Vel'Koz Build Guide by merpkaboop
Not Updated For Current Season
Not Updated For Current Season
Hello, welcome to my first guide on mobafire. The name's merpkaboop, nice to meet you.
As you may already have inferred from the title, this is a guide on support vel'koz. Vel'koz, in the bottom lane together with another champion, often a marksman (although some exceptions can be made) for the purposes of assisting and safeguarding said other champion through the laning phase in order to allow them to become a powerful force later in the game.
Before we start, I will have to make one thing clear: Vel'koz isn't the best champion for the support role. By this I mean that, when compared to other supports, Vel'koz has relatively little in the way he can either protect his partner or lock the enemy down for engages.
Why take him bot lane then? We will get to that in a minute.
To understand why anyone would take the Eye of the Void to the bottom lane when he's not generally regarded as the best champion to fill the role, we must first take a look at the qualities that make Vel'koz, Vel'koz. Therefore, here are the pros and cons to Vel'koz in general:
Now, interestingly, while all of his pros can be used to help out the bottom lane, one of his cons is actually negated when played as a support. That is, his poor scalings.
Is that the reason why we're taking Vel'koz as a support, then? Partly, but the real reason we want him as a support is his damage. As a support? Yes, thanks to his Organic Deconstruction, he can deal a good amount of damage without items, therefore freeing his item slots for utility items that enhances your team's performance without sacrificing damage. Vel'koz also has high damage from the early game thanks to his excellent base damage, allowing him to put in major pressure on the enemy laners.
However, not all is good for our tentacled friend. Aggressive supports such as Thresh and Leona have lots of CCs. Now look at his cons again. Yes, aggressive engage supports can easily murder him if he gets caught. Sure, Flash can save you, but it has a massive cooldown and I wouldn't really count on that.
Therefore, I do not recommend picking Vel'koz into supports with a lot of CCs. However, if you can play around his weakness, Vel'koz offers a lot of zoning and trading potential in lane with his high damage and range, as well as helping ganks and kills with his own CC.
Vel'koz and Other Champions: What He Likes and Hates
Vel'koz highly appreciates being put in a team that has good disengage mechanic as well as tanky frontliners to protect his squishy self. Champions such as Karma and Orianna who can provide a team-wide disengage can greatly increase his chances of survival, whilst tanks like Renekton or Shyvana can distract the enemy team to allow Vel'koz do his job from afar in safety.
While Vel'koz has some CC capabilities, he often finds himself lacking in the ability to lock whole teams down by himself due to the small radius of Tectonic Disruption. Champions with great CC abilities such as Orianna and Gragas can fill in this weakness.
Special mention to Yasuo as Vel'koz has a long-ranged knockup that he can use.
In lane, Vel'koz loves marksmen/women that can capitalize on the lane pressure he brings, usually by contributing to the poke themselves like Caitlyn or Draven. Champions with built-in escapes are also good partners as Vel'koz provides little safety, so Lucian and Caitlyn are good picks because they have a safety dash in case they're caught of guard.
As stated above, anyone with a lot of CC can and will eventually catch the poor tentacle monster and horribly maim him. Things like Thresh and Leona immediately comes to mind.
On the other side, passive supports like Soraka and Janna, or poke supports like Karma will eventually go down to his continuous damage, and offer little CC to keep our little eyeball down. One still has to be careful when facing poke comps though, as if they dodge your shots more often than you dodge theirs, you can still lose.
Pregame Preparations: Runes, Masteries and Summoner Spells.
Alternative mastery pages would likely focus on defense. A 9/21/0 or 4/21/5 page would be viable. Even 0/21/9, although that would leave us with much less CDR that will have to be filled by items, which costs money.
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Quintessence of Movement Speed
Viable alternative runes are as follows:
- Greater Seal of Mana Regeneration will allow you to poke more at the cost of being squishier. Your range should help you avoid damage so you can take these if feeling confident.
- Greater Quintessence of Ability Power for more damage at the cost of less mobility. An acceptable tradeoff, even with Vel'koz's mediocre ratios and low mobility.
