Robot ninja dude, or Genji, as he’s known now is a great flanker, suffering from the Vayne-syndrome. For those who haven’t played League of Legends and haven’t seen numerous Vayne highlights, I will explain. Vayne is a Marksman in League of Legends. It’s incredibly mechanically difficult to play well, however, it can also provide some mind-boggling highlights when controlled by a Vayne god. The problem is that most people who play Vayne do it because they watched a highlight video and want to do the same without the required skill. That’s quite similar to these Seagull Genji highlights, don’t you think? Genji is incredibly difficult, Genji looks godly when a Genji god plays it; however, most people are NOT Genji gods, leading to considerable difficulty winning the game.
If you’re reading this guide, you probably want to be one of those Genji gods. I urge you, don’t play it in Competitive unless you’re extremely good. Some honest self-reflection won’t go amiss here. I promise you. Now, the robot ninja dude is a… ninja, meaning he uses shuriken and a sword to attack his enemies.
Also, he is very agile. In fact, his Passive is called Cyber-Agility. It gives you two abilities. First, you can climb up any flat, vertical surface by holding Space while next to them. Also, he can double jump by pressing Jump while in the air. These two features combined can make you feel like a Yamakasi, a parkour or free-running inventor from Lisses, France.
Your shuriken can be thrown in two different ways. Your primary attack launches three perfectly accurate shuriken in a straight line, which don’t lose damage with longer range to travel, headshotting for twice the damage. They function as projectiles, so you might have to lead them a little bit if your target is moving. As Genji, you have 24 shuriken to throw, getting off 1.11 shots per second with Primary fire, and dealing 28 damage per projectile, meaning that you will deal 84 damage if all three hit their target. It’s best to use this attack in longer ranges, where precision is needed.
Fan of Blades, Genji’s secondary attack, launching three shuriken once again, however, they are spread out in a cone instead of flying one after another. The damage is the same, all of them can headshot but the rate of fire is faster, allowing you to get off 1.48 shots in one second. Obviously, the only way to hit all three throwing stars is in short range or if enemies just happen to line up perfectly for some reason. The second case isn’t likely to happen at all, so you should use Fan of Blades in short range.
Swift Strike is Genji’s Shift ability. Like a badass ninja, he dashes forward in the direction you’re facing for 14 meters, dealing 50 damage to any enemies he passes through. If you eliminate someone, the cooldown of Swift Strike (which is 8 seconds normally) gets reset, allowing you to dash once again. While Swift Strike can be used to escape a fight, get close to an enemy, or to finish him off when he has less than 51 health, you should also be careful when using it in areas where the edge of the map is less than 14 meters away. While you could possibly recover after dashing off of the map with your Passive double jump and wall-scaling, you might not if you’re too far away from the ledge. Why risk it unless you absolutely have to?
Deflect, the most useful ability in Genji’s kit, ruins most Overwatch Heroes with some exceptions, when controlled by a truly skilled Genji player. Once you press E, Genji will enter a defensive stance for 2 seconds, on an 8 second cooldown, using his sword to deflect incoming projectiles towards his cursor. Note that it only works to deflect stuff that’s coming from the direction you’re facing. You’re still vulnerable if someone attacks you from the back.
The best thing about this abilities is that it can turn most enemy rounds, skills, and even Ultimates against them. Zar-YAH used its Graviton Surge ult? No problem, deflect it back at her. If she has allies around her, even better, you can catch them all if you aim it properly. Widowmaker is annoying everyone by deleting people? That’s fine, bait her into trying to kill you. If you react fast enough, you deflect her shot back at her head, killing her. Hanzo scared the pants off of your team? Just deflect it back towards the enemies. While this sounds easy, it’s really not. You need to time it very well, while aiming accurately. This is one of the main reasons why Genji is so hard to play well.
Genji’s Ultimate ability is called Dragonblade. Unlike his brother Hanzo, Genji doesn’t release a badass dragon. Instead, when you activate it, Genji forgets that shuriken exist, take out his katana and starts meleeing everyone for 120 damage in a wide cone in front of him. His attacks can reach 5 meters in front of him, swinging once per second. The Ult lasts for 8 seconds. Remember that your Passive, E, and Shift abilities still work while Dragonblade is active.
One thing that makes Genji stand out from the rest of Overwatch heroes is the importance of animation cancelling when playing him. While you can make your Genji play more efficient on the fly by cancelling your abilities’ animations with melee attacks or Swift Strike, one combo is absolutely essential if you want to play genji seriously. It is Fan of Blades -> Melee attack -> Swift Strike. This combo is done in melee range. You target the enemy, click your right-mouse button to start the animation for Fan of Blades, cancel it by using a melee attack, and then cancel that with Swift Strike. This should be done in one fluid motion. If you do it correctly, you won’t even see the first two parts properly. When successful, this combo does around 160 damage in less than half a second, which is simply OP. It IS hard to land in a real game, however. Nevertheless, you should practice it until it’s second nature, making it more likely to be successful in a real game.
As you might have gathered, between animation cancelling, effective dashing with Swift Strike, timing-intensive Deflect and the chaos that seeps into your life once you activate ult, Genji is not easy to play. If you do decide to go for it, try to stay away from Winston and other characters, whose attacks don’t use projectiles you could deflect.