Vex Build Guide by Vicksay
[11.21] Vicksy's Master Vex Guide [updated constantly]
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Runes: Damage page
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
+10% Attack Speed
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+8 Magic Resist
Champion Build Guide
Hello everyone! My name is Vicksy, I'm a high Diamond/Master tier mid laner. I've been playing since the start of Season 3 on the EUW server, and I've been a full on mid main since Season 4. I have achieved Diamond 1 every single season since Season 4, hitting Master in almost all seasons multiple times, playing a mixture of Zoe, Ahri, Viktor and Aurelion Sol over the years, reaching 224 LP Master in Season 10. I've won multiple MOBAFire contest prizes for my guides. I am also a partnered Twitch streamer and a partnered YouTuber, and I like to stream every single day, while posting frequent videos to my YouTube. If you want to ask any questions on my channel or in the comments section below, please do!
Vex is League's newest release, the first traditional control mage since Neeko 3 years ago, and the last yordle before her was Kled, 5 years ago, Vex brings something we've wanted in League for a long time. With a huge increase of the amount of mobility in the game, with seemingly no answer to it, Vex has been a godsend for mage players. Mages have had an extremely tough time in season 11, with no changes in sight until at least pre-season, so Vex is a breath of fresh air.
With most champions released in League nowadays having extremely loaded kits and long ability descriptions (looking at you, Akshan, with your E having more text than Nasus' entire kit...), Vex gives us a kit which is not overly complicated, while also not being overly simple. She has mostly skill-shots, but her abilities aren't overwhelming.
I have been waiting for her for a long time, since she was teased as the Yordle artillery mage (then changed to burst) and have been extremely excited for her! I've been constantly playing her on PBE learning as much as I can about her to make this guide, I hope you guys are excited as I am and hope this guide helps you!
I also have the highest rated Zoe, Ahri and Aurelion Sol guides on the site too if you guys wanted to learn these champions!
+ High damage
+ Decent, safe waveclear
+ Great vs. meta champs
+ Interrupts dashes
+ Long range abilities
+ Great mobility on her ultimate
+ High snowball potential
Vex is a great addition to League, bringing a lot of traditional mage style while also being unique! She has long range abilities in Mistral Bolt and Shadow Surge while also doing high burst damage, allowing her to wave clear safely from range. Her ultimate is the star of the show and having multiple resets is key to playing Vex to her highest level. Once you've tagged someone with Shadow Surge, you can follow them from any range, even if they Teleport away. A huge amount of the meta champion pool on mid lane have melee champions that have at least one form of mobility, so her passive Doom 'n Gloom has a huge amount of value, allowing you to deal a lot more damage and reduce the cooldown to fear faster. If you do manage to reset Shadow Surge, your snowball potential in fights is huge.
- High mana costs
- Reliant on hitting skill-shots
- Squishy squish
- No mobility without her ultimate
- Snowball potential tied to hitting ultimate
- CC tied to passive
Vex without her ultimate is the same as any other mage, super squishy and a sitting duck, so it's very important to make sure you use Shadow Surge well to have the least downtime as possible. She doesn't have the best early game because of how mana hungry she is, she's forced to mostly only use Mistral Bolt until her first base at least - Personal Space and Looming Darkness have HUGE mana costs attached to them. Because the only CC in her kit is attached to her passive Doom 'n Gloom, you can't use any ability on any champion you need the fear vs. freely, similar to how Annie's passive works, but with a lot more downtime.
