Overwatch 2: Is Zarya Worth Picking?

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Overwatch 2: Is Zarya Worth Picking?

We look at how viable Zarya will shape up to be after her changes in Overwatch 2.

Every tank in Overwatch 2 has a couple of interesting changes compared to what was available in Overwatch. Speaking of the game's original version, some heroes were a lot more popular than others, especially in competitive play.  Most people probably think of Rein, but there was another name that stood out and it is called Zarya.

This tank is notorious for doing a lot of damage. She may not be the tankiest hero in Overwatch, but the damage output, as well as the deadly ultimate, make Zarya a fantastic option for all sorts of combos. Needless to say, this is one of the best heroes you can get if you want to have the “play of the game”.

Since the hero had a key role in Overwatch, we expect this to be the case once Overwatch 2 becomes available. You should know a couple of important things about this hero, so let’s go over the Zarya Overwatch 2 changes and a few other important things about her.

The changes

Even though some heroes in Overwatch 2 will look completely different than before (such as Orisa), Zatrya has a couple of subtle changes. They give the hero more flavor, but won’t drastically affect her playstyle.

Start with the hero’s base HP and base shields, both things receive buffs in Overwatch 2. Zarya will now have 250 HP, whereas her shield is up to 225. This will make the hero tankier and more suitable for the new meta.

Speaking of metas, Particle Barrier, a.k.a the self shield, has 2 charges alongside the Projected Barrier, which shields allies. This means that Zarya can have two active shields simultaneously. Both things have a 10-sec cooldown which starts once the hero uses the shields.

What’s even more impressive is that the shields will now last for 2.5s instead of 2s. This may not seem that much on paper, but in reality, it will have a massive impact on Zarya’s popularity because her shields were already really annoying with the lower duration.

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Aside from everything mentioned so far, Zarya’s energy regeneration is increased to 2.2 per second instead of 1.8. The only downside is that the hero won’t be able to shield the same ally for 2 seconds after using the shield the first time. This nerf was expected because otherwise, Zarya can keep the second tank alive for at least 5+ seconds even if it gets no heals.

The combos with Zarya

As mentioned, Zarya’s changes are not that drastic, but they will make the hero even stronger. Speaking of the devil, the only way to use her to her full potential is by combining her with specific tanks and DPS.

Zarya is notorious for offering some of the best combos in Overwatch.  Thanks to her ultimate, Zarya Overwatch can work with any hero that has an AoE damage-dealing ults. There are many examples, such as Tracer, Genji, Hanzo, Reaper, and more. All of those heroes benefit a lot from the fact that the enemies are grouped up.

These combos will continue to play a key role for Zarya, there is no arguing that. However, the Zarya Overwatch 2 changes mean that the hero can be used alongside many other tanks and be successful. In addition to the classic combos from Overwatch, we think that she will be an excellent option alongside Doomfirst and Junker Queen.

Doomfirst was a DPS in Overwatch, but Blizzard decided to transition him into the tank role. Consequently, he has new abilities and tons of extra HP. Even though he can deflect most of the incoming damage, Doomfirst does not have shields, which is where Zarya comes to play. Her new and improved shields will allow DF to play even more aggressively.

Junker Queen is another option that will benefit a lot from the shields. This hero relies on lifesteal in order to sustain herself and do damage. Therefore, having access to a shield that absorbs damage is a big plus and will make the hero even more dangerous.

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The problems with Zarya

Despite all of the positives mentioned above, Zarya is a hero that can be problematic, especially in some cases. The hero can deal a lot of damage and will help her allies, but players who know how to counter her will have an easy time.

Zarya needs her shields in order to do damage. Therefore, people who go up against her have to wait for them to go away or simply dodge the hero once it starts glowing. Needless to say, most people in the lower rankings never do this, which allows Zarya to do insane amounts of damage.

Another problem that Zarya players have to keep in mind once they start playing Overwatch 2 is that the hero has a lot of counters. She can do a lot of damage from a close range and annihilate enemies, but when it comes down to ranged combat, Zarya is as bad as Junkrat and Reaper.

In other words, heroes like Pharah, Echo, Widowmaker, Hanzo and Ashe are incredibly annoying to play against if you use Zarya. Aside from the fact that they can break your bubbles in no time, they can kill you in a matter of seconds. You can’t do anything to stop them because you do not have any long-range damage. Therefore, Zarya players have to rely on their teammates for help.

If we compare Zarya to the other tanks in Overwatch 2, we can see that the hero is definitely in a good position. She received tons of buffs that will make her even more dangerous than she already is.

With that being said, we have to wait and see whether the hero will have a role in the current meta because it depends on the DPS heroes. If the meta favors some of the counters mentioned above, Zarya will only work if she is used alongside specific heroes.

Overwatch 2: Is Zarya Worth Picking?
Zlosterr has been a fan of esports for many years and mainly focuses on Dota 2. He has more than five years of experience writing Dota 2 content for numerous platforms. Besides being a passionate fan of the game, he's also played for various amateur teams.