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Vel'Koz Build Guide by t3rminated

Middle EXTREMELY IN-DEPTH VEL'KOZ MID/SUPPORT GUIDE [WIP]

By t3rminated | Updated on April 19, 2020
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Runes: Beginner Vel'Koz

1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Sorcery
Arcane Comet
Manaflow Band
Transcendence
Scorch

Inspiration
Magical Footwear
Cosmic Insight
Bonus:

+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+9 Adaptive (5.4 AD or 9 AP)
+6 Armor

Spells:

1 2 3 4
Basic Summs
LoL Summoner Spell: Barrier

Barrier

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LeagueSpy Logo
Support Role
Ranked #11 in
Support Role
Win 50%
Get More Stats

Threats & Synergies

Threats Synergies
Extreme Major Even Minor Tiny
Show All
None Low Ok Strong Ideal
Extreme Threats
Ideal Synergies

Champion Build Guide

EXTREMELY IN-DEPTH VEL'KOZ MID/SUPPORT GUIDE [WIP]

By t3rminated
What is this guide?
Basic Info
x What is this guide?
x Why Play Vel'Koz?
x Changelog



Champion
x Pros / Cons
x Abilities
x Tips & Tricks
Basic Build
x Runes (WIP)
x Items
x Lanes (WIP)



In-Game
x Abilities
x Combos
x Strategy


Hi, I’m a Vel'Koz one trick who tryhards Vel'koz every day of his life. I currently have over a few hundred thousand points and mastery 7 on 2 accounts. Today I have an advanced guide for Vel'koz players which features the most useful tips and tricks that are compiled from a few other sources (click on "notes" for the full guide experience).

I found that the other guides on Mobafire are outdated or (in my opinion) not the most efficient. I made this guide to transfer some personal knowledge and the knowledge and experience from the #1 Vel'koz player. Azzapp also said on stream that my guide was, "pretty good."

If you guys don’t know who Azzapp is, he is the number one Vel'koz world and is one of the best league content creators/streamers ever. Check out his Mobafire guide for the basics of Vel'koz. After watching his stream and a few of his tutorial videos I have compiled a bunch of combos and tricks which will help the most in your competitive games.

Azzapp's Twitch: https://www.twitch.tv/azzapp
Azzapp's Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/user/AzzappNotGayChannel

Some other helpful guides (FULL CREDIT TO AZZAPP):

Azzapp's Reddit Guide
Azzapp's Mobafire Guide
Azzapp's Combo Youtube Video
Azzapp's Basic Vel'koz Guide




Why Play Vel'koz? Back to Top

Pros:
1. Very good range and poke
2. Does true damage which is really good against armour/mr comps.
3. Amazing in team fights/objectives (can steal lots of juicy objectives)
4. Insane burst damage when used properly
5. Can really easily punish mistakes (which happens a ton in lower elo)
6. Snowballs extremely well
7. Can easily carry games
8. Low mobility and low CC won’t matter with good positioning
9. Great champ to practice to help macro decisions
10. Great sieging
11. Really, really fun and satisfying to land combos


Cons:
1. Low mobility
2. Low CC
3. Mistakes can be easily punished by assassins
4. Relies a lot on having good macro and good positioning


Vel'Koz, the Eye of the Void
Vel’koz is an artillery, high damage, immobile mage. Imagine vel’koz as an AP carry that has longer range than an ADC. Vel’Koz is not too mechanically intensive, but there are a few combos you NEED to know in order to play him well.


Most of the strength of Vel’koz is from game knowledge and macro plays. You need to know a LOT about the game in order to do well in game and laning phase.
Changelog Back to Top

Changelog
Summoner Spells Back to Top
anchor=summoner
Flash would obviously be one of the summoner spells used for Vel'koz. Like basically every other champion, flash gives insane value and should always be used.


Barrier provides a bit more support against those guys that just jump on you. A decent Vel'koz player would have good enough positioning to not easily get picked before a fight. The only way you die is through mispositioning or the enemy team decides to jump you. Barrier provides the extra tankiness and survivability that is perfect for surviving assasins. During laning phase, you can also use bait in your opponent to jump you and use barrier to survive. Then, when they are either taking tower damage or have no abilities, punish them. This is the spell you should usually use with Flash.


