The state of Overwatch’s support heroes

Nearly all Overwatch support heroes just got tweaks on the PTR.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Five of Overwatch’s six support heroes are getting adjustments.

Zenyatta is the only support hero in Overwatch who’ll be left unchanged following the next test server patch, Overwatch developer Geoff Goodman said in a forum post on July 18. The adjustments are a mixture of buffs and nerfs with the intention of keep the support heroes “competitive” with each other. None of these changes require a full rework for the Overwatch heroes; instead, they’re mostly numbers tweaks. But that doesn’t make any of these less important.

Overwatch’s support players are in for a shake-up.

Buffs

Ana

Blizzard is giving Ana’s Nano Boost ultimate ability a major upgrade. In addition to everything else it does—50 percent damage boost and damage resistance for eight seconds—Nano Boost will instantly heal the targeted player for 300 HP. That’s big. Nano Boost will be an opportunity for the support hero to save her close-to-death teammates, instead of just a damage booster.

Using Nano Boost in conjunction with a Biotic Grenade can make a difference “on even the biggest of tank health pools,” Blizzard said.

Lúcio

Lúcio’s Sound Barrier effect will be increased by 50 percent from 500 to 750 shields. Crossfade’s aura radius will also be increased by 20 percent, from 10 meters to 12 meters. Lúcio’s area-of-effect was notoriously small; it’s not getting a huge boost, but it’s enough to sustain a wider area of heroes. (Crossfade can either heal or speed boost teammates within the AOE.)

As for the ultimate ability, Sound Barrier, it’s more useful in completely negating huge spikes of damage, Blizzard said. “For example, Junkrat’s ultimate can deal a maximum of 600 damage, which Sound Barrier can now potentially negate completely,” Goodman wrote. “It is worth noting that even though the initial shield he provides is larger, it still takes the same amount of time to destroy itself.”

Moira

Moira’s adjustment is to her “resource base regeneration rate,” which is up 20 percent. Blizzard thinks Moira is already pretty strong, but the change will help her out in instances where you can’t drain enemy resources—really, it’ll be important in longer range fights where there are less resources to grab from.

Nerfs

Brigitte

Shield Bash, arguably Brigitte’s strongest ability, will have its cool down increased from six seconds to seven seconds. Blizzard wants her to still feel powerful with her melee combinations, but the adjustment is supposed make it possible to counter. Shield Bash is one of the more annoying abilities to play against, and this nerf will have the ability coming up less often.

Mercy

Mercy’s primary healing beam will have its HP reduced 17 percent, from 60 HP per second to 50 HP per second. Other healers haven’t been able to compare to her healing output, making her a near must-pick in most matches. “Reducing her healing output will close this gap a little, but she will still maintain her status as the go-to pick for raw healing power,” Goodman said.

She’s still a pure healer, but Blizzard wants to give other heroes a shot at support.


As always, Blizzard intends to keep an eye on these adjustments to make sure things are balanced. The update is now live on the Overwatch test server.