Flash mitigates that weakness as it does on every single other champion, and should always be one of the first spells to be considered when taking Vel'koz on any lane. Exhaust supplies Vel'koz with an extra CC spell, which is never a bad thing especially because all of his CCs are skillshots and having a reliable CC might just save your life.
Alternative spells that you may consider are:
- Ignite for even more damage. As you deal lots of damage, ignite can help you net a kill in lane.
- Barrier might save your life if you get jumped on, especially under your own tower as it forces the enemy to tank more turret shots.
- Heal for sustain. Vel'koz lacks sustain, and this spell can help you save your carry sometimes.
- Ghost if you're really scared of getting caught, or just below level 12 and doesn't have access to flash yet.
- Teleport isn't advised most of the time, but that moment when you teleport to a bush ward and proceed to ult everyone will be very epic. Better suited for mid lane Vel'koz IMO.
In-game Decisions: Abilities Explained, Skilling Order, and Items
PASSIVE: ORGANIC DECONSTRUCTION
This is the passive that allows Vel'koz to do damage without needing items. It deals bonus true damage if you can land 3 consecutive spells on your enemies, and your Life Form Disintegration Ray can apply a maximum of 5 stacks, allowing you to proc it up to twice in one go when used on someone that already has a stack on them. He may be naturally lacking in utility, but he can make up for it by buying support items as he does not need ability power to do his job thanks to this passive.
- Use your Void Rift followed immediately by a Tectonic Disruption or Plasma Fission. The slow/knockup from the other skill will keep them in Void Rift's range long enough to get hit by the second explosion, thus triggering the passive.
- Hitting someone with one of your spells before using Life Form Disintegration Ray will allow you to proc this twice in one ult, dealing major bonus damage.
Q: PLASMA FISSION
A unique skillshot that is arguably the signature ability of Vel'koz. It's a medium range skillshot that splits into two shots perpendicular to the orignal at the end of its range, on impact, or when reactivated, and applies a moderate (70%) slow on top of that. This skill's unique trajectory allows for a lot of interesting plays, from shooting it into a wall so that it catches the opponent at an unpredictable angle to reaching out opponents that are normally out of range using TRIGONOMETRY. The only weakness is that it's well telegraphed and someone with quick reaction time may dodge it. Of course, you can always split it early to surprise anyone.
- If the opponent is hiding BEHIND their minion wave, just fire this at an angle so that the split will hit him. If they're hiding INSIDE the wave, don't bother.
- Firing this off into walls with a calculated angle can result in a shot that comes out of the wall and may surprise the opposition.
- You can split it early to hit difficult angles.
W: VOID RIFT
Our main damaging skill as well as passive stacking skill, Void Rift is an AoE skillshot that deals its damage in 2 steps, comparable to Karma's empowered Inner Flame. It has the highest base damage and ratio in our kit, barring our ult, and since it hits twice it applies two stacks of Organic Deconstruction. Of course, there's the problem of making your opponent stay in the zone long enough to get hit by the explosion but that's what our slow and knockup is for.
- Chain this with your Q or E to keep them in place for the second hit.
- Throw this behind you while running away to deter pursuers.
E: TECTONIC DISRUPTION
Our one-point-wonder right here, Tectonic Disruption is our low-duration hard-CC skill that has many uses. Enemy jumped on to you? knock them away. Enemy running away from your teammates? Knock them up. Katarina trying to murderkill everyone with her ult? Interrupt. Need to keep that enemy on Void Rift? Just. Press. E. Seriously, if you want to get good on Vel'koz, hitting this skill is a must.
- Not much to say here. Use this to keep people away and to initiate from a long range.
ULTIMATE: LIFE FORM DISINTEGRATION RAY
This is the reason most people play Vel'koz. Massive damage over a nice range with the potential to proc your passive multiple times. One good use of this skill that hits multiple members of the enemy team can easily leave them smarting, softening them for your allies to kill. And as a support, that's very ideal. Remember though, it is a channelled ability and can be cancelled by enemy CC, so use your judgement as to when you should use it.
- Use this after the enemies' major CCs have been blown to ensure success.
