I've been reading a lot lately about the way buffs like Mercy's damage boost and the orb of discord can be paired together to make a big damage boost for someone in Overwatch, as well as how Mercy overall can impact each game with her boost. I am also aware of the fact that headshots give a 2x multiplier. Correct me if I'm wrong about all this or if there's anything I've missed out!

I'm unsure fully how all of these interact and the potential for each character. What I would like to know is - if you were to line up all the necessary buffs in the game from character abilities (using only a team of 6, so you could choose 5 members who have the buffs that stack and then have 1 character who will make the attack), what is the most powerful attack in Overwatch from a single character that you could possibly do?

  • 1
    Do you include ultimate or exclude ultimate in your question ? Also for anyone answering, please note Ana is now part of the team and she can buff too. But in any case, the most powerful attack without a single buff, would still be the most powerful attack after ANY buff ... Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 7:55
  • If the buffs can impact the the ultimate, although it would be interesting to see the damage output for the single most powerful ultimate attack as well as the single most powerful normal attack.
    – Clusks
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 7:56
  • Which heroes buff dmg ? Mercy and Ana directly and Zenyata with the orb as debuff as far as i know.
    – Martin H.
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 7:58
  • I guess Zarya can buff her own damage too via shields, which is worthy of consideration in conjunction with other buffs.
    – psyk0
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 9:06

1 Answer 1


Excluding ultimates, a Widowmaker headshot does the most damage with a single projectile: 120 x 2.5 = 300. This ties with Reinhardt's charge which can do a maximum of 300 damage to a single target (not 350!).

Reaper's shotguns can theoretically hit for 280 damage if every pellet were to headshot, which seems extremely unlikely unless maybe point-blank with a Dva, whose armour would nullify half of the damage anyway, since it works on a per-pellet basis.

So going with a Widowmaker headshot / Reinhardt charge:

  • Base damage: 300
  • With Mercy's damage boost: 300 x 1.3 = 390
  • With Ana's Nano Boost: 390 x 1.5 = 585
  • With Zenyatta's Orb of Discord: 585 x 1.5 = 877.5

I'm not sure whether it rounds up or down. I'd be tempted to guess it rounds up.

This is enough to one-shot any character in the game. However, on max HP and with a Nano Boost themselves all of the tanks except Zarya should be able to survive this.

McCree's ult does the most damage at 1020 if charged for the full duration, with Dva's just below at 1000 at the center of its explosion. Dva's can be buffed by Mercy if she is buffed at the moment of the explosion so presumably all other buffs effect it as well. Neither of these can have headshot damage multipliers.

Worth noting, it would be incredibly hard to actually get an exact 6 second charge on your deadeye, because it would require perfect timing and even then you are maximising the amount of time your opponent has to hide or kill you, as well as adding the potential risk of not getting any shots off at all if you wait too long. If you fired more than 0.12 seconds before it maxed out on damage then Dva would be doing more damage with her ult, and from potentially a much safer position.

Nevertheless it is still technically possible:

  • Base damage: 1020
  • With Mercy's damage boost: 1020 x 1.3 = 1326
  • With Ana's Nano Boost: 1326 x 1.5 = 1989
  • With Zenyatta's Orb of Discord: 1989 x 1.5 = 2983.5
  • 1
    Hanzos bow does 125 damage fully charged: overwatch.gamepedia.com/Hanzo Also Reapers shotguns do 2-7 damage per pellet with 20 pellets in a round making it 140 damage if all of them land potentialy: overwatch.gamepedia.com/Reaper
    – S.Wessels
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 10:50
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    @S.Wessels True Hanzo's bow does more raw damage, but its headshot multiplier is lower, so it works out less powerful. I will amend my answer. Need to see about Reaper too.
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 11:00
  • @Riley Good spot. Fixed.
    – Michael
    Commented Jul 13, 2016 at 11:13
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    Reinhart's charge deals 300 damage when it hits a wall (plus 50 on first impact), so that would tie with Widowmaker for top non-ult damage, and be top damage if you counted the initial impact and pin as the same attack. Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 17:43
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    @MartianInvader Reinhardt's charge does 300 to a pinned target OR 50 damage to a non-pinned target. It does not do both. But you are right that it is a tie. See this thread.
    – Michael
    Commented Oct 20, 2016 at 10:00

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