Overwatch's latest Support hero Ana Amari is great at secondary healing and buffing her team with some light damage abilities thrown in. Unfortunately, a lot of players trying her out play her as another Widowmaker (360 noscope lawlz!). She is not there for damage or headshots. She is there to heal and buff her teammates and harass the other team when she has the opportunity.
How best can she do that? Well, I'm glad you asked. Here are the top tricks and tips to playing Ana that will get you asked back by your team to play again and again.
Scope in for easier heal targeting
When you are healing, you can hold down the right button on the mouse to scope in and you will see a blue inverted triangle. Make sure your allies are in that inverted blue triangle for the healing shot to land. The shot is instant as opposed to firing from the hip where the bullet has travel time and can be intercepted. Also, scoping kicks in aim assist so you don't have to target your ally with pinpoint precision. Win win.
Ana's healing combo is the bomb, literally
Ana's healing combo of a Biotic Rifle shot on an ally followed by a Biotic Grenade followed by another Biotic Rifle shot (left click + E + left click) is the highest non-ultimate burst healing in the game. Use it regularly and often.
Ana can heal herself
Her Biotic Grenade heals for 100 health. Simply aim at your feet and throw it down for instant self-heal. It may seem like wasting the grenade, but you can't heal your team if you're dead.
Your Sleep is not a Stun
There is little in the game more satisfying than turning the tables on an enemy during the match. When Winston or Genji or Reinhardt comes bearing down on you to smash you to a bloody pulp, you can whip out your sleep dart because it's nappy time, children. But realize that ANY damage to them will wake them up early. This is not a stun like McCree's Flashbang.
An overeager teammate may be trying to "help" by firing on them and immediately wake them, cancelling whatever advantage you may have gained. So while you gain the upper hand by putting the enemy to sleep momentarily, realize that advantage is temporary and fleeting. Use it accordingly to fight or flee.
Your Sleep Dart isn't just for getting away from enemies that get the jump on you. It can also be used to knock heroes out strategically and cancel abilities they have activated. For example, you may want to consider using it to knock Bastion out of Tank mode ultimate to break a siege. Or drop Reinhardt from the side or back to cancel his shield. (Not from the from as it is a projectile and his shield will stop it.)
This doesn't work on abilities that are activated and then continue on their own (i.e. Hanzo's dragon ultimate), but on ones that need to be maintained and don't block projectiles.
Ana has burst damage
I know I said above that you are not to prioritize doing damage, but sometimes you have the opportunity, especially when you've been jumped by the enemy and have put them to sleep. Now comes the time for some sweet, sweet revenge. Note: This only works with low health heroes that you can take down quickly like D.Va out of her mech. Otherwise, sleep and run.
Hitting the V key will send Ana's left fist swinging out for melee damage. This can be of use in a combo of burst damage on a target you have put to sleep. Get in melee range and in quick succession fire on them with your Biotic Rifle, then punch them, then throw a Biotic grenade, then your rifle has reloaded so fire off another round: left click + V + E + left click. That will do a chunk of damage your enemy won't expect from a Support hero.
Choose your ult target wisely
Pull up your HUD (the Tab key) to see who has their ultimate ready. If they do, they'll have a highlighted checkmark under their portrait. They will be your priority for your ultimate which will boost their damage, movement speed, and damage reduction by 50%. On heroes like Reinhardt trying to break a siege, D.Va diving into an enemy push, or Genji destroying a contested point with his ult, you will turn the tide of the game.
Make sure to follow up the application of your Nano Boost ultimate with healing grenade and lots of Biotic healing shots to keep them alive while they dive into the enemy team.
You're not a main healer and you're not going to get the POTG
Ana is amazing to play and can make or break a game with her ultimate, but you will not be seeing yourself getting the Play of the Game with her. You also will be struggling if you're the only healer on your team. She's best when paired with a Lucio or Mercy and supporting their efforts while making life difficult for the enemy with her ultimate, Sleep Dart, and Biotic Grenade. That being said, if you enjoy being a key player that contributes in a big way, your friends are going to love you when you pick Ana on almost any map.
Trying to catch up with friends? Check out our guide on The Fastest Ways To Level Up In Overwatch.