Vi Build Guide by burpshipping
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.
The Pain Train
Example Final Build
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 everyone. This is burpshipping and welcome to my guide for jungle Vi. I main Vi as a jungler and have seen a lot of people playing her recently, which is great! However, I feel like I can contribute to how Vi is played, as there are many people who build her as a glass cannon. This, in my opinion, makes no sense, so this guide is to show the true terror that is tank Vi.
Pros / Cons
- Very high base damage, even without any AD items.
- Completely immune to CC while ulting.
- As long as you hit one ability, you have 110% of your max health in effective HP.
- Very good at clearing.
- Riot realized she was too powerful and nerfed her Q. If she is hard CCed during it, it will go on a 3-second cooldown.
- In higher-level play, people will use their escapes after you ult them to pull you under their turret.
- Her initiation cannot go without follow-up. She places herself behind the enemy team and if her team doesn't follow up on that she will die.
Greater Mark of Lethality
Greater Seal of Armor
Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
9x greater mark of armor penetration
9x Greater Seal of Armor
9x Greater Glyph of Magic Resist
3x Greater Quintessence of Attack Damage
This rune layout gives you the massive possible damage output in early ganks, while still keeping you alive very well after your first clear. You can substitute MR glyphs for scaling MR if you'd like, as it will make you a much bigger threat late game if the enemy mid gets fed. Armor Pen marks give you a total of 23 Armor penetration at level 1- any midlaner without armor in their runes and masteries will melt under your damage.
This is a generally good mix of damage and tankiness. Cooldown reduction from Sorcery is better than attack speed on Vi in the early game, as it allows her to charge up her Excessive Force quicker. That way, she can clear camps quickly and still have a charge (or even two) when she ganks a nearby lane. The defense tree is fairly standard- resistances, health, etc. Something I don't see on many Vis is investment in Relentless and Tenacious . Because Vault Breaker slows Vi's movement speed, she is even more vulnerable to slows and hard CC while charging it. Putting points in Relentless and Tenacious not only allow her to be slowed for a smaller amount, but she will be slowed for less time overall, allowing her to soak up CC abilities with relative ease. Juggernaut is especially helpful on Vi, as you will be mostly stacking health on her.
This is where I see the most problems with how people build Vi. Many people nowadays are building her with tons of damage and very little tank outside of Warmog's Armor or Sunfire Cape. While this is effective, it's not playing Vi to her fullest potential.
This is the standard start on most junglers. Hunter's Machete makes your first clear very easy, and builds into your first core item. Five Health Potions allow you to keep your health up while clearing the jungle for the first time and stay at a good amount of health for your first gank.
This is your core. Each of these items is nearly essential to playing to your full potential. Spirit of the Elder Lizard is pretty much the only damage item you'll be buying. Vi has very high base damage and moderately high scalings. Building at least one damage item takes advantage of her scalings, but her bases are high enough that you don't need more than that. Mercury's Treads and Sunfire Cape give you four very important stats: Magic Resist, Armor, health and Tenacity. The Tenacity from Mercury's Treads stacks multiplicitavely with Tenacious , so you will shrug off most CC. Your resistances are important against percent damage from champions like Elise or Vayne, especially if Vayne builds a Blade of the Ruined King. Health is ultimately the most important stat on Vi, though, as it complements her passive, Blast Shield, very well.
Warmog's Armor is the only essential item here. The other three are purely situational. If you are taking lots of damage from the enemy AD carry or toplaner (provided the toplaner is an AD champion who autoattacks a lot, such as Riven), pick up a Thornmail. If you want more armor and want the Cold Steel passive, get Randuin's Omen. If you want more damage and health, or if you find your targets getting away from you often, get a Frozen Mallet. NOTE: Excessive Force is an autoattack buff/reset. Using Excessive Force will proc Frozen Mallet and all other on-hit effects ON THE TARGET VI IS PUNCHING. It will NOT proc on-hit effects on enemies damaged in the cone behind the main target, aside from Spirit of the Elder Lizard.
First and foremost, I want to talk about Runic Bulwark. Bulwark is a very strong item, nearly essential in every late-game team build. It provides armor, magic resist, and health regeneration for all allied units near you in an aura. The holder of Runic Bulwark gains flat resistances and health regeneration, plus the bonuses from the aura. This allows your team to hold up much better in a teamfight, and allows you, as the main initiator, to become even tankier and more difficult to kill.
