Genji Shurikens Are Bad(With Math)

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Highly Rated
So I'm finding that the more I play this game, the less I enjoy playing genji. When my team is coordinated, or the enemy team not so much, it's very easy to stomp or at least contribute. But once people dig in with autoaim turrets, watch each other's backs, or make sure to keep healing properly spread, Genji's utility falls through the floor.

Now I know you're going to holdup Seagull because, well, he's awesome. I think we can all agree on that. But even in his best plays I see a lot of things that work out in his favor. If you watch some of his more popular videos like the mix of offensive and defense play, most of his easy kill have one more of the following occurring: Enemy moving in a highly predictable manner(check out he mercy in the first video), team already screwing up enemy positioning, or his damage output was only like 25%, because he landed 1 shuriken and a swift strike.

So with that being said, I have some mathematical proof in my believe that genji's shurikens are a terrible weapon, which are so unreliable they cannot be counted on.

So, enough intro. Let me explain my methodology and basis for my statements.

First, I used some already collected data from somewhere else on the internet. This link shows someone collected hero movement speeds for every hero in the game. Since everyone except the flankers has a base movement speed of 5.5, we will be using that as a basis:

https://www.reddit.com/r/Overwatch/comments/4ajmq5/hero_movement_speeds_plus_a_few_more/

Next, I collected projectile speed data, using the distance markers in practice mode. According to using a stopwatch and several tests, shurikens travel roughly 50 meters in 1 second(technically 40 meters in .8 seconds were my results, but same ratio). Mercy actually sits at the same level, and this projectile speed is not that out of the ordinary from the others I tested. So we wind up with a projectile speed of 50m/s, which is pretty low for a shooter, but this is not a typical shooter.

Going further, we need to get some estimates of hitboxes. I won't go into excessive detail here because I tried several methods and got similar conclusions. But basically, it comes down to those auto-firing hostile training bots. They appear to fire from 2 separate guns, but a closer inspection shows they actually fire ALL their shots from the middle of their bodies. You can actually stand in the apparent shot stream from one side of them with a thinner character. So with one stream identified, I took Soldier 76, and had him move as close to the stream as he could without getting hit. Then I moved him over for incrementally larger time intervals until I got him to the safe area on the other side. The distance between them would be his hitbox, which we would use for cross-section estimates. The result of this time measurement, while hard to get precisely, came out to roughly .08 seconds.

So we take our time speed and time intervals and multiple by .08 getting a total distance traveled over .08 seconds of .44 meters. So that's our hitbox width. Anyways, we've got our data now. .08 seconds to move your entire hitbox width, and avoid danger. .44 meters in size. Projectile speed of 50 m/s

Let us assume for the sake of science, you as a genji are shooting at a target that is moving *highly* erratically. More or less, its actions are completely random. The question is, how close must you be to guarantee a hit?

Well, take 50 meters and let's multiple it by our new time interval, the .08 seconds needed to move your entire hitbox.

50 * .08 = 4.

4 meters. If you, as a stationary target of a projectile, begin move tranverse to a projectile heading at you, you will guaranteed dodge it if the projectile is more than 4 meters away when you start moving. Technically, since you only need to move half of your width, you could in theory dodge a target slightly larger than 2 meters away IF you start moving in the direction that the majority of your width is on. Otherwise, it will be a bit.

Of course, that doesn't account for lag. But let's see. The upper bound of projectile dodging screwiness would be 300ms, which equates to an extra 15 meters of projectile distance. Human reaction time? That's pegged at roughly 250ms on average(it's slightly lower for audio cues, but we're estimating upper bounds), which would add another 12.5 meters in the shooters favor(assuming he aimed correctly in the first place)

So, if you or your shooter are extremely laggy, and you have standard human reactions, and are trying to listen/look for a genji shuriken volley, assuming he aimed perfectly in bad conditions he could guarantee a hit out to around 31.5 meters.

With a more conventional 30ms ping, you're looking at an extra 1.5 meters on top of the base 4 from latency, at 5.5. With human reactions, this comes out to 18 meters This means in a conventional situation in which a target is actively dodging, a genji on good connection with good aim should in theory be able to guarantee his hits out to 18 meters.

But what if the defender just moves erratically, timing his movements with an attacker's volley by straight up timing(shurikens have a loud audio cue)? Formula 1 racers don't hit the button when the light goes green. They start moving in the yellow, preparing because they know exactly how long a second is. A genji shuriken volley as a time interval of .97 seconds, so if they simply change direction randomly at 1 second intervals in time to their attacker, they can remove the reaction time component...which brings us down to 5.5 meters, assuming a skilled opponent who knows how to dodge.

