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Varus Build Guide by Exarion Genesis

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Exarion Genesis

The Retribution. Guide to Varus ADC

Exarion Genesis Last updated on November 5, 2012
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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

Strength of Spirit

Utility: 0

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Hello everyone, this is a guide to Varus. He is currently one of my best AD Carries, and in this guide, I will try my best to show you how to play Varus and what to build on him. Starting with Runes and Masteries, and working our way down to farming and Team Work.

(This guide has a little color to it, I tried to make it a little more interesting. However, if it gets annoying, or too much, please let me know and I'll change the colors.

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Runes & Masteries

For runes and masteries, I like to focus on getting as much attack damage at the start as possible. With a little boost in armor and health as well. Since you will be starting with boots and health pots, try to get runes that will raise your attack damage and health, to make up for a Doran's Blade at the start.

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Start of the Game: Varus, is a very slow champion at the start of a match, so it is recommended to start off with Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions at the start of a match. (getting Attack Damage runes and Health runes, will help you deal more damage, stay in lane a bit longer, survive fights, and get creeps a little bit easier.)

Lane: The next time you go back to base, you would want to look into Dorans blades and a Vampiric Scepter. I recommend getting TWO Doran's Blades and ONE Vampiric Scepter. Each Doran's Blade will give you +3% lifesteal, 10+ damage, and + 80 health. Totaling up to +6% lifesteal, +20 Damage, and +160 Health Points.

After you have gotten these items, you would want to look into some more movement speed. Berserker Greaves work great with Varus because not only does it give him bonus movement speed, it also gives him bonus attack speed. After Varus kills a minion/monster/champion, he gains a huge boost in attack speed, making berserker greaves, an excellent choice for Varus.

Your next item, will be a B.F. Sword, so make sure you are getting all the minions in bottom lane and getting kills as often as you can. After you get the B.F. Sword, you want to get Infinity Edge right after, following up with some more attack speed. After Infinity Edge, you would want to get Phantom Dancer. Phantom Dancer gives you an extra +55% attack speed and 12% movement speed! Which works greatly with Varus' passive and since he is a pretty slow champion, the Phantom Dancer will give him a nice boost in movement speed so you can chase down stray enemies, or escape fights much easier.

For now, we are going to keep just the Vampiric Scepter as it is, because you do not need a lot of Lifesteal right now. So let's now focus on more important items. About this time, the enemies will have a bit of armor to their build. Getting a Last Whisper will shread through the enemy's defenses and you will get kills a bit easier. Last Whisper is a key item on Varus. Giving him 40% Armor Penetration, and +40 Attack Damage. Make sure you build this object as quickly as you can after your Phantom Dancer.

Late Game: Now that the game has been going on for a while, and fights are happening more frequently, we will need some sustain and items that could help you greatly in team fights. I recommend getting a Guardian Angel before you finish off your Bloodthirster. Now at this point, you will have sold your Dorans Blades so you have room to get these two objects. Getting Guardian Angel will increase your armor by 68, and your Magic Resist by 38. Also, if you were to die while having this item, (when the Unique Passive is up) you will be resurrected on the spot with 750 health, and 375 mana. This ability has a 5 minute cooldown, so be sure to use it when you need it most.

The Bloodthirster is going to come right after Guardian Angel to greatly increase your damage output, and get a bit more sustain in lanes with a huge boost in lifesteal. The Bloodthister gives 60 attack damage, and 12% lifesteal, however, when you kill an enemy minion/champion/monster, you will receive a stack on The Bloodthirster which will increase the Lifesteal it gives you and the Attack Damage by an insane amount. A fully stacked Bloodthirster will give you +100 damage and 20% lifesteal, which will greatly increase the damage you deal in fights. However, half the stacks you had are lost upon death, so if you die, try and get your stacks back up as fast as you can.

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Skill Sequence

The Skill Sequence I have chosen for Varus helps deal a lot of damage with Your Piercing Arrow, if you can combine it with a few stacks of your Blighted Quiver. You probably already know this, but Varus deals bonus damage if you charge his Piercing Arrow by holding down your Q key. (if smartcast). This greatly increases the damage dealt to enemies, and it a great way to out poke your enemy, or pick up some epic multikills.

