Threats to Vi with this build
|Hecarim||Hecarim, while strong, is not a problem for Vi. His CC is on a long cooldown, so even if he manages to use it, you can zone him off your carries very easily and often kill him fairly quickly. If he gets caught, he is dead.|
Hey, NiceTryVi here. Whether you are a veteran Vi player looking for advanced tips and advice to improve your gameplay, or you wanted to pick up Vi as another jungler and need to get started, this guide is for you.
About me: I am currently climbing back through silver to get to gold and beyond, but last season I made it to Gold III. I am a diehard Vi main with nearly a thousand games on her. I vastly prefer tanky champions over squishies, as I also play Nautilus, Maokai or Braum. I started playing Vi in ranked in June of season 5 in Bronze III while trying to find my role, and have since taken Vi all the way up to where I am now. Over S5, S6, and S7 combined, I have played about 700 ranked games as Vi, with over a 55% total winrate on her. I also play Vi so much I have over 715k mastery points as of April 29.
One final thing about me- I occasionally practice with the North Carolina State University League of Legends team, NCSU Prime, and am a member of the beta team, NCSU White. I’ll have a separate section on more premade 5's gameplay, but in short it’s a lot more dependent on communication and objective control than soloq.
Pros and Cons
> Excellent as both a Tankbuster and even assassin|
> Excellent catch/pick potential
> Q and Ult allow for great gapcloser for surprise ganks
> Excellent innate damage and tankiness
> Incredibly weak to invades before lvl 3|
> Low mobility makes it impossible to escape if you can't use Q
> Roots make it impossible to do anything as it disables Q and Ult
> Invade champions make it difficult to be gank, sop you will have to farm what you can to get levels back.
> Not a very good teamfighter
Fury vs Sorcery : The ability damage is better for Vi due to her E being a modified AA and her W counting as a spell.
Fresh Blood vs Feast vs Expose Weakness : Fresh Blood vs Expose Weakness is a tough choice as a jungler, But in this case, Fresh Blood is better because for every level you gain, you do more damage on those ganks. However, if you are in a premade team and know your teammates, you might want to take Expose depending on them.
Vampirism vs Natural Talent : This mastery sucks, but Natural Talent sucks worse. Overall, vampirism will keep you alive better than Natural Talent will.
Bounty Hunter vs Double Edged Sword vs Battle Trance : Honestly, its a tossup between double edged and bounty hunter. With 1% damage increase from each unique champion kill, you could easily become a monster in the midgame and remain that way for the rest of the match, if you get ahead. However, Double edged gives you the 3% damage boost right from the start, at the cost of you taking the 1.5% increased damage. I personally recommend Double edged for the early power, and so you don't have to take kills from your laners.
Recovery vs Unyielding : You are going to need the increased regen with the increase of small raptors as well as krugs, and it also gives a little extra when walking to or from lanes.
Explorer vs Tough Skin vs Siegemaster : Obvious choice, with the rapidly attacking and numerous jungle camps, Tough Skin will make your clears go a lot smoother and healthier.
Runic Armor vs Veteran's Scars : The base health might look appealing when you consider Vi's passive and CoC, but the 8% shield boost is way stronger.
Insight vs Perseverance vs Fearless : Vi does not need the burst insurance that Fearless gives, and the summoner spell cooldown on insight is too good to pass up.
Swiftness vs Legendary Guardian : Legendary guardian is garbage on Vi, as the maximum of 15 armor and MR does nothing to help on top of the 200 or so of each she already has. The extra 15% tenacity though is quite helpful for a diver and brawler.
Grasp of the Undying vs Courage of the Colossus vs Stoneborn Pact : You will not be in combat long enough for grasp to be worth it, and Stoneborn Pact does not help a diver. Courage of the colossus gives an nice, large shield upon delivering hard CC, which both Vault Breaker and Assault and Battery apply. A Vi diving with her ulti lategame can give her a shield that will reliably be around 1000 health worth.
I generally run a generic rune page on most of my champions. The page I use here fits Vi quite well as the quints and marks give her the standard attack speed and damage, and the flat MR and CDR runes give early game survivability and clear speed.
If you don't have or don't want to buy AS quints, AD quints will work fine, but your clear speed will take a noticeable hit and you will want to use your raw AD to make ganks happen early or invade to keep your enemy jungler down.
