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Overwatch Kicks Off The Holiday Season With Patch 1.43

'Tis the season for new skins, new game modes, and festive decorations. Like every year, Blizzard is ringing in the holidays in the Overwatch universe with the Winter Wonderland event. For 2019, the holiday update coincides with a big patch that could change up the meta, especially for the tanks in the game.


Winter game modes from previous festive events have made a return, so you can now play Yeti Hunter as well as Mei's Snowball Offensive. Blizzard has also added a new mode. In Snowball Deathmatch, eight people play as Mei with her snowball gun, and it's every Mei for herself.

You can find all sorts of new cosmetics, including four new Legendary tier skins for Doomfist, McCree, Reaper, and Sigma. Moira, Mercy, and Soldier: 76 have also received new skins, but you have to earn them by completing weekly challenges. For the first week, you can unlock Ugly Sweater: 76. The second week gives you a chance to earn Moira's Holly skin. The final week of the event will have the Snow Angel Mercy skin up for grabs. This year's Winter Wonderland officially wraps up on Jan. 2, 2020.


Aside from the yuletide fervor, Patch 1.43 shakes up the Overwatch meta in a surprising way. Blizzard has nerfed barriers and buffed armor, so tanks like Reinhardt, Orisa, and Sigma can withstand more damage, however, their ally-protecting barriers now break faster. The developers hope the changes will improve the pacing of the game, encouraging players to spend less time attacking barriers. Characters like D.Va, Torbjorn, Genji, and Zarya received some minor buffs, while Widowmaker and Moira got dialed back a bit.

Blizzard added another new feature to Overwatch called "While You Wait." As you're queuing up for a game, you can choose to play one of the following game modes: Practice Range, Skirmish, Deathmatch, or Custom Game. For a full list of changes, check out the official Overwatch 1.43 patch notes.