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Mercy guide - 2017 - Overwatch

Our essential and continuously updated guide to mastering Overwatch's Mercy.

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About John Bedford

John is a freelance writer based in West Sussex.

Updated 18th December 2017: Our next Overwatch guide explains how to excel in battle with Mercy, with loads of tips for making the most of her powerful abilities.

Mercy's an Overwatch healer who takes quite some time to master but can make an incredible difference in battle - particularly when she finds a solid teammate to work directly alongside. Like Lucio, her weapon allows her to provide her chosen friendly target with one of two powerful buffs. The first beam that her weapon creates will heal her target nice and quickly over time, while the second beam instead increases the target's damage output for as long as she can keep the beam applied to her ally. If all that wasn't powerful enough, she's also the only hero in Overwatch currently capable of resurrecting fallen comrades, thanks to her exceptionally powerful Ultimate ability.

As you can well imagine, any Overwatch hero should consider themselves extremely lucky to have the attention of their own personal Mercy. It's important to make sure that she remains protected at all times, however. She can switch over to a pistol - which serves her well in a dire pinch - but the damage output is pretty weak. Certainly when her DPS is compared to other Support heroes she can seem a little wanting, and she has very limited passive self-heal. For this reason, she works best when played on a closely coordinated team that keeps one eye on the bigger picture - and has their buddies' backs - at all times.

To help you get the most out of this exceptionally versatile Support hero, we've put together a guide that breaks down all of her abilities, and which explains exactly what makes them such a force to be reckoned with. After that we've got some tips to help you dominate in battle from the moment you fire up your very first Mercy game. In the weeks ahead, we'll be adding very specific map advice to help you push your team even further.

Editor's note - Update #3: We haven't updated our Mercy guide for a number of months now, and so we've taken the opportunity to completely overhaul this article. There are now some map-specific tips to brush up on, along with a video overview of Mercy from one of our favourite YouTubers. We've also taken this opportunity to make sure the cosmetic section is brought right up to date to reflect the many new skins and so on that have been released since launch.

A new event has just hit Overwatch! Check out our essential Retribution guide for all the tips, tricks and strategy advice you need to master this new PVE mode.

Mercy's abilities and strategy tips

While you do have access to a rapid-fire pistol, you will almost certainly be spending the bulk of your time wielding Mercy's twin-beam Caduceus Staff. On top of that, you have a few very handy abilities which are worth getting familiar with before you fire up a match.

(1) Caduceus Staff [LMB] - Using the left mouse button while this staff is equipped allows you to send a glorious stream of healing power towards a member of your team that you've targeted. Just keep in mind that once you've boosted someone's life up to maximum healt you're effectively wasting the beam, and so you need to either turn on your damage-boosting buff instead (see below) or switch the heal over to another teammate who needs your medical attention.

(1) Caduceus Staff [RMB] - Alternatively, you can use the right mouse button to add a damage-dealing buff to whatever firepower your current target is dishing out. All of the damage they do while this buff is applied will be increased by 30% - correct at the time of publishing this article - and for as long as they're under the influence of the beam. This powersurge can be incredibly effective when one of your team is letting rip with their Ultimate. It's another example of just how much better-suited Mercy is in pre-made teams who communicate well, and know what every other player is building up to.

(2) Caduceus Blaster [LMB] - Mercy's Blaster is made of pretty feeble stuff to be honest, but always be ready to hit 2 and switch over to this weapon, as it might just save your skin regardless. While this weapon is available for emergency use, if you're using it while you have teammates nearby then you're probably doing it wrong. Save it for when you're fighting completely solo, or when you're heading in the direction of a friendly target and can't guarantee you won't be ambushed before you get there.

Guardian Angel [SHIFT] - This is a absolutely fantastic mobility skill that allows Mercy to quickly catch up with teammates and get straight on with the business of boosting them up. The two-second cooldown on this skill is absolutely negligible in the bigger scheme of thing, so use it to whizz around to as many members of your team as you can, and heal them back up to full health. If things are going very badly you can also use this as an escape tool to get back to your team (Bonus tip - Guardian Angel also works on your friends' corpses, assuming you can bring yourself to use their poor bodies in this way...)

Angelic Descent [PASSIVE] - This very useful skill causes Mercy's descent from height to slow down considerably for as long as you have the spacebar held down. If you've got the reflexes for it, you can even use this to gain an aerial advantage on the map. Simply activate Guardian Angel on your team's Pharah, for example, and then gently glide your way down towards a new location. It's great for getting around the battlefield quickly, and getting quickly away from the attention of the enemy who are waiting down below.

