While all the hype is about Overwatch’s 30th hero, Baptiste, let’s talk a bit about the environment he’ll be joining next week. Along with Baptiste, several heroes in the Overwatch universe will undergo adjustments that could also help shift the meta from sturdy triple-tank, triple-support lineups to hectic multi-DPS compositions or stalwart Orisa compositions.
Below I’ll cover some of the hero changes I find the most intriguing in the latest patch notes and theorize how they could impact the pro meta as we know it.
- Crossfade: Speed Boost effect lowered from 30% to 20%
- Amp It Up: Speed Boost amped effect reduced from 70% to 50%
- Wall Ride: Passive movement speed gained while wall riding increased from 20% to 40%.
Lúcio receives one of the most interesting hero changes in our new update. In our last patch, his Speed Boost enabled low-mobility heroes like Reinhardt and Brigitte to keep up with the tempo of other heroes and punish their mistakes. With the amped-up Speed Boost effect reduced from 70% to 50%, he will no longer drastically permit heroes to shine against compositions they were originally not intended to be strong against. A good example would be how a slow, immobile Reinhardt—with the help of Lúcio’s Speed Boost—would effectively be able to hunt down a Winston, when typically you would opt for a Winston and his Jump Pack to outmaneuver a Reinhardt.
- Frag Launcher: impact damage changed from 40 to 50
- RIP-Tire: cost increased by 10%
Here’s another change that benefits counter-compositions to 3-3. While Junkrat’s RIP-Tire ultimate cost was increased by 10% to compensate for his damage increase, the impact damage change alone will aid theoretical Orisa bunker compositions, which are designed to eliminate opponents over time with high sustained damage output. With Junkrat dealing more damage, that leaves less time for big tank compositions to reach the Junkrat before they find themselves dead. This change, combined with the Lúcio change listed above, may render triple-tank compositions less proficient at dealing with damage dealt from afar.
- Fan the Hammer: damage reduced from 55 to 50
- Deadeye: damage per second increased from 275 to 550 after locking onto targets for 1.5 seconds
While McCree is notoriously known for his ability to shut down enemy flankers like Tracer and Genji, this damage-per-second increase for Deadeye now enables McCree to properly utilize the ultimate against targets with larger health pools, like Reinhardt, Winston, and D.Va. While D.Va’s defense matrix remains a strong weapon to negate McCree’s Deadeye, the ult’s duration of 6.2 seconds—and its increased damage—will still be a speed bump for tanks trying to catch a McCree. This gives even more time and space for theoretical anti-tanks compositions to poke away.
- Hack: cooldown is reduced by half when hacking a health pack
This is a change that does not benefit Orisa compositions as much, but could have a bigger impact on the upcoming meta. Sombra was already a strong hero in Stage 1, but with this change her uptime will be increased even further, allowing her to navigate between health packs and poke away at her opponents at a rate that will allow her to build a quicker EMP—an ultimate that I would consider the strongest in the game.
While Sombra has found her way into Overwatch League team compositions already, she will also be beneficial in shutting down potential Orisa bunker compositions, while keeping up with high-mobility heroes like Tracer and Genji. I think it’s worth keeping in mind that Sombra can enable almost every type of composition, against almost every type of opponent—exactly the type of hero you would build a new predominant composition around.
Whether she’ll be the most-picked hero in Stage 2, I cannot tell you, but I know for sure that new and exciting compositions will always have to find a way around her powerful ability kit. Apagando las luces!