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All Guides Varus Guides [Season 7 - Patch 7.4] No turning back!
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Updated
1 year ago
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Varus Statistics for UOL LagsAlot

Author's performance with Varus compared to the ranked average.

Value
Average
Games Played
62
6
Win %
56
45
Kills
6.0
6.2
Assists
7.5
7.1
Deaths
4.8
5.9
KA:D Ratio
2.8
2.3
Gold Earned
12K
12.1K
Creep Score
193.1
200.1
Average
  • Author Champion Statistics
  • Guide Details

Summoner Spells Back to Top

4.png Flash

Flash is a must have for Varus. It helps you to position yourself, to gap close to an enemy (rarely recommended), to jump over walls and to dodge deadly abilities. It's just the best summoner spell in the game due to being so versatile.

7.png Heal

Heal is very important in the bot lane due to being a summoner spell for two people. It heals yourself and an ally for a decent amount and also increases the movementspeed by 30% for you and your ally. It's like a "two in one" summoner spell and is always a good choice.

1.png Cleanse

Taking Cleanse instead of Heal is an option against certain team compositions but it will be outclassed by Heal most of the time, so I recommend taking Heal over Cleanse in your ranked games.

Summoner spells are extremely important for you as an ADC and often decide whether you'll live or die. 
Don't use your summoner spells aggressively to go for a kill if you die in return. That's not worth (most of the time). A defensive use of summoner spells will have a bigger impact on your game and playstyle (long term) than an offensive use of them.

New Runes Back to Top

Masteries Back to Top

Masteries have changed a lot in the past weeks and are more flexible now.


18/12/0 or 18/0/12?

This is a close one. ADCs nowadays often go for the Resolve tree instead of the Cunning tree because it offers a lot during the game. It's made to help you survive which helps you in almost every situation of a League game, while the Cunning tree is made to be aggressive and only benefits you if you are ahead. 

In the current meta I would go for 18/0/12 almost every game since ADCs have less of an impact in solo games.

Which Mastery to take in each tier?

Above you can see the standard mastery page for 18/0/12 which you can run in every occasion. If you want to change your masteries depending on match ups and allies you can orientate yourselfs in the list below.


Ferocity

Tier 1: 

Fury is always a good pick due to Varus' passive but in the Lethality build Sorcery is arguable and can be taken instead. Fury will help you farming, Sorcery will help your poke.

Tier 2:

Fresh Blood is helpful against enemies with a shorter range (e.g. Lucian, Sivir, Ezreal) so you can harass them more efficiently. If you don't want to trade that often and like to play a more passive lane Feast will be the right choice.
 

Tier 3: 

Vampirism vs Natural Talent. As said in the Runes section, you can go for 1 point in Vampirism and 4 points in Natural Talent if you carry Life Steal in your runes. In the normal crit build I prefer 5 points in Vampirism while I take 5 points in Natural Talent when going for Lethality. I think the most deciding factor is the laning phase, so if you have an easy lane or a support who can heal you Natural Talent will be more effective. If you plan to play passiv in lane Vampirism will do a better job.

Tier 4:

This one is quite easy. If you go for the Lethality build you want to stay behind your team and poke. Double Edged Sword will really help you with this. With Attack Speed or Critical Chance you will be in combat quite often so you will also stay longer in a fight. Therefore Battle Trance will help you more.

Tier 5:

About 90% of Varus' damage is physical so we take Battering Blows to increase our damage dealt.

Tier 6: 

Since Warlord's Bloodlust got nerfed in Patch 6.4 Varus tends to take Deathfire Touch as a Lethality caster. Some Varus players used Deathfire Touch in previouses patches but now it is pretty much settled that Deathfire Touch delivers more Value to Varus. If Varus still goes for the Crit build he is able to take either Fervor of Battle (which got buffed) or Warlord's Bloodlust.

Cunning

If you decide to take 12 points in Cunning you can go for the following masteries. 

Tier 1:

Savagery to have an easier time lasthitting minios.

Tier 2:

Secret Stash to increase your early sustain from potions.

Tier 3:

Merciless to have more impact later on in close teamfights or in a 24/7 fighting lane.
Meditation to use your spells more often during lane phase or while besieging an objective.
Honestly I like to split points (e.g 3 points in Merciless and 2 points in Meditation).

Tier 4:

Greenfather's Gift can be a good mastery for ADCs if used correctly. It just makes sense to take it when you use it everytime it's off cooldown. Other than that Dangerous Game can be taken in every situation but it won't help you at all when behind.

