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Genji Talents

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

Table of Contents

Genji Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Genji in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.

The other pages of our Genji guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

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. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Swift as the Wind Agile Dismount Pathfinder
4 Shuriken Mastery Strike At The Heart Dragon Claw
7 Augmented Guard Perfect Defense Cyber Shield ? Dodge ?
10 Dragonblade X-Strike
13 Shingan Flow Like Water Double Jump
16 Reflect Final Cut Steady Blade
20 The Dragon Becomes Me Living Weapon Sharpened Stars ? Zanshin
Create your own build and share it with friends!

2. Common Talent Paths

2.1. 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.

2.2. 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.

3. Level 1 Talents

Genji Swift as the Wind
Swift as the Wind (Level 1) Genji

Hitting an enemy Hero with Swift Strike increases Genji's Movement Speed by 30% for 3 seconds.

Genji Agile Dismount
Agile Dismount (Level 1) Genji

While mounted, the range of Cyber Agility is increased by 70% and its cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds.

Genji Pathfinder
Pathfinder (Level 1) Genji

Jumping over terrain with Cyber Agility increases Genji's Movement Speed by 25% for 6 seconds.

3.1. Discussion

Swift as the Wind Icon Swift as the Wind is our recommended talent at Level 1 because it is the safest to get value from. Hitting an enemy Hero with Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike will happen a lot during the game, whereas the other two talents can be considered situational at best.

Agile Dismount Icon Agile Dismount allows Genji to engage from a larger distance while mounted. This can be used offensively to chase down retreating targets or defensively to escape pursuing enemies.

Pathfinder Icon Pathfinder requires Genji to use Cyber Agility Icon Cyber Agility in order to jump over terrain, which is a requirement he cannot always meet. Consequently, this talent will likely end up being rather unimportant.

4. Level 4 Talents

Genji Shuriken Mastery
Shuriken Mastery (Level 4) Genji

Quest: Hit enemy Heroes with Shuriken.

Reward: After hitting 35 Heroes, Shuriken damage is increased by 25.

Reward: After hitting 75 Heroes, Cyber Agility now refunds 2 charges of Shuriken.

Genji Strike At The Heart
Strike At The Heart (Level 4) Genji

Enemies hit by the end of Swift Strike take an additional 138 (+4% per level) damage over 2 seconds.

Genji Dragon Claw
Dragon Claw (Level 4) Genji

After Genji blocks 330 (+4% per level) damage with Deflect, activate to release a Dragon Claw, dealing 190 (+4% per level) damage to all nearby enemies.

4.1. Discussion

Shuriken Mastery Icon Shuriken Mastery provides Genji with stronger poke the more targets he hits throughout the game. This talent will accumulate a lot of extra damage from a safe distance and should usually be completed relatively quickly, which makes it a solid choice.

Strike At The Heart Icon Strike At The Heart has decent synergy with Swift as the Wind Icon Swift as the Wind at Level 1 and usually results in fairly reliable bonus damage on targets towards the end of Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike.

Dragon Claw Icon Dragon Claw usually takes too long to charge up and offers too little damage to make it worth picking.

5. Level 7 Talents

Genji Augmented Guard
Augmented Guard (Level 7) Genji

When Deflect ends, Genji gains a Shield equal to 50% of the damage blocked for 4 seconds.

Genji Perfect Defense
Perfect Defense (Level 7) Genji

Deflected damage reduces the cooldown of Deflect by 2 seconds, up to a maximum of 10 seconds.

Genji Cyber Shield ?
Cyber Shield (Level 7) Genji

Using Cyber Agility grants 50 Spell Armor for 2.5 seconds.

Genji Dodge ?
Dodge (Level 7) Genji

Genji dodges 1 Heroic Basic Attack every 8 seconds.

5.1. Discussion

Perfect Defense Icon Perfect Defense reduces the cooldown of Deflect Icon Deflect, which is Genji's only defensive tool and as such which is crucial to his survival during team fights. We cannot stress enough how important this talent is, especially if you aim to play Genji in a very aggressive manner.

Cyber Shield Icon Cyber Shield can be worth picking if the enemy team solely relies on Ability damage by picking Heroes like Jaina, Kael'thas, or Ragnaros. It is worth mentioning that Cyber Shield can be activated twice if you pick Double Jump Icon Double Jump at Level 13.

Dodge Icon Dodge can be a solid talent if the enemy team consists mainly of Basic Attack-dependent Assassins, such as Illidan or Valla.

Augmented Guard Icon Augmented Guard provides a shield that further protects Genji. However, this talent will usually have less value than Perfect Defense Icon Perfect Defense, as the cooldown reduction on Deflect Icon Deflect prevents more damage.

6. Level 10 Talents

Genji Dragonblade
Dragonblade (Level 10) Genji
  • Mana: 75
  • Cooldown: 100 seconds

Unleash the Dragonblade for 8 seconds. While active, Dragonblade can be reactivated to lunge forward and slash in a huge arc, dealing 220 (+4% per level) damage. If enemy Heroes are killed within 2 seconds of being hit by Dragonblade, Swift Strike's cooldown is reset.

Genji X-Strike
X-Strike (Level 10) Genji
  • Mana: 90
  • Cooldown: 80 seconds

Perform two slashes dealing 135 (+4% per level) damage. The slashes detonate after 1.25 seconds causing an additional 270 (+4% per level) damage to enemies in their area.

6.1. Discussion

At this level, Heroic Abilities become available. Both Heroic Abilities have already been described in the Abilities section.

