news\ May 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm

Varus, the Arrow of Retribution, officially revealed


After briefly teasing Varus, the Arrow of Retribution, at PAX East last month, Riot Games has finally revealed the newest champion coming to League of Legends.

Described as a "dangerous combination between caster and ranged carry", Varus is equipped with a number of abilities designed to "whittle enemies down from range, and allow him to close in for the kill."

Varus was playable at PAX East, and I did write up my initial thoughts on the champion, but Riot has officially detailed his abilities and lore (long with their strategy of how to play him properly.

Before we begin, here are his abilities:

  • Living Vengeance (Passive): On kill or assist, Varus temporarily gains Attack Speed. This bonus is larger if the enemy is a champion.
  • Piercing Arrow: Varus readies and then fires a powerful shot that gains extra range and damage the longer he spends preparing to fire.
  • Blighted Quiver: Varus' basic attacks deal bonus magic damage and apply Blight. Varus' other abilities detonate Blight, dealing magic damage based on the target's maximum health.
  • Hail of Arrows: Varus fires a hail of arrows that deal physical damage and desecrate the ground. Desecrated ground slows enemies' Movement Speed and reduces their healing and regeneration.
  • Chain of Corruption (Ultimate): Varus flings out a tendril of corruption that immobilizes the first enemy champion hit and then spreads towards nearby uninfected champions, immobilizing them too on contact.


Piercing Arrow is a long ranged skill shot attack that damages enemies in a line.  When pressing Q, Varus will draw his bow back, reducing his movement speed, but increasing the damage and range (up to a cap) until you left click to select a target.  Using this skill, you can poke at enemies from range or use it to finish an enemy on the run.  The distance of Piercing Arrow allows him to constantly harass an enemy opponent, while keeping his distance to farm safely.

Varus League of Legends

Meanwhile, Hail of Arrows is an AoE healing debuff that should make enemy support's life difficult.  With reduced healing effect, it should be difficult for supports to keep up with the damage dealt.  Living Vengeance keeps Varus' Attack Speed high while he's last hitting while stacking Contamination charges from Blighted Quiver.  Riot suggests poking from a long distance in team fights until your able to score a kill on an enemy champion. 


For his incomparable skill with the bow and his unquestioned sense of honor, Varus was chosen to be the warden of a sacred Ionian temple. The temple was built to contain an ancient pit of corruption so vile that Ionian Elders feared it could envelop the island in darkness. Varus prided himself on his position, as only the most exceptional Ionian warriors were selected for the role. He lived with his family in a nearby village and led a quiet life of disciplined routine until the day the forces of Noxus invaded Ionia. Their shock troops left nothing but death and desolation in their wake, and the temple lay in their path. Varus was forced to make a decision. He was bound by honor to stay and defend the temple, but without him the village's few inhabitants could offer little resistance against the oncoming war machine. Gravely, he chose to fulfill his duty as a warden. The corruption could not be allowed to escape.

His arrows sundered the troops who tried to wrest the temple from him that day. However, when he returned to the village, he found that it had been reduced to a smoldering graveyard. Remorse at the sight of his slain family gave way to overwhelming regret and then to seething hatred. He swore to slaughter every Noxian invader, but first he needed to become stronger. He turned to that which he had sacrificed everything to protect. The pit of corruption would consume him wholly, as a flame devours a wick, but its abominable power would burn within him until he was lost. This was a path from which there could be no return. With grim resolve, he condemned himself to the black flames, feeling malevolent energy bond to his skin...and with it, the promise of ruin. He left, seeking the blood of all Noxians involved with the invasion, a grisly task that eventually led him to the invasion's most infamous perpetrators in the League of Legends.

''The life of an arrow is fleeting, built of nothing but direction and intent.'' - Varus

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