Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019 Arrives, Barrier Meta Broken

Published: December 11, 2019 4:17 PM /


Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019

Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019 is live! This year's patch has some new content and even a new Arcade game mode!

This year's patch, as always, also brings with it some hero balance changes. Characters with barriers are getting buffs in some areas and nerfs to their shields in an attempt to reduce the amount of time you're trying to break them.


The thing most people might care about are the skins, so let's get into those!

Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019 Skins

The Epic Skins for this year are only awarded via quests along with some sprays. The Legendary Skins can be unlocked in the normal fashion.

  • Quest Week 1: Soldier: 76
  • Quest Week 2: Moira
  • Quest Week 3: Mercy

Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019 Epic Skins

Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019 Epic skins


Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019 Legendary Skins

Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019 Legendary skins

Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019 Hero Changes and New Game Mode

Several new things are making their debut in this year's Winter Wonderland event.

"While You Wait"

While You Wait is a cool new option where you can choose from one of four different things as you're waiting for a queue to find you a game:


  • Practice Range – Practice your skills—solo or in a group—against training bots
  • Skirmish - Spar with other players without keeping score
  • Deathmatch - Compete for the top place on the scoreboard
  • Custom Game – Select a custom game from the Custom Game Browser or create your own. (If you want your custom game to be available for everyone to play, make sure to choose the setting: "Allow players who are matchmaking.”)

Snowball Deathmatch

It's basically Mei's Snowball Offensive but in a Deathmatch context. It's fun. Also, you can totally catch snowballs now with the melee button.

Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019 Symmetra


Hero Balance Changes

All of the heroes are getting balance changes in this patch. Primarily, the focus seems to be on reducing the strength of barriers and enhancing tanks' other abilities to make up for the loss in one area of defense.

Here are the hero changes, straight from the patch notes:

  • General
    • Armor damage reduction increased from 3 to 5
  • Orisa
    • Base armor increased from 200 to 250
    • Protective Barrier health reduced from 900 to 600
    • Fortify cooldown decreased from 10 seconds to 8 seconds
  • Sigma
    • Experimental Barrier
      • Health reduced from 1500 to 900
      • Barrier health regeneration rate reduced from 150 to 120 health per second
    • Kinetic Grasp
      • Cooldown reduced from 13 seconds to 10 seconds
      • Damage-to-shield gain ratio increased from 40% to 60%
  • Reinhardt
    • Barrier Field
      • Health reduced from 2000 to 1600
      • Movement speed penalty reduced from 50% to 30%
    • Steadfast passive knockback resistance increased from 30% to 50%
  • Moira
    • Biotic Grasp healing reduced from 4 to 3.25 (80 HP/s to 65 HP/s)
  • D.Va
    • Defense Matrix cooldown decreased from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds
  • Widowmaker
    • Grappling Hook cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds
  • Torbjörn
    • Overload cooldown decreased from 12 to 10 seconds
  • Genji
    • Ammo increased from 24 to 30
  • Zarya
    • Particle Cannon (Secondary Fire)
      • Explosion radius increased from 2 to 2.5 meters
      • Ammo cost decreased from 25 to 20

And that's it for our highlights! You can read the full patch notes on the game's official website. The Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019 event ends on January 2, 2020.

What do you think of the Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2019 event? Do you have any particularly favorite new skins? What are your thoughts on the changes to the meta? Let us know in the comments below!

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