Varus Build Guide by Tauz
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello and welcome to my Varus guide. As you know he is the newest champion to date and is extremely powerful. I believe too many people are playing him incorrectly and will explain why later in this guide.
Please enjoy, rate and comment on this guide. Don't hate too badly if you dislike it, it's my first guide.
Please bare in mind that I am English and may spell words differently to American (e.g. armour instead of armor).
Credits to jhoijhoi for the template, which you can find here.
Pros / Cons
Pros / Cons
+ Ridiculous ranged champion
+ Extremely powerful
+ Fun to play
+ Goes great in lane with any support
+ Good at farming minions
+ Nice skin/model
- Squishy early/mid game
- Hard to get used to
- Relatively slow movement
- He only has 2 skins?
- You get the idea, there aren't many negatives
Got the usual 21 points for AD champions in the Offense Tree. However, I've left out Summoner's Wrath as I'm not using any summoner spells that go in slot with it. Instead I've got Summoner's Resolve to boost the heal, it is crucial in some fights, especially if targeted by Ignite. I've put 9 points into the Defense Tree because all AD carries are squishy. Varus needs resistances, especially armour. Veteran's Scars is effective for early game when playing a carry, it gives more health which can help you get first blood.
- greater quintessence of desolation: Some people may prefer to use flat AD quintessences to buff his early game damage, considering it to be so low. However, i believe that getting as much Armour Penetration as possible helps a lot more throughout the game and allows any armour penetration items to be bought near the end of your build.
- greater mark of desolation: Same reason as quintessences, need as much armour pen as possible. Standard for most AD carries.
- Greater Glyph of Attack Speed: Getting this attack speed can help you gain the benefit of your Blighted Quiver without having to invest too much into attack speed items early game.
- Greater Seal of Armor: Considering how squishy Varus can be, these runes are a great choice to help him survive.
Flash: This is a great escape tool that can be used on nearly every champion. Mainly essential for carries so they can escape team fights and pick up kills easier. Can help with laning A LOT.
Heal: This is generally the new meta for AD carries. Great for juking people into fighting you and surviving in team fights for longer.
- Living Vengeance: We start off with his passive. Living Vengeance grants Varus bonus attack speed when he kills a minion or kills/assists on an enemy champion. I guess this is the start to praising Varus for his abilities. His passive does two things at once (unusual for most champions). This passive works great in lane and in team fights. When you get one last hit on a minion kill, you can switch to an enemy champion to harass or potentially get a kill. Alternatively, you could use this attack speed bonus to help you last hit minions, as Varus' arrows will shoot faster.
- Piercing Arrow (Q): Piercing arrow allows Varus to charge up his bow in order to fire a skillshot arrow, gradually increasing its damage and range (both to ridiculous levels). This ability does two things at once while allowing Varus to move freely. Oh my god. This ability has introduced a whole new level of harass. It can be used to last hit minions out of range, poke enemy champions, finish off low hp enemy champions, and generally do a HUGE amount of damage if maxed first.
- Blighted Quiver (W): Blighted quiver allows Varus to deal bonus damage to his opponents on every basic attack, leaving blight on the enemy. Blight stacks up to three times and does a % of enemy health based upon how many stacks are on them when they are hit by another of Varus' abilities. This ability is very unique. Again, it does two things at once, without the player having to do a single thing (other than right-clicking of course). It is similar to Vayne's Silver Bolts, but more than one target can be affected by the blight at a single time. Maxing this second is negotiable and I shall further explain this in the next chapter.
- Hail of Arrows (E): When Varus uses this ability, a volley of arrows land in the specified region which are then slowed and have reduced healing. So, let's think of this: an ability that does fairly decent damage, slows and reduces healing. That's three things in one ability. I think that this is seriously under-rated. Considering it's huge range, the damage output from it is unbelievable. Although it's not as strong as Piercing Arrow, it is a great help in duels and in team fights. It can considerably slow the enemy team down (movement and health regen) which can easily get your team the victory.
- Chain of Corruption (R): Chain of Corruption is a perfect ultimate for an AD carry. The initial victim of this ability is held in place by a tentacle, the tentacle can then spread to nearby enemies if they stay in range of the initial target for long enough. The ability pretty much does the thinking for itself. Not many carries in the game have a decent CC; this is where Varus shines. This ultimate can affect a full team which can change the tide of battle. Varus has quite a lot of AoE (Area of Effect) spells which have a very high damage output. Using these correctly in a team fight can easily result in an ace.
Ability Sequence Order
BEFORE YOU START RAGING/QUESTIONING THIS, IT IS NEGOTIABLE. I strongly believe that maxing Piercing Arrow is a must. The damage output, harass and amount of kills it will rack in is too desirable.
The next ability to max is the negotiable part. I preferably go for Blighted Quiver as the % damage to the enemy's health is great for finishing them off with a Piercing Arrow. However, if you are getting pushed badly against your turret and your minion farm is low, Hail of Arrows has potential for being the 2nd maxed ability.
I was never looking forward to this point - the amount of explaining I have to do is painful.
: Let's start with the opening item - Doran's Blade. this item is used for most AD carries and gives good survivability and damage to Varus early on. If you start with Boots of Speed, you'll need three Health Potions and will be missing out on health, damage and a minor amount of lifesteal. Be careful what you start with.
: These boots are used by multiple champions in the League of Legends. The increased attack speed is great for Varus and most other AD carries. It is particularly useful for Varus as it gives him early attack speed which allows him to get off his three stacks of Blighted Quiver faster.
