Viktor Build Guide by aestrivex
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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.
Viktor is a powerful and underplayed champion. He is a lot of fun and has some unique qualities. Specifically, what makes Viktor most unqiue is Evolving Technology. His augments are very cheap, very good items that only Viktor can purchase. Because each augment costs only 1000 gold and provides great utility, buying an augment effectively propels Viktor into the mid game in a way that no opponent will be able to emulate. Usually, this means your mid game will be much stronger than that of your lane opponent.
A bit about me: I am summoner aestrivex. I am currently in Silver 2. My elo is around the 1300-1400 range (and Lolking score). My favorite champions are Rumble and Viktor (It's probably not an accident that they both have vector skillshots. Vector skillshots are pretty much the coolest thing ever. However, I didn't pick them; they picked me.) I also highly enjoy Fizz, Elise, Kennen, Vayne, and Nautilus. Most of my ranked play is on Rumble.
Pros / Cons
Augment: Death is the strongest augment. Period. You should buy this augment 98% of the time.
The other augments, sadly, don't work well on Viktor at all. Buying a different augment means you are not buying the death augment, which is just too valuable to give up. The death augment propels you into midgame, and does so by allowing you to deal damage. Survivability and utility are not traits that work well on Viktor. This is because Viktor doesn't really have any utility to speak of apart from Gravity Field. Gravity field is a very nice ability, but if you buy it, you are basically throwing away your ability to do mid-game damage, which means that you are likely to end up as a walking gravity field, and little else.
There are some -- very few -- times when this is actually what you want. Typically, this is true when you have a very difficult lane matchup against a high mobility champion such as Kassadin, LeBlanc or Ahri and are falling behind, have not been able to farm up to rush a death augment, and your marginal additional damage wouldn't really help your team very much in the short term. Then, and only then, might it make sense to become a walking gravity well. If it's early, consider Augment: Power to be a slightly beefier, faster, walking gravity well. If it's late, consider Augment: Gravity to be a safer, more teamfight-oriented walking gravity well.
After making this concession, you should subsequently still focus on building damage, and specifically on building spell penetration. Viktor's AP ratios are too strong to give up his ability to deal damage, and becoming beefy synergizes with Viktor just absolutely not at all; you'll have more success coming from behind by building Rabadon's Deathcap than Warmog's Armor in 95% of cases.
Here are some core items. You should build them. It should be obvious why.
- Augment: Death -- See above
- Rabadon's Deathcap -- self-explanatory
- Sorcerer's Shoes -- self-explanatory
- Liandry's Torment is a fantastic item on Viktor. It synergizes very well with Augment: Death and ignite to deal unmanageably high DoT, and provides good AP and spell pen which Viktor needs for late game. I would always buy this item on Viktor.
Viktor pretty much has to build glass cannon. I've tried lots of other builds with Viktor, including those that try to use his augments to mold his playstyle to something else, including the tempting but really unworkable idea of making Viktor into a pseudo-bruiser with Augment: Power. What I've concluded is that even if for some reason you want to buy a different augment, you should still be building glass cannon. If Viktor builds glass cannon, he takes advantage of his ratios and uses his kit to synergize with staying safe. If he doesn't, he becomes irrelevant. Maybe if the augments and/or the mechanics of Power Transfer get changed, this may change.
My core builds on Viktor usually emphasize magic pen. This is because Viktor's augments design him to get to mid game very quickly. They aren't good late game items and consequently Viktor will fall off in the very late game. Spamming spell pen is the best way to try to counteract that.
- Void Staff is another very important item for Viktor's late game because of the need to spam spell pen to remain relevant. If the enemy team isn't building MR, you might get away without it. But it's usually a good idea to build it.
- Abyssal Scepter more spell pen and MR. If someone else has build it, there's no good reason you have to get it. As tanky items go the active on Zhonya's Hourglass is better.
- Zhonya's Hourglass this item is a good item with an excellent active. If you are facing an AD mid, you will probably want to get Seeker's Armguard in the laning phase. Otherwise, save it for a late game purchase. I consider this item optional/situational on Viktor; if the other team is very tanky or dealing tons of magic damage you may want Abyssal Scepter instead. If you are way ahead, Zhonya's is often overkill and Lich Bane is better.
