Varus Build Guide by IjunglerSoraka

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.

League of Legends Build Guide Author IjunglerSoraka

The Hybrid, CC, Ubber Carry

IjunglerSoraka Last updated on May 19, 2012
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Ability Sequence

Ability Key Q
Ability Key W
Ability Key E
Ability Key R

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.



Offense: 15

Honor Guard

Defense: 15

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Varus, An Overview

Varus is the latest AD carry among a long-list of AD carries, borrowing game mechanics from a number of champions to include Ashe, Vayne, Ezreal, Cait, and Miss Fortune. His ult feels similiar to a short-range version of Ashe's ult, combined with Morg's graphics, his Piercing Shot feels like a skill-shot version of Cait's Headshot. His Blighted Quiver combines Vaynes/Miss Fortunes kits. All in all tied together to juggle between skills like Ezreal would.

[.] In-Kit Ignite with Low-Cool Down
[.] Long-Range Poke
[.] Passive Proc's Attack Speed Steroid(S)
[.] Mixed Damage Types Reduces Effectiveness of Armor Against Him
[.] Ult allows for Both Hard CC to Initiate, and Escape
[.] Easy to Pick Off Kills
[.] End Game Carry Killer

[.] No Natural Escapes
[.] Slow on Hail of Arrows skill-shot based
[.] Piercing Arrow leaves Him open to Damage
[.] Low-Move Speed if Zeal/Phantom/Runes/Masteries are not bought/speced (Lvl 2 boots 370)
[.] Not a Hyper Carry

When to Choose Varus Over Other AP MIDS
[.] When Your team is low on CC
[.] When Your team has AoE CC ultimates (Galio, Amumu, etc.)
[.] When Tradional Mids Would Be Countered
[.] When You Still Need AP Damage Mid
[.] When You Need The Enemy Team Mid Zoned

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Varus, Masteries


[.] 12%CDR On A Champion Who Needs It, But Cant Itemize It Well
[.] Improve Overall Health by 1/10 At Lvl 18
[.] Additional Points in Armor and Magic Resist = 10%Damage Reduction
[.] Still Able to Pick up Attack Damage, Attack Speed

[.] Two Masteries Used On Summoners Abilities
[.] Forfeits A Minimum of 10% Physical Damage
[.] Forfeits %3 Lifesteal that Scales All Game


Lethality/Deadliness - 10%Increase in Crit Damage 4%Increase Crit Chance)
*Hybrid Mid Focuses Varus is not a Crit Focused Champion.

Executioner - Increase Damage against a target by 6% if they are below 40% Health) *If you are able to successfully pull of Varus's combo you can be looking at a potentional 33% damage dealt in 3-4 Attacks. Do the math 6% of 33% isnt a large enough amount. If you get a target below the 40% to even use this mastery, you'll still kill the target regardless based on your proc of Quiver.

Utility Tree - Yes I would love points in Swiftness but playing Varus Mid using his abilities only to proc the passive on Blight Quiver, I dont find myself needing mana, or mana regan, while I always found myself hurting for Cool Down Reduction.

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Varus, Runes

1.) 3 X Greater Quintessence of Swiftness Total of 4.5% Movespeed (13.97 MS)
(Taking Varus from 370 with LvL 2 Boots to 384)

2.) 9 X Greater Seal of Defense Total of 24 Armor at Lvl 18
(Purely a personal call, I have this Armor Runes so that Late game I can compute most of the damage I can take off of a base of 100. Its not for everyone)

[*] Good Substitutes to consider
Greater Seal of Endurance - Increases overall health by .5%

Greater Seal of Fortitute - Increases Health by 5.35 points

Greater Seal of Vitality - Increases Health by 1.08 per Level (19.44)

[.] I dont recomend AS Runes, my favorite build maxes out AS without them.

3.) 9 X Greater Glyph of Insight Total of 6.18 Magic Pen

- Can be substituted for Magic Resist Runes.

- Can be subsituted for LvL 18 Cool-Down Reduction Runes
*If so, masteries can be changed with a potentional reduction of 4 points in the defensive tree.

4.) 9 X Greater Mark of Destruction - Total of 9 Armor pen and 5.13 Magic Pen

Of note here is the MAGIC PENETRATION, this rune-set gives you a little over 10 Magic Pen, and a little under 9 Armor Pen. Add In Sorcerer Boots, and thats another flat rate of 20 Magic Pen. 10+20=30

30 Magic Resist = Most Champions Magic Resist.

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Varus, Stats

Varus At Level 1 Without Runes, Masteries, or Items

Varus At Level 18 With Runes, Masteries, and Items

With Explanations of Damage

*Blighted Quiver will give your Auto-Attacks A MINIMUM of 77 Extra Damage[/highlight]
*80 Magic Damage Figure Taken For Madreds Done Off Average Health of 2,000.

