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How does Orisa fit into Overwatch's meta?

How does Orisa fit into Overwatch's meta?
Overwatch

has received its latest addition to the roster of characters, a brand new “anchor tank” by the name of Orisa. This quadrupedal robot looks to take on Reinhardt for the position of go-to tank, but has Blizzard created the right toolset to replace that shield-wielding German? We fought the masses for the right to play Orisa to find out... OVERWATCH-ORISA

An overview of Orisa

Blizzard has openly said it’s been looking to create a new anchor tank with Orisa, meaning the sort of damage sustaining character that teams work around. In Reinhardt’s case that means everyone sticking behind his massive shield while they poke at enemies and slowly progress towards an objective. Orisa requires much the same style of gameplay, though the mechanics are really quite different. Players will get the most out of Orisa by sticking alongside her, gaining access to her deployable shield, making use of her Halt! ability and especially her ultimate when it’s ready. But Orisa is slow, her mobility is her weakest feature and getting caught out will find that the marching tank has few ways of defending herself against a flanker like Tracer or Sombra. It’s a symbiotic relationship, then, one where Orisa must aid her allies while they protect her. overwatch-orisa-01

Orisa’s Fusion Driver and its range

One of the more surprising elements of Orisa’s kit is her range. The Fusion Driver cannon has a huge ammo clip, fantastic range and reliable accuracy over distance. Best of all, there’s no damage drop-off over longer ranges, and that can make Orisa a viable threat at any distance. The benefit here is that Orisa can assist from greater distances and make bother for snipers and back-line targets that might have otherwise felt safe. The spread is a little too broad to consistently score kills at a longer distance, but it’s enough of a nuisance that these targets will need to rethink their strategy - and that alone can give some added security and time for your team to advance. But that huge ammo clip and the weapon’s wide spread also makes Orisa quite adept at laying down extended cover fire, using her barrier to protect one assault route and sustained gunfire to stop the opposition risking assaulting another route. overwatch-orisa-04

How Orisa’s abilities work with a team

Protective Barrier

There’s primarily two ways that Orisa assists her team, the simplest to understand being the Protective Barrier. Since this is an arcing projectile, there’s a small learning curve to its use - but as a result it’s a little more adaptable than many of the other shields in the game. It can be placed immediately down in front of you, but it’s perhaps better used to angle ahead of your to block gunfire from a certain area. For example, firing up from the objective point onto one of the ramp’s in Ilios Ruins/Round 2 will stop enemy players taking shots into the basin, and force them to either come down into closer range combat, destroy the barrier or take an alternate route around. It’s strategies like this through the specific placement of Orisa’s barriers that will likely get her standing out as a viable tank. The barrier itself is on a par with Reinhardt’s in terms of size and so well suited to most any map, making it just as viable as Reinhardt’s portable shield. It doesn’t take as much damage as Reinhardt’s can, but its flexible positioning does make it just as useful just for different reasons.

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Halt!

While Halt! doesn’t do any damage, it’s actually Orisa’s most interesting ability. The projectile is like a baby version of Zarya’s ultimate, but here it tether’s to enemy players and once activated - either manually or on impact - yanks them towards the orb. It’s useful in a huge number of ways, such as stopping players from escaping, disrupting and disorienting damage-dealing threats or pulling more important targets - such as healers - closer into the fray. But its slingshot style function actually makes it very useful against enemies concealed behind walls, corners and other obstructions. It’ll take some skill to use properly, but Halt! will actually be a defining ability of Orisa’s, and the best players will make use of this often and in creative ways. It’s not intended to score Orisa kills, instead helping her team to secure eliminations from escapees and hidden threats, as you'll notice after achieving Orisa's two unlockable sprays. If anything about Orisa is a game changer, it’s this one ability - making safety less of a guarantee for the opposition. overwatch-orisa-02

Orisa’s ultimate, Supercharger

By contrast, Orisa’s ultimate doesn’t feel as significant. Make no mistake, it’s definitely a useful ability and adds to the composition of a team - but it’s use is a little more one-sided. Specifically this means it is better suited to defense since it requires the team to be within line of sight and it is a stationary, deployable object. Moreover, the capsule has its own health and can be destroyed and while players have yet to figure that out it won’t take long until a Supercharger out in the open is going to be a wasted ultimate. Enemy barriers also block the line of sight, which is a rather simple defense mechanism against the ultimate. Mercifully it can be placed on moving objects (namely Payloads) and if it’s behind a wall it can help a team defend a control point by giving them boosted damage, especially useful when timed properly to prevent a particularly aggressive assault. What is interesting is how this effect also stacks with Ana’s Nano Boost ultimate - but not Mercy’s damage boost, make note - making for a particularly strong combo that could well see Ana/Orisa combos in pro play, and likely keeping Ana in the game after her recent nerfs. The rampage that a Nano Boosted/Supercharged ally can cause is incredible, and will likely be a decisive moment in any game where the two are combined.

So where does Orisa fit into the Overwatch meta?

While Ana made a name for herself quickly, Sombra - despite her potential utility - didn’t really make much of a dent in the tier lists. Orisa, however, is a very strong addition to the game. This is partly because there are very few must-have tanks in the meta right now, especially since there’s very little that can knock Reinhardt off the top spot - his ultimate and portable shield will forever see to that. But Orisa’s addition into the game does mix up the meta a little. Defensively she can combine with Reinhardt to make an impenetrable fortress, while offensively we could see rise to more mobile tanks like D.Va or Winston to accommodate for - and rectify - Orisa’s lack of mobility. Roadhog, too, can make use of her Halt! ability for an easy hook grab. We may well see a rise in the likes of Bastion, Hanzo and Widowmaker, too, since Orisa’s deployable shield means she can give them their own personal safety net while her own Fortify ability keeps her from taking too much damage without that barrier. As already discussed, too, Ana will likely retain her position high up the tier lists thanks to Orisa’s ultimate, opening up a combo that can be devastating in the right hands. In terms of offensive partners, it’s unlikely Orisa will change much in the meta. Every character can take advantage of her abilities, with the already-strong Soldier 76 especially benefiting from her toolkit. And since Tracer and Genji are often better suited away from the main team, a new anchor tank probably won’t improve their standings all that much. In terms of counters, however, we may well see a rise to the likes of Pharah or Junkrat to help destroy those barriers - especially if the current Reinhardt/Orisa combo that seems to be rising takes hold. Elsewhere, more mobile attackers - such as Tracer, Genji and even Sombra - could see a rise to counter Orisa, perhaps enough even to compete with Soldier 76. Orisa cannot deal well with attacks up-close and personal, and having flanking attackers like these get behind enemies lines will be a boon. Sombra, especially, could be useful thanks to her ability to hack and disrupt opposition behind the deployed shield, even preventing Orisa from deploying a second barrier and giving her team the green light to attack an un-Fortified Orisa and co. Either way, we can expect that Orisa is going to make an impact on Overwatch's meta. Naysayerz will be doing a live playthrough of Orisa on The BRIDGE tomorrow. Tune in to see how the new hero works, and get some tips on how to start dominating with the new tank.