Deadly Support - A Guide to Advance Your Ana Play
Sat 10th Mar 2018 - 10:00am
Ever since Ana's inception as Overwatch's 22nd hero, she has held the reputation of being a difficult support to master. So in this guide I will break down, in two categories, the ins and outs of what makes Ana tick.
1. Map Choice
Unlike most other Overwatch supports (excluding Symetra), Ana is very map reliant. Ana's strength as a sniper can be easily compromised by tight knit corridors and bad sight lines. However, Ana's strength can also be heightened on maps where she can abuse open spaces, keep her teammates in her crosshair, and has an easy means of retreat when getting dove by the opposing team. As an example, let's quickly break down what can be considered a good and bad Ana specific objective.
The Good: Volskaya Industries Point A
Offense - Ana is easily able to support her team on the initial push in Volskaya. By making use of your Bio-Grenade, you can easily help your tanks push through the main doors while completely staying out of harm's way. Once in the courtyard, Ana can safely push to the left-side high ground. When on the high ground, you have total vison of the point and are free to retreat back to the small health pack that spawns in the room below you if you ever get pressured by the enemy.
Defense - Ana also exceeds in stopping pushes on Volskaya. The lack of a second true entry point means the most heroes are forced to charge head-on through the main door. A well placed and well-timed Bio-Grenade can effectively stagger pushes. Moreover, the defensive right side high ground not only covers the point, it also covers the main courtyard. This is vital on defense. With the ability to read the entire battlefield, as long as you pay attention the threat of a flank is nil. Lastly, much like the opposing high ground there is an easily reached large health pack that allows for a safe getaway on the off-chance your monitor or TV turns off and you miss seeing the enemy slowly walk up the stairs behind you.
The Bad: The Temple of Anubis Point A
Offense - Like on Volskaya, Ana can easily support her team on an opening siege of the objective but, unlike on Volskaya, Ana has a hard time making progress herself during a push. As a support with no movement options, you are never really safe on Anubis. Regardless of whether your team pushes left to the room with the large health pack or pushes right to the small health pack, Anubis is a slow push war of attrition. As Ana you have to pick your poison: compromise your long range advantage and clump with the team or try to keep your distance, get dove, and feed the other team easy ultimate charge. Even if your team eventually pushes the point, you as an Ana player will struggle to find catharsis in a safe area that gives any form of competent sight lines. Easily flanked, easily spotted, easily dove is the never-ending cycle of life and death on Anubis.
Defense - Most of what was said about offense can be said about defense. Without Mei's Ice Wall, Ana is unable to get to the safety of the Anubis defensive high ground. This gives you an extreme lack of room to work with. Your only real option is to sit on the far back edge of the point in the small rooms most people forget about. This position means you're unflankable and gives you some space to work with. However, you can only see your teammates from this position, which compromises half of Ana's worth as a support - final blows.
2. Final Blows
Every support in Overwatch offers some form of noticeable kill potential. What differentiates a good Ana and a bad Ana is their ability to make good decisions when it comes to healing or killing. This general idea is important to grasp if you feel yourself struggling to make Ana work.
Weaving - As Ana you want to avoid tunnel vision. You should be paying attention to everyone's health bars, not just yours and your teammates. Heal your team a little, then weave in some damage. Heal your team a little more, then weave in some more damage. The pressure Ana can apply to the enemy as both a healer and damage dealer is immense. You should always be looking to finish off kills from a distance that your frontline tanks or damage dealers may not be able to.
Bionic Grenade/Sleep Dart - You have to know when to take chances with Ana's Bionic Grenade. If nobody on your team is at risk of being burst down, go on the offensive. Try to land a big anti-heal on the enemy tanks or carries. Don't get permanently stuck in a defensive mindset. With calculation, an offensive Ana play can completely turn the tide of a fight. Don't be so afraid of being dogpiled on by tanks that you don't take the chance of Sleep Darting the ulting Soldier 76 or Genji.
Ultimate Assistance - Always try your best to avoid "too good to use" syndrome. Ana's ult is relatively quick to charge, so don't hesitate to use it during a winnable fight but keep in mind the placement of the enemy on the map, who on your team has ultimates, and in any given situation who you should be ulting. Try to predict and read how a fight will play out. Maybe don't pop your ultimate on the Dragon Blading Genji when the enemy Zenyatta has Transcendence. Maybe hold on to it for a few more seconds and ult the D.Va that's jumping on the enemy backline.
I hope that by reading this and practicing, you as an aspiring Ana player can continue on your ranked climb (or quick play fun!). Always remember what to and where to be looking and to think before you act. Strategic play is just as important as mechanical play. With all the extra CP you'll get from stomping unworthy opponents, consider unlocking Ana's golden rifle. Use it with pride knowing that you forded the tank dive meta storm and have earned your rank among elite Ana players.
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