written by Hopalong
Half of doing well in competitive, both on the ladder and in organized play, is team composition. One interesting aspect of these compositions are the healers different compositions utilize, and why they work well together. I’m going to focus on two healer combos for the time being. The combinations of healers and respective compositions I’m going to go over are Lucio-Moira in the GOATS comp, Ana-Lucio in a standard deathball comp, and Mercy-Zenyatta in a dive comp. Links to all heroes Wiki pages will be at the bottom, so if you have any questions about heroes abilities you can check there.
There are currently 6 healers in the game: Ana, Brigitte, Lucio, Mercy, Moira, and Zenyatta. Ana, Mercy, and Moira are main healers, while Brigitte, Lucio, and Zenyatta are off healers. Generally, main healers will have high amounts of healing in their normal kit, and then an ultimate that is very effective offensively. For example, Moira’s kit is centered around her “Biotic Grasp” which heals allies 80 hp/second in her area of effect, and her orbs which can either do a small bit of damage, or heal allies at 75 hp/second(hp/s). Moira’s Coalescense on the other hand heals at 140hp/s and damages enemies at 70 damage/second(d/s). Off healers on the other hand will have kits more centered around low burst healing in their normal kit, and extremely high burst healing with their ultimate. For example, Zenyatta’s harmony orb is his only way of healing, at just 30hp/s. The rest of Zenyatta’s normal kit focus on very high damage output, with his primary and secondary fire both putting out tons of damage, and his discord orb increasing damage dealt to the targeted enemy by 30%. Zenyatta’s ultimate, on the other hand has the highest AOE burst healing in the game, topping out at 300hp/s to everyone within its 10m radius.
We’ll look at why Lucio-Moira works in GOATS first. We’re going to ignore Brigitte for now because her utility comes from a different place than Lucio or Moira’s. GOATS is fully centered around winning fights by being way too close to a less brawly comp, and having way too much hp with constant AOE heals. Moira gets a ton of value from big groups of tanks taking damage because she can heal all of them simultaneously at 80hp/s, charging her ult insanely quickly. Lucio works well with a composition like this because his speed boost can help put the tanks where they need to be, and heal when the little extra boost is needed. Moira’s mass healing more than makes up for Lucio’s lack of heals while he’s speed boosting, giving them a good amount of synergy. Lucio puts Moira and the tanks where they need to be to get value, charging up Coalescence very quickly, and leading to an engagement ultimate for the next fight.
The most widely used healer combo pre-GOATS meta was Mercy-Zenyatta, who didn’t get nerfed, but rather pushed out of the meta. It’s a healer combo that’s still reasonably effective at lower ranks. A lot of Mercy’s value in dive compositions is her ability to fly after dive tanks and keep healing on them all the while. Zenyatta’s value comes from his Discord orb, and to an extent his Harmony orb. Between Zenyatta Discord and Mercy damage boost, a Winston-D.Va dive is nearly unstoppable, especially against a very immobile hero such as Ana or Zenyatta. The combination of damage boost and Discord orb cause a 50% increase in damage dealt, which can cause a an enemy hero to melt in just over 2 seconds from a Winston on his own.
The last combination of healers we’re going to look at are Ana and Lucio in a deathball. Lucio and Ana don’t really directly affect one another, but the interactions are similar to the Lucio-Moira combination. Ana has incredibly high single target burst heal, so she can keep a single aggressive tank or DPS up while the rest of the team chips. Lucio generally helps whoever the aggressor is get in and out of a fight, and healing as he sees fit. A good team to run this combo with would be Rein-Zarya. Reinhardt can play incredibly aggressively with a Lucio speed boost and Zarya bubble to get Zarya high charge, while Ana can pocket the Rein when he needs it to keep him up, moving to Zarya once she has the charge to play aggressively and burn down anyone on the enemy team. Lucio does the same thing here as he does in the other compositions, saving his ultimate for high burst damage enemy DPS ultimates.
The idea behind all of these combos is to not work against the other healers goals. If one healer wants to be incredibly aggressive, picking one that doesn’t have a choice but to be incredibly passive doesn’t work.