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Baptiste is coming — how will he change the Overwatch meta?

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Some of Overwatch’s finest minds mull over the game’s newest hero

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Overwatch’s 30th hero has been revealed to be Baptiste, a turncoat combat medic for the terrorist organization Talon. Baptiste has an astonishingly powerful set of abilities that could change the way top players pick heroes in Overwatch. We’ve also asked some of the brightest minds in the competitive scene to weigh in on the game’s newest hero — and how he could affect the professional landscape going forward.

Baptiste’s kit heavily rewards holding the high ground with a group of allies. With abilities like Exo Boots, Immortality Field, and his Biotic Launcher’s alternate fire, Baptiste is at his best with allies in close proximity and holding a ledge near the objective or a chokepoint. Heroes like Orisa, Ashe, Zenyatta, Soldier 76 and Junkrat all pair well with him, and synergize with his kit.

On the flip side, you’ll see Baptiste be used to off-set enemy compositions that have a lot of consistent pressure through damage. Think of heroes like Junkrat, Pharah, Soldier 76, and Ashe. They all do constant damage which, in turn, is going to result in your team needing consistent, heavy healing. In a way, he is analogous to Moira, in the sense that both heroes have a considerable amount of area of effect (AoE) healing. However, there are two major differences. One, Baptiste trades ground mobility for vertical access, and then two, he needs to hold that position and control the high ground to maximize his kit. Moira moves with her team; Baptiste is more of an anchor the team plays around.

Amplification Matrix, Baptiste’s ultimate, is powerful when he is in his best case situation. Amplification Matrix doubles the damage and healing of all projectiles that pass through it. A fun wrinkle of that is that extra damage and healing translates into extra ultimate charge for allies. Baptiste rewards teams who hang back and siege, allowing them to build powerf or an assault. We may see Zarya pair well with Baptiste, even though she’s seeing nerfs, because of the power of more Graviton Surges.

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It’s impossible to dicuss Baptiste without bringing up one of the most impactful and powerful abilities in the game: Immortality Field. Have you ever wanted to tank the traffic on Oasis with your face? Well, with Immortality Field, you can survive the most deadly abilities with ease, as your health cannot go below 20% until Baptiste’s drone has been destroyed. Needless to say, this reactive ability is a great answer to D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya’s ultimates. If your team is struggling to strong tank burst, it’s time to switch to Baptiste.

“When it comes to evaluating heroes, I always look at what the new hero fits in with well that already exists, then try and dream up some new compositions with the hero involved.” Coach for the London Spitfires’ academy team, British Hurricane, Joshua “Elbion” Tuffs said. “[Baptiste] adds some damage, less than Zenyatta but more than Ana, and adds a ton of utility to the team while being able to peel for himself better than either of the other flex supports.”

Elbion further explained that one of the ways you could see Baptiste played is with heroes that control high ground positions like Orisa. However, he believes that it will be hard for teams with Baptiste to be proactive due to how many role player heroes those compositions tend to have, but he believes that Baptiste thrives in defending on certain Assault and Hybrid maps.

“Overall Baptiste’s kit is too reactive,” Elbion said. “Ana and Zenyatta both have non-ultimate tools to allow your team to engage or find quick kills. Whereas Baptiste feels like his job is to take gold healing each match.”

Head coach for the Toronto Defiants’ academy team, the Montreal Rebellion, Chris “Dream” Myrick, believes Baptiste has a loaded kit and has the potential to be a strong pick depending on how the patch affects the game.

“His ability to play high ground and pressure from a distance makes him seem like a strong pick in a poke or sniper [metagame], Dream said. “He could also function similarly to how Soldier 76 does in quad-DPS compositions, sustaining and providing another angle of pressure.”

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When asked what players may be able to do to exploit Baptiste, Dream compared Overwatch’s newest support to other long-range support heroes like Ana and Zenyatta and how they fall victim to heroes that can perform a lot of burst damage. Highly mobile heroes and snipers will look to collapse on him anytime he peaks out from behind cover.

“I am worried that coordinated teams will break his Immortality Field very quickly and his self heal on shift won’t be enough to sustain through the damage,” Dream said. “If I’m incorrect and Baptiste’s team can keep the drone alive, then his defensive capabilities are very high.”

‘Choices’ is a strong thematic element in Baptiste’s lore. The entertaining thing about him is that, no matter the situation, having a Baptiste on your team is almost never a bad choice.

All of the DPS players who were forced to play support in solo queue have had their prayers answered. Those people now have another hero that they can flex on and still enjoy, while people who already love support have some powerful abilities to deply. Baptiste really is a hero for everyone. Getting the most out of him, especially damage wise, is deceptively hard. Despite that, thanks to his clever design, Baptiste will be a hero that appeals to a wide crowd of players.