Overwatch 2 is still a couple of weeks away and if you weren’t lucky enough to get into the beta or alpha testing you’re going to be shocked by all the changes. It’s years since we’ve gotten new heroes in the original Overwatch, but it looks like Overwatch 2 is starting strong with three brand-new heroes to play. From attack hero Sojourn to tank Junker Queen and the latest support – Kiriko. For more information on new features in Overwatch 2 and Sojourn’s ability list, check out our guide here.
It looks like Overwatch 2‘s new gameplay mechanics are going to make it more skill-based. And Kiriko is a great example of the way that new heroes are going to play in the game. In fact, just like her fellow Japanese character Genji, she’s going to prove hard to master. Her kit is all about deliberate and well-timed execution. Definitely not for the inexperienced, but once understood can save your entire team from dying.
Here’s what you need to know about mastering Kiriko before the game launches on October 4th 2022.
Note: Overwatch 2 is currently not fully launched yet and this guide is subject to update with the game’s changes.
How To Unlock Kiriko
Unlike Overwatch 1, Overwatch 2 will not have loot boxes and will now make you work to unlock its new heroes. A brand new mechanic to existing Overwatch fans, and one that has been met with mixed reviews. To ease the transition however Blizzard has made Kiriko free for all original owners of Overwatch. All you have to do is log into Overwatch 2 before the end of Season One to unlock her.
For new players, Kiriko can only be unlocked through the Battle Pass. The Battle Pass has a free track and a premium track that can be unlocked using the game’s new Overwatch Coins. These coins are purchasable using real world money.
Anyone who purchases the premium pass will be able to add Kiriko to their roster immediately. For those who aren’t interested in paying, Kiriko will still be available in the free battle pass track. However, players will have to reach Tier 55 of the free Battle Pass to unlock her, which will likely involve a bit of a grind.
It seems that all future heroes will also reportedly debut at Tier 55 of the free pass. While also being instantly unlockable on the premium battle pass track.
Kiriko Origin Story
An original ally of the Shimada clan, Kiriko’s mother trained Genji and Hanzo in the way of the sword. Kiriko learned beside both the brothers growing up and was especially close to Genji. She comes from the village of Kanezaka in Hanamura with her healer grandmother and warrior mother.
After the fall of the Shimada Clan and the hostile takeover of the evil Hashimoto Clan, Kiriko joined the Yokai. The Yokai are a small resistance group dedicated to fighting against the oppression of the Hashimoto Clan. The members of the group all wear masks based on different yōkai: Kiriko wears a kitsune mask.
Under the sub-class ‘battle support’ or ‘attack healer’, she is able to do significant damage as well as heal. Similar in idea to Baptise, Moira and Zenyatta.
However, unlike those support heroes, Kiriko is more ‘Genji-inspired‘ as in she requires precision and timing. As mentioned before, Kiriko has a high skill ceiling and has a fast and furious gameplay style.
Primary Attack: Healing Ofuda
Channel a burst of healing talismans that can seek targeted allies.
Healing: 20 Points
The Healing Ofuda is a powerful healing projectile, and it makes up Kiriko’s primary support aspect. When using the ability, Kiriko throws two Ofuda at a time (she has ten before she has to “reload”) meaning you can fire five bursts of healing in one rotation. That said, the reset doesn’t take too long.
Think about it like Moira’s healing gas, except it can track your allies at great distances. The healing is broken up again when she has to ‘reload’ but she also doesn’t need to charge her healing ability back up like Moira.
You can use this ability for mobile heroes such as Pharah, Echo and Genji as you’ll be able to hit them long distances. Do note however that unlike Ana’s darts these Ofuda projectiles are a little slow and make take some time to reach their intended target.
Details: When the Ofuda are yellow they are seeing out your allied player. If they’re blue it means they don’t have a target.
Secondary Attack: Kunai
Thrown projectile that deals increased critical damage.
Kiriko’s secondary attack however is more DPS than healer. Namely, a precision DPS considering the pinpoint spread of this particular projectile.
The Kunai won’t give you the strongest damage at 40 points for a body hit (at the time of writing). However if you manage to land a head shot you’ll be able to do three times the amount of damage. This is damage output rivaling that of Hanzo and Widowmaker’s headshots, for context. So for players who don’t have this amount of aim skills, you won’t be able to make the most of this ability.
Just as a note however as a support role do prioritise healing over attack. You know who you are attack Moira people.
Passive: Wall Climb
Jump at walls to climb up them.
Like her fellow childhood friends Hanzo and Genji, Kiriko also has the ability to wall climb. This ability works exactly as it does for others in the game. You’ll be able to scale vertical surfaces for a couple of seconds, giving you added height and mobility. A useful place for a long distance support hero. Also love the nod to the story lore.
Ability #1: Swift Step
Teleport directly to an ally, even through walls.
Cooldown: 7 seconds
Swift Step is a brand new ability to Overwatch 2 and it works kind of like a blink. Swift Step will enable you to teleport instantly to another player, if they’re within the 35 metere range. Imagine it as a mix between Mercy’s Guardian Angel and Sombra’s Beacon.
This ability increases Kiriko’s mobility, completely disregarding walls to get to your hurt ally. The blink distance is generous too, meaning that Kiriko is perhaps one of the most mobile heroes in the game, able to instantly turn up anywhere on the battlefield in the blink of an eye.
Just like Mercy’s Guardian Angel, just because you can blink to an ally doesn’t always mean that you should. Blinking to someone in the middle of a unwinnable situation is likely going to get you killed as well. As we said before, timing for this hero is important.
Ability #2: Protection Suzu
Upon impact, allies in the area become briefly invulnerable and are cleansed of most negative effects.
Healing: 50 Points | Duration: 0.75 seconds | Cooldown: 15 seconds
The Protection Suzu is an exceptionally powerful ability, and if timed right can turn the tide of fights in an instant. This ability makes Kiriko and her allies in a medium radius invincible and unable to take damage for around a second. Similar in idea to Baptise’s immortality field, but that protects more from death instead of mitigating damage.
However, the trade-off here is that the Protection Suzu lasts for a very short time and has a reasonably long cooldown, so you have to pick your moment exactly to save yourself and your team. Just like Zenyatta’s Transcendence skills you’re better off using it to negate the enemie’s Ultimate attacks. Such as Soldier, Rein, Dva or Junks. Just time it out well.
This ability will also cleanse debuffs such as anti-healing or bleed from you and your allies. A new feature that has been introduced to Overwatch 2.
Kiriko Ultimate Ability: Kitsune Rush
Summon a fox spirit that rushes forward, accelerating the movement, attack speed, and cooldowns of allies that follow its path.
Duration: 10 seconds
Kitsune Rush is the ultimate of ultimate support buffs, but in a limited space.
When Kiriko casts Kitsune Rush, a metaphysical road appears in front of her in a straight line (that can go up and down surfaces). Its marked by Torii arches and when you and your team are on this road, everyone will benefit from increased movement speed, attack speed, reload speed, and cooldown reduction.
It’s a great ultimate ability confined by the rules of the road. You can only move in a straight line and are fairly confined to the ultimate’s area. Keep an eye on the terrain and use it when it can best be utilised by everyone. Mostly to push through a choke point but probably not if you’re stuck in a room.
Overwatch 2 will release on October 4, 2022 for Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and PC as a free-to-play game. But will offer packs and battle passes for real world money and extra points and benefits. For all other changes coming to Overwatch 2 be sure to check out that article here.
For more information about the game you check out their official website here.