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The Arrow of Retribution
Release Date: May 8th, 2012
Cost: 4800 BE 880 RP
Primary Attribute: Marksman
Secondary Attribute: Mage
Resource: Mana
Health Mini Icon.png Health: 499 (+ 89)
HealthRegen Mini Icon.png Health Regen: 3.5 (+ 0.55)
Mana Mini Icon.png Mana: 360.48 (+ 33)
ManaRegen Mini Icon.png Mana Regen: 7.34 (+ 0.8)
MovementSpeed Mini Icon.png Movespeed: 330
AttackDamage Mini Icon.png Attack Damage: 59 (+ 3.11)
AttackSpeed Mini Icon.png Attack Speed: 0.658 (+ 3%)
Range Mini Icon.png Range: 575
Armor Mini Icon.png Armor: 27 (+ 3.4)
MagicResist Mini Icon.png Magic Resist: 30 (+ 0.5)
Blight Crystal Varus Released: 2012-05-08 / 975 RP
Arclight Varus Released: 2012-12-05 / 975 RP
Arctic Ops Varus Released: 2014-03-20 / 1350 RP
Heartseeker Varus Released: 2015-02-13 / 1350 RP
Varus Swiftbolt Released: 2015-12-08 / 750 RP
Dark Star Varus Released: 2016-06-16 / 1350 RP
Conqueror Varus Released: 2018-04-26 / 975 RP


  • Biography
  • Story
  • 2nd bio
  • 1st bio
  • League Judgement
One of the ancient darkin, Varus was a deadly killer who loved to torment his foes, driving them almost to insanity before delivering the killing arrow. He was imprisoned at the end of the Great Darkin War, but escaped centuries later in the remade flesh of two Ionian hunters—they had unwittingly released him, cursed to bear the bow containing his bound essence. Varus now seeks out those who trapped him, in order to enact his brutal vengeance, but the mortal souls within still resist him every step of the way.

Regardless of what he would later become, Varus was once a paragon of loyalty and honor. A skilled archer of the ancient Shuriman empire, he was appointed as a temple warden in the eastern states, and he held this duty sacred above all else.

During the earliest stages of the war with Icathia, even though it lay far from that cursed place, Varus’ homeland was attacked. While other wardens abandoned their posts to join the defense of the outlying villages, he alone remained, screaming in anguish with every arrow he loosed—for he had chosen to uphold his oaths rather than return home to protect his own family.

Emissaries from the Ascended Host found him kneeling in solemn meditation amid the corpses of his foes. It was said that his cold gaze unsettled even the god-warriors themselves, and yet, in recognition of his noble sacrifice, Varus was offered a place in their ranks.

As one of the great Ascended, he was utterly consumed by his pursuit of vengeance against the Icathians, and the voidling horrors they had unleashed. It is likely that Varus did not even fully comprehend Shurima’s ultimate victory in that war, so twisted had his mind become—nor the empire’s fall centuries later. Atrocity after atrocity blurred together, leaving him as a withdrawn, callous killer, reshaped and sent into battle countless times by his degenerate brethren.

Their name became feared throughout the known world.

The darkin.

Warring among themselves, they destroyed any other who stood against them. With his crystalline bow, Varus assassinated enemy commanders and champions, helping the darkin defeat entire mortal armies with ever greater ease.

Eventually, Varus was cornered by vastayan moon-stalkers and human mages in service of a golden-armored warrior queen of Valoran. They bound him within his bow, leaving him to howl in impotent rage. By then, the raw, corrupting influence of the darkin was known, and yet still the queen chose to wield the deadly weapon in the final days of the war, gladly sacrificing herself for a greater victory.

In the months that followed, the queen carried Varus to the First Lands—those that would later be known as Ionia. Now made monstrous by the bow’s power, her last act was to command her followers to bury her alive in a lightless well, sunk deep beneath a mountain temple overlooking the village of Pallas.

And there Varus was imprisoned, both by the natural magic of Ionia, and the ritual ministrations of the temple guardians.

