Overwatch official artwork of Mercy

With Hanzo getting multiple nerfs in the upcoming Wrecking Ball patch, there is only one major balance issue left to solve: the power disparity between the various Support heroes. As it currently stands, Mercy and Zenyatta are significantly stronger than their competition, an issue that becomes even more exaggerated when you consider just how well the two of them can cover for each other's weaknesses.

Thankfully, this will soon be a problem of the past as Blizzard has announced a variety of changes to the Support class! Mercy will be getting her healing power reduced, Ana's ultimate will now heal her target, Lucio's aura will be larger and his ultimate more powerful, Brigitte's stun cooldown will be going slightly up, and Moira's passive healing resource generation will be increased. Zenyatta will not be changed despite how common he is throughout the Overwatch League, but given how all of his competition is being buffed, I expect his pickrate to go slightly down anyway.

If you're curious about the numbers and the reasoning behind all of these changes, allow me to share with you the recently posted patch notes. Have a look:


- Nano Boost additionally heals the target instantly for 300 HP.

Developer Commentary: Ana has a very strong and unique toolbox, with the potential to dish out more healing than any other hero in the game. That said, she has a couple disadvantages that can be difficult to overcome, such the potential to miss your targets, not having any mobility options, and having a more difficult time keeping herself healed up. Her ultimate can be very powerful but often feels like it can be difficult to use effectively unless it is used in combination with other allied ultimates such as Genji’s Dragonblade. This new change allows Ana to use her ultimate as a clutch save on a dying teammate, or even use it in combination with her Biotic Grenade for a huge instant heal on even the biggest of tank health pools.


- Shield Bash cooldown increased from 6 to 7 seconds.

Developer Commentary: Shield Bash is Brigitte’s strongest ability, and its short cooldown makes it very difficult to play around. We’d like to keep her Shield Bash and subsequent melee combos powerful and effective, while just allowing a little more counter-play against it. We’ve talked about possibly reducing her defense somewhere, such as reducing her barrier health. However, her tank-hybrid nature is a core part of her kit and we want to make sure she maintains that feeling of being a difficult target to take down. Overall Brigitte’s win rate is still the highest of any support, despite dishing out the lowest amount of raw healing per second. This speaks volumes to how powerful her kit can be outside of her direct healing numbers.


- Sound Barrier effect increased 50% from 500 to 750 shields. Crossfade aura radius increased 20% from 10m to 12m.

Developer Commentary: Lucio’s Crossfade aura can be an invaluable addition for any team, but it can sometimes be difficult to keep your whole team boosted. We’re increasing the radius of Lucio’s Crossfade aura to allow more flexibility in how he moves while still maintaining his powerful support songs to help out his team. His ultimate is also being increased to help counter large spikes of damage. For example, Junkrat’s ultimate can deal a maximum of 600 damage, which Sound Barrier can now potentially negate completely. It is worth noting that even though the initial shield he provides is larger, it still takes the same amount of time to destroy itself.


- Primary fire healing beam reduced 17% from 60 HP/s to 50 HP/s.

Developer Commentary: Mercy is intended to be able to consistently pump out more healing than any other healer over the course of a match. While this is currently true, the difference in healing is so significant that it makes it very difficult for other healers to compete with her for a spot on a team. Reducing her healing output will close this gap a little, but she will still maintain her status as the go-to pick for raw healing power. We’ll keep an eye on her to make sure she is still a strong pick.


- Healing resource base regen rate increased 20%.

Developer Commentary: Moira is a strong hero that doesn’t need a ton of changes. The resource change her is mostly to help her out in the situations where you’re just not able to get close enough the enemy to drain them for resources. Now if you’re team is sparring with the enemy team at super long ranges, you’ll have a bit more resources to work with to keep your team topped off.


Developer Commentary: We aren’t making any changes to Zen right now, as we feel he is in a pretty good spot. He is doing his job well as a hybrid damage/healer and being able to provide discord orb for your team will always be welcome.

These changes have just hit the PTR, so make sure to check them out and give Blizzard some much-needed feedback. Enjoy!