Welcome to our Talents page for Zarya. Here, we give you an overview of how strong each of Zarya's talents is. Then, we present several viable builds, before analyzing each talent row separately, so that you can make informed decisions.
Zarya's Talent Build
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Zarya's Talent Build Cheatsheet
Particle Grenade BuildRecommended
Basic Attacks BuildSituational
Level 1 Talents for Zarya
Quest: For every 5 enemy Heroes hit by Particle Grenade, its recharge rate lowers by 0.4375 seconds, up to 3.5 seconds.
Reward: Once Particle Grenade has hit 40 enemy Heroes, its radius is increased by 15%.
Every 5 (+4% per level) damage done by allies while under Shield Ally contributes 1 Energy, up to 40 Energy per Shield.
Zarya's Basic Attack deals 50% additional damage to enemies in melee range.
Regen Globes now instantly grant 20 Energy.
Quest: Spend 150 seconds at or above 50 Energy.
Reward: Gain an additional 20 maximum Energy.
Demolitions Expert is a strong Talent that increases Zarya's damage output from the distance. Considering that she has no mobility, Talents which improve Particle Grenade are great to increase the impact she can have during a team fight without fully committing with an aggressive position. Demolitions Expert has good synergy with Pinpoint Accuracy at Level 7.
Together We Are Strong is a decent Talent that converts part of the damage done by Heroes affected by Shield Ally into Energy, something that may be useful to keep her Energy high when the enemy team does not have a lot of burst damage.
Feel the Heat is a good Talent that increases the damage that Zarya can deal with her ranged Basic Attacks to enemies in melee range, therefore it is worth picking only if the enemy team consists of many melee Heroes.
Maximum Charge is a decent Talent that makes Regeneration Globes restore 20 Energy and, after completing a Quest, increases the maximum Energy that Zarya can store by the same amount. The higher maximum Energy will indirectly increase her maximum damage and help Energy-based Talents to come online. While it will be harder to top off the Energy bar, this weakness will be compensated by the Regeneration Globes effects mentioned above, unless you are fighting in a zone where there is a lack of them nearby.
Level 4 Talents for Zarya
Personal Barrier absorbs an additional 140 (+4% per level) damage.
Quest: Regeneration Globes increase Shield Ally absorb amount by 15, up to 300 permanently.
Reward: After collecting 20 Regen Globes, permanently reduce the cooldown of Shield Ally by 2 seconds.
Shield Ally increases the allied Hero's Movement Speed by 50% for the duration.
Upon expiration or breaking, Personal Barrier and Shield Ally grant 75 Physical Armor against the next 2 Hero Basic Attacks for 6 seconds, reducing the damage taken by 75%.
I Am the Strongest is a decent Talent that offers additional self-protection, useful when you expect to play more in melee range than usual or when you are scared of being focused by the enemy team. That said, when playing Zarya, you should usually prefer Talents that increase the survivability of allied Heroes rather than your own.
Speed Barrier is a strong Talent that causes the allied Hero affected by Shield Ally to gain a high amount of Movement Speed for the duration. The ability to give Movement Speed on demand has great defensive and offensive potential because it can be used to help an allied Hero with low mobility to either retreat or engage.
Defensive Shielding is a situational Talent that helps against Heroes Heroes with slow but heavy-hitting Basic Attacks (such as The Butcher) but it is completely useless against Heroes with fast-hitting Basic Attacks (like Tracer).
Level 7 Talents for Zarya
Particle Grenade deals 30 (+4% per level) more damage and Slows Movement Speed by 25% for 2 seconds to enemies hit by the center of the blast.
Upon expiration or breaking, Personal Barrier explodes, dealing 110 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies.
While above 40 Energy, Zarya's Basic Attack size is increased by 35%.
Damage absorbed by Zarya's Shields contributes 20% more Energy.
Pinpoint Accuracy is a strong Talent that increases the damage done with Particle Grenade and makes it Slow enemies hit, but those effects will happen only when hitting the target with the center of the projectile.
Explosive Barrier is a good Talent that provides a good amount of damage when focusing a melee Hero standing nearby, something that is certainly good when combined with Feel the Heat that shines in the same scenario.
To the Limit is a weak Talent because it does not increase the range of Zarya's Basic Attacks, but only the size. While it looks like it has synergy with Feel the Heat, actually it does not provide any additional value to that Talent.
Hit Me is a weak Talent because it provides no value once you reach full Energy but it helps you get there, something you do not really need because Zarya is already good enough at generating Energy without the help of any Talent, so you better pick something else to further increase her overall value instead.
Level 10 Talents for Zarya
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Launch a gravity bomb that detonates after 1 second and draws enemy Heroes toward the center for 2.5 seconds.
