Veigar Build Guide by KatsujinKen
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.
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.
This is not a concise guide, it is for people who are serious about playing Veigar, do me a favor and if you're really serious, take the time to read the whole thing, no matter how much you think you know about him.
This guide was born out of both boredom and a desire to see better Veigar's out on the field of justice. He's an AMAZING, yet totally under-appreciated champion. To all the Veigar's of the world: this is the guide for you. This is not a guide for brand new Veigar's, there are plenty of builds and guides to get you from 'NOOB FEEDER VEIGAR' to 'hey veig, that stun/nuke combo just won us the game', yet for all the Veigars I see at this level, very few, if any of them have the skills to say, take him ranked, lane mid against anyone, or really consistently carry with him. This is the guide that will take your Veigar skills to that level.
FIRST THINGS FIRST: say Veigar. No really. Say it. Out loud. You're saying it wrong, if you want to play Veigar you have to BE Veigar. His name is pronounced VAY-GAR. I know, I know. Of all the ways to pronounce his name it's one of the least common. Veigar was named after an employee at riot who himself pronounces it this way. You may find that it takes a while to remember to pronounce it this way, but EVERY TIME, you say or think about him pronounce it right. You'll remember more and more. The same goes for the time you spend playing Veigar, he's not an easy champ to do well with, take your time, it'll come. He has some of the best scaling in the game, take your time, learn him right.
Well to start off let me clarify, this is NOT a guide to playing Veigar, this is a guide for people who play Veigar, and want to up their game. In my opinion, Veigar has some of the best mid-game burst and late game damage, though like most casters, he takes LOTS of skill to really dominate with. This guide will run through some of the trick and techniques I've picked up in my 500+ games as Veigar. Veigar is one of my favorite champions and so I really like to see him played well. As a quick caveat though, I haven't really played too many high-elo games, and so I can't guarantee the feasibility of my strategies at those levels. Furthermore, I play a very late game Veigar and you will notice that my build order, masteries, runes and strategies all revolve around turtling early-mid game, I've found this is the most effective way to play him, but feel free to mix things up if you like playing a more active early-game.
** If nothing else, all Veigar players should read the 'ITEMS' section of this guide as the above build does not adequately reflect the complexity or adaptibility of my build. **
For runes, I run Mpen marks, HPreg/lvl seals, and MPreg/lvl glyphs, with flat health quintessences. Veigar is SUPER squishy without his ROA, and needs the flat health to survive in lane, also until about level 12, he cant nuke down (even squishy) targets with his combo and thus relies on harassment to get his prey into nukable health levels, thus I take HPreg/lvl to help keep his health up and trade harass, while the MPreg/lvl provide the regen to keep his Q up, a necessity early game for both farm and harass. More offensive runes (such as flat AP, AP/lvl, or CDR) are all feasible (I prefer AP/lvl), but as I play a more late-game Veigar, I find the regen crucial to my early farm, which ultimately nets out more AP late-game.
For masteries I run a personal 9/7/14, taking the much needed Mpen in offense, and neutral buff duration in utility. I like the utility tree for its mana regen, exp boost, neutral buff duration and flash/clarity masteries, though those can be given up in favour of other summoner spell masteries. The reason for the 7 in defense, which many people overlook is simple, the 1% mana as HPreg/5 is OP. Late-game with 3-4k mana, you're getting a cool 40Hp/5 FOR FREE (that's almost 3 regrowth pendant's worth of regen, not counting innate HPreg or item's HPreg).
UPDATE: I know tend to roll predominantly tele/flash, for obvious reasons. while the 'hidden mana' is useful in some circumstances, the teleport offers much more utility throughout the game.
UPDATE: since the mastery update I roll 21/0/9 for extended buff duration in utility and all the obvious magic masteries in offence, in the new mastery system there isnt much choice and they require fewer justifications, its dead simple with the new masteries.
Now items are tricky, as both my build and build order vary greatly on a game-to-game basis. A large portion of a Veigar player's skill is determined by their ability to choose a suitable build on-the-fly.
I'll begin this section by running down the core build, then late-game options, as well as counter-builds, some unconventional builds, and I'll end with the nitty-gritty early game build order. (If I have the time and energy I may add some effective troll builds in the days to come.)
