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- +Abilities and Strategy
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On this page, you will find out how to properly play Genji. From general playstyle advice, to more specific advice like ultimate usage or combos, we tell you everything we think matters to master your hero.
The other pages of our Genji guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.
Genji Playstyle Introduction
Players who will get the most out of Genji will use him aggressively while maintaining smart gamesmanship regarding when to go "all in" and when to seek respite. Since Genji is a flanker, the number one priority for Genji players should almost always be to stay alive and frustrate opponents. If a Genji player remains alive, he can harass from far away and quickly descend on enemies when they are close to death. There are few things more frustrating than an enemy Genji throwing Shurikens at you from high ground, and having him dash away to safety just before he is killed is rage-inducing. However, due to Genji's mobility, many players are eager to dive in and try to pull off professional hitman-esque kills. When learning to play Genji, it is essential to remember that tactfulness is the most vital trait in utilizing Genji. Coordination, timing, and quick thinking are what separate good Genji players from great Genji players.
Offensive Combos with Genji
We are going to give you the combo first, then we will break down the reasoning behind the combo and when to utilize the combo situationally.
- Use your alternate fire Shuriken.
- Immediately afterwards use your melee attack.
- Immediately afterwards use Swift Strike to dash through the target.
- Follow up with alternate fire Shurikens (or possibly primary fire, depending on the distance to your target).
- Use Deflect at any point during this combo if needed.
This combo should be used when Genji is dueling an enemy one on one. This ability chain is used on support heroes that you caught out and are taking on face to face, or attack heroes that have split from their team. The goal is to deal as much damage as possible while in close proximity to the enemy: simultaneously changing positions by utilizing Swift Strike. Therefore, this combo is used when the enemy has full health and Genji needs to get in burst damage. This plan of attack should rarely be used on full health tanks, or when there are more enemies in close proximity to your full-health target.
- Use Swift Strike to dash to the target.
- Immediately use alternate fire Shuriken and your melee attack (in that order, but in very quick succession).
- Follow up with more alternate fire.
- Use Deflect at any point during this combo, if needed.
This combo should be used when an enemy offensive hero or main support is alone, and has less than 75% health. The use of Swift Strike to get to the enemy implies that he or she is farther away from Genji than in the previous combo's circumstances. In this instance, Swift Strike is a gap closer rather than a damage-dealing ability. Since Swift Strike is exhausted to get to the enemy's position, that 50 damage is out the window, putting Genji in a vulnerable spot. This is why Genji should only perform this combo if the enemy has less health than him. In fact, this combo should only be used if enemy is already injured, and Genji has at least 25% more health than the enemy he is engaging.
- Use Deflect to protect Genji while closing the distance between him and the enemy.
- Depending on the distance of the enemy once Deflect expires, Genji should
either Swift Strike to the enemy's position, or use primary fire
Shuriken to deal harass DPS.
- If you used Swift Strikes to get to the enemy, use alternate fire Shuriken to deal massive DPS until the enemy is dead, utilizing Cyber-Agility double jumps to make it difficult to be shot at.
- If you used primary fire Shurikens to harass DPS, you should Swift Strike to deal damage to the enemy and change position, then alternate fire until dead.
This combo is almost exclusively for Genji's taking on Widowmaker or Hanzo when they are across the map. Genji is a direct counter to these heroes, but they can one shot Genji if they are able to get a shot off. For this reason, Genji uses Deflect to protect himself from getting picked so he can gap close on the sniper. He then wants to use Swift Strike to make it difficult to hit him as he begins to deal damage. At this point, alternate fire Shurikens should make quick work of the sniper.
Harassment with Genji
While Genji is countered by Tanks like Winston, D.Va, and Zarya, he can actually farm his ultimate off of many tanks when they are not focusing on him. Reinhardt and Roadhog are both perfect targets for Genji to sit and harass with Shuriken. While Genji is not trying to secure kills with his Shurikens, he is dealing damage to tanks, forcing them to at least think about where Genji is and what he is doing. Additionally, Genji's harassment can cause Offensive Heroes to give chase to Genji while his team goes in on the enemy frontline. This maneuver will bait players away from their team, allowing Genji's team to score kills while the enemy DPS heroes fruitlessly try to finish Genji. Additionally, if Genji constantly harasses tanks, he will have Dragonblade available to take out the support and DPS heroes.
Genji can also harass support heroes who are trying to heal their team. Genji can throw primary fire shurikens at healers while behind enemy lines, forcing the healers to stop healing their team and concentrate on getting away from Genji's harassment. Any time Genji can force healers away from a fight and stop them from doing their job, he is expertly doing his job. Flankers do not always have to secure kills to help their team. Distracting healers or DPS heroes from fights is just as good as having them dead in certain situations.
Genji's Defensive Maneuvers
When Genji is harassing enemies and is unable to duel an opponent, he should use Deflect and Swift Strike to stay alive. Swift Strike can be used to quickly dash to a health pack or away from groups of enemies that chase after him. Deflect can be used to distract enemies while Genji's team closes in. Also, Genji players should always utilize the mobility of Cyber-Agility to escape from enemies. When Genji Swift Strikes into a wall climb, it makes him a difficult target to effectively shoot. Additionally, double jumping away from enemies makes Genji a small target due to his decreased hitbox while flipping in the air.
Genji's Ultimate Usage
As Genji's Dragonblade is strictly melee ranged, Genji only has one option when ulting, to hunt squishy enemies. There should always be rhyme or reason as to how Genji pursues his prey, but in reality, Genji can go in by himself, and with enough skill, secure 2 or 3 kills. Therefore, ability combinations are very dependent on situational proximity and enemy team compositions. For example, if the enemy team has a Zenyatta or Ana, they should be Genji's primary targets while using Dragonblade. Swift Strike should be used as a Gap Closer between Genji and vulnerable healers. However, if Genji uses his ultimate to obtain a pick that allow his team to attack, securing a kill on an enemy Soldier: 76 or Genji is a worthwhile use of Dragonblade if the team can follow up. It is essential to comprehend that you must focus on securing kills rather than chasing multi-kills and dying. Therefore, Genji players should always focus on securing a kill rather than focus on who they will chase next. The worst thing a Genji can do is use his ultimate and fail to kill a single target. Do not be greedy, just secure kills one at a time.
Genji's Dragonblade is super strong when his team rallies and uses an ultimate to support its undeniable strength. For example, Dragonblade pairs well with Zarya's Graviton Surge and Reinhardt's Earthshatter. Dragonblade also pairs well with various support ultimates like Zenyatta Transcendence and Ana Nano Boost. A team typically does not want to use all their ultimates at the same time, but with Genji, one additional ultimate can really help to secure a team fight or objective.
About our Author
Mournflakes is a flex Grandmaster Overwatch player who boasts a career high SR rating of 4433. His favorite heroes are Roadhog, Soldier: 76, and Ana. He has played Overwatch since its initial release, and has put over 700 hours into competitive play. When not writing guides, you can catch Mournflakes streaming on his Twitch channel.
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