To sum up genji effective ranges:

Maximum lag, unskilled opponent: 31.5 meters
Maximum lag, skilled opponent using timed dodges: 19 meters
Standard lag, unskilled opponent: 15 meters
Standard lag, skilled opponent using timed dodges: 5.5 meters

Okay now that I've bored you with range math, let's check weapon DPS.

Some of you may have seen this thread I posted earlier. I am going to quote excerpts from it again, as this post is already getting massive:

http://us.battle.net/forums/en/overwatch/topic/20744955084
I will be pulling the primary maximum and minimum dps statistics froom that.

Primary Dps(Maximum)

1. Bastion - Sentry Gun - 525
2. Reaper - Hellfire Shotguns - 280
3. Tracer - Pulse Pistol - 240/120
4. Roadhog - Scrap Gun - 225
5. Junkrat - Frag Launcher - 199.2
6. Zarya - Particle Cannon(100% Charge) - 190
7. Soldier 76 - Heavy Pulse Rifle - 170
8. Dva - Fusion Cannons - 168
9. McCree - Peacekeeper - 140
10. Torbjorn - Rivet Gun - 140
11. Pharah - Rocket Launcher - 120
12. Symmetra - Photon Projector - 120
13. Zenyatta - Orb of Destruction - 112.5
14. Widowmaker - Sniper (Full Charge) - 106.5
15. Mercy - Caduceus Blaster - 100
16. Hanzo - Storm Bow(Full Power) - 92.5
17. Genji - Shurikens - 86.5
18. Reinhardt - Rocket Hammer - 75
19. Lucio - Sonic Amplifier - 64
20. Winston - Tesla Cannon - 60
21. Torbjorn - Level 2 Turret - 56
22. Mei - Endothermic Blaster - 45

Primary Dps(Minimum)

1. Junkrat - Frag Launcher - 199.2*
2. Bastion- Sentry Gun - 140
3. Torbjorn - Rivet Gun - 140*
4. Pharah - Rocket Launcher - 120*
5. Zenyatta - Orb of Destruction - 112.5*
6. Mercy - Caduceus Blaster - 100
7. Roadhog - Scrap Gun - 100**
8. Zarya - Particle Cannon(No Charge) - 95***
9. Genji - Shurikens - 86.5*
10. Reaper - Hellfire Shotguns - 80**
11. Reinhardt - Rocket Hammer - 75***
12. McCree - Peacekeeper - 70
13. Lucio - Sonic Amplifier - 64*
14. Winston - Tesla Cannon - 60***
15. Tracer - Pulse Pistol - 60/30
16. Torbjorn - Level 2 Turret - 56
17. Hanzo - Storm Bow(Min Power) - 56*
18. Soldier 76 - Heavy Pulse Rifle - 50
19. Mei - Endothermic Blaster - 45*
20. Widowmaker - Sniper (No Charge) - 30
21. Dva - Fusion Cannons - 28
22. Symmetra - Photon Projector - 24***

So, let's lay out what this means for offensive roles. I'm going to just cherry pick out the max damage of each offense character, the min damage, and their weapon type so we can try to compare them side by side.


Offense only:
Max Min Type
Tracer 240/120 60/30 Hitscan, Spread
Reaper 280 80 Hitscan, Cone
Soldier 76 170 50 Hitscan
McCree 140 70 Hitscan
Pharah 120 120 Projectile, AoE
Genji 86.5 86.5 Projectile


Interesting. So where does that put Genji's weapon? Well, it appears to do less damage than every other offensive weapon in the game by a *significant* margin, but some of those stats are slightly inflated because they require being right on top of the enemy. Reaper and Tracer will realistically not be doing that much damage, but their baseline is certainly still above Genji. As we start seeing their damage drop off into falloff, Genji seems to overtake them. But as he has a projectile weapon that lacks reliability past the ranges listed, I cannot see his shurikens being better or even in the same ballpark as most offensive weapons. Their clustered fire approach makes them MUCH easier to dodge than the sustained fire of Mercy of Dva(hana), and their only real value that I can see is for picking off turrets.

Furthermore, given that they have this unreliability, I would actually argue that in a case of a two equally skilled players, genji should be unable to kill a target that is being healed at all, unless they are stationary/bad, or in direct melee distance. I know its anecdotal, but in general I have an absolutely absurd difficulty as a genji player taking out Lucios because if he moves intelligently his passive heal may outstrip my shurikens, once again, unless I am directly on top of him.

And, again, to reiterate, even seagull misses an absolutely insane number of shurikens against targets that are not moving completely predictably. So yeah. Genji's primary weapon is bad. That's all. Let the downvotes begin. ;)
Highly Rated
Genji's shurikens aren't very strong, but they're also not his only way to deal damage, nor are they his primary source of dealing it.

