Vi Build Guide by Avarii
Not Updated For Current Season
If you're going for damage build
Example Build #1 (Tank Build)
Example Build #2 (Damage Build)
Not Updated For Current Season
Hi there. My name is Avarii, and this is my Vi build guide. I made this build after watching numerous pro players jungling my favorite champion, the Piltover Enforcer, and noticing that not only did mine/their build work very well, but the guides on here didn't best represent what I found to work in ranked matches. Using this build, I managed to carry myself into Platinum 1 by only jungling with Vi, and if it wasn't so close to the end of Season 3, I wouldn't doubt that it would've taken me even higher.
Check out my "When To Build What?" section where I answer questions users have asked in the comments! If you have any questions too, feel free to comment and I will answer in a timely fashion!
Vi is an extremely sexy champion when it comes to ganking, and that is what she excels at. Her burst throughout the game is great, and will only fall off if you're forced to build all tank (which happens often). Her early and mid game is the reason why she gets banned, and her damage while building tanky can't be rivaled by many other champions, besides Nasus, obviously. However, you don't need to farm Siphoning Strike for the first twenty minutes of the game to be an effective damage tank with Vi!
Pros / Cons
- Fantastic ganks
- Near-guaranteed kills lvl 6
- Can peel for her team
- Her Vault Breaker has fantastic utility
- Not the best team fight late game
- Vault Breaker can be dodged if you make it too obvious
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Mark of Attack Speed
Due to changes in the game, I've found Armor Penetration Marks to be more effective than the flat AD ones, so I've changed it to 6 Armor Pen Marks and 3 Attack Speed Marks.
Why do I choose 21/9/0 over 9/21/0? This is because I find that the extra damage allows for more successful ganks, which is what makes Vi so awesome. Going 21/9/0 will inhibit your ability to tank late game though. What I'll usually do is go 21/9/0 if there's a or on my team, and go 9/21/0 if there's someone squishy like a or .
I would say though that 4 times out of 5, I will go 21/9/0. This is because Vi isn't that great at team fighting, and the more damage you do in a team fight, the better. Since Vi is so single target oriented, sometimes building full tank with a 9/21/0 setup will only result in you being ignored while the enemy team goes for the softer targets.
Why max Vault Breaker over Excessive Force? Many people look at Vi's E ability, Denting Blows, and automatically assume that Vi is best optimized as an attack speed/auto attack champion, where you have the opportunity to wail on your opponent. I've found this to be false. Vi is best used as a bursty champion, where you're dishing out most of your damage within five seconds of the engagement. This is because Vi doesn't have much to help stick onto a champion until late game, when either her Vault Breaker is on a very low cooldown, or if you've purchased Frozen Mallet or Iceborn Gauntlet. She has fantastic gap closing abilities with her Vault Breaker and ultimate, Assault and Battery, and maxing Vault Breaker first is much more effective for five seconds of burst damage versus using your two charges of Excessive Force.
Now, keep in mind that by maxing Vault Breaker first, your burst damage will be very dependent on actually hitting an enemy with your Q. If you don't feel comfortable with skill shots, or you're new to Vi, I'd recommend maxing Excessive Force first.
This Shield is equal to 10% of her maximum health. And has a 18 seconds cooldown at lvl 1, 13 seconds at lvl 7 and 8 seconds at lvl 12.
Very straight forward. The more health you have, the bigger the shield. This helps make Vi an effective tank.
Charges a powerful punch that carries you forward.
First Cast: Slows your movement speed by 15% while increasing damage and dash range over 1.25 seconds.
Second Cast: Dashes forward dealing 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 (+0.7) to 100 / 160 / 220 / 280 / 340 (+1.4) physical damage and applying Denting Blows to all enemies hit (deals 75% damage to minions and monsters). Stops upon colliding with an enemy champion, knocking it back. When interrupted, Vault Breaker goes on a 3 second cooldown, refunding 50% of the Mana cost.
A great skill that would have almost as much utility as Flash if it didn't have a cast time. It's used to gap close, jumps over walls, and interrupt abilities, and does a lot of damage. It does double damage when fully charged, but never be afraid to use a quick one to interrupt abilities like Zac's Elastic Slingshot.
Every 3rd attack on the same target deals an additional 4 / 5.5 / 7 / 8.5 / 10% (+ 1% per 35 bonus AD) of the target's maximum Health as physical damage, reduces its Armor by 20% and grants Vi 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50% Attack Speed for 4 seconds (max 300 damage vs. minions and monsters).
The enemy tanks will hate you because of this ability, as it shreds their armor. Also great for early game jungle clear.
Causes next basic attack to deal 5 / 20 / 35 / 50 / 65 (+0 .7 Attack Damage) (+0.7 Ability Power) physical damage to the target and enemies behind it.
Vi charges a new punch every 14 / 12.5 / 11 / 9.5 / 8 seconds and can hold 2 charges at once.
