Overwatch PTR update lets Reaper pull off powerful new flanks

An update to Reaper on the Overwatch PTR allows him to reach locations he never could before.

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Blizzard have made several attempts at balancing Reaper in recent updates. It’s been quite some time since he was really prominent in the Overwatch meta, and despite a sustained period in which the dominant strategy has been tank-heavy – heroes that Reaper should be strong against in theory – he’s never manifested as an effective counter.

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In an effort to finally return him to greater relevance, the latest PTR update features yet another Reaper buff, this time focusing on his Shadow Step. The following changes have been made to the ability:

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  • Can now be used in air
  • Time to exit Shadow Step reduced from 1.0 second to 0.5 of a second
  • Reaper is now invisible for the entire time it takes to exit shadow step
  • Can now teleport onto surfaces that would usually break, like railings

The changes make Shadow-Step a much more powerful tool. Previously, Shadow Stepping within sight of an enemy was practically a death-sentence, but now not only should Reaper be more likely to survive the teleport, he can also reach a variety of new locations.

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Blizzard EntertainmentReaper has struggled to find a place in the meta for some time.
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Perhaps most notable, it means that Reaper can now jump around corners and off of edges in order to get a line-of-sight that wouldn’t otherwise be available and then use the ability in mid-air, making him far more effective as a flanker than he was previously.

Players have already begun to test out exactly what the new Shadow Step is capable of, and u/TheRedstoneBlaze put together a compilation of teleports that are now possible thanks to the changes.

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It’s early days for testing this change, but assuming it makes it to the live servers it could at last be the difference that makes Reaper a more viable choice, especially given the meta turmoil induced by the most recent major balance update.

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