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League of Legends Build Guide Author Linear

Varus - Savior of Ionia (In-Depth)

Linear Last updated on October 30, 2012
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ADC Role
Ranked #13 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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A Very Short Introduction

Hello and welcome to my guide "Varus - Savior of Ionia". In my opinion and experience, Varus is a high attack damage dealer with a % of health magic damage. The fact that Varus has both AD and AP makes him a very cruel and scary ADC. Now without further ado, I present you Varus, the Arrow of Retribution.
Thanks to Riot Games for the Video

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Varus' Story

For his incomparable skill with the bow and his unquestioned sense of honor, Varus was chosen to be the warden of a sacred Ionian temple. The temple was built to contain an ancient pit of corruption so vile that Ionian Elders feared it could envelop the island in darkness. Varus prided himself on his position, as only the most exceptional Ionian warriors were selected for the role. He lived with his family in a nearby village and led a quiet life of disciplined routine until the day the forces of Noxus invaded Ionia. Their shock troops left nothing but death and desolation in their wake, and the temple lay in their path. Varus was forced to make a decision. He was bound by honor to stay and defend the temple, but without him the village's few inhabitants could offer little resistance against the oncoming war machine. Gravely, he chose to fulfill his duty as a warden. The corruption could not be allowed to escape.
His arrows sundered the troops who tried to wrest the temple from him that day. However, when he returned to his village, he found that it had been reduced to a smoldering graveyard. Remorse at the sight of his slain family gave way to overwhelming regret and then to seething hatred. He swore to slaughter every Noxian invader, but first he needed to become stronger. He turned to that which he had sacrificed everything to protect. The pit of corruption would consume him wholly, as a flame devours a wick, but its abominable power would burn within him until he was lost. This was a path from which there could be no return. With grim resolve, he condemned himself to the black flames, feeling malevolent energy bond to his skin... and with it, the promise of ruin. He left, seeking the blood of all Noxians involved with the invasion, a grisly task that eventually led him to the invasion's most infamous perpetrators in the League of Legends.

"The life of an arrow is fleeting, built of nothing but direction and intent."

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Pros / Cons


+ // Strong harasser.
+ // Great farmer.
+ // Ult is multi-targeting.
+ // Deals both kind of damage.
___ ______

- // Has no escape skills.
- // Squishy.
- // Needs farm to shine.
- // Too less skins.

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Summoner Spells

Good for getaways from ganks or just
purely chasing. Remember the tip of
flashing over walls. (Unreplaceable)
Cleanse is too op! I survived so
many times with this summoner skill.
It removes Exhaust and Ignite!

Other Viable Summoner Spells

Ignite is a good kill secure spell.
You can secure kills easily with
that 70-410 true damage!

Heal is one of the very good
summoner spells on ADCs. Countered
by Ignite.
Good for protecting turrets when
people start going backdoor. Don't
underestimate the power of Teleport.

Another spell very similar to
Flash, it is a good spell you
should consider getting.

Terrible Summoner Spells

Why aren't these summoner spells good?

Well, Revive is definitely not needed on ADCs, it has a extremely long cooldown and not very useful.

Clairvoyance is for supports or global skillshots.

Promote = support's job.

Smite = jungler.

Right there, I explained why these 4 are ****py spells for Varus

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Skill Explanation

Gains attack speed from champion
kills/assists(40% for 6 seconds)
or minion kills, 20% for 3 seconds).

Benefits from each attack damage.
Which is a 1 by 1 ratio. Very strong.
Follow the Blighted Quiver combo.
Immobilizes the first champion
it hits for 2 seconds, and any
other champion after. Scales
by per AP. Very good if you
want to go for an AP Varus.
Deals 26 magic damage per attack.
Blight(adds 1 per attack) deals 5% per
stack and can be activated my Q,E,R.
More explained in the next panel.

Slows enemies hit by 25/30/35/
40/45% and reduces healing by 50%.
Dealing 105/145/185/225 (plus
0.6 per bonus AD).

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In-Depth Skill Explanation - "Blighted Quiver"

Blighted Quiver, the skill that makes Varus different from other ADCs. Okay, let's explain this skill once more, deals 10 / 14 / 18 / 22 / 26 (+0.25 per ability power) magic damage and applies Blight for 6 seconds (1 stack per hit, stacks up to 3 times), also 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.

Let's go over how you can use Blight to it's full potential. Okay, let's say you're defending bot against another ADC. You pushed too hard and is vulnerable to ganks, all of a sudden, the enemy ADC decides to initiate without his jungler. Let's assume you're level 6, you would hit him 1-2 times then activate Chain of Corruption which deals 7% + 150 magic damage, hit him three more times then activate Piercing Arrow dealing 10.5%, finally hit him three more times and activate Hail of Arrows a little bit infront of him but still in range so it hits him. Why? It slows him for a longer time. After all that AA him to death!

