Johanna: Tank of Many Talents by renideo

Johanna: Tank of Many Talents

By: renideo
Last Updated: Jun 20, 2015
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Build 1 of 1


Build: Sample generic QM build

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

Introduction Top

Johanna has one of the most interesting talent trees in the game with almost ever talent viable in some situation, she is open to a wide variety of combinations of talents and is almost the opposite of how most heroes are played-- that is, with one main build and small variations.

This guide isn't about a build but an examination of the many ways to build Johanna and the reasons to use one build over another in different circumstances. As a very resilient warrior with comparatively low damage output and strong disruption Johanna always faces a balancing act between resilience, damage, utility and disruption / CC. From one game to the next her needs may change and so should her talent picks.

The build listed above is simply a filler, the sort of thing you'd be more likely to see in quickmatches. There are too many ways to develop Johanna's talents to simply list them as separate builds.

The Talents Top


The first major decision point for any Johanna. Regeneration master synergises with amplified healing and works for sustain when a healer is present. Reinforce works best when the other team has strong auto-attackers and synergises well with the crusade marches on, as you have a strong incentive to use your (mana inexpensive) skills often. When considering defence it's important to consider the power curve of enemy heroes. If they really get threatening later on, you may feel able to wait for imposing presence, for example.

Knight takes pawn allows Johanna to lane extremely effectively without using multiple skills and to take merc camps, although it synergises with eternal retaliation on four and can lead in to it, either can be taken without the other. On maps with a lot of mercenaries or situations where clearing quickly is important the talent goes up in value, but it's never bad.

Johanna is inherently resilient, so it isn't obligatory to take a survival focused talent here, much as ETC rarely takes block in the current patch.

Righteous smash is a mana sustain talent, but you'll actually rarely ever need it, and you'll generally always prefer one of the other options. Johanna has moderate cooldown, low mana cost basic abilities, and doesn't *have* to run out of mana very often at all.


Amplified healing is a staple talent for tanks and it's an extremely attractive option where a main healer is present, if you took regen master you'll almost always take amplified healing, but it's easily possible to take amplified healing without taking regen master as it acts on healing from all sources including regen globes, your own abilities, other characters, fountains and so on.

Eternal retaliation is an obvious synergy with knight takes pawn, but can function well on its own as well. The radius of condemn is good and increasing your ability to disrupt and displace opponents is inherently valuable, this talent also synergises with the crusade marches on as it reduces the cooldown on a basic ability, thus allowing you to get your trait up somewhat faster on average.

Laws of Hope is the staple of the quickmatch, it's good in any situation lending itself to self-sustain in situations where insufficient healing is present, or when you are likely to be away from your healer for large sections of the game. It has no particular special synergy with anything, but as such is simply a solid pick in any situation where it is needed.

Roar is actually a substantial damage boost because punish is johanna's highest damage unmodified basic ability, however it is rarely a good idea to accept a 50% boost on a lacklustre source of damage. Given the strong competition on this tier you'll usually be desperate for damage before you take it.


Battle momentum is always attractive, however johanna has an extremely low rate of attack and is a melee. A lot of the time she relies on her abilities to maintain engagement range and in those situations it's best not to put the horse before the cart.

Sins exposed is actually a great damage boost (on a low damage ability). It increases the scaling (assuming you can activate the marks) damage of shield glare from +4 to +10, with a reasonable base damage boost as well. It won't be a consistent damage increase because you are rarely using the ability for its damage, but rather for its blind, and that means you'll often throw it on opponents you can't necessary hit. This talent is somewhat more attractive with a regen master into amplified healing build.

The crusade marches on reduces the cooldown on your trait, which renders you immune to CC and grants a substantially better than tassadar shield (the standard by which all shields must be judged). As both this and reinforce incentivise you to blow your mana early and often on abilities they go well together. Obviously this also synergises with later trait talents, but it's important not to be seduced by that. If your own survival is all you spec into, it had better be because you're being focused hard, if you survive and your team dies around you it's never worth it.

Conviction is on of johanna's two real mobility talents, in some situations it will be able to work for escaping, but as pulling your opponents closer to you is rarely the goal while fleeing it is very situational. It's obviously far better for chasing, be that to pull a fast moving illidan away from your fleeing comrade, or to catch an enemy zeratul in stealth. Mobility is one of johanna's great weakness, so the talent shouldn't be underestimated, but it's often overwhelmed by other options.