The bow remained hidden for centuries, unknown, untouched, and all but forgotten, until Noxian invaders attacked the First Lands. Two beast hunters—Valmar and his heartlight, Kai—fought against the first wave at the Temple of Pallas. Though their courage was great and they drove off the attackers, Kai was mortally wounded, and a grief-stricken Val carried him inside, believing the well’s forbidden magic could restore him.

But the temple held only damnation, and both hunters were consumed by the unleashed power of the darkin within it. The very matter of their bodies was unraveled and bound together again to craft a new body, a body fit to free Varus from his imprisonment. What emerged from the well was a gestalt creature, pale and inhumanly beautiful, part human and part darkin. After more than a thousand years, Varus was reborn.

Even so, the human and darkin elements of this imperfect form are in constant flux, with each managing to wrest control for a short time before being reined in by the other. Varus fights to silence the two mortal souls once and for all, and wreak vengeance for the destruction of his race. Still, Kai and Val struggle against his malevolent influence, hoping against hope that their love can overcome the darkin’s hatred.

How long they can keep Varus conflicted is anyone’s guess—but should this sadistic and egotistical killer come to fully dominate his new host, it is certain he will seek to reunite with others of his kind, and reduce all of Runeterra to an ashen wasteland.

"You didn’t destroy us all. And that mistake will be your undoing."

- VarusSquare.png Varus


Varus followed a river running through the desert. Its water was gritty, but drinkable. The new body he had wrought to bear his bow was beautiful, fast and strong, but it came with the weaknesses of flesh. It hungered. It thirsted.

Days earlier, a crook-backed creature with a withered arm and birdlike features had told him this was Shurima, but that couldn’t be true. The Shurima Varus remembered had been a desolate wasteland.

“Was I imprisoned for so long?” he wondered.

He despised the human noises his new mouth made. It sounded bestial and primitive, but at least he could speak aloud once more. As to how long he had been imprisoned... it was hard to say. He retained no concept of how mortals measured time, and the bird creature hadn’t recognized what he was. She had no idea how far back the Darkin War had been fought.

“My kind all but destroyed this world,” he said. “And now we have been forgotten? How is that even possible?”

With enough time, even the greatest horrors can fade.

The voice echoed in his skull, impossible to ignore. Which one was it? Kai or Valmar? He suspected Val, but mortal minds were so simple and muddy that it was hard to tell one from another.

“Any race that can forget staring into the abyss of its own extinction does not deserve to live,” said Varus.

We don’t forget. This was Valmar, decided Varus. Horrors become myths so we can bear to hear them, so we can learn from them and not go mad.

Such a notion was ridiculous, and Varus knew he would never allow the doom of his species to fade from memory. He was about to say so, when he heard noises from around a bend in the river ahead; shouting voices, braying animals and the sound of tools on stone. He darted forward, into the shadow of a toppled obelisk, and scanned ahead.

The new river had exposed the sunken ruins of some ancient structure comprised of pillars and statues of animal-headed gods. Yes, this was the source of the magic he had sensed. Old magic. The kind the flame-haired queen used to enslave his kind.

The kind used to imprison him beneath the rock of Ionia.

Tanned, wolf-lean men worked the ruins, digging out hidden reliquary chambers as thick-limbed beasts of burden dragged excavated rocks from deeper inside the structure. Armed warriors wearing boiled leather breastplates and carrying hook-bladed spears guarded the perimeter. Varus grinned and vaulted onto the obelisk, drawing back on his bow as he landed. Violet light built in the crystalline weapon as it flexed, and a coruscating arrow of purple lightning formed in the air.

Why must you kill them? This was Kai. He hated unnecessary killing.

Varus felt his hands tremble as Kai fought to make him lower the bow.

“Your kind destroyed my kin,” said Varus, exerting his will to steady his aim. “That’s the only reason I need.”

He sighted along the crackling arrow as a burly warrior with a forked beard and shaven scalp saw him and yelled a warning.

So everyone you see must die?