Resolve

Tier 1:

Recovery is the only mastery you can take here since you don't build resistances primarily.

Tier 2:

While Tough Skin is probably the best mastery here to take, Siegemaster can help you more when the enemy lane pressures your lane heavily. In most situations tho Tough Skin will be more efficient because it's very unlikely to sit 90% of your time under the turret (especially in lower elo) and the better trades at your end will help you to survive the lane longer.

Tier 3:

This one isn't quite simple. If you have a healing and/or a shielding support (e.g. Soraka, Nami or Taric) you'll benefit quite a lot from Runic Armor. Even better would it be if you have another champion in your team that can shield or heal (it's super good together with Ivern Jungle). Also Runic Armor improves your healing from Warlord's Bloodlust which builds up a nice synergy. 

In other scenarios I'd recommend taking Veteran's Scars. Veteran's Scars will outclass Runic Armor on the other hand if the enemy bot lane is based on engage (Alistar, Blitzcrank, Thresh) where you need the bonus HP to survive, especially against jungle ganks and assassination Veteran's Scars can be more helpful than Runic Armor.

Tier 4:

Insight is the way to go mastery for most ADC players that go for 18/0/12 because your summoner spells are very important for you. However I was one of those players (maybe the only one) who sometimes went for Fearless instead due to its good use against all-ins in lane. I would still see Insight as the better mastery for ADCs but it won't hurt to test Fearless a couple of times in normal games to see what you think about it.

Abilities Back to Top

Q
E
W
Q
Q
R
Q
E
Q
E
R
E
E
W
W
R
W
W
Passive
Q
1
4
5
7
9
W
3
14
15
17
18
E
2
8
10
12
13
R
6
11
16

Since covering three different builds I will first of all show you Varus' basic abilities and afterwards the skill order for each playstyle as well as some tips for his abilities. The skill order with the highstes playrate is listed above and can be used for the Lethality or Critical Chance playstyle.


varuspassive.png Passive - Living Vengeance

  • grants bonus attack speed upon scoring champion kills or assists
  • half the value when killing a minion or a monster
  • scales with bonus attack speed

varusq.png Q - Piercing Arrow

  • main poke
  • goes through units (skillshot)
  • Varus gets slowed while channeling

varusw.png W - Blighted Quiver

  • passive ability
  • bonus magic damage on hit
  • autoattacks apply stacks of Blight
  • Blight deals damage in interaction with his other abilities

varuse.png E - Hail of Arrows

  • are of effect ability
  • slows all enemies standing in it and applies grieving wounds
  • good for trading early on

varusr.png R - Chain of Corruption

  • crowd control skillshot
  • first enemy champion hit gets rooted for 2 seconds
  • applies three stacks of Blight
  • attempts to spread towards nearby enemy champions that stand near infected ones

Skill Order:

Your first ability can differ from match up to match up not even considering your build.

Against Malzahar and Zyra support I prefer to start with W to get rid of plants and voidlings who could annoy me early on. Varus' W counts as extra damage and will help you to clear those special 'minions' faster.

In scenarios where I want to trade level 1 (together with my support) I start with E because of its utility. It slows the enemy which enables your support to do something as well. The healing reduction effect isn't as important level 1 but is nice to have later on in the laning phase.

Therefore I go for Q in all occasions which don't apply to the ones listed above. Piercing Arrow is also a good ability to push the wave early on or to poke the enemies from a distance which can help you in many match ups.

You tend to have every ability unlocked at level three. Based on the ability you take first it can differ from game to game. I would recommend Q into E into W in most standard cases. After that you can follow the skill orders below.

Lethality:

R > Q > E > W - in every case

Critical Chance:

R > Q > E > W - in a siege composition (where the enemy team doesn't have a tank)

R > Q > W > E - in a siege composition (where the enemy team have at least one tank)

R > E > W > Q - against tanks and champions who can stick to you

Attack Speed:

R > E > W > Q - in every case

Short Explanation: R > Q > E > W means that you level up R everytime it's available to level up, if it's not then you go for Q and so on. This format only applies after level three when you have every basic ability unlocked.

Items Back to Top

Starting Items

    Against Engage Supports (e.g. Alistar, Blitzcrank, Leona, Thresh)
    Against poke/sustain supports (e.g. Janna, Karma, Soraka, Zyra)

Core Items

    Berserker's Greaves, Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Boots of Swiftness based on the build and situation.

Situational Items

    Example Full Build (Lethality)
    Example Full build (Critical Chance)
    Example Full Build (Attack Speed)

Since I show you three different ways of playing Varus I can't really use the item-form above.

