Mada Mada! A Collection of Genji Flank Routes Part I: The Assault Maps
Sat 1st Oct 2016 - 1:37pm
Genji is a highly versatile DPS and flanker that, unlike other flankers such as Tracer or Reaper, can utilize vertical and horizontal mobility with the help of his Double Jump, Wall Climb and Swift Strike. Because of this, Genji can use a variety of flank routes that very few other heroes can use, allowing Genji to sneak and disrupt an enemy's backline. This guide serves to display, per map, flank routes that many players may not know about as well as their viability depending on the situation and context of a game.
One final note is that while Genji is considered a flanker, he cannot solo a whole team on his own. The best piece of advice any Genji player should consider is communication with their teammates. A Genji must communicate with his team that he is flanking with the goal in mind of getting a pick or "peeling", pulling a defender(s) away from the main objective because when a Genji flanks, his team essentially must fight a 5v6 until the Genji makes a play. By getting a pick or peeling defenders away, Genji disorganizes a team's defenses as well as giving his team a man advantage in a push to almost guarantee the objective.
The Assault Maps
It would only be natural that this guide begins in the birthplace of Genji himself. The main problem that greets most players when they enter this map as an attacker is the initial chokepoint in the form of the main gate of Hanamura Castle. This chokepoint, if defended properly, can seem impenetrable and stagger most attacks before they even begin. There are two common flanks that Genji players will often use to try to bypass the choke shown below in the form of black crosses.
In my opinion these are poor flank choices as they leave the Genji player exposed, forcing Genji to burn abilities most of the time and can be counterplayed quite easily. The window flank on the left can easily be defended with a Junkrat trap or a simple callout as a Genji exposes himself to the entire team when taking this flank, often being forced to Swift Strike into the nearby pagoda or open area to the left to avoid death. The flank leading into the building on the right suffers from a similar problem since Genji often has to burn abilities as well as having to basically walk into the main defense to even get into that room. On the bright side, there is an alternative flank that Genji can take using the main wall in the middle with the dragon symbol that I demonstrate below.
Climb the wall, single jump and then swift strike into the pagoda
This flank route reduces the problems that are present in the first two flank routes. You are still exposed to the enemy team but for a shorter period of time and from an angle that conceals you from defenders playing right on the choke. You do have to burn Swift Strike, so to account for this I purposely back up after using Swift Strike to show that the roof of the pagoda actually hides your character and provides extensive cover. This means that only certain heroes can effectively reach and damage you such as Pharah or Junkrat (two off-meta choices you don't see often in competitive except in lower elo). I also purposely peek over and walk to one of the two nearby large health packs that Genji players can use for sustain as well as a small health pack hidden in the back of point A not shown in the gif. The final benefit of this route is that it's the only route of the three that actually puts you behind the enemy's frontline so it's the only true "flank" route of the three. This is important because when you take this route the enemy team actually has to commit to dealing with you and leave their established defenses if they want to chase you, alluding back to the "peeling" I discussed earlier.
Due to the design of Hanamura's second point, most of the flank routes are quite well known and can be used by almost every hero not just Genji so I'll refrain from regurgitating information most players already know. Instead, I'll now discuss two flank routes that take place between Point A and Point B that I feel most players don't fully utilize.
Genji can traverse this flank without burning any abilities
This is the well-known "Hanamura Gap", a gap separating Point A and Point B that can be taken both ways to get to and from the objectives. This may seem like an odd flank route to demonstrate because it seems so common and obvious that why wouldn't everyone take this route this way? The problem I notice is that a lot of Genjis are scared to Double Jump across in fear of falling to their deaths and often burn a Swift Strike just to cross this gap so I decided to showcase how easy it is to cross this gap with the Double Jump to reassure any players wondering if Genji can actually make the jump. This way, you still have a Swift Strike ready for any roaming defenders watching that flank.
This wall can be climbed both ways, making it valuable when defending and attack
Lastly, this nifty gem of a flank I discovered while gathering footage for this article and I was shocked to never see this flank utilized even in tournament play. As a defender, Genji can use this flank to get back to Point A faster after respawning as well as place himself behind the attacking team and punish them for pushing in. As an attacker Genji can climb this wall and go pick up the nearby health pack and wait for his cooldowns to refresh. He can then position himself right behind the enemy team without them realizing and possibly even capture the objective right under their noses.
Temple of Anubis
Due to the map's narrow and linear nature, Temple of Anubis doesn't offer many unique flank routes specific to Genji, but there is a couple of key flank routes that are mostly around Point A that players should be aware of. Temple of Anubis has the same dilemma Hanamura has where attackers are forced into a narrow choke in the form of Anubis's walkway. Defenders will often setup around this walkway from all angles, covering the left and right corridors with defenders and an assortment of traps. Fortunately, there are two flanks where Genji can use his vertical mobility to bypass their defenses shown below.