Varus exhaled, and in the space between breaths loosed the fiery arrow. It flashed through the air to pierce the bearded warrior through the heart, burning a hole clean through him. He dropped to his knees, his mouth wide with shock. Other warriors hurled spears, but Varus was already moving. He sprang from the obelisk, loosing fiery, blood-red bolts from his bow. Varus hit the ground running, and five warriors died in as many bolts. A further three fell, pierced by the same crackling shaft.

A hook-spear swung at Varus. He dived to the side, rising to his feet and sending a pair of crimson shafts through his attacker’s chest. Varus sprinted, leapt and dashed through the ruins, blazing shafts of light eviscerating his targets with absolute precision. In seconds it was over. Sixteen dead, and he hadn’t even broken sweat. He felt the anguish of the mortal souls within him and grinned. Every death gnawed at them, weakened them and made them less able to fight him.

The men excavating the ruined city fled, throwing down their tools and running for the river. Varus let them go. They were an irrelevance, and the killing of mortals without weapons always provoked the mortal souls within him to rebellion.

Varus entered the ruined structure, briefly glancing at a pair of jackal and crocodilian statues as he passed. Inside, it was cool and dark, the walls covered in vivid bas-reliefs depicting wide discs spreading golden rays over a bountiful land. The stone floor was inscribed with a magical script that had been ancient even before the darkin came to Runeterra.

“Warding sigils. Potent once, but faded,” said Varus, crossing the inscribed flagstones to where a towering statue of a great serpent-headed god had once stood sentinel. Some past catastrophe had toppled it, and beyond its sandstone remains lay a lightless chamber.

Varus entered, the glow from the smoldering light at his heart revealing nothing but bare stone, burned black and glossy with ancient fire.

Varus sighed. “Where are you, sister?” he said.

One of the ancient race of darkin, Varus was a deadly killer who loved to torment his foes with arrows, driving them to insanity before closing for the kill. Possessed of wondrous beauty, Varus was imprisoned at the end of the Darkin War, but escaped, centuries later, in the remade flesh of two Ionian hunters. The two men had unwittingly released Varus and now bear the bow containing his bound essence. Varus now hunts those who trapped him in order to enact his brutal vengeance, but the souls bound within him fight him every step of the way.

The mortal mages of Runeterra wielded wild magic, heedless of the consequences beyond their own world. Their reckless use of magic attracted the hunger of the darkin, who sent their fiercest warriors to conquer this new world. Varus traveled to Runeterra with the second wave of invaders, and with his crystalline bow, he assassinated enemy commanders and champions, helping the darkin defeat the mortal armies with ever greater ease.

Soon after Aatrox’s fall, Varus was cornered by vastayan moon-stalkers and human mages in service of a golden-armored warrior queen. They bound him within his crystalline bow, leaving him to howl with impotent rage. By now, the corrupting influence of the darkin was known, and the warrior queen alone wielded the deadly bow in the final battle of the war, loosing the last bolt that broke the bridge to the darkin world forever.

At the end of the Darkin War, the queen carried Varus’s bow to a land that would become known as Ionia. Her last act was to imprison the bow deep within a lightless cell sunk deep beneath a mountain temple overlooking the village of Pallas. There it remained, imprisoned by the natural magic of Ionia and the ritual ministrations of its guardians.

The bow remained hidden deep underground for centuries, unknown, untouched, and all but forgotten until Noxian invaders attacked Ionia. Two beast hunters - Valmar and his heartlight, Kai - fought the first wave of these invaders at the Temple of Pallas. Though their courage was great and drove off the attackers, Kai was mortally wounded. A grief-stricken Val carried him inside, praying the temple’s magic would restore him.

But the temple held only damnation, and both hunters were consumed by the unleashed power of the darkin. The very matter of their bodies was unraveled and bound together in a warp and weft of new flesh to craft a perfect body, fit to bear the soul of Varus. What emerged from the temple was a gestalt creature, pale and inhumanly beautiful, part human, part darkin, Varus was reborn as an entity with a war for supremacy being waged in its soul.

