Most people who play Paladins have negative feelings towards a Pip as the main support, but after playing him for over 200 hours I can safely say he definitely has the potential, and I would even say he is one of the best supports in the entire game. The main reason I'm making this guide is because over the last three days I've had a 70% win rate on Pip for the last three days in Ranked and Casual. He feels like he heals a lot more which leads me to believe he is meta. My best record for healing in a ranked game is 249k healing in around 20-ish minutes, so getting massive heals is very very possible and I'll tell you how.
SUMMARY [THE MAIN PLAY-STYLE OF PIP]:
As Pip, if being played correctly, will be seamlessly switching between healing and counter-flanking. His favorite position will be in the backlines from a medium distance between him and the tanks. He will be angled in a way that he is in the least danger of being hit, since he has AOE. He also will change his position based on which is best to heal and kill stragglers on the enemy team. If there are any strategic high grounds that improve his healing, unlikeliness of getting murked, and damage ability on the enemy team. He will still be relatively okay with switching positions at any given time, regardless if it's in the frontline or backline. He will be running Combat Medic every single game because that maximizes his ability to support his teammates survivability and counterflank correctly. Add all of that together and you get an excellent performance that will increase your teams odds of winning greatly.
BASICS TO MASTER:
Combat Medic is your only option as a healer Pip, and with Combat Medic your Potion Launcher is your baby, so if you cannot aim with it you cannot heal nor can you protect yourself. Just play a bunch of Casual and you'll get better at aiming overtime.
Understand that you cannot heal everyone at once. Sometimes you have to make a decision to save one person and let the other die and you have to make that decision in an instant. Knowing who you must heal at a given time is something that you will never be perfect at. And saving your teammates from death is something that you will constantly be improving. It is a combination of estimating who will help the team the most, what sort of damage each teammate is making, not being afraid to take risks to save that person, being in the position to maximize healing on your best teammates, and aiming.
Again, you're mainly gonna be in the backlines with your DPS in a relatively safe position, but being able to heal your team is key, so even if the high ground is safe, if it doesn't maximize your healing potential you might as well throw yourself into the lava pit in Splitstone Quarry because you're not helping. Losing high ground often is the best option, even if it doesn't seem like it.
This is a term I'm likely to use many times because it is literally one of the most important parts of playing Pip as a healer. I want to stress this: you can kill most flanks on your own. Even though Pip doesn't do that significant damage comparative to a support like Corvus, he is the one of the most dangerous support to come into contact with alone as a lot of non-tanks. I'll explain why later.
This is more for people in Ranked. Pip is a really good character to give callouts for several reasons: You will oversee most of the action via the backline and you will have plenty of time to alert your team of what troubles may lie in the backline. Since you're focused on the wellbeing of your team and will be pushing with the tank sometimes, you'll be able to see what kind of measures should be taken. Also, having a good hype energy always helps you and your team perform better :P
This ability can be used as a way to kill, a way to escape, and a way to move to different strategic positions.
In a given game you want to get in the habit of being a trigger-happy little furry. You should constantly be firing for the best potential for both healing and damage. Two massively important tips: You can heal an ally and damage an enemy as the same time. Based on how close they are you get more healing + damage. This is essential to saving teammates from imminent death. Also, you can also heal up to three, maybe sometimes even four at a time with Potion Launcher. Realize that if you angle your shots to heal/damage two or more targets at a time there will be a falloff.
Should be used pretty liberally if you follow my build and items. Don't throw a potion on one person you can just shoot at with Potion Launcher if you know there's another teammate behind a wall that you can throw a potion at and save [You can heal through walls with Healing Potion. Medicinal Excellence helps you heal teammates who are behind thicker walls]. With Reload maxed out, you can basically get two charges of Healing Potion every 5.6 seconds (with max Chronos). Remember, reactivating Healing Potion with Q will explode it in mid-air. This is essential for healing characters like Drogoz/Willow.
Please understand that everything about Pip is AOE. You can heal/damage from corners if you angle your shots correctly. Understanding this could literally save teammates lives, even if it's one blast from your Potion Launcher that either kills off a straggler or saves a teammate from death.
TEAM POSITIONING FOR BEST HEALING
For Pip, the best heals and best chance for survival for your team is when they are tight and close together but not too close where they all can be targeted by ult or surprise attacks. You should not be too far yourself, and your DPS should be near you in case you need help with certain high-power flanks. You as a Pip will suffer greatly if your team is scattered, and if they are, high chances your team will lose points. Do not be afraid to tell your team the problem, but don't tell them in such a way that makes them feel like they're being attacked. That'll backfire.
