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Varus Build Guide by delphiki852

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League of Legends Build Guide Author delphiki852

Varus - Exploding Blight

delphiki852 Last updated on October 10, 2012
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ADC Role
Ranked #14 in
ADC Role
Win 47%
Get More Stats

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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Hi, this is my first guide so leave some constructive feedback so I can improve it!

Varus is my favorite ad carry, but I don't build him in the popular way. If you wanna deal lots of burst damage and carry hard late game check it out.

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Varus is a great ad carry and a blast to play.

His w( Blighted Quiver) makes it easy to farm in the early game while at the same time gives you that extra burst damage when attacking enemy champions (minions too but there's no need to burst them down except dragon and baron). He has a nice slow( Hail of Arrows) that helps when going in for the kill or trying to kite away the enemy bruiser. Perhaps his most fun skill is the long range sniper skill, Piercing Arrow. It's one of the most satisfying feelings in the game to snipe the enemy after he thinks he has escaped well within the protection of his own tower. His ult( Chain of Corruption) provides a chain snare that can catch the whole enemy team if they aren't paying attention and basically guarantees a kill at level 6.

Unfortunately for Varus, he is overlooked in the current meta because of his lack of escapes. Champions like Corki, Graves, and Ezreal have built in escapes that allow them to be out of position and still escape, but with Varus your positioning has to be perfect.

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Pros / Cons


    +Easy to farm with
    +Good burst damage
    +Good cc for ad carry with slow and snare
    +Deals % damage so bursts down tanks as well as squishies

    -No escapes
    -Farm dependent

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The runes and masteries are pretty standard for an ad carry.

If you are having trouble positioning yourself in team fights you can switch to 21 0 9 for the extra move speed, but I like having the early game armor and health from the defense tree.

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Summoner Spells

First Summoner

- You really don't have a lot of choices with this one except if you are simply amazing at positioning.

Flash is one of the best positioning spells in the game and is a must on any ad carry. If you're in a bad position, don't worry, just flash away!

Second Summoner

- You have some choices with your second summoner spell that really just depends on your play style.

Heal allows for a quick burst heal giving you some extra time to get your auto attacks in. This is my personal favorite although when laning against a champion with Ignite make sure to use your heal before you are ignited or else it heals for significantly less health.

Ignite is a great skill for picking up early game kills and reducing the healing of enemy champions. This a more aggressive spell and is very helpful in picking up kills after the enemy is out of range with it's damage over time.

Cleanse is a must against any team with heavy cc. Varus doesn't have any escape abilities so if he gets stunned in a team fight he is likely to get burst down immediately. Take Cleanse if you are in a heavy cc lane ( Leona, Taric, Ashe, etc) or if you notice a lot of cc on the enemy team.

Exhaust is a very useful skill for slowing down enemies while also reducing their attack speed. Typically this is taken on the support but if you want better kiting abilities or better 1v1s vs the enemy ad carry take Exhaust.

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Living Vengeance

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

This passive allows for easy farming because of the attack speed increase, but its most useful purpose is for poking the enemy ad carry/support. While in lane always try and begin your fights or your pokes after you have killed a minion so you have the 20% attack speed increase. This can make a big difference, especially in early game skirmishes.

Piercing Arrow

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.

This is a very a fun skill, but try to avoid using it to harass the enemy. While charging the arrow you move slower and broadcast that you are going to try and attack the enemy. With that in mind they should be prepared to dodge it so try and anticipate where they will dodge. This skill deals damage to all minions and champions that it hits so you push your lane if it hits any of the minions which leaves you as a prime target for ganks. You should save this skill for when you have accumulated 3 blight stacks on your target and you have already used Hail of Arrows.

The main use of this skill should be to snipe the enemy as they are retreating back to their tower and should never be fully charged unless you need the max range to hit your enemy. Varus needs to auto attack in order to deal optimum damage and if he is charging his arrow during a fight, he isn't doing his job.

Blighted Quiver

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% (+2% of ability power) of the target's maximum health per stack.

This damage is capped against monsters.

This is your main source of damage. Early game it deals extra damage which helps with farming as well as poking. Mid to late game when the blight is exploded it deals great damage based on % health of the target allowing you to burst down tanky champions.

