Vi Build Guide by FerrousIronclaw
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.
Hi, my name is FerrousIronclaw, and welcome to my Vi Champion Guide.
I've been playing League of Legends for about two years now, and have played my way through many different heroes, roles and builds, and this is my chance to give something back to the MobaFire community.
This is my first Guide EVER, so please point out any silly mistakes I make, or anything I've left out. I'd rather have constructive criticism than a downvote with no explanation.
Ever since she blasted her way onto the PBE, I've been facinated by Vi. And, when the day came for release, I snapped her up, pronto.
I'll give you three reasons;
2) Vi is an amazing fighter. She can go toe to toe with Brawlers, Duelists and Tanks alike, and still has the perfect kit for diving onto and pulping carries.
3) Vi can snowball hard, or play a more defensive initiator if countered. She's just that flexible. If you do well early on, grab a handful of kills or get farmed up, you can grab Trinity Force and start pulping anyone in your path. If you get shut down, or your lanes can't quite keep up, you can switch your build over to Frozen Mallet, Merc Treads and Sunfire Cape, and still be a potent force.
So, Mastery Trees. First things first, why 9/21/0?
Well, with this setup, we get all the Jungle survivability we need, as well as ganking toughness, teamfight tankiness and augmented damage output.
Let me walk you through, step by step.
This gives us an AS bonus that will make clearing faster, thanks to Denting Blows' damage. It'll also allow you to make the most of the Attack Speed increase early game.
Scaling AD, mainly for the progression to Weapon Expertise .
Weapon Expertise 1/1
8% Armour Penetration, for killing Jungle Creeps such as the Ancient Golem Faster, as well as negating early game Champion armour.
Summoner's Resolve 1/1
+10 Gold from Smite. Don't underestimate it. It's an extra potion, a ward, or simply a major item built faster.
Health Per Level. Really the only thing worth taking in this tier, as Vi doesn't really make use of the damage reflect mastery thanks to Blast Shield and the AOE from Excessive Force.
Five armour from Level 1 really makes a difference against jungle creeps, minion aggro when ganking, and somewhat against Champion hits too.
This is for early game ganking. Whilst Vi's Gapclosers mean you'll be on top of your target fairly quickly, slows will still hurt hard once Vault Breaker is on Cooldown.
Veteran's Scars 1/1
+30 HP means an extra margin of safety in your jungle route, as well as in ganks. Every time I escape bad ganks, towerdives or invades with 30 or less HP, I thank this mastery.
Vi has amazing Towerdiving potential. This Mastery lets you abuse that.
Less CC means more time keeping mobile, making ganks stronger and teamfights easier.
Improves your max health, and, by extention, Blast Shield's defenses. Thanks to this Mastery, your endgame HP will be somewhere around 2800, even with the Damage Focus build.
Legendary Armor 2/3
Increases the boost you get from defensive items, as well as from Hardiness .
This will make the Aggressive build tougher, and the Defensive build almost unstoppable.
Honor Guard 1/1
The Mastery that makes Vi the ultimate unstoppable force. Because you cannot be CC'd when using Assault and Battery, you can place yourself in the heart of the enemy team, and survive long enough to kill or disable the enemy carry, and turn to a different target. Combine the damage reduction with the lifesteal items and physical burst that this build provides, and you will be able to survive even the burstiest of team compositions.
To rebalance the scales after specialising in defense, I take fairly aggressive jungle runes.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
Greater Mark of Attack Damage x9
Flat AD gives Vi a mean Early-Game kick to start off your snowball.
Greater Seal of Armor x9
Armour Runes give Jungle Survival as well as defense in fights.
Greater Glyph of Attack Speed x9
This further improves the rate at which we can proc Denting Blows.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage x3
More Flat AD, all the better to punch you with.
I've tried some other Rune builds, but I find that these give the best Early-Game start for Vi, and after that, her toughness and damage really come from items. Building for the lategame doesn't really help Vi, as she is capable of winning games before you've finished your first few items.
Summoner Spells and Vi - Spells that Work, Spells that are Situational, and
When it comes to jungling Vi, you absolutely MUST have Smite. I don't care how much time you intend to spend jungling or how much power you want lategame, you need it.
Why? Because Vi has real trouble clearing the Jungle without it, and your damage is so predictable it makes stealing your buffs easy for any opposing jungler who has taken Smite. You also need to control Baron and Dragon, which, without Smite is very difficult to do.
