Hobo's Guide to Johanna - 50 Shades of Light by Hobo

Hobo's Guide to Johanna - 50 Shades of Light

By: Hobo
Last Updated: Oct 31, 2015
138 Votes
Build 1 of 2


Build: Ranked Tanky + CC

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

Threats to Johanna with this build

Show all
Threat Hero Notes
Stitches Poor Stitches - Easy damage to avoid and mitigate. You can out damage, out last and out CC him.
Sgt. Hammer
Li Li
Brightwing Watch out for poly here, you could get melted if it lands on you!
The Lost Vikings
Gazlowe If Gazlowe has an objective fortified with turrets, they can widdle you down quickly! Try not to engage 1v1 if they are hunkered down.
  No Threat


Build: Tanky + CC Quick Match

Level 1
Level 4
Level 7
Level 10
Level 13
Level 16
Level 20

PTR Changes Top

A reduction in her wave clear and a reduction in stun duration is a slight nerf. With the buffs of the other warriors, Johanna might see less play, but she is still a very viable draft pick.

Table of Contents Top

About Hobo Top

I have been playing since Alpha, have also written top guides for Kael'Thas, The Butcher and Johanna. I have been hardcore gaming for nearly my entire life! Guide Links Here

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Gameplay - Stun, Blind and Knock You Up! Top

Johanna is a tried and true tank that has the ability to cause frustration and chaos for the enemy team. From her multiple stuns, her blind and her sheer mitigation with Iron Skin could even make her a top tier selection. She also has some interesting abilities that work well as the initiator through Falling Sword with Condemn.

Shield Glare will also be strong against some auto attack focused champions like Illidan or Falstad. She will also have great sustain through talents like Laws of Hope. There should be quite a few builds that will be viable, but I think a survival/control build will be the most successful in most situations. With all of her CC potential, her damage could be lackluster, but it will also be possible to build a very aggressive and damage focus Johanna. I don't think this will be her forte, but will provide the examples in the talent builds at the top of the page (coming soon).

This guide will focus on a control / survivalist tank role.

Note: Johanna's Toolkit gives her the opportunity to adapt to the other team. In a few talent tiers, there are selections that should be made based on the enemy team or even the map. I will detail this below.

Gameplay Video Top

(sorry for low quality, not sure what happened on the upload.)

Abilities Top


Iron Skin (Q)
Mana: 25
Cooldown: 20 seconds

Become Unstoppable and gain a Shield that absorbs 250.5 + (57.5 per level) damage for 4 seconds


Punish (Q)
Mana: 40
Cooldown: 8 seconds

Deal 58 + (10 per level) and slow enemies decaying over 2 seconds

Condemn (W)
Mana: 50
Cooldown: 10 seconds

After 1 second , you pull nearby enemies toward you, stunning them for 0.25 seconds and dealing 25 + (5 per level)

Shield Glare (E)
Mana: 45
Cooldown: 12 seconds

Deal 54 + (4 per level) damage to enemies and cause them to miss their next 2 Basic Attacks within 4 seconds

Heroic Abilities

Falling Sword (R)
Mana: 100
Cooldown: 80 seconds

You leap towards an area. While in the air, you can steer the landing location by moving. After 2 seconds you land, dealing 550 (141.5 + 21.5 per level) damage to nearby enemies and knocking them into the air.

Blessed Shield (R)
Mana: 90
Cooldown: 60 seconds

Deal 250 (79 + 9 per level) damage and stun the first enemy hit for 2 seconds. Blessed Shield then bounces to 2 nearby enemies, dealing 125 (39.5 + 4.5 per level) damage and stunning them for 1 second.

Detailed Talent Build Top

Active Mitigation: Reinforce - let's you control when you need to reduce damage from incoming enemy basic attacks. It will also store charges, to a maximum of two! Ensure you have your two stacks before map objectives open up.