When fighting champions or strong neutral monsters, Dragon , Baron Nashor , etc, you should always make sure to use a skill after you have 3 stacks on the enemy. Detonating the blight before 3 stacks loses you a lot of burst damage and you can only accumulate 3 stacks on a champion so detonating at 3 stacks allows you to obtain 3 more stacks to detonate again.

Hail of Arrows

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%.

This is your main attack skill. After you have put the first 3 blight stacks on the enemy champion, use this to detonate the stacks while slowing them and reducing healing. Using this as the first skill prevents the enemy from escaping allowing for at least 1 more blight explosion. If things are going south, the early slow will allow you to make a quick escape before you have lost very much health while still dealing a solid chunk of damage.

Chain of Corruption

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.

This is a great cc tool, especially for an AD Carry. Ideally, you should use this after you have accumulated 3 blight stacks on your target for optimal damage, but leading with it (similar to how you use Ashe's ult) at level 6 will typically pick you up a quick kill.

In team fights try and save your ult until you can snare a champion in the middle of the team so that it spreads to as many enemies as possible. If you are targeted in team fights by the enemy bruiser, use your ult to keep as much distance as possible between you and them. Land your ult then three quick auto attacks and then Hail of Arrows. Make sure to kite away from them making effective use of the slow and hopefully you can kill them before they even get to you.

The skill sequence that I am working with is still going through a little bit of testing so if you have an opinion on the way you think it should be let me know.

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Core Items

Standard boots on an ad carry because the extra attack speed is always nice for any auto attack champion.
Great sustain from the lifesteal and a ton of damage to boot.
More attack speed allowing you to land those 3 blight stacks faster and dish out that amazing auto attack damage. The increased crit chance isn't bad too!
Armor penetration that allows you to deal as close to true damage as possible.

Situational Items

250% crit damage! With Varus's large burst damage from his blight stacks he doesn't necessarily "need" this item, but if the game goes later than 30 minutes you have to pick one up or become out damaged by the enemy ad carry.
This item is a combination of Phantom Dancer and Last Whisper but in my opinion worse than each of them. This is still a good item, but if you have the other two then it doesn't really serve a purpose.
Provides armor, magic resist, and revives you upon death. An amazing item if you are getting targeted down first in team fights. Allows you to pop right back up and continue fighting, but make sure that your team tries to keep the other team off of you when you revive or else you will simply die again in a matter of seconds.
Health, mana, magic resist, and blocks a spell every 45 seconds. A great item for nullifing burst damage from the AP or avoiding a bind/stun that would leave you out of position.
Great for escaping from cc. This is a must buy against heavy cc teams when you didn't take Cleanse.

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Item Sequence

Level 1

Boots of Speed and 3 Health Potions. This start gives you high early mobility and some sustain from the health potions.

First back

Poor Farm - Doran's Blade or Dagger if you can't afford Doran's Blade and a couple Health Potions. The Doran's Blade will give you some extra damage to help you farm and some additional survivability.

Medium Farm - Berserker's Greaves and Doran's Blade. The extra move speed is always nice and Varus does well with early attack speed because of the bonus damage from his Blighted Quiver. Buy some Health Potions if you used up all of your original potions or getting poked a lot.

High Farm - Berserker's Greaves and 2 Doran's Blades. If you are completely dominating the lane and have no fear of being poked then you can skip the Doran's Blades and buy a B.F. Sword if you can afford it.

Second Back

After you have Berserker's Greaves and 2 Doran's Blades

Poor Farm - Vampiric Scepter and if you are really struggling you can consider buying another Doran's Blade.

Medium Farm - B.F. Sword and Vampiric Scepter if you can afford it.

High Farm - The Bloodthirster

Note - Feel free to sell a Doran's Blade if you are short a couple hundred gold from completing your The Bloodthirster or B.F. Sword.

After you have obtained your The Bloodthirster you should build your Phantom Dancer building Zeal -> Dagger -> Cloak of Agility -> Phantom Dancer.

With your Berserker's Greaves, The Bloodthirster, Phantom Dancer, and possibly 2 Doran's Blades you should deal a large amount of damage. The item build from here branches a little bit.

