Click to open network menu
Join or Log In
Mobafire logo

Join the leading League of Legends community. Create and share Champion Guides and Builds.

Create an MFN Account






Or

MOBAFire's first Mini Guide Contest of Season 14 is here! Create or update guides for the 30 featured champions and compete for up to $200 in prizes! 🏆
Varus Build Guide by support_diff

ADC The Mathematically Correct AP Varus (Mid/Bot)

ADC The Mathematically Correct AP Varus (Mid/Bot)

Updated on November 22, 2023
9.8
315
Votes
17
Vote Vote
League of Legends Build Guide Author support_diff Build Guide By support_diff 315 17 528,769 Views 12 Comments
315 17 528,769 Views 12 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author support_diff Varus Build Guide By support_diff Updated on November 22, 2023
x
Did this guide help you? If so please give them a vote or leave a comment. You can even win prizes by doing so!
Vote
Comment

You must be logged in to comment. Please login or register.

I liked this Guide
I didn't like this Guide
Commenting is required to vote!
Would you like to add a comment to your vote?

Your votes and comments encourage our guide authors to continue
creating helpful guides for the League of Legends community.

Runes: Hail of Blades (Best Trades)

1 2
Domination
Hail of Blades
Taste of Blood
Eyeball Collection
Ultimate Hunter

Sorcery
Absolute Focus
Gathering Storm
Bonus:

+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2 3 4
Flash+Exhaust
LoL Summoner Spell: Exhaust

Exhaust

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies
Synergies
Ideal Strong Ok Low None

Champion Build Guide

The Mathematically Correct AP Varus (Mid/Bot)

By support_diff
Introduction
There are 5,16 billion internet users in the world. 117 millions of those people play League of Legends. 9,5 million people use Mobafire monthly. About 0,1% of Mobafire users visit this guide, but more than half of them don't even scroll the guide to the bottom. Not even 10% of them read the whole guide. The average human's attention span is 8,25 seconds and the average reading speed is 200 words per minute, so you probably already have started thinking about something else and are starting to lose interest in the guide itself. The build is mathematically correct, but the odds are you are not going to read the guide and learn from it. Why did I write this all? To make you feel some kind of guilt for not reading this guide carefully and make you less likely to close the guide so you really are going to read it and at least try to understand it.
Have you ever thought about ways to get skins for free? That is exactly what Buff is about. With over 9 million downloads and 450 000 active gamers, it is the most reliable site to get free ingame stuff. You get buff points for playing a game, LoL for example, and with the buff points you can buy giftcards, gaming gear and tons of other stuff. Unlike the other sites, you don't need to play some bad Candy Crush copy to get buff points. Buff gives you points for your performance in-game and LoL definitely isn't the only game available. And no, Buff doesn't mine bitcoin with your computer and doesn't decrease your computer's performance, it is completely safe to use. What are you waiting for? Download Buff for free from here! And to anyone wondering, yes, I get paid for downloads, but no, they didn't ask me to advertise their product, I genuinely think that you should download it and stop using so much your money on your skins. It is also a great way to make gaming feel more rewarding.
What to expect
AP Varus is known for his huge damage that is not too easy to understand. His damage is mainly his Q, but the ability itself doesn't have any ability power scale. His other basic damaging ability, his E, also doesn't have ability power scale. This build is mathematically correct, which means that I'm going to explain you the champion and its abilities throughoutly and then explain the build item by item. I try to make the guide as understandable as I just can so none of you will not understand and keep playing AD Varus.
Note: AP Varus got heavily nerfed in patch 13.13 but is still great in my opinion. The build still works but it isn't as strong as they cutted off 40% of W stacks' damage
Summoner Spells
Flash is a must to take for most of champions, and Varus is one of them. With Flash you can escape a bad situation every 5 minutes. It can also help you secure kills.
Exhaust is a really good summoner spells, especially at early all-ins and late game fights. If the enemy team has a really fed Katarina, exhausting her will chomp 30% of her damage. If the enemy team has many champions with high burst damage, I suggest you to take Exhaust.
Heal is a great summoner spell for Varus in the bot lane because it can save you many times because of the heal and the movement speed it provides you and the ally nearby. I don't suggest taking it in mid as it is not as good in there.
Cleanse is a very underrated summoner spell because in certain matchups it can save your life as effectively as Flash. If the enemy team has hard cc champions like Morgana I suggest you to take Cleanse as it will save you from a lot of purposeless deaths. Varus is extremely vulnerable to cc so it is generally amazing summoner spell for him.
Teleport is a great summoner spell for Varus mid because it makes you less likely to lose a turret or fall behind in cs or level. It also provides you speed when joining a teamfight or when splitpushing.
Runes

