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Hanzo – Heroes of the Storm Hero Review
Though slightly delayed, Hanzo appeared in the Nexus around December 14, 2017 ~ December 15, 2017 as the latest ranged assassin. The former head of the Shimada clan makes his appearance as a strong hard counter to many of the heroes who have stealth as their biggest asset. Unlike most Assassins however, he appears to be an anti-personnel rather than an anti-siege assassin similarly to Nova and Valla. After playing him however, I discovered how terrifying it is to become a Hanzo main especially when in the hands of a pro.
Pros of Hanzo
Hanzo is an anti-personnel, making him ideal for shooting down other Assassins. His Sonic Arrow (E) can open a fight to give the allied team a good idea of where everyone is for a few seconds. It even revealed Nova whose steal is her main asset, allowing players to focus her down to prevent her from using Triple Tap. His Storm Bow can be charged up but to improve its power, he has to go through a Talent Quest that’s similar to Zuljin. He needs to hit each hero at least once with Storm Bow to improve the range by 30% and three times for each hero to increase the damage by 100.
And when he completes his quest, that’s when he gets really savage.
While strafing and kiting around, Hanzo can charge up his Storm Bow. He literally hide somewhere in the fog, bush, or wherever there’s stealth and shoot a hero in the face. Particularly, this makes him ideal for shooting down slow moving Heroes or Supports. The Scatter Shot (W) is best shot towards a wall which can zone enemies to prevent them from chasing you. Or, it can help in team fights while to force the enemy to split up.
While most players select Dragon’s Arrow (R) for peeling off particular enemies, Dragonstrike (R) is also useful in small maps like the Battlefield of Eternity which can turn the tides when defending or attacking the Immortals waiting nearby. Dragon’s Arrow can stun a large group early game after Hanzo respawns, making him still useful despite the distance.
Cons of Hanzo
Hanzo unfortunately doesn’t have much escapes save for his Natural Agility (D) which allows him to jump over walls. However, it doesn’t stop him from getting slowed from Sylvana’s Black Arrows. Nor does it help when Stitches’ yanks him and eats him. At the same time, Hanzo must always be at the back line to prevent himself from being focused. Once he gets focused down, Hanzo doesn’t have much means to escape.
Another is that for his Storm Bow to have any worth is to complete the quest. Unfortunately, the Storm Bow is a skill shot which makes it quite unforgiving especially for those trying out the first time. Scatter Shot also has a weird mechanic which may not be ideal for those who prefer charging in. His Dragonstrike also takes some time to charge and he works best as a finisher rather than fighting a prolonged battle.
Also, Hanzo’s Dragonstrike takes a good 1 to 2 seconds in which he stays completely still. Unfortunately, that’s where he leaves himself open and might need someone to shield him. At the same time, his Dragonstrike is similar to Ragnaros’ Lava Wave except it can pop in different areas whereas Ragnaros’ needs to plant his on a lane. It’s easy to dodge the Dragonstrike whereas the Dragon’s Arrow takes sometime to travel depending where it’s firing from.
Unfortunately, the Dragon’s Arrow’s ability to let Hanzo teleport is a level 20 skill which will take time to get to.
Hero Compatibility: Hanzo
- Sylvanas – Sylvanas has Haunting Wave which can chase him easy and the Black Arrows can slow him down once she gets high enough. At the same time, she can use Mind Control which can pull Hanzo towards her allies which will give them a chance to kill him first.
- Zarya – Assuming she catches him in her Graviton Surge, she can prevent him from moving around too much. At the same time, her shields can absorb the incoming attacks of Hanzo’s Scatter Shot. If she gets the talent where she can shield two allies with her Shield Ally (E), she can easily gain energy especially when she picks the talent – Gain Train.
- Butcher – Butcher can dive after Hanzo which threatens his ability to charge up his Storm Bow. At the same time, it prevents Hanzo from escaping.
- Diablo – Diablo’s Shadow Charge – Overpower combo can throw Hanzo into the fray where he shouldn’t be. If players increase the range of Diablo’s Shadow Charge, he can chase after Hanzo and stun him if smashed into the wall. Once stunned, he can use Overpower to give his teammates a chance to slaughter him.
- Nazeebo – Nazeebo’s Zombie Wall prevents him from escaping or strafing too much, making him a perfect target for bombing. Unfortunately, nothing confirmed yet if Hanzo can use his Natural Agility to escape Nazeebo’s Zombie Wall.
- D.Va – If played right, D.Va can wear him down by using her dash to push him back and forth which can prevent him from using Storm Bow.
- Leoric – Entomb prevents Hanzo from escaping, allowing all Leoric’s allies to crush him before he can run.
- Alexstrasza – His requiring to stay in one place is perfect for her Abundance (W) skill. At the same time, her Dragon Queen form can knock back enemies while he can hit them with Storm Bow.
- Zarya – As his ally, Zarya can shield him and give him time to escape. Her Shield Ally allows him escapes and if she uses Graviton Surge, he can easily land either of his Heroic Skills. Depending on which he’s using, he can use Dragon’s Arrow as a secondary stun while Dragonstrike serves as DPS.
- Malfurion – Malfurion can root the enemies chasing after Hanzo, giving the Assassin a better chance of escaping.
- Lucio – Lucio’s Crossfades can grant Hanzo survivability. One Crossfade track will increase Hanzo’s speed, allowing him to run away or strafe better if necessary. His heals also can improve his survivability for as long as he stays within the circle. Using Sound Barrier will also prevent Hanzo from dying, allowing him to complete his Dragonstrike attack.
- Garosh – Garosh can help Hanzo escape if he gets Ally Toss. He also can pull enemies and stun them for a few moments, allowing Hanzo’s Storm Bow shot to land.
Hanzo’s a hard counter to Nova and many other heroes who rely on stealth. Zeratul, Valeera, and Nova find themselves at the mercy of his Sonic Arrow, allowing his teammates to peel them apart when they’re within sight. He also can be quite the anti-personnel, finishing off enemies in unexpected ways such as using Scatter Bow shots in which his shots can hit from out of nowhere. He can also defend using Dragon’s Arrow, assuming he already has his level 20 trait.
However, he’s not too beginner friendly unlike other ranged assassins like Valla. And, his lack of escapes make him a little niche specific though his talents and skills are deadly in the hands of a Hanzo main. Hanzo’s play style from Overwatch is not entirely too different but he has more surgically precise skills which allow him to take out important assets from the enemy team.
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