Sigma, Ashe nerfed in Overwatch's latest live patch

Sigma, Ashe nerfed in Overwatch's latest live patch
Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Wrecking Ball will also be a bit less indestructible as it progresses into battle.

Overwatch's latest dynamic tank duo may not make many appearances after the game's latest live patch. Today's patch targeted the Sigma and Wrecking Ball tanks, which have had extraordinary playtime in high-level competitive mode matches. Damage dealer Ashe also got a sizable nerf on her main weapon.

Players learned in recent months that Sigma and Wrecking Ball had exploitable abilities that made them disruptive and powerful in the face of many strategies. Sigma's powerful shield and damage absorption raised it above all other shield tanks, while Wrecking Ball's ability to survive in the enemy rear made it a must-choice for quick team builds. This live patch targets many of these overpowered talents. 

Tank changes 

Sigma 

  • Experimental Barrier redistribution cooldown increased from one to 2.5 seconds.

This massive nerf for Sigma arrives unchanged straight from the January 7 Experiment Card, where the developers more than doubled the cooldown of the redistribution. Players will now need to be more strategic about using the experimental barrier given the long cooldown. A change of this magnitude should help reduce Sigma's selection rate in competitive matches.

Wrecking Ball 

  • Adaptive shield per target reduced from 100 to 75.

For months, Wrecking Ball has actively replaced tanks like D.Va and Winston as the superior choice in fast, dive-like comps. When paired with Sigma, the teams have a strong front line tank and an incredibly disturbing hamster that roams the enemy bottom line. The goal of any Wrecking Ball player is to plunge into the fray, use the adaptive shields to rack up protection, kill and escape as quickly as possible.

This reduction in shields should make Wrecking Ball a bit easier to handle, especially if heroes with crowd control abilities, such as Brigitte or Mei, are used against it.

Damage changes 

Ashe 

  • Downward Aiming Viper's damage reduced from 80 to 75. Aim Down's cooldown reduced from 0.7 to 0.65 seconds.

Gunslinger Ashe has been the top pick for high-level DPS players in most builds lately. This is due to its ability to shoot most 200 HP heroes when a Mercy player increases damage. Combined with Dynamite, which deals area-of-effect damage that can destroy low-health targets, its primary weapon was considered overpowered by many players.

"We are reducing the maximum damage, but also the recovery time of the shot to keep its overall damage output relatively the same," said the developers. It should now be more difficult for players to shoot most heroes. With Viper's reduced cooldown time and reduced damage, Ashe players will have to take multiple shots in a row to complete a kill.

Hanzo 

  • Storm Arrow shot cooldown reduced from 0.3 seconds to 0.25 seconds.

Hanzo arrives in the new year as the face of the Kanezaka challenge, offering an epic look, as well as a minor upgrade to his Storm Arrow ability. While Hanzo has also been a popular choice with damage dealers for the past few months, she was never able to cope with Ashe's damage output. This buff reduces Storm Arrow's firing time between shots so Hanzo can smash shields or take out targets faster.

Bug fixes 

In each patch, the Overwatch developers fix a handful of minor bugs that have appeared in the game. They aren't usually very cool, but the January 12 patch includes an important fix that many players have been waiting for.

For over a month, the Overwatch Contenders Genji skin has had an incredibly intrusive black box around the player's image, which is typically found in the lower-left part of the screen. While the skin was still technically usable, the presence of the box was so disorienting that most players couldn't move the black and green skin. The black box has been removed in today's patch.

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