Varus Build Guide by IPodPulse
Varus - The Whistle you hear is not the WindBy IPodPulse | Updated on August 18, 2019
Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
Ability Order Q max
Threats & Synergies
Barely a champ at the moment. She suffers too many problems and is weak against every champ. Try not to let her get too many spears in you and stay away from low health minions with a lot of spears in them, a well timed Q will transfer the spears to you and can deal a good amount of damage. Her hopping speed is really slow in the early game, try to use skill shots on her when she doesn't have the chance to hop.
She has a more heavy AD build in the early game, a built in AS boost, and a way to get jump on top of you. She can deal a lot of damage if she gets a maxed explosive charge. Try to keep distance whenever she places her explosive charge on you and wait for it to run out. If possible, try and use chain of corruption to root her in place so she cannot rocket jump on top of you. Keep as much distance as you can and deny her the best possible use of her abilities.
A fairly even lane. Try to avoid her press the attack + void seeker combo, especially at low health. Hitting skill shots shouldn't be too difficult. She can only use her ultimate if she has plasma on you or your support. Try to initiate fights against her and burst her down before she has a chance to use her ultimate. Take note of her evolutions, Icathian rain is fairly easy to get at level 8 and gives her a big power boost.
Be cautious of his Bio-Arcane Barrage and try to keep your distance when he uses it, maximum % health damage is a threat to everyone. When Bio-Arcane Barrage is down, look for a trade or an engage, he is at his weakest during this period.
She has a lot of poke with her Volley, so try to stay behind minions to avoid damage. She becomes a much bigger threat when she hits level 6 and gets her ultimate. Fight her when you have Flash up or if you can cc her long enough to kill her before she has a chance to use her ultimate.
Stay behind minions to avoid damage and deny kleptomancy. He can buffer your chain of corruption with arcane shift, or dodge it completely. Try to engage when arcane shift is down or if he uses it too aggressively. You can try baiting arcane shift with hail of arrows.
Stay away from angles that can get you hit by piercing light. Press the attack will make his damage more significant, so take that into consideration when trading with him. He has a dash, so you can try to predict it, or you can bait it out with hail of arrows. Press the attack will increase his ability damage by a lot, take that into consideration when trading.
Though her early game is weak compared to other marksman, Vayne can be quite strong. Try to avoid extended fights since silver bolts will inevitably be better. Let her use tumble first before using abilities to increase your chance on hitting them. Late game Vayne is a monster, try to deny her any chance of getting ahead by denying minions waves and not giving away kills.
While her long range is obnoxious at times, this is still a fairly even match up. Try to not take free damage and poke back when you can. She will try to use her range advantage to whittle you down. Try to avoid stepping on her traps, a good Caitlyn will be placing traps during fights, so be aware. She also has a dash through 90 calibre net which should be taken into consideration when landing important skill shots.
Take Doran's shield and don't stay in his venom cask. Pay attention to where he is, if you don't see him, assume he is invisible. Unless you know you can kill him, try to disengage with chain of corruption whenever he uses his ultimate. Alternatively you can engage with chain corruption if he is out of place and try to kill him. Buying a pink ward to place in one of the side bushes can be helpful for whenever he is invisible.
Draven is a huge lane bully, and a good Draven is extremely not fun to play against. Ninja tabi's are a good investment to reduce his high auto attack damage. Depending on how he and his support play, you will need to adjust your play style. If he is playing aggressive, play safe and accept that some minions will be lost. If they are playing passive, you can try to match. If they are paired with a healing support, poke can be obsolete. Save your abilities and mana for smart fights or when your jungler ganks.
Always be aware of where her feathers are placed, if she recalls them and you get snared, you can be in a position to die. She can dodge chain of corruption with her ultimate, so either wait for her to use her ultimate or you can be risky and try to catch her out with chain of corruption before she has a chance to react. When paired with Rakan, her threat level becomes a 4
Not too difficult of a lane, just be aware of your position. Try not to stand behind any minions that she can kill with double up. Her auto's deal additional damage on the first hit, meaning she will try for short trades and damage from double up. Try not to be in a position where you will always get hit by bullet time, give yourself lots of space if you can.
