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Overwatch patch buffs Moira’s Fade ability, nerfs Brigitte’s tankiness

Brigitte gets hit, others get big buffs

Overwatch - Brigitte rallies a team of heroes. Blizzard Entertainment
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Overwatch will play very differently in the future. Now, every team will be made up of two tanks, two supports, and two damage. (The original queue system will remain in the Arcade section of the Overwatch client.)

Because this is such a big change, we’re seeing a sweeping set of nerfs and buffs across the board to heroes like Brigitte, Wrecking Ball, Ashe, and Tracer. We’ve highlighted the biggest changes to characters you should know about, as well as the full patch notes.

These changes are available on the PTR for PC players. Patch 1.39 is expected to hit Sept. 1, with all of these changes included.

Ultimates are slowing down

Right now, characters can charge their ultimates quickly, and Blizzard is tuning that back by 12%. In addition, slowing effects are changing for heroes like Reinhardt and Widowmaker, who can alter their own speed. When you’re in a speed-changing ultimate and affected by a slow affect of your own, like Widowmaker’s scoped movement, you’ll be moving at the slower speed of the two effects. In short, you’ll be popping ultimates less often, and slowing from effects like Mei’s Blizzard will work more consistently across the board.

Brigitte’s less tank, more support

Here’s the problem with Brigitte: in a world where there’s now a clear definition between tanks and supports, and you can’t switcharoo between roles anymore, a hybrid hero doesn’t work nearly as well. Brigitte was meant to be a mini tank who dished out some healing, or a limited healer with a ton of survivability.

Now, her passive heals the rest of the party more (from 100 to 130), but the self healing from Inspire is cut in half. Repair pack, her primary heal, has three charges and heals more (from 150 to 120). Repair pack now heals over a two second duration instead of an instant buff, and players can stack multiple packs on the same ally to extend the duration of the heal by two seconds.

Whip Shot and Shield Bash, Brigitte’s two stuns, now work a little differently. Whip Shot’s outgoing velocity and retracting time are both reduced, meaning she can snap it off much faster ... but it’s still a skillshot. Meanwhile, Shield Bash, her point and click stun, has the duration reduced from .9 seconds to .75 seconds.

Finally, Rally, her ultimate, now takes 10% more charge to fill — that’s on top of the global changes to ultimates listed above.

These changes push her far more into the support zone and remove her tankiness. She’s still tougher than a Mercy, but she’s going to be far less frustrating as a brick wall for her opponents.

Overwatch - a balanced team of Pharah, Brigitte, Reinhardt, and Genji approaches the payload on Route 66 Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Moira can Fade when stunned

This change looks small, but don’t be fooled — Moira is going to become a much stronger healer. Her AOE healing and reliance on staying juiced up means she has never been as reliable as a Mercy, but now she’s going to be the slipperiest support in the game. Fade is a very powerful ability, and if this change goes through, there’ll be no way to stop her from pulling it off.

Moira fires her coalescence ultimate in a screenshot from the original Overwatch Image: Blizzard Entertainment

Read on for the full set of patch notes, including a buff to Tracer’s pulse bomb, a set of quality of life changes for Symmetra’s teleporter, and Wrecking Ball buffs.

Overwatch PTR Patch 1.39 Notes – July 18, 2019

A new Overwatch patch is currently in development and now available for testing! To share your feedback or report and issue, please post in the PTR Feedback 126 or PTR Bug Report forums 37.

Please note that the below patch notes only include changes currently available for testing on the PTR. While many of these changes will also be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a future patch, the PTR is PC-only and only reflects changes coming specifically to that platform.


New Feature: Role Queue

Role Queue is an update to Overwatch’s matchmaking and queuing system that gives players the power to choose which role they play in their games. In Competitive Play and Quick Play, players choose their role before finding a game. The matchmaking system will create a team that is comprised of two tanks, two supports, and two damage heroes. Upon entering the match, players select desired heroes to play within their chosen roles. At the end of a match, players will return to the main menu and select their role before queuing into the next game. For more information about Role Queue, read the detailed blog post 2.5k.

For the time being, we’ve only enabled Competitive Play for 1.39 PTR. Stay tuned for updates.



  • Global ultimate cost increased 12%
  • Slowing Effects: Instead of stacking together, friendly and enemy slowing effects are now separate and movement speed will be reduced by whichever is slower.

Developer Comment: Ultimates are coming up too often considering how high impact they are. We are reducing how quickly they are built so less fights will be determined by ultimate usage. The slows change will mostly impact heroes which can slow themselves, such as Widowmaker while scoping, or Reinhardt while holding his shield. In these cases, enemy slows such as Symmetra turrets or Mei’s freeze will not hinder these heroes unless they stop slowing themselves or the enemy slow value passes their own slow value.


  • Reload Time per round decreased from 0.3 seconds to 0.25

Developer Comment: Ashe’s time to fully reload felt overly restrictive. However, a long reload time is an intended downside to balance out the power of her gun so we want to be careful not to eliminate that completely.


