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Varus Build Guide by Imthebat

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League of Legends Build Guide Author Imthebat

Varus, Archer of the Apocolypse

Imthebat Last updated on May 16, 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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Ahhhh, Varus. He's a top-notch champ and probably one of the best pushers in the game. Chances are, if you are playing Varus, You will lead your team as the AD Carry. That means dealing lots of damage quickly. While most guides focus on champ kills alone, this one will teach you how to build an over all more effective farm, 1v1 AND team combat Varus.

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Unique Skills

So whats so great about Varus? Well, where to start? His range is unmatched. His ability to stop an opponent from leaving battle and/or halt them in their tracks is invaluable. His Blighted Quiver makes farming a breeze, while not having to use mana to accomplish mass creep kills quickly. Overall, he's a bully. He can push hard and fast while remaining at a distance, avoiding any and all damage. He's hard to beat, hard to push, and hard to escape from. Could you ask for more?

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Pros / Cons


    Strong AD and Carry; great for pushing lanes
    Superb Range
    Excellent Trapping capabilities (i.e. Hail of Arrows and Chain of Corruption)


    Chain attacks (Varus' strong point) depletes mana extremely quickly
    No defensive spells

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Greater Mark of Desolation

(+1.66% Armor Penetration x9) - Varus is a DPS Machine. Using this mark will help you dish out greater amounts of damage, especially to those pesky tanks.

NOTE: Some may also like straight physical damage, but i find that only helps push in the beginning of the match. Once you purchase +55, +60, or +80 damage items, +9 physical damage doesn't really do much for you.

Greater Glyph of Resilience

(+1.41 Armor x9) - Keeping Varus around for the final phases of team combat is important, because that is when Varus' wrath really comes in handy. Armor will keep you in battle longer, and will help with 2v1 or 3v1 situations that can be tough to escape. It could be the difference between life or death.

Greater Seal of Warding

(+1.34 Magic resist x9) - Whether it's Ryze, Taric, Veigar or Karthus, facing off against casters is inevitable, and regular armor isn't going to cut it. These runes will help keep you in combat against any foe with magic at their fingertips.

Greater Quintessence of Desolation

(+3.33% Armor Penetration x3) - These runes make Varus Arrows even tougher to compete with, and really help with taking down the enemy tank.

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Summoner Spells

Living Vengeance (Passive)

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

Piercing Arrow (Q)

"Varus starts drawing back his next shot, gradually increasing its range and damage, then he fires it, dealing minimum 10/43/77/110/143 (+1.0 per attack damage) to maximum 15/65/115/165/215 (+1.6 per attack damage) physical damage, reduced by 15% per enemy hit (minimum 33%). While preparing to shoot, Varus cannot autoattack or use abilities, and his movement speed is slowed by 20%. After 4 seconds, Piercing Arrow fails but refunds half its mana cost. "

Blighted Quiver (W)

"Varus' basic attacks deal bonus 10/14/18/22/26 (+0.25 per ability power) magic damage and apply Blight for 6 seconds (stacks 3 times). Varus' other abilities detonate Blight, dealing magic damage equal to 2/2.75/3.5/4.25/5% (+0.01% per ability power) of the target's maximum health per stack.

Hail of Arrows (E)

"Varus fires a hail of arrows that deal 65/105/145/185/225 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage) physical damage and desecrate the ground. Desecrated ground slows enemies' Movement Speed by 25/30/35/40/45% and reduces their healing and regeneration by 50%."

Chain of Corruption (R)

"Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that deals 150/250/350 (+1.0 per ability power) magic damage and immobilizes the first enemy champion hit for 2 seconds. The corruption then spreads towards nearby uninfected enemy champions, applying the same damage and immobilize if it reaches them. The corruption will continue to spread until there are no further unaffected targets in range."

Optional Summoner Spells

The great thing about Varus is his versatility. He can chose from a wide variety of these spells because many of them either enhance his stopping power or add depth to his build.

Top 5 Optional Spells for Varus

Exhaust - With Chain of Corruption and Hail of Arrows already in his arsenal, this spell adds to Varus' existing abilities. Combined with his existing stopping power, it makes him virtually impossible to escape.

Clarity - With all the mana spent on Varus' chain attacks, quick depletion is a problem and can take him out of important battles and/or situations. Having a reload in your back pocket is never a bad thing.

Flash - Even with all his powers, Varus lacks the ability to escape sticky situations quickly. Flash adds that much need depth by giving you a quick getaway. It also allows you to close gaps made by fleeing enemies, and can put you in striking range of your opponent.

Heal - While Varus can dish out the damage in high doses, he has trouble receiving it. This spell can literally mean life or death in tough skirmishes.