Ideally you should self-heal outside of Cauterize, though sometimes you won't have that option. Either way, throw a Healing Potion as quickly as you can at your feet then get back to what you were doing. Healing yourself at around half-health is best. When in Weightless if you are exceeding a certain speed your Healing Potion automatically explodes on you when activated. Best to throw one on you as you're dropping.
[Sidenote: You cannot shoot through/throw healing potions through allies who become intargettable. Aim at the ground/re-activate healing potion near them to heal].
Always stay near corners/walls. You can use the AOE of your Potion Launcher to damage enemies around corners without taking any damage yourself. Maps with sharp corners are the greatest for Pip. Best examples include: Shattered Desert, Jaguar Falls, Brightmarsh.
EXPLOSIVE FLASK + POTION BLAST COMBO
In my opinion, Explosive Flask in most situations is largely useless. But, if you quickly Explosive Flask someone then shoot them with the Potion Launcher you get a quick 750 damage combo.
This is where most Pip healers will fail. When most Flanks attempt to kill you, realize you have the power to kill them on your own. Weightless is the reason why. Pip has the greatest escape ability in the game because it gives him the ability to use it to escape far distances and shoot at enemies whilst dodging shots. To properly counterflank, as soon as you hear a flank approach or shoot at you, activate Weightless and engage. Jump on the edges of them while shooting down at them. The closer the better, for two reasons: 1. You are basically getting free shots since they're easier to hit, 2. You're harder to hit since they have to turn more significant margins to actually aim at you (in most cases). Otherwise, if you know you can't take the flank, you should escape to a distance that maximizes healing and damage while keeping you safe.
[Sidenote: Facing walls when jumping in Weightless makes you jump twice as high]
High grounds make it easier to shoot at enemies and can deal more damage since you have more of a potential to damage several enemies at once.
KNOWING WHERE TO BE
For the love of everything holy and mighty do not play like a damage (for the entire game, at least). If someone important needs healing, dap them up. If there are a couple stragglers in your area and you know you can take them, dap them up. You never want to be too far away from your team. Have the best position for the decision you're about to make.
Pip is really good at surprising certain enemies. Realize that Pip is actually really good at hiding since he's so tiny. Don't feel uncomfortable hiding in a certain area to either slowly escape a sticky situation or jump out with Weightless and murk an enemy or two.
BENNY-HILLING AND PEEKABOO
Benny-hilling is a method of strafing around a cylinder/pillar-like structure in an unpredictable manner to either use AOE damage to kill or wait for Weightless to cooldown and book it. This is one of the most fun parts of playing Pip but also the most anxiety-inducing, especially when you're about to die. Forcing this method is usually pretty stupid. Benny-hilling is most cases is best to do only when there are no nearby enemies, you're low with Weightless and Healing Potion is cooling down with no other healers around. This is is a last ditch effort to survive. Peekaboo is when you use Weightless to poke at a coalition of enemies to either distract or kill a straggler.
You should use your ult mainly to get rid of a group of enemies, or, if a high level enemy is causing you or the team trouble, there's no shame in using your ult to get rid of them. Please realize that without warning your team beforehand usually no one is going to shoot at the chickens even if they are right in front of them and are free kills. Even when warning them, they might not even shoot at them. Have a plan before hand of who in the group of chickens should die the most and don't lose track of who's who!
Sometimes playing like a damage is best for your team. Sometimes playing like a healer is best for your team. Learn the distinction as you grind Pip.
You can still use Explosive Flask for knockback. It's probably best to save it for something else, but it's good to know.
Don't be a coward. Take a lot of risks as Pip. Learn by failing flat on your face. I promise you the more you make dangerous decisions with high risk but also high reward you will make yourself more and more of a threat to any champion. Feel good about this, most other Supports don't have that capability of being aggressive.
You can pretty much kill any Support at full health (except Soul Collector Seris, yowch. You'd have to be lucky to kill one of those).
You can jump up with Weightless to avoid Zhin and Raum ults. Most other ults you can just dodge with Weightless. When you hear an enemy ult go off your first instinct should be to activate Weightless and book it as quick as you can.
You can use Weightless to spike and block Khan from ulting someone off a cliff. I've only done this once and it blew my mind.
Evil Mojo can and should in certain circumstances be used defensively to get away from enemies.
Always run Combat Medic. There is no other option.
