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Vel'Koz Build Guide by Reaper HvyArms

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.


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League of Legends Build Guide Author Reaper HvyArms

Vel'Koz: The (NOT) Hidden Support (5.4 patch)

Reaper HvyArms Last updated on February 28, 2015
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Team 1

Ability Sequence

1
4
5
7
9
Ability Key Q
3
8
10
12
13
Ability Key W
2
14
15
17
18
Ability Key E
6
11
16
Ability Key R





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.



Masteries

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Havoc
 
 

Offense: 9

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Legendary Guardian
 
 

Defense: 0

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Bandit
3/
Intelligence
 
 
 
 
 
 
1/
Wanderer
 
 

Utility: 21



Threats to Vel'Koz with this build

Threat
Low
High
Show all
Threat Champion Notes
1
Janna Her poke is inefficient against you and her shield has a longer cooldown than your Qs, so spam it and win. Her ult is dangerous to yours, but as long as you are aware and in a good position nothing should happen to you.
1
Jinx As an mid-late adc she deppends on her support to do things, so she is not your problem at the lane, but is your main target.
1
Volibear He is not a support, but when low elo tries to play him as one you can slow when he tries to get near, E him away, eat his HP with your true damage and keep off of his bite.
1
Taric KARP... KARP... MAGIKARP...
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Pros / Cons






PROS:
    Awesome poke
    Low mana cost until level 4-5
    Ridiculous range
    high threat (may give your ADC free farm)
    Huge burst
    Tentacle jokes (remember: botlane is full of girls)

CONS
    Lack of hard Crowd Control (CC)
    Squishy
    Can't stop a gank
    Low mobility
    Needs protection during Team Fights (TFs)


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Introduction

This guide will teach you how to play a support Vel'Koz, its strong and weak points, positioning and building. New season old build: The new mana regen mechanics made up for morellonomicon's mana regen's nerfs on last season.


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Picking VK support (Team Composition)

This is not a random pick, it can make your team the best or the worst based in how much time it will be alive in a fight. You must remember that you are a high value player in damage composition of your team, so at least one champion must be able to protect you and stop an eventual assassin trying to put you down.

WHAT YOUR TEAM NEEDS FOR VK TO BE PICKED



Your team needs a higher threat than you, a mid that can absorb some damage as Gragas or Galio, or put you some shield as Orianna and Lulu. At least one tank is required and the best thing for your ADC is to be either a burst ADC like Draven or a CC-based ADC like Vayne or Varus. Poke ADCs are also welcome, but they can't be too focused in farming.

A CC based ADC can stop the other team's jungler when he comes for ganking, and the high burst type can help you delete him before he performs his role.

WHAT THEIR TEAM NEEDS TO VK TO BE VIABLE



Some champions may be a huge problem when you are playing Vel'Koz Support that are useless when you are playing other supports. A Master Yi jungler made everygame I played a living hell! His ability to vanish during your combo when using Alpha Strike can avoid all your damage and after that you are dead in 3 seconds or less. Even if someone stops him you will need to use your Flash for repositioning and wait your cooldowns to end. This way, avoid picking Vel'Koz if there are too many gap closers or damage avoidance skills in the other team. LeBlanc, Fizz, Vladimir, Vayne, Master Yi, Yasuo, they all can avoid your skill shots with their high mobility and yet get close to you during your cooldowns. Even though your teamates can protect you, think that would be better if they cloud focus on high priority targets instead of trying to save your life.

Remember that poking champions are weak agains high sustain, so healers may give you some headache

Something really important is never picking up a support VK when there is a Thresh or a Blitzcrank in the opposing team because if they grab you, you can't get back to position as fast as you should and if you get focused most damage from you lane is gone.


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Runes

4.5 Patch changed the base flat runes sovereignty to other options, so its better you to catch up:





QUINTS
Still think AP flat or AP/Level are viable, I preffer the first because you have more poking damage at level 1. If you think its better off waiting to level 7 to engage, AP/Level is you choice. Gold runes are not viable this season and as long as you keep a distant poke you wont need a sustain rune like spellvamp.






MARKS
These are the attack marks and haven't changed, the other status are too low to be woth, so I reccomend you to use penetration marks, as VK scales really well with those and his base damage is high. Remember that your purpose in team is to focus the carries or protect your carries dealing damage, not CC.






