Before you get upset with me for thinking that the Mercy nerf isn’t exactly a step in the right direction, please at least try to hear me out. I’ve been doing a lot of math on all of this, and would love to see what others have to say on the matter. I just want to have a friendly debate.
So Why Is She Getting Nerfed?
There were various reasons why Mercy was nerfed. These seem to relate to two complaints I have been seeing quite often lately, which are both related to each other.
Her Pick Rate
It's Too High!
Mercy has had a very high pick rate for a while now. This is for many different reasons, her consistency being one of the larger reasons. However, the same can be said for Reinhardt. He is one of the best anchor tanks, and is picked very often as a result. Let’s take a moment to look at the top picked heroes in the last month:
Did you notice a pattern? That’s all related to the meta. See below.
The Current Meta
Since the Hanzo changes, GravDragon has become the meta. This is simply when Zarya and Hanzo combine their ultimates which commonly results in a team kill. In order to counter this, Zenyatta has been picked for his ultimate. It has the ability to outheal Hanzo’s ultimate on its own. But in order to power through Zenyatta’s ultimate, Mercy has been picked for her damage boost. This reflects in the pick rates shown above.
The other reason was for the sake of other healers. This was quite obvious, but I do see some flaws in this argument. I’ll go into that a bit later.
Will This Work?
If the meta doesn’t change based on these upcoming changes, no. Mercy has been picked to counter Transcendence in this GravDragon meta. This combo will still be very strong, though of course I cannot say for sure. If they really wanted to end this meta, they should have focused on Hanzo’s ult charge and Mercy’s damage boost.
Should She Be Nerfed, Then?
Not necessarily; in my opinion, at least. Due to the current meta and her pick rate, she does appear to be overpowered. This isn’t necessarily true, though I do believe that having Rez on a cooldown is questionable. Her healing output is also very high, but Geoff himself essentially said that this was intended.
This was already very well balanced in my view.
How Does She Compare to the Other Supports?
Currently, Mercy is alright when compared to the other supports. Once she is nerfed, she’s going to become a bit less effective… Of course.
Supports and Healing
|Lucio||16.25 (ally), 12.2 (self)|
|Moira||80, 50 falloff (3 sec)|
Please note that this table does not take reloading into consideration.
|Ana||Biotic Grenade||100 per ally|
|Lucio||Amp It Up||46.8 (ally), 35.1 (self) (3 sec)|
|Moira||Biotic Orb||Up to 300 (75HPS)|
Currently, Mercy does fare well when compared to other supports. She is, however, the only support other than Lucio who does not have a long-range healing ability. She and Zenyatta also do not have a secondary healing ability.
Supports and Damage
Please note that this table does not take reloading into consideration.
|Ana||Biotic Grenade, Sleep Dart||60, 5|
|Brigitte||Whip Shot, Shield Bash||70, 50|
|Moira||Biotic Orb||Up to 200 (50DPS)|
|Zenyatta||Orb Volley||230 max|
Mercy’s numbers may be shocking, but do remember that all of the other supports have more than one ability that they can use to damage. That, and her main focus is healing. Other supports can easily switch between damage, unlike Mercy who has to pause while switching between her staff and pistol. This wastes time that could be used for healing. She is also the only hero that doesn’t have a secondary damage ability.
What About Ultimates?
Support ultimates can usually be used offensively or defensively. Ana’s ultimate is currently strictly offensive, but will soon become both in a way. Mercy’s is about to become the only strictly offensive ultimate, and will provide the least amount of healing compared to the other healing-focused ultimates.
|Ultimate||HPS per ally|
|Valkyrie||60 (soon 50)|
Essentially, Valkyrie is going to become one of the most useless support ultimates. It’s already hard enough to use so long as the enemy team has a hitscan, which is very common.
So Who Can Counter What Ability?
|Micro Missiles||Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Biotic Grasp|
|Scrap Gun||(Least amount of damage) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
|Tesla Cannon||Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
|Configuration: Recon||(Least amount of damage) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Amp It Up, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
|Peacekeeper||(Least amount of damage) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Amp It Up, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
|Endothermic Blaster||Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Amp It Up, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
|Icicle||(Least amount of damage) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Amp It Up, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
|Rocket Launcher||(Min Splash) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Amp It Up, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb
(Max splash) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb
|Hellfire Shotguns||(Least amount of damage) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Biotic Grasp|
|Heavy Pulse Rifle||(Least amount of damage) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
|Machine Pistol||(Least amount of damage) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
|Photon Projector||(Least amount of damage) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair pack, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
|Sentry Turret||Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
|Rivet Gun||Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Amp It Up, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
|Turret||(Lv. 1) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Amp It Up, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb
(Lv. 2) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb
|Pulse Pistols||(Least amount of damage) Biotic Rifle, Biotic Grenade, Repair Pack, Caduceus Staff, Biotic Grasp, Biotic Orb|
This table was calculated based off of which abilities can be outhealed by a certain ability. More inconsistent abilities were not included. This isn’t always the same for every situation, and does not take loading into account. This table also does not include support ultimates as counters or any support abilities.
