Illari is the tenth support hero in Overwatch 2 and is a far cry from the last healer released in the game, Lifeweaver. This character flips Lifeweaver’s design philosophy on his head, moving from a purely defensive support hero to one of the most offensive juggernauts in the game. Illari dishes out damage, and if you thought TikTok Moira was aggravating with her high damage numbers, Illari will put you over the moon. Illari is designed to be a support / DPS hybrid, and she’ll dish out some insane damage numbers between her strong Primary Fire and Ultimate. Don’t mistake her high damage with low heals, though. Illari puts out some respectable healing numbers as well, especially with her Healing Pylon. With Illari finally available, here are some tips and tricks on how to play Illari in Overwatch 2.
How to play Illari in Overwatch 2 – Tips and tricks
Illari’s biggest asset to her kit is arguably her Primary Fire, Solar Rifle. Solar Rifle is a strong hitscan rifle that has an enhanced hitbox so shots are ever so slightly easier to hit. Her Primary Fire charges up in power, starting off weak and dealing approximately 25 damage. However, after about a second, this weapon will charge its bullet automatically and deal around 60-75 damage. Meanwhile, her Secondary Fire is a short-ranged beam (think Zarya or Symmetra) that heals allies. This beam has a short resource meter that depletes around 3-4 seconds, which charges up automatically. Alternate between using her deadly Primary Fire and giving allies some heals.
Another iconic aspect of Illari’s kit is her Healing Pylon. This ability tosses out a healing turret that heals allies within its line of sight. This turret shoots out beams that will heal allies quickly, and this turret can heal. It will likely make up a majority of Illari’s heals, but it’s more than capable of keeping your team healthy. Outburst is Illari’s mobility tool, which launches you in a direction while also booping enemies away from you. Finally, Captive Sun is her Ultimate, which sends her flying in the air and loads a deadly projectile in her gun. This projectile debuffs the enemy, slowing them, and will explode and deal more damage when the enemy takes damage with Captive Sun active. If you want to harness the power of the sun, you’ll want to play Illari and dish out some damage. Here’s how to play Illari in Overwatch 2:
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Learn the quirks of Healing Pylon
Illari’s Healing Pylon makes up a huge part of her heals, and you’ll want to learn about how Healing Pylon works. This turret can heal allies at a range of about 15 meters, so they’ll need to be fairly close by. Fortunately, Healing Pylon’s cooldown starts when you use the ability. Additionally, you can replace the Healing Pylon as long as it’s not actively healing an ally. This means you should be proactively placing turrets, and replacing them when they are no longer getting value, while of course, keeping them out of the line of sight of enemies.
Some other things to note about the Healing Pylon: it cannot heal through shields, so get out of any Winston bubble or Reinhardt shield if you want the Pylon’s effects to work on you. The cooldown of this ability also increases to 12 seconds when it’s under attack or destroyed. It will also prioritize allies with the lowest HP.
Hold your Jump key to get a little more distance with Outburst
Illari’s Outburst is her primary movement ability and allows her to get out of a sticky situation by knocking enemies back and allowing Illari to fly far away from them. Additionally, it has a pretty short cooldown of 7 seconds, meaning you can use this ability pretty freely as both an escape and repositioning tool. If you want to get a little more distance with this ability, you can hold the Jump key before using this ability. This allows you to go a bit farther and higher, which should let you reach places you couldn’t if you didn’t hold the Jump key.
Captive Sun is easily countered
Captive Sun is easily one of the most exciting parts of Illari’s kit. You’ve probably seen all the videos of Illari’s getting multikills with this ability. And while it’s certainly possible to pop off with a powerful Captive Sun ultimate, you have to be very mindful of which abilities can counter Captive Sun. The projectile from Captive Sun can be eaten by abilities like D.Va’s Defense Matrix, Orisa’s Javelin Spin, and Sigma’s Kinetic Grasp, for example. The projectile can also be blocked by shields. Additionally, the debuff from Captive Sun (and subsequently, the potential explosion) can be cleansed by any cleansing ability, such as Kiriko’s Suzu, Moira’s Fade, Mei’s Ice Block, you name it.
As a result, when using Captive Sun, tracking enemy cooldowns is very important. Does the enemy team have a Kiriko? Perhaps you should wait to Captive Sun until after she uses her Protective Suzu ability. Have a D.Va on the enemy team? Wait until you can use Captive Sun while her Defense Matrix is not up, or when D.Va is separated from her allies.
Don’t be afraid to not wipe the enemy team with Captive Sun
Alternatively, maybe you shouldn’t expect to get play-of-the-game every time with this hero. Captive Sun has great offensive potential, but you can get value from this Ultimate by simply taking out an enemy carry. Teamfights in Overwatch 2 are all about numbers, so if you can turn a 5v5 into a 4v5 or even a 3v5, you’ll likely win a teamfight and secure an objective. Looking to constantly team wipe with Captive Sun as you would with other offensive ultimates will likely disappoint you. Additionally, Illari has pretty fast Ultimate charge anyways, thanks to a mix of healing and dealing damage.
Your damage numbers should be high
This goes without saying with Illari, but if you cannot find yourself getting value with Illari’s Primary Fire, you will have a hard time succeeding. Illari has nearly no utility outside of her insane damage potential, and as such, if you aren’t dishing out damage, you aren’t contributing to the team. Illari’s heals were nerfed before launch, so she isn’t dishing out “main healer” numbers as she used to. As a result, you shouldn’t be ashamed of having high damage numbers with this hero. You want to see your DPS numbers at the top of the leaderboard!
(But, of course, please don’t neglect your Healing Pylon and right-click. A TikTok playstyle is fun, but I’m beggin’ ya, you can heal as well.)
That’s our guide on how to play Illari in Overwatch 2. For our thoughts on the game’s heroes, check out our tier lists on best DPS, best Tanks, and best Support.