My reason for the points on these cards:
Level 5 Gift-Giver: Often when I'm damaged I will throw a Healing Potion at a teammate and I get all the healing from that back onto me. It's really helpful when you need to be close enough to have to take damage and are severely injured.
Level 3 Sprint: This makes Weightless even more powerful when counter-flanking. You're even harder to hit and are faster. Pretty satisfying to use.
Level 2 Acrobat's Trick: Just so I can worry a little less about the cooldown of Healing Potion. Level 2 since it's good but just not as important as my other cards.
Level 3 Reload: Not maxed out because I usually hit two or three people with a Healing Potion and that's enough to get a second charge [for three].
Level 2 Medicinal Excellence: Even Level 2 is enough to give some extra reach for Healing Potion that is massively helpful.
Potion Launcher also Heals allies hit for 700. You no longer take damage from your weapon shots.
Heal yourself for 20% of Healing Potion's effect if you hit an ally but not yourself.
Increase your jump speed by an additonal 10% while using Weightless.
Reduce the Cooldown of Healing Potion by 0.1s after hitting an enemy with your weapon.
Reduce the Cooldown of Healing Potion by 0.6s for each ally it hits.
Increase the radius of Healing Potion by 8%.
Increase your Reload Speed by 20%.
Reduce the Cooldown of all your abilities by 10%.
Level 5 Gift-Giver
Level 3 Sprint
Level 2 Acrobat's Trick
Level 3 Reload
Level 2 Medicinal Excellence
Deft Hands first, max it first before any other item. Chronos right behind Deft Hands, all other items optional.
Ying, Mal'damba, Jenos, Io, Grohk: Squishy Support is squishy.
Grover: Up close, he is absolutely useless. Don't be afraid to engage him alone. Be as close as possible when murking.
Talus: Overall a pretty weak flank versus Pip. If you're not careful he can screw up your day, though.
Maeve: Once you get pretty good at aiming, the enemy Maeve will not want to even go near you.
Evie: Getting in fights with Evie is a treat. She's a three-hitter, so she's not too hard to kill.
Sha-Lin: Using Weightless to kill him is pretty much bullying. Don't let him snipe you from afar.
Androxus: Flyer so he's harder to hit. Massive damage. He is Pip's biggest threat and in Ranked if you plan on being Main Healer Pip he should be banned.
Willow: Flyer. If you lack a high ground above her she is a pain. If you see her as a problem keep a high ground and help the team murk her. Her no-heal zone is a often a pain to deal with.
Drogoz: Flyer and he does massive damage.
Imani: You can kill her one on one, but her Frost Bomb can stun your Weightless. If you're paying attention it shouldn't be too big of a problem.
Kinessa & Strix: Even when jumping around the map like a mad-lad these guys can take you out really quick. Be careful.
Viktor: Even up close they can be hard to kill. But they usually post up in the backlines taking freeshots at you. Have cover to be next to and you won't die [usually].
Grover: Weak up close, but his Crippling Throw can also stun Weightless.
Jenos: Weak in general but his Void Grip can ruin your Weightless.
Mega Potion: Two reasons: 1. Not enough heals, 2. The cooldown of Healing Potion, although short, doesn't allow for constant healing like Combat Medic. You risk less heals for more damage. Shame on you. Just go Combat Medic.
Smithereens and Side Tanks: You're not a damage.
Escape Artist: The regular time for Weightless is 2.5 seconds. 1 extra second doesn't make much a difference. You need Level 4 to get one extra jump for a total of 4. There are better cards.
Pep in the Step: I genuinely don't see the point. I could be wrong, I should test this card more.
Graviton: The slow on Explosive Flask isn't that significant in my opinion.
Bulldozer and Wrecker: Heal your team please.
Kill to Heal: You're not a damage.
Rejuvenate: Pip can heal the team on his own, so there likely won't be another healer. Even if there is, Pip can always self heal.
Healing Potion's Healing is increased by 100%.
Generate 1 Ammo for each enemy hit by Explosive Flask.
Increase the duration of Weightless by 0.2s.
Pep in the Step
Allies hit by Healing Potion have their Movement Speed increased by 6% for 3s.
Reduce the Cooldown of Explosive Flask by 0.6s.
Increase the duration of Explosive Flask's Slow by 0.25s.
Heal for an additional 5% of your max Health every second when out of combat.
Kill to Heal
Getting a kill or elimination heals you for 300 Health.
Receive 5% more healing from other players.
Your weapon shots deal 20% increased Damage to Deployables, Pets, and Illusions.
Your weapon attacks deal 20% increased Damage to Shields.