No, you aren't going crazy-- welcome to the Junkrat meta!

▲ A few buffs here and there and, suddenly, Junkrat is becoming a real threat.


This week, Overbuff writer "CaptainPlanet" released another update to the Meta Report series, this time focusing on the new reality that anyone who plays Overwatch has been noticing: a resurgence of Junkrat's destructive potential. Using statistics from pro-Overwatch matches, CaptainPlanet charts the rise of heroes like Zarya and Reinhardt and explains how the distinct meta shift is largely due to Junkrat's rise in power.

Simply put, Zarya does well vs. Junkrat (absorbing stray explosions to gain easy energy) and Reinhardt does well when paired alongside Junkrat, allowing him to freely DPS behind a mobile shield. On the other hand, Tracer, Doomfist and Winston, three heroes that defined the dive meta, have experienced the biggest drops in popularity since Junkrat's buffs. With two Concussive Mines, Junkrat has never been better equipped to disrupt dive attempts.

Junkrat's competitive potential has skyrocketed since his recent buffs.



Since Blizzard added a second charge to his Concussive Mine ability in patch 1.14, Junkrat was finally given the antidote to the problem that has plagued him for over a year now. Previously, Junkrat always had to choose between mobility or burst damage. However, with two charges of Concussive Mine, Junkrat players enjoy a lot more flexibility. They can double down on burst damage, or use one mine to launch in the air, while saving another to blow up their opponents. 


But what about RIP Tire?

The increased speed and climb duration buffs given to RIP Tire may not be as obvious as an additional charge of Concussive Mine, but they just as impactful. Generally, more speed is always better in an FPS game. Because RIP Tire is faster, it can now travel farther, avoid more enemy fire, and reach its target with more reliability.

This gif showcases how fast the new RIP Tire is. The "PTR" represents the new changes.



But pro players have been pushing the envelope of what is possible with the revamped RIP Tire. In the below clip taken from an Overwatch Contenders match between Envision and EnvyUS, watch how Taimou on Junkrat successfully zones the enemy team for the full duration of RIP tire thanks to the increased mobility options:






It's clear that Junkrat's buffs have made him viable in competitive play, but the jury is still out on the recent Mercy and D.Va changes. Some players are speculating that D.Va's increased DPS potential will bring back the "bully D.Va" style of play. Without her powerful Defensive Matrix to rely on, D.Va will once again be most effective when hunting squishy heroes.

Mercy will be more effective on defense thanks to her ability to negate individual pickoffs, but the type of nutty Valkeryie shenanigans capable in previous PTR's has been tone down. Valkeryie encourages less passive play, but the pro's already preferred Ana, Lucio, and Zenyatta for this type of support hero anyway.


RELATED: An analysis of Junkrat and Roadhog's origins

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