[Updated September 29, 2017 to reflect Mercy’s new capabilities]
Mercy is Overwatch’s “Guardian Angel,” zipping across the battlefield to heal, boost damage, and even resurrect a fallen comrade to full health. Her Ultimate turns her into a high-flying Valkyrie warrior, capable of reaching and resurrecting allies quickly while chaining her health and damage beams to multiple squadmates at once.
In Overwatch lore, Mercy (Angela Ziegler) is a 34 year-old Swiss doctor and nanobiologist. Her positive demeanor and peaceful approach to resolving situations binds the good-natured agents of Overwatch together. Mercy is also responsible for creating the cyborg body that keeps Genji alive.
Mercy outputs the second most heals per second in Overwatch, next to Ana. But unlike Ana, Mercy doesn’t need to reload or aim with her healing staff, making her the best all-around support character for keeping a squad topped off.
She can solo-heal a team (that is, she can be the only healer on a team), but Mercy really shines when she has another support such as Lucio or Symmetra to back her up.
Although she’s easy to pick-up and play, what differentiates a good Mercy from a bad one is enemy awareness, strategic positioning and a calculated understanding of when to resurrect a fallen comrade. This knowledge comes with practice and experience, but by the end of this guide you’ll know how to get the most out of Mercy.
Colloquially, her Resurrect ability is referred to as “rez” or “rezzing.”
Table of Contents
- 1 Strengths & Weaknesses
- 2 Abilities
- 2.1 Base Stats
- 2.2 Main Attack: Caduceus Blaster
- 2.3 Ability 1: Caduceus Staff (Healing)
- 2.4 Tips for healing
- 2.5 Heroes Mercy should prioritize healing more than others
- 2.6 Ability 2: Caduceus Staff (Damage Buff)
- 2.7 Tips for buffing
- 2.8 Ability 3: Guardian Angel
- 2.9 Ability 4: Resurrect
- 2.10 Tips for using Resurrect
- 2.11 Passive Ability: Angelic Descent
- 2.12 Ultimate: Valkyrie
- 2.13 Tips for using Valkyrie
- 3 General Tips & Strategy
- 4 Specific Map Tips
- 5 Match-ups
- 6 Skins
Strengths & Weaknesses
- Second fastest healer in the game, making her ideal for keeping tanks alive
- Only hero capable of resurrecting allies
- Can avoid fire by using Guardian Angel to reach high ground
- Temporarily invulnerable while casting Resurrect
- Self-healing passive allows Mercy to regenerate health automatically
- Can see full outlines of her teammates through walls, allowing Mercy to gauge their health and predict potential skirmishes
- Can’t attack while healing or buffing heroes
- Low health makes her vulnerable to practically every hero
- Resurrect has the longest cooldown in the game, and opens Mercy up to attacks
- Health: 200
- Armor: No armor
Main Attack: Caduceus Blaster
- Description: A tiny gun used primarily for self-defense
- Damage: 20 damage per shot
Mercy’s peashooter is reserved for self-preservation scenarios or opportunities to take down low-health opponents. Mercy players should focus more on healing and buffing their allies than attacking, making her gun a last ditch resort.
However, don’t underestimate the power of Mercy’s blaster. Taking the time to work on your aim can drastically alter your effectiveness with Mercy. A battle-ready Mercy that can take down Bastions or low-health flankers is a valuable asset to any team.
Best of all, most opponents don’t expect Mercy to aggressively defend herself—use that to your advantage.
Ability 1: Caduceus Staff (Healing)
- Description: Mercy’s staff continuously heals a single ally
- Healing: 60 HP per second
- Cooldown: None
Mercy is a healer, so it’s no surprise her main ability is a powerful healing staff. You’ll be using Mercy’s heal beam most of the time.
Tips for healing
- Mercy’s healing beam will continue to heal or buff an ally even if Mercy turns all the way around. You can essentially act as a scout and watch for flankers while still assisting your partner.
- Mercy’s beam must maintain a physical connection, meaning it can’t go through walls. Her beam will disconnect if the line of sight is broken for 2 or more seconds.
- Her healing beam can replenish shield strength and armor health, with the exception of Torbjorn’s armor packs.
- Roadhog, Mei, Reaper, Bastion, Lucio, Ana and Soldier 76 all have some form of self-healing they can rely on. Unless they’re in a fight and at critical health, you can prioritize healing other allies. Tracer can use Recall to rewind time and heal herself, while Sombra should rely on her hacked health packs.