Both talents are extremely useful and provide disruption. Falling sword allows johanna mobility, extra damage and generally the capacity to dive. blessed shield is a solid multi-person stun, and that is always welcome, especially when the next best thing is condemn, which has to wind up and is only a ministun.

The shield is always going to be better when you have a strong backline you're trying to defend, as falling sword emphasises jumping on the enemy backline yourself. If you have an illidan and an anub'arak jumping all over your jaina the stun is clearly superior, but likewise if your illidan is all over their jaina falling sword can be stronger. Usually you'll decide not based on the map, but based on your team's composition vs theirs.


Every talent in this tier is fantastic. Burning rage gives johanna much needed damage output, and adds to her ability to handle minions and mercs whether or not she took Knight takes pawn earlier.

Hold your ground substantially improves an already great shield and makes it better under fire. If your improved shield goes down after 2 seconds of sustained fire the cooldown remaining will be 14 seconds instead of 18. If they take it down instantly you'll still only have a 16 second cooldown, effectively meaning it can never be higher than that.

Subdue doubles the effectiveness of your slow vs normal movement speed targets. That is, you normally take them 100 movement / s to 40, you now take them down to 20. The duration over which it decays is also increased by 50%. It may not always be the favoured option but it's a strong talent which makes it nearly impossible to escape johanna's team without bolt of the storm once she grabs someone.

Spell shield is actually rarely needed as johanna has her four seconds of shielded, unstoppable-ness. Still it's a welcome option which minimises the effect of big bursts of ability damage, or, just kael'thas being kael'thas.


Holy renewal gives a pretty solid self-heal on demand via shield glare, as long as you can hit enemy heroes. It synergises with amplified healing, and can help out if your team lacks a strong healer.

Fanatacism is a strong movement ability which makes disengaging much easier for johanna, but also helps her chase, provided something is damaging her. It's an incredibly useful talent that falls under the strong utility option heading for this tier.

Imposing presence is great, as always if the other team has strong auto-attack heroes. If you're facing hammer, their valla took rancor, and illidan has been all over you all game it becomes almost autopick, but it's never really a bad talent. This is a counter-pick to giant killer.

Blessed hammer is the damage pick for the tier, synergising with eternal retaliation and conviction. Again the value of the talent will depend heavily on how safe Johanna feels and how much impact she's having. If the other team is ignoring you in favour of your allies imposing presence won't be nearly as useful.


Which brings us to level 20. Indestructible is a popular pick out in the wilds of quickmatch, but it's a talent that only protects johanna, and only at the point of death. If you are being heavily focused, particularly if you took a lot of talents focused on damage and disruption, rather than on survival, then it isn't a bad pick, but building johanna to be nigh invulnerable and then taking indestructible is asking to be ignored, completely ignored.

Storm shield is always strong, the ability to defend your allies means you're having an impact on the whole team's resilience no matter who the focus of attention is. Its value goes up when you lack strong supports, but it's rarely ever a bad pick. I'd favour this pick in a lot of situations.

Radiating faith is a little lacklustre most of the time, it mostly increases the success rate of the heroic by helping to ensure secondary targets aren't out of bounce range. If you actually land it on a whole team you're really getting your money's worth, though.

Heaven's fury does a lot for falling sword. It increases the damage output, and reduces the rather long cooldown.

Both heroic upgrades are solid, but neither is an earth-shaking boost in the way a divine hurricane or annihilating spirit is (or was). The best pick on this tier is always the one that suits your situation and needs. More damage, more disruption, more survivability or the ability to lend some direct support to your team.

Conclusion Top

In each game the key is to determine what your team needs, what you're facing in the other team, how the two compositions match up, and what your role should be. Johanna really has no reason to autopick almost anything on any tier.

Johanna has access to fantastic sustain, two strong abilities that neuter basic attacks, talents to help her wave-clear and capture mercs, talents that enhance damage, talents to grant mobility and others to increase the frequency of her disruptive skills. Many of these talents-- sometimes performing different roles-- synergise with one another.

It's important not to be seduced by synergy because it can lead to an unbalanced build, but some talents naturally group together. When solo-queuing it's good to take a little time looking at both teams and the tier 1 talents they've chosen because it won't always be obvious what you should do.

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