Hello everyone, I hope you’re doing fine. My name is Skyline and joining me in spirit today is EeveeA for this in-depth Mercy guide. he had a lot of say in what went into the video and parts of it are even directly scripted by him. Of course I play Mercy at a GM level myself, so you can be sure that this is the most well-informed Mercy guide on the web! So let’s start with her abilities. There’s a lot to talk about when it comes to Mercy’s abilities over most heroes because optimizing and exploiting the way her abilities function is the key to pushing a colloquially “no skill” “easy” hero to a higher level. You don’t have to focus on aim or anything like that, so why not use your attention really grind the most out of these skills! First up is the Staff of course, your main weapon.
It heals and it damage boosts. Cool, cool, we knew that but just to be thorough it does heal for 60 health per second and damage boosts for 30%. 60 Health per second is a strong heal relative to other abilities in the game, but I think the 30% damage boost is even stronger in comparison. Nothing else just gives on-demand damage boost like that at any time. That’s normally reserved for ULTIMATES. So we want to get the most out of damage boost but we’re a healer which means we have to do the whole healing thing which can get in the way of that, right? Well, with perfect mastery, you can do both 100% at the same time. You can damage boost without sacrificing healing and vice versa. Let me show you: One of the key mechanics we can exploit on the damage boost is that it takes effect when an ability hits, not when it is fired.
So, taking the popular example of Pharah, she can launch a rocket and it can go soaring through the air for a couple seconds, but you only need to be damage boosting in that one instant the rocket hits, no more. Pharah is a great hero to damage boost by the way because the 30% increase lets her hit over a breakpoint that allows her to one-shot Tracer and 200 HP heroes who have just taken a small amount of damage. Always try to find damage boosts that will go over a breakpoint. For example a McCree who is out of range normally can’t kill people in 2 hits, but with a Mercy boost he can. Things like that. Anyway: Take a look. I’m just sitting around doing nothing while Pharah launches the rocket and here I damage boost at the last second.
You can tell it worked because Tracer was killed in one hit. Here’s an example of healing in between, and you can see how I’m effectively damage boosting and healing the Pharah at the same time and getting practically full benefit from both. You can do this with any hero, some more than others obviously, and I recommend you not be lazy with damage boost. Use it as technically correct as you can at all times like I show here and you will improve. If you don’t, you won’t improve. Actually on that topic, EeveeA makes a great point. Let me quote him here: “Just because you’ve ridden a bike hundreds of times doesn’t mean you know how to ride a bike like a pro does. This is how learning Mercy works.
You can play her for literally thousands of hours and not learn a think. I know many players with 500 hours on Mercy but play her the exact same way they did 20 hours in.” It’s easy to get into a “flow” playing Mercy, because most of what you do will be “good enough” even without pushing the limits, like with Twitch damage boosting. You don’t have to do it, you can just leave that blue beam on and be lazy, but you have to go against that flow, you have to go for these small mechanical optimizations to truly because great at Mercy. It doesn’t eventually just “come” like aim does for some people after enough raw hours, you have to actively pursue it. A lot of the things in this guide will seem like small trivial optimizations, but added up it’s like night and day, so on that note let’s continue exploiting Mercy’s staff.
Mercy’s beam actually “sticks” on people after she loses line of sight or goes out of range. You’ll find different numbers everywhere, but I timed it myself to be about 1 and a half seconds. That’s really not too bad. Zenyatta’s orbs only stick for 3 seconds so in that context Mercy’s beam sticks for quite a long time. This allows you to do all sorts of crazy tricks. You can heal people from completely behind cover, literally through a wall, 100%. You can pocket a Mercy while not actually flying around with her way up in the air. You can stand way back and heal people well outside your normal 15 meter range. Always try to find ways to exploit this, you should feel awkward just sitting around leaving beam on someone in the open. Always find ways to heal people from behind cover or at extended ranges if it makes you safer, which it usually does.
Speaking of sitting around, you should never be doing that, either. Normally spamming randon directions is not actually that great on other heroes, especially jumping, because it makes you more predictable. You should take deliberate, calculated movements on most heroes, but not with Mercy. With Mercy you can jump and do whatever you want because of Guardian Angel, an ability with both an active and passive component. The passive component is very simple, hold jump to glide down slowly. Very simple, but this actually allows Mercy to spam jump without any of the normal repercussions. It allows you to change your jump trajectory on the fly and randomly, so opponents will never be able to exploit it.
