Kog'Maw Versus Varus - When to Carry With Acid or Tendrils

Introduction


Hello and welcome to A DIFFerent View. Today I will be analyzing the similarities and differences of Kog'Maw and Varus, specifically in the role of AD carry. Both of these champions offer long range and magic damage base on a percentage of the champion's maximum health.

Base Stats


First let's take a look at the champion's base stats:

 

As we can see Kog'Maw always has higher base Health, Health Regen, Mana, Mana Regen, and Attack Speed than Varus.
Varus will always have higher base Attack Damage, Range, and Movespeed than Kog' Maw. 
Varus starts out with higher base armor than Kog'Maw, but at level 4 Kog'Maw has a higher amount.

Some of the more important stats here for AD carries are health, attack speed, range, and movespeed. At level 18, Kog'Maw has 76 higher base health than Varus, this is not a huge difference, the bigger difference is likely the 42 extra Kog'Maw has at level 1.

The Attack speed difference seems minimal, but base attack speed is what all other sources of attack speed are based off of, this means Kog'Maw scales better with items like Berserker's Greaves and Phantom Dancer than a Varus would.

The 75 range Varus has over Kog'maw would be huge, if Kog'Maw didn't have the ability to raise his range by up to 210 units. However with the base cooldown on Kog's Bio-Arcane Barrage it has less than a 50% potential uptime. This means in lane Varus could have higher range than Kog'Maw a majority of the time.

The 5 movespeed is minor, but can still be a difference, mostly when laning against other AD carries with lower movespeed, the 5 movespeed can help force trades and win them.

When you actually put these stats in perspective of an AD carry, I think Kog'Maw has a slight advantage with the health and mana pool.

Skill Sets


Now let's look at what each champion has to offer in terms of utility from their abilities.

Kog'Maw:

  • Deals true damage with his passive (not optimal).
  • Shreds armor and magic resist.
  • Gains bonus range.
  • Has a long range low cooldown poke ability that reveals enemies hit.
  • Has long range poke ability that can wave clear.
  • He can reduce healing.
  • He has a unique spreading snare ability.
What can both champions do?
 
  • They can deal magic damage based on a percentage of the target's maximum health.
  • They have an AoE slow.
  • They have attack speed steroids.

So as we can see the biggest distinction between these champions are their ultimates. Kog'Maw can destroy enemies before they even get in vision range of him. Varus has a semi-AoE snare that can excel in teamfights combined with other AoE abilities.

Full Items, Runes, and Masteries


I am going to assume both champions have attack damage marks and quintessences, armor seals, and magic resist glyphs, they are going 21-9-0 for masteries, and have Berserker's Greaves, Infinity Edge, Phantom Dancer, Last Whisper, and a Bloodthirster with full stacks. As for a 6th item I assume they would have Guardian Angel or Quicksilver Sash, but that doesn't increase their damage output and is situational.

As we can see, Kog'Maw seems to have a decent advantage due to his passive attack speed from his Q, but of course, Varus can also gain 20% or 40% attack speed, as long as he has the bonus 40%, he has 1.770 attack speed which puts him about equal to Kog'Maw.
Obviously their stats weren't too far apart in the first place, it's their spells that make the biggest difference. If Varus spreads out his spells he can deal 15% of the target's maximum health every 3 attacks, in 3 attacks with Kog's W on, he deals 18%. Varus's autoattacks also deal bonus magic damage that stacks, but Kog'Maw has a higher damage from his ultimate as long as he has the mana to support it (which now has a lower cap). 
So really once again the biggest difference is that Varus has an AoE crowd control ultimate, and Kog'Maw has higher ranged damage. Both of them have percentage based damage and an AoE slow, but Kog's damage output seems to be higher especially considering his range advantage. 

In the scenario of playing against an anti-carry, Varus likely has the advantage if his ultimate is up, but if it's not, Kog's Q allows him to lower armor and magic resist and his E is a bit better of a slow and has a better shape for protecting himself.

Laning Phase


As for both of these champions in the laning phase that would be very dependent on the support. However, I think on average Varus has an advantage, he has better wave control with his Q, he has healing reduction without a summoner spell if he needs it, and he has 575 range all of the time. Also when he hits level 6 he can get a pretty easy kill as long as he has some kind crowd control from his support. Kog'Maw on the other hand is somewhat fragile and very dependent on his range compared to other supports, he lacks solid burst that other carries may have for quick trading.

Conclusion


If you have a team that can protect you I would suggest Kog'Maw over Varus. He can dish out higher damage from a further range, however if you have a less supporting team, Varus may be a better option. Also if you need more crowd control Varus would definitely be a better option. Varus also has a stronger laning potential especially in a kill lane against sustain. I hope this helps you in your future games and thanks for reading.

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6

Comments

  • #6 zBlackBoxz

    I actually made an account just to post here because Varus is receiving a lot of unnecessary hate. I am extremely passionate about Leona + Varus and believe that Varus can be played in at least mid-high elo games if not in tournaments when coupled with Leona

    As noted by the author, Varus has high kill potential in lane, especially at 6. Coupled with leona, he becomes significantly more scary (Granted, Leona is just an outright scary support and turns most lanes into kill-lanes. I still think Varus has better kill potential than any of the other Leona + AD combos, including Corki+Leona). In my personal experience, Leona+Varus can usually keep a target CC-Locked long enough to kill before they can even flash to safety. 

    I don't think most players utilize this lane-dominance and, as a result, they under-value him. While Varus might not be tournament viable because he doesn't scale as hard as the likes of kog'maw, saying he "fails miserably" is a gross underestimation of his abilities. 

    As an aside, I agree with everyone that it is quite curious that the author is comparing a high-damage carry with a heavier utility carry. 

  • #5 Gameguy301

    comparing a top pick hypercarry, with a low tier utility carry is not really a meaningful article.

    varrus attempts to be the bridge between ashe and a more traditional carry, and fails miserably at both.

    Last edited by Gameguy301: 6/24/2012 7:13:32 AM
  • #4 Irishfafnir

    Not to come off as a dick, but wasn't this just common knowledge that Kogmaw is better? Unless you need CC? 

    Wouldn't a much better comparison be between vayne and Kogmaw? or trist and the above too. All three are late game hyper carries. 

  • #2 toco123

    Are you autistic?

  • #3 YoshinatorZ

    Why are you here?

  • #1 Skip3rd

    Varus' percent health damage is much more situational and demanding than Kog's. This makes Kog even better than Varus in situations where landing Varus' abilities can be hard, e.g. Late laning phase. Also, at lvl 11/16 Kog's ult grants him substantial burst, which shouldn't be overlooked. 

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