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Varus, Summoner Spells


HEAL - Heal cures oneself for 140 + 25 × level and every allied unit for half the amount.
Cooldown 270
Cast range

Self (PBAoE), with a radius of 300

Explanation: Taking into consideration the activated effect of Hail of Arrows, this allows you to fully exchange blows with other opponents and come out ahead almost always.

GHOST - Your Champion ignores unit collision and moves 34% faster for 10 seconds. On Varus this spell is used more offensively then defensively.


Surge - Very situational, but while running Surge, Varus actually has his damage improved by 26 Damage, while improving his attack speed by a nice steroid. Not counting the gain of 86 Ability Power at Lvl 18.

Ignite - Cooldown: 180 Whats
Ignite is a damage over time spell that targets a single champion dealing 50 true damage plus 20 true damage per level over 5 seconds. This damage is not lowered by armor or magic resistance. Also reduces the target's healing and regeneration by 50%. 600 Range.

- At level 1 Ignite will nuke for 70 damage. At level 2 Ignite will nuke for 90 damage. At lvl 3 Ignite will Nuke for 110 damage. Now if your playing mid, and you've been able to successfully Q harass your opponent Ignite can be the deal breaker. At lvl 3 more then the damage, the instant CC on heals allows for the successful completion of ganks/kills.

Flash - Cooldown: 265
Teleports your Champion to target nearby location under your mouse cursor. 400 Range.

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Varus, Abilities

Level One - Hail of Arrows
The first point point goes into Hail of Arrows, not only will this now let you proc the effects of Blighted Quiver, it also acts as heal reduction and a must have slow if your chasing or getting ganked.

Level Two - Blighted Quiver
The second point goes into Blighted Quiver is only for a little extra damage, your currently unable to proc its passive for any sort of damage.

Level Three - Piercing Arrow
The third point goes into Piercing Arrow, the ability itself can do a lot of damage, but since were mid I prefer to use it as a way to hit the proc on Blighted Quiver on escaping targets. Basic Damage of Arrow + %HP Damage when it Hits.

-Max Out your W first since its how you'll be able to get your most damage, level Piercing Arrow last, yes its a cool ability, but not what you need here.

Living Vengeance - Varus gains 40% attack speed for 6 seconds if he gets a kill or assist,and 20% if he kills a minion or monster.great passive.
tip:when you kill a minion you will get 20% attack speed, that would be the best time to attack the enemy, or outfarm them.

Piercing Arrow (First Cast): Varus starts drawing back his next shot, gradually increasing its range and damage.
(Second Cast): Varus fires, dealing physical damage, reduced by 15% per enemy hit (minimum 33%).
While preparing to shoot,Varus cannot autoattack or use abilities, and his movement speed is slowed by 20%. After 4 seconds, Piercing Arrow fails but refunds half its mana cost..

Blighted Quiver - Passive): Varus' basic attacks deal bonus magic damage and apply Blight for 6 seconds (stacks 3 times)
Varus' other abilities detonate Blight, dealing magic damage equal to a percentage of the target's maximum health per stack. This damage is capped against monsters.

Hail of Arrows - Varus fires a hail of arrows that deals physical damage and desecrates the ground for 4 seconds.

Desecrated Ground reduces healing effects by 50% and slows enemy movement speed by 25/30/35/40/45%.

Chain of Corruption - Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that deals magic damage and immobilizes the first enemy champion hit for 2 seconds.
The corruption then spreads towards nearby uninfected enemy champions, applying the same damage and immobilize if it reaches them. The corruption will continue to spread until there are no further unaffected targets in range.

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Varus, Understanding Blighted Quiver

Blighted Quiver is a Two-Fold Threat Deserving its own Chapter to Help those who seek to learn.

Magic Damage On-Hit
[.] Blighted Quiver scales off-of Ability Power at a .25 ratio.
- 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 (+0.25 per ability power)

Flat-Percentage Magic Damage
[.] Varus' basic attacks deal bonus magic damage and apply Blight for 6 seconds (stacks 3 times). Varus' other abilities detonate Blight, dealing magic damage equal to a percentage of the target's maximum health per stack. - 2.75 / 3.5 / 4.25 / 5% (+0.01% per ability power)


[*] In order to maximize Varus's Damage, a player will have to land 3 consecutive auto-attacks to get in those must have Blight stacks, and then use an [highlight]activited skill-shot[/highlight] and land it, in order to proc the Flat-Percentage Magic Damage Effect of Blighted Quiver.

