Throughout Overwatch’s frequent balance changes, something has remained consistent: Lúcio.
The rollerblading healer has remained the number one choice for professional players for quite some time now, but new Mercy changes have the healer dethroned. New data from Overwatch statistics site Overbuff shows not only that Mercy is now number one, but that Lúcio usage has been decreased significantly.
Mercy had a 95 percent usage rate during the APAC Premier, which is ongoing until Oct. 29. Lúcio ranked in tier four with just 13 percent. Mercy’s adjustments made Zenyatta an ideal pick with 82 percent usage. What happened?
Mercy’s August update was a total game-changer. The rework got rid of Resurrect as an ultimate and moved it to the secondary ability slot. Her new ultimate Valkyrie gave Mercy some much-needed strength, speed, and versatility. Her healing output is often unparalleled, but now she’s able to protect herself a bit better too, whether it be with her pistol or with varied positioning.
Because of the uptick in Mercy—who needs to be relatively close to her healing targets—Lúcio isn’t ideal. He once was, but a nerf to his healing and speed boost range changed that. Lúcio, too, has to be relatively close to his healing targets, which makes a hero like Ana or Zenyatta ideal paired with Mercy. They can sit a bit further back and still heal.
But because Ana’s fallen out of style recently, Zenyatta is the obvious pick. He’s become increasingly popular lately due to his ability to heal from afar, while still doing damage. Likewise, he’s able to weaken enemy heroes within a similar distance. That’s why Mercy and Zenyatta support duos were so popular during APAC. But even if Zenyatta wasn’t there, Mercy still was. Overbuff found that Mercy was used in almost all team compositions, even without a Pharah—Mercy has previously been used most notably with Pharah.
Blizzard’s Mercy changes have helped the hero find her place in the Overwatch meta. Play is no longer dependent on landing a massive Resurrect. Instead, consistency is valuable.