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Neeko Build Guide by Vapora Dark

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Vapora Dark In-Depth Mid Neeko Guide 9.20 Season 9

By Vapora Dark | Updated on October 9, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Neeko
  • LoL Champion: Neeko

Runes:

Inspiration
Glacial Augment
Magical Footwear
Biscuit Delivery
Cosmic Insight

Domination
Ingenious Hunter
Taste of Blood
Bonus:

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

Spells:

LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

Champion Build Guide

Vapora Dark In-Depth Mid Neeko Guide 9.20 Season 9

By Vapora Dark
-Table of Contents-

Hi, I'm Vapora Dark, a veteran player that's been playing since season 1. During that time I've hit Master tier as a mid lane main in season 5, as an ADC main in season 7, again as a jungle main in season 8, and once more in season 9 playing a mix of all those roles including mid and Fizz. I can play every role to a very high level and have a very good understanding of the general aspects of the game on top of that.


I've been writing guides on MOBAFire since 2011, among which my achievements include winning the MOBAFire guide contest multiple times, achieving the highest score on the site multiple times with multiple guides, achieving the most comments on a single guide of all time by a very large amount which hasn't come even close to being surpassed in the 3 years that it's been archived, and having the most collective guide views on the site by a very hefty amount. I've also written some champion guides for Riot Games on the Lolesports site.

Inspiration & Domination




Glacial Augment
Glacial Augment: Neeko does a lot of damage as long as the enemy can stay in place long enough for her to do her combos. Usually even allied CC isn't enough to do this but Glacial Augment together with the active items are enough to make her able to land her abilities way more consistently.

Magical Footwear
Magical Footwear: A free pair of boots is basically putting you 300g ahead over everyone who doesn't take the rune. With the way Glacial Augment plays so well with specific items, being able to ignore the boost cost lets you rush those items more quickly allowing you to be so much more effective earlier on.

Biscuit Delivery
Biscuit Delivery: Neeko has no innate sustain and is very squishy. Being able to get extra sustain throughout the laning phase is invaluable.

Cosmic Insight
Cosmic Insight: Extra cooldown reduction is nice, but more importantly is that this has CDR for your items. With Glacial Augment it's very important to be able to use your items as much as possible making this rune do some of the best double duty possible.


Domination


Taste Of Blood


Ingenious Hunter
Taste of Blood: Neeko's biggest weakness is her lack of sustain in any form. Being able to heal a fair bit every 20 seconds is very important for a mid range mage. She also makes middling use of the other runes in domination making this the best rune by default. Neeko also has incredibly low health regen, making any form of sustain outside of potions very impactful.

Ingenious Hunter: With Glacial Augment you want to make liberal use of items like Hextech GLP-800 and Twin Shadows to get the most out of the keystone. Being able to use them almost twice as much is incredibly useful which makes this rune a must have.
Middle
Offence: Adaptive Power 9
Flex: Adaptive Power +9
Defense: 15-90 (based on level) Bonus Health
Support
Offence: Adaptive Power +9
Flex: Adaptive Power +9
Defense: 6 Bonus Armour
Flash
This summoner spell is one you should always take and the one you'll always see. Flash has a billion and one uses, from flashing in to get a kill, from flashing away from danger, flashing over walls and flashing over abilities. This is something you should be very familiar with by now and it's something you should ALWAYS have. There is never a situation where you don't take flash.
Ignite
As a mage your job is to kill champions. Ignite the best summoner spell for the job and will always be useful throughout the match. In bottom lane as the support, it's practically a must to take in order to have any real kill pressure and to counter the common Heal taken by ADCs. In mid lane, you can take more defencive orientated summoner spells but overall I feel like Ignite will be universally more impactful.
-Mid Lane Skill Order-

> >
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
Q E W Q Q R Q E Q E R E E W W R W W
-Support Skill Order-

> >
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18
E Q W Q Q R Q E Q E R E E W W R W W

Passive: Inherent Glamour
Inherent Glamour
A very powerful deception tool, Inherent Glamour allows Neeko to turn into any allied champion on the map indefinitely to be seen as a perfect copy of that champion to the enemy team. Whenever Neeko casts Blooming Burst or Tangle-Barbs the effect instantly wears off. It will always instantly wear off if she basic attacks a champion, takes damage from a champion or uses a summoner spell. However she can cast Shapesplitter to create another copy of the champion Neeko copied. This makes for some great mind game potential in areas where the enemy has little vision. Potentially creating 3 of the same champion it can be very hard to figure out which is Neeko, the Clone and the Ally. Pop Blossom will also not break Inherent Glamour during the 1.25s channel allowing her to hide the long wind up (unless she takes damage breaking the disguise).

