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Tier Induced Scrappy / Overwatch

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This is a listing of Tier Induced Scrappies in the video game Overwatch. Due to Blizzard Entertainment being very active with patching out potential balance problems, it's generally assumed that every character in the roster will probably be here at some point.

Due to the game's constant balancing updates as well as the ever-changing nature of the metagame, expect this page to update frequently.

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  • As detailed below with Synergies, Ana's introduction led to the highly contentious Triple Tank meta, mostly for having so many strengths to her that not only made her stronger than other healers, but caused her team comps to be nigh unstoppable (even if she was and still is significantly hard to play well). Even without the Triple Tank meta, some argue she's a better sniper than Widowmakernote , and a better healer than Mercynote . Her Sleep Dart and especially her Biotic Grenade also gave her unique options that warranted her being picked over other healers, and her kit's most effective counterplay for a while was another Ana.
  • She was since brought down following several nerfs and buffs to other healers over many months, including damage nerfs in the face of Zenyatta's buffs in the Orisa patch, then later with Mercy's various buffs from Seasons 4 to 6, including her rework. Said Mercy rework effectively made Ana low-tier due to Mercy outperforming many of her capabilities (sans some niche abilities like Biotic Grenade) and then some. This has made many players see Ana as sort of a "downgrade" to Mercy, not helped by Ana's added high mechanical skill floor, making her very impractical in most cases.
  • Ana later received a buff to her damage, restoring her crucial ability to three-shot squishy characters. This, along with the nerfs to Mercy, have seen Ana regain much of her former glory and pick-rate, although she's not quite as ubiquitous as before.
  • The addition of characters like Moira and Brigitte, who have potent team healing abilities but can keep up with a team and deal damage on the front lines in a way a sniper like Ana often can't, has hurt Ana's usefulness despite not being buffed or nerfed. She is currently considered useful under the right circumstances, but on the larger scale has fallen back down to the low end.
  • She received a major buff in the Summer Games 2018 patch by having her Nanoboost heal for 300 HP (later given a slight nerf to 250) when applied. This, along with the adjustment to the other healers (most notably a buff to her partner Lucio and nerf to her main competitor Mercy) has finally brought Ana back to viability.

  • Ashe was introduced as a hybrid character of Widowmaker and McCree with a much more proactive and skillful Ultimate, B.O.B.. Unfortunately, in high level competition, she failed to find a niche or team composition to fit in, making her one of the game's most extreme victims of Casual/Competitive Conflict. On online ladder, Ashe is a much more well-rounded pick than McCree or Widowmaker, leading to a rather respectable pickrate/winrate ratio. However, she lacks McCree's close-range burst damage and crowd control for dealing with flankers, and her burst damage and mobility are much worse than Hanzo and Widowmaker for anyone with enough mechanical skill, making her an inferior choice in high-tier and tournaments. Thus, while she's regarded as perhaps the most balanced hero released in a long time, she had absolutely no presence in Overwatch League, where she was the only hero with a 0.0% pickrate in Season 2, Stage 1.

  • During both phases of the beta, Bastion was considered way too strong for the sheer amount of damage and defense it had (there's a reason some called the game "Turretwatch" during the beta phases). His state when the game went live was the result of several nerfs that finally brought him down into a more tolerable balance.
  • In the live version, Bastion was probably the hardest case of a Skill Gate Character in the game, and was on both ends of this trope simultaneously up until the Season 4 launch. On one hand, its Turret Mode did fast, obscene amounts of single-target damage, often setting up behind defensive choke points and easily killing its way to Play of the Games against newbie teams that didn't know how to counter it. However, it was rarely played beyond that due to the fact it has a large amount of weaknesses (its huge hitbox, immobility, and lack of survivability unless it kills its targets) that once realized can be punished hard, and as a result, its play rate had been one of the lowest in the game.
  • A rework was introduced in February 2017 in order to give him more options, making it in theory more of a niche tank-buster with improved sustain rather than a static instakill turret, but at first at least, the buffs shifted Bastion more towards a very high-tier position. Bastion's absurd survivability through its now-uninterruptible Self-Repair and Damage Reduction passive became an immediate complaint as soon as its changes were introduced to the PTR, as it was able to tank the entirety of several high-damage Ultimates (like Reaper's, Genji's or Hanzo's) while boasting frightening levels of DPS itself. Adding in Bastion's teammates, games quickly became both teams pocketing a single Bastion player to carry them, with the deciding factor of who wins simply being "who shoots first" rather than actual counterplay. These concerns were verified when the changes went live, where the new Bastion and its "Omnic Crisis Meta" was immediately loathed, with even more reports of games having turned into boring stall-fests of teams protecting their immobile, but near-unstoppably destructive killing machines.
  • Only three days after going livenote , it was given a noticeable nerf to its durability, and while it's not as overly niche as it once was, it's still considered less versatile and reliable as other DPS heroes, mainly Soldier: 76.

  • Brigitte was designed to be an Anti-Metagame Character revolving around defeating the dominant Dive Comp meta. Due to Dive Comp relying on extremely mobile heroes with rapid fire that can kill a single target very quickly, Brigitte was given a shield, a stun, and a wide, sweeping melee attack. Immediately after her release, online players had a hard time countering her, leading to accusations of the character being "overpowered" and "unfun" to play against, and one which required "no skill" to use well. Blizzard got their wish: Brigitte's simply being present in a match dramatically changes the way the enemy team must play, even if they're NOT running a Dive Comp. She also became one of the most played characters, with a winrate that was almost unheard of for any other character. When she received a slight nerf to her Rally and Shield Bash just before her debut in online Competitive play, Blizzard decided to use her unnerfed version in the final stage of OWL season 1—a decision met with outrage by Brigitte's detractors. To the surprise of many, though, pro players were able to play around Brigitte fairly consistently; while she was still quite powerful (especially in the hands of Mickie of the Dallas Fuel), she was nowhere even close to the dominant force she'd been in online play. In the weeks that followed, Brigitte's pickrates and winrates online showed a steep decline within the Grandmaster and Master ranks, along with the Dive comp mainstays seeing slightly more use. This did not end the controversy surrounding her, as Brigitte is still quite dominant in the lower ranks, which detractors claim makes high-skill-floor characters less appealing to use. Blizzard later gave another 1 second nerf to her Shield Bash cooldown because her high winrates were still an issue, and a 100 HP reduction to her shield (from 600 to 500) because they felt she was still a bit too hard to kill.
  • This also did not stop her dominance in low rank, and she eventually became a large component of the dominant "GOATS" meta. She was then nerfed even harder by removing her Shield Bash's ability to move through shields, as well as reducing its damage by ninety percent (down from 50 to 5). Her Rally was also nerfed so that the Armor it provided vanished after 30 seconds instead remaining forever, and several indirect nerfs were made via many changes to how Armor worked as a mechanic. This led to yet another controversy: on ladder, Brigitte's pickrates (but, again, not winrates) saw a steep drop at every rank. This is argued to be because the many nerfs Brigitte suffered shifted her into being a Low Tier Scrappy that cannot be played unless a team is attempting a dedicated GOATS strategy, in which case she's still a must-pick. Even the developers gave very mixed reactions; when asked about the state of Brigitte, Jeff Kaplan stated that she "feels terrible" to play outside of GOATS, while in a forum post, Geoff Goodman stated that Brigitte's kit at launch was one of his greatest balance regrets that was "pretty off the mark" because she was "still strong" even after all the nerfs she receieved. Defenders of Brigitte and detractors latched onto whichever statement they felt supported their arguments.