The same goes with the CDR glyphs, if you don't have or want to buy them flat MR glyphs are fine. Not having CDR glyphs will hurt you far less than not having AS quints will, so if you are trying to decide which to buy first, definitely go for the AS quints. To be honest, I run the CDR glyphs simply as a QoL feel, as that 5% alone takes about a second off the E recharge time early, as well as a little more off the Q time. If you run a different page that uses scaling CDR glyphs, those can work as well, you will just not have the 5% at the beginning. I personally prefer having the 5% right off the bat rather than 40% lategame, as Vi's cooldowns late are actually quite low anyway and you must be level 18 to get the full CDR from your runes.
40% vs 35% CDR at max ranks of Vi's abilities only gives about .4 sec reduction on her Q and E, and 4 seconds on her ulti. I feel like this is not really worth it, as it hurts her early clear speed to achieve this small extra reduction in the lategame.
|Flash: Standard summoner spell, necessary in 100% of games to get out of a sticky spot or to extend the range of your q.|
|Smite: The other required summoner spell. Can't jungle without it.|
|Blast Sheild: When Vi damages an enemy with an ability, she shields herself for 10% of her maximum health for up to 3 seconds. While the 18 second cooldown seems quite poor at level 1, it scales down to 8 seconds at level 18. It also serves as a very important damage soak for each camp, as you will probably get it to proc in most of the camps for your first clear. Combine this with Courage of the Colossus, and you will last quite a bit longer than your enemies would think.|
|Vault Breaker: This is Vi's main damage and gapcloser ability until lategame, and as such, you max it first. When ganking, it is best to use this instead of your ult as an initial gapcloser to either force the flash or ensure you get the fully charged-up damage. The charging lasts for 1.25 seconds, and will remain fully charged for a further 2.75, before going on cooldown if not used by then. If you fail to cast it, you will not be refunded mana. (However, if it is canceled by hard CC, it goes on a 3 second cooldown and half the mana is refunded.) Therefore, you should start charging it as you are walking into lane, and since it reduces your movespeed by 15%, you must know how far away you need to start charging. Done right, you will do a ton of damage and knock up your opponent for .7 seconds, but done wrong you could not only completely miss your target, but end up in range of something far nastier, like a tower or the undamaged enemy ADC with no way out except flash. It also applies a stack of Vi's W.|
- Her Vault Breaker is quite a versatile ability, as it can be used as an engage and escape, go over walls, and Yasuo can ult off of it.
- A downside is the above mentioned charge-up time for range and damage, as well as its champion collision mechanic, which can mess up escapes.
- A flash Q can be the difference between a kill or a waste of your time and effort during a gank, as most retreating enemies will not expect it or have time to dodge it, or they will think they have successfully escaped you once out of the range of your Q.
- As long as you don't override it, Vi will automatically attack after the initial hit. Waiting a split second after contact is made before using your E will instantly proc W, so be sure not to jump the gun on that.
|Denting Blows: Q and E makes Vi scary to squishies, but this what makes her scary to tanks. the fact that is is a passive that combines %AS increase, armor shred, and %HP damage let's Vi ruin any tank's day.|
- Vi's AA animation can take quite a while to complete in the early game. Be aware of this so you do not jump the gun hitting E as you will cancel the AA and start the E animation, wasting time and damage.
- The cone does the same bonus damage as the AA, so if an enemy is bodyblocking for someone low on hp or there are minions between you and them, go ahead and E the blocker, as the cone may still kill your target.
|Assault and Battery: This is it, probably why most people like playing Vi. Used mainly to single out a carry and take them out of the fight for 1.25 seconds and deal some good damage along with it, it also deals 75% of her damage to everyone she comes in contact with on the way to her target, as well as in an AoE when she slams into the ground at the end. As a bonus, you are completely immune to any and all CC until it ends, and you will only be affected if the CC lasts longer than your run does. There are only 4 ways to not get hit by Vi's ult once she targets an enemy: Complete TP/Recall, go untargetable, kill her before she gets there, or die before she gets there. You can also use it to catch out enemies attempting to escape, or as an (almost) undodgeable lockdown. Very fun and satisfying to use, especially as your enemy will likely waste flash in vain while trying to get away from Vi's nigh-unstoppable advance.|
- Use Assault and Battery to catch people out if your Q wont do it our you need time for your allies to catch up.