|This is a really good summoner for helping you get that extra gold towards your first few items to completely take over the game, and great for roaming to kill bot lane as they will always have a Heal. While Vex already has huge damage, this rune makes you a dangerous threat really early in the game too, allowing you to start snowballing and killing people as early as level 2.|
|This rune is the best selfish choice to keep yourself safe. It's a whole MINUTE cooldown shorter than Heal, it protects you against more damage, and it is better vs. Ignite as it doesn't cut half the shielding power - you definitely want to be running this vs. assassin lanes such as Zed or Talon, or in an overall game where so much burst exists on their team.|
|Take this when the enemy team has very devastating CC that you need to stay safe from, especially from junglers like Elise. Rammus and Sejuani, mid laners such as Twisted Fate and Veigar, supports like Morgana or Braum, tanks such as Shen or Maokai, or marksmen such as Varus or Ashe. Keep in mind you do not have to take Cleanse versus only one champion that has CC, but if it's the enemy jungler or mid laner that has it along with it being unavoidable or easy to land, I highly recommend getting used to Cleanse and taking it.|
|Take this when you're in a stalemate ranged AP matchup where they more and likely will have Teleport as well. You want to be able to match base timings and follow their Teleport with yours. If you do take this summoner, make sure to go Cosmic Insight and Ionian Boots of Lucidity to further reduce this cooldown massively.|
These are in my opinion the best runes by far for Vex, and they fit my play-style very well. I will cover why they are good individually below.
|For your chosen keystone, we're going with Dark Harvest. Vex os a carry champion, so having more damage for your keystone is always a good choice. Dark Harvest, while slightly weaker early on, can scale really hard if you get a decent amount of stacks. Vex's playstyle is resetting in teamfights with Shadow Surge, and Dark Harvest also resets on kill or assist, so this rune goes perfectly with her, and allows you to chain resets a lot easier!|
|Taste of Blood is a great choice for Vex, and pretty straightforward choice for laners across the board. More healing during laning phase while trading back and forth with your opponent? Yes please!|
|The next rune we're going to take in the sorcery tree is Eyeball Collection. Another straight-forward rune, gain AP when getting a kill or an assist. You can also use Ghost Poro instead if you think you aren't going to get many kills early game, and you want more vision.|
|Our last rune in the Domination tree will be Ultimate Hunter. This rune is amazing on Vex, as she's a champion that relies on her ultimate to get those early picks and snowball hard, AND her ultimate is a whopping 2 minutes and 20 seconds cooldown before any ability haste, so we want to have it available as much as possible.|
|You have multiple options on this part of the rune tree, however, Manaflow Band comes out no top almost every time. While Vex's mana early game is quite good as her Mistral Bolt is only 45 mana level 1, once you level up further and include her other abilities, she becomes very mana hungry. A fully maxed Mistral Bolt costs 65 mana and it's quite spammable, Personal Space costs a FLAT 75 mana, and Looming Darkness costs a huge 70 mana initially, scaling up to a WHOPPING 110 mana once it's maxed. Manaflow Band will give you that much needed extra mana regen on top of 250 flat mana when fully stacked, and if you're thinking about running Seraph's Embrace in the game you're in, Manaflow Band's flat mana gives you even more ability power because of Seraph's Embrace's passive!|
|Our last rune in the Sorcery tree will be Transcendence. It gives you bonus 5 Ability Haste at levels 5 and 8 which makes your cooldowns shorter, and once you hit level 11, every time you score a champion takedown (which is a kill or assist) you reduce the remaining cooldown of your basic abilities by 20%! This could mean the difference between getting off another Looming Darkness to proc Gloom to make the fear a shorter cooldown, or it could grant you another shield from Personal Space, saving your life. As Vex has resets on her ultimate Shadow Surge, you're naturally going to look for these kind of reset plays, and Transcendence makes your resets even more potent.|
Keystones: You can also choose between Phase Rush or Electrocute. While Dark Harvest is a really good rune on Vex, it's weaker early game. Electrocute is the stronger rune early on, and she also procs it very easily, so if you're not confident on getting a lot of stacks in a game, Electrocute is the better option. Phase Rush is great if you're into a lot of melee champions that you won't be able to oneshot, and that you need to kite out because if they get on top of you you just die (such as Olaf), as Vex has no mobility outside of her ultimate Shadow Surge.
Domination: you can substitute Taste of Blood with the others runes on the same row. With Cheap Shot, you will always apply damage after Doom 'n Gloom's fear passive, and I would take it if I'm vs a kitey/tanky team where I want to spam my abilities as much as possible.. With Sudden Impact, it's great vs. a super squishy team where you open with Shadow Surge for the extra magic penetration to pop squishies fast and get that reset. Ghost Poro is a great choice instead of Eyeball Collection if you aren't going to be getting many kills early on. You can also opt for Relentless Hunter if you prefer having more mobility outside of combat.
