Overwatch artwork for Sigma from the animated short

[Update]: Overwatch's new map Kanezaka has now landed alongside the Sigma, Ashe and Wrecking Ball nerfs.

Continuing with last year's effort to reduce the overall power level of heroes, Blizzard has now released a brand new experimental update for Overwatch. It brings with it some heavy nerfs to Sigma, Wrecking Ball and Ashe, as well as an unexpected buff for Hanzo.

All of these changes are currently available for testing in-game through the Experimental game mode, but before you run off, here's what exactly Blizzard is looking to tweak:


Ashe being able to eliminate 200 health enemy heroes with one headshot while assisted by 30% damage boost became too dominant, especially when combined with the other improvements to her weapon. We are lowering the maximum damage but also the shot recovery time to keep her overall damage output relatively the same.

The Viper

- Aim-down-sights damage reduced from 80 to 75
- Aim-down-sights recovery time reduced from 0.7 to 0.65 seconds


This rate of fire change improves the feel and effectiveness of the Storm Arrows ability and though small, adds up over the course of firing 5 arrows.

 Storm Arrows

- Shot recovery time reduced from 0.3 to 0.25 seconds


We're increasing the cooldown of Sigma's barrier to require a higher commitment to its placement and open up additional opportunities for counterplay.

 Experimental Barrier

- Redeploy cooldown increased from 1 to 2.5 seconds

Wrecking Ball

Wrecking Ball's high mobility and potential for massive shield health have left him a bit too survivable after the overall damage and crowd control in the game have been tuned down. We are reducing the amount of additional shields he generates per target though the base 100 shields from the ability remains unchanged.

 Adaptive Shield

- Shield per target reduced from 100 to 75

The Wrecking Ball and Ashe changes are perfectly fine in my eyes. They don't ruin what makes the heroes fun, but they do noticeably reduce their power level and allow for some more counterplay.

However, I'm not exactly sure about the Sigma nerf. Making him clunkier to play is going to make him weaker, absolutely, but I can't help but feel like it'll also heavily nerf his fun factor. If it were up to me, I'd much rather reduce Sigma's damage or range in some way. I don't mind him being durable or reactive with his shield, but he definitely shouldn't be able to have all of that while doing DPS-levels of damage.

The Hanzo buff is another one I'm highly conflicted about. Looking at the stats it doesn't seem like he's in a good place so a buff makes a bit of sense, but is it really a wise idea to buff his ability to spam arrows? Still, the recovery time reduction is fairly small, so it might not end up mattering all that much in the end.

Whatever the case may be, I have a feeling this is one of those updates that Blizzard will heavily tweak before releasing onto the live servers. So make sure to give the Experimental mode a try, send Blizzard some much-needed feedback, and hopefully everything will pan out great in the end. It certainly has with the last few updates!