Heal is something I personally do not really like. Here is why I prefer Barrier over Heal: Barrier has a lower cooldown which means it will be up sooner and you will be able to have more uses with it. Barrier is also not affected by outside effects. Heal can have its effects reduced from things like grevious wounds and Ignite. The 2 advantages that heal has is that it provides movement speed and also you can heal an ally as well. If you plan on mid laning, the second is pretty much useless and you can not really rely on your teammates in SoloQ to really do anything. The movement speed is not really effective against assassins anyways because their natural MS and abilities are still faster than you no matter what you really use. I would really only take this against champs who do not usually run ignite and MS is amazing in escaping them. This would be champs like Viktor (who has his Chaos Storm follow you around and the speed is great to escape). If you want, you can also go Nimbus Cloak for even more speed.


Occasionally I would also use Exhaust, mainly against funnel strat or high mobility melee bruisers and assassins. ALWAYS TAKE THIS AGAINST FUNNEL. This is required so your whole entire team doesn't instantly die from Master Yi. If you can predictively use exhaust on champs like yasuo before they all in you can completely deny their combo. Exhaust is also way better in the late game where barrier will provide little value since you will probably get bursted down either way and you will probably build Zhonya's Hourglass which is a better replacement for barrier. If you somewhat have faith in your team (Bad idea in NA soloq btw) then exhaust would sometimes be a better option.


Finally, you can pick Cleanse. Obviously, you would want to pick this against high CC teams. Champs such as Zoe who have a massive cc (their [sleepy trouble bubble]) and insane amount of burst. Barrier is practically useless against Zoe so I would always take Cleanse. The best case scenario would still be of course having good positioning and game knowledge to not get hit by their Paddle Star or Sleepy Trouble Bubble.
Item Buys Back to Top
anchor=items
This isn't exactly in order as there is a lot of adjusting/adapting required.


Luden's Echo would be the best choice as it provides the CDR, mana, and AP that's great for Vel. Not to mention that it's what lost chapter builds into.


Some people use Archangel's Staff/ Seraph's Embrace but it isn't recommended by me or Azzapp (The number one vel'koz player world). This is because it is a very slow item that takes a lot of time to finish and provides less AP than luden. Usually, SoloQ games don't last long enough for you to fully power spike and you have to actually rely on your team in order to do well (Which is literally the worst idea ever in any sort of competitive video game). Luden is way better because it will allow you to snowball quickly compared to archangel's.


Against any sort of assasins like zed, fizz, etc I would buy Zhonya's Hourglass because the stasis is amazing for these scenarios. You can zhonya's fizz ult, zed ult burst and basically all sorts of all ins.


Banshee's Veil Against other mages heavy comps or teams with pick skillshots (hooks, zoe's sleep, fizz R, etc) I would buy Banshee's for the passive and the MR.


The best boots would probably be Sorcerer's Shoes as it provides the magic pen that you need if they build MR. Although in low elo, I have seen some games where teams don't even build MR against you so I also sometimes go Ionian Boots of Lucidity because of that extra CDR on everything and a cheaper price.


Against heavy MR teams build Void Staff.


Against teams with tons of healing (conquerer heavy teams, Soraka the banana lady, lifesteal builds, etc) then you would build Morellonomicon. The grievous wound passive reduces healing on enemies.


One of the best items for Vel'Koz because of the raw damage it can provide. Against tank teams without much healing, you would go Liandry's Torment.


If you are confident about your positioning ability and have good stacks on Dark Seal, you can build it into Mejai's Soulstealer which gives a ton of AP (around 145 when fully stacked), added MS and it's only for the cheap price of 1400.


Finally, Rabadon's Deathcap would be the obvious choice because of the sheer amount of raw AP.
Early Game/Laning Phase Back to Top
anchor=laning
PLAY SAFE. Start with arcane comet and inspiration page if you are beginner to learn how to play a safe laning phase.



PRACTICE BASIC WAVE MANAGEMENT. You can look online to find some basic information on wave management with Vel'Koz. Watch a lot of Azzapp Video/Streams to understand better. To quickly shove a wave, you W the whole wave and quickly E the back caster minions. With the 2 stacks on the melee, a Q should finish the 3 melees off as well. If you didn’t know already, killing a unit with your Q refunds 50% of the mana cost. If you kill 2 minions, you get 100% of the mana back. If you kill 3 minions, you get 150% of the mana back (you get extra mana). Take this in mind to efficiently use your mana in lane.



