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Varus Build Guide by Aenemius
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Varus is the League's latest AD carry - and like this guide's title suggest, is made of nothing but ownage. His mechanics borrow from a number of accepted strong champions including Vayne, Miss Fortune, and his fellow archer Ashe. However, it's the how and why Varus' skills behave the way they do which make him such a terror in lane, and an absolute nightmare in teamfights.
Riot's official champion spotlight:/league-of-legends/item/trinity-force-63
- 2012-05-08 | Varus released on NA server. Testing begins with custom games vs Graves for tolerances, followed by custom 3v3 and open pvp matches.
- 2012-05-09 | Initial build recorded, testing continues.
- 2012-05-10 | Build's item list updated to reflect comments from Mobafire discussion and team feedback - Wit's End replaces Force of Nature for MR and attack speed. Cred to MajorLoL and Fenix Darkblaze for suggestions.
- 2012-05-12 | Added Ciderhelm's "Don't Feed Varus" to comments on teamwork.
How good have I been doing? I've screencapped my match history with the most recent match stats shown - we forced a surrender pretty handily, so I didn't manage to finish the build. I bought Frozen Mallet, scored 2 kills, and the game ended.
Fairly standard AD masteries - though I've chosen to trade out the lifesteal most people get for Havoc instead. With a Doran's Blade, or building a quick Wriggle's Lantern as I do, the extra 3% from the mastery isn't much help compared to the additional early damage.
I run with full Armor Penetration, rather than a mix of flat AD marks and quints, to deal with early ganks. Since most junglers build armor rather than health or anything else to start, the extra armor penetration makes my poke-backs that much more annoying, and discourages repeated ganks.
Later on, of course, the extra 9 or so AD from masteries isn't as big of a deal - so armor pen is a better choice in the long run, I think.
|Flash is a go-to for me because of it's versatility. Need to chase? Flash ahead. Need to escape? Flash over a wall. Unless you're Hecarim and need Ghost for mobility, Flash is definitely a top choice.|
|If you're being backed by a support, or know you're playing against highly aggressive champs, Heal's a fantastic spell on any carry for sustain. While being a ranged carry means positioning for ganks is less chancy (you're not often in an enemy champ's face), Heal still gets you out of some horrible situations handily.|
Note: Exhaust is almost a must in laning with Varus, since he has no direct gap closer. While Piercing Arrow has a massive range, it's not a blink skill, so quick enemies can get out of range faster than it scales.
|Living Vengeance grants an attack speed buff on every kill - larger for champion kills. The buff is significant; 40% on champ kills. It's telegraphed by a colour change on Varus' bow; red for minion kills and white for champ kills.|
|Piercing Arrow is a double-tap skillshot which charges with the first press (increasing both range and damage), and releases toward the cursor on second press. It's Varus' gap closer replacement and is hugely effective for both early sniping, and late-game teamfights and farming.|
|Blighted Quiver is a non-active skill which adds a debuff to each of Varus' attacks, stacking 3 per target and remaining for 6 seconds after being applied. It's detonated for %Max-Health damage by Varus' other skills. At max level, and using strong timing, this skill eats 20% of a target's max health - in addition to the damage from the skill which detonated the debuffs.|
|Hail of Arrows is an AoE skill which applies a slow and heal-reduce to the ground struck by the skill. This is a huge help both in escaping (due to slow) and chasing down kills (heal reduction and slow) - as well as detonating Blight when it's been applied.|
|Chain of Corruption is a skill shot nuke which roots target champions - and spreads to root and damage nearby champions, detonating any Blight stacks applied to them. This ult is amazing for team fights or breaking up turtled enemy teams, due to the spread - as it can easily allow Varus to get into position for a multiple strike with Piercing Arrow, or allow for other AoE ults ( Galio and Nunu & Willump come to mind) to be positioned excellently as well.|
||Because of Varus' base stats, starting off with Madred's Razors into Wriggle's Lantern and the usual Infinity Edge is far stronger than rushing Zeal and IE as most AD carries do. Varus benefits far more from the free ward Wriggle's grants in his early game - and then from the on-hit slow on Frozen Mallet later on, because he has no gap closers. Phantom Dancer is an excellent item on Varus - however, Frozen Mallet is also strong due to the added health, the slow, and extra damage. Varus' passive speed buff from kills means additional damage is always a good choice; and the critical chance from IE helps as well.|
Recommended AD Items
Before you flame me - yes, Varus is an AD Carry, so yes, at least two of these three items are absolutely requisite for him to be effective at any given point in the game.
Anyone can argue that varrying item builds, and staples such as Black Cleaver or Last Whisper will work on Varus as a ranged carry - most ranged AD players I know don't use Frozen Mallet, and never use Trinity Force - but this set of items, for it's particular group of benefits, are the gold standard for a reason.
As with all things, build to suit your play style - what's above just works best for me based on mine. I don't mind sacrificing a little movespeed and critical chance from Phantom Dancer in favor of the slows and health on Frozen Mallet, for example. Besides that, my early game as a carry is much stronger with Wriggle's Lantern than it is with a rushed B.F. Sword or pair of Doran's Blades. But this is me. You need to build like you, and work with the situation you're in, especially on someone like Varus.
||Varus really brings the CC and support tanks back into the game in a strong way. If you build for lifesteal and just a little sustain early on, the massive harass from any of Maokai, Leona, or Taric will help you keep your opposing lane under your heel firmly. Even stronger sustain lanes, like Ashe/ Soraka can barely keep up with these combinations, because of Varus' range.|
With strong AoE champs on your side - again, Leona or Nunu & Willump - initiating on a plan can make a teamfight both inescapable, and terrifyingly quick.
Similarly, attacking even two or three enemy champs during the engage, and detonating your Blight marks with either E or Q in the middle of a fight, can turn a rumble into a slaughter really fast.
In short, Varus is exceedingly fun, especially if you're used to ranged carries like Ashe and Miss Fortune. I hope you enjoy playing him as much as I do.
If you have any suggestions for building a better Varus, please comment! Thanks again for reading!