Overwatch's Newest Character Orisa Is A Dynamic, Deadly Tank

Overwatch's new hero Orisa, released yesterday on the PTR, is an "anchoring tank", in the words of Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan. Her moveset affixes her to her allies, buffing and protecting them in turns. She boasts a killer gun that fires from extreme distances, but one-on-one, she's not much of a challenge to take down. Strong as hell, but not strong enough to solo-tank, Orisa is a hero who will depend heavily on her team's strategy.


After several PTR games, a few of her strengths and weaknesses are apparent. Be warned: My read on Orisa may change as Blizzard modulates her prior to her release on console and as Overwatch's meta accommodates her.

Orisa's kit is reminiscent of Zarya's. Her "fusion driver" gun has huge range and is relatively easy to aim from far away. It also deals a ton of damage, a little like Bastion's. "Fortify" wraps her in temporary armour that reduces damage intake. She can throw out a 900-HP protective barrier that curves around her allies.

And most reminiscent of Zarya, Orisa's secondary fire "Halt" is a sort mini "graviton surge" that she can fire every seven seconds. It's a projectile gravity ball that pulls nearby enemies into it and slows them down.

Here's a livestream from yesterday. (Be warned — I hadn't yet figured out that, by clicking my mouse twice, I could direct her "Halt" to stop mid-air.)

I'm most excited about her "Halt" ability. It can pull enemies from around corners into plain sight. It can drag several scattered enemies together so your team can focus fire. And, yes, it moves a sentry-mode Bastion. I like to throw it out to see whether anyone's hiding in a room and, when they're surprised, mow them down with Orisa's primary fire. Also fun is pulling snipers off ledges. It doesn't pull heroes through Reinhardt's shield, which, to me, feels fair.

Orisa's ultimate attack is a "supercharger" that boosts team damage. Its range is absurd, buffing far away allies with long, blue energy threads. Luckily for enemies, those lines indicate where the supercharger is, and because it's an item, it can be destroyed. On a defence map, "supercharger" will become a crucial counter to enemies' more cohesive pushes.

From what I can tell, defence maps are where Orisa thrives. Her mixture of long-range attacks and more local buffs and shields makes her great at holding down choke points from behind her team. And when her allies are surrounding her on a defence point, she can pull enemies out into the open for her team to focus fire.

But, for the same reasons why she's killer on defence maps, Orisa's also excellent on attack payload maps. She can throw her shield up on the truck and then move behind it, firing at enemies from far away.

Especially when she's buffed by Mercy, Orisa's gun puts her up there with other DPS heroes in terms of gold kills. Given her gun's power, I could see players being tempted to flank with her or challenge enemies one-on-one. That would be a mistake: She's not a solo-tank, and unlike Reinhardt, isn't an excellent damage-absorber on her own.

Against a Reinhardt's hammer, or other short-range heroes, she doesn't stand much of a chance by herself, even with her "fortify" move. Without a movement ability, she's done for on her own and out in the open.

Most importantly, Orisa is a blast to play. She's powerful and dynamic, someone who coheres her team in all the best ways. It's a little confusing that the Overwatch team decided to reel in Bastion's buff before introducing Orisa, since she's such a good counter to him. But, hey, perhaps the Overwatch gods are just waiting for us to shift our playstyles to accommodate the some new, mysterious meta.


    Overdrive's connection distance needs to go. The beams go through walls and can cover a whole maps distance. It needs to be shorter, maybe getting people to group up closer so there's some risk to the reward.

    Fortify is pointless. As Roadhog I can alt shot through that in 2 hits. It needs to either be a higher damage reduction or a 4 second invincibility frame with a longer cool down.

    Last edited 04/03/17 9:28 am

      You are missing one of the major uses of fortify; it makes you immune to movement altering effects. While that's active for example, you can't use Roadhogs hook on Orisa, stun her, or (I haven't tested it yet) freeze her.

    yet another Overwatch tank that has potentially more dps and toys than the dps themselves. I think she looks great with some really nice new ideas but why would people wanting a cheap win play dps when they can just pick a tank and phone-it-in for the game?

    Let tanks do what their supposed to do, survive, and leave the killing people to the dps.

      Virtually every hero does a lot of damage in Overwatch. That's intended. The "DPS" heroes you refer to are not DPS heroes at all; they're offense heroes. They're defined by their aggressive movement patterns and strategies, and doing a lot of damage is not meant to be their unique feature, even if all of 'em do a lot of damage in some way.

      Overwatch would be a shitty game if it were split into "heroes that do damage" and "heroes that don't do damage but do something else". This isn't a MOBA, and this isn't some variety of RPG. It's a shooter, and as a shooter, it'd feel like crap if most of the roster were subpar at shooting and killing.

      So, can the whole "DPS" thing. It isn't relevant in Overwatch, and it never should be.

      Last edited 06/03/17 2:16 am

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