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
Shield Ally BuildRecommended
Zarya's Shield Ally Build offers damage and utility for your team. Being playable from ranged distance, this Build can be used in a multitude of situations without fear of being punished.
When used correctly, Together We Are Strong at Level 1 is extremely good for keeping your Energy high, allowing you to deal more damage with Basic Attacks and Abilities.
Basic Attacks BuildSituational
Zarya's Basic Attacks Build boosts her damage from melee distance by empowering her Basic Attacks, which will deal even more damage at high Energy.
The signature Talent of this Build is Feel the Heat at Level 1. To get more value from it, you need the extra survivability and the additional Energy generation from I Am the Strongest at Level 4.
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%.
Demolitions Expert is a good Talent that increases Zarya's damage output from the distance, given you have easy-to-hit targets for Particle Grenade.
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 because it increases the damage done by Particle Grenade and applies a Slow that makes it easier to hit the same target multiple times in a row.
For 3 seconds after gaining Shield Ally, every 5 (+4% per level) damage done by the bearer contributes 1 Energy to Zarya, up to 40 Energy per Shield.
Together We Are Strong is a strong Talent that converts part of the damage done by Heroes recently targeted by Shield Ally into Energy, an useful effect to keep Zarya's Energy high when the enemy team does not have a lot of burst damage.
Zarya's Basic Attack deals 50% additional damage to enemies in melee range. While above 40 Energy, Zarya's Basic Attack size is increased by 35%.
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 and also makes her Basic Attacks cover a 35% longer and 35% wider area, but without increasing her Attack Range.
The extra damage provided by this Talent is particularly good against low-mobility and low-range Heroes because they cannot easily get out of your Attack Range.
Regen Globes now instantly grant 20 Energy.
Quest: Spend 150 seconds at or above 50 Energy.
Reward: Gain an additional 20 maximum Energy.
Maximum Charge is a good 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.
Passive: Damage absorbed by Zarya's Shields contributes 20% more Energy.
I Am the Strongest is a good Talent which makes the Shield provided by Personal Barrier 25% larger and also makes it and Pain is Temporary at Level 13 give you 20% more Energy when taking damage.
When playing Zarya, you should usually prefer Talents that increase the survivability of allied Heroes rather than your own, except when you are scared of being focused down by the enemy team and/or you are going for a more aggressive Build featuring Feel the Heat at Level 1.
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.
Give Me Twenty is a good Quest-based Talent that, once completed, makes Shield Ally absorb more damage, provide more protection to your allies, and fill up your Energy a bit faster than usual.
Shield Ally increases the allied Hero's Movement Speed by 50% for the duration.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
Hitting a Hero with Particle Grenade causes Basic Attacks against them to generate 2 Energy. Lasts 3 seconds.
Deep Burn is a decent Talent that can be taken to gain Energy when Basic Attacking enemy Heroes who have been recently hit by Particle Grenade.
Considering that Zarya has 4 Attack Speed, you will be able to get 8 Energy per second for each enemy Hero hit, for a total of 24 Energy over 3 seconds for each enemy Hero hit.
If you do not have problems keeping your Energy high, do not pick this Talent because it does literally nothing when you already have full Energy.
Upon expiration or breaking, Personal Barrier explodes, dealing 110 (+4% per level) damage to nearby enemies.
Explosive Barrier is a good Talent which makes Personal Barrier deal damage around Zarya when it expires or it gets destroyed by damage.
Pick this Talent when you need more burst damage, especially if you are playing with Feel the Heat at Level 1 as they both require you to play more in melee range than usual.
Level 10 Talents for Zarya
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.
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Launch a gravity bomb that detonates after 1 second and draws enemy Heroes toward the center for 2.5 seconds. Affected Heroes take 30 (+4% per level) damage a second.