Inspiration: if you're in a hard match-up, you should go Time Warp Tonic and Biscuit Delivery alongside a Corrupting Potion start to have huge amounts of sustain, and if you're in a hard counter match-up that you're going to be building a Zhonya's Hourglass second vs. like a Zed, you can take Perfect Timing for an early Stopwatch. Cosmic Insight is also a really great choice if you don't need the other runes on this tree, and it especially pairs well with Ionian Boots of Lucidity to have even more summoner spell ability haste.
Sorcery: you can opt into Nullifying Orb if you're in a difficult heavy burst AP matchup and heavy AP teams, and you can also go Gathering Storm over Scorch when running Phase Rush if you think the game is going to go over 20 minutes, and you can't harass your opponent early.
Precision: I know what you're thinking, why on earth would I ever run this rune tree? This is an amazing choice where there is a HUGE amount of CC on the enemy team, so much so that you can't play the game unless you have some form of tenacity. Legend: Tenacity combined with Mercury's Treads gives you 51% tenacity so it makes it a lot harder for the enemies to lock you down, and you can also take Cleanse on top. We go with Presence of Mind because it's the next best rune on the tree, and gives you a decent amount of mana regen!
The bonuses towards your runes are pretty clear cut here. For the first bonus we go 10% attack speed for easy last hitting and auto harass, while it seems like giving up AP is bad you really need to try out Vex, and frankly, most other mages with this rune. It allows you to last hit A LOT easier, and you can also prep ranged minions under the tower with two auto-attacks, which you can't do without this rune, saving you mana so you don't have to blow your spells early game.
You can also opt for 9 adaptive twice for a total of 18 AP and choose between the MR or armour for the final choice, as the HP one isn't very good. If you're in difficult match-ups you can just double dip in the defenses, taking +16 MR or +12 armour, allowing you to get through lane a lot easier, however I prefer single resistances so I can get AP and attack speed. You do go the HP bonus if you don't know who you're laning vs. though.
DOOM: Periodically, Vex gains Doom, which causes her next basic ability to interrupt dashes and fear affected enemies, while also being slowed.
GLOOM: Nearby enemy champions that dash or blink, as well as targets hit by Looming Darkness, will be marked with Gloom for 6 seconds. Vex's next basic attack, Mistral Bolt, or Personal Space against a marked target will consume the mark for bonus damage, and refund 25% of Doom's cooldown.
This passive is pretty amazing and will definitely be the reason Vex sees play. Most of the meta champion pool on mid lane (and in general, to be fair) all have at least one form of dash, and this will allow you to not only interrupt those dashes, but gain bonus damage, allowing you to surprise the enemy with more burst damage. You will also notice when your Doom passive is available by the bar underneath your mana bar, and your abilities take on a light green colour.
Basic abilities (not your ultimate Shadow Surge) will apply Doom, so you can use Shadow Surge to set you up and get yourself in a good position without wasting the fear, then use a follow up ability to land the fear. I recommend Personal Space as it has an instant cast and is not a skill-shot, but rather an area around you, and this will allow you to follow up and hit your skill-shots Mistral Bolt and Looming Darkness easily.
This spell is important for Vex - it's her wave-clear and main damage source in one spell. Learning the range of this ability is really important because it's quite slow initially, and only speeds up once it passes 500 units. You can also use this ability to proc Gloom from a long range, so one of your harassing combos is opening with Looming Darkness into Mistral Bolt.
This ability has a low mana cost early, so make sure to harass your lane opponent with this constantly!
Personal Space has some interesting AP scalings - the damage only scales with 30% AP, but the shield strength has a HUGE 80% AP scaling! This is one of the biggest shields in the game, especially for a carry champion, and will allow you to soak a lot of damage if timed correctly - however, the mana cost is 75 from level 1 onwards, meaning you have to use this ability sparingly to not run out of mana, and it also has a 20 second cooldown early game. Oof.
