Mercy, or a lack thereof: An In-depth guide! (WIP) by Tiffles

Mercy, or a lack thereof: An In-depth guide! (WIP)

By: Tiffles
Last Updated: Aug 30, 2016
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Mercy Abilities


An Introduction Top

Hullo, everyone. I'm Tiffles and I'll be your guide today.

For those of you who want to check my credibility as a Mercy player, I humbly present to you my MasterOverwatch page.

Truthfully, it looked much more impressive when the score metric was available. All you need to know is that before the score metric was retired, I was ranked #28 in NA, and at the time of writing, I'm #27 for total healing done, with an average per-game healing of 6500.

I don't claim to be the best Mercy out there, I'm probably very far from it. But I do claim to be a dedicated Mercy main who understands her mechanics in vivid detail, and I consider myself well qualified to teach people who want to learn, and improve.

Now we have the formalities aside, let's get right into the guide, shall we?

(As of right now, I haven't done any real formatting. I'm well aware the guide looks ugly. Rest assured, I intend to get this done once I've published the guide, had some feedback, and made any necessary corrections and adjustments.)

(If there's anything at all you want me to add, just let me know and I'll get on it. I can answer questions, write up extra sections, maybe even post pictures and videos if necessary to spruce the guide up.)

Who is Mercy? Top

Mercy is, in a nutshell, the dedicated healer of the Overwatch roster. She has the best single-target healing in the game and the ability to resurrect allies. She can also provide a damage boost to her team and can use her sidearm to defend herself when need be.

As for her lore, for those of you interested, Mercy (Real name Angela Ziegler) is a Swiss scientist / surgeon whose parents were killed in war. As such, she is an advocate for peace. Her expertise in applied nano-biology attracted the attention of Overwatch and, despite the force's militaristic approach to peace, she joined up to save lives on a larger scale.

Angelic Descent Top

Angelic Descent

[*] Passively recovers 20hp per second after 3 seconds of not taking damage
[*] Allows Mercy to descend more slowly by holding the Jump button while falling
[*] Allows Mercy to view allies' health through walls and objects (as with any other healer)

While a relatively simple ability on paper, it's still a solid ability and when combined with Guardian Angel, this ability should not be overlooked.

Firstly, Mercy heals out of combat. This is fantastic because it means that you can not only survive extended engagements, it also means you never have to leave the team to grab yourself a health pack. If you begin sustaining damage in a fight, take cover behind your allies and continue to heal and boost them, and you'll be back up to full health in no time.

It's really easy to take this Regen ability for granted. Whenever I play other heroes, I'm too used to having out of combat HP regen and so I often end up forgetting about my health altogether. Needless to say, it's not the healthiest mindset (Subtle pun, completely intended.)

Up next is your ability to descend more slowly. Unlike Pharah's Hover ability, Mercy cannot gain any elevation simply by holding down the jump button. She can, however, use it to stay away from the ground for extended periods of time.

The obvious advantage is that while you're in the air, you're more difficult for enemies to spot, and projectile based attackers will struggle to get a bead on you seeing as they're having to lead you in 3d space, as opposed to 2d. However, the disadvantage is that by descending more slowly, you're actually an easier target when the enemy does manage to spot you; you're easy pickings for a McCree or a Soldier:76 who can see you. Mercy's air control isn't nearly as precise or responsive as Pharah's either, and she's much slower to change her direction.

Therefore, I recommend you to hover only when the enemy don't know where you are. The second the enemy catches onto you, either drop to the ground or fly to a distant ally in order to avoid the enemy.

Also, you can use the descent to jump across some gaps, with the "Moat" around the control point on Lijiang Tower's Garden map being the best example.

Guardian Angel Top

Guardian Angel

[*] Allows Mercy to fly to distant allies (living and dead) that she can see
[*] Has a range of 30 meters
[*] Has a cooldown of 2 seconds

Your Resurrect may be your most game changing ability, but this is what actually enables it. Being able to fly to allies, whether they're alive or dead, makes Mercy an incredibly mobile support. Situationally, she can even be more difficult to track than [Lucio] when played correctly.

The most important thing to remember about Guardian Angel is that you will automatically fly to wherever your target was when you began your flight. This means that if you fly towards a retreating [Reinhardt], you'll often wind up on the wrong direction of his shield if you're not careful.

