The new Overwatch PTR update may cause an upset in the meta. Rumors are circulating already that Overwatch Contenders teams are using a novel tank composition of Reinhardt and D.Va. Will this patch finally allow EVA pilot wannabes their chance at meta?
This PTR update seems focused on addressing many complaints of the current meta. Complaints range from the strength of Orisa’s fortify, to the power creep of McCree’s Peacekeeper. Let’s speculate on how the meta could change after this patch, starting with our friendly robot horse.
Orisa has been hit hard by these changes. Not a single buff, which is arguably what the community wanted. The damage of her primary fire has been reduced by about 20%. This reduces her general damage output, but also her ability to deal with ranged targets such as Widowmaker and Hanzo. After Fortify’s previous nerf removed 10% of the damage reduction, it was still quite strong. Giving it a longer cooldown will allow more opportunities to engage an Orisa, and more time to take her out of the fight.
Halt simply isn’t that fun to play against. It’s essentially Graviton Surge on cooldown. The snare has now been reduced by about half, meaning you have more time to escape a set-up combo. Hopefully these changes don’t remove Orisa from play entirely, but I don’t think many would mind seeing that.
Sigma can no longer output the damage he could before this Overwatch patch. While the change to the ultimate seems to overshadow the number changes, those numbers mean all the difference.
One thing that makes Sigma so strong is his ability to shield and damage from range at the same time. Reducing his range and the damage of Accretion will hopefully bring him in line with brawly tanks like Reinhardt. Not being able to 1 shot 200 HP targets with his Accretion/Hypersphere combo is a huge change.
As for the change to his ultimate, I can’t remember how many times I’ve landed a Flashbang on an ulting Sigma, to still be lifted off the ground. On the edge of the meta already, these changes should push Sigma into a defined niche.
Baptiste received the next set of changes. AOE healing is incredibly strong in brawl compositions where everyone stands together. Now that his healing is much lower than Moira, players will have to choose between utility and healing.
It’s joked that Baptiste does more damage than Soldier, and the recovery time between shots may snuff this claim. The support meta in the future will probably change, if healing is favored. Immortality Field is still incredibly powerful, and may find use in specific compositions.
Seems like McCree ate too much of that diner pie. Gaining 50 HP, he will have the same base health as Reaper with less ability to escape. These changes allow McCree to create ranged space for longer, with less damage. Expect to hold more defined angles on opponents, and be focused less. His Peacekeeper recovery time has been reverted to pre-GOATs era. For people who carefully time their shots, this change won’t make a large difference. Deadeye is pretty wacky now though, as Defiant’s Nathan ‘KarQ’ Chan demonstrates below.
New MCCREE DEADEYE doesn't lock your camera anymore so you can make full 180-360 degree turns as long as you have skulls locked in.
Could be good if you build skull then Genji dashes behind you for example pic.twitter.com/YgjrDSRUrP
— KarQ (@KarQGames) January 24, 2020
Small change to Hanzo, but significant. Changes like these pass damage thresholds. If you are a 200 HP squishy, Hanzo will have to hit 4 arrows instead of 3 now.
Hanzo is currently meta mostly due to the prevalent tank composition. If D.Va becomes more popular, he will likely be forced out. His lunge just isn’t enough to save him from the mecha.
Last and very least, Reaper receives a nerf to his sustain. Anything that keeps Reaper out of the meta is fine by me. Playing over 100 hours on him during Double Shield was not incredibly fun.
Reinhardt/D.Va Composition on the horizon?
Apparently Contenders teams have spent so much time playing Orisa, that they have gone off the deep end. Overwatch players who want the fast-paced tanking experience of D.Va have been in Orisa jail for too long.
D.Va certainly isn’t as bad as some assume she would be, given the current meta tank line of Orisa and Reinhardt. Her booster buff allows her to quickly deal with flanks or unprotected off-angles. Defense matrix shuts down many important combos present in the current meta. Halt+Firestrike, Halt+Dragonstrike, and the infamous Halt+Amplification Matrix+Firestrike. (Can we see now why Orisa is hardstuck in the meta?).
While I’m not certain which supports and damage heroes would be played with these tanks, it seems like there are many options. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Sombra for EMP+Earthshatter, or EMP+Self Destruct. Healers could go back to Moira or Lucio due to the Baptiste nerfs, but we may still see Zenyatta. D.Va certainly has an easier time protecting squishy heroes now.
Damage seems like open season. I doubt Hanzo or Widowmaker will be played due to D.Va’s ability to contest high-ground and flanks. More survivable heroes like Tracer could see play, but I’m scared to try running her into a 250 HP McCree.
It’s worth noting, that most dive heroes were buffed significantly during Double Shield. Winston’s shield has 200 more HP, and Tracer has more range. Genji got 6 more shurikens. Once the PTR update goes live, there is a chance that people return to classic dive, or run variants. Wrecking Ball is speculated to be very strong in the future.
Oddly enough, this patch has arrived precisely 2 weeks after the last one, down to the minute. The speed of this round or PTR update changes is interesting when you consider recent developer statements about update frequency. This update will remain version 1.44, and will be played live in the Overwatch League on Feb. 2.