So spam away, spammers, you can finally jump around all game without me scolding you! Actually, if you love spamming in general Mercy is seriously your hero, because the active component is just as spammable. You know it, press shift to fly to a team mate cool, great, we know that. We also saw how you can use the fact that the healing beam sticks on for a second and a half to use guardian angel to cycle in and out of range. There’s more, though, and you’d never know it by just playing Mercy.
Guardian Angel warps your hit box, and depending on the angle you get and how quickly you release the button (oh, we’ll get to the Mercy specific control settings in a bit,) your hitbox can get REALLY weird, especially from a sideways perspective. Even if you don’t really have anywhere to go, combining crouch, glide, and tapping shift when people are trying to shoot you basically makes you a weird spaghetti monster hitbox that makes no sense, making you very difficult to hit. So like I said before we need to go over the Mercy specific control settings, because it’s a big part of using Guardian Angel. First “Toggle Guardian Angel.” This needs to be off, which allows you to simply tap shift really fast for a “micro dash” which has a lot of great properties like I just went over.
You can also micro dash into a bunny hop with increased momentum if you have correct timing, but let’s just keep moving so this guide isn’t 4 hours long. There will most likely be more Mercy content in the future for the really nitty-gritty stuff like that. Anyway, next up, you get to pick a side! Every entertaining video needs some drama and this one is no exception. When making this guide there was one thing EeveeA and I could not agree with and that is this setting: Guardian Angel prefers beam target. If this setting is on, you will dash to whoever your beam is tethered to no matter what, even if you aren’t looking at them. Even if they are out of line of sight and the dash would normall be impossible, you can dash to them. Turning it off, lets you dash to anyone you’re looking at regardless of who your staff is tethered to. I will first give EeveeA’s answer and then mine, because I think they are equally well reasoned, and you guys can come to a decision yourself in the comments. EeveeA has this setting OFF.
Hwhy? Well, quite simply, it gives you more freedom. If you’re attached to somebody you can easily fly to someone else no problem. Now yes, you could simply disconnect the staff and fly to anyone anyway, even with the setting turned on, but remember that the beam sticks for seconds? If you don’t have to turn the beam off, that means you can continue healing someone AS you dash away from them, increasing your turnover time and letting you move around without worrying about sacrifising healing.
That is a great argument, legitimately, but I still have the setting ON. Here is why: As I explained before, with Prefer Beam Target on you can execute dashes that would normally be impossible. Literally. You actually add functionality to the dash because you can exploit line of sight and still have full Guardian Angel functionality. Of course, this comes with the trade off of not being able to heal while you dash away, because you are forced to disconnect your beam if you want to fly to a different target. BUT, as I said before we want to push Mercy to her absolute limits, and with perfect mechanics you actually DON’T lose out on any healing.
If you are quick, you can untether your beam, dash to a different target, turn 180 degrees, and reapply your beam within only a few milliseconds. You lose very little healing as demonstrated here. Essentially, you gain huge functionality on Guardian Angel while losing practically nothing, as long as your mechanics are up to snuff. Of course, there still is a downside, all that turning and flicking will hinder your vision, but I believe with perfect execution and a lot of practice, Prefer Beam Target On increases Mercy’s potential impact and skill cap. Can that every be consistent enough to be viable? I gave you both arguments, this one is for you to decide! Be your own person! Alright last ability now and probably the simplest to talk about, it’ll be quick.
The pistol. This thing is kind of a noob trap 90% of the time. Whenever the pistol looks like a good option, it usually isn’t. That’s because you have to factor in how much damage you could be providing with damage boost and how much safer it is to exploit LOS using beam versus shooting people directly with the gun. You also have to factor in that if you suddenly need to heal someone the swap time is relevant. You lose almost 100 healing from the time is takes to swap and that could VERY easily and often mean life or death for your team mate. So taking all those factors into account, I won’t tell you to never use your pistol because that’s not true but if you’re watching this guide, I’m telling you that you aren’t good enough to decide when to use the pistol, so it might be best to just not use it.
