Vi Build Guide by Necrode
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Boot Options + Enchants
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
My name is Necrode The Dark, and this is a guide on Vi, The Piltover Inforcer! A few notes before I begin:
-Suggestions are most welcome, either PM me or leave a note in the comments.
-These builds are not set in stone, they are merely guidelines to help you. Build based on the situation.
-PLEASE TRY THE GUIDE BEFORE YOU RATE IT
-If you vote my guide down, PLEASE provide a reason as to why. Giving the guide a downvote and giving no explanation doesn't help me improve the guide at all.
Pros / Cons
+ Can build pretty tanky, and still deal "tons of damage".
+ Free flash
+ 2 AA resets
+ Suppression ult + dash
+ %HP passive on her w
+ Can harass from range with E
+ Strong early game, and is strong throughout
+ Has giant fists
- Sometimes hard to stick to targets
- Takes some practice to get used to
- Your ult carries you with if the opponent flashes (Could be a pro)
- Root stops your Q
- Has giant fists
There isn't too much to say about the runes. These are pretty straightforward:
greater mark of armor penetration:We take as much armpen as possible, flat AD is not necessary on Vi, but you can go ahead and roll flat AD if you would like. It's a nice alternative.
greater quintessence of armor penetration: See above.
Greater Seal of Armor: Very standard choice, especially for top lane. The extra armor is a must.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist: This is to mitigate some of that pesky AP damage.
The masteries are pretty simple. We go for a 9/21/0 build, taking up to armor penetration in the offensive tree, along with the extra CDR, instead of the extra attack speed. That extra CDR will do wonders for your Q, and also reduces the time it takes to build up E stacks.
In the defensive tree, we take a little bit of MR and armor, and a major component that is absolutely core for her masteries, is Juggernaut. This will help out your shield passive A LOT! Especially if you build Warmog's Armor or Frozen Mallet, even The Black Cleaver (A little).
Here I will explain each build, and when you should use them.
Balanced DPS: This is essentially the "go-to" build for Vi if your team already has a tank, and might be squishy otherwise, so it is a good idea for you to build a nice mix of damage and durability. This build will also allow you to stick to targets really well, with the procs from Iceborn Gauntlet and Frozen Mallet.
Anti-Carry: This build is for if your team is pretty tanky, and if your PRIMARY role is to destroy the carries. We take a lot of movespeed with Boots of Swiftness with furor and Zephyr, giving you enough speed and tenacity to get through those pesky tanks and bruisers. Building Randuin's Omen is also a good idea, as if anyone happens to AA you, they will be slowed, and when you do jump on the carry, you can activate it to slow their movement speed, and seal their fate.
The Off-Tank: If nobody on your team is tanky/an actual tank, this is the build you want to aim for. Vi is great at building tanky, and still doing enough damage in fights to really matter. If your support doesn't build Aegis of the Legion or Runic Bulwark, then you're going to have to get it yourself. Go ahead and pick up a Frozen Heart if they have attack-speed happy champs. Like Vayne or Kog'Maw for example.
Crazy Tower Push: This build is not often recommended unless you are ABSOLUTELY confident in your skills with Vi, or your laning in general. This build is meant to push turrets super hard, and we take Teleport so that you can split push for your team. Vi is great at taking out turrets because of the AA reset with her E, which also does damage to turrets, and the minions behind it! We take a Ravenous Hydra to push the lanes even harder than your q-->e combo, and an Ohmwrecker to get some great damage in even without minions available.
Blast Shield: This is a great passive, as it activates every time you use an offensive ability. This includes your E and Q for instance. This can only occur every 20 seconds though, so be careful in lane when you're using it. This allows you to win a lot of trades, but don't get over-confident, seeing as how champions like Irelia will be seemingly losing a trade, and then suddenly come out on top. Always wait for this to be off cooldown before you engage your opponent for harass.
Vault Breaker: Your Q is a chargeable dash, which is great for you! It's essentially a free flash, and can go over any wall that flash can. It's great for escaping, for also engaging on your opponents. Take note that this ability procs both your shield, and your W passive. This is your main initiation tool, so take a point in it at level 2, and max it by 13.