Enemies are building armor - Last Whisper
Enemies are targeting you in every team fight - Guardian Angel.
Fed AP Carry - Negatron Cloak -> Guardian Angel or Banshee's Veil.
Fed AD Carry - Chain Vest -> Guardian Angel.
Getting swamped by cc - Quicksilver Sash.
No armor and no one is fed - Infinity Edge.

In the end your build should look similar to this:
Boots - Berserker's Greaves
Damage - The Bloodthirster and/or Infinity Edge
Armor Penetration - Last Whisper
Attack Speed - Phantom Dancer
Defense - Guardian Angel, Banshee's Veil, or Quicksilver Sash

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Farm Farm Farm! Try to farm up as much cs as possible. If you manage to poke the ad carry or support and accumulate 2 or 3 blight stacks make sure to explode the blight with Hail of Arrows or Piercing Arrow. You should have a higher burst than the other ad carry, except Graves. When you hit six lead with Chain of Corruption and move in for the kill.

Skill Order

Harass/Poke - Auto attack and then explode blight with either Hail of Arrows or Piercing Arrow
Fighting before Ult - 3 Attacks -> Hail of Arrows -> 3 Attacks -> Piercing Arrow
Fighting with Ult - 3 Attacks (if possible) -> Chain of Corruption -> 3 Attacks -> Hail of Arrows -> 3 Attacks -> Piercing Arrow

If you have burned through all of your skills and your enemy isn't very low on health RETREAT! You are a bursty champion so if your bursts didn't deal a lot of damage then you probably need to look for an escape route.

Lane Opponents

Because of Varus's lack of escapes he has an incredibly hard time when laning against some supports bot lane.


Leona, Alistar and Blitzcrank. They have lots of cc that make it almost impossible for you to get away if you are even remotely out of position. Play very conservatively and don't feed the enemy ad carry. If this is a draft pick game make sure to grab Cleanse. Try and get your support to ward the lane bushes so you have a better chance of dodging their cc.


Taric and Nunu. Taric has a stun and high burst potential so try and always keep an eye on him so you can move away when he goes to stun you. Nunu has a very strong slow that can be devastating if you are poorly positioned. Warding the lane bushes will make the lane considerably easier.

Ezreal and Graves both have escape skills that allow them to dodge one of your skills if they are paying attention. If they do you will probably lose the fight so you should try and withdraw if you can. Your skills do a lot of damage, so if one misses you just lost a large chunk of your fighting power.

Ashe has a ton of cc and her ult stuns instead of just snares like Varus's. You can probably trade with her 1 on 1, but if she catches you out of position at all it is almost impossible to get away.


All other supports shouldn't pose too much of a problem for Varus.

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Team Fights

As the ad carry, your positioning in team fights will typically make the difference between a winning engagement and a losing one. Always position yourself towards the back of the team and never engage first except when you see an opportunity to catch someone out of position with your ultimate. Try to keep auto attacking as much as possible targeting the closest enemy champion. Never sacrifice your positioning to try and attack a "high priority" target. Your job is to auto attack and deal as much damage as possible so if you die trying to attack a specific target your team just lost a whole bunch of damage.

Typically the enemy bruiser will try to target you and take you down as quickly as possible. Make sure to kite away from him while dealing as much damage as possible. Land your ult on him first to keep him away followed by your slow ( Hail of Arrows). Your Blighted Quiver does damage based on % of max health so you should be able to burst down their tanky bruiser in no time and get back to the team fight to lay down massive damage.

Problem Champions

Olaf - Unfortunately there isn't a lot you can do against him. If he is targeting you, which he should be, simply run away from him and tell your team to target him down as fast as possible. His ult plus ax is a nightmare for Varus. If you can outlast his ult then catch him with a Chain of Corruption and kite him till he dies.
Jax - When he jumps on you with his Leap Strike flash away immediately and ult him. Then follow with your combo like normal kiting away until you get the kill.
Nocturne - When he ults you simply flash away and ult him back. You might not be able to get away from his fear but since he is snared by your ult he wont be able to do a ton of damage to you. Kite with Hail of Arrows and get the kill.