Hanzo is arguably one of the most powerful heroes to play in Overwatch right now. Despite recent patches, I still see him played effectively in competitive games and league matches. Even after his recent storm arrow nerf, Hanzo still has some of the highest shield break in the game. The reduction in arrow speed didn’t take away his ability to snipe at long ranges when used by skilled players.
Hanzo is still uniquely strong against Dive with his Lunge ability, making him a solid sniper to choose. This week’s Overwatch Positioning Guide will focus on where to be when the fights break out as Hanzo.
Hanzo boasts a unique strength not found in many other heroes. Like most projectiles in Overwatch, arrows don’t suffer from damage falloff. This means that as Hanzo, you have practically infinite range on your primary fire, as long as you lead your targets correctly. This can be difficult when facing opponents with sporadic movement such as Pharah, but with practice you can reliably pressure or shoot down the airborne soldier.
More notably, Hanzo doesn’t receive any field of view changes when charging an arrow. Widowmaker suffers at close range due to her rifle’s zoom making it harder to hit close targets. This is because the amount you have to adjust your aim is amplified by the nearness of a target.
While still given a speed penalty when drawing an arrow, Hanzo’s is less than half of Widowmaker’s. In close range duels, the arrows are not as affected by their projectile state, allowing you to quickly flick to targets. Although Hanzo benefits more from ranged positions in Overwatch, winning duels at close range is far from difficult. You don’t need to worry about losing damage when you position yourself.
Shield break and peel
On top of Hanzo’s ability to dispatch both close and long range targets, he is also extremely good at breaking shields. In 1.5 seconds, Storm Arrow can deal 300 damage to any shield. This is comparable to the amount damage that Junkrat’s frag launcher can deal in the same time. If the shield is dropped during that period, those arrows could eliminate a 200 HP target. 300 damage may not seem impressive, but with 5 other people focusing a shield it can break in moments. Make sure you position yourself somewhere that can pressure the enemy’s frontline.
In our Overwatch Positioning Guide for McCree, we talked about Combat Roll and the range of Dive heroes such as Winston. Hanzo’s Lunge ability can move him up to 7.85 meters. This is enough to outrange Winston’s Tesla Cannon, unless he lands directly on top of you. It is also plenty of space to distance from D.Va or Genji.
This doesn’t mean you can play fearlessly into Dive. Once Lunge is on cooldown, you are extremely vulnerable to those heroes. If the enemy team is running Dive, make sure to save Lunge as an escape. If they aren’t, you can use Lunge to escape from higher risk off-angles and positions. It can also be used mid-air to leap gaps and parkour around the map. Moving from one high ground to another can burn enemy cooldowns.
An important thing for Hanzo to do is use Sonic Arrow often. It gives you free intel on the enemy team, and can enable your teammates with knowledge. Use it to scout the spawn doors before a match begins. Place it on corners the enemy may walk by, or flank routes that may be taken. Sonic Arrow doesn’t reduce the damage of your primary fire, so feel free to stick an enemy tank with it to see everyone around them.
Helping your team
Dumping damage into an enemy’s shield at the start of a teamfight can give your team a significant advantage. Hanzo works well with other snipers, such as Widowmaker, by making your opponents cover multiple angles to avoid being one-shot by an arrow or bullet. He can play a little riskier than other DPS heroes like McCree.
That being said, be very careful that your position doesn’t put support heroes at risk when they are trying to help you. It’s easy to get carried away and find yourself in the enemy’s backline. Lunge won’t always save you there.
Hanzo can also enable Widowmaker with his Sonic Arrow, essentially giving her ultimate on cooldown. A common fight-winning ultimate combination is Zarya’s Graviton Surge and Hanzo’s Dragonstrike. Few things can outheal the damage dealt by this combo, but make sure that the enemy doesn’t have Immortality Field up. Dragonstrike cannot damage deployables.
If you are not planning an ultimate combo, use Dragonstrike to split the enemy team. It’s easy to dodge if you aren’t in an enclosed space, so use it more as a utility opposed to getting kills.
Hanzo’s ultimate charges extremely fast; don’t be afraid to use it without an ultimate combo if your teammates are far from ready.
Remember that Hanzo’s range is directly affected by your ability to lead shots and hit distant targets. While range is an important tool to use against heroes like Winston and D.Va, you have effective close-range potential as well. Help your team out by breaking shields, and try to communicate how you will use your ultimate. A split team or a team trapped in an ultimate combo can lead to a short teamfight with relatively low risk.
Visit us next week for another Overwatch positioning guide!