Veigar Build Guide by Ramian
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The Tiny Master of (Low) Elo
+13 Attack Damage or +22 Ability Power, adaptive
Ideal Finished Build
Threats to Veigar with this build
|Veigar||#FarmSimulator2018. But seriously, play this matchup around HIS Event Horizon, not your own. Wait until his is on cooldown; that way you know you have the advantage, at least until he has it up again.|
Introduction and Veigar's Strengths and Weaknesses
WELCOME, one and all, to the best guide available to the most overpowered champion in the entirety of the League of Legends. If you're wondering why you should listen to anything I of all people have to say, then let me first say: I am frankly surprised you haven't heard the name Ramian before. I have played near the top of the Challenger list since Season 0, won several regional championships (and one World Championship), and played in three different professional teams, all while playing exclusively Veigar. As a personal bragging right, I am also the only person to ever beat Faker in a duel as Veigar.
If you're thinking, "This guy is totally s****ing me. I've never heard of you; there's no way you could have done all that stuff," to that I simply say "haters gonna hate." After all, I am the world's best Veigar player. Who else has won a world championship by playing literally nothing but Veigar in professional play? No one. That's who. So sit down, kids, so we can start talking about the man of the hour: Veigar, The Tiny Master of Evil!!
+Mid- to Late-game damage is off the charts
+Fairly straightforward to learn and conceptualize
+Powerful zone control with a long-duration AoE stun
+Infinite scaling into the late late game
+Even now, the enemy's loved ones suffer.
-Super weak early game and huge reliance on farm
-Few advantageous matchups
-Not particularly self-sufficient, needs help from team to really succeed
-Gets killed just as quickly as he gets kills
Veigar is the quintessential burst mage, able to obliterate a squishy target from the face of Summoner's Rift so fast they type "wat" into All-chat, and they'll actually have to use the death recap during their death screen because they didn't even register what the hell just happened. Veigar also excels in mid-game skirmishes, where his E, Event Horizon provides a huge area of effect, long-duration stun that can turn the tables of a teamfight. He also has an infinitely scaling passive in Phenomenal Evil Power, enabling him to keep gaining power even after buying all six of his items. These in addition to his primary damage tools, Baleful Strike, Dark Matter, and Primordial Burst means Veigar's job is to lock enemies down and delete them, all while supporting his team with crowd control.
But all of his damage and crowd control comes at an unfortunate cost. Veigar is glass-fragile, and as fast as he can kill people, other people can probably kill him faster. This wouldn't be as big of a problem if Veigar had more mobility in his kit, but, well... he doesn't.
Consequently, Veigar needs his team to succeed. He also needs a summoner who knows what the hell they're doing with him, which, obviously, is why you're reading this guide, right?
Pre-Game: Summoner Spells
But we can't jump into a game right away. There are some important things to do to prepare yourself, so.... Welcome to the wonderful world of Summoner Spells!! The only hard and fast rule here is that you take Flash, but beyond that... Well, here are some recommendations to give you an idea about what might be a good idea to take. I've color coded them in correspondence to necessity and priority. Thanks to Unsealed Spellbook, you have the luxury of switching out a summoner spell whenever the situation calls for it, so the explanations are meant to give you an idea of when to switch to which summoner spells:
Red=Absolutely essential. Taking this summoner spell is required on Veigar, and I don't think there are many players who would seriously disagree.
Blue=Personally recommended over other summoner spells
Green=Usable on Veigar, but there are likely better options that accomplish similar goals, or it is a niche summoner spell
|Look, Veigar has no mobility inherent to his ability kit, meaning you absolutely need something to make up for it, which is where Flash comes in. Additionally, it might be hard to see for a newer player, but the ability to instantaneously reposition your champion--no matter the distance--is a powerful, powerful ability that should not be underestimated. These two things make Flash an indispensable tool in your arsenal, so much so that even when you switch out summoner spells with Unsealed Spellbook, you should keep Flash. As far as your other summoner spell, however, you have a few options, depending on your situation...|
|This is my second primary summoner spell after Flash. It is invaluable when it comes time to buy your Tear of the Goddess and get back to lane without losing farm. The map presence it allows you is awesome, just pay attention to the map! You never know when teammates could really use you teleporting in to turn the tables of a fight. This is my favorite spell to start the game with since I can recall whenever I want and get back to lane quickly. However, whenever Teleport is on cooldown or you don't need it immediately, it might behoove you to switch to something else...|
|Barrier is my favorite summoner spell for Veigar after Flash because of its versatility. It has gotten me out of countless scenarios wherein I would have otherwise died. It is a great answer to Ignite, and just generally hard to go wrong with, especially for newer players, seeing as it gives you what is essentially an "OH S***" button to push when you're in trouble. Despite it being my favorite Summoner Spell, I tend to load into the game with Teleport to ensure I can recall for my Tear of the Goddess as soon as I can afford it and get back to lane without missing too many minion kills. You can always switch to Barrier after that and keep in reserve until you need it thanks to Unsealed Spellbook.|
|Ghost is great when you want to make up for Veigar's immobility with more tools than just Flash. It's also great for chasing opponents down, and if you're confident in your dodging ability and are against a skillshot-heavy champion like Xerath, Ghost could potentially negate more damage than either Barrier or Heal. After all, you can't be killed if you can't be hit, right? ;) If anything, I'd wait to switch this spell in later in the game, as its usefulness increases when moving around skirmishes becomes more paramount.|
