Hanzo Abilities and Strategy
Table of Contents
- ×Abilities and Strategy
- +Synergies and Matchups
On this page, you will find a detailed overview of the abilities that Hanzo has access to. We also explain how to best use these abilities.
The other pages of our Hanzo guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.
Hanzo TL;DR Tips
- Aim is everything for Hanzo (especially with the removal of Scatter Arrow and the introduction of Storm Arrows). If you have poor aim, or if you do not have time to practice your aim, Hanzo is not the hero for you.
- Hanzo players should always rely on their Storm Bow first before breaking out Storm Arrows. Storm Arrows is too precious of an ability to waste on starting an engagement with. Therefore, Storm Arrows should only be used when flankers or tanks are closing in on Hanzo, or to follow up the damage from a Storm Bow shot that connects to secure the kill.
- All Hanzo needs is one headshot to kill a number of enemy heroes. This means it is better to take your time aiming your shot and hitting your target rather than haphazardly shooting and hoping for a good result. Patience and knowledge of other heroes damage potentials is crucial in making the best shot possible before you die.
- Storm Arrows can be used to destroy enemy barriers, but be warned: you should only do this when you feel safe because you are among your teammates.
- Lunge should be used to dodge obvious enemy ability mechanics (like when McCree rolls towards you, you should Lunge backwards to dodge his obvious attempt to gap close and stun you with a Flashbang. Resetting your aim is always better than being dead.
- Wall Climb is an awesome tool that can be used to create split-second positions where you can shoot at the enemy in mid-air when they least expect it.
- Hanzo can hold on to a channeled Storm Bow shot through a Wall Climb, allowing him to prepare for a high ground confrontation before engaging the enemy.
- Dragonstrike should be used in conjunction with ally ultimates like Graviton Surge, but if no other ultimates are up, Hanzo can use his ultimate to split enemies from one another, zone enemies from an objective, and to start engagements.
- Sonic Arrow should be used to constantly scout for your team, but if an enemy is trying to duel you, save Sonic Arrow to scout a corner from which you know your enemy is going to come from to setup an easy headshot when the enemy rounds the bend.
Jump at walls to climb up them.
Wall Climb is a passive ability that allows Hanzo to climb up walls and other objects (like buses) by holding down the jump keybind while running into a scalable feature on the map. If the player lets go of the keybind while scaling, Hanzo will fall off of the object. Therefore, a player must continually hold down the keybind to climb walls all the way to the top.
This is a useful ability that gives Hanzo some mobility, although Wall Climb is only helpful when Hanzo is near buildings or scalable objects. Typically speaking, you will use Wall Climb to reach high ground, take defenders by surprise, utilize shortcuts around a map, or to escape enemy fire.
Wall Climb has a few mechanical details that players should know.
Here is a list of some of the intricacies of Wall Climb:
- Wall Climb can only be used once while Hanzo is in mid-air. To reset Wall Climb, Hanzo must step on a level area of the map.
- Hanzo cannot use his normal jump after using Wall Climb, but he can use Lunge if it is available.
- Hanzo can jump or Lunge into a Wall Climb as long as Hanzo has yet to climb a wall.
- Interrupt abilities, like McCree's Flashbang, will force Hanzo to drop from a Wall Climb.
- Hanzo can hold on to a channeled Storm Bow arrow through a Wall Climb, which means Hanzo should charge an arrow before ascending to high ground when an enemy is already there.
- Cooldown: 4 seconds
Lunge is a mobility ability that works in a similar fashion to Genji's Cyber-Agility. Lunge grants Hanzo a horizontal jump in the direction he is currently moving in. To use Lunge, Hanzo must be in mid-air, which means he cannot Lunge from a standing position. Unlike Cyber-Agility, Lunge has a timed cooldown of 4 seconds. Lunge's cooldown is initiated once Lunge is used, not on Hanzo's return to the ground. This means Hanzo can use Lunge to go into a Wall Climb, and by the time he returns to the ground, he may have Lunge available for a second use.
Lunge has a number of potential uses such as:
- Dodging enemy abilities;
- Escaping from enemy flankers;
- Traversing gaps in a map;
- Traveling back from spawn at a quicker pace;
- Securing better positioning for a shot;
- Chasing enemy players.
Hold LMB to charge then release to launch arrows further.
