Varus Build Guide by xyqtt

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League of Legends Build Guide Author xyqtt

Varus - Beware of Blighted Teamwork

xyqtt Last updated on December 13, 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: 21

Honor Guard

Defense: 9


Utility: 0

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good team work makes varus better during teamfights then other ad carries.
take 1 point in w for easy last hitting. Max e first.
use your e to harass and q to kill secure.
Don't use your ultimate for damage. Use it to run away, catch running opponents and as a CC initator/out of position catcher during team fights.
A team is as strong as it weakest member. Instead of decreasing their morale, try to increase it.
And most important: Have fun.

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Since there are no usefull Varus guides who really make this champion shine, I decided to create one. I think Varus is the ad carry with the most utility out there. He get an exhaust/ignite build in. An CC on his ultimate and a snipe shot. His damage might be a bit lower then the standard "best" pick ad carries out there. But if you play him well, he can out lane and duel each one of them. Also if you fall behind, you're not useless, because of the utility on your kit. That said, Varus works best with an high damage support. Because during the laning phase he will lose each 1 vs. 1 pure damage fights. But if you play him smart he won't be in such situations. He can also solo well, because of his easy last hits and because he rarely has mana problems.

The ap ratios on varus are bad, so an as-ap build is not viable. Since 2 of his skills have an ad ratio and those 2 skills are the most important ones.

This is a guide in making, So please add comments and i will put your input in here. If there is no response I will not extend this build and turn it into a full guide. Because well frankly if no one cares. Who am I writing for?

since I've gotten some positive feedback I will expand the guide further. Making it less a leap of text and a more readable easier to acces page is on my to do list. The obvious what does the skill does etc. will come some time

My main purpose for this guide is to show that Varus is underestimated and he is more then viable for the ad carry role.

So my guide according ot most of you is not a good guide, being dropped below 50%, without comments on why my guide isn't good or the build i'm using is bad. So if you downvote my build please leave a comment. If you upvote you're also welcome to leave a comment.

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Pros / Cons

built in ignite/exhaust
long range poke
SPACE cons
not as much dmg as standard ad carries
no built in escape
need an aggresive support when 2 vs. 2

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Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed

If you put your first skill point in blighted arrow. Last hitting should be easy. So I don't need ad quints. I like movement speed a lot. And without escape speels you need it. Because you are one of the slower champions you really need all the movement speed you can. It makes late game farming a lot easier if you just can go around the corner to kill some wraiths. If you don't lose to much time to grab that red buff. Did I already told you I like movement speed?

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I think i made an error not getting the executioner mastery. So this made me wonder which is more important 30 starting health or 15 second reduced cooldown on flash. I think the 30 extra starting health help out significant.

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Item Sequence


Vampiric Scepter

Berserker's Greaves

Recurve Bow

The Brutalizer

The Bloodthirster

Runaan's Hurricane

Enchantment: Alacrity

Infinity Edge

The Black Cleaver

As you can see I try to get as much items as possible first. Before turning them in their final item. With runaans huricane it's because you don't want it before the teamfights/pushing start happening. The others is that I like to get some items as early as possible. Those 25 extra atk dmg helps alot during poking and last hitting. Try to aim for that runaan's huricane during the start or just after the start of the pushing/team fight stage. It helps a lot. You will clear minion waves in matter of seconds. 3 auto attacks + AoE skill and thats wraiths/wolves. Remember to farm as much as possible. Make that detour for wraiths. But don't hold your team back. You must be there in every team fight. And we like team work. See that huge minion wave closing in. 20 creeps coming right at a tower. Someone else on his way. Don't go there and steal all thsoe creeps. You should be way ahead of the rest of the team and the team is as strong as the weakest member.

Spend all your gold. Buy the most expensive item you can when you are back at base. Or the most items you can. You shouldn't be at base a lot, so if you can afford that b.f. sword instead of the pickaxe pick it up. gold ini your pocket don't give you stats.

