Here are our Overwatch heroes ranking by how long they have been meta.
Rules, we followed in order to complete the ranking, same a the source.
- Only pro games
- What counts as ‘meta’ is pretty free-form, and the barrier for entry is lower for damage heroes due to more competition, but basically comes down to a combo of at least 20% pick rate.
Here is a quick summary for those who don’t want to read, but we would recommend reading if you want to know which meta they were in.
|Hero (From Least played to Most Played)||Length Hero has been in Meta|
|31. Ashe||0-1 Months|
|30. Hammond||0-1 Months|
|29. Torbjorn||0-1 Months|
|28. Symmetra||0-1 Months|
|27. Bastion||1-3 Months|
|26. Sigma||3-5 Months|
|25. McCree||3-5 Months|
|24. Junkrat||3-5 Months|
|23. Baptiste||3-5 Months|
|22. Mei||5-7 Months|
|21. Hanzo||5-7 Months|
|20. Reaper||5-7 Months|
|19. Moira||5-7 Months|
|18. Orisa||8-11 Months|
|17. Doomfist||8-11 Months|
|16. Roadhog||8-11 Months|
|15. Widow||8-11 Months|
|14. Sombra||12-15 Months|
|13. Ana||12-15 Months|
|12. Pharah||12-15 Months|
|11. Mercy||12-15 Months|
|10. Brigitte||15-20 Months|
|9. Soldier||15-20 Months|
|8. Genji||15-20 Months|
|7. Tracer||15-20 Months|
|6. Zarya||20-25 Months|
|5. Winston||20-25 Months|
|4. Reinhardt||25-30 Months|
|3. Zenyatta||30+ Months|
|2. Dva||30+ Months|
|1. Lucio||30+ Months|
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Meta For 0-1 month
- Ashe – She has never been in the meta in pro gameplay. She appears here and there for like that 1 game or so.
- Hammond – Unless you’re the Yottachad Ameng from Chengdu or Stage 3 Shanghai Dragons, Hammond never really had a high pick rate that makes him undeniably meta. Still, he hasn’t been a must pick when there is always a tank that can do the same job as Hammond.
- Torbjorn – Went from a meme pick to still a meme pick, although in OWL he’s seen far more playtime than Season 1. Dafran debuted with him in his impressive debut appearance.
- Symmetra – Sym had her brief moment to shine during OWL with her play by Elsa on the Chengdu Hunters against the Eternal in Stage 2 and the Washington Justice in Stage 4 but wasn’t major enough to be a regular like the heroes down the list. The only other time she gets to play is for teams to rush the control point during the start.
Meta For 1-3 months
- Bastion – A literal bot that waited 3 years to finally me a staple in OWL playoffs with NYXL and the Shock using them quite extensively. Now every other hero not yet listed has a meta that shows they’ve been playing a lot more than 3 months.
Meta For 3-5 months
- Sigma – Double Shield meta, playoffs, gauntlet, and world cup. He’s pretty important in all of those events. The only reason he isn’t higher is that he’s only been out since August but he’s been the meta ever since his release.
- McCree – During Overwatch at release, he was known as McSniper for literally replacing Widow, McRightclick which struck fear in-tank mains, and just plain unfair that people cried for 4 months for his nerf. He disappeared after the nerfs and Dive but came back briefly to counter HackFist.
- Junkrat – The Jakerat had his time when Mercy was still the must pick for supports. However after his grenade size nerfs of 33%, Junkrat never really became relevant again except during defenses for 2CP like Anubis or Lunar Colony.
- Baptiste – Introduced during OWL S2 stage 2, only Rascal’s Shock used him extensively like an anime protagonist with an OP unique char. during a GOATs heavy meta. After 2-2-2, he was used a lot more during stage 4 and for some variations of double shield but has less use than Moira and Lucio in this meta.
Meta For 5-7 Months
- Mei – She had a very, very brief time during the Beyblade meta slowing down nano boosted Reins and Reapers, but then she got a buff to her ult charge and made her Satan, before falling out the meta for awhile. She slid back into the meta during stage 4 after pros realize she has really good sustain. She’s used less than Reaper Doom in Double Shields but still enough to be a staple.
