Overwatch Ana Strategy Guide
If you prefer to learn things in a video format over text, here’s a link to basically Everything Below In Under 15 Minutes: https://youtu.be/2mVg90hrZZ4 Time stamps are also embedded throughout the scroll bar so you can skip to which bits suit you!
ANA BIOTIC RIFLE
Ana shoots out darts dealing 70 damage or healing over 0.6 seconds respectively. If Ana zooms in, the shots will be hitscan, and if unscoped/hipfire, the shots will be a projectile with a speed of 125 m/s (For reference, Zen’s orbs are 90 m/s, making Ana shoot out the fastest projectiles in the support category when considering their primary fire). The rifle has a magazine size of 14, alongside a reload time of 1.5 seconds. When scoping in, you also experience a movement speed decrease of 65%, which I’ll get into why this is important later on.ANA BIOTIC RIFLE TECH
- Scoped shots leave a tracer behind revealing where you last shot from, revealing your position. This may make you vulnerable to flankers scouting you for a duel, or if you try and remain unscouted
- Shots will pass through full Health allies, appyling no effect
- The projectile size ana shoots when unscoped is treated as 0.3 meters for allies, making it easier to heal teammates. However, this projectile size is much smaller for enemies
- (CONSOLE ONLY) A few years ago, Blizzard added a feature for aim assist onto allies when attempting to heal them. It is NOT on by default, hence I recommend you turn it on, and adjust to your liking
- You can cancel the reload animation by using melee after the magazine is loaded into the rifle
- Quickscoping – When holding the ADS (Aim Down Sights) Key, the white outline of Ana’s scope appears before you actually zoom in. Be ready for this indication so that you can shoot a few frames later when you just scope in for a split second.
ANA BIOTIC RIFLE USAGE
- As the shot fired is hitscan, you don’t need to predict the movement of your teammate. This is especially useful when you are at range duelling the opposing DPS, as you can quickly zoom in, click, zoom out, onto a small teammate such as a Genji in middair. This is also useful if you (or the ally who you’re trying to hit) turns the corner, in which you can quickly track their movement, and quickscope, without having to predict their movement with a projectile
- Quickscoping minimises how long you are spent with the movement penalty, and the decreased field of view
- Maximises the time taken to zoom in, then zoom out, increasing your APM (Actions Per Minute)
Healing Vs Damage:
- Obviously, as a support, your job is to prioritise healing over damaging
- The principle of healing and dealing damage is very similar to Moira and Baptiste, but at range, and since Ana has a scope (that decreases FOV) finding gaps to deal damage can often be more difficult with problems such as tunnel vision arising
- However, especially below diamond, positioning from DPS will often be scattered, even to the extent where you can three shot a Pharah who is flying too high in the air
- Dealing damage also depends upon which other support you are paired with. For example, when paired with a Moira, you can make the assumption that she will keep the majority of your team alive, which will give you an opening to land 3 shots (or 2 + 1 nade) on an enemy squishy
- However, when you are paired with an off support such as Zen, taking the time to find an off-angle will be detrimental to your tanks
- A good mixture of both playstyles would be Ana Bap, where bap may want to go aggressive himself to utilise his amp. matrix, where both supports in this case need a semi-coordinated ebb and flow
Scoping Vs Hipfire:
I’ll provide a list of Pros and Cons of Scoping in:
- No movement prediction at all (As Mentioned prior with quickscoping)
- Unless you feel confident enough with Ana’s projectile shots, or if you’re at close range, you should almost always be trying to scope in to more likely land your shots
- Hitscan shots are faster than projectile shots
- As there is no time taken between you clicking to shoot, and for the shot to reach your teammate, the time saved could be vital, increasing your overall HPS
- Combined with the last point, your HPS is increased AND more likely to get closer to your maximum HPS (By landing each shot) hitscan is the way to go.