SEALS
Here is where the brown things hit the fan. The changes in armor runes made a complex decision about how to act here. As long as this rune page is not going to suit only Vel'Koz I guess I'll open an discussion here for you to decide what to use:


If you are used to tanky supports you might go for scaling armor runes since your beginning will have some tankness untill you have level 6 and the scaling armor runes equals its valor to the flat ones. along with this you get some HP regen and HP, making this a good defensive kit and as long as their ADC won't have a lot of items to deal damage you are good. If you think its better to go for early action (pre-6) go for flat armor runes

For Vel'Koz players defensive starts like this are not a good thing. Its a high bet-high reward pick, so starting defensively indicates a more passive route, that I don't recommend, but as long as you poke a lot and start with Spellthief's Edge you might be able to avoid confrontations before level 6 and this runes are still great. If you think they are gong for a lot of all-ins pre-6, go for flat armor runes, choose scaling armor over HP/lvl only if there is only AD damage on the other team

A high recovery and sustain support might like HP/5 flat runes, with these runes you get a better start in terms of sustain but it has a price to be paid: you have no armor, so its a great thing for a tank start. You can also start with Ruby Crystal that can be upgraded to a Sightstone very soon and it is an awesome thing.

Playing Vel'Koz the health regen runes are good only if you are playing against a poke lane that matches your capacity of siege. this is risky though because if you get to be hit a lot you can't stand much in lane because you have no starting health. I don't recomend it and these runes doesn't increase your survivability in a burst case scenario. Remember that even with these runes you will still be starting with Spellthief's Edge

This is an aggressive lane start, means you'll be harassing a lot and focus in dodging hits. If you are confident that they can't hit you as much as you can hit them HP/level runes can give you over 200HP at level 18, that's a LOT. it really improves your survivability later on. In terms of comparison is a mid term between Ruby Crystal and Giant's Belt. Its amazing for a squishy support such as Vel'Koz but it also means that your start will be more risky and a level 2-3 engage might cause your death.

Even though its a risky start I bet this is the best start for Vel'Koz since you might not see a lot of trouble during the lane phase, but a lot of problems will emerge during team fights. If you think its too risky then go for flat HP runes.

GLYPHS
A small amount of Magic Resist (MR) will do the trick of absorbing some of their support damage, but as long as its not an full AP support you might try to save 4 or 5 slots for AP runes, scaling make their presence worthy after level 7, so its up to you to choose flat or scaling based on the level you will be confortable to deal damage. I like scaling for glyphs most because I use flat for quints, but is up to your gamestyle.

The MResist/lvl were buffed, so if you feel confortable being naked for the starting levels you might use this. I surelly don't recommend.


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Masteries

In a standard masteries page for a poke support you might want some changes, but as long as you will poke with skills not basic attacks, you might not use Bandit a lot, so go for Scout instead.

Move speed is always a great thing for supports, because you need to roam and ward and you will upgrade your boots after you built your second item, so you need something to make up for that, this way Fleet of Foot and Wanderer will come handy.

Meditation makes you spend more time in lane, your first back and poking capacity is defined by your mana sustain, since you are not going botlane to soak damage and your range is awesome, but as long as you are not going to build mana, I changed Strength of Spirit into Summoner's Insight .

Intelligence and Sorcery will give you 10% Cooldown Reduction (CDR) and will combo with your items to give you a full 40% build.

Double-Edged Sword or Expose Weakness is up to you, the first make your attacks stronger, what is awesome for low levels, but the second might rock in a close-quarters teamfight when you hit everyone and your team can finish off by then.


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Items

You are poking, so as long as you hit your Q you can have 2 stacks of your Spellthief's Edge used per hit. If you hit 3 pokes in a sequence you can have one of their champions at half health.

Doing this right, you can back to base aat level 6 after ulting and giving your ADC a kill or getting it yourself (depending on their range) and having 1k+ gold, this way you can upgrade your Edge for 500Gs, buy 2 HP pots, 1 MP and a ward for 180Gs and the rest of it you can use for a boot, faeries, a tome or a codex depending on what you need. if you finished buying and have 75Gs spare, buy one more ward.


After that, the subsequent returns will deppend on the game flow, and so you need to adapt. The Morellonomicon will give you 20% CDR, 80 AP and applly grievous wounds in players that are below 40% HP, compensating your lack of Ignite. Of course the MP regen is a fortunate side effect =3. At the end of last season Morellonomicon was inefficient to keep VK firing, so Athene's Unholy Grail clould be better, but nowdays its mana regen scales into late game and is way better than the chalice. At this point you have your 40% CDR and it can't go more than that, so its time to make a decision:



If you keep buying wards you build damage faster, but will spend more in wards and will leave your team without a Sweeping Lens that they might use. If you buy a Sightstone, you will have your wards, you wont spend more gold in that, will have more life, will give your team a Sweeping Lens, but you will put 800Gs in that. This is a choice, but try to change your totem to sweepers ASAP for securing objectives as dragon and baron.