- Hanzo – was a niche pick until Blizzard decided that scatta was not going to need anymore and decided to give him more buffs than depicted in McHanzo fanart. A lot of buffs made him a must pick, and was part of the double sniper meta until GOATs made his pick rate drop. He did have a brief appearance during Stage 4 OWL Season 2 before being replaced by Doom Reaper.
- Reaper – Beyblade meta, he was the superstar in it. That was when a Nano’d, speed boosted, bubbled spinning death sanic was the win condition for the game. Then he fell out of the meta for a very long time because Dva exists to gatekeep him. He’s back as a major part of 2-2-2 and double shield with his high sustain. Notice how whenever Dva is meta, Reaper isn’t.
- Moira – Originally used in Slambulence, and as a hero to cater to the supports who hated being unable to escape from a dive, she was occasionally used but never meta during the Dive era, but after a team named GOATs used her to climb Open Division, pro teams all used her for the first iteration of GOATs. She now also is used in Double shield for some of the highest sustain and high healing outputs in the game in the current meta.
Meta For 8-11 Months
- Orisa – Although now she’s a dominant force in this current meta, she’s historically been only a niche pick and the best emote in the game. In addition to her being used in Double Shield, she’s also been used in the double sniper meta and during Junkrat’s reign of terror where the bunker was strong.
- Doomfist – His initial release was a very strong iteration, but then had a period of nerfs and being invisible for a while. He’s a fun hero to play as on ladder but pros ignored him until he’s used in Hackfist to counter GOATs. He’s a counter to double shield which saw his usage become frequent.
- Roadhog – His first appearance was during triple tank meta, but after the Hook 1-shot combo got nerfed, his usage fell dramatically in favor of dive heroes. He had a small appearance during stage 4 season 2 of OWL before Sigma pushed him to be never used again just like where Blizzard wants him to be.
- Widowmaker – Purple lady’s run in dominance came during launch but was relatively niche and quiet until moth meta, and then she was a staple in the moth/dive meta in OWL season 1. She did have her own meta with a double sniper before falling out of favor for GOATs. She appears occasionally in maps in stage 3 and stage 4 for OWL season 2 but she hasn’t had as favorable a meta since GOATs.
Meta For 12-15 Months
- Sombra – She was on crutches with her weak initial release and only came into prominence with her EMP farming health packs on Volskaya and Anubis and her ability to shut down a 4 second Dva Matrix. She got a minor rework which gave her infinite stealth and made her more of a scout but EMP was still a strong ability during HackFist before GOATs came to beat her through sheer sustain. She did have a part in bringing down traditional GOATs and was used towards the end of stage 3 OWL season 2 but fell out of favor after the 2-2-2 role lock.
- Ana – Her most prominent meta was Beyblade, triple tank, nanovisor. When dive came about, she fit right in until the nerfs to her damage made Zen a better pick. After a long stint in the never used bin of heroes, she came back briefly in the early iterations of GOATs before being benched by Zen again. Funnily enough, starting around stage 3 Ana was being used more again to replace Zen. She had a lot more usage during stage 4’s wild west of 2-2-2 as well.
- Pharah – She’s never been an oppressive pick but has always been an ace up one’s sleeve to have that. Whenever Mercy is meta, so will Pharah. This means 50% damage boost Mercy during the early days, Pharmacy Dive, early GOATs counters before Mercy got ganked by GOATs and triple DPS that ganked GOATs.
- Mercy – The meta was named moth after her ultimate at one point. She had 4 resurrects in 30 seconds. At the beginning of OW, she was a niche hero and never was really meta even when there were only 3 healers at launch. People complained that her hide and rez style was boring so Blizzard made the 2nd most overpowered hero in the game. She did receive more nerfs than the rule 34 content about her, but in the end, she fell out of favor due to GOATs. She does appear occasionally during the Bunker meta but never reached the prominence of moth meta.
