Life steal Vi
Jungle upgrade, Boots too
Tanky stuff (Magic Resist)
This is the culmination of my research on Vi Jungle. Her ability to apply damage to a moving target has been the main focus of my efforts.
Thanks for taking the time to read this, and please leave constructive feedback. While playing, I have noticed several players critique this build, and never leave any justification for their (sometimes toxic) criticism. I want this forum to help me figure out how to make a better Vi, by using those justifications. This build has been tailored to my play style, and may not be for everyone. That being said, here we go.
Lets use this space to talk about why I'm posting this build. MOVEMENT SPEED. ATTACK SPEED.
With Boots of Swiftness, and a ton of life steal(buffed by percentage damage),you should be able to always hit your target. This is where Chilling Smite and Exhaust come in. If you open with Assault and Battery (which has a pretty rediculous cooldown, thanks to runes and items), you can save your Vault Breaker as a disengage, or to finish off Tristana when she tries to bail. That is, if you dont get friggin stun locked.
Attack Speed helps Vi to apply more damage to a typically moving target. In a vacuum, yes, Vi depends on Attack Damage. That being said, there are rarely any cases where the Jungler is not attacking a moving target. Thus, you need slows and attack speed to compensate. With the addition of Stalker's Blade - Bloodrazor, you change the mechanics of Vi, from an AD focus, to a % health focus. This turns your enemies into HP batteries. This method aslo helps jungle clearing immensely.
The runes you see here are what I am currently using.
Mark of Lethality, for those early game tank ganks.
Seal of Armor, for that extra padding.
Glyph of Magic Resist, to further that padding.
The 2x Quintessence of Attack Speed, help stack Denting Blows. The Quintessence of Scaling Cooldown Reduction helps you to gank more frequently. Reasons for this will become clearer as we go on.
Complementing the Resolve tree very nicely with some vamp(which is more useful than AD at 18), and a little give/take damage modifier.
Resolve gives you a little more padding, and then capitalizes on reaching a little bit more Cooldown Reduction, for more frequent availability of abilities. Plus a nice little shield on the top. This works better than the life steal of ferocity, because you will more often than not be stacking enough life steal already.
The first 3 items should all be acquired at the start, then finish off boots and potions by killing rocks, red, scuttle, raptors. Counterjungling is possible, but you might want to get Assault and Battery first.
The Jungle Item decision
Then start building your Jungle item. You can go Stalker's Blade - Warrior if you need the Attack Damage right away, as in some cases, the early game AD strength of Vi is necessary, but if you can get Stalker's Blade - Bloodrazor and a few life steal items, you have a huge advantage. It all depends on team composition(s), and how well the first few minutes go before you can afford to upgrade it. So test the waters, then make a decision.
If you are not doing well, you can build Stalker's Blade - Warrior, Iceborn Gauntlet, and Berserker's Greaves. Maintain a higher move speed if possible. Being able to outrun your opponent is just as important as being able to catch them.
Check on the lanes. Make sure you know who needs help.
In these shoes? I doubt you'd survive...
Next, Boots. The versatility of boots would depend entirely on how your team is doing at the beginning of the game. If you are against a counterjungler, and they are succeeding, you might want to pick up the Ninja Tabi or Mercury's Treads. I generally go for the Boots of Swiftness, because I enjoy being able to literally zoom around the map. Movement Speed is very important.
Completing your build
The rest of the build is entirely situational on how the match is going. Check team compositions. Do your ganks need more Magic Resist? Armor? With Vi's incredible move speed, you can usually disengage when things go south. The trick is helping get other people out of sticky situations. Vi has great peel because of this and her Vault Breaker can help escape.
Start the game with Denting Blows. This allows you to turn the big rocks, into smaller rocks. Then level all your abilities as they become available. Level 4 and 5, level Denting Blows. Grab your ult, Assault and Battery, then max out Denting Blows. The rest is really up to you. I generally max Vault Breaker next, but again, its situational.
It all comes down to damage application, not outright damage. If you cant hit them because the enemy is moving just too fast, or with a steady stream of attacks to proc Denting Blows, you are literally wasting your team mates time in a gank, costing both of you precious health.
Since Vi has no real CC to speak of, I pack Exhaust with Smite. Flash is nice and all, but I love yelling "Sit Boo-Boo!" as I cream someone with Chilling Smite, and then Exhaust. You apply more damage this way, because you don't waste time catching up to people. Challenging Smite does you no good if you can't hit them. Being able to move more than them is key.
The ranked scene has been seeing a flood of an old favorite come back in the builds. Stalker's Blade - Bloodrazor is a really awesome addition to the jungling scene, as it complements the other changes Riot has made to the game. That being said, I have had a lot of success using my enemies as a health battery, and buying a lot of life steal items, seen in the core build section.
Pros / Cons
-High move speed, and high attack speed leads to more gratuitous application of damage.
-Tons of life steal coupled with percent of enemy health as damage.
-Rather tanky build throughout the game
-Boots of Swiftness helps with slows, stuns, etc.
- Excessive Force can be used to hit champions hiding behind minions.
-Not good if you are behind
-Vulnerable to counter jungle.
- Vault Breaker can be interrupted while it is charging.
- Assault and Battery can be countered, on rare occasion, by becoming untargetable. Items like Zhonya's Hourglass for instance.
As for champions who can counter Vi's Assault and Battery:
- Fizz has his Playful / Trickster
- Vladimir can Sanguine Pool
- Bard uses Tempered Fate
- Master Yi can Alpha Strike(if provided enemies).
- Shaco's Hallucinate(unable to confirm, couldn't find Shaco to ask.)
- If I missed one, please, comment!
Start with Red/Gromp, then grab the scuttle if you can. This is dangerous, so make sure you are ready for the enemy Jungler. It's a good idea to save a Vault Breaker or Excessive Force so you can engage/escape if they show up. Then back to finish up your boots and potion, then keep clearing. You can gank as needed, but be careful early game without a PvP Smite or Ultimate. Kill the Scuttles any chance you get. Dragon/Baron is nice too. Check the enemy team composition to see whether or not you need to stack Armor, Magic Resist, or Attack Damage. With Stalker's Blade - Bloodrazor/ Trinity Force, I generally am able to go life steal, and grab a bit of tank.
Map Awareness is key, and that does not apply to just Vi.
Being the Jungler, you will spend the least amount of time in combat, even with Boots of Swiftness or Boots of Mobility. This allows you to take a good look around the map and make the call who needs your help. Clearing lanes for team mates, providing the gank, Soloing dragon, and most importantly, knowing when to disengage and leave someone to die, or not engage at all. It is a harsh reality that not many are able to grasp. But if someone is in a hopeless battle, don't get Aced for 75 seconds in a futile venture.
What makes Vi unique? 2 gap Closers( Vault Breaker and Assault and Battery), and the ability to demolish armor with Denting Blows. Saving Vault Breaker as a disengage is also a viable unique skill. With all the stacked movement speed that comes with some of the most useful items to Vi, she has the peel, passive shield, and will to turn the tide in many fights.
When it comes to farming, you have to be able to do it fast. Early ganks help, as well as the scuttles/dragon/baron. Don't waste time clearing waves for lanes if the turret isn't in immediate danger. Your team mates need farm too.