Overwatch How To Mercy – Mercy In Depth Guide ft. Vale
Hey! If you are looking for an in depth Mercy guide and want to learn how to perform better with Mercy, learn from the best. Vale is a Top50 player on NA with Mercy and he climbed there from gold on his own with his first account with various supports, mainly Mercy. This video is explaining Mercy in-depth and all the things you need to know about how to be good in the competitive ladder with her in solo queue. If you want to learn Mercy, we have you covered! Mercy tips and tricks, best practices and settings.
Vale’s twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/vale_ow
Overbuff profile: https://www.overbuff.com/players/pc/Vale-1195?mode=competitive
Hey there! This is a special episode brought to you by Vale, a top50 Mercy main who managed to solo queue climb from gold to become one of the best ranked Mercy players in NA in only two seasons. We are sharing his secrets in this video, so if you are a Mercy main or just want to see a success story, keep watching!
Hello guys, welcome to the dojo! First of all, a big shoutout for the creator of this episode, Vale. You can find his contacts in the description below, make sure to visit his stream by clicking on the card showing right now. He is streaming the matches interactively, so make sure to bomb him with questions when he is online.
Alrighty, as you heard it in the intro, we are going to share what there is to know for anyone wanting to climb with Mercy. Vale’s peak rank is top50 on NA, and he climbed a lot from where he started to become the number one Mercy on Overbuff. This guide is about how to climb as a Mercy main, written with love and from a lot of experience. So let’s get to the guide. We are going to start with understanding the core philosophy of Mercy.
Core Mercy Philosophy
As a Mercy your goal above all else is to stay alive. This is multitudes more important when you have rez as well. Dying an unintentional death while holding an important rez is one of the worst things a Mercy can do. What this means is that you need to play with the mindset that your life is the most important on your team. A good enemy team will be thinking the same way as well. As the saying goes, “You kill the Mercy 1st or you kill her 11th.” In practice this means that you need to make judgment calls every time you put yourself in sight of the enemy. Is there a Genji way too over-extended and about to die in enemy territory? If there is even a moderate chance that attempting to save him will result in your own death, you need to leave him to die. It seems unnatural at first, but you will learn in most situations if it is possible for him to escape he will and if it isn’t you will just end up not only failing to save him, but dying yourself as well, changing a 5v6 with rez to a 4v6 without rez for your team, essentially throwing the point.
Support the team
You are not a DPS character. It is not your job to get kills. It is not your job to chase enemies. It is your job to keep your team alive and winning fights and you do that by healing and damage boosting them. A HUGE thing many Mercy players do not capitalize on is the damage boosting part of that sentence. If your allies are at full health, damage boost them immediately! Even if it is only for half a second, every moment of damage boosting can help. Likewise if you have a purpled ally, there is nothing your healing beam can do for them. Switch to damage boosting if no one else is damaged and switch back to healing only when the purple is worn off or you know the timing is less than a second from wearing off. If you don’t know without a doubt you should use your pistol, you should not use it. As an extreme example of how much Mercy’s pistol usage is not needed here is a Mercy (a good friend of Vale), who managed to reach top 500 without firing their pistol so much as a single time in their entire life. https://www.overbuff.com/players/pc/Mercy-13986?mode=competitive .
We are going to talk more about this in the section about when to go battle Mercy.
Stay out of sight
A way Vale likes to tell students how to think about their positioning is to imagine an enemy Soldier 76 always using his ult. Any time you cross an open space alone it should be a very calculated risk and done with Guardian Angel. A good Mercy never wants to stand in the middle of the fight, but silently out of line of sight to support her team from safety.
Before diving deeper into how to Mercy however, we need to make sure your settings are configured the way they should. Of course these are mostly personal preference, but it may help you to see how a top player uses these settings.
First of all, set Allied Health Bars on (Honestly there should not be anyone having this off, but it’s just beneficial to be able to see the health of your allies.)
The next is Toggle Beam Connection. Set this on, as this is a quality of life change more than anything else. It will make sure you keep the beam on as long as possible and will save your fingers from getting sore holding down left or right click all the time. However, toggling this off can be a benefit when toggling Guardian Angel Prefers Beam Target: On.
