Nurok's Genji Guide

June 12 2017
Become One With
the Dragon

A Short HotS Guide from Nurok


Hello there friends,

This is my first detailed guide, created together with Team Liquid. It should help you understand Genji as a hero, how to play him, and when to pick him. I might do a video tutorial in future—who knows? But for now, I hope you enjoy this guide! Have fun!

Strengths and Weaknesses

    Strengths
  • Extremely mobile, can almost act as a global hero
  • Decent burst damage if played perfectly
  • Decent 1v1 laning
  • Very strong PvE post-13
  • Fits into almost any draft
    Weaknesses
  • Mediocre waveclear
  • Vulnerable to CC
  • No self-sustain


When to Pick Genji

Genji is very good at 1v1 duels due to his mobility and sustained damage over time. As a result, he is a strong counter to global split pushing heroes like Falstad or Dehaka. Unlike other assassins, he can take much higher risks due to his mobility and even dive behind fort walls to secure kills.

He’s good on almost every map except Infernal Shrines. He doesn’t add a lot of split push power/waveclear or objective control, which are both very important on that map. If he can create pressure by using his mobility to threaten picks, he’s good, but it’s much riskier on that map. Otherwise, his kit is strong and fits on pretty much every other map. The only other one he might struggle on a bit is Tomb of the Spider Queen because his waveclear is not great.

If the enemy team has a lot of click and point lockdown like Brightwing’s Polymorph or Varian’s Taunt, Genji is much weaker and has to be very careful with his positioning. However, with the proper setup and good play, he can still shine even when he’s “hard countered”.



Genji

Genji is one of the most mobile heroes in the game, with very strong PvE in the mid to late game. A versatile hero, he can be picked up in a variety of different drafts.


Primary Abilities
Heroic Abilities
Heroic Trait
Shuriken
Throw 3 Shuriken in a spread pattern, each dealing 65 (+4% per level) damage to the first enemy hit.
Stores up to 3 charges. Stores up to 3 charges. Shuriken's cooldown replenishes all charges at the same time.
Deflect
Channel for 1.25 seconds, becoming Protected and blocking damage. Any damage blocked while channeling causes Genji to throw a Kunai toward the nearest enemy, prioritizing Heroes and dealing 55 (+4% per level) damage.
Swift Strike
Dash forward, dealing 215 (+4% per level) damage to all enemies in a line. Enemy Heroes that die within 2 seconds of being hit with Swift Strike cause the cooldown and mana cost to be refunded.
Dragon Blade
Unleash the Dragonblade for 8 seconds. While active, Dragonblade can be reactivated to lunge forward and slash in a huge arc, dealing 240 (+4% per level) damage. If enemy Heroes are killed within 2 seconds of being hit by Dragonblade, Swift Strike's cooldown is reset.
X-Strike
Perform two slashes dealing 135 (+4% per level) damage. The slashes detonate after 1.25 seconds causing an additional 270 (+4% per level) damage to enemies in their area.
Cyber Agility
Activate to jump to target area.

My Favorite Build

Swift as the Wind
Hitting an enemy Hero with Swift Strike increases Genji's Movement Speed by 30% for 3 seconds.
Shuriken Mastery
❢ Quest: Hit enemy Heroes with Shuriken.
❢ Reward: After hitting 35 Heroes, Shuriken damage is increased by 30.
❢ Reward: After hitting 75 Heroes, Cyber Ability now refunds 2 charges of Shuriken.
Dodge
Genji dodges 1 Heroic Basic Attack every 8 seconds. Stores up to 3 charges.
Dragonblade
Unleash the Dragonblade for 8 seconds. While active, Dragonblade can be reactivated to lunge forward and slash in a huge arc, dealing 240 (+4% per level) damage. If enemy Heroes are killed within 2 seconds of being hit by Dragonblade, Swift Strike's cooldown is reset.
Shingan
Hitting an enemy with all 3 Shuriken deals 120 bonus damage.
Final Cut
After 1 second, Swift Strike deals an additional 130 damage to all enemies in the area.
The Dragon Becomes Me
Each time Dragonblade hits an enemy Hero, the duration of Dragonblade is increased by 1 second.
14710131620


This is my personal favorite. I usually take Swift as the Wind at level 1, but I am still not done testing after almost 100 Genji games.

