Among the major announcements of Diablo Immortal, WoW Classic’s release date and new Hearthstone expansion “Rastakhan’s Rumble,” Overwatch’s Hero 29, Ashe, was announced at BlizzCon 2018.
Elizabeth Caledonia Ashe dueled alongside McCree in the Reunion cinematic, aired for the first time during the Opening Ceremony. Alongside her trusty partner Bob and a myriad of other omnics, they stood off over a crate as high noon ticked over in a high-octane video.
Having had the chance to play her on the show floor, she packs a short range punch and a kit not too dissimilar to Buck’s from Paladins and with plenty of potential for some sick montages. While the Overwatch community was longing for a tank of some sort, Ashe has seemingly softened the calls over her unique abilities. And her sidekick is seemingly the newest mascot of the game.
Ashe is a DPS hero with a rapid-fire hip-shot or a high-damage scoped shot on her primary weapon, The Viper. Her hip-fire deals approximately 40 base damage, however the high fire rate comes with a cost. The falloff of the hip-fire is steep and the weapon spread becomes relatively inaccurate after 4 shots – but in close range, it will tear your enemies to shreds.
Her scoped shot will separate the average Ashe’s from the astonishing ones. Dealing 85 base damage with minimal falloff, a good Widowmaker should be able to make the most of her kit with a more aggressive play style. The downside to her scoped fire is that the fire rate is close to half a second between shots, forcing you to make sure every shot counts.
Her two standard abilities are Coach Gun and Dynamite. Ashe’s Coach Gun is her trusty high-powered sidekick, dealing a high amount of burst damage to nearby heroes and knocking back any enemies and herself. The main part of Ashe’s mobility, using Coach Gun can allow an Ashe to peek over high walls and dart across the map with ease – within the 10 second cool down.
Dynamite is a purely damage over time ability – making it the third ability in the game to be a true DoT (Ana’s rifle and Widowmaker’s Venom Mine are the other two). Dealing around 100 damage over a 4-5 second duration, Ashe’s Dynamite starts ticking down when it makes contact with the ground and explodes 1.5s after – or alternatively you can shoot it out of the sky to explode immediately. It has a relatively short blast radius, but can disrupt a group of enemies in an instant.
Finally, her ultimate ability, B.O.B. (you can decide what it stands for) summons everyone’s new favourite omnic onto the battlefield to create chaos. Bob runs across the map in a straight line, dealing 120 damage to the first hero hit (and nearly allies) while knocking them up. If he misses an enemy, he will stop at the first wall and set up there. From there, the 1200hp behemoth fires his cannons, dealing approximately 25 damage per shot.
Not only that, Bob is treated as a seventh hero who is able to be healed, shielded, nanoboosted; and at the same time crowd-controlled. He can also capture and contest points and payloads. With plenty of combo potential with abilities like Orisa’s Halt or Zarya’s Graviton Surge, Bob has the potential to shake up any team fight.
While I am far from a good Widowmaker, having an aim-down-sights hero who is not a sniper is a nice change. Her versatile mobility is handy, but her only source of truly reliable damage is her scoped fire. She does excel in getting in the enemy team’s face though, where she can coach enemies with her Coach Gun and spam her hip-fire.
Bob is also incredibly powerful – maybe a bit too powerful – requiring the full attention of the enemy to stop. However, it is also incredibly difficult to land a good Bob, but high-risk-high-reward is the name of Ashe’s game.
I can see her fitting in alongside a Zarya or an Orisa where the combo potential is massive, but in a meta where Sombra is a must-pick she won’t see as much play. While hacked, Ashe cannot use her scoped fire as well as any abilities, rendering her more useless than some other heroes. Her low health pool (200) makes her vulnerable from any one-shot abilities as well.
However, into a team comp like GOATs, where sticking together is so crucial, good use of Dynamite and Bob can shut down entire pushes. She also provides a decent amount of utility against Pharah-Mercy with her hit-scan primary fire, Dynamite (shot in mid air) and Coach Gun to face off in the sky.
All in all, Ashe and her trusty sidekick Bob packs a new western punch into the omnic world of Overwatch. A mix of both, Ashe provides serious burst up close while still being decent from afar, but competitively in a Sombra meta she will be tough to play well. But hey, at least jumping around with your Coach Gun in quick play and making some montage plays is extremely fun!