Varus Build Guide by Needlous
Recommended Runes + Notes
Downright Vyrus + Notes
WHY WOULDN'T I GO FOR GUINSOO/GUNBLADE/ANY AD-AS-AP SHENANIGAN?
If you want to, you're free to go - I won't force you into going straight AP-AS after all. I personally, though, kind of don't see the point of going AP-AD hybrid with hybrid penetration on Varus - if you're speccing for % damage anyway, why would you want to waste gold on AD early on? I mean, it's not *really* wasting gold, you get some early damagezzz, but I'd rather have more AP and AS for my Blight (:3).
Wat am I doin' rite now.
I'll probably will be slightly updating this guide from time to time, not too often though. I'm just not playing league that often nowadays ;p.
Pros / Cons
MasteriesWith the new mastery tree, I feel that everything is clear in offense - only other thing I could take is Butcher , but Varus doesn't need it because of Blight. I take 9 points in defense rather than in utility, because Varus doesn't need mana regen from it, and because he's autoattacking, so he's more vulnerable than other mages. If you're desperate and you know mid's gonna be tough, you can go for Offense/Defense hybrid - like 16/14 or something.
Marks - 9x Greater Mark of Magic Penetration - you can also use AS reds, I think that'd be possible to pull of using Magic Pen Glyphs too.
Seals - 9x Greater Seal of Armor OR Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power - Varus is pretty squishy so some armor never hurts; take AP runes if you're pretty sure you can kite enemy AD's well or just burst them. You could also take mana regen seals, or hp/lvl ones. I personally would only choose from armor, hp/lvl and ap/lvl. Considering how often you see AD casters mid nowadays, armor just might be the best option you have.
Glyphs - 9x Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction, or maybe AP/lvl. My personal choice would be CDR, because you need to detonate Blight every now and then and you're not going to build too much CDR ;p. If you feel like you need more magic penetration, Mpen glyphs are also fine.
Quints - 3x Greater Quintessence of Ability Power - other good choice would be Mpen or MS quints - MS helps in a lot of situations in the end of the day, doesn't it?
Your bread and butter skill is obviously Blighted Quiver - it helps you with last hitting, it's your main damage source later on. Living Vengeance is actually very nice addition to that - every time you kill minion or a champion(assists for champions count, too), you get bonus attack speed for a while - that makes your DPS much bigger, especially if you've got that champion AS bonus. Piercing Arrow serves purely for detonating Blight, it's not the hardest skillshot, but also not the easiest one to aim. Hail of Arrows, your E, is AoE ground-targeted skillshot, which slows and reduces HP regen/healing of units which stand on it. Slow/hp regen reduction works similarly to Singed's Mega Adhesive, damage is dealt when the arrows fall on the ground. Chain of Corruption is another skillshot - it's not very hard to aim, range is kinda big, and it spreads onto nearby enemies. Because of it's 1:1 it is very good with AP build, even though base damage is kinda meh.
Blighted Quiver = autoattack. In any of these cases, Hail of Arrows can be replaced with Piercing Arrow, unless you want to decrease enemy healing from potion or skill.
Lane Harras -
Gank Setup -
( Blight stacks aren't necessary if your jungler is high-damage, or you're in a hurry. )
Usual teamfight rotation -
Burst combo (Works well only when you have decent amount of AP; Deathfire isn't needed to do it, but when you get it, it increases you damage by alot.) -
- and then continue stacking/detonating blight if target survived.
It should look something like this:
(Yeah, I know he had no MR other than base, but later we've tried it with MoM on Nasus and had about similar results :p)
Skill SequenceW is maxed first for damage, E is maxed second because of utility it provides and lower CD, Q is maxed last. Also note that Hail of Arrows cost doesn't increase with level.
A lot of people are saying that maxing E or Q is better, because teh damages - that simply isn't true. Maxed Blight will deal 26x3(78)+15% of one's hp in 3 autoattacks - Implying enemy mid has 1000 hp @ lvl 9, that is 228 MAGIC(Remember, you have magic pen runes/masteries) damage total, not counting AP scalings(quints, masteries~). E will deal 225 PHYSICAL damage (3 less! :p), and Q will deal max of 215 + (lvl9 ad x1,6) 116 (331 total) PHYSICAL damage, implying you haven't hit anything before and it's fully charged. But, but, but - you're going to have that 116 damage anyway(It scales off base AD~), and base damage is, again, surpassed by Blight - by now, it should be obvious what to max first ;P.
