Newcomer Ashe, leader of the Deadlock gang has made her sassy debut on Overwatch. Equipped with her semi-automatic rifle The Viper, a versatile coach gun and a whole lot of dynamite, Ashe is here to give Mcree a run for his money. Oh and B.O.B is here too.
So, as I said with my previous post about Hammond (Overwatch: Wrecking Ball Impressions), I play mostly Mystery Heroes and besides a quick go of Ashe in the training mode, I’ve had very sporadic opportunity to learn Ashe. But my early impressions are promising, unlike how I felt about Hammond, who I still can’t play effectively. From my understanding and few hours of Ashe, she is best suited to medium range. Sure you can get up close and hip fire with The Viper but its aim is inconsistent. Down the sights is the best way to play Ashe and hip fire for tanks and desperation. The Viper fires one bullet at a time but also reloads one bullet at a time. This means you can cut reload time way down as long as you’re willing to sacrifice bullets in the rifle. The best way to describe Ashe is that she’s the space between Mcree and Widowmaker in terms of range.
Fortunately she has the right tools for her suited style. Primarily the coach gun which offers not only a chunk of damage to an enemy who gets too close, but also a much needed buffer. This is Ashe’s mobility move. Against enemies the coach gun is able to propel them a good few feet away as well as propel yourself in the opposite direction. It’s a handy tool when a mob of Overwatch heroes are closing in on you. The coach gun can be used to boost Ashe off the floor for extra height and air time for a few sneaky shots. As I said previously, she is the middle ground between Mcree and Widowmaker. Whereas Mcree is best up close to short distance, and Widowmaker from far away or up high, Ashe works best close to the action but hidden away in the back or on a ledge for safety. This is also backed up by her handfuls of dynamite.
Ashe’s dynamite can fly some distance too! It’s got a floaty kind of feel when you throw it, which is intentional as you can shoot it to explode it early. If you don’t shoot it, it’ll explode after 2 seconds. When you throw the dynamite you can instantly pull the trigger to shoot it in the air, as long as you haven’t moved the cross-hairs too much. Once the dynamite explodes, anything caught in its range gets dealt a chunk of damage depending on how close to the dynamite they were, and then continuous burn damage for several seconds. Obviously this works best with clusters of opponents. Shields and barriers stop the blast and burn damage so Orisa and Reinhardt are a big problem for Ashe. If you are able to launch the dynamite at the right angle, you can catch them behind their shields but from my experience, this is easier said than done. The dynamite is also great for corners, if timed right, the enemy will round the corner as the dynamite goes boom or if you shoot it. This means the dynamite is an effective tool when being chased. If you want to be extra fancy, you can always coach gun them into the dynamites blast radius.
Finally, we come to Ashe’s ultimate B.O.B, an omnic companion. Or tool, with the way she speaks to him. When Ashe’s uses her ult, B.O.B leaps into action and uppercuts those who are in front of Ashe. He then proceeds to lay down suppressing fire with his arm cannons to any enemy nearby. B.O.B comes with a whopping 1200 health pool and similar to Torb’s now gone level 3 turrets, he deals accurate hard hitting damage. Thankfully B.O.B can be destroyed although I really wouldn’t recommend it unless most of your team is concentrating fire on him. B.O.B is essentially another player for 12 seconds. He can be healed, nano boosted, stunned, sleep darted just like other heroes. Not only that, but he also acts as another player in terms of contesting the objectives. Yes, you can launch B.O.B onto the capture point and aim down your sights from a distance and provide cover fire for B.O.B while he captures the objective. This is a really clever mechanic and one that I can’t wait to see get used more often. If you’re capturing an objective, you can double the capture rate by bringing B.O.B out to play. Imagine sneaking round the enemies undetected and back-capping it while B.O.B also protects you. I’m really glad Blizzard made B.O.B act as another player in terms of contesting. It opens up a lot of opportunities.
So how do I feel about Ashe? Honestly, pretty good. I’m having some issues with lining up shots down her sights and shooting the dynamite in the air but I never said I was a pro shot. That’s why I suck as Widowmaker. But Ashe is a great replacement for me in that regard. With the shorter range, you need to be more in the fight but there is also less chance of missing as opposed to my Widowmaker aim. Ashe has 200 health which is the appropriate amount I think. She has a mobility option and even though it can get her around quickly, it isn’t unfair. There is quite a bit of hang time when you go vertical which means you are a sitting duck in the air. That sentence makes no sense but hopefully you understand what I meant. The dynamite is a useful tool for damage but if you miss it or if the enemy clearly sees it then they have a full 2 seconds to get out of the way. It then has a 10 second cooldown period, as does the coach gun so both skills need to be used effectively. I also find Ashe is effective for covering the likes of Ana or Zenyatta. Usually these heroes want to play a bit further away from their attacking teammates and this tends to leave them open to flankers such as Tracer and Sombra. As Ashe because you are more effective with a bit of distance, I find myself with the supports either near me or in my sight. This is really handy for supports as most damage heroes need to be up close to enemies and therefore in scuffles the supports are left vulnerable. Ashe is a handy hero to have on your team if your supports don’t have mobility options such as Mercy and Lucio.
Overall I like Ashe. I always love a slow rate of fire gun, especially a cowboy rifle, so I may be biased but her cowboy aesthetic I really enjoy. I’m still getting used to her aim but it’s very satisfying having to press for the trigger for each bullet and to be able to stop reloading on a whim. As for her ult, B.O.B is a unique and fun ultimate. I’m more interested in taking advantage of his contesting ability than I am of his gun skills but that’s a bonus included in the package. Whereas with Hammond I was unsure if I liked him, I feel confident in my enjoyment with Ashe. I just hope I get to play her more in Mystery Heroes because so far it’s being very unfair in my time as her.
Thank you for reading and feel free to share your thoughts on Ashe in the comments.