Last time we talked about the rocket launching daughter Pharah, but now it's time to talk about "Sniper-Mom" Ana. Ana Just came out, but I've played a fair amount of her, and I feel like I've found a good number of strategies for her, at least for people to get started with.
Ana is the first character to be added to the Overwatch roster, and she's quite unique addition to the cast. Ana is a support sniper hero; her rifle can deal damage to enemies, while also healing any teammates. A lot of her abilities actually have both positive and negative effects depending on who you hit. Unlike Hanzo and Widowmaker, Ana has no mobility skills; she can't climb walls or grapple up to high points, which is to her benefit to a certain degree. While Ana can deal damage and put the pressure on the enemy, her best positions are off to the side, with her team in sight, and the enemy less so.
Ana's Abilities Include:
- Primary Fire
- Ana's weapon is a sniper rifle; it can either fire from the hip or you can aim through the scope with the alternate fire. Ana's weapon has two abilities: it can damage enemies that it hits or heal teammates. When an enemy is hit, they'll take damage over time, instead of just one hit of damage at a time. Ana only needs to scrape an enemy that's on the run in order to finish them off. On the flip side, when Ana hits a teammate, they get healed for 75 points per shot. One thing you have to keep in mind is that you cannot shoot enemies through teammates, as your shots are all the same, the only difference is who you hit. Lastly, do not underestimate your hip fire. If you're in a group, you can heal them up pretty quickly without scoping.
- Sleep Dart
- Ana's first ability is a Sleep Dart. When thrown, the enemy falls down and goes to sleep; however, they'll wake up faster if they take damage. In my experience, I've found that the Sleep Dart is best used as an interrupt and for escapes. If an enemy is chasing you down, you can easily put them to sleep and get the distance you need or regroup with teammates. If any enemy is popping their ultimate, or a Bastion is mowing down your team, you can use the Dart to stun them for long enough that your team can take them out. In a one on one scenario, I don't think Ana should try and take out a sleeping target herself unless it's an offensive character, or a heavily damage one.
- Biotic Grenade
- Possibly Ana's best healing ability, the Biotic Grenade can heal a group of teammates, or it can prevent healing on an enemy, as well as dealing 60 points of damage. This means Roadhog, Mercy, anyone afflicted by this grenade cannot heal. If you throw this at a group of both enemies and teammates, both effects will trigger on those hit by it. This is great for finishing off enemies with low health, or hitting a group of enemies at once.
- Ultimate Ability: Nano Boost
- Another very unique support ability, the Nano Boost targets a teammate and turns them into a super soldier for eight seconds. When activated, the teammate that's been boosted will hit harder, move faster, and take less damage. This can be a game changing ability if applied correctly. Also, you cannot miss with this ability, like you can the Sleep Dart, so no need to worry about wasting it ... however, it can be tricky to hit the teammate you want if everyone is grouped together.
Ana doesn't do the same kind of damage as other snipers, and she can't keep up healing like Mercy or Lucio can—she's more of a middle ground. Ana can actually provide a lot of healing support to individual teammates one at a time, but I would recommend having a second healer, either Zenyatta or Lucio or several tank or offense characters that can do secondary-healing because she often has to focus on one or just a few, as well as having more limited mobility. When playing as Ana, take advantage of the map's alternate routes. Keep an eye on your team more than the enemy.
Tanks are by far Ana's best friend: they are huge targets for her rifle and they're the best targets for her Nano Boost. Tank characters like Reinhardt, D.Va, Winston, and characters who can already survive a lot of hits but need just a little damage boost can really benefit from the Nano Boost. Teammates that are using their ultimate abilities are also fantastic target's for the Nano Boost—Torbjorn, Winston, Soldier 76, Bastion, and anyone who already deals a lot of damage during their ultimate are great.
Heroes Ana is Best Against
I haven't found any heroes that Ana could call herself a counter to—honestly that's the way it is for most support heroes. However, defensive characters seem to struggle against her more. With the exception of Junkrat (who is a bit of a wild card), Bastion, Mei, Torbjorn, and slow heroes are good targets for Ana. Her Sleep Dart can shut down a Bastion long enough for a stronger hero to take him out (don't ask me why a Sleep Dart affect's Bastion in the first place). Honestly, I would recommend choosing Ana based off of what map you're playing on more than what heroes the opponents are using. Maps like Ilios, Temple of Anubis, and Hanamura are going to be better for Ana because they're more open and offer more alternative paths than Nepal or Route 66.
Counter Heroes to Watch Out For
Widowmaker will out sniper Ana every time, unless Ana gets the first couple shots off. Junkrat or really any offensive close range characters will be difficult for Ana to deal with due to her limited mobility. Tracer, Genji, and McCree in particular are going to be pains in the ass solely because they're very fast (and keep in mind, Genji can deflect your Grenade and your Sleep Dart).
Her own daughter, Pharah, is also a big problem for Ana. While Pharah is generally sniper fodder, Ana can't do enough damage to take Pharah out quickly, not unless Pharah is in the middle of a Rocket Barrage. If Pharah sees you, there's not much you can do to stop her. However, you might try hitting Pharah with your Sleep Dart while she's in the air, which is significantly easier during her Ultimate.
That is how you play Ana, Overwatch's newest hero. How do you like Ana so far? I honestly love how she plays. She's a very unique addition to Overwatch and most FPS games in general.
Now, she only just came out, and I only covered the basics and a few simple strategies. If you have a strategy for Ana, leave a comment down below and let us know. I bet there's tons of creative ways to play her.