But what about that second slot? In my opinion, there are a few good choices, and some downright bad ones.
Spells that Work:
An extra gapcloser for your arsenal. Synergises well with your Assault and Battery and Vault Breaker for initiating, and can be used for a get-out, to last-hit a fleeing champion, as well as for escaping from sticky situations. Good spell all around.
For those who feel like they don't need the wall-hopping potential of Flash (which, considering the cooldown of Vault Breaker is not a bad call), but prefer the extended chase potential of Ghost. Also good if you feel Boots of Mobility are risky or don't fit your style.
If you are comfortable with saving Vault Breaker for escapes, and the enemy is running a lot of nasty AD Autoattackers, Exhaust is not a bad call. Or, perhaps you feel that your ganks lack CC pre-6, and you want to play hyper-aggressive. Exhaust will cover that too, provided you keep track of your target's Flash or other Blink/Dash moves such as Arcane Shift, Rocket Jump, Quickdraw or Valkyrie. I'mma looking at you, Bot Lane.
Spells that are Situational:
Since this spell came in with the Season 3 Patch, Barrier has shaken things up a little for me. It's an injection of 100 - 450 hitpoints that cannot be reduced by Grievous Wounds from Ignite, Morellonomicon or Executioner's Calling. In a teamfight, towerdive or gank, it's a panic-button that can mean the difference between life and death.
However, it's massively situational. If I'm storming ahead, I'll almost never use it, and if I'm behind, chances are I won't be getting targeted enough to use Barrier, or, if I am, I'll be bursted before I can use it. On top of that, as a Jungler, you are exposed to these situations less often than normal. Take at your own risk.
Right. You're having a doubletake right now. Your're confused as to why Teleport is in "Situational" instead of "Avoided".
Allow me to explain.
Amongst the group of people I play with, we have tested Teleport on Junglers, and found it to be quite good. Under certain circumstances.
For example, If their team has a lot of "Backdoor" or "Global Presence" Champions, Teleport can allow you to move in quickly to defend towers and lanes. Teleport can also be used to gank lanes that are being heavily warded or babysat by the enemy Jungler. If the enemy has a Nunu Jungle, along with Nidalee Top and Taric/ Caitlyn Bot, you might want to consider mixing things up with Teleport. Also, taking this spell to gank with (and using it WELL!) will let you save Vault Breaker and Assault and Battery until AFTER the enemy have used their escape mechanisms and crowd control.
Spells to be Avoided:
For reasons given above for Barrier, Heal is far too unreliable to take as a secondary spell. Plus, Vi can benefit so much from Lifesteal, it's just better to grab the Vampiric Scepter for your Wriggle's Lantern early if you need a form of healing.
Unless the enemy team has lots of suppression, such as the Malzahar and Warwick Ultimates, Cleanse isn't really needed. And even then, building a Mercurial Scimitar is usually better than taking Cleanse, as Vi benefits from the Movespeed Buff when removing CC. I wouldn't ever take this unless I felt there was a abnormally large amount of CC on the enemy team. Just remember, Assault and Battery Blocks CC for it's duration, and THEN you can use Mercurial Scimitar to prevent yourself getting locked down inside their team.
Sacrificing an Escape spell for a utility vision spell is not recommended. Ever.
If you have Mana issues on Vi, you aren't using your skills right. If you find yourself low on Mana constantly, grab a Crystalline Flask and maybe a Philosopher's Stone. Ease off on the spell usage. You're probably underlevelled, and need to catch up. Ask Mid Lane if you can take a Blue Buff for a while. Work on trying to stay in the jungle without spamming spells. You'll soon learn to manage that Mana-Pool better.
If your opponents are getting away on 60hp, you need to get some more damage. If they're just out of reach, use Excessive Force's shockwave to clean them up. Ignite's Debuff and True Damage is not worth sacrificing an escape or utility spell for. On top-lane Vi, it's fine to take Ignite alongside an Escape spell. But on Jungle Vi, there's no room for that.
Oh, and if you need that Healing Debuff so bad? Executioner's Calling is cheap, and gives Vi some good stats. But it's much better to have your Mid, Top or even AD Carry hold their Ignite for that pesky Dr. Mundo or Vladimir. Or simply ask someone else to get Morellonomicon or Executioner's Calling
If you're dying at key points, You're playing too aggressively. Or you're overextending without teammates. Remember, every time you press that Revive key, you're effectively GIVING the enemy team 150 Gold. Seriously, just buy some tank items instead. It takes less effort.
