If you’ve been keeping up with the latest rumors surrounding Overwatch, then you may have heard whispers of a new support character who combines long range gunfire with team-based healing. As of July 12th, that character is now a reality, featuring an unprecedented array of abilities that emphasize her role as a support character who heals her teammates and debuffs enemies.
Ana Amari, the mother of Fareeha “Pharah” Amari, will wield a sniper rifle that performs more or less like your standard FPS sniper rifle with a few key differences: shooting teammates will heal them, and shooting enemies will apply a slight Damage Over Time effect along with the normal damage of shooting someone. On top of that, she can stun enemies (although any damage applied to the aforementioned enemy will wake them up), prevent or enhance the healing of enemies and friendlies (respectively), and apply a massive damage, health, and speed buff on a single teammate.
The only question that remains now is “How can I play as an effective Ana and not let my team down?”
Years of multiplayer FPS experience will tell you that positioning is a sniper’s greatest ally, and this is no different in Overwatch. Being a healing sniper, Ana has to find locations that give her a good view of both enemies and friendlies, which often overlap with the typical locations where you can find heroes like Widowmaker and Hanzo. As a result, this means that it is a good idea to just stay in the spawn area with Ana, as her advanced age and the need for “sick headshot montages” prevent her from accompanying a major push.
Fortunately, you should probably expect your obligatory Hanzo/Widowmaker mains to accompany Ana, as they too are probably trying to get “sick headshots.” This means that instead of merely having two teammates who are clearly playing the objective by staying away from combat and occasionally getting a kill by firing wildly into an area, you will have three or more teammates who just sit in one spot during the whole game even though their abilities may be needed elsewhere. Needless to say, this makes it easy to get heals from a friendly Ana: all you have to do is stand in front of her and maybe, just maybe, your teammate will be able to actually hit something for once.
Victory in Overwatch often comes from selecting a group of heroes who have complementary abilities. As a healer, Ana can fit into most team compositions fairly easily, occupying a similar role to heroes like Soldier: 76 and Roadhog. As such, you probably won’t need to select heroes like Mercy or Lucio since selecting Ana will make the “No supports” notification go away in the character select screen. With Ana’s relatively heavy emphasis on skill, you can be sure that every person who ever said “Don’t worry, I’m a pretty good sniper in this game” will be able to provide constant healing on demand.
Furthermore, you can almost guarantee that there will be a large influx of players who pick Ana simply because of her “cool factor.” A hidden stat in Overwatch, a character’s “cool factor” determines how likely it is to see random teammates pick said character, usually resulting in situations like having two Genjis on the same team. Thanks to Ana being a sniper, having a hood, eyepatch, and a cloak, her “cool factor” is through the roof, and you may even see multiple Anas on your team. Be sure to adjust your team composition accordingly, as victory is sure to follow.
With one of the few weapons in Overwatch that can actually zoom in, Ana will have a natural benefit of being able to relay the position of enemies to the rest of the team. While it isn’t mandatory that you talk with your teammates while playing as Ana, it is recommended to at least make a lot of references to nanomachines and something about throwing jars of urine at people, as the originality of such comments will never fade and you will be super popular as a result.
Though one can only speculate as to the nature of Overwatch’s future roster of heroes, one thing is certain: over the next couple of months, expect to see a lot of players who choose Ana. While her weapon and appearance may suggest otherwise, her main role is to support the rest of the team, so it would be incredibly beneficial to just stand out in the open until she heals you. In other words, there will be a lot of relatively old women wandering around wearing sacks and rags, and the polite thing to do would be to humor them when they try to give you syringes by standing completely still in the middle of nowhere.More About This Game