With Doomfist hype rearing it’s head once more, and Terry Crews teasing us yet again, all eyes turn to the Savior/Scourge/Successor of Numbani. Given a recent leak that the next big patch, 1.13, is titled “Doomfist / Summer Games,” is pretty safe to say it’s not crazy to do some speculation. Although, what do we really know about Doomfist?
According to the bits and pieces of lore we have on the mysterious character, we know that Doomfist was originally Adhabu Ngumi (‘Doomfist’ in Swahili), known as “The Savior.” The only other piece of information we have on the original is of his gauntlet, which was a small right-handed spiked metal fist. Ngumi stands in front of a yellow-orange field, a rising sun behind him.
After the first Doomfist presumably died, the moniker was taken up by Akinjide (‘the return of the strong one’) Adeyemi (‘the crown suits me well’), known as “The Scourge.” Adeyemi wore a much larger (and left-handed) gauntlet than his predecessor. He stands in front of a green field, a billowing mushroom cloud behind him.
The (possibly) current active Doomfist is known only as “The Successor,” his portrait in Numbani is silhouetted and shows only his arm length right-handed gauntlet. The Successor stands in front of a blue field with a raised fist shining behind him.
The only information remaining to us is Winston defeated one of the Doomfists and placed the gauntlet in a museum, which Reaper and Widowmaker attempted to steal. It’s used by Brian, a teenager at the museum, to help Winston and Tracer stop the two talon operatives. The Gauntlet was then moved to Numbani, where it was going to be placed in the Numbani Heritage Museum. The gauntlet in the payload on the way to the museum (as well as in the Cinematic Trailer) is small and right-handed, resembling the first Doomfist. However, when the payload approaches the museum in-game, a recording states that it belonged to The Scourge Adeyemi. And, of course, according to Timmy, “they said he could level a skyscraper.” From here we can only speculate.
I’d like to operate under the idea that each Doomfist has their own specific Gauntlet, but in order to take up the name Doomfist, they must find, steal, or be given the original or previous Gauntlet. Think of the first Doomfist Gauntlet as a sort of crown. The crown signifies who is king, as the Gauntlet signifies who is Doomfist (remember Adeyemi means ‘the crown suits me well’). Getting the previous Doomfist Gauntlets is like a rite of passage, anyone can design their own but they must own the Gauntlet to take the name.
From here we can speculate further. Let’s say the original Doomfist (or its creator) made these rules. Adhabu Ngumi was most likely a heroic figure, given his name and presentation on his banner at the museum. Adeyemi, an enemy of Ngumi, creates his own Gauntlet, kills Ngumi, steals the original Gauntlet, and so inherits the title of Doomfist.
Adeyemi (given his name and presentation) was the opposite of his predecessor, the Reaper to Ngumi’s Soldier 76. Instead of fighting for peace and protecting Numbani, he turns on his own people, attempting to rule them himself. This is where Overwatch steps in, and Strike-Commander Jack Morrison sends Winston to take down Adeyemi. Winston defeats the new Doomfist, destroys his Gauntlet, and takes the original back to Overwatch Headquarters, where it is then sent to a museum.
However, The Scourge certainly had followers. His unknown second-in-command decides he is the rightful Doomfist, creates his own completely-overkill Gauntlet, and begins terrorizing the world again. He still wants the original Gauntlet, however, not because he’s bound by any code but considering he’s Doomfist he believes it belongs to him. He gets in contact with Talon and asks them to retrieve it for him.
And here we are again. Winston and Tracer attack Reaper and Widowmaker in their attempt to steal the Gauntlet, Brian uses the Gauntlet (breaking it in the process) and knocks Widowmaker across the room, saving the Overwatch Heroes.
So, what now? Doomfist takes Reaper’s advice and does his own dirty work. He arrives in Numbani, Gauntlet strapped to his shoulder, and decimates the OR-15’s that attempt to stop him. He smashes the container holding the Gauntlet in the payload, takes it, and goes on his way, now officially the new Doomfist.
Numbani is shaken by the loss and destruction, so a little girl named Efi Oladele reprograms one into Orisa, the new defender of Numbani.
So now that we’ve speculated on his story, how about we address the cool stuff– his kit.
Doomfist is a defense hero. I feel there’s a common mistake people make in just assuming he’ll be a tank. There’s nothing about him that indicates he’ll fit the role– besides his stature, he doesn’t fit the bill. Forgetting all the intricacies and ability management, tanks basically do three things: hold positions, soak up damage, and provide cover for their team. Reinhardt, Orisa, Winston, and Zarya have their barriers, and D.Va has her defense matrix. Roadhog is the only one that doesn’t entirely fit, though his hook can pull enemies out of position and he can use his swimming pool sized HP to sponge up whatever the enemy throws at him. Nothing about Doomfist suggests he’d have these kinds of abilities, whether it’d be a team-protecting barrier or some kind of CC or damage cancel.
Tanks and Defense heroes are actually quite alike, which is why I feel most people confuse Doomfist’s role. There are differences, though. Where Tanks hold positions, Defense heroes specifically hold down choke points, either putting as much damage into a focused area, or picking off enemies that fall out of position. Torbjorn, Bastion, and Junkrat fall into the first category, whereas Mei, Hanzo, and Widowmaker fall into the second. Doomfist would add a new category to this– the front line defender.
