Jun 192012
Varus, the Arrow of Retribution
Varus, the Arrow of Retribution

Varus, the Arrow of Retribution has many distinguishing features: good range, an elaborate bow and a fancy scarf; among others. His skins modify these elements in many ways, yet they don’t dare touch the scarf, so as to play with the archer’s corruption and how it affects his appearance. No vengeance should be carried out without style so aim an arrow and make his skins’ review your next target.

Blight Crystal Varus
Blight Crystal Varus Splash Art Blight Crystal Varus Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Varus corrupted by yellow crystals.
Model: New model for Varus and his bow.
Particles: New yellow arrows for his auto-attack, Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows. New yellow particles for Piercing Arrow and Hail of Arrows.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: No new sounds.
Splash Art: This piece makes great use of technique and complex designs to offer a quality above the norm. The background is richly populated and detailed, not only are there multiple buildings with lit windows but there are also rock formations encasing them. Varus stands over a protruding rock that exhibits blighted crystals like his corruption: this is a great way of connecting the background and the champion. Varus is very well drawn with intricate crystal structures and exquisite lighting thanks to the moonlight. His stance is both dynamic and believable as if he were stalking a target. In conclusion, an awesome piece that puts technique to good use and doesn’t simply rely on bright colours to amaze. It’s one of League of Legends best, without doubt.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: The idea of changing the fluid-like corruption to crystal formations is quite good. However, it’s the concept’s execution that has the final word on the quality of the skin. On the one hand, the skin displays prominent and distinct changes to Varus’ look. On the other hand, the skin still feels too similar to Classic Varus. The problem is that only the corruption changed, Varus just wears a few different clothes but the general style is the same. Therefore, the net effect is not as impressive as it could or should be. It also doesn’t help that Blighted Quiver and Chain of Corruption keep the fluid-like design of Classic Varus. Consequently, Blight Crystal Varus is a nice skin with a good concept but an execution that fails to provide a consistent and satisfying product.

Arclight Varus
Arclight Varus Splash Art Arclight Varus Model
Category: Regular
Price: 975 RP
Concept: Varus wielding the power of the Pit of Pallas but before being consumed by its darkness.
Model: New model for Varus and new model plus glow effect for his bow.
Particles: New light particles for his auto-attack and abilities.
Animations: No new animations.
Sounds: New light sounds for his abilities and new processed voice-over.
Splash Art: The background shows ornamented constructions on the air that could pass for a magical floating city; still not much helps to discern the setting. Behind Varus an arc flaming with light takes care of making most of the piece a simple splash of light colour. Varus appears readying an arrow with a forced expression and a bow that has seen its share of use. The clothes seem rather simple as only the metal decorations catch the eye. Besides, the stance makes sure to keep most of his body hidden. Overall, it’s a piece that gives an acceptable first impression but doesn’t work that well as a portrayal.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Arclight Varus is a skin as rich in concept as it is in execution. The concept is very interesting: Varus before corruption. The untainted voice over and light particles work quite well to reflect the concept. Even Chain of Corruption adapts itself into a pleasing assortment of light beams. His look isn’t as straightforward though: there aren’t many clothes, not even shoes, and what little metal covers him seems more ornamental than protective. Regardless, the light attire matches the concept in its elegance: ethereal as the light he wields. Even the bird-like bow glows with such power, echoing the purity and warmth of the light. In conclusion, Arclight Varus is an extraordinary skin that, while diametrically opposite to Classic Varus, retains all that makes him attractive by re-interpreting his core.

Arctic Ops Varus
Arctic Ops Varus Splash Art Arctic Ops Varus Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Varus as a snow commando.
Model: New model for Varus and his bow.
Particles: New particles for his abilities and auto-attack.
Animations: New recall animation.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities and auto-attack.
Splash Art: Behind, we see an installation that has lost its guards to expertly shot arrows. The dull metallic walls stand the low temperatures with stoicism. Under the blanket of a plain night Varus prepares another shot; with glowing arrow in hand. The setting is eloquent and fuels the imagination with possibilities despite looking somewhat flat. Varus’ depiction is more striking but suffers from a few exaggerations: the shading is quite good but monotonous, the perspective is appropriate and useful yet the bow stands in the way due to its outrageously close placement to the front; it even looks bent in the middle. It’s also strange that the bow lacks any strings but has a mechanism designed for them. The blurry rope-scarf dancing on the air seems sketchy and the glow on Varus’ eye strange though not unfitting. In the end, the piece raises above its issues and becomes an attractive spotlight into the activities of a distinct bowman and so, a very good splash art.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: Arctic Ops Varus is a good skin with a well chosen concept and a striking implementation. Its one true issue is the price as there are many skins with similar additions but cheaper. To start with, the Special Forces appearance is a great match for Varus. Not only does it fit his archer role but it also would work with his lore; though with less mysticism. The execution shows great care with a reasonably colourful outfit and a fantastic bow. The fingerless gloves seem odd as they appear practical yet suboptimal against the cold. Regardless, the particles effectively add to the thematic and the sounds round the deal. Additionally, the recall is a great finishing touch that adds some extra personality. Fans of Varus will surely like to add this skin to their collection but the price is an obstacle. The model, particles, sounds and recall are nicely done but they are difficult to justify at this price. In the end, it’s hardly a bad choice but Varus’ fans are advised to wait until a sale.

