Of all the characters in Overwatch Ana is perhaps the most subtle to play. The developers willingly admit that this hero isn’t easy to master, and rank her with three stars of difficulty. But that does not mean that the hero isn’t interesting or effective. Indeed, quite the opposite is true. Ana is a very powerful character if you can master the playing style, and a good choice if you like playing sniper or support. But before you start, here are some basic tips.
Overwatch Ana – A sniper who isn’t really a sniper
At first, Ana may seem as much a sniper as Widowmaker, except that this is absolutely not the case. Even if Ana does an incredible amount of damage, do not expect to kill in a single shot, as with Widowmaker. However, Ana is a complex and preferable alternative to those who cannot quite play Widowmaker’s pure sniper style. Let us explain. Unlike Widowmaker for whom the scope is indispensable to aiming, and quite a burden to the player, Ana fares much better in being able to aim without the telescope, unless the target is really far away. Even if the opponent is so far away that Ana has to use her scope, using it is much easier than with Widowmaker. The rifle also carries a magazine of ten shots, and it’s rate of fire has been upped by 20%, which is far from negligible.
Overwatch Ana – A support that isn‘t really one either
While not really a sniper, Ana is not a pure support character either. So she will never replace Mercy, and the swift and tide-turning healing that Mercy can bring to an ally without aiming. But Ana can do wonders in combination with another support character who heals. Her Biotic Grenade is especially effective at this, boosting all the health benefits of allies it touches. Be careful though, healing with Ana also requires a little coordination with your teammates, because unlike Mercy, she has to aim to heal. And that can be complicated if your allies are always moving.
Offensive support – difficult to master but potentially devastating
In Overwatch Ana can potentially change the course of a match. Two abilities are especially potent. Her hypodermic dart can render an enemy unconscious is extremely good as a counter to some powerful heroes. However, it requires coordination with the team, because the sleeping hero wakes up if he suffers damage. However, the most game-changing of Ana’s abilities is of course her ultimate, the Nanoboost. It increases the speed, the damages and the resistance of an ally. When applied to a good tank for example, it can wreak real carnage on the enemy team. Apply it to Reinhardt if you only have him to start an assault. Other characters that can massively benefit from this are the Reaper, Soldier 76 and Genji, especially if they are used in combination with a hero like Zarya.
The Biotic Grenade is also useful in offensive support, because it can counter Mercy, and obliges Zenyatta and Lúcio to be more careful because once affected by it they can be taken down much more easily. Ana is also a very good counter to Pharah, because she can deal out heavy punishment to her if she stays in the air too long.
If you thought that Ana can stand tall on the battlefield like the sniper Widowmaker with her grappling hook, you’d be wrong! First of all, Ana’s mobility is rather mediocre and will not allow you to easily reach high points on a map. She is therefore quite a vulnerable hero (especially in duels), and must be handled with caution. We cannot stress this enough, as Ana’s life points are obviously rather limited.
While the Biotic Grenade can be used to heal yourself in an emergency, it is not really ideal or made for that. In playing professional Overwatch Ana must neither withdraw too much – in which case she becomes useless to her allies, nor go too close to the fray, in which case she is easily taken down. That’s a balance that is difficult to manage in terms of placement. Playing Ana require a player with the right instincts and judgement.
Since Ana is a hero with relatively few hit points , she is an easy target for heroes like Genji and Reaper, who can easily bypass the heroes protecting her, in addition to the fact that her abilities are completely countered by these two heroes. Winston is also very strong against Ana because she is rather slow. Ana may try to escape using her dart, but Winston could use his shield to counter that, and then kill her. Finally Tracer is very powerful against Ana thanks to her rate of fire, and can easily kill her in a very short period of time. Beware of these heroes when playing Ana, and keep your distance from them, while still offering your team the offensive and defensive support that Ana specializes in.
The best maps for Ana
The convoy maps suit Ana because she can position herself behind the tanks and look after the entire team at the same time. This allows her to remain very protected, and still maximizes the healing and support that she provides to the heroes around her. All the same, be wary of Genji, Reaper and Tracer, who could still counter you. In attack stay behind your tank and use your grenade to enhance his effectiveness.
Assault maps are the ones that best fit Ana’s style. Thanks to her ultimate, it is possible to make very powerful and fast assaults that will lead to the taking of a point. The second positive point is that with your allies in a group, you can maximise Ana’s support abilities. In defence, stay well behind your tanks and be alert for any possibility that attacking enemies could circumvent them to get to you. In attack, you must focus on support for your allies. When assaulting a point on a very narrow vector, your team will depend on you for their survival.
Hybrid maps, like assaults and convoys allow Ana to maximize her offensive capabilities, and to optimize support for her allies. In defence, stay well behind your team. In attack, maximize the healing and support for your time, while using your grenade to prevent enemies from receiving healing.
When you play Overwatch Ana is one of the characters considered a challenge. However, she is also one of the most versatile characters you could choose to play with, and if you handle her right, she can be very rewarding. The tips here will give you some idea of how to play Ana effectively. To maximize things, though, you need to build up communication with your team – Ana is a character who can only be effectively played when the rest of you team are actively co-operating with you. If you’d like to learn more about Overwatch Pro play, or learn how to play other Heroes, check out our article on Overwatch characters.
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