So I have to use something similiar in the text box. Here it is.


Lethality


Start With: 

1055.png2003.png against a support with engage (e.g. Alistar, Braum, Leona, Nautilus)
1036.png2003.png(3) against a support with poke (e.g. Karma, Soraka, Zyra)

Always start with 3134.png as Lethality Varus and go for 3133.png afterwards. Always start with 3134.png  if you want to purchase a Lethality item. You are able to buy 3070.png after your first 3134.png to already get some stacks on it. 
As boots you either go for 3158.png if you need the cooldown reduction of your summoner spells (e.g. against an enemy Malphite) or 3009.png in every other situation.

Core:

The first items for Lethality Varus remain the same from game to game. You start with either 3142.png or 3004.png depending on your gold income. If you want to have 3042.png pretty early on, you should buy 3004.png first. If you want to be more efficient early on go for 3142.png. After your first item you'll buy the second of those mentioned previously. Afterwards you go for 3814.png and maybe 3147.png. In most cases you'll go for an armor penetration item right now which would be 3036.png against heavy tanks or 3033.png to deny the enemy team self sustain. I recommend you to buy 3033.png in most cases because it works pretty well when poking the enemies down. If you still decided to buy 3147.png you are now full build. GZ! 

Situational: 

There are very few situational items in the Lethality build. The only thing you can do situational is the item order which is totally up to you. If you really need self sustain nonetheless you can go for 3812.png instead of 3147.png to stay more healthy during a siege.



Critical Chance


Start With:

1055.png2003.png against a support with engage (e.g. Alistar, Braum, Leona, Nautilus)
1036.png2003.png(3) against a support with poke (e.g. Karma, Soraka, Zyra)

Buy an attack damage item first (1038.png or 1037.png or 3133.png) depending on the situation (gold and core items). 
Afterwards you go for 3086.png. You finish your attack speed item first - then you complete the AD one. 
Buy 3006.png in between if you have some spare gold. Definitely purchase them after you've finished core items.

Core: 

Your AD crit item will either be 3508.png or 3031.png (if you start with 1036.png it's better to buy 3508.png). You build Essence Reaver if you need to poke which is rarely needed nowadays due to the Lethality build being better (in terms of poke) - so 3031.png is your go to item which will help you a lot in teamfights. Your attack speed item will either be 3085.png or 3094.png, I recommend 3094.png if the enemies are high ranged and can engage on you easily even tho you are 600-700 units away. In cases with more teamfights and less sieges I highly recommend 3085.png due to its insane teamfight damage output.

Situational:

Now we come to the point where item purchases are always situational. As an Critical Chance Varus you have now several options for your next items. You could build a 3rd critical chance item (either 3031.png or 3508.png depending on your build path for more burst damage), also you can build another attack speed item for more damage against tanky targets (3087.png for teamfight damage if you don't have 3094.png already - if you have you go for 3085.png instead) or you could go for an armor penetration item (3036.png against heavy tanks or 3033.png against champions with healings). In some cases a defensive item which could either be a lifesteal or resistances item. Here I suggest 3139.png against lethal CC from the enemy, 3155.png against heavy magical burst damage, 3812.png against heavy physical burst damage or simply 3072.png against tanks who kill you slowly. Build the items named above in the order you need them the most. In the later stages of the game (when you really have nothing else to buy) you can sell 3006.png and buy 3046.png instead. Don't forget to buy 2140.png in the very lategame to boost yourself in the deciding teamfights.



Attack Speed


Start With:

1055.png2003.png against a support with engage (e.g. Alistar, Braum, Leona, Nautilus)
1036.png2003.png(3) against a support with poke (e.g. Karma, Soraka, Zyra)

Your first item will be 3153.png which is really good to deal with tanks. Later on we move into a teamfight style itemization. You start with 1053.png into 1043.png to already get some on hit damage and a bit attack speed. 
For boots you'll get 3006.png of course. What else? 

Core: 

As mentioned above 3153.png is the go to first item. As second you always want to have 3085.png to make your on hit effects even more effective in teamfights. Afterwards you could either buy 3031.png or 3036.png/3033.png against tanky targets with armor. Since this build is only used against a tanky enemy team you will most likely end with an armor penetration item. 