(While it does not at all mesh with my playstyle, or how I think Veigar should EVER be played,could perhaps be considered in place of) <-- crazy Veigar's who play recklessly because the death screen makes them nostalgic for the black-and-white TV's they had as children in the orphanage. Rylai's slow is useless since you will never get to use it, since anyone you intend to fight should be dead before they can get in melee/casting range, and you have your stun to chase and escape. If you're dueling with people, you're doing something wrong, Veigar doesn't duel, he kills people. Period.
If any of these core items are in question, then by all means send me your qualms, but these items alone, and more often then not, merely their constituents are more than enough to win me 90% of games. The breakdown and reasoning behind them is pretty simple, so I won't bother going into it, if you're unsure as to why, play some more Veigar games and find out.
For your final two items, your game-to-game analysis comes in. I'll detail a few options, though if you know anything about LoL, most of these should be no-brainers.
Assuming ideal conditions (people aren't stacking MR, no one is really shutting you down), what we want to do is maximize damage output, thus:
See the 'Deathfire Grasp + Lich Bane = PARTY TIME (DPS Calculations)' section for the breakdown of why these items = rape on Veigar.
So you're laning against (malzahar/morde/teemo/warwick/anyone with ignite)? Can't live without that cleanse? Oh you're pro, and know that QSS is the single most imba item in the whole game? Grab:
Lots of magic damage coming off the other team? Grab:
Alternatively, if your build is strapped for space, instead of getting that extra BV, get it instead of your ROA, though beware the 104AP hit you'll be taking.
ZOMFG, you just blew your full level 18 combo with 600 AP and hit Ryze for a third of his health!?!?!? Well he's got a BV, FoN, and Merc's treads, that mad genius, he. Well pick up:
And for that matter, if they're really all stacking MR, be sure to pick up your:
Since it procs for physical damage, these two items combined are a great way to squeeze out an ace-win with that last 7k purchase, as it'll totally wreck any unsuspecting, MR stacking team.
Getting wrecked by their DPS? Team a little slow to save your ***? Karthus ult keep getting you? You like mind-****ing people by wasting their high-damage nukes? Go get your very own:
Great for 1v1's where you need to wait out the cooldown on your Q-LBproc but cant survive the 1-2 seconds, especially great against nukes, such as other Veigars, who otherwise 1-shot you with their ults. Simply pop zhonya's to counter the DFG/ULT/W/Q combo (as many of them as possible), then counter**** that idiot.
70 minute game, and your team cant seem to push for ****, despite countless aces? Two hours into game, everyone has full builds and you team's comp just keeps getting outplayed? TIME FOR BACKDOOR VEIGAR, grab a:
Depending on personal reference, or better yet have your support grab the WotA, with your:
The Lich Bane should allow you to take turrets in 3-5 procs, spellvamping off minions in between procs to take a few turrets and an inhib down while their team chases your 1 HP Trynd through the jungle. You can even take nexus faster than most teams together (post-teamfight), so nexus rush those suckers if they try and push after taking your team. (Best done with a teleport to get back to defend a losing nexus rush, just in case.)
Now this build has almost no CDR, relying on a full Majai's (discussed later), a DFG, Blue Buff, and Brilliance Elixir for CDR, Veigar isn't CD reliant as he's a burst mage but it never hurts, though i can reliably maintain 40% CDR without any real CDR items, though if you're really worried pick up that:
For some bonus mana and armor at the cost of AP and MP/5.
Lastly, especially in low-elo and normal games, when your team lacks a tank, or anything resembling it, we have tank-Veigar. Tank-Veigar is not a troll build, it is merely ineffective and involves picking up:
and the defensive (resistance-wise) item of your choice, such as FoN or Thornmail, this is more effective against pure phyical or magical teams. If your team is doing fine for damage, and you're a boss, skip the archangel's/rabadon's in favor of more tankiness, feeling really pro, trade in your sorc shoes for merc's treads. What's THAT!?!?! Is that a dedicated tank with a 10 second AoE stun, 400AP (from farm, ROA, and Rylai's) and supreme nuking potential!?!?! (Especially against their pesky caster.)
