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Overwatch Comprehensive Genji Hero Guide

Here's an in-depth strategy guide for Genji in Overwatch. It will give you some basic to advance knowledge about this hero and also, it will give you some basic strategies on how to play Genji and how he match-up against other heroes.


To start with, let's begin with a brief introduction about Genji.

Who is Genji?

If you are looking for an agile, swift and cunning hero in Overwatch, then Genji is your guy. He's the definition of a ninja in the game. He has versatile offensive abilities, and he's able to move around the map with ease. Like an assassin, Genji loves to caught his opponents off guard with his attacks. The best way to avoid him is to not go alone!

In addition, if you want a hero who can harass the enemy from all angles and finishing off those who are low in health, then Genji is your man. Well, this is only my opinion but so far, I can say that Genji has one of the most, if not, has highest skill ceilings to master. His shuriken ability is hard to master but if you manage to get the hang of it, then you'll overkill your enemy in no time.

Name:  Genji Shimada
Difficulty:  Hard
Role:  Offense
Age:  35
Location:  Shambali Monastery, Nepal
Occupation:  Adventurer
Release Date:  11-10-2015

Hitpoints: 200

What are Genji's ability?

Cyber-Agility- Genji's passive ability are: He can climb walls and do a double jump in the air.

In the game, every map has a certain location where Genji can utilize this ability. I will cover all these spots later on.



Triple jump
Genji can do a triple jump by first double jumping onto a wall or object, then as long as he does at least some climbing, he can then do another jump in the air after that.  This is a very important tactic all Genji players should get used to.

Shuriken (main attacking weapon): Genji looses three deadly throwing stars in quick succession. Alternatively, he can throw three shuriken in a wider spread.

Ammo:  24
Damage:  84 (28 per star)
Headshot?:  YES
Headshot:  168 (56 per star)
Vs Armor:  72 (23 per star)
Vs Armor Headshot:  156 (51 per star)
Burst fire rate:  3 per 0.97 seconds
Fan fire rate:  3 per 0.73 seconds
Reload:  1.5 seconds
Default Hotkey:  LM / RM

It's important to know that Genji's shurikens do NOT fly in an ark, it goes straight to where you fired at in a straight line.  There is also a small travel time for when the shurikens reach their destination.  Because of the travel time, his weapon can be difficult to aim at targets from a long range, but it can help to pick off enemies in a distance, especially stationary ones like Bastion Sentries and Turrets.  Out of all the basic attacking weapons in the game, Genji's shurikens will require the most precise aiming to master properly.

There is two different attacks for the Shurikens, Genji can throw three of them in a straight line every 0.97 seconds, or throw 3 fanned out in a horizontal fashion every 0.73 seconds.  The horizontal fan spread can be fired more rapidly and is useful for closer up enemies, bigger targets, or for multiple enemies.  The straight line throw is more useful for longer range single enemies.

Deflect (ability with cooldown): With lightning-quick swipes of his sword, Genji reflects an oncoming projectile and sends it rebounding towards his opponent.

Duration:  2 seconds
Cooldown:  8 seconds
Headshot?:  YES (deflected projectiles can headshot)
Default Hotkey:  Shift

Genji's Deflect is a very powerful ability, it can deflect bullets and projectiles right back at the enemy, potentially taking them out very quickly with their own bullets.  Deflect can be used to shield attacks away from Genji for basic protection as he parkours around the map to reach his flanking destinations.  Deflect only works if you see the projectiles in view as they are coming at you, it will not work for projectiles coming at you from behind.

It's important to know that deflected shots will go in the direction of Genji's crosshair, so you will need to aim the deflected shots back at another enemy to take full advantage of Deflect.  This means you should start getting into the habit of immediately keeping your crosshair on an enemy every time you use Deflect.  Deflected bullets can also headshot enemies, so keeping your crosshair on enemies heads is ideal.

Bullets or projectiles that have travel time (such as Pharah's rockets), will be Deflected back with the same travel time.  This means you must aim the Deflection as if you are firing the weapon that you are deflecting.  You should also study up on which weapons do headshots so you know whether or not to aim back at the head with the Deflection.

Deflect Does Not Work On

Deflect doesn't work on any channeled weapons, including:
  • Symmetra's Photon Projector beam
  • Winston's Tesla Cannon
  • Zarya's short range beam
  • Mei's frost stream
  • Symmetra's Sentry Turrets
Also melee attacks cannot be deflected but they will be blocked by deflect.

