Whispers of a cunning and mischievous fox spirit-based hero, or kitsune, swirled through the Surveillance community for years. The developers have sprinkled strong hints throughout Monitor 2‘s betas on the possible inclusion of another Japanese hero, and now it’s finally time for Kanezaka’s protector to officially debut.
Kiriko, a young woman who trained alongside Hanzo and Genji Shimada and wields the power of the fox spirit in battle, will be Overwatch 2 next hero.
She will be the first support hero released in the game in over three years and brings with her an extremely powerful kit based around mobility and team-wide buffs.
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Protector of Kanezaka Shrine like her grandmother before her, Kiriko uses the fox spirit to aid her team’s mobility and power. His mother, a legendary ninja who trained the Shimada brothers, instilled in him a fighting spirit. Kiriko has teamed up with a group of teenagers who call themselves the Yokai to protect members of the Kanezaka community who are threatened by the Hashimoto, an evil clan that moved in after the Shimada clan disbanded.
Players who have already Surveillance will have Kiriko unlocked for free when Monitor 2 launches in Early Access on October 4 as long as they log in before the end of the nine-week first season.
It will be instantly unlocked if a Season 1 Premium Battle Pass is purchased; otherwise new Surveillance players will need to unlock it through the free pass.
All of Kiriko’s abilities in Monitor 2
The developers describe Kiriko as a “single-target hybrid healer” who can enter a skirmish and help in any way possible. His powerful kit reflects this division between healing and dealing damage.
Main Fire: Healing Ofuda
Kiriko is able to target allies and throw ofuda – paper talismans imbued with powers – in their direction to heal them. This is a series of five projectiles that will target an ally. The Healing Ofuda is a very slow ability, so players have the option to cast them in advance if they anticipate damage.
Secondary Fire: Kunai
Not content to just sit back and let everyone have fun, Kiriko throws kunai with her secondary fire to deal damage. They are very fast and deal more damage when critically hitting, making the ability more valuable for players used to aiming projectiles.
Kiriko’s primary movement ability is the Swift Step, which allows her to target a single ally – in the vein of Mercy’s Guardian Angel ability – and teleport to them instantly. This teleport can even pass through walls, making it invaluable when trying to catch up with a team or save allies from a skirmish elsewhere on the map.
Perhaps Kiriko’s most valuable ability, Suzu Protection is a small “bell” that can be thrown on the ground or at allies that grants a short burst of Immortality and clears all debuffs.
Although other abilities (like Zarya’s Barriers) can clear some debuffs; it is the first capacity of Surveillance which can even completely remove Ultimate-based debuffs. During a press conference, the developers confirmed that this cleanup includes the effects of Reinhardt’s Earthshatter and Sombra’s EMP. Protection Suzu will also remove normal debuffs, like Ashe’s Dynamite fire damage, Ana’s Sleep Dart and Healing Grenades, and more.
It would have a long cooldown though, so players will need to be aware of when and where to cast it.
Ultimate: Kitsune Rush
This ultimate vibrant visual – which was teased in one of the Monitor 2 trailers – sees Kiriko launch a “path” that gives massive buffs to her teammates. According to the developer’s update, Kitsune Rush gives allies “movement speed, attack speed, reload speed” and cooldown reduction.
For example, an ally of Ana hit by Kitsune Rush would have her cooldowns for Healing Grenade and Sleep Dart greatly reduced, making those abilities available sooner.
Seems like a fantastic ability to rush and engage in fights, making it more of an ultimate offensive support in the vein of Brigitte’s rally and less defensive like Zenyatta’s transcendence.
As a passive ability, Kiriko can also climb walls similar to Genji and Hanzo.
This all sounds incredibly powerful for a support hero, but the developers are aware of the overpowered potential of his kit and are working hard to balance it out.
During a press conference, hero designer Piero Herrera said that his protection Suzu’s invulnerability is one of the things they “definitely watch out for” in playtesting.
“We have processes in place to ensure that we can achieve balance even after his release, within the first two weeks,” he said. “She’s got a lot of utility, but I think we’ve struck the balance very well.”
Kiriko will be available from October 4 when Monitor 2 launches in early access.