There’s our answer. Ana’s Sleep Dart is her disengage, the tool she uses to keep space from her enemies and counteract their assault.
However, there are several issues with this.
- Sleep Dart is on an extremely long cooldown, one of the longest in the game. Though powerful, this means that virtually all mobile enemies will get their engage tool back before Ana gets Sleep Dart back.
- It has a very slow projectile speed and a delay with a clearly identifiable sound effect, making it easy to avoid at long ranges.
- Allies can mess up Ana’s “disengage”, as any amount of damage is enough to wake the attacker up early, before Ana can actually get away.
So here’s the goal: Rework Sleep Dart so that it is more effect as Ana’s disengage by making it less effective at it’s other job: interrupting enemies. Brigitte is testament to the fact that nobody likes hard, instantaneous CC, and any CC that is supposed to lock down a flanker is also effective (usually more effective) on a non-mobile hero.
Here’s something I’d love to see:
- Cooldown reduced to 8 seconds (was 12 seconds)
- Projectile speed increased
- Maximum Sleep duration reduced to 1.5 seconds (was 5.5 seconds)
- When a target is hit, they do not fall asleep immediately. Instead, they become drowsy*, and are slowed by 5%, ramping up to 75% over the next 1.5 seconds. Once the slow reaches 75%, they fall asleep.
*Drowsy heroes cannot use movement abilities like Blink or Jump Pack, but can still move.
- Upon waking, heroes are slowed by 50%, ramping down over the course of the next 2.5 seconds. They are drowsy during this time.
These changes would make Ana’s Sleep Dart less useful as an emergency interrupt for an enemy ult, but would give Ana immense control over the enemy’s mobility. Hitting an enemy with a Sleep Dart wouldn’t immediately put them to sleep, but would instead lock off their mobility. Ana would be rewarded for those difficult long-range Sleep Darts by preventing the enemy from engaging on her entirely.
Even after the target is woken up, they won’t have their mobility available for a short delay, with a pretty hefty slow. Most of the duration of Sleep Dart is weighted into these periods of drowsiness, rather than the sleep duration itself. This creates less of a window for allies to mess up Ana’s disengage, and even if they do, they only cut 1.5 seconds out of Ana’s time to get away.
Heroes without mobility cooldowns and other easy targets like Roadhog or Zarya will barely feel a Sleep Dart. It will be little more than a McCree Flashbang to them with a long delay to warn them of the incoming stun, where heroes like Tracer or Winston will be crippled by it for an extended period of time.
Ana would have a tool on a relatively short cooldown that can keep enemies in check and allow her to keep her spacing. She would be less useful for interrupting ults like Pharah’s or Roadhog’s, but she would overall be safer from threats and able to make plays by slowing and crippling enemies with Sleep Dart.