Hanzo Build Guide “Ryuu ga waga teki wo kurau!”
Welcome to our guide for Hanzo, 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.
Hanzo is a long-ranged Assassin who must land skillshots from precise angles in order to deal damage effectively. He excels in areas that have many terrain features, where his Abilities are most effective. Sonic Arrow and Scatter Arrow give Hanzo exceptional vision utility, and allow him to keep track of enemy movements beyond the fog of war.
Hanzo's Strengths and Weaknesses
Hanzo's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Basic Attack BuildTalent calculator »
The Basic Attack Build takes Talents that dramatically improve Hanzo's sustained damage. As with any ranged Basic Attack strategy, you want to position yourself near maximum range while delivering Basic Attacks to enemy Heroes.
Redemption significantly increases Hanzo's otherwise sluggish attack speed. This is important for a playstyle centered around Basic Attacks, and works well with the other Talents you will be taking. Ignore All Distractions serves as the primary PvE tool for this build. Because it causes your Basic Attacks to instantly kill Minions, it will get more value when used on Minions with more Health (like melee minions or catapults). Remember that it increases your Basic Attack range each time you Basic Attack a Minion; use this range to harass nearby enemy Heroes. This can be very useful while laning.
Sharpened Arrowheads is an excellent way to enhance your damage, and will increase your team's damage as well. Each consecutive Basic Attack or Storm Bow arrow against an Enemy Hero will reduce their armor for several seconds. Giant Slayer works very well against enemy Tanks with large health pools. If the enemy frontline is lacking and you need finishing power against squishy enemy Heroes, Flawless Technique can be a good choice instead.
Storm Bow BuildTalent calculator »
The Storm Bow Build has excellent poke damage, good waveclear, and very long range. This build requires accurate and successful Storm Bow hits in order to be effective. It will be more difficult to use against highly mobile Heroes, as they are likely to avoid skillshots. This build should never be used against Abathur; the slug can easily prevent you from ever completing Target Practice.
Explosive Arrows enhances your waveclear and gives you a stronger presence in lanes; you can easily hit enemies with explosions if they position themselves near their Minions. Take The Dragon Hungers at Level 7 to increase your Ability damage whenever Storm Bow hits. One of the drawbacks of Ninja Assassin in the other builds is that Natural Agility can remove you from their effective ranges. However, Ninja Assassin works very well with the long range poke provided by Target Practice.
Piercing Arrows has several synergies with the rest of the Talents in the build. When you pair Explosive Arrows with Piercing Arrows, it becomes possible to cause two explosions with each Storm Bow arrow. There must be sufficient space between Minions for this to occur, but it allows you to clear Minion waves very quickly during the late game. Piercing Arrows also enables you to hit Heroes near their Minions with Storm Bow and an explosion, effectively dealing double damage to them. Piercing Arrows also has synergy with Ninja Assassin, because you can completely reset Natural Agility's cooldown with a well placed shot.
Scatter Arrow BuildTalent calculator »
Scatter Arrow Build focuses on Talents that improve Scatter Arrow, transforming it into your primary Ability. Of the 3 builds, this one has the least consistant Hero damage. However, this build can perform well if you really want a playstyle focused around Scatter Arrow. This build works best on maps that have narrow corridors, where Scatter Arrow's ricochets are more likely to hit enemies.
Grab Simple Geometry at Level 1 to improve Scatter Arrow once you complete the quest. Explosive Arrows has better waveclear than Serrated Arrows; pick it up at Level 4, in spite of this being the Scatter Arrow build. Never Outmatched is going to help with mana conservation, but can also greatly reduce the cooldown of Scatter Arrow. Mounted Archery allows Hanzo to rotate very quickly, and enhances the escape value provided by Natural Agility.