Jhin deals a lot of early game damage due to how his passive calculates attack damage. Try to keep your distance from minions he uses dancing grenade on, especially if the minions die from the ability. Jhin's fourth shot deals increased damage based on your missing health. Try to trade and poke him when he uses his fourth shot on a minion or whenever he is reloading. Catching him out with chain of corruption can result in a kill since like Varus, Jhin lacks mobility.
Spell shield is a fairly big counter to Varus, so try to bait it out by either using hail of blades or getting your support to use one of their abilities. Never try to engage when her spell shield is available. Her boomerang blade can deal a lot of damage if it hits a single target, try keep your distance and only close the distance when she wastes her boomerang blade. Her ultimate is both a good disengage and engage tool. Expect it to be used when the enemy jungler ganks, or if the enemy bot lane is losing the fight.
Jinx has really good DPS with Pow-Pow, and good poke with Fishbones. Try to avoid her flame chompers and don't stay too close to minions to avoid the AoE from her rockets. Jinx snowballs really well, try not to give too many kills and play safe if you need to. If you can lock her down, you can likely get a kill
Soraka offers great healing, a point and click silence, and some decent poke. The two of you have good poke and a good lock down with chain of corruption and equinox, denying movement, spell and ability casts.
Leona is great for target lock down. Her passive provides extra damage, she has 3 CC abilities, and has great engage. Between the two of you, the cc chain should be enough to secure a kill. Her passive also brings in a lot of damage if her abilities are properly spaced out.
The compatibility of this lane depends on how good your bard is and changes from a 2-4 depending on their skill. Bard has a unique play style that can work with Varus if both you and Bard know what you are doing. His stun can be hit in a surprising number of ways, he leaves health shrines to help you solo lane, and his ultimate can make a 2v2 into a 2v1. Try to identify how good your Bard is during laning phase and adjust your play style accordingly.
One of my favourite supports and a strong enchanter. She has great engage and disengage with her ultimate, her bubble can be used aggressively to make picks or defensively in fights. She has good healing and poke potential. She also provides movement speed when she uses her abilities in allies, which is helpful to Varus and his bad mobility options.
An obnoxious support to lane against and a powerful support to lane with. Yuumi has a lot in power in her kit. She has a skill shot that follows your cursor, meaning she will hit her abilities a vast majority of the time. A missing % health heal that costs half the mana as other enchanters and heals better than those same enchanters. While she does lack a lot of hard engage options like other supports, her kit is strong enough to ignore it.
More like a 3.5/5 but still a good support. Her shield is helpful when trading, during team fights, and the extra AD it provides compensates for Varus's low AD core items. She has good poke damage with her W and her ultimate is fantastic at disengaging the enemy or splitting them up. The issue with Janna is that she doesn't have a lot of great synergies with Varus compared with other supports. That doesn't make her a bad support because her style of supporting is effective in its own right.
Very poke heavy, lot's of damage, and a absolute pain to play against. Zyra is a great support that can follow up extremely well with any engages you create and can often set up fights herself. Her plants offer really good damage and can help turn a fight around. The both of you have really good burst damage together.
Great engage abilities with light healing and shielding. Rakan is a great all around support and makes quick trades really easy. His mobility allows him to get in and out really easily. He adapts well with most marksman.
A squishy but poke heavy enchanter. Sona pairs well with Varus to make a poke oriented lane. She excels in short trades and dealing with passive lanes, like Janna or Yuumi. Varus and Sona can chain their ultimates together for lock down and disengage.
Blitzcrank is great at bringing a champion to you, and freezing him in place long enough for Varus to potentially kill with his full combo. Blitzcrank is excellent for catching out of place enemies or singling someone out.
