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Overwatch Tier List - Season 3
January 1, 2017
Overwatch Tier List Summary
This tier list is more of a study as to how the meta changes in each season, and also a rough guide to list out the “strongest” picks in the current meta. Said “professional meta” might not be viable in regular solo queue, so please bear that in mind when taking this tier list into consideration for your in-game pick decisions.
24/01/2017 - Patch 18.104.22.168
Buffs: Sombra Nerfs: Ana, D.Va, Roadhog Tweaks: Lucio
D.va moved down to Tier 3
Pharah moved up to Tier 3
Read more about how these updates and changes affect individual heroes in the hero details section below our tier list summary.
Heroes with updated details will be written in bold.
Tier 1 - Ana, Lucio, Reinhardt
The top tier comprises of the heroes that you see in almost every high level competitive match. Making them the top picks. They may not necessarily be the strongest in their roles, but they are necessary to the team compositions that professional teams are running in the current meta.
Tier 2 - Roadhog, Soldier 76, Zarya
We can see that off-tanks are dominating this tier, because these are the heroes that are usually paired with the 3 heroes in tier 1 for the current dominant team composition that we are seeing in competitive Overwatch.
These are solid heroes that can pair with most of the team compositions in the current meta, and in all the different match types. Some are more effective in certain situations, but you see them picked up the most after the heroes in tier 1 and 2.
Tier 4 - Symmetra, Reaper, Widowmaker, Mercy
In this tier, you only see heroes that are used in very specific situations. You can count on them to be effective as counters or used in certain maps and team compositions. Notably, Pharah and Widowmaker are really strong picks in solo queue provided you are good at landing your rockets and headshots to get the early picks.
Tier 5 - Sombra, Junkrat, Torbjorn, Bastion
As much as we would like to play these heroes, it’s very hard to fit them into the current meta simply because of how hard it is to make an impact with them. This does not mean that the heroes from this tier are bad or weak, they just don’t work in the current competitive Overwatch meta. Feel free to pick them up in your solo queue games if you’re confident with your judgement.
Tier List Hero Details
Tier 1 Heroes
A very consistent pick during the Reaper + Nano Boost meta, her healing and overall ability kit still makes her a must-have even after her recent nerfs. Ana’s healing per second is what makes this meta possible to begin with. Her Biotic Grenade makes her burst healing that much more effective, and when used offensively (eg, into Zarya’s Graviton Surge) it can make or break a team fight. Her Sleep Dart, in the hands of a competent player, can effectively shut down most ultimates. With the recent nerfs to her Biotic Grenade, she’s not as powerful as she used to be, but her kit and utility remains unchanged.
Speed is a key factor almost all FPS games, and Lucio’s kit is the only one in the game that can boost the speed of the entire team. Although his damage, healing power, and speed boost were nerfed several times, Lucio is still seen in most competitive team compositions. The recent Symmetra changes have caused the first drop in Lucio’s pick-rate, which we haven’t seen in a long time, but he is still an important pick especially if your team is looking to set the tempo. With the recent changes to the way his wallride works, allowing for wallride when moving backwards, we expect skilled Lucio players to take advantage of this. Otherwise, not a big change for Lucio.
The one and only true “main tank” in this game. Reinhardt is essential to almost every team comp. Noticably, Blizzard has tried to make D.Va a more versatile and mobile alternative to Reinhardt, but the pick-rate for Reinhardt just doesn’t seem to be affected. IT sounds like we’re stating the obvious here, but Reinhardt’s shield is the only thing that can consistently protect a team of 6 players from incoming projectiles and damage. Not picking up this hero means your team will always have an ultimate disadvantage. Naturally, Reinhardt fits into the top tier of any Overwatch tier list, and has been in this position for as long as we can remember.
Tier 2 Heroes
Roadhog’s hook ability, when used correctly, can decide the outcome of any team fight, and this is what makes him such a powerful pick in the current meta. His kit allows him to survive on his own, and enables him to get picks from within your team or along the sidelines of the battlefield. Adding with the fact that he has the ability to duel just about any other hero in the game, Roadhog is certainly a strong pick in the current meta, and also ranked high in our tier list. The recent nerfs to his hook ability were a long time coming, but along with it came a tweak to how his hook works which allows him to reliably finish off a lot of characters after hooking them. We feel that Roadhog’s role in the current meta remains, although his pick-rate might be affected slightly by the changes.
The recent buffs to Soldier 76 has sent him straight up our tier list and to become one of the most picked offense character in the current competitive meta. He deals consistent damage, has good survivability, flexible use of his ultimate and kit, and just seems like such a good pick all-around. Soldier’s kit is super effective at taking mid-range fights and that’s why he is so good in the current triple tank meta. Against a dive comp, he might not be as effective as McCree, but definitely still very viable. The recent nerfs to D.Va definitely give Soldier an edge against the current tank heavy meta. Less matrix to deal with, more tanks to charge ult on once the enemy Reinhardt loses his shield.
Because of her amazing ultimate, Graviton Surge, and the ability to negate almost every enemy ability. Her role in this meta is mostly to save her teammates from hooks and sticky situations, and although Zarya has been a solid pick for the longest time, with the rise of the current shield war meta, we are seeing a decrease in her pick-rate.
Tier 3 Heroes
Everyone’s favourite heroine still shines in Season 3, but because she lacks the ability to deal consistent damage from a safe distance to tanks in the current tank meta, we’re dropping her down to tier 3 on our list. Proper usage of her Pulse Bomb with Zarya’s Graviton is still one of the deadliest combos in the game, and the old dive composition can still be run, but teams need a lot of coordination and teamwork to pull it off.