Build #2

Agile Dismount
While mounted, the range of Cyber Agility is increased by 70% and its cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds.
Shuriken Mastery
❢ Quest: Hit enemy Heroes with Shuriken.
❢ Reward: After hitting 35 Heroes, Shuriken damage is increased by 30.
❢ Reward: After hitting 75 Heroes, Cyber Ability now refunds 2 charges of Shuriken.
Dodge
Genji dodges 1 Heroic Basic Attack every 8 seconds. Stores up to 3 charges.
Dragonblade
Unleash the Dragonblade for 8 seconds. While active, Dragonblade can be reactivated to lunge forward and slash in a huge arc, dealing 240 (+4% per level) damage. If enemy Heroes are killed within 2 seconds of being hit by Dragonblade, Swift Strike's cooldown is reset.
Shingan
Hitting an enemy with all 3 Shuriken deals 120 bonus damage.
Final Cut
After 1 second, Swift Strike deals an additional 130 damage to all enemies in the area.
The Dragon Becomes Me
Each time Dragonblade hits an enemy Hero, the duration of Dragonblade is increased by 1 second.
14710131620


Dragonblade upgrade is insanely strong, so you can pretty much always go for it.

The Ping Pong

Swift as the Wind
Hitting an enemy Hero with Swift Strike increases Genji's Movement Speed by 30% for 3 seconds.
Strike At The Heart
Enemies hit by the end of Swift Strike take an additional 144 damage over 2 seconds.
Dodge
Genji dodges 1 Heroic Basic Attack every 8 seconds. Stores up to 3 charges.
X-Strike
Perform two slashes dealing 135 (+4% per level) damage. The slashes detonate after 1.25 seconds causing an additional 270 (+4% per level) damage to enemies in their area.
Flow Like Water
Each enemy Hero hit with Swift Strike reduces its cooldown by 3 seconds.
Final Cut
After 1 second, Swift Strike deals an additional 130 damage to all enemies in the area.
Sharpened Stars
Shuriken now pierce all enemies hit.
14710131620


This is the “ping pong” build. Best case scenario, you land a 4-man E for an instant reset and you just keep going. If you only hit 2-3 targets, you can use X-Strike and Deflect to survive until Swift Strike is back up. It’s a decent build, especially against teams with more than five bodies on the field (Samuro, Vikings, etc).



Reflecting on His Talents

Level 1: Swift as the Wind or Agile Dismount. I see a lot of Genji-players taking the CD reduction for Cyber Agility, but I personally don’t like it. I like the movement speed from Swift as the Wind, so I almost always go for it. Both talents are fine though, in my opinion.

Level 4: Q-Quest, always—there is no exception. The talent is too valuable to pass on it. Make sure to stack it as fast as possible. Genji doesn’t usually have mana problems, so feel free to spam your Shurikens.

Level 7: Dodge is for better trading in 1v1 duels or against heavy auto-attackers like Zeratul, Butcher, or Greymane. It makes you much tankier but loses value against rapid auto-attackers like Tychus or Tracer. Sometimes I go for Perfect Defense against the faster attackers. It also gets good value against Gul’dan’s Drain Life and the boss on Braxis. Cyber Shield might be fine in anti-mage scenarios, but it remains to be seen.

Level 10: Dragonblade provides reliable, sustained AoE damage and extra mobility on top of Genji’s already agile kit. X-Strike allows for more burst damage, but can miss and do almost nothing as well; however, it also comes with invulnerability frames which can be used to dodge crucial damage and CC from the enemy team. The choice here is situational depending on your comp and what you need in the game.



