Overwatch Moira In-Depth Guide
So Moira has been a topic of discussion ever since her release, but especially over the past month or two as she’s finally being picked consistently due to the current meta (and before anyone says anything I know she had a place in GOATs, too… but her place in the current meta feels more substantial to me.)
In these discussions I see a lot of people spreading misinformation or having a fundamental lack of understanding of how Moira should function on a moment-to-moment basis, and I’m hoping this post will help clear up a lot of things. Among other things, we’ll discuss how one should play her optimally and how one should play against her.
I’m no grandmaster and I’m far from an expert at this game, so if that is enough of a reason to disregard my thoughts I totally understand. There is still a lot for me to learn. BUT I do feel like I have a decent fundamental understanding of the character, so I hope you’ll at least give me a chance to explain.
Because this thread is meant to stop the spread of misinformation, if you feel like my understanding or reasoning of something is off then please let me know! Together we can both become better players.
I apologize for the essay. This has been a long time coming.
CLEARING UP MISCONCEPTIONS
• Moira’s role in Overwatch is to heal and damage.
Playing her strictly as a heal-bot is a huge waste of her kit, so please stop expecting that if you have a Moira on your team. If you see your Moira throwing out damage, don’t automatically assume that she’s not doing her job. Damage is a large part of her job.
• Biotic Grasp (her right-click) is important!
Moira can’t heal without juice. If you’re low on health in front of a Moira and she spends 10 seconds sucking on something… then yes, be upset. If you see your Moira weaving in Biotic Grasp inbetween moments of healing, she’s just making sure that she’s staying topped off for her resource, which in-turn means that she’ll be able to keep you in the fight longer.
• Damage orbs are important!
You think ult charge grows on trees!? A huge benefit to having a Moira on your team is the Coalescence she’ll have up practically every fight. A vast majority of the time, her left-click and the HoT it provides is more than enough to keep your team up. A good Moira will be throwing out damage orbs a majority of the time, and this does not mean that she’s shirking her responsibilities.
So… yeah. Technically Moira provides 0 utility as far as her kit is concerned. She can murder things and she can prevent things from being murdered, but that’s about it. Having said that, there are a couple of things that people don’t really seem to consider in regards to having a Moira on your team.
The first is pretty obvious in that with Moira’s insane healing output she excels at keeping her team alive. “Well duh, Phoo.” But a team that’s alive longer than they would be with other supports is a team that can use THEIR cooldowns more often. The longer they’re alive, the more cooldowns they’re able to pump into a fight.
The second thing is that she is the support that requires the least amount of babysitting. By not requiring nearly as much peel as other supports would, it allows you and the rest of your team to focus a vast majority of your attention and cooldowns towards the enemy team.
I’m not putting the usefulness of these points to the level of usefulness that you will find by having anti-heals, sleeps, boops, discords, etc… but I just wanted to point out that there are inherent benefits just in having a Moira be one of your team’s picks.
GENERAL TIPS FOR PLAYING AS MOIRA
• Moira’s left-click leaves a heal-over-time effect on any teammate it touches for about 4 seconds.
It will heal up to… I think 60hp or 65hp. Use this effect often to save your resource. People about to run out of the doors on attack on Hollywood? Give ’em a quick spritz to offset any initial damage. Your flankers about to dive into the backline? Spritz ’em. Teammates might be taking any amount of damage in the very neat future? Spritz.
You can cover your entire team with this HoT for literally a fraction of your resource. It’s like a free potential… what, 300 healing if you hit all 5 teammates? HUGE value.
• If there’s no one that needs healing, you should be damaging.
You should constantly be shifting between healing teammates and damaging enemies. Time spent waiting for teammates to take damage again is time wasted. It sounds obvious, but I guarantee that there are people who are generally afraid to damage at any point due to potential backlash.
• Don’t wait until you’re out of resource before you start charging it back up!
If you do this, your team will die when they shouldn’t have to. You murdered them by having poor resource-management. The HoT you apply when you heal people with left-click frees up a LOT of potential time to top off on any resource you just spent. You want to dance between healing and damage. Heal a teammate a little bit, let the HoT top them off, suck on something for a few seconds, rinse and repeat ad nauseum.
• Don’t sit on Coalescence for too long!
Moira has one of the fastest charging ults in the game, and if you’re playing correctly you will have ult for just about every fight. I can’t remember who (I’m sure it’s been many people at this point), but I heard someone say that you should treat it as a long cooldown. It’s not as impactful as something like Transcendence, but it is a great way to secure fights.
• Always aim to have at least 1 teammate AND 1 enemy in your Coalescence.
There are no diminishing returns for having multiple people inside of Coalescence, so have that goal be the minimum you’re shooting for. Make use of the increased movement speed it provides to position yourself in a way where you can get maximum value.
• Unless you’re ulting in response to huge burst damage, throw a damage orb right before you Coalescence.
Generally speaking, your ult is going to be enough healing to keep people up. Throwing a damage orb alongside your ult is hugely beneficial for securing kills. Try to animation cancel it for optimal efficiency.
• WHEN YOU WANT TO THROW HEALING ORBS:
1.) If you need to heal someone far away from you.
2.) If you need to heal people through a shield.
3.) If you need to have a large amount of burst healing to counter a huge influx of damage.
4.) If you’re low on or out of her resource.
• WHEN YOU WANT TO THROW DAMAGE ORBS:
1.) The rest of the time.
• Use parallel surfaces for greater orb control.
