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Neeko Build Guide by Yeager

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Yeager's Master Neeko Guide [All Roles]

By Yeager | Updated on November 6, 2019
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Choose Champion Build:

  • LoL Champion: Neeko
    Neeko Mid
  • LoL Champion: Neeko
    Jungle build
  • LoL Champion: Neeko
    Support Neeko
  • LoL Champion: Neeko
    On-hit Neeko [ADC/TOP]

Runes: Arcane comet

1 2 3 4 5
Sorcery
Arcane Comet
Manaflow Band
Absolute Focus
Gathering Storm

Domination
Taste of Blood
Ravenous Hunter
Bonus:

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

Spells:

1 2
Standard summoners
LoL Summoner Spell: Flash

Flash

LoL Summoner Spell: Ignite

Ignite

Threats & Synergies

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

Champion Build Guide

Yeager's Master Neeko Guide [All Roles]

By Yeager
Welcome to my in depth Neeko guide! I'm Yeager, a high elo player in league of legends, consistently reaching at least master tier on EUW since season 5. I spend some of my free time creating high quality educational content to help you improve and become a better player.

Why should you play Neeko? Neeko is a play-making mage with the ability to deceive her opponents thanks to her unique passive. She has a variety of different builds and playstyles. Whether you want to perma slow your opponents with endless amount of CC from Glacial Augment, oneshot them with Dark Harvest, or auto them to death with the AD build and Press the Attack, she can fulfill all of those roles. If that wasn't enough, Neeko can be played in every single role, making her extremely versatile and the ultimate blind pick.
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Pros


+ Excellent at ganking
+ High AOE burst and CC.
+ Camouflage
+ High outplay potential

Neeko is very unique as she's able to camouflage herself, taking the form as an ally, which makes her really powerful when it comes to setting up ganks and catching enemies off-guard. She has a massive amount of AOE burst with Pop Blossom and great CC with Tangle-Barbs that can easily win you the teamfights.
Cons


- Short range
- Falls off in later stages
- Requires coordination with team
- Squishy

Neeko is naturally a very squishy champion, so when caught off-guard in the later stages of the game, you will most likely get one-shot by the carries. She also falls off in lategame as she doesn't have much more to offer than the burst in her kit, while also being short-ranged. Neeko relies on coordinating with teammates in order to pull off ganks, and that can often be very hard in a soloqueue setting.
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SUMMONER SPELLS
-
FLASH: Pretty self-explanatory. Always take this.
Ignite: The go-to summoner for having kill pressure in lane. If you are sure that you can get some easy solokills in lane, then this is a good option to ensure the targets don't escape with Flash and 10 hp.
CLEANSE: This should be taken against heavy CC opponents because Neeko has no guaranteed way to escape besides her W Shapesplitter, which already has a high cooldown. If you're caught by CC in lategame, you will in 90% of the cases die, so Cleanse can be really useful.
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  • Arcane Comet: You can never go wrong with this keystone on Neeko, especially for her laning phase as it provides her with a lot more poke-damage, so she has better chances of bullying people out of lane. When you damage an enemy champion with an ability, it will reduce the cooldown of Arcane Comet, so multiple procs of Blooming Burst will make it come available much sooner. Hitting people with the Tangle-Barbs into Blooming Burst combo is an easy way to get guaranteed hits with Arcane Comet.

  • Manaflow Band: You can easily run OOM if you keep spamming her abilities. This rune gives you more mana to play with, but it also rewards you with some very useful mana regen when fully stacked, so it can be of great help later on if you don't get blue buffs.

  • Absolute Focus: Gives you a lot of AP if you manage to stay healthy. On a burst champion like Neeko, having that extra AP is crucial for nuking champions. If you value the CDR over AP, feel free to go for Transcendence as that's also quite good, since you never have to worry about overcapping with CDR.

  • Gathering Storm: Weak early, but one of the best runes for lategame. If the game goes past 30 minutes, you will start noticing the extra damage you get from this. For a burst champion like Neeko, having more damage is crucial.


  • Taste of Blood: The best rune for this tier, it gives decent sustain early game when trading/poking, but it also scales fine in the later stages. Neeko has no built-in sustain, so this is a good addition for her laning phase.

  • Ravenous Hunter: This one needs some stacks before you notice its impact. But when you do have all the stacks, the healing you get from this rune is just insane, especially on mages like Neeko.
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PASSIVE
ABILITY
Inherent Glamour (Passive): Neeko can disguise herself to appear as an ally champion. Damaging or taking damage from enemy champions or casting either Blooming Burst or Tangle-Barbs breaks the illusion and increases the cooldown.



