Hi everyone, i'm Darkin Hybrid. I've been a Varus main for almost 4 years now, and i'm here today to discuss everything there is to Varus...
* His Pros, Cons and the in-between
* Possible things that can be taken out and added in
* Potential ways to improve with minor/major changes
* Potential ways to make Varus overall better with through a minor/major Rework
* Possible directions for improvement/change that could be explored
* Theme Appeal
>#His Pros, Cons and the in-between
* Mixed Damage
* Crowd Control
* Anti-Tank Marksman
* Long Ranged Artillery Abilities
* No Mobility
* Really Squishy
* Abilities have very high Mana Costs
* Abilities have very high Cooldowns
* Other Marksman carry potential is unmatchable against Varus
* Complex kit scallings & unequal playstyle strengths
* Delayed damage
* Item dependant & Unreliable damage
###_PRO: Mixed Damage_
BASIC ATTACK BONUS - Varus has mixed damage available at his disposal, once he unlocks his (W - Blighted Quiver). Passively his Basic attacks deal additional Magic Damage equal to 7 - 21 (based on ability rank) that also has a +25% AP Ratio.
* Personally I believe the reason why he deals additional On-Hit Magic Damage is for the sake of it making sense thematically that Blight should hurt somehow or have some sort of impact on the target.
* It could of also been an attempt to create and suggest a full AP with Attack Speed playstyle. The problem with this playstyle is that without Blight Stacks his other abilities like his (Q - Piercing Arrow and his E - Hail of Arrows) on their own will have no noticeable damage for the following reasons; neither of them have an AP Ratio, Q damage is even reduced per unit that you hit, and E just doesn't scale well nor does it have a good AD scalling.
###_PRO: Crowd Control_
E: Hail of Arrows - Creates a zone for 4 seconds, applying a 25 - 45% Slow (based on ability rank) as well as Grievous Wounds.
* The Utility on this ability isn't reliable for the following reasons; it takes a second to cast which is counted as part of the duration making this ability really just last 3 seconds, the zone is too small making the Slow and Grievous Wounds pointless because no one is going to stay in the zone long enough for the effect to even begin to take place.
R: Chain of Corruption - Roots the first target hit and others after a few seconds within range for a total of 2 seconds.
* This ability is one of the biggest reasons why Varus is and always will be an abuse tool for LCS/Pro-Play if other better Marksman choices are picked or banned.
###_PRO: Anti-Tank Marksman_
% MAX HEALTH MAGIC DAMAGE: Varus' Basic attack applies a Blight stack for 6 seconds, stacking up to 3 stacks and abilities detonate Blight stacks to deal a total of (9 - 15% of targets Maximum Health, based on ability rank) as Magic Damage.
* The fact that Varus is able to build AP and scale up his % Max Health isn't okay, because it allows him to one shot both squishies and tanks when at full AP build. This isn't something that is healthy to have or fair to play against, even if the downside to this is that he needs a lot of gold investment in expensive AP items that he can't scale well with at the start of the game.
* After using all abilities to detonate Blight stacks, there's no other kind of interaction with Blight stacks anywhere else in his kit besides having to wait for the abilities to come back up again which have really long cooldowns.
###_PRO: Long Ranged Artillery Abilities_
Q - Piercing Arrow = 925 - 1625 (BASED ON CHANNEL TIME)
E - Hail of Arrows = 925
R - Chain of Corruption = 1075
* I would say that Varus' Ability Target Range is quite big, but when you compare it to someone like other Artillery Marksman Abilities it's kind of meh (Jhin, Caitlyn). Even When Varus Q outranges, Caitlyn's Q he needs to charge it for 2 whole seconds for the full range, while he slows himself for 20% on top of it all, and a lot of the time if you were to go for a long range snipe you would find that enemies could just walk out of range quite easily due to this Slow.
* On the other hand, I feel that even if this is Varus' iconic or main ability, it's given too much damage. It would be better to take some out and put it elsewhere like his E to have a more noticeable damage effect on enemies.
Q - Piltover Peacemaker = 1250
R - Ace in the Hole = 2000 - 3000
W - Deadly Flourish = 3000
R - Curtain Call = 3500
###_CON: No Mobility_
Movement Speed = 330
* He is currently, the most immobile Marksman in the game alongside Kog'Maw (who's now the second most immobile Marksman due to getting a +5 Movement Speed Buff), because every other Marksman has either; a dash/jump, or a some sort of Movement Speed buff. I didn't include someone like Ashe for obvious reasons, she is able to deal with Mobility due to her consistent Passive Slow.