Denting Blows: Your W is a passive that stacks 3 times, just like Vayne's Silver Bolts, dealing a % of their max health in damage, but it ALSO grants you extra attack speed, and reduces their armor. Take this at level 3, and leave it to max last. When you use Vault Breaker to go in on an opponent, it will give you one stack if you manage to hit with it. Quickly follow up with an AA --> E --> AA --> E --> Q combo, and they will be hurting severely.
Excessive Force: This is your bread and butter ability. It holds up to 2 charges, and is an AA reset. Take a point at level 1, and max it immediately. It is great for harassing your opponent, even through minions. Just line yourself up between the minions and your opponent, and use your E for some quick and easy harass from afar. If you want to farm minions and clear waves easily, use your Q straight through to the back line. This will line them all up for a quick E.
Assault and Battery: This is your second initiation ability and is a dash + suppress, however, I would only use this first if you get into a teamfight, and you want to take out their carry as quickly as possible. If you are laning top, use your Q to initiate first and IF YOU ARE SURE THE JUNGLER IS NOT NEARBY AND YOU CAN SECURE THE KILL, then if they flash or almost get away, pop your ult on them and they will never get away. Only use this AFTER they flash, if you use this before they flash, they will just flash afterwards and might get away. Keep in mind that Vi cannot be interrupted during the casting of this ability!
Also note, that with your ultimate, you can ult first, then tap q for a quick Vault Breaker. Considering that your ultimate puts you BEHIND the target, your quick q will knock the enemy back into your team. :)
Boots of Speed and 3x Health Potion: If your laning opponent relies on skillshots, go ahead and grab boots for the extra mobility to dodge them, and the pots for sustain.
Cloth Armor and 5x Health Potion: If you are up against a strong AD top laner, like Darius for example, grab the extra armor and sustain in order to lane longer against them.
Crystalline Flask and sight ward and 1x Health Potion: If you really want to stay in lane for a long time, this is a great start. You grab a ward so you are not ganked early on, and the flask to help with your sustain.
ITEMS TO BUILD
I'm only going to go over a few of the core items, and an explanation for some of the item choices. I won't go over every single VIable option for her, as I believe everybody is smart enough to figure out what other items do.
Phage: This item is pretty much core on any Vi build. It provides much needed health, damage, and slow procs to stick to targets. Most of the time, you are going to want to turn this into a Frozen Mallet
The Black Cleaver: On any AD bruiser, this item has become 100% core. It provides great stats. CDR, some HP, and an awesome passive. I buy this EVERY time I play Vi, even if I go off-tank.
Iceborn Gauntlet: You're probably asking "Why this item? It gives AP!" Yes, this is very true. However, AP is not COMPLETELY wasted on Vi. Her E also scales with AP. That's besides the fact that she benefits from the other stats as well. The passive is amazing for sticking to targets, and it also has Sheen procs which will make you hurt like a truck. Not to mention it gives you ARMOR. Great item on Vi. Also keep in mind that Frozen Mallet is also a great substitute for this item, if you don't feel like you need the armor.
The Bloodthirster: This will give you a great boost of damage, and some nice Lifesteal as well. Don't take this if you're going off-tank. But otherwise, a possible +100 AD is too good to pass up.
Maw of Malmortius: Get this EVERY time an AP carry is giving you trouble, or if a majority of the enemy team's damage is magic. Keep in mind that AD champions can ALSO deal magic damage. Like Corki or Garen's ult. That being said, don't get it if you're worried about Corki... Please buy armor. EVEN IF HE SHREDS IT.
Boots of Swiftness: These are an underrated item on Vi. They give you an excellent boost of movespeed, and the passive that reduces slows ALSO applies to the slow when charging up your Q!!! I highly recommend getting these if you feel like being aggressive. Don't forget, if the enemy team has a lot of CC, pick up a Zephyr or Mercurial Scimitar.
In the early game, you want to try and just last-hit as much as possible. THIS IS YOUR PRIMARY GOAL, NOT TO KILL CHAMPIONS. Of course, if you KNOW for a fact that you can secure a kill, go for it. But don't focus on harassing your opponent if it means that you will miss out on farm. Farm farm farm. Luckily, Vi has the ability to farm AND harass at the same time. If you line yourself up between the minions and your opponent, you can use your E to last hit, and also deal damage to your opponent as well. That is the name of the game for the early stages. Always, ALWAYS buy at least ONE ward when you port back to base. This will ensure that you see ganks coming.
