Varus Build Guide by Krusified
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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.
Welcome to my first guide on Mobafire! (10 Builds in total)
Varus has great harassing capabilities in lane as well as decent poking and one of the best teamfight potential, but due to his lack of mobility and mediocre range he is not a favorite champion. I'll explain his skills and how they work in later sections.
League of Legends - Stream [NORWEGIAN STREAM]
Pros / Cons
What masteries do i use?
I often run 21/9/0 because it gives maximum damage potential while still being able to survive better than taking 21/0/9 masteries. Honestly I believe you can be efficient with mana and flash so that the little benefit by touching the utility tree is outweighed by being able to survive fights.
Feel free to take Havoc instead of the lifesteal for the increased damage, personally I like the lifesteal to rejuvenate between trades. Outsmarting and positioning can win trades in damage but can't prevent you from taking damage.
In defense masteries I get 1 in mr and 3 in armor because usually physical harass is the majority, Varus doesn't need to get the reduction in minion damage usually because his pokes can be long ranged, or even if it's up close and personal, it's short and sweet.
On kill or assist, Varus temporarily gains Attack Speed. This bonus is larger if the enemy is a champion.
Pretty neat skill that allows you to take advantage of CSing and allows you to dominate/snowball. If you play Varus then you should keep in mind of the hp of both your minions and enemy minions. The best time to trade in your favor is right after you last hit an enemy minions and your opponent adc is trying to last hit one of yours, aa him quickly 2-3 times (because you have decent range with passive) and use e on him. If done correctly you would have taken a large chunk out of his hp and his healing is reduced by half, meaning that you can fight a battle in your favor.
Varus readies and then fires a powerful shot that gains extra range and damage the longer he spends preparing to fire.
First Cast: Varus starts drawing back his next shot, gradually increasing its range and damage.
Second Cast: Varus fires, dealing 10/43/77/110/143 (+) to 15/65/115/165/215 (+) physical damage, reduced by 15% per enemy hit (minimum 33%).
While preparing to shoot Varus Movement Speed is slowed by 20%. After 4 seconds, Piercing Arrow fails but refunds half its mana cost.
Mana Cost: 70/75/80/85/90
A decent poking tool and kind of an auto attack reset as well as proc'ing your w passive. I prefer maxing it last or at the same time with e.
AA + AA + AA + e is when you can harass if you have the advantage.
AA + AA + AA + q is when you want to leave the trade fairly quickly, e requires you to stay in semi close range while you can back off after the auto attacks then hit q at far range (assuming that you can hit it of course lol).
Before teamfights, it is a great poking tool at a very safe range(unless they have Kennen, Nautilus, Blitzcrank etc so still be careful because you will move slow before you launch it), try to hit squishy targets or the most people possible, take in consideration of armor. For example, hitting 2 tanks with 200 armor is probably not worth it compared to hitting one of their ap/ad carry with 80ish armor.
During teamfights, use it so you can maximum dmg, but remember that it can be a quick proc for your w so often you should not charge it up.
Varus basic attacks deal bonus magic damage and apply Blight. Varus' other abilities detonate Blight, dealing magic damage based on the target's maximum health.
Passive: Varus basic attacks deal 10/14/18/22/26 (+0.25) bonus magic damage and apply Blight for 6 seconds (stacks 3 times).
Varus other abilities detonate Blight, dealing magic damage equal to 2/2.75/3.5/4.25/5% (+0.01%) of the target's maximum Health per stack (Max: 360 total damage vs Monsters).
Max this first because it gives your AA(auto attacks) an edge early game, similar to MF. During trades, make sure to proc this every 3 stacks, so to maximize damage. E is for aggressive engage while q is a better far range poking ability to proc it. Your ulti can also proc it but sometimes it's better for e to be used first so your ult wont miss and to have their adc under the healing defect.
Note that this skill does quite a lot of damage to tanks who stack armor since it deals magical damage.
[E]: Hail of Arrows
Varus fires a hail of arrows that deal physical damage and desecrate the ground. Desecrated ground slows enemies' Movement Speed and reduces their healing and regeneration.
