Brigitte’s Place in the Meta: A Response to Your Overwatch

POSTED BY POWERHAUS December 20, 2018 in Overwatch Discussion
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The Your Overwatch Twitter has been firing off recently with ideas and calls to action about Overwatch’s balancing and character designs. This time they have gone ahead to ask this question to the community:

However, pros (Overwatch League and Contenders) are either not scrimming on the current patch because of seasonal patch locking for tournament play or they simply do not want to give up strategies and concepts to the public. Therefore many cannot or will not answer them in full. Even players in Tier 3 are reluctant to answer. However, this article will break down each question/statement brought up by the YouTubers and give explanation to each one.

This is their first statement within the question. Already, this is highly incorrect. Brigitte can still bully the hell out of Reinhardt. The degree and accessibility of this has been decreased due to the shield bash nerf which now prevents her from bashing through barriers, but that is definitely not enough to negate her viability.

The Tweet is implying that shield bashing through shields was the only way Brigitte can harass Reinhardt. This is far from the truth. There are multiple ways which Brigitte can find a way to bash Reinhardt in the current patch. Third person corner peaking, amp speed, timing, a broken shield are just a few situations where a shield bash can achieve value.

Melee attacks pass through barriers. She may not be able to stun through the barrier, but she can most definitely swing through it. This is still significant damage, and it allows her to use her passive, Inspire. Her primary fire alone can cause Reinhardt to be zoned.

Finally, Your Overwatch is assuming the primary reason Brigitte is selected is because of shield bash and harassment. This is incorrect. Her crowd control utility is simply a benefit to what is actually overpowered in her kit: armor and Inspire. Armor gives a damage reduction as well as additional health points (in Brigitte’s case). Inspire is basically a larger and stronger Lucio aura that is activated when she hits somebody with her flail. The sustain Brigitte can give is incredibly powerful, and she does this all while dealing damage.

“Surely a 2-2-2 can kite until DPS ults are online… every fight?”

Now Your Overwatch is actually getting somewhere with this idea. This has been common knowledge in high-tier competitive Overwatch since Brigitte entered the game. Using a personal experience as an example, I was coaching a team that only ran the Hanzo, Brigitte, Mercy, Zenyatta composition back when that was a thing (this was probably right before the double sniper meta).

Essentially, they one-tricked this composition and kept running into the same problem: they were getting out-damaged at range. On the approach, it was basically 5v6 because our team’s Brigitte had absolutely no value while their tanks just held barriers and they spammed us.

This is sort of what Your Overwatch is saying to do against GOATs, and they are partially correct. When running something to counter GOATs instead of running it yourself, you want to kite and enable your damage as much as possible. There are two problems with this.

  1. Not running a variation of GOATs is map specific.
  2. DPS ultimates are far less valuable and too difficult to farm against GOATs due to damage mitigation. 

GOATs is hands down easier and more efficient to run on most maps. The ultimate economy snowball rolls teams, the mechanics are simpler, and it dominates mechanical fights.

The problem with kiting in every fight is there is an objective and maps have better or worse geometry for the tactic. Teams either need to push or they will be pushed. If you are on offense, you will eventually need to advance into them. If you are on defense, you will eventually need to contest. Having GOATs makes objective controll too easy.

Let us take a map like Hanamura where variants of GOATs are incredibly strong. The angles for ranged damage on attack are very poor. There is a huge wall in the way, and the offense only has one main entrance. Some teams try damage on defense, but the fact is that the map is too close quarters.

Think about what happens if a defense ran Reinhardt, Zarya, double spam on a map like this. Well they cannot kite as well because they do not have a Lucio. This means that the offense will run over the defense’s tanks.

But what about the defense’s damage? Will they not get enough damage value in order to win the fight? Likely not. Shield, Bubble, Matrix, and an absurd amount of healing in such a short amount of time means that most initial damage will be mitigated. By the time the mitigation expires, the defense’s tanks would already be dead. If the defense managed to kite or positioned themselves away, then the offense would be able to maintain a strong defense on the point, and it would be nearly impossible to retake.

However, on maps like Route 66, damage heroes are often played because of how open its geometry is. Many teams (in Tier 3 and Contenders) have run triple and even quadruple DPS in scrims and matches. In this situation, Your Overwatch is correct. They could just kite the Brigitte, and she loses all her value.

“…how is Brig still a must pick? She seems a non-factor a lot of the time, giving poke strength.”

First off, Brigitte is NOT a must pick. She is an incredibly good pick; however, the rest of this excerpt is true. Brigitte can be a “non-factor” a lot of the time. In fact, teams in Tier 3 have been opting to choose Ana instead of her. This way, they have similar brawl potential without the need to make contact in order to heal. This also creates two ability win conditions that are far easier to land. The downside to this is her shots can be Matrixed.

This along with map specific compositions show that Brigitte is not a must pick. She is an easy and comfortable fit that fulfills a role in GOATs.

However, like we discussed before, she is a non-factor at times. She has her downsides and her (very) strong upsides. Players are choosing other options now that the composition is developing more, and strats are coming out to counter GOATs. Brigitte is not a must pick, but she is still incredibly strong, as are other variants of GOATs.

What needs to be remembered is that Brigitte is a piece of what makes GOATs powerful. She is not the entire concept.

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