The main use of this ability after laning phase will most likely be using it to proc Vex's Doom passive, you can use your ultimate Shadow Surge to engage with, and because her Doom passive only works on her basic abilities, you can land a very easy follow up fear using Personal Space - as it's the only ability in her kit that is not a skill-shot, allowing you to hit the rest of your abilities with ease.
Because this ability doesn't do much damage, but its shield scaling is huge, we'll more than likely max this ability last.
Looming Darkness also applies Gloom to effected enemies hit. Because of this, a great harassing lane combo is to open with Looming Darkness into Mistral Bolt, because Mistral Bolt also consumes Gloom, which makes for some great harass. Also, you don't want to be using this ability last in your combo simply because of the bonus damage from Gloom, unless you can use an auto attack to proc it.
You want to max this ability second, as this abilities AP ratio increases with level ups, and it's also your second most consistent damaging ability!
The recast pulls Vex towards the marked target while being unstoppable, and upon arriving, consuming the mark and dealing heavy magic damage. If the marked target dies within 6 seconds of being hit by Shadow Surge, Vex can recast this ability again at no additional cost for the next 12 seconds.
This ultimate allows you to do crazy things with Vex! While the ability seems simple on paper, it's complex in practice - as its a thin, slowish skill-shot that grants you resets, it's very important to not waste this during a fight. Prepping your enemies with Doom 'n Gloom's fear passive gives you can easy route to landing this ability, however you have to be sure that they will die within the next 6 seconds. Also, you don't want to randomly throw this out and not follow up, as the huge potion of its damage is on the impact damage when you dash, not the initial damage, and the reset is insanely important to Vex's team fight potential. This ability could win or lose you a fight based on the amount of resets, so be careful!
After testing Vex a lot, Personal Space is BY FAR the better max 2nd. It does a lot more base damage, more shielding, and lowers in cooldown when leveling it up, and Looming Darkness only barely increases in base damage, increases AP ratio which matters more late game, and doesn't decrease in cooldown. When you're resetting with Shadow Surge, what's the most important follow up spell? Personal Space. Gives you a huge shield to help you last in fights to get another reset, and it gives you an instant fear from Doom 'n Gloom. You'll always be able to cast another Looming Darkness, but you need Personal Space to be available with as many dashes as possible.
Mistral Bolt > Personal Space > Looming Darkness, with a level in your ultimate Shadow Surge whenever you can at 6, 11 and 16.
At level 1, you'll almost always start with Mistral Bolt. It's her bread and butter - damage, range and waveclear. She has no CC in her basic abilities, but in her passive Doom 'n Gloom, so she can get a 5 man fear with Mistral Bolt should you choose to invade.
At level 2, I highly recommend Looming Darkness, as its damage will be a lot easier to proc than Personal Space's, and it also applies Gloom for bonus damage. Looming Darkness followed by Mistral Bolt makes for huge damage level 2. You can also take Personal Space if you're vs. a champ that dashes as early as level 2, as it's an AoE instant interrupt with your passive.
At level 3, we can put another point into Mistral Bolt if we think we aren't being ganked, or the enemy mid laner can't get in range of us or land lots of poke, or we can level up Personal Space to have all 3 of our abilities at level 3, be a bit safer, or if you're vs. a hyper mobile champion like Yasuo, another way to proc Gloom.
In this section, I'll be showing you Vex's ability combos and explaining how and when to use them in the best scenarios! AA means auto-attack. In most of these combos, we're going to assume your passive Doom 'n Gloom is ready so your first ability fears, however they can be used without the fear UNLESS it's stated that you NEED the fear for the combo.
Use this combo easily into melee champions level 1 (or ranged if they wanna fight you) for free Electrocute or Phase Rush procs.
The most basic harassment combo starting from level 2 onwards. You open with Looming Darkness because it applies Gloom, then followed by Mistral Bolt to proc it.
A slightly more advanced version of the previous combo. The extra autoattack gives you a bit extra damage, and more importantly, proccing Electrocute or Phase Rush, followed by Mistral Bolt to proc it. Great standard trading pattern vs. ranged champions. Use Personal Space whenever to soak damage.