A CHEEKY/FANCY COMBO. One of my favorite tricks is to Q a minion from the side to kill it and try to aim the secondary activation at the enemy champ. This has 2 benefits: You only use 50% of the mana cost, and they will most likely not expect it because they think you are simply last hitting.
How to Play Against Assasins Back to Top
POKE AND PRESSURE. This is a poke and pressure type of game. The goal is to pressure the mid laner as much as possible by poking. If you get them to low HP, they won’t be able to all in you. If you pressure them hard enough, they will make drastic and panicked attempts to combo you.



Read the specific guide on the champ matchup in “Threats” to really understand your matchup.



TRY TO PUNISH MISTAKES. These types of things usually fail with smart positioning and are easily punished afterwards. The good thing is that usually assassins are pretty squishy and can be bursted 100 to 0 when played correctly. Play a patient and safe game. If they are a roaming mid laner, read the section on “how to play against roaming champs.”
How to Play Against Roaming Champs Back to Top
This is Vel’Koz’s weakness right here.

You can’t really do anything.

1. DO NOT FOLLOW. Against roaming champions, you can’t really follow up with the roam because you are too slow, and you will probably die. A lot of Vel’Koz players try to follow up with the roam when there are 4 missing enemies and they instantly die in the river. DO NOT BE THAT GUY. If you get caught in the river in a 1 v 1 with the enemy mid, you will probably die. If you try to follow on champs like Talon, Katarina, LeBlanc, they will definitely stomp you in a 1 v 1. The hope is that your other lanes play safe when you ping missing 4000 times, or if you outnumber them and/or have jungler as backup, you can take a fight.



2. DO NOT TILT. Try not to tilt too much when people say “wHy diDn’T yOu foLLOW laNer!!!!!???!!!” because they clearly do not understand how Vel’Koz works. Try not to be too mad when your laner comes back with a few more kills that you. Learn to expect the absolute worst.



3. PUSH WAVE/STAY SAFE. You can try to take a few plates if the enemy jungler and mid is away, but it’s really not worth if they pick up 2 kills on your bot lane. Pray to the void gods that your teammates aren’t brain dead and the enemy mid wasted their time.
How to play against Mage Back to Top
If you are playing against another mage, this is amazing news. Considering most players in season 10 are playing assassin type champs that hard counter you, this is a rare experience.



OUTPOKE AND OUTRANGE. Vel’Koz is great in this since he is basically unmatched by range (other than xerath) and burst damage. The difficult thing in these matchups is CDR tracking, mana usage, and positioning.



MANAGE ENEMY CDs. Many of the times, these mages have some CC that can cancel your ult or set up ganks. Some of these abilities include Syndra stun, Xerath stun, Orianna ult, Malzahar Ult, etc. The best way to improve on this is to imagine that if you get stunned, you are dead (which is usually true anyways). This helps you focus on your positioning and CDR management.



Read the part about “How to Punish Correctly” for more information. As long as you wait for mistakes and/or ganks in these matchups, you should be perfectly fine during laning phase. You also snowball/scale a lot better than most of these champs.
How to Punish Well/Get Solo Kills Back to Top
HAVE GOOD MAP AWARENESS

Do not be that one guy on the team that constantly dies to roaming lanes and blames it on the fact that other people didn’t ping. You need to pay attention to the map yourself. Know when enemies are missing and position yourself accordingly.
Learn jungle pathings. Seasons 10 new jungle exp allows for new jungle clearing paths which you need to understand. An early game jungler ( Xin Zhao for example) you need to expect an early level gank and position yourself accordingly. If you want to punish in lane, you need to know if there is the jungler around.



KEEP TRACK OF CDs. This is the most important thing. You have to know what abilities can interrupt you ultimate and time your combo or position yourself accordingly. For example, try to combo when abilities like ziggs knockup, yasuo tornado are down. Also, be careful when escape abilities are up as well such as fizz bounce, zed w, akali smoke unless you are SURE you can burst them down before they can use it. Even then I would still probably wait.



