Why hello everyone! My name is Grellinicious and I'm handsome! I've been playing Awesomenauts for quite a long time now. I'm generally interested in MOBAs and strategy games (Silver IV in LoL, Gold in Starcraft 2) and I want to play the piano for a living when I'm older.
My aim with this guide was to introduce new players to Genji, and give them a variety of information and tools to understand the character and build him smartly. This guide addresses everyone, from the guy that just bought the game to your seasoned high-leaguer. Even though I gave you a build order, what I don't want you to do is to just to copy-paste it and follow it religiously every game. I want you to understand the character so you know why you're buying an upgrade over another one (Knowledge is power). If you know exactly why you're favoring an upgrade over another one, you'll probably use it better as well. In order to do so, I'd like to introduce Genji's kit to you, detailing the strengths and weaknesses of each of his abilities.
This guide is very information-heavy, covering the character's strengths, each of his upgrades, the different ways to play him, giving you a "standard" build order and ways to apply it smartly to a game, matchups, and map advice... but no need to read it every day until every line is engraved on your brain. But even if your play improved slightly after reading this guide, I'll consider it a success. While I highly suggest newer players check out the whole thing, feel free to check the info on the wiki itself.
PART 1: Know Your Character
First of all...what the hell is Genji?
Genji, besides being the coolest monk caterpillar out there, is a late game support. He's a late game support because he strongly empowers with each upgrade he buys, giving him enough tools to carry games as good as Leon, and support because his kit offers a deadly mix of buffs and debuffs. However, he can also be classified as a brawler due to his high sustain and high DPS Autoattack, that can shred enemies.
He can even be a pusher thanks to his creep-melting autoattack, and his The Last Pieridae Transformae upgrade, which can transform enemy Sawblade Droids into friendly Humming Droids. He could be played as a nuker, seeing how your upgraded Cocoon is extremely damaging to full health 'Nauts, but his lack of burst potential and his supportive nature will give him the edge in a sustained fight.
As you can see, Genji's an extremely versatile, powerful character whose ability to cover a great variety of fields make him able to fit into any team, and against any team. But this variety can also confuse a player willing to learn the character, because he's got so many upgrades, all of which seem so good that it can be hard to choose which one to max over another. Fortunately, the purpose of this guide is specifically to make you more comfortable with this colorful cocktail.
This first ... chapter, so to speak, is an overview of the character's core features. His upgrades and playstyles will be tackled in later parts. I can't stress enough how your knowledge of a character improves your skill on this character. Even if you were just coming here for a build order, I advise you check those out.
Stunning its victim for 2 whopping seconds and having a deceptive reach, this ability has one of highest potentials in the game in terms of overall versatility. Even if you're maxing something else, you'll almost always find yourself repaid for an early 135 Solar investment in this ability.
- Unparalleled in terms of catching an opponent out of position and capitalizing on it. If any enemy 'Naut gets caught near your Turret, or when his teammates are not near and your's are ready, it'll be very easy to reach him before the stun ends and burst him down the moment he breaks out (Which can easily be seen coming, thanks to a very clear animation). While it's not that simple in game, seeing how Awesomenauts is very fast and action-packed, sometimes you'll just have to cocoon an enemy in the wild, when you can. Cocooning a roaming opponent in the jungle or in the middle of the map can end up way more effective that you'd think, since the stun is rather long and allows you and your teammates to position for a burst. Look for opportunities to single out opponents for the purposes of stunning them, and opportunities will show more often than you think. This game is all about reactivity. If there is one thing you should not forget from this chapter, it is to not be conservative with your Cocoon.
- Offers great escaping and chasing potential. Another very good reason you want to take Cocoon early in the game. Sometimes you'll find yourself running after a stupidly low folk and he'll barely escape with 5 health, only to spam the taunt button for the next 20 minutes. A well-aimed Cocoon can cover a surprising amount of distance and will secure you more kills than you think. Another good application of this is when a foe has almost reached his turret. Cocooning him allows you and, sometimes, your teammates as well to deliver a final amount of burst and get the kill. This also works the other way around: Cocoon compliments Genji's great mobility, making him a very slippery one to run after. Sticky opponents can be dealt with a facecocoon, and you can still throw off ranged folks with your unpredictable jump, making them too focused on hitting you to see the big, white ball coming, which will almost always save your life.