A reverse of the previous combo. This combo is assuming your enemy laner has used a dash or a blink on top of you at level 2, already giving themselves a stack of Gloom. Open with Mistral Bolt as it's easier to hit someone directly infront of you with this than Looming Darkness to proc the Gloom and apply Doom. Followed immediately by Looming Darkness for another Gloom application and an auto to proc that one.
A more advanced version of the previous combo. Once hitting level 3 you have another ability to weave in. This combo is also assuming the enemy mid laner has dashed on you, using Personal Space for the guaranteed fear and Gloom proc. Add extra autos after Mistral Bolt only if you can squeeze them in without taking extra damage!
This is your engaging combo vs. a single or small group of enemies, and you NEED your fear to be ready for this. You use both casts of Shadow Surge to get close, use your Personal Space which will apply Doom 'n Gloom's fear instantly, followed up by guaranteed hits of Looming Darkness and Mistral Bolt for a Gloom proc.
In this section I'll be breaking down Vex's item builds. DISCLAIMER: As Vex is a new champion, knowing all of her possible build paths before she's released is impossible - keep checking back on this section to see updates!
|Doran's Ring is a very standard mage start - it gives you AP, health, 5 bonus damage on-hit against minions, and 6 mana for minion kills. It also grants you health if you're max mana, which is pretty awesome.|
|Corrupting Potion is another starting item we can go. I personally enjoy running it vs. really heavy harassing lanes so I can sustain through the early game and have a good first buy.|
|Stealth Ward will be the only trinket you will be taking at level 1, and will be the main choice of trinket for most of your games. Because Vex has no backwards mobility, she'll need to see the jungler before they dive on her.|
|With your early gold, you'll be building towards your Mythic item of choice as soon as possible in every game, and you start building into it by getting a Lost Chapter. With 10% CDR and 20% of max mana refunded once you level up, the earlier you complete this the better - it'll be very rare for you to be able to base with the full 1300 gold, so you should be buying as many Amplifying Tomes as you can get.|
|If you don't have enough gold to buy Amplifying Tomes, you'll be looking at these two instead. You'll go for Boots if you're vs. a very skill-shot intensive match-up, like Xerath or Lux. Getting an early Dark Seal whenever you have 350 gold is always my preference though, it's an amazing item. It is already gold efficient (123%) without any stacks, the +25% healing from potions has been removed and so has the mana, in favour of HP and also more AP from stacks. At max stacks, you can get a whopping total of 55 AP!! That's 1402 gold worth of stacks on a 350 gold item.. THIS IS INSANE!! It becomes 372% gold efficient, more than ANY other item in the game!|
|As Vex uses a lot of mana, in a lot of our games we'll be looking to pick up an early Tear of the Goddess. The earlier we get this the better so we can start stacking it as quick as possible. Its final upgrade, Seraph's Embrace, is a huge chunk of AP and mana, an amazing power spike.|
|A Refillable Potion is great, if you have enough gold to buy this early after buying components, get it as soon as possible! Potions that refill every base makes for insane value, so much so that if you have a single Health Potion in your inventory, selling that just to buy this is super worth it. Don't buy this past laning phase however.|
|Control Wards win games - I cannot stress enough how important it is to make sure you get these on the map early, they stay placed indefinitely, and if you're strong enough to protect them you can an insane amount of vision the entire game through it. You shouldn't be only getting these on your early bases - every time have 75 gold on a base pick one of these up and place it around mid, in conjunction with your Stealth Ward you can get a serious amount of vision around mid, which Vex needs to push the wave safely, look for picks, and protect herself from ganks as she's immobile.|
|Sorcerer's Shoes will be your main boot of choice in over 90% of your games. Vex has great damage, and these only amplify it even further. Combined with these boots, Sudden Impact and Luden's Tempest if you decide to purchase it, you can get up to 54 flat magic penetration in a full build, and that does true damage to squishies that don't buy any magic resist.|
|Mercury's Treads will be your only other choice of boots. These become necessary when you're vs. high CC and high burst magic damage. if I have to run these I'll generally go Nullifying Orb in my runes and Barrier as well, with also possibly buying a Banshee's Veil if their burst is really high and unavoidable, like LeBlanc or Evelynn.|
