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General Information
TitleThe Arrow of Retribution
Release DateMay 8th, 2012
Cost4800 BE 880 RP

600 (+ 105)

3.5 (+ 0.55)

360 (+ 40)

8 (+ 0.8)


59 (+ 3.4)

0.658 (+ 4%)


27 (+ 4.6)

30 (+ 1.3)
Developer Info
DDragon KeyVarus
Integer Key110
External Links
Game Info Wikileagueoflegends.fandom.com

Varus is a champion in League of Legends.


For outdated and now non-canon lore entries, click here.
  • Biography
  • Story
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 Atrocity after atrocity blurred together, leaving him as a withdrawn, callous killer, reshaped and sent into battle countless times by his degenerate brethren.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.pngVarus


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.


Living Vengeance.png Living Vengeance [Passive]

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

Champion kill or assist: 40% (+40% bonus Attack Speed)

Non-champion Bonus AS: 10 / 15 / 20% (+20% bonus Attack Speed)
Bonus AS Duration: 5 / 7 / 9 / 11s
Piercing Arrow.png Piercing Arrow [Q]
Cost: 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 Mana Cooldown: 16 / 15 / 14 / 13 / 12s Range: 925 - 1625

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%). Blight damage detonated by Piercing Arrow is increased by 0% − 50% (based on channel time).

Min Damage: 10 / 47 / 83 / 120 / 157 (+83 / 87 / 90 / 93 / 97% total)
Max Damage: 15 / 70 / 125 / 180 / 235 (+125 / 130 / 135 / 140 / 145% 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. Detonating Blight against champions and epic monsters reduces his basic ability cooldowns by 12% per stack.
Active: Varus' next Piercing Arrow.png Piercing Arrow deals additional damage. Damage is increased by up to 90% based on charge time.

On-hit Damage: 7 / 12 / 17 / 22 / 27 (+30%)
Blight Damage per Stack: [3 / 3.5 / 4 / 4.5 / 5% (+2.5% per 100) target's max]
Piercing Arrow.png Piercing Arrow Bonus Damage: [+6 / 8 / 10 / 12 / 14% target's missing]
Piercing Arrow.png Piercing Arrow Max Damage: [+10.8 / 14.4 / 18 / 21.6 / 25.2% target's missing]
Hail of Arrows.png Hail of Arrows [E]
Cost: 80 Mana Cooldown: 18 / 16 / 14 / 12 / 10s Range: 925 Area of Effect: 300

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 30%.

Physical Damage: 60 / 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 (+90% bonus)
Slow: 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45%
Chain of Corruption.png Chain of Corruption [R]
Cost: 100 Mana Cooldown: 100 / 80 / 60s 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, they take damage and are also immobilized. Immobilized units gain 3 stacks of Blight over the duration.

Magic Damage: 150 / 250 / 350 (+100%)

Patch History[]

Patch 10.14

Q maximum bonus damage ratio now scales. E base damage decreased early.

Along with the Troll King, Varus is also stifling pro play as the go-to blind pick (or first red side ban). Targeting his early poke to make him less effective at bullying his peers out of lane.

Piercing Arrow.png Q - Piercing Arrow

MAXIMUM BONUS DAMAGE RATIO : [150%] 125/130/135/140/145% total attack damage (minimum damage is always 66% of the maximum damage)

Hail of Arrows.png E - Hail of Arrows

BASE DAMAGE : [70/105/140/175/210]

Patch 10.12
Base attack damage growth decreased. Q damage ratio decreased.

Varus' Lethality build is overtaking his other options, especially in pro play— and he’s just generally blighting his competition overall. This build makes him an early game powerhouse and we don’t want to take that away from him, so we’re tuning down his scaling so that he pays a fairer cost later in the game.

Base Stats


Piercing Arrow.png Q - Piercing Arrow

DAMAGE RATIO : [1.1 attack damage (1.65 maximum)]
1.0 attack damage (1.5 maximum)

Patch 10.11

The marksman class has major durability problems, especially in the early laning phase where their power feels heavily reliant on their supports. This has been causing issues in gameplay satisfaction since a marksman's strength relies on the length of time they're alive. By increasing their mobility (via items) and base health, we feel that ADCs won't be punished so aggressively when they fail and will still have a chance to bounce back and unlock their power in fights. That being said, we've heard your concerns about the bot lane marksman champions that can also solo lane like Lucian and Vayne. We're giving them a separate set of changes which you can find more details on below. We’ve also omitted Corki, Kindred, Quinn, Senna, and Graves due to having their primary playrate in other lanes, with the understanding that Senna may be considered for similar changes in the coming patches.

BASE HEALTH : [500] 530

Patch 10.8
R cooldown increased.

We're looking to curb a bit of Varus' power while making sure both of his meta builds are still equally viable, so we decided to balance one of the tools in his kit that would balance across both versions without chaining him down.

Chain of Corruption.png R - Chain of Corruption

COOLDOWN : [110/90/70]

Patch 10.1 Q cooldown and Blight cooldown refund decreased.

Varus' role as a poke marksman has been quite weak since his last set of major changes in 2018. For an ability-based marksman, that playstyle should be one of, if not, his strongest, so we're specifically focusing on strengthening it.

Piercing Arrow.png Q - Piercing Arrow

COOLDOWN : [20/18/16/14/12]

Patch 9.4
Fixed a bug where Blight stacks dealt less damage than intended.


Blighted Quiver.png W - Blighted Quiver

BLIGHT STACK BASE DAMAGE : [2.5%] 3/3.5/4/4.5/5%

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.pngVarus released


  • 2015

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