Skill Sequence (For Maximum Punch Potential).
Starting with a Point in Excessive Force will clear Blue in no time, with or without a pull. You can even start at Wolves if your teammates are willing to assist and there's little risk of being invaded.
After clearing blue, One point in Denting Blows followed by a second point in Excessive Force will speed you through your jungle clear, and will allow you to finish your route at Level 4, where you'll take Vault Breaker for ganking. One more point in Excessive Force will take you to Level 6, where you can take Assault and Battery for maximum suppression on ganks.
At this point, we max Excessive Force for the damage burst, swing reset, AOE Clear and On-Hit proccing.
This all makes sense. However, why do we want to max Vault Breaker second instead of Denting Blows?
Whilst originally I thought otherwise, the skills themselves are deceptive. Let's examine them:
"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 (+) to 100 / 160 / 220 / 280 / 340 (+0.7) 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."
Vault Breaker gives us a really high shot of damage as well as a gapcloser with a ministun if you hit your target. Levelling it increases the Damage and Mana Cost, as well as lowering the Cooldown.
Vault Breaker is our main initiation and escape tool. Levelling it doesn't affect the cast range, knockback OR Denting Blows application, which at first seems like a massive downside to the spell. However, it does allow for hard hitting ganks as well as lower cooldowns for chasing into the midgame.
Always remember thought, Charging Vault Breaker will increase the travel distance and damage, allowing you to close the distance easily, but it can also be bumped at the minimum range to simply stun the target and disrupt them from a channel or from using spells or attacks. Think of it like a Rammus Powerball, only delayed (and it can pass through creeps).
Also, note that non-hero units hit will be dragged towards Vault Breaker's path. You can use this to "vacuum in" a creep wave, making it easier to navigate around it when ganking or chasing.
Compared to maxing Denting Blows...
"Every 3rd attack on the same target deals an additional 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10% (+ 0.05%) of the target's maximum health as physical damage, reduces its armor by 20% and grants you 30 / 35 / 40 / 45 / 50% attack speed for 4 seconds (max 300 damage vs. minions and monsters)."
Originally, I was sold on the massive Attack Speed steroid that this skill gives, which in turn, allowed you to apply your Denting Blows faster for more damage.
However it has no massive damage offload, at least until three hits have been landed. Levelling it doesn't increase the armour reduction either, so enemies will simply kite you to death, or walk away from ganks on 50% HP if they have Crowd Control.
The beauty of taking a single point in this early and leaving it, is that it scales with your OPPONENT'S levels and items. I didn't realise this until playing a game against an enemy Yorick who had Ninja Tabi, two Ruby Crystals and a Giant's Belt before the 15 minute mark.
I'd jump this guy, who was farmed to hell, and I'd still be able to beat him back with my burst combo. Simply because my damage was percentage, and his was not. Sure, I could have done more with more Denting Blows levels, but Vault Breaker was helping me out much more in other lanes.
Also, remember what your other skills do? Vault Breaker Applies Denting Blows. Excessive Force is a swing reset that also applies Denting Blows. Your Assault and Battery is an unstoppable chasedown and CC, providing you with the perfect opportunity to use your other skills to apply three stacks of Denting Blows almost instantaneously!
To sum up, Denting Blows is a lategame skill, and thanks to the way your other skills apply it when they hit, it's actually better to level Vault Breaker first.
An in-depth look at some of Vi's Skills.
Vi's skills seem straightforward on the surface, but they all have a lot of in-depth tricks to them. I'll try and cover some of the tips and tricks in this section, but if you know of any more, let me know!
Remember that it only procs if you actually hit something with an ability!
You can use Vault Breaker to dash to a target to gain the shield if you have been ignited or have projectiles incoming.
You can't proc the shield on towers, but you CAN proc it by hitting minions with the shockwave from Excessive Force (detailed below)
Teemo's Blind will not prevent you from gaining the shield, even if Excessive Force does no damage.
The knockback from hitting a target WILL cancel channeled spells. Bump that Q key if Katarina uses Death Lotus on you, or dash heroically in to disrupt an Absolute Zero!
You can use a fully charged Vault Breaker to hop over some of the thickest walls in the jungle. Use this to engage or escape!
