Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland 2019 patch finally goes live

Bill Cooney
Blizzard Entertainment

 A new Overwatch patch containing changes to Orisa, Moira and more heroes has gone live in the main game, along with its 2019 Winter Wonderland event.

Winter Wonderland is Overwatch’s annual winter holiday event, and it brings new skins for Sigma, Soldier, Reaper, Mercy and others.

Blizzard Entertainment
Sigma would look right at home in World of Warcraft with his Rime skin.

There’s also a new Arcade Mode for the event called “Snowball Deathmatch,” which is an eight-person, free-for-all brawl similar to Mei’s Snowball Offensive, where players can store up to three lethal snowballs in Mei’s blaster.

[ad name=”article1″]

Along with new skins and a new game mode for Winter Wonderland, the December 10 patch also contains significant changes to some of its heroes.

Blizzard Entertainment
Soldier 76’s Ugly Sweater skin might be the best Overwatch holiday skin yet.

Updates aplenty for Orisa

Orisa does see a nerf to her shield health from 900 to 600 in this patch, but her base armor is increased from 200 to 250, along with a reduced cooldown to her Fortify ability.

A general change across the board increases armor damage reduction from 3 to 5 for all heroes, but it makes the changes to Orisa that much more noticeable.

[ad name=”article2″]

Blizzard Entertainment
Almost all of Orisa’s kit is getting changed in the patch.

The healing power of Moira’s Biotic Grasp is brought down from 80 HP/s to 65 HP/s, which will reduce her ability to put out as much healing as she did before.

Developers said Moira’s primary heal had been “too potent, largely due to its ability to heal multiple targets,” when talking about the changes in the PTR notes.

[ad name=”article3″]

D.va’s Defense Matrix also got a slight buff in this update, with a reduced cooldown from two seconds to 1.5 seconds.

More Matrix uptime is very good news for D.Va players, and could make her a more viable pick on offense and defense.

There are more updates to heroes than what we covered here, including changes to Reinhardt, Sigma, and Widowmaker, as well as buffs to Torbjörn, Genji, and Zarya.

[ad name=”article4″]

The full Overwatch retail patch notes for December 10 can be read below:


A new patch is now live on Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes.


‘Tis the season to get merry!

Overwatch is getting into the holiday spirit for the next three weeks! Expand your collection and enjoy three winter brawls: Yeti Hunter, Mei’s Snowball Offensive, and the brand-new Snowball Deathmatch! Visit Blizzard World to watch the snow fall, admire its twinkling nighttime lights, and savor the sight of confectionary-inspired décor.

Of course, we have new presents for you to unwrap from our Winter Loot Boxes! Unlock new seasonal items—including legendary skins like Rime Sigma, Jötunn Doomfist, Rat King Reaper, and more. Overcome weekly challenges with wins in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or Arcade to earn a series of festive rewards. And don’t forget to collect three special Yule Log sprays just by logging in!

Learn more about Winter Wonderland here.


New Feature: “While You Wait”

In this patch, we’re replacing our “Skirmish” mode with a brand-new feature called “While You Wait!” Now you can choose between a variety of game modes to play while you queue for a match

When in queue, players will now be prompted to pick from the following game modes:

  • Practice Range – Practice your skills—solo or in a group—against training bots
  • Skirmish – Spar with other players without keeping score
  • Deathmatch – Compete for the top place on the scoreboard
  • Custom Game – Select a custom game from the Custom Game Browser or create your own. (If you want your custom game to be available for everyone to play, make sure to choose the setting: “Allow players who are matchmaking.”)

All While You Wait game modes are optional and can be accessed by a single player or as a group. Only your group leader can select the mode for their team.

Note: You don’t have to leave your queue after a match ends to play another While You Wait mode. In order to access the While You Wait menu, click on the game mode you’re queued for and choose a While You Wait option from there.


  • Custom Games – Practice Range Mode
  • New Workshop Values
    • Game Mode
    • Current Game Mode
  • New Workshop setting
    • “Allow players who are matchmaking”: allows players who are matchmaking to participate in the Custom Game created



  • Armor damage reduction increased from 3 to 5


  • Base armor increased from 200 to 250
  • Protective Barrier health reduced from 900 to 600
  • Fortify cooldown decreased from 10 seconds to 8 seconds


Experimental Barrier

  • Health reduced from 1500 to 900
  • Barrier health regeneration rate reduced from 150 to 120 health per second

Kinetic Grasp

  • Cooldown reduced from 13 seconds to 10 seconds
  • Damage-to-shield gain ratio increased from 40% to 60%


Barrier Field

  • Health reduced from 2000 to 1600
  • Movement speed penalty reduced from 50% to 30%

Steadfast passive knockback resistance increased from 30% to 50%


Biotic Grasp healing reduced from 4 to 3.25 (80 HP/s to 65 HP/s)


Defense Matrix cooldown decreased from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds


Grappling Hook cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds


Overload cooldown decreased from 12 to 10 seconds


Ammo increased from 24 to 30


Particle Cannon (Secondary Fire)

  • Explosion radius increased from 2 to 2.5 meters
  • Ammo cost decreased from 25 to 20