For example: If you have 2 stacks up for map objectives, using your 3 basic abilities (assuming the 1-2 stacks were consumed on engage) you will get another 3 charges of 50% damage on enemy basic attacks! This can mitigate quite a bit of damage (early and late), especially vs. auto attack focused heroes.

Reinforce pulls ahead of Regeneration Master, especially late game.

If you would like to put out a bit more pressure during maps that are minion heavy, a strong case can be made to make Knight Takes Pawn viable and preferred with that play style. Additionally, if you are running a duo warrior meta, Knight Takes Pawn is a very good choice. This is a highly valued talent in competitive play.

Laws of Hope - is a great choice for maps like the Haunted Mines. The extra healing cooldown can essential keep you going in the mines longer. This is especially true early on. It also gives you an "on demand" heal, which is 5% per second. This greatly improves your ability to tank and take some big hits. Since it is percentage, scaling is not an issue later on.

After a bit of testing from viewers and myself, it seems like Laws of Hope is the best choice here. This could depend on your team comp, but Laws of Hope scales since its percentage based, and the regen also increases each level, PASSIVELY, without farming.

If you feel like your team has enough support and healing, Eternal Retaliation is also a very good choice and you could keep a high uptime on Condemn. Watch out for mana issues with this one! Make sure you bring a Malf. friend along.

Battle Momentum - Very awesome talent - keeps you casting your abilities consistently. Very valuable talent and the best choice for many builds. I consider this to be near mandatory in any tank or dps build. The only variation here could be a CC oriented build, which I am not focusing on. (thanks for the feedback here and on my stream!)

The Crusade Marches On - This will provide you with more mitigation, but I would rather have more casts of Shield Glare or Condemn in a team fight. You are tanky enough with a good support. Adding this talent just increases that and I feel that Battle Momentum provides a much larger benefit for the entire game.

Falling Sword - this is an outstanding talent considering everything that it brings to the table. You get a good engage ability that knocks up enemies, this could put you right in range of the enemy team's squishy backline. You can also AIM the talent in case they move or attempt to run away from the landing indicator. IT can put you in a great position to instantly use Condemn into a Punish for an AoE slow with some extra damage. This talent could also serve as an escape if you happen to get caught out of position. With all these things considered, I feel it will be a superior choice over Blessed Shield which is a skillshot which doesn't only land on enemy heroes (damn those minion waves!).

If you time it well, you can interrupt abilities like ETCs heroic.

That being said, I think Blessed Shield can be a good choice depending on the other team. If they have a Li Li or a Malf. getting your stun off during their heroic is paramount. The Range of Blessed Shield could also be good for chasing someone down considering the relatively short CD.

The best bet is to assess the enemy team and your team to decide which heroic to take. I think they are both viable. Blessed Shield will pull ahead in higher ranks of play, just a guess though.

Burning Rage - I think this is always a great choice for a tank build. Johanna will spend a majority of her time in the thick of the fight, having a small amount of damage constantly can really chip away at the other team. With Punish and Condemn, you will get a lot of uptime from burning rage. This could be a good selection if you feel you can survive team fights with your team's support.

Hold Your Ground - You already have enough mitigation and you likely will not be focused to make good use of this talent (if destroyed by damage CD reduction). 20% of the shield is only a couple of hundred points even @ level 20.

Subdue - Even in a double warrior meta, Burning Rage still pulls ahead of this talent. I don't think this talent pulls ahead of burning rage in any team comp.

Spell Shield - This is also not a good choice against Burning Rage. While it offers a lot of mitigation (especially after changes). It reduces Ability Damage for 3 seconds, you likely will not be on the receiving end of a gank attempt. Additionally, smart Jaina's and KT's will poke you, wait 3 seconds, then try to blow you up :)

This is not a very great tier, we don't get any extremely good abilities, so it may come down to play style here.

Imposing Presence - This choice is my first impression pick because more often than not, you will get an enemy assassin attacking you at some point during the fight. A 50% reduction in their attack speed could be a big benefit, especially for auto attack focus champions like Illidan, The Butcher and Falstad.

