Varus gets long-awaited League of Legends overhaul in final Season 11 update

Isaac McIntyre
Varus from League of Legends.
Riot Games

Riot Games are handing Varus a long-awaited League of Legends overhaul in the very last update of Season 11, mainly targeting his “Q” and ultimate abilities in a bid to modernize the iconic AD carry ahead of the new year.

Varus was first released in League of Legends in early 2012, joining the roster as an ability-focused AD carry that quickly rose to prominence in the bot lane.

In recent years, however, the Arrow of Retribution has lost his luster. The character was handed a lore overhaul five years ago that added him to the ranks of the god-warrior Darkin spirits, but since then has only had minor gameplay tweaks. In the final Season 11 patch, Riot Games are finally giving him some love.

Riot revealed their main objective with the Varus changes is to “improve clarity, especially with his Q (Piercing Arrow) and Ultimate (Chain of Corruption) widths,” though all his abilities will come under the microscope.

On top of that, his nine skins will receive “minimal tweaks.”

“Similar to previous VFX updates for Syndra, Zilean, Malzahar, etc, our aim is to get Varus up to current League standards and improve the champ’s gameplay.”

Varus is one of the many champions getting balance changes in League of Legends Patch 10.12 this week.
Riot Games
Varus has barely had his animations and League of Legends model touched since early 2012.

There are two major changes coming for Varus with the update, which several Riot developers started as a “pet project” to modernize the Arrow of Retribution.

Firstly, the outline of the ADC’s arrows will now be clearer, especially when it comes to his Piercing Arrow ability, cast via Q. On top of that, Varus’ iconic ability Chain of Corruption (his ultimate) will get a major visual update.

The crowd-control power will now have a large purple circle to make it “easier to see its effects,” making it easier to escape the ability’s tendrils.

Riot revealed their new Varus plans ahead of the 11.24 update.
Riot Games
Riot revealed their new Varus plans ahead of the 11.24 update.

Riot will also be changing several of the skins Varus has received in League of Legends since his 2012 debut, including his popular “PROJECT” cosmetic, his new “Cosmic Hunter” skin, and more.

Here’s all Varus skins being changed:

  • Base ⁠— complete overhaul
  • Blight Crystal ⁠— recolored from base
  • Arclight ⁠— mirroring new base, cleaned up
  • Arctic Ops ⁠— mirroring new base, cleaned up
  • Heartseeker ⁠— cleanup
  • Dark Star ⁠— cleanup
  • Conqueror ⁠— cleanup
  • Infernal ⁠— cleanup
  • Project ⁠— minimal tweaks
  • Cosmic Hunter ⁠— minimal tweaks

The newly-unveiled Varus changes, including his extensive model updates and the nine skins being tweaked, have been added to the PBE testing server.

According to Riot’s senior artist Kevin ‘Sirhaian’ Leroy, the long-awaited Varus update is expected to ship onto live servers very soon: as long as the LoL devs can get all the visual effects just right, it will drop in next week’s 11.24 update, which is expected to arrive on December 8.

The Varus update comes hot on the heels of Caitlyn’s huge overhaul, which saw the Sheriff of Piltover get a major update for the first time in more than ten years.

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