New Overwatch 2 hero Illari has me excited and scared in equal measure. Arriving with the release of Overwatch 2 Season 6, this Peruvian sun-slinger is one of the most offensively capable members of the Overwatch 2 support squad yet. With a powerful healing pylon that frees her up to deliver devastating strikes on the enemy team, and an attacking ultimate that can devastate an entire enemy team, she’s a perfect match for the new Flashpoint mode and a terrifying opponent to face in the multiplayer game.
PCGamesN had the opportunity to test out Illari in game ahead of her announcement, and also attended a roundtable to talk about her design with the Blizzard team. The youngest hero to join the Overwatch 2 roster, Illari is a support with deadly damage potential, and can leave her team in the care of a healing turret that consistently delivers single-target bursts of healing to whichever allied hero nearby has the lowest health.
Hero designer Piero Herrera tells us the team wanted “a really offensive support that doesn’t forget about [her] teammates, and that’s how the Healing Pylon came to life.” He adds that, while Illari’s secondary fire (a healing beam similar to Moira’s but with a shorter, faster-charging tank) is very powerful, the pylon is designed to be her main source of healing. Its range is comparable to that of Lucio’s area of effect – the image below shows the right bot within range, while the left sits just outside of it.
While the turret is doing its work, Illari can pick off her opponents with her deadly Solar Rifle. The primary attack fires a long-range shot that then has to recharge to return to full power. At full charge, you’ll deal 75 damage – fire off another shot as soon as you can and that drops to just 25, but wait a moment (about one second to return to full charge, displayed by her on-screen reticle) and you’ll be back to full power.
That makes Illari potentially devastating in the hands of players that are able to deliver precise crits with a measured rhythm, able to demolish 200-health characters in just a couple of well-placed shots. When you need to supplement your pylon’s healing, the Solar Rifle’s secondary fire lets her top off her allies quickly. It only has about three seconds of juice, but will recharge its tank in the same amount of time following a small pause, making it ideal for those panic moments.
Next in her kit is Outburst, a short dash that can knock back nearby enemies. Hold down jump and you’ll get a bit of height, too – don’t expect Echo-like mobility, but it’ll get Illari up onto the standard height of ledge you’ll find around a lot of control points.
Rounding things out is Illari’s ultimate, Captive Sun – the first ultimate for an Overwatch 2 support that is purely focused on attacking the enemy team directly. Soaring high into the air with four seconds of flight time, Illari fires out a ball projectile that explodes upon impact, dealing damage to all enemies hit and placing a glowing debuff on them, additionally indicated by a sun symbol above their head. You’re forced to leap up at the start, though holding crouch will largely mitigate this if you’d rather stay grounded.
The Captive Sun debuff slows enemy movement for several seconds, and if they take enough additional damage during this time then the charge detonates, dealing massive damage to the target and those around them. From my testing, the initial impact deals 50 damage, with a total of 100 damage dealt causing the explosion to go off, which then deals a further 100 damage – and this can cause a chain reaction if it hits another enemy still affected by Illari’s ultimate, devastating any teams who group up too tightly.
The ability to position your healing turret somewhere enemies can’t see it gives Illari a defensive potential akin to that of Symmetra, where your team can hold down a chokepoint with a constant source of passive top-ups. The turret’s biggest weakness seems to be that because it always targets the lowest-health nearby hero with every pulse, it struggles a little to manage when multiple members of your team drop low simultaneously.
It does, however, make her incredibly well-suited to Overwatch 2’s new Flashpoint mode, which can best be described as five slightly shorter rounds of Control spread across one giant map. Make it onto point first, and Illari can drop her turret in a covert location – it’s quite bulky, but it’ll stick to any surface and its range is nothing to smirk at, meaning it can give you a huge advantage if you’re able to set up early.
From there, Illari can hang back, staying near enough to top up allies who fall dangerously low while looking to pick off any fragile enemy supports with her long-range rail gun. If the enemy team attempts to group up and push in, her ultimate punishes this with the wrath of a thousand suns – or perhaps one particularly angry one.
“She’s there to heal, but sometimes she has a bit of an attitude about it,” narrative designer Joshi Zhang tells us. Senior character artist Rakan Khamash calls Illari “A lot of fun when it comes to non-stop action,” but notes that you shouldn’t be too tempted by her ability to go all-in on DPS – she’s still a support first, after all.
I’m equal parts in love with and afraid of Illari’s kit. She’s already threatening to rival Zen, Ana, Bap, and Kiriko for me as an all-time favorite Overwatch 2 support hero, but she promises to be a terrifying sight on the enemy team. I’m already looking forward to seeing the best players get hands-on with her – the clips are going to be ridiculous.
While her Solar Rifle and the ability to quickly reposition with Outburst are sure to deliver us some memorable moments at high level, Illari’s Healing Pylon, along with the sheer effectiveness of her ultimate at clearing out teams who don’t spread out in response, mean she’ll likely become a terror in the lower ranks as well. A new dawn has risen on Overwatch 2, and the Sun shines on Illari.
Overwatch 2 Illari abilities
Here are Illari’s abilities in Overwatch 2 – note that numbers are taken from testing on the preview test server, and may change for the final version.
Weapon: Solar Rifle
- Primary fire: Long range auto-charging rifle.
- Damage: 75 (charged) scaling down to 25 at minimum charge.
- Secondary fire: Medium range healing beam that consumes solar energy.
- Primary charge pauses while firing.
Ability 1: Outburst
- Launches you in the direction you are moving, knocking back enemies. Hold jump to go higher.
- Cooldown: 7 seconds.
Ability 2: Healing Pylon
- Deploy a pylon that heals allies.
- Cooldown: 8 seconds, 12 if destroyed.
- Total Health: 150 (75 health, 75 shields).
Ultimate: Captive Sun
- Fire an explosive ball of solar energy. Enemies hit are slowed, and explode after taking enough damage.
- Damage: 50 for initial explosion, 100 upon detonation.