|It's really easy to forget about Clarity, because no one EVER loads into the game with it, and neither should you. However, if you find yourself in a situation wherein you've been spam-casting your Q and need lots of mana like NOW (say, in the middle of the laning phase and you can't afford to recall yet), then Clarity can be a godsend. Veigar has huge mana problems after all, so carefully consider how much you need mana, switch it out, use it immediately, and get your Teleport back just like that :D|
|Exhaust is definitely your go-to summoner spell against high damage carries who would be able to obliterate you. Do remember though that Exhaust is most effective when it is used directly before the enemy champion in question deals their damage, which means it takes practice to get the most out of this spell. Against someone like Zed or Katarina it is super powerful when timed correctly, but the key phrase there is "when timed correctly." If you do take this summoner spell, it'll probably be one you switch to right after your first Teleport, as the early laning phase is when you're most vulnerable to assassins.|
|The appeal for Heal might seem greater than Barrier, since it grants a burst of movement speed that Barrier doesn't, but I warn you that it has a sharp drawback: it is susceptible to Grievous Wounds, which reduces the healing and regeneration rates of your champion when it is applied to you. This means that if your opponent takes Ignite (which is super common, BTW) then Heal is going to have a harder time saving you from it than Barrier or Cleanse. Still, if the enemy doesn't take Ignite and has no other way to apply Grievous Wounds to you, then by all means, go for Heal :D|
|Despite Ignite's innate kill pressure, I rarely take it on Veigar for reasons echoed in my Keystone Rune spiel. Veigar's kit's damage tends to render more damage redundant, and Ignite is no exception. I would simply rather take something to prop up Veigar's poor defenses. That being said, I won't recommend you not take Ignite, but I think that even among aggressive Summoner Spells, there are better options.|
|Cleanse, like Exhaust, takes practice to know precisely when to use it during any given exchange. It also requires a knowledge of your lane opponent's champion (what they are good at, their abilities, how they want to disable you, etc.), so I would only recommend taking it if (1) you want to practice using it, or (2) you already know what you're doing with it. In general, it's most useful against an enemy team that has lots of crowd control.|
|Smite is something you should really only switch to late in the game if your team wants to contest Baron Nashor or the Elder Dragon . Your Smite, along with your WQ combo and your Jungler's Smite all but guarantees your team kills it. Those 4 abilities laid down all at the same time does about twice as much damage as Nunu or Lee Sin can do to execute either objective. However, you don't need it unless you're in that situation, and since there is a 5 second delay between switching out summoner spells and being able to use it, you have to predict well in advance whether your team is positioning to take one of those objectives or not. Otherwise, Smite is a wasted summoner spell on Veigar.|
||So here's the thing. As a squishy, late-game oriented burst mage, you absolutely need tools to keep yourself safe and healthy in the laning phase, and Inspiration accomplishes this far better than Sorcery. Besides, Veigar does not need help to deal damage. Taking Arcane Comet or Summon Aery is a waste on him because (1) at the point in the game where Veigar's damage is relevant, the enemy is going to die before either one hits them, and (2) you are going to be too occupied by farming before that to be bothered to trade damage with your opponents, when both the comet and Aery are most impactful. Instead, taking Unsealed Spellbook gives you options. Load into the game with Teleport for a summoner spell and switch to something like Barrier or Heal when the mid- to late-game rolls around and you need a more combat-oriented spell. In terms of specific recommendations as to what spells to switch in and out, check out the previous chapter, Pre-Game: Summoner Spells. Additionally, the secondary perks you get from Inspiration are exactly what Veigar needs to get past his atrocious early game: Magical Footwear lets you spend more money on what you really want, AP or mana sustain ( Perfect Timing is also fine; I just prefer boots), and Biscuit Delivery plus Time Warp Tonic ensure you stay healthy until your damage comes online.|
||Instead of turning to Sorcery for your keystone, consider the fact that you get everything you need out of it from just Transcendence and Manaflow Band. The only thing I sort of wish I could take is Gathering Storm, but even if you did take it then it would kind of be a hat on a hat next to Veigar's passive. Instead, consider switching out Manaflow Band for Nullifying Orb if you're against an AP-heavy mage like Annie who has enough early game damage to murder you otherwise. You can get away with less mana if it means you'll stay alive.|
Pre-Game: Your Abilities 101
For a guide about Veigar we sure haven't talked about him specifically much, have we? Let's change that and get down to brass tacks. Here's a layout of all of Veigar's abilities. I won't be going over what the ability actually does when you press the button. I figure you can mouse over the ability icon for that. Rather, the blurb about each one is designed to deepen and broaden your understanding of how they work:
A good Veigar player is constantly ravenous for passive stacks, because it is a significant portion of your overall damage. Remember, you aren't just stacking damage for Baleful Strike. You're stacking basic Ability Power, meaning Veigar's passive builds damage for all of his damaging abilities, making it invaluable in terms of gold value.
Phenomenal Evil Power has nifty, indirect synergies with a few game mechanics, such as cooldown reduction. The more cooldown reduction you have, more often you have your Baleful Strike ready to use, which means you can last-hit more minions with it, resulting in more AP stacking from it. Another cool synergy is with Rabadon's Deathcap due to the Deathcap's passive, which gives a bonus percentage of AP, and since Veigar ends up building a metric ton of AP, Rabadon's Deathcap has ludicrous gold value. There is also a really cool mechanic that gives champions bonus damage to turrets and inhibitors if their AP is a certain percentage higher than their AD, meaning that late in the game Veigar is capable of doing about 500-600 damage to turrets with each auto-attack.
Since numbers make the world go 'round, let's look at what this ability is actually capable of, shall we? If you kill 70 small minions with your Q alone and have 3 kills an 3 assists, then you will have gained 100 AP from your passive. Now think about that. A finished Luden's Echo grants you 90 AP, meaning that you will have farmed an entire item's worth of Ability Power just through your passive.
