Overwatch 2 Devs Reveal How New Hero Illari Surprised Them in Playtests

Overwatch's new support hero Illari is good for flanking, and console players

Overwatch 2: Invasion is the biggest drop of content in the history of Blizzard's fan-favorite game, and naturally it includes a new hero character. Illari, the game's newest support hero, has officially joined the roster as Hero #38. ComicBook.com took part in a roundtable interview with developers from Blizzard to learn more about Illari's kit, how she functions in the game, what sort of place they expect her to take in PVP fights, and more. What we learned is that Illari appears to be a hero that rewards multitasking, but also has the ability to offer value to her team through passive utilities. Here's what we know and we what we learned about Overwatch 2's Illari.

Blizzard's confirmed kit for Illari includes her solar rifle as primary fire, described as a ";ong range auto-charging rifle;" seconday fire is a "medium range healing beam that consumes solar energy;" she also comes equipped with a "Healing Pylon," which sticks to a specific area and feals players within it; she has a mobile ability called Outburst which "launches you in the direction you are moving, knocking back enemies. Hold jump to go higher." Finally, Illari's Ultimate is called Captive Sun, described as "Fire an explosive ball of solar energy. Enemies hit are slowed and explode after taking significant damage," this makes her the first support hero in Overwatch 2's history that exclusively does damage with her ultimate.

Overwatch 2's Illari doesn't require amazing aim

Though some support characters in Overwatch 2 require a modicom of aiming abliity, like Ana and Zenyatta, it won't be a requirement for players trying out Illari. Thanks to her healing pylon being able to help teammates, the character doesn't have to focus on healing 100% of the time, but is able to heal while also contributing to the team's attack. Senior Character Artist Rakan Khamash explains:

"I think that the awesome thing about Illari is you don't have to be, let's say, super good with your aim. It will help and if you let's say you want to take it easy, stay backline, focus on healing, you can totally do that. But on the other hand, let's say a Winston jumps you, you definitely have the tools to get out of that position and you can pack a lot of damage. So for new players or even current players, you kind of decide how you want to play her, which is awesome because you know you're just not fixed to let's say DPS or to heal or just focus on one aspect of the battle. You can reposition. Where you place your healing pylon it forces the whole fight to go around that."

Overwatch 2's Illari is a good flanker

We asked the Overwatch 2 specifically if there was anything that came up win playtests with Illari that surprised them, and her ability to flank in game was the biggest one that came up. Piero Herrera noted that they probably should have considered that based on her kit, which allows players to say put a healing pylon in one place to heal teammates while moving to another area to attack, thanks in part to her movement ability that allows her to get some air.

"So why is that good?" Herrera added. "It's because she has this ultimate that is focused on attacking and marking enemies for death essentially. So you use your shift to flank and then you use your ultimate, allowing your team that is maybe over there in that location that you left your healing pylon to advance. So that's something that is a surprise for a lot of the enemies that can't see it coming. It was a really happy surprise for us to see plays like that."

Overwatch 2's Illari is a good pick on console

When asked what about Illari may have surprised the team once they really started testing her and got her in front of players, a major one that came up was her usefulness for console players. Overwatch 2's Hero Designer Piero Herrera confirmed this about her, noting that her abilitiy to place a healing pylon in one place and then fire her main gun in another found itself to be a recurring playstyle for console players.

"If you are as strategic with the healing pylon and where you place it, you don't have to be as good at aiming skills, it will help for sure," Herrera noted. "But we found that this new support hero Illari is really good on console, because you can just place this healing pylon and it's doing its thing and you can focus your time on shooting the charge rifle and things like that. And that's a great addition to the roster on that platform as well.  

Overwatch 2: Invasion launches today, August 10th, featuring not only the new game mode Flashpoint but also the new hero Illari, Overwatch 2 story missions, Hero Mastery, and more..