Similar to Blitzcrank but with a reset mechanic tied to his ultimate. His pull is weaker compared to blitzcrank but can be followed up immediately with a stun. His ultimate offers great clean up opportunities and the gold generation can give your lane a big lead.
Another pull mechanic, but this time focusing on bringing the support closer to the enemies. Thresh has a lot of great disruption and engage tools. It's important to remember that Thresh becomes useless once all of abilities are on cooldown, play around this if you can and keep track of thresh's abilities.
Nautilus has a very wide pull, often picking targets that it seems like it shouldn't. His passive and ultimate provide great lock down opportunities. He is naturally a tanky boi, which can be difficult for enemies to deal with in the early game. However, his large hit box and restriction to melee attacks can leave him vulnerable to taking a lot of damage.
A great poke support with a somewhat reliable CC option and a strong shield. Her shield can help compensate for Varus's low mobility. Her ultimate increases the power of all her basic abilities, providing good adaptability. Varus and Karma is a solid poke lane, although it does lack consistent lock down potential that other supports can offer.
While Lulu lacks consistent healing abilities like her fellow enchanters, she does offer strong utility buffs, a disrupting ultimate, and good peel. Lulu is flexible in fights due to all the options she is given with her abilities. However, she does lack a strong engage option.
Vel'koz has high kill pressure and good poke, but has the same weaknesses that Varus has. His low health and lack of mobility makes him very vulnerable. However, his low mana costs allows him to poke very often. He also has a great all in at level 6. If you can catch someone out with Varus's ultimate, the both of you can deal a lot of damage fast.
Lux is a great aggressive support. She can catch people out with her light binding which can create good trading and kill opportunities. She also has great all in potential at level 6. Her kill pressure and constant poke can be quite difficult for enemies to deal with. She is a safe support who can barrage the enemies with spells from a distance.
Brand is an aggressive support that excels in close quarter situations and fights that can allow him to use his full combo. He offers a lot of great damage and kill pressure during fights. His pillar of flame is a decent poke tool and triggers his passive. If Varus's chain of corruption gives a window of opportunity for Brand to use his full combo, it's a strong synergy that can help snowball kills. However, Brand offers no form of utility, he doesn't build support items, and plays like a mage. This missing utility is a big risk.
Alistar brings in great engage options, a surprisingly decent heal, and a good tower diving opportunities. Alistar can set up trading and ultimate opportunities with his combo. He offers good peel in the late game, but no utility. Similar to Thresh, once his full combo is used, he's in a state of vulnerability.
A non traditional support, with a similar play style to Vel'Koz and the same vulnerability. He offers consistent poke but lacks utility and consistent engage options. His only hard CC option is a skill shot that can be dodged. His good poke makes him an good support, but his lack of utility, low mobility, and bad engage options make him okay instead.
Zilean offers good poke, a movement speed increase, and a second chance at life. He isn't played often but is a decent support. His bombs are a good poking tool that can stun, but is not always reliable. His time warp can make up for Varus's lack of mobility, or slow the enemy down for easy skill shot landing. His ultimate is extremely useful in any fight and forces the enemy to play around it.
Morgana has decent CC options with a snare that last 3 seconds at max rank, and an ultimate that stuns enemies around her. Her tormented soil can be used as a poke tool as well. Morgana is unique due to her black shield that ignores CC. Her long cool downs do leave her in a vulnerable state, so expect the enemies to play aggressive if her spells are down.
Braum is a front line tank that provides great peel and good engage opportunities. His passive is a great way to start fights and is useful for catching people out. His shield is great for denying powerful ranged attacks and enemies off. His size can make it easy for people to land attacks, and his shield can actually make certain abilities easier to hit, like Nami's bubble. Varus and Braum can chain cc well and gives enough time for Varus to use all of his abilities + blights.
