I noticed that a lot of people playing Montana seem to rely too much on him being a standard ‘tank’ character, and usually end up going negative because they think they can take ridiculous amounts of damage without going down.
This isn’t the case, at least not most of the time.
Montana is a big lug who can soak up considerably more than most other characters, but his strengths lie in positioning and clever skill usage more than anything else. Initiate combat with your Lumberjack Dash if you see a solitary champion (Lumberjack Blast is good for this, for both the stun and the knockback,) then use your Hailstorm to reduce whatever they try to come back at your with while simultaneously slowing their escape from you.
If in the process of doing this, you’re attacked by one or more additional Battleborn, DISENGAGE. In a 1v1 match, Montana is a killing machine, but there’s no way you can take two or three Battleborn worth of punishment without going down. Use your dash to escape if you find yourself outnumbered, find a support, or teleport back to base if your health is too low.
The best way to avoid too much enemy confrontation in order to use your skill chain is the positioning I mentioned before. Use the side tunnels/doorways on maps to ambush foes and break them away from the pack before applying the pressure, if you just charge head-on you’re almost guaranteed to get taken out quickly. If you ever find yourself in a situation where a head-on confrontation is impossible to avoid and you become surrounded by the enemy, use your ultimate and back the hell up until support can arrive, or get the hell out of dodge if you know for sure the rest of your team is too busy to assist.
On the topic of Miko, however, your tactics will surely change. I would recommend trying to group up with at least one person who knows Miko well, and stick them to your back like glue. While Montana by himself may not be the unstoppable force that he first seems, a good Miko/Reyna can potentially allow you to take on three or four Battleborn at once, potentially the entire team depending on your skill level. Maintain constant communication if possible, and keep them stuck on you at all costs, because if they go down, so will you.
With support on your back, you’ll find playing Montana will be far easier. Build yourself towards damage dealing, invest in your fire bullets and lunge skills instead of the tankier choices you were pickin before, and anytime you see opposition, lay into them HARD. Unless you’re facing a particularly strong melee character (such as Rath or Galilea,) you should be able to shoot down almost anything that comes into your path. You can use your ultimate more offensively, use your Lumberjack Dash to close the distance for an intimidating surprise attack/rescue maneuver, and generally be the absolute beast most people assume Montana to be from the get-go.
One last thing to note is your Overheat meter. I mentioned before how you should be investing in Hailstorm rounds and tank helixes while playing Montana without support, so overheating won’t necessarily be an issue, but going full offense can present some problems. Invest in the helix that eliminates overheating at the cost of health per shot past the meter limit, and use the healing you receive to push that to the limit. If your Miko is attentive, you should be able to get the bursts of extra firepower you need to finish off fleeing does, but remember to not go too far overboard or else you WILL overheat yourself to death.
Well, that’s all the basics I learned while mastering the big guy. I’ve seen plenty of below-average Montana players and it saddens me, so hopefully this helps somebody reach the levels of Montana greatness I know they are capable of!