* While Varus has 330 Movement Speed (not the lowest), the other Marksman have 325 Movement Speed and always seem to have an ability that gives them some form of mobility, or ways to deal against Mobility. Champions with 325 Movement Speed; Ashe Passive, Caitlyn E, Corki W, Ezreal E, Jinx Passive, Kalista Passive, Kindred Q, Miss Forturne W, Tristana W, Xayah W, R & E.
###_CON: Really Squishy_
* As you will see in the graph below, Varus' defensive stats such as Health, Health Regen are all below Average of any other regular Marksman making him not only the most Immobile Marksman, but also the most weakest/squishiest.
###_CON: Abilities have very high Mana Costs_
Q - Piercing Arrow costs 70 - 90 Mana, E - Hail of Arrows costs 80 Mana.
* I actually like that Varus has high Mana costs, it prevents him from becoming someone like Caitlyn or Lux who consistently spam the same spell in laning phase, and it essentially forces you to put yourself in risk to apply a few Blight Stacks to make the most of the abilities power, so this con isn't really that bad for me but I thought I would mention it nonetheless.
###_CON: Abilities have very high Cooldowns_
Q - Piercing Arrow = 20 - 12 Seconds, W - Blighted Quiver (Active) = 40 Seconds, E - Hail of Arrows = 18 - 10 Seconds
* I would be fine with the long Cooldowns if Varus wasn't so dependant on his abilities to be effective, but again it prevents him from being a crazy spamming artillery champion.
###_CON: Other Marksman carry potential is unmatchable against Varus_
* This one is quite an obvious, but it was worth mentioning it. This is supposedly an additional drawback to playing Varus, he exchanges a portion of his potential damage for Utility/Artillery. It's also the reason why things like Critical Strike are not good on him as it is for other champions, the reason being that most other Marksman have an ability which can amplify the Crit damage (Draven Q) or have some other form of interaction with Crit (Xayah E).
###_CON: Complex kit scallings & unequal playstyle strengths_
* Naturally AD favors Varus more in the early to mid game, where as his AP really favors him during late game once he has enough AP items.
###_CON: Delayed damage_
* Because of Varus' unique playstyle as a Marksman (Blight Stack detonation playstyle, a caster and an on-hit champion), he always needs to auto attack someone atleast 2 - 3 times and then use an ability for his main damage source to take effect which makes his damage output overall very delayed and in most cases unreliable due to all the burst that exists in the game.
###_CON: Item dependant & Unreliable damage_
* Varus is somewhat similar to Ezreal who requires items (example: Trinity Force/Iceborn Gauntlet) in order to become relevant. And in most cases if Ezreal or Varus in this case, don't get their items they get heavily punished more than other Marksman who naturally have enough damage even when facing such situations.
* Usually anyone, including myself could say that Varus wouldn't be that item dependant if he naturally has decent base % Max Health damage, but to take the full effect on that Varus needs to attack someone 3 times to make use of this damage to it's core which can be risky since he doesn't really have a good Attack Speed steroid as he used to due to the nerfs to Living Vengeance I suppose.
>#Possible things that can be taken out and added in
Now that I listed some ups, downs and in-between with my thoughts on it all. I wanted to delve right in into what I believe can be removed and what can be added in.
###NOTE: Remember that this is a list of suggestions, it doesn't mean that they all or any of them need to applied, you can select which ones you find the most suitable and not to over-board from your point of view.
* (Passive) Make both Attack Speed bonuses 10% less but increase the duration of it by an extra second making it a6 seconds from 5 seconds.
* (Passive) Make the duration 2.5 seconds but the Attack Speed bonuses are doubled (Minions = 40%, Champions = 80%)
* (Q) Remove the Movement Speed Slow during channeling and instead place the Slow when he uses his W Active alongside with Q instead.
* (Q) Remove the 50% cancelation Mana cost refund on Q, and instead have it when you Detonate Blight stacks on units you gain 15 Mana per unit hit with atleast 1 Blight stack.
* (Q) Remove the W Active and instead have it that when Varus Detonates Blight stacks with Q, it also deals % Missing Health.
