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Published: September 16, 2022

Written by: Isabella Aslam

  • This is the first support hero Blizzard has launched in three years
  • She combines healing abilities with Genji and Hanzo’s maneuverability
  • She will be released when Overwatch 2 launches on October 4

To hype up the upcoming Overwatch 2, Blizzard is revealing the first support hero to be added to the game in three years – the Japanese fox-spirit-themed Kiriko.

Blizzard Announces Kiriko

Overwatch fans have been complaining about the content drought the game’s been suffering from for the past couple of years. Blizzard has not done much to address these concerns except promising that Overwatch 2 will have consistent content updates. But straw fans might grab is the recent announcement of Kiriko, the first support hero released in the game in over three years. 

There have been rumors of a hero inspired by the cunning and mischievous Japanese fox spirit, or kitsune for years now. Described as a high-mobility, single-target hybrid healer, associate narrative designer Kyungseo Min explained in the announcement video that she is developed with Overwatch 2’s new 5v5 team compositions in mind. 

Lead concept artist on Overwatch 2 Qiu Fang described Kiriko as a “battle healer” who gets in the thick of the action, and is “not just a sit-back-and-heal type of hero.” In a separate interview, Min explained that her design was heavily inspired by Genji. This is quite ap as she has trained alongside him and Hanzo, and is also a “support hero that DPS players [who] like Genji would enjoy playing,” Min said. 

How Will Kiriko Play?

Combining both healing abilities with impressive maneuverability and flexibility, Kiriko is sure to bring something new to Overwatch. Her abilities are as such:

  • Healing ofuda (primary fire): sends out up to 10 slow-moving paper talismans that home in on allies and heal a small amount over time
  • Kunai (secondary fire): throws out one kunai at a time to deal a small amount of damage, with 12 total
  • Swift Step: blinks large distances (including through walls) 
  • Protection Suzu: creates a bell that wraps nearby allies and Kiriko in a damage-nullifying and effect-cleansing barrier for a short period. It has a lengthy cooldown period of 14 seconds
  • Wall climb (passive): Kiriko can climb up walls like Hanzo and Genji using her kunai
  • Kitsune Rush (Ultimate): summons a fox spirit and a path of torii in front of Kiriko that buffs her and her allies with movement speed, attack speed, reload speed, and a cooldown reduction on abilities. “It’s very, very powerful,” Fang said,” and great for initiating an attack on an objective.”

Kiriko will be released with Overwatch 2 which drops on October 4. However, she will not be available to everyone from the start. Only players who already have the old Overwatch or have purchased the Season One battle pass will have access to her. Otherwise, players will have to unlock Kiriko after achieving Tier 55 of the free track.

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