Is pharah a good hero?


Out of date as far the moment the last patch hit PTR.

Damage boost changes RUINS it. It is crazy how bad it is.

See, when you are mercy in a Pharmercy, you can heal AND damage boost at the same time, which is what makes it strong.

You run healing, and when Pharah fires, you tap RMB when the rocket will hit.

It boosts the damage on it, but, Pharah get the full benefits of you healing her, since, your beam is on healing 95% of the time, only changing on the tap.

However, they changed how damage boost works, on the PTR. which means that you need to have it tapped WHEN Pharah fires, but… you don’t know when that is. So you can only heal from the point just after she has fired to when she COULD fire again, you now need to be on damage boost until she get her next shot out.

Which could be a while. So you end up only on 50% healing, or you risk NOT having her shots boosted.

It is a MASSIVE nerf to Pharmercy, and thus to Pharah.


Well, yeah, I wasn’t gonna say that but… I’d be very interested to see hard data on the coincidence of Pharah and Mercy. From Pharah to Mercy, I bet it’s pretty high.

Not having someone who can hit Pharah is less common than you’re implying here. Keep in mind that as your hitscans and other heroes become worse at aim, so does your Pharah. But, in Bronze, you also have characters like Moira, who at low rank is a good counter for Pharah, and even characters like McCree and Ana and Ashe are usually adequate in Bronze rank to deal with Pharah as long as she isn’t running PharMercy. If this were truly the case that lower ranks had trouble aiming at Pharah, she’d be more of an issue–but she isn’t, as stats reflect.

Which is my point. You pretty much need PharMercy to make her even remotely viable–and even the viability of that falls off pretty quickly. Saying that you have to make contrived buffs to Pharah because of PharMercy is a little ridiculous IMO–just nerf PharMercy, and make Pharah into an independently good hero. If you insist on buffing her only within the constraints of PharMercy, she will never be an independently good hero.

Actually only really true for PSN, and to date, I haven’t found any good explanation as to why PSN should have any more difficulty with Pharah than XBL, considering their average aim percentages (with aim assist, of course) are about equal to each other and equal to PC. The whole “console can’t hit Pharah cuz it’s hard to aim” deal is a myth–aim assist pretty much takes care of that. Pharah isn’t hard to hit–she’s up in the air with little cover and a moderately sized hitbox, and she doesn’t exactly move that fast (nor can she ADAD/crouch spam)

Except they really need to, because as I said, she statistically only scrapes the bottom side of “okay” in a couple of ranks on PC and “good” on upper rank PSN–though, let’s be real here. I don’t think Blizzard is really concerned about buffs or nerfs that affect the whole ladder, as evidenced by previous changes they’ve done.

For example, what did 50% Lifesteal on Reaper achieve, or 330 damage FtH on McCree do? The honest answer is that it really did very little for upper ranks, but made them both very pub-stompy in low ranks. Thankfully, Blizzard is willing to retroactively listen and (partially) revert these changes, but the fact that they were implemented in the first place is a good bit of evidence that they’re honestly not that concerned about the cascading effects of balance changes made for upper ranks. There were any wealth of ideas on how to buff these two at the high end, but the problem is Blizzard has this very inconsistently-applied and somewhat-contrived balancing policy that makes what should be relatively straightforward solutions a non-option

But, there are a variety of ways to buff Pharah to the advantage of high ranks with less benefit to low ranks… the primary tool that I see is A) nerfing PharMercy, then B) providing Pharah with significant mobility options tied to a common resource meter. That’ll like coincide with a C) rework on her damage (lower splash and per-shot damage, increase RoF, shot speed, and magazine). Essentially, you really need to be willing to look into rework territory here, because Pharah’s issues right now are very much so tied to her fundamental design, and without making her into a pubstomper, I don’t think there are many ways to buff her while keeping her current design.


It’s because she can either terrorize or get destroyed if she’s buzzing around in the air.

Her ult is always dangerous because of the damage output it can do and if it is used cleverly. Most people just enjoy using it though, which means the value they get out of it is a trade.

If you play Pharah (and Symm for that matter) to change to different areas of high ground to shoot down at people, she fairs much better against the amount of hitscan in the game.

I don’t think that Pharah is bad, I just think the jump in her skill is tremendous from the levels of play where she terrorizes everything to the point she is ‘balanced’.


I can typically beat a team if they only run one hitscan, but the main problem is that there are so many hitscans in the game that are good they can just run double hitscan without any consequences


I stopped playing her because of how easy she is to kill. Some games yeah I can get away with playing her. Usually only for one map before someone switches Ashe/Mccree and she’s worthless.

Heck if the enemy has a Pharah I’ll swap to Ashe and soon enough that Pharah switches.


You would be right! You don’t usually run one without the other. I’ll Mercy if I see we have a pharah, and I am sure the other way around is true.

You CAN Zen with Pharah, but, it doesn’t work as well. For other supports, you are kinda dead in the water, for the same reasons as other DPS, but MUCH more so.

as a person who spent a long time down there, unless stuff has changed, she was a monster, and this is coming from a person who WANTS to see her buffed a lot.

oh, I can answer that.

There is MUCH more K&M happening on Xbox. So, there is a lot more people who can hit her.

Ok, first of all, I’d LOVE to see the pharmercy link broken SO that pharah can be buffed more.

BUT… the problem ISN’T the pharmercy link on the buffs, the problem is the hitting with splash damage rockets at a target on the ground, vs hitting Pharah in the air.

The skill difference in low ranks is way too high. Mercy doesn’t really get involved in that. It is just a function of how easy it is to hit one way vs the other. (and the in ability for people to work together at low ranks in general)

It doesn’t. Aim assist changes the hit oval sizes, but that helps Pharah as well.

