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A Beginner's Guide to Ana

by Josh Bury Feb 6 2017
Thumbnail image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Ana is a versatile support hero who can save allies and secure kills. She has a high-impact ultimate ability and can assist and harm at long range. Her kit may not be intuitive at first glance, but once mastered, its pinpoint accuracy can turn fights in your favor.

Abilities

Ana's Biotic Rifle is a unique weapon. Primary fire sends out a dart projectile that will heal allies or damage enemies over a short period of time. When secondary fire is pressed, Ana looks down the rifle's scope, and the fast-moving dark projectile is instead turned into a hitscan beam. Both versions of the rifle's shot are blocked by allies, since it will attempt to heal them.

Sleep Dart fires a fast-moving projectile that incapacitates an enemy for several seconds, though it is interrupted by damage. This ability will interrupt stronger, long-lasting abilities, including ultimates like Roadhog's Whole Hog and Genji's Dragonblade.

Biotic Grenade is a strong ability that not only heals allies and damages enemies in an area for a good amount, but amplifies the healing that allies take and blocks all healing on enemies hit by the grenade. It is also the only ability that Ana can use to heal herself.

Nano Boost, Ana's ultimate ability, greatly increases a friendly target's speed and damage dealt while reducing their damage taken. It is a great option for pushing into an objective or defending against an opposing team rushing an objective.

When is Ana a good choice?

Ana's versatile kit makes her an effective choice in many situations. As a result, there aren't many times when she cannot function effectively. However, her effectiveness can be reduced or increased by certain factors.

Ana is a good choice when:

  • The team still needs a second support
  • There is a high-value target for her Nano Boost ultimate ability
  • There are high-health heroes on her team, allowing her to safely charge her Nano Boost
  • Ana's offensive capabilities can be used against enemies with predictable movement like Pharah and/or Mercy, or against heroes that tend to set up in set areas like Bastion or Torbjorn

Ana can be more difficult to play when:

  • The enemy team is effectively diving her team's backline and isolating the supports and snipers, while her team is unable or unwilling to help
  • There aren't enough high-health targets to charge Nano Boost reliably
  • She is the only support on a team without several high-health allies

Ana thrives in areas where:

  • There are good sightlines to both opponents and allies which allow her to scope in, like the first and last sections of Watchpoint: Gibraltar
  • Enemies are forced to group up in chokepoints, maximizing value from her Biotic Grenade, like the archway near Point A on Volskaya Industries
  • She cannot be easily flanked, like when defending Point B on Hanamura

Josh "Gauntlet" Bury is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find him on Twitter.

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