The human and darkin elements of this newborn body are in constant flux, with each element sometimes managing to wrest control of the body for a short time before being reined in by the other. Varus fights to overcome Val and Kai’s resistance once and for all so that he may wreak vengeance on mortals for the destruction of his race. But Kai and Val fight on against his malevolent influence, hoping against hope that their love can overcome the darkin’s baser urges.

How long Val and Kai can keep Varus fully at bay is anyone’s guess, but should this sadistic and egotistical darkin killer come to fully dominate his new body, it is certain he will seek to reunite with the survivors of his race in hopes of reducing Runeterra to an ashen wasteland.

"You didn’t destroy us all. And that mistake will be your undoing."

- VarusSquare.png Varus

For his incomparable skill with the bow and his unquestioned sense of honor, Varus was chosen to be the warden of a sacred Ionian temple. The temple was built to contain an ancient pit of corruption so vile that Ionian Elders feared it could envelop the island in darkness. Varus prided himself on his position, as only the most exceptional Ionian warriors were selected for the role. He lived with his family in a nearby village and led a quiet life of disciplined routine until the day the forces of Noxus invaded Ionia. Their shock troops left nothing but death and desolation in their wake, and the temple lay in their path. Varus was forced to make a decision. He was bound by honor to stay and defend the temple, but without him the village's few inhabitants could offer little resistance against the oncoming war machine. Gravely, he chose to fulfill his duty as a warden. The corruption could not be allowed to escape.

His arrows sundered the troops who tried to wrest the temple from him that day. However, when he returned to the village, he found that it had been reduced to a smoldering graveyard. Remorse at the sight of his slain family gave way to overwhelming regret, and then to seething hatred. He swore to slaughter every Noxian invader, but first he needed to become stronger. He turned to that which he had sacrificed everything to protect. The pit of corruption would consume him wholly, as a flame devours a wick, but its abominable power would burn within him until he was lost. This was a path from which there could be no return. With grim resolve, he condemned himself to the black flames, feeling malevolent energy bond to his skin...and with it, the promise of ruin. He left, seeking the blood of all Noxians involved with the invasion, a grisly task that eventually led him to the invasion's most infamous perpetrators.

"The life of an arrow is fleeting, built of nothing but direction and intent."

- VarusSquare.png Varus

Candidate: Varus

Date: 7 March, 22 CLE


He absorbs his bow, lest he be tempted to use it in the Institute of War; it slithers into his palm to rest. The polish of the chamber is immaculate, so that in its ornamental shields and blades his form can be seen reflected; "his" form, though he can never recognize it as his own. His arms disappear into black gauntlets of a liquid that can't entirely decide on a shape; brackish muck creeps from his toes nearly to his navel, scabbing over into plates.

What might seem purely black is, upon closer inspection, almost infinitely complex in color; it travels his surface like an oil. Varus wonders if it might have claimed more since yesterday, lapping as it does at what pure flesh remains. He decides that he is, on the whole, satisfied with their arrangement - even if mirrors show him a creature like this.

I am not broken, he tells himself. Not broken. Simply have a different shape.


Teaching is learning.

Showing Theshan where to hold the bow, how to draw, and how to remember his breath gave Varus a better understanding of these things himself. His son would need to know these things for himself; his father had been anointed Temple Guardian, after all. He wouldn't always be there.

Varus wasn't there now, strictly speaking; none of this was real, and his clever eyes knew it.

This was some game Summoners played to amuse themselves with aspirants to the League. But here was his son, blessedly alive. He tousled the boy's warm hair. Varus knew what was coming, and he took such blessings where he could. The two of them looked up the hill, up, until they saw the Temple itself.

It was older than the village, much older. A statement from a bygone era of plenty, there was no pragmatism in its construction.

"A Pit of Pallas," said the son who was not his son. "There is a Pit of Pallas there."

"I did not know it at the time, but yes," replied Varus.

"They left a single man in its defense?"

"They did."

Much surprised him about his new role. The old prayers he'd said every day since he was a boy, it seemed, were missing a few grave syllables; the Elders had been holding out.

