Overwatch’s Genji and Hanamura are coming to Heroes of the Storm

A hero and a battleground

After the release of two other non-Warcraft heroes, we’re getting yet another one with Overwatch‘s Genji — the fourth Overwatch character to hit Heroes of the Storm after Tracer, Zarya, and Lucio.

I had a chance to test him out, and I think both Overwatch and Heroes players alike are going to be pretty happy. Especially when they go at it on the new Hanamura map.

My first experience with Genji was actually on the receiving end (followed by many other first-hand tests), having played agaist HorsePants, one of the best solo Heroes players in the scene. Genji doesn’t dish out a lot of burst damage at first, but he’s a high skill cap character that can be devastating in the right hands. For starters his trait (read: an extra ability) lets him leap on a cooldown, which can be used to traverse over terrain, chase, or escape — you can also spec into an extra charge.

Just like his Overwatch counterpart he has access to a shuriken throw (Q), reflect (W), and a dash (E), the latter of which must be used at its full distance. When combined with his trait Genji can quickly get in, do some damage, and get out. He’s insanely good at chasing groups too, as his E refreshes cooldown if you kill an enemy hero. Theoretically you can use two gap closers, kill someone, close the gap again, and by then you’ll have your trait to push further or escape. He’s slippery as hell and his default attack is ranged.

Then there’s his ultimates — one mirrors the one from Overwatch, letting Genji use his sword for a limited time with a series of small conal thrusts, and the other, as described by the game’s producer, imitates “your favorite anime,” and slices down in a “X” pattern after a short delay. He’s stylish as hell all told, and his deflection ability is going to piss off some auto-attackers for sure. I need more time with him but he’s fast and very fun, and I can’t see Blizzard nerfing his kit so badly (if he even needs it) as to ruin the fantasy of playing Genji in Heroes of the Storm.

In other news, Hanamura is coming to Heroes as a battleground — as the first Overwatch level, in fact. It’s a two lane map that involves payloads, but instead of one to fight over there can be multiple objectives for each side. Now players have to figure out if it’s worth pushing theirs (it is if you’re ahead) or stopping your foe’s payload. It’s going to be really hard for unorganized groups to figure out, as you need to know if you’re outnumbered at any given payload at any given time — communication is going to be key.

Each structure you destroy adds one point of damage to a payload, and delivering each load will fire off a cannon shot just like Towers of Doom — so once again you can’t directly damage the core. The camps are also vastly different, including the boss that can gorge (read: eat) one ally at a time. They also drop power-ups (sentries, area-of-effect heals, and turrets) instead of actually heading out in the battlefield as creeps.

As for me, sitting right next to a bunch of players during a test session, I had a blast. It was easy to talk and coordinate via voice and pings where each teammate potentially needed to go, and although the gambit of putting payloads into a MOBA was risky, it paid off. Great new heroes are always a plus, but having to learn new map dynamics with every character is even more fun. Expect all of this to launch with Heroes 2.0 later this month, and the 2.0 beta today.

If you’re curious, here’s a look at Genji’s abilities and talents:


  • Cyber Agility (D)
    • Activate to jump to target area 

Basic Abilities

  • Shuriken (Q)
    • Throw 3 Shuriken in a spread pattern dealing each damaging the first enemy it hits.
    • Stores up to 3 charges. Shuriken’s cooldown replenishes all charges at the same time.  
    • Deflect (W)
      • Become Protected for 1.25 seconds. Any damage blocked during this period causes Genji to throw a Kunai toward the nearest enemy, prioritizing Heroes and dealing damage.
      • Swift Strike (E)
        • Dash forward, dealing damage to all enemies in a line. Enemy Heroes who die within 2 seconds after being hit by Swift Strike cause the cooldown and Mana cost to be refunded.

Heroic Abilities

  • Dragonblade (R)
    • Unleash the Dragonblade for 8 seconds. While active, Dragonblade can be reactivated to lunge forward and slash in a huge arc. If any enemy Heroes are killed within 2 seconds after being hit by Dragonblade, Swift Strike’s cooldown is reset.
  • X-Strike (R)
    • Perform 2 perpendicular slashes that deal damage and ignite after 1.25 seconds, dealing additional damage to enemies in their area of effect.


Hero Level (Tier)



1 (1)

[E] Swift as the Wind

Hitting an enemy Hero with Swift Strike increases
Genji’s Movement Speed by 30% for 3 seconds.

1 (1)

[D] Agile Dismount

While mounted, the range of Cyber Agility is increased by 70%
and its cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds.

1 (1)

[D] Pathfinder

Jumping over terrain with Cyber Agility increases Genji’s Movement Speed by 25% for 6 seconds.

4 (2)

[Q] Shuriken Mastery

Quest: Hit enemy Heroes with Shuriken. Reward: After hitting 35 Heroes,
Shuriken damage is increased by 30. 
Reward: After hitting 75 Heroes, Cyber Ability now refunds 2 charges of Shuriken.

4 (2)

[Active] Dragon Claw

After Genji blocks 432 damage with Deflect, he may activate
Dragon Claw to deal 187 damage to all nearby enemies.

4 (2)

[E] Strike at the Heart

Enemies hit by the end of Swift Strike take an additional 144 damage over 2 seconds.

7 (3)

[W] Augmented Guard

When Deflect ends, Genji gains a Shield equal to 50% of the damage blocked for 4 seconds.

7 (3)

[W] Perfect Defense

Deflected damage reduces the cooldown of Deflect by 2 seconds, up to a maximum of 10 seconds.

7 (3)

[Passive] Dodge

Genji dodges 1 Heroic Basic Attack every 5 seconds. Stores up to 3 charges.

7 (3)

[D] Cyber Shield

Using Cyber Agility grants 50 Spell Armor for 2 seconds.

10 (4)

[R1] Dragonblade

Unleash the Dragonblade

10 (4)

[R2] X-Strike

Deal heavy damage in a cross shape

13 (5)

[Q] Shingan

Hitting an enemy with all 3 Shuriken deals 120 bonus damage.

13 (5)

[E] Flow Like Water

Each enemy Hero hit with Swift Strike reduces its cooldown by 3 seconds.

13 (5)

[D] Double Jump

Cyber Agility stores 2 charges but its cooldown is increased by 5 seconds.

16 (6)

[W] Reflect

Deflect also deals an additional 33% of the damage blocked.

16 (6)

[E] Final Cut

After 1 second, Swift Strike deals an additional 130 damage to all enemies in the area.

16 (6)

[E] Steady Blade

Each enemy Hero hit by Swift Strike increases the damage of the next
Swift Strike by 20%. This bonus stacks up to 3 times.

20 (7)

[R1] The Dragon Becomes Me

Each time Dragonblade hits an enemy Hero, the duration of
Dragonblade is increased by 1 second.

20 (7)

[R2] Living Weapon

Each enemy Hero hit by X-Strike reduces its cooldown by 12 seconds.

20 (7)

[Q] Nanosteel Shuriken

Shuriken now pierce all enemies hit.

20 (7)

[W] Zanshin

Quest: Block 6500 damage with Deflect, including damage blocked so far. 
: Deflect hits all nearby enemy Heroes.

About The Author
Chris Carter
EIC, Reviews Director - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he's staff!
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