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Overwatch 2Oct 6, 2022 2:00 pm CT

Which Tank heroes have changed the most in Overwatch 2?

We’ve talked about the changes to Damage and Support heroes in Overwatch 2, so now it’s time to discuss the Tanks. The previous game only had eight of them, while Overwatch 2 has ten: there’s the addition of Junker Queen, and the role swap of Doomfist, who’s no longer a Damage character.

While not every Tank hero has changed by the same amount, the reworks are pretty significant for a few of them. Orisa plays almost like a brand-new character, and other Tanks have had to be adapted to a new universe where they’re solo Tanks — even those that were historically only used as off-tanks before. So let’s appreciate all of those changes, starting with a passive one that is shared by all of them.

All Tank heroes have a passive ability with two effects

Overwatch 2 has “role passives,” where each of the three roles — Damage, Support, and Tank — has a new passive ability that is shared among all of its heroes. For Tanks, this ability has two effects:

  • Reduces knockbacks received. If you’re on the receiving end of a knockback effect like Lúcio’s Soundwave (aka “Boop”) or D.Va’s boosters, you’ll be sent back a little less than non-tank heroes would.
  • Less ultimate generated by healing and damage received. What this means is that people will generate less ultimate charge by shooting (or healing) you, which prevents you from being a walking “ultimate battery” for the opposing team. Essentially, this allows you to get into the thick of battle without so much fear of filling out the enemy team’s ultimate meters by absorbing all of their shots.

This reduction of knockbacks used to be exclusive to Reinhardt, but it’s shared among all tanks now. That said, each individual Tank still has their own set of exclusive perks — so let’s talk about individual changes next.

Completely reworked: Doomfist

Doomfist is dead; long live Doomfist! Since he’s a Tank hero now, his players will no longer be occupied solely with finding new and interesting ways to damage the enemy team: while they can still pack a punch, their main concern is now with protecting their teammates and surviving.

They can do that mainly through the character’s new ability, Power Block, which allows him to block 80% of incoming damage, but reduces his movement speed. If he blocks a certain amount of damage, his next Rocket Punch becomes empowered, allowing him to dish out incredible damage, just as he was used to.

To compensate for the addition of Power Block, he has lost his Rising Uppercut from the previous game. And in order to make the transition from Damage hero to Tank, several other adjustments were made to his kit:

  • His base health was increased from 250 to a whopping 450 — as is to be expected of a tank.
  • His Hand Cannon deals less damage, but regenerates faster.
  • His Rocket Punch deals considerably less damage naturally, but can damage more targets, and knock them back as well. However, as stated above, its damage can be significantly increased by blocking enemy attacks with his Power Block.
  • His Seismic Slam is now more similar to Winston’s Jump Pack, being more of a tool to engage enemies or reposition himself in combat — but it still deals damage.
  • His ultimate, Meteor Strike, deals less damage and has less knockback, but it takes less time to charge, and has gained a slow effect.

Of course, we expect Doomfist players to take the most amount of time getting used to the new form of the character.

Significantly changed: Orisa

Gone are the days of placing down shields, or sending out enemy-pulling orbs, or summoning damage-buffing drums as Orisa. All three of those abilities are gone, and she’s a far more offensive hero now, capable of dealing lots and lots of damage.

To replace Protective Barrier, Halt!, and Supercharger, Orisa has gained three new abilities:

  • Energy Javelin is a projectile that deals damage, stuns enemies, and knocks them back. If you can make an enemy hit a wall from this, they take even more damage, and the stun is increased.
  • Javelin Spin is an offensive and defensive tool in one, creating a projectile-destroying field in front of her, and buffing her movement speed. It can also damage enemies and push them back.
  • Terra Surge is her new ultimate, making her spin her javelin and pull enemies in while damaging them over time and slowing them. You can charge this attack, and the longer you charge it for, the more damage it deals with the big slam at the end.

Orisa has more health and armor now, and her weapon has been completely reworked: it has infinite ammo, but there’s a heat meter that goes up as you keep firing it. If you fire for too long, Orisa will overheat, and you’ll be unable to fire for three seconds.

Finally, her Fortify ability no longer provides immunity to headshots, but it doesn’t incur a movement speed penalty either.

Noteworthy changes: Winston, Zarya

Winston: new secondary fire allows him to operate from range.

Winston has a brand-new secondary fire for his Tesla Cannon, which is a ranged energy pellet that can be charged for more damage, costing up to 12 ammo. With its 30-yard range, it allows Winston to poke at enemies from a distance, rather than necessarily needing to be up close at all times — an important tool for a solo tank.

In addition to that, he has a little more armor, and his Barrier Projector has more health and a slightly shorter cooldown as well — though it has a lower duration. But his ultimate, Primal Rage, requires more charge to activate.

Zarya: double shields, and more buffs than nerfs.

Zarya is arguably one of the strongest heroes in Overwatch 2 right now, and she owes that to her Particle Barrier and Projected Barrier abilities, which now have two charges that are shared between them, and last for a little longer as well. Their cooldowns begin when either ability is used, rather than when the barrier expires, which is an important buff. The slight downside is that after targeting an ally with a barrier, you need to wait two seconds before doing it again.

Her base health and shields have also been increased, and the energy degeneration rate of her weapon has been reduced. All in all, she’s become a sturdier hero who can dish out more damage than before. A definitive winner of the Tank changes.

Smaller adjustments: everyone else

The other five tanks all received some modifications to make them better adjusted to the new solo-tank scenario. Some were already very at home in that role, while others have been changed in different ways to adapt to it:

  • D.Va is a little more mobile (the movement speed penalty from shooting her cannons has been reduced), has more damage (from her Boosters and Micro Missiles), and when she’s in “Baby D.Va” form, she needs less ultimate charge to be able to recall her Mech.
  • Reinhardt is largely the same, but he has more health and armor, while his shield is a little weaker. He has an easier time controlling his Charge, and his Fire Strike has two charges but deals less damage.
  • Roadhog has more health and more self-healing with his Take a Breather, and he can fire his Whole Hog ultimate manually, giving him the possibility of interrupting it to use his other abilities, and then resume the shooting.
  • Sigma is more durable now, but his Experimental Shield regenerates more slowly — basically the same kind of adjustment that Reinhardt received. He deals a little more damage too.
  • Wrecking Ball is much more durable naturally, has a better Adaptative Shield too, and his Roll has more knockback. He might not be the solo tank of choice for most scenarios, but at least he’s closer to it.

And that’s the brave new world of Overwatch 2 for Tanks: a world where they should all be capable of operating as a solo Tank in this new world of 5v5, or an “off-tank” if the match allows for it in different game modes.

They’re not all equally capable of that at the moment — some are definitely more fit for certain roles than others — but that might be by design. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw more adjustments being made in the future that bring Tank heroes closer to one another in desirability.

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