Hail of Blades Runepage

Hail of Blades is amazing keystone for Varus, because it is really great at early trades and late game team fights as it makes it a lot easier to get your blight stacks on enemies if you don't have your ultimate. First Strike is better for oneshotting, but Hail of Blades makes you a lot stronger early.
Taste of Blood is the best option here as it provides you a little bit of healing which is a very good thing for your survivability in the early trades. Cheap Shot is also good if you want to maximize your oneshotting potential so it's really up to you.
Eyeball Collection is an awesome rune for you as it provides you extra ability power on champion takedowns, and the amounts are also kind of high considering that it is a rune from Domination which usually doesn't bring much extra stats like Sorcery does.
Ultimate Hunter is one of the best runes for Varus as you need to get your ultimate's cooldown as low as you can but you don't have a lot of ability haste in your build. When fully stacked, it remover 23% of your ultimate's cooldown.
Absolute Focus is a really good rune for AP Varus as it can grant you up to 30 AP (depending on level) which is a really high amount when thinking about the fact you also get another great AP rune from Sorcery.
Gathering Storm is the best rune for Varus. It is just too good to be real. AP Varus is a very good lategame champion and Gathering Storm provides you bonus AP every 10 minutes, which makes you really strong and well-scaling champion.

First Strike Runepage

First Strike is the real oneshot keystone for Varus. When you use Ult+W+Q on an enemy, you can get insane amounts of gold and bonus damage. First Strike isn't really good in the early game, but truly shines at the late game.
Magical Footwear is the best option here, simply because Hextech Flashtraption and Perfect Timing are not worth taking (if you are not going to build Zhonya's Hourglass). It saves you 300 gold and provides you some bonus movement speed.
Biscuit Delivery is a great rune for Varus because the biscuits don't only restore your mana but also increase your max mana permanently. If you see that you don't need them anymore at some point of the game, just sell them as you still get the max mana increase.
Cosmic Insight is an underrated rune and very good for any champion, because with it gives you access to Flash 20 seconds earlier, which is a really good buff for you. It also lowers your items' passives' cooldowns which is really good for you.
Absolute Focus is a really good rune for AP Varus as it can grant you up to 30 AP (depending on level) which is a really high amount when thinking about the fact you also get another great AP rune from Sorcery.
Gathering Storm is the best rune for Varus. It is just too good to be real. AP Varus is a very good lategame champion and Gathering Storm provides you bonus AP every 10 minutes, which makes you really strong and well-scaling champion.
Itemization

Luden's Tempest


Luden's Tempest is AP Varus' best tank killer item, because it provides magic penetration and more magic penetration for legendary items. It is not so worthy to build when the enemies are squishier, as Riftmaker combined with Hail of Blades runepage will do better then.

Crown of the Shattered Queen


Crown of the Shattered Queen is an amazing item against a team with a lot of assassins like Rengar and Zed as normally you can't do much against them. If the enemy team doesn't have assassins, I don't suggest you to build this.

Riftmaker


Riftmaker is the most mathematically correct item for AP Varus as it combined with Hail of Blades runepage gives you 1000 AP at 40 minutes with full build and level 18. The item isn't so good against tanks, as it doesn't provide any magic penetration.

Nashor's Tooth


Nashor's Tooth is an extremely worthy item for AP Varus for the passive, attack speed and ability power it provides. It is at its best when you play with Hail of Blades as the damage is at its highest if you do. When playing with Hail of Blades, you should build it before your mythic as it is very good even at the early game.

