Diary of a Moira Main: My Thoughts and Tips
When Jeff Kaplan announced Moira at Blizzcon this year, I knew immediately that this feisty Irish lady would be my jam. Support has been my most played role for a long time now. I didn’t set out to become a support main in Overwatch, but the motivation to fill with whatever was the most useful to my team slowly pushed me in that direction. That and I just really like the idea of supporting my team in their endeavours. I’ve mained a healer in MMOs as well for several years, so I guess you could say it was meant to be!
Over the past couple of weeks, since Moira’s release, I’ve only been playing Moira whenever possible, and am well on my way to twenty hours played on her. In this article, I’ll go over her abilities, tell you what my experiences are with her kit and how she fits into the meta, and what I think are good dos and don’ts when you decide to lock her in!
One hand gives, the other takes away
Let’s start off by going over Moira’s abilities!
Your left and rightclick main ability. This is what you will mainly use to heal your allies and damage your enemies. Your leftclick heals in a frontal cone spray, healing every ally it hits with 80 health per second. In addition, it also applies a three second heal-over-time, healing 50 health every second. Bear in mind you don’t have unlimited charge for your healing spray. Once your chargebar runs out, you will have to leech enemies to replenish it! You do this by rightclicking an enemy, siphoning them for 50 damage per second, and gradually replenishing your healing charge.
The ability bound to your E with standard settings. Like Biotic Grasp, this ability has two possible uses. Upon activating it, you’ll get a dialog asking you to left or right click for the orb variety you want. Left click will fire a healing orb, right will fire a damaging one. These orbs will tether to any allies/enemies that are within five meters of it, and bounce off any objects they hit. They last for ten seconds, or until they’re fully depleted, which is at 300 healing done or 200 damage done. Fun detail: the orb goes through barriers! The cooldown on this is 10 seconds.
Your mobility ability, bound to Shift. When activated, this will teleport Moira a short distance, and make her invulnerable for the duration of 0.8 seconds. While active, you can not be healed or damaged. The cooldown on this is 6 seconds.
The big button of doom or salvation, your ultimate ability! Coalescence fires a massive beam in a straight line, simultaneously healing all allies it hits for 140 health per second, and damaging all enemies for 70 per second. You can move and look around while channeling it, and keep channeling for 8 seconds.
Making the most out of Moira
Managing Your Healing Charge
Now that we’ve detailed how Moira’s kit works, it’s time to get down to business: playing her! During my hours of Moira fun, I’ve learned several valuable lessons that have helped a lot with upping my game. First and foremost: you are a support, and your number one priority should be helping your team, and watching their backs. Moira’s in a funny place here since she effectively has to do damage every now and then to be able to pump out her healing spray. Some players are still unaware this is the case, so I’ve found it’s best to communicate about your current energy levels, especially in competitive games. I usually just call out ‘Low on charge, less heals available, be careful.‘ or something, to let everyone know I need to replenish. Communicate with your team, so they know what they can expect from you, it helps!
As for the actual healing, bear in mind that your spray not only heals directly, but leaves a fairly powerful heal-over-time on everyone you’ve hit as well, which keeps ticking for three seconds. Unless your healing target is at very critical health levels, don’t be afraid to spray them, switch to damaging or throwing an orb, then spray them again after a couple of seconds. The HoT will keep ticking, and you can use those precious seconds to leech back some charge. Unless it’s absolutely necessary, I’d avoid just channeling the spray non-stop. While it’ll heal a bit more, you will empty your bar very quickly, and won’t be able to spray heal again until you leech an enemy or wait for it to refill naturally. Try to avoid playing the waiting game though, the natural refill time from empty to full is a whopping 45 seconds, while you can refill it by leeching enemies in only 9 seconds. A no brainer, really.
Thinking with Orbs
One of the most fun aspects of Moira, for me, is the crazy stuff you can pull off with your Biotic Orb. The more you get used to how it works, the more possibilities you’ll spot on different maps to get the most use out of it. Orbs excel in tight areas, where there’s plenty of walls so it can bounce around. I had great results on the Lighthouse submap of Ilios, by bouncing my healing orb between the ceiling and floor while fighting off attackers. See a Hanzo or Widow sniping from a room or corridor somewhere? Throw in a damaging orb, and hear the satisfying ticking noise of your orb doing damage. The damage orb is also great for finishing off low health enemies, who decided to run into a narrow room or corridor to escape. Just throw a damaging orb in at the right angle and it’ll keep bouncing around in there, ticking damage.
