Veigar Build Guide by Melink422
Mastery Tree Is Outdated
WARNING: These masteries are still using the old tree and have not been updated to the new tree by the guide author. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
I'm Melink422 and this is my first guide on MobaFire, which I decided to do on my favorite mage, Veigar, the tiny master of evil. The irony of watching the smallest champion on the battlefield absolutely pummel an enemy champion into the ground is just too funny to pass by. Veigar was one of the first mage champions that I played and I immediately noticed the great potential for exponential damage output. After trying several different builds, I have come down to the following build and used it quite successfully. I hope this build will allow you to show your opponents the true definition of pain!
Disclaimer: Keep in mind this is not the perfect build, but one that has just worked for me and my play style. If you don't agree with something, please feel free to change it according to your play style and post a comment to let me know what you changed and why. Good luck!
Side Note: I would like to thank EvilDice for giving me the overall structure of the build as I would never have experimented with Deathfire Grasp without seeing his guide first.
Pros / Cons
- Great damage output late game
- Pretty good farmer plus the bonus he gets from farming Baleful Strike
- Annihilates enemy casters
- Great AOE stun
- Weak early game and requires quite a bit of farming to reach max potential
- Squishy and mana hungry early game (little mana to harass with early game)
- Long cooldowns on Dark Matter and Event Horizon
- Playing defensively early is almost always a must
Flash: Obviously one of the best spells in the game with great potential on both the offensive and defenisive spectrums. If by chance you do happen to get within range of enemy crowd control, it is often your best chance of surviving. The potential of this spell to get you out of a jam or get you a kill your enemy thought they had escaped from makes this spell too good to pass up.
Ghost: One of the more controversial spells for use on Veigar. However, I still find this the best option for a couple reasons. First, if you are at all like me, you don't like dying, and there are some situations where flash simply isn't enough to get you out of a nasty predicament. Second, it helps you get in and get out of a team fight much faster. Finally, it serves as a second lifeline to keep you alive when flash is on cooldown. For me, the longer I stay alive, the better, and this helps me to do just that.
Clarity: If you burn through mana like you're never going to get the chance to play Veigar ever again, this is a semi-viable option. Otherwise, leave it for the support to take because your passive should keep your mana just high enough to be able to continually farm with Baleful Strike.
Exhaust: Not my favorite option because it only effects one enemy champion and only for 2.5 seconds, which is more than enough time for you to roll through Veigar's combo.
Ignite: A spell that is of some use early game but quickly fades away as you assume your rule of nuker. I would only advise getting this if no one on your team has it or if there is a champion that relies on healing on the other team, such as Dr. Mundo or Swain.
Teleport: A decent option if you find yourself going back a lot to heal and restore mana or when coordinating ganks, but if you play a cautious Veigar, you'll find yourself using this spell sparingly. If a different spell was taken other than the two aforementioned spells, it would likely be this one.
Clairvoyance: Not a bad spell, just not suited for Veigar. If you need to check a bush, just lay Dark Matter on it.
Cleanse: You shouldn't be close enough to anyone to let them hit you with their crowd control, so avoid this spell.
*Fortify: Again, not a spell suited for Veigar. Leave it for the tank if anyone is going to take it.
Heal: This spell can help out early game, especially against strong pokers, but the health it gives isn't worth replacing it with one of the other spells.
Promote: If you are having troubles from keeping your lane being pushed constantly no matter who the opposing laner is, maybe consider this spell, otherwise, take something more applicable.
*Rally: Last time I checked, Veigar wasn't an AD champion.
Revive: The goal is not to die, so grabbing this in place of another spell that could have saved your life in the first place wouldn't be the smartest move.
Smite: Why take away from an additional 1 AP that you could be permanently gaining every minute by farming with Baleful Strike instead?
Surge: Another option that wouldn't be terrible on Veigar, but has limited usefulness because Veigar is a nuking champion and wouldn't benefit from a good chunk of the duration of this summoner spell.
*In preparation for season two, this summoner spell has been removed.
Greater Mark of Magic Penetration
Greater Seal of Scaling Mana Regeneration
Greater Glyph of Scaling Cooldown Reduction
Greater Quintessence of Magic Penetration
A good set of runes is always important to ensuring maximum damage output for a caster like Veigar. With that said, here are the runes I use:
Greater Mark Of Insight: The magic penetration will get you ever closer to dropping your opponent's magic resist to 0. That should be music to your ears.