Hanzo's Storm Bow is integral to his character, and understanding how it works is extremely important. Every ability (aside from his passives) originate from Storm Bow, so learning the mechanics of Storm Bow is integral to Hanzo play.
Storm Bow only has a primary fire that shoots one arrow at a time. It has no ammo and never needs to be reloaded, however, for a player to deal maximum damage with Storm Bow, he or she must hold down their primary fire keybind to channel the strength of Storm Bow. In short, the longer a player pulls back the drawstring of Storm Bow (up to .5 seconds for maximum damage), the more damage it will deal.
When you press primary fire (default Left Mouse Button), Hanzo begins to charge up a shot, which is only released when you let go of primary fire. This means you can hold a charged shot and release it later, but keep in mind that whenever Hanzo is charging up a shot (or holding onto a fully charged shot) his movement speed is reduced significantly. You can cancel a shot that you are charging up without firing it by pressing your alternate fire key (default Right Mouse Button). You can cancel a shot to quickly return to normal speed, or you can cancel a shot to stay quiet if you are near enemies.
The arrows deal varying amounts of damage depending on how charged they are. An arrow fired without channel time only deals 29 damage, but fully charged arrows deal 125 damage. The damage of an arrow does not drop off with range, and Hanzo always has pinpoint accuracy, even when jumping or using Lunge.
The charge up time also affects the distance each arrow will travel. Arrows shot with little to no charge will fly short distances, and their trajectory drops off accordingly. Fully charged arrows, however, fly much further, and their drop-off distance is much farther off.
Use of Storm Bow is quite straightforward: locate a target, charge up a shot, aim, and release. Generally, you should fire fully charged shots since they deal more damage and fly with less of an arc. That said, it may be better to shoot arrows with less channel time if your target is low, or you need to get somewhere quickly and do not have the time to get off a fully-channeled shot.
The fact that using Storm Bow is straightforward speaks nothing of its difficulty. As stated earlier, dealing the high damage that Hanzo is capable of is dependent on landing a majority of your shots. Consistently hitting your shots requires lots of practice. As you seek to better your aim, you will have to learn to compensate for arrow travel time, trajectory drop-off, and the charge time of your arrow, not to mention the mobility of your target. This can be extremely challenging, especially against fast-moving targets like flankers. However, if you can master Hanzo's Storm Bow, you should be able to consistently pick off enemies, giving your team an advantage before an engagement begins.
The detailed mechanics of Storm Bow are as follows:
- Movement speed of 3.85 m/s while channeling
- Projectile speed of 100 meters a second (not accounting for drop-off)
- 0.5-second channel for maximum charge
- 0.5 seconds between release and nock of next arrow
- Fully channeled headshots deal 250 damage
- Cooldown: 10 seconds
The next 6 arrows fire instantly at reduced damage.
Storm Arrows is a damage per second ability (rest in peace, Scatter Arrow). Storm Arrows is an ability that allows Hanzo to do his best impression of Lord of the Rings' Legolas' rapid-fire bow and arrow skills. Once used, Storm Arrows gives Hanzo 5 seconds to fire off 6 fully channeled arrows using Storm Bow. As long as the ability is ongoing, Hanzo can choose when to shoot his arrows, which means he can quickly shoot all six of the arrows, or mix-and-match, choosing to shoot 2 or 3 at a time. These arrows have all the speed of a fully charged Storm Bow arrow, but each ones deals 70 damage as opposed to the typical fully-charged amount of 125.
Although Hanzo's Storm Arrows are rapid-fire, they are not Tracer's Pulse Pistols. The cast time of Storm Arrows seems to be near 0.2 seconds, and Hanzo seems to take around 0.3 seconds to nock each arrow after firing the previous one. This means Hanzo can deal an effective 420 damage over 2.0 seconds, provided he hits a target with every arrow.
The best thing (and worst thing for your enemies) about Storm Arrows is that the arrows are able to deal headshot damage. This means a perfectly placed Storm Arrow shot can deal 140 damage, nearly an instant kill on a Tracer and an out-of-mech D.Va. Whether Winston is in your face, or you are helping your team take down some flankers, Storm Arrow's headshot capabilities have massive implications for Hanzo's overall dps. In fact, Hanzo can deal a whopping 840 damage with his Storm Arrows if he lands headshots with each arrow. This is the close to highest damage per second non-ultimate ability in the game if he lands all headshots, with Bastion's Configuration: Sentry (capable of dealing 900 damage in two seconds) coming in as the top spot.