Tattoos of the clever Owl, applied to the face, chest, and arms had altered his perception; this too was surprising. Then, there was The Pit, and just five feet across, it was hard to imagine this featureless disc could be the source of so much concern.

He was most surprised, perhaps, when - on his first night's vigil - it began to speak.

Not with words, no - words would have been much easier to deflect. It spoke in moments, mostly: images, sensations. It knew people, it could taste them on the air. It knew that they had a hive at the base of its hill, where they writhed in their nonsense bodies. Varus could sense its confusion, and something like being hurt; the isolation of the temple had accrued in it. It wanted to show him something he would like. It wanted to make something for him. Its urge was to please.

This was not the "implacable beast" he had been sworn to contain.

Once, as Varus entered the sanctum to perform the morning's Rite of Sealing, he was made to see himself, surrounded by others of his village, standing with a young man's vigor while those around him withered like crops, their skins falling off like sacks. He could sense that it seemed somehow pleased with itself.

"Now?" it offered, confident in the reply.

"No," replied Varus.

When it spoke next, he ceased to exist in the present altogether. Instead he waded through ankle-high blood, the ripples he made growing and rising until they roared and crashed. He heard a voice, then, or the idea of a voice, which said, pleadingly, "Now?"

The bite of the incense, with its teeth of rosemary and oak, cut through the vision. He fell back on the palms of his hands, turning and scrambling to load the brazier. It tipped on its copper chain, spilling and searing his hands.


It crashed against his mind, but the Owl asserted itself. It gave him will enough to pull himself along the maze-like walls to the doorway, where he could see the village burning; again, he had to see it all again.

He ran, though he didn't entirely know why; there was a part of him that though if he took this path, slid down this face instead of that, maybe it would be different. Perhaps he would not find his broken wife alongside his broken boy alongside his broken bow; perhaps he would not pick up that bow and bring it back to the Temple.

He was wrong.

He was given a vision then of a thousand, thousand dead. It was a wedge pounded through his ribs and into his heart. He fell to his knees.

"Now?" It was almost a whisper.

"Now," Varus whispered back. "Now, damn you."

And when he did so it broke a dam deep in the earth, so that the placid disc of the pool reached up from its heart and splashed out, leaving jags of hot black glass standing wherever it touched. It was flowing through the air, around the curling smoke until it struck Varus off his feet. It peeled his hand, digesting it, consuming the bow. It ate both arms, and both legs, stopping out of... respect, if respect it may be called, for the Owl; it would not surpass the markings. In a moment of detached madness, Varus wondered how long that would last.

The Reflection wavered, and a summoner panted with exertion; the images wrested themselves from their bindings, careening through a nightmarish series of scenes with an animal immediacy. The room solidified, rendered overbright by the alien senses which collected the last few years of Varus' grim past:

Only the tips of each of his toes touched the ground; Varus knew the force couldn't be far. When he overtook them, the cart at the head of the column had the wisdom to encourage its horses. Those without wisdom, or those cursed by circumstance, began to die with terrible speed.

As Varus slowed, an apparatus with a bow's purpose, if not its shape, leapt to life for the first time at his wrist. He needed not be instructed in its use; a man was instantly pierced, burst like a wineskin. This proved a true inspiration to his fellows, who found within themselves a speed they never knew possible; though even at this speed, they were still beings of flesh and blood. Insufficient.

Though what it fired wasn't an arrow, it behaved as one; it ruined as one, traveled through the Noxian insignia, out of one gasping soldier and into another, exploding with six thirsting tongues that gripped and snared. With every death Varus shot faster, until by the end there was no sense that each shot was discrete. The Prey simply ran until it fell. It was elegant horror.

Time passes quickly. There were more hunts, and more blood; mercies were promised, but withheld. Darkness swirled with the scent of wet leaves, oddly sweet, the broken bodies of men and women rendered wholly abstract in the course of their annihilation. Varus knelt over a sundered cart to seize a communique, pierced through by one of his sharp tendrils; it revealed the names of yet a few more Noxian dogs, responsible for issuing the order...

The damning order. What they took from him he would repay a thousand-fold.

