Everything you need to know about the Overwatch Experimental Card Tournament changes

We take a look at the best changes and how community players can get involved in the tournament.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Experimental Cards normally exist for Overwatch developers to test game changes, but a new card is going to bring a whole lot of chaos in the name of science.

In an extensive panel discussion, Overwatch League players and popular streamers worked together to submit changes for each of the game’s 32 heroes. Over 45 changes are on deck for developers to integrate into an Experimental Card that will be available to play from March 22 to 29. 

This specific Experimental Card exists primarily for the Experimental Card Tournament, which will begin on March 26 and runs through March 28. While most of these changes definitely won’t make it to the live servers, some may prove beneficial to the game and can be added in.     

The Experimental Card Tournament is a community event, which means anyone can sign up to play in one of four regions: North America, Korea, China, and Europe/Middle East. Registration runs from March 15 to 24 on GameBattles. 

Overwatch League teams will be fielding players for the tournament across multiple regions, so the competition will be fierce. Professional players, streamers, and regular community members will be competing for a prize pool of $10,000 in each region. 

Best (and wildest) changes 

The full list of hero changes that the Experimental Card Tournament panel cleared can be found on the Overwatch League website. But here are some of the most interesting additions. 

 Ana

  • Max ammo increased from 12 to 14. 
  • Nano Boost can be used on Ana by hitting the interact key. 

Toronto Defiant streamer and Ana enthusiast Francine “Fran” Vo proposed that Ana be able to use her ultimate, Nano-Boost, on herself. This will allow Ana to become a clutch player for last-minute holds but may result in DPS players never getting a Nano-Boost again. 

Echo

  • When Duplicate ends, Echo will be healed to half health instead of full health. 

Hanzo

  • Dragonstrike movement speed increased by 20 percent, damage increased by 20 percent, and distance before the dragon forms from the arrow shot lowered from ten to five meters. 

The panelists agreed that Hanzo is a powerful choice in neutral fights but said his ultimate was underpowered and often useless if not combined with another ultimate. This change gives Dragonstrike more power and speed while reducing the formulation distance, which will make it more difficult for heroes like D.Va and Sigma to absorb the ultimate.  

Mercy

  • Killing blows reset Guardian Angel cooldown. 

In one of the strangest changes from the panel, final blows from a Mercy will reset the Guardian Angel cooldown, similar to Genji’s kills resetting his dash. Get ready for Mercy players to whip the pistol out instead of healing.  

Pharah

  • Damage taken while airborne decreases by five percent and damage taken while grounded increases by ten percent. 

This new passive gives Pharah players more reasons to stay airborne. Ten percent is an extensive damage increase and could lead to instant eliminations for Pharahs who decide to play on solid ground. 

Reaper

  • Shadowstep voice line removed for increased stealth. 

Soldier: 76

  • Helix Rockets can hold two charges. Damage reduced from 40 impact and 80 explosive to 30 impact and 50 explosive. Self-damage scalar reduced from 50 percent to 40 percent.

“Soldier Parkour” is about to become a real thing. The entire panel agreed that Soldier: 76 needed an upgrade to become viable for the tournament, so his Helix Rockets now have a double dose of pain. The damage and self-damage of the rockets have also been reduced, meaning Soldier can use these rockets to get up to the high ground if necessary. 

Sombra

  • Hack activation time increased from 0.65 to 1.15 seconds. Duration increased from five to six seconds. 
  • Translocator cooldown triggered when used or destroyed and is reduced from six to five seconds. 

The panelists traded a longer hack activation time for a longer hack duration, meaning Sombra’s hacks will be more impactful if done correctly. They also reverted a change to Sombra’s Translocator, which will now instantly trigger a cooldown when used or destroyed. 

Torbjörn

  • Can hold two turrets. Damage and health of turrets reduced by 40 percent. 

Few people expected the longest debate in the Experimental Card panel to be about Torbjörn, but Seoul Dynasty DPS Park “Saebyeolbe” Jong Ryeol floated the idea of two turrets to his fellow players. After a lot of discussion, the panelists agreed to double turrets if the turrets would be less powerful. 

Tracer

  • Health increased from 150 to 175. 
  • Recall cooldown increased from 12 to 14 seconds. 

Tracer will finally be able to withstand single shots from powerful and damage-boosted enemies thanks to this health increase. As a trade, Recall’s cooldown has been increased to deter Tracer players from feeling invincible. 

Wrecking Ball

  • Size reduced by 15 percent. 
  • Ammo reduced from 80 to 70.
  • Grappling Claw cooldown increased from five to seven seconds.
  • Adaptive Shield no longer prevents enemies from generating ultimate charge.

The Chengdu Hunters’ Wrecking Ball expert Ding  “Ameng” Menghan called into the panel to suggest some wild changes for his favorite hero. To increase Wrecking Ball’s survivability, his model size will be reduced by 15 percent, making the hamster even harder to hit. In return, panelists asked for some nerfs, including a Grappling Claw cooldown increase and the ability to gain ultimate charge through Wrecking Ball’s shields. 


This Experimental Card will be available for the community to play on March 22. The Experimental Card Tournament begins on March 26 and select games will be broadcast on the Overwatch League YouTube channel on March 27 and 28.