It’s been 6 weeks since the patch where Genji saw significant changes, many of us Genji mains have given the updated Genji a try and found the changes did not address his core issues that have been overlooked in the past. Genji mains still have to put in far more effort than their peers (*read a league… or three higher) to get similar results. I will list his current issues (*unintended but glaring weaknesses) that affect his viability and along with proposed changes without making him OP. Before we start, we’ll list out his intended weaknesses which are supposed to be:
- Lack of Sustain
- Lack of and Vulnerable to CC
- Lack of Waveclear
- Marginal Merc camps (clearing and taking) ability.
- Lack of utility (enemy debuff)
He doesn’t have the healthpool to sustain his (underpowered) *mostly AA playstyle
- It’s fine Genji doesn’t have sustain, but asking him to whittle down heroic targets with AAs at 4.5 range is a losing proposition for him. Tanks just laugh off his damage with their own healthpool/armor/sustain abilities/talents, he’s within the engage abilities of most melee assassins, true ranged AA assassins significantly out range and out damage him with AA modifiers (spd/dmg) and most likely have sustain of some sort to boot. This leaves mages… which you’re supposed to burst down lest you get bursted yourself trying to AA them to death… The small healthpool and lack of sustain coupled with an underwhelming AA at short range forces Genji to be a passive hero until enemy team is <40% health. It’s only then he pops in to secure kills, but that just makes him a win more hero with very little influence during most of a team fight’s duration.
Way of the Shimada is a crutch that doesn’t fix any of his issues
- It comes mid game transitioning into late game when talent trees are coming online. Genji’s still out ranged/out dmg by most ranged assassins with their + 6 range and assortment of dmg/defensive modifiers even with + 1 range. The added range further exacerbates Genji’s issue of being passive during teamfights “poking” safety until the end of time doing next to no damage to anyone with > 4.5k hp and or >20 armor. Lastly it competes with arguably his best talent in game: Shingan (which has its own inherent issues). His burst is severely diminished without it and makes him into a bad "imitation Valla.
33% Trait nerf for 55hp for “survivability” just doesn’t make sense.
- This change angered and confounded many Genji players. A 33% CD increase for a 3% increase in health (literally 1 more tick of Tychus AA) is a terrible compromise. 55hp is not going to give him more survivability in more “general situations,” and a 33% increase in trait cool down when will just hurt him further.
Shingan’s effectiveness is too extreme against certain targets and harder to land then ever
- Against squishies Shingan bonus damage can secure up to 30% of their lives by successfully landing all 3 charges while barely reaching 9% against a tank anything over 2.3k base hp. The damage drops significantly against defensive buffs which are most prevalent on high health heroes. Shingan already required some level of skill to land. That difficulty is compounded with the introduction of the new nexus anomaly which introduced frame drops and increased movement speed. For NA players this is further worsened by the merging of servers forcing players to play on less optimal servers with higher ping *cough central cough.
His talent tree is littered with bad talents, bad talent placements and imbalanced talent tiers
- Some can be combined with existing talents, polished and/or moved to a different tier while others need to be completely removed. I’ll list out their issues here and give proposed solutions at the bottom
- Pathfinder: With Trait nerfed even further and a conditional speed increase it’s hard justifying this as a talent pick when Swift as the Wind gives you the speed bonus upon hitting the target and agile dismount gives you cooldown reduction on your significantly nerfed trait.
- Dodge: Simply outclassed by Perfect Defense which offers complete damage mitigation for more than 1 AA and possibility to lower its cooldown to 5 seconds compared to Dodges 7.
- Way of the Shimada: Most reasons have been stated above furthermore it has no synergy with the rest of the talent tree.
- Reflect: Single target damage increase with its value dependent on enemy misplay (dumping their burst on you while your Deflect is up)
- Steady Blade: Undependable damage increase. Furthermore with Swift Strike damage nerfed to it’s current iteration, there’s hardly any justification for picking Steady Blade especially when Final Cut does more damage and does not have to wait for the NEXT Swift Strike opportunity to get value
- Sharpened Stars: Shingan’s effective range is >2, unless enemy is clumped together there is little change in hitting multiple targets with a single shuriken spread. This talent brings little value outside of trolling and stat padding.
- On a whole, Perfect Defense outshines all the talents on Genji’s tier 3 (Level 7 talents). The solution is to make other talents on the tier competitive with Perfect Defense, not nerf Perfect Defense to the ground so you’re forced to pick your poison when you hit lv 7.
- While some people believe it’s a good talent after increasing the shield to 100% of damage blocked, the design itself is still heavily dependent on enemy misplay to generate a decent shield and is therefore an unreliable survivability tool.
Proposals to address his issues:
He doesn’t have the healthpool to sustain his (underpowered) *mostly AA playstyle + Way of the Shimada is a crutch that doesn’t fix any of his issues
- Give him 200 more base hp, increase his baseline AA from 44 to 55, keep his AA range at 4.5, increasing his range just exacerbates his passive play style which leads to lack of impact in team fight situations, pretty much the only other place he can shine outside ganking squishies or <15% health tanks.
33% Trait nerf for 55hp for “survivability” just doesn’t make sense.
- Genji’s trait was never a balance issue, it was clearly evident when his range was nerfed back in late November of 2018 from 5.5 to 4.5 and cyber agility cool down stayed at 15 seconds. His trait added to his survivability but did little in terms of macro of teamfights adding little to his impact during a match. This change really frustrated many Genji players, please revert.
Shingan’s effectiveness is too extreme against certain targets and harder to land than ever
- Change Shingan bonus damage to % with 6% per successful proc totaling 18% all around. Squishies won’t need to be so terrified and allows him to be more proactive against beefier teams. Narrow the Shuriken spread by 2 degrees each side to account for the movement speed boost due to the anomaly.
His talent tree is littered with bad talents and bad talent placements and imbalanced talent tiers
- Pathfinder: replace it with double jump, completing Shuriken Mastery gives you pierce on shuriken instead of refilling charges preventing the insane synergy of having 5 charges of Shuriken with % damage Shingan (Yikes!) after using trait.
- Dodge: Change it to duration based (1.25 seconds) physical damage mitigation with a 7 second Cooldown.
- Way of the Shimada: Repurposed and moved to lv 16, base damage would be increased and range stays at 4.5 to prevent passive playstyle. Way of the Shimada can be split into 2 talents to provide utility such as armor reduction or healing mitigation, if this is the case, please move to it to 16.
- Reflect: Move it to 13 to compete with Shingan, have the bonus damage affect Dragon Claw.
- Steady Blade: Combine it with Final Cut, hitting multiple heroes increases the damage of Swift Strike’s afterimage by up to 60%. Switch Tiers with Flow with Water so the updated Steady Blade competes with Shingan and Reflect making tier 5 (lv 13) talents a damage tier.
- With reversion of trait CD, spell shield duration should be reverted back to 3 seconds instead of 4 with a maximum of 6 seconds duration when you reactivate it with 2x jump
- This would leave 16 as a utility tier with Flow with Water and Way of the Shimada split into 2 talents to provide utility vs enemy heroes. Shuriken charges deal armor reduction, AA provides healing mitigation.
- Augmented Guard: Upon Deflect’s expiration generate a shield equal to 10% of Genji’s health, create a shield equivalent to 50% of damage blocked.
Genji players just want him to be a viable hero without stripping away his identity. The 4.5 range has been his achilles since the nerf but with the right tweaks he can be competitive without what made him first pick first pick material when he was released. I’ve stated our issues with him, Dev feedback would be most appreciated.