Why Genji's deflect is frustrating to play against

General Discussion
First of all, I want to acknowledge that this is not an "Genji is OP" thread. While I definitely think that he is on the stronger side of the current hero roster, you can definitely counter most Genjis with the right hero. However, this doesn't change the fact that deflect isn't good design and frustrating to play against for several reasons (some which have already been mentioned in other threads):


  • The deflect punishes faster reaction time for projectile heroes like Zenyatta or Torbjörn. Shooting him first means damage that is going back to you, even if he has a slower reaction time. You can't "unshoot" your projectiles. While this is also true for other abilities like barriers, Genji's deflect is the only one that can damage you for being faster.
  • Being able to animation cancel means that your muscle memory can't really learn when the deflect is over, because it's always a different duration, therefore, removing skillful gameplay and adding randomness.
  • This is a pretty common complaint: There's no way of knowing how big the deflection hitbox is. In fact, it's so big that you often don't even notice that your shots are being deflected near you, because it's outside your field of view.
  • Similarily, it's hard to know at what angle the deflect doesn't work anymore, resulting in cases where Genji seems to deflect shots coming from behind him.
  • There's no burst damage ability that can reliably shoot through deflect. Winston, Symmetra or Zarya can shoot through it, but without burst damage, which is important for when he is being healed. Pharah, Junkrat or Ana can try to shoot their aoe projectiles around him, but again, it's hard to determine at what point it's going to be deflected or not.
  • The deflect gives the illusion of a fight still going on, when it's already long over for damaged 200hp heroes in a 1v1, because Genji can simply dash out of it and rightclick to finish you off, without really any kind of counterplay. You can try to shoot him as soon as his deflect ends, but because of the previous mentioned point about muscle memory, it's pretty much impossible to reliably do this.


My suggestion to improve deflect is to make the ability have a barrier-like effect, similar to Zarya's or Reinhardt's barrier (with another colour/texture obviously). The visuals should show how big the area is, and from what sides Genji is protected. I am sure Blizzard's designers can come up with a nice looking solution. I don't think removing animation cancel is the right way, because it would take the current, fluent gameplay away.

Do you have any additional points why you think the deflect is frustrating to play against? Also, keep in mind that I am kind of biased as I don't play much Genji (I have ~10 hours with him), so more experienced Genji players are welcome to voice their opinion.
There is no cancelling deflect other than using swift strike. And guess what? Then he's stuck with no abilities.
It lasts too long in my opinion. That's the problem. A deflect/parry ability in most games typical lasts less than a second and is dependent on excellent reaction times. In this game, Genji can use his deflect as a shield and can use it preemptively and not get punished for it, ESPECIALLY considering he also has his Swift Strike to escape.
11/01/2017 06:49 PMPosted by rkt
There is no cancelling deflect other than using swift strike. And guess what? Then he's stuck with no abilities.

he can also climb a wall
11/01/2017 06:49 PMPosted by rkt
There is no cancelling deflect other than using swift strike. And guess what? Then he's stuck with no abilities.

But that ability, in itself, does damage and puts him in an ideal spot to use his shuriken to greater effect. That, or it gives him distance to escape and use the ability you don't think counts- wall climb. Besides, the OP isn't advocating removing this cancel, so why bring that up?

I will say that adding a visual effect to show deflect's AoE would be fantastic, as if would probably clear up a lot of issues that people have with it seemingly reflecting damage not even aimed at the Genji. It would also help a lot for people who play on lower resolutions as the animation can be hard to see from any kind of distance.
11/01/2017 06:49 PMPosted by rkt
There is no cancelling deflect other than using swift strike. And guess what? Then he's stuck with no abilities.


Double jump? Wall climb? Genji has a trick for every situation, if Overwatch had a Batman- Genji would be it. A contingency plan for every situation.
Some people just get easily frustrated.

I'm not one of those so deflect doesn't frustrate me.
11/01/2017 06:49 PMPosted by rkt
There is no cancelling deflect other than using swift strike. And guess what? Then he's stuck with no abilities.
And guess what? He used dash through you, damaging you and getting a free hit before you can turn around and start shooting at him again. If you're a squishy, you would already be below half health from one dash, alt fire and melee
11/01/2017 07:01 PMPosted by poochie
Some people just get easily frustrated.

I'm not one of those so deflect doesn't frustrate me.


It's not a matter of being frustrated at all...it's a matter of being in a position of having the upper hand but, at the press of a button, losing it and having no way to deal with it.
Genji already has the upper hand in most of his combat ls due to his passives and unavoidably dash, being capable of starting the combat at close quarters or long, he doesn't have fall off damage and his shurikens hitboxes are more than generous.

He still have two unpredictable advantages over his opponents, someone on his team can reset his dash by killing someone Genji hits 4s ago by accident when he spammed right click OR someone on the enemy team can shoot near him when he's deflecting, not necessarily his target.

His hitbox is the smallest of the game when performing double jump, and doing it has no negative sides on Genji whatsoever. So it will be much harder for someone to hit genji than the opposite.

His deflect is the strongest defense ability in the game and gives him the pass to out of the jail, and can give him the upper hand again since he can dash to cancel it and do even more unavoidable damage to his targets.

Simply put Genji can attack you from where is more convenient to him, has more odds of hit his targets than the opposite, have the strongest defensive ability of the game, has an absurd burst damage if it remains uncontested and besides his dash, his ult also can't be avoided by shields and other standard abilities.

On top of that, he have giant hitboxes on his dash, deflect AND ult.

Well, reasons enough I guess.
The hitbox not being visible is my main complaint at this time, mainly because it's hard to tell when it begins or ends, especially during certain ultimates that clutter your screen for the duration... High Noon being chief among them. Mainly high noon, actually.
11/01/2017 02:35 PMPosted by CuddlyFlower
This is a pretty common complaint: There's no way of knowing how big the deflection hitbox is. In fact, it's so big that you often don't even notice that your shots are being deflected near you, because it's outside your field of view.


Blizz should make the effect look as big the hitbox. Maybe they don't do it to save themselves the uproar of the community caused by actually seeing how much BS that hitbox is.
11/01/2017 06:49 PMPosted by rkt
There is no cancelling deflect other than using swift strike. And guess what? Then he's stuck with no abilities.
Unlike most heroes, he's not as reliant on his cooldown abilities.

Take Tracer, hacked she's dead. Mis-manages blink, she's dead. Not she runs away, she dies. Genji however retains most of his kit, even when hacked. He can still easily escape compare to a Tracer with no blinks. So cancelling deflect into swift strike is not a death sentence for Genji.

That, I suspect, may be part of the reason why Genji is loathed and Tracer is generally accepted. She has weaknesses in her kit that will get her killed. Genji can screw up and still escape. Tracer comes across as deadly but manageable. Genji is deadly and frustratingly difficult to kill.

Join the Conversation

Return to Forum