- Stops channeling abilities, such as Clunk's Explode, Raelynn's Snipe, Derpl's Nuke and said nuke's manual detonation. In fact, it can even stop Coco from manually detonating her Ball Lightning. That's right, you have the power to strike fear into the heart of channeling 'Nauts, punishing them for utilizing those abilities whenever you can and making them actually afraid to display them. This pretty much speaks itself.
- Massive nuke, great pushing tool and provides sustain, but more of this will be covered in the upgrade section.
- The Cocoon is slow. It travels at slow speed through the air, it's big, it's white, and it's EXTREMELY predictable if you don't get a little fancy. Smart opponents will watch for your Cocoons and put themselves at positions that won't ease your task. If you're throwing Cocoons from a distance, chances are you'll hit a creep, if you hit anything at all. Then again, you'll find plenty opportunities and ways during an average game to land good Cocoons, but you need to stay reactive and unpredictable. Don't worry, it'll come with practice.
- The target is invincible for the full duration of the Cocoon. This means that a misplaced Cocoon can actually shield an opponent, and sometimes even save his life. It has happened to every Genji who got into the panic of an intense fight and threw the Cocoon right when his Clunk was about to explode. Take your teammates' abilities in account and see if you be cautious about wasting their burst. Therefore, if your team is burst-heavy, think twice about throwing random Cocoons and pay attention to your surroundings. If you do, these abilities will end up being used when your victim gets OUT of the Cocoon, not when he's into it, and that's what you want.
I feel like most players new to Genji (most players in general, to be honest) don't quite understand how powerful the Blessing proves to be. Seeing how it especially shines in late game, I'll give a late game example to illustrate how good this ability is.
Let's say your team and the enemy team just met at the middle of the map. You don't have time to cast Monarch Blessing, since everyone is firing everywhere and the enemy Derpl is already charging his nuke at you. Since you've read the upper part of this guide, you're immediately throwing your Cocoon at him to stop the channeling, but a wild Froggy appears and shields his teammate. That's the moment you activate your Blessing.
Now, some (very simple) math. Late-game Derpl Nuke hits for a very scary 95. Since you bought your trusty Hidden Leaves, 40% of incoming damage will be reduced. Because the Nuke's explode radius is absolutely enormous, it hits your teammates as well and everyone gets harmed for 57 damage. Since the 3 of you got shielded for 38 HP, the total damage your Blessing soaked up rises to 114, and your whole team just got 100 HP as well from The Cat Pillar when you activated the shield.
Total: 100 HP for your team, PLUS all damage incoming for the next 4 seconds being reduced by 40%, PLUS a huge mobility bonus that will allow you to get on their faces and burst them will your shield still active, since you bought Gettin' Out of Da Hood. And that, my friends, is why Genji outshines almost everyone in this game (screw you, Leon) when late game is up.
- 4 seconds of 25% damage reduction without upgrades. For 135 solar, that's ENORMOUS. And like the Cocoon, it offers a variety of uses in a lot of situations, that are only limited by your creativity/reactivity. Any time you suspect a high damage ability will be thrown at your team's face, pop it. If you follow your instinct, you'll often end-up saving 10 to 20 damage from a strong burst. In the long run, it does make a difference. Also, if early teamfights are breaking, you'll give your team a serious edge by simply pressing a button.
- There is no delay between you pressing the button and your shield popping. That allows you to do last second Blessings when you or a teammate get(s) caught by ranged abilities (Still thinking about you, Coco).
- Very good in brawls. If you find yourself in a 1v1 situation with your Blessing available, try to socket it between 2 ticks of your wand or, if you land the cocoon, right before your opponent gets out.