|Ionian Boots of Lucidity are also a great pick-up! Alongside ability haste, they also give Summoner Spell reduction, which you can combine with Cosmic Insight to have a lower Flash cooldown and your other summoner of choice to give you more kill potential.|
|Plated Steelcaps are a very rare boot option, but every few hundred games you'll find these perfect. Whenever you're vs. a full AD team that have champions that mostly rely on autoattacks, such as Irelia, Tristana, Lucian etc, these combined with Zhonya's Hourglass will give you so much armor and damage reduction they'll struggle to kill you. While you'll do less damage as you won't have Sorcerer's Shoes, having damage reduction vs. point and click autoattacks.|
Here we'll discuss our Mythic purchases: Luden's Tempest, Liandry's Anguish, and Everfrost, but first let's talk about what a Mythic item is: you can only buy one of these in a game, however you can sell it and buy another Mythic item later, however not recommended unless you make a huge mistake and have lots of gold to spare. It also gives special bonuses to legendary items that you purchase (boots don't count, but Mejai's Soulstealer does). This makes this first purchase really important, and you should take care and weigh up the options to help you decide which one to pick.
Luden's Tempest is the higher damage item vs. squishies as it has flat magic penetration, and it gives even more to other legendary items that you buy and gives you a create chunk of movement speed after hitting an ability, while Liandry's Anguish is an overall great tank busting item if you so happen to get countered by a lot of tanks, as it grants % health damage AND bonus damage vs. champions with bonus health, and its mythic passive also grants you a lot more ability haste, and finally, Everfrost is the lowest damage option but it gives you a very strong active ability, allowing you to root an enemy champion (or more!) if you hit it accurately, but if you don't hit the root you apply a slow instead. If you have a high amount of magic damage on your team already and little CC, this is a great option, and I also like building this vs. Yasuo as he can't windwall it. It also gives you AP as its Mythic bonus.
|Rabadon's Deathcap has received quite a few nerfs in the past, but it's still a really strong item, and you'll probably be building this every single game. This item definitely should be purchased before Void Staff unless the enemy team has HUGE amounts magic resist on almost every member. Vex is a carry champion, so this item is a great way to massively increase your damage.|
|Void Staff, along with Rabadon's Deathcap, should be built almost every game. It lost 5 AP in pre-season, but its job is still the same - shredding any MR that get in your way, and this is made a lot easier with the introduction of Blighting Jewel, which is a component that grants 15% magic penetration, which is a super great addition to the new items, allowing you to pick up some % magic penetration earlier on while waiting for the full Void Staff buy. You need to keep track of what items the enemy champs are buying, and also take note on what champs they are and their usual builds to determine whether you need this item eventually in the game or not. Don't be afraid on skipping out on this altogether if the enemy team literally has ZERO magic resist, but that will be a very rare occurrence.|
|Seraph's Embrace is Archangel's Staff's upgrade, what you'll eventually be turning Tear of the Goddess into. It seems like quite a decent pick on Vex - her mana costs on Looming Darkness and Personal Space are quite high, and Mistral Bolt is quite spammable once maxed, which makes her burn through mana quite fast. This item is a huge stat stick of ability power and mana which fulfils our needs, awesome!|
|Horizon Focus seems like the great choice most of the time, but don't be fooled by its huge amount of ability power. and 10% damage increase is negligible. While a good item, it's not that great, other items will take priority over this, and it's only good if you're snowballing insanely hard and want another huge boost in damage. Personally, because of Vex's potential mana issues, I'd prefer Seraph's Embrace over it, however this can also work well.|
|Cosmic Drive is also another good pick for Vex - it gives her a lot more movement speed upon hitting an ability, which synergizes quite well with Luden's Tempest, and it's the item that gives the most Ability Haste, which will help you a lot as it's quite hard to come by now. It also grants extra health, which allows you to be in teamfights a bit longer and dive harder with [[sha.|