Continuing with the settings, Guardian Angel Prefers Beam Target is really a personal preference. Vale personally keep this toggled off as it works best for his style of play, however, it is not incorrect to keep it on. What this does is lets you fly towards your current beam target instead of who you are looking at. Many argue this gives you increased mobility since the beam target does not have to be in line of sight and you can be saved from falling off a cliff, jumping in and out of the hole in Oasis, or going around corners to escape, and so forth. So why don’t Vale and many others use it? Because you sacrifice other mobility, additional healing/dmg boosting, or quality of life in order to do it. When you prefer the beam target you give up the ability to easily hop between teammates. To fly a new teammate means you have to either currently have your beam on them or no one. Let’s imagine an example scenario. You get caught in Zarya’s grav along with your beam target, but there is a friendly Pharah in sight. The only way you can fly to her is if break your beam connection with a punch (if toggling beam connection), wasting a very precious second that could lead to you dying. What if you keep toggle beam connection off though? Wouldn’t it be better? Well, then you run into another problem. Sure, you can stop healing quickly and then jump to the Pharah, but now your beam is on the Pharah, who doesn’t need it, your grav’d teammates do. If you had prefer beam target off, you would have the additional use of healing someone as you run away from them to safety. This can absolutely save teammate lives while keeping yourself safe. As one could imagine, these situations happen way more often than just Zarya ults. In general, prefer beam target off is best for the average solo player, but duo queuers (particularly those who like to pocket their Pharah friend) should look into toggling this option on.
The next is Toggle Guardian Angel: Off. This is something that is not a matter of preference. You should always have this toggled off to give yourself additional mobility. Not only is it easier to move exact partial distances towards a teammate (so you fly into healing range, but not directly into the center of the fight) but the biggest reason to have this option toggled off is because it will give you the option to hold down the guardian angel key in order to use it the second you see a teammate. By doing this you can escape otherwise certain death because you only need to see an ally for a single frame and don’t have to worry about precise reaction timing. If you’re falling to your death an ally often will accidentally wander into place to save you for a frame or two, likewise if you’re running away with someone chasing you you can escape that half-second faster to your ally around the corner by Guardian Angel triggering right at the frame you come into their sight. Likewise it will help you catch up to your allies who are rounding corners quickly in front of you.
The next one, sensitivities are personal preference. Try adjusting them to how you best find yourself effective with them. Vale personally keeps both Guardian Angel and Beam sensitivity to 100% and has no complaints.
That’s about the basics and settings. We want to mention here that if you are looking for dedicated private coaching to significantly accelerate your improvement, support the Overwatchdojo channel on Patreon and claim your coaching rewards. Click on the card right now!
When to Battle Mercy
So when is the correct time to bring out the pistol and go on a Battle Mercy rampage? Very rarely. In general, your average player will only ever want to go and bring out the pistol if there is no other option. For example, if you are caught alone with a flanker and it’s fight or die. Many times you’ll still die, but with some good positioning (breaking LoS to heal or getting healthpacks), luck, and aim, you can win more fights than you’d think. That being said, I always try to avoid the flanker by jumping to the safety of a teammate and calling out the flanker to my team. But rarely is not never. Here are some good examples of when you might want to use your pistol:
Finishing off an enemy while everyone is safe. If there is an annoying Lucio jumping around the objective stalling in overtime and your team can’t seem to hit him, go ahead and help try and kill him to ensure the victory before his team makes it back. If there is a purple enemy with low health trying to get away, help your team finish him off with a few shots.
Helping to win the Reinhardt shield battle for your team. Often times you’ll find both teams safely behind Rein shields. A quick 20 shots to the enemy shield will often times out damage any damage boosting you could do since you’re likely to hit all 20 shots and the difference can help win the incoming engagement.
