Mada Mada! A Collection of Genji Flank Routes Part II: The Payload Maps
Tue 25th Oct 2016 - 7:46am
Welcome to the second part of my Genji guide covering a variety of flank routes spanning the Assault, Escort and Hybrid maps. This guide serves to showcase some helpful Genji flank routes and explain their viability in the context of a competitive match or ranked game. The first section of the guide covering the Assault Maps can be found here. Anyone familiar with the previous guide can continue with the guide, but to any new readers here's a quick disclaimer.
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 the 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 Escort Maps
Not only is Dorado the first Escort Map we will go over, it is arguably Genji's strongest Escort Map. The other two maps lack any real distinct flanks barring a couple of routes. Out of all the map types, I believe Genji is actually weakest on maps in terms of flanking once the payload is active due to the linear design of such maps and their lack of real viable flank routes. Genji can still play relatively well and even dominate on these map types, but that's another guide for another day. With that in mind, let's go look at the opening flanks of Dorado.
A Common Flank on Dorado.
Usually I refrain from showing flanks that can be taken by every character outside of Genji, but I felt the need to point out this flank due to the fact I rarely see players taking this flank route even though it's extremely useful for getting behind the defending team and displacing them off the high ground.
A quick demonstration of the flank
Most characters will often generate a ton of noise by taking this flank route because they must take the stairs to get to the high ground, often giving away their position. Genji can circumvent this by climbing the wall and quickly opening up an array of possibilities. He can choose to quickly dispatch and displace the defenders to force them off the high ground, or he can quickly swoop around into the main fiesta area and kill any defenders holding the main chokepoint of the first objective. Another opening flank route of Dorado is one that's more exclusive to Genji and is commonly used among Genji players located on the right side of the first stage of the map.
There are two prime areas of interest in this picture that I have marked green for sake of convenience. The wall on the left leads to the fiesta area and is a common flank route taken by most Genji players that I will demonstrate below.
As shown in this demonstration, this flank can be taken both ways and will often go unchecked as not many defenders hang that far back on the first objective unless the attacking team has already pushed the payload very deep. However, smart teams may have someone watching that flank if they realize that the opposing team has a Genji and will often punish a solo Genji by singling him out and deleting him. In that scenario, there's a more advanced flank utilizing the second area of interest I marked in the diagram.
Popularized by professional Overwatch team EnVyUS, this flank route utilizes Genji's wall climb as well as his swift strike to completely circumvent the first objective and completely get right behind the enemy's defenses, unseen and undetected. This is the ideal flank route for Genji: it utilizes his abilities to their full potential, leaves him undetected and is difficult for the opposing team to callout before it's too late.
Moving on to the second portion of the map, Dorado opens up into a long winding road that circles around a church onto the second point. This part of the map consists of what is known as a "3 lane design" with the emphasis on the middle lane due to the presence and need to move the payload. The left and right lanes offer straight flank routes leading to the objective that can be taken by most characters (a reoccurring theme in all the Escort Maps) so I will refrain from discussing them. The most important area Genji players should be concerned with is the church in the center of Dorado.
Church of Dorado
In Overwatch, high ground is king. The team that maintains and makes the most out of their high ground control will often be the team that wins. If Genji can quickly get to these platforms that I've marked green and displace the defenders so that his teammates can take control, the payload will move much more smoothly through this point. A nifty tip is that the thin strip of the church connecting the left and right platforms that I've marked green can actually be walked on (as shown below), giving Genji a quick way to get from one side of the church to the other.
The church upper deck give players immense vision of the second point and a decent amount of cover for Genji to pop in and out and play the corners, dealing poke damage and charging his ultimate. Control of the church is essential to winning this portion of the map and needed so that you can avoid getting stalled on the second point. Due to the last point of Dorado being inside a building, there are not a whole lot of options for Genji to take on this final push. Fortunately, there is one flank that I feel is underused and has a lot of value shown below. This puts you right behind the enemy and offers a quick path to the defender's spawn. This can be useful on the final push as Genji can disorganize the enemy team and kill the staggered defense, delaying the spawn times and preventing the defending team from grouping up.
Earlier I stated that Dorado is the best Genji map out of all the Escort Maps in terms of the availability and usefulness of flank routes. In reality, the main reason Dorado is Genji's strongest Escort Map is due less on the quality of the map and more so on the shortcomings of Watchpoint Gibraltar and Route 66. There is some debate on Genji's worst maps but I believe Gibraltar and Route 66 are in the running for that title. The linear one-way design (that is understandably expected from a Payload gamemode) and lack of remarkable alternative routes due to the focus on moving the payload leaves Genji a less than desired pick on these maps. With that in mind, if I decided to keep these maps out of this guide then it wouldn't be much of a guide considering it would be only one map! There are some bright spots in these maps that I believe should prove useful for every Genji player that plays on them.
"One Lane makes for a sad Genji Main"
As you can see there is one main route that leads down a linear, narrow hallway onto the next point. One could argue the patch of land on the very far left is a flank route and technically you'd be right. Except for the fact that it leads to an open area that leaves the player exposed to the enemies on the high ground and on ground zero. I do not recommend taking that route unless you need a quick health boost as three different health packs are scattered around that one area. Instead I will highlight a strength of Watchpoint Gibraltar, its vertical mobility. Many of the alternative routes that branch off from the payload have an interesting characteristic; they lead players not behind the enemy, but above them. The first two areas I have marked should be taken the moment the game starts as they lead to the opposite platforms the defenders usually hole up in. There are two methods I commonly use to quickly get on the high ground:
Method #1 (try to space out your double jumps for maximum efficiency)
Method #1 allows me to quickly position myself behind and above the defenders with the choice of engaging and forcing the defenders off the high ground or sneaking further back into the server room to ambush the defenders on ground zero. Method #2 allows for Genji to utilize his cover, poking in and out dishing out damage and charging ultimate as well as not burning Swift Strike. Method #1 is a quick and easy way to get to the backline right when the game starts while Method #2 is more conservative and caters to a slower playstyle. Both methods can be useful depending on the kind of player you are or the tempo you are trying to set that specific game.
