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The Mercy Meta: OWL Pro Thoughts (Manneten, CWoosH, Custa, and Verbo)

By Josh Lee
Dec 15, 2017
OWL Pros Manneten, CWoosH, Custa, and Verbo share their thoughts on the current "Mercy Meta".

CONTEXT: Mercy's playrate in professional play skyrocketed following her rework a few months ago. Even following some nerfs, she still remains the most-played support at the professional level.

OWL Pro Player Thoughts

Stefano "Verbo" Disalvo (VAL Support): I think the current state of the game is more slow paced since obviously you know you're not running Lucio as often so you're not really giving speed to the rest of your teammates. It also extends the fights because when you have Valkyrie you can resurrect two of your teammates or you can resurrect one if you don't have your ultimate up. So it's just prolonging and slowing down the pace of the game.

Blitz: Do you like that?

Not really. I kind of like how some teams can have a strict plan before a fight happens. But with a Mercy resurrect there's too many different factors that can play into the fight and it's hard to tell before the fight actually starts.

Tim "Manneten" Bylund (MAYHEM Flex): Personally I think the game is in an OK state. Mercy is obviously very OP, I think she needs some tuning of course but overall I think there is a lot of flexing. You can flex as off-tank, main-tank. All the roles can flex a lot which is good. I think that's what the game is supposed to be, but right now Mercy is a bit OP.

Johan "CWoosH" Klingestedt (MAYHEM Flex):
I agree, the game is in a super good spot except, as Mana said, the Mercy might be a bit too strong. But yeah, it's super fun as a tank player to be able to flex to whatever is needed. And I'm sure support players, they get to flex around a lot as well. DPS. It's really good right now. rates on a lot of the gas.

Scott "Custa" Kennedy (FUEL Support): I think it's kind of unfortunate that Mercy's still almost a must-pick, because you know the ability to rez is super strong. But you know it's sort of switching the play up a little bit. It's good to see a lot of Junkrat, something new, even if it is a little strong at times. But it's exciting to see patches. I think in the future you'll see a couple of balance patches that hopefully make a lot of other things more viable. So it's good to see the meta evolving and not just staying the same.

Blitz Take

Josh (Blitz Lead Overwatch Producer):
Personally, I think Mercy's hilariously unfun to watch in professional play and incredibly frustrating to play into in my own games. I thought she was annoying enough pre-rework, but at least her Resurrect was gated by its status as an ult. The fact that Res is now a basic ability shifts so much power to her early game and virtually negates those big early-game plays that Attacking teams rely on. Who cares if a Widowmaker gets a dirty jumpshot when you know the enemy Mercy's just gonna Res them anyway?

Not to mention, she's almost unkillable when she uses her Valkyrie. With all of the other ults, there are a number of soft counters. But, given how mobile Mercy is during her Valk and how quickly she regenerates health, you're almost forced to save a Deadeye or a Tactical Visor to counter her - even then, it's not a guarantee.

Sharon (Blitz Editor-in-Chief): The general rule of balance is that all gameplay should provide the opponent the opportunity to counter. The latest patch finally added this to some extent -- Mercy is slowed for a while while she rezzes, giving opponents opportunity to interrupt.

But there still exists a counter gap here, and that's when you take into account snipers or lone divers - like Widow or Tracer. These are heroes whose entire purpose is to get a kill in scenarios in which they (most likely) can't stop the Mercy rez. In this case, a hero is shutting down two playstyles with no option for counter.

Adding salt to the wound is this: No other healer really deflates entire, crucial playstyles like Mercy does, while also outputting massive amounts of primary healing.

So yeah, we could use a tuning.

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Josh Lee profile
Josh Lee
Josh is the lead Overwatch Producer at Blitz Esports. He's also been spotted casting a few Overwatch and League of Legends tournaments.
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