Varus Build Guide by RIOTSPARTIN
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.
Hello and welcome to my Varus build. This is my first guide and I am really open to feedback and tips on future guides. I hope you enjoy this guide. By the way... Be prepared for a read. ;)
Pro-game with commentary, from colbycheeze
Pros / Cons
+ Piercing Arrow has a range as long as Caitlyn's Ace in the Hole when charged up.
+ Has CC!!! With his Hail of Arrows he can slow and escape from enemies, and his Chain of Corruption can snare enemies.
+ His Piercing Arrow does massive damage when charged.
+ Blighted Quiver can do a lot of damage to tanks if used well.
+ Starts with 310 movement speed (One of the fastest ranged AD carries)
+ His Hail of Arrows has a healing reduction.
- When he gets Silenced/Stunned/Suppressed/Knocked up his Piercing Arrow gets interrupted and he cannot cast it.
- Gets focused pretty easily
- CC KILLS HIM
- Started with only one skin :'(
- His dance *facepalm*
Runes are essential for any player over the level of 20. Under that, well... runes are useless and expensive. DON'T BUY TIER 1 AND TIER 2 RUNES ONLY TIER 3! But, going back to Varus I use some very unorthodox runes. Greater Mark of Desolationx9 Greater Seal of Armorx9 Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reductionx9 and Greater Quintessence of Desolationx3.
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Quintessence of Lethality
Other viable runes:
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
These marks are ok, but armor penetration is better than the little bit of damage that these runes give.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
These marks are for people who like attack speed. They aren't as good on Varus though, because of his passive Living Vengeance.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
I like these glyphs because they scale pretty well. They give a good amount of MR per level and if the enemy team has more AP then these runes will be great.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
I like these runes, but I like Greater Glyph of Cooldown Reduction better because it helps more early game. These runes help more late game, but remember there is a maximum of 40% CDR.
Greater Seal of Replenishment
I like these runes on Varus because he is mana hungry, but only 1 more mana per second really isn't much in the long run.
Greater Seal of Defense
I would like these runes, but I like the early game bonus with the flat runes. These runes really only help late game.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
These are fine runes, and it just depends on personal opinion, but I tend to lean towards Greater Quintessence of Desolation more.
Greater Quintessence of Scaling Attack Damage
Really not that great, but some people might like them. Scailing things don't really help early game and that is where runes are usually more productive.
Other viable summoner spells.
Varus really doesn't need this because he cuts healing with his Hail of Arrows and his Piercing Arrow can just snipe the enemies when they run.
Other AD carries use this just as much as Exhaust but I just don't like it as much.
I play sometimes with Ghost, but usually I get CC'd and die while the debuff is on proving useless to me as an escape. (Just my personal experience)
Everything else... Not really that good on this champion.
Why I am against AP and Hybrid Varus
It seems like AP Varus or Hybrid Varus is a good idea but here is my argument against them. If you don't want to read this wall of text, skip to the end of this section.
Lets say you are level 18. With more than 450 ability power, and your base 100 attack damage. With your Piercing Arrow, you will deal only 375 Damage. With your Blighted Quiver you will deal 100 Damage + 112.5 Magic Damage per auto attack, and your stacks of blight will deal around 19% of their maximum health in magic damage. Your Hail of Arrows will only deal 285 damage. Your Chain of Corruption Will deal 800 magic damage.
With all of the added damage, of 1 auto attack, 1 Piercing Arrow, 1 Hail of Arrows, and 1 Chain of Corruption, you get 1672.5 Damage total.
Again you are level 18. You have about 415 ability power, and 175 attack damage. With your Piercing Arrow, you will deal only 550 Damage. With your Blighted Quiver you will deal 175 Damage + 103.75 Magic Damage per auto attack, and your stacks of blight will deal around 19& of their maximum health in magic damage also. Your Hail of Arrows will only deal 330 damage. Your Chain of Corruption will deal 765 magic damage.
With all of the added damage, of 1 auto attack, 1 Piercing Arrow, 1 Hail of Arrows, and 1 Chain of Corruption, you get 1593.75 Damage total.
