ZARYA

Role: / HP: 200 / Difficulty:

OVERVIEW

Conversations regarding Tank Class Heroes that mention the name of Zarya can place an image in one’s mind, idolising her as the “poster girl”, an ideal off-tank in the game. She can convert the damage she absorbs from her barrier shields into stored energy to increase the power of her Particle Cannon; the more damage she absorbs, the more powerful she becomes. Not only does her barrier block or cancel any status ailments such as Ana’s Sleep Dart and Mccree’s Flash Bang, even attacks such as Winston’s Tesla Cannon will charge the Particle Barrier while protecting her. Her Graviton Surge ultimate is one of the most powerful crowd controlling ultimates in the game. The black hole looking ability will pull enemies within 9 meters towards the epicenter, immobilizing them for the next 4 seconds.

Nonetheless, Zarya has one of the higher skill ceilings. Usually coupled with tank Heroes which are more static in movement (i.e. Reinhardt & Orisa), she is still able to provide fast paced Dive compositions with easily applied mitigative shields. Her barriers have relatively long cooldowns (Particle Barrier 10 seconds, Projected Barrier 8 seconds) and using them too early or at the wrong moment before a full team brawl breaks out can leave her team vulnerable to instant elimination abilities. Her barriers also have limited health and will break if quickly focused.

OVERVIEW

Conversations regarding Tank Class Heroes that mention the name of Zarya can place an image in one’s mind, idolising her as the “poster girl”, an ideal off-tank in the game. She can convert the damage she absorbs from her barrier shields into stored energy to increase the power of her Particle Cannon; the more damage she absorbs, the more powerful she becomes. Not only does her barrier block or cancel any status ailments such as Ana’s Sleep Dart and Mccree’s Flash Bang, even attacks such as Winston’s Tesla Cannon will charge the Particle Barrier while protecting her. Her Graviton Surge ultimate is one of the most powerful crowd controlling ultimates in the game. The black hole looking ability will pull enemies within 9 meters towards the epicenter, immobilizing them for the next 4 seconds.

Nonetheless, Zarya has one of the higher skill ceilings. Usually coupled with tank Heroes which are more static in movement (i.e. Reinhardt & Orisa), she is still able to provide fast paced Dive compositions with easily applied mitigative shields. Her barriers have relatively long cooldowns (Particle Barrier 10 seconds, Projected Barrier 8 seconds) and using them too early or at the wrong moment before a full team brawl breaks out can leave her team vulnerable to instant elimination abilities. Her barriers also have limited health and will break if quickly focused.

ABILITIES

Zarya’s effectiveness revolves around her passive. Any damage absorbed by Zarya’s barrier is transferred into power fueling Zarya’s Particle Cannon. For every 5 points of damage absorbed by the barriers, Zarya gains 1 point of energy. For every point of energy she has stored, her particle cannon does 1% increased damage for a maximum of 100 energy points and an increase to damage of 100%. The tricky part of this passive is that Zarya loses 2 points of energy every second, requiring the barriers to absorb a large amount of damage. If Zarya dies, she loses all her stored energy; even if Mercy uses her Resurrect ability, Zarya will have lost all her energy.

Damage: 95/s

Range: 16m

Ammo: 100 (20 ammo/s)

Reload: 1.5s

Zarya unleashes a beam from her Particle Cannon. The beam is hitscan and as long as it touches an enemy, they immediately take damage. The damage is influenced by how much damage Zarya has absorbed using her barrier abilities. Zarya is able to consistently emit her Particle Cannon for 5 seconds. While it is difficult to translate how much damage one point of ammo from her Particle Cannon deals since it is inconsistent over time, Zarya does 475 damage after the full 5 seconds at 0% energy. The ammo pool is shared between her primary fire and secondary fire.

Damage: 47/shot

Speed: 23.5m/s

Rate: 1 shot/s

Ammo: 100 (25 used/shot)

Reload: 1.5s

The secondary fire from Zarya’s Particle Cannon lobs an explosive charge that explodes on contact, damaging any enemy within 2 meters. The closer to the initial contact, the more damage the charge does. Like her primary fire, the damage is influenced by how much damage Zarya has absorbed using her barrier abilities. Each explosive charge consumes 25 ammo from the ammo pool that is shared between her primary fire and secondary fire.

