Overwatch 2 devs hesitant to rework Pharah as it may cause unintentional nerfs

Pharah in a POTG poseBlizzard

In a Reddit AMA, the Overwatch 2 dev team revealed they are hesitant to rework Pharah as it may accidentally cause unintentional nerfs to the hero. 

In a Reddit AMA with Overwatch 2’s Hero Balance team, a redditor questioned the dev team about Pharmercy, the hero combo of Pharah and Mercy, the two flying heroes. Asking if they ever plan to work on Pharah to put her back in the meta without the need of a pocket Mercy. 

The lead balance designer for Overwatch, Josh Noh, says Pharah is a tricky hero to work on. He starts off his answer by admitting he frequently plays Pharah, so he may be a bit biased with his views on the hero. 

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He mentions that Pharah performs better statistically than most other DPS heroes. However, he questions if she really needs changes. Then going on to talk about the difficulty of buffing the hero as Pharah is a very situational hero to use. 

“She is quite situational as a pick but very capable of taking over the game in the right circumstances” Noh said. He continues that Pharah can be a tricker to counter enemy teams as it can be hard to land skill shots on the flying character. And he believes Pahrah does not need a pocket Mercy to be viable. 

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But Noh revealed that the dev team had considered potentially reworking Pharah, but was quite hesitant to actually go ahead with it. He reveals the rework would have meant big changes to the hero, meaning Pharah could potentially lose out on her one defining trait, her flying. 

“Her design started as the ‘rocket launcher’ hero but her identity quickly shifted to the ‘always flying’ hero” said Noh on the creation of Pharah. And that’s what players now know her as. But the rework could have alienated fans of the hero, and potentially nerfs. 

Players reacted positively to the hesitancy of the devs to rework the hero, although some still suggested small changes to how her kit works. A redditor who mains Pharah suggested that they should make her ult cancelable, or even shortened, as she can be quite vulnerable due to immobility. 

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Other also suggested a general buff to her health would be appreciated as to not rely on a pocket Mercy throughout their games. 

As of now, Pharah has one of the lowest pickrates in the game, at 1.81% of players picking her. And in the 2022 Season of the Overwatch League, she was only picked 0.5% of the time.