Heartseeker Varus
Heartseeker Varus Splash Art Heartseeker Varus Model
Category: Regular
Price: 1350 RP
Concept: Varus as a parody of Cupid.
Model: New model for Varus and his bow.
Particles: New particles for his abilities and auto-attack.
Animations: New recall and death animation. New animation for his wings.
Sounds: New sounds for his abilities and recall plus processed voice-over.
Splash Art: With a background as light as what it displays we only find some columns, sky and clouds; a few heart-shaped. The only other thing to see is Varus and the idea behind the skin seems well reflected. The ridiculous adaptation is contrasted by clear lines and attractive colours with great attention to detail. The stance isn’t the best choice though. In pursuit of humour one has to guess his full aspect even if that’s not difficult. From the delicate way he’s holding the arrow to the blinking eye it’s evident that Varus relishes on the theme. Thus, as far as the portrayal goes Varus is well displayed as he embraces the silliness of the idea. The background definitely doesn’t collaborate but the intentions are clear.
Rating: Star clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZeroStar clip art used in skin reviews at StrategyZero
Conclusion: It doesn’t take long to realize just how ridiculous Varus looks styled as Cupid. Perhaps if he were to represent a grown up counterpart it wouldn’t seem so bizarre. The idea might have been a parody but the result isn’t really funny. However, that’s subjective so if you like this style of humour it’s not necessarily something bad.
That said, all the usual suspects are present and correctly executed: a new model that clearly communicates the theme leads the charge. New particles support and while they aren’t striking they are effective; particularly Blighted Quiver’s hearts. The sounds are nothing out of the ordinary and can be easily ignored for the most part as not all are noticeable. In fact, only Piercing Arrow sounds really different. The processed voice-over also helps keep the feel consistent but is nothing remarkable as it’s just borrowed from Arclight. The final touches are some animations. The animated wings are the most distinct extra but, as tiny as they are, it amounts to little. The new death tries to be more evocative than it is. Lastly, the new recall is as embarrassing as it could be conceived.
The result is a skin that aims at humour but that ends in a joke that not everybody will appreciate. If this is your kind of humour then it’s an acceptable skin. It doesn’t do much to justify its high price but can be considered acceptable. On the other hand, if this joke doesn’t strike you as funny then let’s all pretend that this never happened.


Varus doesn’t have many options when the time comes to check his wardrobe. Besides, one of the choices shows that single release skins don’t always have double the quality. Without doubt Arclight Varus is the recommended skin as it offers a fantastic concept with an excellent execution.

Arctic Ops Varus would be recommended if it weren’t for its price. It’s a skin with fine additions that successfully represents its concept. However, while it’s all quite good it’s also quite pricey considering what’s on offer.

For those that appreciate the specific sense of humour provided by Heartseeker Varus it becomes an option; maybe for Valentine’s Day. Even if you like the premise the skin does little to excuse its high price and nothing it provides even astounds. It’s still an alright option but far from the best.

Unfortunately, Blight Crystal Varus isn’t a good option due to multiple inconsistencies and flaws. It isn’t an utter failure but check well what you’re getting so as to avoid a disappointment.

  49 Responses to “League of Legends: Varus Skins’ Review”

  1. I find this review a little weird…

    Don’t get me wrong, it is a nice and accurate review as always, but i have to ask, why a champion with a single skin?

    • Because it’s worthy of being reviewed just like any other champion. We know that it’s brief but the idea is to give some room to champions that are less popular or have few skins.

      Furthermore, due to the fact that there’s only one skin for Varus such scarcity can make Blight Crystal Varus be perceived as a better skin than it actually is.

      Therefore, champions with only one skin are important to review so that there’s more information before buying. One thing is to buy a skin because you like it and another because there’s nothing else available.

      Eventually, more skins will be released and it may be better to save the RP instead of getting a skin that could end up being replaced by a higher quality one. On the other hand, it’s just as important to know if a skin is worth purchasing despite being the only one available.