- Or you can fire this from a hidden location like bushes or behind walls.
- Hit as many targets as you can when you start it, but only trail one enemy to ensure Organic Deconstruction activates as many times as possible.
|These are the recommended starting items to go with Vel'koz. A choice between Spellthief's Edge or Ancient Coin depending on the lane matchup, but the Stealth Ward is non-negotiable for a support, especially on Vel'koz, as he is prone to getting caught. Having that extra vision can and will save your life. Health Potions provide some sustain, so it's a good idea to get as much of them as possible. As for the trinket, Warding Totem is the best option early game as it provides you with more wards, which is never a bad thing.|
|Go back to base once you have at least 800 gold to get Sightstone as fast as possible, as it will save you a lot of money, and switch your trinket to Sweeping Lens. If you can wait to go back until you get ~1200 gold, get Boots of Speed along with it, and maybe even top it off with a Vision Ward and give yourself a pat in the back. If you get forced back earlier, a Ruby Crystal is a good investment as it not only helps you survive the lane, it also builds into Sightstone. Remember to get more Stealth Wards if you are forced back early.|
|These items are the absolute minimum you must have to function as a proper support, and maybe your tier 2 gold generation item ( Frostfang or Nomad's Medallion). Not much, I know, but even if things go very very wrong in lane, you must get these before the laning phase ends, or shortly after. From here on, it is also your responsibility to make sure that you always have a Vision Ward on the map somewhere, and replace them when they get taken down. This is also the point where you need to start building according to the enemy team. Below I will list the situational items and when to build them.|
Situational Items, leave 1 slot open for Vision Wards.
|This upgrades from your Frostfang if you took it. It gives you a bit of AP, which is good, and an AoE slow, which is also good. Take this if you took Frostfang and don't feel like you need anything else.|
|This upgrades from your Nomad's Medallion if you took it. It has an excellent active that speeds up your whole team and can be used for engaging or disengaging, as well as helping your lack of mobility. Overall I recommend this over Frost Queen's Claim even if you took Spellthief's Edge as your starting item.|
|This upgrades from your Chalice of Harmony. It provides an excellent active that gives you slight sustain ability, but it is better used to save a member of your team that got caught in a CC. Take this especially if the enemy team has lots of CC, but I'd pick this over Athene's Unholy Grail most of the time.|
|This is the other upgrade of Chalice of Harmony, and provides more offensive stats. The main selling point of this item is its CDR, and should be built if you have no need for Mikael's Crucible and is 20% away from the cap.|
|This item has both an excellent passive AND active, and should be taken if no one else on your team wants to take it. As a support Vel'koz you don't get to choose. Fret not, though, for this item provides excellent stats, magic resist aura and a team-wide shield to help engage/disengage.|
|This item is great for scouting, chasing, engaging, peeling... a lot of things, really. You take this for the active. Use it to help teammates chase, escape, use it in teamfights, really this has just so much utility and you should consider getting it when your team does not have any other specific needs.|
|This one's an offensive item and we take it for the healing reduction passive. The Morellonomnomnomicon should only be taken if the enemy team has a lot of heals, like say, Dr. Mundo, Soraka, and Nidalee in the same team, or if their ADC has too much lifesteal.|
|A bit expensive, but the passive will add more slowing power to our kit. Aside from that, it also provides survivability and power, things that we appreciate even as a support. Take this should the enemy team prove to be a bit too mobile to slow them down a bit, 15% can make or break a chase especially since you can spam your skills while running, prolonging the slow duration.|
|We take this item if the enemy has an overwhelming autoattacker. The aura range is a bit short compared to your range, so proper positioning is required to make use of it. Aside from that though, it is a good armor item to take if you feel like you need it and provides mana and CDR.|
|Very situational, only take this if you have multiple members on your team that benefit from lifesteal. Remember, you are Vel'koz support and your role is to provide your team with extra item slots to help them out.|
|We take the item for the active, which is unfortunately very short ranged. Even so, the utility provided by the active is nonetheless amazing, and can help peel very excellently, something that Vel'koz is naturally lacking at. You can even engage with this item, even if it'll be a suicide engage with Vel'koz. Trading a support for a few kills is always worth it though, so do it if you trust your teammates, or if you're just so ahead that they can't kill you anyways.|
Action and Reaction: Gameplay Phases and Matchups
Otherwise known as the laning phase. Head to the bottom lane with your partner, but not before giving your jungler a good pull if they start near your lane. Now, in the lane you have a simple job: punish the enemy champions. Poke them with your skillshots, poke them with autoattacks when they come to range. Try not to take too much retaliation in return, as you are squishy and lack sustain. Your massive range should enable you to damage them from outside of their sphere of influence.
