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Vi Build Guide by hardandheavy

Jungle Vi Like Me: How to Build Her in Any Situation

Jungle Vi Like Me: How to Build Her in Any Situation

Updated on September 25, 2017
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League of Legends Build Guide Author hardandheavy Build Guide By hardandheavy 13,205 Views 2 Comments
13,205 Views 2 Comments League of Legends Build Guide Author hardandheavy Vi Build Guide By hardandheavy Updated on September 25, 2017
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Vi
  • LoL Champion: Vi
    Thunderlord's (Lethality)
  • LoL Champion: Vi
  • LoL Champion: Vi

Why Vi?

Lots of people scoff, flame, or dodge when they see a Vi pop up on their soloq team. "Useless" they say, "Feeding trash" they quip. Well, I'm here to tell you that it's not Vi's fault people can't use her right, they just build her the same way all the time! When built right in capable hands, she can go toe to toe with any top tier jungler out there.

Vi's power isn't in any one part of her kit or an OP build, it's her ability to adapt to any situation that makes her strong. I believe she has the most powerful versatility in the game, and adapts very well to game flow and meta variations.

In this all-encompassing build guide, I break down the holy trinity of breaking someone's face down: fighting, bursting, and locking(tanking).
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When to Fervor? The Fighter Build

Fervor of Battle is a very popular keystone for fighter champs: It give you lots of AD, the build paths associated with this play style naturally gravitate to being kind of tanky so that you can survive prolonged skirmishes, and it scales well to late game, something Vi traditionally struggles with. It provides a more even power level throughout the game, rather than her traditional mid game spike.

Choose this path if:
  • You are against tanky opponents, as you need the sustained damage to take them down
  • You are against bursty opponents, as you can build a little bit tanky and then outlast their damage
  • Your team has at least 1 other frontline character, as you will not survive long enough to do much damage if focused by the whole team
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When to Thunderlord's? The Assassin Build

Ah Thunderlord's Decree. From ADC's to burst mages, you've seen and done it all. When in doubt, you are the one that people fall back on. Truly, you are League's most versatile keystone. Unfortunately, this is not the case for Vi. If you take this keystone, you are only going to be good at one thing: snowballing.

If that's what you're going for, you will be quite effective at it, but I find it is too risky of a strategy to use for every soloq game, as you rely too much on your team not feeding and coordinating with you.

As he is probably the best Vi one trick in the world, this build is basically Super Metroid's. I know that a lot of people familiar with his style might grill me for saying this, as this is the build he spams pretty much every game, but most people don't have Master/Challenger teammates to rely on to not feed their butts off, so they really shouldn't follow him exactly. It works in his situation, but the rest of us need to deal with the realities that are bronze brawls, silver scrapes, gold grapples, platinum punch-outs, and diamond duels.

Choose this path if:
  • You are against squishy opponents, as you can burst them down easily and they are unlikely to build tanky
  • Your team has at least 1 strong frontline tank, as you will get blown up very quickly
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When to Colossus? The Hybrid and Tank Builds

Despite its name, Courage of the Colossus is not a very courageous keystone for Vi, but that doesn't mean bad! It's a very safe build for those unfamiliar with her, those who want to put more trust in their teammates than themselves, or those who just don't want to feed.

If you MUST spam the same build every time, you should use CotC, and go Warrior Enchant and Triforce. I call this the hybrid build, because you're not really specialized at dealing or mitigating damage, but you're decent at both, and can still blow people up surprisingly well. This is what you should go with in low elo (unless you're smurfing and stomping) or while learning her, as it is a nice all around build that low elo players have trouble punishing. In high elo(D4+), though, it's hard to get by being a generalist, as playing toward a win condition usually requires specialization.

Choose this path if:
  • You are unfamiliar with Vi, as this gives you lots of easy to use stats
  • You are not worried about spreading your stats too thin

Alternatively, there is the "meme" build of full tank Vi. This is not very popular(or particularly fun, IMO) but it still has its value. Pretty simple: build Cinderhulk and go almost full tank, with Titanic Hydra, Black Cleaver, and Sterak's Gage being the only options for damage items(even so, they're still pretty tanky items). With the revisions to tank items this season, such as Abyssal Mask and Thornmail rework, this build isn't as bland as it used to be. If you get high CDR, you can lock down your opponents, force them to deal with you for quite some time, blow major cooldowns for not much return, and allow your team to clean up.

Choose this path if:
  • Your team is full of squishies and you need a front line
  • You have more faith in your team than yourself
  • You are against very bursty opponents you need to outlast
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Jungle Clear

If you are against an invade-heavy opponent like Nidalee, Nunu, or Ivern, then you should do the standard bot side buff leash in order to get to your second buff before the enemy has time to get theirs and come over to yours. You could even switch it up and do a top side buff start to throw them off, as Vi needs very little help with a leash.