Phenomenal Evil Power also gives Dark Matter reduced cooldown for every 50 stacks you have, so yeah: stack your passive as much as humanly--or Veigarly--possible. Otherwise you're an embarrassment to the majesty that is Veigar.
This is a mid-range, fast traveling, straight line skillshot, used primarily to gain stacks of your passive by killing minions. That doesn't mean it isn't capable of dealing quite a bit of its own damage though, especially after sinking a few dozen passive stacks and maxing out your Q rank, which means you'll eventually be able to harass your lane opponent with it in addition to hoarding farm.
Its damage means you also shouldn't discount it as part of your primary skill combo. In fact, you probably will not be able to kill someone from full health in the mid-game without landing damage from at least one or two Qs along with the rest of your combo.
It might be tempting to max your W first, but remember that Baleful Strike's cooldown is reduced for every point you have towards maxing it. The lower its cooldown is, the more often you can use it, the more AP you'll end up getting out of your passive. Your W does end up having quite a bit of damage by the time it is maxed out, but the sooner you put Baleful Strike on a ~3 second cooldown, the sooner you can build damage for all of your abilities, not just your W.
Dark Matter is capable of unbelievable amounts of damage. As in, when I first saw it I literally didn't believe it. I thought it was a bug. But it isn't. You really can do 1,000 magic damage in one strike. But don't assume it will be able to insta-gib someone at rank 1. In fact, your W isn't going to be doing all that much damage until you have 3-4 points invested in it and you've farmed up some items and stacks of Phenomenal Evil Power. It is for this reason we max W immediately after Q.
Unfortunately, Dark Matter's damage is offset by its long delay time and consequent difficulty in landing. The good news is that a stun from Event Horizon lasts a minimum of 1.25 seconds, giving you a window to cast your W for a guaranteed hit. If, however, you cast Dark Matter without landing a stun, get used to it being dodged over and over. It's impossible to not see coming, at least not early on when real action is scarce. In the chaos of a late game teamfight you might be surprised by how often you can land Dark Matter without even casting your Event Horizon, either because your team has applied crowd control already, or there is so much happening that the enemy doesn't notice the moment you cast it and they are struck before they even know what happened. GG, noobs. On that note, it gets easier and easier to land as the game goes on, because you can use it with increasing frequency. You see, Phenomenal Evil Power grants Dark Matter reduced cooldown for every 50 stacks of it you have, such that by the time you have 350 passive stacks and about 40% CDR, your W is on a 2.5 second cooldown. You can afford to miss more and more Ws, since it'll be off cooldown that much sooner. Along with practicing landing your Event Horizon, also practice landing Dark Matter, because the better your are at landing it the sooner you can get to the point of dealing its insane amounts of damage every 2.5 seconds, which I think you'll agree is ridiculous.
Dark matter damage
Your W also provides vision to the area it strikes during its 1.2 second delay, so if you don't have a ward, there is no need to face check a bush ;)
Ah yes, Veigar's most iconic ability. Honestly, I think Event Horizon is so strong it could be an ultimate due to its huge area of effect and resulting zone control, as well as its long-duration AoE stun, 2.5 seconds!! If that doesn't sound like a long time, then you need to get better acquainted with League of Legends time. 2.5 seconds is an eternity, and it would be one thing if only Veigar could follow up on it, but the nice thing about crowd control is that it helps your whole team. Landing an Event Horizon on just one or two people during a teamfight could mean the difference between winning and losing that fight, even if you don't kill one of the people you stun. Another thing to remember about where to place your Event Horizon is that doesn't just stun. It essentially creates a wall, meaning you can block off areas of the map you don't want enemies to go.
"YOU... SHALL NOT... PASS!" - Veigar Greybeard
Using it for protection
Trust me: good use of Event Horizon is what separates experienced Veigar players from beginners. Practice makes perfect.
People on the receiving end of this ability shouldn't underestimate its damage, but as the Veigar player, you shouldn't overestimate its damage. It deals the maximum amount of damage when the enemy is at 33% health, but that doesn't mean it will surely execute them there. If they are a tank building magic resistance, Primordial Burst is going to be doing less damage, so take into consideration your opponent's items and total magic resistance, your own farm, and Primordial Burst's rank before you mindlessly press R.
Still, this thing kills. Let's look at some numbers, shall we? At max rank (since those numbers are most fun to do) Primordial Burst's base damage, before AP scaling, is already 650 magic damage. That is like 33% of a squishy's health just on its own, which means you don't even really need the AP scaling to execute someone. Add that to the fact that it can scale with up to 150% of your ability power means, well....
If you have 1,000 total AP by the time you hit lvl 16 (and max rank on your ult), that means 1000 x 1.50 + 650 --> you can end up dealing a whopping 2,150 magic damage before magic resistance to a champion with 33% health. 100 magic resistance negates 50% of all magic damage, so even if the enemy champion has 100 MR (your magic penetration notwithstanding) and they are at 33% health, you can still deal 1,075 magic damage to them. That is roughly half of a squishy's health, and if it doesn't kill a tank, they are definitely going to be hurting and unable to fight if you ult them at 33%.
Primordial Burst is clearly designed to do damage, but let's look at it another way. What if I ult someone who has full health?? Well, at max rank we're looking at a base of 325 magic damage with an AP scaling of 75%, not 150%. That means with 1,000 total AP I would deal a total of 1,075 magic damage before magic resistance, and only 537 magic damage if the enemy has 100 MR. For context, Dark Matter can deal 650 magic damage under the same conditions (maxed out with 1,000 total AP, the enemy having 100 MR).
What does this all mean? Wait. to. ult. Wait to ult until the enemy you want to kill is down to at least half health, if not lower, because the difference in damage from your ultimate is hugely different depending on how much health the enemy has. (If the victim is at 67% health under the same conditions, then Primordial Burst will deal 744 magic damage, just FYI :D) Just be patient and wait until you're sure you can execute them.
