There are two different ways to rank a hero. The first is to look at their win rate or competitive effectiveness, judging whether which hero is the wisest tactical choice. This is, of course, a perfectly respectable way to play the game, especially if you’re playing exclusively to win. The second way to judge a hero is to look at how much joy they fill your heart with. Ryan, our gameplay lead, and Cass, our site lead, decided to sit down and rank which heroes are the most fun to play.
Supports are arguably the most valuable role of all, so we decided to start with them. Here is the official Heroes Never Die ranking of each support hero’s fun factor, going from least fun to most fun.
Ryan: It is actually a damn shame that we have to put Symmetra at the bottom. Unlike other roles in Overwatch, there are no un-fun supports. In fact, Symmetra being a support at all is something I still have a problem with. Basically, if Symm was any other role she would be, like, third on the list of fun.
From her whisk of doom to her annoying turrets, Symm has had her fair share of issues since Overwatch launched. However, she has emerged as this super fun, very tricky support that is able to help her team kind-of and become a real pain in the ass for her enemies. Shielding allies or teleporting them back feels like a real decision and it is incredible to watch a good Symmetra hold a point. People love to make fun of her, but man she is so much more fun than she should be.
Cass: I love Mercy. I love Mercy’s theme, her lore, her skins. I love her sassy Devil and Imp addition to “Heroes never die... for a price.” I just don’t love playing Mercy. It’s fine. Playing Mercy is some acceptably good fun. I would never categorize it as a painful experience. I just feel like it’s missing that active engagement element. If your team is playing successfully and peeling for you, you just stand there and pump up healing and throw out ults. If your team isn’t protecting you, you die a lot.
In her current state, Mercy just doesn’t get to stretch her wings enough, and a multi-man rez is really powerful but that payoff isn’t appropriately balanced by requiring an equal amount of effort.
Now, Blizzard actually agrees with this assessment, hence the incoming rework. I think my opinion on New Mercy is going to largely depend on how often she can ult, and whether her new rez mechanic feels appropriately powerful (without crossing over into being broken).
Cass: Ana is, in my opinion, a design slam dunk on the part of the Overwatch designers. From her visual design (badass old lady renegade sniper off the grid), to her lore and Shrike skin (she single-handedly hunted down Reaper and saved Jack Morrison in Egypt), to, of course, her kit.
Her sniping mechanic is forgiving enough to make her fun and accessible, but interesting enough that you feel great when you hit a DPS, whittle them down, and swing around to pump your Reinhardt full of good biotic juice. She hits surprisingly hard, and it’s easy to feel like a Overwatch League ready pro when you dodge a naughty Genji’s Dragonstrike, throw a glass jar in his face, and then shoot him four thousand times.
The only reason Ana isn’t ranked higher is because they nerfed the Beyblade combo, which was a little silly but one of the most glorious combos to pull off in all of Overwatch.
Ryan: I will keep my section brief. I just wanted to pop in and say that Ana was one of the first support characters other than Zenyatta that I really had a great time with. Everything about Ana is something I shouldn’t like: a easily interrupted stun, a sniper rile and a passive ultimate. But miraculously, all of these things combined together to create someone that felt unique and fun to play. I hate sniping in games, but Ana makes it feel amazing and fun. Even though you rarely get the glory when you Nano Boost a big player, watching them rampage and rack up kills is one of Overwatch’s best feelings.
Cass: On the surface, it looks like Lucio is a character who should sit in the back and simply try to stay alive. Primary fire to build up ult charge, switch auras as necessary and get as many people in the circle as possible, and boop when someone is in your face.
This is how bad Lucios interact with every other player in the game. Good Lucios are highly mobile, wall riding threats that can knock multiple enemies off a perilous ledge and it is an absolute blast to play. Wall riding is not just the best passive ability in the game but arguably one of the best mechanics of any hero in any role.
There’s nothing that makes a support feel better than holding a point by riding along the the curve of an Ilios lighthouse or Anubis wall, hearing the hook of a Roadhog clang behind him and healing up from the damage inflicted by a frustrated Tracer. Sound Barrier is also a deeply satisfying ult, and watching Lucio slam his weapon into the ground and enabling your team to survive a Rocket Barrage or Blizzard is one of the most amazing ways to win a fight.
Ryan: Since Heroes Never Die launched, I have tried to spread the good word of Zenyatta any chance I could get. He is beautiful and fantastic, but most important, he is fun as hell. Zenyatta is the perfect support in that he keeps you the player active at all times. If you want to make the most of my orb throwing son, you will need to juggle his abilities perfectly.
Slap an Orb of Harmony on an ally, Orb of Discord an enemy, don’t stop throwing orbs, ally is topped off move Harmony to another, throw orbs, someone killed Discord target move it to someone else, throw orbs. He is a perfect example of the hectic nature of Overwatch combined with its perfect flow. Combine all of that with an ultimate that can save a teamfight entirely and you have not only Overwatch’s most fun support, but its most fun hero.