Varus Build Guide by z3r0requiem
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.
THE ARROW OF RETRIBUTION
This is just a simple evolving build for Varus based on an ongoing effort to try out different builds and items to find what I think works best.
For his incomparable skill with the bow and his unquestioned sense of honor, Varus was chosen to be the warden of a sacred Ionian temple. The temple was built to contain an ancient pit of corruption so vile that Ionian Elders feared it could envelop the island in darkness. Varus prided himself on his position, as only the most exceptional Ionian warriors were selected for the role. He lived with his family in a nearby village and led a quiet life of disciplined routine until the day the forces of Noxus invaded Ionia. Their shock troops left nothing but death and desolation in their wake, and the temple lay in their path. Varus was forced to make a decision. He was bound by honor to stay and defend the temple, but without him the village's few inhabitants could offer little resistance against the oncoming war machine. Gravely, he chose to fulfill his duty as a warden. The corruption could not be allowed to escape.
His arrows sundered the troops who tried to wrest the temple from him that day. However, when he returned to the village, he found that it had been reduced to a smoldering graveyard. Remorse at the sight of his slain family gave way to overwhelming regret and then to seething hatred. He swore to slaughter every Noxian invader, but first he needed to become stronger. He turned to that which he had sacrificed everything to protect. The pit of corruption would consume him wholly, as a flame devours a wick, but its abominable power would burn within him until he was lost. This was a path from which there could be no return. With grim resolve, he condemned himself to the black flames, feeling malevolent energy bond to his skin...and with it, the promise of ruin. He left, seeking the blood of all Noxians involved with the invasion, a grisly task that eventually led him to the invasion's most infamous perpetrators in the League of Legends.
''The life of an arrow is fleeting, built of nothing but direction and intent.''
Varus is a good DPS champion, however he is somewhat lacking in survivability should they get a hold of you. That is why I choose to run 9 armor runes and 9 magic resist runes. A lot of people prefer to rune him for AD/Physical damage and that works however I prefer to use armor pen. Quints are really up in the air depending on how you feel you'd like to play Varus but I like to go with AS/Movement.
Varus is sort of slow. The type of boots you use really depends on what you would like to do.
Berserker's Greaves are what I found to help the most in general for Varus. Attack speed for Varus is very useful for getting stacks of Blighted Quiver however you then have to work a little harder to balance out his cooldowns when trying to pop your stacks of Blighted Quiver.
Boots of Mobility are a good alternative for Varus. Since he's a relatively slow champion this gives him more ability to get back in lane, get to a fight, get in range to use his Piercing Arrow, or to escape if he can break combat.
I suggest Boots of Speed and 3x Health Potions over a Dorian's Blade to start. Where Dorian's Blade can be useful for early damage/HP, maneuverability is more useful for Varus. Not to mention that the lifesteal on Dorian's Blade won't really help all that much unless you are completely free to farm minions.
Infinity Edge is what I suggest for either solo laning or laning with a tank/support. It's expensive so it won't be much use to start off with unless you have the gold flow to afford it.
Zeal is much more affordable so if your gold is coming in slowly I would suggest getting it over Infinity Edge. However since Phantom Dancer is more of a sidegrade don't worry about getting it until you've built a couple more items.
The Brutalizer is a good item to move up in the order of items. It's cheap and helps with your cooldowns to manage the stacking and popping of your Blighted Quiver stacks.
Vampiric Scepter is an alright item for Varus. While the lifesteal doesn't really become useful until you build The Bloodthirster it doesn't hurt to get Vampiric Scepter if you aren't having gold issues.
For the bruiser you wanna get your Piercing Arrow up ASAP. This lets you harass enemy champions as well as farm minion waves once you have enough damage. The damage drop off after it hits a target may not seem like much but if your primary target is a champion then it's best to try and wait to line up a shot to avoid any minions. Be careful because Varus has mana problems. If you need to harass with Piercing Arrow a lot you would probably want to get a Manamune somewhere in the build.
Blighted Quiver is an ability that is sometimes easy to overlook. In the heat of combat you can lose track of your stacks. While this isn't as relevant for the bruiser build it is still important to do your best to keep track of where your Blighted Quiver is stacking up. Keep an eye on your cooldowns and try to time it so that you can get your 3 stacks of Blighted Quiver on your target and have an ability ready to be able to pop it.
Hail of Arrows
Hail of Arrows is another ability that is easy to overlook. It's a nice fast ability to activate when you need to pop your stacks of Blighted Quiver on a target but at the same time you want to make sure that you don't ignore using it for utility during a fight. Helping the overall fight is more important than damaging 1 enemy. Hail of Arrows slows champions within it's area and reduces healing done so if possible try to hit as many champions at once as you can. But read their movements and be sure they aren't going to be running through the area so that it becomes useless in a team fight. Try to save it for when there is stationary fighting or to cut off a retreat or to prevent them from chasing.
Chain of Corruption
Chain of Corruption is Varus' ult. The cooldown may seem short but you definitely want to make sure to not go blowing it when it's not needed. The range is fairly long so it's a good ability to allow your tanks to initiate or to stop the enemy team from running since it spreads between champions. With the long built-in range it is easy to use Chain of Corruption with Flash to stop someone dead in their tracks.
Again this is just a simple build based off what I've found works best in a given situation. It's the first guide I've put together so there's really not a lot of meat to it. I'll be adding more sections for hybrid, AS, and tanky DPS builds. If you have any thoughts/suggestions feel free to leave a comment.