Deflect is very powerful against these enemy ultimates:
  • McCree's Deadeye
  • Pharah's Barrage
  • Reaper's Deathblossom
  • Soldier 76's Tactical Visor
  • Bastion's Tank Form
  • Mei's Blizzard - (a deflected Blizzard drone will result in a Blizzard for Genji's team)
  • Zarya's Graviton Surge - (a deflected Gravity bomb projectile will result in a Graviton Surge for Genji's team).  NOTE:  A Graviton Bomb will act just like one of Zarya's charged particle shots except it will be black in color instead of red.
  • Molten Core - (turrets will still attack a Deflect and take damage from the deflections, but a level 3 turret can still take Genji out easily).  You are usually better off waiting until Molten Core is over so it will turn back into a level 2 turret, which is much easier to deal with.
Swift Strike (ability with cooldown): Genji darts forward, slicing the air with his katana and damaging through foes in his path.  If Genji eliminates a target with this ability, he can instantly use it again.

Damage:  50
Vs Armor:  45
Headshot:  N/A
Cooldown:  8 seconds
Headshot?:  no
Default Hotkey:  E

Swift Strike has multiple uses. Not only can Genji use Swift Strike for straight damage, but he can also use it for travel purposes.  It can be used to leap long distances you normally couldn't reach otherwise.  It can be used similar to one of Tracer's blinks, but within any direction, even up and down.  It can be used to escape out of combat, confuse the enemy, and break through defenses and shields.

Be careful when looking down while on a flat surface before using Swift Strike, as it won't go the full intended distance.

Genji's Deadly Combos

Genji has different combos he can do depending on how he is positioned from his enemies.  You should practice these combos so you can become very fluent with them.  First off it's important to know that a Swift Strike will animation cancel just about everything Genji can do, including:  melee attacks, Shurikens, and Deflect.

Genji's Close Range Combo
Genji has a devastating combo he can do close up to his enemies that is very important to learn, here is the formula:  Fan Shuriken, Melee then Swift Strike (all in one consecutive motion).  You do this in such a way where you fire the Shuriken, then animation cancel it with a Melee strike, then animation cancel the Melee with a Swift Strike to finish it off.  This combo does up to 164 damage almost instantly.  This is useful for nearly any close up situation.  If you are slightly further away as you approach the target, you can start with a normal straight Shuriken throw followed by the melee and quick Swift Strike.

Genji's Long Range Combo
The general thing to do after Swift Striking to an enemy is to use a Shuriken throw followed by a quick melee attack at the target.  Do the melee attack to animation cancel the shuriken throw so they can be done almost at the exact same time.  This combo also does up to 164 damage, but the Swift Strike is at the beginning instead of the end of the combo.

Instant Swift Strike Reuse
If Genji makes an elimination after using Swift Strike, it will reset the cooldown for it allowing Genji to use Swift Strike again immediately.  This cooldown reset only works if you make an elimination on a hero, not something that was constructed (such as a turret or trap).  Also, if Genji contributed to an elimination that an ally did the final blow on, Swift Strike will be reset at that specific time.

Ultimate Dragonblade (Ultimate ability): Genji brandishes his katana for a brief period of time. Until he sheathes his sword, Genji can deliver killing strikes to any targets within his reach.

Duration:  8 seconds
Rate of slashing:  2 per 1.83 seconds
Max number of slashes:  9
Damage:  120 per slash
Headshot?:  no
Default Hotkey:  Q

While using Dragonstrike, Genji can still use his normal abilities: Swift Strike and Deflect, but cannot throw shurikens.  Genji also moves a bit faster while Dragonstrike is on.  When Dragonblade is activated it will instantly make Swift Strike available even if it was on a cooldown.  Be careful while using Genji's ultimate with low health, as he is still very vulnerable while using it.

Genji's Strength and Weaknesses Vs Other Heroes

Genji is a strong counter against:

Widowmaker:  Genji is one of the best counters to a Widomaker.  Genji's Parkour abilities allow him to sneak around the map and get to the Widowmaker to kill her.  Genji can use Deflect to prevent a Widowmaker from even trying to shoot Genji while he approaches her.  If a Widowmaker hits a Genji's deflect, that is pretty much an instant Widowmaker kill as long as she is not strafing around to avoid the deflection or your crosshair is not on her to return the bullets to her directly.

Watch out for Widowmaker's Venom Mines as she will usually place them in areas to hurt offensive flankers such as Genji.  You can destroy the mines by shooting at them.

