Playing support in Overwatch is like crawling through mousetraps to help your little brother up after he’s fallen, only for him to kick you in the face and call you a twat. It’s a thankless job, no matter how much you heal, and if you’re playing with randoms, you’ll often be hung out to dry in front of an ulting Moira and a hook-happy Roadhog. I swore off the role a couple of years ago, but Kiriko has roped me right back in, angry chat messages and thanks-spamming teammates be damned.
I tried her out because she was new and the daily quests keep asking me to queue for all roles which, as we know, really means support. She can shred through squishy DPS characters and heals plenty, at least enough to scratch my Mercy itch. Being able to reach upward of 9,000 healing in quick play while getting eliminations is like playing DPS with a bit more utility, and that’s what makes Kiriko so refreshing.
It comes with its own risks though. If you’ve played Overwatch 2 at all, you know Moira is constantly played as a DPS. They shred through enemies, rush off to get kills, and rarely come back to help the team, leaving the job to rest on one support’s shoulders. I’m busy scrambling to hit the mute button while I keep a charging Reinhardt alive as he plummets into the entire enemy team, so my shoulders are more than strained. But Kiriko hasn’t ended up like Moira – at least, not yet. The ease of being able to jump between damage and healing is similar there, but the DPS doesn’t outclass the healing to such an extent that it’s worth dropping altogether. The two are well-balanced, meaning you can easily flit between keeping D.Va alive and taking out a cheeky Widowmaker perched in the distance.
My old mains just aren’t fun anymore. Playing Mercy with well over 15,000 healing in lower ranks, keeping the team alive, resurrecting vital players, and helping push the payload, all while avoiding the focus of the entire enemy team, only to get a Cassidy spamming “I need healing” halfway across the map, is annoying; Lucio is fun but doesn’t always work on defence maps, and Bridgette depends on the synergy with the rest of your squad. Kiriko, however, lets me stand on my own two legs in fights, easily jump to my allies with her teleport ability so I can catch Cassidy being a prick and save him, and heal as standard. The versatility is unlike any other healer.
And then you get her cleanse ability which is perfect for tight spots where your healing just isn’t enough anymore. The amount of tanks I’ve saved in clutch moments in quick play with it is amazing and keeps the action going rather than leaving me helpless and doomed to sit in spectate while the overtime ticks down. Chuck in her ult that makes not only you heal and attack faster but your allies too, and she’s solidified as the best healer since Ana, but without the barrier to entry of using a sniper. I’m not very good at sniping, never mind juggling that and healing, so Kiriko is the perfect alternative.
Whether I bother in competitive with support is up in the air right now. It’s still a headache dealing with angry and ungrateful teammates who splinter across the map and somehow expect to get healed all at once, but at least now I’m enjoying the role again. The rush of scrambling to a critical marker to fill up their health bar while fighting back enemies is exhilarating in a way you just don’t feel with DPS, and the key role you play in ensuring your team’s survival is a wholly unique responsibility. I doubt I’ll ever be a Mercy main again or voluntarily choose healer with my friends when Roadhog and Orisa are right there for the taking, but at least I know that if I gotta pick healer, I have someone I’ll actually enjoy playing.
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