Since this post became quite a Wall of Text, a bit of general advice up front: With Reyna, timing is the key. You are not a healer, you are a rescuer. Activating a shield boost prematurely is just always as bad as activating it too late. And although her Legendary makes her a ‘healer’ by definition, I always found it more to be an improvement to her role as rescuer. A CharLvl1 Reyna can ‘save’ a Montana just as well as a full-blown Master of Reyna; the real difference is that Master Reyna (with her Legendary) tops off his missing health during/after the fight.
Also, her ‘heals’ with the Plasma Beam are small, repeating heals that can only affect the target of your Shield Boost. So you need to carefully plan, when to shield someone just to get him to full health and when to save your Shield Boost to actually ‘rescue’ someone.
For the Helix choices, this is how I usually skill her.
While Reyna offers a lot of different playstyles depending on helix choices, playing full support with her legendary requires Thermal Equilibrium for efficient use of her Plasma Pulse. For example, this means you can’t go into Slazer Thermokinetics (which is kind of a whole different build itself).
I consider the Plasma Burst at Lvl 3 mandatory for assisting with wave clear (not all that mandatory on Capture, I guess), but I’ve seen people use Optical Amplifier instead.
You could also use Therapeutic Booster at Lvl 6, if you’re facing a CC-heavy enemy team. Usually, Vigilance gives you more consistent improvement on your Shield Boost.
With the Helix I posted, you could still change Level 2 to Priority Plasma, if you’d like to have the homing effect. I usually just go with Lockdown for an additional slow.
As for gear, atm I use:
- Shard Collector (white)
- Heal Power / Attack damage ( Epic Jennerit Tissue Synthesizer)
- Captain’s Snazzy Timepiece
/Edit: Ninja’d by @RedX. Solar Sustainer is very nice, got one just two days ago. I was thinking of building a loadout around it, and I bet Reyna could put it to good use.
I played around with gear a lot, while leveling her up. Reyna already offers good reload speed, but requires sniper-like aiming to use her weapons well. So I always integrate either Attack damage or CritDmg (only applicable to PvE, due to the difference in CritDmg multiplier. It’s 300% in PvE and only 150% in PvP IIRC ) into her gear loadouts.
Heal power is another stat I’m also going for, however it only affects the healing from Vital Protocol (self-heal via Failsafe included) and healing with her Plasma Pulse using her legendary. And it’s been my impression that you don’t need as much pure Heal power on Reyna, compared to ‘full’ healers like Miko.
As for cooldown reduction, you need to understand how exactly your shield boost works with the Helix Augmentations.
At base (Lvl1) it’s a 6 sec Shield with 14 sec cooldown. All upgrades that follow just add more utility (healing at Lvl3, greater Overshield at Lvl6).
Until you reach Lvl9. Long Watch gives you an amazing +6sec duration. Now you’ve got a 12sec Shield (assuming it isn’t broken by damage) with a 14 sec cooldown.
If you were specced into Improvised Tactics (Lvl5), you would have a Shield Boost with a 12 sec duration and a 12 sec cooldown. So as long as the Overshield doesn’t break, you could theoretically have 100% uptime.
But as mentioned above, efficient healing with her Legendary requires Thermal Equilibrium (Lvl5). So, to make good use of cooldown reduction, you’d have to stack at least 15% (7% is major CD stat, so you’d probably build an entire gear loadout around CD reduction just to make this work).
Concerning her ultimate, I see why people would call it ‘lackluster’ compared to Dreadwind, or any other offensive Ultimate. To realize the full potential of Photonic Ward, you ned to take into account all of its properties:
- Pushback: When the bubble is created, it actually pushes back all enemies with its boundaries.
- Ranged protection: It’s not so hard to imagine countless situations where the first half of this effect (Enemy fire cannot enter the Shield) is useful. Thinking outside the box allows to make use the second half (Enemy fire cannot exit the Shield); you could use this on a turret or a sentry as part of a hit and run attack. Jump in, mark the target, bubble and jump out. That gives your ranged DDs a six second window of opportunity to do massive damage with almost no retaliation. That would be even simpler once you hit Lvl10.
- Utility: While most builds run Mobility Module for the +4sec duration and the ability to advance within the bubble (really nice offensive use), there is no shame in experimenting with her Lvl10 Helix Options. Just let your team know in advance.