Luckily for you, Guardian Angel can be cancelled by either releasing shift, or re-activating the ability mid-flight. This corresponds to your Mercy-specific settings in the controls menu.

When cancelling your flight, be wary; Mercy will keep all of her flight momentum going, and continue to travel forwards until she touches the ground. While this can occasionally put you in danger, it can also cause you to reach your targets more quickly. Mercy will automatically slow down as she approaches her target if you allow the flight to complete its course, but by cancelling the flight early you will continue to move towards or even past your target at full speed. This is incredibly useful if you are flying through the air, allowing you to travel greater distances in a shorter amount of time.

When contesting or defending a Control Point, this ability can be incredibly useful for keeping yourself alive. By constantly darting around the area, especially on maps with verticality (Hanamura's objective B is a fantastic example) you can build up a lot of flight momentum and evade most enemy attacks with ease, while still being able to keep allies at good health, and keeping away from danger when your ultimate is available.

As a final tip, always be fully aware of where your team is. Your ability to see allies through walls makes this immensely easy. Always have an escape route planned, whether you're retreating towards your frontline tanks, your snipers in the backline, your Pharah in the air or even towards a flanker behind enemy lines, never be without an ally to escape to. In addition, when an enemy is close to you, flying to an ally behind them is a great way to disorient them and often makes it really easy to escape danger.

Caduceus Staff (Healing and Damage Boost) Top

Caduceus Staff (Healing)

[*] Heals 50hp per second to targeted ally
[*] Has a range of 15 meters
[*]Lasts until cancelled, the target leaves the beam's range or the target moves out of line of sight.

Caduceus Staff (Damage Boost)

[*]Boosts a targeted ally's damage by 30%
[*]Has a range of 15 meters
[*]Lasts until cancelled, the target leaves the beam's range or the target moves out of line of sight.

You'll spend 90% of the game with your Staff equipped. This is your primary supportive tool and it does a lot of cool things. It boasts the highest non-ultimate single target heal in the game (Though Zenyatta's transcendence heals twice the amount to all allies in range) and it also possesses one of only two means of boosting an ally's damage in the game. These are two of her 3 core kit components, the other being her Rez ability, but we'll look at that later.

Learning to use your Caduceus Staff effectively should be your top priority when trying to learn Mercy. Though it's incredibly easy to use, using it to its most effective degree requires a good deal of practice and skill, in addition to a good sense of situational awareness. Learning which allies to prioritize and which allies to leave to their own devices is incredibly important. While you can indeed save everyone, it's sometimes best not to risk it. After all, without you, your team is sure to crumble sooner or later and you'll likely end up giving the enemy an easy advantage by dying.

It's also important to note what Mercy can and can not damage buff. As a general rule, damage buffing a hitscan attack will work normally. However, damage buffing a projectile or delayed attack will only work so long as you are damage boosting the ally when the attack connects. For example, Damage Boosting a Hanzo as he fires an arrow, but disconnecting the beam before the arrow connects, will result in the damage boost not applying to the arrow. Damage boosting a Hanzo after he fires an arrow, but as the arrow connects, will cause the arrow to gain the 30% bonus damage. Damage Boosts also apply to Damage over Time, and Splash damage. They do NOT apply to "pets" (Such as deployed Turrets) For a complete overview of what you can and cannot damage boost, see the Damage Boost section.

Worthy of note is the fact that, once you are linked to an ally, you don't need to continue looking at them to maintain your connection, or even switch from one beam to another. In addition, there is an option in Mercy's Controls section that allows you to jump to your beamed target without having to turn to face them. However, with this setting active, if you want to jump to a different ally you will first need to disconnect your beam. By disabling this setting, you have the opposite effect; You can jump to other allies without disconnecting your beam, but if you want to jump to your linked ally, you will need to face them as normal. This comes down to personal preference really, with the setting being disabled giving slightly more control. However, I prefer to keep it enabled, just as it's what I'm used to at this point.

Finally, even if an ally moves out of line-of sight or out of range, the link will remain and the ally will continue to receive the benefits for a short time before the beam disconnects. Just a little tidbit worth mentioning.

Caduceus Blaster Top

Caduceus Blaster

[*] Fires Medium-Speed linear projectiles with no recoil or spread
[*] Deals 20 Damage per shot with no falloff and can achieve critical hits
[*] Fires 5 rounds per second with a 20 round clip and a reload time of 1 second

Mercy's pistol may seem lackluster but it's actually incredibly versatile in the right hands. It's most easily compared to []'s Light Gun. However, while's sidearm fires faster, it deals 6 less damage per shot and takes slightly longer to reload. Provided every projectile connects, Mercy's blaster will actually deal more damage.

