The sequel to Blizzard’s flashy and fast-paced Overwatch is finally here (kind of). Many have been eager to see how their favorite game and characters have changed. Roadhog, everyone’s favorite assassin, has quietly gone under the radar between the new hero and several key reworks. It’s easy to see why: while other tanks may have gotten massive ability changes, Roadhog’s only changes were a 100-point increase to his health pool and a commensurate 50-point boost to his healing ability. However, while he may not have changed much himself, the field around him has vastly changed and his place in it. Let’s look at how overall changes to Overwatch 2 impact Roadhog.
Overall Changes Coming in Overatch 2 that Affect Roadhog
The general shift from 6v6 to 5v5 is a double-edged sword for Roadhog. Now, he occupies the only tank slot, making it harder for him to protect his teammates. Conversely, it makes it much easier to fulfill the “assassin”-type role he can often take with his Chain Hook. The opposing team having only one barrier that can block the Hook-Scrap Gun combo means the general game plan is much more volatile.
This results in a higher risk of your supports dying in return for a higher reward of attacking their squishy 200 health heroes. This has the most impact when the Roadhog is more intelligent and better-positioned than the opponents. After all, there is only one tank, and they can’t be everywhere at once.
Playing Roadhog Against Opposing Tanks in Overwatch 2
Next, it’s essential to see how Roadhog in Overwatch 2 matches up against each of his potential opposing tanks.
The Legend of Talon finds himself in a somewhat awkward place in his new tank role. A subtly increased model size and a newfound damage reduction ability don’t do much to stop Roadhog’s Chain Hook from pulling him into a sticky situation. On the other hand, he does have a more significant health pool and an improved Rocket Punch. These allow him to escape better, but he is of no use to his team while doing so. Overall, he can find himself at a deficit when fulfilling the sole tank role on a team full of low-health heroes.
The biggest roadblock in Roadhog’s hook instakill ability has always been Reinhardt’s massive Barrier Field. But the sequel sees Reinhardt’s shield getting its health and regeneration speed lowered. This makes it much easier for Roadhog and his teammates to pressure the enemy Reinhardt to lower his shield or even break it entirely.
While his new ability to cancel his Charge and doubled Firestrike charges increases his utility, it’s implausible to move the needle on the Roadhog matchup. Additional chip damage and being able to fake charges aren’t going to make it suddenly swing in one way or another.
Sigma, on the other hand, has only become more of a headache for Roadhog to handle. His increased health and shields make him more difficult to kill. He can throw out his Experimental Barriers many more times throughout a game. Giant barriers like Sigma’s can easily mitigate damage and block Chain Hooks along the way. The one silver lining is that the same Experimental Barrier has less regeneration on its health, but it’s safe to say that Sigma will be one of Roadhog’s main pain points going into Overwatch 2.
The other character in the tank role to get a massive rework in is Orisa. Her updated suite of abilities is sure to frustrate Roadhog players transitioning to Overwatch 2 in a 1v1.
Her old standby Fortify still prevents Roadhog’s hook from doing much more than uselessly clank off her body. Thankfully, she no longer has the damage-absorbing re-deployable Particle Barrier. Her newfound Javelin Spin can easily block every part of Roadhog’s kit to make up for it. This is where Roadhog can find a weakness to exploit. However, her new ability only protects herself and whoever is standing immediately behind her. A well-aimed hook can easily snatch a tucked-away support and turn the fight in Roadhog’s favor.
Unfortunately, the switch to Overwatch 2 leaves one more trick up Orisa’s sleeve. Energy Javelin can stun and knock enemies away, acting as almost an anti-Roadhog hook, potentially interrupting a disengagement, hook, or heal. A clever Roadhog player will wait until she has exhausted the cooldowns on her various abilities before going in for the kill.
Roadhog Overall Against Tanks
The other tanks not mentioned haven’t had their kits changed in a way that meaningfully impacts Roadhog’s general gameplan against them. He should therefore employ the same counter-tactics he uses in most situations. Poke at a safe distance with his Scrap Gun until a mistake opens up a vital kill on the enemy team. Play smart, cautious, and position yourself well, and the enemy team will find themselves wishing they had another tank before long.
