Overwatch pros rewrite the meta with massive Experimental card changes

Bill Cooney
Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch will soon be getting the biggest, most comprehensive experimental card yet after a group of professionals went through each hero and decided what to change.

The Experimental card has proven to be an effective way for devs to test incoming changes in Overwatch, without making players go through all of the trouble of loading up the PTR, and best of all, console players can now get in on the testing fun as well.

Usually, these updates follow the same pattern as the regular patches, only focusing on a few heroes at a time. But, on March 22 we will be getting an absolutely massive Experimental update that’s larger than any other we’ve ever seen.

Led by Overwatch League host Soe Gschwind the panel of Overwatch pro players, coaches, and streamers went through each and every one of the game’s 32 heroes to discuss ideas for buffs, nerfs, and other changes for each one, after getting approval from developer Geoff Goodman, the approved updates were added to the list.

It took almost a three-hour conclave of nothing but balance discussion to make happen, and now the final results will be able to be tested out by everyone in the March 22 patch.

There are a ton of changes being made to almost every hero, and we’ll list every single one that got approved down below, but they’re all pretty creative. Take for example the changes coming to Reaper, which will get rid of his “Reapersitioning” voice line when he uses his teleport, making him much stealthier.

Reaper shrugs his shoulders
Blizzard Entertainment
Reaper mains are going to love the experimental card changes, trust us.

Other changes that caught our eye include Ana’s new ability to Nano Boost herself, increasing the time it takes Sombra to hack by 50%, and allowing Mercy to add time to her Valkyrie ultimate by getting eliminations while the ability is active.

There’s no telling if any of these changes will make it into the main game, but if there’s one you’re really fond of, don’t be afraid to try and let the Overwatch team know on Reddit, Twitter, or the Blizzard forums to have your voice heard.

Below are all of the Experimental Card changes that were approved on March 14, and will arrive in the March 22 patch:

Experimental Card Panel updates (Available March 22)


  • Max ammo increased from 12 to 14
  • Nano Boost can be used on Ana by hitting the interact key (default F)


  • Dynamite damage reduced from 100 to 90


  • Regenerative Burst healing reduced from 75 to 65
  • Immortality Field no longer protects teammates to a minimum of 20% health—minimum changed to 1 health


  • Self-Repair increases movement speed by 25% while in use


  • Inspire healing to teammates removed when Brigitte is eliminated


  • Boosters duration increased from 2 to 3 seconds


  • No changes


  • Duplicate: when ultimate ends, Echo will be healed to half health instead of full


  • Alternate fire spread reduced from 9 to 8 meters
  • Dragon Blade: when Genji gets a kill during his ultimate, the duration is increased by 1 second


  • Dragon Strike:
    • Movement speed increased by 20%
    • Damage increased by 20%
    • Distance before the dragon forms from the arrow shot lowered from 10 to 5 meters


  • Concussion Mine minimum damage increased from 30 to 35


  • Soundwave cooldown increased from 4 to 6 seconds
  • Crossfade:
    • Radius increased by 50%
    • Effectiveness is increased by 20% at close range, falling off to -50% at maximum range


  • No changes


  • Maximum ammo increased from 120 to 140


  • Killing blows reset Guardian Angel cooldown


  • No changes


  • Protective Barrier:
    • Health increased from 600 to 700
    • Cooldown increased from 10 to 11


  • New Passive: Damage taken while airborne decreases by 5% and damage taken while grounded increases by 10%


  • Shadowstep voice line removed


  • Earthshatter: stuns closer targets for up to 3 seconds; maximum range targets stunned for the normal 2.5 seconds


  • No changes


  • No changes

Soldier: 76

  • Helix Rockets:
    • Can hold 2 charges
    • Damage reduced from 40 impact + 80 explosive to 30 impact + 50 explosive
    • Self-damage scalar reduced from 50% to 40%.


  • Hack:
    • Activation time increased from 0.65 to 1.15 seconds
    • Duration increased from 5 to 6 seconds
  • Translocator cooldown triggered when used or destroyed (as it used to) and is reduced from 6 to 5 seconds


  • Turret travel speed increased from 15 to 20 meters per second


  • Turrets
    • Can hold 2 turrets
    • Damage and health of turrets reduced by 40%


  • Health increased from 150 to 175
  • Recall cooldown increased from 12 to 14 seconds


  • Venom Mine:
    • Damage increased from 75 to 120
    • Duration changed from 5 to 6 seconds
    • Trigger radius increased from 3 to 4 meters


  • Armor increased by 15 and health reduced by 15 (total pool is the same)

Wrecking Ball

  • Size reduced by 15%
  • Ammo reduced from 80 to 70
  • Grappling Claw cooldown increased from 5 to 7 seconds
  • Adaptive Shield no longer prevents enemies from generating ultimate charge


  • Projected Barrier range increased from 30 to 34 meters


  • Transcendence speed multiplier increased from 2x to 2.3x