In all other cases, however, you should be starting at raptors. While a good leash is certainly nice, Vi doesn't need it to start here and get the bonus xp. See, all jungle camps(except scuttle) initially spawn at lvl 2, and you get bonus experience when you kill a jungle camp of higher level than you. So, you start E and kite the camp around, while picking the little guys off, and then by the time you're ready to face the big chicken itself, you're already lvl 2!

From there you go to Red Buff, and if you have enough HP, you can save your smite and go for Krugs next. However, only kill the first two krugs so it clears the camp, because the little guys that spawn after take waaaaaay too long to clear. After that you can gank the nearest lane, or go to blue side. I like taking the scuttle crab and placing a ward in the enemy bush between red buff and the river before starting blue side camps, but if you think that will take too long, by all means, just go straight for the camps, with wolves>blue buff>gromp being my preferred path.

Anytime after lvl 3, you should prioritize ganks over farm if you see the right opportunity, but don't try to force something that isn't going to happen, as getting to lvl 6 as fast as possible is very important. I don't recommend ganking before lvl 3, as you usually need all 3 abilities to pull of a successful gank.
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Hitting Q and Ganking

Vi's Q is what gives her a decently high skill floor. If you want to be good at Vi, you need to get good with that. If you hit it, great! Business as usual: you will have a slight knockback and a ton of damage. If you miss it, you are in for a world of hurt, as that is a major part of her damage, and you often put yourself in dangerous situations. Let the enemy over extend, and when you think the moment is right start charging your Q out of sight, as you want to give them minimal reaction time to get to safety or dodge.

Almost all successful ganks(or kills in general) will come from you hitting your Q on the enemy from a good angle, which is generally between them and their escape path. For ideal lane ganks, you get between them and their turret, and hit them right back towards your ally/turret. The closer the angle between your Q and their escape path is to 90°, the less likely you are to hit it. However, if you run up to them from the front, you will be quite ineffective, as well, as you will not only push them back towards safety, but you will be kited much easier.
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Champion Synergies

While I maintain that Vi can fit into any team if you build her right, there are certain teammates that work better than others. Any good team should have frontliners and CC, but having plenty of both will really let her shine.

A top lane tank with the ability to initiate a fight is my favorite thing to have. It means I can focus more on damage, and less on surviving a dive into a fight, which I find to be a generally more successful strategy(more fun too XD). Shen, Malphite, Maokai, and Sion are all good top lane examples, and tanky supports like Alistar, Braum, and Leona help too.

That's all well and good for general team comps, but there are specific champions that I like to have in my games:
  • Jarvan IV-He's your dive buddy! If the two of you go in at the same time, it's almost guaranteed that the enemy is going to split focus at least a little bit, enabling the both of you do as much damage to the backline carries as possible. After he E-Q's into the team, follow it up with your R from the same angle to chain the AOE CC.
  • Orianna-You are a perfect ball delivery system, because your ult makes you guaranteed to be able to get in the middle of their team. Your ult knocks people aside just long enough to keep them in Shockwave range.
  • Yasuo-Your Q and your ult are both AOE displacements, which enable Yasuo's ult. However, I only like seeing him mid(unless there is a tanky mid like Galio or Chogath), because otherwise the team tends to be really squishy.
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Here are a list of various combos that I think are worth mentioning. Red letters indicate W proc.

Q: Vault Breaker
W: Denting Blows
E: Excessive Force
R: Assault and Battery
RC: Right Click

Base Combos
  • Initiate: Q>AA>E
  • CC Chain 1: Q>R
  • CC Chain 2: R>AA>Q

Chain Combos
  • Initiate + DPS: Q>AA>E>RC>AA>E>R
  • Initiate + DPS w/ early enemy dash/flash: Q>AA>E>R>AA>E
  • CC Chain 1 + DPS: Q>R>AA>E>RC>AA>E
  • CC Chain 2 + DPS: R>AA>Q>AA>E>RC>AA>E
  • Dive + DPS: R>AA>E>RC>AA>E>Q
  • Dive + DPS w/ early enemy dash/flash: R>AA>E>Q>AA>E
  • Long Dive + DPS: Q into R range > R>AA>E>RC>AA>E

Flash Combos
  • Get Closer to Q: Press Q>walk closer>Flash>Release Q
  • Extend Q Range: Press Q>walk closer>Release Q>Flash
  • Reposition R for AoE: R>Flash
  • Reposition to finish with E: Buffer E>Flash
  • Frame perfect extended knockback: Q>Flash
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