Table of Contents
- +Abilities and Strategy
- +Synergies and Matchups
On this page, you will find out how to properly play Hanzo. 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 Hanzo guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.
Hanzo Playstyle Introduction
Hanzo is the only Overwatch hero where mobility, positioning, and playing smart is meaningless when compared to one in-game mechanic, the player's aim. In fact, Hanzo is arguably the most aim-dependent hero in the game, as the channel time of Storm Bow often creates a mini-game of "kill or be killed" where the outcome is entirely dependent on Hanzo landing or missing one shot. With the introduction of Storm Arrows, Hanzo's only gimme ability ( Scatter Arrow) was taken away, and now all that is left of Hanzo's damage (outside of his ultimate) is entirely dependent on hitting the target with his bow. Therefore, players who have poor aim, or have no time to practice their aim and make it better, should steer clear of playing Hanzo at all costs. You will be inefficient, and your team will hate you for it. However, if you can master Storm Bow and all its quirks, you will undoubtedly carry your team. High risk, high reward, such is the life of a master marksman.
Positioning with Hanzo
Typically on defense Hanzo wants to hold the same position as a McCree or Soldier: 76 would. Hanzo wants to match their positioning because Storm Bow shots are easiest to hit when Hanzo is on high ground and at a mid-range distance from enemies, just like McCree and Soldier:76. However, there are times when Hanzo can use his Wall Climb to take a more aggressive defensive approach. Hanzo can use Wall Climb to scale a wall and shoot at the enemy backline from an advantaged position. We see this most often on choke points like Hanamura's gate before point A, and Volskaya Industries before point A.
On attack, Hanzo has a number of options when it comes to positioning. In regards to team formations, Hanzo should sit in the middle of the pack, ready to defend ally healers from flankers, and in position to take down the enemy backline if they show themselves. If a player really trusts in his or her capabilities as Hanzo, he or she can utilize offensive high ground positions to take on enemy hitscan dps heroes like McCree or Soldier:76, or enemy projectile dps heroes like Pharah or Junkrat. Just remember, if you are going to split from your team, you must be confident in your aim! A main point to remember, Hanzo should not sit on high ground when their is an enemy Widowmaker. Widowmaker makes quick work of Hanzo when he is out in the open, and therefore, Hanzo should stick with his team or try to situate himself in awkward positions to dodge Widowmaker's sights.
Focus Fire with Hanzo
Despite their similar positioning, Hanzo's targets are different from the ones of hitscan dps. Soldier and Cowboy deal enough sustained damage to put a dent in enemy barriers, and to focus fire enemy tanks, but are typically unable to focus fire enemy healers and other backline enemies if they are grouped together since they need to land a number of shots. However, all Hanzo needs is one perfect heashot to kill anything other than a tank (or Bastion and Brigitte, because of their armor). Therefore, Hanzo should be trying to score instant kill headshots from high ground while his team skirmishes below. Side note: If a player is confident that no enemies will attack anytime soon, he or she can use Hanzo's Storm Arrows to help break enemy barriers.
Offensive Combos with Hanzo
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.
- Fire Storm Bow until threatened.
- Use Storm Arrows to deal rapid-fire dps.
- Use Lunge at any point in the fight to dodge an enemy ability or give them pause for an easy shot.
This combo is practically all combos for Hanzo, as there is not much he can do to change things up. Hanzo should always use Storm Bow at mid-range if the enemy is at full health, as his channeled arrows deal the most damage. If the enemy is weakened by an ally, or if Hanzo strikes an enemy with Storm Bow, Hanzo should follow up the damage with Storm Arrows to secure the kill. However, if a full-health enemy tries to use a gap closer to get near Hanzo and deal damage, the player should automatically resort to Storm Arrows to fend off the assailant. Additionally, Storm Arrows should be used to break enemy barriers and deal damage to enemy tanks. If at any point in a fight Hanzo feels threatened, or if he knows an enemy is going to attempt to land an ability, he should use Lunge to get out of the way.
Hanzo's Sonic Arrow
There are 3 situations where using Sonic Arrow is beneficial:
- While on defense, shooting at choke points gives your team an idea of what the attacking team is doing, and allows you to prefire Storm Bow as enemies come around corners.
- Using it to reveal an enemy flanker who is trying to circumvent your frontline and attack your backline.
- Using it in a duel when an assailant is around a corner or in a room with two possible exits.
Hanzo's Ultimate Usage
As with many ultimate abilities, the ideal usage is to coordinate with your team, allowing you to score a perfect ultimate. 6 enemies caught in Zarya's Graviton Surge or Reinhardt's Earthshatter make a perfect (not to mention easy) target for Dragonstrike.
However, such situations are rare and difficult to coordinate (especially if you do not have a microphone). Therefore, you will have to look for more modest opportunities for Dragonstrike when using it on a regular basis.
When using Dragonstrike, realizing enemies will try to run away from your pet dragons is part of planning your attack. As mentioned above, incapacitated enemies make for easy prey, but there are other scenarios where Dragonstrike can be used efficiently. For instance, if enemies are advancing through a narrow corridor or choke point, Dragonstrike may be unavoidable for some of the enemy team depending on where you place it. Abilities from allies, such as Mei's Ice Wall, can trap enemies and make it difficult for them to maneuver away from your ult. Another example of small corridors is the transition rooms between the spawn and the play area. If you are fighting defenders who are respwaning (normally, the end of Payload paths is right next to the defender's spawn room), you can use Dragonstrike to damage them (or suppress them) as your team captures the objective.
Another way to setup Dragonstrike is to use Sonic Arrow to discover where the enemy team is located, and to use Dragonstrike to keep the enemy team from coming out of the room while trying to secure kills. The sudden appearance of the dragons will take enemies by surprise, forcing them to scramble while your team attacks during the chaos.
Lastly, Dragonstrike can be use to force your opponents off of the objective. Whether on attack or defense, Hanzo can use Dragonstrike to effectively zone enemies from touching the payload or point. The length of Dragonstrike can buy his team the time they need to secure the objective.
As you can see, Dragonstrike is a suitable ability for a variety of in-game scenarios. Hanzo can use Dragonstrike to secure kills or secure objectives for his team. As stated, using Dragonstrike efficiently takes wit and a keen anticipation of enemy movements, but once Hanzo releases his arrow, there is no turning back. Therefore, Hanzo players should realize that firing off Dragonstrike at inopportune times is equitable with throwing away an ultimate, so they should practice patience when trying to use Dragonstrike efficiently. Its better to hold onto Dragonstrike for a minute and use it efficiently when compared to haphazardly letting it go immediately after hitting full ultimate charge.
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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