Thursday’s patch brought some major changes to the game, such as the addition of Doomfist. It’s still too early to tell what impact Doomfist will have on the game at large for a while. But there were some other changes in this recent Overwatch patch that will have an immediate impact on the game.
To see all the changes made by the patch click here.
Overwatch Patch: Hammer Swings and Graviton Clings
Zarya and Reinhardt got buffs in this recent patch. Reinhardt’s hammer now swings ten percent faster and enemies can’t escape Zarya’s Graviton when caught by it. How these changes impact the game is that they make these two tanks more attractive picks.
Reinhardt had a declining pick rate due to the prevalence of dive and some bugs that affected his hit registration. Blizzard fixed those bugs and with the added attack speed Reinhardt’s chances against a diving Winston have increased. Though this change is nothing in comparison to Zarya’s.
Zarya’s change is game shifting. Now enemies caught by the gravity bomb can’t use movement abilities to escape it. Rejoice Zarya players, because this means Genji can’t dash out of it, Tracer can’t blink out of it, Reinhardt can’t charge out of it, Reaper can’t ghost out of it and Mercy can’t fly out of it.
This change to Graviton is going to make Zarya a must pick. Graviton has always been one of the most powerful ultimates in the game because of how it combos with other ultimates. Now that enemies can’t escape Graviton it makes those combos even scarier.
Yet, just because enemies can’t escape the black hole doesn’t mean they’re defenseless. Zenyatta could still pop Transcendence, Mercy could be hiding for a rez and Reinhardt could simply put up his shield. This change to graviton doesn’t make it unstoppable, just harder to deal with.
Reinhardt and Zarya weren’t the only heroes to get buffed this patch.
Overwatch Patch: More bang for your buck
Reaper and McCree also got buffs in the latest Overwatch patch. Reaper’s Shadow Step’s sound effect and VO distance has been cut in half and McCree’s flashbang now slows enemies.
What this means for Reaper is that shadow step has become more useful. Before this change enemies never feared Reaper teleporting behind them because they could always hear him. This was a problem for Reaper because he is a flanker and his flanking tool gave him away. With this change Reaper has an easier time of carrying out flanks.
While Reaper can now carry out flanks easier McCree’s stun is deadlier. The added slowing effect to McCree’s flashbang means that mobile heroes like Lucio and Genji will have a harder time avoiding a followup headshot. Enemies will need to be wary of entering flashbang range because they won’t have an easy escape.
Overwatch patch: What these changes mean
With the changes made to Zarya, Reaper and McCree we believe that the end is in sight for the dive meta.
The buff to Reaper in the last patch made him a viable counter to Winston. Now these changes to Zarya’s ultimate and McCree’s flashbang make diving difficult. Because these buffs mitigate the key advantage of the dive meta; mobility.
It used to be that the only way to beat a dive team was another dive team. But now with the buffs to these three we can see the beginning of the anti-dive. Don’t be surprised to see more of these heroes in the coming weeks.