READ ENEMY MOVEMENTS. You can usually guess what they are going to do because they usually act on instinct. When you shoot you Q do they walk up or down? Use this information to hit your next Q. Are they walking up to try and last hit a cannon minion? Use this opportunity to land a combo. These type of things can lead to you increasing your skillshot accuracy, give you some opportunities to hit some combos.
How to counter Vel'Koz? (Formatting WIP) Back to Top
In order to play Vel'Koz well, you also need to know how to counter Vel'Koz.

As mentioned before, Vel’Koz is one of the squishest, most immobile, vulnerable mages in the game. With that being said, Vel’Koz is really, really vulnerable to Assassins.

UNDERSTAND HIS KILL POTENTIAL:

To play around Vel’Koz, you have to understand his kill potential. To really understand his damage, you have to know how his passive works.

The general gist of it is that everytime he lands an ability, he applies one stack of his passive. You can see his passive as a section of a purple triangle under your champ.

When this hits 3 stacks, he applies a small burst of true damage. This is why stacking MR against him isn’t too effective.

If you see him have 2 stacks under you, you can tell he will be looking for a Q to hit to apply that juicy true damage. Play safe and behind minions until the passive wears off (only a few seconds). Note that his auto attacks do not proc his passive, BUT they reset passive timer so the passive stacks will stay on for longer. To fully understand, his passive is around ⅓ of the damage from his kit.

HOW TO COUNTER PICK VEL'KOZ:

If you are counter picking a support against him, I would recommended a hard engage, all in champion. A champ like Leona or Nautilus is an amazing counter against Vel’Koz. If you reduce the poke damage you take during early laning phase, you should be able to easily all in without worrying about your HP. Keep in mind (let’s use Leona for example), NEVER ENGAGE WITH ALL YOUR ABILITIES. You always have to save at least one CC for his ult animation. Something like Leona Solar Flare or nautilus R would completely deny his damage combo and you can watch as he tickles you with his tentacles as you slaughter his ADC.

Champs with lots of mobility and CC are amazing against Vel’Koz as support Vel’Koz relies on his poke and burst combo to do well. If he can’t land his Tectonic Disruption, he can’t really land a good combo. Save CC for his R and dodge E and Vel’Koz is practically useless.

IF YOU CAN'T PLAY HARD ENGAGE SUPPORTS:

This is for you Wicked Cherry!

Not being able to counterpick Vel'Koz is fine, as I know many support players who only play utility supports. If you play champs like Lulu, Yuumi, Nami, Soraka, Janna, you have to know how to manage cooldowns. The thing is that you can't really use your abilities to poke, since Vel'Koz will most likely outtrade you 90% of the time. You have to save your abilities/mana unless you are sure Vel'Koz doesn't have mana. Things like Janna tornado, Lulu polymorph, nami bubble and ult, Soraka silence all cancel his ultimate. Without Vel'Koz ult, he can't really burst you down. Save your CDs to deny his combo and you should be golden. Read the rest of this chapter for more information.

If you are duo with your jungler, the most efficient way to counter the matchup would be to freeze the lane, force them to go up, and literally camp the Vel’Koz and make his life a living hell. He has basically no mobility and CC so ganks would easily be a double kill for your team if they are mispositioned. If a Vel’Koz cannot snowball, it will take a very long time for him to actually do damage.

If he is smart and plays safe, you can either try to cheese him in a bush, or you can roam. If Vel’Koz stays in lane, this means he won’t have vision control. If you keep pressure on him and keep him in lane, dragons and other objectives would be very easy to take for your team. If he chooses to risk it and place vision, Vel’Koz is an easy target in the river without protection from his allies. This should lead to easy kills on him if your mid/jungler has even a little bit of map awareness. Buy Control Ward/ Oracle Lens to deny vision which forces them to face check bushes in the river. This can lead to easy picks. You can also roam to other lanes. Vel’Koz is very vulnerable when rotating, so he will likely not move. This would mean an easy 2 v 1 in the midlane which will help your mid out a lot, or Vel’Koz risking himself to try and follow.

TL;DR: Vel’Koz is a really vulnerable roaming champ and as long as you are aware of his kill potential you should have a larger impact on the rest of the map.
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