|Demonic Embrace pairs quite on Vex, giving her extra health and resistances when she dives in, on top of burn damage. Combined with Liandry's Anguish, you'll have 2 items with % max health damage which is pretty nasty and a great choice when playing against tanks. A great item that helps AND rewards you to stay in longer fights.|
|Mejai's Soulstealer is a nice pick up for Season 11, even though it's still a snowball item. As Dark Seal is still an insanely good item, you'll find yourself being able to upgrade this with a large amount of stacks often. This item, while only costing 1,600 gold is considered a Legendary item, which means when you buy this when you're massively ahead, you'll also be gaining the passive for a standard Legendary item that you get from whichever Mythic item you choose. Combine this with Zhonya's Hourglass and you can preserve your stacks really easily, and you can snowball heavily!|
|Morellonomicon is a really overrated item. With the nerfs it's received over the past year, it's not worth to build it AT ALL unless there are enemies that have a huge amount of healing for it's Grevious Wounds passive, we're talking Sylas or Dr. Mundo terrority. You should buy Oblivion Orb and sit on it as long as possible, only upgrade to Morellonomicon last item if you still need the healing reduction. BUY THIS ITEM ONLY WHEN YOU 100% NEED IT! Preferably, get your other teammates to buy Grievous Wounds instead if they can easily apply it in an AoE, such as Seraphine with Chemtech Putrifier.|
|Zhonya's Hourglass is a great defensive item. You don't necessarily have to build this vs. only AD threats, it is a great counter to many AP mid laners because dodging damage is a lot better than just soaking slightly less damage. It completely negates abilities such as Syndra's Unleashed Power, Veigar's Primordial Burst and even Karthus' Requiem. I don't recommend getting this early on instead of your core items unless it's absolutely necessary (vs. Zed, Vi and others) as it doesn't offer much damage. Buying it late game however is a great idea, as you already dish out tons of damage with a 4+ item build, and you just need something to keep you alive - a Zhonya's Hourglass can never go wrong. Also, because Vex has to dive in to get the most damage out of her ultimate Shadow Surge, this will help protect her from danger a lot more.|
|Banshee's Veil is another great defensive item, I especially love combining this with Nullifying Orb or Mercury's Treads. Pick this up if you're afraid of an AP mid bursting you down constantly (like Fizz or LeBlanc), not only does this item have magic resistance but it has a spell-shield that blocks a single ability, helping to disrupt champions that need to hit all of their spells too correctly kill someone. It's also REALLY good vs. champions that really rely on hitting their crowd control straight up even if they aren't in your lane, such as Sejuani, Elise, Blitzcrank, Zoe and more. Because Vex tends to dive in with Shadow Surge to deal the most amount of damage she can, having an extra protective shield and bonus magic resistance is really helpful!|
Vex's laning phase seems to be lackluster level 1, and I'd arguably say it's the weakest time of the game for her, but once she starts to get more levels she ramps up her damage a lot. She has extreme mana constrains ( Looming Darkness and Personal Space both cost a lot of mana) so you're forced to use Mistral Bolt most of the time, at least before your first base. Thankfully, our abilities cannot be blocked by minions, meaning you can harass easily. You start off with Mistral Bolt as it's your bread and butter ability - high range, and will allow you to farm waves easily later on.
When you're playing against melee champs midlane, they almost always have a dash, so you need to keep watch when they do. Once they dash/blink, her passive Doom 'n Gloom applies a Gloom mark on them, and you can proc the mark for bonus damage. Your abilities Mistral Bolt and Personal Space proc this mark alongside auto attacks, so you need to decide if you can easily proc the mark with an auto or you have to use mana for it.
What you want to be mostly looking to do in early laning is hitting Mistral Bolt on the enemy champion rather than using it on the wave, as you don't have that much mana early, weaving in auto-attacks when you can, and if you have more mana to spare (I'd say above 50%) you can throw down Looming Darkness followed up by a Mistral Bolt and an auto-attack, which procs Electrocute and Phase Rush. You want to be using Personal Space very scarcely to make sure you don't run out of mana, or be caught out by an enemy champion once they spot your shield is on cooldown.