Seraph's Embrace


Seraph's Embrace (or Archangel's Staff before upgrading) is a very good item for Varus and the reason you take Tear of the Goddess as your starter. It provides very much mana and ability power, and when upgraded from Archangel's Staff it also gives you a shield when you go low, which is very good for your survivability.

rabadon's deathcap


Rabadon's Deathcap is must to build as AP Varus as the damage it provides is just too much to ignore. You really can't oneshot in the lategame without it, so don't replace it with any other item, you really need it.

horizon focus


Horizon Focus is a great item for Varus as it provides a lot of ability power and also increases your damage towards enemies you ult if they aren't too near to you. For example, if your ult to an enemy would otherwise deal 2000 damage, with Horizon Focus it deals 2200.

void staff


Void Staff is an amazing item if the enemy team is tanky, but with it you can't possibly reach 1000 AP before 50 minutes (with Gathering Storm) but it's very unlikely that a game lasts that long. Of course if the enemy team has many tanks you should buy this as it provides more magic penetration than any other item.

banshee's veil


I don't often build Banshee's Veil because it is pretty much useless if the enemy team don't have very hard magic damage. It provides 80 ability power, which is less than any item in the normal build (because Riftmaker and Seraph's Embrace give more after some items).

Mejai's Soulstealer


Mejai's Soulstealer is the ultimate snowball item, because if you get a lot of takedowns without dying, it is way more than just gold efficient. If you are going to get fed, but don't have enough money or have to buy some other item first, you can just buy dark seal as it has the same stacking system.

Zhonya's Hourglass


Many players like to build Zhonya's Hourglass when playing AP Varus, but I don't suggest you to do so. It doesn't provide too much ability power and the active is often just moving your death a few seconds, which isn't too great. If you know you are going to take it before the game starts, also take Perfect Timing if you are playing with First Strike runepage.

Morellonomicon


Morellonomicon is the only possible antiheal item for AP Varus as it is the only one that doesn't ruin your build if you have to buy it. Only buy it if it's necessary, but when you do, remember that it is just good for your build as it provides 100 AP and 10 magic penetration.

Shadowflame


Shadowflame is one of the possible anti-tank items here and a very good one as it provides 100 ability power and ignores 10-20 of the enemies' magic resistance, based on their current health and maximized if the enemy has been affected by a shield in the last 5 seconds.
Build Paths*
*only listed the most important build path options

1st item

Here you have a lot of options because you can both start building mythic (best when using First Strike) or buy Nashor's Tooth (best option when using Hail of Blades. After the first item you get a huge power spike, no matter what you chose to build.

Boots

Sorcerer's Shoes are the only worthy option as the others aren't even nearly as good because they are the only boots that come with something that helps you to oneshot enemies (magic penetration). If you build any other boots, your build is incomplete as you need the magic penetration no matter what the rest of your build is.

2nd item

Your second item is just fulfilling your two item powerspike, which always includes your mythic item and Nashor's Tooth. The reason you want them is that they give you enough ability power to be the terminator to any enemy below 30% of their max health. You also get good damage to your auto attacks with your W's passive and Nashor's Tooth.

3rd item

When buying your third item, you don't have many options if you want to become the best version of AP Varus. Only build Mejai's Soulstealer if you know that you will get a lot of takedowns without many deaths. You are going to need Seraph's Embrace in most of the games, but you can build it as your last item too.

4th item

You don't really have any other options than Rabadon's Deathcap as you definitely need it to get the most ability power you can.

5th item

As your fifth item, you can build one of these items depending on the situation ( Horizon Focus if you have already built Seraph's Embrace earlier, Void Staff if the enemy team is tanky, Morellonomicon if the enemy team has too much healing you want to prevent them from and Seraph's Embrace if you built Mejai's Soulstealer earlier and the situation doesn't fit in any other classes of games).
Abilities

Passive: Living Vengeance

When Varus kills an enemy, he gains temporary attack speed. The amount is increased for champion takedowns. This passive is not very useful when playing AP Varus because if you get into a fight, you won't auto attack the enemies a lot, maybe a few attacks with Hail of Blades, and after a kill you won't be going to get another with auto attacks.

