Updated for patch 1.3.
Varesh is arguably the most unique champion in Battlerite. He has the coolest character design — an energy being who wears ancient armor and fights using two forces that inhibit his enemies — and has some of the most unique mechanics.
This uniqueness comes at a cost: Varesh is extremely hard to learn. He’s the very last champion we recommend for newbies because he has almost no mobility and demands good positioning to survive. But when played well, Varesh can control the field and put out a ton of damage.
Hand of Corruption (M1)
Don’t be fooled by the measly 14 damage this skill outputs, it’s deceptively strong. You heal yourself for 2 health every time you hit something, whether another champion, a stationary object like Blossom’s Tree, or even the orb! This adds up throughout a round and contributes a lot to Varesh’s tankiness. It also applies Corruption, which weakens enemy output. Apply it and you’ll win subsequent trades.
If you’re ever in range of two or more enemies, it’s important to keep them all tagged with Corruption as much as possible so they stay weakened.
Consuming Corruption increases your movement speed by 8% for 5s. Can stack up to 3 times.
This is a very useful battlerite if you need a lot of added mobility, but I wouldn’t take it without Unlimited Power (which makes consuming Corruption easier). The three stacks mean you can increase your movespeed by up to 24%, which is enough to dodge some huge AOEs like Freya’s ultimate.
Fading Snare duration when Corruption is consumed by Shatter is increased from 1s to 1.5s, and Corruption is reapplied when consumed by Shatter.
Pretty much a must-pick in most cases. It offers a lot of survivability and your snare becomes much more potent, not to mention that reapplying Corruption means the enemies are pretty much permanently weakened due to the refreshed uptime.
Hand of Judgement (M2)
This ability is what enables you to dish out a lot of pressure as Varesh. Ignoring the 22 damage it deals, it also applies Judgement which makes the target take a lot more damage. To put this in perspective, your M1s deal 14 baseline, but if you hit a target under Judgement, he’ll take 17 damage. Not to mention your teammates also deal more damage to targets with Judgement.
It has a small cooldown so you can cast it a lot, and it’s useful for baiting cooldowns by cancelcasting. You shouldn’t spam it though unless you’re very safe, because it leaves you immobile for a long time and your opponents will take advantage of this.
That being said, if you can catch an enemy while they’re disabled, feel free to spam this on them. You should also try to keep all enemies tagged with Judgement as often as you can. The damage amplify is significant and adds up. Combining this with good Corruption upkeep will put your team way ahead.
One last note on Hand of Judgement: use it to snag the orb, especially if you have the Devastation battlerite.
Hand of Judgement deals 4 bonus damage and hitting an enemy resets its cooldown.
Extremely powerful if you can land Hand of Judgement a lot. You can also hit the orb or Blossom’s tree, for example, and get a reset. (It’ll also one-shot Blossom’s tree with the bonus damage.) It works with EX-M2 as well but you won’t spam it much so it’s not really a consideration.
Silence duration when Judgement is consumed increases to 1s from 0.5s.
This is pretty good if you can land Shatter reliably. It also gives you a little bit more breathing room for repositioning after an aggressive counter. Taking this alongside Devastation allows for some very punishing combos.
Inhibitor’s Guard (Space)
As straightforward as it is, Inhibitors Guard can be tough to use well. This is your only real defense against sustained pressure, so you need to save it for when you absolutely need it. If you don’t, you’ll die.
In fact, don’t even use it on your allies unless your team has no supports and you know for sure that you will get full value out of the shield. The 11-second cooldown is an eternity in game — if the enemy is smart and sees you waste it on your teammate, they’ll jump on you and you’ll be defenseless for quite a while.
Applying Inhibitor’s Guard consumes Corruption on nearby enemies inflicting Fading Snare for 1s. The shielded ally is healed for 8 health for each Corruption consumed.
This is your main defense against double or triple melee rushdown comps. It’s nowhere near as powerful as it once was (back when it used to Stun), but it’s still strong, especially when paired with the Unlimited Power and Wonder battlerites.
If you shield yourself well and keep a good Corruption uptime on enemies, you will truly be impervious to sustained damage against multiple melees coming for you. But be careful because this battlerite becomes borderline useless against characters like Shifu who can self-cleanse often.
Inhibitor’s Guard increases movement speed by 25% and damage output by 15%.
I personally never take this because I don’t find it that good. I’d rather take a more reliable movespeed increase on a skill that doesn’t have such a long cooldown (Fervor or Inhibitor), or maybe I’d pair it with Law Bender. It’s pretty good if you wanna be really aggressive with Varesh and get favorable trades every time you have shield up, regardless of your debuffs being applied.
Inhibitors Guard absorbs 14 more damage.
