League of Legends Guide: How to play Lethality Varus

League of Legends. Courtesy of Riot Games.
League of Legends. Courtesy of Riot Games. /

This is a guide on how to play Lethality Varus, one of the most popular and successful ADCs in League of Legends Season 10 so far.

Previously dismissed as a troll build or picked solely in the mid lane, Lethality Varus has suddenly risen in popularity and is now the preferred set-up when playing the Arrow of Retribution. With no tanks on the enemy team and zero bonus armor to worry about, the marksman’s long-range Piercing Arrows can be deadly. This is a guide on how to maximize your lethality on Varus, both in inventory and in gameplay.

League of Legends is no longer about filling your team with tanks and out-sustaining your opponents during lengthy, drawn out team fights. Instead, the Season 10 meta has evolved to a point of seeing bruisers in the top lane and high utility, damage-oriented champions in the jungle, particularly in solo queue.

Even the support champion pool is slowly shifting towards enchanters rather than the tanks we’ve become so used to seeing over the last few years.

As a result, Lethality Varus can thrive. Low health bars and limited defensive stats are directly countered by high burst damage and poke, as illustrated by Varus’ notable 51.04% win rate on Patch 10.10, placing him firmly in the S tier among bot laners. Although the Darkin Bow suffers from a steep 23.7% ban rate in solo queue, you’ll want to take advantage of the times he’s left open by locking him in, building full lethality, and following this guide.

Rune Page

"Primary Tree – Sorcery: Arcane Comet, Manaflow Band, Transcendence, Scorch.Secondary Tree – Inspiration: Magical Footwear, Biscuit Delivery.Shards: Adaptive Force, Adaptive Force, Armor."

Arcane Comet increases Varus’ poke damage as the keystone is relatively hard to dodge from the range of his Piercing Arrow. Manaflow Band removes any mana problems Varus may have, while Transcendence makes use of the excess cooldown reduction that comes with lethality builds.

Scorch improves Varus’ laning phase poke damage and the Inspiration tree is standard among bot laners in Season 10.

Skill Order

"R – Chain of Corruption -> Q – Piercing Arrow -> E – Hail of Arrows -> W – Blighted Quiver."

Obviously, you should level up your ultimate first, then follow it up with the most important ability in Lethality Varus’ kit, Piercing Arrow.

Although Blighted Quiver is an excellent tool to execute low health enemies, adding levels to it hardly improves the ability, so go for Hail of Arrows third instead to ward off any oncoming foes with a crippling 45% slow.

Item Build

"Starting Item: Corrupting Potion (or Doran’s Blade)Essential Items: Umbral Glaive, Boots of Swiftness, Youmuu’s Ghostblade.Optional Items: Duskblade of Draktharr, Edge of Night, Guardian Angel, Lord Dominick’s Regard, Mortal Reminder, Maw of Malmortius."

Buying a Corrupting Potion at the start of the game is ideal for Varus to sustain through the laning phase with ease, keeping himself topped up with health and mana with no real trade-off. However, if you’re not confident in last-hitting with an unfamiliar item, just take Doran’s Blade or a Long Sword to lane with you instead.

Lethality Varus scales with lethality, so if you’re unsure of which item to buy at any point in the game, just purchase a Serrated Dirk and make it work. When it comes to completed items, opt for Umbral Glaive first as its gold efficiency is excellent and its passive, Blackout, allows Varus to clear any pesky traps or wards in his vicinity.

Continue your build with Boots of Swiftness to close the gap on escaping enemies to land the killing blow, as well as Youmuu’s Ghostblade to improve Varus’ mobility within team fights.

Finally, there are a plethora of lethality items available to complete your build and fill your inventory. Duskblade of Draktharr offers an incredible 21 lethality and 60 attack damage, so is always worth considering. However, if you prefer survivability over damage, head for a Guardian Angel or Maw of Malmortius instead.


Crafting the perfect rune page and buying the proper items can only take you so far, in order to master Lethality Varus you must pay close attention to your gameplay. While you may already be an accomplished ADC player, this Varus build suffers from a clear lack of attack speed, so you will have to adjust how you play League of Legends in order to find wins with this set-up.

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The laning phase is no longer about idly farming, nor is it about setting up for the 2v2, but rather it revolves around Varus poking his enemies down with Piercing Arrow after Piercing Arrow, forcing them out of lane and building a strong gold advantage early on. The bot laner’s shortage of mobility and attack speed means any early fight could spell disaster for both him and his team, so sticking to poke from range is the better option during the laning phase.

As for the mid game, Varus should continue to poke but with more frequency as mana becomes less of a problem and his lethality number continues to rise. Set up shop in the mid lane, clear out minion waves, and fire off an endless flurry of arrows at your opponents, forcing them to recall and opening up a numbers advantage for your team ahead of major objectives spawning.

Varus should play mostly like a normal marksman in the late game, positioning himself in the backline for maximum protection, while auto attacking whatever champion is closest to him. Self-peeling with Chain of Corruption and Hail of Arrows is vital as Varus could instantly be blown up by an oncoming bruiser or assassin due to his lack of escape tools.

However, the most important part of Varus’ late game is his ability to find angles to fire off deadly arrows into the enemy backline. If an arrow passes through a tank before hitting a squishy, the damage falloff will be huge, so be sure to find creative positions and angles to hit your targets without obstruction.

Landing just 2 or 3 perfect arrows on important, damage-dealing opponents could be the key difference between winning and losing your solo queue games.

Next. Patch 10.10 Tier List. dark

Lethality Varus is currently the cream of the crop when it comes to bot laners on Patch 10.10 and the champion is set for a lengthy spell in the ADC S tier. Make the most of this by reading through this guide, practicing the champion, and consistently nailing your targets with lethal Piercing Arrows.