When To Pick Each Support | Overwatch Team Composition Guide
Articles Blog

When To Pick Each Support | Overwatch Team Composition Guide

September 12, 2019


Hello everyone I hope you’re doing fine, my
name is Skyline, there are 4 healers in Overwatch right now and 1, arguably 2 other heroes that
fill a support role. You don’t usually see more than 1 or 2 in
a game, so it can be hard to pick out what support is best. A lot of players still default to Ana Lucio,
but that isn’t always, or even usually, the right pair for the job. So today we’re talking about when to pick
which support heroes. So here’s our list. But Torbjorn’s on that list? We’ll get to that in a bit, but let’s start
by dividing these guys into some easy categories. So the most basic one is how much they heal
for. Ana and Mercy have big heals, Lucio and Zenyatta
have small heals, Torb and Symmetra don’t have any healing at all. Instead they have flat HP buffs and utility. Almost all teams need at least one big healer,
so Ana or Mercy. The exception to this is some teams that have
a lot of sustain by themselves, for example Soldier Roadhog Mei and heroes with shields. Also on offense there are blitz dive compositions
that go for fast, all-in fights. Those compositions don’t need a big healer
because the fights happen so fast it’s mostly about the DPS. But in most cases, you need one of these two
heroes. Ana is better with compositions that try to
get in close where she can hit both allies and enemies with her grenade. She also has the highest healing output in
the game to offset the high amount of damage these close-range heroes take. Tanks like Reinhardt and Winston obviously
fit the bill here, but even heroes like Tracer or Genji who get in close can benefit from
the double-function of the grenade. Mercy is good with ranged heroes like Soldier,
Pharah, and Bastion. These heroes aren’t always taking damage,
so the fact that Mercy can help them with damage boost is great. Plus these heroes tend to spread out, giving
Mercy a lot of mobility. Team’s that have very key heroes (like one
main tank or one main DPS) are good with Mercy because the fight isn’t over once that key
hero dies, Mercy can just rez them and keep the fight going. Mercy and Ana also have a huge difference
in the types of maps they like. Ana likes simple, flat maps with long sight
lines like Route 66. On these maps she can stand far back and not
worry about losing line of sight or getting outmaneuvred by heroes with high verticle
mobility. Mercy on the other hand is great on tight,
meandering maps with different levels like most of Oasis and Dorado. She can heal through walls with the way her
beam targets and fly around, so it’s easy for her to juke and escape enemies and get
easy rezes off. One last big difference between these two
heroes is that Mercy can heal through enemy shield where Ana cannot. Especially with Orisa coming out, you won’t
want to pick Ana into teams with too many shields, particularly Winston who tends to
drop it right in the middle of the fight where your team mates are. Now the most normal way to go about a team
composition is to pair one of these big healers with a small healer, these two guys. They like certain maps as well. Zenyatta again likes long flat maps where
he can shoot orbs from far away safely whereas Lucio like tight multi-level maps where he
can outmaneuvre everyone. Plus, the very large range on his harmony
and discord orbs makes Zenyatta stronger at range whereas the Lucio’s much smaller aura
radius is better when everyone is grouped up. Because of this close range vs far range thing,
Lucio tends to be a lot better at offense because you are trying to rush onto a position,
plus the attacking team has more control over their own positioning so they can be grouped
up if they want to. On defense, it’s very possible for the enemy
team to split you up and staying in a ball is harder. Also, Lucio’s ultimate can be used at any
time, even preemptively, to bust through a point. On the contrary, Zenyatta is better on defense
where he can just spam orbs at chokepoints. His healing ultimate is much more reactive
than Lucio’s shield ultimate, so that is a more defensive ability as well. Again also because on defense your team can
be forced to fight on multiple fronts, the fact that Zenyatta can heal one person here
while discording someone to help over there and also adding damage with his orbs gives
him a lot more control over the fight on a wider scale. Naturally here we are presented with two pairs
right off the bat. Zenyatta and Ana both like similar maps and
playstyles, so pairing them up seems natural, and it’s a great pair, especially on defense. If the two supports work together, they are
nigh unkillable by flankers because of their strong damage, so they can just stand far
back and support the team very safely. The other pair is Lucio and Mercy. Both like similar maps and Mercy is much more
likely to be within range of Lucio’s aura than either of the other two supports, so
again here the supports can work together a bit in that way healing each other. This composition would favor offense because
of Lucio. Those aren’t the be-all end-all of pairings
though, oh no. Ana Lucio combo is going to be strong with
a heavy tank setup on offense like triple or quad tank. Lucio can bring everone in fast and Ana can
bust with a grenade. It’s a very strong combo. Lucio and Zenyatta are both small healers
but like I said before on super dive compositions, Lucio can speed everyone in and Zenyatta can
mark a target for death as everyone converges on it. In this case, the lesser healing won’t matter
because of how fast the fight is executed. One more example is Ana + Mercy. They obviously have a lot of healing, but
generally it isn’t the best because of the lack of utility the small healers bring, BUT
if you have a team with a good amount of HP but no self-sustain at all, the additional
healing can be beneficial, plus if you have a triple tank setup with an important DPS
hero like Pharah who you’re relying on to do damage, you’ve satisfied the prefered team
compositions for both Ana and Mercy. Finally we will talk about these “off” supports,
the supports that don’t heal. Both of these heroes buff team mates’ health
pools and both of them have strong area denial, but are easily outplayed in a direct fight,
so they are put to best use when your team is taking the direct fight and these heroes
are helping. We will be talking about pretty similar attributed
with these heroes that we were talking about before, too. Symmetra like meandering maps with lots of
tight spaces where she can hide sentry nests and have enough cover to get in close for
her main weapon. These types of maps also give her good places
to hide her buildings close to the point but also out of sight. Her general playstle synergizes with tanks
because she likes to get up close with them and use their big bodies as cover to do damage
in melee range. Torbjorn on the other hand likes straight
maps with open spaces where his turret can deny a good area of the map and where he can
spam from long range with his rivet gun. His armor synergizes with shields, which is
why a lot of players play him and symmetra together. His armor goes underneath the shields so it
won’t be removed by random chip damage and it lasts a lot longer. He does better with longer range heroes who
are vulnerable to flankers, because his turret shuts flankers down removing one of the big
weaknesses from the team composition. To use one of these heroes, first you need
an area to deny. That’s why they are usually not very good
on attack, because usually there isn’t really any area that’s worth denying that isn’t already
defended. On defense though, particularly maps with
only one obvious flanking route, these heroes can potentially shut down a lot of options
for the defenders. For example on Volskaya Industries point A
Torbjorn can put a turret up that shuts down flankers using the back side, forcing the
attackers to bust completely through the front. Oftentimes it’s best to pair these heroes
with just one big healer. You can run 2 healers, but you have to ask
if you don’t have enough front-line fighting power at that point. Generally if you run 3 supports like that
you have to pair it with 3 tanks just so you have enough front-line power behind the composition. Instead, it’s usually best to run some self-sustaining
heroes like Soldier with just one healer if you’re running Torb or Symmetra. As for the Torb-Symmetra combo, this is incredibly
map-specific. It’s great on Hanamura point A because on
one side you have an environment perfect for Torbjorn and the other side is an environment
perfect for Symmetra, plus there are so few entrances that you can just shut everything
down. On any map with more than 2 good paths, however,
the other team will flank around and make your area denial strategy innefective. Okay that was a lot of information we just
went over so I’ll leave it at that, but you should now have a pretty good road map to
know which support heroes to pick and when. Leave any question and comments below, and
have a great guys. Never forget to stay positive, peace out.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. What you need to win any game. Team to stick together. Have a badass tank (preferably papa Rein). Have Mercy heal the fuck out of him for the entire game while he plows through shit as an unstoppable killing machine. Dun. No Lucio, no Ana. Just Mercy, Reinhardt, and a team that knows the meaning of 'team-based play.'