  • Upon release, Doomfist was considered to be the high end of this trope, though not necessarily for the right reasons. While he does tons of identified strengths and weaknesses (namely range and his reliance on hitting his abilities for damage and defense), he's earned many complaints for having a rather wild and inconsistent hitbox for nearly all his abilities, which takes away much of his counterplay of simply dodging him. Some players are also iffy about the idea of a hero who can one-shot a good portion of the cast as well as travel quickly and far across the map at all, even with his set weaknesses.
  • Though only weeks later in the Season 6 patch, his Rocket Punch had its hitbox finally "fixed", but then he suffered from the opposite end of Hitbox Dissonance, where he's drawing complaints of it completely missing when it should hit. In addition to players just getting used to properly countering him, his reputation has completely flipped in a matter of weeks, and his playrate dropped off since (though he still had a niche that professional players sometimes use him for).
  • Then in the beginning of 2018, Doomfist saw a slew of bugfixes that corrected almost all of the issues his main kit had and increasing the reload speed for his primary fire, as well as giving it a more consistent spread. While he's still not quite as high-tier as he was on his initial release, he's now much more of a viable pick when the situation allows.
  • His viability in professional tournaments has increased substantially due to numerous factors: the buffs to his speed during Meteor Strike, the increase of the amount of Shields he gains from his Passive, the release of Wrecking Ball (whom he synergizes well with), and the nerfs to one of his counters, Brigitte, and biggest Damage competitor, Hanzo. He was later nerfed to remove the movement disabling from his Rising Uppercut, increasing the falloff damage of his Meteor Strike, and the movement of his Seismic Slam.

  • For a while after the game's release, D.Va's large weak spot and awkward cooldown-based Defense Matrix made her too squishy to make a good tank, her large speed penalty turned her into a giant target for the enemy to shoot into her squishy health (to the point that auto-aim heroes like Winston or Symmetra can literally run circles around her) while her short range and easily-dodged Self-Destruct ultimate made her poor at dealing damage. For a while, just choosing her in competitive mode would get you yelled at. Even after a slight buff to her ultimate and a tweak to Defense Matrix making it meter-based, players quickly got used to her buffs and was still considered less useful in comparison to other tanks.
  • The Sombra patch buffed her again by giving her mech more health and reducing her movement speed penalty when firing... and it went a little too well, putting her on the other end of the scale. Her increased damage capabilities, tankiness and Defense Matrix were considered too much, and was able to replace every other hero in those categories (namely Reaper and the formidable Soldier: 76). This was made worse when put next to Ana's burst healing and the dreaded Triple Tank meta, and she was able to make a Quad Tank comp viable.
  • The Year of the Rooster patch nerfed her damage and converted 200 of her Armor into Health in an attempt to bring her back to balance. Her playstyle has shifted to be more of a defensive tank using her all-reliable Defense Matrix rather than being a diving tank of before (in spite of what her kit may suggest otherwise), and while D.Va found stability in that role and saw major play, this has led to some backlash from the casual playerbase for having her become boring to play as and especially against since DM is just that powerful, especially by the end of Season 5 and when the dive meta it helped escalate became very stale.
  • She was finally tweaked in September 2017 to bring her more in line with being a diving, offensive tank, reducing DM's uptime by 25%, but allowing her to fire her cannons while flying, and giving her an added offensive skill, Micro-Missiles. While initially seen as a fair tradeoff, this would eventually be seen as more of a problem especially as the Overwatch League came around, as since her missiles complemented her naturally-high mobility and decent survivability, she was able to fit in almost every single team composition, inflating her playrate across all ranks and in the Overwatch League. Her pick rate took a big hit with the rework to Hanzo due to the rise of her counter Zarya combine with the reduce duration of Defense Matrix made D.Va unreliable to absorb the Graviton-Dragonstrike-Damage Boosted combo, but made a big recovery after numerous nerfs to Hanzo and Mercy and buffs to the heroes that she counters well like Ana and Moira.

  • Genji was the most dreaded Offense hero during very early seasons for a variety of reasons. While Genji's difficulty to play didn't make him an issue in lower levels, in higher levels of play, Genji became extremely dominant thanks to his enormous variety of tools, leaving many feeling that he was just a bit too good at outplaying his counters, some of which were either niche picks (Symmetra) or themselves considered low-tier heroes (Winston). Blizzard later nerfed Genji by removing his Quick Strike/melee combo (reducing his damage output at close range) and removing a glitch that reset his Double Jump after a Wall Run, and since then he's been seen as a difficult-to-play, but more-or-less balanced hero.
  • His pick rate suffered substantially during season 9-10 due to a majority of factors: The nerf to his Deflect hitbox, the rework to Hanzo that pushes the latter to become one of the highest-tier hero in the Damage slot (which also led to the rise of Genji's counter Zarya) and the addition to one of his biggest counter Brigitte has all together made him unviable. Thankfully, the nerfs to Hanzo, Brigitte and Mercy; the rework of Sombra, the addition of Wrecking Ball as well as the buff to Ana (all of which he has good synergy with) has brought Genji back to viability.

  • Hanzo has always been both a major pest to play against, but also someone you'd dread to have on your team. Similar to Widowmaker, while he has tons of potential with hitting headshots to one-shot enemies (usually considered slightly easier to do due to his arrows' wonky track record with hitboxes and his infamous Scatter Arrow), his difficulty curve is now SO steep that being bad or merely mediocre with him makes his player The Millstone, and virtually any other character would contribute more to the team anyway. As a consequence, the catch-all term for bad teammates has changed from "Torb Mains" to "Hanzo Mains", because at least a bad Torbjörn might still get a kill or two with his turret. Even after a small buff in the Anniversary Patch that increased his arrow draw speed, it still doesn't change the fact that he's a needlessly risky hero to play, and very useless if a player can't consistently hit his projectiles.
  • He was given a rework that replaced the hated scatter arrow with a much more reliable ability called Storm Arrows. While this made dying to Hanzo feel less "cheap", it made him go straight to the high-end of this trope, as the update gave him mobility in the form of Lunge and increased the speed of his arrows, mitiggating or removing his two most prominent weaknesses: lack of escape options and inconsistency. Storm Arrows was also considered one of the best abilities in the game, as it can shred tanks and barriers, making Hanzo a Master of All character that renders most DPS characters irrelevant. Worse, his rework came after the buff to Widowmaker's Grappling Hook and Mercy's rework creating a very oppressive meta game where either Widowmaker, Hanzo or Zenyatta (or, even better, all three) can instantly kill off a normal health hero very quickly and for Mercy from either team to be the only hero with counterplay in the form of Resurrect. The only saving grace is that he's still exceedingly difficult to use. He was given multiple nerfs the following patches in form of cooldown increase to both of his new abilities and a damage reduction to Storm Arrows; his Dragonstrike no longer can be boosted by any abilities (namely Mercy's Damage Boost) as well as multiple nerfs to his fellow synergy heroes Mercy and Widowmaker and the introduction to a more effective counter to snipers in the form of Wrecking Ball.

  • As of around Season 2, he's been considered a pretty low-tier hero, mostly due to the fact that he doesn't have a real niche that can't be filled by any other heroes and better. Really, the only people who got any good use out of him were players with Demoman experience. While he has some decent area denial around chokepoints, it's usually not strong, fast, or accurate enough to be able to reliably kill enemies, and as a result can end up feeding enemy healers ult-charge and Zarya charge. Additionally, while his ultimate is extremely powerful if it manages to reach its target, it leaves Junkrat himself completely vulnerable to flankers, and can be shot down by a competent enemy team if he gives them enough time, often making him a liability in higher levels of play. The Orisa patch buffed him by making him immune to the damage of his own explosions — making him slightly more dangerous at close range, and allowing RIP-Tire to be detonated immediately after being launched without it being suicidal to do so.
  • He received buff at the start of Season 6, giving him two charges on his mine, and a buff to his relatively easy-to-counter ultimate by making it much faster and improving its wall climbing. The intention was just to give him more usefulness and be less binary, but many players have found he's probably too useful; the updates to his Concussive Mine gives him a ton of potential for securing kills and general mobility (his unreliability at both without this ability being one of Junkrat's big weaknesses), and his RIP-Tire's increased speed makes it much more effective at killing at least one target, both of which further justify his high, easy-to-use base damage. As a result, Junkrat's popularity has rocketed, and he's now one of the most-played DPS characters in the game, as well as one of the most controversial. He was given multiple nerfs in attempt to bring him to balance, from the nerf to the size of his primary fire, to the damage of his Concussion Mine and scale back the speed increase in his RIP-Tire.

