Here Comes The Valkyrie: Ups and Downs of the Mercy Rework
Fri 13th Oct 2017 - 10:03am
On September 21, 2017, what is probably one of the most divisive patches in the history of Overwatch was released. The main reason it was so divisive was the Mercy rework, a rework that completely changed the kit of one of the most played support heroes (if not the most played hero in general) in the game.
The main reason for this change was to give Mercy a more active role in matches. As we all know, Mercy's gameplay almost always devolved into a game of hide and seek whenever her ultimate was available, which lots of people thought was unfun for both the Mercy player and everyone else in the match.
While this change caused a rift in the community, it definitely succeeded in making Mercy a more engaging hero in general. While it's still flawed (which is evident with the upcoming PTR update that arguably overnerfs the new Mercy), Mercy has now become a support hero who has to put her life on the line to bring one to two (for now) key heroes back in the fight. Let's talk about how this rework will affect the current competitive season.
Now that Mercy has to be in the frontline to resurrect people, she no longer has to hide from everyone to wait for that "big rez". Sure, some people may have enjoyed getting those sick four or five-man resurrect plays, but it forces teams into a 5v6 situation. While Mercy could potentially render the enemy team's efforts completely pointless, she can still be easily killed the second she shows her face. It was always either she succeeds in resurrecting people or she fails and everyone puts the blame on her, maybe even adding that she wasn't helping in the fight due to her hiding in a corner away from everyone.
With her rework, she now has to choose her resurrect targets wisely while still flying around and healing people. No more 5v6 hide and seek shenanigans. On top of that, her new ultimate Valkyrie is probably one of the most powerful ultimates in the game which turns the fragile healer into a flying raid boss. Not only can Valkyrie allow Mercy to heal/boost her entire team, she becomes near-unkillable for 20 seconds due to her mobility and hilariously strong passive health regeneration.
Seeing as how Mercy has the highest healing potential in the game, giving her the ability to temporarily heal everyone close to her target is just ridiculously good. Valkyrie also allows her to essentially be a flying Orisa ultimate if she so desires. It's also worth noting that (for now), Mercy can resurrect two people by popping her ult immediately after casting resurrect since its cooldown resets upon casting Valkyrie.
While the change itself isn't inherently bad, it has caused quite a stir in the community, especially among the "Mercy mains" in all tiers. The rework has significantly raised Mercy's skill ceiling, most notably because she no longer has an easily attainable "undo teamfight" button.
While Mercy is objectively in a good place right now due to her new ultimate, she has admittedly become harder to use for the average player. Her new resurrect comes with a 30-second cooldown that forces players to make hard calls in the middle of combat. One starts asking questions such as "Will resurrecting this hero affect the outcome of the fight?" and "Should I sacrifice myself to bring this hero back?"
For a seasoned competitive player this shouldn't be much of a problem, but let's face it, not everyone will have impeccable split-second decision making skills. Seeing as Mercy is one of the most picked heroes in almost every tier, it's fair to say that it'll take some time for people to adjust to her rework and rethink their playstyles.
Mercy is in a good spot right now, but I predict that this season is going to act as a sort of transition period for people who frequently played her. Blizzard is already currently testing some Mercy nerfs, but it's still subject to change and probably won't be coming any time soon, so that's not much to worry about for now. What do you think about the Mercy rework? Let us know in the comments below!
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