After much teasing over past couple of weeks, Blizzard has finally pulled back the curtain on the latest Overwatch hero – a lovable tank-like robot named Orisa. The third new character to be added into the game after Ana and Sombra, Orisa is classified as a tank character and her addition brings the hero roster up to 24.
Described by Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan as the “central anchor of her team”, Orisa is a heavy-set tank hero that functions both as a frontline attacker and a solid defender. While it is not yet known when the character will be patched into the game, Orisa is currently available to play on the Public Testing Realm (PTR) on the PC and is expected to make her way into the final build of Overwatch in the coming weeks.
Since there is still some time before Orisa makes her way from the PTR and into the proper game, here’s the rundown on all the tips and tricks needed to play Overwatch‘s newest hero when she makes her grand debut.
Who is Orisa?
Prior to her joining the Overwatch hero roster, Orisa started out life as a standard OR-15 robot unit designed to protect Numbani citizens from danger. Despite multiple units deployed in the city, it proved to be insufficient when Doomfist attacked Numbani and stole his gauntlet back, leaving a trail of destroyed OR-15 chassis in his wake. In order to defend Numbani from future attacks, 11-year-old robotics prodigy Efi Oladele salvaged a ruined OR-15 robot and rebuilt it from the ground up, resulting in Orisa.
Attacks and Skillset
The Fusion Driver is Orisa’s automatic projectile cannon and it operates as the character’s primary weapon. Operating similarly to a heavy machine gun, the Fusion Driver is great for mid-ranged combat scenarios due to its consistent damage, fast fire rate, and relatively small spread. While the Fusion Driver does dish out slightly more damage, has better accuracy, and has greater range than D.Va, the only other tank character with a machine gun as a primary weapon, this is offset by the cannon’s 200 bullet ammo limit, relatively long reload time, and Orisa’s slowed movement while using it.
Halt is Orisa’s secondary weapon and it operates similarly to Zarya‘s Graviton ultimate technique, only with no duration to it. Used more of a strategic tool to outmaneuver enemies, Halt is essentially a straight-shooting mini graviton charge that can pull enemies around corners (or off ledges) or gather them up into a small group for a split second before releasing. While not as powerful as Zarya’s ultimate, Halt is more viable in most combat situations as it only has an eight second cooldown and thus can be used at will, and players can detonate the charge whenever they see fit.
A combination of Reinhardt’s Barrier Field, Winston‘s Barrier Projector, and Symmetra’s Photon Barrier, Orisa’s Protective Barrier ability is a large, stationary shield that can be deployed anywhere as it is shot out of her cannon like a projectile. While this shield isn’t quite as strong as Reinhardt’s shield, boasting only 900 health as opposed to 2000, it is far more portable and there is greater versatility as to how it can be used.
With a cooldown of 12 seconds, and a duration of 20 seconds should it not be destroyed in battle, Orisa’s Protective Barrier not only helps make the character a strong alternative to Reinhardt as a core defensive tank hero; it is useful in most combat scenarios, whether it is moving payloads and attacking or defending control points.
Perhaps one of Orisa’s most interesting abilities, Fortify not only reduces damage taken by 50%, it also renders the character immune from any action-impairing effects. What this means is that whenever Fortify is active, Orisa will be completely unaffected by enemy attacks that do more than just damage, like Reinhardt’s Earthshatter ultimate, Mei’s freezing abilities, Ana’s sleep darts and Bionic Grenades, and Sombra‘s hacking ability.
While Fortify greatly enhances Orisa’s survivability, which is a big thing as the character only has 400 health, 200 of which is armor, players will have to be strategic as to when to use this ability as it only lasts four seconds, followed by a lengthy 10-second cooldown.
Supercharger is Orisa’s ultimate ability, which allows her to buff the damage dealt by allies via a little cylinder device that can be deployed anywhere. Operating similarly to Mercy‘s healing beams, allies are required to remain within the 25 meter radius line of sight of Orisa’s Supercharger device in order to receive the damage buff. While a little underwhelming compared to the Ultimates available to other characters, Supercharger can prove useful in defending a control point as not only does it increase damage by a whopping 50%, it also lasts for a generous duration of 15 seconds. Just be sure to keep an eye on Orisa’s Supercharger device from flankers like Tracer because it only has 200 health and can be destroyed.
Due to her ability to dish out damage at decent distances as well as providing some significant defense when needed, Orisa is viable as either an attacking or defensive tank. Combining Orisa’s shield with Reinhardt’s Winston’s shield will provide a significant amount defense, thus allowing a team’s damage dealers more protection when attacking the payload or control point. As for defending, the range on the Fusion Driver, the versatility of the Protective Barrier, and her Supercharger ability means that Orisa is perfect for staying on payloads and control points, all while still managing to dish out damage and providing buffs to her team.
While Orisa is quite the menacing hero due to her attacking and defensive capabilities, her lack of movement speed and maneuverability renders her vulnerable to flankers such as Tracer and Genji. Combined with her relatively low health pool of 400 (when compared to other tanks), playing Orisa effectively will require healers to keep her alive, as well as the need for skilled attackers like Tracer and Reaper to take advantage of her Halt and Supercharger abilities.
Of course, Orisa has only been played on the PTR so far and it still remains to be seen how viable she is in live competitive conditions. Nevertheless, the addition of Orisa to the Overwatch roster is a welcome one, and her array of tank abilities should make season four of Competitive Play very interesting.
Overwatch is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.