  • Lúcio has consistently remained one of the most-used characters in the game since his release due to his tremendous utility. His passive AoE healing usually means he can out-heal virtually every character in the game, he has a unique team-wide speed boost that's considered indispensable for pressing major offenses, his Sound Barrier can save his team from enemy ults that could otherwise wipe them out, and he himself is quite mobile and has some mild offensive capabilities of his own, including his Soundwave. Even after a constant series of direct nerfs to his healing and speed boost and a tweak in March 2017 that reduced his aura's surface area by nine times (while giving him more mobility with his wall-riding and buff his primary weapon with faster projectile speed as compensation), he's still an extremely common pick, especially professionally.
  • However, he was thrown into the lowest tier from a combination of the Ult activation changes (which caused his Ultimate Sound Barrier to become incredibly inconsistent), as well as the reworked Mercy (whom his reduced aura had poor synergy with, and his Speed Boost was outclassed by). He received a buff in Summer 2018 that slightly expanded his aura again and increase the amount of Shield gains from Sound Barrier by 50%, with the aim of making him more viable.

  • McCree's a very problematic hero for Blizzard to keep balanced as he wildly fluctuates between high and low-tier Scrappydom with any buffs or nerfs given to him between patches. This can be mostly attributed to his very basic, but accurate and punch-packing kit that relies on consistently good aim, and the difference between a good McCree and a "meh" one is ridiculous. His mid-to-long range, incredibly accurate 6-shooter, deceptively large AoE flashbang and powerful "Fan the Hammer" have the potential to make him a nightmare, but his lack of mobility, defense and sustain, as well as a memetically underwhelming ultimate can make him a liability if he's not strong enough or if the player's not a good enough shot, especially if there are other heroes that can do his job better, normally Soldier: 76.
  • A June 2017 patch made his ultimate slightly faster to lock onto targets and charge up, and the Doomfist patch allows his Flashbang to slow stunned enemies, giving him slightly more reliability for dealing proper damage. He also got more popular with the rise of Mercy in light of her Season 6 rework, as he's much more efficient at plucking her out of the fight than other DPS heroes such as Tracer, Genji, and even Soldier: 76 due to his more reliable accuracy and comparatively burst-ier damage. Like other hitscan, he had his falloff damage buffed to a 50% maximum at distance, and later had his Fan the Hammer substantially buffed to the point that he became a viable Tank-killer, earning him the derisive nickname "McRight-click".

  • Mei usually gets this status from both sides, but is more recognized as just low-tier. In lower levels, her kit is loaded with tools able to harass, disrupt, and frustrate uncoordinated enemy teams, but at the same time, her freeze is slow, short-ranged, single-target, and can be easily avoided by those with defensive abilities or mobility (which most heroes released after her since have), and her right-click attack is very delayed and rather unreliable at doing damage (especially since unlike every other projectile in the game until the Wrecking Ball patch outright removed it, it has damage falloff when used over a distance), making her usually unfavorable to higher-level players. Some of her status is also meta-dependent; she was considered pretty good at countering the slow, easy-to-disrupt Triple Tank meta, even in high-level tournaments (helped by a range buff to her ultimate during its time), but not so much against the faster and more mobile-based Dive meta.

  • Mercy often fluctuates between being an incredibly high-tier scrappy to a low-tier scrappy mainly due to her kit solely revolving around healing and resurrecting teammates, with almost no other further utility aside from a damage boost. When strong, her incredibly potent single-target healing and high game-changing potential with Resurrect make Mercy a high-value must-pick, but when not, she ends up outclassed by every other support, who have much more versatile utility options (such as Lúcio's speed boost or Zenyatta's Orb of Discord), whereas Mercy can only really heal most of the time (sometimes, she ends up outclassed in that niche she's overspecialized in!). Her mobility and general survivability also requires lots of coordination, awareness and proper positioning, and especially due to her short range, she can be very susceptible to being focused down and killed, which due to the power of her heals and Resurrect, a competent enemy team will want to do a lot.
  • She was finally made more viable with a small buff to her Resurrect that allows her to stay immune along with her revived allies to hopefully win the team fight, the buff to Bastion (which Mercy can damage-boost and get charge off healing it) and nerfs to Ana. However, this has possibly made her too powerful, and has brought to light a somewhat unique problem to her: her healing and Resurrect are so powerful (and far more Reward than Risk thanks to invulnerability), she attracts many one-trick players, guaranteeing that she is played in almost every match.
  • Mercy finally shot straight into the highest tier with a near-complete rework of her character, which made Resurrect a single-target ability on a long cooldown and gave her a new Ultimate: Valkyrie. While some issues with her gameplay have been fixed — namely shaking off her "squishy one-trick rez machine" reputation by giving her much more utility during the fight rather than after when her teammates are dead — this has actually made her presence more imperative, as even with its hefty (by default) 30-second cooldown and single-target use, Resurrect is still extremely powerful (and more effective; estimated to be used almost twice as often per game), and Mercy still remains one of the easiest supports to play. The consensus is that she's far more powerful a support than before, enough to make most other supports redundant, causing her to be by far the most-played hero in every division, and she's even managed to dethrone Lúcio from essential to niche pick in professional play.
  • She was then given a slow series of nerfs, mainly to her Ressurect in order to bring her more in line, first by altering the nature of Valkyrie to reduce the amount of times she can use it, and then by giving it a cast time and slow effect, making bringing back a dead teammate more risky than before. She's still considered strong and a popular pick (even seeing a 90% pick rate in the Overwatch League), and while most agree that it's a relative improvement (helped with the simultaneous buff to Ana's damage and the introduction of Moira as another viable healer), she still remains contentious.
  • Finally, she received a controversial major nerf that essentially completely dissociated Resurrect from Valkyrie (when previously Valkyrie granted two free Resurrect charges and a shortened casting time), meaning that now the only bonuses granted from using Valkyrie are flight, health regeneration and chain healing/damage boosting. While this was successful in decreasing her pick rate, many are of the opinion that it was too harsh a nerf, as Mercy’s Ultimate has dived from one of the best in the game to a sustain ult that can sometimes lack the impact of others. She was on her way to a balance spot compared to the other Support heroes... until the extent of the buff to Widowmaker back in August 2017 was fully realized and the Hanzo rework hit, which shot her back into high tier for being the only Support hero that both has synergy with and counterplay against them. This got so bad that the Summer Games 2018 patch reverted Mercy's healing output back to when the game was launched (from 60 to 50 hps, a whopping 17%) as well as the buff to Moira, Ana and Lúcio further closing the gap with her.

  • Despite her high pick-rate and a number of detractors, Moira has been viewed as more-or-less balanced since her introduction. This is mainly due to her abilities, all of which are powerful-yet-flawed (her healing is high, but finite; her damage is low, but long-range; her escape is fast, but situational, she has no other support abilities other than healing) and also the fact that Moira struggles when supporting and playing against Dive comps. As with Ana, Moira's tier position largely depends on the team around her, making her vital in tank-heavy compositions but almost useless as a support when her team isn't right next to her.

  • Similar to Sombra, Orisa was been considered a low-tier hero for a very long period of time following her release. While her Fusion Driver and Supercharger did a decent amount of damage at range and her Halt! was a very powerful crowd control ability, she was generally considered to be too squishy to be a tank due to a combination of her large hitbox, lack of sustain and mobility, while her Fortify and Protective Barrier does not protect her enough for her to stay alive, especially when put up against enemy flankers who can get past her.
  • She gradually started to gain more popularity thanks to a few buffs and tweaks over time (reducing her head hitbox, reducing her shield cooldowns, shifting her power in DPS through faster projectiles), though unfortunately she still suffered in the Dive meta, where most heroes could just ignore her shield and her still-low offensive strength. With the Season 6 patch, she was given a much physically larger barrier and the aforementioned faster projectile speed, and thanks to other surrounding hero changes making the Dive meta more obsolete, her playrate has steadily grown to regular play.

