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Push the boundaries of science and support with our handy Moira guide

How and when to play Overwatch’s spooky scientist support.

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Well after a year since Ana was released, Blizzard has finally bestowed upon us a new support: Moira. Moira blends science and evil purple magic to heal and deal damage. She also has a skin that makes her look like David Bowie, so she’s the coolest Overwatch hero to date.

Here’s how to win with her.

Moira’s goal

Moira is an aggressive, close-range support who has the power of area control. Much like Zenyatta, a good Moira player will spend her time shifting between healing allies and focusing down enemies.

Kit breakdown

Moira’s primary and secondary fire is called Biotic Grasp. When using her primary fire, Moira will fire a stream of healing energy from her left hand. Any and all allies caught inside this healing mist will have their health rapidly restored.

This power comes at a price, Moira can only use so much healing before she runs out. To refill her bar, she needs to either wait (which takes a very long time) or use her secondary fire. Biotic Grasp’s secondary creates a tether between Moira and an enemy target, much like Symmetra’s whisk of doom. This tether will steal life from the target, healing Moira and adding more to her heal juice.

You want to try and use your healing beam when your allies are stacked closer together. It works fine single target healing, but it’s more awesome when you can get more heals with your limited healing resources. Ultimately this ability is pretty easy to use: if you see someone has low health, just click and heal them.

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The secondary uses of Biotic Grasp is far more critical to learn. Moira can drain heroes fast and sticking to a target is extremely easy. If you see an enemy Junkrat, Tracer or Sombra on the back line, it may be better to go kill them rather than heal your team. After all, preventing damage is a form of healing, right? You’re a healer, but you have to take care of yourself. Not only can you chase down enemies, but you can also defend yourself from flankers. While healing is your top priority, the best Moiras remember they also pack a punch.

Chasing foes down is very easy due to Moira’s movement spell, Fade. This causes Moira to instantly become smoke and move at very high speeds. It’s cooldown is also surprisingly low, so you can keep up with allies or chase down targets very easily. Use Fade to get away from bad situations like a Genji trying to assassinate you. Or, use Fade to quickly follow and eliminate a rewinding Tracer.

Biotic Orb is another damage or healing spell, very similar to Biotic Grasp. However, Biotic Orb is Moira’s only consistent form of ranged healing or damage. When cast, Moira will hold up her hands ready to project an orb forward. Players can choose a primary fire, healing, or a secondary fire, damage. The orb will then fly from Moira’s hands and travel forward without gravity, bouncing off of walls and barricades and connecting either healing or damage tethers to targets.

Biotic Orb is best used when you are dealing with another situation. If you are trying to follow around and heal allies in one area, fire a Biotic Orb toward another group of allies to keep them healthy. It can also be great if you are going into a big teamfight in a small area, as it will simply create another form of healing going on in the room. You can also use Biotic Orb’s damage to lock down a choke point, as it does very high damage if it’s allowed to stay on a character for a long period of time.

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Moira’s ultimate is Coalescence. When cast, Moira will fire a single beam out of her hand. This mixes both healing and damage. If the beam passes over an ally it will heal them while simultaneously damaging enemies hit. Moira can move around and keep this thing going for a few seconds.

Similar to the Biotic Grasp’s primary fire, Coalescence is best used when multiple heroes, allied and enemy, are close together. You want to get as much bang for your buck as possible with Coalescence, and using it in a chaotic teamfight is your best bet.

When to pick Moira: teammates and match-ups

In case it wasn’t obvious from her abilities, you want to pick Moira up when you have teams that tend to group up and cluster together. If your main strategy is going to be group up and get shit done, Moira is an excellent choice to help keep everyone alive and end the enemy team quickly.

As such, Moira is gonna do great when you pair her with tanks that have good grouping CC like Reinhardt, Orisa and Zarya. On the other hand, she might struggle to synchronize with a Roadhog who’s moving at his own pace. When enemies get knocked down or grouped together, Moira can hit a devastating Coalescence or throw a damaging Biotic Orb into the pile. She will also find plenty of success with allies that tend not to spread out much like 76 and Reaper.

Moira will fail if you ask her to keep a Tracer or a Pharah alive. These heroes move too erratically to get healed by Biotic Orb and they are too far in the enemy backline to get hit by Biotic Grasp.

As far as enemies who can quickly disassemble Moira, anyone who can dive and focus a target will be problematic. Characters that can kill from long ranges will also be hard to deal with. You want to stay away from Pharah and Widowmaker. Doomfist and Genji could also pose problems if your Fade is not ready.

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How to win with her

The key to winning with Moira is to not think of her as just a support. As a Zenyatta player, I felt right at home when learning Moira. They are one and the same. You need to constantly juggle healing allies and harming enemies.

When using Biotic Orb, try to throw it down hallways and corridors, anything that will allow it to bounce. That’s perfect. That doesn’t mean you should hold on to it—if the enemy is charging at you, throw the orb down the center of the fight. This will either heal any of your allies that get close or help kill the enemy team. Biotic Orb is the ability to use on situations you personally can’t handle at the moment. Throw it to help out where you aren’t immediately needed.

Don’t be afraid to duel. Moira’s secondary fire on Biotic Grasp is extremely potent when used up close. It was mentioned earlier in the guide, but eliminating threats is its own way of healing. Tracers are often successful because your allies are too worried about other threats ahead of them. Make it your job to worry about the threats close to home. If you focus down the diving Genji or Tracer, you allies can keep worrying about the Widowmaker in the distance or that Roadhog that keeps pulling people.

Be flexible. Moira is a hybrid support. Sometimes you will act as damage full time, other times you will act as a support. You need to be able to swap between these mentalities at a moments notice. Juggling those responsibilities is a really cool feeling as soon as you get it down. Zenyatta players should be able to understand almost immediately, but Moira is a great, hectic place to jump in if you’re a transitional Mercy player.

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Tips and tricks

  • Try to use Fade in a way that isn't easily telegraphed. A character like Pharah or McCree can target you immediately after you reappear.
  • Moira excels at holding down chokepoints without putting herself in danger. Keep to the back lines, but use a Biotic Orb or ultimate to clear out a tight corridor.
  • Characters like Tracer, who have very little health, can be eliminated very quickly with your abilities. Don’t be afraid of an incoming Offense with low health when you can blow them up.
  • Stand behind your allies and use their bodies to block enemy sight lines. If they get sniped you can heal them back up, but healing yourself is a little more difficult.
  • Coalescence is a powerful healing spell. Don’t be afraid to use it as a counter to Rocket Barrage or Whole Hog, even though you’ll lose out on potential damage.