The Best AP Varus One-Shot Build (Season 12)

Varus is one of the strongest on-hit ADC champions that can demolish tanks even if they are fully stacked on defensive stats. His W boosts his on-hit damage, and he can stack this with his runes and item build. He can also be built as an attack speed crit ADC that can trade blows with ADC champions; he has the edge over most ADC because of the range of his basic attack and his Q and his ultimate. 

But did you know that he can be built like an assassin and one-shot champions from far away? In this article, we will show you the build you can do to achieve this; this is a fun build, so read on and try it on your next game.

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Best Runes for AP Varus 


  • First Strike – Helps Varus deal bonus damage on the initial hit of his abilities, this new rune from season 12 is the perfect one-shot rune that doesn’t need build-up like Electrocute and dark harvest.
  • Magical Footwear – allows Varus to focus on building his offensive AP items first instead of putting your money on boots. 
  • Biscuit Delivery – Early game Varus can’t trade with enemies and has minimal ways to deal with the pokes of his enemies because he lacks mobility abilities. Biscuit delivery not only gives him free potions but also increases his mana pool so he can spam his Q to either poke enemies or last hit minions. 
  • Cosmic insight – Gives him extra cooldown reduction because his Q will be his primary damage source; he needs to have it on low cooldown.


  • Taste of Blood – Having a poke build needs this rune, and it is quite a no-brainer because of the free heal you receive each time you hit an enemy with your Q.
  • Ultimate hunter – Varus’ ultimate is his ability with the highest AP ratio, and having it on low cooldown also helps Varus’ team during team fights. It can be a great skill to pick off strong enemies.

Best Items for AP Varus

Early Game Items 

These are the best items to pick when you are in the laning phase; Doran’s ring not only gives you bonus magic damage but also helps you restore mana.

  • Doran’s Ring
  • 2x Health Potion
  • Tear of the goddess

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Full Build

As you can see, this build revolves around the damage of Varus’ Q. While it has an AD scaling, his W turns it into AP scaling and even gets more robust the more passive he inflicts on his enemies. Varus can wind up his upgraded Q and one-shot most enemies from far away on three stacks of his W.

  • Muramana
  • Luden’s Tempest
  • Horizon Focus
  • Sorcerer’s Shoes
  • Rabadon’s Deathcap
  • Void Staff
  • Zhonya’s Hourglass


Early Game Playstyle

You should start the game by maxing your W first, which will help you secure CS much better. This will be the source of your burst in mid to late game, so maxing this first is much better. Avoid trades with the enemy and focus on your farming instead.

Mid Game Playstyle

Try to set up kills with your ultimate; if you manage to hit someone with your ultimate, have your team initiate a kill. Your Q + W damage is decent at this point, so you can try to burst enemies with even half HP with this. 

Avoid fights if you are alone and only try to secure kills if you have your support protecting you. AP Varus is squishy and has no way of self-peeling, so be careful.

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Late Game Playstyle

During the late game, you will have your entire build, and your only job now is to poke enemies with your Q. You can reset the cooldown of your Q every time you hit an enemy with a stack of your W. 

The trick with this build, though is when teamfights start, stay in the backline and use your ultimate on the enemy trying to get close to you, stack 3 W’s on them and finish them off with your empowered Q. Even tanks get one-shot with this build so have fun but be careful of champions with backline access.

Final Thoughts

AP varus is fun to play but is not advisable if you are looking to climb the ranked ladder. AP Varus should only be used for fun with your friends or regular games. But if you have great macro and side-stepping skills, feel free to use this build and one-shot enemies. This build is best used if you have Vanguard support like Leona or even Alistar, champions that can peel well for you.

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