Moira was released on the live game a few weeks ago. She is the newest hero/villain to enter into the world of Overwatch and also a member of the much-neglected healer class. She mixes a lot of offensive and healing abilities in one interesting and nefarious package. Let’s break down who and what Moira is and her effect on the game.
I love the idea of a Machiavellian, evil scientist being featured in the game. Her background story has several interesting beats. The summary is that she was a discredited geneticist who was offered a secret job in Overwatch’s shady Blackwatch division. However, her experiments lead to some catastrophes and she was later fired. She bounced around the globe for a while, looking for sponsors in exotic locales. She was eventually hired by the terrorist group, TALON, where she’s at now.
Her lore video provides some interesting and exciting images. The fact that she experiments on herself while wearing a traditionally male-oriented shirt and tie combo led many fans to believe that Moira is a transwoman, which would be a welcome addition to the Overwatch cast in my opinion. However, having a villainous trans-person could be seen as a step backward in the eyes of the LGBTQ+ fanbase.
There’s also an image of her experimenting on Gabriel Reyes, which highly suggests that she is the one who transformed him into the wraith-like Reaper. This transformation was widely credited to Mercy’s experiments. Although I am glad that Moira has been given solid connections to the main Overwatch cast, I think that attributing this misdeed to her was the step in the wrong direction. I think it was a more interesting having Mercy being the one with unchecked ambition gave Mercy a more developed character arc than her vanilla angel persona. Blizzard even went farther in the two healers’ juxtaposition by including a frame of Moira clad in Mercy’s armor, but with red and black accents with devil horns instead of Mercy’s halo.
I feel that her gameplay backs up her lore as well. As I detail later, a formidable Moira player switches from 45 seconds long “modes” of offensive and supportive play. This suits her backstory, as she has flitted between maniacal scientist and genuinely concerned doctor.
Although I feel that some of Moira’s plot-beats detract from Mercy’s more sinister undertones; I feel that, overall, Moira adds an excellent archetype that we haven’t yet seen in the game.
Moira’s kit has a devilish mix of offensive and defensive capabilities. When she was first revealed; many fans decried her as Zenyatta 2: the Reckoning. This is not the case, however. She cannot do damage and heal at the same time in many cases. Often, she has to switch between two modes: healing and damage, whereas Zenyatta can constantly heal his teammates while launching his deadly orbs. Moira trades this lack of versatility (at least in comparison to Zenyatta) for AoE heals.
This is the trickiest part of learning how to play Moira. There is a definitive flow of being locked into the damage-dealer or the healer for a span of forty-five seconds. Switching between these two philosophies is a hard adjustment for many players. Most characters only require one mindset (Mercy will play a supportive healer for the whole game whereas Lucio will always be zooming around, focusing on attacks.) Many new players will stick to one concept of Moira, much to their detriment. Some players will treat her like a mobile Symmetra, completely eschewing the amazing healing potential of her biotic orbs for meager damage. Others will completely lean in on her healing potential too much and be complete without healing charge to last through a big team-fight. This adjustment only takes a few games, though. Afterwards, it becomes quite easy to switch between offensive and supportive roles. Her fade ability helps a lot in this regard. It allows her to reposition reactively to suit both modes of play.
Her ultimate, Coalescence, often seems like a damage dealing ability with a little healing mixed in. This beam actually has loads of healing potential with only meager damage returns. This should only be used as a reaction to another game-changing ult in the same vein as Lucio’s Sound Barrier or Zenyatta’s Transcendence.
Some other tips include:
- Moira’s Biotic Grasp heals continuously after you removed your finger from the button. Try imagining using it as burst fire, because you may use too much of your healing ammo if you’re too generous.
- Save your Biotic Orb for clutch plays only. I know that it’s so tempting to launch a damaging Biotic Orb into the enemy’s spawn-point, but that will only waste your time and put you on a long cool-down. Save it for healing.
- Your Biotic Grasp’s range is way longer than what you imagine it being. You don’t need to get as close as Symmetra when dealing damage.
- Your Biotic Grasp does not grant headshot damage. You can easily dwindle down land-based targets’ HP by strafing than by fiddling with your mouse.
I am so in love with Moira. I think her backstory