Denting Blows is a debuff, not a straight armour reduction, so will not stack with itself. However, it does stack with The Black Cleaver as well as Last Whisper.
If you're blinded by a Teemo Dart or Heimerdinger Grenade, Excessive Force will STILL deal damage to everyone behind your target, just not the person you hit.
The bonus damage from Excessive Force will not affect towers, but it will still reset the swing and deal AOE damage. You can use this to clear Minions whilst attacking towers, taking down towers faster with the swing reset, as well as hitting champions lurking behind the tower. Use it constructively!
The AOE from this spell is not affected by your inital target's armour. Hitting the tank will still deal full damage to any squishies in the AOE!
Because you are immune to CC, you can use this on a Galio who is channeling Idol of Durand and you will disrupt the ultimate whilst dealing your full damage.
The charge will deal 75% of the Ultimate's damage to anyone it hits, and knock them aside. Use it as the enemy group up to shield the carry for maximum damage potential.
Assault and Battery can be used for epic Baron/Dragon Steals. Ult someone on the other side of the objective, and watch as you charge through the enemy, knock up your target and steal the objective with Excessive Force's Shockwave!
What to buy on Vi - Early to Midgame.
In the jungle, there really is only one way to start as Vi, and that's with Hunter's Machete and Health Potions. Anything else is way too risky, and will result in you not finishing a whole clear without recalling, or making a risky level 2 gank. Which in turn, sets you behind a whole lot more. Ideally, you want to pop a potion on Wolves, Between Wraiths and Red, On Red, On Golems and after clearing Golems, though it is acceptable to use one pot on each of the camps if your laners aren't capable of giving a hard pull. It'll delay your Level 4, but we'll discuss that more in the Jungle Section.
In a perfect world, you'll clear enough camps on your starting potions to afford both of these. However, things are rarely perfect in League of Legends. So, we have to analyse the inital situation.
Do your lanes need ganks? Go for Boots of Speed and grab a Health Potion. Did you hit level 4 yet? If not, go clear the small camp closest to the lane you want to gank, and use the Health Potion to top you up before the gank hits.
If your lanes are pushing, or are focussed on farming, you can grab Madred's Razors and head
back into the jungle. Farm up your Boots of Speed and gank where available. It's time to start building some damage.
Early/Mid Game Damage
Right. This is where it gets complicated. Everything you buy in the next few steps, depends on how the game flows, and how well you are doing.
Boots of Mobility
These are a must have on any gank-reliant jungler, or any jungler who wants to keep on top of active lanes. Whether you finish these ASAP, or postpone them until you have some damage will depend upon the lanes.
Ask yourself the following:
Are the lanes getting pressed hard?
Are my Teammates getting hugely outfarmed?
Is the enemy team composed of mainly squishy targets?
Is the enemy jungler ganking a lot?
Does the enemy jungler have Boots of Swiftness or his own Boots of Mobility?
If the answer is "Yes" to any of these, you probably want to get your boots SOON. It's wise to let your team know that you're getting Boots of Mobility (or Boots 5, in slang), and they can adapt their play accordingly.
This item will give the earlygame lifesteal you need to sustain in the Jungle, as well as be a duelist. It'll also make your clear fast and efficient, thanks to the bonus damage.
However, the most important part about this item is the ward. It can and will save your life, or even someone else's.
Ask yourself the following:
Am I being counterjungled?
Is the opposing jungler looking to fight me?
Am I struggling to stay in the jungle after ganks?
Is the ward coverage lacking?
If the answer is yes to any of these, you need that Wriggle's Lantern as soon as you can. If it conflicts with any of the points above that I made for Boots of Mobility, pick a priority. You can focus on farming up yourself, and asserting dominance that way, or you can focus on giving your lanes the edge, whilst leeching experience so as not to fall behind.
If none of these situations seem imminent (rarely seen outside of passive games or premade pubstomps), or you ganked well enough to snag both these items, you can turn your attention to damage. Now, here comes quite possibly the hardest decision you will make in the Early/Midgame;
|Excessive Force into a Hadouken. You should prioritise this item if you are ahead, and expect that you will be able to complete your Iceborn Gauntlet soon, or if enemies are escaping ganks because your burst isn't quite high enough. Make maximum use of this by spacing out your Excessive Force so that you are getting Sheen procs on both hits. The AP will also buff Excessive Force's damage! (Slightly)||
|Iceborn Gauntlet, but finishing it first or last depends on what you feel you need more, burst damage or spells.|
When uncertain about which to chose, remember that Glacial Shroud is the safer option, but will also limit your ability to snowball quite as hard. If you are REALLY beginning to get into trouble, you should skip Sheen entirely and begin picking up GP/10 Items so you can transition into the Defensive build without much of a hiccough.
