Varus Build Guide by alektramp
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 first build/guide, Varus build guide.I will be adding sections to it and will be updating it regularly.
In this guide I will show you how to play Varus, what items he can buy,masteries and runes, summoner spells and more.Hope you will enjoy reading it just as much as I enjoy making it.I will be adding more and more content to it as time goes by.If you disliked it, and voted down, please let me know why so i can change it.Great thanks to JhoiJhoi.
Tier 1 : Summoner's Wrath use it only if you are mid or are using Ignite, if not take a point in Butcher .And 4 points in Fury
Tier 2 :4 points in Deadliness for the attack damage( good damage since the season 3.
Tier 3 :3 points in Havoc and 1 in Weapon Expertise .For havoc is only good thing in season 3 and expertise to reduce additional armor with Last Whisper.
Tier 4 : Lethality , awesome effect, it is that you're not a melee but 5% is better than nothing.
Tier 5 : Sunder only 2 points because you will need 9 points in the defensive tree.And frenzy,the 10% is quite good with Living Vengeance.
Tier 6 :1 point at Executioner for the good damage boost.
This is the rest points place.You can use it in utility but i find the defensive tree much effective.
Tier1 :Hard tier this one... either can we put 4 points into Durability or put 3 in it and 1 in Summoner's Resolve .It depends on if you want the additional 5 health per level, or the 30 health instant from Veteran's Scars .
Tier 2 :3 points in Hardiness and 1 in Resistance .
Tier 3 :Depending on the tier 1 you either take Veteran's Scars or Relentless .
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
- Greater Glyph of Magic Resist for the magic resist.
- Greater Seal of Armor because it gives you +13 armor,that really helps you against other AD champions.
- Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage I used to use greater quintessence of armor penetration, but i got in my mind that, if i have Last Whisper and Sunder , i do not need anything more than that, so, flat AD is the next thing up ahead.
You can also buy Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed for some attack speed on start, it actually is useful. For those who like it, go ahead and use it.
-This build is not the Rulebook, you can use any quint actually, but these are recommended
-What i prefer to use-
Why heal, because it provides the most support.If you take heal your support can take Clairvoyance, or Exhaust, and it will save you if a support isn't here.I just find it a need , or Exhaust on mid.
Ever got in the situation that you had to flash over a wall to escape or finish off an enemy? Of course you did.You can use ghost, but this is more efficient in a lot of ways.Also if you get ganked you will hardly escape with Ghost, while with Flash+ Chain of Corruption will save you probably.
Some other spells you may use.I will explain in witch situation and why.
A good substitute for Flash , can help you escape or catch an enemy.But Flash has better use in escape because most of the time you will not have the time to get out of range with ghost.Still if you prefer it, use it.
A good substitute for Heal.I do not use it, i tested it in 2-3 games, it can save your life, but you should take heal so your support can use other spells like Clairvoyance or Exhaust. If you are mid, You can switch it instead of Exhaust.
Take this if you are on mid lane.It will simply save your life many times.Reduces the enemy's armor and magic resist, and the damage he does, and the most important thing-slows him down.
This will save your life a lot of times.I do not recommend you to use this in matchmaking queue games because you never know if their team will have crowd control.Use it only in ranked.
You have the 1550 gold needed( B. F. Sword is now 1550 gold) and can't recall because your turret will get damaged or destroyed.No worries you have Teleport.Also you can teleport on Teemo's Noxious Trap or a sight ward and suprise the enemy team.
This is the first blood taker, the healing champion shut downer, the support destroyer.Use it if you are going inside the bush at the start( that means you aren't taking golems at start) or if they have Vladimir or Dr. Mundo, or a support like Soraka.It will help much.
Abilities-Skill sequence and usage.
20% attack speed on a kill of a minion, and 40% attack sped on champion kill.Not to be underrated.This passive will boost your farming at early games, allow you to be able to buy damage instead of speed early game, and help you finish off teamfights faster.
-Shoot a minion,then attack, if you are going to attack the enemy early game.