A summoner stepped forward, her mask of judgment impassive, her presence sweeping away the last threads of the vision. "Your purpose here is clear. You have discerned that among our Champions there exist Noxian agents. This, all of this," she waved her hand, "is the prosecution of some vendetta."

"You understand, of course, that your vengeance is not the purpose of the League?" she said, eyes narrowed.

"By now, you surely realized," said Varus, or the amalgam which stood before them cloaked in Varus, its tongue swollen and black.

"It is the only purpose I have left."


Living Vengeance.png Living Vengeance [Passive]

Innate: When Varus kills an enemy he enters a vengeful fury, gaining increased Attack Speed for 5 seconds.

Champion kill or assist: 40% (+30% bonus Attack Speed) Attack Speed
Non-champion kill: 20% (+15% bonus Attack Speed) Attack Speed

Piercing Arrow.png Piercing Arrow [Q]
Cost: 65 / 75 / 85 / 95 / 105 Mana Cooldown: 20 / 18 / 16 / 14 / 12s

First Cast: Varus starts drawing back his next shot, gradually increasing its range and damage. While preparing to shoot Varus' Movement Speed is slowed by 20%. After 4 seconds, Piercing Arrow fails but refunds 50% of its Mana cost.

Second Cast: Varus fires, dealing physical damage, reduced by 15% per enemy hit (minimum 33%).

Piercing Arrow's cooldown is reduced by (+100% total) seconds if the arrow detonates Blight stacks from at least one enemy champion.

Min Damage: 10 / 47 / 83 / 120 / 157 (+110% total)
Max Damage: 15 / 70 / 125 / 180 / 235 (+165% total)
Blighted Quiver.png Blighted Quiver [W]
Cost: No Cost Cooldown: 40s

Passive: Varus' basic attacks deal bonus magic damage and apply Blight for 6 seconds (stacks 3 times).

Varus' other abilities detonate Blight, dealing magic damage per stack.
Active: Varus' next Piercing Arrow.png Piercing Arrow deals additional damage. Damage is increased by up to 50% based on charge time.

On-hit Damage: 7 / 10.5 / 14 / 17.5 / 21 (+25%)
Blight Damage per Stack: [3 / 3.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 5% (+20%)% target's max]
Piercing Arrow.png Piercing Arrow Bonus Damage: [+6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10% target's missing]
Hail of Arrows.png Hail of Arrows [E]
Cost: 80 Mana Cooldown: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10s Range: 750

Active: Varus fires a hail of arrows that deals physical damage and desecrates the ground for 4 seconds.

Desecrated Ground slows enemy Movement Speed and reduces healing effects by 40%.

Physical Damage: 70 / 105 / 140 / 175 / 210 (+60% Bonus)
Slow: 20 / 24 / 28 / 32 / 36%
Chain of Corruption.png Chain of Corruption [R]
Cost: 100 Mana Cooldown: 110 / 90 / 70s Range: 1200

Active: Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that deals magic damage and immobilizes the first enemy champion hit for 2 seconds.

The corruption then spreads towards nearby uninfected enemy champions. If it reaches them, the take damage and area also immobilized. Mobilized units gain 3 stacks of Blight over the duration.

Magic Damage: 100 / 175 / 250 (+100%)

Patch History


Base health decreased; health growth increased.

As a marksman with long-ranged poke, Varus should be easier to kill when opponents close the gap.

Base Stats

HEALTH : [549] 499


Q MINIMUM DAMAGE RATIO : [1.0] 1.1 total attack damage
Q MAXIMUM DAMAGE RATIO : [1.5] 1.65 total attack damage
W ON-HIT DAMAGE : [5/9/13/17/21]
W STACK POP DAMAGE : [2/2.75/3.5/4.25/5%]
3/3.5/4/4.5/5% target's maximum health per stack


ARMOR : [32] 27
HEALTH : [537.76] 549
HEALTH REGEN : [1.1] 0.7

W on-hit damage decreased. W now has an active which empowers Varus' next Q to deal bonus damage.