- Easier to be 1 Shot
- Because of the reduced movement speed, a widowmaker, Hanzo, or damage boosted Ashe can line up their crosshair to dink you
- The same can apply with any flanker, where they can land their damage onto you before you can even react (Especially when considering the Genji buff, but also with Doomfist and Tracer)
- Reduced FOV May Lead to Tunnel Vision
- FOV (Field of View) being lower means that friendly teammates that are outside of your scope whilst zoomed in may not receive any healing because you can’t visually see them on your screen
- This may then snowball into tunnel visioning onto healing tanks only, which you will experience the reprocussions of when you play with another support that does not specialise in healing DPS, or when you don’t play with self-sufficient DPS such as Mei in which you don’t need to heal her as much as an Ashe or McCree
Considering both of these points, you should never stay scoped in for more than 4-5 Shots UNLESS…
- You, as Jayne would call it, are playing the ‘Narnia’ Ana, where you are very far back, and you are positioned in such a way where you are unlikely to be flanked by one dive, and the enemy team don’t have any 1 Shot Characters (Or they just aren’t focused on killing you)
- Great examples of this would be on Route 66 3rd Point Defense, where you play by the Lorry, Hanamura 1st Point Defense where you play by the mini, and King’s Row 3rd Point Defense, where you play by the healthpack closest to your spawn
- At the start of the game (Specifically for Hanamura 1st) where you don’t know the enemy team comp, you want to listen out for specific audio queues, such as a Widowmaker shot, Hanzo Leap, Ashe Coach Gun, or Hanzo activating his storm arrows. Using this information, you need to play in a position where you are out of their L.O.S. which in this situation of Hanamura 1st, would be towards the room with the mini healthpack in front of you, as you are out of L.O.S. from a sniper using their mobility to peak top right window, or for them to peak ontop of gate
ANA SLEEP DART
This makes Ana fire a dart rendering an enemy unconscious for up to 5 seconds. The sleep dart deals 5 damage, has a cast time of 0.3 seconds, a projectile speed of 60 meters per seconds, alongside a lengthy cooldown of 12 seconds.
ANA SLEEP DART TECH + USAGE
200HP Oneshot Combo:
- Sleep (5 Damage) => Shoot (70 Damage) => Nade (60 Damage) => Shoot (70 Damage) => Melee (30 Damage)
- Total: 235 Damage. You can leave out the melee, although it increases the TTK, which may prevent the opponent you slept to use their escape
- Also, do this at the end of the sleep duration (IE When they are about to go into the animation of them waking up NATURALLY, as this animation is longer than the animation for them waking up from taking damage anywhere else throughout the duration)
- This may be anecdotal, but you may not pull off the combo against mobile flankers who already get their movement cooldowns by the time the sleep duration is up (Specifically somewhere when you take the 2nd shot)
- Sleep dart isn’t a conceptually complex ability to wrap your head around on how to use it, but rather the execution of it is much harder, especially with the reduced movement speed (Which may come across as unnatural to unexperienced Ana Players, with them undershooting their shot for not compensating for the halved movement speed)
- Sleeping Flankers is probably the most consistent value you will receive from using sleep dart, and I believe there is a workshop mode I saw from Noobhunter where ML7 went on a continuous streak sleep darting Genji’s who popped their blade out. I don’t know the code, but if you do, leave it down below so other people can see!
- Building on this idea of saving/using your sleep dart for flankers…
Pointless Sleep Darts:
For me to elaborate on this idea, I’ll need to briefly provide some context on the 3 Main types of abilities than you use to gain net value in Overwatch:
- NC Abilities – These stand for ‘Non-cooldown’ abilities. For example, your WASD Keys, jumping. Essentially, anything that if you’re hacked, you can still use. Ammo/Shooting can be considered an NC ability although the fact that you have to reload makes it slightly lean towards the next set of abilities.
- CD Abilities – These are your typical cooldown abilities.
- Ultimates – Says in the name
Now, with this information, in Overwatch, you want to be using your NC Abilities, to force out CD abilities from the enemy, which will make you use your CD abilities to force out their Ultimates first, in which you can react/kite effectively or proactively use your own ultimates second afterwards.