Resurrect [E] - Mercy is the only hero in Overwatch who’s able to bring her allies back to life, and it’s crucial that you time its usage well if you want to gain maximum efficiency from it. It only takes a second to cast but it has to be used at incredibly short range if you want to bring a teammate back into the fight. This means you’ll have to prioritise targets and come up with an escape plan everytime you use this ability - so be prepared!

Valkyrie [Q] - When activated, Mercy gains a buff to all of her abilities and she can fry freely around the battlefield which transforms her into an almost unstoppable healing force. You’ll gain drastically reduced cooldowns on your Resurrect ability too, so it’s vital that you’re soaring above the fight waiting for multiple opportunities to turn the tides and keep pressure on the enemy.

AbilityHPAmmoFire RateCast TimeCooldown/ReloadHealsDamageRange
Caduceus Staff: Heal200--Channelled-60 HPS-15m
Caduceus Staff: Damage---Channelled--+30% to target15m
Caduceus Blaster-205 RPS-1s-20
Guardian Angel----2s--30m
Resurrect---1.75s30s+100% to fallen target-5m

*For 20 seconds, Mercy is granted the ability to fly and all of her abilities are buffed. Most notably, Resurrect can be cast instantly and her regenerating health is no longer interrupted when damage is taken.

As well as the tips in the abilities section above, there are a few more tried and tested tricks of the trade that will help you make a big impact when playing Mercy.

  • Check the Resurrect indicator before hitting the E button. It will show you how many of your friends will be brought back to life - you might be able to get more of them back if you head forwards just a little bit more! Do keep in mind that they may not benefit from being brought back to life right where they'd been obliterated just moments before...
  • No matter which direction you face, the beam from Mercy's weapon will still connect with its target. This allows you to keep scoping out local threats while still charging forwards with your friend and providing your exceptional buffing or healing powers
  • Resurrect is extremely powerful, but it will only land on a target that has been dead for 10 seconds or less, and is within very close proximity. After the ten seconds is up, they will simply pop back into life in the spawn room.
  • When it comes to your buff beams, you have a very brief window of opportunity to catch up with your friendly target if you break line of sight. If the beam disconnects for too long, you'll have to get it charged up and firing all over again.
  • The healing element of the Caduceus Staff is not just good for healing up lost health points, it can also be used to restore your target's shield and armour elements. This can be an incredible way of keeping a Reinhardt - for example - in the game for longer.
  • While you will spend the majority of your time wielding the Caduceus Staff, if there are no allies in sight and you can't fly to anyone, keep the pistol out. It might just save your life, although you need to be ready to switch over as soon as you have teammates nearby. You'll be much more use aiding them in battle than firing your own gun.
  • There is no right or wrong way of prioritising the targets you should be aiming your staff at. When it comes to healing though, in general you should prioritising keeping someone alive rather than getting someone like a Tank to full health. It's better to have more people in the game for longer overall. Consider also that some Heroes can actually heal themselves to one degree or another.
  • Again, prioritising targets with the damage boost is very situational, but in general the people who gain the most are damage-focused characters like Bastion, Junkrat, McCree, Pharah and Soldier: 76. Anyone who's job it is to kill as many enemy players as possible really!
  • While your blaster can't do a great deal of damage to enemy heroes, do be ready to pop it out of its holster if you started getting buzzed by Symmetra's turrets, or you can see a Widowmaker or a Junkrat mine left lying around. Your canny vision and quick draw can make a major difference here, as many players have a serious blind-spot when it comes to these deadly tools.
  • When you’ve cast Valkyrie, it’s absolutely essential that you’re making the most of the 20 second super-buff. As soon as it’s activated, begin healing priority targets and keep your eyes peeled for any allies that have been taken out.
  • Valkyrie gives you the ability to Resurrect multiple targets in much shorter time span, so sometimes it’s worth waiting a little longer in a fight and seeing if you can’t nab 2 resurrections in quick succession.
  • Valkyrie actually makes you fairly tanky as your health constantly regenerates - get stuck in. The only things you’ll have to worry about are Ultimates like McCree’s Deadeye or Soldier:76’s Tactical Visor as they are both capable of wiping you out in seconds, no matter if you’re flying around in the air or not.

Mercy counters and match-ups

To keep everything nicely balanced, Blizzard has done a pretty good job of ensuring that every hero in the game has at least a couple of solid counters on the battlefield. Here's how Mercy stacks up in the current metagame.

