Overwatch’s 24th hero, Orisa, is finally live, and she’s guaranteed to immediately find her way into both casual and competitive matches. Like some of the other tanks in the game, her primary function is to protect her team, but she’s also capable of dealing an insane amount of damage.
It unclear where Orisa will find herself in the game’s current meta or how she’ll be used in the pro scene in the future, but her overall kit is strong and varied and inspires hope for her to be useful in a few situations. We’ve been playing Orisa since she was released in the PTR several weeks ago. Here are the basics that you need to know to start playing the hero right now.
“I will keep you safe. That is my primary function.”
Orisa is a frontline anchor tank and protector of her team. Her team benefits greatly and works best when grouping around her and coordinating with her abilities.
Her Protective Barrier ability won’t have her replacing Reinhardt any time soon, but its functions are very similar. It has 900 health and lasts for 20 seconds if not destroyed, but the most useful part of this ability is that she fires it as an arcing projectile, meaning she controls when and where the frontline is set up and can use it to gain ground on an objective. One benefit is that the barrier does not disappear when she dies.
While the cooldown on the barrier begins when it’s fired and not when it’s destroyed, odds are the shield will be taken out rather quickly due to its relatively low health number. It’s because of this that Orisa doesn’t function well as a stand-alone frontline tank. She does best when paired with Reinhardt or another tank that’s able to shield friendlies, like Winston or Zarya. Your best bet is to use her barrier to supplement Reinhardt’s when using a “shield fight” team composition. If Reinhardt’s shield is about to break, drop your barrier down in front of him to buy him some time to recharge his own shield.
Arguably one of Orisa’s most useful abilities is Fortify, which reduces damage by 50 percent for 4 seconds. It also makes her immune to action-impairing effects like boops from Lucio or Pharah, or Reinhardt’s Earthshatter or Charge ability. If the rest of your team is knocked down, for example, Orisa can trigger her ability to protect herself and stay in the fight and continue to protect her squad. This ability is also great for body-blocking incoming damage.
Orisa’s “Halt!” ability could be a game-changer when it comes to protecting the team as well. Fired as a linear projectile orb, this miniature graviton charge pulls in nearby enemies when activated after its initial firing. If you see a teammate being chased down and your shield is still on cooldown, use this ability to pull the enemy away from them and buy your ally a few seconds to escape.
The best defense is good offense
Outside of Orisa’s ability to protect her team, she also does an amazing job of outputting damage. Her primary fire, Fusion Driver, holds 150 ammunition of constant projectile damage output. With 12 damage per pellet, that works out to 1800 potential damage. She does a fantastic job of taking down enemy shields and constantly putting pressure on the opposition.
The downsides of her primary fire include the fact that her movement is slowed while she’s using it, the damage drop-off is pretty severe, and the projectile nature of it makes it easier to dodge at long range. At close-to-medium range, though, she’s capable of a lot of pain.
Due to the massive magazine of ammo, Orisa should always be firing at something. Whether it’s the enemy’s shields or forcing them to run away due to the somewhat oppressive nature of the clip that never seems to want to end when you’re on its receiving end, it’s pretty easy to rack up a Gold medal for damage with her.
“Halt!” can also be used offensively and in creative ways, such as pulling enemies off into environmental hazards, or just taking enemies out of position. One of the best ways to use it, however, is when an enemy Reinhardt is blocking for a Reinhardt of your own. Aim the orb above the enemy Reinhardt’s head and coordinate with your own. When he is lifted up off of the ground when the orb activates again, he’s susceptible to your friendly Reinhardt’s Earthshatter Ultimate. It creates some awesome combinations.
Speaking of Ultimate abilities…
One of the core components of Overwatch, and one of the most exciting things about it as a spectator esport, is when massive team-fights go down. This is where Orisa’s Ultimate shines. Her Supercharger ability places down a device that increases output damage for allies by 50 percent over a 25 meter-wide radius.
When a team fight is about to break out, drop down the device and get ready to protect it, because it can be destroyed and only has 200 health. The enemy team will likely try to seek out and destroy it, so use your barrier and even your body if necessary to stop that from happening. The damage buff can be all the help your team needs in winning the fight.
Another useful time to trigger Supercharger is during one last push on offense or defense, to give your team the damage necessary to finish a battle and a map. Use Supercharger efficiently and protect it well, and it’s an extremely dangerous ability in battle.
Orisa’s gun does strong damage to his shield. Her Fortify ability mitigates damage and prevents him from pushing her around and pinning her with his Charge. Not only that, but if Reinhardt attempts to pin her while Fortify is active, he will take damage and be knocked down as well.
Fortify and Protective Barrier both work really well protecting against Torbjorn’s turret, as both can buy the time needed to destroy him or it or both. The Swedish engineer is not a strong pick against her.
Her Protective Barrier can be thrown down in a pinch to block Roadhog’s hook or gun, and Fortify makes her immune to being hooked. Even still, she’s tough to finish off after being hooked. Roadhog’s large hitbox also makes it easy for Orisa to output some serious damage at a decent distance and “Halt!” can pull him out of position to screw with his hook accuracy.
DPS heroes in general
As a hero who is quite dependent on her abilities to succeed, Orisa will struggle against Sombra players who use their hack ability well. When hacked, Orisa can only fire her gun, which slows her movement speed and makes her an easy target for all heroes. Like most tanks, Orisa will struggle with flanking heroes like Genji and Tracer.
Characters like Widowmaker, Hanzo and Soldier: 76 can put out good damage on Orisa from a distance, and her damage drop-off and projectile primary fire make it a tough fight to win at long range. Reaper will also shred her up close and Pharah can out-range her as well.
When it comes to damage, Orisa has D.Va beat pretty easily. She can struggle against D.Va’s Defense Matrix at times, however, as it will eat up all of her outgoing damage and even her Protective Barrier and “Halt!” abilities, which are both projectiles. D.Va’s escapability also helps make this a tough fight to succeed in.
Combos well with
Orisa and Reinhardt combine to make a nightmare of a frontline, as their shields have 2,900 health overall. When one shield breaks, the other can back it up. Orisa’s “Halt!” ability also combos very well with Reinhardt’s Fire Strike and Earthshatter.
Ana and Mercy
When paired with a pocket healer like Ana or Mercy, Orisa is extremely tough to kill. Not only that, but if Ana Nano Boosts her or Mercy uses her damage buff, Orisa’s damage output becomes a nightmare. Couple this with her Supercharger Ultimate and you have a constant barrage of gunfire that will be incredibly difficult for the opposition to survive.
Orisa’s Supercharger makes a formidable addition to any team-fight, as it will take any DPS hero and turn them into a murder machine real quick. The 50 percent damage buff is huge and can dominate when used in the right situations.
Orisa might be the most balanced post-launch hero that Blizzard has released yet, and that’s by design. She had a much longer incubation period on the PTR, and she won’t be unlocked in Competitive Play for the first week of her lifespan on live servers.
When used correctly, Orisa can fit into the Overwatch meta and immediately make an impact. There are fears of shield-stacking becoming a main strategy in the professional scene, but only time will tell how she truly shapes the future of the game.