Varus Build Guide

Spreading the Blight - AP Varus

Uploader Allosawyou
Updated 4 years ago
  • 9
    Greater Mark of Magic Penetration (+0.87 magic penetration)
  • 9
    Greater Seal of Scaling Ability Power (+0.1 ability power per level (+1.8 at champion level 18))
  • 9
    Greater Glyph of Magic Resist (+1.34 magic resist)
  • 3
    Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed (+4.5% attack speed)
Skill Order
1 1 1 1
2 2 2 2
3 3 3 3
4 4 4 4
5 5 5 5
6 6 6 6
7 7 7 7
8 8 8 8
9 9 9 9
10 10 10 10
11 11 11 11
12 12 12 12
13 13 13 13
14 14 14 14
15 15 15 15
16 16 16 16
17 17 17 17
18 18 18 18

Varus is most commonly known as an AD Carry with a very strong lane phase, but one of the weakest late-games of AD carries due to his lack of steroids besides his passive, which requires a kill beforehand, and is still dwarfed by characters such as Tristana. Varus also lacks a true escape [Although the fact he has NO escapes is a misconception, he has an AoE slow and a Snare on his Ultimate] He makes up for this with the utility his Ultimate gives, as an AD Carry. However, there is another way to play Varus. Varus can be used as a particular type of AP Carry, focusing on bullying with his range and dealing percentage damage by stacking blight. In the upcoming Mid-August Patch, Varus is also getting some buffs to his AP ratio on his Blighted Quiver. I suggest if you have not yet, you watch the Varus Champion Spotlight: [youtube][/youtube]

+ Lack of an escape skill is less of a hindrance in mid lane + 575 range allows him to bully most AD's + As a ranged AD at heart, he can heavily dominate mid lane earlygame, especially against melee mids such as Gragas and Kassadin. + Not reliant on Blue Buff + Attrition + Poke for teamfights + Brilliant teamfight Ult, be it initiation or disengage. + Autoattacks remain relevant, although weaker than AD Varus - Lack of burst, he can't 100-0 someone instantly until he has items - Lack of a true escape - Countered by heavy burst capable of 100-0, Varus cannot win through attrition this way. - Restricted by somewhat lengthy cooldowns - Skillshot reliant

Insight Marks maximise the damage done viva triggering Blight with the magic penetration. Force Seals help your damage scale into lategame a little better. Warding Glyphs are required to survive earlygame burst, and help you win wars of attrition. Alacrity Quintessences are used to allow Varus to stack his Blight at a higher rate, allowing him to trigger the percentage damage more often.