Here is what you get from Attack Damage, at level 18. You have 0 ability power, and 335 attack damage. With your Piercing Arrow, you will deal 751 damage. With your Blighted Quiver you will deal 335 Damage + 26 Maigc Damage per auto attack, and your stacks of blight will deal around 15% of their maximum health in magic damage also. Your Hail of Arrows will deal 426 damage. Your Chain of Corruption will deal 350 magic damage.
With all of the added damage, of 1 auto attack, 1 Piercing Arrow, 1 Hail of Arrows, and 1 Chain of Corruption, you get 1888 Damage total.
From AP we get a total of 1672.5 damage, Hybrid gets 1593.75 damage, and from AD we get 1888 damage. AD gets 215.5 total damage more than AP, and AD gets 294.25 more total damage than Hybrid. Even with the extra 4% more damage from the blight stacks, if a champion has 3000 health AD will burst and deal 450 damage, AP will burst and deal 570 damage, and Hybrid will burst and deal 570 damage. The total for this for AD would be 3008 damage(Assuming the target has 0 armor and magic resist), for AP it would be 2667.5 damage, and for Hybrid it would be 2721.25 damage. Thus, AD is the better choice
AD does more Damage, than AP or Hybrid.
Basically you need to put your items into groups to really remember them correctly. Early game, Mid game, and Late game. In early game, you need to focus on sustain and dodges, so I recommend some form of boots, potions, and/or lifesteal. In mid game, you will need to focus on damage, so get some high damage items and attack speed items. And late game will need to be more damage, defensive items, and armor penetration items.
Early Game Goals
Mid Game Goals
Late Game Goals
I always take Berserker's Greaves over Mercury's Treads only because I like the attack speed, but If you are getting CC'd or bursted by the AP carry then you will need to take Mercury Treads over Berserker's Greaves.
I hate to debate about the Last Whisper and the The Black Cleaver. I like them both, but the The Black Cleaver just works better with Varus. His Blighted Quiver needs attack speed to boost it up to three stacks and the The Black Cleaver has attack speed while the Last Whisper does not. So you hit them three times and they are down 45 armor, and will be stacked with blight. While the debuffs are active and you hit them with a fully charged Piercing Arrow the enemy takes massive damage.
Just to show you my purchase order for my items.
Situational items are items that are alright, but only in a situation that particularly needs their specs.
This item is fairly good for a defensive/offensive item. It has a really nice slow, which will help you stack Blighted Quiver onto the enemy and ensure that your Piercing Arrow or your Hail of Arrows is a definite hit. I didn't put this in the main build just because the armor and magic resistance from Guardian Angel help more against a burst attack, then 700 health would. Plus every 5mins you get 750health and 350mana when you *die* and this could potentially save your life.
This is only used against those pesky tanks with loads of health. If they have a ton of armor then it is better to get the Last Whisper. It really isn't that cost effective though(being 3800 gold), and because it is really expensive it would be better to focus on more attack damage items.
This is pretty good early game. It has a built in ward every three minutes. It has fairly good early game lifesteal, but it is better to continue onto your regular build then to have this item.
I like the Last Whisper, but not really on Varus. The The Black Cleaver really synergies well with his Blighted Quiver. The Last Whisper though is great for late game, when the tanks have a ton of armor.
This item is OK. BUT it isn't as cost effective as it seems. To get the full 1000 mana bonus you would really need to spam abilities and auto-attacks, that could potentially throw off your game. It only gives an extra 7 mana per sec, and even without this you shouldn't be spamming your abilities.
This item is awesome. It has a spell shield every 45seconds that can really save your life if a Caitlyn uses her Ace in the Hole or an Ezreal uses his Trueshot Barrage. I like the Guardian Angel though, just because it revives you and can turn around a teamfight because you basically have a 6v5.
This item is alright with its built in Cleanse, and its magic resistance. This item should be used when the enemy team has a lot of CC.
A very situational item for any AD carry. This item gives tenacity which really helps to get out of stuns, slows, snares, silences, and fears really effectively which can save your life. It also gets you some magic resistance, which helps against an AP carry.
