Mercy has been... quite the pain for quite some time. For the majority of the Overwatch’s life, Mercy has been a supremely dominant healer. When she received her rework months ago, this problem was blown out far worse than ever before, and Mercy was resurrecting people left and right. She had the highest play-rate in the game and for good reason.
She may still have a high play-rate, but she isn’t even close to as successful. Even more important, her win rate is dropping as players discover how much weaker she’s become.
Omnic Meta put out an excellent statistical analysis of what’s happened to Mercy since her recent nerf. Let’s take a look at it.
Mercy’s overall resurrections per match have gone down significantly. While this has affected her win rate negatively, even more so in higher rankings, it isn’t actually the most interesting graph that Omnic Meta has put together. Instead, take a look at this support meta chart.
Mercy has fallen off into a pit after the consistent string of nerfs. Moira, on the other hand, has gotten a huge uptick in play. There may be future meta shifts as people learn the new meta and further balance changes hit, but it seems like Moira has a bright future ahead of her.
While Mercy’s play-rate has certainly dropped, she’s still the support queen. According to Overwatch.op.gg, Mercy still has the highest play-rate in the game by a full four percent, with Ana trailing neatly behind her. This is actually pretty unsurprising. Mercy has been dominant for so long that folks are going to need time to adjust to the changes. But as players begin to understand these nerfs, the game will further adjust.
All of this data begs the question of who will be our next support All-Star? Mercy has been the golden girl of support since Overwatch launched, so it’s hard to imagine a world where she barely exists. But in a game with as few heroes as Overwatch has, a change in meta is always welcome.
Sadly, Ana doesn’t seem like Overwatch’s next top model. She’s still powerful, yes, but she just hasn’t been the same since her Beyblade days. That being said, Ana does have a lot of potential to fill the protector role that Mercy had. While Mercy could just rez dead allies, Ana can snooze the scariest enemies. It may not nearly be as powerful, but its a useful power that’s currently missing from team comps.
Lucio seems like he is going to exist in the same space he always had. This may sound disappointing, but the world is still better off with “Lucio plus someone else” rather than just “Lucio plus Mercy” every game. Our boy has always been a great support pick for mitigating team-wide damage. No other support can really deal with that. Until we get another AoE support, I really doubt we’ll ever see Lucio’s role in the meta change.
The next two supports seem to have the most interesting future. Let’s start with the newest one, Moira. if you look at the chart above, Moira seems to have quite the upward trajectory. This is expected, considering that it takes players time to adjust to new heroes. But Moira also fills an important gap in healers, especially with Mercy missing.
Moira can very quickly heal a single ally. In fact, she even has pretty decent small group healing as well. She is essentially able to single target heal faster than anyone else other than Mercy and group heal only a little slower than Lucio. While Moira does trade out Mercy’s utility for raw damage, her high skill cap makes her an obvious replacement for some of Mercy’s old team comps.
The last support we have to chat about is my boy and yours, Zenyatta. Zen has always been a weird healer. His throughput is fine at best, so you’d never want him to be your main support. But, with high throughput heroes like Mercy going in the bin, Zen finally has his moment to shine.
We’ve already written a lot about why Zenyatta is a good boy who should replace Mercy, but let me leave you with this. Combining the powers of Zenyatta and Moira grants you the power of essentially one normal DPS and at least a healer and a half.
The other alternative here, which actually seems a bit more likely, is that all of the healers will pick up Mercy’s slack in one way or another. This could end up being awesome. A world where all of the healers are picked mildly equally sounds awesome. Then again, we could be staring down the barrel of a new Moira empire, which wouldn’t be too bad either to be honest.