Graviton Surge is a decent Heroic Ability that provides a powerful area of effect crowd control that will damage and pull towards its center any enemy Hero within its range, denying them from moving but still allowing them to use Abilities and Basic Attacks. The delay makes it hard to land, though, so you should use it as a follow-up to allied crowd control effects.
Contrary to what you may expect when looking at its animation, the displacement effect provided does not have a daze 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).
- 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.
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 an Objective.
Level 13 Talents for Zarya
Personal Barrier makes Zarya Unstoppable for up to 2 seconds.
Unstoppable Competitor is a strong Talent that can make Zarya Unstoppable when needed, however, the buff ends if the Shield gets destroyed by damage. Pick it when playing against Heroes with scary crowd control effects.
Upon expiration or breaking, Personal Barrier grants Zarya 75 Spell Armor for 3 Seconds, reducing the damage taken from Abilities by 75%.
Spell Barrier is a good 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.
While at or above 75 Energy, Zarya gains 20 Armor, reducing all damage taken by 20%.
Endurance Training is a weak Talent that provides a low but constant amount of Armor that can be useful when team fights take a lot of time to end. You will rarely need this Talent because it does not give enough value compared to the other options in the same Tier.
- 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.
Pain is Temporary is a good 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 Energy generation, and that it does not stack with it, so you should not use both of them at the same time.
Pick it when you are not scared of enemy crowd control effects but they can deal a lot of burst-damage of any kind, especially if you have I Am the Strongest at Level 4 to get even more Energy back while using it.
Level 16 Talents for Zarya
Causes Shield Ally to remove all disabling effects and reduces its cooldown by 3 seconds.
Cleansing Shield is a strong Talent that allows Shield Ally to remove any crowd control for its target.
Since it does not give Unstoppable, it cannot be pre-emptively cast on an allied Hero in order to prevent the application of disabling effects that will hit them while the Shield is up, but it can only be used to remove effects that are already active.
Shield Ally now grants an untalented Shield to a nearby ally upon impact.
Gain Train is a good Talent that makes Shield Ally give an untalented Shield to one allied Hero who is nearby the main target. Pick this Talent when you do not need the powerful effect coming from Cleansing Shield and you need more Shields to protect your team from damage spread on multiple targets.
While at or above 75 Energy, Zarya's cooldowns regenerate 25% faster.
Born in Battle is a decent Talent that allows Zarya to use her Basic and Heroic Abilities more often when having high Energy. Pick this Talent if you do not need anything else from this Tier.
Level 20 Talents for Zarya
Increases Graviton Surge's duration by 1 second and it Silences Heroes caught in its area.
Gravity Kills is a good 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.
Reduce Expulsion Zone's cooldown by 25 seconds and increase its duration by 1.5 seconds.
Clear Out is a good Talent that makes Expulsion Zone last longer, increasing its duration from 3.5 to 5 seconds! You also get the opportunity to cast it more often thanks to the cooldown reduction.
Pick this Talent when you want more crowd control, especially if you are playing on Maps with narrow areas (such as Cursed Hollow) and/or your team's strategy revolves around aggressively contesting a Capture Point (for example a Boss Camp).
All Particle Grenade charges are returned at once.
Grenadier is a good Talent that allows Zarya to cast Particle Grenade much more frequently than normal, an effect that is particularly powerful if you have Pinpoint Accuracy at Level 7.
- Cooldown: 60 seconds
Activate to reset the cooldown of Personal Barrier and Shield Ally.
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. Second, by having two additional Shields, she is able to keep her Energy high, which significantly enhances her offensive capabilities as well.
- 07 Jul. 2022: Builds updated.
- 28 Jan. 2022: Builds updated.
- 07 Dec. 2021: Guide reviewed for the latest Major Patch.
- 28 Sep. 2021: Guide reviewed for the latest Balance Update.
- 06 Jul. 2021: Builds updated.
- 25 Feb. 2021: New layout.
- 23 Feb. 2021: Builds and Talent Descriptions updated.
- 16 Feb. 2021: Builds updated.
- 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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