Varus Build Guide by Yokiharo
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.
Hi, this is my first guide on Mobafire, and I'll be updating it and leveling it up (farm, yay!) as time goes by and the type of feedback I get from you guys and gals.
The purpose of this guide is not only to shed some light on players new to Varus, but since I'm included in that group (every player is new to Varus right now), I also want to learn how to maximize my gameplay using your feedback and own experiences.
Even though I'm new to this champion, I've been watching him ever since he first appeared on the PBE, he really caught my attention and I also needed a new AD Carry.
Thanks for all the feedback and views, it means a lot!
UPDATE: Don't forget to read the Builds section!
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
So, a lot of people had some troubles understanding and theorycrafting around my Surge build.
I tested a lot of different builds lately and, while I still defend the original, I've come up with other 2 that might sound more appealing: Standard AD Carry and AD Caster.
So, what do these builds mean?
Yoki's - My original idea for a Varus build. This whole guide revolves around this build, even though most of what is said here applies to all the builds. The focus of this build is to have a safe early/lane phase with some pokes + killing potential and mid/late scale to teamfight control and bursts, including a lot of anti-tank power.
AD Carry - Based on most other AD Carries, this build is meant to give Varus the standard AD Carry feeling while still focusing on his strenghts. It's the most balanced build I have on my guide and the one I recommend if you like sticking to the current meta and mentality of an AD Carry.
AD Caster - This build will give what the other two builds cannot: Raw AD Caster anti-carry power. I've realized this build shines the most on mid for shutting down AP carries easily, since you're 1v1 and the layout of the lane really helps for hitting those Q's. This is the best build for poke team comps. Essentially you focus on pure AD and Mana sustain, so you can keep shooting those Q's non-stop for maximum damage and range. CDR is also a possibility here if you want to try it, maybe switching Berserker's Greaves for Ionian Boots of Lucidity and other tweaks.
Hope these changes will help you see Varus and this whole guide in a much better way!
Enjoy, and don't forget to comment and vote if you like my guide!
Pros / Cons
+ Very strong lane presence
+ Rewarded for last hitting/farming
+ Nice harass
+ Good inbuilt anti-tank power
+ Awesome finishing move
+ Pretty unique ultimate
+ Looks cool
- Tons of squishiness
- No escapes
- Needs good positioning
- Mana hungry if you want to spam skills
- May fall a bit short late game if not doing well
- No pants
24/6/0 standard offensive focused masteries. You may want to change it to suit your playstyle, but these ones have been working very well for me. You can also trade Magic Resistance for Cooldown Reduction or Mana/Level, but I wouldn't advise it that much.
If you feel like you're not having that much crits, maybe try to put your points in Sorcery instead of Havoc . Let me know how that works for you!
- greater quintessence of Desolation: I take Armor Penetration Quints since I feel they give me the damage I need throughout all game but you may want to try flat AD for even more early dominance (but they do feel negligible late-game)
- greater mark of Desolation: Same as above. You may also want to try Magic Penetration runes which makes your blight hurt a lot more, specially on magic resistance heavy tanks. For my AD-based build, I would stick to Armor Penetration.
- Greater Glyph of Armor: Standard AD Carry/Bruiser/Fighter choice. You don't want to die before you can dish out all the damage you have to give.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Magic Resist: Same as above.
Ghost: Ghost is arguable, I use it because it uses the same mastery as Surge and also lets me be both offensive and defensive. It also makes a difference in the duration, since with Flash you don't usually get somewhere as fast as with Ghost. Varus is ranged, so with Ghost I can keep hitting running targets (and hopefully finish them) and still be out of reach for the rest of my Ghost duration if the enemy team comes.
Surge: Surge has got to be one of the best summoner spells for Varus. With Summoner's Wrath you get a huge bonus Attack Speed and Ability Power that can make all the difference, specially if you combo blight stacks with your ultimate.
A lot of people ask me what is wrong with my spells and sometimes even flame me for them.
I also get the feeling people aren't used to Surge, so usually early game when I've harassed them enough in my lane and they push me I just turn on Surge and Ghost. The difference is outstanding. After 3 stacks on the primary focus I throw my Hail of Arrows and 90% of the time get a kill. Since Ghost and Surge have a nice duration (plus the bonus I get from first blood), I can dish out a lot of damage in a few seconds and finish up with my Piercing Arrow for a double kill.
A very easy double kill to achieve, that sets me way ahead of the enemy team, lets me dominate my lane and be ready for mid/late game.
You may want to take Flash instead of Ghost and that's totally understandable. Besides Flash, you may consider Heal. I don't like Exhaust or Ignite because Exhaust needs close range and puts yourself in danger and Ignite is an anti-heal finishing spell. You have an awesome finishing skill in Piercing Arrow and anti-heal with slow in Hail of Arrows.
I've also realized that in choosing Summoner Spells is where most Varus fail to succeed. The best ones I've seen used Heal and Flash, with lots of them using Exhaust or Ignite.
- Living Vengeance: This is what identifies Varus. It rewards last hitting and thus farming, as well as kills in teamfights. The boost you want for that godlike pentakill/ace.
- Piercing Arrow (Q): Possibly the most fun ability in Varus kit. Both range and damage are really outstanding. Remember to press Q twice to activate it instantly in long teamfights and activate those blight stacks! Hopefully when the teamfight ends you will have it ready again to finish those running targets.