The shurikens are there to soften targets up more than anything else. If you watch Seagull play he lands a couple of shurikens while he's closing the gap, then bursts the rest of the health down with a quick right click + melee + shift combo. He doesn't need a potent ranged game.

e - they do suck when compared to other weapons though, I agree. Though you can get them on a slightly more respectable footing if using right click at point blank (it's around 110 dps iirc)
no bro seagull is good at him, so like, obviously its broken. XD
06/04/2016 08:14 PMPosted by Cenerae
Genji's shurikens aren't very strong, but they're also not his only way to deal damage, nor are they his primary source of dealing it.

The shurikens are there to soften targets up more than anything else. If you watch Seagull play he lands a couple of shurikens while he's closing the gap, then bursts the rest of the health down with a quick right click + melee + shift combo. He doesn't need a potent ranged game.


You are correct, but this is an FPS, not not an RPG. And even RPG's don't leave you with an 8 second cooldown on your primary damage source. Furthermore, I didn't really go into this as much in OP because it was, you know, huge, but this difference is part of what makes Genji so unfun to play. If his TEAM makes an opening for him, he can go in, burst, and proceed to rip the enemy team to shreds. Otherwise, his impact is utterly negligible. If they have a mercy who isn't asleep, or a lucio who has a pulse, your shurikens will be a non-threat against the enemy. It's only when they find their front line overwhelmed that you slip in and take all the glory. Deflection is the exception of course, but deflection has its own problem in that people can simply hold their fire 95% of the time.

Every other offense, including tracer, has the capability of creating an opportuniy for their team. A pharah can, for instance, fire a rocket at a healer, immediately chain a concussion blast to the right side, and then aim another rocket to the left. The mercy will be damage, then thrown into the second rocket with almost no reaction time. Even if Pharah doesn't do that, she can relably pepper the enemy with high damage AoE, either to wear down shields or scatter formations. ANd pharah is considered one of the *worse* offense atm.

Genji has no initiative. He is purely reaction, reacting to his opponents playing well.
06/04/2016 08:20 PMPosted by uggggh
no bro seagull is good at him, so like, obviously its broken. XD


The matches I saw he had a mercy bot on him. I do agree that he needs a small buff.

If it is not damage, at least make him immune to widows ult. Something anything.
06/04/2016 08:14 PMPosted by Cenerae
Genji's shurikens aren't very strong, but they're also not his only way to deal damage, nor are they his primary source of dealing it.

The shurikens are there to soften targets up more than anything else. If you watch Seagull play he lands a couple of shurikens while he's closing the gap, then bursts the rest of the health down with a quick right click + melee + shift combo. He doesn't need a potent ranged game.

e - they do suck when compared to other weapons though, I agree. Though you can get them on a slightly more respectable footing if using right click at point blank (it's around 110 dps iirc)


At which point you are point blank as a character with 150 HP and still doing less DPS than almost the entire list.

Genji is in an odd spot where his primary damage is actually cooldown based in a game where nobody else follows this rule. Hanzo comes closest, but still does VERY respectable damage/arrow in terms of burst (though the DPS has issues).

Both of Genji's skills are AMAZINGLY good. Reflection is ludicriously potent, and the dash with its reset on kill/assist, atop damage and mobility, is amazing. The doublejump is also amazing.

But as a result, to balance him, his actual weapon is, and feels atrocious.
06/04/2016 08:23 PMPosted by Garresh

You are correct, but this is an FPS, not not an RPG. And even RPG's don't leave you with an 8 second cooldown on your primary damage source. Furthermore, I didn't really go into this as much in OP because it was, you know, huge, but this difference is part of what makes Genji so unfun to play. If his TEAM makes an opening for him, he can go in, burst, and proceed to rip the enemy team to shreds. Otherwise, his impact is utterly negligible. If they have a mercy who isn't asleep, or a lucio who has a pulse, your shurikens will be a non-threat against the enemy. It's only when they find their front line overwhelmed that you slip in and take all the glory. Deflection is the exception of course, but deflection has its own problem in that people can simply hold their fire 95% of the time.

Every other offense, including tracer, has the capability of creating an opportuniy for their team. A pharah can, for instance, fire a rocket at a healer, immediately chain a concussion blast to the right side, and then aim another rocket to the left. The mercy will be damage, then thrown into the second rocket with almost no reaction time. Even if Pharah doesn't do that, she can relably pepper the enemy with high damage AoE, either to wear down shields or scatter formations. ANd pharah is considered one of the *worse* offense atm.

Genji has no initiative. He is purely reaction, reacting to his opponents playing well.


Genji's shift refreshes when he gets credited with an elimination. The design intent behind it (and why it makes his ultimate work) is that he dips behind the enemy lines, softens someone up, kills them and either seeks another target or uses his newly refreshed shift to get out of dodge.

