Through the Heart – A Look at Why Varus Mid May Be the Next Power Pick in LoL
Sun 4th Aug 2019 - 5:43pm
Recent patches have seen the Arrow of Retribution slowly rise up to being a solid pick in the bot lane behind the S-tier picks of Sivir and Ezreal. However, this does not mean that the demon ranger is totally locked into this role. Many marksmen have found their way into the mid lane as a flex pick [or becoming a mid laner flat out (Yes, I’m looking at you Corki)] and Varus is one of those flex picks as he has spent time in the mid lane in the past. This brings us to the here and now where Varus mid may be the biggest mid lane sleeper pick and, in this piece, I hope to identify why Varus mid is a potential hidden OP that may be worth picking up and exploiting before he potentially becomes meta.
The Recent Transition in Mid Lane
Over the last few weeks, we have a seen the meteoric rise of a poke meta in the madness that is the mid lane. This can be seen by the immense prominence of picks such as Corki, Azir, and even Vel’koz (albeit this is an NA Special/Azir counter-pick) in pro play over these last few weeks.
So how does this tie in with the Arrow of Retribution? Well, Varus has one the longest range and hardest hitting poke spells in the form of his Q, Piercing Arrow. This spell alone could be a key driver of Varus mid lane’s rise despite its high cooldown (especially when compared to the poke of current meta staples such as Corki with his R, Missile Barrage) as the poke is that strong.
How You Currently Build Varus
Varus has always had two different build paths, the on-hit attack speed build (which features a large amount of attack speed with items such as; Blade of the ruined King, Guinsoos Rageblade, and Wit’s End. All of this to make maximum use of the AS steroid on Varus’s Passive; Living Vengeance) and the spell damage build (which is focused on having enough mana to cast spells alongside a large amount of lethality to maximize the amount of damage those spells do. This build is usually Munamune into a plethora of lethality items).
Currently, the meta build is the latter of the two (the spell damage build), which is fortunate as the poke meta mid is centered on spell damage, these two holes lining up for the single peg brings strength to this champion’s mid lane potential, possibly enough strength to make Varus mid a hidden OP.
The Ability to Teamfight
One of the reasons that the current kings of poke (Corki, Azir, and Vel’Koz) are not contested by other poke champions such as Xerath and Ziggs is the fact that their teamfighting tools are just non-existent.
Xerath is purely about the poke and nothing else. He very much is a single specialist in how he uses his entire kit. Ziggs, on the other hand is all about the poke setting tower destruction in how he uses his Q, Bouncing Bomb, to poke and W, Satchel Charge, to remove structures. It is the fact that these champions can poke but do not succeed in a teamfight setting that has denied them meta prevalence.
So, this then raises the question; Can Varus teamfight? Well the multi-target nature of Varus’s ultimate, Chain of Corruption, and E, Hail of Arrows, bring enough tools (Roots and Grievous Wounds) into a teamfight scenario that make any Varus relevant and, as a result, this means that Varus mid is not denied meta prevalence due to a lack of teamfight as he most certainly has teamfighting potential.
Even More Damage than Past Iterations
When Varus mid was last an S-tier pick his W, Blighted Quiver, was still lacking an active effect and just had the passive blight stacks applying on hit then detonating when a spell connects. But about a year ago, Varus W got a minor rework to his W that gave it an active which is a damage steroid upon his Q, which is also his primary damage and poke spell.
So, what does this mean? Well, as previously stated the purpose of Varus mid is to bring the power poke to ruin your enemy’s day, therefore the buffs brought to the table by the minor rework to Varus’s W may have brought enough damage to the table to make Varus mid a sleeping OP pick.
The Fact that Varus is AD
As previously mentioned, the current poke meta staples are Corki and Azir, both of which put out primarily magic damage which means that if either of these picks (or the niche counter of Vel’Koz) are selected it means a physical damage source needs to come from another source which can be very annoying.
This is where Varus presents a unique niche in terms of the poke meta, unlike the current meta picks Varus’s poke is distributed in the form of physical damage. This means that if Varus does rise to the forefront of the poke flavored meta, it will allow for more varied team compositions which means Varus could be a lynchpin for not only mid lane, but the League of Legends meta as a whole. This unique damage variation may not bring Varus to recognized OP status on its own, but alongside his other current power traits could be one of the facts that could make him an S-tier pick in future.
So, there we have it, a whole plethora of reasons as to why Varus might just be able to become a top tier meta pick in a whole other lane than where he is currently played. Now, while the key weakness of Varus is his lack of escapes bar summoner spells, the fact that the mid lane meta plays into the hands of the buffed Varus in the fact that it favors poke champions with teamfight potential may be enough to make the Arrow of Retribution a potential meta pick. If you do decide to pick up Varus mid, I hope his currently unrecognized power nets you some sweet LP. With that, I once again leave you with the thoughts of GL, HF, and GG.
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