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
Protection BuildTalent calculator »
Unlike his other two Heroic Abilites, 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 Healers.
His later talents at Level 13, 16, and 20 are interchangeable. Depending on the situation you find yourself in, both Banner of Dalaran and Banner of Ironforge can be viable choices. Since Varian is such a highly adaptive Hero to play, we thoroughly recommend reading our in-depth talents section.
Colossus BuildTalent calculator »
The Colossus Build turns Varian into a highly explosive melee Assassin, who excels at marking enemy priority targets using 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, 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 can (and should!) also be used against non-Heroic enemies, such as Mercenaries and Bosses in order to take them down much quicker.
Twin Blades BuildTalent calculator »
The Twin Blade Build is like a double edged sword. One the one hand, it can turn Varian into a fearsome juggernaut, relentlessly chasing down enemies thanks to the superior Movement Speed that Twin Blades of Fury provides. On the other hand, it can also cause Varian to die a lot, especially if the enemy team has several sources of crowd control, such as Slows, Roots, and Stuns, that allow them to keep him at a distance. Silences are not that crippling with this Build, as Varian can still run and attack while Silenced.
We recommend this Build, in particular, if Varian is played as a solo laner, however, pay attention not to overextend before gaining access to Second Wind at Level 7, which keeps Varian sustained.
Level 1 Talents for Varian
Quest: Every time Lion's Fang hits a Hero, increase its damage by 5, up to 125.
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 20 Regeneration Globes.
Reward: Completing a Quest grants 10 Base Attack Damage. Completing all 3 Quests grants an additional 30 Base Attack Damage.
Overpower should be Varian's go-to Level 1 talent in most cases, especially if you plan on building him as a Tank. Overpower also gets decent value if you decide to pick Mortal Strike at Level 13, since Varian's immediate cooldown reset on Heroic Strike after successfully parrying an enemy Hero's Basic Attack will apply the anti-healing effect.
High King's Quest usually takes quite long to reward you with its benefits compared to Lion's Maw and Overpower. However, if you decide to go for Twin Blades of Fury at Level 4, High King's Quest still is the best choice.
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 if used right after Colossus Smash has been applied on the enemy. The bonus damage from Lion's Maw and its potential to hit multiple enemies at the same time make it a perfect match for Master at Arms at Level 20 as well.
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 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 highly recommend picking Taunt if you do not have any other Tanks in your team.
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 and Charge to maximise your damage output against the vulnerable target.
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. After Level 7, Varian can solo clear any Mercenary Camp (including Bosses!) thanks to the fast Attack Speed and the resulting self heal provided by Second Wind.
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 really solid talent, which enhances Varian's self-healing if Lion's Fang hits enemy Heroes. This is particularly useful against team compositions that feature multiple melee Heroes, since they are usually easier to hit.
Second Wind's reliable self-healing can often be a lifesaver when Varian charges into the enemy team's ranks, especially if there are no Blinds to prevent him from landing Basic Attacks. Due to the fact that Second Wind scales with Varian's maximum health and not his Attack Damage, the talent becomes quite strong if paired with Taunt.
Victory Rush can be an unreliable talent, since it only works if you have enemy Minions or Monsters nearby. However, especially on maps like Braxis Holdout or Infernal Shrines, lowering the cooldown near Map Objectives, such as Skeletal Guardians or Zergs is an easy thing to do. All in all, we find that Victory Rush can be a good situational choice on those maps, while being an underwhelming talent on maps like Sky Temple or Cursed Hollow that do not feature any Monsters at all.
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.
Warbringer provides Varian with a better Movement Speed Slow to hunt his targets down more efficiently. Furthermore, lowering Charge's cooldown by 8 seconds is a huge asset to both his chasing and peeling capabilities.
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.
Mortal Strike is a very effective talent if you decided to go for the Protection Build featuring Taunt at Level 4. Combined with Overpower at Level 1, you can guarantee an application of Mortal Strike after successfully taunting an enemy Hero and parrying the following Basic Attack.
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 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 Dalaran is a surprisingly rewarding choice. We recommend picking this talent if two requirements are met. Firstly, Varian and his allies do not really need additional Armor to protect themselves. Secondly, your team needs to feature at least one Mage, such as Li-Ming or Jaina, to increase Banner of Dalaran's overall value.
Banner of Stormwind can be a worthy substitute to 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 while also allowing them to chase down fleeing enemies.
Level 20 Talents for Varian
Being hit by a Hero Basic Attack reduces the cooldown of Taunt by 1 seconds.
Colossus Smash affects all enemies near the target, and its cooldown is reduced by 10 seconds.
Twin Blades of Fury increases Varian's Attack Speed by an additional 15%, 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: 25 seconds
Activate to demoralize nearby enemy Heroes, reducing damage they deal by 40% for 5 seconds.
Glory to the Alliance's noteworthy cooldown reduction on any Banner talent from Level 16 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.
Demoralizing Shout is an excellent counter against team compositions that focus a lot on burst damage. Being able to cripple several melee and ranged Assassin allows Varian to protect not only himself but also nearby allies in his vicinity.
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 renders this talent extremely powerful.
Frenzy's effect is strong, yet it is sometimes not really needed, since we find Twin Blades of Fury's original buffs to be sufficient. If you get the feeling that your team does not benefit from either of the Banners picked at Level 16, however, picking Frenzy is by no means a bad decision.
Vigilance offers too little to compete against any of the other Level 20 talents.
- 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 re-work.
- 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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