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Varian Talents

Last updated on Apr 06, 2018 at 09:50 by Kendric 40 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. Varian's Talent Build

Level Choices
1 Lion's Maw ? Overpower High King's Quest
4 Taunt Colossus Smash ? Twin Blades of Fury
7 Lionheart Second Wind Victory Rush ?
10 Shield Wall Warbringer
13 Juggernaut ? Mortal Strike ? Shattering Throw ?
16 Banner of Stormwind ? Banner of Ironforge Banner of Dalaran
20 Vigilance Master at Arms Frenzy Glory to the Alliance Demoralizing Shout
Create your own build and share it with friends!

2. Varian's Common Talent Paths

Protection Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 Overpower Icon
Level 4 Taunt Icon
Level 7 Lionheart Icon Second Wind Icon ?
Level 10 Warbringer Icon Shield Wall Icon ?
Level 13 Mortal Strike Icon Shattering Throw Icon ?
Level 16 Banner of Ironforge Icon Banner of Dalaran Icon ?
Level 20 Glory to the Alliance Icon Demoralizing Shout Icon ?

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.

His later talents at Level 13, 16, and 20 are interchangeable. Depending on the situation you find yourself in, both Banner of Dalaran Icon Banner of Dalaran and Banner of Ironforge Icon 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.

Arms Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 High King's Quest Icon
Level 4 Colossus Smash Icon
Level 7 Lionheart Icon Second Wind Icon ?
Level 10 Shield Wall Icon Warbringer Icon ?
Level 13 Mortal Strike Icon Juggernaut Icon ?
Level 16 Banner of Dalaran Icon
Level 20 Master at Arms Icon

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.

3. Level 1 Talents for Varian

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 50% and its duration is increased to 2 seconds.

Varian Overpower
Overpower (Level 1) World of Warcraft Varian

When Parry blocks a Hero's Basic Attack, Heroic Strike's cooldown is refreshed and the next one does 30% more damage.

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 45 Base Attack Damage.

3.1. Discussion

Overpower Icon 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 play the Arms Build featuring Colossus Smash Icon Colossus Smash at Level 4, since Varian's kill potential benefits greatly from the immediate cooldown reset on Heroic Strike Icon Heroic Strike after successfully parrying an enemy Hero's Basic Attack.

High King's Quest Icon High King's Quest usually takes too long to reward you with its benefits compared to Lion's Maw Icon Lion's Maw and Overpower Icon Overpower, in particular. However, on maps that provide enough opportunities to pick up Regeneration Globes, High King's Quest is a decent choice on either of the two Assassin Builds.

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.

4. Level 4 Talents for Varian

Varian Taunt
Taunt (Level 4) World of Warcraft 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 30%.

Varian Colossus Smash ?
Colossus Smash (Level 4) World of Warcraft Varian
  • 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%.

Varian Twin Blades of Fury
Twin Blades of Fury (Level 4) 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 20%.

4.1. Discussion

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 highly recommend picking Taunt if you do not have any other Warriors in your team who could fill the role of a Tank.

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. Unfortunately, it also causes him to become even more susceptible to enemy poking and kiting abilities, which usually results in him not contributing much during team fights. As good as this ability looks on paper, we do not recommend picking it.

5. Level 7 Talents for Varian

Varian Lionheart
Lionheart (Level 7) World of Warcraft Varian

Increase Lion's Fang's healing from Heroes by 50%.

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 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.

5.1. Discussion

Lionheart Icon Lionheart is a really solid talent, which enhances Varian's self-healing if Lion's Fang Icon 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 Icon 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 usually nets most value if paired with Taunt Icon Taunt.

Victory Rush Icon 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.

6. Level 10 Talents for Varian

Varian Shield Wall
Shield Wall (Level 10) World of Warcraft Varian

Parry grants Protected, preventing all incoming damage while active. Additionally, Parry's cooldown is reduced by 5 seconds, but it loses 1 charge.

Varian Warbringer
Warbringer (Level 10) World of Warcraft Varian

Reduce Charge's cooldown by 8 seconds and Mana cost from 45 to 22. Additionally, Charge can be cast on allied Heroes.

6.1. Discussion

Shield Wall Icon 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 Icon Warbringer is still noticeable. However, the strong protection it offers makes up for it.

Warbringer Icon Warbringer provides Varian with a better Movement Speed Slow to hunt his targets down more efficiently. Furthermore, lowering Charge Icon Charge's cooldown by 8 seconds is a huge asset to both his chasing and peeling capabilities.

7. Level 13 Talents for Varian

Varian Juggernaut ?
Juggernaut (Level 13) World of Warcraft Varian

Charge deals bonus damage to Heroes equal to 4% of their maximum Health.

Varian Mortal Strike ?
Mortal Strike (Level 13) World of Warcraft Varian

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

Varian Shattering Throw ?
Shattering Throw (Level 13) World of Warcraft Varian
  • 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.

7.1. Discussion

Juggernaut Icon Juggernaut has great synergy with Warbringer Icon Warbringer at Level 10, 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 Protection Build featuring Taunt Icon Taunt at Level 4. Combined with Overpower Icon Overpower at Level 1, you can guarantee an application of Mortal Strike after successfully taunting an enemy Hero and parrying the following Basic Attack.

Shattering Throw Icon Shattering Throw is a very powerful counter to Heroes like Tassadar or Johanna, who possess powerful shielding abilities.

8. Level 16 Talents for Varian

Varian Banner of Stormwind ?
Banner of Stormwind (Level 16) 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 16) World of Warcraft Varian
  • Cooldown: 45 seconds

Activate to place a Banner that grants 20 Armor to nearby allied Heroes, reducing damage taken by 20%. Lasts 12 seconds.

Varian Banner of Dalaran
Banner of Dalaran (Level 16) World of Warcraft Varian
  • Cooldown: 45 seconds

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

8.1. 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 Dalaran Icon 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 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.

9. Level 20 Talents for Varian

Varian Vigilance
Vigilance (Level 20) World of Warcraft Varian

Being hit by a Hero Basic Attack reduces the cooldown of Taunt by 1 seconds.

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 40% 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 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. We strongly recommend picking Glory to the Alliance if you went for Twin Blades of Fury Icon Twin Blades of Fury at Level 4 and Second Wind Icon Second Wind at Level 7, since it boosts Varian's self-healing tremendously.

Demoralizing Shout Icon Demoralizing Shout is an excellent counter against team compositions that 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.

10. ChangeLog

  • 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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