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Varian Talents

Last updated on Nov 16, 2016 at 21:00 by Kendric 11 comments

Table of Contents

Varian Image

General Information

On this page, we present the viable talent choices for playing Varian in a competitive environment in Heroes of the Storm. For each talent, we explain what they do and why they should or should not be taken.

The other pages of our Varian guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

About the Author

KendricSwissh is a Master League Warrior and Support player in Hero League. He has been playing Heroes of the Storm since the early stages of the Alpha version and has mastered a large number of Heroes. He is also creating Heroes of the Storm related content on YouTube, most notably his series called Epic Plays of the Week, which focuses on video clips submitted by his viewers. He is also a streamer on Twitch where he will gladly answer all of your questions about the game.

1. Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Lion's Maw Overpower ? High King's Quest
4 Shield Wall ? Warbringer
7 Live by the Sword Second Wind Victory Rush
10 Taunt Colossus Smash Twin Blades of Fury
13 Banner of Stormwind ? Banner of Ironforge Banner of Dalaran ?
16 Juggernaut ? Mortal Strike ? Shattering Throw ?
20 Vigilance Master at Arms Frenzy ? Glory to the Alliance Demoralizing Shout

2. Common Talent Paths

2.1. Arms Build

The Arms Build turns Varian into a highly explosive melee Assassin, who excels at marking enemy priority targets using Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash and unleashing a large amount of damage within split seconds to take them down as swiftly as possible. Similar to Tyrande's Hunter's Mark Icon Hunter's Mark, Colossus Smash applies Vulnerable to Varian's chosen target, which causes nearby allies to also deal increased damage on the target. As such, it is crucial to let your team know which target you are about to attack. Thus, we strongly recommend using ingame ping commands before leaping onto the enemy in order to guarantee immediate follow-up damage.

Keep in mind that Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash can (and should!) also be used against non-Heroic enemies, such as Mercenaries and Bosses in order to take them down much quicker. Due to the Heroic Ability's low cooldown, we definitely recommend doing so in order to save precious seconds, especially if you suspect the enemy team to be close by.

2.2. Fury Build

Varian's Fury Build turns him into a deadly melee Assassin, providing him with an outstanding amount of self-sustain thanks to Second Wind Icon Second Wind at Level 7. Combined with the attack speed buff from his Twin Blades of Fury Icon Twin Blades of Fury Heroic Ability, Second Wind allows Varian to clear Mercenary and even Boss Camps all by himself without taking too much damage.

All in all, Varian compares in many ways to Sonya when going for the Fury Build. Constant movement is crucial in order to become harder to lock down by the enemy team. Despite the fact that Varian is one of the strongest duelists in the game, especially after picking Twin Blades of Fury at Level 10, it is important to know when to engage and when to retreat. Do not dive into the enemy team's backline without your Tank in your vicinity and avoid chasing blindly into the enemy territory at all costs!

2.3. Protection Build

Unlike his other two Heroic Abilites, Taunt Icon Taunt causes Varian to become a stalwart Tank who is capable of peeling for his backline, while at the same time posing a serious threat to enemy Assassins and Specialists.

Talents like Banner of Ironforge Icon Banner of Ironforge at Level 13 and Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout at Level 20 provide strong AoE damage mitigation by strengthening nearby allies and weakening nearby enemies. When playing the Protection Build, your main objective is not to deal damage and take down enemy Heroes. Instead, try to zone enemy Warriors and melee Assassins and keep them at bay from your less resilient team members. Use Charge Icon Charge and Taunt Icon Taunt on engaging hostile Warriors in order to slow their advance or, if possible, cast those abilities on exposed enemy priority targets to enable your team to follow up and secure the kill.

3. Level 1 Talents

Varian Lion's Maw
Lion's Maw (Level 1) World of Warcraft Varian

Quest: Every time Lion's Fang hits a Hero, increase its damage by 4, up to 120.

Reward: After hitting 30 Heroes, the slow is increased to 40% and its duration is increased to 2 seconds.