Situational: 

Attack Speed Varus has the most situational items due to the build being really incomplete. Your build only needs the very first 2 to 3 items but I recommend to buy critical chance items to be more effective later in the game. You can look at the "Core" of the Critical Chance build to see which options you have.
In situations where the enemy team has a lot of magical damage (e.g. Maokai Top, Zac Jungle and any Mage Mid) you could go for 3091.png as 3rd item instead of the items mentioned above. If you do that be sure to follow the item build afterwards with either an armor penetration or 3031.png.

Matchups Back to Top

Click on a champion below to see the author's notes on that particular matchup.

  • Alistar
    Hard
  • Ashe
    Easy
  • Bard
    Medium
  • Blitzcrank
    Medium
  • Braum
    Medium
  • Caitlyn
    Medium
  • Corki
    Medium
  • Draven
    Hard
  • Ezreal
    Easy
  • Janna
    Easy
  • Jhin
    Easy
  • Jinx
    Easy
  • Kalista
    Medium
  • Kog'Maw
    Medium
  • Leona
    Hard
  • Lucian
    Medium
  • Lulu
    Medium
  • Malzahar
    Medium
  • Miss Fortune
    Hard
  • Nami
    Medium
  • Nautilus
    Hard
  • Sivir
    Medium
  • Sona
    Medium
  • Soraka
    Easy
  • Tahm Kench
    Medium
  • Taric
    Easy
  • Thresh
    Medium
  • Tristana
    Medium
  • Twitch
    Medium
  • Vayne
    Medium
  • Zilean
    Medium
  • Zyra
    Medium

VS

Alistar

Hard

VS

Ashe

Easy

VS

Bard

Medium

VS

Blitzcrank

Medium

VS

Braum

Medium

VS

Caitlyn

Medium

VS

Corki

Medium

VS

Draven

Hard

VS

Ezreal

Easy

VS

Janna

Easy

VS

Jhin

Easy

VS

Jinx

Easy

VS

Kalista

Medium

VS

Kog'Maw

Medium

VS

Leona

Hard

VS

Lucian

Medium

VS

Lulu

Medium

VS

Malzahar

Medium

VS

Miss Fortune

Hard

VS

Nami

Medium

VS

Nautilus

Hard

VS

Sivir

Medium

VS

Sona

Medium

VS

Soraka

Easy

VS

Tahm Kench

Medium

VS

Taric

Easy

VS

Thresh

Medium

VS

Tristana

Medium

VS

Twitch

Medium

VS

Vayne

Medium

VS

Zilean

Medium

VS

Zyra

Medium

Support Synergies Back to Top

These are the following supports that I recommend playing together with Varus as they are currently in the meta and fit to him. You can still play other champions as well to support Varus. This list is based on my personal experience and some statistics from higher elo.


S Tier Supports

12.png Alistar is a hero. He has one of the best engages and disengages and can hold the enemy long in one place to let Varus deal the damage. Alistar also brings a bit of sustain with him. Look for his engages and follow up with your Hail of Arrows, some auto attacks and a Piercing Arrow to seal the deal. Alistar is good for tower diving which is good since you bring some CC with you yourself. Try to get help from the junglers and don't be scared of tower dives.

40.png Playing with Janna is quite simple. As soon as Janna puts her shield on you you are able to trade the enemies without getting too much damage in return. You will almost always win trades if you do it correctly. Janna also brings a good disengage with her so you are quite safe from hard engages. Be aware of Janna's cooldowns because she can't do anything without her spells.

267.png Nami is a slightly different version of Janna. She has a heal instead of a shield so you are able to trade and then heal it back up instead of waiting for a shield. She has good disengage, a movement speed buff and a stun if the enemies stick too close to each other so Varus can attack them freely with his spells. If Nami hits a bubble or you got the damage buff you are free to attack the enemies. The bonus movement speed will help you looking for trades.

117.png Lulu is the most aggressive version of all ranged supports listed in S Tier. She is able to prevent the enemies dealing damage to Varus due to her shield and the ability to polymorph an enemy. She also brings a slow and a situational knock up with her which will help you a lot to survive in certain situations. On the other side Lulu has an Attack Speed buff which is pretty nice for every playstyle of Varus. She is a very versatile support and can either be aggressive or defensive, just as you as the player like.

A Tier Supports


432.png Bard is a good lane bully while also getting Varus some sustain to farm safely. If Bard is able to open a fight with his stun Varus is free to join. If Bard put down some healing shrines you are free to trade some health for a small fight so you can heal it back with the shrines.

201.png Braum is like a little Alistar in my opinion. He shares good CC, tankyness and can even protect Varus better. Therefore he has no sustain. You can't have it all. Try to look for trades when Braum applied his passive to someone and play around it. Always stay quite close to Braum so he can protect you with his shield and you are able to attack the enemies with a bodyguard at your side.

