Mei and snowball skin from Overwatch Year of the Rooster update

If you're becoming increasingly tired of seeing this triple/quad tank meta you'll be glad to hear that Overwatch's Year of the Rooster update has brought in the long awaited Ana and D.Va nerfs, as well as the Roadhog hook rework. And since this is a promotional event there is also a whole bunch of new cosmetics to collect, including two a-Mei-zing new skins! But most importantly of all, this update has brought with it an early version of the Capture the Flag game mode!

Since all of this might be a bit too much to absorb at once, allow me to share with you the recently posted teaser video. It features most of the cosmetics you'll get to collect over the next few weeks, as well as a few brief glimpses at the new CTF game mode. Have a look:


On the other hand, if you're interested in all of the patch notes and bug fixes you'll find the official list over at the Blizzard forums. But for those of you that are just interested in the short version, here are all of the major balance changes:


Crouch now has a very small cooldown between uses


Biotic Grenade

- Effect duration has been reduced from 5 seconds to 4 seconds

- Healing boost on allies has been decreased by 50%

Developer Comments: The healing boost from Ana’s Biotic Grenade was providing too much healing, especially when used on targets with large health pools.


Health increased from 200 to 400

Armor decreased from 400 to 200

Fusion Cannons

- Bullet damage decreased from 3 to 2

- Number of bullets per shot has been increased from 8 to 11

Developer Comments: D.Va’s armor often made her feel like she had no weaknesses, even against heroes that are typically effective against bigger targets (like Reaper). The changes to her primary fire will result in a small overall decrease in damage, but her Fusion Cannons should feel more consistent now.


New Hero Option: Allow Backwards Wall Ride

- When enabled, allows Lucio to start wall riding while moving backwards.


Chain Hook

- Targets are now pulled directly in front of Roadhog (rather than straight to him), except in cases where Roadhog drastically rotates

- Hooked targets are now released if they leave Roadhog’s line of sight before being pulled

- Line of sight checks (which determines if targets are hit by the hook) are now done from Roadhog’s position, rather than the hook’s position

Developer Comments: The hook should now feel more consistent for Roadhog players, but it should also feel more reasonable to his enemies, as they cannot be hooked or pulled around corners anymore.



- Cooldown has been reduced from 12 seconds to 8 seconds

- Time it takes to hack a target has been decreased from 1 second to 0.8 seconds

Developer Comments: Sombra often had difficulty hacking enemies, even when she surprised the target. This change should help her execute hacks more easily.

I've only played four games under this new patch, but from my experience so far it doesn't appear that the meta is going to move away from triple tank. Roadhog has been nerfed when it comes to any sort of 'cheeky' hooks, but landing hooks on tanks is downright devastating now given how close they get reeled in. So instead of a straight up nerf, Roadhog's power mostly just got redistributed. And Ana is still Ana, by which I mean so overpowered you are putting yourself at a massive disadvantage by not running her. The grenade has been slightly nerfed, and I am grateful it has, but its barely noticeable in-game given that you mostly want to use it offensively anyway.

However, with D.Va now a lot weaker we could see the return of Reaper, McCree, and perhaps even Junkrat. So even though triple tank is going to continue, I have a feeling we'll at least have a much greater degree of choice when it comes to DPS heroes. I certainly hope so because McCree vs Genji is my favorite matchup in the entire game, and one that I have not been able to engage in for quite a while now due to D.Va completely removing McCree from play.