And of course, perhaps the #1 reason to use a pistol: to get the last bit of ult charge for a fight winning rez. Sometimes you will find your entire team dead around you, 95% ult, and no one to heal in order to get off that game saving rez. The only correct option left here is to take out your pistol and shoot the easiest target to hit (regardless of health) until you get your ult.
When NOT to Battle Mercy
You also need to understand when NOT to go battle Mercy by any means. Essentially NEVER bring out your pistol when your team needs healing. Even if you think you have yourself an easy kill, don’t. Your job is a healer, not DPS. Keep your teammates alive and let them worry about finishing off the enemy.
You almost never want to shoot an enemy farther than your healing beam can reach. Further than that and you are definitely going to be doing less damage than simply damage boosting an ally.
Here are some additional tips to help you:
- You don’t have to reload your pistol and shouldn’t. After firing some shots just switch back to your healing staff and the pistol will automatically be reloaded after a few seconds. The only time you don’t want to use this to your advantage is when fighting a flanker attacking you.
- Almost never shoot someone outside of healing beam range, chances are you will do almost no damage and simply charge the enemy healer’s ult.
How to effectively use your ult
So let’s talk about your bread and butter, the Resurrect. The amount of people rezzed by your ultimate is not important. There are amazing one man rezzes and absolute garbage 5 man rezzes. The question a good Mercy player will ask themselves before using their ult is this, “Will my rez win us this team fight?” The way you determine that is taking a quick look at the situation. How many people are alive on each time? What ults do they have? How close are the respawn points? Let’s take a look at some examples and why they are good or bad:
The first example is the following: You are in a team fight where your Reinhardt and Soldier 76 trade themselves for the enemy Rein and 76. If you rez now you turn a 4v4 into a 6v4, have a shield to hide behind, and your main DPS pushing the enemy. This is good because they won’t stand a chance and you will then go on to win the team fight.
Now let’s take another example: let’s say this time you lose your Ana, Reinhardt, and Soldier 76. However, Roadhog died out of range and will have to be running back to the fight and you didn’t get any kills yet. You can get a triple rez, should you do it? No. This is a bad rez because what will happen is you will be using your ult to push a 5v6 fight that is likely to be lost. Now you wasted your ult and your team has to wipe again before they can reset. Even worse, at the lower leagues that Roadhog will likely try to help his dying team too late due his late spawn and end up dying and staggering your team an additional 20 seconds.
Another one. Now let’s say it is Hanamura point 1 defense and your only other support is Symmetra who dies with her ult. The enemy flanker is on you and you are about to die. This is a great time to rez. By rezzing you will be able to give your team a teleporter that can turn around the fight, you can use the rez invulnerability to escape the flanker, and you can continue to keep your team alive until the teleporter edges out the team fight victory.
Finally, the most important example, your team is gathering in front of Temple of Anubis point 2 gate when a D.Va ult wipes out 4 members of your team. Do you rez all 4 and push in or retreat and regroup? Absolutely retreat. If you were to use your rez it would still be a 6v6 and the only thing you would be doing is saving your team a 15 second walk back. It’s much more beneficial to save that rez for reinforcing the next push on the point where you can gain the numbers advantage with a well-timed ult.
How to position yourself
Positioning is the most important skill a Mercy player can have. Earlier I mentioned Vale tells his students to pretend there is always an enemy Soldier 76 ulting, always avoid the enemy’s line of sight. If they can see you for even a moment, you can often times die quickly and throw the fight for your team. An extremely helpful tip for using Mercy’s beam is that it lasts for a short duration even after line of sight is broken. This means you can consistently heal someone around a corner by only barely poking into their line of sight before heading back into cover over and over. This should absolutely be done whenever possible.
As Mercy you almost NEVER want to be too close to your team. Being in the center or front of your team will especially result in a quick death in most situations. If you are in front of your team you will be melted down quickly by the enemy DPS. If you are in the center of your team you leave yourself extremely vulnerable to being killed in an AOE ultimate (such as grav or earthshatter).
So the ideal place to heal/dmg boost your team from is about 5m within max beam distance. This allows you to comfortably keep your beam on your target, but from a safe distance that won’t get you killed whenever your team is wiped by an enemy ultimate. This distance also serves to save you in case of a flanker attacking. If you find yourself being attacked by a flanker you have a comfortable distance to fly to your allies and survive.
