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Our Ana guide to supporting, sniping and saving your team in Overwatch

This is one guide that won’t put you to sleep.

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Ana was the first ever post-release character in Overwatch. She’s also a bad ass sniper lady from the Overwatch team of old and good friends with Jack Morrison, Reinhardt and other senior members. Oh, and she’s Pharah’s mom. Ana is a healing sniper with sleepy darts and health grenades, and she’s fun as hell. It’s one thing to know all of these facts about one of Overwatch’s most iconic characters, but here’s how you can use her to climb the ranks and save your friends.

Ana’s goal

Ana is a combo between a supportive healer and offensive sniper, dealing powerful buffs and debuffs. Ana should rarely be your main healer; she’s a powerful secondary support pick after a Mercy or Lucio have been locked in.

Kit Breakdown

Ana’s primary fire is Biotic Rifle (her secondary fire zooms the rifle in, similar to Widowmaker). Hitting your primary will fire a single shot out of your slow firing rifle. Hitting allies with Biotic Rifle will heal them, hitting enemies will deal damage over time.

Ana is great from healing at long range, but that doesn’t mean you should aim down sights the entire game. More often than not, you should be following behind you allies and hip firing into their backs. Aiming down your scope is a great way to fire long range, accurate shots at enemy snipers or even flying Pharah’s.

The worst thing you can do as Ana is underestimate how powerful your Biotic Rile heal or damage is. Always be firing.

Sleep Dart is Ana’s first ability and it does pretty much what you would expect. Hitting the button causes Ana to pull a small dart gun from her pocket it and shoot it toward your cursor. If it hits an enemy, it will put them to sleep regardless of what they’re doing. Enemies will remain a sleep for a few seconds, although taking damage will wake them up.

This is basically the best stun in the game. It’s extremely powerful but fairly difficult to hit. You can sleep an ulting Reaper, Roadhog, 76, McCree and so many more. This will just cancel their ultimate and lose them all of their energy. It’s very, very powerful. The downside is that Sleep Dart has a long cooldown—if you miss, you won’t be able to sleep anyone for quite some time.

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Biotic Grenade is Ana’s second ability and has two effects. When hitting allies, Biotic Grenade will heal them immediately and cause them to take additional healing for short period of time. Hitting enemies, however, will completely nullify their ability to gain health from any source for a short time.

Throwing Biotic Grenade is the easiest way for Ana to heal allies and kill enemies. Removing the ability to gain health is perfect for quickly eliminating high priority targets. This is also why Ana is such a good counter to Roadhog, as his Gas heal will simply do nothing if he is under the effect of Biotic Grenade.

Ana’s ultimate is Nano Boost, a powerful buff for an ally. When activating your ult, you can aim at a target and fire. This boost will increase the particular allies speed, damage and tankiness. This is an excellent engage for almost any team composition. Find your Reaper, your Soldier 76, your Reinhardt and hit them with Nano Boost. Follow them into the battle and help as they decimate everyone in front of them.

When to pick Ana: teammates and match-ups

Ana is an awesome ally to have when pushing a point. She is able to increase your team’s power in so many ways. Few heroes are better to have on your side in intense, clutch attack moments.

All that being said, Ana has allies that she synergies better with than others. Reaper is the perfect candidate for Nano Boost. He’s able to effectively get into an enemy team and blow them away when empowered by Ana. Soldier 76 is similar for the same kinds of reasons.

But, Ana is not just great for boosting damage characters. Tanks, especially Reinhardt, can blow through the enemy team almost instantly in the right situation. Nano Boosting a Reinhardt and following him into battle forces the enemy team to fight an unstable, tanky monster that can two shot most of their squishy members with his hammer. And since you have Biotic Grenade, you can essentially just make him live forever.

While Ana has a lot of allies that she works well with, she also has her own counters. Pharah is actually not as much of a problem for Ana as some other healers. In fact, Ana is pretty easily able to pluck her daughter out of the sky with a few well placed sniper shots. Instead, Ana has some of the diving champs to worry about.

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Genji and Tracer pose a real problem for Ana. Aside from her Sleep Dart, which is pretty unwieldy, Ana’s only other offense is a sniper rifle. This doesn’t exactly make her a formidable short range opponent. Instead, you have to rely on your allies for help in these situations. Stay close and throw your Biotic Grenade at your feet to keep you healthy.

Ana’s other big threat is Junkrat. His ability to chuck artillery at you from far away can be extremely problematic for low health healers like Ana. Worse, Ana isn’t particularly mobile. This can cause some serious problems when asked to dodge a RIP Tire or a D.Va ultimate. Try and stay close to your allies, but understand that you need to move fast as soon as you hear one of those ultimates go off.

How to win with Ana

It’s important to never forget that Ana is a healer. Her job is to heal her allies. But one of Ana’s best features is that she is able to keep her allies healthy while also limiting the effectiveness of her enemies. By boosting her allies, removing the heals for her and sleeping her enemies, she’s able to end fights fairly quickly.

While Ana has a fluid cycle of heal, heal, damage and heal, you always have to keep your eyes open. Unlike so many other heroes, Ana has a move that she can make as soon as an enemy begins ulting. Always keep a finger on your Sleep Dart key and get ready to ruin someone’s day.

Tips and Tricks

  • Don’t use Nano Boost as a desperate attempt to save a fight, this will just leave your boosted target alone against the enemy. Instead, blast them to start a fight and keep them alive.
  • Aiming down sights is very rarely the thing you want to be doing. Instead, you should be jumping around and simply left clicking over and over again.
  • Your Sleep Dart will not go through barriers, so you may need to flank before you try and send Reinhardt to dream land.
  • Biotic Rifle does not deal extra headshot damage. To compensate, it’s a little easier to aim than Hanzo or Widowmaker.