Welcome to our Talents page for Varian. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Varian's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.
Varian's Talent Build
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Varian's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Heroic Strike Taunt BuildRecommended
In particular, this variation of Taunt Build helps you burst down a given target with the help of Overpower at Level 1 and by denying defensive tools with either Mortal Strike or Shattering Throw at Level 13.
We recommend this Build when your team needs a Tank and your team's strategy consists of bursting down enemy Heroes.
Lion's Fang Taunt BuildBeginner
In particular, this variation of Taunt Build gives you access to a better Slow from Lion's Maw at Level 1 and Percent Damage on low cooldown thanks to the combination of Warbringer at Level 10 and Juggernaut at Level 13.
You can play this Build when your team needs a Tank and you expect prolonged team fights where your low-cooldown Talents can shine.
Colossus Smash BuildSituational
Colossus Smash Build turns Varian into a highly explosive Melee Assassin, who excels at bursting down enemy priority targets using Colossus Smash to engage and exploit the Armor reduction effect to increase not only his own damage, but also the damage of the rest of his team.
Twin Blades BuildSituational
Level 1 Talents for Varian
Quest: Every time Lion's Fang hits a Hero, increase its damage by 6, up to 150.
Reward: After hitting 25 Heroes, the Slow is increased to 50% and its duration is increased to 2 seconds.
When Parry blocks a Hero's Basic Attack, Heroic Strike's cooldown is refreshed and the next one does 40% more damage.
Overpower is a strong Talent that adds burst damage. When playing against Heroes with high Attack Speed, you will get double the value from it because the trigger will happen twice per activation, if you can manage to Basic Attack an enemy Hero twice during Parry.
While it is hard but possible for the enemies to suddenly stop using Basic Attacks on Varian to avoid triggering this Talent, it is worth mentioning that Taunt will negate any counter-play besides crowd control that can stop you from casting Abilities.
Quest: Hit 50 Heroes with Basic Attacks.
Quest: Participate in 5 Hero Takedowns.
Quest: Gather 15 Regeneration Globes.
Reward: Completing a Quest grants 10 Base Attack Damage. Completing all 3 Quests grants an additional 30 Base Attack Damage.
High King's Quest is a good Quest-based Talent that increase Varian's Basic Attack damage, something that is crucial when going for Twin Blades of Fury and works well when choosing Colossus Smash too.
Level 4 Talents for Varian
- 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 40%.
Taunt is a strong Heroic Ability that turns Varian into a Tank who is capable of engaging and/or peeling for his team, while increasing his maximum Health at the same time. Choose this Heroic Ability when your team needs a Tank, but it can also be played as Solo Laner.
- 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%.
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%.
Level 7 Talents for Varian
Increase Lion's Fang's healing from Heroes by 75%.
Basic Attacks heal Varian for 1% of his maximum Health. While below 50% Health, they also heal him for 50% of the damage dealt.
Second Wind is obviously good when paired with Colossus Smash or Twin Blades of Fury. Due to the fact that Second Wind's second effect scales with Varian's maximum Health, it becomes quite strong if paired with Taunt too.
Every 30 seconds, Varian's next Basic Attack will heal him for 350 (+4% per level) Health. When a nearby enemy Minion or Monster dies, the cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds.
Victory Rush is a strong Talent that gives a burst of healing when you Basic Attack any target, however, it only works once every 30 seconds and its cooldown can be reduced by staying near dying Minions and Monsters.
While this Talent does not go off when you have full Health, its main downside is that it can end up overhealing you if you are almost full Health when it goes off.
Considering that it triggers more often if you have enemy Minions or Monsters nearby, this Talent is way better on Maps where team fights happen near them (such as Braxis Holdout, Dragon Shire, or Infernal Shrines).
Level 10 Talents for Varian
Parry grants Protected, preventing all incoming damage while active. Additionally, Parry's cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds, but it loses 1 charge.
Shield Wall is a good Talent that can make you Invulnerable, but this advantage comes at the cost of a Charge of Overpower. As a consequence, this Talent is not that good against Heroes who rely on Basic Attacks. Pick this Talent when playing against burst damage and you are scared of dying from it.
Reduce Charge's cooldown by 8 seconds and Mana cost from 45 to 22. Additionally, Charge can be cast on allied Heroes.
Warbringer is a strong Talent that lowers the cooldown on Charge by 8 seconds, a nice boost to both his chasing and peeling capabilities. In addition to that, you will also be able to use Charge on allied Heroes as a form of escape or just to reposition yourself during team fights.
The cooldown reduction provided by this Talent has good synergy with Juggernaut at Level 13.
Level 13 Talents for Varian
Charge deals bonus damage to Heroes equal to 4% of their maximum Health.
Juggernaut is a good choice when your team wants to focus the enemy front line first and/or if the enemy team has several Heroes with high maximum Health (such as Stitches, Chen, and Azmodan). In case of prolonged team fights, this Talent has good synergy with Warbringer at Level 10.
Heroes hit by Heroic Strike receive 40% reduced healing for 4 seconds.