[title][img=skills/varus/p.png] Passive: Living Vengeance[/title] [number]On kill or assist, Varus temporarily gains Attack Speed. This bonus is larger if the enemy is a champion.[/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] A useful passive for what Varus' job is. Upon killing a minion, Varus gets a 20% attackspeed boost for 3 seconds. This aids him in chain-lasthitting, but, it's primary use is so you can harass between minion kills better, since you will be able to get off more attacks before the next minion is ripe for lasthitting. More attacks means more Blight! Provided you will not miss CS for doing so, be sure to attack between creep kills to maximize this passive, and then use a skill to explode the blight stacks you have gained. Upon a Champion kill or assist, Varus gets 40% Attackspeed for 6 seconds. Far less useful, since generally if you get a kill in lane, there will be no-one else around, and in a team fight you are restricted by cooldowns to some extent. [title][img=skills/varus/q.png] Q: Piercing Arrow[/title] [number]Varus readies and then fires a powerful shot that gains extra range and damage the longer he spends preparing to fire. First Cast: Varus starts drawing back his next shot, gradually increasing its range and damage. Second Cast: Varus fires, dealing 10/43/77/110/143 (+) to 15/65/115/165/215 (+) physical damage, reduced by 15% per enemy hit (minimum 33%). While preparing to shoot Varus' Movement Speed is slowed by 20%. After 4 seconds, Piercing Arrow fails but refunds half its mana cost. Cost 70/75/80/85/90 Mana Range 925 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This skill is generally the skill you want to use last in a fight, due to it's long range. There is nothing like letting an Arhi with three blight stacks ult away fearing death, then sniping her, tiggering the percentage damage and killing her. It's a long-range poke, use it to trigger blight, and to harass, interrupt recalls, and generally be a pain. Note this skill has a fairly long cooldown. [title][img=skills/varus/w.png] W: Blighted Quiver[/title] [number]Varus' basic attacks deal bonus magic damage and apply Blight. Varus' other abilities detonate Blight, dealing magic damage based on the target's maximum health. Passive: Varus' basic attacks deal 10/14/18/22/26 (+0.25) bonus 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% (+0.01% [0.02 next patch]) of the target's maximum Health per stack (Max: 360 total damage vs Monsters). [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] This is the primary reason AP Varus is viable, the precentage damage Varus can deal from stacking Blight, and the fact that the on-hit damage scales with 25% of AP, allowing Varus' autoattacks to remain relevant as the game progresses. This is a last-hit aid, and your damage spike. At Rank 5, detonating Three Blight stacks is 15% damage. With a modest amount of AP [100], it's 18% damage. Varus can trigger 10 stacks in an exchange before his cooldowns are up. From Blight alone, you will be dealing 50% damage before ratios kick in. How to achieve this will be mentioned later. [title][img=skills/varus/e.png] E: Hail of Arrows[/title] [number]Varus fires a hail of arrows that deal physical damage and desecrate the ground. Desecrated ground slows enemies' Movement Speed and reduces their healing and regeneration. Varus fires a hail of arrows that deals 65/105/145/185/225 (+) physical damage and desecrates the ground for 4 seconds. Desecrated Ground slows enemy Movement Speed by 25/30/35/40/45% and reduces healing effects by 50%. Cost 80 Mana Range 925 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] A good poke skill, with a shorter range than Piercing Arrow. Without Ult, this is the skill you use to trigger Blight first. It's also a healing reduction [Throw it on that Arhi with a green orb when she's looking to Q!], and a small AoE slow, which you can use to help kite that Udyr coming to maul your face. With good timing, this skill can trigger FOUR Blight stacks, as the Blight is detonated as the skill lands, so if an autoattack lands as the skill hits, it will detonate the three existing stacks, and then detonate the new stack instantly. The Champion Spotlight shows this trick being used on Baron. [title][img=skills/varus/r.png] R: Chain of Corruption[/title] [number]Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that immobilizes the first enemy champion hit and then spreads towards nearby uninfected champions, immobilizing them too on contact. Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that deals 150/250/350 (+1) 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. Cost 120 Mana Range 1200 [/number] [title]Explanation:[/title] Varus' Ultimate is the first skill you want to use when going for a kill, due to the snare. It is also a powerful teamfight skill, especially if you have another AoE CC, such as Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy, or Malphite's Unstoppable Force. Note that the damage of this skill is very high, especially if you snare multiple targets. It also means that the enemy must flee from the effected target, or face the same damage. Note the 1:1 AP Ratio. Lategame this skill is capable of 950+ AoE damage.

You take a level in [imgsmall=skills/varus/e.png] for the poke and to help ward off any Level 2 ganks with the slow, and the fact that [imgsmall=skills/varus/w.png] is pretty useless without a skill to trigger it. In addittion, the healing reduction is particually useful in the first few levels due to the common [imgsmall=items/boots-of-speed.png][imgsmall=items/health-potion3.png] start. From there, your skill priority is: [img=skills/varus/r.png]>[img=skills/varus/w.png]>[img=skills/varus/e.png]=[img=skills/varus/q.png] The primary reason why E=Q is that the cooldowns reduce as you level up the skills, allowing you to proc more blight stacks by leveling both of them alternately, and use your combo more often. Since you are not building AD neither skill will do high damage on it's own.

Start: [img=items/boots-of-speed.png][img=items/health-potion3.png] Hey look it's a Boots 3 start. So original, so much explanation needed. Early Items: [img=items/kages-lucky-pick.png] Varus is not HIGHLY mana-reliant. As such, he can get a very early Kage's Lucky Pick to give him the gold generation. Between the zoning Varus does earlygame, farm, and the GP/10, this should give you a good lead going into midgame. [img=items/sorcerers-shoes.png] More magic penetration = higher damage with Blight Stacks and the bonus autoattack damage. [img=items/stinger.png] This item grants Varus a decent amount of CDR, and, more importantly, Attack Speed. Cooldown Reduction allows Varus to use his skills more often. Attack Speed allows him to stack blight faster, and get more out of the magic damage procs on his autoattacks, increaseing harass potential. Stinger is a WONDERFUL item on AP Varus, as is it's often ignored upgrade. [img=items/sheen.png] Use a skill to burst Blight, get burst on your next auto for doing so. And stack more Blight. This is self-explanatory. Note this will give more damage than Lichbane until you have more than your AD in AP. --- Full Build Items: [img=items/deathfire-grasp.png] Suddenly, you gain the potential to burst people down. DFG should be Varus' first major item. The extra CDR is a nice icing on the cake. DFG is even more percentage damage as well. [img=items/nashors-tooth.png] 65 AP, more damage! 50% Attackspeed, more blight stacks, more passive Blight procs! Mana Regen, never need to worry about your mana pool again! 25% CDR! Combo more, hit 40% with DFG! This item means Varus DOES NOT NEED BLUE BUFF. This item maximizes Blighted Quiver. This item is usually bad. Not on AP Varus. [img=items/lich-bane.png] Varus should only be using skills with breaks between them, since to get the most out of his skills, he needs to stack [imgsmall=skills/varus/w.png]. Lich Bane naturally synergies with Varus due to this. By this point your combo should be 100-0, or thereabouts. [img=items/rabadons-deathcap.png] AP Build Does this really need explantion? [img=items/void-staff.png] More damage from everything you can throw. Lichbane procs, DFG, Blight, Ult... Get it.