Skill priority Chain of Corruption> Blighted Quiver> Hail of Arrows> Piercing Arrow
I think I've covered everything regarding skill order above, haven't I? :)
Flash for mobility.
Ignite is decent finisher after the removal of Surge.
Flash is generally better on Varus.
Good for baiting, but lately alot of champions take Ignite (back when I started watching streams 90% of tops took exhaust, not ignite) or have some kind of healing reduction.
If you're against very tough mid and you will need to recall often, you can take it, I guess.
Consider it against Karthus or LeBlanc.
If enemy mid is Brand or Cassiopeia you can most presumably use this to bait them into basically wasting their only CC skill and kill 'em. Though that's now always the case if they can burst you - Against Brand it would usually be better to Flash away from him if he starts his combo.
Rabadon's Deathcap is rushed because you need to have some AP to back up ult and Blight - base damage is rather low.
Nashor's Tooth right after because you need more attack speed, cdr and mana regen for proccing Blight more often.
Lich Bane - by lategame, Lich Bane or Zhonya's Hourglass should replace Twin Shadows, but you can keep them if you really need MR and MS.
Void Staff because you need magic penetration, like every other mage.
Deathfire Grasp - it makes you feel like the ultimate tankbuster ever, especially with Void Staff - with full build you burst around 75% of enemy's HP (not counting MR) with just 3 Blight stacks and Deathfire.
NOTE:You can switch build order around as you wish.
Other good choices:
I've tried Guinsoo and Malady, and they're really kinda good - especially Malady after changes. They really fall off lategame though - but I guess everything depends on playstyle; you can build them if you feel like dealing higher damage earlier in the game. If you want more survi, you can sacrifice AoE damage and AS from Runaan's for Guardian Angel, or Abbysal Scepter, Warmog's Armor or any defensive item you desire. Also, speaking of exchanging Runaan's - you can buy Malady instead. It gives you slightly bigger single target damage. Or, if you're (still) running OOM and fancy some MS - Lichbane, maybe?
If needed, replace Twin Shadows with Seeker's Armguard into Zhonya's Hourglass (against Talon, for example).
NOTE: Even though it's not yet updated below, remember that you can buy Twin Shadows instead of Negatron now.
That's usually tough one, as long as she can aim... Try to dodge her skillshots, if she doesn't manage to hit you with Charm and if you can burst her with 3x Blight and Chain of Corruption, you'll usually be fine. Worst part is laning about her - just play safely.
Harras her pre-6 and play safely after - watch out for her Mark of the Assassin though, as it outranges you autoattacks by 25 range. She's pretty hard to play against, but then again, you can burst her without much of a problem later on. Just don't feed her - fed Akali is always problematic.
Gaaaah... Anivia ;-;.
Try to dodge her Flash Frost and basically don't do anything without your jungler, unless she's pre-6. She's usually moreless easy to kill, but don't forget about her egg.
Never played against her, but I guess non-skillshot stun and tibbers would hurt you quite a lot. Don't overextend, gen'rally try to stay away from her.*
Ah, my old main, Brand :D! You can kill him, he can kill you. You should be able to kill him if you'll dodge his Sear - if you don't, you will usually die.
Stay away from minions (funneh, isn't it) if he obviously wants to EWQR you.
Just run around dodgin' her skillshots, in teamfights don't face her when she haven't used her ult yet. She will usually win mid, play safely and don't feed her.
Ah, by playing safely I mean sitting under tower and last hitting, even if she pushes a lil' bit :p.
Try to harras her pre-6, but be careful; her range isn't that small. Try to gank her; key to CC-ing her will be your ultimate or well-aimed Hail of Arrows. Don't let her farm.
Play safely, he'll try to burst you, and he will usually be able to. Just stay away from him, Essence Flux can go through minions, so hiding behind 'em won't help you.*
Ohmygawd, he's so annoying ;-;.
Call for ganks, try to harras him with autoattacks, play safely. Remember that he can dodge skillshots/run with Playful / Trickster
He'll stack MR and poke you, play safely and call for ganks.*
Dodge his Barrel Roll, play safely. Most of the times, he will try to burst you if he's 6.
Not too hard matchup, watch out for his lategame though. You might want early negatron if he hurts you alot - try to dodge his Lay Waste and don't let him harras you so much that he can use Requiem. If he casts his ultimate near you, try to kill him before he finishes channeling.
