Overwatch has undergone some pretty major changes with its most recent patch, including the introduction of Hero #30, Baptiste. We sat down with two big brains from the Overwatch League – Jiri “LiNkzr” Masalin from the Outlaws and Dusttin “Dogman” Bowerman from the Atlanta Reign – to discuss their thoughts on the changes, and on Baptiste himself!
LiNkzr – Houston Outlaws
There’s a couple of changes that I dislike. First is the Zarya change. I’ve already given my feedback to the right places, but overall, I think Zarya is a fairly balanced Hero, so that one was, you know…I’m not really sure.
Like, ‘why are you doing this?’
Kind of. I understand it, because the right click has been oppressive, and I think also in the future if you think about Baptiste and the Zarya right clicks, if you have a right click that deals 190 damage AOE, you know, it’s kind of busted. So I understand nerfing the size of the AOE.
I really like the McCree changes. I think that was the best change they could have done for him. It still has the same weakness, but his strengths are now more pronounced. I like the balance in that, that you can still avoid it and you can still have the same counter-play, but now the McCree has more leeway in how he shoots. I like the Junkrat changes, increasing his damage a bit makes sense.
[Related: LiNkzr talks the Outlaws’ Adjustments moving into Stage 2 in a Game Haus Interview]
As for Baptiste, I think the character is really interesting. The mechanic of crouching to jump higher? I actually didn’t even think that would be an opportunity. I was thinking we could have a launch pad or something. But him having a personal ability of that sort makes more sense, because you can kind of leave that [launchpad mechanic] to another Hero and have Baptiste bring his Immortality Field instead. I like the idea. I think his ultimate (Amplification Matrix) can open up some really interesting strategies. The fact that it’s an ultimate means that it can be counter-played, and that it can be played around with. That’s fascinating to me.
I don’t think I want 3-3 to go away completely. I think it’s a valid composition that makes sense, you know? There’s a lot that goes into it. But now with Baptiste, it opens up this thought process – okay, can we turtle up against it? Are there things we can do against it? His kit – they did the perfect job making him a counter to it, but similar to how Transcendence is a counter to a lot of DPS stuff, I might also think that Baptiste might be a liability against [3-3] sometimes.
Because he doesn’t have what Zenyatta has?
Yeah, yeah. I also think that even though his abilities are strong, it’s a lot in the player. I think that they made a really good FPS Hero with a lot of hard mechanics to master, you know? You can play against Overwatch League players and throw down the field, and maybe they have figured out a way how to destroy it before they even do their combo. Or they might know how to bait it out. There’s a lot of things that can go into it, and I think that’s what I find interesting. It’s not an end-all, win-all thing yet. We’ll see – there’s a lot of potential. So in a month or two, we’ll see a big meta shift, and I think GOATs might come back slowly. It fades away, comes back, and then it’s more balanced.
So who will be playing Baptiste for the Outlaws, theoretically?
I think both Rawkus and Bani have the potential for it. I think they both have good aim, and both of them are Ana-Zen players, so, it would fit. Everyone has good enough aim to play Baptiste, but you’ll be doing a lot of healing on him, because the AOE heals are actually crazy. He probably does more healing than any other character in the game, so I think that’s going to be a big part of his kit.
The typical thing that I always think about with Ana – you can only heal or deal damage. With Mercy, you heal or you boost damage. With Zen, you can do both, right? And so Baptiste falls into category – you heal, or you do damage. It’s going to be interesting to see how players try to master that balance. I think that’s gonna be important. I think you’re gonna see a lot of aggressive Baptiste players and a lot of defensive Baptiste players.
At first, I thought Baptiste could have been played like a DPS, in the same way that Brigitte fills in that slot. I think the big reason that Brigitte is in that slot is because it fits really well into the GOATs meta. And she has a lot of burst with her bash and her shift and her combo. Without that, I don’t know if he’d necessarily fit into that spot because he doesn’t have any stuns. So I imagine he’ll actually be played as a support? His right click is very good. I think it definitely adds to that invulnerability aspect of the game… We haven’t really done too much experimenting yet, but there are obviously so many changes with this patch too!
[Related: Every Dog(man) Has His Day: A Game Haus Interview with the Reign’s Fan-Favorite Flex Support]
Do you have a particular favorite or least favorite? Are you a fan of these Zen changes coming through?
My least favorite, I think, is the Ana nerf. I don’t think it was that big of a nerf, but still. The Moira buff is also kinda lame – I don’t think Moira is a very fun hero. In a game like Overwatch, I’d like to aim. It’s definitely not fun playing Moira, in that regard.
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