Bastion:  From long range, Shurikens do well against damaging a Bastion Sentry, since it will be easy to aim at a stationary target.  If he spots you, just move somewhere else and keep attacking.
Genji's mobile abilities are good enough to get behind a Bastion to flank him.  You can use wall climb, Swift Strike and Deflect to get close to a Bastion Sentry.  A properly executed Swift Strike can be devastating to a Bastion Sentry, as it will be hard for Bastion to find out where you are exactly after swift striking.  Bastion will need to turn around and start firing at you, which would be a good time to use a Deflect against him.  At this point you can then turn on Dragonblade if you need to kill anyone else in the area.

I want to stress again how important Deflect is against a Bastion Sentry.  You can easily kill Bastion Sentries by using Deflect on his bullets to return it right back to him to quickly take him out.
Thanks to Genji's wall climb and Swift Strikes, he is also a good counter for an elevated Bastion due to Mei's Ice Wall boost.

Against Bastion's ultimate Tank Form, Deflect works great at it.  Simply use Deflect on one of his cannon balls, aim it right back it him to kill him instantly.

Mercy:  Mercy is the heart of the enemies army and she is usually hiding out of the line of the enemy's sight.  Genji can parkour around the map in places where the enemy may not expect it, allowing you to kill her quickly.


Hanzo:  Brother Vs brother, who wins?  I think overall it's a close matchup, but Genji might have the upper hand with his Deflect ability.  Genji would need to time Deflect very precisely though which can be a bit difficult.  Genji can Delfect Hanzo's Sonic Arrow and Scatter Arrows making them a Sonic Arrow or Scatter Arrow for Genji's team.  Genji can also Deflect the initial arrow from Hanzo's ultimate Dragonstrike, sending it back at Hanzo and turning it into a Dragonstrike for Genji's team. But Genji cannot Deflect the actual Dragon once deployed.

Although one good shot of Hanzo's scatter arrows and it's GG for Hanzo.  As Genji, you can kind of avoid Scatter Arrows by continuously double jumping when around Hanzo, as it will make it harder for him to aim Scatter Arrows at the ground in front of you.

Genji's ultimate Dragonblade seems to be more useful than Hanzo's ultimate Dragonstrike when fighting 1vs1.

Genji is weak against:

Pharah:  Pharah is usually out of Genji's reach with her jetpack ability.  Genji generally has a hard time aiming shurikens at the flying Pharah.  Deflecting Pharah's rockets can be difficult since she is always moving in the air and will easily avoid the deflections.  Genji can attempt to swift strike her as she gets lower to the ground to deal some damage however.

Genji can avoid Pharah's ultimate Barrage with a Deflect along with running behind a wall to avoid the rest of it.  Unfortunately, Pharah can avoid Genji's Dragonblade by simply launching into the air to avoid it.

Symmetra:  Genji is the type of hero that wonders around the map trying to pick off stray enemies.  Because of this, Symmetra's Sentry Turret traps can be especially lethal to Genji.  Symmetra can put her traps in rooms or hallways around the map to deal a lot of damage to a wondering Genji.  Genji also has a harder time hitting the sentry turrets with his shurikens (as opposed to other heroes). Remember you can always use a Swift Strike to escape out of rooms with deadly turret nests if you need to.

Symmetra's short range beam weapon works great against a Genji since you cannot deflect it. However you can deflect Symmetra's deadly photon orbs.

Genji's roles and abilities enables him to do a decent job at finding and taking out Symmetra's Teleporter (ultimate) as long as you can make it past her turret nests. Dragonblade happens to be very deadly against Symmetra as long as you can make it up close to her.  She has poor mobility and won't be able to escape it.

Mei:  Genji is relatively weak against Mei because she can use her freeze gun on Genji and it cannot be deflected. Mei can use her Icewall to avoid Genji's attacks and Cryo-Freeze herself after Genji Swift Strikes her.  Even though Genji can jump/climb over her icewall, the icewall still slows a Genji down quite a bit, thus giving Mei enough time to escape.  If Genji uses his ultimate Dragonblade, Mei can simply use Cryo-Freeze to protect herself from it.  1vs1, Genji is better off staying a distance from Mei and using Shrukens to deal damage.

Remember that Genji can use a Deflect on Mei's Blizzard drone to send it back towards Mei to act as a Blizzard for Genji's team.

Tracer:  Fighting a Tracer as Genji can be quite annoying.  It can be difficult to throw shurikens or swift strikes at a Tracer since she moves around so fast.