Q: Piercing Arrow

Varus draws back his next shot, slowing himself down. If not used after 4 seconds, Varus cancels the ability and refunds 50% of its mana cost. When/if released, Varus releases the arrow, dealing damage to enemies hit. Damage and Blight effects are increased based on the charge time. This is your main ability to use to detonate blight stacks because the damage increase makes it much more effective.

W: Blighted Quiver

Passive: Varus' auto attacks deal additional magic damage and apply a blight stack for 6 seconds (max 3 stacks). Varus' other abilities detonate the stacks dealing max health damage as magic damage. This is your main source of damage because it has a great AP scale and can oneshot nearly any champion in the game. Your ultimate gives the enemies all the 3 stacks within its duration, so getting the stacks is very easy with your ultimate.

E: Hail of Arrows

Varus fires a hail of arrows that deal physical damage and desecrate on the ground. Desecrated ground slows the enemies' movement speed and healing and regeneration by 40%. This ability is mostly for melee range fights as AP Varus because it detonates blight stacks but doesn't require channeling to perform. Like Piercing Arrow, Hail of Arrows also doesn't have any AP scaling.

Ultimate: Chain of Corruption

Varus flings out a tendril of corruption, rooting the first champion hit for 2 seconds and dealing magic damage to them. Rooted enemies gain max blight stacks over the duration. The corruption spreads from its target to uninfected enemy champions. If it reaches them, they take the same root and damage. Your ult is your only real ability that has an AP scale, which is very good as it can deal a ton of damage in the late game. When the enemies have the max blight stacks, they are extremely easy to oneshot.
Combos/Trading Patterns
=the expected point(s) of the oneshot in the late game

The Basic Oneshot Combo

This is your basic combo for oneshotting, it provides you a max charge Q with max blight stacks and Blighted Quiver's active's damage (the oneshot). The combo is very easy to perform, if you hit your ultimate, you can just press W and charge Q to max and release when the enemy has 3 blight stacks. In early game this combo might not be as effective but it is a really good start to a fight.

3 auto
attacks

Close-range Combo

When you are in a melee fight with someone, you don't have time to ult them and charge Q. This only works if you have Hail of Blades, because it makes the attacks so much faster and if you don't have it, the damage isn't really good. because the damage per second is bad as the combo takes pretty long to perform. When you get into a melee fight with someone, use the auto attacks as fast as possible and then E the enemy in order to win the fight.

The Full Oneshot Combo

This is the previous combo but with a little bit of extra damage from Hail of Arrows. I usually don't use this combo as it consumes all your abilities, which is not very good if the enemies still manage to get to you. If you don't use your E, you can auto attack the enemies and then E them to detonate the blight stacks you get from the auto attacks. This combo is easy to perform like the one before, if you manage to hit your R, the rest is easy. Use your W, charge your Q to max and release when the enemy has 3 blight stacks. Then use your E to the location where they are at.

3 auto
attacks

Full Combo

This is your full combo at its fullest, it makes a great use of all Varus' abilities. The damage is more than enough to kill any champion in the game, but this combo requires some practise, as it is not very easy to perform. You need to hit all the 3 auto attacks, then use your E, then ult the enemy, use your W, and start channeling your Q while walking away from the enemy and releasing it when Q is fully charged and the enemy has 3 blight stacks for the second time during the combo. The damage is great, but the combo is pretty hard to pull off. I suggest you to practise it in practise tool to fully master it.
Damage Comparison Between AP and Crit/Attack Speed Varus*
*Crit Varus' build is the suggested build by Mobalytics, not my own build

VS.

every comparison is at 40 minutes with full build and level 18

Auto Attack Damage

I don't mean attack damage, but the damage of your auto attacks. Though AP Varus doesn't have a lot of attack damage, his auto attacks still have a lot of damage because of his W's passive and Nashor's Tooth.

AP Varus:

AP Varus' auto attacks deal 618 bonus damage, and it combined with Varus' base stats means that your auto attacks deal 737 damage, most of it as magic damage.

Crit Varus:

Crit Varus' auto attacks deal 356 damage (27 from Blighted Quiver), and every 3rd attack deals 140 bonus damage because of Guinsoo's Rageblade. All of the damage is physical damage.