  2. When Arclight Varus kills something, his bow glows blue for about 2 seconds.

    • Indeed, that’s his passive: Living Vengeance. In Arclight Varus the glow isn’t as strong and evident as in his classic and Blight Crystal skins just softer and more subtle.

  3. Archlight Varus is a nice skin , but you dont really hear the processed voice over

    • When moving the quotes are usually clear. less so in the middle of team-fights. It can also depend on how you play. If you usually have Varus on screen you may be able to hear him if you usually leave him behind, while scouting ahead after a move command, then some are lost.

      Additionally, the change isn’t as clear as with other processed voice-overs but it surely helps the cohesiveness of the skins.

  4. Hello Zero do you think Archlight varus will be on sale this year?

    • Considering it was on sale by the end of May and beginning of June chances are that it won’t; sans bundles or exceptional offers. There are a lot of skins and sales are rather brief in terms of how much they can cover. Of course, with sales there are no warranties as there have been cases, even this year, of the same skin being on sale only a few months apart. Regardless, it’s not the most probable prospect.

  5. Why only 2 stars for blight crystal varus ???? i think is a nice skin …the clothes are better the archlight and … 2 abilities change ….And again … only 2 stars ??:|

    • As the review explains, the skin stays too close to Classic Varus and mixes crystal with his fluid-like corruption. For a skin at this price, it should be better finished and the concept better realized.

  6. So, Blight Crystal now on sale, is it better to still buy arclight or go blight crystal?

  7. Zero, I hope you’re gonna review the upcoming Arctic Ops Varus? I’m really excited for it :)

  8. I want to see Arctic Ops Varus sooooo bad. I wonder which one I should buy: Arclight or Arctic Ops? Your opinion (Zero) on this would be great 😀

    • Arclight is a great skin that perfectly fits the fantasy realm. Arctic Ops doesn’t mesh that well but makes up for it with its unique theme. Regardless, we’ll have to wait until Arctic Ops is released to give a clear answer. So far both seem like great options that provide different but interesting experiences.

  9. I’m not sure which skin to buy, Varus’Arctic Ops one or Void Fizz. I know Varus is much better visually overall but I already have Archlight and I’m literally soo confused. Can you help me with the decision?

    • First of all you should wait until they are released because they could be unfinished or be further modified. Chances are that nothing revolutionary will hit them but it’s always better to decide with the finished product.

      With that in mind, they are different skins: Arctic Ops Varus adapts him into a modern special forces operative; the core remains but the visuals change. Whereas, Void Fizz transforms him into a merry monster instead of a funny sea creature; the core is touched yet not redefined. Additionally, you should consider which champion you like the most and also which theme you prefer.

      Then, you can decide based on the additions that each skin incorporates with regards to previous offerings. Maybe they aren’t worth the expense or they could be a great choice. For this, having the finished product is of great help.

      Currently, it’s a bit early to make any recommendations. Still, you should consider the quality of the skins with regards to their price and also your personal preference with regards to what they offer.

      • I know it’s a little bit early but in 3 days arctic ops varus will go back to it’s normal price and now is my chance of getting him because i am with 1100rp. I am actually considering going for the fizz one but im very dissapointed by his model. I hope at least the splash is ok. About them being different types of champions, I mostly play mid but when I play with friends, I go bot as an adc with my friend who is playing support so that’s why I focused my attention on those 2 skins.

        • Don’t worry, we’ll have a review of Arctic Ops Varus shortly. However, we’ll wait until Void Fizz is released to review him.

      • If you actually like Arclight, a skin so unjolly that Riot are giving it away for free weekly through a partner site (Alienware), you don’t need Arctic Ops. If you can’t stand Arclight and find even Blight Crystal much nicer, get Arctic Ops.
        (tldr: Arctic / Blight > default Varus > Arclight)
        If you don’t like Urf, get Void Fizz – else Tundra Fizz is a must-have.
        Also, if you desire the most impressive skin Riot have made yet, Super Galaxy Rumble is unbelievable. Then again, nobody likes Rumble and it will surely be Super expensive.

        • Chances are that it’s a promotion by Alienware more than a giveaway from Riot. Regardless of how you get, it Arclight Varus is one of the best skins that he has available. Arctic Ops surely looks nice but not enough for the price it asks for.

          With regards to Void Fizz we’ll have to reserve any final judgements until it’s finally released.

