Mercy Guide: How To Be The Best Mercy In The World

Mercy Winged Victory Skin
“Heroes never die!”

Mercy is one of the most popular healers for good reason, when you know how to use her she is the perfect solo-healer, she can stay alive, she has a high rate of healing, and she can resurrect players. However, if you don't know how to use her she can die quickly and have little impact on the match. But don't worry, I will teach you how to be the best Mercy your team could hope for.

Strengths:

Regeneration:

Mercy's passive ability and as long as she doesn't take any damage for a second she will automatically start healing at a rate of 20 hit points per second.
Guardian Angel: due to Mercy's Valkyrie suit she can fly towards a targeted ally. This gives her the ability to quickly get to a comrade and heal them or to escape danger. Guardian Angel has a range of 30 meters and a cooldown of 1.5 seconds.

Resurrect:

With a range of 5 meters, cast time of 1.75 seconds, duration of 2.25 seconds, and a cooldown of 30 seconds resurrect, or often called “rez”, is a powerful ability. However, it can often be wasted. It is important to know how to use this ability well.

Caduceus Staff:

This is Mercy's main “weapon”, but it doesn't do any damage unless you punch someone with it. The purpose of the staff is healing and damage boost, and this is what you will want to use most of the time as Mercy. It has a range of 15 meters (30 during her ultimate), 10-meter radius during her ultimate, 60 healing per second, and it will stay locked on until disconnected or until the target is blocked for 2 seconds. It can also damage boost an ally 30%.

Caduceus Blaster:

Mercy's actual weapon. It's a relatively low-powered blaster with 20 damage per round, 20 rounds per clip, a reload time of 1.5 seconds, fire rate of 5 rounds per second, and it's a linear projectile with no spread that travels at 40 meters per second.

Valkyrie:

Valkyrie is Mercy's ultimate ability. While it has been nerfed, it is still highly powerful and very useful. It gives you the ability to fly at 9 meters per second, projectile speed increases to 80 meters per second, chain healing or damage boost multiple allies at once, resurrect will not be interrupted by damage taken, and it lasts for 15 seconds. It also removes cast time for Resurrect and removes the reduction in speed.

Weaknesses:

Mercy's health is relatively low at 200 hit points. This means if you can't get out of the line of fire long enough for her regeneration to kick in she doesn't last long before dying.
She is one of the slower moving heroes. If you're near your team and can use guardian angel to move around it isn't much of a problem. However, if you get separated it will be very hard to escape enemies.
Mercy tends to have a target on her back. When an enemy team is deciding whom to concentrate fire on, it will generally be Mercy. Until you learn how to evade their fire you may die a lot.
The blaster does very little damage unless an enemy is already at low health it will be hard to get a lot of kills. It is possible, especially if you are good at headshots, but if you have multiple enemies coming at you it's not your best bet for survival.

Strategy Overview:

Playing Mercy is all about positioning, awareness of your surroundings, analyzing whom to heal and when, and staying alive. It may seem as if she is a simple healer to pick up, however, there are a lot of tricks to playing her well. But, I am here to help!

Staying Alive:

Staying alive is the most important, keep this as your top priority. If the healer dies, then the rest of the team dies. Even if one or two of your teammates go down without you being able to resurrect them, if your team works together you should hopefully be able to keep everyone healed up until your teammates make it back to the point. You will have to take risks that may get you killed, but analyze the situation first and decide if it's worth the risk of the healer going down to resurrect another player or to get a few blaster shots in.

Positioning:

When playing a healer, especially Mercy, positioning is vital. This will both help you stay alive and help you keep your teammates healed. You want to stay near the back of the group, but not the very back. It's preferable to have someone behind you, in case you get flanked they can watch your back. You don't want to have your team overly spread out, otherwise, you won't be able to use Guardian Angel to zip from teammate to teammate both to heal and to escape dangerous situations.

Try to position yourself behind objects such as vehicles, walls, or the payload to use as an indestructible shield when possible. This is helpful especially to avoid sniper shots or in case your shield tank loses their shield. But, make sure you don't stay still. It's best to keep moving in seemingly random directions and jumping so that way if someone does fire at you-you're not as easy of a target.

Surrounding Awareness:

Staying aware of your surroundings can help you in every area: positioning, staying alive, and deciding whom to heal. Try to learn the layout of all the maps so that way you know where to escape to or where you might be flanked from. Try to keep an eye on where all of your teammates are at, this way you won't get separated and you can decide who at any given moment is most important to heal. And, try to keep an eye on where all members of the enemy team are and which heroes they are playing.

Who to Heal:

Deciding whom to heal can vary from game to game, but in general, there are certain heroes you want to heal before others. Firstly, if someone is critical you usually want to get them at least stable.
Your tank's job is to absorb damage for your team, so always try to keep an eye on your tank and prevent their health from dropping too low.
If your team has a secondary healer it's also a good idea to try to keep each other healed in case one of you goes down, that way your team will hopefully always have at least one healer alive.
And then, of course, your DPS. They can more easily flank around the map and find health packs, but they also tend to be “squishes” where they don't have very high health, so when possible try to keep their health at least half full. Sometimes you may have to just partially heal everyone when tight on time before working on topping everyone off.

Taking Advantage of Mercy's Strengths:

Regeneration:

Mercy's regeneration will start after 1 second of not taking damage. That might not seem very long, however, when bullets are flying and the enemy is all around it can be hard to stop taking damage long enough. To take advantage of her regeneration try to always have someone you can zip to with Guardian Angle or something you can quickly hide behind.

