Varus Build Guide by specced2feed
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.
For those of you who may not know, people do shun attack speed, as Varus has so many possibilities when stacking Attack Damage. I will not disagree with those people, AD Varus is great at carrying. However, I prefer AS Varus, which to most may seem odd. For those unaware of AD and AS:
Attack Speed: Literally, Attack Speed. It's the amount of attacks you can dish out in one second. It caps at 2.5, and it does seem like a small and useless number, right? I disagree. Attack Speed can be capped so easily, so when you go about letting off attacks every 2/5th of a second with the boosts of whatever Attack Damage bonuses you may have and can meet your AD's damage, it's all good.
Attack Damage: Attack Damage is a statistic that provides more damage to your auto-attacks and even some of the champion's skills. Attack Damage comes from items, levels(1-18), abilities, runes and masteries. This stat can make any champion, minion or neutral enemy fear you. AD is to be feared.
Overall, with Varus, the choice is simple. Raining arrows upon enemies at a decreased damage, or firing deadly arrows with a slower course. Just try not to kill steal everyone, since you'll be able to move in and get last shot on anyone you choose after rushing to a team fight. Now pick a lane, any lane and get started.
Why would anyone be this stupid?
The chapter above didn't convince you? Alright. . .
Let's talk about Varus' skills then?
His passive, Living Vengeance, which practically gives you 20% more attack speed on a minion kill, and 40% on a champion kill or assist. Why would some build Attack Speed with a passive like this and waste Attack Damage? Stop there. Tell me, with Attack Damage, do you see yourself keeping that bonus? Are you going to be Penta-Killing constantly to keep that buff? I don't think so.
Next skill, his Q: Piercing Arrow. What more do I have to say. While you're attack speed Varus, you can live off auto attacks. Is someone getting out of your range with a slither of health? Throw up your Q, and reduce them to ruble. The Increased damage and range is amazing. It makes for good harassing, and good killing. And in addition to that, with your attack speed, your W should have given them 3 stacks of your debuff. A perfect addition to your Q alone. With attack damage, I guess it's a nice burst because of the additional damage from 150~200 more attack damage depending on how you built your items. Attack speed items often offer attack damage or ability power on the side. That's pretty much it though. You wont have the amusement of endless arrows. It's still nice I guess.
Not impressed? Blighted Quiver grants additional damage on every auto-attack. If you snuck in some ability power on your shiny items for attack speed, you may be able to deal around 56 magic damage every 2/5th of a second. And by time they start to run, your Q or E will also have a bonus of 15% of their health as damage because of the debuff you stacked on with your spam of auto attacks. 15%? Who cares, pfhfifhutybth. 15% for every skill used after 3 stacks. Go ahead. Auto spam 3+ times, use Q, auto spam 3+ times, use E, auto spam 3+ times, use R. Any order. 45% of their total health as damage.
Wow, you're a tough one to convince. Okay, your E. Hail of Arrows may offer the AD Varus a nice burst too, but think of it. With them slowed 45%, you can impale them with so many arrows they wouldn't be able to sit for weeks. In addition, it can set off your W. Suddenly, all it takes is your auto attack spam to end them, or a quick Q that doesn't even require charging to knock them off the map.
Need to know how your R can assist you? So your enemy begins to run in a fight, or two enemies or more are coming for you. Chain of Corruption and one is stopped in his tracks. You can auto them to death in the two seconds it grants you. Almost there but your R is ending? Sit a E on top of that and finish the job. Your R's damage will assist in marking them dead.
Probably impressed, but thinking it's not as good as it sounds. Well, read through the rest and decide.
Upon recent occasions, items can be changed to drastically keep yourself in the game. My build doesn't rely on certain items. There are choices, which will be posted here. The build in the top is the one I personally use.
Boots of Speed and Health Potion x3 - Run of the mill items. Keep yourself alive and able to run if your early game enemies harass hard.
Berserker's Greaves - These provide comfort after a long day of running around and trying to harass and kill enemies! Now, share your newly gained speed with your enemies' bodies!
Recurve Bow - For 1,050 gold, you've just upped your attack speed even more. You should have your Q, W, and E by now. You should notice your attack speed increasing while you look away to fa- organize folders.