Piercing Arrow is Varus' most iconic spell, but it's pretty underwhelming in many of his current builds. We're not looking to change the way he builds, but we do want to create more incentives for him to care about charging his Q, even when he's building on-hit. Given that he was pretty balanced before, adding a whole new active requires us to trim some power elsewhere.

Living Vengeance.png Passive - Living Vengeance


Blighted Quiver.png W - Blighted Quiver

ON-HIT DAMAGE : [10/14/18/22/26]
ACTIVE Varus' next Piercing Arrow deals additional damage equal to 6/7/8/9/10% of the target's missing HP. Damage is increased by up to 50% (to 9/10.5/12/13.5/15%) based on charge time.


BASE ARMOR : [23.21] 32.21

Hail of Arrows.png E - Hail of Arrows

BASE DAMAGE : [65/100/135/170/205]

Q refund from Blight procs no longer reduced by cooldown reduction.

Last patch’s changes to Varus were part of a three-pronged approach to knocking Varus off the bot-lane throne (the other two being Edge of Night and Deathfire Touch nerfs). Speaking to Varus specifically, we tied Piercing Arrow’s cooldown to Varus’s willingness to use basic attacks to nock enemies dead. We’re happy with this direction, but have some room to restore a bit of power.

Part of Piercing Arrow’s cooldown refund mechanic included anti-scaling with cooldown reduction: we were hesitant to give him the option of getting Piercing Arrow’s cooldown lower than it was pre-nerf. Ultimately, though, Varus still has to use his basic attack to get his refund, which is the main improvement we wanted to see. Nixing the anti-scaling is a power-up for Varus that also makes the refund easier to understand and feel better in cooldown reduction builds.

Piercing Arrow.png Q - Piercing Arrow

COOLDOWN REFUND ON BLIGHT PROC : [4 seconds, scaling down with cooldown reduction] 4 seconds

Q deals less damage when fully charged and has a longer base cooldown, but the cooldown is partially refunded if Q detonates Blight on a champion.

As most bot- or mid-laners can attest to, Varus's Piercing Arrow is really good at bringing the full force of Lethality (and Deathfire Touch) to bear from long range. This is (or was) somewhat intentional: when Varus is behind, Piercing Arrow lets him contribute to fights without feeding the enemy more kills. Right now, that backup plan doesn’t actually cost Varus that much damage, raising the question “why take the risks associated with basic attacking if safe Q spam works just as well?”

While it's clear that Piercing Arrow needs to be brought in line, the larger goal is to encourage Varus to do things we can support in the long run. To that end, the changes below are lessened when he uses Q as a Blight detonator between attacks, rather than a fully-charged fog-of-war snipe. Granted, even a basic-attacking Varus won’t escape the Deathfire Touch changes further below, but that’s honestly how far off the rails Piercing Arrow was.

Piercing Arrow.png Q - Piercing Arrow

RATIO : [100 - 165%] 100 - 150% total AD, scaling with charge duration
COOLDOWN : [16/14/12/10/8] 20/18/16/14/12 seconds
BLIGHT BURSTING Piercing Arrow’s cooldown is now reduced by 4 seconds (reduced by cooldown reduction) if it detonates Blight stacks on a champion

Passive now scales with bonus attack speed and its duration is the same regardless of proc type.

When Varus has been successful in the past, it’s been by building raw attack damage and armor penetration items, rather than marksman crit builds. We want to support Varus as both a caster and a traditional marksman, so we’re making the basic-attack scaling on his passive more appropriate in the late game.

Living Vengeance.png Passive - Living Vengeance

BONUS ATTACK SPEED RATIO +50% bonus attack speed on champion kill/assist (halved for minion/monster kills)
DURATION : [6 seconds for champion proc, 3 seconds for minion/monster proc] 5 seconds in both cases

R damage down, but rooted units stack Blight.

Varus' pattern of 'Blight dudes and light 'em up with abilities' never interacted very well with Chain of Corruption, typically used as a pure disengage tool. Now we're giving him the option to 'turn and burn' after chunking rooted targets with a big, Blighty arrow.