Level 13: Shingan or Flow Like Water, depends on your build. Shingan gives you a lot of burst and boosts your PvE DPS by a lot. E is a bit more situational and only really used with the “ping pong” build.

Level 16: Go for Reflect if you’re convinced that you can get good value from Deflect. If you want to go for Zanshin at level 20, this talent is also a must. Make sure to check the tooltip on Deflect to see how much damage you’ve blocked so far and plan accordingly. Otherwise, go for Final Cut, which gives you some additional damage. Both are good and it only depends if I go for Zanshin at 20 or not.

Level 20: The Dragonblade upgrade is always good. You can keep Dragonblade active for a longer period of time and deal much more damage. Sharpened Stars is also a really good talent. It gives a big damage boost against multiple targets in minion waves or stacked heroes. If you took Reflect at level 16 and have your quest finished or close to finished by 20, you can consider going Zanshin. Zanshin can do a lot of damage if Deflect is timed properly, so it’s a very strong talent.


Playing Genji

Before and during the game, you should constantly be analyzing the compositions and talents of your enemies to keep track of potential threats. If your opponent relies heavily on CC like Varian Taunt, make sure to wait it out before going in. If they rely on certain talents, make sure to keep track what they take and when.

Also make sure to constantly analyze enemy movements and punish them accordingly. Every mistake, every misstep by the enemy can be punished, especially in Hero League.

Early Game

Stack your Shuriken quest while poking enemies and occasionally roaming. Don’t show in vision too much; try to hunt your kill targets, which is pretty much anyone in the game because you’re Genji.

Mid Game

Once you have your quest stacked, run around and poke with Q while trying to bait out enemy cooldowns by acting “overly aggressive”. You can still look for 1v1 duels, but it’s less important than it is in the early game.

Late Game

Don’t go for 1v1s anymore unless you’re 100% sure a split pusher is alone and has no escapes. If you don’t take care with this, you can find yourself losing the game by allowing a global hero to escape and engage your team 5v4. Don’t be scared, you have a lot of mobility.

Play with confidence. Kill the enemies.

General Tips

In general, just attack whatever is in range. Poke the front liners and try to look for duels in or just before teamfights. All of that damage eventually adds up.

Engage with Cyber Agility or not at all. Hold on to Swift Strike until an enemy drops low, around 30% health, then you can use it to finish them and escape with the reset. A Genji player always has to calculate when a target is in kill range by accounting for cooldowns, !@#$-up chances, etc.

If the enemy team has a lot of point and click CC, play safer and look for opportunities to go in when the CC is down. Play without respect against a team without any CC. Kill them all.



Don’t don’t spam R into the enemy team when Dragonblade is active. Use your additional mobility to dodge enemy skillshots, bait out cooldowns, and turn on low targets at the last second. Play smartly.

Tips & Tricks/Miscellaneous


  • Use X-Strike to deal damage and dodge crucial enemy Heroics like Malf’s Twilight Dream or Gul’dan’s Horrify at the same time.

  • Make sure to auto attack in between Shurikens for max DPS. In some scenarios where you want to have more “burst” for a quick kill, ignore this rule and just spam Q.

  • Genji can do insane PvE damage later in the game after fully stacking Shuriken Mastery by comboing: Q + AA + Q + AA + Q + AA + D (refunds 2 Qs) and repeat. Technically, up to 7 Shurikens can be stacked for this combo (if you also use 2 right before the ability refreshes).

  • Keep track of important enemy cooldowns which counter you, and engage properly.

  • If possible, try to stack your “blocked damage” on Deflect early on by deflecting damage from towers and other heroes. Pro tip: On Towers of Doom, you can run into the Death Zone for one second and it will give you a lot of quest progress. Thank me later.

  • Lastly, and most importantly: play with the Fire-Genji skin. It will give you bonus damage on every second Shuriken



Writer: Nurok
Editor: EsportsJohn

Credit to Blizzard for Ability & Hero Art.

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