5 Tips to Improve Your Hanzo Play ft. POILK
Wed 11th Apr 2018 - 10:08pm
Do you like archery? Do you like dragons? If your answer to those questions is yes, maybe Hanzo should be your new one-trick character in Heroes of the Storm. We sat down with Team Dignitas’ Ranged Assassin player Vilhelm “POILK” Flennmark to talk about why Hanzo is one of the strongest characters in the game right now and what is important to focus on if you are struggling with the character or are picking him up for the first time.
Hanzo derives from the Overwatch universe where he climbs around on the walls and deals massive damage from a great distance. His implementation into the Nexus has kept his great mobility intact, as well as his long-range poke potential. POILK explains, “Hanzo has the longest auto attack range in the game and he also has a lot of base damage. This makes him a very obnoxious laner that can punish pretty much anyone.” With help from POILK, we will now go through 5 tips to improve your Hanzo play.
1) You have a great tool to provide vision, use it!
Your (E) ability, Sonic Arrow, gives you and your team a huge advantage in your macro play. Being able to scout a huge targeted area for potential ganks will allow you able to rotate safer and more efficiently.
POILK says, “Sonic Arrow is such a great tool and it’s up for 8 seconds, so when you are clearing a wave the range on the arrow and the range on the vision gives you vision of enemy rotations and you can just clear your wave without being scared.”
2) Learn your geometry
Hanzo’s (W) ability, Scatter Arrow, is pretty unique in Heroes of the Storm. You have to hit a surface to make the arrow scatter into multiple other arrows before it can deal damage. With this interaction of having to hit a surface first, it’s important that you hit the surface from the right angle to direct the damage to your target.
POILK mentions some of the best places to use the ability. “You want to use it in very narrow passages where the arrows can keep bouncing from wall to wall. The narrow passages on Tomb of the Spider Queen are great, the easy camps on Infernal Shrines, and the area around the shrines on Dragon Shire as well.”
3) Don’t be afraid to use your trait
Hanzo’s activatable trait (D), Natural Agility, makes you able to jump over terrain and quickly maneuver around the map. This ability is mostly looked at as an escape, but with the low cooldown and the level 13 talent, Ninja Assassin, Hanzo is one of the few heroes who can chase a kill and get out alive.
POILK explains, “It depends on who you play with and against. If you snowball a fight and play with Ninja Assassin you can definitely chase people down, but if you play against something like a Tracer you almost always want to hold it for an escape.”
4: Play without Quick Cast in the beginning
As Heroes of the Storm has progressed and more players have been playing for a while, many players start to use Quick Cast after memorizing distance and interactions for most of the abilities in the game.
POILK also uses Quick Cast, but he likes to toggle it off when playing a new hero. “Every time I start playing a new hero, I always start with Quick Cast off so I can learn the range of abilities and get a feeling of the hero. Once I get comfortable with the range and how abilities like Scatter Arrow works, I put on Quick Cast because I want to be able to use my abilities fast. Now I have all spells on Quick Cast while playing Hanzo, but in the beginning I had it off on everything.”
5) Let the arrow fly
It’s widely regarded that Dragon’s Arrow is Hanzo’s only viable heroic ability, and thus, understanding this ability is a vital part of being a good Hanzo player. This ability fires a big bright arrow in the targeted direction. The ability has global range and will deal AoE damage and stun in a small surrounding radius when it connects with an enemy player. The damage and stun duration are increased accordingly to the distance the arrow travels before hitting an enemy. Usually medium distance can be fairly easy to obtain if you are just standing in the backline during a teamfight. Remember that you don’t have to hit the dream arrow from downtown all the way across the map, though it looks and feels AMAZING! You will probably only hit that shot 1/10 times if you are lucky.
POILK told us about how you should not just sit around and wait for the perfect opportunity to use this ability. “I think it’s important not to be scared to use your arrow since it’s a fairly low cooldown (70 seconds). You should definitely use it if you see any opportunity, sometimes you hit, sometimes you miss, but when it hits it’s a chance to win the game for your team, and when it misses you just lane for a moment until it’s up again. I think it’s important to just use it and not be afraid to use it.”
POILK’s Hanzo build
Level 1: Simple Geometry
In a recent patch, the arc of the splitting arrows was narrowed, so the reward for this quest talent is now more impactful. This talent, when completed, becomes very powerful with the level 16 talent we will look at later.
Level 4: Scattered Arrows
This talent makes your PvE damage super strong. With it, bosses and mercenary camps can be taken in no time.
Level 7: Never Outmatched
This is just the classic progression with the Scatter Arrow build. You will be able to use the ability more often and this should help you finish your level 1 quest quicker.
Level 10: Dragon’s Arrow
Basically the only choice of the of the two options, although POILK likes the level 20 upgrade for Dragon Strike. But you are not guaranteed to get to level 20 every game and Dragon’s Arrow is just too impactful.
Level 13: Ninja Assassin
This works super well for your poke damage and after level 16 you basically don’t have any cooldown on your trait if you just aim your (Q) at the enemy Tank.
Level 16: Piercing Arrows
This is what the Scatter Arrow talents build up to. Watch the enemies' health bars disappear if you catch them in a narrow passage. Another great thing about this talent is that you can now aim your (W) at the hero you want to hit, it will pierce through the hero, hit the wall behind them, and then scatter back on that hero.
Level 20: Perfect Agility
With the extra charge on his trait, Hanzo almost becomes a global hero as he can pass over terrain between the lanes twice. This talent also makes Hanzo impossible to catch unless he is completely stun-locked.