5 Tips to Improve Your Junkrat Play ft. Snitch
Tue 24th Apr 2018 - 10:00pm
AUSSIE AUSSIE AUSSIE, OY OY OY! Are you ready for explosions and hilarious voice lines? Today we are taking a look at our favourite Australian representative in The Nexus, Junkrat. Team Dignitas’ Flex player Joshua “Snitch” Bennett has recently brought Junkrat into the competitive meta, and is here to help us improve our Junkrat play.
Junkrat, or Jamison Fawkes which is his “real” name, is from the Overwatch universe where he excels at poke damage with his splashing basic attacks, displacement tools, and a hard hitting AoE heroic ability. These things are carried straight over to his Heroes of the Storm equivalent, where his splashing auto attacks and other abilities give him important waveclear prowess and consistent poke damage.
“Junkrat strikes me as a hero kinda similar to Greymane, not necessarily because they play the same way, but because they are these kinda jack-of-all-traits, do a whole bunch of things style heroes. They both have strong waveclear, they can both bring strong teamfight poke, he has the RIP-Tire that brings a lot of burst, zone control with mine and trap. If you get good with all these facets of his gameplay he becomes a really strong hero in almost every situation," Snitch explained.
As mentioned above, we asked Snitch for help as he is currently one of the most successful, if not the most successful, Junkrat players in the world right now. We wondered what his personal opinion on Junkrat was and he answered, “I think Junkrat is one of the most fun heroes to play, and he is definitely one of my favourite heroes in the game. At first, I just kinda enjoyed him, I wasn’t too big a fan, but as I found his stronger talent build and found out how to manipulate the map in the end-game, I liked him more. I like the fact that good gameplay is rewarded while playing him.”
And now it’s time to move on to the meat and potatoes and see what you need to improve on to become an impactful Junkrat player. Here are Snitch's 5 tips to improve your Junkrat play!
1. Bombs Away!
As Junkrat you need to be able to dish out impactful sustain damage. This is mostly done with Frag Launcher (Q), which will deal more and more splash damage every time you hit an enemy hero, as we will go further into when we look at the talents later. But what is the most efficient way to deal damage as Junkrat?
Snitch explains, “If you are in a situation where you can auto attack someone, you want to alternate between autos and grenades, it flows better with his animations and you will do more dps. If you are fighting from a distance though, for example in a teamfight, you can just stand back and chuck grenades at them. The grenades have a pretty big hitbox; this is especially useful after level 16, where you will take the talent Endless Nades which will be rewarded really heavily. You only need to hit 2 heroes with each grenade to reset the cooldown, and this becomes even easier at level 20 with the Cannonball talent.”
2. Let’s Fly!
Chances are that you have probably seen Junkrat players fly incredible distances in your games before, but did you know that there’s a meaning and coordination behind this crazy looking spectacle? Your Concussion Mine (W) is a super versatile ability. There are 4 main ways it can be used. Firstly, you can use it as a follow up to your teammates’ stun abilities and throw an enemy into your tower range or just into your team. Second, it can be a tool to help out a friendly backline hero that are getting dived. Third, by detonating the mine under yourself you can move quickly around the map if you get the right angle. fourth, your mine can be placed in a bush or rotation area to make your laning safer.
So, when should you do what?
Snitch gives us an idea. “Most of the time you will hold your mine and use it defensively before you hit level 13. From level 13 and onwards, it’s mostly just looking for where your mine can be most impactful. For example, if your Muradin is throwing out a Storm Bolt, you can follow up and knock the target back into your team, or if you have a Malfurion and the other team collapse on him, you can knock them all away from him. Those are the 2 main offensive uses of the mine. When you are not fighting, you will just use the mine to move around the map. After level 13 it’s not really worth it to mount up anymore.”
3. But I Thought It Was a CC Ability???
Ah yes, the good old Steel Trap (E), locking your enemy in place ready to be eliminated by your team. Did you know that this is not normally the main use for this ability? Actually, it’s more of a vision and zoning tool that will force your opponents to move differently from what they intended.
Snitch told us that this CC ability is not really used the way most players would think. “The difference between an okay Junkrat and a good Junkrat is definitely how they use their trap, because it gives vision and people don’t want to walk over it. This means that they will either get stuck, or you will at least see them, just through the intelligent use of your trap. I think it’s really important to have uptime on your trap and constantly recycling it to have it in a spot where you get valuable information for where you and your allies are.”