Heroes Mercy should prioritize healing more than others
- Zarya: Although 50% of Zarya’s health is a rechargeable shield, she’ll fall quickly in battle if her shield depletes and she doesn’t have a Particle Barrier to use on herself.
Reinhardt: If Reinhardt’s shield breaks or is hacked by Sombra, he’ll be a giant sitting duck. Because he shouldn’t waste time searching for health packs, try to keep him topped up as much as possible.
- McCree: McCree is a glass cannon, meaning he’s incredibly fragile but also extremely powerful. Whether he’s picking off a Pharah or vulnerable while casting Deadeye, Mercy should keep him alive as long as possible.
- Winston: Winston’s attack style consists of diving into the enemy backline, causing a bit of chaos, then jumping back to safety to be healed by a support character. He can repeat this tactic indefinitely as long as Mercy keeps him healed.
- Pharah: Pharah is exposed if she has to make a landing to find a health pack. Mercy’s Guardian Angel ability means Pharah can stay healed while raining rockets from above.
A common mistake for Mercy players is to linger on a hero long after they’re completely healed. This wastes Mercy’s potential, which should be spent darting across the map healing, buffing and assisting friends as they need it.
Ability 2: Caduceus Staff (Damage Buff)
- Description: Mercy’s staff buffs the damage output of a single ally
- Damage: +30% to ally
- Cooldown: None
With a quick flip of the wrist (or press of a button), Mercy’s staff goes from healing ray to death delivering energy beam, boosting a buddy’s attacking power.
While Mercy must prioritize healing above all else, part of her job is to look for opportunities to assist her squad. A good Mercy will constantly switch between healing and buffing, as even a few seconds of buffing can make a difference.
Combined with Lucio, Ana or Zenyatta, Mercy can liberally damage boost her allies so long as everyone is healthy.
Note that you’ll be able to see whether your buffed buddy is getting eliminations or not. If that Widowmaker your buffing is missing all of her shots, you should probably move on to helping someone else.
Tips for buffing
- Damage boost is only applied when a projectile hits a target. For example, if Hanzo fires an arrow and Mercy buffs him while it’s in the air, he’ll receive the extra damage boost if the arrow hits an enemy. But if she buffs him while the arrow is in the air, then switches to healing, the arrow won’t be damage boosted when it hits.
- Mercy can damage boost every ultimate ability to make it stronger, except for the ultimates associated with the following characters: Junkrat, D.va, Lucio, Widowmaker, Symmetra, Mercy, Zenyatta, Sombra
- Help Soldier or McCree to bring down Pharah
- Buff Bastion to melt tanks and break Reinhardt’s shield faster
- Patrol the skies with Pharah by keeping her healed and buffed indefinitely
- Add an extra boost to Reinhardt’s hammer swings
- Patrol the backend with Symmetra by buffing her Particle Beam
- Pocket Reaper to make short work of tanks, then use Guardian Angel to fly away from danger
- Buff Winston and wreak havoc on multiple victims by diving into the enemy backline
Ability 3: Guardian Angel
- Description: Mercy flies in the direction of targeted ally
- Cooldown: 2 seconds
With a range of 30m and a ridiculous 2-second cooldown, Guardian Angel enables Mercy to fly back and forth across the battlefield with ease. She can escape fights, dive towards fallen comrades to revive them, or remain airborne by spamming Guardian Angel with a friendly Pharah and using Angelic Descent to stay aloft.
Use Guardian Angel to swiftly reach friendlies that have critical health. Mercy should never stay in one place for too long, so utilize Guardian Angel to stay hidden and removed from the battle.
Guardian Angel also let’s Mercy fly towards dead allies. A golden globe only visible to Mercy will hover above a fallen character, allowing her to highlight it with Guardian Angel and quickly fly in that direction. This is mainly so Mercy can cast Resurrect, but flying towards a dead ally can also be used to cross a map quickly or contest an objective if you’re the last person standing.
Note that Guardian Angel can be controlled two ways. One method lets you fly towards a highlighted character, while the other lets you fly towards the person your Caduceus Staff beam is connected to. Experiment until you find the control setting you prefer.
Ability 4: Resurrect
- Description: Mercy instantly resurrects a single dead ally to full health
- Range: 5 meters
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
Mercy can resurrect a single ally every 30 seconds. They’re temporarily invulnerable while being resurrected, and they regain full health in the process.
