Junkrat Build Guide “Fire in the hole!”
Welcome to our guide for Junkrat, 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.
1. Junkrat's Overview
Junkrat is a ranged assassin from the Overwatch universe who can deal a large amount of sustained or burst damage from a safe distance. The AoE aspect of both Frag Launcher and his Basic Attacks provide him with great waveclear and team-wide splash damage. None of Junkrat's abilities use Mana, giving him incredible staying power when challenging objectives or areas of high contention. All of his Basic Abilities can also be cast while moving. This is critical, as he lacks any sort of reliable escape beyond Concussion Mine which has a somewhat lengthy cooldown (unless upgraded at Level 20 with BOOM POW). When utilized correctly, Junkrat does have Talent options that can make him rather slippery and difficult to catch by the enemy team, such as Tricky Shuffles and Ripper Air. Both of his Heroic Abilities, RIP-Tire and Rocket Ride, require a period of channeling to be cast. Junkrat should therefore always be on the lookout for enemy abilities that can interrupt this channel and keep track of their use and remaining cooldowns.
2. Junkrat's Strengths and Weaknesses
- Uses no Mana, can remain in fights indefinitely when left unanswered by the enemy team
- Incredibly long range can reach targets located behind otherwise impassable terrain.
- Can reposition enemies and himself with Concussion Mine
- Can be talented into strong sustained or burst damage
- Great waveclear via the AoE components of his Frag Launcher and Basic Attacks
- Steel Trap is a valuable zoning tool.
- Moderate siege potential.
- Very high skill ceiling
- Incredibly susceptible to dive and enemy crowd-control
- All abilities are skillshots which can be difficult to land successfully
- Without proper coordination, Concussion Mine can regularly cause allies to miss potentially critical skillshots
- Very squishy with no means of self-sustain
- Requires close attention to proper positioning
- Difficult learning curve
3. Junkrat's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Concussion Mine BuildTalent calculator »
The Concussion Mine build is great for setting up "big plays" with both strong engage and disengage. Once beefed up with Bogged Down and the Bonzer Hits quest completed, Concussion Mine can easily separate a clumped up enemy team. This will often leave an isolated enemy Hero defenseless against Junkrat and his team's immediate and swift focus-fire. The bonus range and slow effect provided to Concussion Mine can also be used to save Junkrat or his allies from an enemy Hero attempting to dive them. The cooldown reduction provided by BOOM POW at Level 20 will allow Junkrat to unleash on onslaught of Concussion Mines; assuming he is able to connect them with his desired target(s)!
Frag Launcher BuildTalent calculator »
The Frag Launcher build emphasizes Junkrat's ability to deal large amounts of damage from a distance. Put Some English On It helps Junkrat connect his grenades with valuable targets deep within the backline and scout for potentially hidden enemy Heroes. Taste For Explosions scales the damage of Junkrat's Frag Launcher and makes him more powerful when heading into the late game. Endless Nades enables Junkrat to deal more reliable sustained damage during critical standoffs or trades and will help accrue stacks of Taste for Explosions more quickly. Both Tricky Shuffles and Ripper Air provide Junkrat with a much welcome kiting tool and means of self-peel when being dove by the enemy team.
Steel Trap BuildTalent calculator »
The Steel Trap build hones in on the utility and zoning potential of Junkrat's Steel Traps. Gotta Trap 'Em All! is a key player in this build, as it will triple the number of traps that Junkrat will be able to have active at one time. Big As combined with Chattering Teeth vastly improves the value of Steel Trap and can be used to "wall" off sections of the Battleground an enemy Hero may be trying to access. Once an enemy is trapped, Junkrat can unleash Spread Volley bolstered with Bouncy Bouncy to deal a massive amount of burst damage to his victim(s).
4. Junkrat's Synergies and Counters
Junkrat's low Health pool and squishiness require him to hide behind a strong frontline that can distract enemy Heroes during fights. Tanks and bruisers with reliable crowd-control can either help Junkrat set-up takedowns, or assist him with peel should he be focused by the enemy team. A support that can provide Junkrat with healing or damage mitigation in the form of a shield or buffs is mandatory as he has no source of self-sustain within his entire kit.