Blessed Hammer - Fairly good damage output considering it has 3 circles around you to damage enemies. I think this pick will depend on the other team. Heavy auto-attack - take Imposing Presence otherwise, take Blessed Hammer

@ Holy Renewal - I think there are better choices than this in the tier. I don't think this talent is worth it. You shouldn't be taking loads of damage in hero league, putting out more pressure on the other team is more important and you can do so with Blessed Hammer.

I think the other main issue with this talent is, when you use Shield Glare it is likely early in the team fight (to mitigate the most damage for your team) and you might not even benefit from hitting multiple targets. Johanna is tanky enough without this talent. It does have the potential to heal quite a bit, At level 16, hitting one target, is roughly equal to 7% of your life.

Fanaticism - I wanted this talent to be good, but it seems like you will just not have it up when you need it. If you are taking damage, you are likely not chasing down the enemy backline.

Heaven's Fury - Decent AoE damage from this ability, great initiator with added damage bonus to soften up the other team, also reduces CD.

Indestructible - This is like a "get out of death" card. You typically won't be focused enough to make this worth while. But it can help to keep you in the fight a few seconds longer, which could lead to other kills for your team. In the late game, saving a death timer of 60 seconds could mean the difference in a match.

Early Game Top

Early Game


The "Suck and Slow" combo Condemn + Punish should be used when you can reliably get some damage on the enemy minions AND the heroes in the lane. This will maximize your mana usage and provide you with some poke on the other team. Make sure to coordinate this with your lane partner. This can result in quite a few early kills, the slow from Punish is actually pretty good!

In the early game you have some great sustain through your trait Iron Skin. Try to use this when you think the enemy is going to use their abilities or dive for a poke. Pre-casting this is not recommended since the enemy will see you have a blue shield, they will just wait out the 4 seconds, then poke you.

Laws of Hope greatly increases your tanking ability, be sure to use this before your HP gets too low since it is a heal over time of 5% per second, rather than an instant 20%.

Mid Game Top

Mid Game



You get approximately one auto attack per second, and Battle Momentum reduces your ability cooldowns by .5 seconds for each. So for every 2 auto attacks, you get 1 second off all of your abilities. Note that this tool tip does not limit this to basic abilities!

Falling Sword - This can be used as your team fight initiator, try to aim for their back line to cause as much havoc as possible. Also, but sure to add the "Suck and Slow" combo as soon as you land! You can also coordinate this with your team, Jaina for example, could cast her Blizzard or Ring of Frost can be devastating! Try to set these combos up with your team, especially in ranked play.

After you get level 13, be aware of your positioning, even in minion waves. The added damage from Burning Rage can add up quickly so abuse it as much as possible!

Late Game Top

Late Game



As you get Burning Rage you can actually be fairly annoying to the other team. Be sure to engage the enemy back line and peel for your assassins. You will also need to focus on landing your Shield Glare on the correct targets. Assassins are your primary target, especially if they are build for Auto Attacks.

You also have the ability to isolate an enemy and prevent them from escaping with Punish and Condemn. Abuse this as much as possible! You also are hard to peel because of your Iron Skin trait. This will also get you out of many forms of CC, including things like Lamb to the Slaughter

You are extremely tanky and hard to kill at this point, try to stay in the fights as long as possible to take advantage of Blessed Hammer, this actually hits a few times and it provides a bit more damage.

Your main goal is to literally be as annoying as possible during team fights!

Matchups Top

(coming soon)

Change Log Top

5/21/15: Draft Created
6/01/15: Updated for Release
6/02/15: Guide Published + Edits from Stream viewers and posts here.
6/03/15: Tons of updates!
6/05/15: Build adjustments, added other options.
6/08/15: Content and formatting
6/20/15: Content and feedback changes
6/24/15: 100k Views!

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