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How to deal with Brigitte

Brigitte is the new kid on the block in Overwatch. (Wikimedia Commons)
Expert
30th May, 2018
5

Overwatch’s newest hero is the shield and mace-wielding badass Brigitte. Story-wise, she’s the daughter of the turret building Torbjorn and was featured in shield tank Reinhardt’s short video as someone who helped Smith armor and other weapons.

Inspired by her comrades she chooses to join the frontlines with her own creations to help protect her friends. It’s a typical story for one of the many heroes in the line-up but the way she plays is shaking up the game which is anything but typical.

Usually, when a new hero is added, the changes to the overall game are minor if any at all. Having so many heroes means there are always multiple counters which is something Director Jeff Kaplan has cited as making the game easier to balance. Changing or adding one member of this huge line-up has little chance of totally overpowering every other character.

Brigitte still has counters but her acute anti-dive makeup has shaken up the meta in competitive play. She was also released while overpowered – which is common when Blizzard introduces a new character – but her later nerfs still seem insufficient judging from community commentary.

A large part of her strength comes from her stun ability which is on a relatively short cooldown. This is performed while having her shield up which she can also do while walking at the same pace she would normally.

What this means for any character who needs to have some semblance of closeness to be effective is you’ll be throwing all your damage into a shield until she is close enough to stun you. Then you’ll be attacked generating her passive healing. Once you’ve come too a good Brigitte player will have her knockback ability ready which she will use and then raise her shield once more, waiting for a stun attack.

This can be a frustrating battle especially if other stunners like Mcree are also on the side of your opposing Brigitte, who will also be healed by her passive ability. You can be kept in stunned limbo for the majority of your fight without much chance for recourse if you play a close quarters fighter.

Even if you’re more for the distance play you’ll still have to get around her shields and have to deal with her ultimate ability. Particularly good Brigitte’s can build their ultimates at alarming rates by playing this way and boost the health of their entire party for the upcoming battle.

Overwatch World Cup Stage

(Image: Blizzard Entertainment)

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Call me forever an optimist but I see all the problems with Brigitte more as an opportunity than something that simply needs to be fixed. Sure, she could definitely use a bit of a knockdown but right now it’s giving viability to characters outside of dive compositions which, for me, makes the game more fun to play.

I’ve seen more legitimate Bastions played since the introduction of Brigitte than I’ve ever seen in comp and while sometimes this isn’t a good thing for my SR, it’s consistnetly entertaining. Watching the smug shield maiden have her barrier melted by someone holding down left-click is never without its charms and if it doesn’t work, there’s something satisfying about watching Bastion die… even if they’re on your team.

Junkrat’s never-ending spam of lobbed grenades absolutely destroy Brigitte as long as she can’t get to you and with your mines and her limited mobility, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. It’s always fun to play the explosions expert for a bit of mania against shields, but he doesn’t usually work if your team has gone for a dive comp.

One look at Brigitte and they’ll soon switch off and let you play your Aussie misfit to your heart’s content.

Overwatch World Cup team Australia

(Image: Blizzard Entertainment)

The other ideal anti-Brigitte pick is Pharah, who can maintain plenty of distance while spamming splash damage rockets around her shield. She’s the only character who really dominates the skies and can totally change the way you look at otherwise familiar maps. Pair her with a Mercy pocket and she’s nearly indestructible in the right hands and there’s absolutely nothing cooler than Pharah vs Pharah battles.

The thing with Overwatch is it’s a game which will see new characters, nerfs, boosts, maps, and modes every year. This constantly brings new challenges for players and new things to complain about. It’s better to look at these things as opportunities to get more value out of your game purchase by finding new ways to play.

Metas will change, die off, and no doubt return so it’s best to make the most of what’s working while it’s available.

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Brigitte will see more changes and even a slight tweak like a longer cooldown on her stun will likely make her a less common and troublesome occurrence. It’s best to make the best of the situation she presents you with, whether this means wrecking everyone’s day by being the annoying weird healer-tank-DPS hybrid Brigitte while she’s still a bit OP or doing your best to counter her with otherwise underused characters.

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