- Suffers a lot from opportunity cost. If you don't know, opportunity cost is basically the fact that, when you're spending money on something, you could spend it on something else instead. This is especially true to Genji, whose upgrades are all very beneficial to him and his team in a way or another. You could say the whole point of this guide is to give you the tools to handle opportunity cost and know your character enough to be flexible with him. But yeah, that's why you generally won't upgrade your Blessing early to mid game, even though you should take it and leave it unranked. Early game, a 15% additionnal damage reduction to a very slow reloading shield probably won't be as good as additional damage on your wand or Cocoon and might end up losing you trades.(25% or 40% on very small values, like basic attacks and general early game damage, won't represent more than 1 or 2 points of damage while a single point in Plastic Praying Beads grants you 4 damage, and even though the shield will get better versus abilities, it will last for a very short time, unlike your damage increase).
- 14 seconds cooldown. That's a LOT. While you can use your Blessing as a global 36 HP healthpack for your teammates after an exhausting teamfight, it's not advised to spam it when your enemies are alive and well, and roaming the map looking for trouble. Yes, your Blessing is one of the best teamfight buffs out of the game, but a 4 second duration is shorter than it seems, and you want it to be available when they're gonna blow out their cooldowns on your team at once. Don't be too conservative with it though, for the same reasons!
- While this ability is instant cast, it will stop you and reset your momentum when you pop it. This can be very annoying if you're running away from/chasing something. There are ways to get around it, though, such as casting it in the air.
Here it is. The majestic, signature shot so powerful, that my previous (meh) guide on Genji was entirely based around it. Then nerfs happened. This is still a pretty fabulous weapon and, in my opinion, one of best the autoattacks in the entire game.
- A maxed-out Butterfly Shot deals TONS of damage. You'll usually build it first in a normal game for the tremendous damage output you'll get from early to late game. There's not much to say about it. It just does.
- Piercing shots. Part of why your basic attack is so good is that it has natural penetration, allowing you to deal MASSIVE amounts of damage, spread over multiple targets if you throw it in enemy clusters. It's also a very good creep pushing tool for this reason, as a few shots will melt the toughest Droids.
- Nice range. Genji's a very powerful harasser because his attacks are going just far enough to hit enemies without getting hit back.
- Forces you into choosing between power and utility. Early to mid game, most of your (awesome) damage will come from the wand. If you max out something else, you'll become more of a passive support character with little to offer in terms of trading, pushing or fighting. It can be good, if you're working a teamcomp with your friends or in certain games, but you'll still have to delay your utility most of the time to stay effective.
- Slows you down. Some attacks in Awesomenauts won't affect your mobility (Mostly melee attacks, such as Gnaw's Bite) but some will make you lose momentum on cast (Froggy G could even buy an upgrade to remove the momentum loss at some point). I willingly use the term "momentum" because it also makes you lose speed during a jump! While you can work your way around it and still have great kiting and poking potential, you'll have to chose between landing one or two more hits or running faster to safety. Don't get yourself killed out of greed or by forgetting that you're slowing yourself down.
PART 2: Genji's Upgrades
Now that you're a little better acquintainted with Genji's kit, I'll detail each and every one of his upgrades.
Great Slow! While I personally don't use it, I can see the benefits you'll get from taking it. It's especially good if you're running a very bursty team (Vinnie & Spike, Froggy G, Clunk, etc.) that will take the full advantage of catching an opponent out of position. Definitely consider it if you're running a premade and you want to get kills, since it'll be more effective the more you can organize your comp around it. Doesn't really shine in late game, unless you're facing very ballsy opponents.
Now THIS is da bomb. If there is one upgrade you should always take, here is it. Pressure, creep waves flow and objectives are a core feature of any MOBA, and Awesomenauts isn't any different. If you're behind, swapping a Droid every 9 seconds will make it easier to push back the waves and, more importantly, will get the wave to push itself and allow you to do something else.
If you're ahead, well, enjoy hardening your advantage by denying their retaliation and keeping the front at their gates. I've single-handedly 100-0ed a few Turrets this way. If you're running Jagra Eggs, you'll also get the full heal out of transforming a droid, without the Droid itself taking any damage. I've seen some Genji players running it early game recently, and if you can sacrifice some damage, it'll more often than not be worth the loss.
You won't take it for the damage. While 30 is always a nice value to get out of their healthbar, you'll find yourself really, REALLY appreciating the deceptive sustain this upgrade gives you. If you're landing your Cocoon every time it gets off cooldown, you'll roughly get the same amount of sustained healing Med-i'-can offers you. I would say it's a must-have if you run Power Pills Light and a nice, additional layer of survivability if you're going for Med-i'-can.