Depending on how things are going, you can chop and change the point at which you get The Brutalizer around.
If the earlygame went well, but you still want more damage, go for:
Sheen -> The Brutalizer -> Glacial Shroud
If the earlygame went well, but you find yourself lacking Mana, on cooldown too often, or taking too much damage in the jungle or on ganks, go for:
Sheen -> Glacial Shroud -> The Brutalizer
If the earlygame went poorly, but things started to go well once Glacial Shroud comes into play, you can go for:
Glacial Shroud -> Sheen -> The Brutalizer
(I don't recommend going Glacial Shroud -> The Brutalizer -> Sheen, because Sheen's damage output is much higher. If they have multiple tanky or armour stacking heroes like Malphite, Wukong, Leona or Taric, then it might be worth building that way. Your Mileage May Vary.)
This should be everything you need up until the game starts to get into full swing, which is where we have to decide on what role we're going to be filling in the team.
What to buy on Vi - A Special Side Note for Avarice Blade.
Vi doesn't really have any trouble farming up, unless she's being counterjungled hard, or your lanes are being absolutely destroyed 24/7 and need your assistance. BUT, all her items are incredibly expensive. Avarice Blade goes a little way towards alleviating some of that gold burden, thanks to it's GP/10 factor, as well as it's Gold-on-Kill Passive.
Therefore, Avarice Blade is an item that doesn't really fit into any particular place in the build order, yet is really important to get at the right time.
When should you buy Avarice Blade? That's a tough question. One that I feel can only be answered by another question.
If you ever feel that you are going to be farming for a long time to get your next item, grab it. If that 1000 Gold you need to finish an item feels like a long way away, grab it. Avarice Blade is there to be taken the exact second you feel like your Gold Income is beginning to fall below the level you need to get your next item on time.
For new players, a general rule of thumb for getting it is after either Sheen or Glacial Shroud, sometime before the 20 Minute Mark (as you would if you were playing a Support hero). If it's later than that, it's probably not worth picking up, and you might as well focus on building items.
For more advanced players however, you may want to play around with your timing. There have been games where I have built Avarice Blade before finishing my Boots of Mobility, and times where I've picked it up at 25 minutes in just to hurry along the completion of my The Black Cleaver. Analyse just how much opportunity you have to farm, and use that to decide if it's worth grabbing.
What to buy on Vi - The Aggressive Build.
Ok, so, if you've ended up picking the Aggressive Route, you're comfortable with your performance so far, and your ability to carry the game through fighting and killing.
Ideally, you'll have three or four kills, or at least a decently high amount of CS, Dragon Control or Tower Takedowns.
I will list the items here in the order I usually pick them up, but depending on how things go, you may want to swap items around, or even sub them out for other items (that I will detail later)
So, what's first on the Agenda?
This is like the new Trinity Force for Bruisers. Your Glacial Shroud and Sheen combine to make a nasty combination of Slow, AoE and Burst Damage. I really shouldn't have to sell you this item, as it's benefits are really clear. Synergy with your kit, easy to complete from your early-game items, and boosts to all the stats you rely on.
Next up, it's The Black Cleaver. Seeing as Vault Breaker and Assault and Battery both apply this, as well as relying on delivering a trio of basic attacks to reduce armour, courtesy of Excessive Force and Denting Blows, The Black Cleaver and Vi are the best of buddies when it comes to shredding tanks and squishies alike. Armour Penetration, Armour Shred and Cooldown reduction to allow you to apply it faster. Who wouldn't want that? Not to mention that The Black Cleaver also gives a respectable amount of HP, which will further augment Blast Shield.
So, you're dealing quite a considerable amount of damage thanks to your Iceborn Gauntlet Procs and The Black Cleaver's Armour Shred. But, when your burst runs down, you might find yourself lacking in damage, and there's not quite that threat level you had before. This is where The Bloodthirster takes the floor. You should have no trouble stacking this up, thanks to Excessive Force, and that extra Lifesteal and AD will mean you hit all the harder, whilst being even tougher to take down. Whilst this item is essentially here to eclipse Wriggle's Lantern for all your survival needs, you're going to want to hold on to the Lantern, at least until you start building your last item.
