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Varus Build Guide by ReaperGaming

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League of Legends Build Guide Author ReaperGaming

Reaper's Guide To The Arrow of Retribution

ReaperGaming Last updated on March 14, 2013
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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


Utility: 0

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About The Author

Hello! My name is Reaper. I'm the captain and primary AD Carry for the new team called, "Lateralus Gaming". We play League of Legends primarily, but also play Starcraft 2 and Dota 2. I'm an older player (Been playing LoL for around 2 years now) and have been playing MOBAs/ARTs for the past 8-10 years starting with Warcraft III Dota by Icefrog.

I stream constantly on


Here's the link to my stream

Here's a video of a Varus Penta-Kill I scored using an unusual build involving Runnan's Hurricane -

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Pros / Cons


Deals Percent Damage
Excellent Poke
Easy to Last Hit Mechanic
Great CC
Great Team Fight Capability


No Escape
Squishy in general
all abilities are skill shots (Requiring higher skill-cap)

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Summoner Spells

Flash - Always useful, and since Varus doesn't have an escape, this is probably one of the best summoner spells you can take.

Cleanse - Another amazing summoner spell for Varus, provides you with that escape mechanism from CC or reduce the damage taken from Ignite early in the game.

Other Useful Summoner Spells

Barrier - With Barrier as your second summoner spell, it provides you with a really strong shield that comes in handy the same way cleanse does, as it provides you enough time to escape. another good thing about Barrier is it's dueling capability and team fight potential.

Ignite - Not as necessary for it's grievous wounds ability, but more for extra damage or securing a kill in the early to mid game.

Teleport - Gives good map control / awareness and gank potential, but I'd still prefer other summoner spells over this one.

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Living Vengeance

Passive Ability

On a champion kill or assist, Varus gains 40% attack speed for 6 seconds. On a minion kill, Varus gains 20% attack speed for 3 seconds.

Piercing Arrow

Active Ability

FIRST CAST: Varus starts drawing back his next shot, gradually increasing its range and damage. Maximum range is achieved in 2 seconds.

SECOND CAST: Varus fires, dealing physical damage to all enemies in the arrow's path, reduced by 15% per enemy hit (down to a minimum of 33%).

While preparing to shoot, Varus cannot autoattack or use his other abilities, and his movement speed is slowed by 20%. After 4 seconds, Piercing Arrow is automatically cancelled and half of its mana cost is refunded.

MINIMUM DAMAGE: 10 / 43 / 77 / 110 / 143 (+ 100% AD)
MAXIMUM DAMAGE: 15 / 65 / 115 / 165 / 215 (+ 160% AD)

Blighted Quiver

Passive Ability

Varus' basic attacks deal bonus magic damage. They also apply Blight for 6 seconds, stacking up to 3 times.

Varus' other abilities detonate Blight, dealing magic damage equal to a percentage of the target's maximum health per stack. This damage is capped at 360 against monsters.

ON-HIT DAMAGE: 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 (+ 25% AP)

BLIGHT DAMAGE PER STACK: 2% / 2.75% / 3.5% / 4.25% / 5% (+ 2% per 100 AP)

Hail Of Arrows

Active Ability

Varus fires a hail of arrows that deals physical damage and desecrates the ground for 4 seconds. Desecrated Ground reduces healing effects by 50% and slows enemy movement speed.

PHYSICAL DAMAGE: 65 / 105 / 145 / 185 / 225 (+ 60% Bonus AD)

SLOW: 25% / 30% / 35% / 40% / 45%

Chain of Corruption

Active Ability

Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that infects the first enemy champion hit, dealing magic damage and immobilizing them for 2 seconds. The corruption then attempts to spread towards nearby enemy champions, applying the same damage and immobilize if they stay in range of the infected champion for 2 seconds. The corruption will continue to spread until there are no further targets in range, but each champion may only be infected once per cast.