Dragonblade Icon Dragonblade turns Genji into a highly mobile and lethal melee Assassin. Keep in mind that Shuriken Icon Shuriken cannot be used while Dragonblade is active. It is usually a good idea to activate Dragonblade as soon as you spot a severely wounded enemy Hero at the brink of death. Taking this target down while Dragonblade is still active will cause Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike's cooldown to be reset and its Mana cost to be refunded, which allows Genji to quickly dash to the next target. Always make sure to focus on the lowest health target around in order to guarantee reset after reset.

X-Strike Icon X-Strike is a useful gap-closing Heroic Ability with a strong damage component. While it may be harder to execute than Dragonblade Icon Dragonblade, X-Strike can act as an escape mechanism that allows Genji to dodge incoming burst damage and crowd control only to strike back a few moments later. Keep in mind that X-Strike can be used to cover short distances in order to jump over impassable terrain, for instance.

7. Level 13 Talents

Genji Shingan
Shingan (Level 13) Genji

Hitting an enemy with all 3 Shuriken deals 115 (+4% per level) bonus damage.

Genji Flow Like Water
Flow Like Water (Level 13) Genji

Each enemy Hero hit with Swift Strike reduces its cooldown by 3 seconds.

Genji Double Jump
Double Jump (Level 13) Genji

Cyber Agility stores 2 charges but its cooldown is increased by 5 seconds.

7.1. Discussion

Shingan Icon Shingan is worth considering if you chose Shuriken Mastery Icon Shuriken Mastery at Level 4. Admittedly, it is hard to hit a single target with all three Shuriken projectiles, however, if successfully executed, Shingan will deal an outstanding amount of bonus damage. Keep in mind that you should never jump into a team aggressively in order to hit targets from point blank range just to proc Shingan's bonus effect damage. Instead, wait for your targets to drop low in health and use Shingan to execute them while they are on the retreat.

Flow Like Water Icon Flow Like Water is a great talent to trigger the bonuses of other Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike-related talents, such as Swift as the Wind Icon Swift as the Wind or Strike At The Heart Icon Strike At The Heart, more frequently.

Double Jump Icon Double Jump has strong synergy with Cyber Shield Icon Cyber Shield at Level 7, as it grants Genji two charges of Ability damage reduction. Double Jump is a useful talent if get the feeling that you need to rely on additional ability more than dealing extra damage.

8. Level 16 Talents

Genji Reflect
Reflect (Level 16) Genji

Deflect also deals an additional 33% of the damage blocked.

Genji Final Cut
Final Cut (Level 16) Genji

After 1 second, Swift Strike deals an additional 125 (+4% per level) damage to all enemies in the area.

Genji Steady Blade
Steady Blade (Level 16) Genji

Each enemy Hero hit by Swift Strike increases the damage of the next Swift Strike by 20%. This bonus stacks up to 3 times.

8.1. Discussion

Reflect Icon Reflect pairs well with Perfect Defense Icon Perfect Defense at Level 7 and Zanshin Icon Zanshin at Level 20, in particular. Choose this talent to further punish fast attacking Assassins like Illidan, Tracer, or Tychus.

Final Cut Icon Final Cut's 1-second time window proves to be short enough to provide a reliable source of extra damage. After unlocking a cooldown reset for Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike, Final Cut can be an extremely strong damage tool.

Steady Blade Icon Steady Blade requires Genji to consistently hit enemy Heroes, which is a requirement that cannot always be met. As such, we consider this talent a riskier to get value from than Final Cut Icon Final Cut.

9. Level 20 Talents

Genji The Dragon Becomes Me
The Dragon Becomes Me (Level 20) Genji

Each time Dragonblade hits an enemy Hero, the duration of Dragonblade is increased by 0.5 seconds.

Genji Living Weapon
Living Weapon (Level 20) Genji

Each enemy Hero hit by X-Strike reduces its cooldown by 12 seconds.

Genji Sharpened Stars ?
Sharpened Stars (Level 20) Genji

Shuriken now pierce all enemies hit.

Genji Zanshin
Zanshin (Level 20) Genji

Quest: Block 6500 damage with Deflect, including damage blocked so far.

Reward: Deflect hits all nearby enemy Heroes.

9.1. Discussion

The Dragon Becomes Me Icon The Dragon Becomes Me is a strong upgrade after picking Dragonblade Icon Dragonblade at Level 10. By hitting multiple enemy Heroes at the same time, Dragonblade's duration can be extended significantly, which increases Genji's chances of resetting Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike's cooldown. It is worth mentioning that this talent gains a lot of value if the enemy team composition features a lot of melee Heroes who tend to clump and thus get hit more easily by Dragonblade.

Zanshin Icon Zanshin finalizes Genjis ultimate defense after completing the Quest talent bonus. This talent allows Genji to deal heavy damage to all nearby enemy Heroes at the same time, which becomes particularly powerful with the cooldown reduction Perfect Defense Icon Perfect Defense at Level 7 provides you with.

Sharpened Stars Icon Sharpened Stars adds a lot more waveclear to Genji's Shuriken Icon Shuriken and does offer decent synergy with Shuriken Mastery Icon Shuriken Mastery at Level 4. However, this talent usually comes too late to have a significant impact on Genji's overall combat performance.

Living Weapon Icon Living Weapon is a bit of risky talent to pick at Level 20, as it fully relies on X-Strike Icon X-Strike to hit several enemy Heroes in order to get any value from it. While a full cooldown-reset may happen every once in a while, we do not recommend picking such a chancy talent over Zanshin Icon Zanshin, which is a lot more reliable.

10. ChangeLog

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