Excellent wave clear ability. Often times with a well placed Vault Breaker and a well positioned Excessive Force, you can clear an entire minion wave in about 1 second. It can also be used to hurt enemies sitting behind a creep.
Targets an enemy champion and chases it down, knocking it up for 1.25 seconds,dealing 200 / 325 / 450 (+140% bonus AD) physical damage.
While charging you are immune to crowd control and will knock aside enemies in the way,dealing 75% damage to them.
Her ultimate is mostly what makes Vi so overpowered, and while casting, no forms of CC can affect her. However, abilities that cause an enemy to become invulnerable will disrupt it, such as Vladimir's Sanguine Pool, or Fizz's Playful / Trickster.
Tips and Tricks!
Here is a list of things you may have wondered about Vi, compiled in one spot!
You can Flash while charging your Vault Breaker.
Clicking on Thresh's Dark Passage while charging your Vault Breaker will put Vault Breaker on cool down.
Vault Breaker will hit targets just beyond the 'max distance' it shows you.
Use Excessive Force immediately after an auto attack to reset the auto attack.
Vi cannot be stopped by Amumu's Curse of the Sad Mummy.
The Sheen proc makes Excessive Force hit harder, allowing items like Trinity Force to make you hit pretty effing hard.
Assault and Battery does damage to people it knocks aside, so when going for multiple low health enemies who are fleeing, ulting the enemy furthest can sometimes result in easy double kills.
As mentioned before, Vladimir's Sanguine Pool and Fizz's Playful / Trickster will interrupt your ult.
When To Build What?
When I first started playing and looking up guides for champions I would try out, I would automatically build whatever example build would be in the items list at the top.
Do not expect to get very far with a champion if you do this.
At the top, I give two example builds, and they are both the extremes of building tank or building damage. You should always keep this in mind: Your build is more dependent on your team comp, not the champion. Above is a template of items to get, and you should use the items I mentioned to mix and match, depending on what your team needs. Below are a few lines of logic I go through when deciding what to build.
There are two tanks on my team, i.e. a tanky top like and a tanky support like .
I go 21/9/0 masteries.
Do they have a lot of CC (crowd control) on their team?
If they do, I will buy Boots of Mobility and Spirit of the Ancient Golem. If they don't have a lot of CC, I will go with Ninja Tabi and Spirit of the Elder Lizard. After that, the rest of the build will generally follow Example Build #2 listed above.
There is only one tanky team member on my team, like or in the top lane. The tankiness of the support doesn't count because they can't build tanky quickly enough.
I go with 21/9/0 masteries, and generally follow Example Build #1 listed above.
There is no other tank on my team.
I will go with 9/21/0 masteries, and generally follow the build in Example #1 above.
When do you build ?
Tanky junglers should always build it unless your support is tanky, like or . If you have a tanky support on your team, ask them at the start of the game if they are planning to build Locket of the Iron Solari.
Cooldown Reduction/Resistances/Attack speed, etc.: The Art of Prioritizing
Because of all the wonderful people bringing up valid questions in the comments section, I'm going to move the answers into the guide:
Edayn asked: But I have one question: in your second build, where is the 35% tenacity? And you have only 10% CDR... Vi is powerfull while using her skills, so I thought that 30 or 40% CDR were mendatory ?
Like I mentioned in the guide, you should be building Vi based on the composition of the enemy team. Tenacity is only necessary if they have a fair amount of CC, and you should take the example builds in the literal sense. They're only examples. I chose Ninja Tabi in Example 2 because of the current meta's tendency to be assassin/ad heavy. Ninja Tabi and Mercury Treads are interchangeable.
Cooldown reduction is good for Vi, but the reason Build 2 has only 10% CDR is for the survivability. If you decided to build damage and aimed for the CDR cap, then you'd get blown up in a fight before the CDR would even matter. In the Example 2 damage build, you'll have so much damage output that resistances will be more important than cooldown reduction.
Blind Bulls mentioned: The one little gripe i have is the part about rushing mobi boots; it seems to me like you should rush your jungle item ASAP to get as much value as possible out of the jungle farming bonuses. Building boots of speed while rushing said jungle item should be fine since they're so cheap, but tier 2 boots are a rather hefty expense that early in the game.
You can go for your jungle item first if that fits your play style. For me, personally, I prefer rushing Mobility Boots because it means more ganks in a smaller time window. Vi's ganking has a higher success rate than most junglers, and you're getting income from kills/assists. Not only that, but more kills for your team means a better chance to snowball the game in your team's favor. It's one of those risk/reward situations. You risk losing the guaranteed gold from your jungle item when you're jungle farming, but the reward of more frequent ganks can be worth it.
It all depends on your playstyle though.
Basinator brought up: Why no BOTRK as damage option? Give her stats she likes (AD and moreover AS) AND allows her to kill her kiting issue.