Sometimes you have an assassin in the other team and most assassins has stealth abilities like Twilight Shroud, Shadow Assault, Void Assault, Shadow Walk, Thrill of the Hunt, Deceive, Ambush, Final Hour or Decoy you need a Vision Ward more than anything. The use of Oracle's Lens might help, but if you die during a confrontation your team will have no vision of the stealth champions, so as a last resource as any support when his or her death is for sure, must lay down a Vision Ward for your team. So it should be better for you to spend 250 gold in a Greater Vision Totem instead of a Oracle's Lens, so you will have a Vision Ward every 2 minutes. I shouldn't need to remerber this, but in this case you dont change your Warding Totem for a Sweeping Lens.


This way after the decision of WHEN (not IF, remember you are a freaking support) to buy a Sightstone, you now are going damage! Liandry's Torment is one of the best items for that and I recommend it almost every game. It breaks tanks out, it scales with all your slows and gives you life, Mpen and AP. There is just one case wich I guess it would be better out choosing oter item: if there are only squishies on the other team, if this is the case, go for a Void Staff, Zhonya's Hourglass or Rabadon's Deathcap




Buying that you are ready to go for your luxury item. YAY \o/. Now lets see what is going on in your game: you are being constantly focused and have to have more defense or your positioning and defense are great, everyone is affraid of the All-Seeing-Eye and no one wants to mess up with you. The first scenario might lead you to defensive items:




Rylai's Crystal Scepter is a good mild survivability item, giving you 400 HP and more AP, the problem in this purchase is that your ultimate ( Life Form Disintegration Ray) and your Q ( Plasma Fission) gives champions a slow debuff already, so only your W ( Void Rift) will see a bright thing with that passive. Zhonya's Hourglass might give you lots of AP, armor and a lowering aggro oportunity. IMO, its better than Rabadon's Deathcap because you'll use its active more than the AP, since your scaling is not that great. Twin Shadows might be a good item for replacing Frost Queen's Claim in a very late game for the CDR, AP and the active that improves your scape even better than the support item.




For heavy defense Banshee's Veil will absorb one skill for you and give you a good MR and life regen. Its great if they have a Blitzcrank, a Thresh, Gragas, Ziggs or other high burst mages in their team. Randuin's Omen is also awesome for defending basic attacks and physical skills and its active might give you some survivability over champions like Zed, Master Yi or Yasuo, if you did the wrong choice of picking VK with them in the other team. Guardian Angel is great too, but remember that if you die in a bad position, or your team can't help you, you wasted a great item.



If you completed your build and your gold is piling up, exchange Frost Queen's Claim for some of the other recommended items. Buying elixirs is a great thing to remember too (they are in the consumable session); Elixir of Ruin boosts up your siege potencial and Elixir of Sorcery gives some AP, mana regen (at this point this is kinda useless), and little bit of true damage to champions.


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DO NOT BUY THESE ITEMS

Abyssal Scepter might look a good purchase, but it has 900 units range, so its passive is only in effect if your target is within your E ( Tectonic Disruption) range, all other skills have more range than this item, so I can't think of a good situation for buying it.

Deathfire Grasp [RIP] was a really great Mpen item with lots of AP and gave you 10% cdr, so why not? Simple: its great for assassins and mid range mages, but you will be always too far to use its active, and if you are close enought to use it your positioning is wrong. Also your scaling is not that great, so the gold you'd spend to get 120AP was not worth the while. There are way too many items for you to build that is better than DFG.

Muramana has an awesome effect in AP champions as Syndra, but don't be fooled, its active is good only for single target spell and basic attacks, so remember that not even your Q ( Plasma Fission) will be favored by its passive because it counts as an AoE spell in game mechanics (Thanks to Crogenitor_Mario for this inspection posted in his guide). Seraph's Embrace in the other hand can help you survive with its active shield, but I don't think is a good item for a support role.


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Spells

Flash is you main spell, this is your only escape and think of that everytime you feel like using it aggressively. The repositioning capacity of this spell makes it the one you should never take off of this build.


