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VARUS BUILD GUIDE: [S4] My Blight; Your Plight by stmisses

by stmisses (last updated 6 months ago)

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9
Greater Mark of Attack Damage(+8.55 attack damage)
9
Greater Seal of Armor(+12.69 armor)
9
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist(+12.06 magic resist)
1
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage(+2.25 attack damage)
2
Greater Quintessence of Life Steal(+4% Life Steal)
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Summoner Spells
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Starting

Full Item Build

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21
9
0
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
View Mastery Details
Player Level 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Living Vengeance
QPiercing Arrow
WBlighted Quiver
EHail of Arrows
RChain of Corruption

Introduction

Why hello there. I am Stmisses.. and many others. I am a professional guide writer of the Era! For all the guide's details, hit that "Full Guide" button!

Varus is my main ADC and one of my favorite champions. His design, voice, and lore are all amazing. Meddler develops such amazing champions that are so easy to love. I personally think Varus is underplayed and often overlooked as a counterplay champ. He excels in team fights, poking, winning trades through burst and AA, has good crowd control, and scales very nicely.. So why is he not picked?

Varus isn't picked much because Mixed Damage ADCs in general aren't liked by many high ELO ADC players. You'll be seeing more AA and Caster-based ADCs than the Mixed Damage ADC, even though they have excellent AoE and range..

If you want to just troll in the normal queue rather than playing Varus competitively, check out my AP Varus guide so you can nuke anyone for 100% of their health!

Runes

The basic ADC Page. AD increases Varus' Q damage early by quite a bit. Lifesteal and the bonus AD also make farming easier while being able to punish or poke with Q.

Masteries

mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 4/4
mastery 3 0/4
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 3 3/3
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 1/1
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
21 Offense
mastery 1 2/2
mastery 2 2/2
mastery 3 0/2
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 1/1
mastery 2 3/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 1/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/3
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/4
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
9 Defense
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 3 0/1
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/1
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/1
mastery 3 0/3
mastery 4 0/2
mastery 1 0/1
mastery 2 0/3
mastery 2 0/1
0 Utility
Only a little different from other ADC pages. Taking Spell Weaving to stack and deal more damage on detonation. This makes a huge difference against tanky champions.

3 Points in Executioner helps dramatically in lane by simply keeping your enemy below 70% health and then auto 3x + a spell should kill them. Tanks with high health also suffer a lot from the 5% bonus detonation damage.

Summoner Sets

Flash & Barrier
Standard on most ADCs. Varus has no escape and plenty of offense, so barrier should be used as a last resort. Make sure your support takes Exhaust, too.
Flash & Cleanse
Cleanse is good against sticky supports, but will be a bad choice if the enemy support has an easy way of getting to you and then locking you down with a barrage of cc. In other words, Leona would just ignore cleanse most of the time and even if it does help once, she can get to you again within seconds.

Get Cleanse against slows/stuns/snares/roots/fears/taunts, never against knock-ups, knock-back, or immobilizers because those forms of CC cannot be cleansed. I personally like Cleanse against Thresh, Sona, Nunu, Vayne, Taric, Jinx, Caitlyn, and Ashe.

You may think you need cleanse against heavy CC team comps, but the best way to use cleanse is against comps that have very little hard CC so you can kite well and not worry about getting CCed again.

Item Builds

Starting Build(s)
Default Starting Build
Start path 2
4
Doran's Blade is pretty safe overall. Easier CSing and sustain if you're running 4% lifesteal quintessences.

Boots should ONLY be built if you have a buff/healer support. Soraka, Sona, and Janna are good examples because you can conserve easier and CS better while poking the enemy team. Boots provide the opportunity to follow up or escape far easier and is a better choice against Leona and Thresh on the enemy side.
Final Build(s)
Standard Final Items
Best possible offense build with Varus. Some may say Runaan's Hurricane is good on him but Varus is not in range most of the time to attack 3 targets and he benefits more from defensive items or movement speed when dealing with team fights.