Play safely, B when you're low, remember to buy wards against him and push lane if he's missing.*
Stay behind your minions (<old woman voice>), try to gen'rally stay away from him - If you are able to, disable him with you ultimate in teamfights. His ult is very strong there ;p.
Play safely, outfarm her, try to harras pre-6 - Buy early negatrons. If not fed, she usually won't be able to do too much - watch out though, because she can roam. If she goes missing, immediately warn other lanes.
As long as you're able to dodge her combo (Even using Flash), you will be able to kill her.`
You'll just have to depend on your teammates for this matchup - basically, he'll kill you if he has the opportunity, and because of you tiny 575 range, he will have said opportunity pretty often. Early negatron is an option.*
You can do nothing but wait for ganks, or hope he gets greedy and dives you when you have your ultimate up. Play extremely safely.
Play safely, wait for ganks. If you have tanky bruiser on your team, you should be able to kill him in teamfights, as long as he doesn't focus the hell outta you.
Same thing as with Lux, moreless. Care for her ult and Black Shield though, as it will negate your CC and part of Blight/ult damage. It's best for you to destroy it with on-hit portion of Blight.*
Stay behind your minions, play safely. You should usually be able to kill her with help of your jungler @ lvl 6.
If she's skilled, that's basically nightmare. Call for ganks, try to dodge ( Flash ~) her ultimate if she tries to combo you, so you can try to kill her.*
Don't let him harras you in lane. Care for his Rune Prison, he'll try to setup a gank with it. In teamfights, have someone take his Banshee's Veil off and stun him, and you can easily kill him.
Moreless Orianna, but her burst is harder to dodge, albeit with smaller range. If she's beating you, consider negatrons.*
In my 2-3 games against Talon I did surprisingly well o-o. Harras him early on, but don't let him harras you, and if he manages to put you under 5/8 of you HP you'd better B. Try to hold him in place with your ult~.
Consider taking Teleport against him, try to dodge his Wild Cards and warn other lanes if he's missing.*
Just press S when he casts his Event Horizon. Honestly, if he doesn't aim it perfectly, that's an easy one - you can almost always kill him when you're 6, just don't let him harras you pre-6 or he'll burst you with his ultimate. Stay away from him lategame, preferably don't let him farm too much.
If he's one of these skilled Viktor players, you'll have to play it very safely. He can block part of your burst with Power Transfer and silence you with his ultimate - don't let him stun you and try to move in unpredictable patterns, so you can dodge his laser. If he's busy with someone other in teamfights, you should be fine - If he's not, though, he'll hunt you down and kill you.
Very annoying to play against, watch out for his pool, as he can dodge your ult/any other skillshot. You should be fine with your % damage and some ganks, though.*
Seen good Xerath only once, and it certainly wasn't me, even though i have him for quite some time.*
That's just dodgefest. If you are able to dodge his skillshots, or if he's not able to aim them, you will win. If he's very good with them, buy early negatrons and call for ganks, though they might not be efficient because of his escape mechanisms.
Move in between attacks, stay in your minions, consider early negatrons if she's doing well. Gen'rally, you should be able to kill her with a lil' bit of help.
* - Haven't actually played against certain champion with Varus. ~Theorycrafting, I guess.
` - Have played against that champion, but he/she wasn't mid.
Most of the things I've written down here are subjective and I am willing to change my opinion if you prove me wrong. If you have any suggestions, writte them in comments or send me a PM.
2 short (about 20mins) games - that lost one is actually a success to me, as I haven't died even once against decent LB in lane - they crushed us anyway, though (alot of CC and gapclosers)One game using my updated build -
I'd love to thank jhoijhoi for Guide about making guides
Also, huuuuuuuuuge thanks to Cubby1313 - check out his Orianna Guide!
If you have any suggestions or something, PM me.
I am aware of the fact AP Varus is both hard to play and easy to counter (poke/cc mids), but I personally love playing him anyway.
Ah, and please, PM me about grammar errors or things like that.
And I also know that this guide is too colorful @ beggining, and doesn't have colors @ the end.
Because I can.
Varus, The Sneaky Bandit ADC! (S3)
Varus - Sorry For Party Rocking! (AD Carry)
AP-AS Varus - We All Fall Down (S3)
Varus - Purple is a manly color! (S3 update)