I know I'm taking rather extreme examples for explanation purposes, but I've made a point here: Whenever you hit an enemy 'Naut with this upgrade, it will deal a good chunk of damage. Health percent damage is especially great late-game when at least one of them will have all three Pill stages. If you want to improve your duelling and impact in teamfights, this is an upgrade you can't go wrong with.
I have mixed feelings about this upgrade. The damage is good and strikes in a large radius, but it's extremely easy to see coming and one of the most obvious skills in the game. However, the simple fact of zoning out your opponents of a large radius can prove effective in certain situations, and can even force them to stay in their position and teamfight or retreat and subject themselves to your fire. It can be okay if you're running a pushing, pressuring drone-focused Cocoon with The Last Pieridae Transformae and Moon Nectar, so that way you can still harm your foes without actually cocooning them.
...but you're really putting yourself at loss by not taking Misfortune Cookie's violent nuke.
I feel like Moon Nectar is a very deceptive upgrade, as well for you as for your teammates. Already, if you're new to the character, I'd suggest you go for Jagra Eggs because it's better in terms of raw output versus your opponents and doesn't force you into making mistakes by having to put yourself under enemy fire to grab your health (it happens) : Moon Nectar's power really shines when you're pushing towers : indeed, it will heal your fierce tanking droids while your flying ally raises from the corpse of their minion. It's also slightly better in teamfights because the whole team can benefit from health drops. Overall, it's a more versatile and somehow better, push and team-oriented version of Jagra Eggs but you should already get along with the character and crawl up to a level in which your mates will understand how to take full advantage of this upgrade before actually taking it.
Monarch Blessing Upgrades
- Maybe the most underrated upgrade out of the entire game. Unlike the Cocoon (and the Wand, actually...) Monarch Blessing doesn't work with a "2 staple items, third one à la carte" template. When I'll give you my loadout and start going on about build order, keep in mind it'll only concern my personal preference of items, and it's especially true for Monarch Blessing, because this ability is really about how you want to play Genji and what you think will be the more effective/benefit your team the most. The best I can do is give you the right tools to understand what everything does and pick accordingly.
So yeah, Hidden Leaves. At my mind, it's a great upgrade. First off, you'll upgrade your Blessing last more often than not, and percent damage reduction works especially well in late game, where everything is bigger, better, faster, stronger. For this reason, you should see if their team has big nukers or bursters (talkin' to you Derpl, and you too Vinnie) and time your shield when they're giving signals they're gonna engage or when a fight is gonna break. That way you'll maximize the additionnal layer of reduction and, well, the bigger the nuke, the better the shield. Especially great versus very easy-to-see-coming bursts. Clunk, Derpl, Rae shouldn't be opponents very hard to soak up. And if you see an initiator ready to go for it, a well-timed shield will negate an appreciable chunk of this Froggy, this Swiggins or this Leon's combo. It's really all about anticipation. Don't worry, it'll come with practice.
- Turns your team into Forrest Gump x3. Literaly. At my opinion, an extremely strong upgrade you should consider every game for the amount of benefits it'll give you. If you're on the offensive side, popping your Blessing right before a fight will allow you better initiation through the sudden burst of mobility. Likewise, starting the fight a little bit faster will give your shield more time to soak up damage, which is what you want. If you're on the defensive side, it'll be very easy for you to either counterattack a bold initiation and burst down a guy instantly, either run away with no hope for them to catch up on you. Also a great tool if you're leaving the base in a hurry or you're chasing after someone.
- The first thing that comes in mind of most players playing alongside a Genji or that are new to the character : "Hey ! This guy can heal every 14 seconds !". And indeed, The Cat Pillar is great. Indeed, it's the one upgrade everyone takes and, quite frankly, there's not much to say about it. When you're not about to fight, you can pump up the troops and when you're actually fighting, negating 30 flat damage per teammate, plus what the shield is gonna soak, makes it an even better teamfighting ability.
