Roadhog’s Hook Combo
Overwatch’s latest patch may have given us a new map and a Reaper buff, but it also destroyed Roadhog. Seriously, it ruined him. Since Roadhog was the only tank that didn’t have a way to protect the rest of his team with some sort of shield or barrier, his best assets were his hook and the serious amount of damage he could deal once he pulled you in. Unfortunately, the days of the crazy guaranteed-kill Roadhog hook combo are all in the past now.
Overwatch’s latest patch nerfed Roadhog’s Scrap Gun damage by 33%, which now allows even some of the squishiest heroes to survive a blast at point blank range after being snatched by Roadhog’s hook. There was once a time when a hooked Lucio was a dead Lucio. Now, however, hooking a decent Lucio player as Roadhog just means you’ve signed yourself up for a free boop and possibly a one-way ticket off the edge of the map.
Despite the fact that Ana never received rightful credit for a well-timed ult, it was hard to deny the impact a great nano-boost could have on a game of Overwatch. The insane damage that a Nano-Boosted Reaper’s Death Blossom would unleash on an enemy team was nothing short of a game changer. Unfortunately, once Ana’s Nano Boost was nerfed to no longer include a major boost to movement speed, a Nano-Boosted Reinhardt wasn’t quite as frightening as it used to be.
Don’t get me wrong, a Nano-Boosted Reinhardt is still a threat but he isn’t the fast cannonball that was once able to run into an enemy team and clean up shop before most players could safely escape his new quick pace and the reach of an even more powerful hammer.
McCree’s Fan the Hammer Combo
When Overwatch was first released, McCree was a source of endless rage. Once he hit you with his Flashbang you were pretty much guaranteed to watch your health bar drain away. That’s because McCree’s Flashbang followed by Fan the Hammer was one of the most deadly and easy to use combos in the entire game. Stun your enemy, empty your clip, deal massive damage. It was as simple as that. It didn’t take Blizzard long to nerf McCree despite the fact that the game was still very new at the time. McCree’s Flashbang into Fan the Hammer combo was expected to rip through squishy characters like Tracer—this is something even Jeff Kaplan admitted.
The problem was the fact that McCree was able to shut down tanks with a Flashbang, Fan the Hammer, and Combat Roll to reload before using Fan the Hammer again. Was the combo cheap? Absolutely. Was it absurd that McCree was rolling around the map snatching D.Va out of her mech in one combo? Yes. Was it also just an extremely fun combo to use to wreck the enemy team if you were the one playing McCree? Definitely.
Genji’s Fan-Melee-Swift Strike Combo
Some Genji mains may have never even heard of this combo. If you missed the days when Genji was running around pulling off a guaranteed 165 combo, you seriously missed out on a good time in Overwatch. Well, if you were the one playing Genji anyway. For everyone else, Genji’s combo was nothing short of rage-inducing. Either way, it was an incredibly effective combo that often went underutilized.
Before adjustments were made to the game to prevent heroes from canceling certain animations before they completed, Genji was a death machine. He could use his Fan of Blades, melee attack, and Swift Strike before the melee animation had even been completed. It dealt a ton of damage while still allowing Genji to end the combo at an advantage since Swift Strike can allow him to create space between him and his target. This was quickly nerfed, however, and the Genji combo was no more.
Symmetra’s Photon Barrier with Lucio’s Speed Boost
Lucio’s nerfed area of impact and reduced self-healing makes it harder for him to stay alive at Symmetra’s side long enough for this combo to be incredibly effective for more than a few seconds. Initially, Lucio was able to give Symmetra a speed boost while she also shot out a Photon Barrier to protect both heroes as they advanced forward. This allowed Symmetra to close the gap and get into close range with enemies that would quickly fall victim to her Photon Projector.
During this time, Lucio was not only able to keep Symmetra’s maneuverability high but a quick switch of songs was more than enough to keep Lucio’s health bar full in the event enemies started closing in on the dangerous duo. While the nerf bat didn’t make this combo obsolete it certainly decreased how easy it see to keep this combo going strong. Since Lucio has to be closer to Symmetra, it means it’s far less likely he will also be able to heal other teammates that could be taking damage and it also puts him too close to the enemies that are coming after Symmetra. Essentially, a shorter effected area around Lucio and a nerf to his own survivability when it comes to getting his health back means the Symmetra-Lucio combo puts Overwatch’s favorite DJ too far into the frontlines while often separating him from the rest of his team.
Ana’s Quick Melee Combo
Just like Genji, Ana had a serious combo that benefitted from a well timed animation cancelation. Once those animation cancels were removed from the game, however, Ana received a pretty big nerf in terms of what she would do to defend herself at close range. In addition to not being able to cancel her melee animation, there is a short dead period after throwing her Biotic Grenade where Ana is no longer allowed to chain this together with other moves or abilities. This completely ruins what used to be her best combo at close range. Skilled Ana players would be able to use Sleep Dart, stand over the enemy when firing another shot, use melee and cancel the animation by tossing out Biotic Grenade before taking another shot or using another melee attack. Without having this combo available anymore, there have been far more Ana players being forced to use the run while the enemy sleeps technique—and that’s just not as fun.
Widowmaker’s Grappling Hook to Sniper Combo (On Console)
Widowmaker is considered a must pick for many players on PC, which can seem strange to Overwatch console players who are stuck with a less effective version of the same character. Mechanically speaking, Widowmaker is the same on PC and console but the differences in playing on those platforms makes one of her combos pretty useless on console. You will often see PC players using Widowmaker’s Grappling Hook to propel themselves into the air before they quickly switch over to scope and snipe enemies while they are in mid-air. It’s a great combo that allows Widowmaker to take out enemies while still being a hard target to hit if she’s flying through the air—even if it is for only a few seconds.
Here is where things get tricky. Widowmaker was initially able to quick scope before the animation had actually completed. You could line up a shot, go into scope and fire at the same time, and still land the headshot even though you never waited for the scope to appear on your screen. It took talent, but a Widowmaker who perfected this was a serious problem. The nerf bat came in, however, and made it necessary for players to complete the entire animation before firing. On PC this change wasn’t crippling to Widowmaker’s combo because the time it takes to line up a shot with a mouse is far shorter than on a console controller. There is still plenty of time for Overwatch PC players to project themselves in the air, complete the scope animation and line up their shot. On console, however, that’s a far more difficult task that just eats up too much of the little time you had while being airborne.