Q
Blooming Burst (Q): Neeko propels a seed into a target area, which blooms and damages enemies. If the burst kills an enemy or damages a champion or large monster, it will bloom again up to two times.




W
Shapesplitter (W): Passive: Every third basic attack resonates with spiritual energy, dealing bonus magic damage and briefly increasing Neeko’s movement speed.

Active: Neeko briefly slips out of sight, becoming invisible, gaining movement speed, and sending a temporary clone of her current form sprinting in a chosen direction.




E
Tangle-Barbs (E): Neeko slings a magical spiral in a direction, damaging and briefly rooting enemies it passes through. The last champion hit is rooted longer.

If Tangle-Barbs hits at least two enemies, it grows in size, speed, and root duration.





R
Pop Blossom (R): Neeko begins charging herself with spiritual essence. A moment later, she leaps into the air, gains a shield, and slows nearby enemies, releasing energy upon landing to massively damage and stun enemies in the area.

When disguised by Inherent Glamour, enemies won’t see Neeko’s initial charge-up.





Ability Sequence
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18




Blooming Burst is maxed first as this is her main source of waveclear AND poke.


Tangle-Barbs is maxed second. Being Neeko's only hard CC pre-6, it's important maxing this second so we can lower the cooldown, letting her use it more frequently.

Pop Blossom is maxed third. Besides the insane AOE damage, it only gives you a shield, slows nearby enemies AND stuns all enemies in the blast zone. It's a really powerful, overloaded ability which makes Neeko great in teamfights, so we always put a point in this whenever possible.

Shapesplitter is maxed fourth and last. The passive gives bonus damage on her third auto, but since this is a burst build, this won't be necessary to max over any of the other abilities. We mainly use it for the active that creates another clone to confuse enemies.
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  • Doran's Ring: Is still the standard starting-item for most AP champions because it provides you with a safe early game with 2 Health Potions.

  • Refillable Potion: You will never have to buy Health Potion's again for the rest of the game. I usually get Dark Seal and this as starting items so i get lots of sustain. When i want to sell it, i get a decent amount of gold back.

  • Corrupting Potion: This is a very situational starting items, so i rarely buy it. There are some match ups where it's super strong, for example against Malzahar and Yasuo. They both have a passive shield that slowly stacks up, so if you activate Corrupting Potion when harassing, the ticks will make their shields useless and go on cooldown.

  • Control Ward: Vision is one of the most important things in league. Make sure you always have a control ward on the map throughout the entire game. If you have good vision control, you're able to play more aggressive and take over the lane.



  • Ninja Tabi: Is the standard buy into AD heavy teams. It offers armor and 12% damage reduction on autoattacks(Yes it counts magic damage from autos too). This is a good buy against champions like Jayce, Irelia, Tryndamere, Riven, Gangplank and so on. If the enemy team lacks CC, and has a fed ADC, Ninja Tabi is still a decent buy.

  • Sorcerer's Shoes: Gives a big early-midgame spike with the flat magic pen. It's good into very squishy teams, so i prefer using these if i'm not forced into buying defensive boots as it boosts Neeko's burst damage.

  • Mercury's Treads: Offers magic resist and 30% tenacity. If you are playing against hard CC, these boots are a must-buy. Neeko is very vulnerable to ganks in lane, so these boots will give her that extra bit of safety. Here are some examples of when you should buy Mercury's Treads. When you face Ryze + Sejuani or Syndra + Elise or LeBlanc + Skarner. Basically you want mercs, when you are up against any combination of mid+jgl, that has some form of hard CC.

  • Ionian Boots of Lucidity: These are not really needed as you naturally get a high amount of CDR just from your items, but if you prefer getting to 40%, and have lower cooldown on summoner spells then these are still viable.

  • Hextech Protobelt-01: Offers AP, CDR, HP and an active that adds more damage to your combo, but also works as an extra gap closer. Using the active on the wave also speeds up her waveclear by a lot, allowing her to roam earlier.


  • Luden's Echo: Core item on Neeko as every single stat it has, is crucial on mages. Better scaling, 20% CDR, more mana and AP. The active also helps a bit with waveclearing and poking.

  • Morellonomicon: It's usually bought as second item right after Luden's Echo as you get a massive powerspike with the extra AP, magic pen and healing reduction that counters Heal and other healing abilities.