Pre-Game: Ability Combos
Throughout the guide you may notice me occasionally referencing a "full combo" or a "Q-Q-R Combo." Here is a list of Veigar's most common ability combos.
> = more or less instant-cast after the ability before it
... = There is an indeterminate amount of time between the ability casts for one reason or another, whether that be for optimization or the necessity of waiting for a cooldown before casting the ability in question. (case-by-case explained in the blurb)
This is your bread-and-butter skill combo, the one most of your kills will probably result from. At first glance it is pretty self explanatory, but it is more nuanced than you might think. After landing a stun, it is obvious that you want to place your W on your target as soon as possible to guarantee it will deal its damage. During your W's delay, send out your Q for the bonus damage since it is just a fast-casting ability, followed by your ultimate. But here is the tricky part: you want to kill someone as fast as possible, but you need your W to land before your ult in order to ensure maximum damage from your ultimate, meaning your ult's damage needs to come through at LEAST 1.2 seconds after you cast your W. However, if you wait that entire 1.2 seconds before casting your ultimate--before actually pressing the button--they might have had the time to sense to smash their summoner spells and avoid the execution.
To prevent this, learn to time your ultimate after you cast your Q but before your W deals its damage. You see, Primordial Burst has a particularly slow travel time, meaning that if you cast your ultimate right before your W lands, your ultimate will still deal its damage after the W's damage, which is the sweet spot ;D
Here is the clearest example I could find from my match history. Pay attention to me and to Warwick, who is about to get obliterated. First is a slow motion view of the combo with pauses at each part of the combo: E, WQ, then R, and then the whole thing at full speed. Note that if I hadn't pressed R early, before my W actually landed its damage, then Warwick would have leaped away before I could press the button.
Imagine you're in a lane against a Lucian or an Ahri. Every time you try to trap them in your Event Horizon they just dash out of the way like they were baiting you the whole time. It's frustrating, and you've already died once or twice because of it. First of all, play safe and farm. Second of all, why are you trying so hard to land your E on them? If they are just going to dodge it, then throw something at them that is harder to dodge, like your Q. In reality it will probably take more than two Qs before the enemy is low enough to execute with your ultimate, but the point of listing this ability combo is that against enemies who have low maximum health and low MR, your Q will end up dealing quite a bit of damage, especially after ranking it all the way up. This means that just 2 or 3 Qs before an ultimate can kill a target, and they often aren't expecting that much damage at low elo. And this way you don't have to worry about landing your hard-to-hit skillshots (your W and E).
In the late game, this combo is particularly difficult to pull off. It requires you to repeatedly wait for your Q cooldown, and you often don't have time to whittle away at your opponent's health when there are teamfights happening all the time. Rather, this combo is for the laning phase, when your opponent is more likely to stick around and eat more Qs to the face.
As far as determining just how many Qs you'll need before executing someone, it depends on the game and your opponent. The squishier the target, the fewer the Qs it will require. Who knows? You might get fed enough that one Q+R combo will be enough to kill them.
In this example, I'm against a more or less full health Ahri and it's too early in the game to burst her from full health, so I use this combo. It takes a total of 3 Qs before she's low enough for me to press R on her (00:02, 00:14, and 00:22). Usually though, your opponent won't make it this easy. The whole point of using this as an example is that it is so clear.
This combo is for stealing away or securing either Baron Nashor or the Dragon. The idea is that since these two abilities do so much damage in conjunction with each other, they can rival the enemy jungler's Smite damage or essentially add to your jungler's Smite's damage. In fact, if you have Smite, your Jungler has Smite, and you time your W+Q combo correctly, there is absolutely nothing the enemy can do to contest that objective. Those abilities in conjunction just do far too much damage. There have been several times that I've managed to secure Dragon with this combo, so it is definitely worth learning to do.
The trick is that you time your W for 1.2 seconds before the target is low enough on health for W+Q damage to kill it, then firing off your Q so it and your W deal damage at the same time. Step 1: set up your W with good timing to steal the objective. Step 2: time your Q to hit simultaneously with your W. (Step 3: Smite at the same time you press Q, if you happen to have switched out a summoner spell for Smite.)
I also call this combo the Wave-clear combo because there are two specific points in the game when a W+Q will kill minions instantly. It first happens around lvl 4 or 5 with caster minions, then again around lvl 9 or 10 with melee minions, depending on how responsibly you've been farming. This little trick stops working for both kinds of minions once Dark Matter starts dealing more damage--it does enough to one-shot minions after farming and ranking it--so take advantage of this easy farming technique while you can!
In this example, it's crucial to realize that I managed (somehow) to stun the enemy Nidalee, who would have been able to compete with my combo's damage with her smite, but as is, that damage threat was eliminated, guaranteeing that my combo's damage would be the most damage going down on the dragon, thus guaranteeing the steal.
The only difference between this and the Full Combo is circumstance. When going in for a kill on a squishy target, your W and your Q will likely do enough damage to guarantee an execute with your ult, but in the heat of a teamfight, you don't always have the luxury of wailing away on an enemy carry. Their tanks will be protecting them, just like your tanks will be protecting you. This means that during a 5v5 teamfight, your only targets are often just tanks, which are harder to kill and definitely might not go down with one rotation of abilities. Your play pattern becomes playing around these three abilities until someone is low enough to ult. Use the abilities, back off until they are off cooldown, rinse and repeat.