Taric is a good mix between tank and enchanter. his play style can be adapted to play more front line or to play behind and focus on healing. His stun is a good cc option, but can be difficult to hit. His ultimate can be a really strong fight tool, but its long delay requires it to be used smartly. He doesn't really synergize with Varus that well, but is a decent support nonetheless.
Tahm recently received a lot of nerfs that left him in a bad spot as a support. His devour now slows him when he picks up an ally and grounds him. He has decent poke damage with his tongue lash and can tank quite well. His ultimate still offers great engage for the team and is a good way to get into a fight fast. Tahm doesn't have any synergies with
Some information about the author and champion
What rune choices does Varus have available to him?
What Summoner Spells are best on Varus?
Abilities + Ability Sequence
What are Varus's abilities, and how should they be maxed?
A chapter dedicated to the itemization of Varus
What to do in and out of laning phase
A thank you for everyone reading and for everyone who helped
Hi there! My name is Pulse and this is my Varus guide. Varus was the very first champion I bought when I started playing league, mostly due to how he was the latest champion at the time, how cool he looked, and my love for bow and arrow characters. He quickly became my favourite character in the game, despite how bad he was. Nowadays, he is in a much better state compared to his original release, reigniting my love to play this champion.
Varus is a marksman, a rather simple marksman at that. His niche revolves around his Q, Piercing Arrow, a long range skill shot that pierces all targets it hits, allowing fantastic snipe opportunities, heavy poke damage, and decent burst when paired with his W, Blighted Quiver. However, he is not without flaws. He has zero mobility options, his kit is entirely skill shot based (aside from Blighted Quiver), and does not have a lot of great matchups. Despite his flaws, Varus is an easy to pick up marksman with a straight forward kit, his easy learning curve makes him a great champion for both new players and bot lane veterans.
I hope this guide can satisfy all your Varus questions and curiosities.
Lethal Tempo is the rune you will be taking most of the time. Lethal Tempo works really well with Varus, the bonus attack speed it provides synergizes with Living Vengeance, allows Blighted Quiver and Blade of the Ruined King to be applied faster, and helps speed up Guinsoo's Rageblade stacks.
Another option you can take would be Fleet Footwork. This rune is useful if you feel like you need the extra sustain in lane. Perhaps you want to focus on farming, or the enemy bot lane is poke heavy. While it isn't as good at Lethal Tempo, it is a solid alternative in the precision tree. Press the Attack is another choice that currently has the highest win rate, granted it also has a low pick rate. This is a decent option when going against tankier opponents, if you want to increase your all in damage in lane, and to increase teammate damage. However, you will lack the defensive qualities Fleet Footwork provides and the synergies Lethal Tempo provides.
Overheal, Triumph, and Presence of Mind are all options available to you. Overheal is best when paired with Fleet Footwork and enchanter support like Nami. Triumph is the most well rounded rune and a life saver in some situations. Most of the time, you'll take this. Presence of Mind is a fun rune that speeds up your ultimate cooldown and can help with mana problems. This does require takedowns, which might not be possible in some lanes. If you're looking for a casual rune to try with friends, this one is worth a shot.
The two choices you have are Legend: Alacrity and Legend: Bloodline. Legend: Alacrity will be the rune you take in practically every game. Attack speed is vital for Varus and Legend: Alacrity helps provide attack speed throughout all stages of the game. Legend: Bloodline should only be taken if you desperately need the sustain in lane or if you feel Blade of the Ruined King won't provide enough healing in the mid and late game.
Once again you have two choices, Coup de Grace and Cut Down. Coup de Grace has been a staple for marksman since runes reforged dropped. the extra damage it deals to low health targets benefits all champions that use the rune. This is the best choice for the vast majority of your games. Cut Down is starting to receive a bit more love and play. The rune is especially useful when trying to take down tank champions, and when paired with Blade of the Ruined King and Guinsoo's Rageblade, Varus becomes more reliable against tank champions. I would recommend trying out the rune against team comps have 3 tank champions.