Varus fires a hail of arrows that deals 65/105/145/185/225 (+) physical damage and desecrates the ground for 4 seconds.
Desecrated Ground slows enemy Movement Speed by 25/30/35/40/45% and reduces healing effects by 50%.
Mana Cost: 80
Such an awesome skill.
It is an aoe slow with damage and healing reduction, enough said. Casted quickly and can proc your w, sets up for you ulti and just makes the opponent team miserable. Imagine their mundo charging at you with this under them and you dealing percentage to him. A reason why Varus is great against champs such as Dr. Mundo, Volibear, Swain and Soraka. Late game, this under their adc will mean hundreds of hp lost by their lifesteal, can make a huge difference from lv2 trades to late game teamfights.
[R]:Chain of Corruption
Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that immobilizes the first enemy champion hit and then spreads towards nearby uninfected champions, immobilizing them too on contact.
Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that deals 150/250/350 (+1) 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.
Mana Cost: 120
A hard cc that can affect multiple people in teamfights. This skill can assure someone to stay on the healing reduction area or even several people. The spreading aoe is not too large so make sure to land this skill and e in a way to make sure you can get more than one person in teamfights.
This skill also makes a great tool for your team to focus such as other stuns, but it can last on more than one person. It basically gives your team a step by step procedure in a teamfight if you land this nicely.
In laning phase you can surprise people with this skill to guarantee a kill such as for a gank and just to burst someone down.
Note that the initial casting range is quite large.
Varus needs the mobility and the ability to disengage/engage because he isn't the strongest at bursting. Boots and hp pots help you to do that.
Doran's Blade might be ok if you have Soraka as support and the enemy lane is not a kill lane.
Infinity Edge or The Bloodthirster first?
Varus can benefit from both.
Infinity Edge will give you more damage but less sustain, go for it when you are snowballing or when your team can protect you well enough that you can survive.
The Bloodthirster gives your more guaranteed AA dmg and more lifesteal, but as a fight is prolonged, you would deal less dmg than Infinity Edge. Get if you need the lifesteal because you are taking a lot of damage in trades and fights. Berserker's to maximize damage, Vampiric Scepter early to have sustain and later in The Bloodthirster.
Apart from the standard Infinity Edge The Bloodthirster Berserker's Greaves PD LW, you need at least ONE defensive item to survive, choose it depending on their team. Quicksilver Sash is excellent because it can mean life and death if you get cc'ed. Someone people get Banshee's Veil for the extra health and mana and to not get caught.
If you team is decent and/or enemy doesnt have many strong cc's, you can get Frozen Mallet for the hp and kiting.
I like to be conservative and run a mix of armor pen and atk dmg runes for marks because I feel like it. Feel free to change it up depending how you play. Fact is that dmg runes give slightly better early game and pen works better late (thats why I mix it).
Greater mark of armor penetration
Greater mark of armor penetration you can easier take down enemies like Malphite, Blitzcrank, Alistar and every tanky champion in-game.
Armor yellows a must because bot lane (which I assume you go, if you decide to go mid which is possible, switch to mr I guess....is mostly physical damage. so if you want to can go a mix between
Greater mark of armor penetration and Greater mark of armor penetration
Greater Seal of Armor is needed in the bot-lane, because of the consant poking. as you may know ADCarriers, is mostly ranged champions with good burst and sustainable dmg, so when your fighting against one you will only need armor :)
Greater Glyph of Armor this is the best glyphs for avoiding harras in the bottom lane, you can now be less afraid of ganks early game, this is a game changing rune.
Quintessence of Life Steal is one of my favorite quints, it give me a huge advantage early and late game. now you dont need to be afraid that the support has moved over to another lane and you get poked on, just keep farming gold and hp!
Quintessence of Attack Damage are the best for the buck, but if you are new or feel like to be safe, Quintessence of Life Steal and Quintessence of Movement Speed Other optional atk quints such armor penetration, attack speed are not bad as well, but a combination of lifesteal and AD gives the best early game advantage such as easier CSing and single auto attack trades/harasses.
tip: Rotation means in what order you cast spells on the enemy.
