This here’s an advanced guide to Junkrat in Heroes Of The Storm. If you want a quick character overview, head here.
Junkrat is an explosives-obsessed freak who lives to cause chaos and destruction.
The attack on the Australian Omnium’s fusion core forever altered the landscape of the Outback. After the detonation, the area was transformed into a harsh, irradiated wasteland, littered with debris and the twisted fragments of the ruined facility, and unlivable to most.
But there were some who survived. Calling themselves the Junkers, they scavenged the husk of the omnium and formed a lawless, cutthroat society in its shadow. Junkrat was one of them, eking out a living reclaiming metal and components from the ruins. Like many others, he was affected by the lingering radiation. This touch of madness made him ideal for handling dangerous explosives, a love which he turned into an obsession. Now he is taking that love for explosives into the Nexus and is ready to cause some absolute mayhem.
Great Wave Clear – Junkrat’s auto attacks have area-of-effect range; combined with Frag Launcher it is fast and easy to clear lanes and possible to even duo soak lane experience on smaller maps. Junkrat players must target the middle minions with auto attacks to gain the most value out of each hit.
Mercenary camps will be hard to clear solo though, as Junkrat has no damage mitigation and too little health to tank the mercenary camps.
Strong Crowd Control – Concussion Mine can not only be used defensively to displace the enemy further away but a well-placed mine can even blow Junkrat over obstacles, hitting two birds with one stone.
Steel Trap is an excellent zoning tool, because no one wants to be caught in that 2-second root. Going for the quest talent “Gotta Trap ‘Em All!” and completing it can triple the number of traps that can be placed.
The talent Shattering Teeth will further make the traps more scary as the radius that the traps start chasing enemy heroes is huge.
Rip-Tire has a small knock-back effect but it is very brief so the ability will mostly be used for the damage. Note: Rip-Tire has a 20 second less cooldown when compared with Rocket Ride and the tire travels faster and can leap over walls, obstacles and heroes. The only weakness being, it leaves Junkrat vulnerable while channelling the ultimate.
Rocket Ride has the benefit of rendering Junkrat invulnerable to all effects of damage and CC only after he has launched into the air, and the target ring travels much like Johanna’s Falling Sword ultimate skill, except with a longer 3.5-second timing. Without possible lockdown on enemy heroes, it will be harder to land this skill because of the long execution time.
Long Range Poke and Sustained Damage – It is possible to land extremely long range Frag Launcher hits even with its default range; with no mana cost, Junkrat can spam all the abilities.
Being reliant only on cooldown timers, taking the level 7 talent Tricky Shuffles can provide extra survivability while the Frag Launcher cooldown is ticking down.
Level 16 also has a giant boost in damage potential with Endless Nades if you find yourself in more frequent skirmish encounters and Spread Volley for that burst damage in the less occasional full team fight.
Abilities Require Player Precision – It takes some practise landing hits using the long-range Frag Launcher and even more practice making full use of Concussion Mine, escaping a bad situation will be dependant on this and getting the correct position and timing the mine explosion will be crucial.
No Self Sustain & Is Fragile – Junkrat has no option to gain an increased health pool, more armour, or health back on hit effect. Let’s face it, Blizzard wants him to go out with a boom when they made his passive ability to drop bombs in the position where he died.
With that in mind, positioning is key when playing Junkrat. Keep to the backline and use your traps to keep the hungry diving heroes away from jumping on top of you. It is possible to make a grand escape using Rocket Ride as a last resort and maybe take a kill away using it as well.
Junkrat can be left to soak lane experience in the early game as his damage is scaling and peaks towards mid to late-game.
Junkrat will benefit from having a good sustain team composition and heroes that can provide him with shields. The invulnerable status could be the upcoming meta style in high-level play; the Valla, Tassadar, and Auriel combo is one instance of that meta in action.
Some examples include:
- Auriel: Junkrat can be a great source of energy for Auriel as he doesn’t have mana restrictions.
- Greymane: Great follow-up damage front liner who has access to the executioner talent for a trap combo.
- Muradin: Muradin is a great solo tank and front liner to protect Junkrat and his backline DPS heroes.
- Lucio: He has healing sustain. Most importantly, that extra movement speed can mean life or death for Junkrat.
- Zarya: Other than the shields from her, there is great synergy with her zoning ultimate abilities.
- Medivh: Invulnerability buff and Portals. Need we say more?
High mobility heroes who can kite and avoid being hit by Frag Launcher can wreck Junkrat’s day. Heroes that have access to magic shield talents and reduction/immunity to CC effects can also screw up his gameplan.
Some examples include:
- Anub’arak: Has access to spell damage reduction late game and can shut you down with Cocoon.
- Johanna: Her trait grants her Unstoppable and she will blind you, and lock you down so her team can kill you.
- Genji: His super high mobility and ability to reflect your abilities can make him a top counter.
- Illidan: Sticks to you like glue even after using Concussion Mine.
- Valeera: Sneaks up on you and will make short work of you before you can react.
- Varian: He can be very sticky as well and can solo kill you while mitigating most of your damage and CC effects.
Battlegrounds that have bottleneck paths or tight spaces will make landing your Frag Launcher easier against enemy heroes as well as zoning them with your traps. Maps with clearing minions as objectives are also great for Junkrat as he has good clear with his AOE damage.
Strong maps for Junkrat include Haunted Mines, Infernal Shrines, Braxis Holdout and Garden of Terror. Weak maps for Junkrat include Dragon Shire and BlackHeart’s Bay.
Thanks to the inclusion of Junkrat, we could be seeing more team composition styles much like the solo carry Valla with high sustain team appear in high-level play. Double healer team compositions are slowly becoming more and more popular now with the focus of out-sustaining the enemy instead of the dive heavy hero team. Junkrat will rely on this sustain focus while dishing out the damage from behind of the safety of his team.
Junkrat will be fun to play as well as a pain to be up against. We will definitely see him as a possible candidate in professional tournament level play as his kit is extremely strong.