This is the tree you will be running. Magical Footwear is free boots and extra mobility, which Varus desperately needs. Biscuit Delivery helps with early game sustain and permanently increases your mana cap by 40 with each biscuit consumed, benefiting Varus greatly.
This rune page is meant for lethality Varus and is meant to add extra power and utility to that play style. Arcane Comet is more useful than Lethal Tempo since you are focusing on poking with Piercing Arrow and not auto attacking as often. Manaflow Band helps minimize the mana drain from using Piercing Arrow a lot. Try and proc manaflow every time it's available until you hit the 250 mana cap. Hail of Arrows helps speed this process up due to its large projectile area. Transcendence provides an extra 10% CDR and additional adaptive damage if you go over the CDR cap of 40%. Gathering Storm helps make you more relevant in the mid to late game, where lethality Varus starts to decline.
The inspiration runes are taken for the same reasons as above.
These are some alternatives you can take for Transcendence and Gathering Storm. Absolute Focus can be useful in games where you predict you won't be able to achieve 40%+ CDR and want to and a little extra damage to your Piercing Arrow's. Scorch is not recommended but if you were to want your abilities to deal some extra damage, this is an option you can take.
|A must, you will take this spell 100% of the time. Flash is Varus's only means of escape, it allows you to dodge important abilities that might be heading your way like Malphite's Unstoppable Force or Ashe's Enchanted Crystal Arrow, can get you out of a tricky situation and position you somewhere safer, and can be used aggressively to catch people with Chain of Corruption or secure a kill. There is absolutely no reason for you not to take this spell.|
|The staple for marksman ever since it's rework back in season 4. It is the most common secondary spell marksman take and the one you will take in the majority of your games. This spell should be used to save you or a teammate from dying. One of the most important things you need to learn when using this spell is when to use it against a support with Ignite. As a marksman, it's your job to try and maximize the healing the spell offers as well as trying to predict when the enemy uses Ignite. This requires practice but it is an extremely import thing to learn and practice.|
|Not as common when compared to Heal, but still an option. This spell is usually only taken when paired with an enchanter support that is taking Heal, Soraka is a common example of this. I would not recommend this spell as a replacement for Heal, but in some lanes, it can be alternative.|
|This spell is a unique choice. Teleport has seen play over the last and current season, especially in competitive play. Teleport is useful for when you want to get back lane fast. It can be used aggressively to help out other lanes, but this does require a lot of communication that most likely isn't available to you. Yuumi also makes the spell more popular since she has no need for Flash. I would not recommend this spell unless you can communicate with your team over proper Teleport usage or if you have Yuumi as your support.|
On champion kill or assist, Varus gains 40% (+ 30% bonus attack speed) bonus attack speed for 5 seconds.
On minion or monster kill, Varus gains 20% (+ 15% bonus attack speed) bonus attack speed for 5 seconds.
Varus starts drawing back his next shot, gradually increasing its range and damage, then he fires it, dealing minimum 10 / 47 / 83 / 120 / 157 (+1.1 per attack damage) to maximum 15 / 70 / 125 / 180 / 235 (+1.65 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.
Piercing Arrow’s cooldown is reduced by 4 seconds if it detonates Blight stacks on a champion.
Passive: Varus' basic attacks deal bonus 7 / 10.5 / 14 / 17.5 / 21 (+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 3 / 3.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 5% (+2% of ability power) of the target's maximum health per stack. This damage is capped at 360 against monsters.
Active: Varus' next Piercing Arrow deals additional damage equal to 6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 14% of the target's missing HP. Damage is increased by up to 50% (to 9 / 12 / 15 / 18 / 21% missing HP) based on charge time. The damage is capped at 360 against monsters.
