Genji Build Guide “Life and death balance on the edge of my blade.”
Welcome to our guide for Genji, a Ranged Assassin in Heroes of the Storm. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play this hero, in both different map styles and team compositions.
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.
Genji's Strengths and Weaknesses
- Weak waveclear
- Very high learning curve
- Low health pool
- Needs constant healing
Genji's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Shuriken BuildTalent calculator »
The Shuriken Build is a very safe Build that combines strong poke granted thanks to Shuriken Mastery at Level 4, while X-Strike also allows Genji to close the gap and strike enemies from melee range. Several Deflect-related talents like Perfect Defense and, more importantly, Zanshin, allow for aggressive gameplay to finish off targets in close combat. If you cannot complete Zanshin any time soon, or, if you prefer cooldown reduction on your Heroic Ability, Living Weapon is a great choice, too.
Swift Strike BuildTalent calculator »
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 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 shortly after using 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.
Genji's Synergies and Counters
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. He also pairs very well with burst Healers like Uther, whose Armor buffs and Divine Shield can greatly enhance Genji's own survivability.
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 or Malfurion's 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 expires, which is another reason why Lunara is a dangerous enemy for him to face.
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 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.
Genji's Tips and Tricks
- Set up ganks using the terrain to your advantage. Both Swift Strike and 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 to immediately gain a cooldown reset and Mana refund for this ability.
- 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 projectiles hit the same target. However, doing so also exposes Genji to enemy counter attacks more.
Genji's 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 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 nor 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 and 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 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.
Genji becomes a useful Hero in the current Anomaly. Due to his great ganking ability, Genji can easily zone out the enemy solo lane and deny any XP orbs. Due to how the current Anomaly works, ganking with Genji is now more important than ever.
- 05 Dec. 2019 (this page): Added a note regarding this seasons Anomaly.
- 24 Nov. 2019 (abilities page): Reviewed guide and no changes are needed.
- 24 Nov. 2019 (this page): Reviewed guide and no changes are needed.
- 24 Nov. 2019 (talents page): Reviewed guide and no changes are needed.
- 23 Aug. 2019 (abilities page): Reviewed guide and no changes are needed.
- 23 Aug. 2019 (this page): Reviewed guide and no changes are needed.
- 23 Aug. 2019 (talents page): Reviewed guide and no changes are needed.
- 08 May 2018 (talents page): Updated Genji's talents in accordance with the most recent Balance Updates.
- 08 May 2018 (abilities page): Updated Genji's Dragonblade in accordance with the recent balance updates.
- 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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