It’s a flat value increase, nothing much to say here except that I pick it every time because it improves the shield’s damage mitigation from average to excellent. Against heavy melee compositions, pick this and Zeal for maximum protection. (In an ideal 3v3 situation, this means your shield would have a net value of 42 absorption + 24 healing and a 1-second snare on the whole enemy team.)
Wuju is one of your most versatile abilities: you can use it offensively or defensively depending on the situation. It consumes Corruption and Judgement if you Reform near an opponent, dealing 20 damage, silencing (by consuming Judgement), and snaring and self-healing (by consuming Corruption).
Keep in mind though that you don’t want to position yourself in a bad spot just to consume those debuffs, and it may be smarter to just get away to a safe spot and let the debuffs fade instead. Learning whether to counter aggressively or defensively will come with experience.
If Wuju is triggered you can recast it within 1.5s.
Only good with Ruin, but even then it’s pretty terrible against good players. You’ll find much more value out of it in 3v3 when people aren’t really paying attention to you. Good for mindgames, but it’s not really something to rely on because its usefulness varies a lot between players.
Wuju inflicts Judgement on enemies struck.
This battlerite allows you to aggressively counter at any point in the round, even right at the beginning. The debuff is applied immediately, and even in the worst possible scenario, you can get your opponents to either blow an iframe or take a bad trade. Keep in mind that repositioning with Wuju is very important, so you have to be quick in your decision between applying pressure with Ruin or retreating to your teammates.
Smart use of Shatter is what separates the men from the boys as far as Varesh players are concerned. On its own it’s relatively tame, only dealing a small amount of damage that bypasses counters and d-barriers, but its main value comes from debuff consumption. Once you start using it to consume Corruption and Judegment, it becomes the strongest ability in your kit. The only downside is that it’s hard to land reliably, so you’ll need to practice the timing of it.
Here’s a good bread-and-butter combo: M1 > Shatter > M2 > M1 > Shatter. If you can land that first Shatter, the target will be snared so hard that the M2 is pretty much a guaranteed hit. The follow-up Shatter inflicts a good amount of damage and lets you get at least another M1 hit during the silence.
When Shatter consumes Corruption or Judgement, the cooldown of Inhibitors Guard is reduced by 1.5s.
One thing that’s not immediately clear with this battlerite is that every debuff you consume is treated individually. What this means is, if you consume Corruption and Judgement with the same Shatter, Inhibitor’s Guard gets a cooldown reduction of 3 seconds! It also makes Hand of Punishment incredibly valuable to your survival, as if it wasn’t already. Pick this when you want a high shield uptime.
Ability charges of Shatter increase to 3 from 2.
I personally never pick this because I don’t really find a use for it in my playstyle, but it’s very good if your Shatter accuracy is terrible or when you really want to play aggressively with debuffs consumption.
Shatter can be cast while moving at 75% speed.
A must-pick in my opinion because it’s way too good in every situation. You’re usually standing still while casting Shatter, so this boosts Varesh’s mobility quite a lot. You can do well without it, but it’s probably the single best mobility battlerite you can choose.
Hand of Punishment (EX-M2)
This is the most important energy ability in Varesh’s kit. You should always save at least 25 energy so you can use Reform as an escape when needed, but beyond that, feel free to spam the rest of your energy on Hand of Punishment if you can afford it.
Its primary purpose is tagging targets with both Corruption and Judgement. Not only does this immediately give you the upper hand in any M1 battle, but the Hand of Punishment projectile is faster and easier to hit than the Hand of Judgement projectile, so it’s a more reliable way to apply Judgement and get those silences in.
Crush is criminally undervalued by new Varesh players. It’s immensely useful when you’re on the receiving end of melee focus because it pushes them away and consumed any debuffs on them. It’s the best peeling ability in Varesh’s kit, but can be very hard to land consistently because it pushes away from the center of the circle.
Use it on the orb to push it to your side and get it away from the enemies. Note that Crush’s radius is larger than Shatter’s radius, so you can use it on distant enemies that you would barely miss with a normal Shatter.
Reform is your only true get away so it should be kept as a last resort. If you think of Wuju as your anti-projectile defense, then Reform is your anti-AOE defense. Getting caught in Crippling Goo without Reform is pretty much a death sentence… so save it!
You can use Reform aggressively in some cases, but I wouldn’t recommend relying on it that way. If you do, you have time for an EX-M2 before the Shatter explodes, so it can consume your debuffs and put you ahead. But truly, not recommended most of the time.
Reduces cooldown of Kinetic Energy by 3s. Applies Corruption on enemies hit.
As if Kinetic Energy wasn’t good enough already, Kinetic Corruption makes it one of the best escape tools in the game. It guarantees a Corruption debuff, which then gets consumed by the automatic Shatter. This snares the target and makes them unable to chase you, plus grants you a bit of self-healing. The cooldown reduction is great too, making Varesh even harder to kill between his shield and Corruption-based self-healing. An all-around great pick.
