Vi Build Guide by Pr0t35t3r
Not Updated For Current Season
Back at 400+/-
Sample Final Build
Not Updated For Current Season
It has become extremely important to have mobility in the current game meta, and Vi has this in spades. Using her Vault Breaker to whip around the map (especially at lower cooldowns) allows you to be more aggressive when taking dragon (Q'ing out the back door) and objectives in general (think diving towers). The Denting Blows popping enemy's armor is also extremely satisfying, while the Excessive Force allows you to attack multiple champions and have wave clear. Her Assault and Battery when combined with Vault Breaker and even a Flash if you're greedy can allow you massive engage range, and pop that kill-spreeing ADC. I wrote this guide as I found that although many Vi guides were informative and still relevant, lacked many notes, or adjustments for the new jungle and the new buffs and smite items. Hope you enjoy the information I provide, and I hope this helps you play at a higher level with Vi no matter what your ranked queue goals are.
Concept of Double Brutalizer Build
You have to keep in mind that the The Brutalizer and your Stalker's Blade - Warrior are ways to increase your flat armor penetration while not having to substitute flat armor pen for damage in your runes. Building while ahead or even which can happen hopefully 80% of the time means you go straight from Stalker's Blade - Warrior to Boots of Mobility to The Brutalizer
If you are behind, then it is most likely best to pick a defensive item.
General thoughts are that Stalker's Blade - Warrior + The Brutalizer eventually upgraded to The Black Cleaver should give you enough damage to kill any carry. The rest of the items will generally be defensive, or utility.
I don't want to go too deep into runes because considering how most people have around 4 or less rune pages they tend to be generic setups. Run what you feel most comfortable with, if you are a new player then keep in mind that Greater Seal of Armor is pretty standard although you can rotate between flat, or scaling if you wish. At about level 9 is when scaling runes are stronger than flat. Runes as a rule of thumb generally only matter for the early game. I mean they do make a difference, but unless you are pro, minor changes are not going to have a huge effect at bronze, silver, gold levels.
Glyph of Cooldown Reduction for 5% is pretty standard although can also run something like: 9 X Glyph of Scaling Magic Resist.
Greater Mark of Attack Damage is pretty self-explanatory. Get your damage for early jungling.
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage is also pretty standard jungler setup, but you can also go with:
Greater Quintessence of Attack Speed if you want to start red buff more often and use the krugs' buff.
In regards to the masteries as I marked in the "notes" you will see more standard Vi builds where a more traditional 21-9-0 is used, but I find that the utility branch in masteries is much more valuable now with the multiple types of unique buffs and the fact that Alchemist increases the length of your potions AND elixirs by 10%.
Normally you want to max your Vault Breaker, but if you can't land these then you can max out your Excessive Force first if you're at lower elo. Again the idea is that you max Denting Blows last or 2nd last because it is % total health damage which is most damaging late game. You might have situations later on with the The Black Cleaver where if you get 6 hits in a row on one champ they will pop like an egg since you just chopped their armor down and then did a 2nd denting blows on them.
Generally I like to max Vault Breaker followed by Denting Blows and ending with
Excessive Force. Naturally you rank up in Assault and Battery whenever possible.
Blast Shield is pretty decent at 10% of your max health as a shield after you use an ability on an enemy. Important to use this properly early in the jungle.
Mechanics of Engaging with Vi
Some thoughts before some of the combos.
When you are using Vault Breaker as your engage it is usually best to hold back the charge as long as possible. This allows for enemies to get twitchy, flash, dash, or do any numerous amount of silly things to escape. The more your do this, the better you will get at hitting your target and avoiding embarrassing misses.
Don't forget that sometimes Vault Breaker will allow you to angle around corners by targeting your enemy and then flashing to the position that will allow you to charge successfully to engage.
Your usual combo is along the lines of:
Vault Breaker - AA - Excessive Force triggering Denting Blows - AA - Excessive Force
If necessary: Assault and Battery
Ranged Variations of the Combo:
Vault Breaker Assault and Battery
Vault Breaker Flash Assault and Battery
Flash Vault Breaker - AA - Excessive Force - AA - Excessive Force etc...
