ByAdrian Lloyd, writer at
Gamer, writer, streamer, programmer and eSports fan
Adrian Lloyd

In January released its first major balance patch of the year for , which included big changes for our heroes D.Va and Roadhog. So how big and impactful are these changes? Let's find out.

1. Ana

Ana has your back.
Ana has your back.

Biotic Grenade is now less potent, seeing as the affect duration went down from 5 to 4 and the healing boost to allies has been decreased by 50 percent.

It seems that the change brought Ana more in line with the other healers. However, she is still a good single target healer. Lucio will still probably be the meta healer used in most compositions for the speed utility. Nothing so far to suggest that Ana won't also retain that title. The healing nerf might be enough to allow more of Mercy or as the second healer for the revive or discord utility.

2. D.Va

Game on!
Game on!

D.Va is one hero who got some big changes that really affects current play. Her health and armor have been changed up, from 200 health and 400 armor to 400 health and 200 armor. Since armor absorbs more damage than health, this makes more vulnerable to damage so she can no longer dive an entire team without consequence. D.Va's guns also got a bit of a . The bullet damage has been decreased from three to two and the number of bullets per shot has been increased from eight to 11, so each shot from D.Va's gun has gone down to 22 damage overall.

The health and armor changes are the bigger parts of how D.Va is now to be played. She was very difficult to burn down unless she was focus fired, which could prove difficult, given her Defense Matrix could soak up projectiles. The health and armor changes to D.Va allow for spread-shot characters like Reaper to come back into play. Before the patch, D.Va could easily take on Reaper.

D.Va will probably see less play in exchange for a DPS or another tank. So there may be more two-Tank, two-DPS, two-Healer compositions again. This, in turn, would allow flankers like Genji and Tracer to return. D.Va is still decent to play, but requires a lot more reserved play.

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3. Lucio

There is now an option to allow to perform backward wall riding. I'm not sure of the full potential of this option, but this could provide interesting ways to kite while keeping sight of enemies. Also, it's super fun to do.

4. Roadhog

Hook, line and sinker!
Hook, line and sinker!

Roadhog received one change in particular that caused a lot of chatter: his hook. Chain Hook now pulls enemies directly in front of (unless drastically turning) and hooked targets are released if they break line of sight before being pulled. Line-of-sight hooks are now determined by Roadhog's position rather than the hook's position.

What this all means is that Roadhog can no longer hook enemies from around walls or corners. This does mean that Chain Hook is now more reliable. Enemies will always be pulled to the same location so Roadhog can follow up with the headshot melee combo to guarantee kills on 200 HP heroes.

I believe Roadhog is still viable but will require more skill to land hooks. It will probably be more difficult to hook heroes like Tracer, who can blink behind a corner as you land a hook.

5. Sombra

Initiating the hack.
Initiating the hack.

Sombra received a buff to her Hack skill. The cooldown has gone from 12 seconds to eight, and the time to hack a target has gone down from one to 0.8 seconds.

The improvements to Hack were very helpful to as it helps synergize more with her other skills and allows her to more easily hack health packs and enemies. Given the improvement, Sombra still requires some help, seeing as the main reason you take Sombra is not necessarily for her damage or pick potential but for her EMP, using it to disable the enemy team and as a go signal for your team to dive.

Overall, we will probably see more variation in picks in the coming weeks. Less D.Va for another tank to keep triple tank with Roadhog or another DPS option. There will probably be more variation in the second healer pick other than almost always Ana. I can't wait to see how things pan out.

What do you think of this new Overwatch patch? Sound off in the comments below, and check out the animated short Recall.


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