Enter Ashe: Overwatch’s Cunning New Hero

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It’s high noon for BlizzCon, and Overwatch’s 29th hero Elizabeth Caledonia Ashe is now the hottest talk of the stage after her debut in Reunion. A friend-turned-nemesis foil to McCree, Ashe is a ranged fighter and head of the Deadlock Gang, the old rogue’s former host of partners who have terrorized the world in their gambit for riches. Crossing bullets with her old compatriot McCree, Ashe now enters the battle for the future in her desires to bring the Deadlock Gang to power as the greatest group of bandits ever known.

Born into money, Ashe was a wily trouble-maker from a young age while her parents traveled the world doing business with powerful CEOs. Leaving her in the care of her Omnic butler B.O.B., he raised herself to be rough and tumble while feeling alone in a world too rich for her tastes. A chance meeting with a young Jesse McCree would change her life forever; when a string of crimes went well with the local ruffian her eyes were opened to a truer calling. The taste of adrenaline, the satisfaction of a well laid and executed plan. Crime was the word, and she wanted to preach it.

Forging the Deadlock’s out a desire for a greater family, the gang would go on to terrorize the western world and rise to meteoric fame. Finding themselves at odds with other criminal outfits, they skirmished and waged war on each other for years until Ashe finally saw the bigger picture. Using the skills her parents had left her, she rallied the organizations together and cut the country up between themselves. Ensuring that no other group would encroach on any other, Ashe left them with a simple creed to govern their crime-states: Keep Your Word, Never Work With The Law, Respect Each Other’s Territory, and Always Punish Betrayal.

Now with her empire built around her, Ashe is ready to focus her energies elsewhere. Intent on carving her name into history, Ashe and B.O.B. are now intent to rewrite the history of the American Southwest. Engaging in the most audacious crimes and heists, she’s quickly found herself at the top of the wanted lists and at crossed sights with her former best friend and founder of the Deadlock Gang; Jesse McCree. Now a legend among the outlaws of America, Ashe is ready to make the most of her spoils and seek the thrill of the heist as she steps into the fray for Overwatch.

Ashe is being developed as a ranged Damage character, building her toolkit around simple, versatile and reliable mechanics that would put even the most seasons gunslinger on edge. Taking her trusty lever-action rifle in hand, the Viper is her main firearm. Possible of semi-automatic fire with main mouse clicks, its alternate fire is the real powerhouse of the weapon; focusing down the sights gives Ashe a low-zoom scope that greatly increases the damage of her shots and can easily fell an opponent with quick succession. Unlike other hero weapons, which feature a magazine or speed-loader, Ashe loads her rifle one round at a time, stretching the length of a full-reload out far greater than other heroes. However, her reload is interruptible at any point, allowing clever shooters to nail an enemy with a full chamber, duck into cover for a quick reload and pop off two fresh shots in the heat of battle.

The Viper isn’t Ashe’s only weapon of choice. Her sidearm is a devastatingly powerful Coach Gun, which strong enough to pack a wallop from any distance. Damage isn’t everything with the Coach Gun, as its powerful impact not only sends enemies flying and can juggle them into the air, but it also sends Ashe flying backwards as well. Used intelligently, this sidearm can be used not only as a method of escape, but as a strong area denial ability.

Ashe is also packing more than just a few dinky guns and is loaded to the brim with devastating stacks of Dynamite. These area of effect explosives are incredibly devastating but posses an incredibly long fuse, which in a high-movement game like Overwatch can be utterly useless. This is mitigated by being destructible, quickly exploding for full damage at a shot from Ashe’s rifle. Managing the explosives can allow smart players to bounce explosions around corners or bait pursuers into a deadly encounter, crippling strong players and eliminating weaker ones with startling efficacy.

Her Ultimate is where Ashe truly shines. Summoning her oldest friend, B.O.B. charges onto the battlefield with gusto and shields her from direct head-on weapons fire. Set up as a remote turret unit, B.O.B. will charge into battle while shielding Ashe, sending any opponents caught in its warpath flying or continuing for a set distance. Afterwards it will act as a fully interactable turret unit, laying down suppressing fire on any enemy in the area with wrist-mounted canons. B.O.B. also acts a seventh hero on your team and can be interacted with by status ailments and heals while also occupying space; B.O.B. can be used to contest and capture control points just as easily as he can be a deadly distraction.

All in all, Ashe is a welcome addition to the Overwatch roster and a startling emergence in the scene. As Hero 29, there was little warning to the explosive start Ashe would have in the fandom from her reveal in Reunion. Part of that is due to her immaculate conceptions, spawned right out of the minds of Overwatch’s development team from their cinematic world and pushed straight into development. Its no strange coincidence that there was little warning to her emergence at BlizzCon, as Moira had a similar reveal at last year’s showing. Much like her silent partner, she is the most captivating and mysterious Hero yet and one fans are more than just a little excited to dig into.

With another potential tease for Hero 30 in Reunion, Ashe is set to dominate the scene as the latest femme fatale to challenge the Overwatch status quo.

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