- This is sort of an anti-Cat Pillar. NO ONE ever takes this upgrade. And I'd like to enforce this : +2 flat damage reduction is not bad. It's really not. It can be really good and, sometimes, greatly compliment Hidden Leaves. But while Hidden Leaves works better with big values, Bronco Yeast is all about small numbers. For instance, this Leon is just glued to you and starts facetanking you with his light-speed 14 damage shred. Granted you've purchased Hidden Leaves , his attacks are now doing 8 damage. Add your flat reduction and you get an absolutely not scary at all 6 damage per attack. If you're in late game which you should since you've got your shield, you'll happily destroy this Leon with your upgraded wand before he realizes what's happening.
To sum it up, you should see Bronco Yeast as a counter to low damage, fast rate attacks. It's devastating versus Froggy G's gun if you're facing a lunatic that maxed it out first, for instance. However, the fact that Hidden Leaves will still counter more damage anyway and the amount of utility and buffing other upgrades bring will make most players turn down this upgrade. Understandably.
- When I meet a Genji with this upgrade, I silently wave my head left and right in disapproval.
Don't get me wrong, sometimes, cooldown reduction can be the deal. We don't see this build anymore but back in the days, Vinnie was sometimes itemized with Rigged Casino Games, and an upgrade that allowed his smoke cloud to reset most of his Spike Dive's cooldown. Then, he bursted you twice in the blink of an eye and you were indeed likely to sleep with the fish.
But tell yourself: what do you think your team will get the more benefit from? 30% mobility burst, healing, health increase, additionnal damage reduction or turning your 14s cooldown into an 11s cooldown?
Seriously, Kremzon's even giving you the tongue. What a troll.
- I already wouldn't have advised you to take it before, but now that it's been nerfed to last 20 seconds, well...I mean, it's still better that Kremzon Calendar!
Butterfly shot upgrades
- Remembering the days when this upgrade was OP, I obviously started writing a very positive, elogious section about it. Then I was like "Damn, that's good ! I should use it!" and the nerf hit me in the face like a truck full of caterpillars.
This upgrade is not BAD, by any mean. But I feel like it's slightly overestimated by most players. While the cloud itself deals appreciable damage if you stand in it for the full duration, and the AoE makes it good to fight under and versus turret, it's likely your opponent won't stay in it for the full duration, and even if they do, I does something around 20-30 which is nice for a basic attack but overall is something they can and will handle. It's not that big of a threat and not that huge of a zoning tool, but it's still a valuable upgrade. I'm not into it, but I suggest you check it out and see what you can do with it.
- Strikes terror in the meek's heart. Like, seriously. This HURTS. If you're completely new to Genji, you just checked the description and you're like "+2 damage? Meh...that seems average". Don't forget the shot ticks twice, which means this upgrade skyrockets your wand from 10 to 18 damage. On a piercing shot with good range. Needless to say, this is already part of your build. Isn't it?
(Remember the times when this had 3 floors, and so did Storm Drum...silly Ronimo :P
It took me time to admit how OP it was. You'll be missed, OP wand.)
- Plastic Praying Beads's beloved companion and the second core upgrade of your butterfly shot. 30% attack speed bonus on this sluggish wand is a deceptively huge increase of your damage output. More often that not, you'll actually be able to land all your shots because Genji's mobile enough and his shots are going far enough to allow shredding poke. It'll turn your harass into a rain of destruction and strenghten your duelling capabilities. If you don't believe me, just log with a friend and test how fast you kill him speed-less, then with the speed.)
- Good in a Derpl/Clunk early game stomp premade, skippable anywhere else. With Glow Bracelets, your heal is actually not that awful, but you'll have to sacrifice a precious damage upgrade for it. I think it's very underrated and can provide surprising utility, especially early-game, but it's just not good enough for the rest of the game to be viable especially on a late-game character.
As you could guess by the cold welcome I gave Storm Drum, another upgrade has taken place in my heart after the nerfs happened. And this upgrade...*drum roll*...is Space-Hippo Manure Incense! This thing is just great in every way.
First off, it's your best bet early game. I like to go for Solar Tree along with Space-Hippo Manure Incense as my first buy and I'm never disappointed. My addtionnal 10 damage allows me to slay some early droids, get the health creeps in one hit instead of standing there until they die like a moron, damage my foes enough to win early game trades and overall have a good enough output to make myself effective. It's something precious because your early's lackluster compared to most of the cast.