OPTIONS:
Instead of Phantom Dancer you can buy Guardian Angel.
Strictly with movement speed buffs provided constantly from a support (Janna, Sona, Nunu), you can sell Berserker's Greaves for Zephyr.
Statikk Shiv is an excellent early game rush on Varus with a Vamp scepter, but late-game you can sell it for Bloodthirster or Phantom Dancer to get higher Q damage and critical strikes or the useful 'ignore collision' with PD.
Build Order
One of the more efficient orders. Getting Statikk Shiv early will allow you to chunk champs down to 70% with 1 auto attack. With Cutlass/BotRK to follow up, you can easily get kills thanks to your high movement speed, damage, crit, and slow/lifesteal active. At this point you're relying solely on actives, mixed damage spells, and the first shiv proc, so you need to build attack damage with Infinity Edge next.

Situational Items

Guardian Angel
Not exactly "Situational".. But essential in competitive play. You'll need this in most matches because you have no escape spell and, of course, you're a squishy carry. You can sell Blade of the Ruined King or Bloodthirster for GA late-game, or just build it in place for Bloodthirster.

Skills

Living Vengeance
Honestly a terrible passive outside the laning phase. You need to grab a kill / assist early in team fights to get a good use from this. During the laning phase this will help you win trades and stop the enemy from zoning.
Piercing Arrow
Excellent zoning tool. Refrain from using it every time it's off cooldown, because you need to conserve your mana as Varus and focus on CSing. Piercing Arrow is an amazing poke spell and zoning tool during the laning phase as you can chunk people for 1/4 of their health at a long distance.

For Blight you want to use this second (after your E). 3x auto attacks --> E --> 3x auto attacks --> Q is the best way to kill opponents if you manage to live that long or prevent being CCed.
Blighted Quiver
An auto attack steroid and Varus' main source of burst damage. It is really easy to punish enemy champions if they come in range - simply auto 2-3 times and back off, then Q. In a full fight stack it 3 full times and either R, E, or Q in that order to deal MASSIVE damage.

All Varus' mainers should note that Blighted Quiver has increased effectiveness with AP, attack speed, and debuffs, making Sona, Nunu, Leona, and Soraka extremely beneficial to have as a laning partner.
Hail of Arrows
Although it lacks high base damage and scaling, Hail of Arrows is your primary/secondary spell to use after stacking Blight.

Movement speed reduction on enemy champs makes it easy to follow up with another 3 stacks of blight and detonation, plus the Grievous Wounds it applies will make your enemy sustain for half. Late-game this has pretty useless damage, but the Grievous Wounds and the slow make it an excellent spell against tanks or fighters.

Hail of Arrows applies a lot of pressure. Nobody will walk on it later in the match knowing it is going to decrease survivability and make them an easy target. Try to save this spell to either slow enemies in the beginning or fight off tanks.
Chain of Corruption
Finally, Varus' ultimate. Chain of Corruption doesn't scale off AD and doesn't have much damage, but it does immobilize an entire team which makes it very punishing for the enemy team to be dense. Especially with Hail of Arrows, Chain of Corruption can be used to halt several enemy champions and decrease their chances of winning a fight.

With Blight you want to use Chain of Corruption first if possible. Most likely this can be done during the laning phase easily. In team fights you shouldn't gamble 3 auto attacks and the ult for a little bit of bonus magic damage, as it can be better to ult initially and ignore stacking blight so your team can win.

Champion Matchups

Blitzcrank
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
As Varus you need to worry about how the enemy can zone you - with range, crowd control, or just superior damage.. Unfortunately for Varus us Varus players we have to worry about Blitzcrank the most. Rocket Grab and his knockup are going contribute to your death and give an edge to the enemy team. Blitz is seen mostly with Caitlyn because their superb pressure and map control.

  • Have your support pick an aggressive champion. Leona, Annie, Alistar, and Nami are excellent choices.
  • Keep the lane pushed either 30% or 70% and zone blitzcrank out of the bushes - try to gain control over bushes with your aggressive support.
  • Buy a Phantom Dancer early and a Guardian Angel late-game. Blitzcrank will have an extremely hard time pulling you when you can walk through creep. Guardian Angel gives your team time to follow up if you are pulled by an unexpected Blitzcrank.
Caitlyn
Difficulty
Favors You
Caitlyn is a fairly easy lane, since she's fairly squishy and can only harass with autos while you can harass with your Q. You win all-out fights with Caitlyn. Caitlyn can be a strong matchup depending on her support, so most of the time it is very valuable to have your support pick a tanky champion like Thresh, Taric, or Leona so they can endure her poking and traps, as well as peel for you and punish her. Sona and Nunu are also acceptable supports with Varus, but they lack peel potential and should only be used on low-cc matchups.

