Even if you don’t play Overwatch you have undoubtedly heard of it. Among all the healers in game, I find Zenyatta to be the most versatile, hence the title. I am not here to argue, or to say you dumb if you hate him; I’m here to give a great character some praise.
To better understand this hero and all his glory we must first explore his lore. Zenyatta was among a group of outcast omnic robots that experienced a “spiritual awakening.” They believed Omnics have a soul and they could help bring humans and robots into harmony through their guidance. Zenyatta eventually broke with the group, believing he could do more good by engaging with others and establishing meaningful connections. He now travels the world, helping others and seeking further enlightenment. But at the same time he isn’t afraid of confrontation and is willing to battle to protect innocents.
Tl;dr: Zenyatta is a battle monk that throws metal orbs at people. He levitates from the ground and kicks people in the face. If that doesn’t impress you his toolkit will. Zenyatta can cast his Orb of Harmony on any teammate in sight, but also stay out of harm’s way; minimizing risk. Mercy has to be near a target to heal them, often putting herself at in danger. The only other healer capable of this feat is Ana, but some skill is required. Her heals depend on your ability to hit a moving ally, and let’s just say your team usually doesn’t understand that concept. Since Orb of Harmony auto targets allies and is constant, your only concern is who to heal next.
Zenyatta can deal out some massive damage as well. By throwing an Orb of Discord on an enemy player, Zenyatta can amplify any damage the target receives. This is a game changer in itself. In a team game like Overwatch, strategy is everything. This one move lets you single out a member of an enemy team and drop them fast. You can kill their healers, tank, or even a bastion with ease. But it doesn’t end there, Orb of Discord can also help shutdown a number of hero ultimates, like Pharah’s barrage. This limits the damage your team sustains and it’s just great.
Aside from Orb of Discord, Zenyatta has the unique ability to damage as he heals. He can help nuke opponents, throw orbs at another, and heal teammates with his Orb of Harmony. The only other healer that comes close is Lucio, but he can only heal and damage at the same time, albeit a global heal. Then there is his ultimate, which is perhaps one of my favorites. When using Transcendence, Zenyatta becomes immune to damage, gains extraordinary movement speed, and quickly heals all allies within range. It is one of the best counter ultimates in game. Transcendence completely counter’s Zarya’s graviton surge, Reaper’s death blossom, and many others. It is a powerful tool that can easily change the tide of battle if saved for the right moment.
Because of his toolkit, Zenyatta instantly becomes a standout to players like me. Supporting is often a boring task, requiring you to sacrifice the thrill of killing an enemy player for the “excitement” of watching your friends health bar go up. Don’t get me wrong, healing isn’t objectively boring; some like to heal, others simply don’t. But sometimes you need a healer or your team composition isn’t viable and you will surely lose. For those times Zenyatta truly shines. You won’t feel trapped in a healer role, and you will contribute more. No other healer in game gives you the same feeling. It doesn’t hurt that you can turn him into a super model either.