Once you finish your build, buy this. It gives you plenty of attack damage, and it doesn't go away once you die. Its only 250 gold for 10 attack damage, which is pretty good.
Once you get your build, and you get an Elixir of Fortitude get this. It gives a nice critical strike chance bonus and also attack speed, which can work for Varus's Blighted Quiver.
Varus really only needs this for the cooldown reduction, rather than the ability power that it gives, but if you have the extra gold at endgame, why not?
This item is a ward killer, and a stealth killer. It really helps if the enemy team has a Twitch, Evelynn, Teemo, Vayne(when ULT is active), Shaco, Talon, Wukong, and Akali. Only buy this if it is either endgame, or you haven't really died and the other team has one or more of these champions. Try not to buy this though, try to have your support or jungler buy it.
I always go 21/9/0 on my AD carries. And I usually chose
because of the potential to save me, rather then the extra 1.5 damage, to my enemy, for every 100 damage that I have.
My preferred Masteries-
This tree gives me a total of12 damage at level 18, 10% armor penetration + 6 flat armor penetration, 3% lifesteal, 10% more critical strike damage, 4% more attack speed, and an extra 6% damage on enemies on less then 40% health.
My Mastery tree with Havoc instead of Vampirism-
The only thing that changes here is that the lifesteal is replaced by a little more damage, that really is just negatable due to armor and such.
This one gives an extra 4 damage to minions, 10 damage to turrets, the 1.5% more damage due to havoc, less armor and health.
Varus has some pretty awesome abilities.
On champion kill or assist, Varus gains 40% attack speed for 6 seconds.
On minion kill, Varus gains 20% attack speed for 3 seconds.
This is Varus's passive ability. It can really help to take down towers, when an enemy minion wave comes, or a champion is killed near a tower.
(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.
Cooldown: 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 / 8 seconds
Cost: 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90 mana
Minimum Damage: 10 / 43 / 77 / 110 / 143 (+1.0 per attack damage)
Maximum Damage: 15 / 65 / 115 / 165 / 215 (+1.6 per attack damage)
This is Varus's 'Q'. I love this ability, hence the name of the guide. I play Caitlyn also so it really reminds me of Piltover Peacemaker. Some people don't like it because of the self slow, but because of its range and power, I say that it is well worth the 20% slow.
(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.
On-hit Damage: 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 (+0.25 per ability power)
Blight Damage per Stack: 2 / 2.75 / 3.5 / 4.25 / 5% (+0.01% per ability power)
I love this ability, because it reminds me of Vayne's Silver Bolts. It basically deals true damage(Magic Damage) equal to 15% of their maximum health when stacked 3 times.
(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.
Cost: 80 mana
Cooldown: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10 seconds
Physical Damage: 65 / 105 / 145 / 185 / 225 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage)
Slow Percentage: 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45%
This ability is fairly good. It is faster and can do more damage than a Piercing Arrow that isn't charged, to burst a stack of blight. It has a healing reduction, which is awesome so we don't have to carry Ignite, It also has a slow, which can either save you, or kill an enemy.
(Active): 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.
Cost: 120 mana
Cooldown: 120 / 105 / 90 seconds
Magic Damage: 150 / 250 / 350 (+1.0 per ability power)
This ability is really nice in a teamfight, or just stopping the enemy from advancing/retreating. It deals damage to whomever it spreads to, and snares them for enough time to fully charge a Piercing Arrow and deal massive damage.
I alwaysMax Varus's Piercing Arrow first. This ensures a great harass and major damage output mid game.
I then Max Hail of Arrows because the slow really helps to either escape or prevent an enemy from escaping.
The last and final thing I Max is Blighted Quiver this ability is really great... Late game. Because it blows up 15% of their maximum health its practically useless early game and sort of useful mid game.
I Max Chain of Corruption whenever I can i.e. level 6,11,16.
In a 1v1-
Hit the enemy with your Chain of Corruption then auto attack 3 times and burst the blight with Hail of Arrows But placed in a way that makes him slowed for the longest period of time, and if can auto attack three more times and charge up Piercing Arrow and shoot to kill.