Aside from that, you have another important task: protect your partner. You are the support. It is your job to make sure that your partner has a better laning phase than your opposition. Poking them so much that they are forced to back away is one way to do it, denying them poke on your partner is the other way to do it. Therefore, everytime they try to move into range to poke, punish them hard, or knock them back with E.
Speaking of your E, actually, don't use it too much for poking. Especially if the enemy jungler is missing. Early on, it is your only disengage tool, so it's better saved for emergencies. However, if you know exactly where the other members of the enemy team are, feel free to use it to combo people down.
Hopefully, by the end of this phase, your carry is at least in the lead for creep score, and you have enough money for your core items. Even better if your carry got fed a kill or two. Sometimes you'll be behind, but don't worry too much, just grab your sightstone and keep trucking on.
I usually define mid game as the time when the outer turrets start falling and teams start roaming around trying to secure objectives. Hopefully your laning phase went well and you have your core up and have started working on your first major item, or even finished it. If not, do not worry, you can do your job without too many items. You're the support after all.
Your role in this phase is more nebulous, but one of the most important things you need to do is to maintain vision control over important objectives such as dragon and buffs. You do this by keeping wards up, and making sure to kill as many enemy wards as possible. Don't forget to keep yourself stocked on pink wards and use your trinket.
A few skirmishes, or even full-blown teamfights might start to happen at this stage. Your job in those are to disrupt the enemy team as much as possible along with supplying some damage with your pokes and passive procs. If you get a good opportunity for it, do not hesitate to ult up. Your ultimate is very powerful and may induce panic, allowing your team to rush in and clean up.
Hopefully this phase ends with enemy towers down and objectives taken by your team. It may go sour instead and you lose fights and objectives. Some games will end around this time, others will drag on into the next phase...
This phase is generally marked by teamfights and teams grouping up together. Stragglers are quickly dispatched, and both teams will often focus on securing the baron. Your job stays the same as before: disrupt the enemy in fights and protect your teammates through the use of active items and CC. You should have at least one support item finished. If not, well, you're screwed.
The main thing you need to watch out for is that you should never ever travel alone. You have zero mobility, and without a companion you're basically free prey for the opposing team. Whilst Vel'koz can do some damage without items, it is generally not enough to deter pursuers at this stage of the game, not by yourself at least.
At any rate, eventually the game will devolve into one team sieging the other under a turret. Vel'koz, with his great range, is naturally good at this kind of play. Just send spell after spell and try to wear them down in a war of attrition. Eventually you will break through/repel them away.
If you're behind, try for one final dance with the enemy and see if you can get one last fight to go your way. It's a gamble, but it's almost a guaranteed comeback if you manage to kill more than half of them as the respawn timers are long at this stage of the game.
If you've been winning, you should try to close the game as soon as possible before the enemy can find a mistake.
At any rate, win or lose, you should be polite to your opponents once the game is over. Maybe one day you'll get that red ribbon on your portrait.
Thanks for reading so far, here are some afterthoughts and notes.
Special thanks to:
jhoijhoi for their guide to making a guide
I am aware that there will be some errors in the guide. Please do leave feedbacks in the comments.
I am also aware that support Vel'koz isn't optimal use of the champion, but some people may be forced into the support role, and their only remotely support-like champion is Vel'koz. Or maybe they are only good with Vel'koz. This guide may help them pick up the role with a champion they are already familiar with, and hopefully they will then transition into specialized support champions with the right mindset.