Flashing in the middle of Vault Breaker can be tricky at first, but soon it is a great way of coming in unexpected for powerful ganks especially under towers or when the enemy feels safe. As you play higher elo players don't be surprised when they flash away from your flash "Q".
It's important that you always AA before you Excessive Force for the AA reset.
Another great note is the pointed out by Meteos (Cloud9) who mentions that the cooldown on Excessive Force starts when you arm it, not when you use it.
Use your Vault Breaker to get around obvious ward placements and also to steal dragon when available. The only thing greater than stealing a dragon is to steal a dragon and live by flashing out after Vault Breaker to get in the pit.
Platinum Advice (NEW)
My friend Philip plays some Vi and he was recommending a more advanced attack to prevent flashing and dashing.
Combo as follows:
Assault and Battery quick Vault Breaker AA Excessive Force then Smite
Starting Jungle Red Buff
Sometimes a teammate might request you start red side so they can take Gromp to get level 2 without getting CS, or you just might want to gank top first as it may look like a bad matchup.
Start with the Krugs, Smite immediately on the big Krug and move on to the Razorbeaks(chickens), save your Smite for Red Buff (get back the health) and you might be able to push Wolves and more, but usually I go back and get my Stalker's Blade - Warrior
Starting Jungle Blue Buff
Usually I like to personally start blue buff. Mostly it's because if you jungle well you can recall, buy your Stalker's Blade - Warrior and gank bottom if it needs it.
Start with Smite on Gromp immediately, then hit blue buff, hit the Wolves and now recall back, or hit Razorbeaks (the chickens), Smite the red buff, do the Krugs and this should give you level 4, but it will be close and you will need a hard leash. I usually recall immediately after clearing blue side to get my Stalker's Blade - Warrior
This is pretty standard jungle start. Only Fiddlesticks or another AP or ability-based jungler would not pick this absolutely first.
This is the smite I choose the most. If you can't clear enough jungle to get more than 400 to 500 gold you might as well go back and at least have the ability to perform a useful gank.
Even basic boots are delayed all the time by low elo players to complete a jungle enchantment or a different piece of another item. Don't delay this purchase unless you have judged the situation accordingly. The first couple years in league I completely undervalued speed, don't skip boots unless certain.
I used to go for Ranger's and frankly all the different smite combos, ending up with Devourer and such, best combination I have found is this because it allows you to remove flat armor pen. from your runes and focus on damage, armor and cooldown.
I was more of a boots of speed guy for a long time. The argument always being speed all the time vs. speed out of combat. Many players don't like attributes that drop once engaged. I still find that Mobis allow the most lane presence early on, and allow you to support your team as much as possible.
2nd Brutalizer in a double brutalizer build! Woah! So remember you now have:
10% armor pen. & 10% cooldown x 2
20% armor pen. & 20% cooldown
Now remember this is where you make your decision. Either you get the 2nd Brutalizer or you build into an Armor or Magic Resist item.
Giant's Belt is a good start to add some health. Remember about effective armor rules and the basics of getting health when it is more effective vs. armor. In many cases if you have low HP, but high armor you're just wasting money on armor that isn't as efficient as getting more health for similar cost. Check out links in chapter below.
Boots of Swiftness I do use sometimes when I want guaranteed speed at all times. I still find the Mobis more usefull getting to and from jungle camps and lanes.
When you're ahead these are excellent giving you 15% cooldown combined with the Double Brutalizer 20%, and 5% Runes to give you a perfect 40% cooldown if you are snowballing.
When you're a bit behind and/or have AA champs like Tryn, Jax, or a fed ADC against you. You need that 10% reduction against auto attacks plus the extra armor.
Opposite of Ninja Tabi situation and when there is a lot of CC and you need the MR. Remember though you could always buy Elixir of Iron to get tenacity while keeping a preferred build.
Again a great smite item to rip through the jungle and then go either
Ranger's Trailblazer - Warrior or Ranger's Trailblazer - Devourer
Just another way for Vi to stick to people, or if you wish sometimes you can pop the slow (hopefully save your buddy), then Vault Breaker to safety. Armor and Health, pretty straight forward.