-If you are near a turret, and a minion is about to die, shoot it,and you will hit the turret 1-2 times more than you would have.
The arrow of death, it deals massive damage.If you manage to fully charge it, fire it without hitting a minion, and hitting the support, you will take down 2/5 of his/her hp.After lots of practise you will be able to do that.The damage on the beginning of the channel is small, but on the end it is 1.6 time bigger than your AD+ the regular fixed damage it does, that is much.This is why you upgrade this first.
-If you move while channeling you will be getting the range fast. If you stand while channeling the range will increase, but the enemy will either dodge it, or get out of range on time.
-You don't have to shoot the arrow instantly, wait to predict where the enemy will move thinking that you will fire instantly.
-If there are too much minions in your path, don't shoot.You get half the mana refund if you don't shoot, and that is better than wasting mana for low and easy healed damage.
1...2...3 Boom. The words that come out of my mouth every time i stack the enemy and hit him with Piercing Arrow.On rank 5 it will deal 15% of their hp,regardless if they have 100 armor or 400.That damage shakes tanks, knocks carry's and obliterates supports.That is why you upgrade this first.
-If they have magic resist, the damage is reduced, but not that much,so still the damage is great, maybe not 15% but 12-10%.
That support is healing the carry too much, i can't damage him much unless i spam.Hail of arrows...That is the solution.Lets say you are lvl 6, and you attack the carry.Shoot Chain of Corruption and then fire Hail of Arrows and the carry will not be ably to use the full potential of its heal(unless its Janna), so you will win the fight.But do not spam it early unless you are aming for the kill, it costs much mana for low damage.
After the patch that made its width from 60 to 100 and its spread range to 550 this spell got really good.I often hit the enemy 2-3 times, hit the chain, hit him 2-3 more times, fire the rain and finish with some pain( Piercing Arrow).Cool rime hehe :)
Anyhow this combo is the death combo and if i have Chain of Corruption players stay away from me, and if they get close, well they do not get away anymore...With some nice damage and a great shacle it is one of the best ulti's for ad carry's.
-You do not have to shoot it instantly.If he has Flash and cant flash out of Chain of Corruption range, wait for the flash. If he can get out of range, cast it instantly,Think it true.
Boots of Speed-Taken in every game,if mid on start, if bot a bit later. Varus is slow so you have to get this fast.Upgrade it later.
Doran's Blade-You should take this even if mid, why, how many times have you been left dead with enemy having 30hp left,many times for sure.Also gives damage and heals you on hit.A must for ADC
Infinity Edge will have to be the 1st core item with Varus, because of his Piercing Arrow which scales of AD greatly.If you have 250 AD, that is a 750 damage critical with this.
Phantom DancerThe second item.Why?Critical chance to 50%, attack speed to work with Living Vengeance and quite useful movement speed.
The enemy can easily get 100 armor in no time(50% reduced damage). This will reduce 100 to 50;50 to 25 and so on.Will increase your damage output very much.
The Bloodthirster.Get 30 damage and 6% life steal from stacks and it gets deadly.The second most AD giving item before Sword of the Occult if stacked.
Guardian Angel Life saver really.The 2 enemy melee jump into you, rush to you taking damage, kill you, guardian angel activates.They die, and you win the teamfight.Thats why i take it almost every game.
Banshee's Veil gives you a shield every 25 seconds.I dodged global ultimates with it many times.This works on any casting spell, so if they have Riven, Vi and any other AD champion that benefits from spells, take this and not Guardian Angel.
Frozen Mallet. Enemies getting away from you, they are too fast, then take this, some damage, health, and a slow. Stacks with red so is not such a bad choice after all.
NOTE:After Infinity Edge and Phantom Dancer you can get the last 3 items at any order depending on the situation.
So you have reached full build(i myself reach it rarely due to the fact that the game ends fast- between 20:00-35:00), now you have to buy elixirs, small boosts, but helpful, and life saving.
Elixir of Agility first of them 3, attack speed and 8% critical chance, if you have 250 gold this should be taken.