Varian Overpower ?
Overpower (Level 1) World of Warcraft Varian

When you Parry a Hero's Basic Attack, Heroic Strike's cooldown is refreshed. Can only occur once per cast.

Varian High King's Quest
High King's Quest (Level 1) World of Warcraft Varian

Quest: Hit 50 Heroes with Basic Attacks.

Quest: Participate in 5 Hero Takedowns.

Quest: Gather 20 Regeneration Globes.

Reward: Completing a Quest grants 10 Base Attack Damage. Completing all 3 Quests grants an additional 30 Base Attack Damage.

3.1. Discussion

High King's Quest Icon High King's Quest looks intimidating at first, since you have to complete 3 Quests in order to unlock its full potential. However, only the Regeneration Globe Quest is really hard to finish. The remaining 2 should be completed before hitting Level 10, which already provides Varian with a solid early game damage bonus.

Lion's Maw Icon Lion's Maw feels a bit underwhelming during the early phases of the game. However, as its Quest completion bonus kicks in, it possesses great synergy with Varian's Arms Build, especially after Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash has been picked at Level 10. The bonus damage from Lion's Maw and its potential to hit multiple enemies at the same time, makes it a perfect match for Master at Arms Icon Master at Arms at Level 20.

Overpower Icon Overpower is a solid alternative to High King's Quest Icon High King's Quest, especially for players who have learned how to use Parry Icon Parry efficiently. Overpower gets most value if you decide to play the Arms Build featuring Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash at Level 10, since Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike benefits greatly from the empowered Basic Attack damage.

4. Level 4 Talents

Varian Shield Wall ?
Shield Wall (Level 4) World of Warcraft Varian

Parry now grants Protected, preventing all incoming damage for the duration.

Varian Warbringer
Warbringer (Level 4) World of Warcraft Varian

Charge now stuns the target for 1 second instead of slowing them, and its cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds.

4.1. Discussion

Warbringer Icon Warbringer provides Varian with a much needed Stun to lock his targets down more efficiently. Furthermore, lowering Charge Icon Charge's cooldown by 10 seconds is a huge asset to both his chasing and peeling capabilities. In fact, this offensive talent is so good, we even recommend picking it if you intend to pick Taunt Icon Taunt at Level 10.

Shield Wall Icon Shield Wall remains a situational talent in most situations. While the Invulnerability effect allows Varian to attack more recklessly, the loss of mobility and lockdown potential that comes by ignoring Warbringer Icon Warbringer is hard to compensate. We recommend picking this talent if the enemy team relies heavily on burst damage Heroes like Jaina, Kerrigan, or Li-Ming. Alternatively, Shield Wall can also be a good choice to keep you alive if you happen to be the only Warrior in your team.

5. Level 7 Talents

Varian Live by the Sword
Live by the Sword (Level 7) World of Warcraft Varian

Increase the duration of Parry by 20%. If you block at least 2 Hero Basic Attacks with a single Parry, its cooldown is reduced by 3 seconds.

Varian Second Wind
Second Wind (Level 7) World of Warcraft Varian

Basic Attacks heal Varian for 1% of his maximum Health. While below 50% Health, they also heal him for 50% of the damage dealt.

Varian Victory Rush
Victory Rush (Level 7) World of Warcraft Varian

Every 60 seconds, Varian's next Basic Attack will heal him for 877 (416 + 4% per level) Health. When a nearby enemy minion dies, the cooldown is reduced by 15 seconds.

5.1. Discussion

Second Wind Icon Second Wind marks Varian's first power spike if you decide to go for Twin Blades of Fury Icon Twin Blades of Fury. Its increased Attack Speed makes this talent truly shine. The synergy between the two enables you to capture any Mercenary and Boss Camp at or after Level 10.

Victory Rush Icon Victory Rush is the go-to choice if you went for the Arms or Protection Build. Its self-sustain is much more reliable when Varian's Attack Speed is not increased by Twin Blades of Fury Icon Twin Blades of Fury.

Live by the Sword Icon Live by the Sword is an underwhelming talent, since its damage mitigation very rarely matches the self-sustain coming from Second Wind Icon Second Wind or Victory Rush Icon Victory Rush.