Now, it might seem counter-intuitive, in the sense that it’s always good to be PROACTIVE, but you want to use your cooldowns second. For example, as a Winston in a Dive vs Dive comp, using your CD Ability of jumping FIRST, will open up more options for the opposing Winston to counter dive whatever you’re diving and kill you, or if he feels that his backline is fine, he can dive your backline.
So, in short, you want to PROACTIVELY use your NC Abilities, to then force out cooldowns from the enemy team, to then which you can use your cooldowns second, as you should have more options on what to do (For example, the Dive vs Dive match up above)
So, linking back to Ana, you want to be HOLDING ONTO your sleep dart SECOND because it is a THREAT to the enemy. For example, you sleeping a dive character 30 Meters away from you will, in 99% of cases, NOT MATTER, and REMOVE the threat of the sleep dart as the dive character who just woke up from your sleep now KNOWS that you are more vulnerable to being dove upon. The same can be said for your biotic nade, however the playmaking potential, the skill floor and skill cap of the nade is higher than the sleep dart, so much so that the fight will be over in the 4 seconds that you nade half the enemy team that you don’t need to worry about being dove on.
- This is the remaining use of your sleep dart; To save it for any ultimates (Preferably ones that make the enemy move slower). Examples can be with Barrage, Blossom, High noon, Whole Hog, and if you’re good enough, Coalescence (As movement speed is increased in this scenario)
- You can also sleep cooldowns such as Hog’s breather although this is of less value
ANA BIOTIC NADE
This makes Ana toss a grenade dealing 60 damage and 100 healing to enemies and allies respectively, with a projectile speed of 30 meters per second, an area of effect of 4 meters, a duration of 4 seconds, and a length cooldown of 10 seconds. The affected allies receive 50% more healing than normal, including from health packs, whereas affected enemies cannot receive any healing at all.
ANA BIOTIC NADE USAGE
Nading 1 Person:
- Due to how much potential value you can receive from using your nade, nading one person has to be of the utmost value, which are in two main situations
- Those two being to keep yourself or another teammate alive, or to 100% guarantee a kill an enemy. Any other use than that would not be worth using your nade on 1 specific target
- These are the nades that will single handedly change your game, by flanking around, and landing a nade in a grav to counter a zen transcendence, or to force the opposing Reinhardt to kite
- I really want to elaborate on this concept here, but skip to the ‘Positioning’ section of the guide where you can set yourself up subconsciously to land large nades by flanking at the correct time based upon your other support
- You can also get used to the arc of the nade by splashing it up against walls, specifically on maps like Horizon Lunar Colony or Numbani (Despite HLC isn’t in Comp)
- Other aggressive nades would be against two Reinhardt’s swinging against each other, or their Reinhardt barreling his hammer to your Reinhardt, in which he’ll be too tunnel visioned to block your nade
- There are certain spots where you can throw your nade in the air, and have it reliably hit a certain spot every time by positioning your crosshair correctly against the geometry of the map
- I recommend checking out KarQ’s set nade video. I made a set nade video as well about a year ago but the quality is absolutely abysmal…
Winning the Genji Duel Via Nade:
- If you imagine a horizontal line drawn from Genji’s centre of mass, with the horizontal line representing the maximum distance he can dash, where would you position yourself along that line as Ana?
- Well, at the very end. This is so that your nade hits you and the genji. Even better, if you are just 1 or two meters to the right of the horizontal line (IE Out of range from the dash) you can still land the nade splashing him and you, whilst not taking any damage from the splash.