Elixir of Fortitude second of them 3, health and damage, health can save you(survive with 100 hp for instance while the elixir was active), and the 10 damage is useful.
Elixir of Brilliance third of them 3, cooldown reduction and ability power.Seems useless, but its not.Cooldown reduction will be helpful for your ultimate, and ability power adds 1 % for Blighted Quiver
Oracle's Elixir Well since you have the full build and gold to spend, why wouldn't you take this.Even if they do not have stealth champions( Shaco, Evelynn, Akali, Twitch, Rengar, Kha'Zix, Teemo and even Vayne, Wukong) they will have wards.If they have Teemo this is a must, if not you support at least.Because of his Noxious Trap. The mushroom can be seen by the elixir, and can be melee range hit
Alternative items/cheaper build
In some cases you will find yourself in a situation which will make you have a low farm, or not have much/any kills. This might be solved by ganking mid if possible,but if you don't have money for items, that means you are either pushed, or harassed, which means, not a big chance to gank.
So there should be an alternative build method.this are the items you should take, now, you decide the order,depending on the situation.
-You already have Boots of Speed or Doran's Blade, the next time you recall you don't have much money, so you buy the next:
hard farming early game
Also something you can use for the early boost, with this , you can harass better..After it, make some other cheap items, like The Brutalizer or Phage.
Cheap, and good, attack damage and some cooldown reduction,will allow you to use your skills more often, so you can counter-harass them.But this will affect on your mana,so don't use too much Piercing Arrows.Later it can be upgraded in The Black Cleaver.
When finished with The Brutalizer, if you aren't out of the low farming zone,and you should be by now, make this.Later it's upgraded to Frozen Mallet. Cheap, and good.
If you got a gank from your jungler, or got to lvl 6 and killed them, you should have no problem getting the rest, pricy items.So make an Infinity Edge by upgrading your Pickaxe,and Last Whisper. Finish Frozen Mallet. The Brutalizer should be sold at some part of the game, you wouldn't want to make it into Youmuu's Ghostblade, that is an item for melee champions, you do not need it.
Hard time getting farm all game
It also may happen, that you either don't have a jungler, or you are in an ungankable position.Then you will need to use the all the way through cheap build.Build all the items listed above: Pickaxe, Phage, The Brutalizer, but continue to make cheap items.These items are mostly the optional items in the section below.
Nice attacks speed, an great on hit effect, good magic resist, why not.Will boost damage, and attack speed, but i wouldn't take it as a starter because you need dmg early, so take it after The Brutalizer.
Since season 3 this item builds from The Brutalizer, so you may now instead of selling it, build it in this.If you do so switch Last Whisper because its a bad combination.If you do this, you will have a benefit.
The more you move more charged it gets, it is an fight opener, and after the shot is made you probably will not launch it again, but it gives good stats for a cheap price.
Use it even in the cheap build.You are using the cheap build, that means you will do low to medium damage, so you will need their armor reduced.
The item is pricy isn't it,but hey, you already have Pickaxe, so no harm done to upgrade?Only if you didn't ,make Last Whisper first, well then you should make something better, the 3300 gold is much, almost enough for Infinity Edge, or you can buy a The Bloodthirster.It all depends on their team(either more ap, or either more tanky team).
The 6th item is of your choice, i believe that if you made it this far to the cheap build, then you can afford yourself an nice pricy item,no?
Mercury's Treads will give you 35% tenacity which is very good vs high cc(crowd control) teams.Use them if the team has some cc and some mages.
Berserker's Greaves are my prefered boots.Because i get a lot of AD from my runes and Doran's Blade i get these.More attack speed means more DMG in less time :D
Boots of Swiftness are also some boots that are good for some reasons:
1.They give more move speed than the rest(but do not give tenacity,attack speed or magic resist).This helps with Piercing Arrow
3.with Phantom Dancer you can get a high move speed.
This is the one i use.Personally i think it is the best, works good with Phantom Dancer. With it you will move fast, and nobody will escape your grasp.