Defense heroes rely on creating space. If they lose that space, they all have an ability to make some more. Widowmaker can grapple out, Mei can ice block or wall herself off, and Hanzo can hit a quick scatter and wall climb to high ground. Doomfist will create space by getting in the other team’s face.
Doomfist does what Doomfist does: Hits people with his fist.
Primary: Gauntlet Strike
Doomfist’s primary is simple. He hits the enemy with a swift punch that swings faster than Reinhardt’s hammer, does less damage, and covers a smaller area. Like the hammer, though, it can cause knockback. Much like Reinhardt (or Genji when Dragon Blading), Doomfist’s movement speed will be quicker than normal speed.
Alternate Fire: Charged Strike
Doomfist’s alternate fire still takes advantage of the Gauntlet, but this time it’s a charged strike, akin to Zenyatta’s alt-fire. Holding right-click prompts Doomfist to wind back and hold his stance until it’s released. When struck, it does damage relative to the amount of time held. This causes a greater knockback, but like McCree and Zen, it takes longer to strike again after it’s used.
As a melee and defense hero, he needs to be mobile and he needs to avoid damage. The increased movement speed isn’t enough for mobility. He needs to be able to be in and out, constantly harassing enemies at choke points. He also needs that lock-down ability, something to either separate teams or protect himself from damage.
Ability One: Dash
Doomfist quickly lunges to another location, dealing melee and knockback damage to enemies in his path. This ability can combo with his alt-fire, if the player charges the Gauntlet, dashes, and releases, the damage of both abilities will stack, as well as the potential range for knockback. While the dash can be used to dish out a lot of damage, players will need to manage it wisely. If they dash into the enemy team they’ll be left with no way to escape, and will feed quickly. Dash will be used best to escape enemies closing distance on Doomfist, as well as to jump on flankers and poorly positioned enemies. Unlike Genji, Doomfist can only dash horizontally.
Ability Two: Personal Cover
Here’s where we get to the cool stuff the Gauntlet can do. It’s not just used to hit people, of course. Remember– They said he could level a skyscraper. Doomfist can, in a sense, interact with the environment around him… by punching it. By striking the ground with the Gauntlet, he cracks the ground and up shoots a stone barrier right in front of him. It’s about half his size, so he can hide behind it completely when he crouches. It can be destroyed by enemy fire, and automatically crumbles after a set time. I know what you may be thinking, and no, this barrier is not a tank ability. It’s more of a Mei Wall or a Torbjorn Turret– it offers quick protection over a specific area, but cannot be moved and cannot be used to block specific damage, like Zarya’s shield or D.Va’s matrix.
This ability will have all kinds of utility– not only can he personally cover himself from damage, but the player can cover a support hero or a low health teammate if coordinated and positioned properly. The wall only pops up in front of him though, so players will need to play near or around their Doomfist. While this won’t be able to block off choke points, it can block doorways and other small spaces, separating enemy team members in tight areas like on both sides of Volskaya or the right side of Hollywood’s A-points. These tight areas are where Doomfist shines as a melee hero– he can dish out tons of damage to multiple enemies in those small spaces.
While hiding behind the wall, Doomfist can press the ability again to leap over the barrier, barreling into enemies and unleashing a few quick hits before dashing away or jumping back over his wall. As a last ditch– and Doomfist’s only projectile– the player can kick out the barrier, shooting it straight from where it stands, dealing damage to whoever it hits. Players can use this immediately to deal some quick damage when the other team is at a choke, or when the wall is about to break and he wants to create some separation. The wall deals damage relative to it’s own HP pool, however, so a quick kick will do more damage but it will leave Doomfist in the open for longer.
Ultimate Ability: Skyscraper
You know how the saying goes. Doomfist pounds a surface with his Gauntlet, sending a shock wave in all directions and stunning enemies in its path. This can be used on the ground in the middle of a point, but it can also be activated on a nearby wall, sending the shock wave in the opposite direction rather than in a circle. Beyond this, the Doomfist Gauntlet is fully activated for a few seconds, and Doomfist can clean up the stunned enemies with increased damage. Skyscraper works as a defense ability by separating the enemy team (i.e. Hanzo, Junkrat) and acts as crowd control (Mei, Torbjorn). Players will need to be careful with this, while it can be a devastating ability and create and easy team wipe for the team, it can also separate enemies when you want them together, like when a Zarya or Reinhardt is preparing to Ult.
Final Thoughts: Strengths, Counters, Possible Release Date
So that’s Doomfist. A quick, powerful melee hero who excels in tight spaces and can jump in and dash out on enemies either flooding through choke points or attempting a flank. He’ll do well against Tracers and Genji’s, if positioned properly, as well as heroes with less HP and low mobility. He’ll find a lot of trouble against heroes with vertical mobility, of which he has none, so Pharah and D.Va will cause problems for him. As long as he sticks to corners and indoors, he’ll be a huge problem for teams looking to utilize hallways and small buildings.
Ana, Sombra, and Orisa were all released 4 months apart from one another, so if Blizzard holds itself to that same schedule, we can expect to see Doomfist (if he is in fact the next hero) sometime in July, probably in the latter half. Until then, we can only wait in wonder.