Primordial Burst is a long-cooldown, single-target nuke. Once it is used, that's it, even if it doesn't kill the target, so you want to make it count. Your other abilities, however, differ from it more than you might think. They are all AoE, lower-cooldown abilities, which means they are mega powerful in teamfights and in this context, far more useful than your ultimate. Together, your W and Q can do far more total damage than your ultimate with just one cast each when they both hit multiple champions*, so repeatedly casting them may be all the damage in the teamfight your team needs from you. This might mean having to go through two or even three rotations of your E, Q, and W cooldowns before anyone is low enough on health to press R, but who knows? During the chaos of a teamfight a squishy carry might find their way into your stun, at which point you want to make sure your ult is available. In general, the point of this combo is to use over and over again during a late game teamfight until your ultimate is a viable skill to use (i.e. your opponent is low on health) or until everyone on the enemy team is dead.
I know this one seems redundant next to the Full Combo and the Teamfight Combo, but it is a little different, so bear with me. You see, it's often the case that when you land a stun on someone, there are two or more units between you and the champion you stunned (probably minions). This means your Q cannot possibly hit the one you stunned. Sometimes you can easily reposition to fire off your Q from a direction with only one or fewer minions there, but other times you'll have to rely on exclusively your W and R for damage. Luckily, if you have been farming decently well and it's far enough into the game, this combo will probably kill them anyway, no Baleful Strike necessary.
The explanation for taking Flash may have left a bit to be desired. You see, the primary reason Veigar players take Flash is to ensure they have some form of reliable mobility, which usually displays itself most prominently when Veigar's weakness of being squishy rears its ugly head; it ends up forcing you to use Flash defensively, for an escape. However, Flash can be used offensively too. Every day I'm able to kill someone with this combo, so it is definitely worth learning to do. Also worth learning to do is estimate how much damage it will take to kill someone who is low on health. It may just take one cast of Primordial Burst once to close the gap with Flash, but if they're too healthy you might need to sneak a Baleful Strike in there first. Just remember to not do this against full-health targets unless you know for SURE these two abilities will kill them. If you blow your Flash to jump IN to a fight, you won't have it for an escape!!
*Total Primordial Burst damage (no magic penetration]):
1000 total AP + max rank + enemy at 33% health and ~100 MR = 1,075 total magic damage
Total Baleful Strike + Dark Matter damage (no magic penetration):
1000 total AP + max ranks + each ability hits two enemies who have ~100 MR each = 2,130 total magic damage, split between the two enemies you hit.
Chapter 1: ...In the Early Game...
Veigar's early game is almost comically bad. His base stats are abysmal, he is super squishy, and his starting ability, Baleful Strike, does so little damage at rank 1 it's essentially another basic attack. In general, Veigar's level 1 makes him a glorified caster minion, he's so weak.
"But, Ramian, what am I supposed to do with information like that? You're supposed to tell me how to succeed with Veigar, not how terrible he is." Well, in order to really succeed with any champion, you need to know their strengths AND their weaknesses, and unfortunately, you've chosen a champion with quite a few weaknesses. It is why Veigar isn't ever seen in professional play or in higher ranks; he just has too many weaknesses to exploit. However, in lower elo, where players have a hard time capitalizing on opponents' weaknesses, Veigar winds up being more powerful.
Laning Phase Tips: Minions and CS
Finally, it does no one any favors to miss both the ability power and gold just because you were waiting for your Q to come off cooldown to kill a minion with it. Whenever your Q isn't available, last-hit minions with basic attacks. The only problem with that is that Veigar's auto-attacks are
Laning Phase Tips: Trading with Your Lane Opponent
Laning Phase Tips: Warding
||the top side river brush, I'm safer hanging out around that side of the lane because my vision is extended into the river on that side, and if the enemy jungler wants to gank from the other side of the lane, it becomes easier to escape them by bolting for my turret or by entering the river on my 'safe' side, since I'm already farther away from the side they're ganking. The reason this side is safer than the side with my warding totem is that the control ward will last as long as you need it to, whereas the warding totem must be refreshed, leaving time where you are blind without it.|
If your lane opponent or enemy jungler discovers your control ward, DO NOT PANIC. Remember, if they place a ward in that bush that reveals your control ward, it's called a control ward for a reason. Until your ward is destroyed, it will disable whatever ward the enemy placed in the bush. If you get a free chance, destroy their ward, but only if you get a free chance. Otherwise, size up your lane opponent to see if you could win a duel if it came to fighting over wards. If you don't think you can fight them, then don't! Just let them destroy your control ward, ping that they have vision in the brush where it was, and buy a new control ward the next time you recall.
"But Ramian, I don't wanna spend precious gold on another contr--"
Stop. Just stop. I don't care. Buy the f***ing wards, and don't tell me you don't have enough money. It costs 75 stupid gold, so suck it up. It's worth it to save your life. Besides, Vision Wards used to cost 100 gold, so stop complaining, you entitled noob.
Items for the Early Game
|I start the game with a Doran's Ring, Warding Totem, and 2 potions literally every single game. I have never bought The Dark Seal for the same reason I don't get a Mejai's Soulstealer: it's not worth it; there are better items to get for your gold. These three items will last you until you have 850 gold, when you can purchase something to help out your mana problems...|
|As soon as you hit 850 gold, recall back to base, buy your Tear of the Goddess, then Teleport back to lane. You'll want to start stacking that thing as soon as possible. After that you have a few options as to what to buy next. Before you mindlessly buy more potions or a Refillable Potion, remember that you'll be receiving a Total Biscuit of Everlasting Will every 3 minutes until 12 minutes into the game thanks to Biscuit Delivery, so before that point consider carefully how much you'll need health sustain. Once 12 minutes hits you'll know you won't be getting any more of them, so it might make more sense to get a Refillable Potion after that rather than before. But I think you'll find that you won't need to spend much more money on health sustain after that anyway. If, for whatever reason, you don't have 850 gold when you find yourself back at base for the first time, buy a Sapphire Crystal, Boots of Speed (only if you took Perfect Timing in your runes), an Amplifying Tome and/or a Null-Magic Mantle, in whichever combination aligns with your needs and gold availability. In general, prioritize whatever will get you to your Archangel's Staff the fastest (a crystal and Amp Tomes), but there are certainly games wherein you're against, say, an AP burst laner like Annie or Katarina. In that case, prioritize a Null-Magic Mantle over Archangel's Staff components. You'll need it to stay alive. And besides, you can always turn it into a Banshee's Veil later.|
Chapter 2: Now, to OWN the mid-game!!
