Character Overview: Reaper

Character Overview is a series that introduces readers to the Heroes of the Overwatch Universe. This week, we’re going to be talking about Reaper, one of the franchise’s main villains.


Reaper is a murderous psychopath who is willing to kill anyone and everyone in order to get what he wants. However, the black-clad assassin wasn’t always this way. In fact, many years ago the man now known as Reaper used to be Gabriel Reyes, the original leader of Overwatch!

Back then, Overwatch had just been created, and Gabriel Reyes led the elite taskforce along with famous soldiers such as Jack Morrison and Ana Amari. Fighting in unison, these mighty warriors defeated many threats to the world, and it seemed that for the first time in a century, the world would be at peace. It was in the midst of this success, however, that the seeds of disaster were sown.

It all began when the United Nations appointed Jack Morrison to the position of Strike Commander, usurping Reyes’ role as the leader of Overwatch. Needless to say, Reyes was not happy about this. However, all he got for his trouble was a reassignment to Blackwatch, Overwatch’s covert ops division.

Angered by this perceived insult, Reyes decided that it was time to bring down the organization he had once led. Recruiting and training a whole host of unsavory characters, Reyes launched an attack on Overwatch headquarters.

To this day, no one knows what occurred during that fateful battle, other than the fact that it ended with a massive explosion that destroyed the entire facility and—supposedly—killed both Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes.

Unbeknownst to anyone, Reyes actually survived the explosion, but his body was terribly damaged. In an attempt to survive, the former leader of Overwatch turned to some of the shadier contacts he’d made during his time at Blackwatch. With their help Reyes survived, but he was no longer a normal man.

Adopting the name Reaper, Reyes has gone on a dark crusade to rid the world of all who wronged him, starting with the former agents of Overwatch. Getting help from Talon (a terrorist organization) Reaper raided Watchpoint: Gibraltar in an attempt to recover a complete list of all Overwatch agents’ locations. This mission failed spectacularly, however, thanks to the intervention of Winston, the sentient gorilla who had been Overwatch’s lead scientist.

Undeterred by this failure, Reaper has continued to commit acts of terror all over the globe in his search for retribution.  

Weapon and Abilities:

Reaper wields a pair of Hellfire Shotguns, which deal massive damage at close range. Each Shotgun holds 4 shells, so Reaper can fire a total of 8 shots before he has to reload. As would be expected, Reaper’s damage falls off a good deal after a short distance, so he can’t effectively engage enemies at long range.

Reaper’s Trait is The Reaping, which generates small healing globes whenever one of Reaper’s enemies die. These globes will heal Reaper for 50, providing the hero with a means for self-sustain in a large team-fight.

Reaper’s first ability is Wraith Form, which makes the hero invincible for 3 seconds and gives him a small boost in movement speed. During this time, Reaper can’t use any other abilities or fire his weapons, however Wraith Form is a perfect way to get up close to an enemy hero. Wraith Form also removes all negative status effects (such as Zenyatta’s Discord Orb), so it will often be the difference between life and death.

Shadow Step, Reaper’s third ability, allows Reaper to teleport across long distances. Reaper is highly vulnerable while casting this ability, so it shouldn’t be used in combat. However, it is perfect for getting up to places that Reaper normally wouldn’t be able to reach, which can lead to some very interesting surprise ultimates.

Speaking of ultimates, Reaper has Death Blossom, a powerful area-of-effect attack which deals massive damage to all nearby enemies over a period of 3 seconds. This ultimate can wipe entire teams in mere moments, making it one of the most potent in the entire game.


Reaper is a powerful offense hero, who deals massive damage using his Hellfire Shotguns. Using Shadow Step to bypass enemy chokepoints and lines of sight, Reaper can sneak up behind his opponents and clear them out at close range. If he gets in trouble, he can simply use his Wraith Form to get away.

Because of his high damage, Reaper is especially effective against tanks such as Reinhardt or Roadhog. He’s also quite good against Bastion and Torbjörn, as Reaper can Shadow Step or Wraith Form up to the entrenched defenses without taking damage.

Reaper synergizes very well with a healer like Zenyatta or Ana, who can heal the Offense hero from a distance. He’s also very good with Reinhardt and Zarya, since they can pull an enemy team together for Reaper’s Death Blossom. Finally, Reaper is good with Tracer and Genji, as they can all jump on enemy healers to tilt a fight in their favor.

On the other hand, Reaper is weak against heroes such as Soldier: 76, Widowmaker and Hanzo, since he has no way to deal with enemies at long range. He’s also very bad against Pharah, for obvious reasons.

Reaper is good on virtually any map, as there will always be ways for him to sneak up on enemies. He’s especially good on King of the Hill and Point Capture maps, as Death Blossom is great at clearing a point.

Finally, Reaper is one of the easier heroes to play, so he’s a great pick in virtually any situation.


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