Tank Barrier Health Nerfed in Overwatch Patch

Balance changes in the latest Overwatch patch have reduced the effectiveness of barriers
Balance changes in the latest Overwatch patch have reduced the effectiveness of barriers / Blizzard

Blizzard nerfed the health of several of Overwatch's barriers Tuesday in the Winter Wonderland patch, also known as Patch 1.43.

The changes appear a concerted effort by Blizzard to reduce the prominence of the much-maligned barrier meta game that had dominated Overwatch's competitive sphere. This strategy relied on stack barriers to make it impossible for the enemy team to break through and deal damage to your team.

Orisa, Sigma and Reinhardt, staples of the strategy, all had their barriers' health pools reduced significantly.

Moira's multi-target healing, another pillar of Barrier Meta, had its healing per second reduced in another blow to the strategy.

Also included in the patch were sundry adjustments for D.Va, Widowmaker, Torbjörn, Genji and Zarya. Check out the full patch notes below.

Overwatch Patch 1.43 Patch Notes


  • Armor damage reduction increased from 2 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%

Developer Comment: The above changes to armor, Orisa, Sigma, and Reinhardt are aimed at decreasing the overall amount time players spend damaging barriers while improving the individual heroes in other areas. This is a significant change to the pace of the game and we’ll be monitoring these heroes closely to ensure they retain impactful gameplay in the tank role.


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

Developer Comment: Moira’s primary heal has proven to be too potent, largely due to its ability to heal multiple targets.


  • Defense Matrix cooldown decreased from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds

Developer Comment: With role locks in place there is some room to improve D.Va’s impact as a tank, so we’re partially reverting a previous change which increased Defense Matrix’s cooldown.


  • Grappling Hook cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds

Developer Comment: With barriers having less uptime, Widowmaker will be even more effective at locking down long sight lines. This change weakens her mobility so she can still be reasonably countered.


  • Overload cooldown decreased from 12 to 10 seconds

Developer Comment: Torbjörn has difficulty in extended team fights once his turret is eliminated and Overload has been used. This change allows Torbjörn to be able to rely on his Overload more often.


  • Ammo increased from 24 to 30

Developer Comment: As average hero survivability has gone up over time, Genji can sometimes have difficulty finishing off his targets. Loosening his ammunition constraints will help give him a small boost.


Particle Cannon (Secondary Fire)

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

Developer Comment: Zarya’s overall damage output is in a good spot but the secondary fire was left feeling a little too weak after the last set of changes.