Greater Seal Of Clarity: The mana regeneraton per 5 seconds per level is good for the given build because it gives a little more mana early game as well as keeps you going better than flat mana regeneration seals late game, especially when the build doesn't include an Archangel's Staff to increase your mana pool.
Greater Glyph Of Celerity: If there is one thing that Veigar really needs, it is some cooldown reduction. The cooldown reduction per level glyphs are better than the flat cooldown glyphs because you won't be doing a whole lot other than farming early game, so the extra cooldown reduction late game will definitely help.
Greater Quintessence Of Insight: More magic penetration to add on to your magic penetration marks brings you to 14 magic penetration right out of the gate. That's almost half of most champions base magic resist gone just like that! Some people will argue that the cooldown reduction quintessences are better than the magic penetration quintessences since Veigar has such long cooldowns. However, since cooldowns can only be reduced by a maximum of 40% and since there is no ceiling on how much magic penetration you can get, I believe the magic penetration quintessences are best.
Due to the patch that changed the mastery pages for season two, I have had to re-evaluate my masteries for Veigar. I stuck close to what I had before the patch, but there are several noticable differences. For my masteries for Veigar, I retained the pretty standard 9/0/21 build.
Summoner's Wrath: One point in this slot will improve your Ghost summoner spell by granting you an extra 8% movement speed upon activating it. If you choose to take another summoner spell, you may want to remove this point and put it in Mental Force so that you still have enough points in the first tier to move on to the next tier.
Mental Force: Three points in this slot will increase your overall AP by 3 and move you down to the next tier. Nothing huge, but it is needed to move on and those three points wouldn't fit anywhere else for Veigar in the first tier. This received a significant nerf when the masteries were redone, previously accumulating up to 12 AP at champion level 18.
Sorcery: Four points in this slot will bump up your cooldown reduction to 4% right off the bat. Cooldown reduction is always something that Veigar needs, so this is a pretty big help. This mastery received a slight buff with the mastery page update, up from 3% cooldown reduction with four points in the mastery slot before the patch.
Arcane Knowledge: One point in this slot will grant you 10% magic penetration, down from 15% before the mastery page update. Despite it being nerfed, this is still an extremely valuable slot to put a mastery point into for Veigar.
No need to put any points in the defensive category. You are a damage dealer, not a tank.
Summoner's Insight: One point in this slot will improve your Flash summoner spell by reducing it's cooldown by 15 seconds. Again, if you chose to take a different summoner spell, you may want to reconsider putting this point elsewhere, especially if your summoner spell of choice doesn't coincide with the summoner spells this mastery slot upgrades.
Good Hands: One point in this slot will reduce your death timer by 4% everytime you die. In the season two update, this received a very small buff, but only at the first and second points by rounding them up from 3.33% and 6.66% respectively. Due to the change in how Expanded Mind and Meditation are related, I only have 1 point in this mastery slot as of right now. If I do decide to put three points into this slot later, I will simply pull two points out of Meditation to do so.
Expanded Mind: Three points in this slot will net you an additional 12 mana per level adding up for a total of 218 additional mana at level 18. This was a much needed buff on what used to be one of the worst masteries in the game, changed from a mere 5% of your base mana pool with four points in it before the mastery page update. Completely filling this slot will also allow you to put points into Meditation in the next tier.
Swiftness: Four points in this slot will grant your champion an additional 2% base movement speed. This is a significant nerf from before the patch when only three points would be needed to buff your champion's speed by 3%. Unfortunately, Veigar is slow and he needs the movement speed, so I max this slot out.
Meditation: Three points in this slot gives you an additional 3 mana regeneration per 5 seconds and requires a full three points in Expanded Mind. Nothing changed with this mastery slot with the update and the mana regeneration is extremely nice for Veigar, considering how mana hungry he is throughout the game.
Runic Affinity: One point in this slot grants a 20% extended duration on any neutral monster buffs you have. This is a little bit of a nerf in my opinion despite that fact that we are getting a 5% increase in extended duration with one point in this slot simply because you can no longer put any more than one point in this slot. The longer you can make that blue buff last, the better.
