Varian Abilities and Strategy
Welcome to our Abilities page for Varian. Here, we give you an overview of every ability in Varian's kit. For each of them, we explain what it does, how to best use it, and how it works in combination with Varian's other abilities. We also give you strategy tips to play Varian efficiently.
1. Varian's Tips and Tricks
- When playing the Arms Build, always make sure to use Colossus Smash first in order to increase all damage dealt from your other abilities.
- Charge does not go through obstacles such as Walls, Gates, or any other impassable terrain.
- If you are not sure which Banner to pick at Level 16, the safest bet is usually Banner of Ironforge.
- Taunt can be used to interrupt (Heroic) abilities that have a short channel animation, such as Storm, Earth, Fire or Twilight Dream.
- Playing Varian requires you to be mindful of your allies, especially during the initial Hero draft. For instance, if your team desperately needs a Tank, do not insist on taking Colossus Smash or Twin Blades of Fury at Level 4.
- Shattering Throw completely shuts down Heroes like Artanis, Johanna, or Chen.
2. Heroic Strike (Trait)
- Cooldown: 18 seconds
Every 18 seconds, Varian's next Basic Attack deals 125 (+4% per level) bonus Spell Damage. Basic Attacks reduce this cooldown by 2 seconds.
Heroic Strike causes Varian to become one of the strongest duelists in the game as long as he is able to use his Basic Attacks. There are a few talents like Overpower at Level 1 or Mortal Strike at Level 13, which take Heroic Strike into account and work best if going for the so-called Fury Build featuring Twin Blades of Fury at Level 4.
It is usually recommend to make use of stutter-stepping when playing as Varian. Doing so causes Heroic Strike to proc more often, since the distance between him and his target is being kept as short as possible. Furthermore, constantly moving in between Basic Attacks causes him to be harder to hit, resulting in taking less damage from enemy abilities over time.
3. Lion's Fang
- Mana: 50
- Cooldown: 8 seconds
Create a shockwave that travels in a straight line, dealing 150 (+4% per level) damage and Slowing enemies by 35% for 1.5 seconds. Each enemy hit heals Varian for 35 (+4% per level), increased to 140 (+4% per level) against Heroes.
- Mana: 20
- Charges: 2
- Recharge Time: 10 seconds
Parry all incoming Basic Attacks for 1.25 seconds, reducing their damage by 100%.
Stores up to 2 charges.
Parry is a very interesting ability, as it completely prevents all damage from Basic Attacks that would hit Varian including the Core and other Structures, such as Towers or Forts. While it does have several advantages, such as a low cooldown and a straight forward mechanic, it also comes with some disadvantages. First of all, it is often hard to react quickly enough to block a powerful Basic Attack from Heroes like Sgt. Hammer or Valla instead of a less threating attack from someone like Li-Ming, especially when both enemies attack at roughly the same time. Thus, timing Parry will become one of the most difficult yet important skills to master when playing as Varian.
There are, however, several talents that greatly improve Parry, most importantly Shield Wall at Level 10. By making Varian Invulnerable during Parry's duration, the ability becomes a lot more forgiving and efficient at the same time.
- Mana: 45
- Cooldown: 12 seconds
Charge to the target enemy, dealing 50 (+4% per level) damage and Slowing them by 75% for 1 second.
Charge provides Varian with a much-needed gap-closer that can be used both offensively and defensively. If used offensively, Varian can damage and slow his chosen target to either take it down himself or allow his teammates to follow up. If used defensively, Varian can escape dangerous situations by charging an enemy target standing on the opposite side of his opponent(s).
It is worth mentioning that Charge does not allow Varian to dash through Walls, Structures and other impassable terrain. Instead, Varian is will try to go round that obstacle and eventually cancel the charge if the target has moved too far away in the meantime.
- Mana: 20
- Cooldown: 16 seconds
Silence a target Hero and force them to attack Varian for 1.25 seconds.
Passive: Maximum Health and Health Regeneration increased by 30%.
Taunt increases Varian's defensive capabilities significantly, turning him into a resilient Tank. It is important to realize that going for Taunt changes his playstyle entirely. No longer should you be trying to go for takedowns on enemy Heroes. Instead, try to peel for your fragile Assassins and Specialists by using Taunt on hostile Warriors in order to slow their advance.
7. Colossus Smash
- Mana: 40
- Cooldown: 20 seconds
Smash a target enemy, dealing 160 (+4% per level) damage and lowering their Armor by 20 for 3 seconds, causing them to take 20% increased damage.
Passive: Base Attack Damage increased by 100%.
Passive: Maximum Health and Health Regeneration reduced by 10%.
Colossus Smash provides Varian with another gap-closer next to Charge. By picking Colossus Smash, Varian's playstyle becomes very explosive, meaning that he is capable of dealing a large amount of damage within a short period of time to take down his target as quickly as possible.
8. Twin Blades of Fury
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 20%.
Twin Blades of Fury causes Varian to become a nimble melee Assassin capable of clearing Mercenary and Boss Camps all by himself if he picked Second Wind at Level 7 (which we strongly recommend). Mortal Strike, which becomes available at Level 13 becomes another rewarding talent choice if paired with Twin Blades of Fury, since its Attack Speed bonus causes Heroic Strike to proc more frequently.
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