Advanced Ana tips and tricks for getting more from her Biotic Grenade, Sleep Dart and Nano Boost abilities.
Ana’s arsenal of potentially game-changing abilities makes her one of the most versatile healers in Overwatch. Because of this, she’s also one of the toughest heroes to play effectively and many players struggle to have an impact having locked her in.
A good Ana keeps her team continuously topped up and in the fight, while making split-second decisions that could shut down enemy advances, bring health bars back from the brink and open up an opportunities to stomp the opposition.
If you’re just getting started with the character, our Ana guide contains a great deal of information that’ll get your basics up to speed, but we’ve put together a hefty number of more advanced tips that will aid you in your journey to mastering the hero.
Let’s fix your use of the Biotic Grenade
It’s important to use Biotic Grenade in the right way, in the right circumstances. Here are some quick tips to help you heal more efficiently with this powerful device.
- Your Biotic Grenade is an invaluable life-saving ability but it’s on a particularly high cooldown, and that means it shouldn’t be chucked into battle just because you’ve seen someone take the slightest hint of damage. It’s most effective when thrown into a frenzied skirmish, where the outcome is just beginning to tilt in the opponent’s favour.
- While keeping your damage dealers alive is crucial, remember that they almost always have health pools that are too small to benefit from the splash healing when a shot from your Biotic Rifle will get the job done. Unless a lot of people are taking damage simultaneously, it’s overkill.
- Instead, focus lobbing your grenade at tanks with health pools that are simply too enormous to heal through normally if they’re taking tons of punishment. This ensures that you’re keeping the frontline intact to protect the rest of your team and also surprising the enemy just when they think they’re about to break through the bulk of your defense.
Disrupting the enemy team with Biotic Grenade
Ana’s Biotic Grenade isn’t only good for healing your teammates but its anti-healing properties are also seriously effective at upsetting the dynamic of the entire enemy team. It’s a great follow up tool for an initiation if you can sneak it through a gap in the enemy’s defence.
Say you’re on attack, there’s a Reinhardt holding the choke and his team are ducking behind his shield. Bide your time and wait for your team to engage, and then the moment he drops his shield or turns around to deal with the immediate threat, launch your Biotic Grenade into the mix and turn all their health bars delightfully purple.
This will prevent their healers from having any impact during the early stages of the teamfight whatsoever, and allows you to capitalise on their distinct disadvantage, ultimately resulting in an overwhelming victory when the dust settles. When defending, flip this scenario around to hamstring an enemy push in a matter of seconds.
Another really handy tip to bear in mind when choosing which targets to hit with your grenade: consider the heroes who rely heavily on self-healing. Roadhog’s a prime example of a hero who utilises this mechanic, so you should keep an eye on this hero on both sides.
As an ally he benefits greatly from the health boost your grenades grant, yet an enemy Roadhog is also particularly susceptible to the anti-healing effect too. Prevent him from chugging the yellow juice and it’s surprising how fast you can bring the hog crashing down.
Turn Ana’s Sleep Dart into an OP tool
Even more so than Ana’s Biotic Grenade, her Sleep Dart has major game-changing potential. So often we see Ana players fire it off liberally, ignoring the lengthy cooldown and practically willing their shot to happen across an enemy’s path, rather than confidently believing it’s going to hit their intended target.
We think it’s best save for turning the tide of a fight, and saved for special occasions only. Consider a Genji dancing above you flinging shurikens, a charging Reinhardt, or a McCree who’s just announced that it’s High Noon. Think of it as an ability that completely negates some of the most powerful Ultimates and opens up opportunities to get on the counter offensive.
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Remember, you’re a healer not an offensive hero but…
Often it’s highly tempting as a sniper to ignore your team for a bit and fire some shots at the enemy - who can’t resist going for a bit of glory now and then? The thing is, Ana doesn’t have the insta-kill potential of Widowmaker, so you really shouldn’t play her like one.
Instead, when you go into every match, focus on fulfilling a certain quota to stop yourself straying from the job at hand. We recommend a ratio of 85% healing to 15% damage dealing. Why? You’re a versatile healer able to top health bars up from miles off and at close range, while providing some of the fastest healing in the game - make the most of it.
We’re not suggesting you can’t ever bring the pain, just save it for the right enemies. You’re just as responsible for dealing with an enemy Pharah as your primary damage dealers are. Again it’s a fine balance, don’t expend too much time trying to take her out. Tickle her a bit so your allies can finish her off, or catch her low on health and make her spiral out of the sky.
Make your Nano Boost work harder for your team
Nano Boost is Ana’s greatest asset. It’s got a relatively low cooldown which means it’s rarely a waste if used in a fight.
That’s our first tip, really. Don’t hold onto your Ultimate waiting for the ‘perfect’ moment. Using it often puts far more pressure on the opposition and increases your odds of winning each skirmish. Don’t be an indecisive Ana player, be assertive. If it goes wrong, don’t worry, Nano Boost will be charged up in practically no time.
The key to a good Nano Boost involves assessing the situation and choosing your ally to match it. Are you attacking the first point on Numbani, for example, and you have a Winston looking to get the high ground and jump the healers on the balcony? With that information processed, it’s then a case of hitting him with the boost and transforming him into a blue, sparkly gorilla of death who’ll benefit from the increased damage and armour to obliterate the backline.
It’s also a great ability to combine with a teammate’s Ultimate. Soldier:76’s Tactical Visor is immensely powerful on its own, but coupled with Nano Boost it becomes an outrageously overpowered ability that’s capable of annihilating an entire team in a flash if they don’t run for cover fast enough (make sure you check out our advanced Soldier: 76 tips for more great advice here).
Let us know if you’ve got any of your own tips or tricks down in the comments section below!