When using your ultimate in teamfights
Rotation: Hail of Arrows[E] - Chain of Corruption[R] - Piercing Arrow[Q]
note: you will simply cast hail of arrows at the enemy in a teamfight so you stack the enemies togheter and cast your Chain of Corruption, it will now be more than one CCed player with your CoC and casting a Piercing shot will do the job for a good advantage of damage. this will CC more than one enemy in a teamfight and a secure kill/kills for your team.
When the enemy is running from you
Rotation: Hail of Arrows[E] - Piercing Arrow[Q]
note: When you start of with hail of arrows you slow the enemy down, when you get an opportunity to cast you Piercing arrows do it.
Rotation: Piercing Arrow[Q] - Hail of Arrows[E]
note: This will destroy the enemy over time and will either get you a kill or a enemy backing to base.
This is the section of what champion is Weak/Strong against Varus on the Bottom lane, this may help you find out what you need to do or simply choose another champion.
Champions Varus is strong/weak against
This is one of the most easiest champions to counter early game, because of his short range you shouldnt have any problem harrasing him with your (Q) and afterwards go for the kill. the only this you should be a bit careful about is his ult, it will strike you from large distance!
Just wait for her (Q) and then poke her to stack up your Blighted Quiver, just do this a couple of times then you engage when she is low.
stay of her leaps and just poke all the time. if you try to sustain her you will probably end up dead, this is a pure skill-fight, the best wins.
She will always try to sustain you, just wait for the right time. when the opponents jungler is away and no SS is said, you will engage with the rotation ive made.
Pretty easy to counter early game, but late game he is a huge problem because he will use his Rocket Grab you into a bush and then the ADC/Teammates will nuke you, always avoid his Rocket Grab or you will face death itself, in ranked you will most likely do not meet this champion because he is always banned.
Pick another champion if you play against him at ranked, if normal it might go well, but i suggest you to pick another champ that counters Graves or you could always have a babysitter on your lane, a babysitter is when a champ from another lane uses hit time and effort on your lane.
Tips and Tricks
Tip: When i play Varus or any other champion i like to try imagine how teamfights/lanefights will happen. Lets say you meet Ezreal and Taric botlane, then you immediately want to develop a tactic against theyre usual positioning. as you may know Taric is a Support and will always hide in bushes trying to get a Dazzle (Stun) on you while Ezreal will get a clear Mystic Shot on you while you are stunned. then try to avoid the bushes and stay behind minions, then theyre tactics will be dead. when i meet Taric and Ezreal i always get first blood on Ezreal because i engage early-game before taric gets his Shatter (Increases nearby units including himself armor when the spell is not on CD) if i cannot manage to get a gank early-game i wait until he uses his shatter to farm minions, then i engage.
Farming is a very important action Varus can manage pretty easly, one of his most important farming spells is Blighted Quiver it deals additionally magic damage to the target, when upgraded it deals more. if you want to have a successfully game you need to have around 150+ Minion kills, if you do not have this as Varus you will have a lack of expirience and gold.
i`ve seen players using theyre Piercing Arrow on minions but you should highly consider this because it drains your mana, so if you do this you need to make sure your not in danger for a gank. then you will probably die because you dont have enough mana to use Hail of Arrows to slow the opponents gankers so you could run away.
02.06.2013 - Updated Skill sequence and it is now how it supposed to be, in addition im working on the current "Countering section" shows which champion that is weak/strong against. fixed my rotation section to be more understandable.
06.06.2013 - Updated build to request comment when voting (C2V), still working on the champion counters section!
07.06.2013 - Working on a Varus Supporters section, where im going to explain who is the worst/best supporters for Varus
Thanks for reading my Build Guide!
i wish you the best luck out there on the battlefield with Varus
and hope you get some advantage with this build.
Deadlydave: for correcting runes
Whale: Made me change the guide title
Laggermeister: for correcting skill sequence
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