In a building that has a flat floor and a flat roof you can throw your orbs right down at your feet to create a stationary healing spot or help protect your flank by doing the same with a damage orb. Even if you don’t have parallel vertical surfaces, make use of horizontal spaces! You can’t set up these stations vertically on Nepal: Shrine, but you’ll notice that you can create ’em horizontally in pretty much every direction on the point.
• If you’re not able to get a good return bounce for an orb, throw it at a gentle angle to the floor.
The quickest way to get between two points is a straight line, so by adding some angle to it you can maximize the value that an orb that will inevitably fly off into the distance will have.
• Be smart when using Fade.
This is a biggie. Fade is one of the best “get out of jail free” cards in the entire game. Track ults and be aware of enemy positions so you know when you need to be holding onto it. Try not to use it just to reposition IF you would be able to accomplish the same thing (even if its delayed a few seconds) just by walking.
I see a lot of people suggest that you should never use it for repositioning or for pouncing on an enemy but I don’t fully agree with that. It’s on a long enough cooldown that not having it at the proper time super sucks, but it’s also on a low enough cooldown that there are a lot of situations where you can use it safely and have it up again when you need it. As with everything in the game you just have to consider the pros and cons every time you’re thinking of using it.
Enemy Ana out of position and has no cooldowns? Completely worth jumping on her with Fade if you know it’s not a suicide. Taking out a main support like that can be worth the risk a lot of the time. Teammate’s about to die but will live if you can get in range to pump heals into them? Fade on over, but try to stay in as safe of a position as you can.
Any of those situations popping up but you know that the enemy Rein has shatter, or the enemy Genji has blade, or any number of situations where not having Fade to react is going to kill you? Maybe consider holding onto it a bit longer. On the subject of Fade…
• DURING GENJI’S ULT, WAIT TO FADE UNTIL YOU SEE HIM DASH TO YOU.
Blade is such a dangerous ult that it’s somewhat likely that you’re going to die anyway, but if the enemy Genji decides to jump on YOU when he blades you can completely deny him the reset he needs to snowball the fight. It’s hard to time but you want to be able to Fade right as he dashes but BEFORE he’s able to slash as well.
GENERAL TIPS FOR PLAYING AGAINST MOIRA
• Bate out her Fade.
It sounds like an obvious thing, but it’s not a difficult thing to do and leaves her completely vulnerable. You don’t need to use a lot of cooldowns to do it, you just need to pressure her to the point that she doesn’t feel safe in her current location. A LOT of Moira’s use Fade very quickly if someone’s shooting at them.
• Block her line-of-sight.
Moira’s strong right now because she is capable of healing through shields with her orbs and ultimate, but the biggest chunk of her healing comes from her left-click. Use Mei walls and shields to force her to reposition to spots more favorable for your team. Good use of these tools will also prevent her from having access to easy right-clicks, meaning that she’ll empty her resource and provide very little value to her teammates.
• Use range.
Again, sounds obvious… but the amount of Genji’s I see complaining about Moira is just astounding. Of course you’re losing against her as Genji. She is perfectly capable of soloing Genjis in a vast majority of situations. If you can stay out of the range of her Biotic Grasp, the only way she can contest you is by using her orb cooldown.
• Use Mei.
The way to beat Moira is bating her fade, as we discussed earlier. The easiest character I have found to do that consistently is with Mei. She will 100% fade if she’s under threat of being frozen. Try to be smart about walling off her escape routes and you’ll win most fights where you can get in range of her, and use Ice Block to stay alive through Moira’s consistent tickle damage.
• RUN THROUGH HER ORBS!
The amount of people I see running with damage orbs is fucking mind-blowing. In the movie Prometheus, there’s an infamous part towards the end where two characters are being chased by a huge rolling object, and people criticized that section of the movie for being unbelievable. Why wouldn’t the characters just dodge to the side? Overwatch single-handedly proves the lack of proper decision-making people have when under pressure. It’s better to take only a tick or two of damage by running through it as opposed to having all 200 damage dumped into you because you’re trying to escape it by running with it.
• SERIOUSLY, STOP TAKING EXCESS DAMAGE FROM HER ORB!
A huge boon to having a Moira on your team is the constant ults she’ll have. The biggest contributing factor to my ult charge when I’m playing her is the damage orbs I’m throwing. Pay more attention to avoiding damage from those orbs to severely limit the amount of ults she’ll be able to have.
GENERAL TIPS FOR PLAYING WITH MOIRA
• Be aware of your positioning!
As with many things on this list it feels like this should be an obvious consideration, but based on how often it seems to be a problem in my games I feel it’s worth mentioning. Just because Moira can heal through shields with her orbs and ult doesn’t mean that you should make her do it if it can be avoided. A majority of her healing is going to be through her left-click which doesn’t go through shields. Just try to be aware of where you are in relation to her.
• Feel free to play a little more aggressively!
I’ll say this with the caveat that you should gauge how good your Moira is at shifting between healing and damage. If you feel like she’s striking a good balance, feel free to drop your shield a bit more and swing away, Rein! You’ll get your ult faster, she’ll get her ult faster, things will die more… very few downsides!
DISCLAIMER: Don’t drop your shield if your team needs that shield up! Try to recognize when it would be okay to throw out that aggression.
• Unlike damage orbs, walk WITH your Moira’s heal orbs!
A good Moira will be able to make optimal use of map geometry to keep her orbs in controlled areas, but if you see that your Moira has thrown an orb that will inevitably fly off into the sunset and you need healing then just hug it for a bit.
Well I think that about covers it. I apologize again for the wall-of-text. If you have any questions, want to add your own tips, or feel like I’m misrepresenting something then please let me know! The whole purpose of this is to clear up as many of the misunderstandings of her as I can, so whatever adds to that is great!