Meta For 15-20 Months
- Brigitte – Perhaps the most overpowered hero in Overwatch ever. After release, she was meta for SEVENTEEN consecutive months. Think about it. She only fell out of favor with her adjustments to 2-2-2 and the numerous nerfs that rivaled Moth Mercy. She was used during the SFS and Vancouver Titans in the Grand Finals but after a poor showing, she was never seen again.
- Soldier 76 – After Beyblade, Soldier got his time to shine. A long damn time. He was in triple DPS, Early dive, and stuck around as a fairly staple hero sharing time with other DPS even during the first iterations of moth meta until Widow got some buffs. While he has only got minor buffs since, he’s never been prominent since due to armor, more burst damage everywhere, and it’ll be a while before we see this old soldier return.
- Genji – Give credit where credit is due. Somehow during the height of GOATs, there were OWL weebs that were willing to try to play him into GOATs. You might also like to know that Genji was in a meta called dive where they played dive forever and ever until this hero called Brigitte came and stunned him out of it. He hasn’t been meta since.
- Tracer – Like Zarya in GOATs meta, Tracer was the embodiment of the dive meta. In skilled hands she was unstoppable. As one bird said, Brigitte had to be created to stop Tracer. She used to be in every game even during the beginning of the game when there were no hero limits with 2 tracers. Now she only appears in the occasional game on control maps or for stalling.
Meta For 20-25 Months
- Zarya – Early OW Zarya was paired with Winston or Rein back when Dva was terrible during launch and she got 50% per bubble. After Dva got a huge matrix buff, she got less prominence until the Grav Dragon era, followed by GOATs, where she got an impressively long mainstay in the meta.
- Winston – Double Winston, Winston Rein happened during the early days of OW. After that, he was quiet during Triple dive before getting a huge shield buff that put him as one of the centerpieces for dive. Even after the introduction of Brig, Winston never disappeared like Tracer and saw some use in Winston GOATs before losing prominence after stage 4 OWL season 2.
Meta For 25-30 Months
- Reinhardt – The big German has always been a popular staple of a tank, and has been used throughout early Overwatch during the Beyblade as being the other possible target for nano, triple tank, and any maps with good chokes. However, he disappeared after dive, then it took quite a while before he became really meta during GOATs after the intro to the brig. After GOATs, he vanished quite hard again, but with the new PTR changes, it’ll be interesting if he’ll be meta soon. He’s only been out of the meta for 3 months, which is really short compared to other heroes.
Related Topics: Detailed List Of Damage To Get 10% Ult Charge – Overwatch
Meta For 30+ Months
- Zenyatta – Launch Zen was bad with 150 HP, but got better with some nice, OP discord buffs which were broken and nerfed fast for Blizzard time. After dive, Zen replaced Ana and has survived as the support of choice during double sniper, followed by a short period of OG GOATs before becoming the staple in Zen GOATs, lasting until the rise of Ana GOATs in the latter half of season 2. The only meta that he wasn’t a part of was a bunker, and even during Ana Goats teams still played him regularly. After stage 4, he has to compete with many other healers like Moira and Baptiste for the coveted spot during 2-2-2. He has not appeared during double shields and it’s unclear when he will return.
- Dva – Dva was also bad at the beginning at launch, then she got some insane matrix buffs that made her really OP. There was a small window where triple DPS saw Dva less prominent, but after that, she was never a bad pick and fit in almost every comp. She only stopped being meta during the rise of Sombra GOATs in OWL Season 2 due to stealth nerfs to armor, her Matrix, but still wasn’t completely out like Roadhog and still had some uses. It was until 2-2-2 when her usage rate dropped with Hog Orisa which made her rare to see and was cemented out of the meta when Sigma came and took her place.
- Lucio – The undisputed king of being in nearly every meta. The only meta he wasn’t in was during the 8 months of moth meta and the very short time after the release of 2-2-2 (About a month), which was too much for some people.
Kudos to u/carbon-owl for all this information.