- Blighted Quiver (W): Your anti-tank weapon. You want it as soon as possible for the 10 extra damage early. Harass with some blight stacks and watch the enemies flee once you activate them with your Piercing Arrow or Hail of Arrows.
- Hail of Arrows (E): This ability is much better than some people think. It's an AOE slow which reduces healing and activates blight stacks (also on AOE! Spam your blight and watch the enemies cry in pain once you press E). The damage is also pretty decent.
- Chain of Corruption (R): The perfect ability to "corrupt" teamfights in your favor. The range is not that bad, you can even throw it through walls and surprise everyone. You want to try to be patient and use it only in the right time. Try not to miss it and have it on cooldown for no reason because there will be a time where you really need it to escape.
Ability Sequence Order
Even though I prioritize Piercing Arrow up there, this is how it really should be in an ideal situation.
Start with Blighted Quiver for the 10 extra Magic damage at level 1 (huge bonus), at level 2 if the enemy is pushing and aggressive get Hail of Arrows, otherwise get Piercing Arrow for the harass and finish. At level 3 get the one you didn't get at 2.
Keep at it - If you need your Piercing Arrow, level it up. If you need your Hail of Arrows, level it up. If by any chance the enemy is careless and lets you stack your blight whenever you feel like it, then level up Blighted Quiver (it shouldn't happen that often in my experience, it's a better option to level it up once lane phase is over). Chain of Corruption is obviously the most important one, so level it up in the according levels.
There are 3 ways to start your build:
: If I have an healing support sometimes I get all 3 Mana Potion, otherwise the Boots of Speed and the Health Potion will help me avoid harassment, harass more and stay in lane for longer. Also, it's the start of Berserker's Greaves.
: It helps you stay in lane for longer if you're not harassed that much, but you may be obligated to push and thus overextend, be careful.
- : If you want to go all-in like the corrupted archer you are.
My favorite is the first choice, so I'll follow what I usually do once I get it:
When I get to base for the first time, I usually have enough gold for Berserker's Greaves, so that's what I buy. If I have an extra 450/475 gold I buy either Vampiric Scepter or Doran's Blade, depending on how the lane is going.
If I have some spare gold, I also buy a ward and some more pots.
Next, I want to get Attack Speed to take advantage of the Lifesteal I got earlier, so I usually get Zeal. Whenever I'm able to afford it, I take a B. F. Sword so I can rush either an Infinity Edge or The Bloodthirster. Varus already has decent Attack Speed with his Living Vengeance and Surge, so the faster you can rush The Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge the better.
After having The Bloodthirster (and/or Infinity Edge if doing well) I finish my Phantom Dancer. From now on the rest of the items are pretty situational.
: If they're building armor and you're getting lots of hits on them or having huge teamfights.
: If they're building armor and you need to stay back and only harass with Piercing Arrow from far away.
: If their bruisers are shutting you down with lots of AD damage.
: If their AP carries are fed and shutting you down with lots of AP damage.
: If you're fed and doing well.
: If they have tanks with tons of Health.
: If you want a balanced solution for late-game and you're doing fairly well.
- : Besides the nice Magic Resistance it gives, this item is really valuable because of the active. Get it if you feel like you're being shutdown with lots of CC. Just remember to use the active, otherwise it's not worth it.
So, here's an example - If their tank is winning the teamfights for them, has built tons of armor and health and we can't shut him down, my build will ideally be something like this: Berserker's Greaves, The Bloodthirster, Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, The Black Cleaver and Madred's Bloodrazor. Even if I need red buff and Elixir of Fortitude that tank WILL go down.
Farming / Jungling
Play as any other typical AD Carry, try to last hit only if the lane is balanced, stay back or in bushes if your lane is pushed in your favor, and kill everything below your turret if you're being pushed.
I believe this image really helps you realize how much you're putting yourself in danger, specially if you're a new player, so here goes:
Credits to jhoijhoi for this picture, which I got from her Ashe guide, which I also recommend everyone to read if you're learning Varus. Check it out here: Ashes to Ashe's.
I don't really like jungling in Varus for some obvious reasons, but blue buff is a beast on him, so if you have the chance to get it please do.
Stay in the back of your team. You're ranged and you're squishy. Remember that.
Wait paciently for your initiator. If you can, try to get some blight stacks on the front line of the enemy team. Once your initiator goes in, throw your Chain of Corruption and start your combo (3 stacks + Q/E, repeat) on the nearest enemy. Don't mind what other people may say, you want to attack the enemy that is closest to you, even if it happens to be their tank. You're squishy and you're a good anti-tank. Let your bruisers get their carries.
Don't be too afraid to keep on fighting after your first kill, remember you'll get Living Vengeance buff and you're possibly fed and with your Surge activated.
If by any chance you get to damage their carries without putting yourself in danger, go ahead, arrow their knees.
I'll try to keep some nice Varus scores in here and if you send me yours I can also put them here, as long as you're using my guide.
These scores are all from level 30 normal games (blind/draft).
My best score will have full Stat Details for information purposes.
If you like my guide please upvote it! Also, thanks for your feedback.
I'll try to keep updating my guide as time goes.
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here. Go check out her guides!
Have fun with Varus.