I left 1 spot open, where the dorans blade is now. You can use it for a defensive item or another attacking item. Mostly by the time you get her the game is already over. Or nearing its end and we already got a heap of atk dmg, atk speed, armor penetration and life steal it comes down to personal choice. I mostly go for another infinity edge or last whisper. I don't like a phantom dancer. I think we have enough attack speed and I don't want to be depended on crits. I know am edging towards the blade of the ruined king. Dealinig 4% of the targets current hp can help a lot before your 5% extra from excecutioner is kicking in. But since most games end before i get to this point, I haven't had a chance to test it.

Why as/ap is not viable. You need to do 3 hits for your blight to stack. With max ap you will do about 300 dmg each hit + 30% of the enemies hp in let's say 2 seconds. equals 900 dmg + 30% hp. You can only use that as a burst dmg, because of skill cool downs. It won't be enough to bring the enemies ad carry down.

Now with as/ad you will hit for 400 with 2 hits each second. after 4 hits it's 1600 dmg + 15% hp. So the ap variant will only do more damage if 700 is about 15% of ones health. Which means there health is around the 5k hp. These numbers are by far not accurate. And just an example that you won't do enough damage as an as/ap caster. And I didn't even count that your q and e skill scale with attack damage.

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Summoner Spells

flash and teleport

you got your built in ignite and exhaust. So I don't think you need thsoe skills. You can always use ignite for the kill. But if you need ignite you are using Varus wrong. It ment that you went in for the kill while dieing yourself. Because if the enemy runs away you just need to pop the blight stack for teh kills. Exhaust can be taken. But I don't see the use of getting close to someone to weaken them, while you could already landed 2/3 auto attacks and popped a skill.

Taking flash is obvious as you have no natural escape skill and teleport I just like. It can save towers. you can take 15 seconds to return to base and return to last hitting again. You can help other lanes out and if you ward dragon/baron it can be a great steal or a kill for the enemy.

Heal/barrier are also viable, but with a dorans blade I seem to get enough health regen to almost never die.

I also tried out cleanse. But most of the tiems I could make use of it I was already death. If you position yourself well. Don´t over extend you don´t need it

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Skill Sequence

Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Virst 1 point in blight for the extra 10 magic damage. Then your main poke skill on e. If you play the game right, you will hardly ever have to hit someone under the tower during laning. Your Q skill has a giant draw back and that is that it has to charge and while charging you are slowed. You can't use auto attacks eather so you will loose last hits when using that skill. And we want to avoid that. So use your e skill to harass. It does decent damage. Halves there healing and also slows. You won't be killing your opponents before level 6 and even after your ultimate is up remember that they still can fire back, because they are snared not stunned.

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Unique Skills

So why is Varus so unique and strong? Here I'm going to talk abou tthe skills and the synergy of it. His passive is a nice 20% atk speed boost if you kill a minion and a 40% boost if you kill a champion. Due to building a runaans something right before the team fight fase. You're 20% atk speed will be up most of the time during a teamfight. You take some minions as colletaral dmg. Giving your team 2 great advanteges. 1 skills will not be blocked by minions and 2 it allows to focus more easy.

Now I skip to q skill for a second and go to his w skill. The passive extra magic damage. The only bad thing about this skill is that the extra dmg scales with AP and not AD. And since we are not building any AP. This skill only need 1 point to begin with for the extra 10 magic damage for last hitting. Now when poking and harrassing you add stacks of blight to the enemies. If you then pop 1 of your other skills it will hit them for a percentage of there total health in dmg. 3 * 5 % doesn't look much and is kinda useless in team fights but if someone runs away you can hit your skills to burst their hp down.

Now there q and the w. I treat them as 1 because they are 2 different skills with the same purpose. detonating your blight stacks for extra dmg or for poking. Your q slows yourself, but gives one of the largest non ultimate range skill shot. And your e gives you an small aoe slow and reducement of healing. Your q is only used for popping blight stack when they are running away. That's why you max it last. Your e is way more usefull as AoE dmg and poking ability. Use this abilty everytime you don't need to last hit and your mana is more then half way full. Just poke poke poke, but keep enough mana to get that kill when needed.