43.png Karma works a little like Nami and can hurass the enemy while buffing you. If she has poked the enemy quite a lot she will look for an opening with her W and will hold the enemy in place so you can go on him. Karma has a lot of lane presence so she will do the work for you. You only sit back, farm and wait until Karma needs your help or has found an opening.

25.png Morgana enables good situations for Varus to take without many risks. If Morgana lands a Q on the enemy ADC or a squishy support you are able to follow it with Hail of Arrows, some autoattacks and Piercing Arrow. If Morgana can't find any openings you can just farm and stay a bit safer in lane. Due to her Black Shield you are very likely to escape a gank.

16.png Soraka can bully the lane if done right but will often just stand back and heal you back up. No matter how she plays you are free to only farm the lane. Do not risk much in this lane and don't jump in offensively because Soraka cannot enable a fight nor she can really safe you from being too far in. You can look for some trades in lane but it's unlikely that you can go all in for a kill. 

412.png Thresh enables fights very well if he hits his skillshots but can barely do anything when behind. If he is able to land his hook follow him by attacking the target. If Thresh fails to make plays you are forced to stay as far back as possible and farm yourself up while maybe trying to poke down the enemies but be careful.

B (and below) Tier Supports


53.png63.png89.png37.png223.png44.png26.png143.png

I don't think that these champions fit very well to Varus but will work if you play well around them and their cooldowns and look for a trade when it's safe. Go trough the laning phase without many sacrifices and do well in the mid to late game.

Your role as Varus Back to Top

Your role as Varus can differ from game to game and from playstyle to playstyle. Let's cover every build separately.


Lethality:

If you go with Lethality you are making yourself a full time caster (huh, got it?). Your role is it to stay back in fights and poke the enemies down with your Piercing Arrows. You aren't useful if you stand close to the enemies, always use your range. It's better to take a step backwards than going too deep into the enemy lines. Always stay close to an ally that can help you out. Due to your low moblity you are pretty much dead in 1 vs 1 situations.

Your ultimate is also a key ability in most games due to its fantastic CC. As soon as the enemy team engages shoot your ultimate at the first target you can get so it can't get to you. If the enemy team now stacks your ultimate will spread and it'll be easier for you to kill the enemies with Piercing Arrows. 

Critical Chance:

This one grants you the most option. You have reliable damage which is good for teamfighting and you are able to take down objectives in short time. In general you should group with your team pretty early in the game to play out your cards. You are still able to poke down the enemies to an extend, also your ultimate is still a key ability which enables you to deal even more damage to the target it hits.

You should stick to your backline in teamfights and attack the first target in sight while moving backwards if the enemy is coming closer. If they retreat you can follow them slowly but be careful. A lot of champions in League can turn on Varus quite easily which will often mean your death.

Attack Speed:

This playstyle is very similar to the Critical Chance one. The only big difference here is that you pretty much only attack the enemy frontline in teamfights. You don't really care about the enemy backline since they aren't tanky. Later into the game, when you have finished your critical chance items, you can act as in the critical chance build but don't do so with just your first two items.

You are also better at taking neutral objectives so try to sneak or even force them (which can lead to a teamfight). Your poke is quite low due to the low attack damage value early on which is bad for sieges on your side. Try to let your team engage so you can follow up with your ultimate and take out the enemy you hit with it. This way you play to your strengths.


Warding as an ADC Back to Top

Your warding as an ADC is limited in the early phase of the game due to just having trinkets or a control ward in rare occasions. Here I want to show you where to ward in the lane.




Green: Trinket
Pink: Control Wards

I personally look to have a bush in my lane warded so I can see when someone steps into it. Also the river and tribush should always be warded. Here I would place my control ward as an ADC. If I am on blue side I put my control ward in the ward next to the river. If I am on red side I put my control ward into the tribush. Sometimes I put the control ward in the first lane bush (the bush that is closest to your tower) so I am safe from Teleport ganks.
Of course you cannot ward it all so you need some help from your support.

About me - Streaming, Twitter and more. Back to Top

Hey there, I am LagsAlot a master tier ADC main on EUW.
Below you can find my social media.

Want to ask me questions? 
I answer all questions I receive on my Twitter.


Want to learn how to improve, climb the ladder, and watch me play? 
Follow me on Twitch and get notified when I go live (not during Summer of 2017).


I also have a Youtube channel where I plan to do League related stuff (again).
Feel free to check it out.

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