- Lich Bane is a fantastic item on Viktor. Viktor is a very good pusher without Lich Bane; with it, he becomes a god. This can be very useful for insta-pushing, but it isn't as useful in teamfights. Consequently, I would get it when ahead, and definitely when way ahead -- but when even or behind more conservative spell pen builds are better. In Solo Queue, Lich Bane is often a good item when you are carrying your team on your back -- you need to do all the teamfight damage as well as the ability to take down structures yourself. If you need to, you can sell it late game for Void Staff or Zhonya's Hourglass or Abyssal Scepter.
- Athene's Unholy Grail when behind, or when your team is not giving you blues, or when you are losing blues to the enemy team.
- Morellonomicon, if you need it for the healing reduction against a champion like Swain
Items that I don't like on Viktor
- Rylai's Crystal Scepter. Viktor's cooldowns are prohibitive to use this for the slow. It does synergize nicely with Liandry's, so there's that, and its an obvious choice if you are getting absolutely crushed early and require more tankiness.
- Deathfire Grasp has seen better days. You shouldn't be the one to initiate, and Zhonya's Hourglass gives you more utility.
Doran's Ring is a very good item, but it is not a good item on Viktor. Viktor wants to get to the mid game very quickly. Doran's ring prolongs the early game and prevents him from getting a quick augment. Especially now that it's Season 3 and you don't need to start with boots and you can instead start with all the lane sustain you need to rush an augment, I see no reason to ever go for a Doran's Ring.
I once watched a Ciderhelm stream where Ciderhelm bought four Doran's Rings before uprading the Hex Core. His team lost. This is the worst sin you could commit on Viktor (probably even worse than constantly missing Death Ray). I like Ciderhelm, but, it was a pretty brutal sign of a typical AP mid player that did not understand how to play Viktor very well, or what Viktor's strengths are.
Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Health
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
The discerning reader will immediately come up with additional possibilities for rune specs. Here is what I have to say about my choices.
- Greater Mark of Magic Penetration is pretty self-explanatory and required, in my opinion.
- Greater Glyph of Scaling Ability Power in my opinion, is a fantastic rune on Viktor because it packs AP/lvl on top of his passive (remember that all of the augments under Evolving Technology grant 3 AP/lvl). Evolving Technology is designed to help Viktor snowball throughout the mid game and keep him more relevant in the late game.
- Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed is a personal favorite of mine. Viktor has mobility problems and running movespeed quints helps to offset them. With mobility Viktor can do everything a little more effectively -- he can get in range to poke, and dodge skillshots, and roam and gank other lanes, all just a bit more fluidly.
- Greater Seal of Scaling Health for a bit of all purpose durability, since we aren't running MR glyphs. Against an AD mid, I run Greater Seal of Armor. I feel that Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration is a somewhat weak rune, but it would also make good sense here.
As noted above, the discerning reader will note that there are many other perfectly great options. Running Greater Quintessence of Ability Power and Greater Glyph of Magic Resist seems to be all the rage these days. That is a fine setup as well, although I would also think of Greater Quintessence of Scaling Ability Power to stack with Evolving Technology and make Viktor more relevant late game.
But, whatever runes you choose to run here, the core principles of the build will stay the same -- be a boss in the midgame.
This section will not tell you what Viktor's skills do. You are reading a League of Legends guide. I expect you to know what Viktor's skills do! This doesn't necessarily mean I expect you to remember every detail of Viktor's skills, but I do expect you to be able to read the skill tooltip for yourself if you don't.
This section will tell you *how to use* Viktor's skills, what order you might want to max them in, and little things and tricks that you, as an inexperienced Viktor player, might not have picked up on.
This isn't really even a skill. As covered in the items section, you should generally rush a death augment.
This skill is not my favorite. It has a very respectable 65% AP ratio, but it is the worst of Viktor's ratios.
The shield has a travel time. The projectile must travel to the target and back before Viktor receives the shield (this is not true about the movement speed bonus, but you shouldn't be buying Augment: Power in any case). In particular, the shield will not help you avoid incoming burst damage. It is rarely a good idea to depend on the shield for damage reduction for anything other than autoattacks and minion damage in the early laning phase. But, if your lane opponent has blown his cooldowns and can only autoattack you, feel free to run in for a Power Transfer and then block all the return damage for free.