Great way to chop your enemies armor down combined with Denting Blows for your teammates. Remember that the idea in this build path is to be able to blow up the carries and survive the team fight if possible. The Black Cleaver and Stalker's Blade - Warrior is all the damage you usually will need and allows you to go tanky. Of course if you already have enough tanks then feel free to go ham.
Keep getting nail by that one ability. Time to get the veil. Definitely I great item for teamfights. Think about why the enemy team is being successful and choose from this or Aegis of the Legion if they are doing lots of AoE AP damage.
Situational. Builds out of Giant's Belt and depends on the type of fights you're having. Never really a bad choice if you're engaging a lot and having long duels. I tend to go Randuin's Omen for the active over this item. Maybe a last item.
Tryndamere or Fiora bothing you. Vayne out of control. The snowballing out of control ADC equalizer.
Great team support item. I definitely use this all the time in situations where a lot of AP damage is coming in. 20 MR for all your buddies and builds into Locket of the Iron Solari most games.
Another great way to stick to people besides Randuin's Omen. Allows you to pop off that extra damage after you reset your AA with Excessive Force. Slow field is very valuable. In fact just writing about this I'm going to use the item more often in appropriate situations.
I always hated it when people wrote in their guides "situational" all the time, but this is where you take a step forward as a league player. Identifying matchups when certain equipment is called for will end up winning you many more matches. Use this when there is a lot of AP on the other team, as it still gives you damage along with the shield.
I mean do I really have to write about this item? All of the stats work great with Vi. The question just remains whether you are damage for your team, or a tank for your team. If your team is winning it will never hurt to pick this up. Just make sure you're not the only engager, because then you better kill all of them or you're going to die.
I really liked using this item with Vi when I built more for attack speed. Allows you to sustain forever and keeps them close and low HP with the active. Definitely an item worth experimenting with. Go with what works for you.
Both of these items are great to go ham with. I really feel that the Hydra used properly can get you a great result, I'm just not great at utilizing that particular item. Hydra tends to be more useful for top Vi, but I believe that as a late game item could make a huge difference. Having the extra speed boost from the Ghostblade has great utility, but again these tend to be more ham-style items.
Final Thoughts and Tips
With the current Season 5.1 patch changes, new one-way gates, Void Gates and all sorts of adjustments to the jungle along with 2 smite charges we must be constantly adjusting our strategies in our attempts to win more and more games to acquire higher and higher rankings.
This build is specifically designed to pop carries while also allowing you to utilize Vi in a tank role and as an initiator. If played correctly you should be able to provide a strong jungle presence throughout the game and be able to directly effect your team winning the game whether they are winning, or losing their lanes.
Also when using Stalker's Blade - Warrior with the double smite be generous in utilizing its slow ability on escaping enemies during teamfights. Recently I have been able to finish off my target while also slowing a fleeing support. (after the 15 second delay in a prolonged teamfight)
Keep in mind that using Assault and Battery on champs near towers will get you into tricky positions (think right under the tower whoops). Also try not to use Assault and Battery when an AP heavy champ has Zhonya's Hourglass up as it will cancel your ult and send it into cooldown :(
Thank you for reading my guide, please feel free to ask my any questions, or post any comments.
Minor Changes February 6th 2015
- changed order of skill maxing to q, e, then w as it plays more consistently.
- fixed mistake in early core where two sets of mobis were shown.
- added Mantle as an early core to show well-rounded tankiness.
- changed name of guide to cooler name.
(still looking to record videos, so many great plays missed)
Minor Changes January 23rd 2015
- minor edits to numerous parts.
- extra advice in blue buff jungle side
- extra advice for using vault breaker at beginning of mechanics chapter.
Minor Changes January 17th 2015:
- added Philip combo.
- minor additions to blue jungle route.
- added some Zhonya's thoughts near end of guide.
Posted January 15th 2015.
Changes to be added in next version: Videos showing flash combos, ganking style and general jungle tips along with a more in-depth guide on smiting twice.