It also compliments your duelling and allows to secure kills. If there is a melee with a low health opponent, don't be polite and wait for one of your guys to take the kill, because not only will you feel retarded if they actually escape (and it happens), but you getting the kill is good for your team anyway because of your ability to carry. Overall, this is your first choice of a "third upgrade" to Genji.
- Does anyone actually knows this thing exists?
As underrated, and actually way more viable that Caterpillar King Statue granted you know how to use it. Go check the range in the wiki page. It's actually pretty damn good and evens Yuri's laser! Once again, it's more of an experienced player upgrade because it relies on your poking and harassing skills to make up for the loss of damage. When you're older, another thing to consider!
This item is basically in competition with Med-i'-can, so give the pros and cons list a warm welcome! (Spoilers: Med-i'-can wins. In fact, this list is a "why you're gonna take Med-i'-can" explanation, rather than a comparison.) And no, you can't get both because Space Air Max is absolutely unskippable on Genji, and without Solar Tree, you'll never (or once in a blue moon) get far enough in the game to buy everything anyway.
- +45 HP, rising Genji's 165 late game HP to 210, which is helpful against a burst-oriented team. For example, they're running a Leon/Vinnie comp, a tongue touches you, good night Irene. While the ultimate counter against these kinds of bursty set-ups is good anticipation and mastering Genji's mid-range poke game/mobility, you can take Pills if you want to ride the game by the horns and go beefy. This could work in a Genji-Voltar premade, for instance.
- Slightly better in a Genji vs Genji configuration. While Med-i'-can's regen is outsanding, no duel will last long enough for him to regain 45 HP, giving you the upper hand.
- No sustain until Jagra Eggs/The Cat Pillar are bought. Either you're displaying a forcefield of entropy that will make you unharmed for the whole duration of early to mid game... either you'll have to spend quality time with the health creeps and back often. Even little damage adds up very quickly and since Genji's a squishy character with little escape mechanisms until he's got some money, you'll have to be stupidly careful and spend a lot of time farming dat health.
- Useless early game, and making your early game worse for this matter: Med-i'-can's a huge help at every stage of the game for Genji and especially early, soaking up enough damage to make so you never, ever have to back. For 240 solar, that's pretty huge. That's what you're skipping if you take the pills. Not to mention it'll be harder for you to get to said late game, since your lack of sustain will force you into buying regen abilities.
Ain't that a lil' cutie <3
- +200 health per minute. Regen so good you can actually see your bar slowly refill.
- Never leave the field again. Even if your poking is pixel perfect, you'll get hurt from various sources, but with Med-i'-can, you'll heal up quickly enough to virtually never have to back until you want to/barely escape from a burst attack with 1 hp remaining. This is, simply put, is why Med-i'-can will almost always be your best choice. This means not having to regularly leave the frontlines to go jungling or going back to the base, which means more farm for you, and better defense/pressure for your team. Little plus side : when you go back to base, you don't have to wait for your health bar to resplenish. Just go and heal yourself on the way.
- As a mobile harasser, you don't actually need to put yourself in harm's way. You should never look to get closer than your mid-range "safe poking" zone and hop around umpredictably, raining butterflies on their heads. And even if you're duelling, facetanking is bad because you should be jumping all around the place and make yourself as hard as a target to hit as you can, using your jump's properties to confuse your opponent. You don't need a large health pool because you're not supposed to get under fire anyway.
- Paired with your healing upgrades, unparalleled and deceptive sustain late-game. Just got sniped? Activate your shield, land a cocoon, and 5 seconds later it's like nothing happened. Being able to out-sustain everyone in the cast is actually precious when, for instance, you're pressuring a tower or getting pressured yourself, because in this configuration, the first one to back out or die is put at a loss.
- Truly, the only one is that you're slightly less tanky (regen is a form of tankiness) than your Pills counterpart. Then again, you're by no mean a beefy character, so who cares, anyway?
