A new meta is in town and its name is double barrier. The release of the new tank Sigma marked a strange shift in Overwatch, minimizing mobility but emphasizing defensive capabilities and big burst damage.
With every new meta, certain heroes will become winners and losers in this meta. What is unique about this meta is that historically undervalued or ignored heroes are finally seeing the spotlight while mainstays and fan favorites are pushed out.
10 Suddenly Matters: Moira
This is the first time Moira has been a must-pick for team compositions. Ever since her live launch in Nov. 2017, the mad geneticist frustrated enemy flankers and put out healing that rivaled Mercy and Ana. Unlike her fellow healers, especially Ana, she offers little utility besides flat damage.
In this meta, Moira can bypass the oppressive pushes of heroes like Doomfist, Reaper and Mei with Fade. Her Biotic Orb can also bypass barriers completely, making her able to charge her Coalescence for every team fight and initiate pushes. Does one need to mention how ungodly her passive damage is?
9 Done: Brigitte
Brigitte’s design is based around frontline engagement and enough survivability to keep up a presence in the team fight. Her latest rework nerfed her personal survivability (250-health shield and halved self-healing). Also, Brigitte can’t simply walk at the Orisa barrier and start swinging – she’ll get mowed down easily.
While she has bolstered Inspire healing to allies and three charges on her armor pack, Brigitte's sustain is not strong enough to keep a team alive from a constant barrage of high-burst damage. Armor is always valuable, but it’s not worth it when it gets shredded in seconds.
8 Suddenly Matters: Symmetra
Ever since her rework, Symmetra can have infinite ammo when she charges her beam on barriers, you are looking at a mobile, barrier-busting microwave that can rival a full-charged Zarya and can shut down Moira easily. Her damage got nerfed in August, but that doesn’t stop her from decimating teams.
Her teleporter buff can also allow teammates to tele-y straight to point and bypass chokes. Add those “fun” turrets to the mix, and you got a hero that can outdamage Tracers and zone better than Widowmakers.
7 Done: Genji
It’s hard for Genji players these days. While he can outmaneuver an Orisa, Sigma or Hog, he can get shut down by their crowd control and burst damage. Double barriers make it more difficult for him to isolate targets, contribute to the frontline or take out the backline. Dragonblade is effective at shutting down ulting Moiras and pesky Lucios, but their presence can deter a clean elimination. A seasoned Genji can still get value, but it’ll be more difficult to prove their worth.
6 Suddenly Matters: Mei
Mei always existed in a nebulous place. She wasn’t considered a “troll pick” like previous iterations of Symmetra and Torbjorn, but she wasn’t strong enough to play alongside other damage heroes. She lacked mobility, and her damage output was low and slow.
Thanks to the buffs she received during the GOATS meta, this ice queen can freeze multiple targets at once, her icicles can pierce through enemies and has no falloff damage with her icicles; perfect for a meta composition that does not need much mobility to make an impact. She can isolate targets effectively with her ice wall and set up for Reaper, Symmetra or Doomfist to finish off frozen targets.
5 Done: Tracer
Like Genji, Tracer is in a precarious situation. If you are skilled enough at the hero, you can get some valuable picks on a vulnerable Orisa or an unsuspecting Moira and Lucio. A great pick or two at the start of a team fight (e.g. Pulse Bomb-sticking a Coalescing Moira) can really make the difference.
However, Lucio and Moira can be elusive. Sigma can negate an entire clip from Tracer before smashing her Accretion. Orisa can switch on Fortify, and you don’t want to duel a Reaper. Plus, a headshot is all a Mei needs to take down the time skipper. It’s much harder for the Overwatch mascot to make an impact nowadays.
4 Suddenly Matters: Orisa
Before Sigma was released, Orisa was steadily elevating to must-pick status due to bunker composition, which include Baptiste and Bastion. Now that the gravity manipulator is live, her replenishable and stationary barrier pairs well with Sigma’s omnidirectional one.
Fortify not only reduces damage by 50 percent, but it can complete negate any form of crowd control, like Doomfist’s Punch, Ana’s Sleep Dart and Mei’s Freeze. Halt is a great crowd control ability to help set up for a pick or keep an enemy flanker in place.
3 Done: Winston
Double barrier made the king of the dive meta stay seated. High impact burst damage always put Winston in a rough spot, whether he was receiving it or putting it out. A Sigma can shut him down with Accretion, and Orisa can outdamage him. Moira and Lucio can effectively disengage from his dive.
Reaper has always been the go-to pick against Winston, and Doomfist can put him down swiftly. Symmetra is now a viable threat against Winston now since she can delete his barrier with ease and beam him to death. At least he’s not completely alone in that department: he has D.Va to keep him company.
2 Suddenly Matters: Reaper
Everyone’s favorite edgelord hasn’t seen favorability in a meta since Season 2 of Competitive Overwatch, which was three years ago. Reaper underwent many changes since the Beyblade meta of yesteryear, mostly buffs to his entire kit and the removal of Soul Orbs.
He can escape sticky situations with ease, get high ground easily and get around chokes with his new and improved Shadow Step. Wraith Form is faster and great for dueling. The amount of health he regains for each shot is incredible, making this mercenary hard to kill.
While Death Blossom can be countered easily, Reaper has the pleasure of regaining health AND receiving a full magazine clip when it finishes. Couple with his high damage output to delete Orisa, Sigma and Moira, he is a tank-busting force to be reckoned with.
1 Done: Soldier: 76
Poor Jack Morrison was forced into early retirement. While the gun-toting super-soldier has good mobility and can shut down Moira, he cannot measure up to the big damage Doomfist, Reaper or even Symmetra bring to the table. Soldier does have a self-heal, but Reaper’s is better. He can get around enemy chokes, but not as good as them either.
McCree’s buff to his fire rate also made Soldier pretty irrelevant. Fanning the hammer deletes barriers faster than just emptying an entire clip of auto rounds. And what do you we rewarded with when you get your ult as Soldier? More shooting and not a lot of barrier-busting.
It’s either frustrating or exciting to see which players’ favorite heroes get elevated and which ones get pushed to the side with each new meta. As always, Overwatch players have to wait to see which new meta will take root when new patch changes come.