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Junkrat & Whitemane Hero Reworks Preview

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As you've probably noticed by now, the latest patch comes with Junkrat, and Whitemane reworks, and here we have a post with developer insights and more information about some of the new talents, update goals, and more.

You can find a list of all changes in the official patch notes.

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We’re reworking Junkrat and Whitemane to make them more dynamic and interesting to play. Here’s a preview of the changes you’ll see today when Whitemane’s judgment and Junkrat’s explosions hit the PTR!

Junkrat

Overview:

The wildly destructive Jamison Fawkes (A.K.A. Junkrat) is one of the most popular Overwatch Heroes in the roster. While he is consistently represented in the meta, we feel like his talent diversity is less than ideal. This update is our opportunity to create more interactive and interesting talent and Heroic options while ensuring he remains the manic hyper-carry he’s always been. Our primary focus with these changes is to increase the power of his less popular build paths, remove unnecessary talents, and round out his other builds to be on par with Frag LauncherFrag Launcher. Armed with some new toys, this deranged demolitionist is ready to rain havoc and bedlam on the battlefield!

New Talents:

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At level 1, Blow 'Em Up! grants Junkrat a 25% damage increase to basic attacks and basic abilities for 6 seconds after hitting an enemy Hero with Concussion MineConcussion Mine or Steel TrapSteel Trap.

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With Dirty Trickster, Junkrat drops Total MayhemTotal Mayhem (Trait) grenades when Stunned, Rooted, or damaged by a Hero while below 50% Health.

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Level 20's I Hate Waiting! offers Junkrat his Rocket RideRocket Ride Mount with 150% increased Movement Speed and a higher cooldown in place of his standard Mount (Z)s.

Update Goals:

Overall, we want to preserve Junkrat’s general gameplay identity while significantly increasing his talent choices and allowing for multiple build paths. We’ve focused on promoting a healthy balance of damage and carry capabilities for Junkrat while ensuring he’s not frustrating to play against. Junkrat’s new and reworked talents are more powerful as a whole, but to compensate for that increase, we’ve reduced the damage on his baseline Basic Attack and Frag LauncherFrag Launcher. The changes we made to Steel TrapSteel Trap—by tuning and adjusting functionality on its associated talents—should make it a more attractive option. Finally, Rocket RideRocket Ride’s marginal pick rate prompted us to up its steer speed and introduce a powerful level 20 upgrade.

Look Out For:

Junkrat has always been strong in the areas of zone control, wave clear, and mobility. This remains true following this update, but Junkrat also has some new tricks up his sleeve to lock Heroes down and cause general explosive chaos. Be sure to draft Junkrat on maps that have high-impact objectives or small corridors, as that’s where he can truly shine. His Concussion MineConcussion Mine and Steel TrapSteel Trap are hugely effective when used to engage or as a follow up to his own or his allies’ abilities.

Whitemane

Overview:

Sally Whitemane, High Inquisitor of the Scarlet Crusade, is not one to take prisoners. Playing her should always feel relentless, whether you’re supporting your allies, or smiting the enemies of the Light. To make sure that’s the case, we’ve submitted her abilities to an interrogation.

Whitemane’s Mana tension (the amount of Mana she has access to versus the amount she needs to spend to meaningfully impact a match) was the primary area we found needed some reevaluation. In our PTR patch available on 9/16, we’re reducing the baseline Mana costs of Whitemane’s abilities. Since she can now use more abilities before running out of Mana, we’ve lowered her damage output to keep her power from spiraling out of control.

We’ve pushed her playstyle toward more interactivity by giving her multiple new ZealZeal-stacking talents, which heal her allies when Whitemane damages enemy Heroes. She’s also picked up a powerful global heal, and a new Quest talent that lets her Searing LashSearing Lash ability provide permanent buffs. With her ardor renewed, Sally Whitemane is ready to purge the wicked from the Nexus once and for all!

New Talents:

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With Inquisitor's Prayer (Quest), Searing LashSearing Lash (E) Hero hits permanently increase Health and Mana.

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Whitemane's Heroic Ability, Divine ReckoningDivine Reckoning (R2), now returns 25% of damage dealt to Heroes as Mana.

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At level 20, Whitemane can activate Fanatical PowerFanatical Power to cast a free and global Desperate Plea (Q) that grants a targeted ally permanent Zeal.

Update Goals:

We’re hoping these changes will secure Whitemane a strong, healthy spot in the meta. After multiple rounds of feedback, tuning passes, and adjustments during our internal playtests, she’s sitting at a new level of power without having sacrificed her identity. That new power has been injected into her talent tree in the form of various Mana-return options, baseline ClemencyClemency, and a multitude of Basic Attack talents that reward players for having strong Zeal management. We hope you enjoy all the new synergies we’ve added to Whitemane’s talent tree!

Look Out For:

While the playstyle you’re accustomed to with Whitemane’s hasn’t fundamentally changed, you should nonetheless keep an eye out for some new synergies she has with aggressive or dive Heroes at the later levels. For example, Fanatical PowerFanatical Power targeted at an ally Illidan, Diablo, or Valla can turn fights around in seconds due to the safety of its global range. As her enemy, if Whitemane appears vulnerable or out of Mana, be wary of how you engage. You may find yourself falling victim to her kiting, disabling, and burst healing potential . . . no matter how much you protest!

Join us in the Nexus to see both Junkrat and Whitemane in action today, and share your thoughts about these changes on the General Discussion forums!

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I am liking both of those reworks so far. In Junkrat's case, I am glad they didn't erase the trap build. And he has some interesting protection against divers now on lvl 7. About Whitemane, I read various people complaining that she will run out of mana too fast, but that doesn't seem to be the case in the few games I tested on the PTR yesterday. The mana reduction on Desperate PleaDesperate Plea is quite significant, and I didn't feel that I had any more trouble managing her mana than the current iteration. On the opposite, I am not locked to that Q-Q-Q-W from the old High InquisitorHigh Inquisitor.

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..... they said he was the most popular? Oh okay for overwatch 🤣. Idk I think everybodies more hyped for his skin. When he was released it was literally like oh cool a new hero.... and then nobody played him. Thigh-mane on the other hand - She definitely deserves all the "attention" hint hint, wink wink she gets. Two great ults and defintely an underrated hero that isn't picked enough so hype train on that.

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No more High Inquisitor whitemane mana resets 😞

Probably for the best so the character doesn't have 1 build that makes it so you can heal so much in and out of fights on a character like this. It also gives the character the more mana managing design they seemed to have meant to make. High Inquisitor was just such an easy out for her mana. I understand why it goes, though I will miss it. 

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I still think whitemane's rework was unnecessary,they only made her with a narrow talent build viable. I dont understand why it was nasassary to change a whole playstyle based on someone 'disliking' how she worked. They did not make her mana management more forgiving. By adding a cost to Clemency and nerfing the cost of her Q, she will be so much harder to keep as a viable healer. Then you move her mana management from a base ability to a 75 second cooldown that your enemies can walk out of. The issue with Whitemane wasn't that she had infinite mana, it was that she was powerful when she had mana and useless without. Players that could keep up mana were dominant, but a single overreaction or misclick could ruin her healing for an entire fight. I loved the High Inquisitor play style and I wish they embraced it instead of treating it as a problem. She already was off meta and now they nerf the worst part about her while buffing her mediocre damage. I'm willing to give it a try but I think I'm gonna end up never playing Whitemane after that. I wish i could refund the gold i put into her, very much disliking how this turned out.

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