* (Q) Change how the Cooldown reducement works when you Detonate Blight stacks with Q, so basically have it refund 2/4/6 seconds from Q based on how many Blight stacks were Detonated.
* (Q & E) Take 40% AD ratio out of Q and add it to his E (Q = 125% AD & E = 100% AD)
* (W) Change the Blight duration to 4 seconds from 6 seconds but have it increased by +1 additional second per Blight stack (3 stacks = 7 seconds)
* (W) Remove the scalling on % Max Health and add bonus scalling to his Blight Passive On-Hit bonus instead.
* (E) Remove Grievous Wounds and instead have Varus' W - Blighted Quiver Passive On-Hit Damage increased to 35 - 105 (based ability rank) against targets inside the zone.
* (E) Remove Grievous Wounds and instead it last longer upto 6 seconds from 4 seconds and have a much larger effect radius.
* (E) Remove Grievous Wounds and instead increase the Slow up to 35 - 55% from 25 - 45%
* (E) Remove Grievous Wounds and give W Active interaction with E as well, where when you have any Blight stacks applied to the target within zone detonated instantly when applied with Basic Attacks.
* (E) Remove Grievous Wounds and add a Cripple effect instead which reduces Attack Speed by 10 - 50% (based on ability rank or level).
* (E) Remove Grievous Wounds and have the Slow scale with bonus AD (+5% per bonus 50 AD)
* (R) Have the Root scale by ability rank (1 - 2 seconds) but have Blight stacks apply instantly.
* (R) Instead of Rooting, have it create a massive area where everyone is Slowed for 2 Seconds.
>#Potential ways to make Varus overall better with through a Minor/Major Rework
I wouldn't know how to rate each change so I will let you be the judge of that.
###NOTE: As before remember that this is a list of change suggestions, it doesn't mean that they all or any of them need to applied, you can select which ones you find the most suitable and not to over-board from your point of view.
* (Passive) Darkin Bow - When applying Blight stacks to enemy units gain 5% (+5% per additional Blight stack) Attack Speed for each unit under the effect.
* (W) Blight Affliction - When applying 3 stacks of Blight on an enemy, and attacking the same target will cause 1 Blight stack to jump to other nearby enemy targets around the main target.
Chain of Corruption - When detonating Blight stacks, will cause the enemy target and any other enemy target with Blight stacks to get Rooted based on how many Blight stacks they had (1 stack = 0.75 seconds, 2 stacks = 1.25 seconds, 3 stacks = 1.75 seconds).
* (W) Desecration - When detonating Blight stacks on enemy targets, Varus disables any bonuses they are under (self/allied/temporary buffs).
* (W) Chained Pain - When applying and detonating Blight stacks on enemy units, other units will also take the damage if they have any Blight stacks, however this damage spread is reduced per additional effected unit.
>#Possible directions for improvement/change that could be explored
* Blight/Corruption - Not sure how much of this is intact due to many Lore/Theme changes but more exploration on how Varus could infect/weaken defeat enemies using this Disease/Blight would be really unique and interesting for a Marksman.
* Put more emphasis on Darkin Bow for Passive - Each Darkin character has a Passive that reflects back to their weapon (Rhaast has Spellvamp, Aatrox deals % Max Health Damage and Mutilates enemies, Varus has yet to get something since his current Passive has no real connection with his Bow's actual power capabilities and it's more of a dull laning phase Attack Speed buff).
>#Theme & Gameplay Appeal
Varus always had an appealing story and theme/lore to the players but his gameplay is what always prevented more people from playing him or even maining him.
Due to many Lore changes and etc, has caused a lot of number of people to change how they view him as a champion.
Never since Varus' release in Season 2, May 1st 2012 up until now, has he ever been really "OP" like other Marksman have, sure he had his moments but that's because it was the items that made him stronger not he himself being somewhat strong on his own and thus people were picking him up back then due to succession.
Here's a list of meta's which he was part of:
* On-Hit Meta (Ardent Censer Supports)
* Lethality Meta (Mid Lane/Bot Lane Q Poke)
* AP Meta
All of these meta's he was part of, and all that power came from items that players purchased and not Varus himself.
>#Thank you for those who chose to read through my thoughts and the state of Varus
Leave down below your thoughts/suggestions or anything that is on your mind, any kind of responses are much appreciated.