One very important thing to note about this passive is the fact you can still basic attack whilst disguised. This allows you to set up some crafty tricks. Such as pretending to be Twitch whilst he's in stealth and you just act like you're farming, then as he un-stealths you can root them with Tangle-Barbs. It's also great for ganking as you can pretend to be a different champion to who you actually are. People are less afraid of a Sivir ganking them than someone with hard crowd control.

Q: Blooming Burst
Blooming Burst
A basic area of effect ability that will trigger multiple times if it hits a champion or large monster. This is what lets you easily farm or harass enemies. It deals enough damage to constantly clear ranged minions so long as you're not behind in mid lane and has decent poke potential. However more importantly is that it's very easy to cause it to repeat. Whilst the multi-casts deal less than 50% of the damage of the original cast, if you connect all 3 bursts you'll deal considerable damage. It's also very easy to keep champions in the area with your Tangle-Barbs. To farm more easily, you should aim for hitting both the champion and the minions so you'll get at least one extra bloom.
I max this ability first as it's your main damage source.

W: Shapesplitter
Shapesplitter
Passively, you deal bonus damage every third basic attack and gain a small burst of movement speed. This can be fantastic for trading or poking in lane. Prepare your third basic attack then you'll be able to easily gain lane priority thanks to the extra damage the attack will deal. As it also gives you movement speed, it makes it harder for enemies to retaliate as well.
The active however is very interesting. Upon cast she instantly becomes invisible for 0.5s and creates a clone of her current form to run in the targeted direction for 2 seconds. It also gives both her and the clone some bonus movement speed. Complimenting itself, you can prepare the third basic attack then cast Shapesplitter to get the bonus movement speed and make enemies confused as to the real you. Then you can freely get the empowered attack off and run away with the movement speed again.
It also has great potential to trick your enemies. By creating a copy of your current form, that means it can also copy your Inherent Glamour form too. Allowing you to hide yourself or the allied champion in a unique cup game-like twist.
I max this ability last as it's pretty much pure utility. Only the cooldown goes down by 1 second and the damage on the third hit scales harder with ability power than the points.

E: Tangle-Barbs
Tangle-Barbs
A very powerful crowd control ability that allows you to create incredibly long crowd control durations enabling Neeko to combo some of the highest damage in the entire game. It deals some ok damage but the root is the most important factor. Whilst it only roots for a small 0.5s, it quickly increases based on how many targets you root with the ability. It also goes through all units making it not only good to use through a minion wave to catch people off-guard, but optimal in most cases. The root increases by a small amount to the last champion hit if another unit is infront of them. This makes it important to catch at least 1 extra target infront of your intended target in order for your inteded target to be rooted for loner which in turn makes it more easy to hit multiple Blooming Burst triggers. I should also mention that as it can hit every target in the line, it can greatly assist with pushing/wave clear due to its decent base damage ( Lux's Lucent Singularity for example has 20 more base damage and 20% higher AP ratio, and is her main waveclear ability).
The most important thing to remember though is that if it hits 2 targets the root becomes drastically more powerful to the final target hit. Going from a 0.5 second root to a potential 3 second root is absurd. That is the same duration as a rank 5 Dark Binding, that has a lower cooldown, longer range and can go through minions. You'll usually be using this in lane to tag 2 minions with it and then hit your target champion with the super empowered root in order to get your Blooming Burst off in its entireity.
I max this ability seconds for the extra base damage and increased root duration when empowered.

