Here’s how to play AP Varus like G2 Esports mid-laner Rasmus ‘caPs’ Winther if you’re looking for a new long-range poke champion to bring into the mid-lane.
AP Varus mid-lane is an instantly familiar option for certain League of Legends‘ older fans. But if you’re a more recent fan, it’s likely that you haven’t witnessed this iconic mid-lane ranged menace in professional action.
The first time Varus mid has been used in a major region since 2020 was when G2 Esports mid-laner Rasmus ‘caPs’ Winther picked it during the team’s encounter versus Rogue on September 3.
The main job of AP Varus is Azir counter.
In the year 2020, he had one of the most oppressive poke mid-laner builds in the game, and his old lethality build allowed him to poke Azir out of lane almost instantaneously with a single Piercing Arrow (Q).
AP Varus build advantages
The AP build performs a somewhat different task than the original lethality setup, but it still works just as well. Even if you’re not building to increase its damage, Piercing Arrow is still a useful poke tool. But perhaps more significantly, it’s a great method to farm from a distance and escape Azir’s Sand Soldiers’ oppressive zone control.
AP Varus does one thing exceptionally well, and that’s burst damage. His Blighted Quiver (W) applies stacks of Blight and when eaten does extra magic damage (every third auto attack). Additionally, it gives him the ability to increase the damage of his Piercing Arrow (Q), which is a terrific way to eliminate adversaries he’s chunked down with auto attacks.
Varus is obviously a powerful counter to Azir, but he also works well against Twisted Fate because of how difficult it is for TF to come near enough to apply a Gold Card (W) stun to Varus.
He is a generally respectable ranged mid-laner, but his lack of mobility causes him to struggle tremendously. He can be utterly eliminated from the game by any champion with devastating long-range engage abilities and early one-shot potential in the mid-lane.
And whatever you do, do not choose against Yasuo because he can use his Wind Wall to fully negate all of Varus’s damage (W). Avoid choosing him to play with mid-laners that have a lot of setup for ganks in the early game.
AP Varus guide
In his matchup against Rogue, caPs opted for the Domination rune combination even though you can occasionally choose to go with Arcane Comet to enhance your poke in lane.
In a build where Blight is Varus’ main source of damage, Hail of Blades is important in assisting Varus in stacking Blight as rapidly as possible. A rune called Taste of Blood provides lifesteal to increase survivability, while Ultimate Hunter reduces the cooldown on Varus’s one true utility.
Varus is able to retain the wave control necessary for surviving the early lane phase for secondary runes with the aid of Minion Dematerializer.
In the 40-minute match against Rogue, caPs didn’t have the opportunity to complete his construction, but he made good progress. Despite not being an AP item, he chose Doran’s Blade as his beginning item since it would aid Varus last hit accurately in the early going.
He also (bravely) decided to get a Dark Seal early. It’s a feat-or-famine item that demands you to get ahead in order for it to be worth the gold spent on it, so if you’re not sure you can push a lead to its boundaries, you should probably skip this stage of the build.
Nashor’s Tooth served as his main component in this AP Varus build. It’s pretty much the ideal item to build on an auto-attack-based champion with an AP on-hit passive because Nashor’s Tooth is a legendary item that gives AP and attack speed.
He gave Leeching Leer into Riftmaker priority for his mythic item route after the Nashor’s Tooth. The AP item Rift Maker is made for champions who have a way to continuously provide AP damage, which is all Varus needs to do to auto attack and stack his passive.
It maximizes burst inside a particular timeframe, which is ideal for AP Varus’ high damage, short duration playstyle.