Varus' earlygame is key. A bad earlygame will lead to you getting bursted and not having an answer. Level 1: Assist your jungler, attempt to hit lv 2 ASAP, poke with autos when possible. If they pop a Health Potion, throw your Rain of Arrows on them. Level 2~3: This is where your harass levels up significantly. Whenever your foe has 3 stacks of Blight on them, you should throw out your E, cooldown provided. Whenever there is not a creep to lasthit, you should go in. Level 4+5: By this point the enemy should be worn down. If they are low, go on the offense with a 3 stack E, specifically aiming the E so that to escape they must run through the entire skill, or walk around, and then aim for a 3 stack Q. Blight Detonations at Level 4 will be dealing 2.75% each stack. 2 Stacks is 5.5%, and three is 7.75%. If you manage to get off 6 stacks, you are dealing 15.5% damage, before AP, from Blight alone. If you manage 4 stacks triggered with E, you get 18.25%. Level 5 will increase this further. If you have not brought at Level 5, and you will not lose loads of CS for doing so, buy before you ping 6. Level 6+: Your kill potential spikes, due to your Ultimate, which not only deals high damage with a 1:1 ratio, but allows you to trigger another 3 stacks of Blight. By the time you reach Level 9, Base Damage from 10 Blight Detonations is 50% of the target's total HP. Do not be afraid to roam and gank bot or toplane with your Ultimate if you cannot kill your lane opponent, especially if they have a skill that allows them to dodge [imgsmall=skills/varus/r.png].

Your job in teamfights is to land [img=skills/varus/r.png] as well as you can, so it spreads to as many targets as possible. After this, your goal is to play like AD Varus, except more ability based. Focus down one target, while kiting. The target can be a squishy, OR someone with high Health, since you do heavy percentage damage. This is bad news for characters like [imgsmall=champ/drmundo.png] and [imgsmall=champ/vladimir.png].

Varus follows a step by step process to killing people. You can skip a stage if you do not have the skill avaliable. Step 1: Trigger [img=skills/varus/p.png] Step 2: Stack [img=skills/varus/w.png] Step 3: [img=skills/varus/r.png] Step 4: Activate [img=items/deathfire-grasp.png] Step 5: Stack [img=skills/varus/w.png], this will trigger [img=items/lich-bane.png] Step 6: [img=skills/varus/e.png], aiming so the enemy has to travel through most of it or around it to escape. Step 7: Stack [img=skills/varus/w.png], this will trigger [img=items/lich-bane.png] Step 8: [img=skills/varus/q.png] Note with high levels of CDR you may be able to use different skill orders, such as [img=skills/varus/e.png] [img=skills/varus/r.png] [img=skills/varus/q.png] [img=skills/varus/e.png] If a target dies, you just swap to the next target.