Awareness: Four points in this slot gives your champion a 5% increase in experience gained. This mastery slot was not changed in the season two patch, but it is always a useful buff to have with Veigar as it will help him to keep up in experience with his rather weak early game laning phase.
Intelligence: Three points in this slot will give your champion 6% reduced cooldowns on all their spells. Again, this mastery slot was not changed with the mastery page update, but is extremely useful, especially for reducing the cooldown of Event Horizon and Primordial Burst.
Mastermind: Finally, one point in this slot will knock off 15% of the recharge time on your summoner spells. An even more important mastery slot after the season two patch that increased the cooldown of flash by another 10 seconds.
Items really make or break how effective champions are on the battlefield and nothing about that changes with Veigar. Here I'll explain all of my item selections as well as other valuable options that you may find work better for your play style.
Doran's Ring: Personally, I excel much more in lane early game when I have the extra 80 health that this item gives. Not to mention the 15 AP gives your Baleful Strike a little more pop to make it easier to farm. Also, the mana regeneration it gives is essential to laning for longer periods of time without having to recall.
Sorcerer's Shoes: As a nuker, you want to be doing as much damage as possible in as short a time as possible. The 20 magic penetration you get from this item should bring many enemy champions' magic resist (with no magic resist items) down to 0 in combination with your runes and masteries.
*Deathfire Grasp: This item officially makes you a huge threat by the time you pick it up mid game. It gives you 80 AP, 15% cooldown reduction, and an active ability that is basically a second ultimate on a 1 minute cooldown. In case you are not familiar with this item's active ability, you select one enemy champion and it does 25% of the target's current health in magic damage. What makes this active really great though is that an additional 4% is added on for every 100 AP you have. And since Veigar is essentially an AP stacking champion with an ability that permanently allows him to gain AP in Baleful Strike, the active on this item is constantly getting better and doing more damage as the game progresses. Let the nuking begin.
*As you'll notice in the core build, I purchase a Kage's Lucky Pick before Fiendish Codex when building towards Deathfire Grasp. The reason behind this is simple, the longer you have Kage's Lucky Pick, the more it is paying itself off from the 5 gold per 10 second passive that it has. Too many times have I bought Fiendish Codex first and had to go back 100-150 gold short of a Deathfire Grasp, an amount that Kage's Lucky Pick could have provided me.
Rabadon's Deathcap: This is one of those items that was made for Veigar. The 140 AP is the largest in the game for a single item (with the exception of more than 15 stacks of Mejai's Soulstealer) and you definitely can't go wrong with the additional 30% boost to you total AP. Overall, it is a great item that cannot be passed up if maximum damage is to be achieved.
*Abyssal Scepter: The more I play with this item, the more I realize how great it really is. The 70 AP is a nice addition to your ever-rising total AP and the passive of reducing nearby enemy's magic resist by 20 is another bonus. But, what is really nice about this item is that it gives you 57 magic resist and your first bit of survivability. Since it is your job to take out the enemy casters who do the most damage, this extra resistence should knock down their damage output on you quite a bit, giving you a much better chance of killing them should they happen to unleash their combo before you do.
*Zhonya's Hourglass: I chose this item for one of the same primary reasons I chose Abyssal Scepter, for the extra survivability and AP. This item provides 50 armor as well as 100 AP, both of which are nice boosts, which still goes without mentioning the lifesaving active ability that comes along with it. By using the active ability, you can become invulnerable and untargetable for 2 seconds, giving your allies a chance to knock off whoever is attacking you and possibly save your life. It can also be used as guarenteed protection if you are waiting for cooldowns on Dark Matter or Event Horizon to finish up.
*As you'll notice in the core build, I built the Negatron Cloak before the Abyssal Scepter and the Chain Vest before Zhonya's Hourglass. The reason for this is to increase your survivability as soon as possible after getting Rabadon's Deathcap. By the time you get to these two items, you should have enough AP to nuke just about any carry on the other team, therefore making survivability more of a priority over more AP.
