Posted on March 9, 2019
Everything You Need To Know About Overwatch's New Hero
Baptiste is on Overwatch’s PTR, and we’ve spent time exploring the healer’s mechanics and features. We’ve compiled a brief dossier, listed some basic tips for you to gain the upper-hand in battle, and outlined the gameplay nuances that he brings to Overwatch.
Who is he and what can he do?
A war orphan, Jean-Baptiste Augustin enlists in the Haitian military and serves for years as a distinguished combat medic. The Omnic Crisis ends, however, and he is displaced again. He joins the Talon mercenary organization after a stint of unemployment, but their egregious acts of global terrorism deeply alter him. Now an unaffiliated commando and Talon deserter, Baptiste evades pursuers at every turn while assisting people in need.
On the battlefield, Overwatch’s latest support hero dictates the flow of engagements with high-hopping exo boots, making it easier for him to access raised ledges and floating platforms. The damage output of his three-round-burst rifle is not to be underestimated, but because of recoil, accuracy is important. His firearm is also equipped with a grenade launcher that splash-heals allies, meaning you don’t need to be extremely accurate to keep your friends alive. Cooldown abilities include “regenerative burst” and “immortality field.” The former is an AoE skill that restores a modicum of your health while also medicating nearby friends. The latter activates a floating drone (similar to Mei’s ultimate) that makes the team impervious to death if they stay within the field’s small radius. Finally, Baptiste’s ultimate, “amplification matrix,” places a holographic “visor” that augments the damage and healing capabilities of heroes who shoot through it. At first glance, the visor looks like a shield, but don’t be fooled; enemies can still fire at you from the other side.
How can you get the most value out of his ability-kit?
Hero 30’s primary fire is hitscan-based, meaning that you’ll likely find clever Baptiste players perched on the high ground. From these superior positions, he can safely neutralize unwary enemies with pinpoint headshots or lob restorative grenades at critically wounded teammates. Since Baptiste’s launcher heals near the point of contact, aim your projectiles at surfaces adjacent to clusters of allies. Unfortunately, those same grenades don’t self-heal, so use regenerative burst conservatively since its 15-second cooldown timer can render you completely vulnerable. Immortality field can help stabilize everyone during crucial team fights, but the drone you cast can be neutralized; don’t be complacent. On maps with various vantage points, like Hollywood and Watchpoint: Gibraltar, Baptiste can create crossfire opportunities to stall pushes or single-handedly deny access routes. He can also link up with other heroes that prefer engaging adversaries from higher altitudes (McCree, Widowmaker, and Ana, to name a few) and strengthen their weapons with his amplification matrix.
PSA: While eliminating the competition, be mindful of counters like Lucio, Junkrat, and D.Va. These three heroes, if played skillfully, can push your teammates – with their crowd-control ability-kits – out of regenerative burst and immortality field’s small radii. You’ve been forewarned.
Which team compositions can he accommodate?
Baptiste thrives as an off-support in lineups that lack high mobility. “Bunker” compositions, which rely on “stacking” (or grouping up on a specified hero) and space negation, are easily supported by his AoE cooldown powers. Once he’s officially released on public servers, expect to see Baptiste in Orisa “deathballs” on Control Point arenas. For players who lament the difficulty spike of Paris’ defense phase, Baptiste is the definitive answer you’ve been waiting for. He’ll also be an instrumental addition to the Bastion-centric “pirate ship” composition on Escort maps. If you feel payload game modes are already insurmountable, imagine a heavily defended Bastion with amplification matrix in front of him. Terrifying, isn’t it?
Does he evolve the current Overwatch meta?
Alright, you’ve waited long enough. Let’s talk about GOATS: the triple-tank-triple-support meta that has dominated competitive play and displeased most of Overwatch’s fanbase. While you might think that Baptiste is an optimal choice to assist GOATS, you’d be mistaken. The healers that are interspersed in the controversial meta continue to be perfect fits: Lucio speed-boosts his heavy tanks, Zenyatta’s discord orbs enable productive focus-fire, Moira’s spray healing works best with larger hitboxes, Brigitte’s rocket flail or shield stuns can initiate coordinated teamplays, and Ana’s biotic grenade can disrupt the utility of enemy supports. Regenerative burst and immortality field are viable in GOATS teams that successfully stack on their Reinhardt. Amplification matrix, however, won’t benefit a composition that primarily depends on close quarters combat. Sadly, GOATS will likely be around for a long time.
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Are his cosmetics any good?
If anything, this is where Baptiste’s design seems less-inspired. Most of his skins resemble Soldier 76’s “Cyborg” and “Commando.” The legendary outfits that do stand out are pirate-themed. But this is hardly a new direction for costume content since three other characters have their own pirate getups as well. We’ll have to wait and see if Blizzard gifts Baptiste enthusiasts with some cooler cosmetics when future events roll in.
What’s my take?
He’s game-changing and, yes, you’ve heard similar sentiments in the past. Regardless, let me explain:
We know that off-healers can pad health bars with well-timed ultimates (i.e., Sound Barrier, Rally, Transcendence), but Baptiste can unleash his immortality field to similar effect every 20 seconds! In a communicative team, this has the potential to fill the win condition for consecutive team fights. That kind of supremacy is only mirrored by the likes of conservative Zarya or aggressive Sombra players. Indeed, the field’s generator is destructible, but clever positioning and angles can prevent complications. The self-sustain of regenerative burst makes him a shoo-in against opportunistic flankers while preserving the vitality of nearby allies. Additionally, discarded damage dealers like Soldier 76 and Torbjörn may make frequent appearances again with the help of amplification matrix.
Take it from a seasoned flex-support player: This is not a hero you want to underestimate.
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Baptiste’s release date has not been confirmed but stay tuned for the next Overwatch “Archives” event which, we think, may reveal some important details about his backstory. And if you haven’t purchased a copy of Overwatch, well, you should! The game’s PC retail price dropped earlier this year.