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OverwatchJul 19, 2018 3:21 pm CT

Overwatch support heroes get nerfs and buffs across the board on PTR

In a rare occurrence, the Overwatch development team have decided to balance all the current support heroes in the game at the same time — well, except Zenyatta. The team also added a ton of commentary to the post to explain the rationale for the decisions made here.

The healers getting nerfs are Mercy and Brigitte. Mercy’s nerf pulls the healing rate of her primary beam down from 60 to 50 per second. It’s a sizable nerf in a streak of them for Mercy, but it won’t actually change much of her play per se. She’ll be less able to jump in to save a teammate, so decision making may change a bit but this won’t be a major change for Mercy players. Note that this will also be a bit of a de facto nerf to Valkyrie. Conversely, Brigitte got a small nerf to the cooldown of her Shield Bash, raising it from 6 to 7 seconds. This won’t have an affect on her healing, but it will likely really mess up current Brigitte players for a while, because it’s enough to change her tempo quite a bit.

Lucio, Ana, and Moira are all getting buffs to balance. Lucio’s seems the most sizable, with his Crossfade aura increased to 12m and his Sound Barrier increasing to 700. The Sound Barrier seems poised to directly counter the huge DPS potential of Junkrat’s RIP Tire, but works to do the same against a lot of ults. Moira’s buff to her healing regen rate is to give her a hand in extended poke skirmishes. I think most people dabbling in Moira have had that moment where the opposing team’s Pharah is shooting at your McCree and you’re just kinda standing around twiddling your thumbs waiting for that regen. Ana’s buff is the most intriguing from a game design perspective, because she now heals her Nano Boost target for 300 immediately.

Taken together, this seems to be an attempt to swing the meta pendulum from the current slow shielding setup back toward a dive-style comp. Nerfing Brigitte certainly seems to suggest that, as she is still relatively central to the current meta, which mostly revolves around your team’s snipers clutching a pick off and going from there.

Ana’s Nano Boost getting a big heal component may also swing Genji back into meta, but it’s just as great on a Winston who bit off more than he could chew. Ana has only seen play as a niche pick on specific maps for a long time. This may be the boost she needs to get back in there.

It will be interesting to see how these changes stack up. If you’re curious about how your favorite support hero is going to play now, these changes are now live on the PTR, so you can test them out yourself.

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