Mercy is one of the most recognizable Overwatch characters. She is also the very worst Overwatch character, and removing her from Blizzard’s FPS would make it an infinitely better game. I understand that many of Overwatch‘s most dedicated players will call this heresy, but bear with me on this one.
Most of Overwatch‘s heroes are situational. Though some are more useful than others, the majority can be switched out if need be. However, if you’re playing competitively and a teammate fails to pick Mercy, you’re at an immediate disadvantage.
Mercy is useful in any situation. She stands on the backline, healing and buffing her teammates with ease. Though her attacking capabilities are minimal, this weakness is completely offset by her ability to keep her teammates alive. No other support hero is comparable to her, and therein lies the problem.
Blizzard has attempted to rework Mercy multiple times in order to change her impact upon the game’s meta; they completely changed her ultimate ability, now giving her the Valkyrie and its minuscule hitbox, allowing her to float around the map with wild abandon. They’ve also made her resurrection a standard ability with a lengthy cooldown, now only allowing her to revive one teammate at a time. It hasn’t worked.
Opting to not pick Mercy leaves a gaping hole in your team’s strategy, and your teammates will let everyone know about it. Since the Overwatch League increased the average player’s awareness of her usefulness, with every team running with her in almost every round, competitive has become a headache for those like me who enjoy playing as other support heroes.
Every time I pick a Lucio or a Zenyatta and no one else opts to play as a second healer, the chat is flooded with messages asking me to switch. This complaint was echoed in a recent post on the Overwatch subreddit, with a fellow support main bemoaning the negative impact Mercy has on the game. “There are so many times when my team is losing and I know I could probably save it by switching from Lucio or Zen,” user fn0000rd wrote. “You don’t have to tell us. We know. But at this point I’d rather lose.”
But it’s not just us casual players who are getting tired of Mercy’s bullshit. In a recent IGN video, Overwatch League pros were asked which hero they’d remove from the game if they had the opportunity. Their answer? An almost-unanimous vote for Mercy.
If you’re playing as another support hero, you have to work doubly hard to be as effective as a passable Mercy player. Not only that, but resurrect can negate game-winning plays and undo all of your hard work when it comes to eliminating an opponent that’s been giving your team trouble. As noted by the Overwatch pros, what fun is it if you pull off an incredible headshot with Widowmaker, only to have the guy you shot down resurrected by Mercy a second later?
Blizzard clearly doesn’t know what to do with Mercy. In a game that has an ever-changing meta, she is the one constant that remains a thorn in the side of the enemy team. She’s vital but not much fun to play with, and can completely change the tide of battle simply by looking at a dead teammate’s body and pressing a button to bring them back to life.
But the most exciting change that would present itself in a Mercy-less Overwatch would be the spotlight moving to Overwatch‘s other support heroes. In a world without everyone’s least favorite Swiss angel pocket-healing her comrades, there would be more space for unique healing duos and a willingness on behalf of the community to try out more support heroes. Can you imagine a society in which you wouldn’t get shit for picking Moira? THAT is the society I want to live in.
Of course, Blizzard won’t get rid of Mercy. She’s a staple of Overwatch, and despite the fundamental balancing problems she presents she’s still a fan favorite. However, I hope that one day she’ll be nerfed into the ground, and I can continue playing as my favorite boopy son Lucio without being hassled by my teammates.