Math Time!

10.5 + 10.5 + 7 = 28% health + 144 as magic damage (we all know most ADCs don't build MR early game)

That's a hell lot of damage! Now add in all the physical damage you deal to him, he's surely finished!

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greater mark of desolation
greater mark of desolation: I tend to go for arP mark runes instead of AD mark runes for a reason, well first, AD mark runes is made to benefit you early game and a little mid-game, on the other hand, arP mark runes benefit you throughout the whole game almost.
Greater Seal of Armor: I like this for pretty much all ADCs. It provides me higher armor so then my foe can't deal AS much damage to me. Plus, it's a S-ranked rune for seal.
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed: I like the extra attack speed it gives, it helps me to zone my opponent better and farm better, also it helps max my Blight stacks asap! These runes let you have the upperhand against your foe when you're going 1v1 early game.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage: Well, not much to say here, all ADCs either go for this or greater quintessence of desolation, but we're Varus and we already have arP in mark so I choose to take this as quintessence.

Optional Runes

Greater Mark of Attack Damage: This is when you want to go for flat AD. The great part about having this is that the enemy ADC will not initiate the fight against you, but there is a very horrible consequence to this, you won't be going for arP until mid,late game. So just hope you won't go against a tank.
Greater Mark of Attack Speed: I am not very certain this rune will benefit Varus as it would benefit other champions. Since you already have extra attack speed in glyphs, why not go for more damage, but if you insist that AS is best, it's up to you.

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Start Items



I really like starting with Boots of Speed because it allows me to move fast and dodge skillshots. But there's still the choice of Doran's Blade if you want more damage early game to get last hits faster. The choice is up to you, fellow summoner.

Core Items

Like all other ADC champions, you need AD, and the best AD equipment is The Bloodthirster, with its stacks. Then, I go for Phantom Dancer so I can max out my damage output and speed up my Blight stacking speed.

Late Game Items

By late game, you should have your full set (unless people ks from you too much). Then you're good to go. Just remember Varus' ultimate Chain of Corruption is very much like Amumu's ultimate (truly the best teamfight initiating skill).

Optional Items

I personally like Frozen Mallet the best out of the 3, there's that constant slow like Ashe and it also adds health. BUT! If your enemy team has one or two of those really tanky people, get Last Whisper!

New paragraph just for Sword of the Occult, only build this item if you know you won't die much early game or you're having a really noob bot lane that feeds you too much. But remember this, each time you die you lose 1/3 of the stack and when your enemies see you building this, they'll focus you first, also, you're the ADC so they MUST focus you first, unless they're stupid or something.

What to Replace

Replace The Bloodthirster, why? It is also based on kills (minion/champion) to receive attack damage. But again, getting Sword of the Occult has a higher risk of losing stacks than The Bloodthirster.

Replace Last Whisper, why? Both adds armor pen. As I explained before, Last Whisper focuses on people with high armor.

Replace Guardian Angel, this choice is very risky, because Guardian Angel adds both armor and magic resistance PLUS revival. Choose this if you really want to secure kills or your team is winning for sure.

Replace Guardian Angel, this item is basically another Cleanse, it's against those multiple hard cc teams. Pretty useful in my opinion.

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Tips & Tricks

  • Try to activate the Blight combo as much as you can, you can do that when your opponent comes in for last-hits.
  • Cast Chain of Corruption ASAP when you're in a team fight.
  • Try to stay out of the tank's way, example, someone like Amumu and Malphite can change the team fight right from the beginning. In other words, know the distance of their ults when you're playing against them.
  • Try to land your Hail of Arrows on your enemy when they are snared so they reduced heal reduction duration stays for a longer period of time.
  • Landing a few Blights on your opponent can scare him out of your attack range. Use this to your advantage to zoning him good.

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Empty for now, if you happen to try out my guide and have a match history of it, PM me the pic and I'll put in here.

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Well, we're coming to an end to the build, first of all, I'd like to thank you for taking the time and reading my guide, second of all, I'd like to thank JhoiJhoi for her guide on making a guide which can be found here.

Not much to say anymore, so again, thank you for reading my guide, this is Linear and peace out!

Varus is a very underrated ADC champion but a very strong one, so let's not make Varus sad and make him happy by playing him!
Artwork by Lillyfrost

Helped By

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Empty for now until questions are asked.

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Change Log / Patch Log

Change Log:

Sept/28/2012 - Guide Published

Sept/28/2012 (9:52) - In-Depth Skill Explanation: "Blighted Quiver" added

Sept/29/2012 - Tips & Tricks section added

Oct/05/2012 - Summoner Spells section edited and Varus' Story added

Oct/28/2012 - Spell sequence and item sequence changed, new optional item quick silver sash added

Patch Log:

Late September - No change.