A Beginner's Guide to Hanzo

by theScore Staff Feb 6 2017
Thumbnail image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment

Ryū ga waga teki wo kurau!

Overwatch's resident archer is Hanzo, a defense hero who excels at area defense and utility. Well-placed headshots can quickly kill even the heartiest of heroes, while his mobility allows him to disappear and reposition before the enemy can focus him down.


Hanzo's Storm Bow is his primary weapon. Notably, the bow's damage changes depending on how far the bowstring has been pulled. While it is possible for you to continually fire the bow without charging it, the increased damage and speed of a fully pulled bowstring makes it much more damaging and appealing.

Sonic Arrow fires an arrow that reveals enemy positions within its wide detection radius. Useful for finding where the enemy is located, the long cooldown means it should be used sparingly.

Scatter Arrow shoots an arrow that splits off into six separate arrows that ricochets off of walls an objects. This can devastate enemies who are caught in a tight corridor, making it an ideal tool for defending a chokepoint.

Dragonstrike is Hanzo's ultimate, which lets him fire an arrow that quickly turns into a Spirit Dragon that passes through walls and deals damage to any enemy caught in it's path. Best used for forcing an enemy off of an objective, its long wind up time means that players should be careful to position it correctly.

Hanzo's passive is Wall Climb, which allows him to climb up walls to find the perfect location to strike from above.

When is Hanzo a good choice?

Despite being a sniper, Hanzo's lack of a scope means that it is much more difficult for him to aim at longer distances. As such, Hanzo is best used from medium range to maximize his damage

Hanzo is a good choice when:

  • The player can aim well
  • He can safely hit targets from the backline, as he has low mobility in combat
  • He can effectively use Dragonstrike when his team has abilities that stop enemy movement

Hanzo can be difficult to play when:

  • The enemy team uses flankers like Tracer or Genji, who can deal high damage in short spans of time
  • He is facing mobile tanks like D.Va or Winston, who can quickly get to Hanzo and deal high damage
  • He is in the middle of the fight

Hanzo excels in areas where

  • He has good sightlines, such as the first point on Route: 66
  • There are closed spaces where Scatter Arrow can hit multiple targets, such as the first point on Hollywood

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.