Part 12: Mercy’s Newfound Power and a New Style of Dive.
Blizzard did end up toning down Mercy a little bit after she had proven to be a nigh mandatory pick, but this didn’t really dent her usage at all. What made Mercy so good was the consistent bringing back of her teammates. One of Lucio’s perks before Mercy stole his job was bringing his teammates back quickly. Mercy was completely superior at that task. Lucio now only saw sporadic play on KOTH, where he could still aid his team in getting to the point first. Outside of KOTH it was Mercy and Zenyatta all day.
The interesting thing was that after an initial burst of creativity, things sort of calmed down a bit. A slightly reinvented dive composition began to take center stage during this Moth-dominated fiasco. It still had the classic dive components; Winston, D.Va, Tracer, Genji and Zenyatta were all represented. Some old pieces started to fall away, however, and new ones arose. The meaningful play that Doomfist had appreciated earlier on disappeared as he became statistically one of the worse heroes in the game. Zarya and Reinhardt also had no place on the majority of maps, although Orisa enjoyed some niche usage thanks to Mercy indirectly buffing bunker compositions.
One of the biggest (and weirdest) beneficiaries of this patch was Widowmaker. This might seem a bit counterintuitive; Dive had always been one of Widow’s biggest weaknesses. She had a tendency to become dead weight when her two least favorite tanks were on the opposing side, and those tanks (Winston and D.Va) were on almost every team.
So why was Widowmaker making a sudden resurgence? Well, Mercy was definitely a huge part of it. Mercy had always been a great Widowmaker partner, and now she was even better because she could just bring Widowmaker back into the battle if she was ever picked off at the wrong time.
Teams also figured out how to integrate Widow into a more traditional dive composition. Widow was always fairly mobile, but diving into battle with Widow had previously been pretty unheard of. She still didn’t go straight into the backline like the rest of the DPS heroes. She instead followed the divers around before stopping short at a perch that overlooked the action. There, she would rain down death and destruction for a time before repeating the process after her job was done. This new brand of Widow was incredibly demanding. As such flashy Widow play became a highlight of a meta that was overall seen to be a turn for the worse.
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