Veigar Build Guide by nhilker
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.
Preamble: This guide is short and to the point. If you're looking for pretty pictures and colorful text then go look at another build. The information I provide in this guide is based on over a year of experience with Veigar, my most played champion. I enjoy debating Veigar's playstyle (including items, skill order, etc) with people, but please don't post any hasty comments such as "chalice is stupid" because chances are if you disagree outright with anything you see here you're wrong.
My LoL alias is HilkZ and my most played hero is Veigar.
I should start off by saying that this build is a core build for Veigar, and through personal experience I feel as though it is the most efficient item build possible. Irrespective of whether I am mid or not, these initial items are always the first ones I purchase (with the exception of the soul stealer of course).
My preferred play style with Veigar is initially passive until about level 7, at which point I adapt a very aggressive style of play. Mid is often a pain for Veigar as you should be focused on last hitting creeps with baleful strike as opposed to harassing the opposition, especially when baleful is < lvl. 4 (due to the cooldown). However, if you find the opponent in mid is constantly harassing you and attempting to zone you, try to hit him with a baleful strike at the exact moment you predict him to back off momentarily; if you have many creeps on your side, try throwing in a stun if he gets aggressive. This is a psychological concept if any -- if you get punched in the head every time you show aggressive behaviour, chances are you will "play nice". This idea also coincides with Bruce Lee's fighting philosophy -- i.e., "way of the intercepting fist".
Level 5 is critical because you have the greatest opportunity to deal damage prior to gaining your ultimate by using your level 3 baleful strike. Generally, people try to avoid going back to base prior to level 6, so by harassing them at this stage you either force them to go back or force them to stay. If they stay then you should have a decent chance of killing them with a baleful + ult combo (use flash to get in range if you have to). If they leave then they are sacrificing time at a critical part of the game. Always last hit with your Q if possible. If Q is on cooldown then last hit with your autoattack. NEVER autoattack creeps. This goes for any hero early in the game.
Once you hit level 9 play as aggressively as you possibly can... A level 5 baleful at this point in the game is easily one of the most spammable high damage single target nukes in the game -- chances are they won't be able to trade blows with you. Also, try landing in a stun first to hit them with a lvl 1 or 2 dark matter prior to throwing your Q at them.
Once you hit level 11 you should have your deathfire grasp. The ideal combo when going in for a kill is as follows: E W 1 Q R (or: stun, dark matter, deathfire grasp, baleful, ultimate). Note that you can interchange the Q and the R but I find it more natural to hit the buttons in this order. This is also a very critical part in the game because you have the ability to one-shot their carries in the side lanes... Use this to your advantage and gank! Veigar is arguably the best ganker at this point in the game and this ability should not be squandered.
NOTE ON ITEMS
I'm sure many of you read this build and your initial reaction was "Chalice noob gg". This would have been my reaction long ago... However, the chalice compliments Veigar's passive brilliantly and is the only mana regen item you will need because of this. Purchasing a chalice early in the game allows you to spam your skills without worrying about mana preservation. Also, the 30 magic resistance it adds can be extremely helpful when trading blows with your opponent in mid. Finally, since you are starting off with a pendant anyway, finishing the chalice costs next to nothing. Don't buy an archangel staff.
Also, the first items you should buy are meki pendant and potions. Never buy any doran's item on Veigar. You are in dire need of the early health regeneration, and meki pendant is the only item that allows for this and still builds into something useful. I suppose boots first is feasible but I prefer the mana regeneration.
Deathfire grasp is absolutely necessary for Veigar. Any build that does not include this item, or includes it late in the build is 100% wrong. Deathfire grasp is what allows you to one-shot heroes so early in the game, it also gives you everything you need (ap, mana regen and CDR). A good benchmark for when you should obtain this item is 15 minutes into the game (NOTE: you should have your sorcerer's shoes before deathfire).
Only purchase soul stealer after your deathfire and if you feel as though you can amass kills with it (I.e., their team has a few casters or ranged carries). Soul stealer, to be honest, is extraneous on Veigar. I don't even bother buying it half the time. If you are new to playing him (or if you are just bad at surviving in general) then do not under any circumstances purchase it.
I go deathcap directly after soul stealer (or deathfire) because the amount of AP it adds at this point in the game allows you to take down tanks with general ease regardless of your magic penetration (you should have over 400 ap right after buying the deathcap).
Any items you purchase after the deathcap are situational.
I would recommend:
- Lich Bane
- Banshee's Veil
- Void Staff
- Guardian Angel (especially useful against other high damage burst casters)
- I am probably forgetting some others
Items you should never purchase include:
- Any Doran item
- Any form of boot other than sorcerer's shoes
- Rod of Ages
- Hextech Revolver (or Will of the Ancients)
- Archangel staff (for this build at least... It's definitely viable if you opt to purchase a tear first instead of a chalice... But I wouldn't recommend it)
- Anything that defies common sense (e.g. infinity edge).
*One item I am kind of on the fence about it Rylai's. It's a decent item because of the HP it provides but the cost for this alone is hard to justify. The slow is useless.
*I've seen a lot of controversy about lich bane on Veigar. To be honest, I used to think it was useless on him. However, a Veigar with 600+ AP and a lich bane is pretty powerful. Your Q has a cooldown of like 2-3 seconds, meaning each time you use it your lich bane will proc, effectively giving you two baleful strikes (but one in physical form). This is the best possible item for pushing and is actually really useful for taking out heroes with a lot of survivability. Plus it offers movement speed (how awesome is that?).
NOTE ON SKILL ORDER
I've seen a few variations of Veigar's skill build but this is the one that works best for me.
Prioritizing points in baleful allows you to control your lane early-mid game. I feel as though stun deserves 2 levels as opposed to one to ensure that your dark matter lands against everyone, including those with merc treads. Dark matter is useless at early levels, but is ideal mid game. Max it out after maxing baleful. Never get dark matter before your stun. Never max your stun before anything else.
Finally, the runes and masteries are just suggestions... To be honest these are really only influenced by your playing style, but I feel as though these are the best. This is also true for summoner spells. Ghost and Flash are the best spells for Veigar because they offer mobility. Ignite is completely pointless on Veigar, as is exhaust. The only other viable summoner spells on Veigar are cleanse and teleport (I hate teleport) as far as I'm concerned. If you are under level 30 then clarity is useful, otherwise it isn't.
Here are just a few of my MOST RECENT games. These scores are pretty average for me and are by no means shown to impress. Take note of the consistency with each build, yet how each one changes. In each game, the same core items are apparent (chalice rules); after these core items, situational items are built when I feel as though they are necessary.
In the end, Veigar is one of those champions that benefits from a skillful player more so than a smart build (more true for Veigar than other heroes, arguably). To prove this point, check out my latest game (September 11, 2011) (notice how the opposing Veigar was attempting to use that "Somebody gonna get hurt real bad" build -- i.e., the number one build on mobafire; p.s. I ended up with 20 stacks on each item).