4. Let It RIP!
Things are about to go "BOOM!" with this heroic ability, but it’s also really fragile as it can be killed before it reaches its intended location of detonation. RIP-Tire is one of the most destructive teamfighting abilities in the game and can turn a dire looking fight to your team’s advantage. This wheel of mass destruction can even jump over walls to take out retreating enemies.
Snitch revealed some tricks that can keep your tire alive long enough to have a great impact. “You should always jump with your tire before you detonate it. People are getting much better at targeting the tire these days, but by jumping with your tire before detonation you will stop it in its path, making it harder to target. You can bring your tire into the fight in 2 different ways. If you are standing close to the fight, you should just jump past the frontline and detonate it in the middle of the enemy team. If you are doing a long range tire, you should try and flank into the backline from a safe angle to keep your tire from being killed.”
5. Lots of Synergy and No Hard Counters
You should never be afraid to pick Junkrat into a composition that needs a sustain DPS. With his great waveclear he enables other heroes to do what they are good at.
Snitch gave us an example, “A hero like Genji for example. People would think that Junkrat and Genji are not good together, but with Junkrat’s waveclear, Genji is free to do whatever he wants around the map.” He later also mentioned the synergy of Maive (Warden’s Cage) and Junkrat (RIP-Tire) - simply detonate the tire on the enemy team inside the cage.
Junkrat also synergizes well with pretty much any stun Tank as he can follow up with his mine. Not only does Junkrat work in nearly all compositions, he is also one of the very few heroes that have no hard counters.
Snitch explains, “Junkrat isn’t really countered by any heroes, not even Zeratul. People say it's scary to go against a Zeratul, but I don’t think so. I think it’s a skill matchup. When you play enough games against Zeratul you know where he wants to gank you from, and if you have your trap in the correct place, you will always win the trade. A good example was at the Western Clash against HeroesHearth; the first game was on Towers of Doom against McIntyre, I was Junkrat and he was Zeratul. I ended up catching him in a trap, and he was forced to use Void Prison because of my RIP-Tire.”
Let’s take a look at Snitch’s standard Junkrat build
Level 1: Put Some English On It
This is simply the most valuable talent in this tier, as a lot of your sustain damage comes from your grenades. The extra range gives you more control and better opportunity to poke.
Level 4: Taste For Explosions
You should not feel pressured to complete this quest talent. Some people shy away from this talent because most of the time they won’t complete it, but that’s not what this quest is about. There’s so much value in having your grenades scale throughout the whole game. This is pretty much a pick and forget talent, but the alternatives are simply not close.
Level 7: Tricky Shuffles
The 2 other options lean more towards the less popular trap build. A good Junkrat can use the extra movement speed very effectively. If you are running away from someone, you should fire your grenades to get the extra run speed. In teamfights, you can fire your grenades and use the extra movespeed to get in some auto attacks in a safer way.
Level 10: RIP-Tire
Always the Tire. Rocket Ride doesn’t really do much and the Tire is just one of the best heroic abilities in the game. Flexibility, splash damage, zoning - this heroic ticks all the boxes.
Level 13: Ripper Air
This is the talent that makes Junkrat a pseudo-global hero. With the right execution, you can travel immense distances in no time. Junkrat can jump to an offlane, clear the wave, and jump back to his team again in under half the time it would take for any other hero to do the same. When you have this talent it’s no longer worth mounting up, simply jump from lane to lane as it’s much faster.
Level 16: Endless Nades
This talent is just insane in teamfights. As the talent says, you will have endless nades to rain down on the enemy team with the cooldown resetting all the time.
Level 20: Cannonball
This is pretty much just the cherry on the top to help you with the level 4 quest talent and the level 16 cooldown resets. As long as you are in a teamfight, no healer will be able to outheal your sustain damage from all the nades dealing hilarious damage at this point.
Final words from Snitch to new Junkrat players: “I think Junkrat is one of the strongest heroes in the meta right now. I believe that if you become a phenomenal Junkrat player, you will become a phenomenal player in general. I think learning this hero gives you so many lessons on the game, and playing him on a high level feels really rewarding. So, if you are choosing to play Junkrat you made a good decision and I wish you the best of luck!”