Tips for using Resurrect
- Prioritize resurrecting healers and tanks first, then DPS. Reviving a fallen Lucio or Zenyatta let’s you focus on keeping your tanks alive, while tanks are your frontline defense and should be resurrecting to keep your team alive.
- If a priority squadmate dies (such as Soldier or McCree), allow a couple seconds to pass before trying to Resurrect them. Odds are the enemy team will use that death to lure you out.
- Always have an escape route when Resurrecting. If you fly to a dead ally and rez them, you’ll need to quickly reach safety.
- When in doubt, Resurrect an ally that has their Ultimate ability. If Reinhardt dies but he has Earthshatter, it’s in your favor to get him back in the battle as quickly as possible.
- Resurrect can’t revive elemental eliminations. If a teammate is booped over the edge of a map they’ll just have to wait to respawn.
- If D.Va dies outside of her mech, Resurrect will revive her and give her a new mech to call.
- Resurrect has the longest cooldown in Overwatch. It’s also an extremely powerful ability. As such, if Mercy dies with Resurrect on cooldown, it’ll still be on cooldown when she respawns.
Passive Ability: Angelic Descent
Description: Mercy spreads her wings and descends slowly when airborne
Mercy’s passive ability let’s her glide to better positions or hover in the air to avoid big brawls.
A great way to use Angelic Descent is to fly towards any airborne friendlies (such as Pharah) and then slowly hover over the map, looking for a strategic position to heal, buff or resurrect your comrades.
Angelic Descent also adds to Mercy’s survivability. If you find yourself being booped by Lucio or hurled over a cliff by Winston, use Angelic Descent to slow your fall and find an ally to fly to before you reach the point of no return.
- Description: Mercy gains a variety of beneficial traits, including the ability to fly. She can escape a fight while healing multiple allies at once from the air.
- Caduceus Pistol: Infinite ammo
- Cadaceus Staff: Health and Damage Boost beams chain to multiple allies (up to 3)
- Resurrect: Instantly recharges Resurrect, 10 second cooldown (instead of 30 seconds)
- Duration: 20 seconds
Once upon a time, Mercy’s Ultimate ability could instantly resurrect an entire team. She became a pivotal component to most Overwatch matches, as she not only supplied quick heals but could counter team wipes. As a result, she was hunted mercilessly by the opposing team.
Blizzard changed this mechanic in September, 2017, in order to address her role in matches. More often than not, the advantage of any given game was tipped in favor of the team that rocked Mercy. Competitive matches turned into tug-of-war, with the fate of each team hinging on whether Mercy could rez in time.
Mercy’s new Ultimate lets her take to the skies, overcharging her Valkyrie suit while buffing her entire kit. Her gun shoots faster, her health and damage boosting beams can be split across multiple characters, and her Resurrection ability receives a much shorter cooldown. She’s still potent, but by no means is she a game-winning guarantee, either.
Tips for using Valkyrie
- Valkyrie allows Mercy to fly anywhere on the map for 20 seconds. Simply move in the direction you want to go and Mercy will fly there.
- You can use Resurrect 3 times while in Valkyrie mode, but you can gain an “extra” 4th Resurrect if you rez someone right before casting Valkyrie. Valkyrie automatically resets Mercy’s Resurrect ability, giving you an instant charge.
- Use Valkyrie when you sense a team fight coming, or when more than 2 allies fall in battle but you know by resurrecting them you can win a fight (it helps to always know who on your team has an Ultimate ability ready).
- When using Caduceus staff, any teammate that is chained to your beam will see an opaque beam connecting them to the main person you’re healing/damage boosting.
- Sometimes it’s best to be aggro with Valkyrie. If you’re about to die, but you’re close to winning the match, pop Valkyrie and try to hunt down low-health enemies with your pistol.
- Mercy’s passive HP regeneration is no longer interrupted when she takes damage. This makes her much harder to kill while in Valkyrie mode.
General Tips & Strategy
Mercy is a big threat on any battlefield. As such, most players will make it their job to hunt and destroy Mercy as often as possible. Know that you’re constantly under surveillance and keep your eyes and ears open for flankers.
Avoid flying into a cluster of enemies in order to Resurrect an ally. It’s better to hold onto rez for another encounter, especially given the lengthy cooldown.
Allies can survive most one-on-one conflicts if they have Mercy’s healing beam attached to them. Use this to your advantage if you see a teammate getting chased by someone. By keeping them continuously healed, they’ll most likely be able to win the fight.