R: Pop Blossom
Pop Blossom
One of the strongest damaging abilities in the game, Pop Blossom can single handedly win games if you set it up properly. Whilst it has a long delay from pressing the ultimate button to actually triggering the area of effect damage it can be played around fairly easily with the rest of her kit and how the ultimate works. She can be completely hidden whilst she does the initial charge as it doesn't break her Inherent Glamour. This means you can more easily stay in range of people during the channel without them using Flash or just running away. When you jump up into the air you're unable to move but you gain a pretty hefty shield based on how many enemies are nearby and it will slow those champions by 40%. Then once you land from the jump, you nuke the giant area for a huge amount of damage and you stun every enemy to boot. Whilst there isn't much direct depth to this ability, it has natural synergy with Inherent Glamour and deals so much damage it's important to consistently land.

Doran's Ring & Spellthief's Edge
Your starting item is depentent on your role. In mid lane, you'll always start Doran's Ring as it's the best starting item for most laners. Whilst there are over viable starts on Neeko the best option for mid lane will be, by default, Doran's Ring. As for support, you must always start with the Spellthief's Edge. This is because as a support you need vision control as soon as possible and because you don't get any farm you need another way to generate gold. You must always prioritise upgrading your Spellthief's Edge into a Frostfang as soon as possible. You gain a lot of extra income and 10% cooldown reduction.
Sorcerer's Shoes & Boots of Mobility
Whilst both are viable for both roles, mid lane suits going the more expensive damage based option whereas support values the cheaper utility based option. Sorcerer's Shoes will greatly increase your damage as flat magic penetration is incredibly powerful and is viable for both mid/support. Boots of Mobility are much more of a support only boot option as you'll want to be roaming and creating picks more often than a mid laner would like to. The extra mobility is also super powerful when it comes to vision control.
Hextech GLP-800
This item is a must buy on Neeko as it's perfect with Glacial Augment thanks to every bolt causing a freezing ray. It's cheap for a 20% CDR item as well making it buyable on support Neeko as well.
Twin Shadows
Again with Glacial Augment you'll want slowing actives in order to make liberal use of the keystone together with your kit. This and Hextech GLP-800 are both very cheap so you can quickly get to your powerspikes.
Oblivion Orb
Whilst most items only become powerful when you fully complete them, the Oblivion Orb spikes when you finish it instead of the full Morellonomicon. Gaining magic penetration, ability power and some health makes for a powerful item in the early game for both mid and support.
Zhonya's Hourglass
With the nature of Neeko's kit and Pop Blossom being very important to land, the power of being able to dive in recklessly and still survive is very powerful. You can cast Zhonya's Hourglass at any point during Pop Blossom and it will fully complete. That means you can very consistently jump into the middle of a group of enemies and press your ultimate key and follow up immediately with a zhonyas. You cannot cast this during the jump of your ultimate so there is a small window where you'r vulnerable if you're not cautious.
Void Staff
Whilst the Void Staff will allow you to penetrate all kinds of magic resistance which is very powerful, it's important to know it's not very cost efficient. The target must have over 80 magic resistance for it to even be considered. As most people buy flat penetration from Oblivion Orb and Sorcerer's Shoes you must check the enemy teams items before committing to buying this.
Rabadon's Deathcap
After 2-3 other items you'll want to purchase a Rabadon's Deathcap. The huge ability power multiplier makes this a must buy on nearly every mage and with the high ability power ratios Neeko has she is one of the many who needs to buy this.
Remnant of the Watchers
You should only fully buy the Remnant of the Watchers when you have nothing else to buy. The extra health and ward you can hold isn't valuable enough for the gold. You're better off spending the gold on more Control Ward's or components for your other items.
Banshee's Veil
Sometimes you need a lot of magic resistance and the ability to negate an ability. Whilst this item isn't as good on Neeko due to the fact you can simply cast Shapesplitter in the direction of an incoming spell to prevent it, you also sometimes need a lot of magic resistance and this is the only item a burst mage can buy that has that.
In the laning phase you'll mostly want to be trading and farming with Blooming Burst. It can very easily clear minion waves if you tag the enemy laner with it or last hit a minion with it as it also triggers another burst which dramatically increases your waveclear. An important thing to note about Neeko is that although she has very high damange and can be fairly slippery, she's very squishy. With a low base armour and below average health overall she's very susceptible to lane dominant champions such as Talon, LeBlanc or Syndra. Ealry on your best bet is to simply clear waves and avoid even trades and simply take free damage using the spammability of Blooming Burst.

