Views: 786 Varus: First Impressions
When the Varus release first dropped I noticed he only had 1 skin. While this may sound trivial, I believe every other champion in the game had released with 2 skins. This seemed to me to be a lazy move by Riot and I hope it does not become a trend. His skin is terrible anyway, in my opinion. Although since his default is not bad looking, it isn't too much of a tragedy.
However, all of this is irrelevant when it comes to the actual gameplay. I'll leave my scores right here:
Keep in mind, these 4 games are the only games I have played with Varus and I will be talking about how he seemed from these 4 games and the impressions and theories that were formed during these games. I played as a solo mid each of these games and it is what I recommend you do with Varus. In 2 of these games, there was another Varus who went bot lane and they didn't even do remotely as well as I did. Mid is where it's at.
Now, before I get started, I would like to address what happened during these games very briefly before I move onto discussing Varus. The first game was a total stomp fest and they surrendered at 20. Games 2 and 4 had a player go AFK, making it a 4v5 for us, and I still carried through it. Both my team and the enemy team were absolutely terrible for all of these games.
First, I will be discussing his abilities.
His passive, Living Vengeance, grants 20% attack speed for a minion kill and 40% attack speed for a champion kill or assist. This ability is great in lane when you're constantly last hitting minions and gaining the bonus. It's also great in teamfights where the 40% bonus will be up until you win or die. In every other situation, this is a lackluster ability.
His Q ability, Piercing Arrow, is what makes Varus what he is. You essentially charge up a long range shot and release it to do tons of damage. This is the ability that I maxed first in every game. It does a ton of damage, it helps to harass and also to push hard, as it travels through units. This is especially good if your lane opponent cannot harass through minions as well. If this is the case, you've won already. This ability can also be used to great effect in teamfights, as it's very possible to hit every champion on the other team. It's also great for clearing the jungle if you're out of lane to get some buffs or some extra gold and experience. It's also extremely satisfying to hit a long range shot on a fleeing enemy for the kill. Tears never tasted so good.
His W ability, Blighted Quiver, applies a stack of blight with each auto attack. This grant his auto attacks extra damage and can be triggered by any of his other abilities which does a % of their health. This is great for some extra damage. I experimented with my skill order a bit in my few games with Varus, and my favorite was to grab a point in this early, at level 2, and then max it last.
His E ability, Hail of Arrows, is an AOE slow that reduces healing. It also does damage. This is a great ability, as you don't actually have to hit them with it for it to be effective. It creates a circle on the ground that will stay there for a few seconds and slow anyone that comes into it. The reduced healing is also great if they have a support, or decided to pack heal. It does good damage and provides utility, what else could you want?
His Ultimate, Chain of Corruption, is a solid ultimate, although nothing special. It's very hard to hit. I'm not great with skillshots and comcast wasn't exactly on my side for these games, but I had a hard time hitting it reliably. It's great when it does hit though, it does great damage and immobilizes the target. The effect can spread to nearby targets as well, although the range for this is very small. This was best used to lock down a champion in a teamfight, or gain an advantage in a 1v1 situation.
Now I'll move on to how I built Varus. I took ArPen reds and quints, mana regen yellows, and cooldown reduction blues. His mana pool is not good and his abilities take quite a lot of mana, so I would recommend grabbing some sort of mana runes as you'll need them. The other runes are honestly just personal preference. I had 21-0-9 masteries.
Skill order: R>Q>E>W
As for items on Varus, I started with Boots and 3 Health Potions. This gives mobility in lane and the potions provide the sustain. I outlaned those who started Doran's Blade first, so I'd recommend picking up boots before the Doran's.
I built these boots into Berserker's Greaves every game and it worked well. There isn't really a better choice for boots unless you opt for the Boots of Swiftness for greater speed. It's up to you.
After picking up the first blood, or sending the enemy back to base, I would return and finish my boots, and grab a Doran's Blade or two. These are obviously great early game items, so you'll be ahead if you have them.
For my first real item, I found it best to go with Ionic Spark. This is a great early item on Varus. The attack speed is great, and the passive gives him even more multi target damage. It also grants a bit of health for survivability. I highly recommend this item.
Next, I would go for Black Cleaver next. This gives even more attack speed, and also great attack damage and armor shred. Ups your damage by a lot and helps destroy the opposing team.
I also had a very positive experience with Frozen Mallet. The health for survivability is great, and the slow on auto attacks helps more than you would think. However, I did not try out Trinity Force on him, and that may be better. I'll try this tomorrow.
Other items that were good included: Madred's Bloodrazor, Wit's End, Bloodthirster. What items you get and in what order really depends on the enemy team and how much gold you are getting.
Now you might be asking. "AFK, why don't you build a standard ranged carry build (zeal into infinity edge, etc.)?" Well, it's quite simple really. None of Varus' abilities really synchronize with crits, so why build them? I focused on "on hit" effects and attack speed, as these compliment his kit very well. I found that you can do more than enough damage and don't need crit or anything of that sort.
FINAL VERDICT: Varus is a very strong pick. I won my lane handily each time, and usually got an early tower. I also ganked for my teammates and pick up easy kills that way. When you have a level and gold advantage over your bot lane (or both side lanes if you have no jungler), pick up a double kill is hardly rare. Where Varus really shines is teamfights. If you can stay out of the fray and use your abilities and auto attacks to pick off kills from a safe position, you'll have no problems winning teamfights and games. Varus can easily hypercarry and is a very fun champion to play.