Barrier: 200 health

Duration: 2s

Cooldown: 8s

Zarya’s Particle Cannon emits a barrier onto an ally that simultaneously absorbs incoming damage and charges energy for her passive. The barrier can sustain 200 damage before it bursts, and its cooldown begins as soon as the barrier has been depleted. If Zarya’s objective is to absorb damage to increase her energy passive, the cool down between her Projected Barrier(8 seconds) and Particle Barrier (10 seconds) forces Zarya to rely on teammates to absorb more damage in order to build her passive faster. While other barriers and shields allow certain abilities through such as Reinhardt’s Fire Strike and Symmetra’s Photon Orb, Zarya’s barrier can absorb the damage but they can still pass right through her. Allies protected by the barrier will be immune to stun, sleep and other crowd control effects except for immobility effects such as Zarya’s Graviton Surge, knockback, and charges.

Barrier: 200 health

Duration: 2s

Cooldown: 10s

Zarya surrounds herself with the same barrier she can project on her allies. The only difference is this personal barrier has a 10 second cooldown and the Projected Barrier for allies has an 8 second cooldown.

Area of Effect: 9m

Damage: 5.5/s

Speed: 23.5m/s

Duration: 4s

Zarya’s ultimate is one of the most powerful in the game. Zarya lobs a gravity bomb that has a duration of 4 seconds. During those 4 seconds, any enemy within 9 meters will be pulled towards the center of the bomb and cannot escape. Only Orisa with her Fortify ability and Reaper with his Wraith Form can walk out of the Graviton Surge. Every other hero must remain within the bomb. If the bomb catches the entire enemy team, Zarya’s team can use all their area of effect abilities and cleave damage to attack their entire team at once.

ABILITIES

Zarya’s effectiveness revolves around her passive. Any damage absorbed by Zarya’s barrier is transferred into power fueling Zarya’s Particle Cannon. For every 5 points of damage absorbed by the barriers, Zarya gains 1 point of energy. For every point of energy she has stored, her particle cannon does 1% increased damage for a maximum of 100 energy points and an increase to damage of 100%. The tricky part of this passive is that Zarya loses 2 points of energy every second, requiring the barriers to absorb a large amount of damage. If Zarya dies, she loses all her stored energy; even if Mercy uses her Resurrect ability, Zarya will have lost all her energy.

Damage: 95/s

Range: 16m

Ammo: 100 (20 ammo/s)

Reload: 1.5s

Zarya unleashes a beam from her Particle Cannon. The beam is hitscan and as long as it touches an enemy, they immediately take damage. The damage is influenced by how much damage Zarya has absorbed using her barrier abilities. Zarya is able to consistently emit her Particle Cannon for 5 seconds. While it is difficult to translate how much damage one point of ammo from her Particle Cannon deals since it is inconsistent over time, Zarya does 475 damage after the full 5 seconds at 0% energy. The ammo pool is shared between her primary fire and secondary fire.

Damage: 47/shot

Speed: 23.5m/s

Rate: 1 shot/s

Ammo: 100 (25 used/shot)

Reload: 1.5s

The secondary fire from Zarya’s Particle Cannon lobs an explosive charge that explodes on contact, damaging any enemy within 2 meters. The closer to the initial contact, the more damage the charge does. Like her primary fire, the damage is influenced by how much damage Zarya has absorbed using her barrier abilities. Each explosive charge consumes 25 ammo from the ammo pool that is shared between her primary fire and secondary fire.

Barrier: 200 health

Duration: 2s

Cooldown: 8s

Zarya’s Particle Cannon emits a barrier onto an ally that simultaneously absorbs incoming damage and charges energy for her passive. The barrier can sustain 200 damage before it bursts, and its cooldown begins as soon as the barrier has been depleted. If Zarya’s objective is to absorb damage to increase her energy passive, the cool down between her Projected Barrier(8 seconds) and Particle Barrier (10 seconds) forces Zarya to rely on teammates to absorb more damage in order to build her passive faster. While other barriers and shields allow certain abilities through such as Reinhardt’s Fire Strike and Symmetra’s Photon Orb, Zarya’s barrier can absorb the damage but they can still pass right through her. Allies protected by the barrier will be immune to stun, sleep and other crowd control effects except for immobility effects such as Zarya’s Graviton Surge, knockback, and charges.

Barrier: 200 health

Duration: 2s

Cooldown: 10s

Zarya surrounds herself with the same barrier she can project on her allies. The only difference is this personal barrier has a 10 second cooldown and the Projected Barrier for allies has an 8 second cooldown.

