Some of these metas truly left their mark.
Blizzard has had a history of over-correcting Overwatch heroes in the past, taking those who needed some buffs and making them quite overpowered and a hassle to deal with, whether it be at low ranks or the highest SR.
The worst buffs and nerfs in Overwatch history was a point of discussion in a recent Reddit thread on the official OW Reddit, with several fans of the game showing up to talk about their experiences and memories of times when some heroes were simply out of control.
“One of their attempts to kill Goats was buffing reapers self healing to 50 percent of damage done,” said the top comment in the thread. “For about the week or two that was live, he was an unstoppable juggernaut tearing through everyone.”
The buff to Reaper to make him more survivable instead turned him into a destructive force that was quickly reverted. The DPS hero now heals for 35 percent of damage dealt in OW2, making him feel a bit more easily dealt with.
“In OW1 Bastion wasn’t performing at high levels so he was buffed, but this made him hideously overpowered in lower ranks who just couldn’t shut him down,” said one commenter. “It highlighted the skill difference and essentially showed everyone why developers shouldn’t be balancing solely for the top tier of players and was quickly reverted.”
Bastion is a good example of a hero who has risen and dropped several times through the meta throughout the lifespan of OW1 and now OW2. He got a pretty extreme rework in OW2 and once again finds himself in a middling position.
“I think theyve finally got Bastion in a decent spot where his kit is still in the spirit of his character yet he isnt too gimmicky,” another comment said. “Hes situational and kinda niche but I think they did a good job with him where he isnt annoying to play against but he still has some favorable scenarios.”
As for support heroes, one commenter pointed out that Brigitte’s recent nerf in OW2 has made her a very difficult pick to make at any rank.
“They killed my girl Brig,” they said. “Brig was nerfed from being massively OP to basically unplayable. She went from 500 shield to 200, now it’s middling at 300, which isn’t terrible but also its regenerate was nerfed and never buffed from 100 to 85. Her health was nerfed, etc. And of course the biggest nerf was removing shield bash which made her semi-fun.”
The discussion rages on, and with nearly seven years of Overwatch patches to draw from, the talk of previous metas could continue for quite a while.