Hanzo’s rework is finally upon us. After months and months and even more months of waiting, Scatter Arrow has finally been put down. It’s now been replaced with Storm Arrow, a rapid fire cooldown. Hanzo can also now leap in mid air and a bunch of other stuff. So, how does it all play out in game?
I jumped into a Hanzo game almost immediately after the patch went live yesterday. After getting Hanzo stolen from one once but some insufferable 12 year old, I ended up holding onto him for an entire game.
The first thing that you’ll notice about new Hanzo is that he isn’t the complete worst anymore. When Hanzo had scatter arrow, he was simultaneously too overpowered and too useless. In certain situations, he could one shot the Roadhog. But most of the time he was an obnoxious sniper that added little to nothing to your team.
New Hanzo is better in so many ways. His lunging jump makes the wall climb finally feel good, rather than something that accidentally happened when you were strafing next to a wall. You can also use it to dodge incoming fire or quickly move away from a rampaging Winston.
The speed of the arrows fired from your bow is probably going to be the most underrated change. Not because it’s bad, but because it makes Hanzo feel like you always felt he should. It’s easy to feel accurate now, instead of feeling like some weird lag robbed you of your gorgeous headshot.
The Hanzos on each side of the conflict in my game were popping off one shots and big kills all the time, leading both of us to be on fire for most of the game. A good Widowmaker is always impressive, and you can always tell when you have one by the sheer volume of kills she’s getting on the feed. Thanks to this new accuracy change, Hanzo will be able to show up in the kill feed far more frequently.
But here is where we get to Storm Arrow, an absolutely amazing addition to the archer’s kit. When you pop Storm Arrow, you can hold down the trigger and just rapid fire arrows forward. It’s never something I would do long range, but it was perfect for close engagements.
If you got in on Hanzo and he didn’t have Scatter Arrow up before, he was doomed. Now, he’s a versatile duelist who’s able to take you out no matter the distance. That isn’t to say that he has no weakness, as Hanzo really can’t track a fast moving hero like Tracer any better now. But being able to fend off heroes at more ranges certainly does make him more interesting. If Hanzo needs to help kill a priority target that’s moving quickly, say a Pharah or Winston, he can simply pop Storm Arrows and track their movements.
Hanzo is still going to be a situational hero, not someone you should play every game. But at least now you don’t have to worry about Hanzo one-tricks ruining your game for you. Now you might actually be able to put them to good use against your enemies.