BASE ATTACK DAMAGE : [49.04] 54.46
BASE MANA : [310] 360

Chain of Corruption.png R - Chain of Corruption

TENTACLARITY Now displays the tendrils' maximum spread range to Varus and his enemies if it's going to spread to at least one enemy champion
DOWNED WITH THE SICKNESS Rooted targets gain 3 stacks of Blight over the duration of the root
MAGIC DAMAGE : [150/250/350] 100/175/250

v5.5 Cooldown now starts ticking the moment he starts charging.

"More of a quality of life change, Varus players should feel encouraged to charge their arrows instead of feeling penalized. "
  • Piercing Arrow.png Q - Piercing Arrow
    • IONIAN SNIPER : Now begins its cooldown at charge start, rather than when the arrow fires

v5.3 R got fatter.

"Varus's unique team-disengage has always been near the top of marksmen when it comes to strategic niches, and it's something we're excited to see more of. In an attempt to brighten his mood, we're amping up a bit of that reliability."
  • Chain of Corruption.png R - Chain of Corruption
    • MISSILE WIDTH : 100 120


"Despite being an effective lane-bully, Varus's effectiveness is so heavily tied to his Q harrass that he often finds himself running out of gas when it comes time to leverage that early-mid advantage into a more substantial one. We think Varus is a pretty cool dude (if perhaps a little grumpy; all he does is grumble), so we're seeing if this small change helps him stay relevant into the late game."
  • General


"In 4.13 we introduced a line indicator (similar to Xerath) over his previous circular one, hoping it would increase accuracy and satisfaction for Varus players - as it turns out, neither of those things happened (OOPS) so we're taking it back to the original. Thanks for the feedback, y'all! "
  • Piercing Arrow.jpg Q - Piercing Arrow
    • WHOOPS Line indicator removed (Now uses range circle again as per previous functionality)

Varus' R is on a lower cooldown, especially at later levels

"Varus' core identity in the late game revolves mostly around his initiation and counter-engagement, so we're nudging that up."
  • Piercing Arrow.jpg Q - Piercing Arrow
    • NEW CLARITY! Now shows a line indicator in addition to circle indicator while charging
  • Chain of Corruption.jpg R - Chain of Corruption
    • COOLDOWN 120/105/90 seconds ⇒ 110/90/70 seconds


  • Chain of Corruption
    • Mana cost reduced to 100 (from 120)


  • Piercing Arrow
    • Fixed a bug where casting Piercing Arrow while targeting an enemy would cause Varus to stop moving

Hail of Arrows makes Varus very strong in lane trades and zoning enemies out, but the strength of this ability was crowding out the intended use of Piercing Arrow as a high-damage snipe. With these changes, Hail of Arrows still has its strength in area control but it no longer completely trumps Piercing Arrow as a method of proccing Blighted Quiver and dealing high burst damage.

  • Base Movement Speed reduced to 330 from 335
  • Piercing Arrow
    • Minimum damage increased to 10 / 47 / 83 / 120 / 157 from 10 / 43 / 77 / 110 / 143
    • Maximum damage increased to 15 / 70 / 125 / 180 / 235 from 15 / 65 / 115 / 165 / 215
    • Improved hit detection at the end of the missile
  • Hail of Arrows
    • Damage reduced to 65 / 100 / 135 / 170 / 205 from 65 / 105 / 145 / 185 / 225
  • Chain of Corruption
    • Improved hit detection at the end of the missile


  • Base Movement Speed increased by 25.


  • Piercing Arrow
    • Fixed a bug so that it no longer sometimes fires from a point above his bow
    • Fixed a bug so that it will now more reliably hits targets at the end of its range
  • Blighted Quiver
    • Ability Power ratio on Blight stack detonation increased to 0.02 per stack from 0.01
  • Chain of Corruption
    • Missile width increased to 100 from 60
    • Increased missile visibility
    • Spread range from primary target to nearby targets increased to 550 from 450
    • Tendril break range increased to 600 from 550

VarusSquare.png Varus released


  • 2015

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