Some critics who argue their reasons against Mass Res, tend to forget some fundamental details in the ability and how it was used in the game. This thread will hopefully clear up those misconceptions and shed light on why I think a revert of her ultimate (that is bringing her E ability back on Q, with tweaks) is the best solution to her problem, even today.
To understand why myself and many other mercy mains are still vouching for mass res, one must understand how the hero currently plays. More specifically, key details in why some Mercy mains still find her to be both un-fun and unrewarding to play. Also side note, I will be saying “res” and “rez”, but they both refer to the same thing - Ressurect. Just a FYI
To begin, I’d like to address these key details that are often not talked about when critics make the argument that she’s “still sooooo rewarding to play and engaging.” Oh and yes, Fun is certainly subjective, so let me come out and say that I agree that “how fun something should be” means very little in context. However, I will be addressing the “rewarding and engaging part” that is seemingly thrown around without much insight to Mercy’s kit at her core. Namely, because this is still an issue that is often glanced over when trying to justify her rez being on E, and critics seem to love ignoring that part of her kit, but at the same time, will jump at any chance to preach about how bad mass res is for the game.
To clarify, the following is usually conveniently left out when there is a push of the narrative that “Valk was better than Mass rez”:
-Her Ultimate, then vs now. It’s widely known that her ultimate is the main source of discussion when talks about her nerfs being “too harsh” arose. Let’s not forget, even the pros who initially wanted Mercy removed from the game are also the ones who agreed that “Though Mercy is balanced, she was nerfed a little too much.” Let’ also not forget that even the devs themselves scrapped Valkyrie in her initial stages, and mentioned multiple times that they still don’t really know where she needs to be to this day. I believe part of this reason stems from her resurrection ability and Ultimate. See below…
-Here’s the facts: A res on a 30 second cooldown is not rewarding. You don’t work for it, and it doesn’t directly help you improve as a Mercy main. No matter how critics would like to argue against the 30 sec fixed cooldown res, they can’t deny the fact that having one of the most powerful abilities in the game on a fixed cooldown not only gives players an artificial sense of accomplishment (verses building it in Ult form), but it also lowers her, already low skill floor, without raising her skill ceiling. This means that her rez on a fixed 30 second cooldown is way too forgiving, allowing you to make bad rezzes without having to worry about the consequences - at least not nearly to the extent as it would have been, had she had mass res as an ultimate.
With a static cooldown, those mistakes are largely irrelevant with a hard reset on the ability every 30 seconds - no matter how well or badly you do. Overall the decision to have res on a cooldown was and is a bad sense of design, even from a mechanical standpoint. It’s simply too powerful to use as an E move, and the 11-12 nerfs she’s received since her rework is proof of that. Resurrect on E simply does not work without it being clunky and unrewarding.
It is the direct reason as to why Mercy tends to climb in her pickrate and why her winrates are still more inflated than they were in 1.0 (when she had vulnerable mass res). It is one of the main reasons as to why she’s so boring to play. The other reason, would be her current ultimate.
-Her Ultimate healing ability being so weak that it can’t counter any team wiping ultimate effectively - which promotes bad Ult economy on both teams, having the res slow her down to a crawl, counteracting her own kit, and her flight doing nothing more than allowing her to spectate her team getting destroyed before her very eyes, are still some of the most contradictory parts of her playstyle.
A playstyle that thrives on movement and strategy, positioning and placement, swiftness and cunning, this rework has taken all of the dull about her, and made them even more dull and uninteresting. If in ultimate form, her abilities are to be “supposedly improved”, it makes little sense that one of her own abilities cripples her more than helps her during the ult, and her healing is the exact opposite of what makes it so Ultimate in the first place. I would argue that out of all the supports, Mercy’s is by far the weakest in terms of impact. There’s many a great thread that talks about it in detail explaining why as well. Here’s one that discusses her healing problem since her revert back to 50hps:
And if you need explanation on why Valkyrie is still a huge problem, what better place to look than Titanium’s Why I Have Yet to Not Despise Mercy’s Current State, in the neatly organized Valkyrie tab.
Let’s continue on that though, I’d like to elaborate a tiny bit on the…
-Lack of improved healing impact during Valkyrie. With the exception of Ana and Symmetra, Every healer has an Ultimate that greatly boosts their team’s health pools. What Mercy is given is essentially a few more branching streams and flight for her ultimate - nothing more, nothing less. She maintains the same healing, damage boosting, and speed in ultimate form. But hey, she has spectator mode, and of course, those lovely infinite bullets, because Much impact, very Ultimate. Magical Wow.