- If you can’t retreat to the point where you are at this distance, you can do the same but in the opposite direction (IE Slightly towards the Genji on that horizontal line)
- This is obviously easier said than done, as genji’s will often right click cancel their shurikens hence atleast one will hit you, in combination with him jumping around, and that he still has his deflect, and melee to finish you off
- Although, the genji is equally as spooked with the cooldown of your sleep dart and nade, hence beyond landing the nade, the other factors are mainly mechanical (Corner advantage, peeling, positioning also take a factor)
- This in general is a bad idea since the nade could be used 5 seconds later to enable your tanks, to the save them, to splash it up against a wall etc. Unless you want to prevent a damage threshold E.G. A Widow Bodyshot
- The damage you take can be healed up by AoE Healing From Moira’s Lingering Heal effect, Brig Inspire, Bap Regen Burst, Lucio Aura. In Ana Zen I could potentially see why, although a healthpack is more worth it, or requesting the orb
- If you need the extra few points of ult charge, you could also nade yourself then
This provides a 50% Damage buff and damage reduction to any singular teammate that Ana chooses, lasting 8 seconds, alongside the capability to heal up to 250 Health. There is also a short cast time of 0.15 seconds, and the maximum range you can apply nano on a teammate is 40 meters
ANA NANOBOOST USAGE
Covering Aggressive Nano Usage as a Whole, ML7 did a fantastic video as well as a concise Google Spreadsheet which covers when to nano aggressively on each hero in the game, depending upon whether they have their ultimate or not, and depending on whether you’re above or below 3.3K in SR. Whilst I won’t be going over each hero case by case, I’ll cover some general rules of thought to keep in mind (Moving onto defensive usage the more you read throughout)
A ‘Validation’ Nano:
- This mainly applies in lower ranks, and to main tanks that are too scared to push past choke, hence using a nanoboost implicitly says that it’s go time to walk forward.
- This isn’t the most optimal usage however, since the first few seconds of nanoboost will be wasted as your main tank wouldn’t be close enough to make the use of the 50% damage increase or reduction
- An ultimate such as Coalescence would be of higher value as the piercing effect can be used at a decent range regardless of where your tank plays. You can also simultaneously heal and damage with coalescence as well.
Initiating The Teamfight:
- When using Nano to combo with ultimates such as Blade, your tanks will normally push in, and the enemy team will reactively use their cooldowns in attempt to counter the combo
- Knowing this information, you want to make the call to save utility such as a speed boost to allow your tanks to push in from the great distraction that the Genji would cause slashing the enemy backline
- This concept is more intangible, and requires shaped gamesense overtime to know when to use nanoboost in a scrappy fight to either apply pressure on the frontline, or to revert it, and force the enemy to back pedal
- An example would be in a 4v4 or 3v4 fight, and your Zarya is high charge. Knowing when to Nano would depend upon whether you yourself have your cooldowns (Specifically biotic nade), whether the enemy team have enough sustain to last themselves throughout the teamfight (Specifically in healers), whether you have spawn advantage, whether the enemy team are pouring in ultimates themselves, whether they have any powerful cooldowns such as Immortality Field, who your other player on your team is and whether they have enough resources themself to impact the fight (IE A Reinhardt can sustain long enough to gain shatter, and buy time for your Zarya to make an impact), whether you’re mechanically confident enough, whether you have a retreat, whether it’s final fight, whether you have line of sight or not etc.
- There’s hundreds of variables that your brain has to calculate in a few hundred ms, which if you take a step back, is incredible that you can do that cost-benefit analysis in such a short period of time. You will constantly get better at this overtime, which takes in-game practice to know which variable matters most in which situation.
- If your zen is 35% away from transcendence, and you know their Zarya has Grav, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to nanoboost your zen in order to gain transcendence faster (If he can aim obviously). I would go against this if you’re win condition is Nanoblade, or you’d rather save it to allow your Reinhardt to take some agro purposely, then you nanoboost him so he can still be aggressive AND the 250 Health will heal him
- You can also do the same with Winston, by nanoboosting him to gain an extra 10-15% he otherwise wouldn’t have gotten, then ‘snowball’ that into Primal, then he escapes with low HP, feeding 25% upwards to your next nano.