After the nerf, Mercy will no longer be able to outheal the Tesla Cannon, Heavy Pulse Rifle’s least amount of damage, Photon Projector’s least amount of damage, Level 2 Turret, or Pulse Pistols’ least amount of damage. This will make Mercy much less consistent overall, ruining her purpose.
So Who Can Counter What Ultimate?
|Meteor Strike||Sound Barrier|
|Dragon Blade||Sleep Dart, Sound Barrier, Coalescence, Transcendence|
|Deadeye||Sleep Dart, Shield Bash, Sound Barrier (2 seconds or less)|
|Barrage||Sleep Dart, Shield Bash, Sound Barrier, Transcendence|
|Death Blossom||Sleep Dart, Shield Bash, Sound Barrier, Transcendence|
|Tactical Visor||Sleep Dart, Transcendence|
|Pulse Bomb||Sound Barrier|
|Configuration: Tank||Coalescence, Transcendence|
|Blizzard||Sound Barrier, Valkyrie (Not in radius), Coalescence (Not in radius), Transcendence|
|Molten Core||Rally, Sound Barrier, Valkyrie, Coalescence, Transcendence|
|Earthshatter||Sleep Dart, Shield Bash, Rally, Sound Barrier, Valkyrie, Coalescence|
|Whole Hog||Sleep Dart, Shield Bash, Sound Barrier, Coalescence, Transcendence|
|Primal Rage||Rally, Sound Barrier, Valkyrie, Coalescence, Transcendence|
This table only takes the damage from said ultimate into account. Counters are determined based on if they can outheal the ultimate, protect allies from the ultimate, or outright cancel the ultimate. This also does not include support ultimates.
Each support can counter various ultimates based on a certain set of circumstances. Mercy is currently able to counter the least amount of ultimates.
All of the information for these tables was gathered through the Overwatch Wiki and my own math. Some of it may be incorrect, so please feel free to tell me if I’m wrong.
She has only one healing ability, but is still able to pump out a large amount of healing. She lacks in long-distance healing abilities, which is what her high mobility makes up for. She only has one ability that can damage as well, which also has high a high damage output due to the time that it takes her to switch between her staff and pistol. She also has an ultimate which can barely be used for defense but is good for offense.
But Her Damage!
Let me set up a scenario for you. I’ve mentioned this to someone before, and figured it would be a good idea to include in order to show the difference in offensive and defensive abilities:
If a Genji were to flank any support, they all have various different options.
|Ana||She can land 3 body shots, or use the sleep combo. She could also sleep the Genji and call for her team. She also has her grenade to either help damage the Genji, heal herself, or both. (+100HP)|
|Brigitte||She could easily take him out with her shield bash combo, or just whack him to death while healing herself. (16HPS)|
|Lucio||He could land 10 body shots or 5 head shots in order to kill the Genji. He could also just as easily run away, and also has self healing. (12.5HPS)|
|Mercy||She could land 10 body shots or 5 head shots in order to kill him like Lucio. She could also fly to a nearby teammate, but cannot heal herself unless the Genji stops damaging her for a second. (20HPS)|
|Moira||She could latch on to him for 4 seconds in order to kill him, and can also use her Biotic Orb. All the while, she will be healing herself. (30HPS)|
|Zenyatta||He could land 4 body shots or 3 head shots. He could also use his Orb of Discord in order to kill him faster. However, he cannot heal himself unless the Genji stops damaging him for 3 seconds, which only includes his shields. (25HPS)|
But She Can Still Easily Outheal the Others!
This is not necessarily true. I know many people who can outheal Mercy with Moira easily, and actually have a better time healing with her then Mercy anyway. Moira currently has the highest healing potential, it’s just that she is rarely used properly. Heck, her current falloff healing is soon to become Mercy’s base healing.
And please, keep in mind that the other supports are able to easily damage and heal at the same time, or easily switch between the two. Mercy was never meant to be like them, and they were never meant to be like Mercy.