Here are some of the mechanics of Storm Arrows not previously mentioned:
- Once the ability ends, the stockpile of unused Storm Arrows vanishes.
- Storm Arrows can be shot while using Lunge or after Wall Climb.
- Storm Arrows interact with the world in the same way as Hanzo's Storm Bow arrows. This means Storm Arrows have a drop-off flight path and pinpoint accuracy.
- Storm Arrows has a cooldown time of 10 seconds that begins after all arrows are fired, or after the ability runs out of time, whatever comes first.
- Cooldown: 12 seconds
Reveals enemies for a short time upon impact.
Sonic Arrow is a utility shot that replaces the next arrow your Storm Bow fires. Sonic Arrow reveals enemies who are behind walls from the player's point of view. Unlike Sombra's Opportunist, this utility grants all friendly players the ability to see enemies through walls.
When fired from Storm Bow, Sonic Arrow will attach itself to the first object or enemy it hits, and will provide vision of enemies through all obstacles in a radius around itself for 6 seconds. The radius of Sonic Arrow's capabilities is 7 meters out from the arrow itself.
In regards to damage and other mechanics, Sonic Arrow acts exactly like a normal arrow from Storm Bow. In fact, the only difference between Sonic Arrow and a normal arrow it its ability x-ray capabilities.
If an enemy is struck with Sonic Arrow, he or she becomes a mobile scout for Hanzo's team for 6 seconds. Wherever the enemy moves, he or she will be tracked by Sonic Arrow, and they can reveal the position of other enemies if they walk within 7 meters.
Some enemies have ways of dropping Sonic Arrow from their person (Reaper with Wraith Form, Tracer with Recall, Moira with Fade). If an enemy drops Sonic Arrow, it will simply fall to the ground and continue to provide vision around itself from that point. Additionally, if Hanzo hits a barrier with his Sonic Arrow, if the barrier breaks or drops, the Sonic Arrow will fall off.
Sonic Arrow is an immensely useful ability. The fact that it deals damage is irrelevant because you should typically steer clear of using it to attack (although there are times when attacking with Sonic Arrow is necessary to fend off unforeseen assailants). The recommended usage of Sonic Arrow is to stick it to walls or other objects to give your team temporary vision of crucial areas of the map. Read the playstyle page for more details about where and when to use Sonic Arrow appropriately.
Launch a deadly Dragon Spirit that devastates enemies it passes through.
When using Dragonstrike, Hanzo fires an arrow in the direction of his crosshairs, and after a 1.4-second delay, giant spirit dragons come out from the arrow and parade through the map in a straight path from Hanzo's initial shot, dealing damage to any enemies standing in their path. The dragons go through walls and other obstacles on the map, and will continue traveling until they hit the edge of the map. Therefore, Hanzo could theoretically use his Dragonstrike on one side of the map and the dragons will traverse its full length.
In terms of damage potential, any enemies who come in contact with the animation take 200 damage for each second they spend within its form.
The initial use of Dragonstrike is technically a channel, which means if Hanzo is killed or interrupted during the channel, he will lose his ultimate charge, and his Dragonstrike will not go off. During the first 0.8 seconds of the channel, Hanzo cannot walk, but he can still move his crosshair to make last second flight corrections before his arrow takes off. The arrow that Hanzo fires after this delay can damage any enemies it passes through for 125 hit points, but it also interacts with enemy abilities like any other projectile does. Therefore, the arrow can be devoured by D.Va's Defense Matrix, and deflected by Genji's Deflect, which creates an enemy Dragonstrike in the direction Genji Deflects the arrow. However, once the spirit dragons come out from the arrow, there is no way to stop them.
Despite the power of Dragonstrike, several elements work to balance it out.
- When Dragonstrike is cast, Hanzo yells a voice line which is heard globally by all players, giving enemies a heads up about its use.
- The spirit dragons travel at a slow rate of speed, making them easy to dodge
- The dragons are dark red to enemies, which makes them easy to spot
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.
- 25 Jul. 2018: Storm Arrows section updated for patch 1.26
- 22 May 2018: Updated Storm Arrows section for patch 1.24.
- ×Abilities and Strategy
- +Synergies and Matchups
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