Ah, Atma's. People tend to assume that this item is for Tanks, and Tanks only. But I say differently.
With this build, Vi will be floating at around 2800 HP. That's about 42 Extra AD from Atma's Impaler. But better than that, it gives 45 Armour (buffed by Legendary Armor , of course!) as well as 15 Crit Chance. But why is 15 Crit Chance any use to us?
15% Crit isn't great on it's own, unless you go for Trinity Force as a situational item, where you'll have 25% Critical Chance. However, thanks to Denting Blows giving Attack Speed, and Excessive Force being a swing reset, you can make decent use out of the 15%.
Sure, you're not Tryndamere, but that doesn't mean that a 200% damage hit won't add some respectable burst damage to your sustained output. And with 300+ AD, those crits aren't to be sniffed at.
So, in conclusion, We buy this item, not for damage, not for crit, and not for armour, but for the fact that it gives all three in a respectable quantity. And for fairly cheap, too.
Ok, so I've got a confession to make. I love this item on Bursty AD heroes. And especially so on Junglers.
Just look at Zephyr's stats. Extra AD, Extra Attack Speed, CDR, Percentage Movespeed increase and, above all, TENACITY! Zephyr just takes everything Vi dominates in, and gives it a steroid. And that Tenacity allows you to keep those wonderful, WONDERFUL Boots of Mobility even into the endgame. This should really be your last item as Vi, despite it's usefulness, as the stats it gives are all rather tame compared to the other items in the Aggressive build.
What to buy on Vi - The Defensive Build.
If you're here in the Defensive Route, above all, DO NOT PANIC. Selecting this build means you feel you are falling behind, or that you've played badly, or that the enemy is running a composition that you are either unsure of how to deal with or that snowballs incredibly hard into the lategame.
This, above all, should NOT affect how you behave. Remain calm. Do not assign blame. Do not become angry at team-mates. In every game that I have allowed myself to do any of these things, the defensive transition has failed, and we have lost.
By now, I'm going to assume you have a Wriggle's Lantern, Boots of Mobility and a Glacial Shroud.
If you do not have these, complete them as soon as possible. Then follow this transition.
First things first. Your catchup items
These GP/10 Items will keep you on par with your laners, so long as you can grab experience where possible. Remember, Avarice Blade gives extra gold for Minions, Monsters, Champions and Towers, so long as you get the last hit in. Any last hit is Gold and EXP you desperately need.
Don't change your jungle behaviour too much. Gank often, farm when available, and hold lanes back for recalling teammates. Spending too long cowering in the Jungle waiting for camps to respawn causes you to lose lanes, EXP and kills to the enemy team, and will put you in an even worse position.
As with the Aggressive Route items, I will list the items here in the order I usually pick them up, but depending on how things go, you may want to swap items around, or even sub them out for other items.
Building out of your Glacial Shroud, this item is already half-built if you are keeping up with the starter items. Armour, Mana and CDR give Vi some good stats for ganking, as well as keeping her in the jungle for longer than usual. If the enemy aren't roaming yet, grab Frozen Mallet first, but as soon as they start roaming, that AOE Attack Speed debuff is important for equalising unfair fights.
This item gives Health, Damage, and an improved version of the Phage slow. Excellent for sticking to and disabling carries that you can't burst down, or peeling assassins or bruisers off your team-mates.
This time around, we're buying it earlier, and more for it's defensive stats. The Health to AD ratio will also contribute a lot more, thanks to your higher HP.
Supplement your low damage with some Armour Shred and AD, as well as more HP. This will keep you a threat even as the game starts to move into a higher gear.
More Armour, More Health, and an AOE Magic damage aura. Makes putting yourself into the middle of a teamfight seem like more and more of a good idea.
(Note: You don't have to build every single one of these health and armour items, and at any point you can move back into the Aggressive build if you feel you are tough enough!)
This is somewhat of a lategame choice. If you are getting locked out of fights after using Assault and Battery through enemy stuns, pick these up. That 35% reduction is cheap, and might mean the difference between the enemy taking out your carry and winning the fight, or you limping back to base while the rest of your team cleans up.
What to buy on Vi - Optional Goodies.