If another member of your team has already purchased/started Aegis of the Legion or Runic Bulwark, this is up to you. Wit's End is a strong item on Vi, as she can very easily reach full stacks on it with an AA>E>AA>E combo. It also has good synergy with Denting Blows' passive, which increases attack speed every 3rd hit on one target. Maw of Malmortius is a slightly more offensive item, as it gives AD for every 3.5% of your maximum health you are missing. This is also a strong choice, as your Blast Shield doesn't count as health for the purposes of Maw of Malmortius, but does shield you from damage as effective HP. This last buy is situational and is entirely up to you.
Please, please ward. As a jungler, most people will put the onus of warding on you and the support mostly. While this is misguided (everyone should be buying wards every time they recall), it's no reason NOT to ward. Warding is incredibly important, especially as a jungler, because you need to have total map awareness at all points in the game. For example, when trying to gank bot, it's incredibly helpful to know that the enemy Amumu is clearing his wraiths and can't get to the lane in time to countergank and help his teammates.
Passive: Blast Shield- When Vi's activated abilities damage an enemy, she gains a shield equal to 10% of her maximum health for 5 seconds. Blast shield has a 18 / 13 / 8 second cooldown.
Vi's passive is probably one of my personal favourites. In early game skirmishes, Blast Shield allows you to trick your opponents into thinking you're less of a threat than you really are. In late game team fights, however, the cooldown on Blast Shield is only 8 seconds, meaning that you will probably proc it twice or even three times for any extended engagement. This means that you will have anywhere between 110% and 130% of your maximum health at your disposal to allow you to take even more punishment while your teammates stay safely behind you.
Q: Vault Breaker- Vi dashes forward, dealing physical damage and applying Denting Blows to all enemies hit. Vi stops upon colliding with an enemy champion, knocking it back. Vault Breaker deals 75% damage to minions and monsters. If interrupted, Vault Breaker will go on a 3 second cooldown, and refund 50% of it's mana cost.
Vault Breaker is your main ganking tool before level 6, and until you build your Spirit of the Elder Lizard and get some cooldown reduction, it will probably be your main initiation tool for engagements where using Assault and Battery would be a waste. When fully charged, Vault Breaker scales off of 140% of your total AD, so charging it fully when possible is always recommended.
W: Denting Blows- Passive: Every 3rd attack on the same target deals additional physical damage equal to a percentage of the target's maximum health, reduces its armor by 20% and grants Vi bonus attack speed for 4 seconds. Denting Blows deals a maximum of 300 damage against minions and monsters.
At rank 1, Denting Blows does 4% of your target's maximum health every third attack on top of the damage you'd already be doing. That is actually a pretty significant amount when your targets have such a small health pool. Denting Blows also scales off of Vi's bonus AD, adding another 1% for every 25 bonus AD. With 7.5 AD from your runes and masteries and another 45 from Spirit of the Elder Lizard, after your first completed item you are doing an extra 2% maximum health in damage from your bonus AD alone.
E: Excessive Force- Causes Vi's next basic attack to deal bonus physical damage to the target and enemies behind it. Vi periodically charges a new punch and can hold up to 2 charges at once.
Excessive Force is Vi's main damage tool throughout most of the game. As it's an auto-attack reset, using Excessive Force right after an auto-attack allows her to quickly proc Denting Blows, maximizing her damage output. At max rank, charges of Excessive Force reload every 8 seconds before cooldown reduction. Knowing your recharge rate is very important for ganking successfully, especially if there's a risk of getting counterganked.
R: Assault and Battery- Vi targets an enemy champion and chases it down, knocking it up for 1.25 seconds, dealing physical damage and applying Denting Blows. While charging, Vi is immune to crowd control and will knock aside enemies in her way, dealing 75% damage to them.
I usually use Assault and Battery to either initiate a team fight and quickly proc Blast Shield, or to chase a running enemy who is at low enough health that I can kill them. The damage that it deals is pretty substantial, and it scales incredibly well. It's inescapable as well: once you're marked, not even Flash can get you away from a Vi.
Starting with Denting Blows is a personal preference of mine. It makes your clear at wolves a bit slower than if you started with Excessive Force, but gives you a better finish for blue buff. NOTE: Starting with Denting Blows means you are basically useless in a level 1 teamfight. Don't put any points into your skills until you know you aren't going to get invaded upon. If the enemy team invades, take Excessive Force.