It's true that he isn't so good at creating an opening on his own, outside of ripping the back line up with his sword, I'm not here to try and convince you that the character is fine as he is. I'm just saying that he's not designed around having a strong ranged game.
Genji's shurikens are too weak to compensate for other aspects of the character that are too strong (reflection and mobility). This is what makes him so hard to play and master- the LClick/RClick are not the main part of his kit that you should focus, instead they are pretty much the weakest part of the whole hero. No other hero is designed that way, FPS games in general haven't traditionally been designed to be played that way, but that's the way Genji is designed. Shurikens are the support for the rest of the things the character does, which are his main abilities.
Just to clarify, character movement speeds are measured in meters per second like everything else, right? So, Genji and Tracer move at .5 meters per second faster than the other characters?
As long as widow is around. Genji can't do the job he needs to do. :(

Also his high skill playstyle offers very little reward for the team. I don't even see the point of him, Tracer>Him.
While the damage is low and you're not going to kill anyone with a Mercy on them, I think the larger problem is just how difficult it is to land them. If the whole point behind the hero is to soften the target up with the stars only to use dash to finish them off, they shouldn't be so difficult to land.

If instead of traveling in a straight line and instead they all fired at the same time and whirled in a type of cylindrical pattern at the target so the hit area was larger it would make an enormous difference on the hero.

Something needs to change though, and for Hanzo too. Both heroes are much more difficult to play than many other heroes but they aren't rewarded for this added difficulty. Instead you try significantly harder just to not be mediocre.
If instead of traveling in a straight line and instead they all fired at the same time and instead whirled in a type of cylindrical pattern at the target so the hit area was larger it would make an enormous difference on the hero.


So, would getting hit by one of them deal the damage of all three? Sounds a lot like 76's rockets, in terms of damage and function. I mean, it'd certainly boost his damage to respectable levels, I suppose...
Yes, in the event that they all fired at the same time it's likely they would all hit the target depending on your aim. But if this was deemed too much damage, they could always stick to the slightly delayed release of each shuriken like they have now where it's much more difficult to land all of them.

But you get the general idea of how they would fly through the air, making them more likely to hit something.
06/04/2016 08:31 PMPosted by Bralef
Just to clarify, character movement speeds are measured in meters per second like everything else, right? So, Genji and Tracer move at .5 meters per second faster than the other characters?


That is correct, according to that data. I haven't personally verified that they're different, but I did verify 5.5 on Soldier 76
Ugh, really? Nobody has anything to say about this?
06/04/2016 08:37 PMPosted by Rager
As long as widow is around. Genji can't do the job he needs to do. :(

Also his high skill playstyle offers very little reward for the team. I don't even see the point of him, Tracer>Him.


I wouldn't say it's Widow that counters him, actually. Genji generally counters her, to a degree. It depends on map, angle of approach, and mine placement, as she is somewhat separate from her team. That said, some areas are a lot harder to safely approach, and nearly impossible to kill her on. The second major archway around the fountain in Dorado is a nightmare with a widow on it. Approach the front, you'll get killed, or forced to retreat(obviously). Approach from the back, and there's a wide causeway where a single dead player walking back could see you and call out. Get close, and she can jump off into her team for cover and healing insantly, or hook right back up onto the platform after. Since both of you have extreme verticality, unless you can land a perfect kill in the opening volley, she'll jump off, heal a bit, then jump back up, throw a mine, and you're left playing ring around the archway while she's getting healed, and you're getting shot.

A lot of the level design has areas like that, btw. Where if you don't secure a kill instantly, they're only one jump from a healer and a team that will make your life hell. That might be intentional, and honestly I'd rather genji not have a surefire way to instant kill people, but with the way it works now, a failure to instant kill means there is no way you will apply more damage than incoming healing, ever. Not until they're completely routed by eating a bunch of junkrate grenades which scatter them, or someone royally screws their positioning with a winston or reinhardt charge.
This post has validated my pain.
This is pointless math, not even worth reading lol. Genji moves fast and has double jump and wall climb, with his dash attack increasing his chance of dodging attacks even more. Why compare his DPS and attack speed without weighing his mobility and dodge and skills, nor considering his role in the game? He isn't supposed to attack faster and harder for a reason. He also isn't just a standard "attacker" he acts more like a distraction/assassin. He also has reflect.
06/05/2016 02:18 AMPosted by Darxtar
This is pointless math, not even worth reading lol. Genji moves fast and has double jump and wall climb, with his dash attack increasing his chance of dodging attacks even more. Why compare his DPS and attack speed without weighing his mobility and dodge and skills, nor considering his role in the game? He isn't supposed to attack faster and harder for a reason. He also isn't just a standard "attacker" he acts more like a distraction/assassin. He also has reflect.

And yet with all that, he's still so subpar.
I feel like genji should have higher melee damage. His "thing" seems to be to get in close and dash around an opponent so they can't hit you. That doesn't work so well if you're damage is so low that it becomes inevitable they get help from their team before you can score a kill.

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