It’s no secret after the over-tuned meta that was the tank meta (hello 100% Nade, Roadie, D.va, and 30m Lucio) that Ana alone has some major fall-backs that seem odd, exclusive, and non-intentional. I think most of you know me as the guy who parrots about Ana’s flaws on here, and how much potential she could have to be one of the more unique and great designs in this game. I want to make an effort to show more people she could be changed to be more healthy and exciting for the game, it just takes some effort and careful thought. I’ll give you what I perceive to be her shortcomings I don’t agree with, and weaknesses that I do.
Click For Self Sustain Issues/Discussion
Self-sustain is something that was recently commented on by The Team to be intentionally one of Ana’s weakness trade-offs.
It is pointed out that this is part of a weakness-strength philosophy in heroes, but this poses the question. What is the inherent weakness of Mercy and Moira? Both of which heal heaps more than Ana, have fantastic, low cool-down escapes, and excellent, easy to access self heals? One might point out that Mercy is unable to defend herself traditionally with a weapon, but what’s the need when her self healing has the lowest CD in the game at 1s of not taking damage and her escape ability at the second lowest CD in the game at 2s? Moira could be said to have a weakness of low range healing but A: this affects her teammates, not her. B: Moira’s Orbs can have great map presence, her ultimate also has excellent range. The only hero who would find this a fault with Moira would be Pharah.
The thing that racks my brain thinking about this is that this is something no other healer has an intentional weakness that is having to use an incredible utility ability on yourself, with a long CD for sustain. As well as an over reliance on teammates to peel. The only other healer that might need help with attackers is Zenyatta, and he has fantastic damage. Ana’s damage is okay, somewhat mediocre considering it’s slow firing rate and inability to critical hit.
Ana deals with chip damage to herself very, very poorly. Fighting where she should be, mid to long range, she often has to go out her way to find an option to heal or stick with being an easier target to kill. Whereas Zenyatta fighting in the same position can take cover or even take the chances of not being hit again, to heal back this damage. All while his utility sticks in the fight.
I don’t think it’s fair that every other healer has an option for sustain that is easily accessed and not locked behind a very useful ability on a hefty cool-down. Why not create a self sustain passive that just isn’t as inherently strong as the other healers’ self sustain?
Click For Healing Mechanic/Out of LOS Discussion
Ana struggles from more than one thing that she alone struggles from, and this is a common theme with her. A big one that high level players I discuss with seems to be that while her healing is good and has potential to be overpowered as we’ve seen before, but it doesn’t suit the fast paced speed/dive. I might add that being versatile to provide for fast heroes such as dive comp is what makes another immobile hero, Zenyatta, so good for it.
Other healers have access to mechanics such as residual healing and grace periods that suit fast paced characters and Dive comp, characters that often leave Line of Sight or LOS. In fact, every single one has a mechanic like this. Let me list them for you.
Click For LOS Healing Mechanic Ex.
Moira: 3s Residual heal post healing spray application
Brigitte: Inspire applies a 5 second buff to anyone who meets the boundary requirements, after application, you are free to leave LOS and still be healed for these 5 seconds.
Zenyatta: 3s grace period after losing LOS in which harmony & discord stick to targets. Refreshed if Zenyatta restores LOS.
Mercy: 1.5s grace period post LOS break
Lucio: Song persists for a grace period similar to Mercy. His ultimate also briefly persists in several waves to catch people who shortly came into LOS after.
Now I get to a summary of why Ana’s design has potential, but is wonky.
Ana’s best potential, which can be seen in her most prevalent meta/s can is generally to not play as a sniper, but almost act like she has a shotgun to heal. Ana plays brawler range so people don’t have to lift their attention, or leave to peel for this infant that we call a sniper. When played like this, Ana gets quick help, quick heals, can focus on healing and not using her fantastic utility on herself, and just dies less.
When Ana does play like a sniper, she can’t defend her position. Sleep Dart is laughably unreliable which is why it’s so desirable to use it offensively than defensively. The gun has a delay and telegraphed animation before firing, it’s not instant. Virtually anyone who will be attacking Ana has an ability to mitigate or better yet turn it against her, at the press of a button, instantly. It’s visually react-able. I’m somewhat okay with this, it makes the ability more of a mind game situation that can be viewed as skilled. I’m just against it being listed as a great way to defend yourself in comparison to tools others have. As mentioned before she also cannot deal with the chip damage that she would be receiving playing on a perch, her healing massively gets punished by people who briefly leave LOS, soo why play her like a sniper?
Another thing that isn’t quite as big but Ana is still alone on is that she’s the only support that doesn’t have a self benefiting ultimate that helps the caster live or boost performance during.
So all in all, TLDR: Ana has many drawbacks that she alone suffers for, and of course some she isn’t alone for. Like dirt cheap sustain, inflexible healing for dive/fast characters, no mobility, sub-par damage that has slow ROF and can’t CRIT in exchange for… long range healing that nobody can find a place for? That’s her big strength? Before you tell me she has big girl heals Moira can heal more than pre-nade-nerf-Ana so shush. Not to mention the other big part- Anti-heal is practically non existent due to how much Ana has to use nade on herself especially in solo heals.