Blizzard’s new hit title, Overwatch, was released with 21 different heroes. From League of Legends Thresh aficionados to aspiring DJs, every had some hero to play. There was a problem, however. The Support role only had 4 heroes, with only three of them able to heal, which is essential to a team’s success. Even then, Zenyatta was not suitable as the primary healer. With the recent announcement from Blizzard, however, that is about to change.
A new hero is coming. She’s a 60 year old former Overwatch agent from Cairo, named Ana Amari. Oh, she’s also Pharah’s thought-to-be dead mother, who got rekt on a mission by Widowmaker. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see Ana’s interactions with Pharah and Widowmaker in game.
Looking at Ana’s gameplay from the PTR, I am extremely excited for it to go live. You see, I love playing Support, while my next favorite hero is Widowmaker. Why am I excited? Ana is a Support sniper. She has a scoping rifle, which can shoot enemies and allies alike once every second, with 6 ammo in her clip. If you hit an enemy, her Biotic Rifle will deal 80 damage (it appears that she can’t headshot, which is fine, she’s a Support, not a damage dealer). When you hit an ally, her dart will heal him for 75 health. I don’t know about you, but I always like to be cheeky, shooting my teammates in casual shooter games. Now, i will be able to do it and even have them thank me for it!
Keeping true to her Support roots, Ana also has a way to crowd control an enemy, knocking him out of his ult, for example. Her Left Shift ability fires a Sleep Dart, which knocks an enemy out for 6 seconds. Depending on the range and the way this ability operates, the possible uses of this ability could be extremely attractive. A Genji activated his ult? Knock him the hell out. Roadhog is spamming his Whole Hog? No problem, knock him the hell out. Can’t pass a Bastion? Stand behind a Reinhardt shield and, yes, you guessed it, knock him the hell out. Ana will be awesome.
Keeping true to her theme of screwing with opponents and helping the team, Ana’s E, Biotic Grenade is a… Grenade, which deals 60 AoE damage to enemies and heals any allies for 100 health at the same time. If you hit an ally with it, he will briefly get healed more from all sources, while enemies will get screwed, not being able to get healed by their own supports. Also, Ana will screw Soldier: 76. Hard. Okay, to be fair, she probably won’t be killing him solo any time soon, however, with a teammate, Soldier is toast. This ability is a very good design choice for a sniper Support. While Mercy can just channel her heal on an ally and Lucio just turns his healing “aura” and forgets about it, Ana will have to actually hit allies with her weapon to heal them. Depending on the weapon’s hitbox, it could be quite difficult in the chaos of combat. The imprecise E heal is a very welcome addition in these circumstances.
Finally, Ana’s Ultimate. It’s called Nano Boost. After targeting an ally and hitting him with your ult, he will get… boosted for 8 seconds, gaining movement speed, increased damage and some resistance to damage, basically becoming an unstoppable juggernaut. It remains to be seen which type of hero will provide to be the best recipient for Nano Boost, however, it get shivers when I imagine a Winston getting Boosted by Ana, popping his Primal Rage and diving the enemy team like an unstoppable juggernaut. Dayum. Sexy. Unless your enemies do it. Then, you just get rekt. Unless your own Ana just Sleep Darts the monkey and you leave it alone.
The way Ana will be played depends on the way her Shift and E abilities operate. If they are easy to hit over long distances, Ana could set up in a sniper’s nest, overlooking the battlefield and using her rifle to help out whoever needs it, taking potshots at the enemies between heals. However, if the range of E and Shift will be short, she might have to bring her 200 health ass closer to the fighting. This will make it harder to use your Biotic Rifle.
Another problem, teammates usually run all over the place, even making a Mercy chase them around on Critical Health. Such nonsense would be even more annoying when playing Ana, because there’s nothing worse than lining up a heal, only to have the target move haphazardly in a different direction, making you miss the heal. Whatever the case may be, Ana will be the Support which actually requires you to have good aim to play her effectively. This is a welcome change in a shooter, where hitting enemies as one of the original 4 supports was a welcome bonus, not a necessity.