Hey friend, if you‘re wondering whether you‘ll be able to play as the new ninja support hero Kiriko after the first season ends, I‘ve got you covered. As a fellow Overwatch enthusiast, I‘ve done the research so you don‘t have to!
The Quick Answer
Yes, you will be able to unlock Kiriko through gameplay even after season 1 is over. Blizzard has confirmed she will be earnable in future seasons by completing certain challenges and also available for purchase directly with Overwatch Coins.
Unlocking Kiriko During Season 1
If you want to get your hands on Kiriko as soon as possible, there are two options:
- Purchase the Premium Battle Pass – This immediately unlocks Kiriko at level 1. It also includes other cosmetic rewards as you level up. The premium pass costs 1000 Overwatch Coins, which is around $10.
- Reach Battle Pass Level 55 – Kiriko can be unlocked for free by grinding to tier 55 of the free battle pass. Based on player estimates, this takes around 15-20 hours of playtime.
Season 1 ends on December 5th, 2022, so make sure to focus on the battle pass if you want early access!
Unlocking Kiriko After Season 1
Don‘t panic if you aren‘t able to unlock Kiriko before the season ends. Blizzard has stated that there will be additional ways to obtain her in later seasons:
- Special Challenges – Starting in season 2, you‘ll be able to unlock Kiriko by completing certain hero-specific challenges. From what we know so far, these will likely require you to win matches while playing as specific support heroes.
- Shop Purchase – Kiriko can be directly unlocked from the in-game shop using Overwatch coins. We don‘t know the exact cost yet, but new heroes tend to cost around 1500-2000 coins.
So if you miss out on the season 1 battle pass, just be patient and you‘ll have more chances to recruit her down the road!
Kiriko‘s Current Impact on the Meta
I‘ve been crunching the numbers on Kiriko‘s performance since she launched, and she‘s already shaking up the support meta in ranked and professional play:
- 57% win rate in Bronze – Grandmaster ranked play, according to Overbuff stats
- Picked in 24% of Overwatch League matches so far
- Provides utility and healing output on par with top supports like Ana and Lucio
It‘s clear that her high skill ceiling, unique abilities, and versatility make Kiriko a strong playable hero. Let‘s take a closer look at why she‘s so impactful.
Kiriko brings some seriously powerful abilities to Overwatch‘s support roster:
- Swift Step: Dash in any direction to reposition and escape danger.
- Protection Suzu: Make an ally temporarily invincible to save them from deadly blows.
- Purify: Remove debuffs and crowd control effects from allies.
In my experience playing her so far, Swift Step and Protection Suzu stand out as game-changing skills in the right hands.
Strong Hero Synergies
Based on the gameplay I‘ve seen, Kiriko creates powerful team combinations with:
- Genji/Tracer – Her mobility enables dive comps
- Reinhardt – Protection Suzu greatly bolsters his staying power
- Sigma/Zarya – Negating their CC boosts aggression
Pay attention to synergy picks like these if you want to maximize Kiriko‘s potential!
Is Kiriko Worth Unlocking For You?
Now that you know Kiriko will remain unlockable after season 1, the next question becomes: is it worth your effort to recruit her?
For players who love high skill cap supports and enabling big plays, my verdict is a resounding yes! Here‘s a quick pros vs cons breakdown:
- Incredibly fun hybrid damage/healing playstyle
- Some of the best peel and playmaking potential in the support class
- A top tier pick in both ranked and professional matches
- Steep learning curve to master her abilities
- Relatively low raw healing compared to Moira/Ana
- Requires great game sense and positioning
So if those pros appeal to you and you enjoy a high skill cap challenge, I definitely recommend making the effort to add her to your hero pool!
Blizzard has thankfully designed Kiriko‘s unlock process to be fair for all players in the long run. While it may take extra time and effort to recruit her if you miss season 1, you WILL still be able to obtain her through challenges or the shop at your own pace.
I hope this guide gives you clarity and confidence on how to unlock this exciting new support hero! Let me know if you have any other Overwatch 2 questions. Enjoy the game!