Flank A utilizes the openings in the wall while Flank B relies on the side room
First, let's discuss Flank A:
By climbing the wall and using Swift Strike through the air to get to the opening, Genji can circumvent any defenses set up on the ground as well as avoiding enemy fire. In contrast, if you were to take the lower left corridor to get to the Flank A room, you would most likely have to deal with a defender or traps in the form of Symmetra Turrets or a Junkrat trap. By taking this flank you can completely avoid fighting any of the defenders and end up behind the enemy team. At that point, a Genji can take almost any route he wants to harass the enemy backline. A quick bit of advice when using this flank, after climbing the first wall you may have to use Deflect before Swift Strike to avoid taking damage as you do expose yourself for a brief period of time. Burning abilities here isn't as detrimental because once you get behind the enemies you are free to go find health packs and wait for your abilities to refresh.
Now on to Flank B:
This flank is a little riskier than Flank A due to the fact that you can't Swift Strike from the top of the walkway to the building like in Flank A. You are forced to go through the small corridor on the right, but in my experience the right corridor is usually not as well defended as the left corridor so it's doable. You will often have to burn Deflect and Swift Strike to make the flank work without taking damage, but there is a large health pack in the room you climb into if you need to heal up. Both these flanks put you behind the enemy team and give you a high ground advantage over Point A where you can peek in and out spamming shurikens to build ultimate and peel defenders away.
Temple of Anubis shares a similarity with Hanamura present in the designs of their second objective. Point B in Hanamura and Temple of Anubis have a lot of general flanks, flanks that almost every hero can use that aren't exclusive to Genji. I try to stay away from listing those type of flanks because I want to list flanks that highlights Genji's strengths, not flanks that just include him. Fortunately, there is an Assault Map where the second objective plays to Genji's strength...
The reoccurring theme of the first point choke doesn't go away with Volskaya Industries. In my opinion, out of the three Assault Maps Volskaya has the easiest choke for attackers to get through. This is due to the truck in the center of the choke, forcing players to have to defend two separate "lanes" that the attackers can funnel through.
A Genji's Nightmare
There are three routes that Genji can take here and in my opinion, they are all AWFUL. The two corridors on the left and right (not shown in the picture) of the choke are often heavily defended and Genji has to walk through so much enemy fire to get to the rooms. Even if there aren't any traps, once he's inside the rooms the enemy team can enclose and surround Genji and quickly delete him. The opening on the top right of the choke is the best route of the three, but I see so many Genjis use it the wrong way. Many Genjis climb through the opening and then drop into the lower room to the right, a place you don't want to be. What you should do is use your abilities to quickly position yourself into their backline, as shown below.
Climb the wall, deflect (optional) and then Swift Strike into the side room
Using abilities as Genji when taking a flank route is good as long as you end up in a position where you can hide and allow your abilities to refresh if need be. This flank puts you directly behind the main defenses and allows you to practically stroll into Point A or quickly grab the large health pack if you need to. Defenders will have no choice but run back and deal with you if they don't want to lose the point, leaving your team with more space to push in. I choose to use deflect to simulate a situation where there is a backline defender that you may have to account for, but most of the time Swift Strike is all you need. In the end, I still think this is a relatively weak flank and recommend against taking it but if you absolutely have to play the main choke, take this flank.
You may be wondering, "If none of these flank routes on the main choke are good, what do I do?" Well I'm glad you asked! The undisputed best Point A flank on Volskaya for Genji is located on the far left of the map on a ledge separating attacker's spawn and Point A.
This is one of the best flanks you can take on Volskaya not just on Genji, but on other high mobility characters like Tracer, D.V.A and Reaper. This flank puts you right behind Point A and the enemies wouldn't be any wiser. You used to be able to cross the gap with the use of "triple jumping" by climbing the wall on the side and then triple jumping onto the ledge, but with recent nerfs you now have to burn Swift Strike to cross the gap. On the bright side I rarely see defenders watching this flank besides the rare Mei holding the corner so burning Swift Strike isn't that detrimental as you could just wait out the 8-second cooldown. Besides, if a Mei feels she has to hold that corner just to account for you, you are already doing your job as a Genji by peeling her away from the main defenses in your team's favor.
Point B of Volskaya is my favorite second point of all the Assault Maps because Genji actually has unique flank routes here! There are two flank routes on Point B players should at least be aware of when playing as or playing against Genji.
Double jump into the wall, wall climb to the very top, wait then Swift Strike
Double jump (try to space out the two jumps) onto the other side
I decided to lump these two flanks together because they are very similar. They both can be taken both ways on defense and offense and can put you behind the enemy without them ever noticing. They are both very strong flanks because of their relative "low-risk high-reward" utility, you don't have to do a whole lot to take these flanks and most defenders don't watch the areas around these flanks allowing you to walk straight into the buildings and corridors behind Point B. Due to the claustrophobic design and relative spawn-to-objective distance of the second objective, Genji can't do a lot of peeling here. Instead, Genji should be getting picks when taking this flank and helping his team make that big final push because any advantage for the attacking team on objectives like this are a big deal. You have to stagger the defender's spawn times without suffering many casualties due to the very long distance between attacker's spawn and Point B.
That wraps up the Assault Maps. Next time, we will be discussing the Escort Maps followed by the Hybrid Maps. I hope these flanks will bring you more ELO in your ranked endeavors. Thanks for supporting Team Dignitas!
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