Of all the updates to ever grace Overwatch, the 2/2/2 role queue patch may be the most impactful to date. While it is currently only live on the PTR, the update should be active on all platforms by September. In addition to forcing all teams to have two tanks, two healers, and two DPS Heroes, the patch nerfs all Ultimate ability charge times by 12%. Several individual Heroes received some nerfs and buffs as well. Obviously, this shakes things up quite a bit. Fortunately, some Heroes will likely survive the update relatively unscathed. Others will actually be improved. Unfortunately, some Heroes will be less useful than before.
Sombra is definitely going to be a Hero who is going to be negatively impacted by the impending update. As it stands now, most of her power comes from EMP. In high level play, i.e. Overwatch League, the trendy thing to do seems to be to farm Ult, use EMP, and then win. Seeing as how there aren’t three beefy, relatively immobile Tanks to farm Ult off of anymore, it’s going to be harder to get EMP ready. Then there’s the self explanatory global Ult charge rate nerf. While she can be used as an assassin of sorts, there’s probably better options. The reduction in Hack uptime will unquestionably be more noticeable in the lower SR brackets.
Brigitte is also going to be less useful in spite of her soft rework. She’s already the worst 2/2/2 healer in Overwatch. While her soft rework makes her more of a healer and less of a brawler, she’s going to be squishier. She has no utility, her stun duration is getting nerfed, and her shield will barely exist. It’s going to be the worst of both worlds for her. On the bright side, you can keep one guy alive for quite a while as the rest of your team gets murdered, so that’s a plus.
To a lesser degree, Symmetra will probably be considered worse, but time will tell. Well, depending on who you ask, her upcoming change is actually cripplingly bad. Her teleporter will be less conducive to pop-in, pop-out blitzes. However, being able to offer more strategic mobility to the whole team is going to be interesting. With such a mechanic intensive Hero, it’s going to require time to see if she’s ultimately worse off or not. Wrecking Ball’s nerf is somewhat similar in that his Minefield will be much less concentrated. It’s bad news if you’re using currently using Minefield to cluster bomb teams, and it’s going to be worse for area denial in general, but Wrecking Ball is a very good Hero regardless. Still, not the best of times for one specific part of his kit.
Speaking of good Heroes, Reinhardt mains will be able to rejoice soon. Everyone’s favorite German rectangle man will feel more like a Tank and less like a pinball. Being able to resist knockback effects by 30% is simply great for both Reinhardt and the team that is depending on his shield being in a specific location. The global slowdown effect stacking tweak is just the cherry on top. One can assume this will also make instances where Reinhardt gets CC’ed into the stratosphere the moment he uses Earthshatter much more rare. It’s amusing to see to be sure, but not exactly fun for the Reinhardt or his team.
On the list of “why would you do this?” buffs is going to be Moira’s Fade buff. The Overwatch PTR patch notes merely say that she can activate Fade while stunned. Sounds simple right? You get hit by a Flashbang or Brigitte Bash and then you Fade and cleanse the stun. You lose a survival ability, they lose a stun ability. Not exactly game breaking, if a bit annoying. As it turns out, there’s a lot of effects that fall under the stun category. There’s a lot of evidence that shows that she can Fade out of anything that would otherwise immobilize her. This means getting frozen, Junkrat traps, Earthshatters, hooks, Sleep Darts, and so on. Granted, Moira alone can’t do much if her entire team gets hit by Earthshatter, but “Moira- no Fade” callouts will need to be acted on instantly in the near future.
There’s a number of other Hero tweaks as well, but they are ultimately not that important in the grand scheme of things. Sure, Hanzo losing an arrow in Storm Arrow or Ashe’s reload speed buff matters when you’re in the thick of things, but it’s not going to change how they’re fundamentally played. Regardless, it’s going to be an exciting couple of months for Overwatch fans as changes of this magnitude don’t happen all the time.