Orisa: Early impressions of Overwatch’s 24th hero

Now live on the PTR, Overwatch's new hero is a defensive tank with an extremely strong kit.

Image via Blizzard

When Blizzard first began teasing its new hero last week, no one quite knew what to expect. For months, players had assumed Overwatch‘s 24th hero would be Doomfist, wielding his massive gauntlet. But then, in a tweet on Feb. 21, Blizzard introduced fans to a young girl named Efi Oladele. A series of teases after that eventually led to today’s unveiling of Orisa, Efi’s omnic tank creation that is ready to join the ranks of Overwatch’s finest.

Orisa’s design and kit are both unique, as anyone will have seen today in the reveal or tried for themselves first-hand on the PTR, where she’s live for testing. She’ll probably be ready to go on live servers in the next couple of weeks, but for now, we have an early look at the character and what she can do with her strong kit.

Let’s take a closer look at Orisa’s kit with some hands-on impressions.


Orisa is a front-line anchor tank, much like Reinhardt. She even has a shield, just like him, but she offers a whole lot more than that as well. She can easily stand on her own in a fight, but she defends her team as well as any other tank on the roster, combining all of her abilities into one incredibly solid hero in her first iteration.

  • “Fusion Driver”

Orisa’s primary fire is an automatic projectile cannon that delivers sustained damage, but also slows her movement while in use. The cannon does 12 damage per shot while moving at 2.75 meters per second at a rate of 12 rounds per second. With a 200 round clip, she can sustain the damage for quite a while, holding down the fire button to output serious damage or hold down an area. She’s not going to mow anyone down at long range, but at close to medium range, she can definitely hold her own.

  • “Halt!”

Her alternate fire is a linear projectile that launches a sphere in a straight line. Activating the ability again triggers the sphere to pull all affected enemies within its radius into the sphere, sort of functioning like a miniature graviton surge. It has a cooldown of eight seconds. This is one of Orisa’s best abilities and should be incredibly fun to see in the hands of pros once they figure out a bunch of cool ways to use it. It can be used to pull enemies out of cover, into environmental deaths, or to prevent them from running away. The possibilities of combining this ability with other heroes’ abilities are endless right now.

Orisa was built to by Efi Oladele (left) to defend the people of Numbani
  • “Fortify”

The first of Orisa’s abilities is all about damage reduction, as when she triggers it, she takes 50 percent less damage for four seconds, with a cooldown of 10 seconds. Most importantly, though, is that she “cannot be affected by action-impairing effects.” Basically, a whole lot of other heroes’ abilities won’t affect her when she triggers this ability. For example, she nullifies Reinhardt’s Charge and Earthshatter, Ana’s Sleep Dart, and “boop” abilities like Lucio’s alt fire and Pharah’s Concussive Blast.

In fact, if Reinhardt charges her when she has Fortify active, he will stun himself and take damage. This instantly makes her a strong counter and the first real answer to Reinhardt other than Reinhardt himself.

There’s also no penalty for using this ability, as she’s able to move and shoot freely while it is active. You can use it whenever you anticipate taking damage to negate some of it and stay alive while waiting for healing or a chance to escape.

  • “Protective Barrier”

Orisa also counters Reinhardt with a shield of her own. She throws it down on the ground in front of her and it lasts for 20 seconds or through 900 damage, with a cooldown of 12 seconds. The shield is smaller than Reinhardt’s, but not by much, and it functions in a different way, but still is great for defending a chokepoint or teammates. Her ability to throw it also makes it useful, as she will be able to try and defend teammates from a distance.

  • Ultimate ability: “Supercharger”

Orisa’s ultimate is an area of effect that applies a 50 percent damage buff to all allies in its line of sight. The AOE has a 25 meter radius and it lasts 15 seconds, but the Supercharger has 200 health and can be destroyed by the enemy team just as fast. The ability is best used on payloads or objectives in the middle of a fight or to start one off, much like Lucio’s or Ana’s ultimates. It’s a support ultimate on a tank character, fully rounding her out.

Overall, Orisa feels really strong right now. She won’t outright replace Reinhardt, but she’s just another option in a roster that already has a ton of strong tanks. She should slide into the meta and hopefully shake things up nicely, after some slight tweaks, as she is strong, but not overpowered, and Blizzard seems to have a decent hold on the character at her outset.

What do you think of Orisa’s kit and abilities? Let us know on Twitter @GAMURScom.

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