Overwatch screenshot of Ashe up close

[Update #2]: After barely any time spent in testing, these balance changes have already been applied to the live version of Overwatch!

[Update]: Blizzard are also currently in the process of reworking how the Competitive Map Pools will function.

Week 4 of Overwatch Hero Bans removed D.Va and most of the popular hitscan DPS heroes from Competitive Play. The goal behind these bans, as is now quite apparent, was to test whether Ashe and Pharah are well-balanced heroes that are limited by the meta, or if they're simply being overshadowed by their competition.

Given that Blizzard has now issued an experimental update that greatly buffs both Ashe and Pharah, it would sadly appear that neither hero performed particularly well even when given the perfect environment. As an additional little bonus, Blizzard has also buffed Genji's right click, as well as nerfed Mei's ammo capacity and Reinhardt's knockback reduction. Here are all of the details:


The Viper

- Magazine size increased from 12 to 15

- Shots no longer queue up the next shot if pressed slightly before recovery has finished

- Unscoped shots to reach maximum spread increased from 4 to 6

- Unscoped shots can now be fired much more quickly after firing a scoped shot

- You can now start reloading much more quickly after firing a scoped shot


 Shuriken (Secondary Fire)

- Recovery lowered from 0.75 to 0.65 seconds


 Endothermic Blaster (Primary Fire)

- Maximum ammo reduced from 200 to 120

 Endothermic Blaster (Secondary Fire)

- Ammo cost reduced from 20 to 10


 Rocket Launcher

- Explosion damage increased from 65 to 80

- Impact damage decreased from 55 to 40



- Steadfast passive knockback resistance reduced from 50% to 30%

As someone that has tried to make Ashe work ever since her release, I am beyond ecstatic for her changes. Pretty much all of the strange and artificial delays have now been removed which gives her a great deal of flexibility in combat, especially when dueling other DPS heroes.

More importantly, your shots are no longer queued up while aiming down sights, so being a bit trigger-happy is no longer as punishing as it was previously. Long story short, I think Ashe might actually find a comfortable place between McCree and Widowmaker if this round of changes goes through to the live servers!

All of these balance tweaks are already available for testing as a part of the Experimental game mode, so if you're curious or want to offer Blizzard some useful feedback, make sure to give it a spin. Have fun, and beware of Genji as he's quite deadly up close now!