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May 06, 2018

Brigitte: New Hero Stat Analysis

The start of Season 10 brings new support hero Brigitte to the fight, offering a high-utility kit full of tricks.  As if healing wasn't enough, Brigitte can prove a big asset to her team in other ways: providing peeling, armor, shields, stuns, and knockbacks.  In this article, we dive in deep to see how good she is.  Minor spoilers for those of you who haven't played comp yet this season - Brigitte is "pretty good" and has essentially upset the meta all by herself.  As always, I hope you enjoy this article!

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This article dives into new support hero Brigitte and compares her to other heroes in Overwatch.  While she has only been out for a week, the data collected from 200,000 competitive matches give a good picture of where she currently stands.  Needless to say, she is a very popular hero right now, and the data shows that is for good reason.  There are already whispers of nerfs coming, though those could be a ways out as they just hit PTR.  Without further ado, let's dive into the data.

Brigitte: Healing Output
Brigitte: Offensive Output
Brigitte: Shield and Armor
Brigitte: Support Meta and Winrates
Brigitte: Conclusion

 Brigitte Will Protect You 

Brigitte is listed as a support, but is she a healer?  The chart above shows that all indications point to "Yes".  Currently, Brigitte is healing roughly the same as Lucio and Zenyatta - or about the output of an off-support (and not a main healer).  Two things to keep in mind: we haven't taken into account armor yet (more on that later), and Brigitte actually outheals Zenyatta if we remove his Trancendence healing.  Realistically, Brigitte's healing output may surprise some players as she truly matches other supports.  Blizzard doesn't provide a breakdown for how much of that healing is coming from Repair Packs vs her aura healing (when damaging).  However, considering that both offer similar single target healing output (around 25 HP/s) and that Brigitte currently plays nearby to other teammates,  I think we can reasonably expect that the majority of her total healing output comes from aura healing. 
One major thing that distinguishes Brigitte from other supports is her ability to provide armor to teammates.  Armor is a very powerful element in Overwatch, not only reducing damage taken but also enabling high health totals for all heroes, making it more likely they survive in teamfights and removing the ability to be one-shot.  The 150 armor that Brigitte makes it so that 200-hp heroes can't be instantly killed by Widowmaker, Hanzo, or Tracer's pulse bomb, and also makes most Tanks unkillable by Junkrat's Riptire and D.Va's Self-destruct. In today's meta, combining armor with heroes that have shields as HP (such as Zarya and Zenyatta) is especially powerful.  Shields take damage before armor, giving a big buffer to health as the shields must be fully depleted before armor can be whittled down - essentially boosting those hero's HP by 150 across multiple fights.

Looking at the chart above, we can see impact of armor on Brigitte's ability to protect her team.  Brigitte averages 3000-5500 armor provided per game, enabling her to match and exceed main healers Ana, Mercy, and Moira.  In other words, in terms of protecting her team, Brigitte is one of the best in Overwatch (at least on paper).  In practice, Brigitte's current playstyle requires your team to play aggressive against the enemy team, putting yourself in harm's way and needing more healing - and players are finding that they want other healers such as Mercy on their team to help stay alive.  

How Bad Does a Mace to the Face Hurt?

Overwatch players know by now that close-up encounters with Brigitte often turn deadly.  Players have quickly become used to being stunned repeatedly and knocked around like ragdolls, but swings from Brigitte's mace also puts out significant damage.  She compares quite favorably to other supports, as the data shows below.

The chart above compares Brigitte's average  damage per match to the other supports.  Brigitte is averaging more that 5,000 damage per match, roughly about the same as Lucio and Moira.  Zenyatta is quite a bit above the rest of the heroes at 7,500-10,000 damage per match.

In terms of eliminations per match, Brigitte fares even better when compared to her fellow supports, averaging 16 eliminations, slightly better than Lucio and Zenyatta.  Moira is still is top dog, as most competitive Overwatch players may have guessed as her DPS kit is very forgiving.

Squire of Rein, Daughter of Torb?
Part of Brigitte's lore is that she is the daughter of Torbjorn and squire to Reinhardt, working alongside him to prep him for battle. We can see this lore directly translate to her kick, giving her the ability to give armor to teammates and giving her a small shield of her own.  For comparison's sake (and partly for fun), we look at Brigitte's ability to block damage and provide armor.

As such, a big part of her kit is her shield - primarily used for personal protection and for her shield bash.  That said, in practice Brigitte plays on the front lines to stun and heal, and the shield does offer protection to teammates in the back lines.  The chart above compares her damage blocked per match to *Tank* heroes.  Currently Brigitte is averaging around 4000 damage blocked per match - closer to off-tanks D.Va and Zarya and very far from the main tanks.  The biggest takeaway on blocking damage for Brigitte is that it enables survivability for her teammates: either by directly blocking damage or through keeping Brigitte alive, enabling stuns and heals for the team.

The only other hero that currently gives armor to teammates is Brigitte's father, Torbjorn.  The chart above shows just how much Brigitte has improved upon her father's techniques.  Torb averages 2000 - 2500 armor per match (in 75-armor packs), while Brigitte averages 3000-5500, with higher tiers getting much more utility out of her kit.  Torb's armor output was already a useful ability, and Brigitte essentially doubles that usefulness.  It seems pretty easy to argue that providing armor is a very strong element of her kit right now.  While temporary armor from Brigitte's repair pack also contributes to this total number, we can bet that most armor is coming from Rally.  Rally can target multiple teammates at once, and the biggest nerf to Brigitte right now on PTR is Blizzard nerfing max Rally armor from 150 to 100.

Brigitte's and the Support Meta: Winrates and Usage
With a week of Brigitte live in competitive, we can now get a feel for how the support meta has changed.  Before talking about the data, let me say that since I first started collecting data for Overwatch 18 months ago, no hero has had a bigger impact than Brigitte (Moira was prior best with a 25% usage and 52% winrate after release).  Brigitte has completely changed the meta and competitive Overwatch - as Jeff Kaplan predicted.  

Let's look at Usage first.  Brigitte is currently the #1 most popular hero in Overwatch, stealing the thunder from Mercy and Moira.  Her usage right now is 53% in Bronze, increasing all the way up to 89% in Grandmaster (where she is a must pick).  Right now, the popular support meta is Brigitte + main healer (Mercy / Moira).  Triple support is also popular at the higher ranks by including off-supports like Lucio and Zenyatta (especially at Grandmaster). 

Brigitte's winrates are also very high right now - averaging 57% across all tiers of play.  To me, this is one of the most important charts as Brigitte's winrates are insanely high at the lower tiers.  Compare Mercy or Moira's winrates at Bronze (46%) to Brigitte's and you can see what I mean.  With lower tiers not playing Brigitte as much, the data points to the idea that Brigitte's winrate when the other team doesn't have a Brigitte may be much, much higher.  It very well may be the case that having her on your team gives you a better chance to win, especially when the opponents doesn't play her.  I expect that players in lower tiers will start to realize that benefit of playing Brigitte more and climb.  

Brigitte - Hero to Competitive Overwatch?
So far in Season 10, Brigitte has been a polarizing force - players either love her or hate her.  She can seemingly do it all - making her a unique to competitive Overwatch.  Blizzard has already announced some small nerfs coming to PTR, and given my findings there may be more down the road.  One thing is for sure: we have the completely new meta that Jeff Kaplan promised.