Few Overwatch heroes accomplish as much as Moira. She’s a damage dealer and a healer that doesn’t require a ton of aiming or careful ability usage. She can output loads of HP — more than popular heroes like Mercy and Lucio — and get a few enemy eliminations with ease.
Despite her low-barrier-to-entry playstyle, Moira has a few challenges to overcome. It’s hard to know when to deal damage versus when to heal your team. You can lose team fights if you’re not healing enough just as much as you can lose them if you’re not damaging enough. This guide will help you recognize when to do both, and what’s so important about your role as Moira.
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Biotic Grasp – Biotic Grasp is actually two abilities with one name. At any time, Moira can either damage or heal based on her primary or secondary fire. Her healing does a massive 80 healing per second (Mercy heals for 50 healing per second in comparison). Meanwhile, the healing beam passes through all allies within 15 meters. The catch is that it’s limited by Biotic Energy, or the meter next to her crosshair.
To earn Biotic Energy back, you have to deal damage with her secondary fire. This is a damaging beam (which means it can’t be eaten by D.Va’s Defense Matrix or deflected by Genji) and deals 50 damage per second. It also has a long, 20-meter range. The secondary fire refills your Biotic Energy at about 10 units per second, so you should always look to deal damage between bouts of healing.
Biotic Orb – Moira can send out either a healing or damage projectile that bounces off of walls and depletes as it connects with either allies or enemies. The healing orb heals up to 300 health, while the damage orb deals up to 200 damage. You should practice tossing them in such a way that they bounce toward enemies or allies. The ability has a 10-second cooldown.
Fade – Fade is one of the best movement abilities in the game. This 6-second cooldown skill lets Moira disappear for nearly a full second. She then rushes in a given direction and cleanses herself of things like Ana’s anti-grenade or Widowmaker Venom Mine damage. It’s an incredibly useful ability for closing the distance on people or to escape.
Coalescence – Moira’s wordy ultimate ability doesn’t just have a really unique animation. It’s also very strong if you use it right. When activated, you send out a giant beam that deals 70 damage per second to enemies and heals allies for 140 HP per second. It also heals you. The trick is to position yourself so that your 30-meter-long beam hits both allies and enemies. It’s a fast charging ultimate, too, so you can use it pretty often.
Damage or Healing
When playing Moira, you’ll often ask yourself if it’s better to be healing or dealing damage — that’s kind of her thing. You need to heal to keep your teammates alive, but you also need to deal damage to maintain Biotic Energy. One great trick is to tap her heal instead of holding it down. Then constantly weave in her secondary fire in between healing. That way you won’t over-heal allies and you’ll gain bits of Biotic Energy in between.
Here’s how it breaks down. Only deal damage if your team outnumbers the enemy team. If you kill two or three foes, feel free to work in more damage and go for low-health targets. If it’s the other way around, and your team has its own losses, try to prioritize healing. You never know! Someone on your team might even the odds with an ultimate or a few precious picks.
This applies to Moira’s Biotic Orbs, too. Primarily send healing orbs in the direction you think your allies will go, or straight down at your feet to keep them stuck in one position. Only use damage orbs instead of healing ones if you want to get ultimate charge before a fight happens, or to finish off someone trying to escape. Moira’s Biotic Orbs make up for her inability to infinitely heal with her primary fire. Use them intelligently and you’ll rarely run out of healing.
Positioning as Moira
Moira is at her best when she’s near and behind her team. Because her heals pass through all allies, you want to be with the most clumped up teammates to hit multiple people at once. Moira is a great pick if your team composition is tank-heavy and stationary. If it’s full of flankers, like Tracer and Genji, or even has heroes like Pharah, Moira is tough to play. She simply can’t reach all of those heroes consistently enough to be useful.
Similar to her regular healing, Coalescence gets the most value if you’re sitting behind your team and within range of the enemy. It’s an incredible ultimate to pop with another damaging skill to secure kills and keep your team alive. It’s also a good thing to use if you run out of Biotic Energy, or simply don’t have the time to repair your teammates before they die. Coalescence is not as powerful as Zenyatta’s Transcendence or Lucio’s Sound Barrier, so you can use it pretty liberally — even to save one person.
What to Practice
Moira is an agile healer that needs to pay attention to her cooldowns. You lose teammates when you’re Biotic Orb is on cooldown, your Biotic Energy is depleted, or you don’t have Fade to dip away from the attacking Tracer. When you play Moira, you should plan out each cooldown usage. Do you really need to use a Biotic Orb here, or can you wait until your team actually walks into the enemy?
Do you really need to Fade closer to your allies when you could save it to dodge the Genji? Take a moment to consider why you’re using her abilities and you’ll start to see how fluid her kit can be. Not to mention you’ll always be able to heal your allies.
Sometimes, Moira’s role really is to Fade into the enemy team and take out your last remaining adversaries. She’s great for that! But it’s not her primary function. Your team needs a healer in the support role, not a flanker. Her damage per second is intentionally low, but just high enough that there are times where you can secure a victory by taking out non-threatening heroes — like Mercy or a mech-less D.Va. This isn’t Moira’s role, however. It’s a tactic to employ carefully.
It’s not uncommon for Moira to have all gold medals in eliminations and healing at the end of a match. The medals don’t always mean you’re doing well. It’s possible to have too many kills and not enough healing, and vice versa. Watch the kill feed to track how many of your teammates are alive. Then use that information to decide what you should be doing. Don’t only play for yourself. As with any support, pay attention to where your allies are and what kind of engagements they take. Do your best to help them — even if it means taking less-than-optimal positions.
Moira is still underrated by a lot of Overwatch players. She’s a great pick for a lot of compositions across many different maps. She lacks some utility, but can make a huge impact in games. She’s annoying to catch and annoying to out-damage with her immense healing. Play Moira with purpose and — true to her character — you’ll make the other support heroes look pathetic.