The most important part of the second point
Moving on to the second objective, nothing is more paramount than this aircraft. By getting on top of this aircraft, you have complete vision over much of the surrounding area as well as free reign to pop in and out with shurikens or drop down for a sneaky Dragonblade. This is due to the fact that not many defenders expect an enemy to be on top of the space shuttle and even fewer characters can contest a Genji off the shuttle once he's there due to his mobility and kit. The space shuttle is quite easy to get onto as it's climbable from both sides and you don't need to burn any abilities to do so.
Quick demonstration on how to get on the spaceship and the benefits it provides.
As you can see, you can effectively deny multiple areas and force defenders into a more limited amount of space to avoid your shurikens, often forcing them to expose themselves to the rest of your team pushing the payload. The same can be said on defense where the front of the shuttle offers a complete view of the attacker's side, allowing Genji to rain down shurikens on the enemies forced to push the payload. On attack or defense, playing around this shuttle can make most games on Gibraltar a smoother experience.
On the very last stretch of the map, there is one final flank I'd like to bring up. The great thing about this flank is that it's an actual flank route in the traditional sense with a bit of a Gibraltar twist; it utilizes the map's vertical mobility to allow Genji to get behind the opposing team on the final point.
With the use of his wall climb, Genji can make the most out of this flank better than all the flankers
This is a great flank route for Genji because he doesn't lose anything from taking it. He doesn't have to use any abilities because his passive, Cyber-Agility (wall climb and double jump), allows him to quickly and efficiently take this flank route. Only the likes of Pharah and Reaper can use this flank, but they often have to burn abilities and can't traverse it as easily as Genji. Oftentimes all it takes is a quick dive into the backline or a Dragonblade killing the supports for a Genji to successfully disrupt the defenders and allow his teammates to clean up and push the payload in for the win.
Much like Watchpoint Gibraltar in terms of flank routes, Route 66 suffers from a linear design with emphasis on the payload that results in a lack of traditional flank routes. Also similar is the importance of securing high ground as almost every section of the map has some form of high ground that can be abused by Genji.
The most important thing about the first objective
The Gas Station. The single most important thing about the first objective. Most games the defending team will hunker down on top of this building and allow attackers to push to the choke in hopes of holding and staggering the attackers. Winning the first objective is entirely based on whether, as Genji, can force the defenders off the roof and make a play for your team. The relative distance-from-spawn of the first objective favors the attackers so a couple of picks is usually all the attacking team needs to snowball the first point.
The second portion (shown below) of the map consists of multiple buildings that are connected through wooden bridges and platforms. Wrestling control of these walkways is a must as the payload will be much easier to push if Genji has complete free reign over these buildings, never giving a chance for the defenders to setup proper fortifications. This second objective can be considered one big flank route since all the areas I've highlighted don't necessarily allow you to flank the opposing team but instead offer a giant playground for Genji to expose the weaknesses in the defenses' armor. Remember to always be moving and never become too predictable because you have a large area to work with, make the best of it.
The final objective takes you down a long indoor complex similar to Dorado. Because of this there are no traditional flank routes, but instead two long alternate routes that branch to the left and right of the main route with the left route shown below.
This lengthy path leads players through the America-branded 18-wheeler and into the enemy's spawn. Genji can very easily play around this area, poking in and out of the roof of the 18-wheeler or diving the backline, due to a large health pack located right next to the truck that gives Genji much needed sustain if he needs to disengage.
Full diagram of the right route
On the other hand, the right path (shown above) starts at the opening of the corridor displayed on the top left of the diagram but can also be accessed from outside the complex through the walkway on the bottom right of the diagram. Once inside there is a health pack as well as two choices open to the player: they can go downstairs and end up right on top of the final point or take the upstairs exit into a platform that overlooks the enemy spawn. This offers more concealment and cover than the left route and is positioned away from the fighting so most defenders won't be looking your way when you emerge through the exit, leaving you to wreak havoc on their backline.
One last thing about Route 66 I would like to add before I wrap up this guide is about a room in the far back of the map. It is unused and almost randomly placed with almost no rhyme or reason. It's not really a flank route, just something that someone playing characters with powerful ultimates that benefit from surprise such as Genji and McCree should consider.
Why is it even there?
See that little room in the middle right there? Ever wonder where all the floating platforms on Route 66 lead to? Well there it is. This little room seems very out of place on this map and seems to lack any practical use besides possibly a good place for a sniper or turret? The only practical use that comes to mind is that a Genji on the attacking team could wait up here with a Dragonblade after a teamfight and wait for the defending team to come out, drop down, pop ultimate and clean house. I know this isn't really a flank route, but I felt I should at least mention this area of interest. Maybe someone out there will read this guide and find some incredible use for this spot that no one has thought of yet!
Well that wraps up this guide on the flank routes of the Escort Maps. Tune in next time for the final article where I showcase the flank routes of the Hybrid Maps, maps that combine the elements of Assault and Escort.
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