: Infinity edge is great for all champions with high damage output. Varus is no exception. I see people getting Phantom Dancer as fast as they can, this annoys me. Why would a champion who has VERY powerful abilities that are based off AD stack attack speed so early on? Sure, Phantom Dancer is good for Varus, but that early on in game? I don't think so. You need to rush AD as fast as you can, this will give you a great advantage as your abilities can take off up to 50% of an enemy's health in one simple burst. When you have Infinity Edge, your basic attacks will be able to hit squishies for 400+. That's pretty much the same as an ability, but no mana cost. OP, right?
: Zeal is good to get straight after your Infinity Edge. The reason for this is that it increases movement speed (which is important as Varus is so slow), increases your attack speed (to help get off Blighted Quiver faster) and it also increases your critical strike chance (increases the chance of getting your Infinity Edge critical hits). There is no need to rush this straight into a Phantom Dancer as your auto attacks do not do any where near as much damage as Varus' abilities.
: The Bloodthirster gives the most bonus AD out of any item in-game (excluding a 20 stacked Sword of the Occult). Getting this bonus AD early on is very effective as it will increase the damage of Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows greatly early on.
: Getting this item before the Dagger when building into your Phantom Dancer is very helpful. Getting a fairly large amount of critical strike chance after getting your Infinity Edge can greatly improve your damage output.
: Now you can get your attack speed upgrades. Your damage should be high enough by now to be able to nearly three-hit most enemy champions. By getting Phantom Dancer, you will be increasing:
•The speed of which your Blighted Quiver will stack on the target;
•The critical strike chance of your basic attacks (which goes hand-in-hand with Infinity Edge;
•Your overall basic attack damage per second.
: Later on in matches, enemy AP carries often become a threat, especially to squishies such as Varus. By getting magic resist and the negation of one enemy spell, you can survive through most AoE abilities in team fights and have longer to unleash your wrath upon the enemy. Having an AD carry such as yourself constantly attacking the enemy team will greatly damage them and (in most cases) win you the team fight.
: Getting later on in the game can really affect your ability to kill people. This will usually be because of their resistances. Getting some solid armour penetration off an item like this is perfect for late game.
*This item is completely situational.*
: Sometimes you just need to get more than one resistance, and this is where Guardian Angel comes in. This item gives great armour and a bit of magic resist, which can greatly increase your survivability. Even if you die in a team fight, you can resurrect back at your corpse to do some more damage to the enemy.
*This item is completely situational.*
: This item can be used by multiple AD champions, often used by tanks but also used by damage dealers and fighters. Getting the bonus health off this item is a great increase to your survivability. Getting bonus health instead of resistances can be an important choice as you are not narrowing your survivability to AD or AP, you're keeping a solid health bar.
*This item is completely situational*
: Getting The Black Cleaver late game can pay off. Having the extra armour penetration can be effective for killing tanky opponents. The extra attack speed can also be beneficial for killing tanky enemies. This is because you apply stacks of Blighted Quiver faster. As you know, the stacks do % damage, which basically cut through health. The only problem is if the enemy has magic resist, blight doesn't do as much damage. However, I do not think that any magic penetration items are worth buying when playing Varus.
*This item is completely situational*
: Switching to these boots can be viable end game. If the enemy team has a lot of CC (crowd control - e.g. stuns, snares), then these might be worth buying. -Not recommended for early game, but sometimes necessary-
*This item is completely situational*
Farming / Team fights
Farming as an AD carry remains the same whoever you play. Try not to auto-attack any minions, just get the last hit on them. This is an important concept that not many people understand. By just last hitting, you prevent your minions from pushing to the enemy turret. If the minions get far into the enemy's side of the lane, then it is MUCH easier for their jungler to gank. This works in both ways, if the enemy pushes you to your turret, your jungler has an easy job ganking. Last hitting minions is also a very good way of ensuring minion kills. Use Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows to get out of range minions if you are struggling for gold.
It is usually best to store mana as an AD carry and save it for bursting an enemy champion when your lane partner is ready. This way, you'll have enough mana to carry out a kill.
Teamfighting can be difficult to get used to with AD carries, especially Varus. Players often get too wound up in their damage and want to initiate most fights. DO NOT INITIATE. You need to persevere and sustain your health for as long as possible, you are the main damage dealer on your team. You are expected to carry the team, this is not possible alone. Use your team-mates for help and never engage alone, it's too risky. Of course you can poke them down using Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows, this makes the team fight all the more easier for your team to win. I advise saving your Chain of Corruption until the team fight has properly started. However, sometimes using it to catch a slow enemy before the teamfight starting can often give good results. If you root an enemy with it, the enemy team will most likely turn to try and help them. If they stay too close to the rooted champion, it will spread onto them, forcing them into a team fight.
Below is a video which has great detail about laning and positioning in team fights for the AD carry role. I do not own the video. Thanks a lot to BlakeProLeague for posting this on YouTube!
Some quick things to remember:
- AD will improve your killing capability more than attack speed.
- Hail of Arrows is underrated.
- After your initial few items, the rest are mainly situational.
- You are overpowered.
Well thank you for taking your time to read through this guide. I can bet it never took you as long to read through it as it did for me to make it. Please +1 this guide if you enjoyed it and +rep/favourite, it gives me support c:
Once again thanks to jhoijhoi for the template guide and BlakeProLeague for the AD carry video.
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