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Varus Build Guide by thelordxl

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League of Legends Build Guide Author thelordxl

Breaking The Meta - The AP Arrow of Retribution

thelordxl Last updated on October 23, 2014
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ADC Role
Ranked #12 in
ADC Role
Win 47%
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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

Legendary Guardian

Defense: 4


Utility: 5

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Yer a wizard, Varus...

Hey all. I've never made a guide before. But I had some time to kill and felt like being a bit creative. I'm a fan of breaking the meta, so I'd like to share with you one of my favorite builds.

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Pros / Cons


  • Tons of damage
  • Percentage damage at that
  • Great teamfight potential
  • Unexpected and unwary opponents

  • Glass Cannon (squishy)
  • Mobility (or lack thereof)
  • Skillshot reliant (if you're not comfortable with that sorta thing)

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Passive: Living Vengeance

Living Vengeance is an absolutely amazing passive. Twenty percent attack speed boost on killing a minion? Yes please! Especially during the laning phase, this part of your passive will allow you to get a quick couple of shots of Blighted Quiver when your opponent has dropped their guard, by merely assuming that you are farming.

The latter part of Varus' passive makes him a force to be reckoned with if he is not dealt with swiftly in teamfights. Once again, you'll apply stacks of Blighted Quiver. However this time you'll be equipped with a Runaan's Hurricane.

Q: Piercing Arrow

Ah yes, Piercing Arrow, our good friend. Those of you who have played traditional AD Varus will know the satisfaction of a properly sniped kill. AP Varus is no different, only the circumstances have changed slightly. At level one, this spell has a respectable amount of damage behind it to allow you to safely poke and harass your opponent. But due to AD scaling, this spell is useless without stacks of Blighted Quiver on your opponent.

Trust me, the satisfaction still remains. Nothing beats popping Blighted Quiver's stacks at max range.

W: Blighted Quiver

At long last! We've come to the bread and butter of AP Varus. How does dealing 45% max health damage sound to you? What about a built in Nashor's Tooth passive with an extra 10% AP scaling to boot? Yes, I felt the tingling too. Granted that is the damage you'll see at full build, however, it scales beautifully from early game.

To apply stacks of Blighted Quiver, simply auto attack. Set it and forget it. Once you have those three stacks applied, follow up with a nice, lovely, Piercing Arrow, Hail of Arrows, or if going all in, a tasty Chain of Corruption. You must connect with a spell to activate blight. So take great precision with those skillshots.

E: Hail of Arrows

Hail of Arrows offers you great utility. You can use it as an AoE slow, a means of applying grievous wounds if ignite is on cooldown, and if all else fails, it is another method of activating Blighted Quiver.

R: Chain of Corruption

Haha! Time to unleash the fury! With the CDR from both Nashor's Tooth and Deathfire Grasp your ult's cooldown becomes a frightening 45 seconds with three points in. Do not be afraid to spam it come late game.

Let's have a little recap of what Chain of Corruption entails.

Chain of Corruption's I'm a strong Black Mage who don't need no mana list:
  • It roots an enemy in place for two seconds
  • It has 100% AP scaling on top of generous set damage
  • It will pop blight
  • It spreads just like warm butter on toast to other enemies around the first target hit to do the exact same things that I just listed to them.

This is what makes Varus the king of the teamfight, if you didn't know already. If you can get a proper shot off, I guarantee you an ace.

Even at the end of early game, a lot of players underestimate how truly devastating two whole seconds of zero mobility is. No flash, no dash, no sir. All while you're pumping them full of stacks of Blighted Quiver to finish them off... if they aren't dead already. Against melee champs, don't be afraid to open with your ult, they will be able to do nothing while you apply sweet sweet doses of loving in the form of debuffs.

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I'm going to briefly cover your core items in this chapter. You're an intelligent chap/lass, I'm sure you can understand where I'll be going with a quick snippet of info.

Nashor's Tooth

This is my rifle, this is my gun, this is for fighting, and this... is the herald of doom for your enemies. This should be your first completed item, no excuses. We have a respectable amount of Ability Power, a generous fifty percent attack speed bonus, an amazing twenty percent cool down reduction (to help you keep popping stacks of blight), and additional AP scaling on-hit damage to supplement Blighted Quiver's passive. A solid item and one half of what makes AP Varus a threat to be reckoned with.

Runaan's Hurricane

Here we have the item that will allow you to carry teamfights. Nashor's Tooth may be the herald, but this is the instrument of their destruction.

If you haven't been keeping up, I'd like to remind all of you that the passive damage and stacks of blight from Blighted Quiver and damage from Nashor's Tooth are all considered on-hit effects.

When a teamfight start, you start shooting, and you don't stop shooting. Three auto attacks? Hit them with Chain of Corruption. People are still alive? Keep shooting buddy, keep shooting until you've executed three additional auto attacks. Give them the old Hail of Arrows, slowing them in their tracks. Have any more stragglers? You should be able to just kill them with auto attacks at this point, but if you love playing Varus as the sniper, get a few more auto attack on them, and let that Piercing Arrow fly!

Ability Power items

You can't go wrong with any of these items. Obviously, if the AP top or jungle got a little fed you might want to exchange the Zhonya's Hourglass for an Abyssal Mask. What I'm trying to get at here is you need to stack as much AP as you can. You are an AP hungry champion. It is one of your only weaknesses. Just make sure to have as much as you can, and you'll be fine.

You'll want another CDR item, and I recommend Deathfire Grasp, although Ionian Boots of Lucidity is a solid choice if you'd prefer to build another item. I'm just a guide, not your mother, choose for yourself.

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Here at the end I'd like to just say a few things. One, this is my first guide, and I hope you all enjoy it. I wasn't expecting it to take so much time with the code and writing, but I got the job done.

This is not a meta build. I'm not Piglet, IMAQTPIE, or any other beloved professional personality. (Hell, I'm a support main who ended up in bronze last season, due to decay, but I digress) I just love League of Legends, and playing a fun game. Do you want to use this build in your promotions? Heck no, I'll come and slap you myself. But if you want to have fun with some friends, I highly recommend playing AP Varus, and breaking the meta.

Until next time, Summoners. Enjoy, and have fun.