Varus fires a hail of arrows that deal 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210 (+0.6 per bonus attack damage) physical damage and desecrate the ground. Desecrated ground slows enemies' Movement Speed by 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45% for .25 seconds and reduces their healing and regeneration by 40%. The slow duration is refreshed if enemies stay within the zone.
Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that deals 100 / 175 / 250 (+100% of 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.
Targets rooted by Chain of Corruption gain 3 stacks of Blight over the duration of the root.
Q max is the most common way to max Varus. Piercing Arrow does has really good damage in the early game. It has 110% AD scaling and it's terrible level 1 base damage ramps up fast when leveling first. The biggest reason why you want to level Piercing Arrow first Blighted Quiver's active damage applies after Piercing Arrow's damage. This means Blighted Quiver's missing health damage takes priority last to maximize the damage. This makes Piercing Arrow a much more reliable finisher, poking tool, and burst option in close range.
E max is another way to max Varus. Hail of Arrows is a very simple skill shot, with a huge AoE, but it doesn't provide the same damage Piercing Arrow has. However, that doesn't Hail of Arrows a bad ability. Hail of Arrows is a much more reliable skill shot, it's easier to hit, reduces healing, and gives better trading opportunities with auto attacks. This ability can be useful in lanes where you are against heavy healers, or champions with a lot of mobility. It is a less risky alternative to maxing Piercing Arrow.
||Varus doesn't have a lot of great matchups, meaning laning phase will be either trying to stay even or farming. In these lanes, Doran's Blade will be the best option and your standard start. The health and lifesteal adds some extra survivability and sustain to your lane, the attack damage helps makes farming a bit easier and slightly increases your damage to enemy champions. Doran's Shield should be taken in lanes where you'll be facing lots of harassment. Twitch is a good example to take Doran's Shield against due to his poison triggering Doran's Shield every tick. If your goal is to survive laning phase and heal up some damage you will inevitably take, take Doran's Shield.||
||These are the two core items that you will build in practically every game. Both of the items work really well with Varus and Lethal Tempo. Blade of the Ruined King is recommended as the first item, it's components, Bilgewater Cutlass and Recurve Bow, are useful to Varus's early game. Bilgewater Cutlass helps recover any health lost in trades, gives some extra damage, and it's active can help initiate fights. Recurve Bow provides Varus with extra attack speed and synergizes with Living Vengeance. Prioritize Bilgewater Cutlass since Lethal Tempo can help remedy the attack speed lost by not picking Recurve Bow. Blade of the Ruined King works extremely well with Lethal Tempo and Guinsoo's Rageblade due to it's current % health damage. All the stats it provides is exactly what Varus wants in a first item. Guinsoo's Rageblade helps apply Blade of the Ruined King faster, allows blights to be stacked faster, and makes the 4 blight trick easier. Varus deals some AP damage due to Blighted Quiver, Guinsoo's Rageblade offers armor and magic penetration which works perfectly with Varus's mixed damage. Additionally, Guinsoo's Rageblade offers AD, AS, and AP.||
|Boot options are all dependent on the composition of the enemy team. Does the enemy team have mostly AD champions? Maybe you're against a Draven and want to minimize some of his auto attack damage. Ninja Tabi's would be the best choice. Does the enemy team has a lot of hard CC? Maybe you need a little bit of MR to endure the poke the enemy support is dealing. Mercury's Treads would be the best choice. If none of these situations are relevant or you're snowballing and want to further your lead, Berserker's Greaves would be the best choice. Since Varus has no escapes aside from Flash, trying to stay alive is your next best thing, and boot choices make an impact.|