When to get it? About after getting phantom for the additional speed, or skip this and get it at the end of the build(not recommended, you will need a lot of time for the end of the build)
Well i prefer the one above, but this is an option too. hit once, and you are fast and can chase almost anyone(not including Kassadin with ultimate and flash). Gives a faster boost than alacrity, but is not efficient if running.
NOTE: These are the items you can build instead of any item, you do not have to do so, you can do so if you like it.
A new item that came in the season 3.When i looked what it does i was amazed.I may even make it the core item...If you get the first 5 items, switch the last one for this if you don't feel the need for defensive items.
After the season 3 this item is in the lead for switching Last Whisper again.I haven't fully tested it yet, but maybe...It now gives you HP, attack damage, cooldown reduction, and 7.5% armor penetration per hit.How cool is that.
I am not the fan of this item, i use Mejai's Soulstealer because i am a great ability power player,
but i won't judge if you use this.It is good for players who know they will not die(either way i do not use it xD).
Well it can be switched for Guardian Angel or Banshee's Veil if their team has 3+ AD heroes.Only when that is the case use this.
I personally do not use it, but i'we seen a few Varus players using it, and they were quite good.This is up to taste.1000 hp and a good hp regen amount is great,you can stay in a lane and regain health instead of recalling.
After the patch this item is quite useful.It gives the same mana, but it can be upgraded to Muramana and then you damage will rise up+ you can spam a bit more with your skills.Take it if you like to spam or have problems keeping mana to yourself.
If they have a mage like Veigar or Annie and you cannot get Banshee's Veil this is the item for you.Good offensive power and good defensive power.
The attack speed is nice and all, but the activate is just amazing!.100% attack speed and 100% critical strike, hell yeah i say.But you lose attack speed after the active passed.So use it wisely.
Interesting facts here.It actually removes more crowd control effects than Cleanse.For instance: Heal debuff, Ignite, slow from Exhaust.It removes quite interesting things also.It is useful if they have lot of CC and you want some damage.You can use it with Cleanse for a double debuff removal.
I will add more later,
Best lane partners
These are the lane champions that will go very well with Varus.
Leona has a lot of cc, she can jump in the enemies and they will hit her with their attacks.This is the opportunity to strike a couple of shots while she runs back.Great combo.
Alistar, the cc king as some call him.With his Pulverize and Headbutt he will let you hit them like they were dummies.And also he can heal you if you take some damage.If your team has one, go bot lane with him.
Soraka, some call her a good, some call her an great, but i call her a God support.She can refill your mana,skill spam!!Heal you big,or silence their mage in lane so you can fire a shoot or two.She will ward you from ganks,and assist you where ever she is on map with Wish. There are small chances for you to fail with this lane partner.
Sona is also a good support for many reasons:can heal,speed you, increase your damage,damage even herself(her auto attack really hurt),and make the enemies dance(beg) for you to shoot them.That is the second best choice for Varus lane partner.
Blitz is the CC machine as some call him.He has more crowd control than alistar,and is a good lane partner for almost all champions.Also good,but no heal like Alistar.
Recently i went bot with a friend that likes to play with Nunu a lot,and discovered that he is better than any other supports with Varus.
-slow+piercing arrow+auto attacks+nunu's buff =Dominance
That's all for now.
Mid lane and Bot lane
This lane will be your house, your workplace, your office.
You will go bottom almost every game, with a support of course, or maybe sometimes with another(in normal games or once with Shen ).
*Use the help of your support to both harass, farm, and not get ganked.
*Take golems on start for the advantage in gold and experience.
*gank mid if it is going bad and your lane can hold, work with your jungler and kill the mid.
In this lane you will start with a Doran's Blade (5 hp per one attack now instead of 3% life steal).Then make the boots and get another doran's.Why 2, because of the good damage on start, gives you to farm and harass much better, and you will need it because until you get B. F. Sword it will be at least 8th minute(maybe less if you are lucky).And the hp, i mean how many times have you been left in the need for that 160 hp,or survived with 10-15 hp... Doran's saved you.