- Enemies will almost always try to flash away from you when ulting. Be careful, as their flash may drag you under tower or closer to a damage dealer that will turn the fight around on you.
- Beware using this on champions that can go untargetable( Fizz, anyone with a Zhonya's Hourglass) or in a game with a Bard, as you will lose lock and stop moving, and Assault and Battery will go on cooldown.
- Be very careful about using this against a Sivir or Morgana, as their spell shields will not only nullify its damage and CC, but you will still go into the animation, which you cannot cancel. Also, with the introduction of Edge of Night, you have to be even more careful using it than before.
- You do 75% of the damage to every unit you pass through, so you can use it to kill a low health enemy between you and another target as well.
Always take Denting Blows level one. Excessive Force is best to take level 2 due to the AS and damage, and Vault Breaker level 3 to have all abilities. Always upgrade Assault and Battery at levels 6, 11, and 16, cause it's your ult.
Since buff starts are mandatory now, taking W is better because there is only one target, so your AoE damage would be wasted. Also, once you level your E you get both charges instantly, allowing you to make shorter work of the second camp.
Only items I would recommend buying on Vi to start the game. Hunter's Machete is definitely better than Hunter's Talisman. With the new jungle, a Refillable Potion may be worth getting, as full clears are much healthier now so you don't need as much healing, and you can upgrade it to a Hunter's Potion for a small cost and use it all game long. However, you can make do with a single Health Potion, which saves you 100g and while you won't be full hp, you can take the scuttle and gank from there, or jsut back if there are no opportune ganks. You should buy a Control Ward when you have 75g and an item slot left over, and cover the side of the river that the misdlaner isn't. If they are covering neither side it is best to place it on the bottom side early for help with dragon control, or top side late for baron control.
|Warrior: This should always be your first item every game. It gives great AD, some CDR, and a the slowing Blue Smite, and is the core item on any AD jungler.|
|Trinity Force: This is such an amazing item on Vi and you will take over the game once you finish this. It provides a large AD boost, health, AS, a Sheen proc, movespeed and mana, and is a perfectly rounded item for Vi. However, it is an expensive item and if your team is already falling behind early, the cheaper (yet still effective) The Black Cleaver is a better choice.|
|Ninja Tabi: I get these the remaining 10% of the time. Only buy these if you are facing an all AD team, as the tenacity from Merc Treads will be always more valuable than these boots otherwise.|
|Spirit Visage: Buy this item if you have already bought a Banshee's Veil and are still getting destroyed by mages, but are having no problems from AD champions. While its passive is pretty much wasted on you unless you have a healer on your team, its stats are not bad at all and it is a handy defense against those pesky midlaners.|
|Randuin's Omen: Buy this item against AD and crit-heavy champions like Yasuo and Vayne, Caitlyn and more. It's resistances are quite good and the health from it is nice as well, but the main thing you're looking at is the crit damage reduction and attack speed slow.|
|Zz'Rot Portal: Buy this item If you don't need to revive after a dive, but want some extra resistances. Great for split pushing a lane that you're not even in, especially if your support has a Banner of Command.|
|Sterak's Gage: A good end-game item if you don't need more resistances, but do want some extra HP and damage.|
|Duskblade of Draktharr: If you have a couple tanks on your team already, it might be worth picking up Duskblade due too its improved (for junglers) and passives. The extra damage is great for surprising peoople with Vi's already high damage, and it help with vision control as well. I would only recommend this if you are very far ahead.|
|Youmuu's Ghostblade: Since it doesn't give attack speed anymore, it's not as great of an item, but its stats are still good and it's still useful for running people down. Also only recommended if you are ahead.|
|Maw of Malmortius: If you don't need the health from Banshee's Veil, Maw gives excellent damage as well as the lifesaving passive shields, lifesteal, and spellvamp. 10% CDR doesn't hurt either. This is one of my favorite items, and build it most games.|
|Farsight Alteration: You can also consider switching from Warding Totem to Farsight Alteration, unless you already have 2 of them on the team. As a jungler, you should be very focused on objectives and it's really important to be able to use Farsight Alteration to try to keep track of the enemy, check objectives, or ward key locations. And since they never expire naturally, you can completely ward your entire side of the map permanently with this upgrade as well.|
Starting the game out, always go to your bot side. Vi does fine starting both red and blue side, so it does not matter there. Go straight from the buffs to
, then to
. From here you can consider a gank on the midlane if your ally is already being pushed, but otherwise, go across and get the remaining 3 camps. Now here is another choice. If your top laner is having trouble, you can take scuttle for some health back and then gank, or you can back and get your upgraded jungle item. I usually don't gank first clear, as most lanes are still pretty even by then, but there is the occasion where I can get an early first blood on an overzealous enemy.