Barrier is one choice even when supporting because you need to remember (you might need to remember your ADC too) that you are the primary target in botlane and will be focused everytime that is possible. Even though your ADC has the Damage Per Second (DPS) in your team, you also have a high DPS factor and a higher burst than him, and such as Annie you will be their focus, but you don't have hard CC as stuns or silences to stop them and you are a lot more squishy than Annie too.
It became a secondary choice after the huge buff in Heal


Ignite was a great choice for supports at the beginning of season 4 because of the damage and the lifesteal cut off it gives, but as I said before, Morellonomicon has the same debuff when the champions are less than 40% HP and you do any magic damage. Its range is not that great too, so I guess this was never a good spell to have on Vel'Koz.


Exhaust is a good thing for debuffing the enemies' damage and escape capacity. It scales pretty well in late game and with the boost in its range since patch 4.5 and the 10 Mpen it gives makes you and you ADC better killers. since its buff is the greatest spell to have botlane.


Its a useless spell on VK, since you WILL need Flash and you will be around your team all the time (yes, you will be u.รบ) and the "fast come back to the lane" is not an good enough excuse.


This is one of your primary choices. The cooldown reduction in patch 4.5 made this spell viable for supports now. Its cooldown was reduced to 240s and even though it does not give you the same defense than Barrier and has just 30s higher cooldown, the fact that it heals now you AND your ADC in the same amount compensates all your lack of utility. This is more effective than a Barrier in case you both are wounded because forces your enemy to deal more than 50% more damage in order to kill you both. This also increases the survivability of your ADC becase he/she can use Barrier along with your Heal.



Every other spell is not a support spell, so I won't get myself longer for them.


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Team Work

You must position yourself in a form that you can hit them but they can't get to you, thats why you need a frontline like a tank, so you can be covered. You are not an assassin, so your damage must be dealt before the TFs, during the TFs and after the disengage, if it happens. Don't be shy to spam your skills or try to hit someone in the backlane with geometry ( Plasma Fission) just watch for your E ( Tectonic Disruption) its cooldown might get you in trouble, since is your only defense against melee champions and might be a good start for a ultimate ( Life Form Disintegration Ray) use.

Knowing where to position yourself, remember that during lane phase the minnions are the frontline, so be always behind them and poking with geometry ( Plasma Fission). When they are low, move to the frontline, in the bushes, so you can't be hit by basic attacks (watch for wards) wait for your prey there and combo with E=>W=>Q. This might kill a half health support or bruise a ADC for yours to kill.

When ganked you must position behind your ADC, remember he must have some kind of CC otherwise a high burst, so you can delete or evade the jungler. If your ADC is in a bad position or being focused, your ultimate ( Life Form Disintegration Ray) may peel them enough for your ADC to kill them or even make them think twice and go away. Don't be affraid to use it for starting or wasting it for saving his life (this is not a waste at all).

When you are in jungle warding and someone nearby is being hit by the enemy team, your ult is the best way to make them go away or turning the tide in favor of your team. Don't forget that you have one of the cheapest builds in your team, so give them the kill when you can and always do your jungler a favor, they need more gold than you and have less gold than you.

Don't be affraid because you HP is low, 10 HP is enough for you to keep up in a battle, since your purpose is not to be hit at all, so if no one has a better range than you (like Xerath or Ziggs) you might want to keep yourself helping your team. If they can't protect you though, or you don't have how to get in a good position, you must leave then!


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Match up (Playing with)

This session is in order to talk about the champions role on your side and how good is his or her synergy with Vel'Koz. This session will be updated every now and then telling you my experiences with the champions.


VAYNE

Synergy 10/10

Here is the first champion I want to talk about. In the end of season 3, Vayne got a small nerf that stopped one of her free-hit mechanics, this made other ADCs more viable than her and she got in a lower tier of picks. One more reason is that her early game has almost no damage and is focused in farming, with early games like Jinx and Draven and AP supports viability in season 4 this is a huge problem for her.

The thing is, Vayne needs now more damage than CC and a high burst or DPS on her side in lane. She needs free farm and kills that she participate only by last hitting for getting her full hypercarry potential in late game. No need to say that the synergy between Vayne and Vel'Koz is extraordinary and her Condemn is a excellent disengage along with Tectonic Disruption that can turn a gank into a triple kill.

The fact of Vel'Koz is a higher priority target than hers in early game gives her the low aggro she needs to do her job undetected even in close quarters while everyone is going for the big kiting eye.