Vex pre-6 is very similar to most mages, you're immobile and also really squishy, so jungler ganks can punish you hard if you don't have any mana or have missed your abilities, however you can completely deny a gank with a well-timed fear from your passive Doom 'n Gloom, and it can also give you an easy Phase Rush proc to zoom out of there. As an immobile mid laner, you have to make sure you have adequate vision with good use of your Stealth Ward and try to always have a Control Ward in one of the side bushes to protect you. Even though Vex has Shadow Surge at level 6, it's not true mobility allowing you to go wherever you want, only allowing you to dash to an enemy champion you've marked.
Because of Vex's great push potential once she's got Lost Chapter, she's able to get priority a lot of the time. You can use this priority to harass your enemy under the tower if you have enough vision around you, you can look to invade the enemy jungle to drop wards and protect yourself, or you can look to roam to side lanes, preferably ganking the lane where your teammates have the most CC to easily set up your abilities.
Once towers start falling, you'll be entering into mid-game, which I think will be Vex's strongest part of the game. It's the time where damage ramps up and both of your main abilities will be close to being maxed, it's where people don't generally have many resistances either. But isn't that important with every carry? In Vex's case it's a lot different - Personal Space and Shadow Surge require you to get up and personal (oh, the irony). so it's more important for her to push her advantage during this time.
Vex excels in scrappy, chaotic fights where she can get multiple resets with Shadow Surge, so fights around towers, Baron and Dragon, Vex naturally excels at. Paying attention to everyone's health bar is key in teamfights, understanding when you can go in with Shadow Surge, understanding who to fear to protect yourself and your team, and more.
If you haven't already, upgrading your trinket to either a Farsight Alteration to grant more longer range vision because you're too squishy/immobile to face check
While her late game is not the strongest, Vex still fills the role of a control mage with CC. However, Personal Space and Shadow Surge both require her to get close to deal damage, and it's a lot riskier to do this late game. Your opportunities at resets become a lot slimmer.
Swapping your trinket to a Farsight Alteration now if you haven't already done so will help you contest Baron and late game Dragon's a lot easier, and this trinket is very common on immobile, long range mages. Because she has such long range on Mistral Bolt, you can get a lot of harass on enemies doing these objectives safely. Another option, if you have too many Farsight Alteration's or you're extremely fed and not scared of being jumped on much, you can swap to an Oracle's Lens to remove the enemies vision. Using Looming Darkness into Mistral Bolt late game on a squishy carry with no magic resistance is DEVASTATING, and you'll definitely chunk out their health a lot, forcing them to back off of objectives. You can also keep hold of your Stealth Ward if you feel like the vision is better off because your support isn't warding well enough, and also later on you should sell your Doran's Ring late game to buy some Control Wards, which makes you that much deadlier.
Landing key Shadow Surges became a lot harder with everyone grouping, having a lot of resistances, and you being squishy. You want to most of the time be fighting the enemies frontline before looking for their carries - Vex is particularly useful at defending her own AD carry with Doom 'n Gloom's fears. Late game, it has a cooldown of 16 seconds, so you need to make sure to proc Gloom wherever you can to reduce Doom's cooldown by 25%. Play slowly until you find an opening for multiple resets - heck, you don't even have to use Shadow Surge to dive hard for carries, using it on their front line is great and creates a distraction for your AD carry to deal more DPS. Shadow Surge late game with both parts of the ability can do close to 1k damage, so don't be scarce with this ability. Getting the most use out of Shadow Surge will be key to mastering Vex.
And that's my Vex guide! I hope you found this guide helpful, and if you did please give it an upvote to make it more visible, and please post any questions you may have and I'll get back to them ASAP! Match-ups will be added slowly in detail. And of course, thank you so much to Jovy for providing me with these awesome graphics!
If you'd like to see my Vex gameplay, you can follow my Twitch channel - I will spam her once she is released to learn as much as I can about her! I stream every single day, starting from 7-8 PM UK time!