So, you've played the above builds a few times. You want to mess thing around a little, or factor in some items to counter certain types of play. Well, strap in folks, as I've been playtesting quite a few interesting and quirky items on Vi in the past few weeks. Here's what I think can work well on Vi.
Bit of a no-brainer, this item. Facing a Double (or even Triple) AP comp? Maw has you covered. Extra AD when you get low is never a bad thing, and can seriously tip the scales against burst compositions, especially when you factor in lifesteal from The Bloodthirster or Wriggle's Lantern.
For shutting down those CC Heavy Teams once and for all. Cleanse the biggest CC they have, and use that speedboost and damage to jump onto those carries while the rest of their CC pings harmlessly off you thanks to Assault and Battery.
Tons of Damage. Are you so fed, you want to end the game ASAP before the enemy has a chance to get back in the game? Sub Iceborn Gauntlet for this baby, and you're good to go.
For Funzies. If the enemy has loads of Get-Out, or is simply towerhugging, Diving becomes a breeze with this item. Whilst fun and effective in the Early game, remember that it's effectiveness falls in the midgame, and if the game gets stretched out towards the 35 minute mark, you may want to ditch this in favour of more damage. Just watch out for the opponent retreating back beyond the next tier tower. It won't be off cooldown to block that one too!
If you're going for the Aggressive Route, but you're getting focussed down, try grabbing this instead of Atma's Impaler. Just be aware, this item makes your opponent more likely to focus someone else. Someone like a squishy Midlane who might not be doing so well, or an AD Carry with no Bruiser to peel for him. Change your playstyle accordingly.
An interesting alternative to Wriggle's Lantern, providing Health and Tenacity. Gives more reliable damage against Jungle Monsters, and can be a suitable replacement for Zephyr or Mercury's Treads if you feel that Dragon and Baron control will be more beneficial in the lategame than teamfighting or tower-taking. Try it, play with it... Some games I buy this purely because my team lacks a dedicated tank, or I just need to survive situations where I'm facing enemies two-to-one, whilst others I just feel that having health early will give me more of an edge.
Good if the enemy team has a lot of slows, or keeps poking you to remove Boots of Mobility's buff. Personally, I prefer using Boots of Mobility for movement out of combat, and rely on Vault Breaker, Assault and Battery and Flash when in fights. But they're worth a try.
For those AD and Autoattack-Heavy Comps. These, Frozen Heart or Randuin's Omen and a Sunfire Cape will shut them down with ease, thanks to Legendary Armour, Hardiness and Honor Guard . Reduced Attack Speed, 65%+ Reduced damage from armour and 10% reduced damage AFTER that will make any AD hero think twice.
I used to call this the "Poor Man's Frozen Heart", but that isn't really true. Randuin's Omen is designed to counter Jump-Heavy teams that will be initiating before you can. Where Frozen Heart is designed to affect everyone you are jumping into, Randuin's Omen is there to slow anyone who initiates around you, allowing your team-mates to split off and regroup, forcing the assassins/bruisers/divers to either switch to attacking you, or take a lot of damage as they retreat. Useful for countering teams with Irelia, Udyr, Fiora... anyone with a dash move that is difficult to use as a get-out. Remember though, It's an ACTIVE! You have to use it for it to be effective!
For those in the Defensive Route who don't like tossing their Philosopher's Stone out in favour of another item. Gives regen, CDR and a Movespeed Steroid for your team. Useful, but it's generally better for your support to be taking it. Seeing as how you will be the one starting fights, and will probably be at the front, so your carries might not be in range for the boost. Which, seeing as they are the ones who need to be catching up to you, isn't a fantastic situation to be in.
Vi's Jungle. (Pictures coming soon!)
Vi's Jungle is fairly straightforward, simply move from top to bottom (or vice versa, if you are Purple/Red!) clearing the camps as you go.
Our full route will be:
Blue -> Wolves -> Wraiths -> Red -> Golems -> Wraiths -> Wolves.
Depending on the strength of your pull, cooldown on Smite and Lane Pressure, this may become longer or shorter, both in time and number of camps cleared.
(Hopefully, I'll be able to get pictures and maybe a video up for this soon!)
Start off at Blue, with Hunter's Machete, Five Health Potions and a point in Excessive Force. If you have decent damage on your pull, you'll be able to do this without a potion. Smite him as close to 450HP as possible, clean up the small minions and move on to Wolves, taking a point in Denting Blows. Remember, for the rest of your clear, DENTING BLOWS ONLY GETS ATTACK SPEED IF YOU HIT THE SAME TARGET. Note, that if you can get enough help to clear Wolves before moving to Blue, then you can skip straight to the "Wraiths" step. Wolves won't be up for a while!
