For too long, everyone’s favorite Swedish engineer, Torbjorn has been seen as a joke in the Overwatch meta. Now, his new kit is available on the PTR, and so far it seems Torbjorn has gotten the Symmetra treatment: a rework that recreates the fantasy of his kit, while revamping old abilities. Better opportunities for consistent damage, and a meta-shifting new ultimate will help define Torbjorn as a damage character while making life for his overpowered daughter Brigitte a little bit harder. He’s more robust, elusive, and if you just change how you think about him and his role in the meta, he’s really going to be able to shake up a lot of team comps.
Here’s how his kit has changed. First, his turret. Torbjorn’s old turret was a bit of a joke, either doing absolutely nothing or getting an undeserved Play of the Game. In its new form, a lot of those issues will go away. For one thing, the new turret is definitely more independent than ever before. Torbjorn now throws the turret similar to how Tracer throws her Pulse Bomb, meaning it can reach new places. And he doesn’t have to go chasing after it to level it up either, as the turret now auto-builds over three seconds to what we know as level 2. Once it’s up and running, it will focus on enemies that you as Torbjorn are shooting at instead of just going for the closest target.
Torb’s Rivet Gun is also getting tuned, with both firing options getting a rate of fire increase and a more consistent spray pattern for his secondary fire. It’s also received a small damage decrease to even things out.
The two biggest changes, though, will be his new ability Overload, and the completely reworked Molten Core. Overload is essentially what Molten Core used to be, amping Torb’s fire rate, damage output, and speed while giving him armor to boot. The ability only lasts 5 seconds now, but still makes him a fast, durable little madman that can shred through tanks if used properly. Molten Core, then, is his new ultimate ability, which has Torb spewing molten lava on the ground that deals damage over time, and a little extra damage to those with armor.
This is where Torbjorn will thrive. Each of his reworked abilities will help him in the fight against the current meta. Overload has a big hand in this, as he will now be able to go on Tank-busting missions that were once Tracer or Reaper’s job. With the 150 additional armor, speed boost, and fire-rate increase, he really does become unstoppable, and if you’re facing the Brigitte-centered compositions that have become so efficient recently, there’s a lot of armor to tear through. Backlines and squishies will want to look out for an Overloaded Torb.
His new Molten Core will help in this regard, too. With so many heroes having armor, and with Brigitte handing it out to those who don’t, Molten Core is going to have a big impact if you can use it correctly. A well placed and well timed Molten Core will effectively drop the armor of any enemy who steps through it, allowing for the defending team to swing the fight back in their favor and halt the quick and durable Brigitte comp. I can already hear the father/daughter timeout jokes incoming. The best strategy for Molten Core, though, will be to surprise the enemy team with it. Right as they’re about to barrel through a choke point, lay down some lava and hope that their momentum takes them right through it. It has the potential to be really devastating.
And let’s not forget how useful these new abilities will be on attack, as well. A well-placed turret on the high ground distracts while an Overloaded Torb comes crashing through the Tank line. Molten Core will definitely be harder to find placement for on offense, but if you can lock down multiple doorways by selectively tossing the lava, you could do some good initial damage that zones enemies out in ways that were impossible before. In this way, Molten Core could be used a lot like Wrecking Ball’s Minefield, though you have a bit more control over where the lava is placed.
So, while Torbjorn counters the current Brigitte, Reinhardt, Lucio, Ana meta, he also fits pretty well within it. That combo with a Torbjorn and maybe a Tracer or Doomfist will be able to plow through defenses efficiently, especially with Torbjorn able to initiate fights with Overload. The new Torbjorn is kind of a brawler in this way, where he wants to get in there and fight on the point, instead of sitting back taking care of his turret and handing out armor packs. Old Torb was very defensive and that was great in the early days. But Overwatch moved on in a way that’s much faster paced, and with it, his potential plummeted.
You’ll definitely still want to watch out for snipers when playing Torb, though. Hanzo and Widowmaker will definitely be his biggest counter, even with his smaller critical hitbox. Getting hacked by Sombra could also be devastating, as will characters who can out-sustain or out-maneuver him. Pharah will be tough, as will Mei and D.Va.
But, despite the fact that Torb will suffer from a lot of the same counters, he’ll be in a better place to defend himself. He can react faster mid-fight, and do tons of burst damage that he was unable to get before. He now get loads more value in many more situations, and brings enough to the team overall so that he will never be considered useless. We’ll likely see something like the Symmetra rework, where he’ll shift the meta in a certain direction while also giving life to a character that was seemingly dead.