Then one of the best ultimates in the game for an ad carry, which is kinda low dmg because it scales with AP. But none the less, One of the greatest skills, even with the low dmg. You fire a snare shot. Which snare the target and then can spread to all their team members which are close enough. Now this skill is usefull. Even if you are behind in lvl and farm. It gives such a great advantage when used correctly during a team fight, that no one will mind that you do a little less dmg. So we are 5 vs 5. But you manage to snare one of their team members. Rendering all Melee champions nearby useless. So there is only 1 doing dmg on the enemy team, Their ad carry. But guess what. The ad carry is unprotected and can't move. Your AP carry can burst him down. And you can easily kill all there champions.

Now there is also a time before the teamfights. Now you don't have an escape skill right? Just use your ultimate on the champion that is chasing you. And you just got a lead. And you can hide behind a tower. You are poking and enemy is half health. Your jungler is on hiw way but not in time before the enemy can hide behind his tower. Ultimate him. Just don't use your ultimate for poking/harrassing/dmg. It's not worth losing your ulti for a bit of dmg.

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skills copied from wiki ^^

On a champion kill or assist, Varus gains 40% attack speed for 6 seconds. On a minion kill, Varus gains 20% attack speed for 3 seconds.
Piercing ArrowRANGE: 850 - 1475COOLDOWN: 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 / 8COST: 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90 mana

FIRST CAST: Varus starts drawing back his next shot, gradually increasing its range and damage. Maximum range is achieved in 2 seconds.
While preparing to shoot, Varus cannot autoattack or use his other abilities, and his movement speed is slowed by 20%. After 4 seconds, Piercing Arrow is automatically cancelled and half of its mana cost is refunded.
SECOND CAST: Varus fires, dealing physical damage to all enemies in the arrow's path, reduced by 15% per enemy hit (down to a minimum of 33%).
Projectile Speed: 1900
MINIMUM DAMAGE: 10 / 43 / 77 / 110 / 143 (+ 100% AD)
MAXIMUM DAMAGE: 15 / 65 / 115 / 165 / 215 (+ 160% AD)
MINIMUM DIMINISHED: 3.3 / 14.3 / 25.7 / 36.7 / 47.7 (+ 33% AD)
MAXIMUM DIMINISHED: 5 / 21.7 / 38.3 / 55 / 71.7 (+ 53% AD)

PASSIVE: Varus' basic attacks deal bonus magic damage. They also apply Blight for 6 seconds, stacking up to 3 times.

ON-HIT DAMAGE: 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 (+ 25% AP)
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.
BLIGHT DAMAGE PER STACK: 2% / 2.75% / 3.5% / 4.25% / 5% (+ 2% per 100 AP)
STACKED BLIGHT DAMAGE: 6% / 8.25% / 10.5% / 12.75% / 15% (+ 6% per 100 AP)

RANGE: 925COOLDOWN: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10COST: 80 mana

ACTIVE: 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.
PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 65 / 105 / 145 / 185 / 225 (+ 60% Bonus AD)
SLOW: 25% / 30% / 35% / 40% / 45%

RANGE: 1075COOLDOWN: 120 / 105 / 90COST: 120 mana

ACTIVE: Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that infects the first enemy champion hit, dealing magic damage and immobilizing them for 2 seconds. The corruption then attempts to spread towards nearby enemy champions, applying the same damage and immobilize if they stay in range of the infected champion for 2 seconds. The corruption will continue to spread until there are no further targets in range, but each champion may only be infected once per cast.
Projectile Speed: 2000

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Last hitting should be easy with the 10 extra magic damage. Don't even think about going for the kill untill you have your ultimate. (lvl 6) You should save your ulti as an escape skill or to stop the enemy from runnign away. Don't relay on it as a damage skill.

I played Varus in a lot of different position. And I always managed to get a decent farm. The biggest downside is if you farm with 2 people on the same creeps, most of the time they get raged by your last hitting that they will push the lane. Resulting in easy ganks for the opposing team.