More than anything else, this pistol is reliable. It can be used at long range as a solid and consistent poke, similarly to a [Symmetra]'s energy ball due to the relatively low flight speed of the projectiles, and it can also be used to kill many flankers that attempt to single you out provided you can learn to lead your shots properly. In addition, the Caduceus Blaster will automatically reload after being holstered for about 1.5 seconds, so don't worry about reloading it before you switch back to healing. Blizzard has you covered.

It's actually surprisingly strong against [Genji] in my experience, and it's fantastic against [Reaper] if you can keep him at medium range. However, [Tracer] should probably be avoided because not only will she easily be able to dodge the bulk of your shots, she'll also out-damage you if she gets in close. Fly to a distant ally and rely on them for support, or try to take her out from a distance.

Honestly, learning to use the Blaster isn't an essential part of Mercy's basic playstyle but if you can use it in between heals and damage boosts as a long range poke, you'll find yourself winning a lot more games because of the added pressure you're putting on an enemy. As simple as using a gun may seem, learning when to shoot and when to run is one of the most difficult and situational things that you'll have to deal with.

Just remember that you're a support, not a DPS. The Blaster might be good but Mercy herself doesn't function well as a damage dealer with her low health, no in-combat utility and situational mobility.

Resurrect Top


[*] Returns dead allies to full health
[*] Has a range of 15 meters
[*] Has a 1 second cast time

At last, Mercy's ultimate. Arguably the strongest ultimate in the game with its uncanny ability to deny pretty much any other ultimate that exists, and on a relatively low cooldown at that. It's all been for this. The ever-present question of "What do I rez and when do I do it?" Well, let's take a look, shall we?

As with any other character, when you should use your ultimate depends on your current situation. I'll try and break down some tips for pro rezzing and hopefully this should give you a good head-start on knowing when to press Q!

First of all, the basics. When your Rez is available, you'll have an indicator in the center of your screen telling you how many people you'll be bringing back. As a general rule, the higher the number, the better your rez will be. Bringing back four teammates is better than one, after all.

That being said, there are some situations where bringing back a single teammate can turn the tides of a fight dramatically, and even win games in some circumstances. The most effective characters to 1-man rez are, in my opinion, [Reinhardt], [Roadhog], [Lucio] and [Bastion].

You should also try and keep in mind which allies have their ultimates. For instance, if your team has a setup ult (e.g [Zarya] or [Reinhardt]) ready to go, but you lose allies who can capitalize on it (e.g [McCree], [Pharah]) it's often a good idea to bring them back.

But don't be too hasty with your rez! Note that when you look at a dead ally, you can see how long they'll take to respawn. This is how long you have to rez them before losing the option. If you think you're going to lose another ally in that time, it's often best to let them drop first to make your rez more effective. Naturally this adds extra risk to your rez, and you'll have to be the judge of whether it's worthwhile.

Many maps have fantastic spots for you to hide around objectives. If your team is losing a fight on an objective, try to retreat to a good spot along the sidelines so that you can fly in for a cheeky HUGE REZ. Remember: Your ultimate is no good to you or your team if you're dead. This is arguably the most important thing to remember. Play more defensively when you have your rez ready.

On top of that, when moving towards the objective to secure a rez, try not to take the most direct route. Suicide Rezzing is indeed a valid option, but if you can't even reach your team before dying, what's the point? If you have the opportunity to move through flanks and avoid the open sightlines of people such as [Widownmaker] or [Bastion], you're much more likely to survive long enough to rez successfully.

Rez isn't a universally useful ultimate, however. Sometimes, by landing a poor rez, you'll do nothing but benefit the enemy team by giving them ult charge, wasting your own ult, and stagger your own spawn timers. Pay careful attention to who you're picking up and where your team are, and if they're ready to capitalize on it. There's no point resurrecting a [Zarya] or [Lucio] with their ultimates if the rest of the team are too far away to take advantage, for example

Also incredibly important to remember is this: Your rez has a cast time of 1 second. That might not seem like much but it leaves you incredibly susceptible, especially since your allies won't be able to immediately come to your aid after being picked up. While casting rez, you will stop moving and be unable to move until the cast is finished. However, if you are in the air or in the middle of a Guardian Angel flight, you will continue to move. In addition, you can cast Guardian Angel while using Rez to escape. Combine these two elements and you won't ever need to stop moving at all; you'll be a much more difficult target for enemies to hit.