Winner: AP Varus

Piercing Arrow's Damage

Here isn't much to comparise because Piercing Arrow doesn't have an ability power scale and I don't count the extra damage to blight stacks here as it really isn't Piercing Arrow's damage. Crit/Attack Speed Varus does way more damage with his Q than AP Varus. I don't list the damages here because it is really hard to count as it varies on multiple functions.

Winner: Crit Varus

Blighted Quiver's Damage

Here isn't much to discuss about as AP Varus' damage is mostly from Blighted Quiver. This is only about the damage of blight stacks as the attack damage is already calculated in the "auto attack damage" section of this chapter. The active of this ability doesn't deal bonus damage based on your build, so it is not comparised here either.

AP Varus:

With full Riftmaker build, level 18 and 40 minute game, the damage of detonating all the blight stacks is 60% max health damage, most max health damage in the game I guess.

Crit Varus:

Crit Varus' damage of max stacks is only 7,5% because it doesn't have attack damage scale at all.

Winner: AP Varus

Hail of Arrows' damage

Here isn't much to compare because this ability doesn't have any AP scale and I only want to explain the ones AP Varus wins so no one can say that I have cheated at some point.

Winner: Crit Varus

Chain of Corruption's damage

This is easy win for AP Varus because Chain of Corruption doesn't have any AD scale.

AP Varus:

AP Varus' ult deals 1396 damage

Crit Varus:

Crit Varus' ultimate deals 350 damage

Winner: AP Varus

Damage Comparison between AP and Lethality Varus
*Lethality Varus' build is the suggested build by Mobalytics, not my own build

VS.

every comparison is at 40 minutes with full build and level 18

Auto Attack Damage

I don't mean attack damage, but the damage of your auto attacks. Though AP Varus doesn't have a lot of attack damage, his auto attacks still have a lot of damage because of his W's passive and Nashor's Tooth.

AP Varus:

AP Varus' auto attacks deal 618 bonus damage, and it combined with Varus' base stats means that your auto attacks deal 737 damage, most of it as magic damage.

Lethality Varus:

Lethality Varus' auto attacks deal 450 damage (27 from Blighted Quiver, 119 from base stats and 5,4 from runes), all of it as physical damage.

Winner: AP Varus

Piercing Arrow's Damage

Here isn't much to comparise because Piercing Arrow doesn't have an ability power scale and I don't count the extra damage to blight stacks here as it really isn't Piercing Arrow's damage. Lethality Varus does way more damage with his Q than AP Varus. I don't list the damages here because it is really hard to count as it varies on multiple functions.

Winner: Lethality Varus

Blighted Quiver's Damage

Here isn't much to discuss about as AP Varus' damage is mostly from Blighted Quiver. This is only about the damage of blight stacks as the attack damage is already calculated in the "auto attack damage" section of this chapter. The active of this ability doesn't deal bonus damage based on your build, so it is not comparised here either.

AP Varus:

With full Riftmaker build, level 18 and 40 minute game, the damage of detonating all the blight stacks is 60% max health damage, most max health damage in the game I guess.

Lethality Varus:

Lethality Varus' damage of max stacks is only 15% because it doesn't have attack damage scale at all.

Winner: AP Varus

Hail of Arrows' damage

Here isn't much to compare because this ability doesn't have any AP scale and I only want to explain the ones AP Varus wins so no one can say that I have cheated at some point.

Winner: Lethality Varus

Chain of Corruption's damage

This is easy win for AP Varus because Chain of Corruption doesn't have any AD scale.

AP Varus:

AP Varus' ult deals 1396 damage

Lethality Varus:

Lethality Varus' ultimate deals 350 damage

Winner: AP Varus

The Mathematical Correctness
everything is at 40 minutes and level 18 with full Hail of Blades build

Ability Power

Your ability power is your key to oneshots, and you will get 1009 of it at 40 minutes. Now I will teach you how you get that much.
1. 40% bonus ability power is added to all of your ability power sources because of Rabadon's Deathcap
2. Runes give you 158 ability power (30 from Eyeball Collection, 30 from Absolute Focus, 80 from Gathering Storm and 18 from rune shards
3. Nashor's Tooth gives you 100 ability power
4. Riftmaker gives you 70 ability power and 8 for every legendary item = 102 in total
5. With Seraph's Embrace's mana-to-ability power-ratio, it gives you 1900 x 0,025 + 70 = 117,5 ≈ 118 ability power (using 117,5 in the summary)
6. Rabadon's Deathcap gives you 120 ability power
7. Horizon Focus gives you 100 ability power
8. Elixir of Sorcery gives you 50 ability power