Ghost - The use of ghost with Varus is two-fold. First, it gives you the ability to get away quickly from any tough spot. Second, it can help get you to a battle swiftly, and hopefully, in time to help out.

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Possible Start Items

Boots of Speed/3 Simple Potions - Starting with boots gives Varus the added agility and movement to hunt down or escape his early opponent. It also leaves some left over gold for health(2) and mana(1) potions. These let you stay in battle longer earlier on, giving you the upper hand on farming and builds.

Dorian's Blade - Providing +80 health, +10 Attack damage and +3% life steal, Dorian's Blade is a very viable first purchase option.

Vampiric Scepter - With +10% life steal, Vampiric Scepter keeps Varus in battle and farming. It also provides a quick start to Bloodthirster.

Attack Damage Items

Bloodthirster - Built from a Vampiric Scepter and a BF Sword; This item will bring both heavy attack damage(+60/stacks +1 per kill up, caps at +40) and life steal(+12%/Stacks 0.2% per kill, Caps at +8%). It brings big damage fast that just gets bigger while keeping you in the game.

Infinity Edge - Built from a BF Sword, Pickaxe, and a Cloak of Agility; Infinity edge not only pumps your AD by a whopping +80 and gives you a +25% critical hit chance, but it also increases your critical damage by 50%.

Last Whisper - Giving Varus +40 attack damage and increasing armor penetration by 40%, this is a great early to mid game purchase for a quick damage boost.

Speed Items

Berserker's Greaves - Boosts movement speed to movement 2 (+70) and pumps up Varus' attack speed by 25%

Phantom Dancer - Boosting movement speed by 15%, attack speed by 55% and critical hit chance by 30%, Varus benefits from this item massively.

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Game Play

Put simply, Varus needs a lot of creep kills early to complete a full build. Alternating between Piercing Arrow and Blighted Quiver early on will help you keep the balance between farming and harassing with ease. Use Hail of Arrows for slowing your opposition or to set of your blight. Using it for direct damage will do little, so save it for those chain attacks, and keep your enemy in range rather than just dishing out minor amounts of damage. Lastly, Chain of Corruption used at the beginning of 1v1 combat almost ensures a kill if you follow up and keep the pressure on.

Just one major rule: DON'T WASTE MANA. When the time comes to attack an enemy, you'll need everything in your arsenal to achieve your full potential. Don't be tempted to fire off Hail of Arrows into a group of creeps. It will cost you more in mana than the little bit of damage you do to them. CONSERVE.

3 Effective Chain Attacks

Early Game: Blight-> Blight-> Hail of Arrows-> Blight-> Piercing Arrow

Mid Game: Chain of Corruption-> Blight-> Blight-> Hail of Arrows-> Blight-> Piercing Arrow

Late Game: Blight-> Blight-> Blight-> Chain of Corruption-> Blight-> Hail of Arrows-> Piercing Arrow

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Team Work

Varus is a late player in team battles. Early on in the skirmish, single out an opponent and blight them. Keep your distance. After the first phase of combat is complete and their debuffs have been used unleash Chain of Corruption on your singled out target, immobilizing them and setting off your blight stacks. Blight again, and slow with Hail of Arrows as your tendril of shadows moves to its next victim. Finish off enemy 1 sniping them with Piercing Arrow. Repeat Hail and blight/snipe on any remaining enemies.
When your team is setting up for an ambush Varus should be first to strike. Use Chain of Corruption and Hail of Arrows in quick succession. Back off and let your tanks go to work, picking out one enemy to either eliminate or assist with from cover or from a distance.

Remember, Varus not only deals massive amounts of damage, but he is great for turning the tides of any battle with his immobilizing abilities. Use them wisely.

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Laning Solo

    Move your AD minions up quickly and harass the opposition away before you relax and farm.
    Make it difficult for them to get to you by keeping minions between you at all times.
    Don't chase. Instead, snipe with Piercing Arrow.
    Don't be afraid to use Chain of Corruption on just one enemy.

Laning With a Partner

    Let your partner chase. Take the minions and be happy with the experience and gold.
    Use Hail of Arrows to help out tanking or flee allies. Either way, slowing the enemy will greatly assist your partner in any scenario.
    Snipe off opponents who have run to the security of a turret so your tank won't have to tower dive and lose unnecessary health and/or die.
    Harass the same enemy as your ally from a distance. When enemy help arrives trap them both, finish of the easy kill and gang up on the support for a takedown.

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Everything about Varus screams damage!!! Farm and harass. Repeat. How much damage you do and how quickly you do it will separate you from the rest of the pack. Focus on last hitting the creeps and conserving mana for those devastating chain attacks. Hit hard and fast in a 1v1 skirmish or hold back and finish off the enemy horde late in team battles.