Also note that SOTEL will proc also on her AOE skills, as such I think it is very good on her as a jungler item.
If you go SOTEL, consider waiting between your Es because that way you can spread the DOT better.
I can see how Blade of the Ruined King (aka BotRK) would look like an appealing item, but like I mentioned in the guide, Vi (obviously this is just my opinion) is better optimized as a bursty champion, and not as an auto attack champion. Yes, BotRK is a good item, but it's all about prioritizing. There are other items that Vi would benefit from more than from BotRK.
Due to tenacity no longer being provided on Ancient Golem, I've removed that from Vi's build path.
If I ever wanted tenacity, I could build Mercury Treads to allow me to build Spirit of the Elder Lizard, but Mobility Boots are freaking awesome on Vi. The movement speed bonus allows you to keep up with fleeing enemies when you come in to gank while charging up your Vault Breaker.
As I mentioned before though, and will never cease to stress, is that it depends on playstyle and the situation. I'm a very active ganker during the laning phase, which makes Boots of Mobility a necessity for me.
At the start of every game, I buy items as quickly as possible and run to mid lane so I can watch both side bushes for possible enemy invasions. After that, I will either start at Blue Buff or Red Buff depending if I think Bot Lane or Top Lane needs a gank first. Regardless of where you start, mid is always available to gank if your Top/Bottom laners are pushing to their tower and you're unable to gank effectively.
Always watch where the enemy mid laner comes from after they leash to know where the enemy jungler started. If they have mirrored you, and it is very possible that both of you will reach the same lane at the same time, I will almost always wait several seconds for the enemy jungler to gank first so that I may counter gank. This is especially effective if my lane is winning and the enemy laner has low health, because usually the enemy laner will try to bait my laner into an engagement so that their jungler can gank, at which point I will come in for the counter gank and kill the enemy laner.
I usually wait until I have at least 1k-1.1k gold before I back, that way I can rush Boots of Mobility, and use any leftover money to buy health pots/wards. Vi is a strong ganker, and rushing Boots of Mobility before buying Spirit Stone will allow me more ganks in a short amount of time, or decrease travel time between creep camps, allowing for faster clearing. If things aren't going so well, and you find yourself needing to go back early, then I'll buy Spirit Stone and Boots of Speed and get my Boots of Mobility on the 2nd back.
Important Note: YOU SHOULD BE BUYING A Stealth Ward EVERY TIME YOU GO BACK. Buying wards are extremely important for a jungler, and I almost always place it at one of the two entry points into the enemy jungle next to mid lane. This allows your mid laner to have better vision of an enemy gank, and allows you time to get into position for a counter gank. If I ever find myself at a significant advantage over the enemy jungler, sometimes I will buy two wards and place the second one at their blue/red buff for possible counter jungling.
This applies to all junglers, but your main role in the mid game is to have control over dragon, help ward the enemy jungle for better vision, and to be readily available for any/all team fights. The jungler should always be keeping track of timers, and enabling the time stamp feature in your options menu is a necessity. Always remember when dragon responds, and be sure to have purchased a Vision Ward and be standing in the dragon pit as soon as possible. Lower elo players underestimate the importance of dragon, and having constant control over it can keep the game at an even pace if your team is behind several kills.
Keep in mind though that you should never commit to dragon unless you have good vision of the enemy jungle, or have recently killed the enemy bot/mid laners. If you know that the enemy team can be very near for a team fight should you attempt to kill dragon, then back off and wait until your team has created an opportunity to kill it.
Vi is a fantastic initiator because of her tool kit, and makes it easy for her and her team to kill anyone who is caught out. However, never use your ultimate, Assault and Battery, unless it is necessary. It can be useful to peel assassins off of your ADC, or as a gap closer onto the enemy ADC if you find the start of the team fight going into your favor.
There have been times when I've immediately initiated with Assault and Battery on the enemy ADC at the start of the team fight, and found myself too far away from my team to be able to kill the ADC. DO NOT USE YOUR ULTIMATE ON THE ENEMY ADC UNLESS EITHER: A) You've built enough damage to burst them down or take them out of the fight, or B) Have some follow up from your team to help kill them. Assault and Battery is an excellent initiator, but it is also an excellent way for you to get separated from your team.
Because I find myself building full tank often, my main focus in a team fight is to do what tanks do -- putting myself into the most effective position where I'll be taking most of the damage. If you decide to go HAM and rush towards the enemy ADC, that leaves the enemy team to do the exact same thing. Remember that sometimes a team fight is more effective if you focus on keeping your ADC alive instead of killing the enemy ADC.
The reason I rarely build damage is because of Vi's relative weakness in team fights. Damage Vi is great for initial burst, but after the start of the team fight, your lack of survivability will cause you to die fairly quickly. Damage Vi is more effective in situations outside the typical 5v5 team fight.