The Overwatch team released new PTR patch notes following the controversy of "power creep." Highlighted are nerfs to heroes that plague the current meta. It also brought an unexpected buff to a hero. Let's take a look at what heroes will significantly change with these patch notes, how it will affect the current meta, and predict what team compositions we can see soon.
Baptiste and Mei were power picks in the current meta. In a world of the double shield meta with Orisa, Sigma, and Reinhardt (to an extent), Mei became a pick after a nerf to Orisa and Sigma's shields. Mei being a pick in the current meta meant another shield for the opposing team to overcome. On top of the ice wall, Mei's primary fire and ultimate halts any momentum from the opposing team and makes Mei one of the best heroes in the game. Changes to Mei's primary fire will probably not change her pick rate significantly, but it is a change needed for future patches, possibly more changes to her ice wall and ultimate.
Baptiste became one of the best supports in the game, also following the nerf to Orisa and Sigma's shields. A big reason why Baptiste is one of the best supports is his Immortality Field. Once your team presses W to the enemy team, Baptiste can use his Immortality Field as another "shield" to protect his allies. Additionally, Baptiste's ultimate can be useful, depending on its placement on the map. If used effectively, Baptiste's ultimate can be a better Orisa ultimate. Changes to Baptiste's Immortality Field, in particular, is much needed since it has the possibility of suppressing opponent's ultimates. This change in the patch notes gives Baptiste players a smaller timing window to use his Immortality Field. The shift in Baptiste's ultimate is not a bad thing also. But, Baptiste is still a good pick when the patch releases in the live server. It is hard to predict how often we will see Baptiste in the meta.
The Change that No One Asked For
One change no one expected was a buff to D.Va. In the PTR patch notes, the cooldown to her boosters reduced, meaning she is almost able to fly like Pharah. Ironically, the buff to her boosters means she is likely to chase a Pharah around the map. How often will we see D.Va even with this buff? For one, Sigma is still a better D.Va than D.Va. What this means is that Sigma's Kinetic Grasp is like D.Va's Defense Matrix, except it gives Sigma additional shields. Also, he has CC with the Accretion ability, and his ultimate, Gravitic Flux, will continue to make his opponents vulnerable in the air. The only way D.Va is picked in the meta is either as a pocket pick or any additional nerfs to Sigma in future patches.
Looking Into the Future
At first glance, there are not many critical changes in the game. Most likely, we will still see Orisa and Sigma played since tank players are more familiar than ever with those two heroes. But, heroes such as Reinhardt, Winston, and Zarya are on the cusp of being in the meta.
As far as DPS heroes are concerned, there are not any significant changes that will make DPS players change up what is currently familiar in this meta. Personally, any changes to hitscan heroes like Soldier: 76 and McCree would be a plus. It has been a while since players last seen these heroes affect the game considerably. If Blizzard does decide to buff or revert hitscan heroes, we have the possibility of seeing pop offs in the game once again, maybe turning Overwatch into an FPS rather than an ability-centric game.
With Baptiste getting a nerf, there is a possibility of seeing other supports into the fray. Moira is one option, even though her primary fire is nerfed, her healing orb is still strong to keep her team sustained in team fights. Other possible support options are Mercy and Lucio. For the latter, Lucio's AOE to heal and speed boost is good enough to keep him in any meta in Overwatch. For Mercy, her healing is as good as it is going to be for a while. Her Resurrect, however, is one ability that always puts her in a good position once the patch releases live.
More Changes, More Problems?
Overwatch needs to see changes to its game soon. Players who stuck with GOATS, now with the double shield meta, are longing for any changes to see the game get away from shields. This new patch is a good step in the right direction. If we see more changes to shields, it may be the change that the game needs, especially with more FPS games releasing in the near future. There is also that lingering doubt that nothing can change either or the community can continue to argue that each meta following the previous is worse. With Overwatch 2 on the horizon, any changes to the game, good or bad, is a good thing for the player base and the continued growth of Overwatch.
Follow me on Twitter @itsjustchris for more coverage on Overwatch League and various games.
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