Overwatch 2 Roadhog Against Supports
Roadhog has always been the bane of supports. Moreover, thanks to the lack of any meaningful changes to those heroes, his matchups haven’t changed much against any of them.
Of the two hero changes that actually impact the 1v1, both are beneficial to him: Ana’s Sleep Dart now has increased cooldown, meaning Roadhog has somewhat more free reign. Brigitte’s Shield Bash no longer can stun. This change means Roadhog only has to worry about damage. And, coming from a support hero, is not his main issue.
Finally, the new support passive that self-heals only affects chip damage. Since Roadhog has always been able to instantly one-shot supports, there won’t be any time for healing or using any abilities period.
Roadhog Against DPS Heroes in Overwatch 2
Roadhog had always been a damage sponge in Overwatch, lacking any barrier or real defensive ability. This meant that he was often feeding his opponents a ton of ultimate charge. In Overwatch 2, Roadhog mains will surely be glad to hear of the new global tank passive ability: providing less ultimate charge.
The one downside to this is that it also reduces the ultimate charge gained by his allied healers, but this tradeoff is well worth it. A decent amount of chip damage now won’t get an enemy DPS halfway into gaining a potentially team-wiping ultimate. But there still are a few heavy hitters that Roadhog needs to be wary of.
While the old “sentient sentry gun” Bastion was Chain Hook fodder, in Overwatch 2, Bastion’s Configuration: Assault allows him to move, albeit at a reduced speed. This makes landing those crucial pulls just a little bit harder. This new configuration only lasts for 6 seconds, but that is more than enough for this form’s rapid-fire to melt Roadhog’s health pool completely. Similarly, Bastion’s new A-36 Tactical Grenade puts even more damage into the mix, leaving poor Roadhog with nary a barrier to hide behind.
Mei and Cassidy
Thanks to Overwatch’s 2 overall reduction of stun abilities, Mei no longer can completely freeze her opponents solid. She now has just a slowdown and increased damage on her Endothermic Blaster. Similarly, Cassidy’s new Magnetic Grenade is a replacement for his old Flashbang. This means he now has increased damage over crowd control ability. These changes will make it hard to beat these DPS heroes in an honest, fair 1v1. Yet, it’ll now be much easier to fight them when ambushing or being ambushed.
Overwatch 2’s new hero has a devastating suite of abilities to crush Roadhog’s dreams. Her Power Slide allows her to achieve the high mobility capable of fouling up Roadhog’s Chain Hook aim. Most importantly, her Railgun’s primary fire generates energy upon hit for her secondary fire, a powerful beam capable of doing insane damage. While the new tank passive means Roadhog is no longer a free source of ultimate charge, this is certainly not the case for Sojourn’s Railgun. She may find a quick and easy source of damage while she slides around picking off low-health heroes.
Roadhog Overall Against DPS
Roadhog overall has a very precarious situation against most DPS heroes. While he can one-shot most of them with the all-important Chain Hook, one missed throw can swing the fight massively in the DPS’s favor. Against long-range heroes like Hanzo or Widowmaker, it’s difficult to justify staying on Roadhog. This is also true of close-range heroes that can out-damage Roadhog, like Reaper. Overall, he excels in the midrange, punishing mistakes instantly with the famed Hook-Shot combo.
Roadhog in Overwatch 2: Winner or Loser? Our Verdict
The changes to most of the heroes in Overwatch 2 make Roadhog’s job much more difficult. While his impact on a game could theoretically be higher, the onus of skill and positioning is placed much more on Roadhog, meaning any slight mistake from either side is more devastating. His kills are easier to find with fewer tanks. Yet, stronger damage across the board means that missing or being out of sync with his team means facing the respawn screen much faster than before.
Overall, Roadhog’s new changes push the skill floor and ceiling much higher for him. In turn, this means rewarding only perfection and punishing anything less.