  • Ask your support to step on traps that are in the lane.
  • Try forcing a fight at level 3 when both you and your tanky support have your kits unlocked.
  • Caitlyn falls in DPS dramatically late-game, so Statikk Shiv in post-6 fights with her give you the edge.
Graves
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Graves has a quicker and stronger burst than Varus, as well as a stronger attack speed steroid. In order to win a fight you MUST burn his Buckshot and/or Quickdraw or ult.

  • Pick a heavy CC support with decent durability or utility. Soraka, Taric, Lulu, and Leona are excellent choices.
  • Punish him with your Q while fleeing if he dashes forward to Q you. Especially if he misses Q - his main source of damage.
  • Keep Graves below 70% health to prevent him from going all-out on you or so you can win skirmishes.
  • Harass Graves is he has low mana. His escape costs 50 mana at all ranks, and Buckshot costs 60/70/80/90/100 mana at levels 1, 4, 5, 7, and 10.
Lucian
Difficulty
Favors Enemy
Lucian is just like Graves. He can burst you down and has a dash. Varus is a little clunky but can win all-out fights if you stay at high health beforehand. Lucian's autos are the same damage as Varus', so you lose in both AA trades and burst. However, you win in range and crowd control so abuse those two things along with a utility support such as Sona or Soraka.

  • Pay attention to Lucian's mana. If he has under 120 mana he has low burst potential.
  • Pick a heavy sustaining support against Lucian. Nami and Soraka are powerful picks against Lucian.
  • Focus on farming. Refrain from poking with Q unless you have a good opportunity to punish.
Vayne
Difficulty
Favors You
Don't go into bushes so poking her with Q is easier. Just stay behind your creep at a safe distance and farm as much as possible. If a Vayne Condemns you it is most likely you will die if you don't Flash.

  • Stay in the middle of the lane.
  • Don't fight with spells on cooldown.
  • Save your ultimate to follow up after your support CCs her, or ult their support instead of Vayne because she can dodge it with Tumble.
  • Poke with Q to win trades. Her Silver Bolts are stronger than your Blight, so take advantage of range and quick bursts with CC - refrain from harassing or fighting with auto attacks alone.

Varus' Supports

Varus works well with any support, but here are some of the best supports you can get:

  • Leona - Good for engaging before or after Varus' ult, can peel very well for Varus, gives a high magic damage advantage thanks to her passive and blight stacking.

  • Nami - Nami and Varus punish so well together. Offense and defense are both extremely high with this lane, and team fights have amazing AoE CC chains.

  • Sona - Overall a balanced support for Varus. Gives a little bit of everything to make Varus more versatile. Sona outclasses other healers when paired with Varus.

  • Soraka - With no escape, people will take risks to last-hit Varus. Soraka has the epic heal baits to shift fights in your favor. Magic resist debuff and constant mana refunds or silences give you a ton of harass and burst potential, and heavy burst / spell-reliant matchups like Lucian, Graves, or Ezreal are much easier.

  • Nunu - The forgotten support.. Nunu is SO good with Varus against AA matchups like Draven or Vayne. He gives Varus a lot of attack speed and movement speed while decreasing the attack speed and movement speed of enemy champions.. Making Varus superior in DPS, burst, and mobility against most matchups.

Early Game

Like every ADC just focus on farming and take advantages of the enemy's mistakes. Harass with Q when you need to in order to win future fights.

In some matchups it is good to force a fight right when you and your support hit level 3 in order to give you the advantage throughout the rest of the phase.

Mid Game

Statikk Shiv and your ultimate are your winning factors. If you have your ultimate down against a hard matchup it is sometimes better not to fight.

Late Game

Roam with your team and get objectives. Deal damage where needed.

Teamfights

Stay in the back line. Apply CC in succession with other allied champions. Typically a good team comp with Varus will have some filthy CC. Amumu, Leona, Jarvan, Vi, Nami, Sona, Orianna.. You get the idea. Your main goal as Varus is to stay alive and attack the easiest target in range FROM the back line. ALWAYS use your ultimate to hit as many champions possible - don't go wasting it over 1 person who decides to go for you in a team fight, use it specifically on the enemy jungler / tank if you can.

Conclusion

Rek shyt. Get ELO.
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