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

Last updated on Jul 06, 2021 at 16:00 by Elitesparkle 16 comments
General Information

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's Overview

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, get Energy Icon Energy based on the damage absorbed by any of her Shields, and deal 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

V Strengths
  • +High survivability
  • +Good damage output at high Energy Icon Energy
  • +Shields for allied Heroes
  • +Abilities are free
X Weaknesses

Zarya's Talent Build Cheatsheet

Shield Ally Build

Level 7 Pinpoint Accuracy Icon
Level 10 Expulsion Zone Icon
Level 13 Unstoppable Competitor Icon Spell Barrier Icon ?
Level 16 Cleansing Shield Icon Gain Train Icon ? Born in Battle Icon ?
Level 20 Unyielding Defender Icon Clear Out Icon ? Grenadier Icon ?

Zarya's Shield Ally Build is based on a variety of Talents that empower Shields for allied Heroes and for yourself, allowing you to counter enemy crowd control effects.

Unstoppable Competitor Icon Unstoppable Competitor at Level 13 is a great tool to indirectly increase your survivability, however, you need to time Personal Barrier Icon Personal Barrier correctly in order to get value from it. Similarly, Cleansing Shield Icon Cleansing Shield at Level 16 can be used to help allied Heroes who are already under crowd control effects. All that said, you can replace those Talents when appropriate.


Zarya's Synergies and Counters

V Zarya synergizes with

As she can provide powerful Shields to allied Heroes, Zarya is good when paired with Heroes who suffer against burst damage: most Marskmen (notably Valla) and sustain Healers (such as Malfurion).

Heroes who lack mobility like to have Zarya on their side because she can give them Movement Speed thanks to Speed Barrier Icon Speed Barrier at Level 4.

A team featuring Zarya should prefer a solo laner who has enough self-sustain to not need any help from their team and survive to enemy ganks (for example Yrel) when playing on any Map and that can also double soak (such as Leoric) when playing on 3-lane Maps.

X Zarya is countered by

Since she does not have mobility tools, Zarya is an easy target for enemy Heroes who do not have a reliable gap closer and can crowd control her, especially if they have access to Knockback effects (such as Wrecking Ball Icon Wrecking Ball by Garrosh) to abuse her lack of mobility even more or Sleep effects that can be used to stall the team fight for a few seconds while her Shields wear off.

Considering that her Shields expire after few seconds, Zarya struggles against Heroes who can deal a constant amount of damage (such as Raynor) as they do not rely on their Abilities that much.

The best solo laners to play against a team featuring Zarya should be able to mitigate an enemy push done by a few Heroes while the reinforcements are coming with waveclear and/or crowd control (for example Yrel).


Zarya's Maps

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

The fact that Zarya does not use Mana is 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 (notably Braxis Holdout).

If your team has a solo laner who can double soak (such as Xul), you can basically play Zarya on 3-lane Maps like when you are playing on 2-lane Maps, so just focus on a side lane and pressure the enemy team as much as you can.


Zarya's Tips and Tricks

  • Particle Grenade Icon Particle Grenade should be fired when at high Energy to deal more damage or to interrupt enemies who are channeling an Objective.
  • Personal Barrier Icon Personal Barrier can be used to absorb damage from Structures in order to quickly fill your Energy Icon Energy.
  • Try to anticipate incoming damage when using Shield Ally Icon Shield Ally and Personal Barrier Icon Personal Barrier to maximize your Energy gain.
  • You can use Expulsion Zone Icon Expulsion Zone to block an enemy Hero in a corner.
  • Graviton Surge Icon Graviton Surge requires you to predict how enemy Heroes move, else it will miss them.
  • Zarya lacks mobility, therefore it is important to have a good position when enemy Heroes are nearby or missing.
  • Zarya's Basic Attacks hit all enemies in a straight line and therefore should be used to hit multiple Minions or Mercenaries when possible.

Zarya's Role in the Current Meta

Zarya is a hybrid Hero with the survivability of a Bruiser, the potential to deal as much damage as a Ranged Assassin when high on Energy Icon Energy, and the utility of a Support.

When drafting her, make sure that your team composition will not lack a main Tank, a solid solo laner, and a Healer because a Support like her cannot cover any of those key Roles.

It is better to pair her with a Marksman rather than a Mage, else your team will lack ranged sustained damage. Zarya should always be with a Marskman and help them with Shield Ally Icon Shield Ally when needed.

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).



  • 06 Jul. 2021 (talents page): Builds updated.
  • 06 Jul. 2021 (this page): Builds updated.
  • 25 Feb. 2021 (talents page): New layout.
  • 23 Feb. 2021 (talents page): Builds and Talent Descriptions updated.
  • 23 Feb. 2021 (this page): Builds and Talent Descriptions updated.
  • 16 Feb. 2021 (talents page): Builds updated.
  • 16 Feb. 2021 (this page): Builds updated.
  • 12 Jul. 2020 (talents page): Talent Descriptions modified to better describe when to pick them.
  • 12 Jul. 2020 (abilities page): Ability and Strategy fully revised to match new standards.
    • Tips and Tricks modified to add important tips that were missing and to remove obvious ones that were not worth mentioning.
    • Ability Descriptions modified to better explain how to use Abilities effectively.
  • 12 Jul. 2020 (this page): Introduction fully revised to match new standards.
    • Overview rewritten to better describe the Hero.
    • Strengths and Weaknesses modified to give a better idea about the Hero when being played right.
    • Synergies and Counters modified to mention notable Heroes that were missing and to remove misleading Heroes that were listed.
    • Maps modified to focus on the main aspects of the Hero when evaluating a Map.
    • Tips and Tricks modified to list important tips that were missing before and to delete more obvious ones.
  • 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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