In a 5v5-
Hit an enemy with your Chain of Corruption. Then focus their AD carry or their AP carry (depending on your kill order for this specific game). When blight stacks are at three try to always burst them or stack blight on two enemies and then bust blight. Try to take the runners with Piercing Arrow. MAKE SURE TO STAY BEHIND YOUR TEAM DURING THE FIGHT.
Because Varus is pretty squishy, and doesn't have much CC until late game, he will need a good support to lane with him. Here are some of the conventional supports that I like to lane with.
I really recommend to lane with an Alistar. I do believe that he is the king of CC. His Pulverize knocks the enemy upwards for 1 sec (Which is not affected by tenacity) and upon landing is stunned for 0.5 seconds, this is enough time for you to charge your full Piercing Arrow and unleash its terror onto the enemy. His Headbutt also bodes well for Varus because it knocks the enemy backwards a long enough distance to spam auto-attacks onto him and detonate a full stack of blight with a Piercing Arrow or a Hail of Arrows. Alistar also has Triumphant Roar which is really great for a heal, especially if you are last hitting/ pushing, because the cooldown is reduced by 2 seconds for every enemy unit that dies near Alistar.
Taric is another really great support. Not only is he a manly man, but his Imbue is a really powerful heal when laning with him. He also gets a passive from that, that allows his to quicken the cooldown with minion and champion hits from basic attacks. His Dazzle is a pretty powerful stun with 1.5 seconds of that enemy shut down, which again gives you enough time to charge Piercing Arrow to deal massive damage, or basic attack on them and then detonate the blight with a Piercing Arrow or Hail of Arrows.
Soraka has amazing heals with Astral Blessing which also gives you an armor bonus. This is really helpful in a lane against another AD carry. Her Infuse really helps with Varus because he is very mana hungry. And her Wish can really turn a teamfight around for the better, or allow your team to successfully escape. He passive Consencration helps a little bit against an AP carry, and a support who constantly is throwing bombs at you... Zilean
Sona is a really conventional support. She can give a small steroid buff, more armor and magic resistance, she has a heal, she has a movement speed buff, and a stun. Her Hymn of Valor gives a slight attack bonus to nearby enemies. This is just enough damage to really kill an enemy with your Piercing Arrow. Sona's Aria of Perseverance gives a little boost to your armor and magic resistance, and it also gives a pretty nice amount to health. Song of Celerity gives a nice movement buff that allows you to either get back into your lane faster, or retreat faster.
Will work on unconventional supports later.
Thanks for reading my guide on Varus!! Please leave a comment and rate the guide!!
Thank you JhoiJhoi for the Templates and Guides ;)
Thank you also-
- Pencils Pencils
- Utopus (For the Awesome input)
- ShinigamiChoop (For the Skin Concept art)
- CellOne (For pointing out a misconception)
- johnmok (For Explaining armor penetration to me)
- Colbycheeze (For the Awesome video that he posted)
~~~~My Ranked Teams~~~~
The Krolm Clan-
Pencils Pencils/ 15p34k1n1337/ Krolmder/ Klockwurk/ Nellfox/ Ragnars Blood/ /
Crazy Animal HitSquadd-
Ragnars Blood/ SOCshakes/ Pencils Pencils/ 15p34k1n1337/ Ubbas Blood/ yrmwulf/ /
- 5/10/12 Guide Created
- Added Change Log section
- Added Supports Section
- Changed Seals from Greater Seal of Replenishment to Greater Seal of Armor
- Little grammar fixes*
- Added Situational Items Section
- Added Abilities Section
- Added Coming soon! Section
- Minor fixes*
- Added more summoner spells
- Added Why I am against AP and Hybrid Varus Section
- Added Pictures
- Fixed desolation mark, and quintessence explanations
- Fixed The Black Cleaver explanation for being on main build
- Added more people to the Thank you! Section
- Added more to Coming soon! Section
- Added a Video with commentary from colbycheeze
Stuff to look forward to in the near future!
- Pictures and Artwork
- Video Footage
- Game Stats
- Mid vs. Bot lane Section
- Countering the other AD carries!
- Positioning in a teamfight
- Who to focus in a team fight