Powers Combined (F)
Powerful but situational because it’s hard to get full value out of it. Even when the target has no outs, it can be tough to aim because the camera zigzags all over the place. Note that the middle orb counts as an enemy, so if you run out of targets to hit, just aim for that.
Powers Combined repeats itself 1 extra time.
Probably the single worst battlerite choice Varesh has. The ult on its own has a very long duration, so enemy champions are likely to regain one of their escapes while you’re zipping around — even if they blew everything before you started ulting. You’ll likely never hit the 4th sequence, and if you do it’s because your opponent doesn’t know what he’s doing. Pick this only for fun.
Increases your maximum energy by 25% and energy gained from abilities is increased by 10%.
Inspiration is good in theory because it lets you build meter fast for your EX moves, and also gives you an escape route with your R if you miss your ultimate. Pick this one if you have trouble building energy or if you want to go super aggressive, in combination with the Fracture and Devastation battlerites.
If both Judgement and Corruption are active on a target, both factors are increased by 5% and both are reapplied by Hand of Corruption and Hand of Judgement.
This battlerite is really good when playing with an arranged team because it lets you extend the damage-amplifying Judgement debuff with M1s. That amplification is huge when you’re coordinating burst damage on a target, but it’s also great for 1v1 trading because you can just focus on M1ing instead of throwing in M2s or EX-M2s every so often.
The first thing to learn when playing Varesh is what his debuffs look like. Corruption is a blue circle under the target while Judgement is a pink circle under the target. Not only do these circles tell you how much time is left before the debuffs run out, but they also indicate when a target is ready to be Shattered. There is nothing sweeter than seeing an enemy with blue and pink circles underfoot.
Varesh is all about good positioning
Due to Varesh’s near-zero mobility, good positioning is everything. Yes you have Reform for escaping, but it comes with a 15-second cooldown and that will feel like forever when a Freya, Thorn, or Shifu is pounding you into the ground. What is “good position”? Generally, wherever you’re at max M1 distance from the closest enemy.
Varesh relies on management of debuffs
His core mechanics are Corruption and Judgement. You cannot succeed as Varesh if you don’t make full use of them because these debuffs are what enable him to survive, dish out damage, and control enemies.
Corruption is more important than Judgement. If you’re just starting out and you’re having trouble managing debuffs, just focus on Corruption until you get comfortable with it. Your priority should be to tag as many enemies as you can with Corruption at all times (though obviously you shouldn’t sacrifice smart positioning just so you can run in and tag somebody).
When you aren’t being pressured, you can sit back and throw Judgements at everyone. You should be able to maintain Corruption on at least two enemies and Judgement on at least one enemy, though more is always better. While doing this, always keep an eye out for enemies who are bunched together — this is a prime time to Shatter them all at once and instantly swing momentum in your favor.
How to deal with melee enemies
Varesh can have a lot of trouble against melees because you have no reliable method of getting away, so don’t even try. Remember that M1 and Shatter both heal you. Your best bet is to trade M1s and consume Corruption with Shatter often. This is why the Unlimited Power battlerite can be so good.
Don’t bother M2ing against melee. You’ll just end up giving them free hits, and there’s a good chance you’ll miss anyway. Abuse Hand of Punishment instead. Use Wuju to negate big hits (like Bakko’s War Axe or Shifu’s Impale) and to interrupt momentum when you start losing. Use Inhibitors Guard to tank AOEs or peel for teammates.
How to deal with ranged enemies
Tag with Judgement before trading M1s whenever possible. Ranged trading with Varesh pretty much comes down to who has better aim. Being close to a ranged enemy as Varesh is okay as long as you have at least Judgement up on them. This lets you counter aggressively on them. However, think about their cooldowns and your positioning when doing that!
Spam M1 when within range, start lobbing M2s when they seem to be backing off. Don’t use Reform to jump on them no matter how tempting it may be, unless it confirms a kill. Abuse the Hand of Punishment > Shatter combo when you feel like they have too much momentum.
- Unlimited Power (M1)
- Silence (M2)
- Devastation (M2)
- Wonder (Space)
- Inhibitor (E)
This build is great for solo queue. It revolves around Unlimited Power, which aids with Corruption uptime and self-sustain. Use Crush against melees with Corruption because it knocks them far away and they can’t re-approach you due to the snare. Devastation and Silence let you severely punish anyone who isn’t paying attention to you. Wonder and Inhibitor are both strong picks no matter what and help round you out with more survivability and mobility.
Varesh is a high-risk/high-reward champion and you should expect the learning process to take a long time. But here’s the good news: if you can make it through the initial phase, your overall positioning skills will improve quite a bit, which can carry over to other champions.
Just remember that the key to Varesh is making sure Corruption and Judgement are up on as many targets as possible, and you want to abuse Shatter as much as you can. Save Reform for when you truly need it. Wasting it will mean certain death.