Overwatch: How Patch 18.104.22.168 Can Affect the Meta
Sat 3rd Feb 2018 - 12:02pm
So, the Mercy nerf that a lot of people have been waiting for is finally live. Is it really as harsh as some people say it is? To answer that question, let's first take a quick look at the patch notes here:
- Concussion Mine
- Now will deal less damage to targets farther away from the explosion's center
- No longer makes Resurrect instant
- No longer grants a bonus Resurrect charge
- The speed bonus Guardian Angel receives when activating Valkyrie has been decreased by 50%
- Duration reduced from 20 seconds to 15 seconds
As you can see, it doesn't seem like a lot was changed in this update. First of all, just to get it out of the way, the Junkrat nerf won't affect him too much. As I've mentioned in a previous article, adding falloff to his mines will only make it harder for people to cheese with them. Junkrat players that are good at aiming his projectiles probably won't notice much of a difference. Also, you should take into consideration that this doesn't really affect his ability to spam grenades at choke points, which is one of the things he excels at.
It's still too early to tell how it'll affect his pick rate, but it's safe to assume that he'll be picked just as often as before, if not only slightly less. With that out of the way, let's move on to the Mercy nerfs.
Ever since Mercy got reworked, Valkyrie has been one of the strongest ultimates in the game. It just arguably did way too much for a single ability that lasts 20 whole seconds. The most recent nerf aimed to address this issue, and in my opinion, it did exactly that. The most notable change is that she can no longer instantly undo one or two potentially game-changing kills. On top of that, a Mercy with an active ult can now be severely punished for trying to fly in and rez someone in the middle of a teamfight.
If you ask me, this change is a step in the right direction. Aside from the indirect nerfs to Resurrect, reducing Guardian Angel's speed while Valkyrie is active will make players think twice before attempting any risky plays. In the past, she could very easily zip through the air and rez teammates who were out of position before simply flying back to the rest of the team.
Now, she's still one of the most mobile support heroes in the game, especially with Valkyrie. This patch just made her slightly more vulnerable, which seems fair considering how even high level DPS players are sometimes forced to pop an ult (such as Deadeye and Tactical Visor) just to hit an ulting Mercy.
In her current state, fights should now end a little faster since, in most situations, she won't be able to rez people in the heat of combat anymore.
IS MERCY FINALLY DEAD?
Personally, I don't really think that this patch will "kill" Mercy. What I think it'll do is stop her from being a "must pick" in every situation while still keeping her viable. Even without her instant rez, she still has 15 seconds worth of flight and chain healing/boosting.
The nerf to Guardian Angel's speed while under the effects of Valkyrie isn't a huge crutch either, seeing as how she can still be somewhat hard to hit when she's flying high with her small hitbox. They also didn't touch her passive regeneration during Valkyrie, which gives her insane survivability.
Let's also not forget that, without her ult, she's still literally the same as before.
HOW WILL THIS AFFECT SUPPORT PICKS?
While it's still too early to tell how exactly this will affect Mercy's pick rate, one can easily assume that Moira could potentially take her spot as a main healer. She works well with both Zenyatta and Lucio, which are heroes that complement the still-dominant dive comps. She can also hold her own against flankers, which makes her a pretty decent pick in the current meta.
Ana, unfortunately, will probably still continue to be one of the weakest support heroes in the game. She's still a decent healer though, and her Biotic Grenade is still a powerful ability. The only problem is that she's easily countered by barriers and D.Va, who is currently one of the most picked tanks in the game.
We can assume that death ball comps will be a little more prevalent in the ladder now that Moira is getting more attention, and Lucio will probably be seeing more play time again.
As someone who mainly plays support, I'm really looking forward to how this change will affect the game in the coming weeks. With Mercy (most likely) no longer being a mandatory pick, we'll probably be seeing a little more diversity when it comes to team compositions, especially on the support end.
What do you think about the latest update? Let us know in the comments below!
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