Overwatch’s Zarya is going to make a splash in Heroes of the Storm

More crossovers please

Heroes of the Storm is an All-Star meetup of Blizzard characters from just about every moment in the company’s over 20+ year history. I mean, it literally was called “Blizzard All-Stars” at one point, making its journey from a StarCraft mod into a fully-fledged MOBA.

With just Tracer representing the Overwatch side of things for months, it was more like a guest appearance than a real representation. But now that Zarya has joined up, it’s a party.

It’s crazy how seamlessly her Overwatch skills have transitioned into an isometric viewpoint. Lobbing her Particle Grenades is a ton of fun, and with just an eight-second cooldown and four charges untalented, it’s a harassment tool you can use fairly often. It’s a zoning technique too for objectives or chokepoints, but it also adds some utility to her kit — though there’s a 50% damage reduction for structures built in from the get-go to ensure there’s no launch Li-Ming shenanigans.

Then you have my favorite move of hers, the Personal Barrier. It’s not an invulnerability shield like Medivh so it can be bursted down, but I love the idea of hitting something skillfully at the last second to avoid, say, a Pyroblast death. The same goes for her Shield Ally ability, which does the same thing for a teammate, and both contribute to her damage output based on the damage she absorbs while they’re up. Her ultimates are both viable as well, with strong zone control options. You have her Graviton Surge from Overwatch that can serve as a setup for other heroics (just like the source material), or Expulsion Zone, which pushes enemies out of an area-of-effect blast. Think of it as an escape tool built on top of her personal shield.

I need more time with her talents to make a definite assessment, but there seems to be enough diversity in there to ensure that she can either buff herself to become more formidable in a game with too little damage, or buff her teammates when she needs to possibly meld into more of a support role. She can grant spell shield, block, or unstoppable, which is pretty killer.

I’m not sure what Zarya’s winrate is going to look like after launch (she’s currently just being tested in PTR until September 26), but right now she’s a lot easier to use than Medivh, and a hell of a lot sturdier (though for a Warrior she’s a tad fragile, so there’s a learning curve there). You still need to master her timing as nothing is an instant win button, but I can see her making an ETC-like impact in close-knit team games.

Chris Carter
Reviews Director, Co-EIC - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff!