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Hanzo Guide for Aspiring Mathematicians

It's just simple geometry, why do we need a guide?

Wrong. It is more than just the math about hitting those perfect scatter arrows. Hanzo is a DPS crank with strong engage and zoning capabilities.. Although Hanzo isn't seen as often as other assassins such as Greymane, Sylvanas, and Cassia, I believe he still has a place in the meta. 

 

How to build your favorite archer

Level 1

Target Practice (Q quest): You usually take this if you are in a situation where you have either no tank or healer or both. I don't recommend this as the talent to go to as the only thing you want from this quest is the extended range and you have to hit the solo laner which usually doesn't happen until the first objective. But DON'T take this talent if the enemy team has more than 5 targets or Abathur.

Simple Geometry (W Quest): THE talent to choose if you plan on playing Hanzo in competitive or have a team whom you can trust. This is the talent I choose all the time because it is better in most scenarios, especially if you can hit your W's. Even if you can't hit your W's very well, it shows you how much you can improve at hitting them, which improves your Hanzo's potency as a whole. 

Redemption (Basic Attack): I don't usually take this. You don't get any value or as good of synergy with later talents. Also, you lose your stacks if you die, which means It is the least consistent of the level 1 talents. Plus, it doesn't speed up how fast you get scatter arrows anymore since the Never Outmatched nerf. However, if you are worried about landing your skill shots (like against a Tracer or Genji), it might be a good talent until you get used to using Scatter Arrow.

 

Level 4

Explosive Arrows: Take this when you have a lot of camp clear and need wave clear, or on these maps: Braxis Holdout, Garden of Terror (your Q procs on the obj minions), Infernal Shrines, ARAM.
Disclaimer: it is not only for those maps, but those are the maps that get the most value.

Serrated Arrows: This talent has been underrated since the Never Outmatch nerf. It is still very potent, especially on camp heavy maps (like two boss maps). Usually when you draft Hanzo, you already have semi-competent waveclear, so this talent is good for speeding up camps and clearing objectives (like BoE).
Maps:
Always: BoE, Volskaya, (Warhead if your team knows how to soak)
Most of the time: Dragon Shire, Alterac Pass, Cursed Hollow
Good to have but situational: Sky Temple

Ignore All Distractions: This talent is not macro heavy, like the other talents on this tier. However, what it does provide is an extended basic attack range which is great for maps where you fight in the minion wave. However, this does reduce a lot of your macro potential as a hero, so make sure your team has it covered for you. 

 

Level 7

The Dragon Hungers: The spell power is nice, if you go Q quest. However, I have some reservations about it. First, it takes around 16-18 seconds to stack it all the way.... if you never miss. There is the kicker; it takes a lot of time to stack it and is not as consistent as another talent in this level. Plus, if you are not setting up a fight by poking (which happens rarely in competitive), then you won't get the value that you would want.

Never Outmatched: Easily the best talent in this level. Even if I go Q quest, I take this at level 7. It synergizes well with your level 1 quest (if you go Simple Geometry), two level 16 talents, plus Dragonstrike's ult upgrade at twenty. On top of that, it provides the most damage out of the 3 talents if you can land 2-3 scatters per shot consistently. If you can't, you can always use this talent to practice. 

Sharpened Arrow Heads: Just a worse The Dragon Hungers. Sure it helps your team, but in competitive or SL, you are more than likely going to kill someone before you even get -10 armor on them. It just takes way too long to stack this talent and is just too weak for me to even look at it seriously compared to Never Outmatched.

Level 10

Dragonstrike: This ult if mainly used for zoning, rather than following up on CC; it takes too long for it to be able to follow up unless you time it before the CC hits (which is not consistent). It can be good on maps like Volskaya and Cursed Hollow where teamfights happen on a certain spot they can't leave or there are tight corners and  alot of walls so they can't escape it without losing resources. BTW, this is disgusting at level 20 if you go my Dragon Hungry build.

Dragon Arrow: One of the best ults of all ranged assassins, if not in the game. Dragon Arrow is the ult to take when in doubt, or every time. This ult is very flexible in its uses (get creative!), but I will list a few of them:
A strong initiate
A strong follow up
An escape on a dive hero
Finishing a low health target fleeing
 

Level 13

I think level 13 talents are more playstyle than what is good.

Fleet of Foot: Really good if you want to chase or strafe the opponent to oblivion. However, if you miss a Q, you lose the movement speed (so not the most consistent, but quick to stack)

Ninja Assassin: My personal favorite, as it allows for more dangerous positions (because shorter escape time) and allow me to do risky plays (like jump in, get a kill, get out). This one just allows your creativity to soar when using it.

Mounted Archery: I think this is a good talent if you need to rotate really quickly, escape a stupid fast dive hero (Tracer), or use it after a fully charged dragon arrow to quickly get back into the fight. Again, a lot of creativity with this one.

 

Level 16

The biggest power spike you will get as Hanzo

Flawless Technique: Honestly, underwhelming compared to the others. I recommend taking this against fast moving, skinny targets, like Tracer and Genji. 

Piercing Arrows: When in doubt, pierce it out. This is the most consistent of all the talents as it gets value through your level 4 talents for either waveclear or campclear, and it allows you to shred entire teams.

Giant Slayer: Really good if you are going to hit really fat, tanky heroes (AKA 3 front liners or beefy boys like Diablo/Stitches). However, it doesn't synergize well with your level 4 talents, but it does grant a surprising amount of damage especially with Never Outmatched and Simple Geometry.

Level 20

The Dragon Awakens: Go this talent if you went Dragonstrike. Being able to have a Dragonstrike every 10-15 seconds is insane. It also synergizes with Piercing Arrows.