  10. Hey Zero! Since the new arctic ops varus skin was released, i was wondering if i should buy it, since you said that varus fans should wait until a sale, and as you know new skins now get a 28% discount, so he is 975 RP. but arclight varus also looks amazing and you guys gave it a good rating, so if you could help me out in deciding which one too get, i would be very grateful. Thank you :)

    • At 975 RP, Arctic Ops Varus isn’t a bad option so if you normally get skins on release it’s not a bad offer. Still, you could wait until a regular sale, if you are patient, and get it for 675 RP. Arclight Varus is still nice and stands proud besides Arctic Ops at 975 RP. Nonetheless, if you don’t mind waiting for regular sales then Arclight can go down to 487 RP and that’s the best option; in terms of RP.

      Something else to consider is how much of a fan of Varus you are. If you play him a lot then Arctic Ops at 28% off could be enough of a discount whereas, if you like him but don’t play him that much, a regular sale may be preferable. The idea is to try to get as much as possible out of the RP you spend.

      Both are great looking skins but the price is an obstacle. Sales help mitigate its influence but the relevance remains. The bottom line is: consider how much you like Varus and each skin and how much you are willing to spend or wait to get them.

  11. All of Varus’ splash arts are missing bowstrings, yet he clearly has them in-game (well, Arclight and Crystal don’t).

    As someone who practices archery, it’s really fucking annoying.

    • Well, stylization and reality seldom aren’t at odds.

      • It’s not even stylish, it’s just lazy and careless.

        • To an extent, yes, it is.

          • never noticed the lack of a bowstring until reading this. Now that I noticed, I personally think that they should have bowstrings on a bow…how else is it supposed to shoot? I agree with Annathema on this…a stringless bow would be very annoying. Makes me wonder why archlight got 5 stars, I figured that a portion of the score would be based upon whether or not their weapon looks right and while the bow does look fitting for him, the lack of a bowstring does not make it look right. Sorry if I’m rambling about something that might seem trivial to you.

          • It isn’t necessarily trivial but remember that Varus’ bow is suppossed to have magical properties due to the effects of the Pit of Pallas. However, a commando bow is a whole different thing.

  12. Zerooooooo hurry up with the new Rumble skin reviewwwwww 😀

  13. Arctic Ops mask is different colors. Splash is dark. Model is plain white. THIS BOTHERS ME.

    • From the art side we could blame lighting. From the player side, we could say that the splash art looks monochromatic and is a bit misleading. In the end, we agree: it’s definitely annoying.

  14. Hey zero
    I was wondering when you think how long it will take for arclight varus to go on sale again?
    And when was the last time it was on sale?

    • Arclight Varus was last on sale at the beginning of August. In theory, it should take a few months for it to return but lately it’s taken longer. In some cases a skin hasn’t seen a discount for over a year so a lot of patience is advised.

      • Okay thanks zero. Hopefully he comes out sooner than later. Anyway, I was also wondering why don’t you do reviews on classic skins?

        • Not at all, it could be added to a bundle or there could be a special sale; sometimes the unexpected happens.

          We don’t review classic skins because they are the frame of reference we compare paid skins to. Besides, newer champions or those that received a visual upgrade will easily have an edge over older ones. The point is: what to compare a classic skin to.

  15. HI Zero what is your first impression on Heartseeker Varus?

    • A bit ridiculous but that might be the intention behind the skin. If you like the funny angle it seems like an appropriate skin. However, we are not sure if it’ll be able to justify the price of 1350 RP.

  16. Um… just to point something out, I am almost 100% sure that they gave Heartseeker Varus a processed voice-over similar to Arclight Varus’ (that filters out the corruption from the original skin). Also, a simple spelling mistake, on line 7 of your Conclusion, you said “hears” instead of “hearts” lol. So far I’m lovin’ the reviews, and may the new voice-over of Heartseeker Varus bump his final rating up to 4 stars? Idk, I really love that skin XD

    (Just to make sure I’m not deaf, there are sources from an official member of LoL skin design team that commented and confirmed the changes of the new voice-over for Heartseeker Varus in the forum linked with the url)

  17. The heartseeker varus skin actually has the voice over from Arclight. Just letting you know.

  18. tomorrow the arctic ops skin is going to be on sale. is it a steal at that price?

    • We wouldn’t put it like that but if you like the skin it’s certainly the time to get it. Arctic Ops Varus is nice but it really doesn’t have anything that explains the 1350 RP price. At a 50% discount, 675RP, it’s more convincing even if it’s still a bit over the usual 487 RP; had it been priced at 975 RP.

      • i will take that as a “yes”, and I am about to buy the skin. thanks for the response, and thanks for the great review, as usual

        • Let’s say that if you like the skin it’s very difficult it’ll go lower than 50% off. If you want the skin, now is the time to get it.

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