Overwatch

April 2 Overwatch hero pools ban Mercy and others from rotation

by Michael Gwilliam
Blizzard Entertainment

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The fifth week of Overwatch hero pools have arrived, and Mercy players will not be happy with the new bans.

After week four saw a whopping six heroes banned, including four damage characters, this week will see the least amount of heroes out of rotation, yet.

Aside from Mercy being the lone support banned, on the tank side of things, Wrecking Ball won’t be playable until April 7. Finally, everyone’s favorite archer, Hanzo, won’t be seeing any play time.

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Ball won't be knocking you around this week.

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With Mercy removed and the hitscan DPS of Widowmaker, McCree and Soldier back in battle, it will be interesting to see how effective they are, as the support will not be available to damage boost their attacks.

Additionally, while Pharah dominated games last week, she could struggle immensely now. Her Experimental Mode buffs have not yet gone live in competitive, which means that players will need to continue to rely on landing direct hits consistently for the time being.

No Mercy means no "Pharmercy" combo, so players may want to take a step back from playing the rocket queen until Mercy is back and the Experimental Mode buffs go through.

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Mercy. Wrecking Ball and Hanzo are out of rotation.

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On the flip side, no Wrecking Ball means that in situations where tank players need to stall out an objective, their best bet would be to swap onto either a D.va or Winston.

That said, on maps like Temple of Anubis, an emergency Reinhardt swap could get more value just because of the trade potential of the Charge ability.

Hanzo being banned will mean there’s one less instant-kill character available, but overall, his removal from rotation should probably have little effect on your matches - unless you are a Hanzo main, or rely overly on the Graviton Surge Dragonstrike combo.

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Bad news, Hanzo mains.

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Fans are looking forward to seeing what week six of hero pools has in store, as Game Director Jeff Kaplan did go on record saying that for the first five weeks they would be “trying a range to see what feel right.”

Kaplan also suggested that hero pools would be moved to a daily format in the future, so it's also possible that the weekly pools are sidelined in the future update.