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Varus’ W is evolving into a new ability in Patch 8.8, according to a post on the official League of Legends forums from Riot lead gameplay designer Andrei “Meddler” van Roon.
The reason we say it’s evolving rather than being replaced is because Meddler’s wording makes it sounds as though an active ability is being added into his W, but not that anything is being removed to compensate. Adding an active ability to a previously passive ability is essentially turning it into something entirely different, though.
Right now, Riot’s current goal is to add a boost to Varus’ Piercing Arrow (Q), which would boost the “Sniper Varus” build that centers around landing Qs and not much else. When this new W is activated, it will increase the damage of his next Piercing Arrow significantly, while turning it into an execute.
The arrow would deal six to nine percent of the target’s missing health in damage at rank one, and it would have a massive 40 second cooldown, but no mana cost. With such a high cooldown, it seems that Riot is aware that he can’t use it more than once in any large fight. With enough AD, though, Varus can all but guarantee a kill if he launches a Q at a low-health enemy, thanks to the new active’s execute function.
By max rank, Meddler says that the ability will deal 12 to 18 percent missing health, which is a massive spike in power the later a game goes. This solves a big problem for Varus, and that problem is that his late-game is typically extremely weak when using a sniper build. At least when this ability is up, that should no longer be an issue.
These changes are supposed to arrive with Patch 8.8, which is about three weeks away.