Varus Build Guide by immortal jy

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 immortal jy

Varus Oozing Corruption

immortal jy Last updated on June 29, 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

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello fellow summoners.
In this guide I will go over one of my favorite ad carries Varus. I find that Varus is often miss understood and decided to use him for my first mobafire guide.
I'll be going over how i think varus has the best output. Please be sure to read the full guide especially the ability description.
Feel free to comment, cheers.

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Pros / Cons

Pros / Cons

+ Can shred tanks and carries alike
+ Great CC for AD carry
+ Good harass

- Squishy
- Focused
- Limited escaping

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Greater Mark of Armor Penetration

Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist

Greater Quintessence of Armor Penetration

Greater Seal of Armor

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I play 21/9/0.
I think these Masteries give you a strong opening while flowing nicely into late game.
Allows early game harass while being able to take a hit or two. Late game damage output is also complemented due to the high Offense.
Early game you need to play safe still because of the lack of escaping abilities, wards alone wont save you.

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Summoner Spells

Summoner Spells

Flash: Flash is the best summoner spell for Varus because he lacks a good escape, slows and a binding ulti aren't always the best option or enough. It also has great offensive potential too, i often use it to flash to Chain of Corruption squishies that are found out of position. You don't always have to open with your ulti so make sure you know if you can kill before you start with it or not, stack blight if need be before if you're unsure.
Heal: helps a lot early game and with varus being able to burst with Blighted Quiver > Hail of Arrows and/or Piercing Arrow sometimes it makes for a great baiting tool. Catch those greedy people that forgot you had heal and you might find yourself snowballing.

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Ability Explanation

  • Living Vengeance: "On champion kill or assist, Varus gains 40% attack speed for 6 seconds.
    On minion kill, Varus gains 20% attack speed for 3 seconds."

    Allows you to become even more deadly in team fights as they progress. If timed right killing a minion can give you the slight edge you need to take a tower or kill a champ.

  • Piercing Arrow (Q): "Varus starts drawing back his next shot, gradually increasing its range and damage, then he fires it, dealing minimum 10 / 43 / 77 / 110 / 143 (+1.0 per attack damage) to maximum 15 / 65 / 115 / 165 / 215 (+1.6 per attack damage) 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. "

    This is where i and a lot of other people differ on Varus. I use it mostly to activate my stacks of blight, where most people are shooting it off for it's damage alone. It has decent damage but i find that maxing it second gives better returns.

  • Blighted Quiver (W):"Varus' basic attacks deal bonus 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 (+0.25 per ability power) 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% per ability power) of the target's maximum health per stack.
    This damage is capped against monsters."

    This skill will help your harass by taking a flat % of your enemies hp upon being hit by an ability after you apply stacks with basic attacks. I find that if you can land a few basic attacks on a champion then hit him with Hail of Arrows to Chain of Corruption or vica versa you can usually take off 45% of there hp in blight damage alone. Your other abilities + basic attack damage on top of blights damage usually ensure a kill.

  • Hail of Arrows (E): "Varus fires a hail of arrows that deal 65 / 105 / 145 / 185 / 225 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage) physical damage and desecrate the ground. Desecrated ground slows enemies' Movement Speed by 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45% and reduces their healing and regeneration by 50%."

    This is one of your few escape tools. The slow only helps so much but sometimes it's just enough usually better for saving an ally then yourself. It is on the other hand great for chasing and activating your stacks of blight. It's all about the blight, so making them slow enough to keep auto attacking to put more stacks to set off, the better. The other underrated and often forgotten effect is the healing reduction to enemies, and vs champs like mundo that's almost a must have. Max this last but put a point in early.

  • Chain Of Corruption (R): "Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that deals 150 / 250 / 350 (+1.0 per ability power) 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."

    Don't let anyone run! helps to keep people right where you want them. Need to keep someone still to get away ok (tho best used offensively), want to initiate a team fight, want to keep someone from fleeing? Chain Of Corruption can help with each of these while still dishing out some damage and setting off your lovely blight.
Ability Sequence Order

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

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Blight vs Piercing arrow

I felt that i needed this section because most other guides favor maxing piercing arrow first.

I find blight is better to max first because as of level 9 you normally have at least 1100 hp usually more. 3 stacks of blight means 165 damage from one full stack and landing an ability. Yes that doesn't seem like much but there's also the 78 damage from blights on hit damage. Still may not seem like that much damage and it's true seems kind of lacking compared to the maybe 215 base damage from maxing piercing arrow first.

level 9 using most ad carries hp values
blight damage = 165+80=245 (per 3 stacks and ability) possible to make 3 times as much damage with all abilities. 65 damage from piercing arrow damage 2 points.

piercing arrow damage = 215 (only count the base cause the bonus attack damage will still be there when using it to set off blight) 130 from 3 stacks of blight with 2 points into it.

so maxing blight first gets a min of roughly 310 for a blight piercing arrow combo.
piercing arrow maxed first gets a min of 345 damage

So if you only land one ability with 3 stacks piercing arrow has an edge if you can land another ability then blight maxed first gives better results.