Lets Review

3-Auto Attacks then Land a Skill-Shot = 3xFlat Percentage Taken + Damage from Skillshot = Tons Of Damage

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Varus, Quiver Based Itemization

[*] Phantom Dancer, Infinity Edge, Last Whisper, does it work, sure, is it the only thing that works, does it work every time? No. Nothing works 100% of the time. Expand your kit, expand your tool-box, dont limit yourself to what you can do, and dont get stuck in cookie cutter molds of expectations

Read Below If You Want The Math

Long Story Short, With This Build, If Your Good, You Can Deal 1/3 Of Overall HP in Damage every 2.3 seconds.


Boots - Always Situational, aside from the usual Defensive Boots, Consider Sorcerer Boots[imgsmall=items/sorcerers-shoes.png], most enemy champions begin with 30 Magic Resist, add in the magic pen from Sorc Boots, and your magic/on hit effects will do most of their intended damage.
-(30 MR= 28% Magic Damage Reduction
-20 Magic Pen
=8 Magic Resist
=9% Magic Damage Reduction

Malady - Increases Attack Speed by %50 and Ability Power by 25. Shreds Magic Resist by 6 up to 4 times, for a total of 24, what does this mean?
25 Ability Power = 5 Attack Damage on Quiver + 20 On-Hit
Magic Shred + Magic Pen.

Average Magic Resist = 54
Malady Shreds for 24 Magic Resist
Sorc Boots/Runes Flat Magic Pen of Roughly 30
Meaning 0 MR
Damage From Quiver 25 + Malady's 25 = 50+%10 Damage Increase From Negative MR

55 Overall Damage Increase With 50% Attack Speed
Verse +50 Attack from BFS/33% from Armor.

Guinsoo's Rageblade - On cast or hit, you gain +6 ability power and +4% attack speed for 5 seconds (maximum 8 stacks), this item is the most cost efficient item when you have all 8 stacks yielding a total of 35 attack damage, 93 ability power, and 32% attack speed for only 2235 gold
93 Ability Power = 18 Magic Damage from Quiver

Hextech Gunblade - Unique: Deals 300 magic damage and slows the target champion by 50% for 3 seconds (700 range). 60 second cooldown.

+70 ability power = 13 Magic Damage from Quiver
+40 attack damage
+15% life steal

Lets Take A Look

From Those 3 Items You Increase Your On-Hit Effect by Near 80. And increases the percent of overaly flat HP taken by proc'ing Quiver by 1-2 percent.

Madreds Bloodrazor - Unique: Your basic attacks deal bonus magic damage equal to 4% of the target's maximum health (maximum 120 versus monsters).

+25 armor
+40 attack damage
+40% attack speed
+4% On-Hit Magic Damage of Overall HP

Lets do some more Math

4% On-Hit Times By the 3 Auto-Attacks Needed To Max Out Blight Stacks = 12% HP Gone
Plus 3 Blight Stacks @ 7% Per Stack = 21%
33% HP Gone From 3 Auto Attacks

Not Counting Other Damage Sources.
9 Auto-Attacks Needed To Kill Almost Any Opponent

The Remaining Item Slot is Used Primarly For Cool-Down Reduction Between
Zekes Harald, GhostBlade, and Nashors Tooth

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Varus, Bottom Lane

I dont advocate it.

-In general, out-classed by almost all the bottom AD Carries.

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Varus, Mid, Begining Game, Hybrid

Doran's Blade Verse Health Potion

[.]3%Lifesteal on Doran's Blade at 60 Damage = 110 Auto-Attacks to gain Health = 1 HP Pot

(You are Mid. You will get bursted. Buy Pots)

* Boots of Speed + 3 Health Potions OR 2 Health Potions] + 1 Mana Potion [

Many players forgo the expensive Doran's Item start-up for Boots and 3x potions. One of the reasons why are those damned skill-shots, cant exactly dodge them if your horribly slow.

The advantages of doing this include:

1) Increased movement speed
-Varus has a low movement speed to begin with, further lowered if spamming piercing shot. 20% Reduction of the 325 he starts with = 260, Add Boots and its roughly 300 instead, still slow but not AS bad.

2) Potions for increased sustainability
Going Dorans First gives 80 Health and 10 Attack Damage, and 3% Lifesteal. Meaning on the 60 damage Varus has at this point, every auto attack returns 1.8 HP.

3) Allows for a little more harassing power
(And more ability to dodge skill-shots)

At a minimum until Level 3 avoid engaging your enemy head on, you need to be able to play off the proc of your abilities unless you know DAMN SURE you can snag a kill with Piercing Arrow/Quiver Proc

[*] 20% Slow, ON YOU, when casting Piercing Arrow, remember this

Meaning, spam the Arrow, and slam the keyboard as enemy jungler rapes you.