The mid-game is when you'll finally sow the fruits of your farming labor. You'll find that Baleful Strike is able to do an impressive amount of damage at rank 5 and after farming with it, better enabling you to trade damage with your lane opponent and making finishing off minions with it super easy.
It's easy to love Veigar for his infinitely scaling damage, but at the same time, it's important to understand that Veigar's biggest strength lies more in the mid-game than the late game. This is not to say that Veigar becomes irrelevant in the late game, far from it. Rather, by the time the late game rolls around, the enemy tanks have built up more magic resist, making it difficult to burst through them. In the mid-game, however, tanks have yet to stack a substantial enough amount of MR, and your Rabadon's Deathcap power spike will put them in the ground. Besides, it is easier to position yourself in the smaller skirmishes of the mid-game, where landing one Event Horizon for your team to follow up on will probably be a kill.
Farming and CS Tips for the Mid-Game
Luckily your Q keeps doing more and more damage, enabling you to clear minion waves fairly quickly. There are two places in the game when one W-Q combo will kill minions: lvl 4-5 for caster minions, and again at lvl 10-11 for melee minions. In other words, you can gain two passive stacks almost instantly at these points in the game. However, killing minions like this push the lane pretty hard, meaning that if you follow this farming pattern constantly (W-Q, W-Q, W-Q...), your minions will continually push all the way to the opponent's turret since you're killing all the enemy minions so quickly. Consequently, this means you'll be playing farther up in the lane, closer to the opponent's turret, which puts you in prime position for the enemy jungler to come and kill you.
|Therefore, I do not always advise you to use these farming strategies. If you need to play safe (i.e. they have a Lee Sin in the jungle and you're against a Katarina in lane), then I would recommend not using your W and attacking the minions much less frequently to pull the minions towards your turret, rather than pushing towards the enemy's. Conversely though, if your lane opponent is someone like Taliyah or Talon who constantly roams out of lane, it will probably behoove you to push the lane into their turret as fast as possible using these strategies to ensure the turret kills all of your minions instead of your lane opponent.||
Dueling Tips for the Mid-Game
|+Try to build an intuition over time concerning how much damage you'll be doing at any given point in the game. Until you hit what I call the Full Combo break point (likely your Rabadon's Deathcap power spike), it is unlikely that you will be able to kill someone from full health with one rotation of your abilities. You'll need to poke them a bit over time using your Q-Q-R combo (See Pre-Game: Ability Combos). It'll be much easier to burst-kill them once they are down to about 2/3 to half health.|
|+Keep farming with your Q! Not having enough AP on Veigar feels worse than wet socks. Still, this is the point in the game were there is value in clearing waves quickly, meaning that using Dark Matter to quickly kill multiple minions at a time has value in itself. My general rule, which I don't always follow on one side or another, is to use my Q to kill minions every time it is off cooldown, but if it is cooling down then I don't wait for it to come up to kill minions. I just Dark Matter them to death, until my Q is back up, ad infinitum. This gives you the best balance of gaining AP from your passive as well as pushing the wave quickly to force the enemy to deal with it.|
|+The mid-game is the time to make the most out of Unsealed Spellbook to switch out your non-flash summoner spell for something that will be more useful in the moment, whether that's Ghost for more mobility, Barrier for safety, or Heal to support your team and stay safe doing it. Take the game situation into account before switching out your spells and take whatever you need most. If you're super far ahead you might even find value of summoner spells that I would personally never load into the game with, like Clarity.|
|+Learn and practice dodging skillshots! Defenses are hard to come by as an offensive burst mage, and you can't buy it until later. Besides, no amount of MR or armor will ever reduce an enemy's damage to zero like dodging can. With some champion skills, you're out of luck here, like Cassiopeia's Twin Fang or Ryze's Rune Prison, which are impossible to dodge. However, abilities like Ahri's Charm or Xerath's Arcanopulse are not targeted, which means that if they miss you, you have completely negated 100% of that damage. This makes dodging one of the most important combat skillsets to develop. A good way to develop these skills is to figure out a mid laner you play against often--I personally see Lux like, ALL the time--and learn their abilities inside and out so you know how to dodge the ones that are possible to dodge, then expand your champion knowledge from there. For this example, Lux's Light Binding, Lucent Singularity, and Final Spark are all harder to dodge if you are unfamiliar with how they work. But if you play against Lux over and over, you can come to expect how and when she uses them, enabling you to dodge them and own the matchup.|
Roaming Tips for the Mid-Game
|But there is more to League of Legends than dueling your lane opponent. Rift-wide fights will start breaking out more and more often, and the more fights you can be present for, the better the late game will go for both yourself and your team. Whenever you see a fight brewing and you know you can be there soon, cast Dark Matter on the backline caster minions, clear them as best you can, and make a beeline for the fight. As aforementioned, Veigar is extremely powerful in small-scale skirmishes of 2v2 or 3v3 where Event Horizon has a mindblowing impact. There are no shortages of these kinds of fights in the mid-game, so use this time to your advantage. In these fights themselves, be careful! You're still squishy; your mid-game strength doesn't change that, and you still need your team to support you if you're to be successful in the mid- to late-game. At the same time, this is when turrets will really start falling on both sides, so do your best to defend the mid lane turret as best you can. It is the most strategically important turret in the game, so the longer yours stays up, the better chance your team has of taking the victory.||
Okay hold on. I can practically hear you typing: "Ramian, this guide is terrible. Veigar's strength is TOTALLY in the late game. That's the only time you have enough damage to even be relevant." Imma take a moment to call BS there. If you are not strong in the mid-game as Veigar, then you haven't farmed well. Git good; you should aim for a solid 70 CS per ten minutes of game time, unless you're pro, then go for 100 per ten minutes. Until you have numbers like that, shut your mouth and follow the guide. (Unless you weren't furiously typing, then as you were.)