Don't get me wrong, Veigar is NOT a good tank, just surprisingly decent one given his usual role, and his ability to still put out MAD AP. This is definitely something to try in a normal or custom game when you're feeling bored, as it's a great role to have in your back pocket, just in case.
Lastly, I'll detail the build order I use. Of all the aspects of this guide, this will probably be the most unique, as it is 100% mine and I've never seen anyone come anywhere close to it. It is very unconventional and should not be taken as the best way to build him, merely my favorite. It has many flaws, and if used should be strongly adapted to your own play-style.
First-off, this is a turtle build. I dont get ANY AP until about the 4-5k point, which REALLY hurts my early through early-mid game nuke, and most players probably want to avoid this however, this is the order that works for me, as i usually go 0-5/0-2/0-4 KDA-wise in the first fifteen minutes or so depending on game pacing as well as my opponents' strength. By not playing too risky early on I can get INSANE mid-late and late-game nuke, usually finishing 10-30/5-10/10-30 though my kills+assists are usually at least two magnitudes greater than my deaths (e.g. 22/8/17, 14/3/11, 8/2/9).
Start off with:
I buy my next couple items in this priority, with some exceptions in cases of lack of gold:
With the most recent patch, TotG now shows how much mana has been accumulated, once it passes 800 (or sooner if you have the cash) finish what you're working on and get that:
TADA!!! Your core build is pretty much done, now you decide what's up next. You're obviously going to want to sell your:
Though the latter of course depends on your ability to maintain stacks, if you cant keep it above 10 stacks, A) you're doing something wrong and B) you should sell it first, usually for that Lich Bane. Otherwise ditch the miracle, only selling your Mejai's once you've gathered enough farm to sell it and get your final item. Again, only sell your Mejai's if its's below 15 stacks (such as after dying). This rule is so ingrained in my head that I'll almost always throw down a dark matter as I die in the hopes of picking up a kill post-mortem (putting me at 16 stacks) and allowing me to keep my beloved Mejai's (gotta love that CDR, and of course bragging rights).
Regrowth pendant: lets me lane FOREVER, trade harassment, return to lane with 5 HP, and a variety of other things I should never be doing, and builds into philo/miracle stone which I LOVE.
Philosopher's Stone: HEALTH, MANA, GOLD!?!?!?! What the??? So OP they just had to nerf it, still amazing tho.
TotG: Stops veigar from being so mana-starved, lets you farm, keeps mana up between Clarities, lets you harass/combo/kill without waiting for a full mana bar, builds stacks early for mid-game archangel's staff, rather than a late-game one.
Sorc's Shoes: Speeds up our perma-slowed yordle and the Mpen lets him hit that much harder (with masteries, should completely knock off most champs' innate MR).
Ruby crystal: Helps gets rid of that early game squish.
Mejai's: I haven't not had Mejai's pay off in so long that its just part of my core build, but feel free to skip it if you want, i get it early because those early stacks help keep me relevant early-mid game when my other sources of AP are lacking.
ROA: Survivability, the one item every Veigar, no matter how good, ultimately feeds without.
Elisa's Miracle: Relatively new item, i added it to my usual build because its only 500 gold and I almost always have a recall with 500 to spare, and the improved regen's are sweet and the tenacity is like having the best of Merc's on top of your Sorc's, it's just awesome mid game, get it. NOTE: you do lose the gold-over-time part of philo stone, tho it's not as importnat at this point in the game, that's why i don't rush Eleisa's too early, also in selling Eleisa's you are refunded 102% (yes +2%) of the recipe cost, making it an easy choice once you've waited the 26:40 to refund the cost of the philosopher's stone (26:40>Eleisa's>sell=+10g). It's so smart, it's stupid.
Why buy items you're just going to sell? Well, 75% of the time the game finishes before i can sell anything, so the selling is more just to improve an already finished build.
Now this build is pretty turtle, most people probably want to get some earlier damage, hey try it this way, but experiment and do what you want, and let me know in the comments below which you prefer and why. Turtle, or early nuke?
