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.
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 lane sustain and high teamfight presence 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.
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
- Scales well into lategame.
- 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
- Bad Concussion Mine can result in an enemy surviving or an ally missing a critical skillshot.
- Very squishy with no means of self-sustain
- Requires close attention to proper positioning
- Weak early game until scaling through talents.
- Easy to play, difficult to master
Junkrat's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Frag Launcher BuildTalent calculator »
The Frag Launcher build emphasizes Junkrat's ability to deal large amounts of damage from a distance. Tricky Shuffles 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. A well placed RIP-Tire can be the difference between a lost and won teamfight.
Steel Trap BuildTalent calculator »
The Steel Trap build works well against an enemy team consisting of assassins like Genji or Zeratul. In most games, if not all, you will still want to go for the Frag Launcher build, but in very rare cases the Steel Trap build can work its wonders vs aggressive comps. The idea of the build is to trap an enemy hero, walk up to them and follow up by activating Spread Volley, shooting point blank three grenades per Frag Launcher to potentially one-shot a squishy assassin. Think of this as a shotgun effect. Once you have the quest Gotta Trap 'Em All! finished you will be able to set up a perimeter around you, saving yourself from enemy assassins diving you, and then proceed to punish them for it. You will still want to go for RIP-Tire and Cannonball! at level 10 and 20 to nuke a trapped enemy hero. We would recommend testing this build in Try Mode to get the hang of the "shotgun" effect of Spread Volley.
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.
As noted earlier, Junkrat provides excellent lane sustain, teamfight presence, and wave clear. All of these traits make him good on maps where a rotation between lanes is needed and has a "king of the hill" type of objective, such as 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. On bigger maps, Junkrat can make good use of his level 13 talent Ripper Air which allows him to quickly move from lane to lane. 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.
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!
- Use Junkrat’s level 13 talent Ripper Air effectively to move throughout the map. Mount is slower than Ripper Air. Only use your mount if Concussion Mine is on cooldown.
- Concussion Mine and Steel Trap can be used to provide vision in bushes. On maps like Tomb of the Spider Queen, you can use Concussion Mine and Steel Trap to provide vision in the bushes between the upper turn-in point.
- Do not be trigger happy with your Concussion Mine. Just because an enemy is standing on top of it, does not mean you need to activate it. Make smart decisions regarding the use of this.
- Currently, you can animation cancel Junkrat's Basic Attack. This is very effective in terms of wave clear where your rotation will look like this: AA -> Immediately after you see the grenade from AA pop out -> 1 Frag Launcher -> Right click to force AA -> 1 Frag Launcher -> Right click to force AA and so on. Try this out in Test Mode first to get the gist of it.
Role in the Current Meta
Currently, Junkrat has a decent spot in the current meta. As most of the maps in the current ranked rotation favor late game compositions, Junkrat can very well scale into a high-DPS monster. Unfortunately, he will not fit into most team compositions and this is due to his very weak early game damage, you would need a hero that offsets Junkrat's early game. During early game you would want to focus on getting your Taste For Explosions stacks up and try to make impactful plays with your Concussion Mine. Once Junkrat scales into late game, (most notably at level 16) he becomes a high sustain damage dealer.
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, Concussion Mine and Steel trap 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 him or an ally during the laning phase or a teamfight.
- 26 Sep. 2019 (talents page): Updated Junkrat to reflect his newest rework.
- 26 Sep. 2019 (this page): Updated Junkrat to reflect his new rework.
- 05 Jun. 2019 (talents page): Updated most talent tier discussions and recommendations.
- 05 Jun. 2019 (this page): Made various improvements and updates to the guide to bring it more in line with the current meta.
- 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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