There’s two heroes you need to be careful around when you’re planning on tossing your Biotic Orb, and that’s Genji and D.Va. Genji can deflect the damage orb, sending it back to damage you and your allies. D.Va is the biggest issue you’ll encounter though: her Defense Matrix will absorb any orb you throw at it, effectively removing it completely. Try to throw your damage and healing orbs in such a way that they don’t encounter a D.va on their path, to avoid wasting your cooldown without getting any value out of it. If no counters are around, it’s a matter of decision making: what does your team need the most of right now? Bear in mind too that the damaging orb goes through shields, making it especially useful to eat away at the health of whoever’s hiding behind it. Time and practice will be the best way to learn! That said, remember you’re a -support- hero first and foremost! You can pump out a tremendous amount of healing with your healing Biotic Orbs if you use them well, so bear that in mind before opting for a damage one. Throwing a purple one should usually be the exception, not the rule!
Getting Flippy with Fade
Fade is a great part of Moira’s kit, making her incredibly mobile and slippery when needed. Due to the invulnerability during your teleport, you can use this to avoid fatal damage from a Self Destruct, or any other hard hitting and possibly lethal ability you’re about to get hit by. Creative players have found another way to make the most out of Moira’s teleport though, and are using it to get to hard to reach spots on several maps. They call this trick the Fade Jump, and it involves Fade speeding into a knee-to-shoulder height object, followed by pressing jump at precisely the right time. If done correctly, this will launch you into the air, making it possible to get on higher ledges and platforms. There’s been some discussion, but the overal consensus is that this is not a bug, and will not be fixed/removed. Youtuber Andy B has made a great Fade Jump compilation video, with an added keypress overlay, so you can see how he’s timing his jumps and try it for yourself. In addition, he’s posted a more detailed explanation video about the trick, and how you can learn to do it too. Moira enthusiasts have even started a Moira Rollouts subreddit, to gather any questions and topics about this nifty trick. Be aware that this technique isn’t supereasy to learn, and will require a lot of practice to pull off consistently!
The Ultimate Question
Coalescence certainly looks impressive, but the main question is: when is the best time to use this? At first I was very reluctant to use it, hoping to save it for the opportune time to save a lot of teammates. Now that I’ve played Moira a bit more, I’ll more easily decide to use it to create an opening, or give my team the edge we need in a big teamfight. Moira charges up her ult fairly quickly, so you don’t need to be too scared to use it, as you’ll have it back relatively fast.
First of all, don’t just see your ultimate as a big beam of damage, but start thinking of it as a great supporting ability. Pop it at the right time when your team is clashing with the enemy team in a big fight, and you’ll be able to give your team a great edge, healing their wounds, and making a serious dent in the enemy healthbars. It’s also great for saving teammates stuck in a Graviton Surge, for example. On payload maps, I’ve used it sometimes to create an opening, or help initiate a final push. I’ve included a clip of a Moira Play of the Game I scored last week below, where I pop Coalescence to sustain my team and push the enemies back, and finish off two low health enemies in the backline.
— ?Roxanne (@MissSugarpixie) 28 november 2017
It’s not a perfect play by any means, but it gives a good enough demonstration of what Moira’s abilities can look like in use in an actual game. I kind of derped at the end, opting for killing the two enemies instead of channeling the beam onto Lúcio, if I had he might not have died. You can also see how I swap spraying my teammates with heals for throwing a healing orb before swapping back. Another thing this video illustrates is the huge range on Coalescence. You can easily hit far away targets in the backline with it, especially since it goes through shields and barriers! Tickling a Widow or Hanzo with it can be good fun!
What Do the Pros Think?
Moira hasn’t been out for that long yet, but we’ve already had a great opportunity to see her played by professional players during the Hulktastic Cup, a for-fun tournament to honor Dennis Hawelka, which was held on November 11. One of Dallas Fuel’s supports, Custaa, played Moira on several maps, and showed how powerful this new hero can be. Overwatch Central has put out a the following video with footage of the tournament games from Custaa’s point of view, while an interview with Custaa goes over his thoughts on the new hero, where he thinks she excels, and how she fits into the current meta.
And you? What do you think? A new favourite support hero, or not your cup of tea? I, for one, really love Moira, and plan on playing a lot more of her.