"What is the best defender?" "Which operator is most picked?" Question we see alot on the internet. There are many choices today. Some operators fit better in a teamplay than others. Especially when you are new to the game, you might be wondering, which operators to unlock first. Let discuss them here.
Let's look at the charts here form high ranked play and the Pro League which shows quite some differences actually. First thing to know there are two types of defenders: anchors and roamers.
Anchors stay close to the bom site and are operators with two or three armor. They don't need the three speed to move around quickly.The extra armor can help them to hold the angle they are defending. Side note to make is that a headshot is a one shot kill, no matter how many body armor you got on you. So always aim for the head. It's the fastest way to kill.
One defender to avoid picking is Tatchanka. Besides all the jokes of "the Lord", he is not useful in game. His gadget is fixed to the ground. Attackers can easily adapt to his position. Unless you are in copper/bronze region, he will not help you ranking up.
For starters to the game, it is best to play as anchor because you don't need to know the full map. Just the bomb site and where they come from. You have a good option with either Rook or Doc. Your gadget can help yourself and your teammates without much skill required.
Another three armor operator is Echo. Very usefull gadget so he is picked regularly (and banned) in Pro League and in ranked. A bit harder to play because when you are using your drone, you don't have eyes on your own angles. So you are vulnerable to enemy fire. Drone from a safe postion. If it works out, you can deny a plant which is vital for victory. His gun is standard surpressed but without the loss of dammage. So additional benefit.
The latest reinforcement to the three armor group is Maestro. Very great utility: two camera's you can't shoot to destroy but it can shoot you with a laster beam. He is carying a big LMG with a decent amount of recoil. So not the easiest operator to use. but certainly an interesting alternative to Valkyrie for example. Utility not much appreciated as attacker thus gets banned alot.
Last three armor operator to recommend on high level plays is Mira. She gets banned alot in Pro League because she has a great gadget. Seeing without getting shot is great intel. However in ranked her win ratio is below average. That is because she is very powerful but very hard to master. The vector is not the easiest guns of the game. And as a three armor is is super slow and loud. So not easy to beat the enemy in a 1 vs many situtation. Pro's can compensate for it but not the everyday player.
There is also Clash but her current state is really broken and willl be fixed in an upcoming patch. At the moment, she is just the most annyoing operator ever seen.
Castle is picked more in Pro League than in ranked and also the benefit of having him on the team is much higher in Pro League. This is because to many times in ranked, people use castle walls to lock themself in. You don't want to do that. You need rotation paths around the bomb sites. Blocking these will not help your team. you need to block the second layer of access or focus on a specific entry point. If the attacker isn't Sledge or Glaz or a carrying breaching charges, then he will need to walk around it. This is alot of times the case. Castle (and Pulse) carry an extremly accurate gun. Perfect for a headshot. But don't miss the first opportunity! The gun has a very low fire rate. Which in return makes the recoil very easy to handle.
A must pick in the current meta is Lesion. A two speed operator giving him great balance between armor and speed, a gadget that works better than a hidden camera and a gun with good accuracy and fire rate. The sound of the traps is more important than the dammage done to the opponent. Plus it slow the attacker down as he really needs to find cover to remove the needle.
Pulse is a great pick when there is vertical play. Which means a wooden floor from under which pulse can roam. he can kill with his C4 from under the attacker with great accuracy. so I wouldn't recommend him all the time but works great in vertical plays.
Kapkan, since he became a two speed, he gained popularity. His gun is really powerful and the Russion reflex is very clear. Combine him with C4 and 5 traps, he has deadly accessories. The traps are either placed further from bomb site to slow down a fast entry or to surprise the enemy not droning. Or you place the traps close to the bombs, attacker forget to look for traps when they have to hold their angle on the defender and the timer is below one minute. It will hurt the attacker more than it will kill but is sure helps your fellow defender to finish him off. Kapkan is ignored in Pro League because the Pro's don't forget to check the doors and use operators with gadgets that are usefull 100%.
Then there is Frost, not really fitting in the meta, especially in pro league. Her traps are really visible and easily countered. Her best gun is the shotgun which also doesn't help on higher ranked games.
Valkyrie and Mute. Both have great gadgets. Prevent reinforced walles to be breached and place cameras wherever you want. But both have a lack on gunpowder. In a man to man battle, they have a hard time. The MP5K and MPX really need either more dammage or more rate of fire to get them back in the game. The only reason why Valkyrie is still picked in Pro League, is because intel is worth gold and with a good placed camera, she can provide it.
Saved for last: Smoke. Most picked operator in Pro League but very bad win ratio in ranked. just to highlight the skill required to play with him. He can make rotation holes with his primary shotgun, but then you need to be able to use the SMG-11 secundary for gunfights. This is not the best gun in the game with a decent amount of recoil. His gadget is superb at delaying a plant or a push from the attackers. Vital in a three minute round. You really need some practice to master him but once you do, he is a secure spot in the defending team.
For roaming we use three speed defenders. Any one will do the task. The roamer objective is to move away from bomb site and delay the attackers. Not necessarily go for the kills.If the attackers don't find the roamer, he can attack them from the back. So it is important for the attackers to deal with the roamer.
Jäger is the most used roamer. He has an interesting gadget to prevent nades and flashbangs. He is the only defender with an assault rifle.
Bandit, as a vanilla defender, is the second most used roamer. Gun a little bit less power than the one from Jäger but great utility when defending an outer reinforced wall.
Vigil, very recently added. Can hide partially from drones which is interesting as a roamer.
Alibi, great gunwork but gadget less usefull for the team. Especially at higher levels.
Ela, at launch a one woman army. Immersive gunplay, big magazine and a trap, that even when you know it was there, you couldn't avoid it. Unless you are one of the few operators with a nade. Today, she is more balanced as the guns recoil has increased. Her pickrate also went down.
Caveira is the last three speed for this list. Completely opbsolete on Pro League level. Bad guns compared to the others and the silent running has no benefit to the team.