After much hype, Efi Oladele’s latest creation and Overwatch’s newest hero is live on the PTR. Meet Orisa.
As we previously predicted, she is a quadrupedal female omnic that fits snugly in the Tank class (although quite a bit more rhino-centaur than spider). And damn is she fun to play. Let’s take a look at her abilities, her role, and where she might fit in the meta.
Orisa’s primary fire, the Fusion Driver, is a fully automatic projectile machine gun with a massive 200 round clip. It also sports the longest range of any weapon used by a Tank class hero.
Her alternate fire, simply called Halt!, is Efi’s ingenious use of the miniature Tolbelstein reactor. True to its name, it functions just like Zarya’s Graviton Surge, except that Orisa can choose where to detonate the weapon, and it only has an instantaneous effect.
Orisa’s first ability, Protective Barrier, is the lovechild of Reinhardt’s shield and Winston’s bubble. It has 900 health, a nice big half-domed shape which has a limited ability to protect herself or allies from aerial attacks, and can be deployed just like Ana’s biotic grenade.
To me, Orisa’s most interesting ability is definitely Fortify, which offers Orisa 50% damage reduction, as well as full immunity to a broad variety of abilities that impede movement, making her unstoppable when she wants to keep moving and anchoring her down when she wants to stay put. Fortify, which lasts for four seconds and has a cooldown of ten, renders the following abilities utterly useless:
- “Boops” from Pharah, Junkrat, and Lucio.
- Reinhardt’s charge and Earth Shatter.
- Roadhog’s hook and the push effect from Whole Hog.
- Zarya’s Graviton Surge (as well as Orisa’s own mini graviton).
- The slow effect from Symmetra’s turrets.
- McCree’s Flashbang.
- Ana’s Sleep Dart.
And most importantly:
- Mei’s freeze and Blizzard.
Not today, Satan.
And finally, we’ve got Orisa’s ultimate ability: the Supercharger. After it’s fully charged, Orisa can activate her ult to drop a Line-Of-Sight based device that boosts ally hero damage with roughly the same efficiency as Mercy’s staff. This device is destructible, and lasts 15 seconds.
Blizzard’s goal with Orisa seems to have been creating an alternative pick to Reinhardt, perhaps because the poor old guy’s knees aren’t in the best shape after all that shield holding. It’s too early to tell yet how effectively Orisa willl be able to fill Rein’s shoes, but so far she seems like an excellent tank. Her shield, though lacking the health of Rein’s, can be deployed at range to defend allies all the way across the battlefield, with good enough aim. However, unless you drop the shield directly on the point, it won’t be going anywhere.
Orisa lacks any kind of ability to help her escape from combat, but that being said, Fortify can keep her undeterred by enemy roadblocks. So don’t expect to do much parkour flanking with her. She seems to be much more comfortable contesting the point than sneaking behind enemy lines.
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She synergizes well with Bastion, since Orisa can shield him and/or drag enemies out from behind cover for Bastion to shred. I can also foresee fun strategies with McCree–we’re probably going to see Orisa launching enemies into the air from behind shields to set the gunslinger up for a devastating High Noon.
Junkrat makes easy work of her shields, and Sombra’s Hack makes her feel particularly vulnerable. Since Orisa’s shield is stationary and only offers partial protection, she’s also easily flanked by the likes of Tracer and Genji.
With 200 Health and 200 Armor, Orisa seems a bit beefier than necessary. I’d like to see her with 300 Health and 100 Armor for the same reason we saw D.Va’s Armor reduced, to make her a little more prone to shotgun heroes like Reaper and Roadhog.
I’d also like to see a wider spread on her Fusion Driver, as it feels a bit like old school Bastion’s headshot laser.
It’s too early to tell where Orisa will fit in on the pro level, but if anything is certain, she’s definitely going to shake things up. The latest Overwatch hero provides a welcome change to a competitive environment that has stagnated in the Triple Tank Meta.
After a day of experimentation, Orisa appears well-balanced, and Blizzard have yet again proven themselves to be more than capable of compelling character design. Whether it’s mowing down your enemies with your Fusion Driver, using Halt to drag people off ledges, or marching right through Mei’s frost ray, you’ve got plenty of playmaking options at your disposal, and Orisa has all the makings of a high-impact hero.
I’ll see you guys on the PTR.