April sees the middle and ending phase of Competitive Season 21, and a unified hero ban system between the Overwatch League and Competitive Play. Matching the bans across all levels of play makes it easier to understand, but also takes unnecessary stress off the OWL and Contenders players. Blizzard has also forgone the limited map pools in Competitive Play. They were not achieving the desired effects and did not make each season feel distinct enough, so now all maps save for two are available. Horizon Lunar Colony and Paris have been removed from rotation for retuning or reworks.
The big patch of the month was the release of Hero 32: Echo. Perhaps it is just the new-hero-effect where people are not as aware of how to counter her, but she has come out of the gates hot. With a kit that has high mobility and can seemingly do everything, a viable hero tier list can prove valuable in trying to deal with her.
The following tier list exists precisely to help guide players through this more dynamic meta, reflecting how individually well-kitted Overwatch’s 32 heroes are and how well they synergize with other powerful heroes. With each month, there will be a new tier list released to update changes in each hero’s performance from month-to-month (March 2020) so be sure to check back next month to see what changes lie ahead.
Tier 1: Optimal heroes with high win-rates and synergy
Despite slight nerfs to Mei’s ammunition and Ice Wall, she still remains a must-pick when she is not banned. Skillful placement of the wall can win fights by itself, and her ultimate is still insane if played correctly. Reinhardt also saw a nerf to his Steadfast passive ability, but is still very strong in conjunction with Lucio. This is showcased in the OWL as these are almost always run except the weeks they are banned. Ana’s Biotic Grenade is still one of the most powerful abilities in the game, capable of turning the tides of a fight. And lastly Echo has come out swinging. Her kit is quite strong and mobile, devastating in the hands of skilled players. All in all, if these heroes aren’t banned, they’re clear favorites.
Tier 2: Good alternatives to Tier 1 and still viable overall
- Solider: 76
Several of these heroes are either good substitutions to those in Tier 1 or can provide good counters to those heroes. Pharah received a nice buff to her rocket explosion radius, and is even deadlier with a Mercy pocket. Yet she is still a bit fragile if flying solo with the prevalence of McCree and other hitscan heroes. Torbjorn has popped up to deter flankers with the turret as well as providing high amounts of damage, sustain with Overload, and a great zoning ultimate.
Winston can provide a good alternative to D.Va or can even compliment D.Va in place of Reinhardt. Plus some teams are running a Winston-Wrecking Ball dive variant, to variable success. Soldier: 76 has moved up a tier due to the Helix Rocket buff, giving a little more burst-damage potential. Overall, look for these heroes to maintain the same style of play as the ones in Tier 1, just with slightly less oppressive kits.
Tier 3: Good situational picks but less strong overall
- Wrecking Ball
These heroes can all be perfectly good in niche situations or when being played by players who are specialists in that hero. However, when it comes to rating them against the rest of the Overwatch roster, they are currently more easily exploitable or have better options. Look for these when certain heroes are banned to come up with mini-metas comprised of less popular picks.
[Related: When is the Next Overwatch Event?]
Tier 4: Difficult to have success in the current meta
Overall, these are slightly less powerful overall. than other heroes in the game. Some, like Sombra and Genji are too reliant on their ultimate abilities, which gives a slower pace of play than necessary to deal with Reinhardt-Lucio. There are moments where they can fit into niche compositions, however, there are typically more viable options that are available. Look elsewhere, if possible.
As a reminder, this tier list is currently operating off of the latest live patch, 184.108.40.206. This list will be updated as patches continue to come out throughout the month of April and a new list will be published in May.
Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.
You can also follow Matthew @setanta_ow or message him on Discord (setanta#2155).