Tracer's Pulse Bomb / Recall combo can be deadly to Genji.  Normally you can Swift Strike away from a Pulse Bomb, but if Tracer is able to throw the bomb on Genji so it sticks, there is nothing Genji can do to escape it.  Genji can use Deflect on Pulse Bombs to repel them away from him.
Tracer can avoid Dragonblade by simply blinking away from it.

Zarya:  Zarya's powerful Particle Cannon Beam cannot be deflected, but her alternate fire (charged shots) can be deflected.  Zarya's barriers only make it harder to damage her.  As Genji, you are better off keeping a distance from Zarya and throw shurikens at her, you can then get close to her once she gets low on health.

If you happen to get caught in Zarya's ultimate (Graviton Surge) you can simply escape out of it with a Swift Strike.

Dragonblade happens to be deadly against Zarya as her poor mobility makes it so she cannot run away from you while it's active.  You will just need to watch out for her using a Particle Barrier.  I would only use Dragonblade against her once her Particle Barrier runs out.

Lucio:  Lucio is hard to hit with shurikens because of how fast he moves around with his skates, especially when he has his speed aura on.  Plus the fact that Lucio can provide increase movement for his whole team can make throwing shurikens at every enemy extremely difficult.  Lucio can also heal up Shuriken damage with his heal aura.

Even though Lucio's sonic projectiles can be deflected, it's not very effective against Lucio because of how slow the projectiles move and how fast Lucio can move to avoid it.

Swift Strikes can be effective against Lucio, you just need to watch out for getting knocked back with Lucio's Soundwave, which is not much of a problem for Swift Strike.

Lucio and his team can easily avoid Genji's Dragonblade with a quick drop the beat (Lucio's Sound Barrier ultimate).  If his Sound Barrier is not available to him, he can use his speed aura with Amp It Up to allow him and his team to run away from it quickly.  Lucio can also use Soundwave to knock back Dragonblade.

Winston:  Winston's weapon cannot be deflected and his globe shields provide him protection against Genji's shurikens.  Genji's swift strikes are weak due to Winston's massive hitpoints and automatic aiming with his Tesla Cannon.  It's hard to run away from a Winston since he can just leap at you.

Your best bet against Winston is to use your Dragonblade ultimate on him, as it will deal more DPS than he can do back to you.

D.va:  Tanks are hard for Genji to deal with but with D.va it's a bit easier than a Winston.  The main problem with D.va is her boosting ability.  Running away from a D.va is difficult due to D.va's fast flying ability.  Her Boosters also enable her to run away from Genji saving herself from Swift Strikes and Dragonblade.

Deflect is also less effective on D.va because she can easily let go of the trigger to stop her stream of bullets when deflect gets turned on, this ensures much less bullets will get deflected dealing less reflected damage.

As Genji, you are better off keeping your distance from D.va while throwing Shurikens at her, up close her Fusion Cannons are too powerful, and combined with her Boosters makes her a deadly hero to go up against for Genji.

Torbjorn:  Even though Genji has great mobility and can get up close to Torbjorn's turret, he can still have a rough time with Torbjorn and his turret due to the massive amount of damage and fire power he will have to deal with.

Genji does have some methods of dealing with Torbjorn's turret.  A Turret will still attack Genji if he uses deflect, and the deflected bullets can take out the turret as well.  Genji can also throw shurikens at the turret from a distance to do some decent damage to it.  Genji's Swift Strike does NOT reset the cooldown if he eliminates a turret with Swift Strike.

Genji can go all out with Swift Strikes and Shurikens, but in the end it can be a tough fight for Genji.  If Genji uses his ultimate Dragonblade it can be countered with Torbjorn's Molten Core.

Genji is neutral with:

McCree:  A good McCree player can be devastating to Genji.  Most new McCree players will try to throw their Flashbangs directly at Genji.  The issue with this is that Genji can Deflect Flashbangs thrown right at him.  But McCree can actually throw a Flashbang either into the ground in front of Genji or up in the air above Genji to avoid his Deflects and successfully get the Flashbang stun in.

McCree is extremely deadly 1vs1 for just about every hero in Overwatch.  As Genji, be very cautious when facing a McCree, consider backing away from him to avoid his Flashbangs or quickly do a Swift Strike combo at him immediately when you make contact with him.  Keep your distance from him if you can and remember McCree has poor vertical mobility, so getting up high can be effective against him.

When McCree uses his ultimate Deadeye, Genji can use Deflect against it to easily take him out if he fires at you.  If Deflect is not ready, then try to Swift Strike out of his line of sight quickly.

