Varus Build Guide by barnez
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
As you can probably tell, this is the first guide I've made but I did keep it short for a reason: I don't want to be ordering people exactly what to do in order to play Varus in this style. I have kept a bit of flexibility within the guide, allowing you to find a personal preference, whilst also guiding you in what I believe is the right direction with Varus.
Contrary to what most people may say about Varus' great harrass with his Q, I like to take a point in it at level one for first blood/ very early laning but then max his W ASAP. Maxing Varus' W works extremely well as it eliminates any mana problems that many people seem to run into with Varus, but another great reason for my skill order is that with a little bit of AP and a high ranked W, you'll find that even players that find last-hitting hard would agree that the extra damage on your auto attacks makes last-hitting extremely easy. The third and probably most important reason for maxing Blighted Quiver is that mid-early ganks are EXTREMELY effective with varus, three auto-attacks and then any other ability obliterates your targets health.
As long as you try to prioritise maxing Blighted Quiver there's quite a lot of flexibility and variation within the skilling order. the first three levels are mostly because i tend to get all three abilities by level three on most or all champions anyway, although i do believe that this works especially well on Varus. In certain games, i find myself neglecting my Q quite a bit, this is mostly if the the enemy team are mostly melee based, regen/healing based or have little escape. This is because Piercing Arrow isn't particularly effective in a 1v1 due to the charging time for it to reach potential so my E gives a quick burst of damage that can't be easily avoided by a melee champion and if the enemy team lacks escaping capabilities, Piercing Arrow becomes almost useless as you can usually chase your target instead of having to snipe them off from afar.
alternative item builds
A Trinity Force can be very effective item if you need some more chasing ability, a small bit of durability and resistance or if you'd just rather pick it over any other item. One main reason why i dont always choose a trinity force is because it's greatest use on varus when played like this is the sheen proc, however Varus' great burst is more in mid-early game, so attempting to build for a trinity force at that point in the game isn't always a great idea. That said, if you get some early farm/feed and can afford one of these bad boys early, GET IT.
If you are quite desperately in need of survivability but want to give away as little damage and chasing potential as possible, sometimes I find that purchasing a frozen mallet Frozen Mallet can be a good idea, but I very rarely get one on Varus.
Another potential item for survivability is Guardian Angel; the reasons beind this are pretty self-explanatory. If your team are winning team fights quite confidently, but you're being focused, the downtime from your "death" might give your team some time to clean up in the fight hopefully before you are revived.
like Trinity Force, I usually will only purchse this next item under certain circumstances but it can easily be swapped with another item in the build, possibly The Black Cleaver.
Madred's Bloodrazor can be a very effective item on varus because it applies extra magic damage on each attack, to compliment Blighted Quiver very well. the main reason, like trinity force, that I don't always get a bloodrazor is because it's so expensive and doesn't usually pay it all off. If the enemy team is building a lot of flat hp, Madred's Bloodrazor is obviously an ideal choice and is great otherwise, but I don't reccomend including it in your main Varus build.
isn't a necessity because, at late game in particular, Hail of Arrows can slow movement speed by about 50%, aswell as doing half of
ignite's job by halving healing, but doesnt do either job to it's full potential.
This build is mostly aimed at duo bottom alongside a support champion, but if you'd prefer to play Varus mid or solo top, you might find teleport and ideal choice for summoner spells to minimize lane downtime and maximize your potential minion kills and possibly champion kills if you use it well :)!
I tend not to use heal on varus because a great deal of my damage deat is in burst, with my auto-attacks to help finish if my abilities didn't do the job and through The Bloodthirster and Hextech Gunblade I have immense survivability and heal in quick skirmish type fights and I rarely find a need to use Heal.
There's proabaly a couple of people looking at my rune choice in disbelief. Although they may seem pretty stupid at first, there's method to my madness.
The attack speed is great, particularly mid game when your W is hitting significant damage without you having spent too much money on attack speed. So the runes for attack speed I usually use are flat Attack speed Quints and flat attack speed marksThe armour: as you can tell, it's flat armour seals (flat armour seals X9) because you are likely to be laning against an AD carry if you play Varus bottom lane. The magic resist is a mixture because whilst some early magic resist (flat magic resistance glyphs X4) is helpful, you won't need it that much early game, whereas you might need a little more late game hence my choice of Magic resistance per level glyphs X 5
This guide isn't a strict regime and instruction manual on how to play Varus, just a bit a inspiration and variation because an AP hybrid Varus build is very rarely used and seen by most people.
P.S. If you feel the need to downvote my guide for any reason or have noticed any problems with it or can see room for improvement, I would greatly apprecite you showing/telling me through a comment and explain why you may have downvoted (give constructive criticism, please)!
Thank you and enjoy your new Varus playstyle!