Summary:

(158 + 100 + 70 + 32 + (1900 x 0,025) + 70 + 120 + 100 + 50) + 40%
= 747 + 40% = 1046,5 ≈ 1046 ability power


Auto Attacks

Though the build doesn't provide you any attack damage, your auto attacks still deal a ton of damage.
1. Varus' base attack damage is 62 and he gets 3,4 for every level, so 62 + (3,4 x 17) = 119,8 ≈ 120 (using 119,8 in the summary)
2. Blighted Quiver gives 27 (+ 35% of ability power) bonus magic damage to your auto attacks so it gives 27 + (((158 + 100 + 70 + 32 + (1900 x 0,025) + 70 + 120 + 100 + 50) + 40%) x 0,35)
= 366,275 + 27
= 393,275 ≈ 393 bonus damage to your auto attacks (using 393,275 in the summary)
3. Nashor's Tooth gives 15 (+ 20% of ability power) bonus magic damage to your auto attacks so it gives 15 + (((158 + 100 + 70 + 32 + (1900 x 0,025) + 70 + 120 + 100 + 50) + 40%) x 0,20)
= 15 + 209,3
= 224,3 ≈ 224 bonus damage to your auto attacks (using 224,3 in the summary)

Summary:

119,8 + 393,275 + 224,3
= 737,375 ≈ 737 damage with each auto attack


Blighted Quiver's damage

Your W is your main source of damage as its damage in the late game is just huge. this is the damage of detonating all the blight stacks, not just one. The damage was significantly nerfed in patch 13.13
1. All damage here is max health damage
2. Blighted Quiver's base damage is 15% of the enemy's max health
3. you get 4,5% more max health damage for every 100 ability power
4. all damage is increased by up to 50% if detonated by Piercing Arrow depending on the channeling time

Summary:

(15% + (7,5% x 10)) + 50%
= 60% max health damage + up to 50% more damage based on Piercing Arrow's channeling time (in theory 90% max health damage)


Chain of Corruption's damage

Your ultimate can deal a hefty amount of damage when you have your full build and it is also a nearly guaranteed 3-stack blight stack detonating, which is really lethal to nearly all of the enemies on the rift
1. The base damage is 350 when maxed out
2. Chain of Corruption has 100% ability power scaling

Summary:

350 + ((158 + 100 + 70 + 32 + (1900 x 0,025) + 70 + 120 + 100 + 50) + 40%)
= 1396,5 ≈ 1396 magic damage


Chain of Corruption + Blighted Quiver + Piercing Arrow combo damage

This isn't necessary to put here, but I wanted to show you the power of your basic oneshot combo
1. the enemy is max health
2. Chain of Corruption deals 1396 damage
3. Piercing Arrow buffed by Blighted Quiver deals up to 80% missing health damage based on the charge time
4. Piercing Arrow deals 352,5 damage with maximum charge time
5. detonating all three blight stacks deals 90% max health damage, increased by up to 50% based on your Piercing Arrow's charge time so in theory the max damage is 135% max health damage
5. After the first hit, the enemy takes 10% increased damage for 6 seconds (the rest of the combo) because of Horizon Focus

Summary:

1396 + (1396 x 0,8) + 325,5 + 90% (max health damage, increased by 50%)
= 2838,3 damage + 90% max health damage, max health damage is increased by up to 50% based on Piercing Arrow's charge time. Also the damage after you hit your ultimate is increased by 10%
The End
Not even 50% of you even scrolled the guide, not even 10% of you read the whole guide and not even 0,1% of you upvoted it. Why? Because you don't care. And you never will. Again, why did I write this down? To get even 1% of you to upvote this, to see that someone really is reading this and that someone cares. Probably the number will stay at 0,1%. At least I tried.
Download the Porofessor App for Windows

League of Legends Champions:

Teamfight Tactics Guide