Junkrat is countered by highly mobile Heroes who can easily dive him in the backline. Beyond Concussion Mine Junkrat has no immediate source of peel, therefore he is particularly susceptible to Heroes that can stick to him with some form of gap-closer. The fact that all of Junkrat's abilities are skillshots also makes it particularly difficult to combat highly mobile enemy Heroes.
5. Junkrat's Maps
Junkrat's Manaless abilities and long range make him a great pick on maps that tend to have longer standoffs revolving around a specific map objective. This especially holds true for maps that require a Hero to channel an objective to capture it, such the Altars on Towers of Doom. The poke damage provided by Frag Launcher can be used to indefinitely whittle down enemies from afar as they attempt to take control of an objective. Maps with smaller choke points make Steel Trap a particularly effective zoning tool while Concussion Mine can catch an unaware enemy off-guard and force them into a detrimental position. Fighting an enemy team forced into a narrow corridor will also generate the most value from the splash-damage component of his abilities and Basic Attacks.
6. Junkrat's Tips and Tricks
- Be careful not to overshoot enemy targets with Frag Launcher. Aiming just in front of the desired target (on the very edge of their hitbox) will cause the bomb to bounce into them if it does not make immediate contact.
- Concussion Mine is Junkrat's primary source of self-peel. Try to not use it unwisely at the start of a fight just because it is off cooldown.
- Try to set up Steel Trap in areas of high contention just before an impending fight. The 2-second setup time makes the ability very difficult to use effectively mid-combat.
- RIP-Tire's jump ability (Q) can be used to flank or cut-off unprepared enemies behind otherwise impassable terrain.
- Rocket Ride often times should be used as a "second life" to deny enemy experience when cast just before dying; it may even allow Junkrat to pick up a kill or two!
7. Role in the Current Meta
Junkrat seamlessly fills the traditional role of a ranged assassin and will fit into most team compositions in need of one. He can deal both sustained and burst damage depending on how he chooses to use his charges of Frag Launcher. Junkrat can easily poke enemies attempting to capture a Battleground objective that requires channeling, such as Altars on Towers of Doom, Nukes in Warhead Junction, or Shrines on Cursed Hallow. Junkrat's more fragile nature requires allies that can form a strong frontline that can preoccupy his enemies while he dishes out his barrage of grenades.
Should an enemy slip through the cracks of his frontline, Junkrat can disengage with Concussion Mine to create some distance between himself and his aggressor. Concussion Mine has a lengthy cooldown so Junkrat should position himself in an especially passive way when this ability is unavailable to him. Junkrat's lack of any self-sustain also requires at least one support Hero on his team to ensure he will remain topped off should he receive poke damage or be dove in the backline.
One of Junkrat's greatest strengths lies in the range of his Frag Launcher. Because the grenades provide vision to Junkrat and his allies, Frag Launcher should be regularly used as a scouting tool to deter a missing enemy from capturing a Mercenary camp or Battleground objective behind the veil of the Fog of War. Grenades can also be sent into Brush to prevent Junkrat and his team from walking into an ambush. When possible, Junkrat should be constantly repositioning the location of Steel Trap to best prevent an enemy from ganking or flanking Junkrat or an ally during the laning phase or a teamfight. Junkrat should also try to always coordinate whichever Heroic Ability he selected with his allies' most powerful crowd-control abilities in order to generate the most value from the AoE damage.
- 02 Nov. 2017 (talents page): Updated the guide following the most recent balance patch, with the following changes being notable.
- Level 4 Talent Gotta Trap 'Em All (E) has had the Heroes hit requirement reduced from 8 to 7.
- Level 7 Talent Sticky Wicket (E) has had the Slow duration increased from 3 to 3.5 Seconds.
- 16 Oct. 2017 (this page): Added Junkrat guide.
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