Have mercy on the Overwatch community; a new update has rolled out and the community meta is attempting to cope. The process of establishing a new strategy is always a dear and fun time in the competitive and casual community. This update, however, has brought an intrinsic change to the way the popular healer Mercy ought to be played. The balance attempt changed her ultimate ability from resurrect to Valkyrie, a flying tornado of doom. Statistically, Mercy has become every match staple. And for all her new advantages, the community is having ‘fun’ delving into new strategies. Intermix a new map, Junkertown, for the game mode ‘Escort’, and the past week has provided a plethora of takeaways and fun nuances to the Overwatch community. Diving into the strategy of the Overwatch Junkertown update, this is a riveting update establishing new and diverse nuances in strategy.
Overwatch Junkertown Update Review
*To define terminology real quick, Point A, B, and C have been attributed to three points in the map. Point A would be the starting point; Point B is the secondary point in-between the opening section; Point C is the choke point at the very end, the final push for attackers.
Junkertown, set in the Australian outback, is a town meant for scrappy gameplay, decoy kills, and the best of subtle approaches. Whether attacking or defending, one team can gain the upper hand by pressing with overarching snipers and subsequent follow up with flanking attacks. Junkertown, in short, is chaotic by design, and thus, whichever team turns that chaos in their favor usually wins.
Getting into the details, the first point demands a flank to win. Attacking straight on opens the team up to long alleys where defenders can simply sit back and snipe with Widomaker. Getting around the alleys may seem to be obvious, but the temptation to attack straight on behind a Reinhardt exists thanks to the traditional plan.
The first step to winning for attackers is to yell, “We have the high ground,” almost immediately. The quicker attackers have the high ground, the sooner the defenders can be thrown off of their strategy. Conversely, the defenders have the role of tricking the attackers the open alleys are the best way to attack. Placing mobile attackers on either flank behind a tank ought to kill flanking attackers, thus, convincing them their flanks are not working. A nuance of divide and conquer.
Adherence to attacking with teammates and fulfilling designated roles are mandatory throughout Junkertown. Taking each point and pressing the issue to the defense is mandatory, thus requiring the utilization of agile attackers. As the transition to phase two occurs, if the attackers have a coherent strategy from point A, they are most likely to take point B if they accomplish the attack quickly.
The longer defenders stay alive on point B, the more frustrated the attacks will become, and thus the more likely they are to fall from their strategy. Again, an obvious statement, but more so than staying alive, the goal ought to be stay on defense point. A strong temptation is to press the issue to the attackers and leave a coherent defense point. The defenders, then, are no longer together, and major lanes are open. One agile flanker then can break through that hole, and open up a door for other attackers to flow in.
Point C repeats the high ground theme. Chaos intensifies due to the rotating platforms and subtle lanes the defense can position themselves in. The attackers are never safe from hit and hide defense, demanding the attackers to group together and use a central tank as their flow lane.
Surprise is the essential element to lengthening the battle and frustrating attackers. Incongruity by the attacking team will lengthen the game, and force the attackers to speed up their pace through the hallway bend on point C. Yet, by forcing the team to speed up, they often fall apart, and run out of time.
In summation, both defense and attackers need to stay together throughout. Point A and B demand resolving the high ground and then pressing directly into the second point as a group. Point C must be attacked methodically to mitigate any surprise attacks. The defense has the job to lull attackers into falling apart and not staying adherent as a team. Surprising attacks on Point C will draw out battles and stagger attackers, ultimately resulting in a battle drug out too far.
Before diving into the different strategies for using or defending against Mercy, understand the synthesis of how she changed. Starting with the meta, the theme of hiding in the depth of teammates as an angel, then pulling out her resurrection ability when she can is no longer a viable strategy. With the switch between resurrection from ultimate to a regular ability with a 30-second cooldown, Mercy is now a front to middle tier unit.
The hyper activity of Mercy now makes her an essential part of any team frame work. Until the meta determines how to effectively mitigate her, the strength and chaos she creates is essential to a winning methodology.
Delving into the nuances, resurrection no longer grants invulnerability. Only one person is resurrected at a time, and the cross hairs must be on that person. Thus, decision making and communication is essential to derive wins for Mercy.
Valkyrie, imagined as a whirling tornado of doom, boosts her damaging, healing, and speed. With unlimited ammunition and free aerial movement, mix her with a congruent of enemies, and attackers can push forward with unprecedented agility. She now allows for a myriad of team combinations to be functional. Mercy is essentially the center point of bringing a team together.
A Whirling Tornado of Death
Using the new style of Mercy play revolves around proper decision making. Realize, the Overwatch development team made these updates in part to force her to be an active decision maker. Camping as Mercy was a pervasive theme the developers saw as hurting the game.
The resurrection ability allows players to now sort through their team mates, ideally resurrecting them when they reach ultimate right near death. Communication is essential because the range of resurrection has been shortened. She now needs her to be protected by friendly teammates if the cross fire is to strong. Again, it all points back to decision making; if a friendly can be resurrected, an analysis of the risk, reward must be done.
Her Valkyrie ability is now point and tangent to the success of a team; if Valkyrie is used at leverage moments in a battle she can smartly turn how a battle is being played. Therefore, if a defense is getting pushed around by attackers, Valkyrie comes into factor and can stall that push by instituting chaos.
As mentioned in the discussion of Junkertown strategy, establishing chaos is one way to distracting the defense or attackers from staying congruent. Mercy’s Valkyrie is a glorified distraction, but also stands as turning momentum and stalling incoming pushes or establishing momentum forward. Mercy’s resurrection and Valkyrie theoretically, and realistically, now lengthen matches.
The tenant that she can lengthen a match is essential to why she ought to be targeted by opposing teams. In the realm of picking off players, if Mercy is not taken out immediately, instead opting for a flank or agility member, she has the opportunity to suddenly and dramatically lengthen matches by destroying all the work the opponent did.
While the same was true before the latest patch, the opportunity is now further evident as she can directly influence those in the first wave. Her hyper activity puts her with the most crucial players in the push forward for influence of the front line.
Conversely, if the opponent does take out Mercy with ease, a key plan to sustaining attacks or defenses is completely mitigated. Making Mercy an intrinsic part of the team’s plan is fantastic if she communicates and is used wisely; if not, then a tank is left reliant up the fundamentals of quick sweeps.
The summation of Mercy’s trending meta revolves around the strategy of the endless flying in Valkyrie – known as battle Mercy. Focusing on obtaining Valkyrie, and turning into a whirling tornado of doom, is when Mercy should become an intrinsic key to the plan. Using her as the central point in a plan of attack based on resurrection is too risky. Thus, she ought to stay as a support cast focusing on getting Valkyrie, bouncing in and out of the front lines for further protection. But as soon as she gets Valkyrie, the strength and power makes her a central component of obtaining a stunning and agile push forward.
Main Image Credit: Blizzard Press Room