After my first clear I can buy my Caulfield's Warhammer and maybe the Hunter's Medallion or Stalker's Blade, depending on how long I stayed out, if I made a successful gank, and/or killed some Rift Scuttler s or a camp that respawned. Either way, I will generally stay in the jungle and farm until I hit 6 and get warrior, unless a gank is waiting to happen. While getting warrior is not a necessity to gank, it definitely helps, but Long Sword(s) or Caulfield's Warhammer works, especially on squishy midlaners. Once you get warrior though, ganking should be quite easy and you should try to get a gank in every time a laner is set up for one. If there are no ganks available, just keep clearing and farm up. Keep in mind that just because a gank is not ready for you does not mean that there are no ganks availible. A pushing ally is a prime target for an enemy jungler, so make sure you have vision of the river as much as possible, and be ready for a countergank on a pushing lane.
Finally, after I get Stalker's Blade - Warrior, my boots, and Trinity Force, I am usually around level 12 and it's around 20 minutes. From here, you need to assess the game in terms of how well you and your allies are doing, and which enemies are strong in order to buy the correct situational items.
*Something to look out for after you gank is if your laner is healthy enough to stay. If so, help them clear the lane and get some damage on the enemy turret before leaving. If they are not healthy, clear a wave or so, so that it doesn't crash into your tower before your ally returns.
Vi is a not a strong teamfighter, but because she is versatile and can still be useful in many different types of fights, so your style of play should change depending on the current fight. If you have a fed hyper carry and you aren’t particularly far ahead, use your Vault Breaker and ult to peel for them. If peel is covered by a good Braum or Alistar, for example, you can use your Assault and Battery to aim for an enemy carry and knock them out of the fight.
One part of Vi’s kit that really make or breaks the player is their ability to use her engage abilities in fights. A bad Vault Breaker can really screw over you and your team, because you will be dead or out of the fight until you heal up at best. If you ult the carry and your team stays at the frontline, keep the carries busy with your Q+E combo and keep on them. A Vi can melt a carry if that carry has no peel. If a few low health enemies escape and you still have your ult up, you can chase them down with a Q+R to clean up.
Vi is pretty bad against any champion with any form of forced movement or disruption, such as roots or knock-asides, as they will put a charged Vault Breaker on CD and prevent her from using her Q or R, so it’s best to stay behind your front line until you are 100% ready to engage. Once big ultimates and cooldowns are used from the enemy, she can deal massive damage while keeping herself and her team alive and protected. When fighting on Dragon and Baron objectives when your team is defending, use Vault Breaker on these objectives sparingly so you can still fight the enemy when they engage or escape after you take it.
Solo Queue vs. Team play
> Gank often, as the enemy will communicate less> Do not be afraid to tax lanes in order to keep your gold and xp up|
> Focus on your own play and play slightly more selfishly
> Use Q and ult to catch out enemies
> Go for quality over quantity, and communicate with your laners to coordinate stronger ganks together. A bad gank in team play gives the enemy jungler power.|
> Play for the team and channel farm into the ADC and midlaner depending on the situation
> Maintain objective control and siege scenarios
My thoughts on Vi
Vi can easily fit into any team comp, and can do a lot of damage while still retaining tankiness. I believe Vi to be the quintessential bruiser, and one of the best duelists in the game in teh hands of someone who knows her well. With her CC, tank stats, and damage, Vi can fill almost any jungle role a team could ask for and still do well. She can be blind picked in complete safety, and in my opinions is a great pick for when you don't want to worry about comp or being countered.
Thanks and Credits
I would like to thank the folowing people and groups:
*Pluckin Penguin for being a great jungle mentor and for formatting help
*ShadowVisions for his encouragement, inspiring me to make this guide and introducing me to NCSU Prime
*The whole NCSU Prime team who took me in and were willing to work with me and make me a better jungler and player.
* My NCSU White teammates for putting up with my Vi spam and encouraging me to do better so I can rub in their faces that Vi is a good jungler