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Hell Is Freezing Over from Mei & Reaper Changes

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With recent Overwatch character changes, players should gear up for close quarters combat.

As Brigitte bashed onto Overwatch servers this week many players suppose that the meta will change with the times. Some argue that Brigitte will determine the new “must have” picks for team compositions, others suggest that Brigitte is nothing more than a distraction and that dive characters will still reign supreme. Regardless of your camp, one thing is certain, Blizzard is ramping up close quarters team compositions.

PTR Changes with Reaper & Mei

While Brigitte’s introduction has clearly raised questions concerning the best competitive Overwatch compositions, Blizzard has announced new changes in the PTR that Mei (pun intended) strengthen the argument that close quarters team compositions are coming to a competitive game near you. Let’s break down each character’s changes individually.

Mei’s Endothermic Blaster will Now Travel Through Enemies

It’s time to bring out the Mei memes and hit the forums because Mei’s Endothermic Blaster will spread its icy doom through enemies. Mei’s abilities have always seemed somewhat lackluster against coordinated teams since, currently, she can only freeze one opponent at a time. However, Blizzard is throwing caution to the wind by allowing Mei’s Blaster to travel through as many opponents as the stream touches, which can force whole enemy units to “chill out”. In the past, Mei was easily countered by dive compositions who could overwhelm her through sheer numbers. With this change, enemies will have to check their decision-making when grouping up against a Mei. Clearly, this is a huge change to Mei, and it will be interesting to see how this will affect team compositions if it gets out of PTR (will Mei and Brigitte be the new Mercy and Pharah duo???)


Mei Freezing Two Training Bots


Mei Freezing Four Roadhogs


Reaper’s Wraith Form increases his speed by 50% (changed from 25%) and can be canceled at any time. Additionally, the use of Death Blossom reloads Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns.


We would argue that, while Reaper’s changes are not as significant as Mei’s, they still pack a punch regarding close quarter team compositions. Reaper’s Wraith Form has always seemed insignificant due to Reaper’s abysmal 25% speed boost and the fact that enemies always knew exactly when Reaper would return to the fight. With the new changes, Reaper will be much sneakier to play against due to his ability to pop back into a fray whenever he wants to. In regards to Reaper’s Death Blossom, his Wraith Form change is actually a way to utilize his ultimate with better timing. In the past, many players knew when Reaper had Death Blossom, as he would travel to the center of a fight using Wraith Form and then twiddle his thumbs, waiting to unleash hell. With the changes, Reaper can Wraith Form and immediately cut-off the invulnerability to use Death Blossom when his opponents least expect it. Of course, Wraith Form still has a short animation where enemies can witness Reaper’s rebirth from the shadows, but the ability is more cunning due to the changes. On top of this, Wraith Form will be a much better escape tool because of the heightened speed, and Reaper’s overall damage per second will increase due to the free reload he receives from the use of Death Blossom.



Reaper’s Wraith Form


Reaper’s Death Blossom Reload

D.Va & Zenyatta Changes

While the above changes make up most of the PTR shenanigans, D.Va is getting a nerf through a decrease in her Micro Missiles damage output from 6 to 4 damage a missile (a 22% damage reduction) and Zenyatta’s secondary fire rate for his Orb of Destruction will be slowed down by 15%. D.Va’s and Zenyatta’s changes seem appropriate, and will not make a significant difference on their own accord. However, with the introduction of Brigitte, these two changes seem to fall in line with Blizzard’s desire to change the meta composition so more heroes see action.

Predictions and Thoughts About the PTR

Our thoughts on PTR changes and their potential effects:

  • More people will turn against dive compositions, and we will see an increase in close quarters team compositions with Mei replacing an off-tank or damage slot (especially on control maps)

  • Brigitte and Mei will be a match made in flank-busting heaven

  • Pharah usage (and ironically Mercy usage) will increase to combat slow-moving objective-based team compositions including Mei and Brigitte

  • Reaper use will increase somewhat, especially when Brigitte hits competitive games

  • Roadhog will become more extinct than he already is

  • McCree’s usage will drastically increase

  • Teams will have to change compositions more frequently, and more heroes will be “in meta” than ever before due to counter-picking specific heroes


Is Blizzard making smart moves, or is Mei the next Mercy? Will these changes really do away with dive compositions, or are we full of it? Tell us what you think about these changes and how you believe they will impact the game.

For all of the PTR changes, check out Starym's post here

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As a very bad player I'll continue to enjoy Junk, Bastion, Mcree, or any tank Heal that would make sense with the rest of my team!

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