Overwatch’s resident ninja, Genji is a surprisingly versatile character whose true potential in combat will require a lot of skill to unlock. At first glance, Genji’s abilities might not seem all that useful compared to some of his allies, but those who learn to play him reactively can dismantle their opponent’s strategies effectively. If you value mobility and precision, Genji is a great pick.
Written by Steven Messner and James Busby
Shuriken [LMB/RMB] – The primary fire will cause Genji to throw three shurikens in a volley toward his enemies. Each shot has a one second delay, but the accuracy of Genji’s primary fire gives him great poke for those long range engagements. Alternatively, Genji can use his secondary fire to throw all three shurikens at once in a cone in front of him. When close to an enemy, use the RMB to hit them with multiple shurikens at once.
Deflect [E] – When activated, Genji assumes a defensive stance for several seconds, during which time he cannot attack. Instead, Genji deflects incoming projectiles towards the direction he is aiming in. The deflected attacks use the same damage numbers and effects as the original, and can be a great way to swiftly turn the tables on the enemy team.
Swift Strike [LSHIFT] – Rapidly dashes forward and claws the air, damaging any enemies caught in his path. Eliminations will reset the cooldown, making Swift Strike deadly if you’re able to chain it together. Swift Strike is a great way of traveling around the map quickly, as well as giving the ninja an excellent escape.
Cyber-Agility [Space] – Genji’s passive allows him to climb up flat, vertical surfaces while next to them. He is also capable of performing a double jump while already in the air.
Dragonblade [Q] – Dragonblade is a high risk, high reward ultimate. Genji gains extremely high melee damage, but loses the ability to attack at range with his shurikens. His primary fire is replaced with a fast-swinging melee-ranged slash that hits all targets in front of him. However, Genji is still able to use Swift Strike and Cyber-Agility while Dragonblade is active.
Genji Strategy Tips
As an offensive hero, Genji is extremely squishy and needs to be played cautiously in order to use him effectively. Throwing him into the thick of combat might be tempting, but Genji is far more superior at stalking around on the edges of a fight and picking off key characters, like supports. Using his Cyber-Agility, it’s easy to get around enemy lines and attack characters from behind using Genji’s high-burst damage.
For close range encounters, you need to get used to using Overwatch’s often overlooked quick melee skill that many characters have (it’s automatically bound to the V key). Use Genji’s RMB fan of shurikens followed up by a quick melee and then Swift Strike to dash right through them. From a distance, fire his LMB, Swift Strike, RMB, and quick melee for a devastating combo most heroes won’t survive.
Genji’s Deflect ability is incredibly useful for taking the piss out of your opponent’s ultimates. It’ll take some time to perfect, but timing Deflect against McCree’s Deadeye, for example, makes it possible to kill opponents with their own ultimates. It’s even possible to Deflect Zarya‘s Graviton Surge back at her, turning it into your Graviton Surge and sucking her team into it.
Genji is weakest against enemies that don’t use projectiles like Reinhardt, but his greatest weakness is the high skill curve players will need to master in order to use him effectively. His ultimate, Dragonblade, is very dependent on having Swift Strike reset after killing opponents, otherwise he moves too slowly and will be quickly focused down by the enemy team.