  2. I usually use Ana when there's more than one tank and on attack, I default Mercy for defense mainly for resurrection.

  3. I'm not really sold on your Ana combinations. Mercy + Ana allows Ana the freedom to use her abilities offensively. I'd say she certainly matches Zenyatta in that respect. Sleep = discord, snipes = headshots and grenade covers any slack.
    Ana + Zen is a bad combination because it usually puts the two supports together making them a really good target for suicide bombing or dives.
    Torb + Ana is arse in the face tier. Nothing tilts me harder than people routinely body blocking life saving shots. And these players (who main "switch or I throw" heroes) do not listen to criticism.
    As for your your Torb advice; placing a turret down a long sight line is a terrible idea. Turrets should be placed around a corner allowing a pincer attack only when the enemy engage, or they should be used offensively behind a body blocking death ball. Certainly not anywhere an Ana/Widow/Pharah can attack it with impunity. Zen now too since the change.

  4. Interestingly enough, I went on Overbuff.com and saw that players average ~2,000 more healing per game with Lucio than Ana…so wouldn't that make Lucio a big healer and Ana a small one? Really good video man…I'm just curious about that one bit, and if there's an explanation behind that. Keep up the good work.

  5. WRONG as a lucio main lucio is better on cp and defence and symetra and torb really shouldn't be on this list they should be defensive dps….

  6. I feel like some of the information concerning Ana and Mercy was too simplified. Specifically the bit about Mercy being put over Ana against teams with lots of shields. Shields are easily countered with dive comp or shield breaker dps, and Ana can easily outplay diving Winstons. Of course, this is more on the higher end of play, and maybe you were going for a more middle-road approach.

  7. A lot of problems with this video.

    I don't really think long range and short range comps are a thing. And you say Mercy is great with Pharah/Bastion/76 and imply Ana isn't, which is nonsense. Definitely agree about Ana on flat maps vs Mercy on vert maps though; it's why I love Mercy on Hanamura D so much. Swapping off Ana for Mercy vs shield heavy comps is something to keep in mind – I hadn't thought about that.

