In the past couple of months, Orisa has emerged as Overwatch’s most popular tank, forcing pro players like the Houston Outlaws’ Dante ‘Danteh’ Cruz to call for adjustments of the hero’s dominant “Halt!” ability.
For years, the “Wombo Combo,” pairing Hanzo’s Dragonstrike with Zarya’s Graviton Surge, was the most powerful combination of ultimates in Overwatch. Then, Orisa emerged with a mini Graviton on cooldown, Halt, which could similarly be used to CC enemies and set the stage for high-damage abilities. Now, Halt is omnipresent across Overwatch and the Overwatch League—most recently in conjunction with Genji’s Dragonblade, following his recent buffs.
— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) July 5, 2020
“Bottom line: ‘pull’ is OP, and it’s in every highlight reel because it just goes well with every single ability.”
After spending an entire DPS queue time looking through Overwatch League highlight montages from the past two months and noting how many times Orisa’s halt was part of a big play, Danteh proved his point. At this point, Halt is too strong an ability because it can be combined with practically every other hero in the game.
It may not have felt particularly overpowered when players were still getting used to how much shorter it is than a Grav, or when players still considered Orisa’s mobility too much of a detriment to pick her over other popular main tanks, but now, the four-legged robot has become an overused mainstay.
The Outlaws DPS continued by cutting off what seems like the most obvious solution to solving Halt’s abuse in the game: “Nerfing the cooldown time won’t do anything because you still use it to engage, you know? You just won’t get that second pull very often.”
Like Ana’s Sleep Dart or Mercy’s Resurrect, some abilities in Overwatch are game-changing and only balanced by cooldown times in conjunction with hero weaknesses. Ana’s dart is on a 12-second cooldown while Mercy’s Resurrect takes 30 seconds to recharge, with both heroes having limited health and means of self-defense.
Orisa, on the other hand, has Halt on an 8-second cooldown, 200 health, 250 armor, a Fortify ability that reduces damage taken by 40 percent, and a 600-health shield—all making her so resilient, despite mobility issues, that a longer Halt cooldown would likely be an insufficient solution to her strength right now.
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— Overwatch League (@overwatchleague) July 7, 2020
As shown in the clip above, under the right circumstances, Halt can even be combined with abilities like Lucio’s Soundwave, which has a four-second cooldown, to decimate opposing teams.
While Orisa may not feel as oppressive a force as heroes like Mei or Brigitte, Danteh and others do raise important concerns that Halt’s strength is damaging the viability of other main tanks. As of yet, Blizzard has not discussed plans for a rework, but that may change after they adjust heroes like Genji and Moira.