Deathfire Grasp + Lich Bane = PARTY TIME (DPS Calculations)
This should make you the single hardest hitting thing you've ever seen in LoL, and is the reason I main Veigar. Let me break this down, assuming again ideal conditions:
E>W>1>RMB>Q>R>(1secCD)>Q>RMB (1=Deathfire grasp's hotkey; RMB is an auto-attack)
Assuming I use my pro-micro-skillz, and that they don't have too much tenacity, I can usually get off the initial combo (up until ult) within about 1.5 seconds (time to cast, the projectiles often wont hit for another second, especially if they have merc's treads and insta-flash after the stun) allowing me a full second to walk up to them (assuming its a 1v1 with no other enemies around) without tenacity, 0.3 seconds with 25 tenacity and 0.15 seconds with the full 35 tenacity from merc's treads. While the latter two times may not seem like much, they provide me the distance to wait the ~1 second CD on my Q and recast it and get in another lich bane proc. While this combo may seem convoluted, in a 1v1 late-game (~1000 AP) we have the following DPS (in order of appearance):
(m)=magic damage || (p)=physical damage
65% of target's health in magic damage, PLUS
4740 flat magic damage, PLUS
80% of the target's AP in magic damage, PLUS
2000 flat physical damage, just in case they have a **** ton of MR.
This is the combo that drops ANY champion in the game from FULL to 0 in 2.5 seconds, even most hardcore tanks.
I'll make this brief, R>Q>W>E save for getting the level 2 E, for those early chase kills, stunning a champ after they've run up to hit you and they're tanking minion aggro (I get sooo many early kills this way), or they came too close to the tower and are about to take three hits from it instead of one, usually netting first blood. I'll also usually get that rank 2 stun at level 8, since you still have to lead dark matter to land it off the rank 1 stun, while the rank 2 stun ensures a hit, even with flash without leading (assuming 0 tenacity).
I run Flash-Clairity, simply out of frustration at being manaless at very inopportune moments. It really help with Veigar's early farm and allows me to 'hide' my true mana from greedy lane opponents. Teleport is probably a much better spell, but its personal preference, Veigar really just needs flash to pick up those chase kills, and to escape, since he only has his long CD stun.
The Next Step
When all is said and done, and you followed this guide, and made your own build and your game is improving, to really push the envelope you've got to work on your combos. Your micro is SOOO important as Veigar. Your stun, unlike many others is one of the fastest in the game to hit if done properly. Make a custom game, you and 2-3 bots vs. 5 bots and practice those combos. Its no replacement for real people who will anticipate your stuns, but practice hitting people with the edges. Open up a blank document and practice your combos: ewq (harass), ewrq (insta-nuke) ewqr (unsure how much damage you'll do, don't blow that ult unless you're sure it'll net a kill). With a DFG its: EW1RQ, got a lich bane? EW1(RMB)RQ(RMB) mix them up. Try rebinding keys (escape>key bindings). Put your DFG on the T key like I do, so it acts as a second ult. Rebind your smart-casts (target=cursor) for your Q and W, or even E if you're feeling pro (warning: VERY DIFFICULT TO LAND BLIND STUNS, tho kudos if you pull it off, its next on my list of things to master). For the most part I'm against smart-casting his ult since it's too valuable to waste, unlike his Q and W which are spammable, though smart-casting does have the advantage of being able to cast it in the instant before death, without targeting which does end up netting some interesting kills, if not just insane and unexpected damage.
I wont go too in-depth on the obvious stuff: stay in the back, never initiate (exception: in jungle your stun=OP initiation, reveal with your W, stun and clean up), don't engage, stuff like that. DO NOT SACRIFICE YOURSELF ON KILLTRADES, there are champs suited for this purpose you are not one of them, of the few games i lose 90% are because i get greedy for a particular champ and start engaging in killtrades. Veigar is an AMAZING deterrent, for a lot of stuff the other team would like to pull (tower dives, pushes, initiations, flash-kill chases), as soon as you're out of the picture, things will turn to ****. Stay alive, stay back.
This guide is the product of a whim to give back to the LoL community, a frustration with the lack of good Veigars out there, and about two hours of free time. I'll be working on this guide and updating it in the days to come, but please let me know what you think.
I can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org