Ahh, the best lane ever.Not a 2 vs 2, or a 1 vs 2, just a good old 1 vs 1.But wait! you are Varus,that means you have the range most champions don't have.The problem is you need either to ask your AP carry to go mid, or go mid because u are the only ranged, or you don't have an AP carry(why that).If you are laning on someone like Lux or Caitlyn you must use Piercing Arrow to outrange them.This will require a lot of skill and experience.But in most cases you will win the lane.Harass a little with your Q and then go for the kill when he gets away from the turret.Ward the river so the jungler doesn't gank you.Of course, farm very good, this won't be such a problem because you don't have a lane partner.And gank on lvl 6.It will be hard for the opponent to escape since you have Chain of Corruption.
Start with Boots of Speed and 2 health potions and 1 mana potion if you are mid, and Doran's Blade if you are bot lane.Suggested to go mid lane.If your team has an support, both of who will protect you and don't necessarily need creep kills because they will be earning their gold through assists.Go bot lane with Piercing Arrow for a good harass ability.If you are on the Blue Team, grab Double Golems with your support before going to lane. This will give you somewhat of a level advantage, and a little bit more gold.Go to the lane and do not enter the bushes( a mad man would go in).Try to farm as much as you can, when you kill a minion, use the passive Living Vengeance to shoot the enemy with a shot or 2 and then hit him with Piercing Arrow or Hail of Arrows(only if you are aiming for the kill).Gank as much as you can(but don't fail, you will lose time and experience).Keep the lane warded, if not, you have Flash and Hail of Arrows for escape( and if you are lvl 6, Chain of Corruption).You must farm, if you don't, either will the enemy AD carry outfarm you, or you will get a couple of kills, but still wont have the big advantage.
Mid game starts about when you have destroyed the enemy turret, or when the ganks and teamfights started.Lasts to lvl 18.
You want to outfarm the enemy AD carry, don't worry too much about getting kills, while kills do give you gold, farming minions should be top priority next to harassing the enemy lane and forcing them to retreat.By this time the teamfights began, and you should be trying to position yourself as good as you can.Get red and keep it on as much as you can.
Now the items you buy depend on either your minions farm(should be more than 50 on beginning of mid game) and/or your kills/assists.In an normal game, you should build at least to Phantom Dancer until the late game part.
You are a monster in late game teamfights,you use range as your ally, and use Hail of Arrows to reduce the supports healing.Shoot the enemy 3 times and hit him with Piercing Arrow.If they don't focus you u'll be fine.You should have gotten at least the first 2-3 core items( Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer,and one offensive item).Now buy the items at any order.Have the red buff at all times.And try to gank if someone is alone or trying to push lanes.Dragon and Baron should be warded at all times, and if you kill 1 or 2 in their team, get baron.
WARNING: if you do not farm, you can't carry the game, and your role as Varus is an AD carry.
"Huh i am Varus, i can harras players super awesome, they can't win the lane", often players find them saying this, and often when they do, they forget the most important thing, the golden rule of AD carry's, to farm. I will now give you a list of options you can do as Varus, the ultimate AD carry.
1.Work with your support to farm your way to glory
2.Harras enemy, and farm working with your support.
Step one-work with your support to farm your way to glory
This is the safest and most effective way to both farm,and not get ganked,you even will not need wards,expect for the one ward shown below(under construction).
The way to do it:
-First of all give the enemy laners a bit space, so they feel safe, and if patient a bit(like 15 seconds of not hitting minions) they will lose their nerves, and hit minions.
-Now, if the minion has full hp, the support should hit it twice, and then you to finish it off(on mages), or you hit once, she/he once, and then you finish it off(on warriors). By doing this you secure your farm, but if your minions are there, wait for your minions to get to half hp, and then kill the enemy minions by just last hitting.Now you shouldn't push much, and you shouldn't get ganked.
-If the enemy champions are there near, if Leona is in bot, you will have a hard time farming, then, leave them to push strait to your turret, and finish the minions off.