Note: If your opponent goes back (And you are sure they did) quickly push the lane to their tower. This way they lose EXP and farm. In the meantime, see if you can gank their jungler at blue or red, depending on whether or not you are blue or purple team. You can also easily pull off a gank mid, since Assault and Battery is such a great initiation tool if you can't hit with Vault Breaker. Ask your mid if their flash is down. If it is, you have an easy kill on your hands. Unless it happens to be a good Kassadin or LeBlanc, they will just blink away from you.
By mid game you should have finished off at least your Phage or The Black Cleaver, depending on the build you're going for. If you have either one of these (or both), you should be able to trade with most of your top lane opponents, unless you have a good Elise or vladamir on your hands, they will just harass you from afar and poke you down. If you try to use your Q to get in on them, Vlad will probably pool, and Elise will just stun you.
As in the early game, you should gank mid whenever you can, or gank bot if you decided to take Teleport as your second summoner spell. Having teleport is great for split-pushing. Your team is doing dragon and needs backup right away? No problem, just tp to a ward near drag. Your team gets caught out 4v5 in bot lane, and is holding off the enemy whilst you push top lane? TP to your allies and turn the tides of the battle. DO NOT WAIT TOO LONG.
Vi has great scaling into the late game, assuming that the game hasn't ended by this time. I hope by now that you are super farmed, and have at least 3-4/5 of the necessary late game items. If you don't have at LEAST a The Black Cleaver and Frozen Mallet by now, GO GET THEM! These are essential items for your damage/utility! Late game, depending on your role, you're going to want to look to initiate on the enemy team, given safe situations. Your role in fights is simple: TAKE OUT THE ADC OR AP CARRY. You are one of few champions that can completely shut down and peel off the enemy carries. Use your Q to dash them first, assuming the tanks aren't in your way. If they are? NO BIG DEAL!!! Just use your ult to instantly suppress them.
Keep this in mind: DO NOT MINDLESSLY ULT THE CARRY!!! IF YOUR TEAM CANNOT FOLLOW UP AND HELP YOU, YOU ARE GIVING UP A FREE KILL. BECAUSE YOU WILL BE FOCUSED THE SECOND YOU DO THIS!
WORK IN PROGRESS!
Items to start with:
Hunter's Machete and 5x Health Potion: No real mystery here, or great alternatives. The machete's use in the new jungle is too good to ignore.
I highly suggest upgrading your machete to a Spirit Stone ASAP. A lot of people say that it's an awful item, and builds into nothing good. WRONG. It is SUPER cost efficient, and with procs from your w, your e, and q-ing jungle monsters, clearing is not an issue, so I generally forgo Madred's Razors. Upgrade your spirit stone into a Spirit of the Elder Lizard when you can. It is a strong item that gives you everything Vi needs. CDR, damage, regen, and true damage over time.
Wolves->Blue->Wraiths->Red->Check for gank mid/bot->Wraiths/Wolves->Check again -- Repeat
Wraiths->Red->Wolves->Blue->Check for gank top/mid->Wraiths/Wolves->Check again -- Repeat
You'll probably notice that I left out the Small Golems. You can do these if you would like, I just find ganking more beneficial, and the smaller camps take less time, and less of your health earlier on.
If you would like, ask your teammates to give you a smiteless leash. This will allow you to get both buffs quicker, and gank a lot quicker. Although you can't always trust in solo queue that everyone will be willing to do so.
Here are a few successful games I've had as Vi (Ones I grabbed recently)
If you want to sent me a screenshot of a game you've had using this guide, that would be great!
Welp, you can't win them all
2/12/13 - Added more to items section. Added mid game and late game chapters.
2/14/13 - Made some minor changes to intro section, items, and early game. Also fixed some typos.
2/16/13 - Added "Some success" section.
2/21/13 - Added more to "jungling" section.
2/24/12 - Added the Jungle Vi build.