Varya Mid Guide (4.1)

Hello! I’ve found Varya to be one of my favorite heroes to play overall, especially with how powerful she is on 5 v 5. I’ll be on the lookout for more info on improving gameplay as well. There’s a lot about this game to learn, so maybe this guide will help someone! :kraken_thumbsup:
Feel free to flame me if I miss / mess something up. :lanceheresy:

  • General Overview (Role, Playstyle, Ect.)
    Unlike most mages, she has a heavy focus on auto-attacking with her passive Chain Lightning, so :vgitem_alternatingcurrent: will be her core item to compliment that.
    She is played more often like a WP carry, learning to kite with her can maximize her damage.
    With how much pure AoE is in her kit, she is immensely powerful in the late game when she can easily stack a :vgitem_dragonseye: and heal to full health with an :vgitem_eveofharvest:. She usually goes mid lane in 5 v 5, but can also be flexed top lane if needed.


Quick note before getting into this, we will want to max her (B) and ( C ) as soon as possible.

Perk : Chain Lightning - Varya’s attacks deal crystal damage. If Varya holds her ground after attacking, she will strike her target and up to 3 additional enemies with a bolt of Chain Lightning. This bolt deals additional damage and consumes energy.

  • Her main source of consistent damage, building attack speed will chain the lightning more quickly.
  • It’s not necessary to always use this, simple kiting works well.

A : Stormforged Spear - Varya throws a lightning spear, hitting the first enemy in its path. This deals a burst of damage to the target and chains additional damage to nearby targets.

  • Overdrive : Range increases.
  • When cast during or after Arc Recursion (B), the spear is thrown more quickly.
  • Number of additional targets affected is equal to her Chain Lightning attack.
  • In my opinion, the damage from this is negligible and easy to avoid :flicker: if you don’t use Arc Recursion (B) to speed it up. You can use this while chasing with Arc Recursion (B) to extend your range.
  • Starting this Level 1 is too slow to actually do anything, so a point in Arc Recursion (B) is better.

B : Arc Recursion - After gathering power for 0.9s, Varya’s next two move commands will instantly dash in the chosen direction, striking the 3 nearest enemies at the end of each dash. For each enemy struck, Varya recovers 5% of her energy and gains a barrier equal to 3% of her health (bonuses doubled on heroes).

  • Overdrive : Varya moves further with each dash.

  • Varya can dash before fully charging, but only results in 1 dash.

  • Varya can activate Stormforged Spear at any time during this ability. Any remaining dashes will trigger after the spear is thrown.

  • This ability will be your main way to cancel Anvil’s hammer (Ult) early, and your engage into fights. Leveling this first has more uses than Stormforged Spear (A). Overdriving this first is more beneficial than Stormforged Spear (A) because of how useful this is.

You can :

  1. Regenerate energy in lane
  2. Start fights with up to a 36% health barrier (6% bonus on 3 heroes twice - 6 x 3 x 2)
  3. Chase enemies / Dodge damage / Reposition

C (Ult) : Anvil’s Hammer - After channeling for 2.4s, Varya calls 3 lightning strikes on all enemy heroes globally. Passively, each rank of the ultimate permanently increases her attack speed and the number enemies her Chain Lightning and Stormforged Spear (A) will hit.

  • Details - Strike Impact Radius: 1.6/1.8/2
    Bonus Chain Lightning: 1/2/3
    Bonus Attack Speed: 10/20/30%

  • Lightning strikes target the ground beneath enemy heroes.

  • Lightning strikes deal 75% reduced damage to enemies already hit by lightning.

  • Varya can cancel the channeling early by activating Stormforged Spear (A) or Arc Recursion (B). This does not cancel the spell.

  • In almost every situation, this is used to start teamfights. On average you an instantly stack 3 or 4 :vgitem_dragonseye: stacks if your team can follow up with a strong engage (i.e. Ardan Gauntlet, Phinn Forced Accord).

  • Level 6 is an early powerspike, gaining 10% more attack speed and being able to hit more targets with her passive Chain Lightning. The passive effects from leveling this makes her very powerful in the late game, where she is strongest.

  • Farm as much as possible to level faster whenever you can, experience leads are extremely valuable to her.

Playing as Varya / Matchups

  • Since she scales so well into the late game, early on is where she is weakest. With having her 6.2 basic-attack range to farm (Her (B) does 50% damage to minions) poke can sometimes be an issue for her to deal with. Playing passively and controlling the minion wave smartly will allow her to generate gold leads and scale without many problems.

  • To control the wave well, learning how to freeze the wave is extremely important as you definitely do not want to continuously shove the wave into your enemy laner. By last hitting and keeping the amount of minions in the wave even, you can hold the wave to stay still nearer to your turret than the enemy’s. This gives your team an easier time ganking because the enemy has to extend further away from their turret.
    This Reddit post can help you understand what freezing a wave is. Although it is about League of Legends, Vainglory essentially has the same concepts and mechanics.

  • If you manage to get through the laning phase and have some items completed, look to group with your team as often as possible and start fights or contest objectives. Varya does the best in 5 v 5 fights where all of her AoE damage is most effective.

