A few months into the new year, and not much has changed. Overwatch’s competitive environment is a bit stale at the moment. The most recent patch did very little to actually address the issues some players have had with the state of tanks in particular. In fact, the recent patch on January 29 only made Zenyatta worse, despite Echo and Tracer also receiving a few changes.
Though players are still trying to figure out some sort of new playstyles in the vast landscape of pocketed Echos and unkillable Wrecking Balls. Winston and Zarya are once again making a comeback in some regions. The ‘Double Bubble” composition is poking out its head once again as teams just want something a bit different and maybe unexpected. It’ll be interesting to see if this is the composition fans can see OWL players bring to the table as the season nears its start date in April.
Tier 1: Optimal Heroes with High Win Rates and Synergy
- Wrecking Ball
The usual suspects are still topping the charts. The interesting thing about Echo is that she does everything so well, that adding a Mercy pocket is more of a luxury than a necessity. Unlike Pharah, Echo is able to do so much more closer to the ground, that she doesn’t mind not having her boost on cooldown. The Echo nerf was aimed at reduced her poke damage over the course of a fight, but the damage itself remains unchanged, allowing her to continue to burn down tanks extremely quick.
Unless of course that tank is Wrecking Ball. In the chaos that is solo queue, Wrecking Ball’s ability to flank and survive without much repercussion is incredibly oppressive. Sigma is just solid as an any-map option, even with his shield nerf. Veteran tank players are able to adapt quickly to a small shield change and Sigma’s kit remains just as versatile as ever. Baptiste, Ashe and McCree all are just extremely viable options and no player can go wrong playing any of those three.
Tier 2: Good Alternatives to Tier 1 and Still Viable Overall
Winston and Zarya are an interesting tank combo. At a glance, they don’t seem to really mesh well, but in practice, they are a perfect pair. Winston jumps in without worrying about dying too fast and Zarya gains huge amounts of charge thanks to the damage taken on Winston’s dive. The two also do a good job of taking advantage of mistimed Wrecking Ball engages by pouncing on the enemy backline.
Hanzo’s recent buffs are still a bit of a mystery as to why they were even added. It added more power to another tank-shredder in a meta that already has an issue with tanks staying alive. Either way, Hanzo is stronger than previously and an easy pick on longer maps with straight sight lines.
Tier 3: Good Situational Picks but Less Strong Overall
Ah, poor Zenyatta. He had his moment in the spotlight for the first time a long while, and then gets slapped with the biggest nerf in the patch. Discord Orb is undoubtedly a great ability, and apparently it was just a bit too strong for competitive play. Zenyatta now gets the boot to a more situational role rather than a must pick role. Surely, Zenyatta players will still try and force him into compositions that don’t quite work, but that is a bit par for the course with any character in Overwatch.
Ana and Roadhog could be bumped up into the second tier, but they are common counter picks to the opposing team comps. Usually they are equally the first characters to draw out attention as well from the enemy team, and typically will struggle if the team can’t play around them. They could see an uptick in playtime if there are more nerfs to damage soon, but until then they will stay down here.
Tier 4: Difficult to Have Success Within the Current Meta
It should be noted that Reinhardt could be played into random maps and find moderate success. This is more of a ranked thing, but theoretically he is the worst of the main tanks at the moment. It’s just simply too tricky to keep him alive. The damage and mobility of the heroes around him create too much of problem to decide what angle to shield. Meanwhile characters like Ana and Moira just can’t keep him up despite their massive healing numbers.
Reaper and Doomfist just can’t catch a break. Even with Winston being prevalent, Ashe and McCree just put him back into the spawn room any chance they catch him flanking. Same issue lies with Doomfist. The two have to consistently dodge poke and crowd control in order to find value. In an unstructured team setting, that can be incredibly difficult to fight through.
Featured image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment.
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