The next tip is to never stand still. Even if you are safe behind cover, out of line of sight, that can change in a single moment. With only 200 health you will die nearly instantly to a couple well placed headshots. Always be shifting around even if it’s just a few stutter steps back and forth. The only exception is when your team is getting wiped and you want to make sure to hide well to rez them when it is time. By standing still, you don’t give any noise and you can go in for a quick rez from your hiding spot.
You can also abuse Guardian Angel. Often times you can’t be behind the ideal cover you want because several teammates need you at once or there are flankers actively trying to kill you. In which case, never run if you can help it. Guardian Angel EVERYWHERE. Dashing between targets not only creates space which gives you time to self-heal and allies time to kill your pursuer, but it will make you a very difficult target to hit, especially if you learn to stop short and change Guardian Angel targets quickly.
The last one is: always know where your Pharah is. Your Pharah is your get out of jail free card. Being able to instantly fly away vertically can save you from most attackers. This also works with snipers who tend to position on high grounds or characters like Genji or Winston who jump around a lot. If you know where they are, you are going to be able to save yourself using their elevated positions to fly to.
How to hide
The last part is about how to hide. As a Mercy you should not be needing to hide very often. It is a myth that the second Mercy gets rez she should hide. Often times it is much better to stay healing your team and rezzing the one or two people who may die in the fight than hiding and going for a 5 man rez. This is much more reliable because when hiding too much you will often times find your team die staggered, either too far apart in location or timing. As a result, you can lose a fight you otherwise would have won if you just stayed healing in it. Sometimes no rez is needed at all, you can just win teamfights with staying and healing or boosting your teammates.
Okay, but what do we mean by hiding? You should STOP ALL HEALING AND DAMAGE BOOSTING. Yes, even if that means an ally might die. Remove all line of sight your enemy has on you. Create space greater than your beam distance, but less than your guardian angel limit between you and your allies. Preferably have a corner you can move around if spotted. Keep the allied line of sight in mind as well. It is very important to be able to guardian angel to your team quickly after you are done hiding.
So when should you hide? Game-ending fights / ult fights. If your team is sitting on the koth point with 99% the other team HAS to use everything they can to win the fight, they won’t be holding back any ultimate abilities, cooldowns, or players. This means when the point is 95% or you are defending 2CP with 30 seconds left on the clock, you should be getting into a hiding position, wait for the enemy team to use all their ultimates to clear your team, then fly in, rez, and turn the team fight completely in your favor. Ult fights in general are good to hide for as well, but predicting when the enemy team has multiple ultimate abilities they plan to use can be difficult before high masters, so it shouldn’t be done until you are comfortable enough with your game sense to justify the hide.
Other scenarios are every time you hear a hunting ult activate. You should immediately drop everything and hide. What is a hunting ult? An ultimate where the number one objective is often times to kill you (the Mercy). Such ults are Soldier 76’s visor, Junkrat’s tire, and Genji’s blade. Other ults can be worth hiding from, but these are the absolute most important to avoid. Remember, they are looking to kill you specifically!
A quick note on pocketing
A quick note on “pocketing”: Pocketing should never mean solely being dedicated to a single person and absolutely no one else. Doing this will put your team at a needless disadvantage. Instead, what pocketing should mean is having your default / priority target for healing and damage boosting being a single hero (usually Pharah). When you have no one to heal, damage boost your pocket. When two people need healing equally, heal your pocket first. Otherwise your job as a support for your team is unchanged, just because you have a Pharah does not mean you should let your tanks die because Lucio can only tickle them with his healing music so fast.
That concludes our Mercy guide. Hope you guys enjoyed it, and again a very big thanks for Valethera for creating the content for this episode. If you are looking for teammates to duo Mercy with, or just want to be a part an Overwatch community thriving for improvement, join the Overwatchdojo Discord now! As usual, like and share, and leave your comments below! See you guys next time!