form.
Overall, I think this makes Bastion a force to be reckoned with. Offensively he is much more potent (and therefore viable), however, the loss of its ability to Self-Repair seems like a suitable way to balance its new capabilities. Another thing worth noting is its newfound ability to move while in Sentry form. Even though a cooldown is being added to his Reconfigure to balance this, I don’t think it will be enough. Sentry form in itself is such a powerful tool that I’m worried that allowing movement in this configuration will make him just a bit too strong.
That said, there’s also the 5v5 layout of Overwatch 2 to consider. With each team only having a single tank, there’s less protection for damage and support heroes overall, so perhaps it’s a good thing Bastion can now move in Sentry form to compensate for less protection. The removal of its Self-Repair already takes away a great deal from its defensive capabilities, so I suppose it’s only fair that Bastion gets more in the form of a portable gatling gun.
Bastion Overwatch Guide: Guide
Bastion is a coin toss in Overwatch due to how reliant the hero is on its team to perform at its fullest capability. If you’re not in a premade, picking Bastion can lead to an unfortunate experience due to how vulnerable he is in Sentry form to pretty much everything. This is doubly bad if you pick Bastion and your team is on the offensive. You will struggle to find good opportunities to utilize its Sentry form and have little to no protection when you do.
However, if you are with a premade (or close to a premade), playing Bastion, especially on defense, can send your opponents tilting off the face of the earth because they don’t know how to deal with a Bastion guarded by a Reinhardt and Orisa, and pocketed by a Mercy. This rings particularly true in lower elo play (or just casual play) and is often viewed as a “try-hard” team comp. Either way, if you’re causing your enemies to rage just by playing well, it usually means you’re doing something right, so keep at it.