Mercy is strong againstMercy is weak against

It's quite tricky to talk about specific positive match-ups for Mercy, as she's generally only as good as the buddy she's teamed up with. As a Support hero she should be avoiding one-on-one duels at any cost anyway, and so look to your partner's place in the meta to determine your most significant threats.

Your healing and buffing abilities will swing the odds much further in your favour against your partner's neutral or positive match-ups. If, on the other hand, your partner gets hard countered then you're almost certainly going next, regardless of your healing powers.

Even taking the above advice into consideration, there are some very specific opponents who can wreck Mercy and, consequently, your team. In addition to the heroes listed in the table above, Roadhog can rip you away from your friends with his hook, while characters like Reaper excel at getting behind enemy lines and eliminating Support heroes like you.

Threats are everywhere when you're playing as Mercy, so don't get tunnel vision, and always have one eye behind you at all times.

For help with other Heroes, make sure you check out our complete Overwatch: Counters guide.

Map-specific tactics for Mercy

Here are some tips for playing as Mercy on certain kinds of maps. This info is a little thinner than you'll find in our other hero guides, as she takes less of a proactive presence on the battlefield.

Mercy: Assault tips (Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries)

As an attacker, your job is to quickly juggle between healing and damage boosting. When no-one needs health, switch over to boosting an offensive member of your team. If your team can send one or two defenders back to the spawn room while staying alive, the advantage swings hard to the attacking team. Stay back as much as you can as you're a vital part of the push and a prime target for the enemy.

The same advice goes for defending on these maps, but it becomes more important to sustain health and whizz around to new targets, with damage boosting very much a minor consideration. As we've already mentioned, getting sent back to the spawn room on defense can create a major swing which the other team - assuming any kind of coordination on their part - will want to capitalise on rapidly.

Mercy: Control tips (Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal, Oasis)

It’s essential that you’re constantly on the move, staying near your team and forever topping up priority targets. As Control is based around static objectives, this makes it far easier for enemies to adapt to mercy and begin hunting her down before - or even during - a fight.

Mercy: Escort tips (Dorado, Route 66, Watchpoint: Gibraltar)

In our opinion, this is where Mercy shines. She’s able to take advantage of a map that’s constantly shifting and dart into space that’s forever shifting. This makes her incredibly difficult to catch and you’ll want to exploit this.

Mercy: Hybrid tips (Eichenwalde, Hollywood, King's Row, Numbani)

Again, it’s now a combination of all the tips above. Stay on the move, stick with your team and remember to keep an eye out for assassins who’ll be looking to take you out in every fight.

Unit Lost's Mercy guide

Although the video is a little old at this stage of the game's life, we think Unit Lost's Mercy video is essential viewing for anyone who's either new to this hero or is just feeling a little rusty.

Make sure you watch it all the way through, as there are tonnes of tips in there that will help you get on top of the hero fast.

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Mercy's Skins, Victory Poses, Emotes and Voice Lines

Winged VictorySeasonalLegendary
No Pulse250Epic
The Best Medicine250Epic
Victory Pose
Ready For Battle75Rare
Voice Line
A Most Impressive DisplaySeasonalCommon
Consultation Fee25Common
Doctor's Orders25Common
How Barbaric25Common
I Have My Eye On You0Common
Miracle Worker25Common
Need A Second Opinion?25Common
Not Sure Why I BotherSeasonalCommon
On A Scale Of 1-1025Common
Piece of CakeSeasonalCommon
Questionable JudgementSeasonalCommon
Take Care of YourselfSeasonalCommon
Take Two25Common
The Doctor Is In25Common
The Doctor Will See You25Common
Your Guardian AngelSeasonalCommon
You're WelcomeSeasonalCommon
Highlight Intro
Battle Angel250Epic
Guardian Angel250Epic
Heroes Never Die250Epic

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  • michałjanczak01 #1 5 years ago
    @Datnew indeed. It makes her even able to fight on her own. I often manage to take down a tracer or even a not suspectting roadholding all by myself when playing her. Her pistol deals more damage per round than tracers guns and when aimed at the head it can be a death sentence, so beware, cause underestimating a mercy can bring you to the other side of the grave. Of course a fight like that won't be easy, but support roles aren't easy in general. And most important #MainSupport
  • Datnew #2 6 years ago
    I read this sentence "Certainly when her DPS is compared to other Support Heroes she can seem a little wanting, and she can't self-heal herself either - it's strictly a one-way route for this ability."
    and that's not complete right. Mercy does self-heal her own, when she doesn't take damage, by her own. I couldn't find anything about that in the guide. But in my opinion it's something very important to know, if you play Mercy. So you may look over the text again and add the point to it.^^