Guardian Angel:

Guardian Angel has a 30-meter radius, it will take practice, but try to get a feel for how far that is so that you don't get out of range from a teammate. You can also learn to slingshot or bunny hop by pressing jump near the end of Guardian Angel. This will cause you to move further and faster.

Resurrect:

Learning when to and when not to resurrect is important since this is a powerful ability on a long cooldown.
If your team is trying to defend a point and everyone is taking cover and fighting behind your shield tank, for instance, Orisa, and they go down then in that instance you need your shield tank back in order to help keep everyone alive.
If you have two different DPS heroes down then often it is better to choose to resurrect one that can more easily keep themselves alive, such as Reaper who has a passive healing ability instead of Genji.
Another factor to take into consideration is how each member of your team is doing. If you have a Widowmaker who no matter how much you heal her just keeps making mistakes and getting herself killed, it's usually best to stop resurrecting them so that way you can resurrect people who are actually helping.

Valkyrie:

There is little as frustrating as seeing someone waste a Valkyrie when it's unneeded, and then later having your team die because it was already used up. But, when is it best to use?
1. When your team is pushing onto a point. If, for instance, your team is trying to take the point on Horizon Lunar Colony it is good to save Valkyrie for when your entire team is around you and you are storming the point. It will help keep everyone healed up and alive longer, hopefully causing your push to be a success.
2. When being overwhelmed by holding a point. If your team is trying to defend a point, such as Temple of Anubis or a choke point on Blizzard World, but your team begins to lose the high ground and needs a boost to continue holding the point pop your ult and it can turn everything around. Suddenly your team is able to stay alive and outlast the enemy's push.

Combating Mercy's Weaknesses:

Low Health:

Mercy's health isn't very high, however, it's also not abnormally low. She is considered one of the “squishy” characters in terms of HP. But, as the healer, it's often not ideal to have to stop healing or damage boosting your team in order to find a health pack. Thankfully, she has to ability to regenerate HP.
To stay alive it's often best to use obstacles such as walls, the payload, or shields in order to hide long enough for your HP to regenerate. This way you can still stick with your team but take care of yourself as well.
But, still, learn all the health pack locations! These will save your life at times when you get yourself in a tight situation.

Slow Speed:

While Mercy may not be able to walk very quickly, the Guardian Angel and slingshot ability greatly increases mobility. These will help keep both you and your team alive. I can not stress enough: learn to slingshot yourself back and forth across a battlefield. Say your team is storming the point on Eichenwald. Friend and foe are scattered all across the point and nowhere is safe. However, with slingshot, you can sling yourself high into the air from one friend to the next as you heal, and because you're not staying still it makes it hard for the enemy to hit you.

Blaster:

Don't take too many risks. There are some amazing battle Mercys, but you have to remember your primary goal is to keep your team alive. Sometimes that will be with your blaster, but often it is with your staff. However, when the need arises for you to take out the enemy aim and not wasting rounds are what will save you. Practice being able to quickly aim and get headshots, as those do more damage. You also don't want to just hold down the trigger and shoot aimlessly, you may get hits in, but then you will be vulnerable while you're reloading.

Moving Target:

There are some heroes that just always have a target on their back, and the enemy will focus on them. Mercy is one such hero, being a powerful healer with quite a bit of visibility due to her Valkyrie suit. But, you can be less of a target by learning how to take advantage of your surroundings to hide while still healing, positioning yourself correctly among your teammates and not rushing to the forefront, and by not staying still.
A still Mercy is a dead Mercy. When possible try to switch between multiple hiding spots so that the enemy doesn't know where you are. Use slingshot so they have a harder time pinning you down. And, even when staying in the same spot don't stop moving. If you're hiding behind the side of a building step back and forth in a random pattern so that if there's a sniper they have a harder time getting a headshot.

Tips and Tricks:

  • Configure the individual hero settings to help you play your best. The settings are extremely personal and different for everyone, but here is a great video to help you get started:

     

  • Learn when to put your foot down with a teammate. If someone, such as a Reaper, wants you to pocket heal them in a suicide mission sometimes you just have to say “no”.
  • Use your microphone. This is a team based game, and communicating with your team is vital.
  • Make call outs. As the healer you have to be extremely aware of your surroundings, this makes you the perfect person to call out where the enemy is and whom they are playing.
  • Learn when to retreat. If your team is staggering out of spawn one after another and you keep dying because you aren't grouped up retreat and wait for your full team before continuing to fight the enemy.
  • Remember to damage boost. This is a powerful tool but often forgotten. Just know that if you damage boost Torbjörn or Symmetra it won't boost their turrets and boosting Junkrat won't boost his Rip-Tire.
  • If you have multiple healers it can be helpful to assign different teammates to each so that you can more effectively divide the work.
  • Call out when you die, so that your team knows it will be a minute before you can continue to heal them.
  • Prioritize healing heroes who can't heal themselves. For instance, if you have both a Reinhardt and a Roadhog prioritize healing Reinhardt.

There is a reason the pros still play Mercy even after she was nerfed. She is still a versatile and powerful healer that can turn a game around. With practice, you can become a top-notch Mercy that your teammates don't want to be without.

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Whether it's pulling out my blaster and getting some headshots in or using my staff to heal, I'm always there to protect my team all while writing, gaming, and watching anime.
Gamer Since: 1999
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Overwatch
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