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Varus the archer is on his way into the fields of justice and has some interesting scaling that I'm having trouble groking. The problem I'm running into is conceiving of an item build which optimizes his damage with 4 items (which drops you as a glass-cannon in mid-game or allows for a couple of defensive items to be picked up as part of your complete build).

Obviously, we all (had best) agree that item builds are situational. What I'm looking for is just a base-case situation against, say, some trees or rocks standing around. Forget about the other team's resistances, items, runes, and masteries; just focus on Varus dishing out as much raw damage as possible. We can all adjust when we play.

Feel free to use any/all of the following assumptions:

  • Level 18
  • Anything that retains its stacks can be fully stacked, since that's your presumption when you acquire it. Rageblade, for instance, does not retain its stacks, so don't presume it would be stacked in any given engagement
  • No runes or masteries. Any adjustments from the obvious case of an offensively-specialized set are unlikely to change your item build around.

The short version: Which 4 items give Varus the greatest damage output over, say, 5 seconds? Feel free to answer for either including AoE damage or damage to a single target, but I personally think single target ends up being more telling.

I've scraped together a couple of references that might be helpful, but weren't exactly sufficient to answer my question:

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closed as too localized by Fluttershy, StrixVaria, Wipqozn, FAE, Emerica. Apr 10 '12 at 16:07

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The champion isn't out for another month at least - what are you expecting people to provide you with? – Raven Dreamer Apr 10 '12 at 15:48
4 Doran's shields imo. This is a speculation question which answers could change dramatically before and on release as more information arises. This sounds more like a giddy for release theorycrafting question than a simple answer solvable one. – Brian Apr 10 '12 at 15:52
This question is for debate on a FORUM not for GSE. You are basically asking the 4 core gear for Varus, which we can't say nothing for sure. If you are going as jungle, or top lane or even sharing bottom with someone. The gear MUST change depending on the opponent. You want AD damage go for 3 BT and 1 IE you got the maximum output. You want good AD and DPS get some PD too. You can't possible want a pre-release core build like this. sometimes you think that the item X or Y is amazing on that champion and when you get it you see that is not that awesome, and a less ranked gear is better. – Michel Apr 10 '12 at 17:21
That's... not what the question says. It's purely optimizing his damage output, not asking for a core build. A set of items to optimize specifically for total damage output seems to be an issue of mathematics. And yes, I asked for someone with more complete knowledge to answer it for me since I was reasonably unable to do so, which seems to be the point of a Q&A site. There are no questions here that the asker could not answer themselves. – Deotronic Apr 10 '12 at 17:26
@RavenDreamer Wouldn't the combo to generate optimal damage be just math, too? I'm confused about the difference. – Deotronic Apr 10 '12 at 17:29