6. Level 10 Talents

Varian Taunt
Taunt (Level 10) World of Warcraft Varian
  • Cooldown: 16 seconds

Force the target Hero to attack Varian for 1.25 seconds.

Passive: Maximum Health increased by 50%.

Passive: Attack Speed reduced by 25%.

Varian Colossus Smash
Colossus Smash (Level 10) World of Warcraft Varian
  • Cooldown: 20 seconds

Smash a target enemy, dealing 350 (166 + 4% per level) damage and making them Vulnerable for 3 seconds.

Passive: Base Attack Damage increased by 75%.

Passive: Maximum Health reduced by 10%.

Varian Twin Blades of Fury
Twin Blades of Fury (Level 10) World of Warcraft Varian

Basic Attacks reduce Heroic Strike's cooldown by 9 seconds, and increase Varian's Movement Speed by 30% for 2 seconds.

Passive: Attack Speed increased by 100%.

Passive: Base Attack Damage reduced by 25%.

6.1. Discussion

Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash turns Varian into a hard-engaging melee Assassin. Its Vulnerability debuff can pave the way for quick take-downs, especially if your team features burst-heavy ranged Assassins who can follow up on Varian's charge. In order to unleash Colossus Smash's full potential, it should always be used first, followed up by Lion's Fang Icon Lion's Fang and Charge Icon Charge to maximise your damage output against the vulnerable target.

Twin Blades of Fury Icon Twin Blades of Fury increases Varian's Attack Speed and Movement Speed tremendously, causing him to become a deadly Bruiser, who can wreak havoc within the enemy lines. If paired with Second Wind Icon Second Wind at Level 7, Varian can duel almost any other Hero in a one-versus-one situation, so feel confident when you meet foes in the open. Also, make sure to capture Mercenary Camps and Bosses by yourself every now and then to provide your team with additional lane pressure.

Taunt Icon Taunt is Varian's most defensive Heroic Ability and provides and additional source of crowd control to his kit while also bolstering his health pool by a large margin. It is crucial to realize that by taking Taunt, you essencially sacrifice damage output and kill potential in favor of peeling potential for your allies. We only recommend picking Taunt if you do not have any other Warriors in your team who could fill the role of a Tank.

7. Level 13 Talents

Varian Banner of Stormwind ?
Banner of Stormwind (Level 13) World of Warcraft Varian
  • Cooldown: 45 seconds

Activate to place a Banner that grants 25% increased Movement Speed to nearby allied Heroes. Lasts 12 seconds.

Varian Banner of Ironforge
Banner of Ironforge (Level 13) World of Warcraft Varian
  • Cooldown: 45 seconds

Activate to place a Banner that grants Resistant to nearby allied Heroes, reducing damage taken by 25%. Lasts 12 seconds.

Varian Banner of Dalaran ?
Banner of Dalaran (Level 13) World of Warcraft Varian
  • Cooldown: 45 seconds

Activate to place a Banner that grants 20% increased Ability Power to nearby allied Heroes. Lasts 12 seconds.

7.1. Discussion

Banner of Ironforge Icon Banner of Ironforge is a fantastic talent for Varian, since it provides himself and nearby allied Heroes with a significant defensive buff. This becomes particularly useful during longer skirmishes and team fights around Map Objectives. Keep in mind that you can also use Banner of Ironforge to mitigate some of the damage that Mercenary Camps or Bosses deal to you and your teammates.

Banner of Stormwind Icon Banner of Stormwind can be a worthy substitute to Banner of Ironforge Icon Banner of Ironforge if your team needs additional mobility to either engage the enemy team or retreat away from them. If timed well, Banner of Stormwind can definitely become a life saver for threatened allies.

Banner of Dalaran Icon Banner of Dalaran remains a very situational choice. We would only recommend picking this talent if two requirements are met. Firstly, Varian himself goes for the Arms Build. This way, Banner of Dalaran would greatly amplify Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash' and his other abilities' damage output. Secondly, your team needs to feature at least one Mage, such as Li-Ming or Jaina, to increase Banner of Dalaran's overall value.

