Only 3 heroes disabled in April’s first competitive Overwatch Hero Pools

From six last week to three this week, the “bans” are getting wilder.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Welcome to Overwatch competitive Hero Pools, where the rules are made up and numbers apparently don’t matter.

After developers disabled a whopping six heroes in competitive mode last week, they’ve reduced that number to three for the first week of April. The Hero Pools feature was originally intended to disable four heroes per week, but for competitive mode, Hero Pools has acted as a pseudo-experiment for players to deal with. 

Tank hero Wrecking Ball, damage hero Hanzo, and support hero Mercy are disabled this week in competitive mode due to Hero Pools. This is one of the rare weeks where a competitive mode ban overlaps with the Overwatch League’s Hero Pools selections. Wrecking Ball is one of the four heroes disabled in the Overwatch League this week, meaning players can’t use the quick hamster in any competitive context for a while. 

This week is Hanzo’s second time getting the boot thanks to Hero Pools. He was one of the first heroes disabled in the feature’s first week at the start of March. DPS players are likely fine with this development, considering last week’s Hero Pools choices cut down on their fun considerably. Four damage heroes were disabled from March 26 to April 2 and DPS players flexed to aerial ace Pharah and other projectile heroes. Hanzo’s removal shouldn’t make too much of a difference this week. 

Mercy’s removal will likely have a much bigger impact on support players. Last week, Pharah and Mercy took to the skies almost constantly in competitive mode. Without the threat of numerous hitscan damage heroes, they were free to throw down some justice. Without a Mercy pocket, Pharah is likely relegated to the bench this week. Other heroes that depend on Mercy’s damage boost, like Bastion or Widowmaker, may also see less play.

With Wrecking Ball facing a ban in both competitive mode and the Overwatch League, players who are committed to “new dive” compositions are hurting this week. Wrecking Ball is often played to disrupt tanky compositions with multiple shields or distract flanking DPS players from more fragile allied targets. The hero is also run alongside other quick tanks like D.Va and DPS like Tracer and Genji for a dive composition that targets specific heroes. Without Wrecking Ball, Reinhardt and Zarya will likely reign supreme again this week. 

As a reminder, Hero Pools only affects Overwatch’s competitive mode. Players are welcome to bring out their best Wrecking Ball in quick play, arcade, or any custom mode. Competitive mode Hero Pools are updated every Thursday at 1pm CT. This round of Hero Pools will last until April 9.