|After your core items, you should decide what you need to build next. Look at the enemy team and try to identify any weak areas that could be improved. If you need to spread your damage to multiple targets, Runaan's Hurricane can help. This is a common third item for Varus since blights can be spread to multiple targets and Chain of Corruption can proc them. Wit's End is a good on hit item that pairs well with Guinsoo's Rageblade. The MR can be useful for teams with more AP damage but not enough to warrant buying Hexdrinker. Infinity Edge is a damage increase, it is recommended to pair it with another crit item since 25% crit chance by itself is low. Blade of the Ruined King and Guinsoo's Rageblade don't offer a lot of attack damage, Infinity Edge is a good way to fix that problem. The Bloodthirster is an additional sustain option with a lot of attack damage. Try to build and sustain the shield as much as you can, especially before team fights. Lord Dominik's Regards and Mortal Reminder are the two major armor penetration items. If the enemy has a lot of sustain and healing, go Mortal Reminder, otherwise go Lord Dominik's Regards. Armor shred shouldn't be necessary in most games but you may encounter games where the extra armor penetration is needed.||
Offensive post core options
Defensive post core options
|You should try and have at least one defensive item. Phantom Dancer is a good choice if you're against champions with high burst damage or you find yourself dying too fast. It also provides attack speed and 25% crit chance, which can be useful if you bought/plan to buy Infinity Edge. The shield amount that Phantom Dancer provides is much greater than Maw of Malmortius, blocks all forms of damage, and is a cheaper price than Maw of Malmortius. Mercurial Scimitar and Quicksilver Sash are staples for cc removal and an excellent choice for Varus in games where you can NOT be caught out. Quicksilver Sash is recommended as the first buy and can be purchased early into the game to make Mercurial Scimitar a late game purchase. Guardian Angel is your extra life item and a very common defensive item for marksman. This item is perfect for games where if you die, the fight can change for the worse. Beware that the enemy team will try and consume your Guardian Angel, so position well.|
|Youmuu's Ghostblade and Duskblade of Draktharr are similar in stats and price but offer different effects. Youmuu's Ghostblade offers an active that increases movement speed, and Duskblade of Draktharr increases damage when unseen. Both are great first items on Varus, but Youmuu's Ghostblade is probably better because of the movement speed and Varus's terrible mobility. You will most likely be building both items anyway, it's just a matter of what item you'd like to buy first. Edge of Night is another lethality item that offers an active similar to Banshee's Veil, the increased lethality is always useful as well as the defensive active it provides. The Black Cleaver is your armor shredding item and well help take down enemies that your lethality can't burst down. The 20% CDR is extremely helpful, especially with Transcendence. Death's Dance gives you a sustain option while lowering the burst potential of enemies. It was recently buffed to include all forms of damage as a way to heal. Maw of Malmortius is similar to Phantom Dancer but dedicated to AP damage. Hexdrinker is a good early purchase that can be built into Maw of Malmortius in the late game. Try to buy Hexdrinker early if you think that you'll need Maw of Malmortius later.||
|Nashor's Tooth is a solid item since it gives all the stats AP Varus wants. The extra on hit damage is a nice addition to the stats it provides and synergizes well with Guinsoo's Rageblade. Rabadon's Deathcap is practically essential to AP Varus due to it's high AP stats and unique passive that increases AP. Blighted Quiver has a low AP scaling, so in order to get upwards of 40% of a targets health with 3 blights, we need this item. Zhonya's Hourglass is a good defensive item that also provides good AP stats. AP Varus is a glass cannon build, but having some defensive backup plan doesn't hurt anyone, especially when it proves 80 AP. Void Staff is the best choice for magic penetration, if magic pen isn't required, it can be swapped out with an AP alternative. Hextech Gunblade A sustain option that allows your auto attacks to pack an extra punch. The active is useful for the extra damage and slow, hitting your abilities should be easier when this item is used. Luden's Echo is a good mana option that provides some extra burst and CDR. This would be a good mid to late game option.|
The level 2 power spike is the significant fighting power you get when you reach level 2 before the enemy bot lane. This immediate advantage can result in an early kill, the enemies using their summoner spells, or a good trade.