The mana cost of Power Transfer does not increase when you level it. This means you can level it first and semi-spam it in lane. Contrastingly, the damage on Death Ray is greater, but the mana cost increases with level. Putting two or three points into Power Transfer, just for lane harass, is often therefore a good idea. On some matchups where you have low kill potential because your opponent is tanky and you cannot poke them out of lane with death ray (such as Cho'Gath), it is a very good idea to level Power Transfer first.
The cooldown on power transfer before cdr is 9/8/7/6/5. This is better than Death Ray's cooldown of 13/12/11/10/9, but it is not fantastic. The range on the ability is also not fantastic. Viktor can be out-traded in the early game. Against a champion such as Syndra or Ziggs that makes trading an exercise in futility for Viktor, max Death Ray first instead and just poke safely.
Udyr, Skarner). You can completely nullify ganks from these junglers, flash aside, by placing the Gravity Field between you and them. You should also know which junglers Gravity Field will not defend you from -- those with long gap closers that will just jump out of the ability as soon as it is cast ( Xin Zhao, Vi, Jarvan IV). Against these junglers, you must position the field on top of yourself, in the direction of where you are running to escape.
In the late game, Gravity Field is great for teamfights. But let someone else throw the first CC and then use Gravity Field to chain CC, so it has time to build up stacks of slow reliably to actually get the stun off.
Note that Gravity Field can't be used to stun Master Yi or Sivir.
This skill is Viktor's bread and butter. It has a very high AP ratio (91%) with the death augment which you should be building. It will poke from a reasonably long range and does consistent damage to all targets it hits. You'll need to practice hitting it semi-reliably in order to be a skillful Viktor. Aiming Death Ray is 90% of the reason why playing Viktor is hard. But if it hits, it can do tons of damage. (If you have Liandry's Torment, even better).
Rumble guides generally say to avoid smartcasting The Equalizer, because nobody knows how to smartcast it correctly. As a Rumble player, I agree with the sentiment; don't smartcast the equalizer. As a Viktor player, *do* smartcast Death Ray. It will take a long time to learn how to smartcast this ability, and feel free to not smartcast it if you are working on other things.
To smartcast death ray, you'll need to press and hold E while you are aiming it with your mouse. When you release E, the skill will go off. You can't change the starting location without canceling the ability first (e.g. by right clicking and moving somewhere). This takes a lot of practice to get used to. Being able to smartcast death ray means the difference between getting it off quickly in a teamfight, or not. You need to learn to smartcast it to be a really strong Viktor.
In the laning phase, use death ray to poke sparingly. It can set up kills, Viktor's kill potential in the early mid game is strong. Don't be disappointed if you only manage to poke your opponent out of lane with it -- Viktor's game is centered around pushing very hard as well.
You should usually be able to clear an entire wave of minions (sans a siege minion) with a single death ray, taking into account the bleed damage, after getting Augment: Death and a Blasting Wand. If you're extremely fed early, you might not be able to because of not having the AP/lvl from Evolving Technology. Usually you'll want to wait for one or two minions to pile up against your minions while the others are wandering in from behind, and aim death ray in a line to hit them all.
You can do lots of manual maneuvering with Chaos Storm, but I rarely like to. It's usually more convenient to let it stick on the target it's on and let it do some ancillary damage to targets around them. Of course, if you miss it completely, or if your original target dies, feel free to redirect chaos storm to the nearest or most opportune target.
While I don't usually find it worthwhile to manually redirect the storm, if you cast it and run away, it will move very slowly when far away from you. It's usually worth it to stay in poke range of your target (if doing so won't cause you to die) to allow the storm to stick to them throughout its entire damage output.
Obviously, in a teamfight, your job is to stay back until such time as you can cast Chaos Storm on as large a group of clustered enemies as possible (and follow up with death ray right on top of the storm and gravity field to keep people there). The perfect opportunity is right after a Malphite or Amumu ult, or a similar hard engage. If this isn't possible because the enemies are spread out, just try to dump Chaos Storm on the most important target.
The damage from chaos storm is more important than the gravity field, so cast chaos storm to open up and then your other spells.
The cooldown on Chaos Storm is 120 at all ranks. This is among the more prohibitive cooldowns on an ultimate in the game, aside from global ults. With this in mind, don't miss your ult.