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Varus, Mid Match-Ups

DISCLAIMER - I can Only Reference Experience, Mid Varus is not the end up be-all, do not treat him as such.

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Varus, Early Game

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Varus, Tri-Nuke Utilization Post Level 6

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Varus, Mid Game

The worst part of the game. Period.

Everyone tries to avoid being the person raped by the jungler. DONT BE THAT GUY.

Your past that initial 5 minute mark were everyone is after FIRST BLOOD

Now its all a matter of poking, last hitting, and working on your farm.


Tips & Tricks

1. Avoid Going Into Danger Zone
As a slower champion you cannot usually escape.

2. Hard and Soft CC
Once you've Lvl 6, Tendrals of Corruption acts like Morgana's snare, coupled with her ult, with Ashe's Arrow Animation, makes it very good to use to initate a fight, and an escape if you need it, add in the slow from Hail of Arrows, and you might be able to pursue, or run away, from most any champion.

3. Blighted Quiver Gains the most damage to its proc at LvL 3 were it increases by .75 compared with the .5 it was before.

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Varus, Late Game Thoughts

Slows and Stuns Increase Damage
1. Try to at least have one other person with you who has methods of CC

Sustain, Damage, Survivibility
2. You can take most champions on 1v1, and in doing so you will proc your passive Attack Speed Steroid.

Don't Debuff Yourself At a Bad Time
3. Use Piercing Arrow only if your not being targeted.

Take Advantage of Poor Positioning
4. Tendrals of Corruption works great against tightly clustered groups.

Self-Confidence Rarely Equals Skill
5. Your not Rambo, or release Graves. Keep that in mind.

Tons Of Damage
6. Varus does not do it, with Trinity Force.
-Be active, play the game, use the Tri-Nuke, and dont settle for just right click.

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Varus, Teamfights

Stay Alert, Stay Alive, Stay Relevant

By now I should hope you at least have yout core build so stay with your team and continue to try to pick off enemies who walk alone or wait for your tank to initiate a 5v5.
-Remember you can Initate with Chain of Corruption

[*] Before the teamfight happens, you want to find the enemy AD carry. They are your team's biggest enemy. You want to take him out as soon as possible, remember, you are the sword, you are the plague and the horror, you hold the flames of a thousand collapsed stars. Once the fight starts, unleash your frosty arrows on your target with the power surpassing a thousand Panzer Tanks.
-Use Hail of Arrows to Reduce Effectiveness of Enemy Heals
(AOE Healing Reduction)

[*] If your team takes out their carries before they take out yours. You will very likely win the fight. So focus their carries, while your AD Carry from bot kills everyone.

[*] Remember to keep yourself safe as well, do not expose yourself and allow someone to initiate on you, and be keep an eye out for their carries and people like Warwick.

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Varus, Quiver Proc Verse Straight AD Carry

[.]Against a target run on Mokulul's with 3000 Heatlh, 300 Armor, and 140 Magic Resist

AD Varus does 6381 damage from all sources.
Reduce that Armor down to 100, and you only improve the physical damage by 19%
(Last Whisper Kinda Ruins it) Which equals up to 928


[.]Against that same target with 3000 Health, 300 Armor and 140 Magic Resist

Quiver Proc Hybrid Varus does 7648 damage from all sources.

Reduce that Magic Resist down to the 56 most champions have, and you increase magic damage by 46% your flat Magic Pen/Malady shreds your opponenets Magic Resist down to nothing.

[.]Quiver Proc Varus does 4310 Ability Damage + On-Hit Damage of 1923 = 6233

6233 Multiplied by 1.46 = 9100

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Varus, Malady Over Wits End

Overall, Malady Compliments Your Kit

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Varus, Final Comments

[.]-You will get **** on
[.]-You will die
[.]-You will feed
[.]-Screw your teamates over by not being AD based.
Yes, it is.
Against 1 Target.

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Not Varus, A Change Log

[.]Original Guide Release

[.]Original Guide Approval
[.]Found out AP/AS Varus not the best bottom.
[.]Killed Original Guide

[.]Guide Re-Wrote Shifted Focus Towards Mid

[.] Adding Mid Match-Ups as they come in.
[.] Added Tri-Nuke picture

[.] Added Item-Build Match Up By Damage Comparison
[.] Added Malady Verse Wit's End Section

[.] Added more into Begining Chapter
[.] Added CS layout
[.] Added Good Match-Up's for Varus
[.] Added Bad Match-Ups for Varus
Removed Link to A pure AD Carry Varus. Somebody kept downvoting this guide, and those downvotes tended