All Hanzo Mains rejoice, as another Overwatch hero enters the Nexus and this time it is no one other than the older brother of the deadly ninja Genji, Hanzo Shimada. A great hero requires a great player to review, so we asked Dignitas POILK, considered by many to be the MVP of the recent Gold Club World Championship, where Dignitas finished second, for his first impressions on the famous archer.
Vilhelm "POILK" Flennmark
Ranged carry for Team Dignitas, second place finisher at GCWC 2017
Twitter, Twitch Stream, Team Website
Hanzo is a ranged Assassin who relies on his long ranged poke to deal damage. His kit, similar to the one in Overwatch, feels nice and compact with one exception. "His trait has felt very bad to use so far," POILK says. "There are not many situations where I have felt like wow what a great escape tool or wow what a great chase tool. The cooldown is fairly long, when Genji has a jump he can use over terrain and over nothing on a short cooldown. Another issue with the trait is only being able to use it over walls, so if you get caught in open terrain, you are pretty much dead."
So many options to choose from. Or not?
Because of his lack of mobility, he relies on safe positioning near his team mates and scouting the surrounding area with his Sonic Arrow while trying to land as many skillshots as possible. Despite his Storm Bow feeling like a slightly weaker version of Chromie's Sand Blast, POILK still thinks that his go to build will be based around it. "The Q build with variations is probably my best bet. If you go with the Storm Bow build, his damage is fairly high and annoying to play against. Level 1 is probably always going to be Target Practice." However, the Dignitas player still thinks that there are still many situational talents for Hanzo to pick. "Both the Explosive and the Serrated Arrows have potential. It depends on what you are planning on taking on 7. If you need more Merc control, you go Serrated Arrows on 4 and you take the Never Outmatched on 7 as well, those two talents feel very strong (PVE dps with ricochet), you also do bosses incredibly quick with them. But if you go for Explosive Arrows the go to will most likely be the ability power (The Dragon Hungers) and it could be even worth taking the Shieldbreaker (Arrows) vs Tassadar."
Level 13 has some interesting choices as well. I am not sure which one will be the go to but they all actually seem fine so far." If you are ahead, you might want to consider Ninja Assassin to help you with chasing, if you are behind, then Mounted Archery for mounting up after a lost fight might save your life, and if you are equal, the extra movement speed from Fleet of Foot gives Hanzo a bit of extra mobility. "They all have a place and time (winning vs loosing)," POILK agrees that all of Hanzo's level 13 talents are viable. "The pierce (Piercing Arrows) is probably the go to for the Q build, the % damage (Giant Slayer) could maybe only be good with the AA or W build."
He also explains why he is not a big fan of the AA build, "The AA build seems okey after you complete it. But before that it feels very bad to play, the 0.67 attackspeed in general feels pretty bad," as well as why he doesn't like the Scatter Arrows build, "The Scatter (Arrows) damage in general is a bit lackluster, since it’s so unreliable. However, you might have to go this build on maps like Cursed and Warhead, since it will be hard to stack Q."
It's a Bird... It's a Plane... It's a Dragon's Arrow?
He doesn't hesitate even for a second about which Heroic Ability to pick. "Dragon's Arrow is just straight up the better one. It brings too much to the table. For sure the other Heroic (Dragonstrike) will see some picks but from what I have seen it feels pretty bad. It will only do damage with setup and there are probably other heroes in the game that would make a better follow-up. The Dragonstrike could be insane in chokes but a team that is smart will never fight in a choke when they see the Heroic choice." However, he already foresees a potential issue with the Arrow. "People will be afraid of using it. It's a fairly low cooldown (70seconds) and the splash is huge so I don't think you should be thinking too much over it. Just stepping a bit back behind your frontline or follow-up damage and then shooting it should be enough to get a good Arrow on a tank stepping up a bit too far."
Because the hero is still new Hanzo's role in the meta is still a bit unsure. "It's hard to say right now which sort of role he will actually fit in as. Some sort of finisher or strong burst would most likely be optimal to pair him up with, since you most likely will be looking for a lot of picks with his Heroic."
His weakness is clear from the start. His mobility and lack of crowd control (outside of his Heroic) makes him very weak versus heavy dive. But POILK sees other potential strong picks versus Hanzo. "Depending on how good the AA build is, high hp tanks and bruisers like Arthas might be really hard to deal with. Muradin might be a real pain as well." Getting dived is not the only thing Hanzo should be worried about, "His hp pool is pretty low so if you don't watch out late game, you could most likely just die to a single Chromie combo."
So what is POILK's final verdict on the hero? Is he going to be viable? Will he be a situational pick or will he hardly ever be played? "Right now it feels like he could use a bit of a buff to hp and a fix of the trait so it feels smoother to use. But I think he could be really good in HL. Having a stunlock heroic is always really good in both HL and competitive. Q quest will most likely be somewhat easy to stack in HL to get that extra damage, and you will have good pick off potential late game with your Heroic. So overall I believe that Hanzo might be really good once people get a grip on him."
List of Builds
The recommended Q build
The Scatter Arrow build
The AA build
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