When you hear “Ryuu ga waga teki wo kurau!” you should know to run, unless you have a Hanzo in your team. Even if you do, it’s still a good idea to be careful if you haven’t tabbed in a while. Hanzo’s ult is THAT scary. That is beside the point, however, as this article will hopefully help you to put the fear of a dragon in the hearts of your enemies.
First of all, like his brother Genji, Hanzo can climb walls by pressing and holding Space near a climbable surface. This is a great passive to find unexpected places to rain arrows down on your enemies’ heads or to run away from pesky flankers you can’t 1v1.
Hanzo’s weapon is the Storm Bow. When you press and hold your left mouse-button, Hanzo will take an arrow out of his quiver and start drawing back the string, charging it. Obviously, the more charged it is, the more damage it will do. If you don’t charge it at all, it will do 28 damage. You will be able to release 2 arrows that way. If you insist on shooting only when the arrows are fully charged, however, you will get off 0.78 rounds per second, which will deal 125 damage each. Obviously, the arrows can headshot for twice the damage.
The difficulty in killing people with Hanzo doesn’t only come from having to charge shots, making his rate of fire quite slow unless you don’t wish to do a lot of damage. Instead, the hardest part is actually hitting the enemy because Hanzo’s arrows have a travel time, while also being affected by gravity. You have to not only lead the target horizontally, but vertically as well. Playing Hanzo is almost like being a real life sniper without the benefit of a scope.
Hanzo’s Shift ability is Sonic Arrow. Once activated, hanzo takes a sonic arrow out of his quiver, to be released once you you use your primary attack. It takes 0.5 seconds to fully charge it. If you hit an enemy with it, it will deal from 29 to 125 damage and show him just like with Widowmaker’s Infra-Sight for 10 seconds. You can also hit a solid surface to keep it in place, detecting any enemies that enter the area. This is mostly a scouting tool used to protect your flanks.
Continuing the Arrow theme, Scatter Arrow is Hanzo’s E ability. Once you activate it, Hanzo will start charging an arrow for 0.5 seconds, which will scatter after impacting a solid surface, splintering into 5 pieces, dealing 75 damage each in a cone in front of the point of impact or 125 damage if it impacts the enemy directly. This ability is a great zoning tool when enemies are trying to flank you through confined corridors or rooms. Also, you could use it to deal some amazing damage (5 x 75 = 375) to enemy heroes with big hitboxes, like Winston, Roadhog or similar big-silhouetted foes by shooting it at the ground just in front of them.
Finally, the infamous Hanzo Ultimate, Dragonstrike. Once you activate it, Hanzo… yes, you guessed it, sets up a super-arrow and releases it after a short cast time. A short distance away from you, it will turn into two spiraling dragons which will travel forwards without stopping, in the direction of your crosshairs. Dragonstrike works by dealing damage over time instead of bursting, so if enemies can get out quickly enough, they might survive. If they don’t, they will receive more than 150 damage per second for as long as they stay in place. The amount of damage dealt depends on how close to the center of your ult they are. Unless enemies are immobilised by Zar-YAH’s or Reinhardt’s Ultimates, you should probably use it to clear choke points or narrow spaces. If they are, however, they will probably get dead real fast if you use Dragonstrike on them.
Hanzo can be a very effective Hero if the player using him is good at aiming in general and compensating for factors that apply to Hanzo’s arrows in particular. If he’s not, however, this hero could be almost useless. While there are heroes you can pick up and do okay or even very good, like Soldier: 76, Hanzo is probably not one of them. Once Competitive is up, practice this Hero a lot in Quick Play before you even think of picking him for the first time in a ranked match. Your teammates will thank you. Believe me.