DRAVEN

Synergy 10/10

This is definetly a kill lane. There is no reason for keep farming and zoning, the best attitude here is to lure the oponent into a burst kill. Even the more tanky supports like Leona or Shen has a glasslike beggining (less than other champions, of course) that is kinda fragile to pokes and continuous damage. An utility support may have no range compared to you, so they will go for draven when his axe goes down; this is the moment for starting, lay your combo aiming for both of them in order to eliminate the highest threat first while draven is getting hurt by their BB guns. When the CC is gone both of them will be with less health than you and Draven can 2-hit any of them if he got both axes spinning and cut-off their escape with Stand Aside.

In case of ganks its easy to evaporate their jungler if he uses his gap-closer and get isolated, or you can use Tectonic Disruption along with Stand Aside for a disengage. in case of a speed burst Plasma Fission can do the job of stopping the gank (other than a Master Yi)


CAITLYN

Synergy 6/10

This is a neutral match up that can be good or not depending on the players, but its not a ideal match up. Yordle Snap Trap is a good way of helping you hit your combos, since a snare is great for Vel'Koz, but the delay of setting a trap makes it an ability that relies more in your oponent mistakes than in your own skill. 90 Caliber Net is a good escape for Caitlyn that gives slow, but this is not often used as a CC, just as a escape and does not combo very well with Vel'Koz like that. Piltover Peacemaker, Ace in the Hole and her high range in the other hand makes this lane untouchable in terms of sieging. Its very hard to get close enough without getting hit or kited as is impossible to run away with low heath.

So, this is not a bad match up, nor a good one. Yet you can make it happen.


JINX

Synergy 8/10

Damage combos well with damage in your opinion? thats what both of them bring to lane wich is a great thing when you are laning without ganks. That's the problem exactly, ganks: Flame Chompers! is Jinx's only escape, if the carry knows how to use it, it can be a iniciation for a tripple kill since someone is just stopped waiting for you to deal your damage. Zap! is another reliable source of damage, CC and poke.

Her range with Switcheroo! toggled on fishbones is great and so is its damage, Super Mega Death Rocket! can catch the fleeing ones too.

In other words is a great match-up, but why 8/10? Because everything you both have is skillshots, so if you grab a dodger in the other team you are done. every single drop of damage you both have is going down the drain, so keep your eyes peeled and test your oponent's capacity of dodging before you be confortable.


VARUS

Synergy 10/10

Slow, range, initiation with snare. Its hard to think of a better match-up for Vel'Koz. The post level 6 in this duo is outrageous. I'm not promising that Varus is going to get the kills, but for sure, Vel'Koz can clean up the enemies while varus stops them and take down the towers. This is a badass lane that only 4-members ganks can stop. CAN, this doesn't mean that will...


TRISTANA

Synergy 2/10


You might get a victory with this botlane setup, but for sure its not because of your synergy. There is virtually nothing in one's skills that the other can use in his or her favor. Even though Explosive Shot applies grievous wounds it does not mean you can build other item than Morellonomicon because the skill affects only one champion while you can affect everyone. There is even one downside: Buster Shot might cause the enemy to leave your range while you are using your combo, forcing a disengage while you are trying to deal damage. this misscomunication can happen with Vayne too, but if your ADC is a tristana, you have better supports to play with her.

OTHER ADCs



Data on other ADCs are still being collected, so you can help in this part by commenting. In this division I'll be posting only the ADCs synergy and I'm thinking about expanding this topic into a whole team match up, but not right now.

The missing data is on Ashe, Corki, Ezreal, Graves, Kog'Maw, Lucian, Miss Fortune, Quinn, Sivir and Twitch.

even though its not a complete data you can still figure out that Ezreal, Twitch and Corki may be a bad combination.

Later date I'll be making a new session with playing against subject that will be divided in supports, junglers and ADCs. see ya then ^^


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Gameplays

As promised, here they are, remeber its not up to date, so is the old build and not the current patch (you don't say!!! O.O), but is still good to see how you should behave as a VK in lane:














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Final Considerations

In this guide we saw how to build Vel'Koz and how to prepare for a game when you are in the support role, we also saw his best position in TFs, how to poke and how to behave in determined situations. We discussed the masteries, runes and spells the way that the reader might find here a way to sculpt this build into his own playstyle.

Hope you enjoyed this guide and help me to improve it.

Thank you for reading

Reaper HvyArms