*Void Staff: By the time I get around to this item, most if not all of the enemies have some sort of magic resist, usually a Banshee's Veil if they aren't the tank and don't have Mercury's Treads. These extra defenses usually take a little pop out of my death combo, so I remedy that problem with the 70 AP and additional 40% magic penetration this item gives me. It is often a great help in negating the one magic resist item carries like to buy to improve their survivability. This item takes the place of Doran's Ring and completes my build.
*If you find yourself disagreeing with taking both Abyssal Scepter and Void Staff because of the fact that the flat magic penetration is applied before the percentage magic penetration, please see the 3rd and 4th comments on the 8th page of comments for an answer as to why I take both and how it benefits me to take both no matter what the opponent's magic resist is.
Archangel's Staff: This is an item I frequently see Veigar players build and I'm never sure exactly why. The first item players get when buying this item is almost always a Tear of the Goddess so that they can begin stacking up on mana right away from its passive. This gives them an additional 350 mana and 7 mana regeneration per 5 seconds, but doesn't give them any durability or early game AP to make it easier to farm with Baleful Strike. And because Veigar's abilities have such long cooldowns, especially at their lower levels, it makes it difficult to even get close to maxing this item's passive out before a game ends. Here are some quick calculations to show how much AP you would be getting if you managed to max it out at level 18 with no other mana items, runes, or masteries:
Base Mana = 1240, Archangel's Staff Mana = 400(+1000) = 1400
1240 + 1400 = 2640 mana x .03 = 79.2 AP + 45 Archangel's Staff Base AP = 124.2 AP
Personally, I don't believe that the AP this item gives is worth the time it would take to max out the mana building passive. The conversion rate of mana to AP is just too low to make it worth building up a whole bunch of mana you most likely won't ever get to use. Plus, you should be getting enough mana regeneration from Deathfire Grasp and your passive Equilibrium to sustain your mana for quite a while, assuming you aren't spamming Dark Matter and Event Horizon. So unless you are stacking multiple mana building items, which would be sacrificing other AP items you could be building, I would avoid this item.
Haunting Guise: I have only bought this item a few times but it has served it's purpose extremely well everytime. Paired with the bonus 200 health, survivability Veigar desperately needs early game, this item also comes with a nice bonus of 25 ability power and, more importantly, 20 flat magic penetration. If you are in lane against someone who comes back to lane for the first or second time with a Null-Magic Mantle or a Negatron Cloak in their aresenal, think about picking up this item.
Lich Bane: I have personally never tried this item, but I can't see why it wouldn't be viable to replace Void Staff if the other team isn't buying magic resist items. By the time you would get to it, you should have at least 700-800 AP and I can't imagine anything better than seeing one of Veigar's auto attacks kill one of the enemy carries from half health. This item also gives you a hefty 80 additional AP as well as 350 mana to help you sustain your Dark Matter and Event Horizon usage. As a bonus, this item gives you 30 extra magic resist in case you didn't already have enough from Abyssal Scepter as well as an additional 7% movement speed which is always good for a slower caster such as Veigar. The huge downside to this item is that getting in range of an enemy to use an auto attack can often mean large amounts of damage taken or death to Veigar, so I don't see many players getting off successful auto attacks without taking too much damage. If Veigar's attack range was increased, this item would be considerably more useful.
Mejai's Soulstealer: If any item screams "Hey, focus me more!", it's this item. The last thing the enemy team wants is for you to have this item fully stacked and be getting the 15% cooldown reduction to compliment the 180 AP. However, as Veigar, the last thing you want to happen is for you to get focused. If you can manage to do massive amounts of damage without the enemy team building items just to counter you, all the better. This item is usually built early on and can be difficult to build up with a passive early game play style. On the other hand, it can be hard to maintain if you prefer an agressive play style. This item always has the potential to be great, but if you manage to get it fully stacked, expect everyone to be focusing you.
Morello's Evil Tome: This item has always been on the backburner of replacement items I could fit into my build because it is essentially a better version of Deathfire Grasp minus the active. It gives 75 AP, 12 mana regeneration per 5 seconds, and a fantastic 20% cooldown reduction. If you did manage to fit this item into your build, you would completely max out your cooldown reduction at 40% and not waste too much (right around 3%) by going over. However, the Ancient Golem's blue buff will give you basically the same result by maxing out your cooldown reduction and giving you a higher mana regeneration rate. Overall a viable option if you find yourself in need of your abilities when they always seem to be on cooldown.
