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Genji Build Guide “Life and death balance on the edge of my blade.”

Last updated on May 29, 2017 at 09:00 by Kendric 33 comments

Table of Contents

Genji Image

General Information

Welcome to our Genji guide for Heroes of the Storm. Here you will learn everything you need to know in order to play Genji in a competitive environment, whether you play on your own or with a team.

About the Author

KendricSwissh is a Master League Warrior and Support player in Hero League. He has been playing Heroes of the Storm since the early stages of the Alpha version and has mastered a large number of Heroes. He is also creating Heroes of the Storm related content on YouTube, most notably his series called Epic Plays of the Week, which focuses on video clips submitted by his viewers. He is also a streamer on Twitch where he will gladly answer all of your questions about the game.

1. Quick Reference

Shuriken Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 Agile Dismount Icon
Level 4 Shuriken Mastery Icon
Level 7 Perfect Defense Icon
Level 10 X-Strike Icon
Level 13 Shingan Icon
Level 16 Reflect Icon
Level 20 Zanshin Icon

The Shuriken Build is a very safe Build that combines strong poke granted thanks to Shuriken Mastery Icon Shuriken Mastery at Level 4, while X-Strike Icon X-Strike also allows Genji to close the gap and strike enemies from melee range. Several Deflect Icon Deflect-related talents like Perfect Defense Icon Perfect Defense and, more importantly, Zanshin Icon Zanshin, allow for aggressive gameplay to finish off targets in close combat.

Swift Strike Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 Swift as the Wind Icon
Level 4 Strike At The Heart Icon
Level 7 Perfect Defense Icon
Level 10 Dragonblade Icon
Level 13 Flow Like Water Icon
Level 16 Final Cut Icon
Level 20 The Dragon Becomes Me Icon

The Swift Strike Build is a high skill-cap Build that focuses on Genji slicing and dicing his way through the enemy team, aiming to get as many cooldown resets and Mana cost refunds on Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike as possible. Timing is crucial when playing this Build, as Genji needs to make sure to quickly execute an individual target in order to get his combo rolling. Activating Dragonblade Icon Dragonblade shortly after using Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike usually allows Genji to deal a heavy amount of burst damage. However, remember that he is still very susceptible to enemy Stuns and Roots, as they can completely shut down his momentum. Consequently, wait until some of those crowd control abilities have been used before recklessly diving deep into the enemy lines.

See our Talents page for further information Create your own build and share it with friends!

Synergies and Counters

Genji synergizes with

Genji synergizes extremely well with bursty crowd control-heavy Assassins, such as Jaina or Kael'tas, who can help him take down individual targets very quickly in order to proc his cooldown reset on Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike. He also pairs very well with burst Healers like Uther, whose Armor buffs and Divine Shield Icon Divine Shield can greatly enhance Genji's own survivability.

Genji is countered by

Due to his very low health pool, Genji struggles against Heroes with strong crowd control that render him defenseless for a short period of time. Thus, abilities like Varian's Taunt Icon Taunt or Malfurion's Twilight Dream Icon Twilight Dream can cause great problems for him. Furthermore, nimble ranged Assassins with great kiting potential such as Lunara can bait him into overextending only to get outnumbered by the enemy team. Keep in mind that any form of poison damage continues to tick after Genji's Deflect Icon Deflect expires, which is another reason why Lunara is a dangerous enemy for him to face.


Genji's stronger maps Braxis Holdout Cursed Hollow Garden of Terror Hanamura Infernal Shrines
Genji's average maps Battlefield of Eternity Blackheart's Bay Dragon Shire Haunted Mines Sky Temple Towers of Doom Volskaya Foundry Warhead Junction
Genji's weaker maps Tomb of the Spider Queen

Genji excels on maps like Cursed Hollow, Hanamura, or Garden of Terror, on which he can utilize his superior mobility to quickly engage and disengage using impassable terrain, such as Walls or Rocks, to his advantage. Doing so allows him to surprise the enemy team's backline from an unexpected angle. On smaller maps like Battlefield of Eternity or Tomb of the Spider Queen, that require good waveclear, Genji's options are rather limited and make him a suboptimal pick. On Braxis Holdout, however, he can use his superior mobility to gank the solo lane. Furthermore, his Deflect Icon Deflect ability can be used to great effect against the Boss on Braxis Holdout, whose fast Attack Speed causes Deflect to inflict heavy damage against it.

TL;DR Tips

  • Set up ganks using the terrain to your advantage. Both Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike and Cyber Agility Icon Cyber Agility can be cast to cross Walls and other impassable terrain.
  • Choose your targets wisely when playing Genji. Focus on executing low health targets using Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike to immediately gain a cooldown reset and Mana refund for this ability.
  • Deflect Icon Deflect can be used to protect Genji against Structure damage while diving deep.
  • Genji is surprisingly Mana-hungry. Try to avoid committing to a team fight while below 25% of your total Mana.
  • If used from point blank range, all three Shuriken Icon Shuriken projectiles hit the same target. However, doing so also exposes Genji to enemy counter attacks more.
See our Abilities page for further information

2. Overview

Genji is a highly mobile ranged Assassin whose kit also consists of explosive melee components allowing him to quickly dash in and out of combat. While his innate health pool is quite low, which makes him susceptible to enemy crowd control abilities, he does have several escape mechanisms that allow him to escape dangerous situations. If you are looking for a challenging high risk high reward Hero with tricky cooldown reset mechanics, Genji is the right choice for you.

3. Strengths

  • Extremely mobile
  • Flashy playstyle
  • Cooldown resets on Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike allow for devastating combos
  • Decent poke

4. Weaknesses

  • Weak waveclear
  • Very high learning curve
  • Low health pool
  • Needs constant healing

5. Role in the Current Meta

Genji's biggest strength is his exceptional mobility that allows him to dodge almost any ability in the game. As such, he poses a serious threat to the enemy backline, especially if Dragonblade Icon Dragonblade was chosen at Level 10. Genji does, however, come with a significant weakness and that is his susceptibility to Stuns, Roots, and Silences. These crowd control effects will render him defenseless for a short period of time, unable to use neither Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike nor Cyber Agility Icon Cyber Agility to disengage.

Mastering Genji will require more practice and experience than on many other Hero due to the fact that he entirely dependeds on timing his abilities well, especially Deflect Icon Deflect and Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike. However, a well played Genji has the potential to single-handedly carry his team. To do so, he requires strong map awareness and swift reflexes to activate Deflect Icon Deflect while focused by the enemy team's burst damage. Thus, we strongly recommend practicing Genji in Unranked and Quick Match first before using him in Hero League.

6. Reading Further

To take things further, we have 2 more pages that you can read:

7. ChangeLog

+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
  • 29 May 2017 (talents page): Updated Genji's Level 1 talents and changed Agile Dismount from Not Recommended to Recommended.
  • 21 May 2017 (talents page): Changed Genji's Level 16 talents and changed Pathfinder from not recommended to recommended.
  • 30 Apr. 2017 (talents page): Explained in better terms why we think that Living Weapon is not a desirable talent.
  • 22 Apr. 2017 (this page): Guide added.
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