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Zarya Build Guide “Are you in need of personal training?”

Last updated on Oct 24, 2017 at 19:17 by Kendric 15 comments

Table of Contents

Zarya Image

General Information

Welcome to our Zarya guide for Heroes of the Storm. Here you will learn everything you need to know in order to play Zarya in a competitive environment, whether you play on your own or with a team.

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. Quick Reference for Zarya

Anti Melee Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 Feel the Heat Icon
Level 4 Speed Barrier Icon
Level 7 To the Limit Icon
Level 10 Expulsion Zone Icon
Level 13 Pain is Temporary Icon
Level 16 Gain Train Icon
Level 20 Unyielding Defender Icon

The Anti Melee Build is great, as the name suggests, against enemy melee Heroes who usually have to approach Zarya in order to damage her. In those situations, Feel the Heat Icon Feel the Heat at Level 1 can become an insanely good talent to heavily damage multiple Heroes at the same time, especially while on high Energy.

Grenadier Build (talent calculator link)

Level 1 Demolitions Expert Icon
Level 4 Give Me Twenty Icon
Level 7 Pinpoint Accuracy Icon
Level 10 Expulsion Zone Icon
Level 13 Pain is Temporary Icon
Level 16 Plasma Shock Icon
Level 20 Unyielding Defender Icon

The Grenadier Build relies on strong AoE damage by firing Particle Grenade Icon Particle Grenades in quick succession. Demolitions Expert Icon Demolitions Expert at Level 1 proves to be quite important to achieve that. Pinpoint Accuracy Icon Pinpoint Accuracy at Level 7 and Plasma Shock Icon Plasma Shock at Level 16 are nice follow-up talents to complement this Grenade heavy Build. Depending on the course of the game and your team composition you may want to choose Grenadier Icon Grenadier at Level 20 if your team needs additional AoE damage or Unyielding Defender Icon Unyielding Defender if you need additional protection. It is very important to stress that we do recommend using Quick Cast on Particle Grenade Icon Particle Grenade's Hotkey when using this Build. Doing so makes the ability more responsive and causes less delay, which greatly benefits your overall accuracy.

See our Talents page for further information Create your own build and share it with friends!

Synergies and Counters

Zarya synergizes with

Zarya should never be your team's Tank, since she lacks the crowd control abilities, the mobility, and, most importantly, the survivability to fulfill that role efficiently. Consequently, she makes for an ideal supportive secondary Warrior, who can initate team fights with her Heroic abilities and protect priority targets with her Shields. As such, she complements strong Tanks like E.T.C., Muradin, or Johanna very well.

Zarya is countered by

Zarya is countered by Heroes who are able to outmaneuver and silence her like Illidan, Alarak, or Sylvanas. Furthermore, team compositions that feature Zarya oftentimes struggle when it comes to clearing bigger Minion and Mercenary waves, which is another reason why Sylvanas is hard to deal with. It is extremely important to time Personal Barrier Icon Personal Barrier and Shield Ally Icon Shield Ally well in order to quickly charge your Energy level when facing those types of Heroes. Besides, try not to wander off too far from the rest of your allies or else you may not be able to escape an enemy gank in time.


Zarya's stronger maps Braxis Holdout Cursed Hollow Hanamura Temple Haunted Mines Infernal Shrines Towers of Doom
Zarya's average maps Battlefield of Eternity Blackheart's Bay Dragon Shire Garden of Terror Sky Temple Tomb of the Spider Queen Volskaya Foundry
Zarya's weaker maps Warhead Junction

Ideally, Zarya should reinforce a 3-player or 4-player lane, since her Shields are incredibly powerful to dominate early team fights. Zarya excels on Battlegrounds that feature multiple choke points like Cursed Hollow, Infernal Shrines, or Towers of Doom. Not only is her Expulsion Zone Icon Expulsion Zone a formidable tool to break enemy team formations, but her Basic Attacks and Particle Grenade Icon Particle Grenade should have an easier time to hit several enemies at the same time.

TL;DR Tips

  • Use Shield Ally Icon Shield Ally as frequently as possible. Try to anticipate which ally is about to get focused to maximise your Energy gain.
  • Personal Barrier Icon Personal Barrier can be used to absorb damage from Structures in order to quickly fill your Energy level.
  • Expulsion Zone Icon Expulsion Zone's low cooldown makes it a valuable zoning tool to both engage and disengage from the enemy.
  • Unlike other Warriors, Zarya lacks mobility. Thus, keeping a healthy distance to the enemy team is usually recommended.
  • Zarya's Basic Attacks hit all enemies in a straight line. Utilize this to your advantage when clearing Minion waves or Mercenary Camps.
  • Zarya should never be the only Warrior in your team. If none of your teammates drafted a Warrior, we do not recommend picking Zarya.
See our Abilities page for further information

2. Zarya's Overview

Zarya is a ranged Warrior who combines protective abilities with strong offensive capabilities. Her Basic Attack animation is unique, as it allows her to hit multiple enemy targets at the same time. Unlike other Warriors, Zarya is capable of shielding either herself or nearby allies. Upon taking damage, shielded targets (herself included) increase Zarya's Energy, which can greatly increase her damage potential. Thus, playing Zarya requires the player to carefully analyse the battlefield and shield targets that are likely going to be attacked. Both of her Heroic Abilities can have a tremendous impact on team fights, which makes Zarya a powerful and rewarding Hero to master.

3. Zarya's Strengths

  • Does not require Mana
  • Personal Barrier Icon Personal Barrier and Shield Ally Icon Shield Ally offer great single target protection
  • Graviton Surge Icon Graviton Surge can single-handedly win team fights
  • Her Basic Attacks pierce through the first target, allowing her to damage multiple enemies at the same time

4. Zarya's Weaknesses

  • Relatively weak early game
  • No crowd control until Level 10
  • Extremely dependent on her Energy level
  • Very limited mobility

5. Zarya's Role in the Current Meta

There are several things to be considered before picking Zarya. First of all, we do not recommend her as a solo Warrior, which means she should be picked as a supportive Warrior next to a true Tank-like Muradin, E.T.C., or Johanna. Secondly, Zarya offers little waveclear and even less crowd control until Level 10. Thus, she is a rather suboptimal pick on Maps like Tomb of the Spider Queen that require you to rotate a lot.

Thanks to her strong Shielding abilities, Zarya shines against enemy team compositions that focus on burst damage. Thus, she is a great counter to Heroes like Kerrigan or Jaina, who aim to quickly eliminate their targets. Furthermore, Zarya's Graviton Surge Icon Graviton Surge enables her team to both initiate team fights and counter enemy aggression.

6. Reading Further

To take things further, we have 2 more pages that you can read:

7. ChangeLog

  • 24 Oct. 2017 (this page): Updated Warhead Junction ranking and removed Energy build.
  • 16 Apr. 2017 (talents page): Added a new Anti Melee build, and updated some talent discussions to account for this build.
  • 31 Jan. 2017 (talents page): Changed some talent recommendations for Level 4 and 7.
  • 24 Nov. 2016 (talents page): Swapped Pain is Temporary and Unstoppable Competitor in talent recommendations.
  • 11 Nov. 2016 (this page): Zarya rework with the new guide format.
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