8. Level 16 Talents

Varian Juggernaut ?
Juggernaut (Level 16) World of Warcraft Varian

Charge deals bonus damage to Heroes equal to 6% of their maximum Health.

Varian Mortal Strike ?
Mortal Strike (Level 16) World of Warcraft Varian

Heroes hit by Heroic Strike receive 40% reduced healing for 4 seconds.

Varian Shattering Throw ?
Shattering Throw (Level 16) World of Warcraft Varian
  • Cooldown: 30 seconds

Activate to throw a sword that deals 110 (52 + 4% per level) damage to the target, and up to 3068 (1456 + 4% per level) bonus damage to their Shields.

Passive: Basic Attacks deal up to 200% bonus damage to Shields.

8.1. Discussion

Juggernaut Icon Juggernaut has great synergy with Warbringer Icon Warbringer at Level 4, especially if the enemy team consists of several high health Heroes.

Mortal Strike Icon Mortal Strike is a very effective talent if you decided to go for the Fury Build featuring Twin Blades of Fury Icon Twin Blades of Fury at Level 10. Due to the increased Attack Speed, Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike will trigger a lot more frequently, which in return will maintain Mortal Strike's healing debuff constantly on your primary target.

Shattering Throw Icon Shattering Throw is a very powerful counter to Heroes like Tassadar or Johanna, who possess powerful shielding abilities. If the enemy team does not use any shields at all, Shattering Throw completely shuts down Chen's Fortifying Brew Icon Fortifying Brew.

9. Level 20 Talents

Varian Vigilance
Vigilance (Level 20) World of Warcraft Varian

Being hit by a Hero Basic Attack reduces the cooldown of Taunt by 0.75 second.

Varian Master at Arms
Master at Arms (Level 20) World of Warcraft Varian

Colossus Smash affects all enemies near the target, and its cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds.

Varian Frenzy ?
Frenzy (Level 20) World of Warcraft Varian

Twin Blades of Fury increases Varian's Attack Speed by an additional 15%, and Basic Attacks increase his Movement Speed by an additional 10%.

Varian Glory to the Alliance
Glory to the Alliance (Level 20) World of Warcraft Varian

Banner now also increases health regeneration and all healing received for nearby allied Heroes by 50%, and the cooldown is reduced by 20 seconds.

Varian Demoralizing Shout
Demoralizing Shout (Level 20) World of Warcraft Varian
  • Cooldown: 25 seconds

Activate to demoralize nearby enemy Heroes, reducing damage they deal by 25% for 5 seconds.

9.1. Discussion

Master at Arms Icon Master at Arms provides a significant late game damage spike to Varian, allowing him to apply the Vulnerable debuff to multiple enemy Heroes at the same time. While this effect alone would probably already be enough to justify taking Master at Arms, the additional cooldown reduction on Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash renders this talent extremely powerful.

Glory to the Alliance Icon Glory to the Alliance's noteworthy cooldown reduction on any Banner talent from Level 13 is a solid reason to pick this talent, as it basically allows you to have a guaranteed Banner during every major team fight. The additional increased healing and health regeneration helps your allies to out-sustain the enemy team during longer skirmishes and team fights. We strongly recommend picking Glory to the Alliance if you went for Second Wind Icon Second Wind at Level 7 and Twin Blades of Fury Icon Twin Blades of Fury at Level 10, since it boosts Varian's self-healing tremendously.

Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout is an excellent counter against team compositions who focus a lot on damage. Being able to cripple several melee and ranged Assassin allows Varian to protect not only himself but also nearby allies in his vicinity. Consequently, this talent becomes our go-to choice at Level 20 when playing the Protection Build.

Frenzy Icon Frenzy's effect is strong, yet it is not really needed, since we find Twin Blades of Fury Icon Twin Blades of Fury's original buffs to be sufficient. Consequently, we recommend sacrificing additional damage in favor of utility or self-sustain by picking either Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout or Glory to the Alliance Icon Glory to the Alliance.

Vigilance Icon Vigilance offers too little to compete against any of the other Level 20 talents.

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