Items for the Mid-Game
Buy an Archangel's Staff as your first major item. It stacks mana twice as fast as a Tear of the Goddess (no matter what the MOBAFire tooltip tells you), and you'll want it to transform into a Seraph's Embrace as soon as possible. After that, get a Rabadon's Deathcap. Other mages tend to wait until after another item or two before they even consider a Deathcap to ensure they've stacked enough AP to make the passive worthwhile. But Veigar builds AP much faster than other mages, making Rabadon's Deathcap a Holy Grail for him. In terms of boots, I always buy Sorcerer's Shoes. The only other option that is particularly appealing for Veigar is Ionian Boots of Lucidity, but you are going to be doing less damage if you get those, so plan accordingly.
Once you finish you Rabadon's Deathcap and an Archangel's Staff, you have some item decisions to make. Both a Morellonomicon and a Void Staff will amplify your damage, but even if you get both you'll need to prioritize, so how do you do that? Well, if the enemy team is building lots of magic resistance to deal with you, if they are particularly tanky, consider a Void Staff to eat through more of their heavy MR. If, however, the enemy team is squishy like you, if they are comprised of carries who aren't building much MR, get a Morellonomicon. A Morellonomicon plus your boots gives you a total of 33 magic penetration, which eats through a larger percentage of a squishy's MR than 40% due to their lack of it. Similarly, both a Zhonya's Hourglass and a Banshee's Veil will protect you, so prioritize based on damage type. If there are lots of mages or crowd control on the enemy team, consider a Banshee's Veil, and if they are mostly AD and keep jumping on you in teamfights, a Zhonya's Hourglass is the way to go.
Chapter 3: The Late Game.
The most important thing to remember about the late game is that while Veigar's damage scales infinitely, allowing you to deal obscene amounts of burst damage, his defenses continue to leave much to be desired. You absolutely need your team in order to succeed in the late game, as Veigar is insanely squishy, even with both a Banshee's Veil and a Zhonya's Hourglass. Even if your tanks aren't doing a very good job of peeling enemies off you, you are going to be more successful by sticking close to them than going off on your own. In other words, split pushing is off the table unless every member of the enemy team is dead. Veigar + team = win.
That being said, you really do scale well into the late game in terms of damage, and to more than just champions. You see, League of Legends has a cool mechanic which makes a champion's basic attacks deal bonus damage to turrets, scaling with your AP, if your AP is a certain percentage higher than your AD. As Veigar, you hit this threshold pretty early on, and the later the game goes on, the more damage you're going to be able to deal to turrets, which just feels good :D However, don't take this as a license to split push. Effective split pushing involves being able to duel an enemy opponent who comes to stop you, and dueling is not Veigar's forte. It is much more useful to group with your team in order to get bonus damage onto turrets rather than splitting off to do it.
Okay so I understand the hypocrisy in this video. My team isn't there. I know. But I'm showing it to you so you can see how much damage Veigar can do to turrets later in the game.
Speaking of grouping up with your team, I already mentioned this in my blurb about your E ability, Event Horizon, but it is your single most important and influential ability in teamfights, and good use of it can make or break these fights, as well as mark a good Veigar player from a... learner. In general, you want to wait to use it to trap as many people in its center or perimeter as possible. Stunning them is fantastic, but short of that, it is also worth trapping people inside for your team to follow up on. After placing your Event Horizon, choose carefully who you want to try to assassinate. Priority should be placed on champions with less total health and defenses who do lots of damage, but if they aren't available or close enough to you that you can stay safe to kill them, then wail away on their tanks instead. Just remember to wait to use your ult for when they are low on health!!
|But let me reiterate. Your Event Horizon is your most powerful teamfight ability, not your ultimate. Veigar players love to talk about his infinite scaling, but it is hard to make use of that scaling if you can't hit anyone with your abilities. Therefore, remember: landing a good stun in the late game is of paramount importance. Don't just throw out Es willy nilly and think you're going to have a massive impact with follow-up damage. be purposeful with it.|
But what if I suck and I'm woefully behind my lane opponent??
That said, playing from behind on any champion is tough. On Veigar, it's basically a death sentence. Well... I say that. The point is, playing from behind on Veigar is particularly difficult. Your damage won't come online for MUCH longer because you're likely not going to buy a Rabadon's Deathcap until later than you normally would, and the items that you buy when behind ( Zhonya's Hourglass and Banshee's Veil) don't provide enough damage to keep you covered. This means that if you are playing from behind on Veigar, it is helpful to adopt a more supportive playstyle. Consider maxing your E second instead of your W, especially if the enemy has already purchased a significant amount of magic resistance. Veigar HATES IT when enemies build a lot of MR, so if you're behind AND facing a lot of it, it might be better to be more of a stun bot than a damage dealer.
