In many ways, Brigitte changed Overwatch. Her paladin-like design, sustained healing capability, hearty health pool, and immense damage output don’t fit neatly into the support role everyone thought they understood.
Blizzard also designed Brigitte as a tank. The Swedish warrior has a shield, a mace, and the desire to charge into the fight to keep her allies alive. Compare that to fragile healers like Zenyatta and Mercy, who stay out of the fray, and you have a hero that’s unlike anything we’ve seen.
Brigitte encouraged team compositions that now saturate high-level competitive and professional play. She’s the bane of Tracer and Genji players who got used to their role as the most efficient, mobile damage heroes. Brigitte bent the game’s most popular meta and, despite a recent nerf to one of her primary abilities, is still a devastating character.
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Inspire – Brigitte passively heals whenever she deals damage with her flail or Whip Shot ability. Each instance of damage causes her to send out a heal to anyone within 20 meters. The heal isn’t very large and stays on allies for six seconds unless they go out of range. The cooldown on the ability is only one second, so subsequent uses of her flail will cast Inspire again.
Rocket Flail – That flail we just mentioned does 35 damage in a horizontal sweep (so it can deal damage to multiple enemies at the same time) and can be swung about twice every second. Don’t underestimate Brigitte’s raw damage output if left unchecked.
Whip Shot – Whip Shot is a lot like Roadhog’s Chain Hook. Brigitte’s flail flies out and deals 70 damage to an enemy up to 20 meters away. If it connects, the target is knocked back several meters. This ability is on a short, four-second cooldown.
Barrier Shield – Brigitte also has a shield, like her partner Reinhardt. It’s not very big, but packs 500 health and will regenerate 100 health after being down for a few seconds. You have to hold her secondary fire button to raise it. Doing so lowers her movement speed by 30 percent.
Shield Bash – Shield Bash is Brigitte’s most controversial ability. It’s also the one that got a massive nerf in the last patch. Shield Bash can only be performed while Brigitte has her Barrier Shield up. It sends Brigitte forward, dealing a tiny amount of damage, and stunning any enemy it hits for one second. If her shield connects with a barrier, like Orisa’s Protective Barrier, it will stop her trajectory as though it were a player. Shield Bash has a seven-second cooldown.
Repair Pack – Brigitte’s heal with a six-second cooldown replenishes 150 HP and gives its target 75 armor for five seconds. Damage inflicted against armor gets reduced by five. If the damage is below 10, then it simply gets halved — which makes it incredibly effective against rapid, low-damage shots like Tracer’s Pulse Pistols.
Rally – Brigitte’s ultimate ability, Rally, increases her movement speed by 30 percent and flings armor to allies within eight meters for 10 seconds. That’s 15 armor every half-second, which maxes out at 100 armor on both Brigitte and her friends. The armor lasts until it’s chipped away by damage, so you can use it way before a fight.
Brigitte has a lot going on, but simply put: she’s a support hero that can withstand a lot of damage and stay alive while several people shoot at her. You want to play her as a brawler, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Burst Damage Combo – This combo is still a useful way to make a flank hero like Tracer or Genji go away, but it no longer secures kills due to a recent nerf. It utilizes a slight animation cancel, so it might take a bit of practice. All you need to do is Shield Bash, then perform one Rocket Flail swing, and finally a Whip Shot. The combo works because within that initial stun period, the swing and the Whip Shot are guaranteed to hit the target. It’s a great combo to stun enemies. You teammates can also capitalize on the opportunity.
Knockback Combo – This combo is almost exactly the same as the previous one, but the focus is on knocking someone back versus dealing damage. For this one, just Shield Bash and then Whip Shot. You skip the melee swing in between so that the enemy is still stunned, while being flung backward by the Whip Shot. That way they can’t use air control to, say, recover from being knocked off the map. Use this to keep melee heroes away or to get some sweet environmental kills.
Looking for the Right Team Composition
With the gigantic nerf to her Shield Bash, Brigitte no longer works in every team composition. She also can’t help her friendly support heroes as well as before. No half-decent Tracer is threatened by a five-damage stun. Brigitte used to be the fallback pick if any damage hero wasn’t working. Her huge survivability and quick burst damage made her a safer pick than nearly anyone else. Now, her role is more defined.
If you’re looking to play Brigitte, know that she doesn’t work in long-range, pick-oriented compositions. Teams that rely on Widowmaker and Hanzo to deal damage from afar should look for another support. Brigitte needs to constantly engage enemies and stay there. Long fights that bring her allies into close proximity are her specialty. Otherwise, she won’t provide a lot of healing and won’t live very long.
Look to play her with tanks like Reinhardt and Zarya, or damage heroes like Doomfist and Tracer. Brigitte’s armor from Repair Pack and Rally can really beef up her team to win fights they otherwise wouldn’t. If your Zenyatta hovers around with 350 health, he doesn’t have to worry (as much) when an enemy Genji dives onto him. To play Brigitte is to conceal your team’s weak points from the enemy team and to deny any commitments with a Repair Pack heal.
Brigitte’s role is to stand at the front of your team and walk into the enemy. She has the health pool to rush into battle and start fights. But at the same time, you need to be able to flip around and toss a Repair Pack to anyone fighting alongside you. You know you’re doing well as Brigitte when you’re pressuring the opposing team’s frontline while also saving any of your allies from death.
Use Whip Shot to finish off low-health enemies, like you would with Soldier’s Helix Rocket, or to buy yourself time by pushing them away from you. You also want to hold onto Shield Bash to interrupt ultimate abilities like Roadhog’s Whole Hog or Moira’s Coalescence. Shield Bash is also good at ruining Genji’s Dragonblade ultimate.
Use Rally just as the enemy team pushes into yours, or the other way around. The skill gives your team the sustainability to take a long fight or withstand some enemy ultimates. And don’t forget that Rally gives you a speed bonus. It’s not ridiculous to pop it by yourself as you run back to meet up with your teammates.
Above all, understand that Brigitte takes time to overpower and eliminate. You can abuse that part of her design and take fights no other support hero can — some that even damage heroes can’t. Practice playing aggressive and swinging wildly into the team. If it doesn’t work, cut back or recognize when it’s time to switch.
Brigitte is a powerful pick to have in your hero pool. On mostly flat maps, she’s often the strongest support hero available. She’s a good choice to switch to if flanker heroes like Tracer of Sombra cause your team issues. She can also pinch hit for your solo tank. She’s not even a bad choice if you find yourself getting killed a lot as one of the other support heroes. Keep Brigitte on your mind and find the opportunities to really utilize her kit. You’ll make your team tremendously hard to stop.