Saving a Life:
- This mainly goes hand-in-hand with the previous point, and is not purely mutually exclusive. If your Reinhardt (Or any teammate) starts to take a lot of damage, a nano boost can revert that almost instantaneously, which can then go to ‘Reverting’ the pressure applied to you from the enemy team
- You can also nano a zen who is getting dove, making him much more lethal, whilst also allowing him to build transcendence faster. Keep in mind, zen does a shade less damage than McCree when shooting at a discorded target; Amplifying that is certainly something the enemy team wouldn’t expect
Perhaps the most important part when considering how to play Ana, and it’s something you can fix within a day. Those familiar with my Zen guide, you may be all too familiar with this, however there are a few caveats which I will cover when going over two acronyms I use.
H.R.C. – Healthpack, Route of Retreat, Cover
Healthpack: Imagine on the experimental cards Jeff had released a patch giving Ana 75 Extra HP. It would be overpowered in theory, wouldn’t it? Well, you can actually replicate this change by simply positioning yourself next to a healthpack. An extra 75 or 200 HP to take duels will certainly aid yourself in increasing the probability of winning these duels. In conjunction with your nade as well, you can regain over half your HP by taking a mini when you are under the effect of your nade
Route of Retreat: This can be substituted for ‘Rotations,’ although I find this to be a more complex concept. Essentially a ‘route of retreat,’ is an escape route if your team loses the fight. EG Hollywood 1st Point Defense Café
Cover: No in-depth explanation to why this is useful. This refers more to natural cover instead of artificial in case your main tank has no shield management. Highground also counts as cover as you can back off from the edge, and use that as cover.
- I really want to emphasise utilising the highground moreso on Ana than Zen, even if it’s the only checkbox you tick. The sheer value you can get from landing a 3-5 man nade is so high that it’s worth jeopardising your safety for in some scenarios (If their Zarya has crazy bubble management or if their DV.a has very high awareness, it’s probably not be worth it)
- The ‘Healthpack’ part of the acronym can also be substituted with ‘Highground’ as you already have a mini healthpack of your own, in that of your biotic nade.
O.R.L. – Off-Angles, Rotation, Line of Sight
Off-Angles: This is looking for soft flanks that are away from the main fight to try and get a pick on the enemy team. A great example would be on Rialto 1st Point Attack, left side facing the first corner, or Watchpoint Gibraltar 1st Point Defence on the highground, waiting for the cart to go under to then catch out the enemy backline in a rotation, where you can land your nade, then two shot combo.
Rotation: This is changing position in relation to defend point in a more advantageous position. An example of this would be rotating from the Highground on Blizzard World Defense (The Highground closest to the attackers with the moving ride) to the backside of point.
- Jayne had once said in his VOD Reviews that the PATHING of the rotation wasn’t the problem, but the TIMING of it was
- This concept holds true especially if the enemy team have a Lucio as the time frame for when you can rotate is even lessened. You and your entire want to rotate at the same time, not one by one (Similar with the ‘Golden’ Rule of Reinhardt: “First one in, last one out”)
- Considering Ana, you won’t be as harshly punished as Zen, although you will be forced to use Biotic Nade, giving the enemy team the advantage in terms of resource (Referring to the NC and CD Abilities)
- You can see this by Dallas Fuel vs Houston Outlaws Match Up in Goats, where on Lijang Night Market, Rawkus had taken significant poke damage when trying to get to point (From Crimzo’s or Unkoe’s Right Click I believe) giving OGE (Dallas Fuel Reinhardt at the time) to give free reign to swing
- However, you can rotate in between fights to gain an aggressive position in order to land a big anti nade. For Example, after capping first point Blizzard World attack, you could rotate to highground, shoot at anyone on the highground to force them to drop, then you land your nade. You could also do this after the first fight on 2nd point in case you can’t take control of highground directly from capping 1st.
Line of Sight: This is ensuring that you have line of sight between you and your Reinhardt primarily, with potential line of sight to the enemy team to get aggressive picks. The main caveat between Ana and Zen here is that it is much more important on Ana than Zen, as you will be the primary source of healing in your team, and if you Reinhardt can’t see you for healing, he is likely to die. Simple Ccllouts such as ‘Peak Main For Heals’ would give Reinhardt (or any main tank that you have) info that they need to back up. Long sightlines are also more useful to Ana as she can more easily land her shots when scoped in.
