One of the most talked about additions to Overwatch the last several months has been the Swedish engineer, Brigitte Lindholm. Brigitte is the Daughter of Torbjörn and squire to Reinhardt. She was welcomed to Overwatch this past March as a new support hero.
Brigitte is a mainstay in the current meta. She is a rock-solid foundation to any backline. Her kit provides healing and armor to her allies, while her Rocket Flail and Shield make up a devastating close combat combo for her enemies. Many in the community feel Brigitte is too overpowered and easily grasped by a wide variety of players. This was also felt among the community throughout the Mercy Meta. They both are heroes that have a low skill requirement, but can become very dangerous when put in the right hands.
At her release, there was one clear flaw with the balance of Brigitte’s kit. Her Shield Bash was on a five second cooldown. This quickly proved to be too much for the community to handle.
Much like Doomfist, a Brigitte player can utilize combining abilities to create a much more devastating attack. Having such a short cooldown for her Shield Bash resulted in more “Insta-Kill Combo” usage. The combo would consist of a Bash, quick swing of the Rocket Flail and her Whip Shot ability. These three attacks would be used in instant succession to virtually guarantee a quick kill on lower health heroes.
As Brigitte damages enemies, her Inspire passive ability will heal nearby allies. Her Repair Packs can supply an ally with temporary armor and her Ultimate Ability; Rally, can be very powerful in the right hands. Rally will supply an AOE effect that equips 150 armor on any allies around her. These three abilities can be devastating when leading a charge or defending against an opponents push.
Changes And Updates
The first change made with her kit involved her Shield Bash range. Blizzard’s Developers felt her Bash was able to make contact with opponents in too wide of a cone-arch. By reducing the area effected by the Bash, the ability required more accuracy than before. Progress was made, but balance had not been found yet. Brigitte was an absolute tank, there was no way around it. Eventually, a large change was inevitable.
Shortly after, Brigitte received a major statistical change to her ultimate. The previous 150 max armor gain was reduced to 100. Her ability to quickly bolster an entire team before an engagement remains a huge advantage in a team fight. However, the change did not reduce the total amount of armor given by the ultimate over its duration.
Along with the tweaks to her ultimate, came another to her Bash. The five second cooldown for her Shield Bash was increased to six seconds. Not long after that, a later update went even further to now give Shield Bash a seven second cooldown. This opens up a Brigitte for counter attack much more than before. Seven long seconds without your Shield Bash can leave you immobile and exposed. With only a five second cooldown, it was conceivable to enter a fight and survive long enough to Bash a second time. Now, when her bash is used, she becomes a target for Dive Compositions to exploit.
Where She Stands
Currently, Brigitte is at the center of the Meta. She is an integral part of the protection and strength of a team. Her abilities are enhanced when her team surrounds her. More heals for all, with just the swing of the flail. Brigitte’s nerfs have been very beneficial towards balancing her kit’s performance overall. The lack of stun and reduced max armor Rally provides leaves her contributing on the battlefield, not dominating it.
Could more be in store? Most definitely. Not as nerf’s themselves, assorted alterations and reworks to other heroes could restore the balance we as a community are looking for. With the updates to Torbjörn impending on the Live Server, we could see Brigitte countered by none other than her own father very soon.
Featured photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment
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