Then you take into account that you can set off blight with THREE abilities so that damage is then tripled.

So maxing blight first is mostly if you think that you can land more then one ability in a burst getting 4 auto attacks in min.

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  • : Start off with some damage and life steal while giving some much needed hp.
  • : The faster you attack and move the more dangerous you become.
  • : First decent damage item helps with creeps and harassing.
  • : Built from the B.F. sword. Two great things for Varus attack speed and damage also later in the game helps make quick work of tanks/tankier champs.
  • : Allows you to stay in lane longer and helps slightly in fights.
  • : Helps deal with what i find to be a slight movement speed problem with Varus and gives much needed attack speed, with a side of crits.
  • : Attack damage and life steal how can you go wrong with these on an AD carry?

    This is where you can break the cookie cutter, depending what the other team is built like and how your team is doing there's a few options to build.

  • : Helps to shred through tanks even faster while giving slight armor.

  • : Same as before.
  • : If you find yourself being nuked and not to happy about it.
  • : same as before again.
  • : attack speed, situational passive and slight hp.

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Laning Phase

Laning Phase

Early game

Head to bottom with your support or cover for your jungler, then head there. Once bottom focus on last hitting, don't push.

Early game harass should go like this; when an enemy gets close to last hit a minion auto attack him. You can usually get one or two hits before they react. When they then have blight stacked on them if they move back use Q Piercing Arrow to set off the extra damage.

Don't chase on the first combo wait till they're lower unless your support can ensure your safety and more damage to them. Slowly work them down repeating this process till you feel that you can ensure a kill. Always make sure to stack blight(use auto attacks to apply it). When you feel that they are low enough stack your blight open with Piercing Arrow or Hail of Arrows depending on there distance from you. If they're at your max range for auto attacks use Hail of Arrows if not then use Piercing Arrow. After you use the first ability stack more blight and use the other ability.

This process in the early game (lvls 2-5) means that you can do from min 4%(lvl 1 blight and one stack of blight per ability) - 21%(3 stacks of blight for both abilities and lvl 5) of there max hp in just an early game burst. That is just the damage from blight being set off as a % not the total damage from the other abilities, auto attacks, and blights on hit damage.

To become even faster at applying blight, try to last hit a minion right before you attack the enemy champion for the passive attack speed boost from Living Vengeance.

Mid game

By this point you've got your ulti and a few damage/attack speed item(s) your harass gets even easier as you apply blight faster and your Q will land for more damage. The same harass method as early game applies.

However there is the added versatility of your ulti Chain of Corruption. You can use it to bind an enemy to start your burst or stop them from fleeing or even make it easier to land your other skill shots to ensure you get the max damage you can. It's possible to do 45% of the enemies max hp in blight damage alone by getting 3 stacks of blight before each ability. Add in your auto attacks, ability damage, and blight on hit damage and that's one dead or scared enemy.

By this point people tend to be roaming more so don't over extend if you see someone mia. Varus has limited escaping, his slow from Hail of Arrows helps but isn't always enough to get away. You can also use Chain of Corruption to make some distance but try to save it as a last resort.

Once your turret or the enemy turret falls you often find you'll be able to free farm bot while your support goes elsewhere. This is a great time to catch up if falling behind or pull ahead with farm. Just be sure not to miss an early team fight or over extend without proper vision of the enemy.

Late Game

This is where you shine. As a carry you get to show what you're made of. In team fights try to focus there carries if you can but don't be afraid to take on the other champs too. Varus has great damage no matter there tankiness. The more hp the more blight does, and his attack speed along with armor pen, and armor reduction from The Black Cleaver make tanks a lot less troublesome.

Your ulti is great for starting off team fights when the enemy is grouped together so it bounces to other champs. But depending on your teams initiators sometimes it's best to use it to finishing up a team fights by picking off runners.

The main thing is focus one person and stack blight and use your abilities to set it off, don't switch targets or you'll hardly dent them. Chose a target and unless you have to change for your safety stick with it till they're dead. Most times they'll hit the floor before you do.

People to look out for in team fights are LeBlanc, Kassadin, Talon, and Akali. If they're focusing someone else focus them because with there burst they pose a large threat to you. Your team will thank you for disposing of them too.

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To sum things up don't underestimate the damage of blight. Make sure you stack it and not just spam your abilities without stacks otherwise you're not doing as much damage as you could/should and just waiting on decent length cool downs for mild damage. Auto attacks, auto attacks, auto attacks. I can't stress it enough that they're the back bone to Varus. Stack that blight hit an ability and just watch them fall.
I hope that you found this guide useful and i look forward to hearing your thoughts.

a big thanks to jhoijhoi and all the other guides out there that have been oh so helpful to me in not only writing this guide but playing the game in general.

Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.