Varus Build Guide by Maelovelance
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.
Bronze to Platinum Easy Varus
Finished Build In Order
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.
Who The Hell Are You?
My name's Medieve, and I'm a once-gold afk downranked to Bronze player who is fighting his way back up to at least where I ended, if not going Diamond. ELO hell is a real place my friends, but luckily it is a hell you can dominate given the right role. I primarily play Mid, and have been since shortly after release of LoL after playing many, many years of DOTA.
You want to own ELO hell? The best way is to take responsibility for the biggest roles, namely Mid, ADC, and Jungle, in that order. Those positions do more than any other to influence games, and mastering all three will give you a huge advantage on your turn to finally climb the ranks yourself.
This guide is my back-up role, ADC of Varus. My mid game is dominated by Viktor, who really doesn't have a counter once you get used to him, and who also have several very good, comprehensive guides.
Why follow my guide instead of any professional guide? Simply, their item selection is for a far more advanced team, and in a lot of cases it's just not optimally set up. Varus is a solid entry level ADC with a decently high skill ceiling to give you room for growth. He's great to get your mind behind what the roles, responsibilities, and challenges of ADC players are all about.
Runes are simple: Quints for Armor Pen so you don't have to build into it until late game, saving you money for other core items. Why not Lifesteal? Simply, it's not good, not since the nerf. Your sustain will come from your first item build far better than those quints. So why not attack damage? I've heard the argument, and it's compelling. However, I have yet to find a place where an extra 6.75 damage has been the difference between kill and killed, or even so close that I've lost a kill because of my quint choice. Once you get your Q aim down, you won't run into those problems. Armor Pen scales with your damage the entire match, and allows you to bypass any additional armor pen item until the end of the game, when you either match a champ that has finally highly armored up, or are on your last item build. Formula for Armor Pen: (armor-armorpen)*(1-percentagearmorpen) - meaning by the end of your second item, you're getting more out of your armor pen runes than you will with damage runs, even against targets with little to no armor.
122 damage vs. 50 armor w/pen quints= 83.6 damage through
129 damage vs. 50 armor w/ad quints= 81.9 damage through
And it continues to outscale past there. These two items are roughly 10-12 minutes in, conservatively.
Armor Pen wins hands down.
Quints: Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration x3 - 7.68%
Reds (Marks) will be attack damage. 9x Greater Mark of Attack Damage will net you 8.55 extra damage on your attacks.
Yellow (Seals) will be armor. 9x Greater Seal of Scaling Armor. Why scaling vs. regular armor? By level 6, Scaling Armor is giving you more bang for your buck, and there's a great deal more game left to be played to continue being superior.
Blue (Glyphs) will be the split. You'll want 5x Greater Glyph of Scaling Mana Regeneration and 4x Greater Glyph of Magic Resistance. Varus is heavily mana dependent in the beginning and then again in the end, and this will help you sustain in your lane. A lot of poking power comes from spamming a spell that costs 70 to 90 MP. Why scaling over regular? Again, by level 6, Scaling outperforms normal, and it won't be until level 5 that you really start to feel the pinch for mana. You're better off spending the rune slots on a rune that will perform better over the length of the game than very, very minimal gain early on.
As a general rule as ADC, you want to try to get 130 CS by the 10 minute mark. Learning how to maximize your creep kills while poking and denying the opposing ADC is a life-long pursuit, and there are many excellent guides out there on how to position, stall a lane, fight, and deny access to creeps, and I implore you to look into them all. They'll help a great deal.
Essentially, you'll want to last hit without pushing too hard until you and your support have gotten a few good pokes in. Using your Q, you can poke from a very safe distance, or farm from far away if you are forced back. If waves are building up, a quick Q down the line followed by a W clears most of wave quickly, and can be done from a fairly safe distance.
When you're new to Varus, getting good at aiming and snapshooting your Q is a priority. You can tap once to charge it, and while charging, you can still move. Tapping Q again unleashes the beast. Spend considerable time learning how to move and shoot, because before you know it, you'll be sniping fleeing enemies well behind the turret or trying to evade through the jungle in ways that'll make every Nid player jealous.
In closing, I just want to say thank you for looking over the guide, and I hope it helps you. I've given you the runes, masteries, and items to build to give you a good start, but the rest is up to your experimentation and a lot of failures (mixed with SOME successes) as you learn the role. I highly recommend that you, as a newer player, look into guides that explain ward placement, laning strategy, when and where to roam, and overall LoL meta-game strategies after looking over this guide. I'm giving you a template to develop your own style. It's up to you to learn when to poke and when to run. In fact, that's why this guide is far shorter and much less flashy than other guides out there. I want you to go out and experiment with the knowledge base here to find what's comfortable for you. Don't rely on any guide to tell you who you can counter, who counters you, and who you need to fear. Become the player they think lightly of, and punish them for the next 40 minutes for their insolence.
One last piece of advice my young Summoners: Learn the what and why of strategies and develop your own methods to achieve the how. It'll be a painful learning experience with lots of failures, and there will be other summoners who represent the toxic minority of the playerbase making the most noise as you learn, but keep at it! The reward is a highly effective, unique, and most importantly, unpredictable play style you can call your own.
That, more than any guide, is what you need to conquer ELO Hell. I just hope this guide has helped in some small way for you to take that first step.
Good luck! And see you in the next match!