Mercy can shoot her gun while airborne, allowing her to perform some tricky aerial bombardment while slowly descending.
Mercy reloads automatically when switching between her pistol and Caduceus Staff, as long as you give it a 1 second “reload” time.
Mercy has a passive ability that let’s her regain health naturally over time. If you survive a fight but you’re hurt, find a good shield or hiding spot and wait for your health to regenerate.
A common mistake many Mercys make is to charge headlong into battle with a tank. While keeping tanks alive is indeed a priority, tanks can take a lot of punishment before disengaging to heal up. In general, stick to DPS characters and only fly to your tanks to top their health up.
Mercy should also avoid chasing after friendly Tracers and Genjis. These characters—even if they ask for healing—are designed to flank and therefore rely more on health packs than healers. If they want to be healed they should come to you.
Advanced Mercy’s can coordinate with their team and use Mercy as bait to lure enemies into a trap. Since Mercy is usually the first character that should be taken down, your opponents will jump at the opportunity to eliminate you. Just make sure you’ve got a teammate watching your back.
Another advanced tip is to ask a teammate if they’d like to be rezzed, rather than guessing whether it’s worth it or not. Your friendly Mei might have Blizzard ready to go, which could potentially save the day.
On Assault maps, a common defensive strategy is to run Mercy alongside Symmetra. Mercy can make liberal use of Resurrect and Valkyrie, and if that fails Symettra’s Teleporter can bring everyone back to the objective. The result is a defense that can be frustratingly hard to crack.
Specific Map Tips
Mercy is an excellent choice for any map or game type. She’s prone flankers, however, so here are some map tips to be aware of.
If there’s a Pharah on your Attack team, then you can bypass the first chokepoint and fly over the first cluster of homes by using Jump Jet + Guardian Angel. While you won’t be able to help the rest of your team, you and Pharah can potentially wreak havoc from behind enemy lines.
Temple of Anubis
Point A has numerous high ground locations surrounding the objective. Mercy can maneuver to these and heal her team as they hold the objective below. There’s also plenty of space to fly around the air if you use Valkyrie. Point B is a bit more claustrophobic for defenders. Mercy should stick with her team and stay out of sight when possible.
Mercy’s play style is meant to keep her away from one-on-one fights, so she doesn’t counter any heroes in the traditional sense.
Mercy is countered by
Roadhog: Roadhog’s Hook can be used to one-shot Mercy, thereby ending a team push or at least eliminating their source of heals. Never run up against a Roadhog alone.
Tracer: Flankers are Mercy’s main concern, and Tracer is particularly annoying. A good Tracer knows it’s their job to hunt supports and harass the backline. If you’re team isn’t coordinated or willing to come to your rescue, Tracer will be the death of you.
Widowmaker: If flankers aren’t making your life a nightmare, then Widowmaker will. Clever Widows know that the enemy Mercy will try to hide before a big team fight breaks out. By using her ultimate, her entire team can see exactly where you’re at. If you hear Widowmaker casting her ult it might be better to stick with your team.
Mercy’s rare skins are all colored variations of her Classic skin—an angelic outfit with mechanized wings and halo.
- Amber: A regal burnt-gold variation of Mercy’s Classic skin.
- Cobalt: A stark blue and black variation of Mercy’s Classic skin.
- Eidgenossin*: Mercy represents her native Switzerland in this Red Cross inspired outfit. (Summer Games Event)
- Fortune*: A silky rose-gold dress with Chinese embroidery. (Year of the Rooster Event)
Credits: 250 (Basic), 750 (Special Event)*
- Devil: A fiendish outfit that replaces Mercy’s halo with devilish horns.
- Imp: Mercy’s horns and tail make her look like a playful imp
- Sigrun: Mercy wears battle armor fit for a Norse warrior. Features a sheathed sword, armored chest plate and a shield on her back.
- Valkyrie: A golden blond variation of Mercy’s Sigrun skin.
- Witch*: A fan favorite; Mercy’s Halloween Witch costume comes with a book of spells and a spooky witch hat. (Halloween Event)
- Combat Medic Ziegler*: Mercy as she appeared during the Omnic Uprising. (Uprising Event)
- Winged Victory*: Mercy is dressed as the Greek goddess of victory, Nike. She wears the classic garb of an olympian. (Summer Games)
Credits: 1,000 (Basic), 3,000 (Special Event)*