Once you have enough levels and ability power to consistently push waves quickly you'll want to look for roams or to trick your lane opponent using Inherent Glamour. By disgusing yourself as an ally who is not visible on the map you can bait your opponent into unfavourable situations or simply have more threat than you would expect. You can do this by walking back into the fog for a few seconds then transform into your jungler. Usually the lane opponent will assume you recalled so they will shove quickly to have a better recall timing than you and gain a lead. You can then freely last hit minions as the allied champion and if you see the enemy recall you can quickly clear waves with your Q.
You can also very easily roam to other lanes by pretending to be your teams jungler whilst they make a play somehwere else. You can easily create misinformation like this by doing things as walk up to top lane pretending to be your jungler whilst your actual jungler starts the dragon. Then without breaking the disguise leave and head back to mid lane. The enemy team can be fooled into thinking your jungler isn't where they actually are allowing them to do a myriad of things. Taking objectives, diving overly aggressive laners without vision, counter jungle or just simply have more presence than what they usually would gain.

After the laning phase is over you'll want to continue to trick the enemy team with Inherent Glamour but instead of ganking or just making them second guess themsevles you can easily combo someone with your high damage combo. Tangle-Barbs to hit a champion then follow up instantly with a Blooming Burst then you can cast Shapesplitter for momentary invisiblity and movement speed to more easily cast your Pop Blossom for a huge amount of damage.
As Neeko you're more suited for pick and teamfighting comps than 1-3-1 split push comps. Sieging is fairly powerful due to the ability to Zhonya's Hourglass during Pop Blossom and the general trickery you can pull off with Inherent Glamour and Shapesplitter. Throwing Tangle-Barbs through teams to root carries for several seconds can single handedly cause and win fights. Not to mention her incredible team combo potential with champions such as Jarvan IV or Wukong.
In the laning phase your goal will be to keep high pressure on the enemy laners through crowd control and poke damage which will allow your allied champion you're laning with to farm more easily or to potentially setup a kill in order to snowball. As you'll be on limited income but will also need to primarily keep vision control you'll be spending a lot of time roaming once your lane is safe to do so. With Relentless Hunter and Boots of Mobility you can very quickly go to another lane and setup a gank with your Inherent Glamour and Tangle-Barbs for quick kills. Then just as quickly you can create areas of vision and vision denial with your Oracle Lens and Eye of Frost.

Once the laning phase is over you'll still be hanging near your teammates as you'll be exceedingly easy to kill but able to kill enemies just as easily. Making sure your carry is always able to reliable gain gold is your top priority just like in the laning phase so again throughout the game you'll be gaining and denying vision with the items you purcahse. You'll always be looking for picks as well if you have an ally nearby as the long root from Tangle-Barbs and high damage of Pop Blossom will always be a threat if your allied champion can quickly add some damage to your combo.
Just like as in mid lane, you can very easily roam across the map as Neeko thanks to her Inherent Glamour. Pretending to be a different champion from your team can do many things to trick the enemy team that is unanimous across all roles and is the core of Neeko's kit. Pretending to be the jungler and appearing in a weird place can buy your jungler/team a lot of free time by simply showing yourself on the map. You can subvert many expectations of the enemy team by simply showing up somehwere as someone else then leaving just as quickly as you appear. This is even more impactful if you constantly have the enemy team lacking vision. Control Ward's and Oracle Lens are your best friend as Neeko as your copies are perfect out of combat.

You can also eventually scale into a pretty powerful mage as well from the support role. Whilst overall you'll be gaining a lot less expierence and gold you can still gain enough if the game is long enough to transition into a full on mage. The only exception to this is that you'll never be selling your warding item as it's far too important to give up for any team. Even if it means you'll be dealing less damage, vision control wins games.
Hopper is Bae
Neeko is an excellent trickster champion with a very unique kit that isn't too hard to pick up and play but has limitless potential if you're crafty enough. I hope you found this helpful and helped you learn to play Neeko as both a mid laner and a support!

Special thanks to Hopper for banners and coding. This guide was a collaboration with Vicious Skittle, who wrote the majority of the guide.
League of Legends Build Guide Author Vapora Dark
Vapora Dark Neeko Guide