Clipping the angel’s wings.
Overwatch has been a doozy over the past few weeks with all the Mercy changes going on. Blizzard launched her rework a few weeks back, which many players complained to be too overpowered. Naturally, the developers further nerfed the hero by limiting the number of resurrects she can do in a certain match. This change didn’t really do much to her pick rate as she still reigned as the top picked Overwatch hero. That said, they are working on yet another nerf that adds a cast time to Resurrect, giving enemies the chance they need to prevent her from bringing back an ally.
Couple this new nerf with Ana’s slight damage buff and it’s pretty clear that Mercy won’t be stealing the limelight for much longer. And if these changes still aren’t enough to topple Mercy down the meta throne, a new Support hero is on the way. Blizzard recently revealed Moira at BlizzCon 2017 and she seems like a pretty powerful hero. The game has been hurting for a new healer over the past few months as many believe the current Support roster has grown quite stale.
There are five heroes under the said class, with only four of them being actual healers. Not to mention that only Ana and Mercy act as “primary” healers that can properly sustain their allies during major team fights. The thing here is that Mercy heavily outclasses Ana with her superior healing, mobility, and powerful Resurrect ability. Her recent rework has made her a “must pick” during matches, turning other Support users into Mercy mains for the sake of winning battles. In fact, several pro players have even started using Mercy without a Pharah in the team.
In hindsight, Mercy’s current “must pick” situation is similar to that of the Reinhardt problem a few Overwatch seasons back. Reinhardt was the game’s only anchor tank who provided solid defenses with his large barrier. After tweaking several tanks, Blizzard decided to include a new hero to shake things up. Fast forward to today and Orisa, the second Overwatch anchor tank, acts as a great substitute to Reinhardt. Her inclusion to Overwatch gave players new options and team compositions.
It seems like Blizzard might be doing the same thing now with the new Support hero. Moira supports her team by actually healing them with her primary fire. Not to mention that her Biotic Orbs can heal a group of allies, which is something Mercy can’t do. While the two might share some similarities with their kit, Moira can actually deal some damage which is something the other Support hero has trouble doing while healing.
While it’s true that Mercy has her (highly underrated) pistol, it only deals 20 damage per round. In addition, the sidearm has relatively long reload speed and Mercy must actively switch to her gun to use it. Her Caduceus Blaster is far from useless, but the impact is extremely weak in most cases. She has no other means of hurting her enemies (unless you count her melee attack) and must rely on her team, for the most part, to take down enemies.
Moira, on the other hand, has both her Biotic Grasp and Biotic Orb to deal damage. While Decay might not be extremely powerful, it latches onto the enemy like Symmtera’s beam. Unlike Mercy’s sidearm, Moira will always land her attack (assuming she is within range). Moreover, her Biotic Orb can also act as a ranged attack that can target multiple enemies at once. Even her ultimate ability, Coalescence, allows her to heal the team while hurting enemies.
As for healing, Moira seems to be a solid Overwatch healer from the current gameplay clips. Her primary fire has a cone-shaped radius, allowing her to quickly heal multiple allies at once. While we still don’t officially know how much health she can restore per second, it’s quite a lot. Due to her sustained healing, Moira doesn’t seem to be an “off healer” like Lucio or Zenyatta. Blizzard will probably fine tune her in the PTR along the way, but stable group healing might be much more useful than Mercy’s solo-target healing.
With so many possibilities in Moira’s kit, it wouldn’t be too surprising if Overwatch players started using her over Mercy in the current Overwatch competitive season. The only drawback with her play style is that she’s a close ranged hero, meaning she has to stay with her team during major team fights, whereas Ana, Zenyatta, and Mercy can heal and fight from a distance. She will probably pair well with other ranged Support heroes to balance out the healing. And since Ana will probably return to the meta, we might see some sick Moira and Ana combos.