If you decided to go for the Taunt Build featuring Taunt at Level 4 and Overpower at Level 1, you can guarantee an application of Mortal Strike after successfully Taunting an enemy Hero and parrying the following Basic Attack even if Heroic Strike is on cooldown when you engage.
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
Activate to throw a sword at a target Hero that deals 50 (+4% per level) damage, and up to 1400 (+4% per level) bonus damage to their Shields.
Passive: Basic Attacks against Heroes deal up to 200% bonus Physical Damage to Shields.
Shattering Throw is a very powerful but situational Talent that can be used to hard counter Shields (for example it can be used to completely deny Sound Barrier by Lúcio on the target that you and your team intend to focus).
Level 16 Talents for Varian
- Cooldown: 25 seconds
Activate to place a Banner that grants 25% increased Movement Speed to nearby allied Heroes. Lasts 12 seconds.
- Cooldown: 45 seconds
Activate to place a Banner that grants 20 Armor to nearby allied Heroes, reducing damage taken by 20%. Lasts 12 seconds.
Banner of Ironforge is a situational Talent that provides Armor to Varian and nearby allied Heroes. Due to its long cooldown compared to the alternatives, only pick it when the enemy team is capable to one-shot an allied Hero with huge burst damage and your team composition does not have the tools to handle that.
- Cooldown: 25 seconds
Activate to place a Banner that grants 20% increased Spell Power to nearby allied Heroes. Lasts 12 seconds.
Banner of Dalaran is always a strong Talent because it increases damage and healing of everyone in your team, and it also has a short cooldown, a characteristic that allows you to use it with more freedom.
Level 20 Talents for Varian
Being hit by a Hero Basic Attack reduces the cooldown of Taunt by 1 second.
Vigilance is a situational Talent that works only when facing Heroes with high Attack Speed (such as Tychus) because it allows you to use cast your Heroic Ability twice in quick succession and snowball the team fight from there.
Colossus Smash affects all enemies near the target, and its cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds.
Master at Arms is a decent Talent to boost the area of effect burst damage of your team. The cooldown reduction is good when you want to pick isolated targets with the help of your team, but it is not the reason why you pick this Talent because a late game team fight where your team focuses on burst damage will not last that much anyways.
Twin Blades of Fury increases Heroic Strike damage by an additional 25%, and Basic Attacks increase his Movement Speed by an additional 10%.
Frenzy is a decent Talent to increase your own damage, and it also increases your Movement Speed by a small amount.
Banner now also increases health regeneration and all healing received for nearby allied Heroes by 50%, and the cooldown is reduced by 50%.
Glory to the Alliance is a strong Talent because it provides both increased healing to the whole team and cooldown reduction on any Level 16 Talent. If paired with Banner of Dalaran that has only 25 seconds of cooldown, you can basically spam it every 12 seconds, even if just for checking a bush after another because a trap by the enemy team in the late game can have a devastating outcome.
- Cooldown: 20 seconds
Activate to demoralize nearby enemy Heroes, reducing damage they deal by 40% for 5 seconds.
Demoralizing Shout is a situational Talent to use as counter against team compositions that focus a lot on burst damage. Being able to debuff several Heroes at the same time allows Varian to protect not only himself but also nearby allied Heroes who might be in danger. Do not hesitate to use Demoralizing Shout on a single Hero when needed.
- 05 May 2021: Taunt Builds' Descriptions improved.
- 25 Apr. 2021: Builds updated.
- 25 Feb. 2021: New layout.
- 21 Feb. 2021: Updated Talent discussions and builds.
- 15 Feb. 2021: Builds updated.
- 05 Nov. 2020: Guide updated for the latest Balance Update.
- 03 Apr. 2020: Talent Build fully revised to match new standards.
- Talent Build and Talent Build Cheatsheet modified to reflect the current metagame.
- Talent Descriptions modified to better describe when to pick them.
- 19 Dec. 2019: Updated Frenzy's description in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
- 16 Oct. 2019: Updated Varian's Talents and Builds in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
- 09 Sep. 2019: Updated Varian's Talents and Talent Builds.
- 18 Apr. 2019: Updated Varian's early Talents and Talent Builds in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
- 13 Oct. 2018: Updated Talent Builds and changed Frenzy from Not Recommended to Situational.
- 06 Apr. 2018: Changed Second Wind from Situational to Recommended.
- 04 Apr. 2018: Changed Warbringer from Situational to Recommended.
- 28 Mar. 2018: Completely overhauled Varian's Builds and Talents in accordance with his recent Rework.
- 11 Jul. 2017: Changed High King's Quest from Situational to Recommended.
- 03 Jul. 2017: Updated Varian's Level 1 Talents.
- 16 May 2017: Updated Warbringer's description.
- 11 Mar. 2017: Updated Varian's talent section to fit the current meta.
- 28 Feb. 2017: Updated Warbringer in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
- 18 Feb. 2017: Re-arranged Varian's Level 13 and 16 talent tiers in accordance with the Lucio Update.
- 04 Feb. 2017: Updated Level 7 talent discussions and assessments.
- 20 Dec. 2016: Updated text for some talent discussions, but assessments remain the same.
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