Situational Viability: Off-Meta Picks In a Land of Mercy
Tue 7th Nov 2017 - 9:46pm
A few months ago, I wrote an article about off-meta picks during the rise of the dive meta. While it still holds up to this day, the Mercy rework has given a few more heroes a chance to shine. Now that Mercy has slightly shaken up the scene, and a few other heroes got minor changes, I figured it's time for another one!
Whether you like the current Mercy or think she's broken, there's no denying that her recent rework had a huge impact on the current competitive scene. Her rise has knocked the likes of Lucio off the top spot in pro games and has turned her into an almost mandatory pick in every competitive match. While she will eventually be tweaked in the near future, she'll continue to be a dominant force until then.
With all that said, let's go through a few more heroes to consider! Take note, not all of these may be considered completely "off-meta" and your mileage may vary depending on the rank you're playing at.
Roadhog has had a tough couple of seasons. While he hasn't been straight up useless, the constant adjustments to him have made him a less than favorable pick, especially with the likes of Ana showing up every now and then to completely shut down his self-heal.
A few patches ago, Roadhog received a buff to his Take A Breather skill that grants him 50% damage resistance while also being able to move while using it. This alone makes him a fairly formidable off-tank. With Ana currently overshadowed by the other healers, he barely has to fear Biotic Grenade's debuff.
His hook can also be somewhat detrimental to Mercy. Not just to Mercy directly, but if he manages to catch someone out of position and pull them towards his team, he can force the Mercy to either attempt a very risky resurrect or just deal with having one less person in the fight.
Speaking of Ana, she's in kind of a rough spot right now. Currently, she's among the heroes with the lowest win rate and is probably the worst choice for healing in the current meta.
She's not all that bad though, as long as you have people constantly watching over you and making sure you don't get overwhelmed by flankers. That's going to take a bit of team coordination and a lot of game sense though.
Nano Boost is still nice to have, especially when running a dive comp with the likes of Genji or Winston. Biotic Grenade and Sleep Dart can also be really useful against the aforementioned Roadhog, possibly forcing a switch. Her ability to block healing can also be great against Mercy (especially one who's ulting), assuming you land a well-placed Biotic Grenade.
With his recent buff, Junkrat definitely deserves your attention now. While his primary weapon's damage is still inconsistent (unless you're really good at getting direct hits), his additional concussion mine charge gives him a bit of reliable burst damage.
Right now, Junkrat can potentially kill most of the cast in two hits. Coupled with the mobility that his mines provide, he can catch some people completely off-guard and get a free kill or two before having to fly back out. Heck, he can even chuck two mines in the air and kill a flying Mercy or Pharah.
With Orisa seeing some more play recently, Junkrat can also be very helpful in busting her shields. The slight buffs given to RIP-Tire are really helpful too. While still being very predictable and easy to counter, the added mobility can help Junkrat actually get some kills with it (or at least a bit of zoning).
Referring to Widowmaker and Hanzo, the snipers can be absolutely devastating in the right hands. Their roles are pretty self-explanatory, and they're both pretty decent at deleting a Mercy, even if she's under the effects of Valkyrie.
Some of these heroes require a lot of skill and coordination to be effective, but they also have a lot of potential to carry in the current meta. Right now, the meta revolves around both diving and dealing with Mercy, so keep that in mind when choosing heroes. Don't force yourself to deviate for the sake of surprising your opponents, but knock yourself out if you can pull it off!
I'm leaving out heroes such as Bastion and Doomfist because I feel like they just won't work right now. Bastion will always be at a disadvantage due to his immobility. Doomfist is just too weak and easy to shut down right now.
What do you think? Are there heroes you think should/shouldn't be on this list? Let us know in the comments below!
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