And sure I’ll accept the title of being the only Mercy main who has this view, but I believe that it’s going to take a lot more than a bunny hop and flight, to suddenly make Mercy “more fun to play”. Again, I could be wrong, but I believe that Mercy is not only unrewarding to play, but she’s been unrewarding to play ever since her Ultimate was put as an E move, reworked into a S-tier goddess for 5 months (that largely not even most mercy mains themselves wanted), and nerfed into oblivion.
She was always a defensive hero in my eyes, but it looks like now she is instead forced into being an initiator like Lucio, Brigitte, Moira, Ana and Zen, while forgetting that unlike those five who can use their Ults both offensively to initiate fights (especially Ana and Brigitte), and (Lucio and Zen specifically) defensively to end them, Mercy doesn’t have that luxury due to her lack of any kind of burst healing or burst damage like her counterparts. But hey, that’s just my opinion.
“This was a huge success.”
For all intended purposes, just about every other hero has ultimates that fit their character. It means something when they’re used and they feel powerful on the field, making the enemy think twice and changing the tide of the outcome. I’d argue that even “almost useless ults” like Widow, Symmetra, and Orisa not only play a huge role in their specific purpose, but do them a lot better than Valk does with Mercy, but that’s a totally different discussion.
I don’t think Mercy has any of that currently, and it shows, when her ultimate goes up against any of the others, and paling in comparison by a large margin in trying to counter team-wiping ults like Death Blossom, D.Va bomb, Tactical Visor, and the like (team wiping ults that a defensive healer, and yes Mercy is a defensive healer, are supposed to be able to counter).
Her Ult simply has you sitting there, watching as your team gets destroyed. And there’s nothing you can do about it, except be happy that you “initiated” the fight. Valkyrie is not an Ult for Mercy. Valkyrie was a mistake. It puts Mercy in a weird “Jack-Of-All-Heals-Saver-Of-None” Limbo. A shell of her former glory when Mass resurrections, and resurrections in general, had more of a purpose other than desperately trying to put more bodies on the map to make up for your team getting hopelessly steam rolled on the second control point.
But let me reiterate here… Everyone is of course entitled to their opinion and these are simply my own. As so for me personally, no. I don’t think Mercy is suddenly “fun to play”. I don’t think Mercy is “So rewarding and the best iteration ever” and I most certainly don’t find her “engaging and impactful”. I believe it’s time for her to achieve True, Fair, and Fun balance again. We’ve tried the rework for 11 months as of this post, and it’s largely been a failure for 99% of it. Only being somewhat mechanically “balanced” as of recently.
Even with her current nerfs, the facts remain… According to this month’s Overbuff stats, Mercy is still the second most played hero in the game and on average among ALL heroes, and she still maintains higher average pickrates and winrates than ALL the other healers.
Even though we do see some progress of Ana getting higher winrates than Mercy from Plat and above (and let me repeat, Ana getting higher pick and winrates is a GOOD thing IMO, Ana mains should be super happy about this!), Mercy’s win and pickrate percentages on average being the highest of the supports overall means that there’s still a lot of work to be done on Ana before she reclaims her top spot in the support role. I suppose we will have to see in the next few months how long Ana will remain. My greatest fear though is that, like in past history, Mercy will once again bounce back due to having her rez on E, and surpass Ana once more, which will then force the devs to once again, make her even more boring to play - rather than do the obvious solution and put her rez back on Q. The huge loss of pickrate from Mercy is also concerning in the long term, but there’s not enough data for me to speak on whether or not Ana will maintain her pick percentage in high ranks.
Metabomb, Overbuff, Master Overwatch, OmnicMeta, also go into more detail about this. Links below:
TL;DR - So overall, In my opinion, Mercy’s kit is not a problem of being “weak or useless,” its about her being unrewarding and un-engaging. This is due to a contradicting res slowing her Ult to a crawl, forced to be an initiator rather than the defensive hero her kit is designed to be, and having a contradictory Ult that pales in comparison to stopping team wipes to most of the healing cast - effectively making her a “Jack-Of-All-Heals-Saver-Of-None”.
No matter how “fine” critics say she is, they conveniently forget that she was originally designed to be this high-mobility defensive healer to stop plays like Lucio or Zen. Now, her kit goes against all of that, and forces her to be more like a Ana or Brigitte to start fights, without having the tools to properly do so effectively. She’s forced into something no one initially asked for, and as long as she continues to have rez as an E ability on fixed cooldown, she will continue to be boring and unengaging to play for me.
I think Aria Rose puts it best in this video:
Thanks for reading
~Sincerely Yours xoxo,
a Lover of True, Fair, and Fun Balance.