Genji Talents

Last updated on Oct 28, 2020 at 09:00 by Outofmilk 36 comments
General Information

Welcome to our Talents page for Genji. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Genji's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.

1.

Genji's 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 ✘︎ Way Of The Shimada ?
16 Reflect ? Final Cut Steady Blade ✘︎
20 The Dragon Becomes Me ? Living Weapon Sharpened Stars ✘︎ Zanshin ?
2.

Genji's Talent Build Cheatsheet

Shuriken Build

Recommended
Level 1 Swift as the Wind Icon
Level 4 Shuriken Mastery Icon
Level 7 Augmented Guard Icon Perfect Defense Icon ?
Level 10 X-Strike Icon Dragonblade Icon ?
Level 13 Shingan Icon
Level 16 Final Cut Icon Reflect Icon ?
Level 20 Living Weapon Icon The Dragon Becomes Me Icon ? 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. If you cannot complete Zanshin any time soon, or, if you prefer cooldown reduction on your Heroic Ability, Living Weapon Icon Living Weapon is a great choice, too.

Swift Strike Build

Beginner
Level 1 Swift as the Wind Icon
Level 4 Strike At The Heart Icon
Level 7 Perfect Defense Icon
Level 10 X-Strike Icon Dragonblade Icon ?
Level 13 Shingan Icon Way Of The Shimada Icon ?
Level 16 Final Cut Icon
Level 20 Living Weapon Icon The Dragon Becomes Me Icon ? Zanshin 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 for Genji

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 14 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 for Genji

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 134 (+4% per level) damage after 1 second.

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 grants a lot of burst damage if you manage to hit enemy heroes at the end of your Swift Strike Icon Swift Strike and should be picked if playing the Swift Strike build.

Dragon Claw Icon Dragon Claw can be a useful talent if you think you can manage getting at least two uses of it during a teamfight. The key to properly utilizing Dragon Claw is to charge it before a teamfight, either through baiting some poke damage from enemy heroes, or from turrets/camps/lane minions. Once you engage in a teamfight, always use Dragon Claw before you pop your Deflect to recharge it and potentially securing a second Dragon Claw.

5.

Level 7 Talents for Genji

Genji Augmented Guard
Augmented Guard (Level 7) Genji

When Deflect ends, Genji gains a Shield equal to 100% 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 4 seconds.

Genji Dodge ?
Dodge (Level 7) Genji

Genji dodges 1 Heroic Basic Attack every 7 seconds.

5.1.

Discussion

Augmented Guard Icon Augmented Guard provides a shield that further protects Genji. This talent is great, should the enemy team consist of enemy heroes with hard-hitting abilities such as Li-Ming or Chromie.

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. This talent is great if the enemy team consists of heroes with frequent damage hits, such as Tracer or Tassadar.

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.

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

6.

Level 10 Talents for Genji

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 240 (+4% per level) damage.

Genji X-Strike
X-Strike (Level 10) Genji
  • Mana: 70
  • Cooldown: 60 seconds

Perform two slashes dealing 145 (+4% per level) damage. The slashes detonate after 1.25 seconds causing an additional 290 (+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. However, it is of utmost importance to carefully check on the enemy team's crowd control abilities before activating Dragonblade. There is nothing more frustrating than getting Stunned, Rooted, or Silenced while Genji's Heroic Ability is active.

X-Strike Icon X-Strike is a strong damage ability. 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. To get the most damage out of X-Strike, try to cast it on a stunned/rooted target. The strikes overlap on anyone beneath Genji, granting a lot of burst damage.

7.

Level 13 Talents for Genji

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 Way Of The Shimada ?
Way Of The Shimada (Level 13) Genji

Increase Genji's Basic Attack range by 1. Each time Genji hits an enemy Hero with a Basic Attack, increase his Basic Attack damage by 1% for 3 seconds, stacking up to 15%.

7.1.

Discussion

Shingan Icon Shingan should be picked 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.

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. However, in terms of raw damage output, the two other talents in this row provide more than Flow Like Water

Way Of The Shimada Icon Way Of The Shimada is a very strong talent as it increases Genji's range, allowing him to poke a bit more aggressively. The key to playing with this talent is stacking up the Basic Attack Damage as much as possible on the enemy frontline before diving into their backline. It also allows Genji to reliably chase the enemy squishies as they try to run to safety.

8.

Level 16 Talents for Genji

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, not to mention that Final Cut Icon Final Cut just does a lot more damage in general.

9.

Level 20 Talents for Genji

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. If a Hero is killed within 1.5 seconds of being hit by Dragonblade, Swift Strike's cooldown is reset.

Genji Living Weapon
Living Weapon (Level 20) Genji

Each enemy Hero hit by X-Strike reduces its cooldown by 10 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.

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. However, if X-Strike is used diligently, the cooldown reduction Living Weapon provides cannot be underestimated. In a best case scenario, Genji will be able to use the ability several times in one team fight, which is going to inflict tremendous amounts of damage onto the enemy team.

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.

Zanshin Icon Zanshin 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.

10.

Changelog

  • 28 Oct. 2020: Builds and talents updated.
  • 23 Sep. 2020: Builds updated.
  • 08 Aug. 2020: Builds updated
  • 05 Jun. 2020: Updated talents to reflect new patch.
  • 29 Mar. 2020: Updated talent explanations.
  • 24 Nov. 2019: Reviewed guide and no changes are needed.
  • 23 Aug. 2019: Reviewed guide and no changes are needed.
  • 08 May 2018: Updated Genji's talents in accordance with the most recent Balance Updates.
  • 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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