-Also if you placed a Vision Ward, they will not have any wards bot, so they should be in a gankable position,ask your jungler to do so.
Step two- Harass enemy, and farm
They have a support that can't play attacking, but has shields and heals, like Sona, Janna, Soraka.Now you should harass,Sona- the way to go is to drain their mana to the limits, assuming that you have soraka at your side, or Leona for the attacks that hurt.
-Fire an Piercing Arrow at them, as often as possible, with Soraka; and with leona, she dives in, and you make them beg.In the meanwhile, before the attack, just last hit minions, as much as you can to make the farm meter up and running.
NOTE:use only if laning vs Janna, Soraka or Sona, and not any other champions
Step three-Super harass/farm
This is the part were you dominated the lane completely.Got the first blood, with it the gold.
-If you got first blood, when the minions come, farm as much as you can, and the support places the ward now, 1 at dragon, one at the bush, warding a long road, enough to move away.Now you can farm like shown above in the first step , and harass if they are at the turret defending.This is pure dominance .
I once before had to copy an image to have this concept, but now i made one myself, because i studied it at school(hm it actually has use).It shows the areas where it is good to be, and where there is threat.
- green . Shows the safe zone, it is safe to be here until your turret is down, it is best to be at this zone even if the minions are pushing(yours).
-Yellow. You can be in this zone, it is counted as safe as long as you have a ward placed in the river.But of not, it is a bit risky to be here, you have a chance to escape, but it depends on who is attacking you, or with who you are laning with.
- red. The danger zone, stay in it only if the jungler is dead, or you are dominating.Even with a ward there is a chance you will not escape, for instance late notice.
- Try and position yourself as best as possible in teamfights, positioning is the key.If you can shoot an Piercing Arrow true the whole team,then that will be nice.
- Try and predict where the enemy is moving to, and shoot the Piercing Arrow there.
- When ganking,do not come directly at them, come a little bit from behind, so they can't run.
- On mid, don't ward the bush closest to mid lane, ward the one that is next to the big wall.
- Shoot a couple shots before casting a spell.
- At 7:15 their blue will respawn.So come in the jungle and kill him.
- Run in the ultimate and shackle the whole team, none shall escape!
- Harass is the key, just like farming, harass enough, and the enemy will fall back and give you the farm.Get him on a low hp, and finish him off with the R>E>Q combo.
- If you get ganked early game, they might catch you if you go inside bush.Think of it, is it better to go strait to turret or true bush.
Will add more as time flies by me, if i get the time.
Hall of fame
This images will be added more and more.Post the links in comments.
People do not link enough photos here, i didn't wanna add my scores...but well seems ill have to fill this up with results.I have isolated this specific game because of the score...And because i play Vi now and can't play Varus many times in a row.
So far so good.
Thanks for reading Alektramps Varus build guide.Be the arrow of retribution, and win over your foes in the fields of justice!
Great thanks to JhoiJhoi for shoving me how to make a build and how to code.
The Varus build, relaunched.
The last section, here for you to read after the build.This will show you on what i am working for to update, you can also comment for me what didn't look nice to you or what can be added.
-Hall of fame, since no images sending from people, i will add my, even so i didn't want to.
-I am working on making this build tidy.Will update the looks of these sections:masteries,runes,abilities and tactics
-Still didn't get a chance to add a screenshot of the ward in the section farming.Sorry for that i am having trouble with school(last week before holidays).
-New tactics not added quite recently, will have to work on adding some.
The most recent changes:
- New banners(made them myself without an internet app)
- added a few tips for in abilities section
- added 1 tactic
- added the safe zone/careful/danger image
- changed the looks of bot lane section
- added elixirs sub-section in core items
- Core items section remade
- Some minor grammar mistakes corrected
- Tidied the build a lot.
- new looks for masteries and abilities
- New optional item, Mercurial Scimitar
Some people add the update history section, i haven't followed my updates, so i would miss a lot, and since i updated it a lot , i cannot make it complete.Also the people reading are interested in the content now and in the future...not in the past, or am i wrong?