    I agree Zen is better on flat maps and Lucio on vert. But again you bring up this close range/long range nonsense and imply Zen is poor on offense and Lucio poor on defense which is untrue; discord is great to punch through defenses and speed/verticality is great vs dive (which Zen is shit against) and in general, and on boop maps like Numbani. Lucio is also amazing on 2p defense to abuse short respawns.

    You recommend Ana/Zen on defense and don't mention how nuts rez is on defense. And you recommend Lucio/Mercy while not acknowledging the utility/dps you give up in doing so (not that you shouldn't run it). And it's best on offense? Without a Pharah, I strongly disagree (and even then it's bad, depending on the map). Both Ana and Zen are better otherwise (nanoboost, discord, dps, etc). I agree they can be a good pair though because Lucio is all over the place and Mercy can get to/from him efficiently.

    Sym and Torb aren't "easily outplayed in a direct fight."

  8. I don't kno if that's what you meant by death pits, but lucio really likes ledges to boop the enemy team off

  9. love your doodles! but it would be great if you could do a short summary at the end of the vid. good job!

  10. I can confirm Symmetra's preferred map layout, I once 1v1'd a Roadhog and won because I was basically walking around a pole near where the flag was. And yes, the reason I was Symmetra was because turrets

  11. tbh with all the support nerfs as of late i feel like mercy is overall the best healer in overwatch and im not just saying that because i main her it also because of thw tools she has the best ultimate in the game (zaryas graviton surge can be argued to be better) just very consistent and strong healing high mobility and a damage buff also she can float to do some cool aerial healing

  12. I've actually built a team around sym and torb support. I focused on AP and our sym worked hard to build shield gen.

  13. I would argue that Sombra should be in with Lucio and Zen. Hacking packs can be huge, especially with your flankers. They can spend a long time out there with a large pack.

  14. I like playing mercy a lot, I have a ridiculously disproportionate amount of hours playing her compared to all other heroes.
    Part of the problem is that I am in bronze and let's face it, like 10% of bronze players want to play support. Even less want to play mercy. I've basically been given a free ride to main her. Recently I've been trying to branch out to Ana, I am trying to pick her instead of mercy in the maps you said she would be best in. At least in qp.

  15. What about sombra I have heard her refereed to as a support or even a healer what would you say about that?

  16. eh sombras more of a support if you play her objectively to hack health packs to support her and the team and build emp more than three a game to offset the enemy team

    and symetra takes no skill to play

  17. Thank you !! I'm pretty ok at team comp but didn't really know how to adjust to the map, this really helped a lot :>

  18. Maybe ana and lucio would be a good idea too since lucio can counter ana's low movility with his speed boost, savinng her easier

  19. don't use Lucio + Zen, they're both passive and don't really work well since both don't really put out much healing

  20. i do love most of your ideas here, though i do criticize your thoughts on zenyatta. i am zenyatta main, and i have always found myself most useful right behind my team, providing healing, but mostly damage. zenyatta is a powerful foe capable of quite a lot of damage. plus, lwts not forget his most useful and amazing ability, transcendance. with that, you need to be in the fight so you can judge for yourself when to create a moment of push. he is not a range enemy, he is an up close fighting support.

  21. By far ana is the most effective as she is such a far and close range healer. And her sleep darts with biotic grenade are so good.definitely the hardest hero to play

  22. This comp(Defense) was really good I won a majority of games with it:Torb,Symmetra,Mercy,Zen,Reinhardt/Winston,Dva and Soldier 76/Mccree.

  23. In low gold (I play literally at 2k) this doesnt really matter, as long as your team doesnt throw or leave, you pretty much win the game

  24. Hey you guys! I'm new to youtube and just started uploading video's last week on my channel. I would love to hear what you like about the channel and what you think can be improved. I've listed a link to my channel, let me know what you think https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E9jPLiPnY0U&t=5s

  25. I may be a bit bias here but lucio is one of if not the best healer. Not only can he provide heals almost equal to mercy with amp heals, but he has the highest healing output, with the help of anas nade with amped heals. I tested this out and with 1 amp and nade he can fully heal a hog. Of course you still need another healer, but with good dps and high mobility, lucio can almost teleport across maps if the player is good with wallrides. Amazing video Skyline, and I must say that lucio and ana are the best combo.

  26. Mercy: when u want to win
    Ana: when u want to lose
    Lucio: when ur playing koth
    Zen: when you want to dps but ur stuck on healer
    Torb: all the time ni🅱️🅱️a
    Sym: when ur desperately trying to hold a point

  27. ana and lucio are really useful for payload. the payload gives you healing, lucio gives you healing and with ana's biotic grenade, simply staying on the payload (which is the point of the game) will give you an insane amount of constant healing…. on attack

  28. If anyone's wondering
    Moira: big healer
    Brigitte: small healer, more useful in attack

    Skyline pls do an updated version ༼ つ ◕_◕ ༽つ

  29. Hey Skyline, could you ever do an updated guide on this because of the added heroes (Moria and Brigette)?

  30. Symmetra shouldn’t have been in this video. Neither should torb. Yes sym was in the support category but she was a dps

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *