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A major support shakeup is live on the Overwatch PTR

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Get ready for some Mercy nerfs, stronger Ana shots, and Overwatch’s new hero.

Blizzard Entertainment

For a long time, support felt like the most stagnant kind of hero. Now, the class is getting some major changes on the latest Overwatch Public Test Realm patch. Ana and Mercy are going to be rebalanced, and we’re getting a whole new healer. Moira’s a pretty potent hero, and she provides AOE healing. While Zenyatta and Lucio aren’t receiving any changes, they’re definitely going to shift with the new Moira meta when the current PTR patch hits live. Let’s take a look at these changes.

Ana gets a buff

The first support to go under the knife is Ana, who is getting an additional ten damage (60 -> 70) on her Biotic Rifle’s standard fire.

You might sit there and say, “Wait, that’s basically nothing!”, but pros are absolutely excited for the new change. With 70 damage, Ana can shoot, grenade, shoot a Tracer to take her out of the fight in a very short window. She can triple tap a Pharah to eliminate her from the skies. At 60 damage, Ana required another shot to take out DPS, and since she has no mobility (she’s getting old, after all), that was incredibly tough. 10 damage may not seem like a big change, but it actually allows her to fulfill her sniper fantasy and remove some of those pesky DPS from the fight before she gets blown up in turn. Ana will still struggle to eliminate tanks, but that’s what the rest of her team is for.

Pew, pew! That’s it. That’s all the ‘pews’ you need now.
Blizzard Entertainment

Mercy gets a nerf

Alas, poor Mercy! She’s getting another round of nerfs on the PTR. We recently covered these changes in depth, but the ins and outs of it are that Mercy’s standard, non-Valkyrie resurrect now has a cast time and can be interrupted. Mercy can move, but at a highly reduced rate.

Valkryie casts off these restrictions, and Mercy can freely rez without any slow or cast time, but her standard play is going take a big hit. The developers have said they want Mercy to be defined by her healing and her mobility, and so they feel comfortable taking this big a swing at her rez. That being said, this is the PTR, so nothing is certain and these changes may be experimental.

Introducing Moira

By this point, everyone has been oohing and ahhing over Overwatch’s new support hero, Moira. Moira is a high skill cap, high damage healer with a drain, a limited AOE heal, bouncing balls that do AOE damage or healing, and a giant ray of both death and life.

What’s interesting is that Moira is the first new healer who is capable of AOE healing. Before her, that niche was filled entirely by Lucio. Lucio has been a nearly constant mainstay in competitive play, partially because of this ability. When Moira hits and the pros start to figure her out, we may see her compete with Lucio. Ana/Moira may end up being a very strong combo—one single target healer who can buff, one healer who can control an area, and both characters capable of defending themselves from a lone DPS.

While the PTR is experimental, these changes could represent a major change to the way Overwatch is played. Any changes to old healers like Mercy and Ana, let alone the addition of a new healer, has the potential to shake up the value of characters like Zenyatta and Lucio. When the new patch hits, the support meta could be anyone’s game.