- Cooldown: 45 seconds
Launch a gravity bomb that deals 124 (+4% per level) damage and creates an expulsion zone for 3.5 seconds. Enemies who enter the affected area are knocked back and have their Movement Speed reduced by 50% for 1 second.
In this section we discuss when and why to pick a given Heroic Ability. If you want to read how they work in detail and/or you are looking for some tips on how to use them, check them in the Abilities and Strategy page.
Expulsion Zone is a strong Heroic Ability that can be used in several ways, both offensively and defensively. If used offensively, Expulsion Zone can trap enemy Heroes inside choke points or break the enemy team's formation by isolating primary targets from the rest of their allies. If used defensively, Expulsion Zone can cover your own or your allies' retreat by keeping pursuing enemies at bay. It can also block enemies from entering certain locations, which can buy your team precious seconds to secure a Map Objective.
Graviton Surge is a good Heroic Ability that provides a powerful area of effect crowd control that will magnetize towards its center any enemy Hero within its range, denying them from moving and nothing else. Contrary to its appearance, the effect provided does not have a Knockback attached to it, therefore it will not deny enemy Heroes from casting Abilities for the duration and it will not interrupt any channeled Ability already in progress (such as Holy Word: Salvation by Anduin).
Level 13 Talents for Zarya
Personal Barrier makes Zarya Unstoppable for up to 2 seconds.
Upon expiration or breaking, Personal Barrier grants Zarya 75 Spell Armor for 3 Seconds, reducing the damage taken from Abilities by 75%.
While at or above 75 Energy, Zarya gains 20 Armor, reducing all damage taken by 20%.
- Mana: 1
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
Activate to consume all Energy and gain a Shield that absorbs 0.5% of Zarya's maximum Health per Energy consumed and lasts for 3 seconds. Zarya may only have one personal Shield active on herself at a time.
Spell Barrier is a situational Talent that boosts Zarya's survivability against burst damage, even if you can usually get a similar result by going for Pain is Temporary instead. Pick it when you need protection from burst damage against a team that can break Shields (for example Varian with Shattering Throw at Level 13) and/or when you will need a better and more frequent protection from burst damage compared to what Pain is Temporary gives you.
Pain is Temporary is a strong Talent that can save Zarya's life if she finds herself in a dangerous situation. It is very important to mention that this Shield works like Personal Barrier, which means that any damage absorbed will contribute to her Energy gain.
Level 16 Talents for Zarya
Causes Shield Ally to remove all disabling effects and reduces its cooldown by 3 seconds.
Shield Ally now grants an untalented Shield to a nearby ally upon impact.
While at or above 75 Energy, Zarya's cooldowns regenerate 25% faster.
Cleansing Shield is a good but situational Talent that can be useful when the enemy team is counting on crowd control to take down Heroes. Since it does not give Unstoppable (meaning that it does not work like Cleanse by Rehgar), it cannot be preemptively cast on an allied Hero in order to prevent the application of disabling effects that will be applied on the target after it.
Born in Battle is a decent Talent that allows Zarya to use her Basic and Heroic Abilities more often when having high Energy, however, it does not really compete with the other options in the same Tier, even if you go for Energy-based Talents to empower it.
Level 20 Talents for Zarya
Increases Graviton Surge's duration by 1 second and it Silences Heroes caught in its area.
Reduce Expulsion Zone's cooldown by 25 seconds and increase its duration by 1.5 seconds.
All Particle Grenade charges are returned at once.
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Activate to reset the cooldown of Personal Barrier and Shield Ally.
Gravity Kills is a strong Talent that adds a Silence effect to Graviton Surge, something that can win games on its own. We definitely recommend this Talent when the corresponding Heroic Ability is picked.
Unyielding Defender is a strong Talent that allows Zarya to reset the cooldown of most of her Basic Abilities: Personal Barrier and Shield Ally. First of all, it adds great defensive value during late-game team fights, when every death can make the difference between victory and defeat because being able to apply a Shield to yourself and allied Heroes more frequently can really change the course of battle. Secondly, by having two additional Shields, she is able to keep her Energy high, which significantly enhances her offensive capabilities as well.
- 12 Jul. 2020: Talent Descriptions modified to better describe when to pick them.
- 16 Apr. 2020: 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.
- 14 Feb. 2020: Updated Zarya's talents and revised the guide in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
- 20 Nov. 2019: Applied minor changes to Zarya's talents and maps sections to keep it up to date.
- 23 May 2019: Updated Zarya's talents and builds in accordance with the latest Balance Update.
- 16 Apr. 2017: Added a new Anti Melee build, and updated some talent discussions to account for this build.
- 31 Jan. 2017: Changed some talent recommendations for Level 4 and 7.
- 24 Nov. 2016: Swapped Pain is Temporary and Unstoppable Competitor in talent recommendations.
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