  • Pharah's been on both ends up the Tier-Induced Scrappy scale multiple times since despite having relatively few balance changes herself, her emphasis on aerial combat can easily become either a major strength or weakness depending on who else is currently in meta. Her rockets and Concussive Blast have the potential to do a lot of damage, and her aerial mobility can easily put her out of reach of many heroes, which can become doubly obnoxious if she has a pocket Mercy who can heal and fly with her. However, being airborne also usually puts her out in the open, and since she's squishy, hitscan heroes (mainly McCree and Widowmaker), Zenyatta's Orb of Discord, D.Va's Defense Matrix and Self-Destruct can neutralize or bring her down almost immediately, and her reliance on a pocket Mercy for survival usually means her play rate is almost always slightly lower than that of Mercy. Much of her viability fluctuates a lot based on everything else around her, and her place in the meta and her place on tier lists is highly variable.
  • As of Season 6, Pharah has gone up a lot in the ranks thanks to her primary partner Mercy getting a huge buff to her Resurrect and aerial mobility with her ulatimate. Add in the fact that one of the main ways of controlling Pharah, D.Va's Defense Matrix, got a huge nerf, and it's very easy for a Pharmercy team to completely dominate a match, especially if the enemy lacks a hitscan or if the hitscan keeps getting focused out.
  • Unfortunately, Pharah fell into low-tier again with a combination of the Mercy rework (which, while it made the latter one of the highest-tier heroes in the game, doesn't synergize with Pharah that effectively, and enables her counters Widowmaker and Soldier: 76 much more) and the buff to both her counters Widowmaker and Hanzo. Later in July 2018, her main counters received falloff damage buffs, reducing her strength further. The three next heroes released, Wrecking Ball, Ashe and Baptiste, added more for Pharah worry about—with Ashe being considered a middle ground between McCree and Widowmaker that's perfect for countering Pharah, and Wrecking Ball and Baptiste being a hitscan tank and support, respectively, thus allowing any player of any role to now be able to take battling an annoying Pharah into their own hands.

  • Initially, Reaper was considered to be one of the strongest DPS heroes in the game, for a while, a Nano-Boost/Death Blossom combo was one of the most feared elements in the game before the former's speed boost was removed. His high consistent burst damage also made him an ideal "tank-buster", causing him to thrive for a period in the Triple Tank meta.
  • Following said nerf to Nano-Boost and buffs to Soldier: 76's more-reliable DPS and D.Va's crazy tankiness, he fell off for quite a while, since his damage required him to be close-range, but his mobility was minimal and his lack of reliable sustain often put him in danger in comparison to other DPS heroes. With the gradual fall of the Triple Tank meta and the rise of the Dive meta, he still struggles to find a place in team comps, since he still doesn't have as much mobility or harassment as Tracer, Genji, or even Sombra, nor does he have the reliable long-range DPS of Soldier: 76 or even McCree.
  • He was later given a major buff in the June 20th patch with a substantial tweak to his passive, giving him flat Life Drain when dealing damage rather than getting a less-reliable heal when his targets die, giving him better overall sustain and close-range survivability. While he still has compatibility issues fighting with and against Dive comps, with the nerf to Roadhog in the same patch and Soldier: 76's damage in an earlier patch, Reaper has become viable once again as the "close-range burst-assassin/tank buster" of before, and the Doomfist patch makes him quieter when he uses Shadow Step, giving him slightly more options for pouncing ambushes.
  • The addition of Brigitte has hurt his viability the most compared to all the other flanker heroes due to his shotguns' damage being atrocious against Armor, his escape is slow and easy to be chased down, not to mention that he's the easiest target for her Shield Bash. This made his pick and win rate fall back to being one of the worst for Damage heroes. That being said, it's been acknowledged by the developers that his kit is a problem at the lower ranks for those players without the mechanical skills to escape his wraith form or shadow step which lead to his Life Drain skilled being reduced March of 2019.

  • Reinhardt is usually considered a staple hero in almost every attack team comp for the longest time mainly because he's just that simple yet incredibly helpful. His Charge and Earthshatter are already strong, but the main reason for his consistently high pick and success rate is his Barrier Field, which is gigantic, durable, and just mobile enough to be able to consistently protect team during a big push. Other Tanks like Zarya, D.Va and Winston are centered around less-reliable burst shielding (and are more focused on bulky disruption than protection), and as such Reinhardt is unmatched in his power to keep all his teammates safe, and is considered necessary for almost every attack comp.
  • His popularity dwindled around Season 4-5 with nerfs to Ana and the rise of the Dive Comp meta (built around instantaneous dives using high mobility heroes like Tracer, Genji, D.Va, Lúcio and Winston), which he's neither optimal in fighting with or against due to his lumbering size and speed. This wasn't helped by several bugs causing clunky inconsistencies in his kit (delays on his melee, major Hitbox Dissonance, and sometimes non-functional ultimates), though some of them were fixed in later patches.
  • In August 2017, he got a few buffs and quality-of-life fixes, making his hammer swing 10% faster, improving the hitbox interactions on Firestrike and Charge, and the ability to move the camera around him without moving the shield, with the only true nerf being to the vertical effect of his ultimate. With the gradual end of the Dive meta, Reinhardt returned back to stable relevance for a few months, though this has been slowly turning again due to what some believe to be general Power Creep. Unlike other potential anchors like Orisa or Brigitte, Reinhardt's very vulnerable and unlikely to achieve much once his shield goes down and has to recharge, and combined with the increased popularity of counters like Junkrat or Sombra, many players are finding him as more of an outdated relic in desperate need of an update. The rework to Hanzo and Mercy, the introduction of Brigitte as well as the buff to Zarya and Widowmaker has brought him back to one of the highest pick characters due to being the only Tank that can reliably protect his teammates from the insane burst damage the snipers can dish out as well as synergize well with Zarya, Brigitte and Mercy, as well as the fact that Brigitte had greatly reduced the dominance of his Tank-slot competitor Winston.

  • For the longest time, Roadhog's been a very powerful pick, especially due to the popular Triple Tank meta. This is mostly to blame on his unusual kit design, in that while he's classified as a Tank and has the resilience of one, he doesn't have any team-protecting capabilities. Instead he has sustain in a powerful heal, but more importantly, huge kill pressure, especially for a tank, due to how utterly devastating a good hook/left-click combo can be to a squishy priority target, making him something of a tanky off-DPS. This makes it so A: He's a huge damage magnet who attracts a lot of attention as he has to be prioritized over other targets lest he be let loose (which can be a real bummer if he has 2/3 other tanks on his team with 2 healers) and B: If he is let loose, his hook combo can absolutely wreck the enemy's day; simply by managing to pick a target regardless of who it is, he will have made up for his Triple Tank comp's innate lack of damage and allow them to just wail on the target close-range (which is mostly where every Tank's damage comes from anyway). It also really didn't help that the hook itself had a very awkward, infamous history with hitbox/hitscan detection.
  • The February 28, 2017 patch finally gave him a significant nerf on the hook by increasing its cooldown and the distance between him and target after a successful hit... except at the same time, the same patch decreased the spread of his shotgun by 20%. A Roadhog who can actually aim well has become significantly buffed, since he's no longer dependent on his hook for those one shot kills.
  • The June 20, 2017 patch changed Roadhog's Scrap Gun, giving him increased firing rate and one extra round in the clip, but heavily decreasing the damage per individual shot, to the point where his hook combo is considered nearly worthless for killing even 200 HP heroes, effectively neutering his power as a hero and turning him into a giant target to farm free ult charge. This resulted in him becoming very low-tier, further boosting the viability of dive comps which the hook combo could previously mitigate.
  • He was finally given a buff with the Season 6 patch, leaving his damage as is, but giving him a major change to Take a Breather, allowing him to move and take 50% less damage while using it, giving him more survivability and making him a little less prone to being an enemy's ult charge farm. While he's not as common or scary as before, he's finally seen a better playrate in all ranks and is seen as a factor to finally ending the Dive meta, though the debates whether or not this was a good or appropriate fix for him is still a big subject of debate among players.
  • Following the introduction of Brigitte, Roadhog's viability plummeted, only being played in tandem with Orisa for the Halt+Hook combo. Although his secondary fire can be good at dealing damage to her shield, all of her abilites counter him in some way. Whip Shot knocks him away from his effective range, Shield Bash interrupts his healing, Repair Pack significantly reduces the effectiveness of his Scrap Gun, and all three of these hamper the effectiveness his Hook combo in some way, while having a lower cooldown than Roadhog's abilities. Topping it all off, Rally provides permanent armor to the enemy team, making him borderline useless when Rally armor is in effect. Even after Brigitte's Shield Bash and Rally nerfs, Roadhog remained a low-tier scrappy.