[img=champ/ahri.png] Varus against Arhi is a skill-based matchup, since you are both highly skillshot reliant to get kills, but you can both put hurt on each other without skillshots. Arhi can dodge your skillshots with her Spirit Rush. However, if you hit Level 6 before her, be sure to press the advantage. [img=champ/akali.png] Easy matchup. She's melee. She can't spam Shadow Dashes to get to you if she gets a face full of [img=skills/varus/r.png] [img=champ/anivia.png] Dodge her Q's and you'll be fine, Aniva has no real answer to Varus' harass unless she can combo you. Since you do sustained damage per passive is not too much of an issue later, although early she'll revive due to your low AP and cooldowns. [img=champ/annie.png] She actually outranges you with Auto-attacks, and her Level 6 burst is worth saving Flash for. Note her skills are close range, so you can snare her and shoot her from a distance. [img=champ/brand.png] Easy matchup, don't get stunned, and don't stand in the middle of creeps when he has his Ultimate up. [img=champ/cassiopeia.png] Very easy matchup, you're both attrittion types, but Cass doesn't have autoattack harass like you. [img=champ/diana.png] See Akali, except she has higher burst but cannot stealth [img=champ/ezreal.png] Annoying matchup since his Essense Flux cuts your attack speed. Both of you are skillshot reliant. He has an escape, however. Slightly disadvantageous, although not unwinnable. [img=champ/fiddlesticks.png] You should never be in fear or drain range. Stomp on him. [img=champ/fizz.png] You cannot miss your [img=skills/varus/r.png] at point-blank range. You can bully him heavily. Don't let him snowball on you, however, or else you won't come back. [img=champ/galio.png] Annoying poke, tendancy to build MR, but you do hybrid damage to an extent. Slight advantage to Galio. [img=champ/gragas.png] Bully him, bully him, keep moving and keep poking. Save Flash for his Burst combo at 6 so he can't snowball off it. [img=champ/heimerdinger.png] Annoying as anything, since he'll stand behind his turrets. You probobly won't kill him until you can quickly dispatch his Turrets. Farmlane. [img=champ/janna.png] Pretty easy match-up, bully her early, she can't use her 9000 movespeed to run while snared. [img=champ/karthus.png] Exceptionally easy matchup, as you are a lane bully and he's a hypercarry. Just warn your team when he hits 6. [img=champ/kassadin.png] Kassadin loses hard pre-6, but post 6 stomps all over you. Every autoattack will proc his passive, giving him a perma-boost in Attackspeed. Meanwhile, he reduces your damage, and can Riftwalk to you and burst you. Kassadin needs you to snowball before he hits 6, or he will stomp you. [img=champ/katarina.png] You cannot stop her Ultimate, [Snares do not stop Channels]. Do not pick Varus against her. [img=champ/kennen.png] ANNOYING CHIPMUNK. ALWAYS RUNS AWAY WITH LIGHTLING RUSH, BROKEN ULT. However you can zone him to an extent. [img=champ/kogmaw.png] About the only mid enemy who will be able to zone you with range alone. AP Kog ensures you won't get close, and you can't really chase him due to Void Ooze. Pretty bad matchup. [img=champ/leblanc.png] You are weak to burst. You are skillshot reliant. This matchup sucks. [img=champ/lulu.png] You dominate her pretty hard. [img=champ/lux.png] Lux can hit you from long ranges, but you win in an all out fight and total poke. [img=champ/malzahar.png] Shouldn't ever get in combo range unless he flashes, and he'll have to insta-ult and not combo or else you'll snare and walk out. [img=champ/masteryi.png] Pokepokepokepokepoke, don't detonate Blight during Meditate [img=champ/mordekaiser.png] Stay away from creeps, ignore HUEHUEHUEHUE in allchat. Bully him HARD pre-revolver. [img=champ/morgana.png] Every Autoattack hurts her and chips her shield. You can snare her to walk away fro her Ult. Good matchup provided you can dodge Q's. [img=champ/nidalee.png] Dodge spears. Win. [img=champ/nunu.png] He eats creeps and heals. He Ice Balls you and cuts your attackspeed. Not a fun matchup, and you can't really kill him. [img=champ/orianna.png] You can poke more than she can. [img=champ/rumble.png] Rare in mid, and easy to defeat [img=champ/ryze.png] Bad early, and you're a lane bully. Abuse him. [img=champ/sion.png] Pokepokepokepoke, don't detonate Blight while his shield is up. [img=champ/soraka.png] Poke her, wait 3 seconds after a heal to detonate. [img=champ/swain.png] He is attrition too, but more mana-hungry and has sustain. Pretty even match. [img=champ/talon.png] Jumps on you and bursts you. Generally builds anti-AP anyway. If you see Talon picked against you just go AD Varus mid. [img=champ/teemo.png] Annoying Yordle, can't kill you unless you screw up but Blind is HNNGK [img=champ/twistedfate.png] Dodge cards, stay out of Gold range. [img=champ/varus.png] The odds of this are low, 100% skill based [img=champ/veigar.png] I don't suggest fighting Veigar with AP Varus, as one stun and you die when he hits 6. [img=champ/viktor.png] Totally dependant on if he's good. There are few good Viktors, but I imagine a good one can stomp you with poke, and his burst combo. [img=champ/vladimir.png] You actually counter him. As he builds AP and gets HP, but you don't care about that since percentage damage. He can't burst you, and your E reduces healing. [img=champ/xerath.png] Not seen often. Locus of Power is a free [img=skills/varus/r.png] [img=champ/ziggs.png] Dodge bombs, keep moving, keep out-poking him. [img=champ/zilean.png] You actually lose early because Doublebomb OP. This lane is an inverse to usual, you get stronger. [img=champ/zyra.png] OP champ, and will remain so unless her damage or ratios are BUTCHERED, or her CC is reduced. High damage, massive CC... if you can constantly dodge her then you win, but if she lands a combo you die over and over and over and over. She has more Utility than most supports FFS.

Not a usual build for Varus, but with the upcoming buffs, don't write off AP Varus. If you are looking to win wars of attrition, bully AP mids earlygame as AD champions do, and deal high percentage damage, making [img=champ/drmundo.png] cry, look no further! Note that this build will improve drastically next patch, when Varus' Blighted Quiver's detonation ratio doubles from 0.01% to 0.02% per AP per stack.

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