Top Varus has been the hottest topic in Kr Challenger. There’s even this grandmaster main “Varus King” player with a 79% win rate in recent games. The AP burst damage always catches players off-guard. But what sets apart this Varus AP build and makes it excel even in Challenger?
Varus AP Runes
With Comet, E is taken at level 1. But this build takes W instead, W gives your autos bonus dmg and applies a blight stack.
Press The Attack: PTA synergizes exceptionally well with this build. The primary focus is to trigger PTA by landing three consecutive auto-attacks when enemies come within your auto-attack range. After proccing PTA, follow up with a W-Q combo. While maximizing the charge time of your Q ability will result in higher damage output, it is not mandatory. The crucial aspect is to ensure you successfully activate all three W stacks for maximum effectiveness.
Bone Plating: To prevent being bursted down in trades, utilize the Bone Plating rune. This reduces incoming damage, making it harder for enemies to execute a one-shot combo or deal significant burst damage.
Varus AP Build
Nashor’s Tooth and Riftmaker are the core items for Varus Ap.
Nashor’s is a huge power spike for Varus Top, the bonus Attack Speed means faster combos and it provides overall damage. Having your Ult on cooldown is a big weakness for Varus, but with Nashor’s, you’re still pretty strong in an extended fight.
Once you acquire Riftmaker, its effect allows you to efficiently shred through tanky champions like Sion, Cho’Gath, and others.
For your 3rd item, build Zhonya’s or Banshee’s, by then you will have enough damage, so you will need to go with a defensive item. It’s fine to build both. The only way for the enemy to shut you down is to one-shot you, but with a well-timed Stopwatch/Zhonyas, it can turn into an easy reverse sweep.
Varus King either goes for Plated Steelcaps (vs ad) or Mercury’s Treads (vs ap), he never goes Sorcerer’s Shoes as he finds it’s more useful to have defensive boots for top lane Varus.
Varus AP Laning Phase and Combos
During the laning phase, especially against ranged champions, there are several tips and combos you can do to gain an advantage:
Taking Barrier: You do take Barrier instead of Teleport, it’s the key to stopping a bruiser (Irelia, Darius, etc.) from all-ining you. Also, enemies often forget that you even have it, which you can use to bait them to tower dive you, which will lead to a free kill.
Auto-Attack and Wave Control: Against ranged opponents, focus on auto-attacking minions constantly to push the wave and create pressure. This denies your enemy CS and allows you to maintain lane dominance. When enemies come into auto range, be sure to AA three times to proc Press the Attack (PTA) and follow up with a W-Q combo for increased damage.
Optimized Q: During the Q charge, simply close the gap while the enemy tries to dodge. It’ll lead to better accuracy.
Freezing the Wave and Tower Control: If you can freeze the wave near your tower, you minimize the risk of ganks and force the enemy to overextend for CS. Take advantage of the proximity to your tower and bully the enemy away, denying them resources and creating opportunities for more favourable trades.
Effective Ability Usage: The key to Varus AP’s combo execution relies on proccing the three W stacks with Q or E. This will lead to dealing a lot of burst/poke damage. You can follow a few suggested combos: AA, AA, AA, E – AA, AA, AA – W, Q. This ensures maximum efficiency in stacking blight and delivering a lot of damage to your opponents.
Ability Refunds: With Barrier + the CD refund on W, 2v1s are no joke. For each procced blight stack, Q and E have their cooldowns refunded, that’s what will allow you to Q almost twice in a row in a trade.
Ultimate Timing and Engages: Varus’s ultimate provides great engage potential, especially against melee champions. Initiating with your ultimate upfront allows you to utilize the root effect and follow up with E’s slow. This combination proves particularly annoying for enemies to deal with, setting up opportunities for extended trades and all-ins.
TL;DR Varus AP Guide
Varus AP build excels in Challenger due to its burst damage potential.
Starting Ability: Take W at level 1 for bonus damage and blight stack application.
Core items: Nashor’s Tooth and Riftmaker. Nashor’s provides a power spike, faster combos, and overall damage. Riftmaker melts tanks.
Boots: Plated Steelcaps (vs. AD) or Mercury’s Treads (vs. AP) for defense.
Defensive items: Zhonya’s or Banshee’s as the 3rd item. Building both is fine.
Laning Phase: Auto-attack minions to push and deny CS. Use PTA and W-Q combo for increased damage. Bone Plating reduces burst damage. Freeze the wave near your tower for safety and deny resources.
Combos: AA, AA, AA, E – AA, AA, AA – W, Q. Proc 3 W stacks with Q or E for maximum damage.
Ultimate Timing: Initiate with ult for root and follow up with E’s slow. Effective against melee champions.