Damage Boost: What does it affect? Top


Green = Mercy's Damage Boost affects this attack / ability / weapon
Yellow= Mercy's Damage Boost affects this attack / ability / weapon under certain conditions
Red = Mercy's Damage Boost does NOT affect this attack / ability / weapon

All Characters
Melee Attacks

Biotic Rifle (Damage Boost does not increase healing, only damage)
Biotic Grenade (Damage Boost only applies to the grenade if it explodes while the Boost is active, and does not boost the healing effect)

Configuration: Recon
Configuration: Sentry

Configuration: Tank (Damage Boost only applies to shots that connect while the Boost is active)

Fusion Cannons
Boosters (Damage Boost only applies if hits an enemy while being Boosted)
Self Destruct (Damage Boost only applies if is boosted as the mech explodes. This is achieved by Boosting herself, not her Mech)
Light Gun (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)
Call Mech (Damage Boost only applies if the Boost is active when the Mech hits the ground)

Shurikens (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)
Fan of Blades (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)
Deflect (Damage oost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)
Swift Strike (Damage Boost only applies if Genji hits an enemy while being Boosted)

Storm Bow (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)
Sonic Arrow (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)
Scatter Arrow (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)
Dragonstrike (Damage Boost only applies to the projectile and the dragon while the Boost is connected)

Total Mayhem
Frag Launcher (Damage Boost only applies to grenades that explode while the Boost is active)
Concussion Mine (Damage Boost only applies if the Mine is detonated while the Boost is active)
Steel Trap (Damage Boost only applies if the Trap is triggered while the Boost is active)

Sonic Amplifier (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)

Fan the Hammer
Flashbang (Damage Boost only applies if the Flashbang explodes while the Boost is active)
Deadeye (The shot will deal increased damage but McCree's actual indicator will not show the increased damage. For instance, McCree's Deadeye deals 170 damage for every second charged. Charging for 3/4 of a second would deal 127.5 damage. However, while Boosted, this would deal 165.75 damage. While this would be enough to kill a Tracer or Zenyatta, McCree would not receive the red skull indicator to illustrate that they would be killed by the shot)

Endothermic Blaster
Icicle (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)
Blizzard (Damage Boost applies to each tick that occurs while the Boost is active.)

Caduceus Blaster (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)

Rocket Launcher (Damage Boost only applies to rockets that explode while the Boost is active)
Barrage (Damage Boost only applies to rockets that connect while the Boost is active)

Hellfire Shotguns
Death Blossom

Rocket Hammer
Charge (Damage Boost only applies if the Reinhardt is Boosted when the pin ends)
Fire Strike (Damage Boost only applies if the Boost is active when the projectile connects)

Scrap Gun
Scrap Gun Alt. Fire (Damage Boost only applies if the Boost is active when the projectile detonates)
Chain Hook (Damage Boost only applies if the Boost is active when the chain hook connects)
Whole Hog

Soldier: 76
Heavy Pulse Rifle
Helix Rockets (Damage Boost only applies if the Boost is active when each the rockets detonate)

Photon Projector
Energy Ball (Damage Boost only applies to targets hit while the Boost is active)
Sentry Turret

Rivet Gun (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)
Rivet Gun Alt. Fire
Forge Hammer

Build Turret

Pulse Pistols
Pulse Bomb (Damage Boost only applies if the Boost is active when the bomb detonates)

Widow's Kiss: Sniper
Widow's Kiss: Assault

Venom Mine (Damage Boost only applies to each tick that occurs while the Boost is active)

Tesla Cannon
Jump Pack (Damage Boost only applies if the Boost is active when Winston lands)
Primal Rage

Particle Cannon
Particle Cannon Alt. Fire (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that detonate while the Boost is active)
Graviton Surge (Damage Boost only applies to each tick that occurs while the Boost is active)

Orb of Destruction (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)
Orb Volley (Damage Boost only applies to projectiles that connect while the Boost is active)
Orb of Discord (I feel like I should clear this up. Boosting an Orb of Discord does not create a Double Damage boost.)

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