Ana is one of the most fun characters to enter Heroes of the Storm

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A ranged support

More Overwatch is coming to Heroes of the Storm. Some of you didn’t even want onemore character, but lo and behold, twoare coming on top of a new Volskaya battleground. It’s inevitable when the former is so massively zeitgeisty, but I truly think that every Overwatchhero has translated very well into the MOBA arena.

But it’s not just about translating those heroes, the HotSteam needs to ensure that they’re battling power creep and keeping all of the roles in check. “We won’t take a year to add more supports into the game,” a Blizzard representative told me during a recent interview. Well, if they’re anything like Ana, that’s fine with me.

I was having fun with Ana within 30 seconds of starting my first match with her. You have to constantly use her Q healing skillshot, which refreshes every few seconds, to keep your team up, which forces her into an extremely active role. If you’re not constantly using Q, or hitting teammates with it, your healing numbers are going to be low, and you’re probably going to have a bad time.

Surprisingly she can rack up great damage numbers, mostly due to her “Dose” trait, which applies poison to enemies up to five stacks. Keeping the same enemies dosed is the key to pumping up your numbers, and she can crush just about any other support in a direct one-to-one confrontation so long as she can kite them around and fill them with poison. If she gets back into a corner or gets rushed down, she can pop a sleeping dart into them and get back into position. It’s glorious.

Her only major weaknesses are getting rushed by multiple enemies (you can only sleep one at a time, it’s a skillshot you need to hit, and it can be cleansed, or simply canceled with damage) and self-healing — since she can’t shoot herself with her healing dart, she needs to drop a grenade at her feet to recover health.

A grenade, mind, that doubles as a way to debuff healing from enemy sources, which is a perfect opportunity to practically negate an incoming healing wave or a huge burst heal, like anything Uther throws out. With a lot of coordination and great aim, you can surgically remove squishy enemy heroes from the game by crippling their healing capabilities, a task that’s much easier to do while on voice chat.

As for her heroics, one will probably be the go-to in competitive games (Nano Boost, which buffs a teammate’s ability damage and cooldowns, the inverse of Morales’ auto-attack buffing Stim Drone), and the other will be used heavily in quickmatch (Eye of Horus). While Nano is an obvious situational buff, Eye is a much wackier heroic, as it allows Ana to post up in a sniper position and shoot anyone on the entire map.

It’s a mechanic that’s been used in pretty much every MOBA to date, but it fits the character and is a unique way to acclimate her to the Heroesuniverse, free from the shackles of a 1:1 Overwatchclone. The other Overwatchcharacters are similar in that regard, and the end results are so wonderful that I’d even be okay with seeing some of the Heroesheroics end up in the source material.

Long story short, Ana is a success. I hope Blizzard is able to monitor and adjust her accordingly, as it’s too early to tell how powerful she is one day in PTR. Personally though I can see getting her to level 20 fairly quickly and working her into my long term rotation.