‘Overwatch’: How D.Va and Mercy Updates Will Change How You Play

Carl Waldron

Overwatch is a game built on the strength of its characters, both in personality and their ability to inflict (or heal) copious amounts of damage. In an effort to keep Overwatch fresh, Blizzard has updated existing characters in the past, including changes and buffs to Symmetra, Roadhog, and Reaper, to name a few.

We have now reached that point once again as two fan-favorites, D.Va and Mercy, are in line for some potentially major changes. With these updates, we will see a significant shake-up in how people play as the healer Mercy and the tank D.Va.

D.Va and Mercy Changing It Up

Geoff Goodman, the Principal Designer on Overwatch, outlined the potential updates to D.Va in a Blizzard forums post in August. D.Va has received a new ability called Micro Missile, which is a close quarters strike package of deadly missiles. To balance this out, Blizzard is reducing the strength of her powerful Defense Matrix shield, giving it 50% less uptime. D.Va will also be able to shoot while boosting around the map. Blizzard is working on the D.Va changes internally so these changes haven’t made it to the Public Test Region (PTR) yet.

Mercy sees the most significant changes to her abilities kit. The original Mercy Resurrect Ultimate (Ult) has been converted to a standard ability. Resurrect will now target a single character instead of team-wide as it is currently. Valkyrie replaces Resurrect as Mercy’s new Ult which puts Mercy’s trademark wings to work, allowing her to fly across the level. She can heal and damage boost multiple allies at once from afar. To top it off, her damage and fire rate is increased as well.

How Will This Impact D.Va and Mercy Mains?

D.Va doing work

D.Va is the most mobile and versatile tank character in Overwatch. Her ability to move vertically out of danger and shoot while boosting makes her the fastest tank threat. The close combat Micro Missile gives players new opportunities to outflank enemies and fill different roles during matches.

Guard dog D.Va players who absorbed copious amounts of damage for the team with Defense Matrix will now need to move in and out of tense exchanges. Getting into the fight using her mobility is key. While in the fray, popping your Defense Matrix just long enough to release Micro Missiles allows D.Va to protect allies and deal damage simultaneously.

Mercy, Angel of the battlefield

Mercy mains have even more to love about the character now as they can ditch the “hide and resurrect” strategy in favor of a more active healer role. Valkyrie allows Mercy to fly above the battlefield healing and buffing with impunity. On the ground, the Resurrect ability adds a calculated strategy to which character you revive and at what critical moment you do it.

Enemy teams can breathe easy as well. Full team eliminations are hard to achieve and thankfully, with this update, your team’s hard work can no longer be negated. This aspect of Mercy has been a point of contention that has lead to disappointed and disgruntled players.

Without team resurrect, Mercy will work well helping teams rally and pressure the enemy. With increased damage boost to multiple allies at once, team coordination and a well-placed Mercy will dominate objective-based maps.

Change Is Good

overwatch dva and mercy

Feedback on the Mercy and D.Va updates have mostly been positive. Some players found Mercy’s increase in damage problematic. Blizzard agreed and has since stated they will reduce her damage. Other players have found success with Mercy and her Valkyrie, receiving Play of the Game in multiple matches.

There is no doubt that D.Va is still one of the best tanks in the game and these changes keep her as a viable, mechanized threat. But D.Va players are finding it difficult to wrap their head around the Defense Matrix reduction. Blizzard is no stranger to reworking heroes until they are right, as we’ve seen with their ongoing battle to balance Roadhog. If the Defense Matrix is too weak, the PTR testing will help smooth out the transition to the live game. Both Mercy and D.Va players will have to adapt, which is half the fun of learning a character and dominating in Overwatch.

Carl Waldron
Host of Super. Black., a podcast about characters of color. Lifetime nerd and video game enthusiast
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