    Soldier: 76 
  • Initially, Soldier: 76 was originally very balanced on launch, with good spread in his rifle that would kick in after 4-5 shots. However, Blizzard saw this as very threatening to other heroes, and patched it come competitive, giving him a rather clunky and unreliable spread, made worse with even further increases later on, even after players were realizing how good his short burst-fire playstyle was.
  • He was finally given damage to compensate for his spread in the Sombra patch, making the burst-fire playstyle more popular, but now most players consider to be too powerful ever since. While short and requiring consistent aim, his DPS is considered some of the most reliable in the game, and his well-rounded kit (burst damage, long range, mobility with Sprint and sustain with Biotic Field) makes him able to fit in most major comps, including Triple Tank and Dive comps. As a result, Soldier: 76 often overshadows other DPS heroes (and is often a direct contributing factor to the low-tier status listed here); while they might be flashier, he's considered to be one of the safest yet most effective, and thus most-picked in competitive scenes. The Anniversary patch nerf his bullet damage from 20 to 19, along with the buffs and reworks to other Offense and Defense heroes (notably Sombra, McCree, Junkrat, Widowmaker and Hanzo) has reduced his prevalence in professional tournaments and high ranks but he is still a strong pick in lower ranks.

  • Sombra was considered rather low-tier for a long time since release since despite her large innate potential and tools, she didn't have a very strong base kit to allow her to use them. She's not as strong a DPS as Soldier: 76, nor as deadly a flanker as Tracer, and her Hacks were considered very situational. While she did see occasional tournament play by exploiting her ability to build ult charge from hacked health packsnote , it was still seen as more of a jokey cheese strategy, as she still had very little to contribute to the team once she's used her EMP, which itself is difficult to coordinate. It got to a point where if someone chose Sombra, they would likely be asked to swap to Hanzo.
  • Her climb to viability has been extremely lengthy, but she finally reached it after a series of slight buffs over time (likely because if she was buffed too much, she'd be a nightmare to fight against). From the Year of the Rooster to Orisa patches, her Hacks and Translocator were given shorter cooldowns, her stealth was made more reliable, and her hacked health packs could be seen through walls by her teammates. With the subsequent rise of the Dive meta, she became viable even in professional tournaments, where her mobility, Hacks, health-pack denial and fast-building ultimate are incredibly punishing and fit quite nicely with the rest of a Dive comp, though not to the extent where she breaks the game.
  • Her quick surge in popularity took a big hit with the rework of Mercy, who's not only a bad target for Sombra to hack, but also can very effectively peel for her hacked team with Resurrect and Valkyrie. It took a several nerfs to Mercy and a rework to Sombra bring her back to viability again.
  • She received a rework in February 2018, receiving buffs to her damage, Translocator cooldowns, and her Hack, now requiring less time to cast and being able to disable passive abilities (affecting most notable tournament staples like Genji, Pharah, Mercy and Lúcio), with the tradeoff that she can't charge her ult from a hacked healthpack anymore. This effectively changed her fundamental playstyle, where instead of being a niche pseudo-support reliant on her EMP, she's now a more offensive disabling assassin, causing her pick rate to soar in professional tournament and high tiers (not so much lower tiers due to her high skill requirement).
  • Then she fell back again starting from the Brigitte patch, where her Hack was given a nerf by implementing a stricter line-of-sight check and forcing it to go on cooldown if her target escapes. This ended up resulting in a lot of bugs, and coupled with several other bugs to her Translocator that also gained more attention, her viability and popularity dwindled once again, prompting Blizzard significantly changed her in the Wrecking Ball patch (see below).
  • The Wrecking Ball patch completely removed the time limit from her Thermoptic Camo and Translocator, allowing both to last indefinitely in exchange for Thermoptic Camo getting its movement buff rediced from 75% to 50%, no longer being able to contest objectives and Translocator becoming a destroyable object, while also being cancellable by Sombra. While the latter allows observant players to easily counter one of her core tactics, she rose in viability again and is considered a solid hero in high-rank and professional tournament due to her huge scouting potential as well as her good match up against Tank-heavy compositions.

  • Despite having a reputation of a character who was permanently stuck in low tier, Symmetra was actually considered a must-pick in the early game beta - her Photon Shield granted a hero an extra 50 shields with only a 1 second cool down, and her Teleporter had an absurdly high 10 charges to it. This allowed Glass Cannon heroes like Tracer and Genji to have a consistently larger health pool that automatically regenerated by 50 whenever they didn't take damage.
  • After the nerf of her Photon Shield from 50 to 25 and reduction of the Teleporter charges from 10 to 6, Symmetra's gameplay issues prevented her from being more than low-tier. She was considered a niche, unnecessarily risky hero, doing things other heroes did even better. Her turrets (main source of damage and zoning) required the enemy walk into them, so she was almost entirely useless on Attack, her shields were absolutely pitiful against the healing sustain every other support had, and players required a high knowledge of the map for the best turret and teleporter placement to play her optimally. Combined with the fact that Winston was a near-complete counter to her turrets and her teleporter was easy for an enemy in general to find due to its cold-warmer-hot callout nature (as well as vulnerable to a stealthy flanker), Symmetra seemed like a case of Difficult, but Awesome But Impractical.
  • She received a significant rework in the Winter Wonderland 2016 patch, receiving buffs on almost all levels, with a more dynamic shield ability, a faster charge rate to place more turrets, a buffed primary fire, and a second ultimate in her Shield Generator for when the Teleporter is not as useful, both of which were made more durable. However, this created an imbalance as she's very dominant at lower levels where she can run roughshod to teams that can't work around her kit or main weapon, but still a pretty niche, barely used character at high levels/professional play (to the point that she received 0% pick rate in Overwatch League). This prompted Blizzard to continue working on her, with a much more drastic rework being revealed in June 2018.
  • The change was revealed in June 2018 with significant changes on all level to move her from a Support hero to Damage: Her Primary Fire now no longer locks on, has an increase in all areas (range, ammo recharging, ramping time and damage); her alternate fire no longer pierce barriers and enemies, explodes on impact, has primary damage decrease in exchange for splash damage, has faster projectile and charge up time; Sentry Turrets are now able to be thrown out from a distance, have more health, damage and slow effect in exchange for lowering the maximum number she can have from 6 to 3; her Teleporter is completely redesign to be a regular ability for helping her and her teammates to repositioning instead of bring them back from spawn quicker; her Photon Barrier is now a deployable static Ultimate with significantly higher Health and size. Said rework completely changed the way that she is played... to almost no effects on her pick and win rate across all levels.