- Staple component of Genji's poking game. The way you want to take your fights and duels is, as mentioned before, by being extremely and annoyingly mobile and harass-ish. Just get close enough to caress'em with the double-wave of your butterfly shot and start jumping, strafing, stopping yourself mid-air, flying around and making you as umpredictable of a target as you can. Don't start being silly and focusing on it so hard you can't aim properly of course, it'll come with practice and getting more comfortable with the character. If you just stop dead in tracks and glued to the ground every time you start shooting, you can already do a few jumps. Then add left-right movements to it, then keep spicing up bit after bit. Kiting works pretty much in the same way.
Seeing how what I just told you makes or break a Genji, I don't think it's even necessary to discuss this upgrade.
- There are two main theories regarding the solar upgrades in this game. The first one goes: This character has a great late-game! I'll grab Solar Tree so I can reach it as fast as possible! And the second one goes: This character's early game sucks...I'll build Piggy Bank and try to cheese out a couple early game kills!
Unless you're stomping everything and you get 14 kills out of Piggy Bank, it'll take noticably longer to reach late-game with it that with Solar Tree. Furthermore, the +115 solar will only get you an early Cocoon which is only good early game if your team is already bursty and coordinate. You should only ever take Piggy Bank if you're ruling a cheesy early game bullying premade (Genji-Derpl-Clunk with Cocoon and Caterpillar King Statue, for instance) but else, for "normal" games and in general, there is no reason to take it instead of Solar Tree.
- I don't know how competitive Awesomenauts works, not having enough friends to make a team, neither enough time to "go pro", so I can't tell if this have uses in complex, top notch level plays. I think this upgrade has definitely potential but as Genji, you shouldn't consider it, as hilarious as the picture and description are. You won't be on the frontline as mentioned before, so chances are the amount of debuffing you'll get will be bearable.
Part 3 : Your actual build order, and a fabulous journey through the stages of the game.
Here it comes. The part a rather vast majority of you guys have been "waiting for", or at least clicked this guide for in the first place. Now, I'll enforce this again and I can't say that enough: if you just want a static, always working build order that you can just copy-paste everygame...switch to League of Legends and learn Singed. Like, seriously.
Now, for those of you that are still there, here is what will ACTUALLY make you better at the game. Here's the core part of this whole guide, and the reason I had to decipher with you Genji's bread and butter mechanics. I'm going to take you through a "standard" match and explain which upgrades to buy in which order in which circonstance. Genji's a riveting character because his abilities pack a lot of potential and are only waiting for you to use them smartly: he sort of comes as a kit and it's up to you to build him using your common sense and intelligence.
Keep in mind that, if you're new to Awesomenauts and MOBAs in general, these early/mid/late game notions might seem very vague to you and, in the course of an actual game, you probably won't have time to deeply think about it. This is totally fine. The more you play a character, the better you'll get along with how he works and eventually, you'll just feel that this upgrade or this one will work out and if you trust your instinct, it'll just do more often than not. This part sets and explains guidelines for you to follow over the course of the game, but don't try remembering the whole sum-up of each upgrade before taking it. Simply keeping in mind "I farm early game, helped by my utility. Once my wand is complete, I can start being more agressive and pressuring. Then I build my cocoon for more pushing and damage. Then I build my Blessing for more teamfight presence because we need that in late-game" is already way enough.
Here's the "standard" build I use on Genji, with small variations on every game that I'm going to detail and explain. These variations actually matter a LOT and can make the difference in a game. Never underestimate how important your build order is, especially in a MOBA.
First buy :
You can take Storm Drum instead if you're more into it, but this is the first buy I'd recommand to kick off a game with Genji. For the first few minutes, you'll be whatever you take in a safe, farming state with sprinkles of poking and Space-Hippo Manure Incense gives you the best tools to handle it. It's actually better of an improvement to your early-game damage that Storm Drum, since your opponents won't take more that 4-6 damage before leaving the cloud anyway while your DoT delivers a consistant 10. It allow you to be very annoying and even touching them with the tip of your butterfly from safety, while making creep money helped by your DoT, will be a good harass. Don't forget to kill the health creeps while leaving base, which Space-Hippo Manure Incense also helps you to do by the way!
