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Snipe your allies in Overwatch with Ana, the game's first new character

Overwatch players have been speculating since the game’s release about the next character Blizzard will add to the game. Today, the developer dispelled the mystery, unveiling Overwatch’s latest addition — Ana, a sniper/support who can pick off enemies and heal allies from a distance.

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Given her unique skill set, Ana bolsters two of Overwatch’s least populated roles. Previously, there were only two snipers (Hanzo and Widowmaker) and four supports (Mercy, Lucio, Symmetra, and Zenyatta). The fact that Ana can occupy both these roles should allow for more freedom in building teams, and shows that Blizzard understands the weak points in Overwatch’s roster, a good sign for the game moving forward.

So, what exactly does Ana do?

Ana’s primary weapon is the Biotic Rifle. As with most sniper rifles in video games, players can zoom in using a scope to hit weak points from great distances. Blizzard’s official character description describes her rifle as doing “ongoing damage,,” which likely means that her darts inflict damage over time (a DoT, in video game parlance). In addition, Ana can shoot her own teammates to heal them.

Ana’s second ability is a sleep dart, which puts any enemy it hits to sleep. Enemies will wake upon taking damage, but the dart will still be useful for interrupting enemy abilities (such as Reaper’s Death Blossom) or stunning a flanker long enough for Ana to run away.

Ana’s third ability is Biotic Grenade, an explosive which damages enemies and heals allies caught in the blast. In addition, enemies damaged by the grenade cannot be healed for a short time afterward, while allies receive a boost to any healing.

Ana’s ultimate is Nano Boost, a dart which she can fire into an ally to improve their damage, speed, and damage resistance.

One notable thing about Ana is that she lacks any sort of movement ability. This means players will need to be careful about their positioning, lest they be caught by flankers like Genji. Of course, unlike most healers, she has the advantage of doing her work far from the front line.

Ana’s unique role should make her a flexible pick. Players who want to snipe can pick her even if their team lacks a support, or, if a team already has a support, she can provide additional healing while still thinning the enemy ranks. Overall, Ana seems like a difficult but rewarding addition to Overwatch’s cast.