Since the buff to Soldier, the pick-rate of McCree has been dwindling, but with good aim you can still do a lot with this hero. His Flashbang is still effective against flankers like Tracer and Genji, and he can be on par with Soldier in terms of damage from mid-close range.
The go-to pick for every Weaboo is struggling to find his spot in the current meta, since he simply cannot get much done against the triple tank setup. He can still be useful in a dive comp, but he’s lacking in the damage dealing department especially against tanks. His overall kit is still extremely strong, but professional teams seem to not have any difficulty dealing with him. Genji is still a very strong pick in solo queue scenarios, but we’re placing him low on the tier list simply because he isn’t good against multiple tanks, which is the current meta.
Because of how easy it is to pull off the combo with Zarya, Hanzo is definitely a viable pick when you are having trouble capturing a point. However, much like his brother, Genji, Hanzo fails to keep up with consistent damage. He is certainly a solid pick in any attack, especially if you are good at projectile aim, but he should be avoided on defense since he is fragile and picked off easily by flankers or off-tanks.
With the current meta, Pharah has actually found a spot for herself, and she does a lot of damage against the current tank meta if left untouched and given the freedom to fly uncontested. The biggest problem with her is the number of counters she has (Soldier, McCree, Widowmaker, D.Va, Winston, Zenyatta), and this will only get worse with the release of future heroes. If the enemy team has 2 or more of your counters, you should switch immediately. Pharah is a strong pick against the current tank-heavy meta and after the D.Va nerfs. We would place her higher in our tier list, but she finds herself in a tight spot against any team comp with both Soldier and Ana in it.
With the rise of the shield war, D.Va has almost become a must-have. She creates big impact with the improved Defense Matrix and plays an important role by zoning out the enemy Soldier or DPS, while also helping the team’s Reinhardt sustain his shield for longer periods of time. With the recent nerfs to the amount of armour she has, and her damage output, she’s not as strong as before but still a viable pick in the current meta.
Winston doesn’t see much play these days, but he can still be effective at disrupting teams. He works better with dive compositions because of his mobility, and although he doesn't really fit in the current meta he is still a solid pick. With a 600 hp shield that can isolate targets from heals, he is able to deny Ana and Lucio from supporting triple tank comps. We don’t see him often in Season 3 because of D.Va and Roadhog’s popularity. Furthermore, with Soldier on the field, having a Reinhardt for his shield is almost a must otherwise the enemy team will build ultimates so much faster than your team.
With the rise of the current tank meta, Zenyatta comes up strong with his tank melting capabilities. However, his overall kit just cannot beat what Ana or Lucio can bring to the table. With how important Ana’s healing and abilities are in the current meta, it might be wise to swap Lucio with Zenyatta if your team is having trouble dealing with tanks.
The ability to isolate enemies with her Ice Wall and her effectiveness against tanks, it’s hard not to rank Mei higher up on this tier list. However, professional teams seem to have a way to deal with her right now, and Soldier is still the favoured DPS pick. All we can say is that in solo queue scenarios, a good Mei can definitely win you games, so don’t be afraid to pick her up if you’re confident.
Tier 4 Heroes
Symmetra’s rework seems to have missed the objective that Blizzard initially intended. The idea was to make her more versatile, but symmetra is still used mostly on the first points of control/hybrid maps as an alternative for the 2nd healer. These changes are rather recent, so we’ve yet to see if her current place in the meta stays.
Ever since the Nano Boost nerf, Reaper hasn’t seen much play. He still has ability to take down tanks easily, but he is zoned out far too easily by a D.Va or a decent Ana. Reaper is simply too slow, too clunky and not useful against the top picks in the current meta.
Against the current meta, with Reinhardt and D.Va, it can be hard to create substantial impact with Widowmaker. If you fail to get the picks, your team will be lacking in damage and will fall behind in team fights. Again, she is still a strong pick, especially after the recent buffs, so please feel free to destroy your opponents with her in solo queue.
The lack of useful abilities and an ultimate that can be hard to pull-off effectively have brought Mercy to the 2nd lowest point of our tier list, and our last choice for a healer in any situation. She’s far too easy to kill, and just doesn’t bring enough to the table for us to even consider her a viable pick.
Tier 5 Heroes
Her lack of DPS and a kit that isn’t very impactful has caused her to be placed at the bottom of our tier list. Sombra can turn a fight with her EMP, but apart from that, she can’t get much more done. The ideal situation is to hack health packs and build ultimate blazingly fast for the advantage in the first “surprise-engage”. We have seen some of her use in competitive matches, but used only under very specific scenarios, and then swapped off to a different hero after she has fulfilled her cause. The recent buffs to her hacking ability are insignificant, and we don’t expect much to change for her moving forward.
His usage is still limited to holding choke points on certain maps like Dorado and Eichenwalde, but apart from this he is far too fragile and easily picked off by almost any other hero in close-mid range. Definitely not a viable pick in most situations.
The recent changes to him have not affected the way that people play him, or the shortcomings that he had even before the changes. A stationary turret in any spot is an easy target to deal with, and expending resources like Rein’s shield or D.Va’s matrix to defend the turret just does not make any sense. There is a reason why he is never picked in competitive matches, but he might work against uncoordinated teams, so feel free to pick him in solo queue because he can be quite fun to play.
A surprise Bastion can work every now and then, and he is rather effective against tanks in the current meta, however Bastion has yet to see more usage due to how easy it is to counter and rush him down when he’s in his turret form.
OVERWATCH TIER LIST for SEASON 3 - Closing Notes
Thank you for taking the time to read our tier list for Season 3. Again, this list should not dictate what you pick in-game but it can serve as a guide and an interesting read to know what professionals are playing at the very top levels of the game. Use it sparingly and remember that games are meant to be played for fun. If you enjoy playing a certain hero, don’t let some shitty tier list tell you what to do!