  • While not unstable to the same extent as Bastion, Torbjörn is a pretty hard-set as a Skill Gate Character. His turret auto-aims, meaning he's a common choice for low-skill players to rack up kills and get easy PoTGs against other low-skill players who can't aim to shoot themnote his ultimate can be legitimately powerful when he actually gets it. Unfortunately, while he got buffed in the Sombra patch to allow him to make more Armor Packs, he has very little to consistently offer to the team other than that, and is usually considered too unreliable in higher, more careful levels of play, as his turret only tracks one target at a time and requires a lot of setup to be effective, and his own Rivet Gun damage is pretty slow and inaccurate. After many months, an extensive rework was announced to hopefully increase his versatility in gameplay and composition.

  • Tracer has been on both sides of the tier ranking, despite her kit remaining unchanged since launch until the Rialto patch nerfed her Pulse Bomb damage. Much of it involves her extreme role as the Fragile Speedster and Glass Cannon: Tracer can kite an enemy easily to avoid fire, kill normal-health enemies in a single clip, and has enough mobility to appear virtually anywhere on the map at any time. Because of her abilities being very specific, this can either be a boon or a detriment depending on the meta, being the former in the Dive Meta due to its emphasis on mobility, and the latter during the Triple Tank Meta where Tanks could obliterate her while she couldn't do the same to them. Certain game modes can also affect this: she’s considered risky in Elimination due to easily being eliminated, but can really dominate in Deathmatch with excellent dueling power and escape speed. The fact that almost every professional-level Overwatch team has a player dedicated solely to Tracer speaks volumes about her usefulness in all but the tankiest of metas. The introduction of more close-range counters like Doomfist and Brigitte, the rework and buffs to her existing counters Junkrat and Sombra, buffs/reworks to the heroes she countered that made them less vulnerable to her like Mercy, Widowmaker and Hanzo and the nerf to the damage of her Ultimate (a 25% decrease) in May 2018 that made her less effective against Tanks have reduced her dominance, but she still maintains a respectable pick rate due to her playstyle of maneuverable rapid target elimination, which is still considered effective in the right hands.

  • Widowmaker has the amazing (and terrifying for the enemy team) potential of dealing 300 damage every two seconds with headshots, meaning that a great Widow is a nightmare to face, and was so at launch until the first few patches...
  • ... but that's all she has and it is offset by absolutely everything else in her kit: her cooldowns are ridiculously huge, her speed when scoping is a crawl in a game where mobility is key, her ultimate is just a slightly better Hanzo's Sonic Arrow, her mine is rarely useful at getting flankers due to glowing brightly and inflicting a Damage Over Time that is slow/low enough that most characters can shrug it off, each of her charged shots leaves a giant red trail accompanied by the loudest gunshot sound in the game, and any shields reduce her effectiveness greatly, meaning that she has been considered a low-tier ever since.
  • She was buffed slightly in the Season 6 patch, giving her a significantly shorter cooldown on the Grappling Hook and a Sonic Arrow-like effect on her mine (but only for herself) allowing her to better see flankers coming. Mercy's rework made her a strong both with (she can both speed up the sniper rifle's charge and boost the shot's damage) and against Widowmaker (Widow is the only reliable way to kill Mercy when Valkyrie is active, and Mercy can reverse one killshot). In professional tournaments, Widowmaker quickly rose to the most-picked DPS hero, and every game came down to whose Widow was better—even players who played Widow spoke about how stress-inducing she felt to play and to play against. The rework to Hanzo has only made this even worse due to a team composition with double snipers along with a Zenyatta (whose Discord Orb heavily synergize with both of them as well as having significant burst damage on his own) is incredibly oppressive for slower enemies while both snipers are either too mobile (in the case of Widow) or has too much damage in close range (in the case of Hanzo) to be dived by the likes of Winston and D.Va. This got to the point that the Summer Games 2018 patch increased the cooldown to her Grappling Hook (but still less than before the buff) as well as multiple nerfs in the other patches to the other two important heroes for the composition (Hanzo and Mercy) and introducing a more effective counter for snipers in the form of Wrecking Ball.

  • For a while after launch, Winston was in a slightly weird position since he was rather unpopular hero despite how many high-level players also found him very strong due to his powerful, brute-force initiation, which usually got him semi-regular tournament play. This reputation was mostly to blame on his low (albeit reliably accurate) damage, as well as being reliant on rather lengthy cooldowns, forcing him to stay in fights for slightly longer than he should for his health pool. This was exacerbated during the Triple Tank meta, since his low damage and short range made fighting other tanks problematic, especially since most of their damage came from close range.
  • Around seasons 4-5, he veered hard onto the other end of the spectrum. While he got a significant direct buff to Barrier Projector's cooldown in the Orisa patch, Roadhog, his popular counter, was nerfed to oblivion (see his folder), and during this time, the Dive comp meta exploded, and Winston surpassed Ana as the meta-defining staple hero absolutely required for the comp to be. His shield, ultimate, and especially his initiation capabilities all became incredibly useful, and he was very effective against other meta heroes, namely Genji, Tracer and D.Va, while his notable counters either aren't very compatible in the meta (Reaper, Mei), were very situational (Sombra), or have since fallen off completely (again, Roadhog). As a result, during July 2017, he had a 100% pick rate competitively, and he stayed at the top for more than a year afterward (only contested by his Dive partner D.Va) until the release of Brigitte.

    Wrecking Ball 
  • Before release, top-level players predicted Wrecking Ball would single-handedly bring Dive back after Brigitte had destroyed it. Low-level players dreaded his ability to appear from anywhere, knock an entire team around, kill a low-health teammate, and then swiftly escape. Everyone agreed that Wrecking Ball would soon be a problem. ....And then, he was released to a resounding "meh". Although WB is indeed powerful and impactful in the right hands, he also suffers from some of the worst matchups in the history of the game. He is almost entirely dependent on his abilities to be functional, which makes him a good Sombra player's wet dream, as a hacked WB is a sitting duck. He also has no damage-blocking or mitigation abilities whatsoever; his Adaptive Shield gives him extra health, but this too can be shut off by Sombra's EMP and still makes him vulnerable to CC abilities, such as Hack, Ana's Sleep Dart or McCree's Flashbang. EMP also renders his Ultimate inert. But the real danger is Mei, whom Wrecking ball has absolutely no defense against, and his matchup with her is considered to be laughably imbalanced. Mei's walls can bring a rolling or swinging Wrecking Ball to a dead stop and can also destroy most of his Ultimate if placed underneath it. Her primary fire is unaffected by his Adaptive Shield and will freeze him solid in a matter of seconds—even if Wrecking Ball is going full speed and lightly touches Cryothermal Blaster's Area of Effect, that speed is lost instantly, and if Grappling Claw is tethered, being frozen disables it. If Mei freezes him, WB is completely helpless and can't even escape on his own, because Mei can simply refreeze him before he gets away and even has time to reload her gun before the effect wears off. With all this being said, Wrecking Ball quickly developed the reputation for being one of the most interesting, but sadly disappointing, heroes on the roster, and in lower ranks, teammates would rather drop him in favor of a more reliable Winston or D.Va.

  • While Zarya wasn't hated as much as most characters on this page, many players were frustrated with her lack of apparent weaknesses or counters in spite of being a counter to many other heroes, specifically D.Va, Genji, Junkrat, and other Tanks like Roadhog. Her barriers also made her essential to keeping characters like Winston, Pharah and Reaper alive when they use their Ultimates, and her own Ultimate is a natural combo with almost every other damage-dealing Ult in the game. In response to her becoming a must-have in competitive play, the Sombra patch made her barriers absorb slightly less power, and she was considered pretty stable until the Dive Meta began, where she became useless against teams that rarely needed to group together and could escape her Graviton even if they did. A later patch made Graviton unescapable, and Zarya regained viability as Dive was gradually weakened further.
  • After Brigitte weakened Dive, Zarya and Hanzo quickly took over as the new meta duo. The previous buffs to Gravitron now made it a reliable team wipe set up when paired with offensive ults (especially Dragonstrike; see "Synergies" below). Blizzard responded by nerfing the range of Graviton slightly so that it wouldn't consistently pull in entire teams, but traded it off with a buff so that her Charge would decay slightly slower.