Rod of Ages: This is an item that I really wish I had a seventh item slot for. When fully maxed out after 10 minutes, it gives you 80 AP, 630 health, and 725 mana, all of which are very large amounts early game. However, the reason why I don't get this item is that it further delays your ability to play offensively because it costs so much gold and the payoff isn't immediate. Is the item worth the gold? I think so, but the earlier you can get your first couple kills, the better off you'll be.
Rylai's Crystal Scepter: This is another item I see some Veigar players build that confuses me. It gives you 80 AP and 500 health and grants you slows on all the spells you cast. The health and the AP are nice, but the slow passive is what makes this item good and you should me nuking people to death before they can even get out of your Event Horizon stun. The only other use for the slow would be to get out of a fight, but that's why Veigar has Event Horizon, Flash, and Ghost. Overall, I wouldn't recommend this item.
Just as with any other champion in the game, skill sequence is very important and nothing has changed here with Veigar. The following reasons for my skill sequence are based on my passive early game play style and focus on overall team usefulness:
Level 1: Always takeBaleful Strike first with Veigar. It has the lowest cooldown and lowest mana cost and allows you to immediately start building up your AP from its passive.
Level 2: I next go with Event Horizon in the case that I am ganked extremely early by the enemy jungler or I find myself out of position. It simply gives you a safety net in the event you are attacked early or even tower dove early on.
Level 3: Typically, I pick up Dark Matter here to get all three of my abilities so that I can start poking without having to get too close to my opponent. It is also pretty useful for taking out large minion waves that may be attacking the tower. If I don't go for Dark Matter, I will put another point into Baleful Strike to make it easier to farm and increase my AP.
Level 4: If I put a point into Dark Matter the level before, I will put a point into Baleful Strike to make it easier to farm. If I already put my second point into Baleful Strike, I will put my first point into Dark Matter.
Level 5: I always put my fifth point in Baleful Strike because when it is at level 3, I am able to farm minions with roughly half health or less with it, which leads to many more Baleful Strikes that end up actually killing the minion and giving me AP instead of being a little early or a little late.
Level 6: Obviously, I put this point into Primordial Burst, as it is your best damage dealing ability and can give you that early kill or two you need to get to that Deathfire Grasp earlier.
Levels 7-10: I choose to alternate between Dark Matter and Event Horizon because I found that if I leveled one of them up first, I would be so lacking in the other skill that it wasn't benifitting me. If I leveled up Event Horizon first, I wouldn't have enough killing power, but if I leveled up Dark Matter first, the stun from Event Horizon wouldn't last long enough to allow me to hit Dark Matter with frequency, especially against those who bought Mercury's Treads or another tenacity item. I chose to start with Event Horizon first though because that extra stun duration gives you that much more time to get your whole death combo out before the enemy has a chance to run.
Level 11: Again, I obviously choose to put a point into Primordial Burst because it significaly increases your ability to nuke the enemy caster and carry. Combined with the rest of your combo, you should be seeing more full health to no health kills.
Levels 12-15: Continue to alternate between upgrading Dark Matter and Event Horizon until both are maxed out. At this point, the squishies should be going down quickly and Event Horizon should be greatly helping out in team fights.
Level 16: A no brainer at this point is to max out Primordial Burst. This should now hit for more than 1000 damage not including the additional 80% of the enemy's AP added on, which should be enough to make any AP champion want to stay far away from you.
Levels 17-18: Just finish maxing out Baleful Strike with your remaining points. This should give you the ability to kill standard melee and caster minions with just Baleful Strike.
In this section, I'll highlight some important aspects about gameplay that will help you succeed on the battlefield.
Sequence of Attacks:
Veigar's death combo works best when used in this order. First start with Event Horizon to stun the enemy so that you can easily land your next ability, Dark Matter, which takes 1.2 seconds from the time you cast it to actually hit the enemy. While Dark Matter is still coming down, you will want to use Deathfire Grasp's acive ability. This will be the first ability to actually hit the target, which is what you want since it does a percentage of the target's current health, thereby allowing you to maximize damage by hitting with it first. Your next ability, Baleful Strike should hit right around the same time Dark Matter finally comes down. Finally, use your ultimate, Primordial Burst, to finish off the enemy. The reason why I use the ultimate last is because occasionally you will be able to kill the opponent from full health without the use of your ultimate, which makes you a threat to kill another target immediately there after. If there is one thing I have learned about this order of abilities, it is that it will net you many kills in game and it just never gets old seeing someone go from full health to dead in right around 3 seconds. If you have problems getting the combo off in time before the enemy gets out of the stun, practice the ability order for speed in an A.I. game until you can do it swiftly because it really is quite a few buttons to press in a short amount of time.