Area of Effect: 9m

Damage: 5.5/s

Speed: 23.5m/s

Duration: 4s

Zarya’s ultimate is one of the most powerful in the game. Zarya lobs a gravity bomb that has a duration of 4 seconds. During those 4 seconds, any enemy within 9 meters will be pulled towards the center of the bomb and cannot escape. Only Orisa with her Fortify ability and Reaper with his Wraith Form can walk out of the Graviton Surge. Every other hero must remain within the bomb. If the bomb catches the entire enemy team, Zarya’s team can use all their area of effect abilities and cleave damage to attack their entire team at once.

PLAY STYLES, & COMPOSITION

Zarya requires a high level of game knowledge and experience with timing. Her damage revolves around understanding when is the most optimal time to use her barriers to gain energy charge, like utilizing them to protect her allies during initial engagements or mid fight applications. Poor timing and usage of her barriers will leave an opening for an experienced enemy to capitalize on, eliminating Zarya and her team.

Enemies attempting to engage Zarya and her allies may potentially charge her to 80% energy. During enemy engagements, she can successfully absorb 200 damage per barrier, gaining 40 energy per barrier. In addition to her front line presence, she is also able to play a middle of the pack guard role. With her easily applied barriers, her Particle Cannon’s tracking beam and projectile attacks, an experienced Zarya has the ability to influence the battlefield. She is able to transition between helping her backline fend off enemy flankers and relieving attacks on her frontline Tanks. Many of Zarya’s successful actions leading to successful team fights go unseen. A well timed Projected Barrier onto an ally can prevent attackers from shutting down her teammates. Detailed Zarya barrier plays are commonly overlooked or never discussed during high tier and professional competition matches.

Zarya is a great frontline partner for tanks with a more static playstyle such as Reinhardt or Orisa. She is also adaptable in a Dive composition since she can fulfill a midfield role for her team, being able to provide defensive and offensive support for her entire team.

Quick Composition Terminology:
321 Tank = 3 Tanks, 2 Supports, 1 Damage Dealer
222 Standard = 2 Tanks, 2 Support, 2 Damage Dealers

In a 321 Tank composition, Zarya is able increase her Main Tank’s durability. She can find utilization in the front-middle areas of her team’s formation. From this position she can enable her two other Tanks in a Deathball playstyle. Winning conditions for a 321 Tank composition has Zarya playing the key role in shutting down enemy cooldowns being used. Zarya and her allies may force a teamfight when they have an ability advantage. She is responsible for identifying which enemy ultimates that have the potential to cause fatal damage.

There are two common variations of a 222 Standard composition for Zarya. The more static tank setup similar to the 321 Tank composition provides a slight adjustment of replacing a Tank role with an additional Damage Dealer. Zarya’s play style within this composition setup is similar. The other 222 Standard composition can see a mix of dive Heroes. One of the more popular Dive lineups matches her up alongside Tracer, Genji and Winston. The diving trio provide good synergy with Zarya. Her responsibility should be primarily focused the backline; when Graviton Surge becomes active her ultimate can group several enemy targets together for Genji’s Dragonblade or Tracer’s pulse bomb.

Compositions that are fairly weaker for Zarya lack frontal barriers or shields (i.e. Reinhardt & Orisa provide), or include a very aggressive Dive setup allowing focus to be taken away from Zarya.

ZARYA QUICK TIPS

Zarya is best utilized as a secondary tank behind a primary tank that can provide frontal damage defense shields and barriers.

Zarya’s Graviton Surge can be absorbed completely by D.Va’s defense matrix.

Zarya is capable for adjusting her play style to fit static and dive compositions

PROS & CONS

Pros

  • 1. When charged with high energy, she can output a high level of damage
  • 2. Her barriers absorb damage which other Tank Hero’s defensive shields cannot
  • 3. Graviton Surge is one of the most powerful area of effect crowd controlling ultimates
  • 4. She is the most balanced mix of defence and offence as an off-tank Hero

Cons

  • 1. Players unable to gain or maintain her Energy at higher levels render her ineffective
  • 2. Her barriers have a long cool down and low duration, timing is key and takes practice
  • 3. Graviton Surge can easily be absorbed by D.Va’s defense matrix
  • 4. Large open battlefields make Zarya a vulnerable target due to her lack of mobility and cooldowns

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