Table of Contents
- +Abilities and Strategy
- +Synergies and Matchups
On this page, you will find out how to properly play Mercy. From general playstyle advice, to more specific advice like ultimate usage or combos, we tell you everything we think matters to master your hero.
The other pages of our Mercy guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.
Mercy Playstyle Introduction
Although Mercy is seemingly a straightforward hero, there are a few decisions players can make that can change the tide of battle. Mercy players must understand the dynamics of every team fight to make crucial decisions about which ally to heal/damage boost with Caduceus Staff, when or who to Resurrect, and how to escape enemy fire. In fact, how a player answers these questions is what often makes the difference in their skill rating.
As with all Overwatch healers, where Mercy chooses to position herself is extremely important. Unlike Zenyatta and Ana, Mercy is not a true backline hero; on the other hand, Mercy is not a frontline healer (like Brigitte and Moira) either. Mercy is more of a mid-line hero, as she needs to sit behind the tanks, but must be in range of her frontline to heal them through damage. While her traditional position is clear, Mercy can use Guardian Angel to heal allies who are split from the team. Mercy can fly to her ally who needs help, heal them for a second or two, and return to her regular position in less than 4 seconds. This can be a useful tool as Mercy can seemingly assist her team no matter where they are on the map. However, if Mercy goes to heal a split ally, she should tell her other allies so they wait for her to get back before taking a fight.
An important positioning tip, if Mercy's team is playing near a corner, Mercy should try to get in a position where she can see and heal her team, but where she is out of line of sight of her enemies. There is no reason to stand in the open when Mercy's Caduceus Staff has a decent reach.
Mercy's Damage Boost vs Healing
As a healer, Mercy's main job is to ensure that her team stays alive. However, in some scenarios, using Caduceus Staff to damage boost an ally is the better play. For example, if a hero is using their ultimate, Mercy should consider damage boosting them through the ultimate in order to deal more damage. Damage boosting is also a helpful tool at the beginning of an engagement since no one has been injured yet. In fact, damage boosting a Junkrat or Widowmaker before a fight begins can help your team secure a pick, forcing the enemy team to either: attack a man down or wait for their teammate to respawn.
When to Use Mercy's Resurrect
Resurrect is a powerful ability, but knowing when to use Resurrect or when to wait for another opportunity is vital to Mercy play.
Here are clear cut times when Resurrect should not be used:
- When an ally dies in a compromised position (away from your team, near a lot of enemies).
- When the enemy team has a three-kill advantage.
- When the enemy team just took an objective (unless your team is grouped and only one of your allies is picked.
Here are clear cut times when Resurrect should be used:
- When an ally is picked near your team.
- When enemies move away from a dead ally and you can use Guardian Angel to fly over to them and bring them back to life.
- When it is the last team fight of the game (last ditch effort).
When Mercy Should Fight or Flee
Unlike some other healers, Mercy's mobility gives her the choice to quickly flee from enemies who try to take her out. However, in some circumstances it is better for Mercy to pull out her Caduceus Blaster and do some work.
Mercy should try to use Guardian Angel to flee when
- She is outmanned.
- An enemy has high kill potential (Doomfist, Genji, Reaper).
- She is attacked by a tank.
Mercy should fight when
- She has allies with her.
- The attacker is low.
- When an assailant's abilities will kill her before she can get an ally in her line of sight for Guardian Angel.
How Mercy Should Use Valkyrie
Since Valkyrie boosts all of Mercy's abilities, Mercy should use Valkyrie in the same way she typically plays without Valkyrie (with one major exception).
The priorities of Valkyrie Mercy, in order of general importance
- Damage boosting an ulting ally;
- Resurrecting a dead ally (if safe to do so);
- Chain healing allies;
- Killing an enemy.
The major exception in this list when compared to Mercy's normal duties is "killing an enemy". Since Mercy is typically reliant on her team to win team fights, she is often supposed to support her allies rather than hunt enemies. However, when Mercy is using Valkyrie, hunting enemies can extremely helpful as long as Mercy's team is alive and well. For example, Mercy can use Valkyrie to rush enemy healers like Zenyatta and Ana, securing a kill and dealing a blow to the enemy team's ability to heal. Additionally, Mercy can take on other heroes like Junkrat, Pharah, Soldier: 76, and McCree. However, as previously stated, killing enemies with Valkyrie should be the last thing on Mercy's mind in comparison to helping her team.
It should be noted that just because Mercy can fly, it does not mean she should. Mercy should not fly in the air when the player knows that an enemy hitscan dps has their ultimate, or when flying puts her in line of sight of an enemy Widowmaker/Hanzo.
When to Use Valkyrie
As Valkyrie is not a purely defensive ultimate, the utilization of Valkyrie will look different when compared to other healers' ultimates.
With that being said, Valkyrie should generally be used in the following situations:
- When an enemy uses a non-burst damage ultimate (Hanzo's Dragonstrike, Soldier: 76's Tactical Visor, Roadhog's Whole Hog, Bastion's Configuration: Tank).
- When an enemy uses a support ultimate at the start of a fight (Brigitte's Rally, Zenyatta's Transcendence, Mercy's Valkyrie, Lúcio's Sound Barrier, Moira's Coalescence).
- When multiple allies are low and the team fight is still ongoing.
- When an objective needs to be stalled before a checkpoint.
- When an ally gets picked in an unreachable (but safe) location where Valkyrie can be used to reach them for a Resurrect.
- When Mercy needs to escape an immediate (but non-threatening) enemy ability or ultimate and no allies are near for Guardian Angel (D.Va's Self-Destruct, Bastion's line of fire, Reaper in Wraith Form, Moira's Biotic Grasp (RMB)).
Valkyrie should generally not be used in the following situations:
- When an enemy uses a burst-damage ultimate (Junkrat's RIP-Tire, Pharah's Barrage, McCree's Deadeye, Doomfist's Meteor Strike, Reaper's Death Blossom, Tracer's Pulse Bomb).
- When Mercy is below 75 health (unless she is only targeted by one enemy).
- When an enemy uses a crowd control ultimate (the exception being Zarya's Graviton Surge depending on the scenario).
About our Author
Mournflakes is a flex Grandmaster Overwatch player who boasts a career high SR rating of 4433. His favorite heroes are Roadhog, Soldier: 76, and Ana. He has played Overwatch since its initial release, and has put over 700 hours into competitive play. When not writing guides, you can catch Mournflakes streaming on his Twitch channel.
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