If you haven’t yet tried him Hanzo is up on the PTR. When I was last in there it was just over a 700-second wait for a Quick Match so sufficed to say he’s being played a lot. I had a quick bout with him myself and he is truly well on his way to fulfilling that archer-feeling currently vacant from the game.
Firstly, I was extremely happy to see that he didn’t just feel like Nova with a bow. His auto-attacks are noticeably slower (on purpose) which help to make him feel more like he’s readying the next arrow to shoot. In compensation for his attack speed, his auto-attacks hurt more than the average Heroes. This again supports the idea that to be shot with an arrow is going to hurt a ton. Just ask Hawkeye.
His first ability “Storm Bow” feels much better to me than Nova’s “Snipe.” Firstly it’s a charged shot, and with longer charge comes a longer range. Better yet, it can be charged as you move at no drawback. This means similar to an archer you’ll find yourself preparing the shot ahead of time, and waiting for just the right chance. Take your shot quickly and then ready it all over again.
Continuing on with his next ability “Scatter Arrow,” it feels very familiar to how it did in Overwatch. You line up your shot so that the first time it hits terrain or structures it splits into to several more arrows. If it helps, you can think of it as a reverse-multi-shot. If you’re going to use it effectively you NEED to bank it off of corners and walls especially if you’re fighting in a confined space.
Yet another ability to carry over from Overwatch is his “Sonic Arrow.” This is used to gain sight and can be (perhaps obviously) shot over any obstacle. In addition should your shot land on an enemy then they will take some damage and have the shot *stuck* to them providing very welcome constant sight. However in practice, the shot moves fairly slowly so you better hope you’re either lucky or they’re not paying any attention.
Lastly, rounding out Hanzo’s main abilities is his Trait “Natural Agility.” Extremely remaniscent of his brother, Genji’s trait. This allows Hanzo to jump across unpathable terrain, obstacles or structures. Very handy in keeping up those constant snipes or making a quick get-away.
But what’s a Shimada good for if he doesn’t bring out his Spirit-Dragon once in awhile? Hanzo’s first Ultimate ability is just that, “Dragonstrike.” Twin Dragon’s are summoned from Hanzo onto the battlefield where they move out in a straight line. Anyone unfortunate enough to be caught in them take quick ticking damage so long as they remain inside of the Dragonstrike projectile. Should they be in the middle then they’ll take even more damage making the whole thing very similar to Kael’thas’s Phoenix Ultimate. It can serve as a medium burst damage attack should the targets take the full duration, or even double as an area of denial. The versitality of this Ultimate is where players are going to be able to shine while using it. Add in it’s level 20 talent “The Dragon Awakens” and you’ll be dropping the cool down on it steadily everytime you auto attack or hit with most of your abilities.
Hanzo’s other Ultimate is “Dragon’s Arrow.” An infinite range shot that can fly across the whole battlefield. This is going to be the choice for those of us who love to snipe and (hopefully) are actually great at it too. Similar to Tyrande’s owl if Tryande’s owl was pumped up on steroids and ate an entire elder dragon, Dragon’s Arrow has three tiers of damage and utility. The longer it travels the higher of tier it will graduate to. Higher tiers do more damage and have a longer stun time should it hit a Hero. Better yet, I feel as though it has a hidden uber-fun function with it’s level 20 talent “Play of the Game.” With this you can potentially turn Hanzo into a Global Hero. Once you fire a Dragon’s Arrow, reactivating the Ultimate will teleport you to where the arrow was at that time. This makes chasing down escaping Heroes much easier whether you’ve hit them or not. But should you hit them then you’ll have a small window of oppourtunity where you can still teleport to it’s location and deal some extra damage to all of those Heroes. But wait, there’s more. Let’s assume you didn’t hit anyone on “purpose.” So long as you’ve taken Play of the Game then you can potentially relocate Hanzo on the otherside of the battlefield! WICKED! I love Global Heroes and suddenly becoming one at level 20 is very excitng for me.
That’s all! Hanzo, just like Alexstraza seems to be another Hero ready to shake up the Nexus. Who will you play?