You've been there. Junker Queen, Overwatch 2's recent Australian brawl tank, charges into the enemy team, leaving you to tame her fluctuating health bar. She passes in and out of sight as you try to land some sort of healing grenade/syringe on her slim silhouette before a lethal blow ends her rampage.
The easiest solution is to play someone who can instantly stabilize her health bar with burst healing or brief invulnerability—the sorts of abilities that only a few of Overwatch 2's newest support heroes have right now. In a lot of ways, the game's overhauled tank design has directly influenced how supports operate, and it's been the root of players' frustrations with the role (opens in new tab) since the sequel's launch in October.
Overwatch 2's newest tank, Ramattra, is a tall robot revolutionary that chose violence over peace to protect his fellow Omnics from humans. Blizzard frames him as villianous, or at least overly aggressive, despite depicting his aims as pretty reasonable given all of the terrible things that are done to the robots in this world. He also had a close relationship with Zenyatta before becoming the leader of Null Sector—the group of purple robots we fought in the Uprising PVE event—which might lead to some juicy conversations to overhear in the spawn room.
Ramattra continues the trend of conditionally beefy tanks who rely on clutch support abilities and team play to be consistently effective. He is what Blizzard calls its first "tempo tank," a term that Blizzard hasn't clearly defined and doesn't seem to align with how "tempo" is used in the Overwatch community to describe rhythm in a team fight. I think what Blizzard is trying to say is that Ramattra's design revolves around his ability to temporarily transform into a beefy four-armed version of himself, much like how Bastion can turn into a little tank.
Even if its term doesn't make a lot of sense, Blizzard has created a whole new type of tank. Ramattra is only a tank—in the traditional definition of the role—for eight seconds at a time. This is his Nemesis form, a short window in which Ramattra bulks up (literally and with extra HP) and switches from his ranged staff to punch attacks that can pierce through multiple enemies at once, and even ignore barriers. After eight seconds of Punch-Out, Ramattra reverts to his normal, weaker form.
Unlike many of the other tank heroes, Ramattra doesn't have an ability that directly mitigates damage unless he bulks up in Nemesis form, gaining armor, and the ability to block with his forearms. Even Ramattra's deployable shield, which is only available in his normal form, has just 1,000 HP (Reinhardt's has 1,200) and a long 15 second cooldown.
Ramattra, much like Junker Queen, is a relatively immobile, vulnerable tank that requires the rest of his team to ease the pressure on him as he moves toward enemies. Long range characters can easily dodge and out-damage his staff that shoots a stream of Nerds candy projectiles, so it's on Ramattra's teammates to keep them distracted as he finds an opportunity to go big mode. When he does, he's the ultimate space-maker. His Nemesis form fists pulverize squishy DPS heroes in seconds and quickly charge up his ultimate ability Annihilation.
Ramattra's clever design clicked for me once I figured out how Annihilation works. When you use it, you automatically go into Nemesis form and you start to emit a massive aura that deals ticking damage to anyone in it. Ramattra gets to stay in Nemesis form indefinitely as long as there's at least one enemy in Annihilation's aura, but it ends shortly after everyone escapes the big purple circle of pain—or dies trying to. If you pop the ult near a high-health tank, you can use them like a jumbo-sized battery to stay in Nemesis form and play whack-a-mole with their fragile supports. Annihilation isn't an ult that lets you break formation and pop off like so many other heroes, it's simply an opportunity to maximize Nemesis uptime and keep Ramattra in his most lethal state for as long as possible.
The wrinkle, of course, is that he has to stay alive during all of that punching, and he doesn't have Doomfist's temp health or Orisa's Fortify mode to bail him out of a jam. This is why I foresee support players struggling to keep up. Ramattra eats up all sorts of damage, especially when he grows in size. At max output, I don't think healers like Mercy and Moira can heal through the amount of incoming damage he takes even in the hands of an experienced player.
Overwatch 2's first season underlined the strong grip highly mobile, damage/support hybrids like Kiriko and Lucio have on the current meta. Kiriko's ability to teleport through walls to her tank and save them with her Protection Suzu and Lucio's speed-boosting aura are directly responsible for Roadhog's rise in prominence. Right now, tanks designed to be hyper-lethal for a few seconds at a time and then retreat to lick their wounds don't ever really have to retreat with top-tier babysitters like Kiriko and Baptiste around. There's clearly a dominant synergy between a small handful of tank/support combos at the moment, and that doesn't seem to be changing in Season 2.
As a support player it's nice to feel impactful by saving your close-range tank, but it's equally frustrating that some of my favorite heroes are disproportionately incompatible with some of the most popular tanks. It's evidence that Overwatch 2's support roster is in desperate need of new heroes.
Thankfully, Blizzard has promised two new supports are coming next. But with Ramattra's debut, support players might have to survive another two seasons (Season 3 won't feature a new hero) where you constantly feel the pressure to swap to a healer that can bail the tank out of a losing fight. If Blizzard truly wants to de-emphasize hero swapping (opens in new tab), it needs to add a lot more variety—be it through balance changes or new faces on the roster.
Ramattra launches alongside Overwatch 2's second season tomorrow. He is available to earn deep into the free track of the battle pass or instantly available if you buy the premium battle pass for 2,000 Overwatch Coins ($10).