I wouldn’t really consider any hero to be a “hard counter”, but she has unfavorable matchups. The most common include sticky assassins / early bullies such as Alpha, Koshka, and Skaarf. Exploiting her early weakness is something the enemy team will do to slow down her powerspikes.

Item Builds

Varya’s builds are slightly different than most mages, in that her main focuses are :vgitem_alternatingcurrent: and :vgitem_dragonseye:.

  • :vgitem_alternatingcurrent: helps her apply Chain Lightning more quickly, and deal more damage with basic-attacks which already scale off of CP.

  • :vgitem_dragonseye: is easy to stack because her entire kit does multiple instances of damage / has a lot of area damage. This is especially one of her powerspikes.

Her other CP items can include :vgitem_aftershock:, :vgitem_brokenmyth:, :vgitem_eveofharvest:, :vgitem_frostburn:, :vgitem_shatterglass:, and :vgitem_spellfire:.

  • :vgitem_aftershock: is a viable item versus tankier enemy teams and you know how to combo abilities well enough to maximize the damage potential. This isn’t recommended in general and is more of a situational pick.

  • :vgitem_brokenmyth: is almost always bought because unless the enemy team has little to no defense items, the 45% shield pierce given from this will allow your damage to remain relevant.

  • :vgitem_eveofharvest: is another item that is bought most often just because of how much pure damage output Varya has. Massive area damage along with a stacked :vgitem_dragonseye: can easily heal you up if you take damage. The bonus Energy is also a nice to have. :gwenrainbowbarf:

  • :vgitem_frostburn: is a very situational item. Rarely bought, but useful when you have it to slow multiple enemies with your abilities to provide some utility as Varya innately has none. :vgitem_shiversteel: is another alternative you want to have some more tankiness and kite easily.

  • :vgitem_shatterglass: can be bought instead of :vgitem_dragonseye: if teamfights are not frequent or last long enough to stack. Having consistent CP for skirmishes and smaller fights is much more useful than scaling damage sometimes.

  • :vgitem_spellfire:'s main usage is for Mortal Wounds and not so much for poke. Varya doesn’t poke as well as other mages because of how slow her Stormforged Spear(A) is and is more of an all-in damage dealer.

  • :vgitem_infusionwp: is my personal preference for Infusion because of how valuable Attack Speed is on her. If we compare the stats gained from :vgitem_infusioncp: and :vgitem_infusionwp: , :vgitem_infusioncp: grants 60 CP and 15% CDR to :vgitem_infusionwp: 40 WP and 35% Attack Speed. (Assuming Level 12.)
    While Varya values CDR to have a lower cooldown on her (B) and ( C ), ultimately her main form of damage comes from her Chain Lightning as basic-attacks are guaranteed to hit.
    The 60 CP is negligible as well considering how she usually builds and stacks :vgitem_dragonseye: quickly versus her abillity to Chain Lightning more quickly and more often with :vgitem_infusionwp:'s bonus Attack Speed.

(Armor and shield gain from both are the same.)

Build Set

  • :vgitem_alternatingcurrent: :vgitem_halcyonchargers: :vgitem_dragonseye: :vgitem_eveofharvest: :vgitem_slumberinghusk: :vgitem_brokenmyth:
    This is a very solid build to get usually.
    Alternate between defense items such as :vgitem_slumberinghusk: for general defense, :vgitem_aegis: for CC teams, :vgitem_celestialshroud: against a combo-reliant / debuff team, and :vgitem_metaljacket: against a heavy WP team.
  • If you feel like you need to build 2 defense items to survive, then :vgitem_alternatingcurrent: :vgitem_dragonseye: :vgitem_brokenmyth: should be enough for damage. While you’ll feel the damage dropoff somewhat and lose some extra benefits (such as :vgitem_eveofharvest: healing or :vgitem_spellfire: Mortal Wounds, a fully stacked :vgitem_dragonseye: will still make you a threat.

Can you tell us more , like her weakness and strength against heroes in mid lane , I played midlane the other day and I was watching my energy , I just played to see the point of nerfing her this patch , I like her ult but I don’t know about the damage , I feel other mages better in midlane .

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I agree completely. I feel many want to max her A. It’s very easy to avoid. Nice guide!

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Yah, I see that pretty often and still can’t figure out why.

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Most likely a bad habit from the past where her A had a lot more dmg + range, i.e. when her dmg was primary from the abilities and not AA. A lot had changed since… from the buffs to the heroes move speed boost + boots buffs leading to more passive speed and frequent activation. SEMC ofc didn’t tweak her A wind up and is currently useless, expect for following B chase finisher.

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Added another section about that topic. Varya is one of if not the strongest late game heroes (cough Vox) and many other mages tend to have earlier powerspikes in items and abilities comapred to her. (Like Celeste (A) range increasing at Level 8, Samuel being an early lane bully.) The amount of raw damage is what makes her good because at Level 12 she can Chain Lightning with a stacked :vgitem_dragonseye: to the entire enemy team. Basic-attacks cannot be avoided, but abilities can.


I agree – she’s a late game terror, that’s for certain.

Really nice guide, btw!

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