Reaper:  Going up against a Reaper is somewhat of a fair fight.  Both heroes have ways to escape out of combat.  As Genji, you will want to try to stay a distance from Reaper, as his shotguns are very deadly up close.  You can use Genji's climb ability to help you achieve that.

Genji's Deflect works great against Reaper.  If Reaper fires at you with Deflect on, you will be able to instantly transfer the damage right back to him, thanks to the instant hitscan nature of Reaper's shotguns.  This makes using Reaper's ultimate Deathblossom around Genji devastating to Reaper.  If you see a Reaper using Deathblossom, you can Swift Strike right up to him and then activate Deflect and it will usually kill Reaper very fast.

Be careful using Dragonblade around Reaper as Genji is still very vulnerable to Reaper's deadly shotguns.  Remember you can still use Deflect while Dragonblade is active and this would be an important time to use it while using Dragonblade.

Soldier 76:  Like Reaper, getting close to a Soldier 76 can be deadly as his weapon is strong and he can heal himself along with his allies with Biotic Fields he can put down.
Deflect is very effective against Soldier 76, especially when he uses his ultimate Tactical Visor.  Deflect has a chance to take him out if enough bullets get repelled back at him.

Roadhog:  Even though all tanks give Genji a hard time, Roadhog is one of the easier tanks to deal with.  Genji can deflect Roadhog's shotgun and Chain Hook attempts, but you still have to watch out for getting chained in.  Stay a distance while strafing around and lobbing shurikens at Roadhog's head and you'll be fine.

If you get chained in, immediately use Deflect to block any shots right back at Roadhog while backing up to escape.  You can also Swift Strike through Roadhog to get away from him, but be careful where you will Swift Strike to, you may be better off just using Deflect and Swift Striking back to safety.

Dragonblade happens to be somewhat effective against Roadhog.  It will take 5 swipes from Dragonblade to take out a Roadhog from full HP.  Roadhog's Chain Hook will NOT cancel Dragonblade.  Although, Roadhog can use his ultimate Whole Hog to knock you away from him and his team while Dragonblade is active.

Zenyatta:  Zenyatta should be a prime target for you to flank as he is a strong but squishy support hero with poor mobility.  Zenyatta's Discord Orb is what makes going 1on1 with him somewhat difficult.  Discord Orb is very deadly to anyone who has it and when put on Genji it will make things a lot tougher for you.  Deflect will not prevent Zenyatta from throwing the Discord Orb on you, but Deflect can be used to block additional damage while the Discord Orb is on you.  You can also use a Swift Strike to quickly get behind a wall to remove it.  If you are out in the open, then try your best to focus fire on Zenyatta and kill him first.

All of Genji's attacks work great against Zenyatta and taking him out shouldn't be to much of a hassle for you.  Watch out if Zenyatta uses his ultimate Transcendence, you are usually better off staying away from in until it is over.

Reinhardt:  Genji has great mobility and is able to get high up and away from Reinhardt and most of his abilities, from there he can pick at Reinhardt with his shurikens.  Reinhardt can block shurikens with with his shield most of the time, however Genji may be able to get all the way behind his team and harass Reinhardt from behind, which can be difficult to counter as Reinhardt as he will depend on his team to take out the wondering Genji as there is not much he can do about it except fling a Fire Strike at Genji, which can also be repelled by Deflect.

Up close battles are dangerous between both of the heroes, Swift Strikes can do an ample amount of damage (even through shields) and Genji can then use Dragonblade up close, but Reinhardt can counter that with an Earthshatter followed by a Charge or Fire Strike.  Keep in mind that Deflect will block Reinhardt's deadly melee attacks.

A double jump in the air can sometimes avoid Reinhardt's Earth Shatter ultimate (but not always), so keep jumping when you get near to him to avoid sudden Earth Shatters.

Genji's Dragonblade can be used through Reinhardt's shield, making it a bit more useful against him.  A Dragonblade can deal damage to both Reinhardt and his shield with one swipe.

Junkrat:  Close match up.  Junkrat will try to stay around walls/corners while lobbing grenades and hiding traps/mines for the approaching Genji.  Genji can deflect Junkrat's frag grenades and Concussive Mines, but not his Traps.



Both heroes have good mobility, Junkrat can Mine jump away from Genji's Dragonblade and Genji can Swift Strike or climb away from Junkrat's ultimate Rip-Tire.

Be careful when killing Junkrat up close, as his Total Mayhem death bombs can do a lot of damage. Genji can actually Deflect these bombs if you catch it in time.

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