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Measuring Moira’s Might in the Meta

Hero 26, aka Moira, has finally left the PTR (Public Test Realm) and hit the live game. She’s a support hero with some interesting interactions, but how does she affect the current meta?

Before we begin, it’s worth noting the difference between the pro meta and the matchmaking meta. The pro meta revolves around professional play where the game environment is more optimised for team fights in a 6v6 scenario, often taking place in areas that provide environmental advantages rather than the objective point.
The matchmaking meta is what you or I encounter when loading into a competitive game. Here, for the most part, teams are not so coordinated enabling trickling mechanics that often revolve around the objective point or chokeholds. Due to the difference in engagement environments the meta can differ between the two.

Let’s have a look at some of Moira’s statistics:
Biotic Grasp (healing): Approx 80HPS (HP per second)
Recharge: 50 seconds (no damage)/9 seconds (optimal damage)

Biotic Grasp (damage): 48DPS (damage per second)
Self Heal: approx 25HPS

Biotic Orb (healing): 80HPS (300 HP max)
Biotic Orb (damage): 50DPS (200 damage max)

Fade: 15m horizontal. Approx 1 second cast. 6 second recharge.
Coalescence (Ultimate): 70DPS, 140HPS, 50HPS (self healing). 30m Range.

overwatch_moiraflank

How will Moira Affect the Pro Meta?

Personally, I don’t see Moira affecting the pro meta too substantially. Her healing output has the potential to outperform all other supports, with the exception of Mercy’s Valkyrie or Zenyatta’s Transcendence, but she is lacking in utility.

Currently the support meta revolves around Mercy due to her Resurrect, with Zenyatta being the choice off-pick due to the effectiveness of his Discord in team fights and Harmony on flankers.

Resurrect is the single most useful utility in the game currently, so Moira cannot bring anything to the table which will compete. Even with the slight nerf to cast times and vulnerability, Mercy’s ability to restart initiations has shown to be incredibly powerful (just ask Team UK) and would still leave Mercy safe enough even with her increased vulnerability.

Zenyatta isn’t quite so stable in the meta. We saw him switched out for Lucio on control point maps due to the benefits of a speed boost and close team healing. Moira cannot compete in damage to either Zen or Lucio, but her healing potential far surpasses them. If you cast your mind back to before the Mercy meta, it wasn’t uncommon for teams to run Ana and Mercy when playing a Pharah. Ana was in charge of the team heals whilst Mercy focused on keeping the Pharah in the sky and giving a team resurrect when appropriate. There’s potential for Moira to take on this healing role on some maps, more so the assault maps, but to do so on control point would sacrifice the speed a Lucio provides, forfeiting the set-up advantage should the opposition run a Lucio instead.

Ana is in a strange place currently. There’s no denying her utility, with both Sleep dart and Biotic grenade being top tier, but she is still out-shadowed by Resurrect causing Mercy to take her spot as main healer. Ana’s damage has been increased, from 60DPS to 70DPS which does out-damage Moira, but not Zenyatta who still holds the support DPS crown.

Perhaps surprisingly, should teams opt to run Moira in a support slot, Ana could see a sudden resurgence. Have I mentioned how powerful Moira’s healing has the potential to be? Well, she can really only optimise her healing when the team is within a reasonable distance, as she can boost her primary fire with an extra 300 HP thanks to her orb. The easiest way to shut down such powerful burst healing would be with Ana’s Biotic Grenade; potentially shutting down team pushes due to a lack of sustain healing. With Ryujehong still strong on the Ana, teams would be foolish to attempt a Moira strat against Seoul Dynasty.

Could we see the return of Triple Tank? Short answer, no.

It’s true that Moira can heal substantial damage, however her Orb caps out at 300 HP across all targets. Put into perspective this will heal most tanks about 50% on its own, which is great if healing a single tank perhaps even two seeing a return of approx. 25% without Biotic Grasp healing, but the more high HP targets you attempt to heal with her orb, the less effective it will be across the whole team. On top of this, allowing Moira to sustain damage would fully charge her healing in approx. 9 seconds, meaning you wouldn’t want your tanks to directly face her, just before she Fades an escape with full health resource charge.

overwatch_moiraheal

How will Moira Affect the Matchmaking Meta?

The support meta in matchmaking is a little less carved in stone, varying across different skill levels and the general 2/2/2 composition build we see in the pro level often skews to a 3/2/1 DPS heavy balance. Currently, Mercy is queen just like on the pro scene which is unlikely to change. Also, like the pro scene, Lucio is favoured as off-support for control point maps for his speed utility.

One area where we should see Moira take-over is on the attacking phase of assault maps.
She has the ability to sustain her team, as they’re moving, through choke point attacks like we often see on Hanamura or Eichenwalde. Previously, the only surefire way of keeping up with the damage sustained was to pop either Transcendence or Valkyrie, burning your support ultimate before fully engaging onto the point of contention. This also had the disadvantage of burning time generating ultimates before fully committing, not to mention how at lower elo levels your team would be stuck in a trickle before this would happen.

Moira has the potential to change this, allowing chokepoint defensive holds to crumble easier and enabling a more dynamic attacking experience on assault maps. This is one area where support heroes definitely needed a boon. With a bit of luck Moira has filled that gap making her less of a must-pick, but definitely a viable niche pick in the right hands.

Another point perhaps worth mentioning; Currently, at the time of writing, Moira’s Biotic Orb cannot harm buildables such as Symmetra turrets or Junkrat traps. It has been stated by Blizzard that this is a bug and in a future patch will be fixed. Should this be fixed it could be the single most effective way of breaking through Symmetra death-gates or perhaps even nullifying those hidden Torbjorn turrets. Unfortunately, due to the nature of the bug, I haven’t been able to test its effectiveness, nor is it 100% confirmed to be changed in the future. Should I be correct and it does get patched, we should see less Symmetra usage on defensive maps.

Moira should be in full swing by the time the Overwatch League hits in January, so we shall see how accurate my predictions have been. Have you had a chance to play Moira? Let me know how you find her, I’d be interested to see your views on how she impacts meta play.

-Jammy

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