Wit's End or Ionic Spark - Beautiful. You now deal either magic damage from your W and Wit's End every attack, or from your W every attack, and a chain every four attacks from Ionic Spark! With the increased attack speed, you should notice your need to focus on creep score dropping, as you can turn on auto, walk away, and come back with a high CS. Don't do that though. You'll get ganked. The reason there's a choice here, is preference. You can choose Wit's End if you need the magic resistance, or Ionic Spark for more health and attack speed. Personally, unless I'm fighting an all-AD enemy team, I get Wit's End to save my *** from AP madness going on somewhere.
Zeal - More attack speed in your hands, and some critical chance. Finally. Not only that, but a speed buff!
Phantom Dancer - You'll be dancing like a phantom indeed. By now, with your passive, you should notice your auto attacks can hold their ground, even if your attack damage is low. You're dealing two types of damage rapidly, while being able to keep in someone's range. Your autos can harass for you.
Nashor's Tooth - Yeah. I know. People HATE this on Varus. I love it. Cooldown Reduction, and 65 AP to put more damage on your W. Not to mention more attack speed. With your passive, you should be causing people to limp.
Malady or The Black Cleaver - More choice. The benefits to Malady and Black Cleaver depend truly on who you're fighting. Do you need to shred their Magical Resistance, or their Armor? Malady can reduce their Magic Resistance the same as Black Cleaver can penetrate their armor after a certain number of attacks. Either way, bonus attack speed.
Trinity Force, Last Whisper or The Bloodthirster - By now, if you've followed my build personally, or any of the choices, then combined with your passives, your auto attacks should be capped or hitting cap with every kill and you should feel good. Now YOU choose the last item. Why do I offer there? In counter order:
The Bloodthirster will increase your attack damage by 100 when capped, and increase your life steal. Why should you care about this as attack speed Varus. Well, you can deal damage every auto attack and people to pack a punch with your rain of arrows. Proves those AD carries wrong. In addition, Varus is squishy in all paths you take. The Life Steal will allow you to stay on the map even more without having to recall to heal up. With creep scoring so easy, you should be able to restore HP by just attacking minions randomly.
Last Whisper. Choose this if that tank isn't being harmed by your autos and you always need to waste a W or R to hold them from running at 50% Health. Though it's never happened to me, it may happen when you come across that perfectly built tank. This will also give you attack damage, so you'll pack a punch.
Trinity Force. I know. I think it's a good choice. Maybe you don't want to rely on your passive for maxed out attack speed. Maybe you don't want to waste your E on slowing your opponents. Maybe you want additional damage. It provides all of those, and more. It's a jack of all trades items, if you ask me. What I love so much, is that when you use your Q or E to detonate W and deal damage, your next basic will deal 150% damage. Final shot for them, maybe? I love it.
As far as runes go, do whatever. Build for AP, AD, or Cooldown Reduction. Attack speed can be completed in items and items alone.
When your target is at low HP.
When your target is running.
Early game harassment.
W. Your passive. Why do I recommend ranking this secondly? Think about it:
It deals damage on top of your auto attacks, which will occur so many times with a full attack speed Varus.
When your enemy does try running, even if they still have a good amount of HP, this skill will make your Q or E do that much more damage. That's 15%(20% for AS/AP) of their total health in addition to your Q or E.
People will probably stray here. I'll be honest. I wasn't fond of Hail of Arrows. That does not mean its useless for an attack speed Varus. Go ahead and read the effect it has with slowing. This skill's sequence is inter-changeable with W. You can use this to slow down a fleeing enemy, or any enemy and let a barrage of arrows their way.
When to use it?
When an enemy is fleeing.
When you are fleeing. Aim just in front of them and behind you. They wont catch up unless they flash.
Kill Turret Huggers and minions.
After an R if you know your Q wont do it.
Your R, and your most important skill. For damage? Heaven's no. For a hold. You can let out your R, start auto attacking and let time handle the rest. Combined with your Q and E, no champion should be escaping.
Final Words (for now)
Keep in mind this build is for fun. Give it a try.
Tell me what you think, share your results and I'll show them in this build if they're neat. If you don't like it? Go with attack damage. But do remember, never let one bad game make you hold judgement over a build. The first time I got this idea and tried, I got destroyed. However, every attempt after has been good, alright, or just amazing.
Enjoy the game, and the build;