The latest hero to join the Overwatch roster feeds into the Support-centric meta that has graced/plagued the game for a number of seasons now. Baptiste, an orphaned Haitian with a fascinating back story, brings with him a varied skill set, focused around a high DPS ceiling, and fast, broad healing power.
With Baptiste already causing havoc on the PTR ahead of a release on public servers in the coming days/weeks, let’s take a look at some tips and trick to get you ready ahead of his realise out onto the squad.
Baptiste is a healer first, DPS second
Since Symmetra’s huge rework last year, the Support class has been lacking much in the way of a high-damage, high-healing hero. Moira can fill the void somewhat, but there’s too small a margin of error with her primary abilities, given she just doesn’t cause enough damage, fast enough, to win one-on-one battles. This puts her firmly in the heal-first-damage-second class, much like the rest of her Support squad. Brigette is in much the same situation, albeit with a much more effective self-healing mechanism.
Baptiste is still, first and foremost, a healer, and he should be looked at and treated as one. As is always the case with any Support hero entered into the game, some within the community approach with an attack-first mentality in mind. Thankfully, Blizzard seems to have addressed this with a balanced, burst-based approach to damage and attack that should keep Baptiste firmly in the Support basket.
The potential issue here — at least as it stands on the PTR — is that he causes a lot of damage, and is now currently perhaps the most dangerous of all Support heroes.
That said, this should be treated as a bonus next to his healing capabilities: he can heal just as if not more efficiently than he can cause damage, making him an especially useful and prolific hero for any squad.
Understanding his Biotic Launcher
This hybrid weapon is truly one-of-a-kind in Overwatch. This three-shot burst weapon can can cause 25 damage per bullet, doubling when hitting a critical area or headshot.
Baptiste is a new addition to the hitscan roster in Overwatch: once you have someone in your sights, so long as you can aim them down and hit a target, you’ll be tough to beat.
At close range he can really cause damage, but he’s also useful at range against a Pharah or even Widow, with some recoil but minimal drop. On the difficult scale, making a critical hit at distance seems quite low.
But it’s not his damage dealing ability that really stands out with Baptiste: it’s what he can do for this team that does.
Baptiste can shoot off grenades, which deliver splash healing to multiple teammates within the vicinity. With up to 50 Health per hit, it can be a big boost to your team’s placement with multiple grenades thrown their way.
Interestingly, and something I think should be considered when opting to play as Baptiste, is that both his healing and damage components reload when one or the other is out of ammo, so if you do happen to run out of bullets and think you can quickly switch over to the grenades, that won’t work because it’ll still be locked to the reload animation. Further, his grenades aren’t self-healing.
When to self-heal
Baptiste can use his Regenerative Burst to heal himself, as his biotic grenades don’t offer anything in the way of self healing when deployed.
This ability is reminiscent of Brigitte’s Inspire ability: when deployed, any teammates nearby will received up to 150 Health (along with Baptiste), even if they move out of range once it’s been deployed: so long as they were within range when it’s used, then you’re all good.
Healing like this in burst where available, and then using the grenades as often as possible will help Baptiste’s Ultimate build up quickly, at a rate of roughly 1% per 10-11 HP offered.
Baptiste’s Immortality Field Drone also offers up some self and team protection: a 250 HP shield that can protect players, is immune to D’va’s Defense Matrix, and is live for a useful seven seconds, acting as a strong counter against most Ultimates when deployed.
The Amplification Matrix may just be Overwatch‘s most unique ability (which is saying something).
It should be used in much the same way as Zenyatta’s Ultimate: when looking to making an aggressive push forward, or against an attacking team.
The Matrix is a large, squared “box”, which acts as more of a window that, with every projectile sent through it, will amplify the effect by double.
This means that any shots fired through the box, or any healing passed through it, will cause twice as much damage and health, respectively.
It stands as an especially useful and powerful Ultimate, one that dictates precision and thoughtfulness when applying: how will it benefit your team, and how will it impact the enemy? Think of this before deploying.
Baptiste’s Ultimate just brings in to question his compatibility with other heroes: given the Ultimate is only useful with projectiles, and doesn’t change Energy weapons, the likes of Symmetra and Zarya, and even Moira, won’t be able to utilise it once deployed. which is a shame.
However, the likes of Soldier 76, Zenyatta, McCree and Bastion can find themselves really causing damage when shooting through the Matrix.
It would be wise to look out for a Winston, Reinhardt or Orisa, whose shields will block Baptiste’s burst. Dva also stands as a primary foe. Be wary of a deflecting Genji when healing, too: while he won’t gain the healing power, he can easily deflect the grenades away from teammates desperate for some support healing.
What are your thoughts on Baptiste? Have any tips? Sound off in the comments below!