Really, if you're a bit into other MOBAs and you're having even a basic idea of how the Carry works, that's it. Like with a Leon, you don't have to make plays out of your abilities to be efficient, you don't have to take early towers or make kills if you want to stay afloat. That would be a Derpl's mindset. But as a Genji, all you're asked is to farm, make sure your towers aren't getting harmed, defend when your team defends and attack when your team attacks. Obviously, you can and will make plays over the first minutes of a game but this shouldn't be your primary objective. Only do when you're sure you're not putting yourself in danger of getting ganked or kill.
Early game :Now, I'm goign to put information this way: through early game, you'll have the choice between this little wall of 6 upgrades. Using the knowledge I already gave you in the former sections, and the one you'll gather in the Maps and Matchups one, you should be able to go along with the optimal path. Early game ends ROUGHLY when this block of upgrades is completed or near completion. - Med-i'-can will be, 95% if not 100% of the time, what your first, hard-earned solars are going into. Depending on the map, you might take one or two stages but this is a guideline you can't go wrong with: this little guy's regen will increase your presence and farming beyond imagination. You shouldn't have to leave lane ever again with it, and if you get badly harmed, health creeps are still an option, which allows you to be there, farm all you want, protect your towers/damage theirs and participate in your team's various efforts at all times. In a best case scenario, you'll score a kill, force their remaining members to back, push a tower and go to base with 400 solar.
- Space Air Max follow right after. If you can get to base at first back with around 370 solar and take the whole Med-i'-can plus this, consider it as an optimal launch for your early game! As mentioned before, you don't need to be agressive or greedy during the first stages of the game, that's why health regen and mobility will be your priority buys. Being able to roam around faster increases your presence in the map, and is overall great if you want to perform harassment or get out of a sticky situation.
-Cocoon comes next! "But Mom! I wanna deal damage!" No, you don't. Not yet. Or actually you do. Choosing between Cocoon and Plastic Praying Beads right after Space Air Max is actually pretty situation and will heavily depend on the matchup. If your team can make plays out of singling out an opponent early in the game (It doesn't really depends that much on how "bursty" your team is but rather on how much damage you can afford to let go. If your team has good early game damage, it'll be a good bet. As simple as that.), and if you feel kill potential in cocooning your opponents, go for it. For Cocoon to be effective early game, you need to put its full potential to use and try to get as much kills/force as much backs as you can with it.
- And what about your trusty Monarch Blessing? You'll take this one before Plastic Praying Beads in around 30-50% of your games. Either their team is STUPIDLY bursty (Any combination of Coco/Rae/Vinnie/Froggy/Swiggins/Clunk/Derpl) either your team has already really good early game and you feel like their damage is way enough for now, Monarch Blessing is easily the more situational upgrade of Genji. You'll take it when you feel like it and that's all, the sooner being right after your mobility, the later being once your wand is complete.
- Plastic Praying Beads, eventually! If you can buy them both "in bulk" after a 460 solar back, you can cheese a surprise kill/forced back in an unaware opponent's face! Once you've started purchasing those, your gameplay goes through radical changes simply due to how much more threatening you become. You can start poking the limits of your safety zone, having more pressure, extending a bit and starting to engage fights. With proper harass and knowledge of every naut's forces and weaknesses, you should be able to poke down most of the cast. Don't get greedy however, since a smart opponent will make plays out of your squishiness if you're being unsafe or extend too much: your best tool is minimap watching.
- Glow Bracelets shouldn't ALWAYS be purchased right after Plastic Praying Beads. If, during the course of a game, you feel like a nice shield will be of some use, or if you still didn't build your cocoon, these 135 solars won't be put at loss if you don't spend them on attack speed. However, do not underestimate this upgrade. One stage doesn't seem to make any difference and you can tell a slight increase in your DPS with 2. But once your 3 floors are bought, good God, this thing is just HUGE. Granted you can stay in your beloved fuzzy-hopping mid-range, you should be able to SHRED anyone coming near you at this stage of the game. At this point, you've gone through a massive powerspike and you should look forward to take the game by the horns. Be everywhere at once, use voice commands to gather your folks, apply pressure, force engages! Mid game is the part where your damage outshines almost everyone and you need to put it to good use.