Pharah/Mercy

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Pairing
Pairing: Fareeha Amari/Dr. Angela Ziegler
Alternative name(s): Pharmercy, Pharahmercy, Rocket Angel
Gender category: Femslash, f/f
Fandom: Overwatch
Canonical?: non canon
Prevalence: popular
Archives:
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Pharah/Mercy is a popular femslash pairing in the Overwatch fandom between Fareeha Amari and Angela Ziegler.

Canon

As a child, Fareeha grew up in the company of Overwatch as her mother was part of the organization. Angela, who is five years older, was also part of Overwatch before it was disbanded. She acted as head of medical research, seeking to leverage her work for healing in frontline crises. The extent of which Fareeha and Angela knew which other at the time is unclear but they are seen in a group photo together.

Fandom

Pharah/Mercy first gained attention due to their ability to work together in the game itself, most notably Mercy's ability to fly alongside Pharah in matches when tethered using her Caduceus Staff and healing or damage-boosting her while Pharah focuses on damaging the enemy. The two characters' strong synergy makes the duo a common sight within the game that only boosts their popularity with shippers. They have several exclusive voicelines interactions with each other when played on the same team, notably one exchange referring to their shared ability of flying. This exchange however has been bugged since late 2016 so that only one line is played at each time.

Mercy: Keep the skies clear for me.

Pharah: Let's keep the skies clear together!

[1]

Kotaku wrote on the pairing that:

PharMercy (Pharah/Mercy) is also another intensely popular ship that has grown wings - literally and figuratively. Since both characters can fly while tethered to one another, you can regularly see a graceful Mercy trailing dutifully after a Pharah in a match. It feels almost natural, just by dint of the game mechanics, that these two would lift eachother up in life and on the battlefield. This ship is one that takes a generally heterosexual romance trope (big strong protector and their selfless healer) straight to the realm of Sapphos. Blizzard even acknowledged the two characters having synergy (though I hazard it was not about the ship particularly) in a sly way: at one point, the rotating weekly brawl mode was called “Death From Above,” which only allowed you to choose Pharah and Mercy.[2]

They remain one of the most popular Overwatch pairings, and most popular femslash pairings overall within the fandom. An official tweet by Google covering the most-searched Overwatch pairings in 2017 confirmed Pharah/Mercy as the most popular femslash pairing and as part of the top 5 Overwatch pairings overall.[3] As of 25/10/2018, the Pharah/Mercy tag lists 2170 works on Archive Of Our Own [4], putting it well ahead of other femslash pairings in the fandom. In 2017 it was rank 18 out of the most popular femslash pairings on AO3 in total.[5]

In general, Pharah/Mercy shippers get along well with the next biggest femslash pairings, Widowmaker/Tracer or Tracer/Emily, as well as others pairings that don't include Pharah or Mercy. If another ship however features one of their two characters, tension might arise easily as it could be considered a rival pairing. There have been some noted shipping wars and minor clashes between Pharah/Mercy and Genji/Mercy fans. This came to a head in January of 2017 when new voice lines were uncovered between Mercy and Genji for Valentine’s Day. In the lines the two share chocolates and have some light-hearted banter. Some Pharah/Mercy fans were upset that the most popular femslash ship was, in their eyes, being passed over for a het ship.[6] Minor conflicts have also arisen when Moira O'Deorain was added to the game in Nov 2017, giving birth to the popular Moira/Mercy ship.

The Pharah/Mercy pairing is sometimes criticized by players for their perceived age gap. This is based on a misconception however, as Mercy is canonically 37[7] and Pharah is 32[8], leaving a mere five years age gap between the two grown-up women.

Notable Fan works

Fanfiction

Fanart

Archives & Communities

References

  1. Mercy and Pharah voiceline interactions
  2. Why Overwatch Fans Are Obsessed With 'Shipping' Its Female Characters
  3. #YearinSearch on Google's Twitter
  4. Archive of our Own: Pharah/Mercy
  5. Top Femslash Pairings on AO3
  6. Overwatch 'Shippers Clash Over New Mercy, Genji Voice Lines
  7. PlayOverwatch: Mercy's age
  8. PlayOverwatch: Pharah's age