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
|1||✘ ✔ ?|
|4||✔ ? ?|
|7||✘ ✔ ?|
|13||? ✔ ?|
|16||✘ ? ✔|
|20||? ? ? ✔ ?|
Varian's Talent Build Cheatsheet
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. We recommend this Build when your team does not need a Tank or a Solo Laner.
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.
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.
Lion's Maw is a Quest that provides a better Slow and additional damage to Lion's Fang upon being completed. While the Slow upgrade may be useful for peeling low-mobility Heroes, we do not recommend Lion's Maw because the damage increase does not match the other Talents in the same Tier.
Overpower 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.
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%.
- 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%.
Taunt 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.
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.
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.
Lionheart is a decent but not good enough Talent which enhances Varian's self-healing if Lion's Fang hits enemy Heroes. It works better against team compositions that feature multiple melee Heroes, since they are usually easier to hit.
Second Wind is a always a great choices because it unconditionally increases Varian's self-healing, especially if there are no Blinds or crowd control to prevent him from landing Basic Attacks. Due to the fact that Second Wind scales with Varian's maximum Health too, and not only his Attack Damage, it becomes quite strong if paired with Taunt.
Victory Rush is a good but situational Talent because it only gives enough value if you have enemy Minions or Monsters nearby, however, it is really strong in those situations and should be your default choice on Maps like Braxis Holdout, Dragon Shire, and 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.
Reduce Charge's cooldown by 8 seconds and Mana cost from 45 to 22. Additionally, Charge can be cast on allied Heroes.
Shield Wall becomes a powerful pick-up at Level 10. While the Invulnerability effect allows Varian to attack more recklessly, the loss of mobility and lockdown potential that comes by ignoring Warbringer is still noticeable. However, the strong protection it offers makes up for it.
Level 13 Talents for Varian
Charge deals bonus damage to Heroes equal to 4% of their maximum Health.
Heroes hit by Heroic Strike receive 40% reduced healing for 4 seconds.
- 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.
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.
Mortal Strike is a strong choice most of the time because every well-drafted team has a Healer; furthermore, there are even some Heroes with self-healing capabilities (such as Arthas). 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.
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.
- Cooldown: 25 seconds
Activate to place a Banner that grants 20% increased Spell Power to nearby allied Heroes. 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.
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.
Colossus Smash affects all enemies near the target, and its cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds.
Twin Blades of Fury increases Heroic Strike damage by an additional 25%, and Basic Attacks increase his Movement Speed by an additional 10%.
Banner now also increases health regeneration and all healing received for nearby allied Heroes by 50%, and the cooldown is reduced by 50%.
- Cooldown: 20 seconds
Activate to demoralize nearby enemy Heroes, reducing damage they deal by 40% for 5 seconds.
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.
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.
Frenzy is a decent Talent to increase your own damage, and it also increases your Movement Speed by a small amount.
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.
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 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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