Also, if you are behind, PLAY SAFE. This means not overextending in your lane, being wary of the enemy's damage and jungler presence, and buying the right items. Also being tilt-proof; keep a cool head, everything will be fine. Also don't be a dumbass. You don't have to be the one to make big-d*** plays. Let Jarvan IV or Leona do that. You stand behind them and do your best to follow up on their play. If you try to make a big play and then die you've done no one any favors. Besides, think about this: during the course of a match of League of Legends, there are two ways champions get stronger, items and champion levels. At level 18, you stop gaining power from levels; you're maxed out. The same thing happens to gold when you have all six of your major items. When everyone in the game reaches both the maximum level and full item builds, it is called Gold Parity, and once the game reaches it (i.e. everyone in the game is lvl 18 and has 6 full items), then you will have caught up with the enemy in terms of stats. If you find yourself falling behind, hold on until Gold Parity, because don't forget: Phenomenal Evil Power lets you keeping gaining stats even if you do have a full build, giving you more and more of an edge the longer the game goes on.
Items for the Late-Game
If you ever find yourself in a game against a particularly squishy team (i.e. something like Gangplank, Kha'Zix, Lux, Janna, and Sivir or something), then it might be worth picking up a Luden's Echo instead of more magic penetration as explained at the beginning of the guide. Thanks to Transcendence, the CDR doesn't go waste, and thanks to your Seraph's Embrace, the Luden's Echo's mana does double duty (The grand AP total a Luden's grants you with both Transcendence and a Seraph's Embrace is a whopping 135, more than a Deathcap before the passive). If the game goes on long enough for you to accumulate enough standing gold to sell your Sorcerer's Shoes and pick up a Spellbinder, feel free to do so. You gain 1 charge of it for every spell you or another person casts near you, up to 100 spell casts, but you don't have to wait for 100 charges to use it! Just pay attention to how many charges of it you have, and remember that the movement speed you gain from it is more important than the damage. That's the whole point of trading out your boots for it.
By the time you've finished (1) your Sorcerer's Shoes, (2) your Rabadon's Deathcap, (3) your Seraph's Embrace, (4) either a Zhonya's Hourglass or Banshee's Veil, (5) a Morellonomicon and/or a Void Staff, and (6) your Luden's Echo, you might think you won't need to worry about what items are in your inventory since its full. But as you're about to learn, that isn't true.
By the time you've finished all six of your major items, the game will transition to be less about gaining strength and more about how you use the strength you've built up. After all, gold is meaningless if you have nothing to buy with it. That's where an Elixir of Sorcery comes in. It gives you bonus stats for just 500 gold and you don't even need an open item slot to purchase one. It just gets consumed as soon as you buy it, which is super convenient :D So don't forget about Elixirs when you run out of room for items.
Secondly, just because you're done building items doesn't mean the vision game is any less important; in fact it means the vision game becomes even more important. In some games, holding on to your Warding Totem might be fine and cater to your warding needs perfectly fine in conjunction with the rest of your team's vision. However, what if you are super far ahead and have more or less constant vision of your opponents anyway? In this case, your vision game becomes more about denying vision from the enemy rather than establishing it for yourself, so it would behoove you to pick up an Oracle Alteration. Similarly, if the game as become about objective control ( Baron Nashor , Dragon, or Turrets), it might be worth investing in a Farsight Alteration to sniff out the enemy whenever you don't know for sure where they are. A quick drop of your Farsight ward into the Baron Nashor or Dragon pit could be invaluable information. A Farsight Alteration is also great for playing a predatory, assassin-like playstyle, when you need to scout the surrounding area to confirm it is safe before an assassination attempt.
Veigar Fun Facts! (And Other Unrelated Goodies)
Veigar hates short jokes.
History lesson!! Before Veigar's rework (in season 5 I think?) Primordial Burst's damage used to scale with the opponent's ability power, rather than their missing health. That meant Veigar was a fairly heavy counter to other champions who built lots of AP... You see where this is going? Before his rework, two Veigars facing off against each other would eventually get to a point where they would literally be able to press R on each other at the same time and one-shot each other. One time I even had someone who challenged me to see how many times we could mutually eliminate each other from fights, just for s**** and giggles lmao :D Good times...
There is a fan theory (that I do buy in to) that Veigar is a caster minion who gained consciousness and finally understood his true power. He saw his kind being slaughtered indiscriminately, and that day vowed to bring as much destruction to whoever sets foot on Summoner's Rift as they do to his people. I mean, that's a backstory that would make me evil, that's for sure.
The best Veigar skin is Veigar Greybeard , and if you say otherwise, you're wrong. The more you know!
Another history lesson!! Before Veigar's rework, his Event Horizon had no delay before coming into effect. It just appeared there instantly when you pressed E. You didn't need to aim nearly as much as now, seeing as you just press E in the right place and you guarantee a stun. Obviously this was busted as hell. All Veigar had to do was press E right next to you, and at that point it was basically guaranteed that you would die 1.2 seconds later. As sad as I was to see Riot put a 0.5 second delay on it, it was probably healthy for the game overall.
This is Veigar's original splash art:
First and foremost, thank YOU, dear reader, for there is literally no point in writing a MOBAFire guide if no one reads it, which you have, over 300k times! Thank you! I hope you enjoy Veigar as much as I do, and good luck commanding him on the Fields of Justice!!
Secondly, this is my first of hopefully many Mobafire guides. That means that when I set out, I had no idea how anything about Mobafire's coding system works. Jhoijhoi, a Mobafire member, created an awesome "How to Make a Guide Guide" which was the only way this guide ever even came to be, so thank you first to jhoijhoi :D and secondly to every other Mobafire member who contributed to that guide. I got a lot of great ideas from them.
Lastly, I'd like to thank the employees at the coffee shop I do all my work at. I've spent countless hours there working on this as well as several other writing projects; I go there so often several of the baristas give me free refills if I end up staying all day (like I sometimes do).