Zarya Build Guide “Are you in need of personal training?”
Welcome to our guide for Zarya, a Support in Heroes of the Storm. Within these pages, you will find everything required to understand how best to play this hero, in both different map styles and team compositions.
Zarya is a Support who combines protective tools with strong offensive capabilities. She has a unique Basic Attack that allows her to hit multiple enemy targets at the same time. She can cast a Shield on herself or provide a Shield to allied Heroes, then she gets Energy based on the damage absorbed by any of her Shields. She deals additional damage based on how much Energy has been stored, however, her Energy will slowly decay over time. As a consequence, in order to play Zarya effectively, it is important to predict incoming damage to cast Shields at the right moment, a move that will allow you to maximize both damage mitigation and Energy generation.
Zarya's Strengths and Weaknesses
- Relatively weak early game
- No crowd control until Level 10
- Extremely dependent on her Energy level
- Very limited mobility
Zarya's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Particle Grenade BuildRecommended
Basic Attacks BuildSituational
Zarya's Synergies and Counters
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 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 and 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.
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 a formidable tool to break enemy team formations, but her Basic Attacks and Particle Grenade should have an easier time to hit several enemies at the same time.
Zarya's Tips and Tricks
- Use Shield Ally as frequently as possible. Try to anticipate which ally is about to get focused to maximise your Energy gain.
- Personal Barrier can be used to absorb damage from Structures in order to quickly fill your Energy level.
- 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.
Zarya's Role in the Current Meta
Zarya is a particularly great during the early game, therefore she is a fantastic pick on Maps where a good start can make the difference between a win and a loss (for example Braxis Holdout).
Since she can provide Shields, Zarya shines against burst compositions that feature a Mage who can deal burst damage (Jaina comes to mind) and sometimes even an aggressive Melee Assassin (such as Kerrigan).
- 16 Apr. 2020 (talents page): Talent Build partially 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.
- 16 Apr. 2020 (this page): Introduction partially revised to match new standards.
- Talent Build Cheatsheet updated to reflect the current metagame.
- Role in the Current Meta modified to remove the unnecessary part about the now fixed Experience Globes.
- 14 Feb. 2020 (talents page): Updated Zarya's talents and revised the guide in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
- 16 Dec. 2019 (this page): Added the current Anomaly (Experience Globes) to the guide.
- 20 Nov. 2019 (talents page): Applied minor changes to Zarya's talents and maps sections to keep it up to date.
- 23 May 2019 (talents page): Updated Zarya's talents and builds in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
- 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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