The level 2 power spike can be attained by killing the first wave, 3 melee minions and 3 caster minions, and then the melee minions in the second wave. You don't want to push in the wave immediately because this may push the enemy towards their turret and leave you open to a level 2 jungle gank. Instead you want to try and freeze the wave in the centre of the lane, try to match your opponents minions kills and read the wave. If you notice your opponents are aggressively killing minions and you can't keep up, play safe and start backing up. It's better to lose some minions than lose most of your health and lane presence as a result.
If you get level 2 before you opponents, pressure them and play aggressive. Having an ability over your enemies gives you a lot of power. Coordinate with your support to try and trade or make a play. You want to try and make them use spells, get a kill, or back.
This shouldn't have to be said but it's needed. Buy wards. They are 75 gold. You are a marksman, you have the gold for it. Your support is already slaving away with their minimum wage gold income, just help them out.
Bot lane is a hot spot for ganks and roams, and that's because it is part of your job. A good bot lane is well warded because they are trying to attract jungle attention and roams. You want to be able to waste the enemy jungler's time, by leading them to believe you are gankable, they will wait and try to find the perfect moment to gank you. This gives your jungler the opportunity to counter gank, gank other lanes, take objectives, or steal the enemy jungle. Having vision of the enemy jungler is important for every lane, and the only way you can do this is by having vision, so buy a ward. It will save your life, and you will help your team out.
One of the most important parts of playing marksman if not THE most important part is positioning, which is what you will be doing a lot of in team fights. You are a significant damage dealer, so you need to play smart and position smarter.
Start off by looking at the enemy team, how many are there? Is anyone fed? Who will try and kill you? Do they have an assassin? Can you ignore their tank to focus on their back line? What abilities do they have? What will your team do? Does your team have their ultimates up? is your team even there? Are you in a good position to fight? These are all questions you should ask yourself before you engage in a team fight because they can mean life or death.
Coordinate with your team before fighting, make sure you're in a safe position and not in a place where you can be caught out. Look at your map and identify where everyone is, if someone is missing, be cautious. Look at the enemy and see what they are doing. Is someone out of place? Use Chain of Corruption for an easy catch. Do you have a 2 man advantage? Try and see if you can force a fight. Think about who you should focus when fighting. Are there enemies you can ignore? You could go for the Thresh who wasted all of his abilities, or you could attack the Sylas who is on top of your mid laner and actually making an impact in the team fight. Consider distance. Don't put yourself in a position that makes yourself easy to kill. Attack the person closest to you, and if they are negligible, attack the second closest person. Chances are someone will try to get on top of you. If it's an assassin, Flash away and try to outplay them, try and keep a distance. If it's a tank, consider whether he is worth focusing. Did he use an CC abilities beforehand? Would you be in imminent danger if he were to get close to you? Could you ignore him and focus someone else? Could you use Chain of Corruption to stop them from getting to you?
Use Chain of Corruption as a opener or a way to create distance. Always try and get 3 stacks of blight on someone before using abilities. Auto attacks will be your main source of damage. Pressing Blighted Quiver and immediately using Piercing Arrow on a low health enemy with 3 stacks of blight can often execute them. Try not to use your abilities immediately since they have long cool downs. Use Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows if you can hit more than one enemy with blights on them.
With enough attack speed, it is possible to trigger 4 stacks of blight on a target with Hail of Arrows. Guinsoo's Rageblade makes this considerably easier. It's rather simple, just make sure a target has 3 blights on them and attack them with a lot of attack speed. If timed right, you can trigger the three blight stacks already on the target and then a 4th from an auto attack. Here is a video example.
Welcome to the end and thanks for reading! If you like what you read, or had any problems, leave a comment and let me know. All feedback is appreciated.
I'd like to thank :
Jovy for motivating me to write this guide and for creating these fantastic graphics. Please check out her art store.
Maintained and Psiguard for putting up with my godlike Akali and lending BBcode
My friends for helping with descriptions.