Early Game: Early on, you will definitely be farming just about exclusively. Veigar's damage output isn't great early game and his mana costs for his all his abilities are quite high early on for such a small mana pool. Focus on getting those last hits with Baleful Strike to boost your AP and get gold to work towards your Sorcerer's Shoes and Kage's Lucky Pick. If I can make it to the point where I can buy both of these items without going back, I will recall and pick them up so that I can make at least small use of Kage's Lucky Pick's passive.
Mid Game: As you progress into the game a little more and get your ultimate and put another point into it at level 11, you should begin seeking out the enemy casters and focusing them down. By this time, you should also have Deathfire Grasp, which makes your nukes much more feasible at this point in the game. If you don't have any casters to kill, the next target would be the carries, most of whom you should also be able to nuke down. Try to keep up on your Baleful Strike farming as much as possible (a good way to do this is to drop Dark Matter into the middle of the wraith camps over the wall from mid lane if you happen to be passing by) while still providing your teammates top and bottom with ganks so they can push the enemy towers. Another option, if you like your extra AP and want to take more time, is to farm all the wraiths with Baleful Strike, as the small wraiths should die in one hit from it. More likely than not, you will lose your tower in mid lane before the enemy loses theirs, especially if you are in mid against a carry, so ask for a gank if you need one. Your Event Horizon should give your allies time to get close enough to lay their crowd control on the opponent and net you a assist or kill. If you can't get close enough to an enemy before they are killed by your allies to get anything out of the kill for yourself, always try to put Event Horizon at least around the enemy. Even if they don't run into the edges, this will still net you an assist, which can help quite a bit with your gold situation if you manage to do this a couple times a game. Also, don't be afraid to ask your teammates to help you get blue buff so you get that increased mana regeneration and cooldown reduction, especially if your jungler doesn't need it for the time being. Finally, try to pick up dragon with help from your team to get that global gold and experience that will help out eveyone.
Late Game: By this time, the enemy typically starts to get smart and buy magic resist and Veigar's nemesis of an item, Banshee's Veil. In the case this does happen, you will want to pop it first by using Baleful Strike before applying Event Horizon and the rest of your death combo. Make wise use of your active ability from Zhonya's Hourglass and try to hit as many people with Event Horizon in team fights as possible. Once you use your combo, get out and wait for your cooldowns on Baleful Strike, Dark Matter, Event Horizon to finish up before returning to the fight. You are not much of a tower pushing threat, so if that needs done, try to keep your carries alive during team fights so that they can push the towers after the team fight is over. Finally, help your team take out Baron Nashor with frequency. In the event you get ganked, your Event Horizon will likely be the only chance your whole team gets away safe, so be ready to use it if necessary. Hopefully your game does not last as long as the 83 minute game I had with Veigar, which we lost because our Cassiopeia disconnected, leaving us in a 4v5 right from the beginning of the game, but if it does, make surviving team fights a top priority because you can single handedly prevent a push of just one or two enemy non-tank champions by bursting down one and letting the other run for his life.
Here are some matches that I have recently played with this build. Take note that the dates are frequently seperated and it is not just a screenshot of my match history. This is because like many other people, I do enjoy playing different champions instead of the same one match after match. That being said, I have compiled all of my recent Veigar matches into one picture so that I don't have to put multiple screenshots of my match history that would contain results from matches during which I played other champions. If you have any questions about the matches, just post a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.
Hopefully this guide has helped you to learn more of the ins and outs of Veigar and how he can be played effectively. Please try my build before commenting and voting and if you still disagree with something, leave a comment before rating and I may just make an adjustment based on your advice, thereby giving you reason to approve this guide with a positive vote. Good luck and remember, if you deny the darkness in your soul, you deny your power!
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