At a recent Philadelphia Fusion watch party, a man proposed to his girlfriend by asking her to “be the Mercy to my Genji.” I am very happy for this couple, but I must have a word with them about their taste in Overwatch ships.
It’s true that Mercy/Genji is the closest thing to a canon pairing between playable Overwatch characters. They have voice lines that reference each other, and there’s a moment in an Overwatch comic where it looks like Genji writes Mercy a letter for Christmas. That’s all good, but there’s nothing in this ship that makes for anything interesting. It’s your classic wounded bird/caretaker pairing: Mercy selflessly repairs Genji when he’s physically and/or emotionally broken due to his robot angst. Hurt/comfort is an enormously popular genre of fanfic—it’s where one character gets hurt (sometimes physically, sometimes emotionally) and the other character nurses them back to health, and horniness ensues. It’s a lot of people’s kink, but it’s really not mine. Mercy is going to be healing Genji enough during actual Overwatch matches. I think she needs a break.
As much as I like Pharah/Mercy—one of the most popular Overwatch ships according the number of fics it has on fanfiction website Archive Of Our Own—something about it falls apart once you get beyond the synergy of their game mechanics. It is definitely neat how perfectly Pharah and Mercy’s flight abilities work together, but as much as I like the idea of a queer medic shacking up with a queer soldier, I’ve never been actively driven to seek out Pharmercy fanworks.
I have, though, spent a lot of time considering my favorite permutations for Overwatch ships. These couples aren’t necessarily the most compatible, but they would make for the most interesting fics to read, the sauciest headcanons and the cutest fanart. Sometimes this means it’s a pure, sweet couple that just makes sense, like the mechanic Brigitte and the mech owner D.va. Sometimes that means it’s a couple that definitely hatefucks in secret, like the villainous Moira and the angelic Mercy. To that end, here’s my final ranking, from best to worst:
- Reaper/Soldier 76
- You/Getting hit by a car on Oasis
Compared to a small mech pilot and her large mechanic wife, nurse/ninja is boring as fuck. What are your favorite Overwatch pairings? Sound off in the comments.