MAGIC DAMAGE: 150 / 250 / 350 (+ 100% AP)

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Flat Attack Damage Quints (+6.8)
Flat Attack Damage Marks (+8.5)
Flat Armor Seals (+13)
Magic Resist Per Level Glyphs (+24 @ Level 18)

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The Build

Starting Items

Doran's Blade - Start off with this if you're comfortable with Varus, and have a decent support.

Boots of Speed + Health Potionx3 - Good start if you want mobility with good sustain from harass.

Early Game To Mid Game

Berserker's Greaves - You'll want to get these sooner or later. They provide good attack speed, and mobility.

The Bloodthirster or Infinity Edge?

The Bloodthirster is generally the more preferable one. It gives great sustain, and on top of that good damage and scaling into the later stages of the game. Get this if you're about even with your laning opponent.

Infinity Edge provides great burst, but lacks sustain in lane. Only get this if you're crushing your laning opponent (25+ CS ahead and multiple kills on top of that)

Phantom Dancer or Blade of the Ruined King Get one of these after your initial item has been bought (either Infinity Edge or Bloodthirster.).

Soon after receiving your second item, proceed to buy the item you didn't but earlier. If you went for The Bloodthirster earlier on, now would be the time to start Infinity Edge

Late Game

Infinity Edge - This item should be done by the late game. If not, prioritize this over anything else.

Last Whisper - It's armor penetration + Infinity Edge provides you with even stronger critical damage.

Guardian Angel - This item can be swapped out with a few other defensive items depending on the situation. If they have a lot of AD Randuin's Omen wouldn't be a bad call. If they have high AP and CC Mercurial Scimitar would be an even better pickup that GA because it provides more MR and the Quicksilver Sash active ability.

Other Viable Items

Runaan's Hurricane - I like this item for it's ability to stack Blighted Quiver on multiple people at once, but at the cost of no crit chance.

Statikk Shiv - Another good item that provides decent attack speed and crit. chance, it's proc can also crit up to 250 damage. It's good for clearing waves or good for it's team fight potential. It's late game isn't as good as Phantom Dancer though.

Good Defensive Items

Banshee's Veil - Spell Shield is handy for minor CC or burst and gives you a good chunk of HP/Mana to boot.

Mercurial Scimitar - Provides more Magic Resist than Guardian Angel and provides you the Quicksilver Sash active ability for escaping CC

Warmog's Armor - Makes you extremely healthy, just prolonging your life in team fights / engagements.

Randuin's Omen - Provides large portion of HP and armor. The passive and active are decent as well for escaping bruiser harassment.

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Counters To Varus


Toughness Scale: 8/10
Graves is a good counter to Varus because he can dash right in to a fight, avoiding your poke and deal a ton of burst damage. His passive allows him to be able to duel you effectively and usually come out on top until late game.


Toughness Scale: 7/10
Sivir's poke is much better as it doesn't lose it's damage going through minions. It has about the same range as well. On top of that her Spell Shield can absorb your harass and giving her mana sustain.


Toughness Scale: 8/10
Tristana early game is pretty squishy, and can't take a whole lot. But transitioning into the late game she out carries Varus tremendously with her attack speed and damage. If you try to get her with Chain of Corruption she can just knock you back to wait off the time.

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Who Varus Counters


Toughness Scale: 3/10
Varus's slow stops Draven from easily harassing, and on top of that, Varus can out-range Draven pretty easily with Piercing Arrow


Toughness Scale: 3-4/10
Ciatlyn's auto attack range is longer, but varus doesn't have to get as close as other ADC's to do damage. Her Piltover Peacemaker is easier to dodge than Varus's Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows provides a really strong slow to keep her in place.


Toughness Scale: 4/10
Vayne is pretty squishy as an AD Carry and has to be closer to dish out more damage and land a decent Condemn. With Chain of Corruption You can keep her in place long enough to deal a tremendous amount of damage.

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Thanks for taking the time to read this guide. It's my first and hopefully not my last as I learn more about other AD Carries and the newer items in new seasons to come. All feedback is much appreciated and I'll use every little bit of it. Any questions you can PM me or send me an email -