They can’t hit her. I played down there for a long long time. They just can’t hit her.

they are oddly weird about it. But in this case they have been explicit.

Reaper and FTH got nerfed back because of what it was doing at low ranks. (and for FTH, mei’s ice wall, but that is another story)

Perfect. now… how do you nerf Pharmercy?

You could be right.

Now… I am VERY VERY sure she will get a big big look at just before Echos release.

Because, Echo can fly. or is at least strongly hinted at doing so :slight_smile:


She’s pretty vulnerable even with Pharmercy to be honest, it just makes her a tad more viable is all.

I disagree on the armor though. She could use 50 more health as a baseline, but having shields instead of armor would be a better decision as it would put less reliance on a having a pocket healer.


Pharah is one of these heroes which have a very binary design. The way she works, shes either OP because nobody can contest her, or UP if there are enough heroes which can contest her. There is little middle ground. The only way i see them buffing her survivablity is if they nerf her flight in return.


My opinion:

Pharah is a good hero, she just has few synergies with other heroes in this game.

  • I think they designed her rather well but the majority of heroes in this game tend to play closer to their team and most supports have melee ranged abilities.
  • Mercy is the only support that truly keeps up with Pharah. Ana is the best support at keeping her alive at any range. In both cases, however, Mercy/Ana will have a difficult time focusing both Pharah and their grounded teammates. edit: Zenyatta can also heal her with less investment than Mercy/Ana, though his ultimate can do little for her unless she drops in range.
  • There are few tanks that can peel/protect/make space for Pharah. Zarya has the only ranged Defensive skill that can support her (great when she ults) and DVA can DM for her but doing so often puts her far out of position to protect her team.

The big problem in my eyes is that we need more heroes. Baptiste was an excellent reveal but like everyone else, he is another support that works best with grounded heroes.

If our next tank doesn’t have flight as a skill, I fear Pharah will continue to be at odds with any meta for at least most of 2019.

I don’t think added survivability will cure a hero’s game flow. At best, it will simply allow them to take another few shots from someone who already has the advantage against them (Ashe and Widow would barely care about that armor).

Pharah needs creative heroes that can support her playstyle. Currently:

  • Sym Teleporter for a sneaky Barrage that she can teleport back and forth from. Photon Barrier to protect her like Mccree.
  • Mercy that can tether herself and damage boost/heal her.
  • Ana and Zarya that can reach her with their skills.

Outside of those options (Symmetra was a stretch or at least, something I don’t see a lot of people coordinating), Pharah is purely independent in a fight and relies on the advantages of her kit (flight) aiding her allies vs. comboing skills side by side with them.

Edit: Forgot to list Zenyatta as a healer!


Wanted to ask a separate question:

If they were to buff Pharah’s Mechanics, what do you guys think would work better?

  • Pharah receives a Quick Descent ability. Maybe with crouch button - either it could do damage like Piledriver or no damage at all.
  • Pharah’s Jump Jet can be directed in most directions. In a way that is different than Genji’s dash but still allows her some horizontal mobility.

Would either of those help? Do they erase her weaknesses? Let me know what you guys think!

I can see from a design perspective why they made Pharah the way she is now but with all the changes in the game over these few years, I wonder if we’d be able to survive a Pharah with good horizontal mobility/a fast downward escape button.


My suggestion is rapid descent + Concussive mine resetting on elimination


only in higher ranks though, they can have as many hitscan as they want if they can’t hit a pharah

dva is a much bigger nuisance

a good widow can completely shut down a pharah though


Once Baptiste is out she will have 9 direct hitscan counters (Ana, Widow, McCree, Soldier, Ashe, Baptiste, Dva, Sombra, Bastion)

, plus other deadly long range threats like Mei, Hanzo, Torb turret and then shorter range hitscan are a big threat in low ceiling areas or indoor areas (of which there are a lot) such as Tracer and Hammond.

70% of healing mechanics and ults don’t reach her to heal her, she can’t benefit from her team’s shields/barriers except for Zarya bubble. Even with Baptiste’s upcoming kit, you won’t get any benefit if he’s on your team using his invincibility field or damage matrix unless you land and awkwardly try to shoot from foot

She still has exponentially higher self damage than ANYONE else in the game. I sincerely don’t know why, it’s stupid.

Tac Visor, Deadeye, Self Desruct, and BOB are all 99% near guaranteed no aiming skill required kills on an airborne Pharah almost every time.

Her ult is still a press q to respawn suicide meme of an ult…

She’s in need of a kit update now more than ever…


Console or PC? Console Pharah is one of the best possible characters to even consider playing.


Armor or shields or maybe even a combination of both. She has a state of the art, futuristic armored military suit ffs.


and only 3 are a real threat to pharah, ashe mccree and widow, all the others are easy to dodge and get healed up

i’d even say pharah is the 4 the best against pharah

and dva is more about making pharah useless than killing her


Only 3? I beg to argue. ALL long range characters are a threat, especially hitscan because they always have it in their mind that ‘it’s my job to kill pharah’ and there’s usually 2 or more on a team so they instantly focus you the second a pixel of you shows up in the air

I would say you would know this if you played Pharah but I can’t, your profile is private so idk how much experience you have on her. But trust me, once you are above gold rank, whole game is a no-fly zone most of the time


there are only 3 long range hitscan who do more than 20 dmg a shot, and range wise only soldier is in that ballpark too, but he does maybe 100 dmg and you’re back in cover unless he hits 6 or 7 headshots in a row which is super unlikely


When soldier can force you off your angles he has done his job


She’d benefit from the old splash damage, otherwise she’s quite good.