Overwatch Mercy is often regarded as one of the easiest heroes to play in the game, but that’s not the case at all. Despite her many reworks over the years, Mercy is still a very powerful healer who has the potential to turn the tide of a seemingly lost match at a moment’s notice - if you know how to use her kit properly. When it comes to proper Mercy play in Overwatch, you need to focus on having excellent positioning and being able to play it safe.
Overwatch Mercy abilities and ultimate
Mercy has two passive abilities: Regeneration and Angelic Descent. Regeneration allows you to regenerate health while you’re not taking damage, so it’s advisable to use the environment to your advantage wherever possible. Hiding behind barriers could see your health go from 10% to 100% in a matter of seconds.
On its own, Angelic Descent isn’t particularly useful. However, it combines well with Guardian Angel, which allows Mercy to fly to a nearby teammate. Although this is often seen as simply a means of supporting her allies better, Guardian Angel actually functions as an escape route for Mercy, allowing her to get out of sticky situations by flying to an ally behind a shield or on the high ground. Angelic Descent allows you to slowly float down from an airborne position, so combining the two gives you massive control over aerial mobility, making Mercy’s movement erratic and difficult to track.
Perhaps Mercy’s most iconic ability is Resurrect, which allows her to bring a fallen ally back from the dead. This is a high-risk, high-return maneuver that often results in Mercy’s demise, so it’s best to couple it with some sort of protective measure. Perhaps a Zenyatta with Transcendence can cover you as you attempt a risky Rez, or perhaps Winston can drop his Bubble Shield around your teammate, allowing you to Guardian Angel in and Resurrect them beneath the protective dome. Just remember that Resurrect has a 30-second cooldown, so it’s best to use it sparingly, lest it be unavailable when you need it most.
Mercy’s Ultimate Ability is Valkyrie. Even after several nerfs over the last two years, Valkyrie is a massively powerful ability that has the potential to shift an entire fight in your team’s favor. Valkyrie chain-heals your entire team, and can also increase their overall damage output. It also allows Mercy to benefit from omni-directional flight and consistent regeneration that isn’t interrupted by incoming damage, affording her a massive amount of sustainability and drastically enhancing her healing capabilities.
Overwatch Mercy tips and tricks
Use your staff, not your blaster: Mercy’s Caduceus Staff is far more powerful than her Blaster. It’s often that Mercy players draw their pistols in an attempt to get some kills, especially after using Valkyrie, but Battle Mercy simply isn’t as effective as regular old Healing Mercy. If your team are nicely topped off and aren’t taking much damage, you’re far better off damage-boosting a teammate than dealing out damage yourself. Your blaster should always be a last resort, designed to get you out of a precarious situation should you find yourself in one. It’s fine to finish off a low-health enemy while you’re in Valkyrie, but that doesn’t mean you should eschew your signature staff for a guns blazing playstyle that will inevitably result in your teammates dying.
Know who Mercy’s counters are: Due to her low damage potential, almost every hero in Overwatch should, theoretically, beat Mercy in a one-on-one. However, Mercy is particularly vulnerable to dive tanks like Winston and D.Va, as well as dive DPS like Genji and Tracer. Flankers also make easy work of an unaware Mercy, and close-quarters damage-dealers like Reaper are untouchable against her. In order to deal with your massive pool of counters effectively, you’ll need to position yourself with your tanks and always have a Guardian Angel target in your line-of-sight to escape to. Remember that you can heal your teammates through one-on-one encounters, which affords them a massive advantage against a non-pocketed flanker.
Best strategies for Mercy: The quintessential thing to remember when you’re playing Mercy is to stay with your tanks. Ideally, you’ll have at least one main tank and one off-tank. It’s your job to make sure that the main tank doesn’t fall, and it’s your off-tank’s job to watch your back. As a result, if you’re playing as part of a communicative team, enemies shouldn’t get anywhere near you.
On top of this, make sure you’re always positioned somewhere that an enemy sniper can’t see you, lest you be picked off the second you step a centimetre outside of your tank’s shield. Don’t take any risks, especially with Resurrects, and make sure you’ve always got someone nearby to fly to should your tanks fall. The most important thing for Mercy to do is stay alive, because if she dies, your team have lost their source of healing. Also, no matter how many times your Genji spams “I need healing,” only heal DPS when it’s safe. Your job is to look after your tanks, and second healers like Zenyatta and Brigitte should be able to take care of the DPS themselves.
Heroes with the best synergy with Mercy: The infamous Pharah/Mercy combo instantly springs to mind here, although this strategy isn’t quite as prominent as it once was. Because of significant reworks to Pharah’s damage calculation, she has to play closer to the ground now, which leaves Mercy in a dangerously vulnerable position. As a result, it’s often that you see Mercy damage-boosting heroes like Soldier: 76 and Bastion from behind a shield, who can lay down incredible amounts of damage even without her buffs. Mercy’s current playstyle is far more aligned with stationary DPS than aerial DPS, which places her in a more secure and sustainable position.
Mercy also combos well with mobile tanks, as they can provide her with verticality via Guardian Angel should your team come under fire. Most D.Va players will immediately take to the skies the second they hear a “Nerf this!” that wasn’t them, but a top D.Va will always pick up her Mercy along the way.