  • Initially, Zenyatta was very squishy, inexplicably having only 50 health with 100 shields, in spite of requiring to constantly be in line-of-sight and in the fight for his orb abilities to be active, and a relatively underwhelming ultimate that healed 100 HP per second, which most teams could easily power through with enough concentrated fire. As a result he was the least commonly chosen hero, with frequent 0% pick rates in high-level tournament play.
  • In response, Blizzard buffed his shields by 50, quadrupled his orb speed, and raised his ultimate's healing per second to a nigh-impenetrable 300 (as well as making his move speed faster for the duration of it). This immediately stuck him far on the other side of this trope, and it was then players started realizing just how much of a powerful Combat Medic he could be, able to simultaneously heal allies while do great DPS on his own, amplified with his Orb of Discord, which during the time caused him to overshadow an immediate counterpart, Mercy (whose own damage boost was then nerfed from a 50% to 30% damage increase, while his Orb of Discord remained at 50%).
  • Many of his strengths and weaknesses were shifted around to bring him more back in line. In the September 2016 patch, his Orb of Discord was nerfed to 30%, but his base damage was slightly increased in compensation, and later the Orisa patch reduced the cooldown and increased the accuracy of his alternate fire. Since then, he's been seen as pretty balanced, with his reputation firmly cemented as the offensive support hero. The only time where his pick rate is truly terrible is during the Triple/Quad Tank meta due to the fact that his healing output is terrible compare to Ana and Lúcio while his damage and Discord Orb doesn't do enough against the former two's healing output.

  • Prior to combining them with Offense, every single Defense hero (with the exception of Junkrat and possibly Widowmaker if the players have good mechanical skill) was considered both a high-tier Scrappy and a low-tier Scrappy.
    • In Quick Play and low-level competitive, they were often be high-tier Scrappies. Just about every Defense hero was extremely annoying to the other team, such as Mei being hard to kill and good at blocking people, or Bastion having its high kill speed.
    • In mid to high-level competitive play, however, they were usually low-tier Scrappies. It's generally accepted that any job a Defense hero did, an Offense or Tank hero did better by virtue of killing the enemy quicker or being bulkier. After the development of the "Triple Tank" meta, it was even worse.
  • After combining Offense with Defense to create a new Damage class, they have been on both extreme ends of the tier ranking depending on the situation and the number of them on a team. One or two (or three in certain situations) Damage characters can really change the battle to that team’s favor but add anymore and they really struggle in a match. Unlike Tanks who can make up their lack of recovery with sheer health if there are three or more or Supports who can easily recover each other on the fly and have enough damage potential to defend themselves, Damage characters don’t really have anything to make up for their weaknesses if there are too many of them.

  • For a while after Ana's introduction, she was often paired with Lúcio since her Biotic Grenade increases the amount of healing any characters in its splash range take for a few seconds while Amp It Up heals everyone in the area. The resulting combo meant that multiple teammates can be healed for 80 HP per second for three seconds every 12 seconds from Lúcio, and that's not counting additional healing from Ana firing her gun. This wasn't helped thanks to them already being top-tier picks and having very high utility individually, and putting them together just made every other healer in the game superfluous. This eventually died down with direct nerfs to their key abilities, as well as buffing up the strengths of other healers, Mercy and Zenyatta, giving much more options for different team compositions rather than just the one.
  • Tanks in general became tier-based Scrappies after Ana was released. Ana's healing and utility (combined with her above synergy with Lúcio) made it viable for three tanks to be on one team, because Biotic Grenade makes it possible to heal multiple Tanks in seconds. Blizzard initially tried to fix this by nerfing her Nano-Boost (removing the movement speed boost) but left Biotic Grenade intact; a rather baffling move since it was considered to be the root cause of the meta change, also directly nerfing the "Beyblade" (Nano-Boosted Reaper) strategy, further increasing the Triple Tank meta's power. When following the D.Va buffs (listed above) that made a Quad Tank comp viable, D.Va, Zarya, Roadhog, as well as Ana and Lúcio were given several significant nerfs, including finally addressing the problematic Biotic Grenade, effectively ending the meta for good.
  • Seasons 4-8 and the first weeks of the Overwatch League were dominated by Dive composition, the synergy between Winston and D.Va rising to rival the infamous Ana and Lúcio combination. Both heroes' main weakness is their squishiness and damage compared to the other tanks in exchange for their mobility. However, D.Va's Defense Matrix enables Winston to live significantly longer than he should have otherwise and allows him free range to kill most non-tank heroes, while other tanks that aren't them can't do much since they generally lack mobility to pressure the duo, and Winston's Tesla Cannon goes through most shields. What worse, Winston and D.Va's most effective counters (Reaper, Mei and Roadhog for Winston, Symmetra and Zarya for D.Va) are completely neutralized with the two together. The only reliable counter to this combo is Sombra, who is much harder to play than both of them and is very situational. There have been numerous attempts to do away with this by buffing or tweaking their counters, with D.Va then taking a significant hit to her Defense Matrix, with a playstyle less favorable to protecting and more offensive power. Mobility also being key to returning to fight faster/outmanoeuvering opponents, and the low-tier state of characters who should be able to counter dive, meant that matches quickly turn into Dive vs Dive.
  • The synergy between Pharah and Mercy is a high case of it in all but high tiers of play. Her aerial mobility makes her hard to hit, any hit she does take will be healed by Mercy (who's also difficult to hit, as she follows Pharah into the air), and she'll return damage-boosted rockets, making short work of most characters. Depending on the meta, it can also even be a problem in high level of play.
  • Throughout all of OWL, pro players noticed the synergy of Mercy and Zenyatta. Specifically, these two supports made it even more tenable to run high-damage, insta-death comps. Zenyatta's Discord Orb combined with Mercy's Damage Boost made it possible to flat out erase an opponent faster than any support could heal them, making Mercy's Resurrect the only counter. This created a dominating strategy where team fights would be won in the first few seconds if a DPS hero (especially Widowmaker) scored an early pick and either forced Mercy to Resurrect or, better yet, kill the Mercy before she could.
  • During Seasons 10 and 11, as well as Stage Four of OWL, Zarya and Hanzo became one of the most dreaded duos in the game. Hanzo's then-recent buff made it extremely easy for him to do massive damage to enemies and, subsequently, increased the amount of Ultimate charge he got, allowing him to have one almost every fight. In addition to this, Zarya's now-inescapable Graviton (see her folder above) made it so that if two or more enemies got caught, it was a nigh-guaranteed loss for the other side since Dragons goes through or outlasts all barriers and obstructions, and can't be destroyed once released. Even worse, Mercy's Damage Boost (or any other damage-boosting ability like Orisa and Ana's Ultimates) made it impossible for a team to be saved by defensive Ultimates. This did not go unnoticed by Blizzard, and mid-Season 11, they introduced a patch that removed the ability to boost Hanzo's Ultimate completely.
  • In Season 2 of Overwatch Contenders, team GOATS created a meta involving three tanks (Reinhardt/Winston, D.Va, Zarya) and three supports (Brigitte, Lucio, and Ana/Moira/Zenyatta). This composition slowly gained steam over the course of the 2nd Annual Overwatch World Cup and Season 3 of Contenders, eventually becoming the new dominant team comp. What made GOATS so powerful was its ability to overwhelm its opponents with 3 powerful sources of damage (Reinhardt, Zarya and Brigitte) that could not be blocked or dodged easily and (thanks to Lucio and/or Brigitte) moved at lightning speed. Each of these characters also provide damage-blocking and/or healing abilities that ensured that even a single one of these tanks could not be killed before taking at least two or three of the enemy team with them, which would obviously be too late by then. While GOATS did possess a fair share of weaknesses (Sombra, snipers, Pharah, etc.), these counters were much more difficult to implement than GOATS itself.
  • In most tiers of play (roughly from Bronze to Platinium (60% of the playerbase)), compositions centered around Bastion are reviled. These compositions usually amount to a Tank with a shield (Orisa/Reinhardt or sometimes both of them) and a healer (more often than not Mercy because of her damage boosting capabilities) whose only purpose will be to protect Bastion, taking advantage of its insane firepower, with the rest of the team picking whatever they wish. Those compositions are reviled for requiring little setup or coordination, and being much harder to take down than to setup. This "meta" is the Skill Gate Character personified. Either you have the team coordination to deal with it and you will do fine in higher ranks, or you fail and recreate the opening from Saving Private Ryan over and over again.

