HALT! An In-Depth Look at Orisa with Wat7
Mon 17th Apr 2017 - 6:25pm
This article was written with input from Team Dignitas tank player, Patrick “Wat7” Marwal.
With high damage output and a unique set of abilities, Orisa presents new offense and defensive capabilities not seen yet in Overwatch. As the newest hero in the hero roster, her purpose and strengths are still unclear to the larger part of the community. We’ve spoken with professional tank player Wat7 to look into the practical applications of Orisa, and detail how she fits alongside the current hero lineup.
Blizzard’s design philosophy behind Orisa was to develop an alternative ‘Anchor Tank’ to Reinhardt, another hero that can serve as a durable, primary frontliner.
Her role is more similar to that of Zarya, in that her shield provides windows for an allied Reinhardt to recharge their shield, and her Fusion Cannon is highly effective against shields and large, immobile targets like Roadhog. She’s a supportive off-tank that synergizes well within 3 or 4-tank comps, while also being effective against tanks. She does, however, struggle against dive compositions, which have become popular as of late. While she doesn’t serve as a replacement to Reinhardt, she works very well when paired alongside him.
She happens to be effective against tanks, especially Reinhardt thanks to her high sustained damage output, but struggles against flankers due to her low mobility and lack of means to shut them down. Her lack of mobility and vulnerability to flankers have meant that she hasn’t seen much play, but this may change in the near future with her recent headshot hitbox size reduction and the Lucio speed boost changes. Overall, she’s stronger on defense due to her lack of mobility, effectiveness of her shields, and her spammy Fusion Cannon which she can lay down upon choke points. Her ‘Halt!’ and Supercharger also happen to be great offensive abilities.
- High sustained DPS
- Constant threat near ledges thanks to Halt!
- Second strongest shield after Reinhardt
- Supercharger can win fights on its own
- Lack of close-range measures against flankers
- Easy to kill, vulnerable headshot hitbox
Orisa’s set of abilities present a wide range of diverse strengths. Her Fusion Cannon is effective at long ranges, she can displace her opponents and significantly amplify the damage output of her allies.
Fusion Driver (Primary Fire)
With 12 damage per bullet and 12 shots per second, she boasts an effective 144 effective DPS which is hampered by its spread and travel time, which renders it weak against smaller targets and it is difficult to chase enemies with. Against most enemies at medium ranges, you’ll want to keep your fire at around the upper chest area to maximize hit coverage while landing periodic headshots. Fusion Driver is great against tanks, whittling through their large headshot and overall hitboxes.
Unlike many long-range DPS weapons, Fusion Driver has no form of fall-off damage, meaning that it applies equal damage at all ranges. Furthermore, weapon spread does not increase with prolonged fire, meaning that tap firing is pointless and fully-automatic is the way to go. With its high ammo capacity and relatively low reload time, you should be laying down fire whenever possible, whether it be towards enemies in chokes or at opposing Reinhardt/Winston shields. Make the most of Orisa’s cannon, as it bears some of the most reliable shield-busting, spammable damage in the game.
Halt! (Secondary Fire)
Halt is particularly strong when coordinated with allied abilities such as Reinhardt’s Fire Strike and Ana’s Biotic Grenade. Its large pull radius makes it an easy means of dropping targets off the map, and by extension creates pressure by forcing your opponents to reposition thoughtfully. It can also be detonated above a Reinhardt to lift them off the ground, enabling an allied Earthshatter to pass beneath their shield. Using Halt to slow and briefly pull an enemy upwards can be enough to line up a solo kill with Fusion Driver against even the smallest foe, so look to detonate it slightly above your opponent’s heads. It’s a powerful and disorienting ability to be struck with.
Fortify is a powerful ability that can boost Orisa’s frontline potential periodically. However, it’s easy to become overzealous with this ability; you can still be killed very quickly, especially with your lack of mobility. Block damage for your teammates with Fortify, but know your limits.
Fortify is very strong when used reactively against abilities such as Roadhog’s Hook and Reinhardt’s Charge. It can be used to break Junkrat traps and block crowd-control and displacement for your allies. Against Mei’s Ice Beam, you may want to maximize your efficiency by using Fortify moments before being frozen, removing the stacking slow before it applies the freeze proc.
Protective Barrier is a great defense tool when thoughtfully placed. Typically, it should be activated preemptively in fights to block chokes off, while giving an allied Reinhardt time to regenerate their shield.
Unlike Winston’s Barrier Projector, the cooldown of Protective Barrier begins upon using the ability, regardless of when the shield activates or breaks. For this reason, you can increase shield uptime by shooting your shield upwards, pre-emptively preparing a shield which will hit the ground 5 seconds after firing it. By the time the shield activates, you’ll only have to wait around 7 seconds firing off another barrier. Note that pre-existing barriers won’t be replaced until a new one fully activates.
Offensively, Protective Barrier can be used aggressively by launching it between the opponent’s frontline and backline as you push ahead, making healing, damaging and backing-up tanks awkward for your enemies, forcing them to reposition.
Supercharger is a potent but extremely vulnerable ultimate. Either combine it with your Protective Barrier, or place it around a corner to keep it sheltered, and remain wary of threats and flankers who may shut it down early on. This ultimate should be used near the start or early in a fight, and should be timed appropriately so that your opponents don’t have time to shut it down before your team fully commits and engages a fight.
Ana and Mercy’s damage boost stack with Supercharger, nearly doubling allied damage output. This ultimate can easily decide the outcome of a teamfight, and a well-timed, well-positioned Supercharger will dominate the teamfight if left untouched.
Overall, Orisa is in a mostly decent spot for the most part. Her design is just unusual in that she’s effectively an anti-tank tank. The latest update reducing her headshot hitbox should help her cope with flankers like Tracer, and if that’s not enough, giving her more health or removing her headshot hitbox during Fortify would help. It’s still too early to decide on the state of Orisa and the latest Lucio changes may enable her to be picked in more situations.
It’s a shame that Orisa didn’t turn out to be a sufficient Reinhardt/primary tank replacement, but it’s quite possible that the opportunity to have two ‘anchor tanks’ on the same team proved to be too strong during internal testing. It would have also been interesting for her primary fire to be hitscan-based, offering more potential against flankers and rendering her as a tank that could counter Pharah.
A final word from Wat7:
‘Orisa’s a good addition to the off-tank roster, and depending on how the meta evolves, may actually see her played with other tanks.’
A huge thanks to Wat7 for his professional thoughts on Orisa. If you’d like to hear more from him, you can follow him on Twitch and Twitter. Try utilizing Orisa’s strengths as discussed, and good luck!