This build really comes online at Level 16, when you get Piercing Arrows. With this Talent, Scatter Arrow can be shot into terrain through an enemy Hero. This opens up many more angles for Scatter Arrow, and makes it much harder for enemies to prevent it from colliding with terrain. Piercing Arrows also allows Explosive Arrows to explode twice with each Storm Bow arrow, greatly improving your waveclear. You may be tempted to take Giant Slayer at this point, but Piercing Arrows really rounds out this strange build. If giant slaying is what you need to do, we recommend the Basic Attack build.
At Level 10, you should usually take Dragon's Arrow. It gives you some much needed crowd control, which can be used to turn a team fight, or to set up and secure kills. Dragonstrike can also work with this build, but requires your team to have some way to set up a wombo-combo. The Dragon Awakens makes it possible to reset Dragonstrike quickly enough to cast it more than once in a team fight after Level 20.
Hanzo's Synergies and Counters
Hanzo has very limited mobility during combat, and must keep his distance from enemies in order to survive. Hanzo will struggle to shake highly mobile Heroes when they get within melee range of him, especially if they can follow him over walls when he uses Natural Agility to escape.
Hanzo does well on maps that feature objectives in small areas where movement is restricted by terrain walls. This makes all of his skillshots easier to land, and provides several surfaces for him to split Scatter Arrow with. He can also use Natural Agility on one of the several surrounding terrain features to escape threats. By the same reasoning, Hanzo can struggle on maps that feature large areas that are free of terrain features.
Hanzo's Tips and Tricks
- Use Natural Agility as a shortcut around long walls, or to escape danger.
- Use Storm Bow to poke enemies from a safe distance.
- Move back and forth to keep enemies near Storm Bow's maximum range as it channels.
- Scatter Arrow can be used to quickly dismount enemies or prevent hearthing, as it does not require channeling.
- Always check bushes and vents with Sonic Arrow or Scatter Arrow before entering them.
- Use your Heroic Abilities to follow-up your allies.
Hanzo's Role in the Current Meta
Hanzo can build for long range poke or sustained damage, has strong vision utility, and has access to powerful follow-up Heroics. He can fit into many different team compositions, due to a variety of viable builds with waveclear. Hanzo is best picked late in the draft when it is clear that one of his builds can be exploited for its specific strenghts. It is not ideal to lock him early in the draft, as this leaves him vulnerable to Heroes who can follow him when he uses Natural Agility to reposition or escape.
The current Nexus Anomaly heavily favours Heroes who can safely and efficiently collect the Experience Globes dropped by slain minions. Typically, this will be Heroes with a strong lane presence and good waveclear. Like most Ranged Assassins, this anomaly is a slight nerf to Hanzo as he will not be able to collect experience from his maximum weapon range. Hanzo cannot activate has primary escape, Natural Agility, in most places where Experience Globes will drop. This can make him reliant on his teammates for experience, which will make him a bit harder to succeed with in this Anomaly.
- 15 Dec. 2019 (this page): Updated Role in the Current Meta to include information on current Nexus Anomaly.
- 30 Aug. 2019 (talents page): Guide reviewed to ensure meta relevance after balance patch.
- 30 Aug. 2019 (this page): Guide reviewed to ensure meta relevance after balance patch.
- 30 Aug. 2019 (abilities page): Guide reviewed to ensure meta relevance after balance patch.
- 21 Jun. 2019 (this page): Builds, Talents, Abilities, Maps, and Role discussion updated to reflect current meta.
- 21 Jun. 2019 (talents page): Builds, Talents, Abilities, Maps, and Role discussion updated to reflect current meta.
- 21 Jun. 2019 (abilities page): Builds, Talents, Abilities, Maps, and Role discussion updated to reflect current meta.
- 10 Jan. 2018 (this page): Builds updated to reflect Blaze patch changes.
- 10 Jan. 2018 (talents page): Talent choices and descriptions updated to reflect Blaze patch changes.
- 04 Jan. 2018 (this page): Updated builds to reflect meta changes.
- 04 Jan. 2018 (talents page): Updated Talents to reflect meta changes.
- 12 Dec. 2017 (this page): Added Hanzo guide.
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