‘Overwatch’ Competitive: The Current State of Supports

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With the latest patch finally available across all platforms, the new changes to Overwatch have slightly shifted the current competitive meta. Even though everyone’s favorite cyborg ninja Genji got hit pretty hard, three of the five support classes all got fairly big balance changes to their respective abilities. Now with the second season of the competitive mode released upon the masses, we are going to look at the different support classes to see where they currently stand.

It’s important to understand that the metas across consoles and PC are slightly different due to the lack of aim assist, reaction speeds, and the general performance of the platforms. It’s also important to consider team composition as that can factor into which healers work, since more groups typically run with a primary healer such as Lucio and an off healer like Ana or Zenyatta.

Here is where the current Overwatch support classes stand in the second competitive season.


Overwatch Lucio


Since the release of Overwatch Lucio has remained one of the most consistent support heroes picked, due to his impressive Area of Effect (AoE) healing and the ability to speed boost his allies. This made him a force to be reckoned with, especially when teams need to take critical points quickly and still have sustainability for fighting. Even though this update reduced his speed boosts effectiveness from 100% to 70%, it’s not enough of a hit to make him still not one of the most viable choices for a primary healer. The bump down to 70% only becomes noticeable when you need to push flanking routes like on Hollywood, but thankfully his healing abilities were not touched.

Even with this slight change, Lucio is still the best choice for a healer if your team needs one or if you are running a one support team composition. Sound Barrier is still an amazing ultimate for both reacting to a dire situation or helping give your team an edge when pushing into the point. Thankfully, Lucio is still reigning supreme as the support king.


Overwatch Mercy


Mercy has gone through some interesting changes since Overwatch’s release, as she was quickly replaced by Zenyatta once he received a buff in the latest patch. However, now that both Zenyatta and Mercy were adjusted, she is starting to see far more play than usual. Her healing increase to 20% allows Mercy to return as the best single target medic in the game, which was previously held by the support sniper Ana.

Her resurrection ability has also gotten a slight buff, allowing her allies to get into the fight sooner than previously. Both of these adjustments have caused her to see more play, especially for payload specific maps where a big resurrection can turn the tide of a fight. What’s interesting is due to her healing buff she can now run with Lucio once again as a side healer or even team up with a Zenyatta if you’re looking to easily out damage a team in a firefight.

Yet, there are still some problems when it comes to picking Mercy, such as her lack of survivability if she’s jumped on by a Trace, Genji, or Winston. If the team is unable to protect her, she can become a liability in a big team fight, especially since a Mercy is likely to be focused on first. While we don’t recommend running her for control point maps, she can be a great addition if you are attacking  or defending the payload. Mercy may not be what she was when Overwatch first released, but don’t count her out of the new meta just yet.


Overwatch Ana


Ana is an interesting hero due to her very versatile kit that can allow her to not only shut down opposing ultimates but perform some critical healing while not putting herself at risk. However, the problem with Ana is the person playing her needs to be an incredible shot to make sure she can help heal anyone who is in the middle in a firefight. Since her weapon is hitscan when aiming down the scope and a projectile when firing at the hip, this can make Ana a very tricky character to master. Not only that but her sleep dart can also be tricky to land and is really her only defense if a character closes the distance.

She can be a decent pick if you want to replace Zenyatta, but it’s important to get a lot of practice with her. Unless the player can land their shots consistently for healing, then she isn’t nearly as viable of a healer. Zenyatta’s Harmony and Dischord orbs are far more consistent for damage and healing, so don’t expect to see a ton of these as you climb up the rankings.


Overwatch Symmetra


Symmetra has felt completely out of place when it comes to the other support characters, especially since her only way to give the team sustainability are shields. Even though Symmetra can help hold down checkpoints, there are only a few maps where she is actually a viable pick over another healer. Hanamura, Volskaya Industries, and Hollywood are all great maps for Symmetra thanks to the chokepoints and hiding areas for your various turrets. Sadly, she is not useful for almost any control point map or even if you are attacking the payload. Symmetra should be considered a defense character when you are trying to figure out which hero to choose at the start of a match.


Overwatch Zenyatta


Out of all of the supports Zenyatta got hit the hardest, but don’t fret because this mechanized monk is still a powerhouse when used properly. Now that is Orb of Dischord’s debuff has been altered from 50% to 30%, it means targets will need to be focused more when fighting. However, Zenyatta’s base damage has increased from 40 to 46, meaning he will still output the same DPS he could before this patch.

In terms of his functionality, Zenyatta can still dominate a game if the player has good enough accuracy and situational awareness with the character. Even though the damage increase for the teammates is reduced, a player who can land headshots with Zenyatta can easily make up the 20% Orb of Dischord difference. Zen is viable as long as you have a primary healer like Lucio and Mercy since his own healing is far slower.

With these changes, the meta has shifted slightly with the various support classes, especially with regards to Mercy’s use. We still recommend always having two healers, but making it just Zenyatta and Lucio is no longer necessary. Mercy is a great swap out for Zenyatta and if you have a skilled enough player Ana can be useful as well. Just make sure to always note what your team’s hero choices are before deciding on a healer.