On arrival at Wolves, hit the Big Wolf and then use Excessive Force to reset your swing, build up Denting Blows and AOE the Smaller Wolves. This is what you will be doing for most of your clear, Swing, Excessive Force, Swing, and then adding an Excessive Force after a swing whenever you have a charge. Pop a Potion at about 45% of your health, then move to Wraiths.
Wraiths are simple enough, but with some clever positioning for Excessive Force you can clear it faster than usual. Remember, the Big Wraith gives HP and deals the most damage, so focus him down first. When they're dead, Pop a potion, and head to Red.
Red Buff. This is Make or Break time for your Jungle. Punch the big Lizard once, then lead him into the bushes. This will deter steals, and reveal any invade attempt early enough for you to escape death. Follow your normal combo, pop a potion if needed and, depending on how hard your initial pull was, Smite Red. If it isn't up, don't sweat, it probably means you cleared Blue with enough health to survive Red's damage by quite a margin.
Note: If things look dire,(usually because you don't have the complete runes and masteries, or some invade attempt was made), DO NOT DIE. You will lose Blue Buff, and your entire lead with it. Leave, recall, heal, and try again. Buy some more Health Potions. You've got a lot of catching up to do.
When Red dies, take another point in Excessive Force and head to Golems. If your Smite wasn't up for Red, you can Smite the Big Golem for an easy kill. Quaff a Health Potion either way, and clear Golems for a nice bundle of Gold.
Assuming all went well, you should have one Potion left. Head to Wraiths, and whilst waiting for them to spawn, check the map for gankable lanes. Clear Wraiths again whilst drinking a Potion, and put your Level 4 point in Vault Breaker. You're now geared up to Gank, but you need more health before you do. Clear Wolves, recall, shop and then Gank while your Red is still available.
Congratulations! Your first clear as Vi has been completed! The rest of Vi's jungle is the same as any other aggressive jungler. Counterjungling, I will cover in the Matchup Section below, but otherwise, good luck! You're relying on your own skill from now on!
Vi's Matchups (Under Construction).
Matchups will go here when I can form a decent analysis from playing Online. Vi is banned a lot in Draft, meaning matchups are difficult to assess (Blind is not a level playing field to test champions, at all).
Quick Note: I hate Lee Sin. He is not a fun matchup for Vi. He Out-Ranges you, Out-Shields you and Out-Lifesteals you. He's pretty damn high up on the "Hard" matchup list.
Playing Vi in Ranked (Under Construction).
For reasons given above, I haven't had the chance to play Vi in Ranked 5's yet.
I have played a bit of Ranked 3's with Vi, and I have to say, Twisted Treeline can make or break you. You have to farm hard and fast earlygame, and if you do it right, you can become devastating. Lose lane however, and transitioning to defence is hard as nails. Controlling the passive gold gain from altars is key here, as they can snowball you out of control very fast, but it works in reverse as well.
Hall Of Fame (Under Construction).
I'll post my Vi scores here, once I get to play her a little more in Draft.
I'd just like to say thanks to JhoiJhoi for her amazing How-to-make-a-guide Guide, which helped me through a lot of difficult parts!
I'd also like to thank my Partner over at Rocking Gecko Productions, the Irrepressable, Unstoppable, Maniacal force that is DMMike. He gave me the idea to start this guide, and he's always teaching me new League tricks!
You can visit us at Rocking Gecko Productions either on our Youtube Page (where we host a mean League of Legends series on Free Week Champions), or on our Facebook.
Anyone else I thank, will go here!
V0.4 - 14/03/13 - Changed over to the new skilling and build orders.
Apologies guys. I really haven't had the time or motivation to make this guide work so far. This will get improved once I get my life back on track, but until then, I'll work on it when I can.
V0.3 - 03/01/13 - Added "Addendum" to the Skill Order segment. I will experiment further to see what Skill Order I prefer. BBCoded some sections that had been missed.
V0.2 - 03/01/13 - Spelling errors amended. Removed some unneccesary description of skills. Added Phage to the Early Game Items section (was missing).
V0.1 - 03/01/13 - Guide was (Slowly) written over a period of weeks, and provisionally released. God Bless all those who sail with her.