Play of the Game: Global at 20 is always good. You can use it to engage any fight or use it as an escape.  However, if you are playing competitive, you won't really be away from the fight or the team very often to get much use out of it. Plus, in order to use that ult, you have to risk missing your ultimate in order to use it. That is wasting a 2 second ult in order to teleport to your team.It still is a good talent, but beware these risks.

Bullseye: My favorite talent because of its versatility.
Do you have problems with dive heroes? Do you feel like you need more follow up on your 2 second ult? Is your tank complaining you don't have enough CC? Do you want to reveal things in a more timely manner? Then this ult is the cure to all your problems. 

Perfect Agility: It is a.... talent. You usually only need one jump per team fight. But if you went Ninja Assassin, you already should have more jumps than you need. It is a cool concept.... just not as good as the other upgrades.
 

 

 

How should you play Hanzo:

General and Teamfights

Have you ever heard of a machine gun? Yeah, spray and pray.... almost.

You want to be able to use all of your abilities and basic attacks off cooldown whenever you can. You are a really good sustained damage dealer if you use your abilities as much as possible. Don't worry about the perfect scatter arrow, just try to land a few of the shots on your enemies. You want to be able to use the most amount of abilities as you can (as you rarely run out of mana post 7 if you went Never Outmatched). 

Try to reveal areas you think are needed: I.E. Camps, objectives, rotations, reverse psychology (not the easiest). Your reveal is really strong and allows you to control the map through vision. Practice this and look in replays to see where you could've placed them or if you can use it more often than you are. 

Fighting: You want to be weaving in autoattacks between all of your abilities. If you do this, you should be able to get a crazy amount of damage in because Hanzo has one of the beefiest autoattacks in the game and if you went Never Outmatched, it greatly increases how many scatter arrows you have in your team fights. 
 

Early Game

At the start of the game, worry about stacking, waveclear, and camps. Kills aren't that important as you are a talent hero, meaning you gain power as levels progress more than others. As you practice Hanzo more, you will find that you stack your quest more quickly. 

Tips for stacking your quests:
Q quest: Try hitting each hero once before you move on to stacking later. This helps you gather the rest of your stacks safely and with more opportunities. Plus, once you have each hero hit once, you shouldn't be going through hell to try to get your stacks for your quest complete, because, like I said before, the power from thequest comes from the extended range.

W Quest: Try to look for scatters that will give you quests, not necessarily poke damage. You gain a lot more damage once you finish this quest, so prioritize getting them as quickly as possible (with exceptions of soak and mercenaries).

Basic Attack Quest: Strafing in and out of attack range just hitting whomever you can. Just play it safe and hit the easiest target (usually the tank).

At level 4: You usually have this by the first objective. Try taking a camp if they are still up at this point as you want to make value of your improved wave/camp clear.

Level 7: If you are doing Never Outmatched, spam your W whenever you can. Refer to teamfights for a bit more in-depth about this.

Mid Game

Usually you want to try to still wave clear and take camps, but now you have some of the strongest ults in the game. By now, you should have your quest and be able to use your abilities to stack a good amount of damage. Once you get your ult, you are able to teamfight like a madman. Just spam those abilities and always look for when you can use your ult to either Engage or Zone. Usually, your ults should lead to a kill or a massive amount of damage to the enemies if used correctly.

Once you get to level 13, you usually can play a bit more aggressively since your escape and mobility has been strengthened. Again, creativity is key here to success. 

Late Game

You have the ability at level 16 to deal a large amount of damage and have some of the strongest late game builds. Just keep teamfighting and play as a normal hero... always looking for that ultimate opportunity to change the game in your favor. 

 

Tips and Tricks

1. Stay near walls. This allows you to be able to manipulate your scatter arrow to be easier to land, plus it lets you use your escape at a moment's notice.
2. Use your escape when CC might be at your doorstep (like Valeera coming at you, or a butcher charging, or a Varian screaming)
3. Trying to hit heroes with scatter arrow becomes a lot easier when they are near a wall/gate. 
4. Try to look at how the walls look near you as it opens up the different types of scatter arrows you can do.
5. All of your abilities reveal bushes competently. 
6. Try to go in and out of basic attack range (since your attack speed is slow). This allows you to basic attack theoretically the same amount as your opponent, but yours hurts more and reduces scatter arrows cooldown if you so choose. 
7. Be creative. Think of new ways which you can utilize your abilities and talents. Hanzo is a hero where you can learn something new every game.
8. Tanks are easy targets to basic attack. Use that cooldown reduction (if chosen) to shred either the tank faster, or bounce it onto the backline. Tanks can hurt their backlines by being near you.
9. Q does the same amount of damage regardless of how long you charge it. You can instantly release it on very close enemies for full damage!
10. Natural Agility is cancelled by hard and knockback CC. That means you need to anticipate abilities that might cancel your escape. 

Builds I like:

QM Build: 1112122

Storm League/Competitive Norm: 2222223

Dragon Hungry: 2121223

Keep in mind that 4 and 13 are situational picks (Along with 16 unless the Dragon is hungry),

Where should you pick Hanzo?

Hanzo, sadly, is not a hyper carry hero. If you want to hyper carry as a DPS, turn to Greymane or Cassia. No, Hanzo is stronger in the competitive scene with either his strong initiation ult or zoning ult. I highly recommend you either play Hanzo in a competitive scene or a team where you can trust your team to peel for you to get those sick scatters or follow up on your stupid powerful ult. Also, in these scenarios, you probably utilize vision and appreciate it more than in a random QM game.

Hanzo fits into most comps at a competitive level, so he is a pretty safe pick into enemies (although he loves fat enemies to make his skill shots easier... I am looking at you Stitches; lay off the Murky.
Tagged in: Hanzo, Scatter, Arrow, Dragon, Guide
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