There are a couple simple exceptions, of course, and those are very easy to recognize. First, if you are all alone with a flanker. That should be obvious, shoot to kill! It was self defense judge, I swear. The other scenario is if your entire team is dead and you are at like 95% ultimate, popping out your pistol and hitting a couple shots will give you enough charge to get the ressurect off. Notice in both those cases the scenario is “you have no team mates around”. Alright, now on to the big bambino, the chocolatey center, the thing everyone screams at you to do every fight as Mercy: Ressurect. In general, Eevee and I both think that most Mercys hold Rez too long. It is frequently a good idea to rez one person or two. Of course not always, but in general, if someone like your Zarya with ult dies, that should be an instant Q.
If your Reinhardt gets picked off early, if your solo-DPS Soldier dies. Those are all pretty good cases where you should just slam that Q key. But sometimes heroes die who just aren’t that important. Like let’s say the fight starts and your Lucio who’s already amped it up dies. That’s fine, wait until more important heroes die. Identify the key heroes on your team and ideally they should be rezzed when they die. Oftentimes doing this will prevent your team from losing in the first place so you won’t need to 5-man Reddit Rez. I have team composition videos that should help you identify these important heroes. But there are times when you DO go for the big 5-man. When? Usually when you are going into a fight against a big wombo ultimate combo that you know is coming (you know they have Zarya Hanzo ults up for example.) These are basically guaranteed team wiped and rezzing one person won’t change that, so you should wait to counter-rez after the wombo.
This obviously means you should hide. A big part of skill with Mercy is keeping track of enemy ults so you know which fights are likely to be instant team wipes and which ones will be grindier. grindier fights should heavily favor solo or duo ressurects and big ultimate-heavy team fights against combo teams should favor hiding and 4-5-man rezzing. One rule I will impose upon you to NEVER do is what I call “respawn” ressurects. These are different from “tempo rezzes” on attack which I will get into in a sec. An example of a respawn ressurect would be like if your team is trying to approach the point on Temple of Anubis or something and the enemy Widow picks someone off before the fight. Ressurecting them gives you no value except some extra time on the clock, accelerating their respawn basically. Only do these if you absolutely need to, like if there is only 5 seconds left in the round and you NEED to fight NOW.
A tempo rez is different, a tempo rez in solo queue is best used on Payload maps to make sure your attacking team doesn’t lose the cart. If your team won a fight but 2 people died, the defenders can respawn and take it back 6v4. If you ressurect those 2 people after the fight, though, you maintain your “tempo” and prevent the other team from getting free ground and territory while your 2 team mates are dead. Basically, you should only rez when it has some other function besides just getting people up faster. You should have a goal in your head of “this will help us win the team fight” or “this will let us keep high ground control.” That’s all for the abilities and you should have a good idea of how to play Mercy now, but I’ll leave you with two bits of wisdom from Eevee: Firstly, pocketing isn’t really a thing.
“Pocketing” is a term that means you specifically support one player on your team over anyone else. This doesn’t really make sense considering how Dynamic and free-flowing Mercy is. She can basically heal and damage boost anyone at any times and instantly dash across the battlefield. I’ve demonstrated how you can damage boost Pharah while doing other things, for example, so certainly prioritize certain heroes (like if your Pharah takes damage and your Roadhog takes damage, you should heal the Pharah) but never think of yourself as “pocketing” anyone. “pocket” your entire team and simply make use of good priorities to distribute your support as efficiently as possible in any given moment. “Pocketing” is for lazy people, and laziness is the bane of Mercy players. The last tip is the idea of a “pendulum mentality”. I like that image because it pretty accurately portrays how Mercy’s movement works. You should set yourself up sort of in the middle of at least 2 people on your team, constantly “penduluming” back and forth between them.
If you want to heal someone, dash to them and stop once your are just inside healing range, then dash out. Continue to do this, dash toward someone until you are just within heal range, then dash out. Some people call it pinballing but penduluming has a good ring to it. This sounds like Mulan but I think of it as flowing like water. But anyway that’s a whole lot of Mercy for one day I think, if you want to watch Eevee play, he streams every day, I’ll link his Twitch below. He also has a whole written guide that goes into some different topics and sometimes more detail than I went over in this video, so if you want the maximum Merciness possible go and read that as well. Expect another truly “advanced” Mercy video in the future where we go over all of those super nitty gritty details I alluded to earlier. Never forget to stay positive and have a great day! Peace out, guys.
As found on Youtube