Hail of Arrows is mostly used for its utility to slow down an opponent in order to catch up to them, or to slow the enemies behind you in order to get away. However, it can deal a lot of damage to a group of enemies if you can get a few stacks of Blighted Quiver on them before hand, and then fire it into the heart of the team, taking a chunk of their health away, giving your team, the upper-hand in the team fight.

Another tactic to use to get rid of huge chunks of the opponents health, is using your Piercing Arrow and shooting it through all of them. However, because it deals less damage for each enemy it passes through, try to aim your Piercing Arrow to deal the most amount of damage to the most important targets.

When using Chain of Corruption, make sure you aim it at an important target first to stop them in their tracks so that you and your team could take them out of the fight as quickly as possible. Since Chain of Corruption travels through other enemies that are nearby the enemy that is already afflicted with Chain of Corruption, more than one enemy can get affected by this ultimate.
Be sure to time his ult well, and try to focus down the most important enemies first to turn the teamfight in your favor very quickly.

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Summoner Spells

The Summoner Spells I like to use are Heal and Flash.

Heal is a great summoner spell to have on an AD carry. Using Heal will increase the chances of living in a fight, and could keep you alive and perhaps get a kill or two as well.

Flash is a very important Spell for Varus, because otherwise, the only other escape he will have, would be either using Chain of Corruption or to use Hail of Arrows to slow the enemies down. Flash can really help you escape fights that are not turning in your favor and can also get you a kill if you are chasing an enemy.


Ignite: Getting the upper hand in any fight is always a good thing. Ignite will deal True Damage over time, and will reduce all healing abilities used on the victim for 5 seconds. Ignite is also a good tool to use on an enemy if you can not chase them down anymore, but they are very close to dying.

Ghost: Ghost can help you either chase down enemies, or escape sticky situations. Ghost increases your Movement Speed by 27% and your champion will ignore unit collision for 10 seconds, making it a great escape tool.

Exhaust: The only time you would want to take exhaust on Varus, is if your team does not have any exhausts. If your team does not have an exhaust, i recommend that you take that instead of heal. Exhaust slows enemy Movement Speed by 40% and reduces the victims Damage by 70%. Exhaust can contribute greatly to any fight. Weakening the enemy's AD Carry can help your team win the fight easier.

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Pros / Cons

1.) Has a great set up to deal a lot of damage from afar.
2.) killing a minion or champion right before you attack a tower, will greatly increase the damage you deal by increasing your attack speed by a very high amount, increasing it even more if the enemy you slain was a champion.
3.) Stacking Blighted Quiver 3 times before you use Piercing Arrow or Hail of Arrows will greatly increase the damage dealt to the enemy.
4.) His snare will stop enemies in their tracks, so be sure to focus the right targets first.

1.) Varus has little to no escapes, so using your Hail of Arrows will decrease the movement speed of the enemies so you can get away.
2.) Varus is really easily caught and does not have great escape moves like Tristana, Corki, or Ezreal.
3.) Piercing Arrow does use a lot of mana so be sure to use it wisely.
4.) In team fights, it is sometimes hard to determine how many stacks an enemy has of Blighted Quiver on them, so try and count your attacks wisely, and then time a Piercing Arrow or Hail of Arrows to deal an immense amount of damage to them as quickly as possible.

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Varus has two ways to get a lot of farm at a time.

The first being his Piercing Arrow, which deals a lot of damage if it is pulled back all the way. In turn, it can either kill a huge line of minions, or severely damage then, making it easier to last hit.

The next being his Hail of Arrows. Which can deal a good amount of damage which can also make it easier to last hit the minions.

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Team Work

Just like all AD Carries, Varus should be kept in the back of the team. Behind the tank, and the solo top and jungle. Along side him should be the support. To make sure he can save the AD Carry just in case they get through your front lines. Being the AD Carry, you are one of the most important people in the team fight. Take your time in lining up a full powered Piercing Arrow to deal the most amount of damage to the enemy. However, you can deal even more if you get stacks on the enemy first before shooting them with your moves.

A key factor in a fight that includes Varus is Chain of Corruption, which can set your team up to kill many immobilized targets. Make sure you focus the enemy AD Carry first to help the fight go in your favor.