Is the main sub overrun with memes? Is everyone posting videos of them playing the piano? Do people want to read about hero balance on ladder? Great, that means it’s time to look at the most popular heroes on ladder at each rank at how well they are actually performing! Each month I take a look at the most popular heroes within each category. With nerfs hitting some of the most popular heroes on ladder in Zarya, Lucio and Ana, and the knock-on effects those nerfs have on their buddy Reinhardt, there was bound to be some shakeup. So let’s get to it.
All stats come from Overbuff, which isn’t perfect as the average rank of players on there skews higher, but in the past has lined up pretty evenly with official Blizzard stats so works reasonably well as a statistical sample of players.
2019 posts: March – February – January
2018 posts: December – November – October – September – August
2 most popular Tanks
Reinhardt: All ranks
D.Va: Bronze, Silver, Grandmaster
Zarya: Gold – Master
Tanks got shaken up quite a bit with the latest patch. Before this latest patch I would have said Rein was the best hero in the game on ladder, maybe tied with Lucio. However the nerf to Zarya has turned into a nerf for Rein. His winrate has dropped by a full percentage point, which may not sound like much, but in the tight world at the top and for a hero with the highest pickrate in the game, that full percentage drop is significant. Zarya is a lot worse after her patch. Her winrate took a big hit and its starting to show in her pickrate too. She still maintains the higher pickrate in Gold – Master, but Silver has shifted back to D.Va, as has Grandmaster.
You might think the Zarya nerf would help D.Va’s winrate. After all, the two were in direct competition for off-tank (apart from when they team up in 3-3 Goats comps, but ladder doesn’t play Goats much outside of Grandmaster) but her winrate hasn’t really risen as a response. Hammond hasn’t really risen that much after his buff either, which I found shocking. He’s more popular, but not really that more powerful. It’s weirdly been Roadhog of all the off-tanks who has seen a big increase in winrate. Which seems utterly bizarre, until you spot Orisa’s winrate and suddenly it all makes sense. Orisa has always had a good winrate but awful pickrate, in part because her defence-oriented play meant she would be swapped off quickly if their team was being rolled, meaning she gets played for less time when she’s losing. But her pickrate and winrate have really spiked lately. She’s not anywhere close to being the top dog (top horse?), but give it time.
2 most popular Damage
Junkrat: Bronze – Silver
Reaper: Bronze – Silver
McCree: Gold – Diamond
Genji: Gold – Master
Widowmaker: Master – Grandmaster
I have something of a bone to pick with dps players. Not you guys in Bronze and Silver. You’re fine. Junkrat and Reaper are both very powerful down there. It’s everyone above there I have issues with. Are you even trying to win? Let’s leave aside the fact that the most powerful comp doesn’t have any damage heroes in it whatsoever yet you continue to play damage heroes (we’ll see what this current patch does to Goats in OWL, but early signs are that Goats is here to stay). You’re not even playing the best damage heroes in the game. I’ve bitched about McCree players here before, but I’m going to do it again. He is probably the worst hero in the game, especially now that Soldier and Doomfist have been buffed. His winrate has dropped somehow even lower than its pathetic position before the latest patch with his McRightClick nerf. Yet he is still one of the most popular heroes in the game.
Genji was the most popular damage heroes before the patch, and had an OK winrate to back that up, but has dropped a bit with the latest patch and I don’t think you can justify picking him as much anymore. And now GM players are turning to Hanzo of all things!?! Quite possibly the most overrated hero in the game? It’s not like there aren’t good alternatives either. Doomfist has returned to his backline terrorizing ways. Soldier is actually viable again. Ashe is still really good. Junkrat is enjoying his buffs, as is Pharah. Mei remains criminally underrated. Even friggen Torb is better! Torb’s winrate has always been inflated compared to his peers due to his position as a defence specialist, similar to Orisa. But even if you only compare to his own historical numbers, Torb has never been as powerful as he is right now.
2 most popular Support
Moira: Bronze – Platinum
Ana: Silver – Grandmaster
Zenyatta – Diamond
Lucio – Master – Grandmaster
The support changes really hurt Lucio. He was fast approaching Rein’s level as the most powerful hero in the game on ladder. His winrate dropped by over a percentage point, which as I explained for Rein, is pretty significant for a hero as widely played as him. There hasn’t been an obvious winner in his absence though. Moira and Mercy both have had pickrate and winrate increases, but not by much. Basically they just solidified their hold on lower ranks that Lucio was starting to encroach on. Ana, Brig and Zen have had very small winrate drops, but not much to move the needle. Ana is still wildly popular despite being not that good outside of the highest ranks. She still has the lowest winrate for supports in Diamond and below.
I think I can pinpoint the best hero in the game now though. It’s Zenyatta. This is despite his slight nerf. His winrate dropped very slightly, but it was already one of the highest in the game, only behind Brigitte, Orisa and turret builders, who have pickrates too low to be confident in their winrate (Brig’s low pickrate remains the perfect example of ladder players not playing to win). But Zen is actually being picked more often now,. He hit the top 2 most popular supports in Diamond, and that is likely going to spread to other ranks. He has massive winrates at every rank, even the lower levels. I think part of the reason why he has never hit the pickrate heights of Mercy, Ana or even Moira is because ladder players are convinced the reason they are losing is because they don’t have enough heals. If ladder players finally all start gravitating towards Zen, as they appear to be doing, he will take the crown as the most powerful hero in the game, if he isn’t already.
Source: Original link
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