If you are behind ini farm. And I mean big behind. Skip some items in the build to rush huraans hurricane. The 2 extra hits are essential for fast clearing out creeps and jungle camps. What I do is try to aim that runaans hurricane at minute 20-23. Doesn't matter what items I have beside it, except the boots. By that time if you are far behind you should get each and every jungel camp you pass. Without offcourse missing out on the team fights. Your team engaging without you. Get some jungle camps. Your team doing dragon while you are on the other side of the map. Do some jungle camps. The moment I get runaans hurricane I somehow slingshot myself forward in creeps a lot. During the teamfight fase every trip to base I have around 2-3k gold. Because of the lifesteal you can heal up very fast in the jungle. And after a team fight you can't get caught out of position, because well, most of them are dead. This then is the ideal time to farm a bit more.

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Team Work

Here is the most important section of the guide. The teamwork. The reason why Varus is underrated is because it is not the best solo ad carry. Varus is one of the best ad carries for in a team. The amount of utility and damage combined can push the whole team forward.

Both your blight pop skills are kinda low on cooldown and your ulti on 2 minutes isn't all that long. So you can benefit your team with it a lot.

First of all a good team player know when to make a kill, or when to elave it for one of his teammates. If your opponent is down to 10 % health, You have 3 blight stacks on him. You just need to pop a skill to finish it. Or 1/2 auto attacks. Go for the kill right? Wrong! Not alaways, but think of your team. Think about a darius who leaves the rest of his team crippled, Because he is 18/10/0 and well the rest is 0/2/6 or something like that. If you know how to make your skill shots(and hte aoe on e is easy to make) you know the kill is secure and if you are in front of the team let the jungler, or the ap carry get the kill. It won't hurt you. Because when you got your runaans bow you farm goes trough the roof and by the time you get to those kills, you should be ahead in farm.

Now don't never take no kills no more. But remember that if you are ahead of the rest you can boost the morale of the team. I know that a team player doesn't care about his k/d/a ratio. But that mid champion/solo top most of the times does. Now you can gift them a kill. Raising their morale, making them stronger and increasing their motivation if they were behind. We all know those player who want to give up after giving first blood away. You just got them back in the game. And if they fail to kill the target. Just pop your spell and it's still a kill.

We all know those Darius players. They just start being aggresive from the start and trading kills. There whole team gets the kills divided between them and from your team only Darius gets the kills. After 10 minutes you already know the game is lost. This is an extreme example, but you should know what I mean. The team is more important then you are

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Positioning in a team

One of the most important things in this game is positining. I opt to go for 2 different approaches. Depending on the strengths and weaknesses of your team.

with a tank, a crowd control and a burst mage:
So this is easy. Stay behind your tank. Wait till they engaged. CC-ed and bursted down the add carry. You take the remaining kills. Easy right?

without any of the above:
here is where you are shining. Where other ad carries are bad in engaging and crowd control you can win the teamfights before they even strart. There are 2 possibilities they are pushing and they need to engage. Use your q en e just to peel them of from under your tower. They need to engage you exposing one or more of their team members. You use your ulti. They are out of position and their ad carry is up for grabs. Defending tend to be easier then attacking and that is right.

When you are offensive. Poke Poke Poke Poke Poke untill they are tired of losing health and they engage you. Or one of your team members is going in for the kill. Never go in heads first. Try to know your oposing team mebers. They have a high burst. Let them all waste it on the first one that goes in. They have a big sustain. Instantly follow your tank and ulti them. Then going for the most fed champion first. And remember if you are being focused and your life steal doesn't cut it. Flash away and reposition yourself. Seeing a mundo with his ulti op. E him. Hecarim. E him. A teemo. Poke him till he is almost death.

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So this guide is not finsihed. Just made it to have a backbone and my input on Varus. If I get some comments, be it positive or negative I will alter and expand this guide. If it is dropping down without more then 10 people noticing it. I will not work anymore on it. It is in no way completed finished or total yet. I will expand each section. I know I should get an indept guide on each skill, work on the bb code etc. But I'm not going to put lots of work in it if people think it is **** ^^.