    Non-standard gamemodes 

PvE Modes in General

  • Bastion is a high-tier scrappy, due to his sheer firepower in Turret mode and ability to self-repair. This makes him invaluable at either picking off troublesome targets or melting damage sponges.
  • Genji. His agility means little when fighting bots, his shurikens have too low of a damage output, and his ultimate is both not damaging enough to kill bosses and too short to be useful against the endless tide of enemies. His major saving graces are his Shuriken and Deflect, which can be useful for dealing with Enforcers and Snipers in Retribution and Storm Rising. And lastly, most of the missions consist of escorts or Hold the Line, two things Genji is not good at.
  • Orisa is also invaluable, due to her firepower, her ability to boost others during her Ultimate, her ability to boost her defense during Fortify, and her ability to deploy a fresh shield when one breaks rather than needing to wait for it to regenerate.
  • Pharah's vertical mobility is useless against bots, and her slow rate of fire makes it difficult to eliminate enemies before they can eliminate her first. It's also rare to find enough enemies clumped together in a single space that makes her barrage worth it, especially when a character like Reaper can do the same thing and get health back for it.
  • Winston is a poor choice of Tank simply because of the number of Damage Sponge Bosses in these modes, which he is nigh-useless against. His shield is also not very good for protection because unlike in the live game, there is no crowd control it can protect his team from, and there are FAR more enemies concentrating fire at one time. The bots are also not sent into chaos or confusion by his Ultimate like human opponents would be. Ironically, he has these issues even as one of the main heroes of Storm Rising.

Junkenstein's Revenge

  • In Endless mode, Widowmaker is simply shit compared to Hanzo. Her slightly higher damage on criticals is next to meaningless (all bosses are of the Damage-Sponge Boss sort anyway), her mine does too little damage in a too little radius too slowly, her ult is beyond useless as enemies never take cover (not like they can anyway), and her lower rate of fire (for around the same damage) is atrocious in a mode where there are so many enemies. Scoping with her also slows her down too much to reliably avoid Zombardiers' attacks compared to his speed when drawing an arrow, which while lowered as well, is not to such an extent. Adding to that scoping with her means you probably won't see Zombardiers' shooting at you, and there is almost no reason to pick her over Hanzo.
  • Torbjörn is practically a must pick in Endless mode thanks to his turret being absolutely perfect for holding down the wall and enough scraps can be retrieved to create endless armor pack for the team. This became worse in the 2018 update where he can now be picked in regular mode and his update makes him even better thanks to his updated Molten Core being good against bosses.
  • Soldier: 76 is also a must pick in Endless mode thanks to having a AOE attack, can sprint, and is able to function as a secondary healer.
  • Ana is a must pick in every single difficulty due to a combination of the only other healer Zenyatta being absolutely awful at healing, Genji (Zenyatta's most effective synergy hero) being low-tier, her Nano Boost can combo with almost every single other heroes to wipe out Bots and her Sleep Dart is invaluable in shutting down 3 out of the 5 Elites (The Reaper, Junkenstein's Monster and the Witch) for the team to deal significant amount of damage, or even out right kill them. The addition of Tracer (who has bad synergy with Ana) and Brigitte (whose healing is good enough to substitute Ana while her Shield Bash is also incredibly powerful in shutting down bosses) brought her to balance.


  • Symmetra and Torbjorn are best not taken. The mission doesn't have "defend an area" parts beyond the very last segment, and as such, they can't use their turrets or their ultimates.

Storm Rising


  • "No Limits". If the enemy team ever decides to go full Symmetras, you may just as well give up. Normally Symmetra is countered by Winston, but in No Limits, the shield generators stack, meaning the match can quickly turn into having to fight a team of 6 Symmetra with 600 HP each, at which point merely denting them becomes impossible with any character. This was thankfully no longer the case the third rework removed her Shield Generator.
  • "3v3" had Roadhog, since he had everything that a hero would need in that mode: Innate tankiness preventing him from being simply one-shotted, unreal sustain in a powerful self-heal only restricted by cooldown (which is especially valuable if you don't have a healer since there are no map-spawning health packs), and of course his deadly hook/click combo, which dealt nightmarish burst damage. Naturally, you'd see one in almost every single round, usually alongside a pocket healer. He's almost the sole reason 3v3 saw a restriction added to the number of times a character could be picked (only one victory with them).
  • In any game mode with 1v1 fights, Zarya is absolutely awful. One of her bubbles is useless, she can't farm energy off teammates, and in a simple duel it's much easier to avoid giving Zarya any charge simply by not shooting her shield. This makes her a large target with terrible damage output, meaning it's not uncommon to see Zarya beaten in a straight fight by the likes of Mercy.
  • "Total Mayhem":
    • Widowmaker is useless in this mode since every single character having double Health means that her Widow's Kiss damage (even with headshot) is easily reversed if she shoots a hero with self-heal like Mei or Doomfist, or if the enemy team has a healer that has a healing ability on Cooldown. Her Grappling Hook is completely useless when the other mobile dive heroes' cooldowns are also reduced to practically nothing, and her ultimate, Infra-Sight, is completely worthless in a mode where the enemy can rapidly reposition or outlive the amount of time of the ultimate.
    • In a game mode that is all about reducing cooldown, being able to disable any enemy for 6 seconds is an incredible boon. This means that Sombra is almost mandatory for both teams. And unlike Mercy in Mystery Hero, her evasion abilities Thermoptic Camo and Translocator almost instantaneous cooldown allows Sombra to easily survive to continue to Hack and farm her EMP.
  • "Deathmatch":
    • Junkrat's punishing damage and unpredictable mobility are even more effective here, where the added danger of other players makes it difficult to prioritize him when confronted, and his normally easy-to-dodge projectiles and One-Hit Kill ult take on far greater lethality when thrown into other players' fights. Combined with him already being one of the most popular Damage characters, it's not uncommon to see matches dominated by multiple Junkrat players.
    • Bastion's primary weakness — his mediocre survivability against team efforts — is null and void unless two or more players temporarily focus damage on him, leaving him capable of staying in chokepoints and quickly racking up kills while his self-heal continuously recharges.
  • "Mystery Heroes":
    • Any character that needs a hard counter to be dealt with can become a nightmare to face if the Random Number God is not in your favor and keeps giving your team any heroes but the one your team specifically needs.
    • In a game mode where a player change character and lose their ult charge every time they die, being able to bring them back as is is an incredible boon, so Mercy has an even bigger target painted on her, especially if her team has a Bastion or Symmetra, two of the aforementioned characters needing a hard counter to be dealt with.

  • While most of this holds true for console as well as PC, there are some specific differences. Characters that rely on precise aiming (such as Widowmaker or Hanzo) will always be less popular on console than PC, due to difficulties with precise aiming, and characters that don't need to aim (either because their weapon hits anyone in front like Symmetra or Mercy, or because they can just put so much firepower like Orisa or Bastion) will always be more popular. Flankers and flight based characters like Pharah are also more popular because it's harder to turn quickly to catch them coming at you. Notably Torbjorn received a Console specific nerf, because his turrets are so much more powerful on console than PC.


Example of: