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Gameplay

By NeeksNaman [1]

Summoners!

If you've been wondering what can happen when someone really, truly lets their dark side get the best of them, then look no further than VarusSquare Varus, the Arrow of Retribution. This dangerous combination between caster and ranged carry is equipped with a number of abilities designed to both whittle enemies down from range, and allow him to close in for the kill.

The lynchpin in Varus' kit is Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow - a long ranged skill shot attack that damages enemies in a line. Pressing Piercing Arrow Q will cause Varus to draw back his bow, reducing his movement speed, but steadily ramping up damage and range (up to a cap) until you left click to select a target. Through creative positioning Varus can either use this skill to pepper enemies with long range attacks or close out a kill on a fleeing enemy with a hard-hitting shot.

In lane, Varus' unique combination of abilities gives him the ability to apply constant pressure to his opponent. Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow allows him to both farm safely and damage enemy champions without fear of reprisal. Meanwhile, the area of effect healing debuff from Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows complicates a support champion's efforts to out-heal the attrition damage. When the time comes to move in for the kill, Living Vengeance Living Vengeance keeps Varus' Attack Speed high while he's last hitting, enabling him to quickly stack up Blighted Quiver Contamination charges from Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver in preparation for a finishing blow.

In team fights, Varus' long range allows him to maintain safe positioning until he's able to score a kill on an enemy champion. Once he's picked off an enemy, the massive Attack Speed boost from Living Vengeance Living Vengeance combined with area of effect crowd control from Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption make him a truly terrifying sight on the battlefield.

Champion Spotlight

Varus Champion Spotlight06:14

Varus Champion Spotlight

Recommended Items

Summoner's Rift
Starting Doran's Blade item Health Potion item Warding Totem item
Early B. F. Sword item Zeal item Boots of Speed item
Essential Essence Reaver item Berserker's Greaves item Statikk Shiv item
Offensive Infinity Edge item Lord Dominik's Regards item The Bloodthirster item
Situational Mercurial Scimitar item Death's Dance item Guardian Angel item Blade of the Ruined King item
Consumables Health Potion item Control Ward item Elixir of Wrath item Farsight Alteration item
Twisted Treeline
Starting Boots of Speed item Doran's Blade item Health Potion item2
Essential Manamune item Youmuu's Ghostblade item Ionian Boots of Lucidity item
Offensive Maw of Malmortius item The Black Cleaver item Lord Dominik's Regards item
Defensive Frozen Mallet item Banshee's Veil item
Consumables Health Potion item Refillable Potion item Elixir of Wrath item
Howling Abyss
Starting Vampiric Scepter item Doran's Blade item Health Potion item
Essential Berserker's Greaves item Runaan's Hurricane item The Bloodthirster item
Offensive Infinity Edge item Phantom Dancer item Lord Dominik's Regards item
Defensive Mercurial Scimitar item Banshee's Veil item Frozen Mallet item
Consumables Oracle's Extract item Health Potion item

Tips

Playing As VarusSquare Varus
  • Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver helps harass enemy champions and get killing blows on minions.
  • During short range fights it's sometimes best to fire Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow quickly, rather than charging it to full power.
  • Try to take advantage of Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow's very long range to snipe at enemy champions before a fight or as they're trying to flee.
Playing Against VarusSquare Varus
  • If you are affected by Blighted Quiver Blight, VarusSquare Varus' abilities will deal extra damage to you.
  • When he gets a kill or assist, VarusSquare Varus temporarily Living Vengeance gains Attack Speed and is much more dangerous.
  • You'll get bound in place if a tendril from VarusSquare Varus' ultimate, Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption, reaches you. You can cause the tendril to die however by running far enough away from it.

Tricks

Ability Usage
  • During early laning, it is best for VarusSquare Varus to spec into either one rank of Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow or Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver for his preferred harassment. Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver makes last-hitting much easier and lets him out-damage most carries early on during autoattack exchanges, whereas Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow lets him snipe minions that would be hard to reach and is a superior harass from range. You should spec into Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver if you can reliably get away with going into autoattack range and Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow when you will likely be strongly zoned.
  • Using Flash Flash while channeling Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow will not interrupt the spell. You can use this to finish off escaping enemies.
  • During skirmishes, it's sometimes best to fire Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow quickly, rather than charging it to full power - although the ability gains range and damage with charge time, he cannot autoattack as he does so and VarusSquare Varus will likely be sacrificing a greater DPS if he takes too long.
  • Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow has a distinct sound effect and causes VarusSquare Varus to change stance and slow down while charging it, making it easy to see coming. Try casting the ability from brush to keep the element of surprise.
  • Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow gains more power and range the longer it is charged. However, the ability does not need to be channeled for the full duration in order to reach its maximum potential.
    • The range indicator for the ability will visibly expand once the ability begins to be channeled. Once the indicator stops growing, you will no longer gain any benefit for additional channel time.
  • Try to take advantage of Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow's very long range to snipe at enemy champions before a fight or as they're trying to flee.
    • VarusSquare Varus can also very reliably steal buff camps with the ability. Most importantly, he can snipe the Dragon Dragon from behind its cove wall with it even if it has been pulled out to the river by the opposing team.
  • When aiming for VarusSquare Varus' greatest possible DPS, you should employ strict cadence and fire off an ability after each three autoattacks on an opponent in order to detonate the most Blighted Quiver Blight stacks.
    • Remember that Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver stacks on the enemy will only detonate when VarusSquare Varus connects with one of his other abilities, and all of his abilities have moderately long cooldowns - if you use Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows to initiate a fight, you will be left without an ability to proc Blighted Quiver Blight stacks for a short while.
    • Blighted Quiver Blight stacks will last for several seconds before expiring - if you have the chance, you can increase the efficiency of your large-scale attacking even more by hitting multiple targets sequentially and getting stacks on as many opponents as possible before detonating them all at once.
  • Since both skills scale with AD and are multi-target, VarusSquare Varus can effectively farm large waves of minions instantly late game using only Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows. He can be an effective pusher late-game if needs be.
  • Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows is useful for helping you escape from or catch up to opponents due to the slow. It should also be noted that the healing debuff is very strong against champions that have self-heals such as Dr. MundoSquare Dr. Mundo or SwainSquare Swain.
  • Applying stack of Blight in a short period of time (~0.5 seconds) after landing Hail of Arrows and detonating other stacks will still detonate the stack applied after Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows' landing, making it possible to detonate total of 4 stacks on single target with Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows alone.
  • Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption has many uses - it can assist greatly in a gank by preventing the opposing team from fleeing, can cause massive disruption in a teamfight if it is allowed to spread, and can help ensure your own escape when on the run.
    • Remember that the disable from the ability is a Root icon root, not a Stun icon stun - ranged attackers and mages can still attack and use most abilities while they are caught. It can be much more effective to target any melee attackers instead, as they will be far more badly affected by the inability to move.
Mastery Usage
Item Usage
  • Infinity Edge item Infinity Edge is the strongest and most reliable item to rush on VarusSquare Varus when ahead due to the damage, crit chance, and crit damage amplification. Trinity Force item Trinity Force can also be rushed when ahead and The Bloodthirster item The Bloodthirster tends to be best when behind due to the lifesteal and low cost.
  • VarusSquare Varus benefits more than most carries from Phantom Dancer item Phantom Dancer: aside from the attack speed and critical strike which greatly increase his overall DPS, the large movement speed bonus it gives him helps to cover his lack of a solid escape ability. Statikk Shiv item Statikk Shiv is still a strong mid game purchase on VarusSquare Varus.
  • Building a Last Whisper item Last Whisper can be a very useful item on Varus increasing the damage output on his Piercing Arrow Piercing ArrowHail of Arrows Hail of Arrows as well as standard auto-attacks.
    • The Black Cleaver item The Black Cleaver is also a very good item as it decreases enemies armor, grants cooldown reduction and health. Last Whisper item Last Whisper is a better choice against high armor targets though.
  • Recurve Bow item Recurve Bow based items can increase Varus's DPS and give him some other stats to help him out:
    • Wit's End item Wit's End's passive additional magic damage can stack with Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver and gives him some additional protection against sustained magic DPS.
    • Runaan's Hurricane item Runaan's Hurricane gives a high amount of attack speed and applies Blight stacks on up to 3 enemies at once.
  • Trinity Force item Trinity Force can be an unusual but strong build choice for VarusSquare Varus - as he benefits well from all of its stats and passive effects. As an immobile carry like Kog'MawSquare Kog'Maw, VarusSquare Varus benefits heavily from the move speed passive of Phage item Phage. As well, Sheen item Sheen procs can be consumed immediately after a Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver detonation, giving VarusSquare Varus impressive burst potential. It's important to also note that while Sheen item Sheen procs have a lower cooldown than VarusSquare Varus can reasonably use, he needs to get 3 AA's in between each spell.
  • Despite VarusSquare Varus' primary role as an AD carry, an AP/AS hybrid can be a deceptively effective build in the correct circumstances. This style of play involves usage of the AP ratios on his Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver to deliver respectable autoattack damage and has formidable burst potential from Blighted Quiver Blight detonations and Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption.
    • Nashor's Tooth item Nashor's Tooth is one of AP VarusSquare Varus's core items - it grants him ability power and attack speed to make use of his Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver, and cooldown reduction is crucial on him to proc detonations of Blighted Quiver Blight as often as possible. The on-hit magic damage passive of Nashor's Tooth item Nashor's Tooth further increases Varus's damage output with autoattacks.
    • A Lich Bane item Lich Bane can add considerable damage to his burst immediately following a detonation.
    • Applying all 3 stacks of Blighted Quiver Blight and detonating them with Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption results in massive burst damage because of Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption's 100% AP scaling.
    • To deal with tankier champions it is preferable to detonate 3 stacks of Blighted Quiver Blight with Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows, apply 3 again and detonate with Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption. The root the ability offers is useful to escape if the enemy managed to take on the full combo and is still quite healthy.
    • When following this build it is best to max out Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver.
      • Your other 2 basic abilities, Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows only scale with attack damage, but the latter provides more reliable (faster animation and missile speed) Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver detonations, making it your more preferable ability to max second.
      • Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow should only be used to snipe targets afar who got away before being able to detonate, others who escape while you are stacking up for a second detonation or if both your Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption and Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows are on cooldown.
      • For Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow you should only charge up the ability if you need the increased range, as the damage scales only on AD so it is insignificant to charge up. If your opponent is nearby, immediately fire.
  • Alternatively, VarusSquare Varus can be played as an AD Caster mid lane, focusing on heavier poke damage with Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow and to a lesser extent, Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows, rather than autoattacks.
  • Building a Hextech Gunblade item Hextech Gunblade or a Guinsoo's Rageblade item Guinsoo's Rageblade can also be useful in an AP/hybrid build due to the build's normally distinct lack of any sustain being made up for by the life steal and spell vamp boosts both items provide. However do remember that Blight procs do not benefit off spellvamp or lifesteal.
  • With an AD or AP-based build, building a Blade of the Ruined King item Blade of the Ruined King after core items in the late game can be a good idea, given that it provides you with much needed sustain, attack speed and percentage health damage.
Countering
  • Avoid being caught by Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption. Fanning out from a caught ally in teamfights will break the tether and minimize the disruption it causes to you.
  • When Varus begins to charge Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow, he will slow down and draw his bow back. He cannot perform any other action while in this stance and his movement speed is reduced, so take advantage of this time to juke the shot or close the distance on him.
  • VarusSquare Varus lacks the mobility that many other AD carries possess, which means he is more vulnerable than most to errant crowd controls and gank attempts, and also means he has trouble fleeing from diving champions in teamfights. A single root can be a death sentence for him.
    • Much like the case of JinxSquare Jinx who also lacks mobility but compensates with very high steroids and nukes VarusSquare Varus benefits from one of the highest burst among all marksmen and extremely long range damage. As his burst depends on skillshots keeping yourself constantly on the move will keep you safer.
  • VarusSquare Varus' lack of mobility mechanics also means he can have difficulty avoiding skillshots. Being a skillshot-based champion himself, he also has difficulty with mobile champions like EzrealSquare Ezreal, VayneSquare Vayne, or GravesSquare Graves as they all have the means to dodge his spells.
  • Once Varus has used Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows, he will be unable to detonate Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver stacks for several seconds. It may be a good idea to engage him after you see him use those two abilities.
  • Being hit by Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows reduces your champion's healing and regeneration, so save any healing abilities until you have exited the desecrated zone.
  • Although Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption can be very disruptive to many champions, neither it nor any of VarusSquare Varus' other abilities will interrupt channels. Champions with powerful channeled abilities such as FiddlesticksSquare Fiddlesticks and NunuSquare Nunu can freely cast their abilities without fear of having their channels discontinued.
  • VarusSquare Varus' Hail of Arrows Hail of Arrows only deals damage once on impact. When fighting VarusSquare Varus 1v1, don't be afraid of standing inside the Desecrated Ground unless the reduced healing/movement speed will significantly hurt your capabilities.
  • Watch out for Piercing Arrow Piercing Arrow when VarusSquare Varus fully charges it, especially if you have several stacks of Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver, as you will receive formidable damage.
  • VarusSquare Varus becomes more dangerous after he has scored a kill. If time and positioning permits, it is wise to let his passive attack speed bonus wear off before reengaging on him.
    • During the laning phase, wait for his bonus attack speed from killing a minion to wear off before committing to a skirmish with him. Doing so while his bow glows red can be a dangerous maneuver, as in tandem with Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver, VarusSquare Varus can quickly out-trade most other autoattacking champions.
    • In teamfights, it is easy for VarusSquare Varus to obtain a great attack speed bonus for scoring a kill or assist, signified by his bow glowing a light silver-purple. As a teamfight often does not allow a team to quickly disengage to let this bonus wear off, it strongly encourages good positioning and teamwork to avoid any deaths letting VarusSquare Varus snowball his advantage.
  • If VarusSquare Varus builds ability power, he suffers under an extremely weak early game as he has no real damaging ability besides Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver's passive. As the game proceeds, however, he will slowly but surely become very dangerous since Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver belongs to the strongest sources of % health-damage in League of Legends. It is highly advised to take him down immediately after a teamfight starts.
    • This is even more important when he possesses a Runaan's Hurricane item Runaan's Hurricane, as he can continually stack Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver onto your whole team and trigger it with Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption or just his basic spells, dealing high percentage numbers of everyone's maximum health as magic damage. However, he has to stay in attack range to do this, which makes him an easy target for burst spells.
    • In a lategame 1v1, avoid his Chain of Corruption Chain of Corruption under all costs. The spell has a 1:1 AP-scaling and applys 3 stacks of Blighted Quiver Blighted Quiver during the root. Squishy characters are very likely to be one-shot just by the ult damage and the triggered Blight stacks.


References

References