Inspire (Passive)

  • Healing amount increased from 100 to 130
  • Self-healing from Inspire is now halved

Repair Pack

  • Now has 3 charges
  • Healing amount changed from 150 to 120
  • Now heals over 2 seconds instead of instantly
  • If you throw multiple packs at the same person, the current duration will be extended by 2 seconds

Whip Shot

  • Out-going velocity increased from 60 to 80
  • Retracting time reduced from 0.6 seconds to 0.3

Barrier Shield

  • Barrier health reduced from 500 to 200

Shield Bash

  • Stun duration reduced from 0.9 seconds to 0.75


  • Ultimate cost increased 10%



  • Quick melee no longer pauses ammo reload.


Storm Arrows

  • Storm Arrows ammo reduced from 6 to 5

Developer Comment: The overall damage output of Storm Arrows was too high so we’re reducing the maximum number of shots.



  • Can now be used while stunned.

Developer Comment: Moira has always been good at healing and dealing damage, but she offers very little utility compared to the other healers. This change reinforces her evasive nature and allows her potentially save her team from area stuns such as Reinhardt’s Earthshatter.


Protective Barrier

  • Cooldown increased from 8 seconds to 9

Developer Comment: A common point of feedback for playing against Orisa was that it doesn’t feel useful to shoot the barrier as it comes back so quickly. Increasing the cooldown of Protective Barrier will make destroying it more rewarding.


New Passive: “Steadfast”

  • Reduces knock back effects by 30%

Developer Comment: As a frontline, melee-range tank Reinhardt was more adversely affected by knock back abilities than most heroes. To reduce some of this frustration and enable Reinhardt to more easily fulfill his role, he is now more resistant to being knocked back.



  • Duration on enemy players reduced from 6 seconds to 5


  • Activation time increased from 0.5 seconds to 0.65

Developer Comment: Hack is a potent disable with a long duration. Reducing the duration slightly will make it feel less oppressive as the hacked player without reducing its effectiveness too greatly. The increased cast time on EMP allows for more time to react and opens up more counterplay for the opposing team.



  • Now lasts an infinite duration until destroyed
  • Players can destroy their Teleporter with the ability 2 input
  • Cooldown now starts when Teleporter is destroyed
  • Cooldown increased from 12 seconds to 15
  • Maximum range increased from 25 meters to 30
  • Teleporter breaks if the entrance is more than 40 meters from the exit.
  • Teleport re-use time increased from 1 second to 1.5

Developer Comment: Symmetra’s Teleporter is an interesting tool but often felt too restricting to use. Making the Teleporter last forever opens up new opportunities for how Symmetra is used in various maps and group compositions.


Pulse Bomb

  • Damage increased from 300 to 350

Developer Comment: Pulse Bomb was reduced in power some time ago to make sure it was not overly punishing to Tanks, which are much easier to stick the bomb to. While this is still a goal, we’re restoring some of this lost power to help deal with other hefty targets such as Bastion, or enemies with bonus armor from Brigitte.

Wrecking Ball


  • Increased projectile speed from 10 to 13, causing the mines to spread out more. This makes it easier to create a wider minefield, especially from the high in the air.
  • Reduced the activation time from 0.25 seconds to 0.1

Developer Comment: Wrecking Ball has a very active playstyle, but often it felt difficult to make good use out of his ultimate. This change allows him to spread out his Minefield further if he wants, while still allowing for a tighter cluster if he activates it near the ground.



  • Subtitles: Subtitles now display when spectating while waiting to respawn.
  • Fixed a bug that could cause damage to not be dealt if a damage dealing ability was rapidly gaining/losing targets, like a Zarya trying to track a fast moving hero.
  • Charging heroes (Reinhardt, Doomfist, Brigitte) should more consistently knock each other down when colliding.
  • Some abilities will now appear smoother during slowed down time (end of round or custom game), notably Dragon Strike and Roadhog Hook



  • Improved ability for Doomfist to get through doorways while using Rocket Punch and clipping the corner.
  • Rocket Punch will now consistently destroy translocator and not be stopped by it, similar to Symmetra turrets.
  • Targets hit by Rocket Punch will now go directly backwards, instead of maintaining any lateral momentum they had.
  • Targets that are stun immune but not knockback immune (Zarya’s Particle Barrier, Zen during Transcendence ) are no longer able to affect knockback trajectory.
  • Fixed a bug where if Doomfist used Meteor Strike while crouched he would move slowly for the entirely of the ultimate.
  • Fixed a bug where Doomfist would move backwards slightly slower during Meteor Strike


  • Fixed a bug that prevented D.Va’s Defense Matrix from pointing down when D.Va was aiming downward while moving.


  • Fixed some false positives with Lucio’s animation land prediction when wallriding.


  • Fixed a bug that caused Zarya’s weapon and arm to animate oddly during her emotes when viewed in third person.

The next level of puzzles.

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