CASE STUDY: WATCHPOINT GIBRALTAR 3RD POINT DEFENSE
So, right here is a top down view of WP Gibraltar, with 6 Letters, A-F, dotted around the map. Each letter represents a potential POSITION that you can play. Which, in your opinion, would be the most optimal position to play, or duo of positions to play, and why? I’d like to hear your thoughts, and I’ll be commenting my personal list of positions (From Worst To Best, and my reasoning behind why) 24 hours from this post being, well, posted.
ANA BACKLINE SYNERGIES
Ana Moira: This duo provides a high amount of healing and utility, however, you want to play extremely aggressive on high grounds, letting your Moira heal the majority of your team. You want to be asking yourself whether you can output the same amount of healing playing an off-support such as Lucio or Zen, who bring even more diverse utility than you. If so, you should consider swapping off of Ana.
Ana Lucio: This pair is optimised for brawl, as your nade provides high value in the Reinhardt vs Reinhardt brawl. To add on this, your Lucio’s area of effect healing will heal up any poke damage, and he has the ability to peel. However, your D.P.S. may suffer from a lack of healing if you have low awareness.
Ana Mercy: Even though mercy is a main support, she will mainly be healing the D.P.S. whilst you take care of the tanks. The only problem may be a lack of peeling if your mercy is unaware, and no defensive ultimate to take care of Shatter or Grav.
Ana Zen: This duo is a glass cannon. If both of you can stay alive, you are practically guaranteed a free win, however, there is no area of effect healing, and the healing provided is often extremely inconsistent due to dive, meaning that your tanks may be left defenceless. Play close to each other to peel.
Ana Bap: This duo is potentially the most versatile with Ana. Your D.P.S. may struggle to get any healing, hence running self-sufficient characters such as Reaper may be optimal. Tell your bap to be conservative with lamp due to the lack of any defensive ultimate and a lack of escape.
Ana Brig: This is most likely Brig’s strongest pair. All players on your team should receive consistent healing, alongside a great level of peel when playing Brig, and two aggressive ultimates, however, there is less opportunity for aggressive nades as you’ll be primarily healing your tanks.
Thanks for reading this guide for so long! Even if it’s only one person that I help, I’ve done my job. Any comments, queries, tips, questions, thoughts, concepts, Feel Free to ask me or anybody down below, as it can help out anyone else reading the post!
EDIT 1: “Unscoped shots have a cast time at 0.16 seconds, unscoped being a tad slower at 0.25 seconds and quickscoped having a lot slower,” hence why the pace of quickscoping consistently (one after the other) is difficult due to the cast timesbeing difficult.
EDIT 2: “Ana’s sleep dart is also somwhat similar to Mei icicles” – I actually somewhat disagree with this (Due to Mei’s Projectiles being 55 M/s faster than Sleep) although if you’re good at hitting icicles with Mei consistently, I’d also make the educated guess that you’re pretty good at landing sleeps with Ana.
EDIT 3: The sleep dart may not have an extended animation at the end of the duration; Probably a placebo effect, and most likely removed from the nerf, shortening the duration of sleep from 6 to 5 seconds.
EDIT 4: Nanoboosting a friendly who gets hooked by Hog will save their life (or McCree Flash = Fan Hammer) and revert pressure back onto the Hog. Whilst this is definitely viable, referring back to the CD and Ult Abilities, you will be at the resource deficit by using an ultimate in response to a cooldown, let alone managing to nano someone who’s under the effect of flash bang requires high awareness.
EDIT 5: In Ana Zen, playing close to each other (And not to your team) may be detrimental when going against a coordinated dive comp (or just a 2 man dive) as characters such as Winston can land cleave damage on both of you. It’s kind of a lose-lose situation as if you play apart, you need to be mechanically confident enough to win the duel, but if you play close to each other, you run the risk of the entire backline dying from a dive, hence I recommend you play anti-dive with Brig Ana, Brig Bap or Brig Moira