Maxing Excessive Force first is the best choice as levelling it reduces the recharge rate for your punches. This vastly decreases your clear time and allows you to get out of the jungle quickly and help your lanes. Maxing Vault Breaker second allows your initiation to do that much more damage. Lastly, putting those last points into your Denting Blows increases the percent damage you do to your targets, and also increases the attack speed buff you get from every third hit.
Jungle Route / Ward Placement
Blue dots indicate common wards that you can place to help out your lanes. You can also ward the enemy buffs. This will allow you to sneak up on the enemy jungler while they are clearing those buffs and steal the buff away with smite, or even duel with them and pick up an easy kill.
Since the jungle changed in the 3.8 patch, you can no longer start Wolves before getting Ancient Golem. As a result, however, the Ancient Golem and Lizard Elder now give more experience, so going buff-to-buff won't hinder your ability to hit level 3 in time to gank efficiently. After killing the Lizard Elder, gank mid or bot if you're on blue side, or mid or top if you're on purple side.
In the late game, once teamfight start happening, make sure you are right in front of the pack. Unless one of your teammates is a Cho'Gath stacking Warmog's Armor, you're going to have the most effecting HP of anyone on your team. A Vi at full build can soak up damage like it's nothing, so use that to your advantage.
Vi's spells are entirely focused around starting fights and dealing tons of damage to all of your enemies at the same time, while singling out one particular enemy and dealing even more damage to them, particularly the AD Carry.
In a 1v1 or 2v2 skirmish, your basic combo should be Q>AA>E>W proc>AA>E>AA. If your target isn't dead after that combo, then keep autoattacking until either Vault Breaker or Excessive Force comes off cooldown or until they succumb to your base damage.
In a 5v5 team fight, you want to single out the AD Carry or AP Carry and initiate on them. Vi is incredibly adept at making her way to the enemy AD Carry, even if the entire enemy team is between them. All you need to do is charge in with Assault and Battery (targeting the AD Carry, of course). This deals anywhere between 200 and 700 damage (depending on your level and bonus AD) to the carry themselves, and 75% of that damage to any enemy unit you collide with on the way to them. An important thing to note is that Assault and Battery also knocks aside all enemy units Vi collides with, parting the metaphorical sea of damage so that her team can charge the back line with less fear of being peeled off. Once you've reached the enemy carry, quickly double-tap Vault Breaker. This will deal a fair amount of damage in less time than it takes to auto-attack, and knocks your target backwards. Since Assault and Battery places you behind your target, this means you will be knocking your enemy into your team. Once you've done that, continue autoattacking and using Excessive Force until anyone you need to be dead is dead.
When to pick Vi / Conclusion
When should you pick Vi?
When you need a carry/tank jungler who also provides a good amount of hard CC. Vi works best with champions like Orianna, who can follow up on an Assault and Battery initiation without much effort. Do NOT pick her if your team is setting up a poke comp- her poke is very difficult to do well, but it's there.
How do you poke as Vi?
There are two ways to poke as Vi. One is by walking up to a minion wave, lining yourself up so that the enemy laner is close and is behind the minion you are about to hit, and then hitting Excessive Force. Since this does damage in a cone with no diminishing return, this will do the same amount of damage no matter how close or far the enemy champion is, so long as they are in your range.
The other method of poking as Vi is somewhat trickier. If there are no minions to hit Excessive Force on, you can charge up your Vault Breaker. See if this zones the enemy champion. If so, then they are afraid of you and you're doing your job well. If not, slam into them with Vault Breaker. The knockback/stun is enough that by the time they've collected themselves and can react, you are already a few hundred units away.
I'd like to thank everyone for reading my jungle Vi guide. If you have any suggestions or comments, please leave them in the discussion panel and I'll be happy to read them! Happy punching!
June 27, 2013
-Changed jungle route for the 3.8 jungle patch.
-Added a small section on warding.
-Added a breakdown of Runic Bulwark and the advantages of building it.
-Minor wording revisions.
SOON TO COME: Videos of how to gank as Vi with Vault Breaker at top, mid and bot lanes. Video of how to initiate a teamfight properly with a Command: Protect- Assault and Battery- Command: Shockwave combo.