  • Lich Bane: The spellblade passive can work well by throwing in autos between your abilities. It's usually great into melee champions as it's much easier for Neeko to proc it. This combined with the passive damage from Shapesplitter, gives huge amount of damage on a relatively short cooldown.

  • Rabadon's Deathcap: Super cost efficient item that provides you with the biggest AP boost in the game. Buy this before Void Staff unless the carries are stacking MR.

  • Void Staff: Buy this if your targets are buying magic resistance. Against burst mages like Neeko, people will often rush magic resistance in order to survive. Void Staff will help us shred through their resistances.

  • Spellbinder: An item that's built on burst champions like Neeko. She relies on quickly getting into range of enemies, which the active movement speed can help with, and then popping her Pop Blossom for lots of burst damage + the additional damage from Spellbinder

  • Banshee's Veil: Provides some some CDR and AP which Neeko loves to have, but it also gives 70 MR and a spellshield for "flashy" champions. I buy this against for example AP Gragas and Annie, because they rely on catching people off-guard with the Flash+combo. This item counters them completely. If you're disguised as another champion, the shield will be hidden, even though it's still active, so you can bait out a lot of abilities with this item.

  • Liandry's Torment: If you are playing against a tank-team, you want this. It deals increased damage the longer you are in combat(10%max). The TORMENT passive deals damage based on 1.5% of targets maximum health. If the target is impaired, the damage will increase to 2.5% of targets maximum health, so it's a great item for shredding HP-stacking champions.

  • Zhonya's Hourglass: If you are facing a heavy AD team, or just AD assassins, this item has great value. This has insane synergy with her ultimate Pop Blossom, as you can activate the ultimate, pop zhonya's so you're safe from CC and damage, and then unleash the burst. Against for example Talon and Kha'Zix you can get away with just building Seeker's Armguard and then upgrading this item later on.

  • Quicksilver Sash: This is a must-buy against Malzahar and Skarner, as it is the only item that cancels Suppression. I only buy this item to counter Suppression - for everything else you should get Cleanse, so you don't have to use up a item slot.
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Neeko can be quite strong early game due to her base damages which can deal lots of damage with multiple procs from Blooming Burst. When you have level 2, you should look for quick combos with Tangle-Barbs into Blooming Burst as it allows you to get 2 procs off. At level 3, you can combine the combo with the passive from Shapesplitter, that gives your third autoattacks bonus damage. Succesfully executing these combos will put enemies at very low hp levels, allowing you to get deal additional damage with whatever keystone you're using. Even though Shapesplitter can be used to engage, it should almost never be done in the laning phase as it has a really high cooldown + it's your only escape tool from ganks.

You should aim at basing around 1375g so you can buy Lost Chapter and a Control Ward as vision is crucial for midlaners, since it's the easiest lane to gank. It's not always possible to back with that much gold, so basing for a Dark Seal + Refillable Potion + Control Ward is also quite good as those items are super cost efficient, and can be sold later on.
Midgame is usually when the outer turrets start falling and people begin to rotate around the map. This is where Neeko starts shining as she has her core items, but she's also perfect at roaming and picking off targets. You should push your lane as fast as possible and then look for other lanes to gank with your passive Inherent Glamour, that allows you to take form of an ally champion. It's crucial that you coordinate this well with a teammate, so he goes out of vision while you take his form and appear, else it can blow your cover and backfire. There are lots of different cool tricks you can do with her camouflage ability, such as taking form of an ally with low hp, baiting in greedy enemies and then unleashing all your abilities on them.

It's important that you switch to Oracle Lens during the mid game. Sneaky champions like Neeko relies on catching people off-guard with Inherent Glamour, so it's important that you clear out any vision the enemies might have. Your goal for the mid game is to extend the lead as much as possible by forcing solo kills / dives, and by taking objectives, so you can close out the game before you get outscaled.
While Neeko is still decent lategame, she unfortunately falls off compared to the traditional mage picks, due to her being short ranged. Full item ADC's with a support will kill you on the spot if you mess up your combo, so you have to play it out smart, and know when to go in. Lategame is all about teamfights and objectives, so vision is more important than ever, as 1 death can cost you the game.

In teamfights you should always wait for the opponent to waste their mobility spells before you go in. Let your teammates bait and line the enemies up for a perfect engage, and then you can go in for a quick combo with Pop Blossom + Tangle-Barbs + Blooming Burst, proccing Shapesplitter. That should oneshot most squishies, or at least leave them at 10% HP, so your other carries can clean up.
As lategame is also about big objectives like baron and elder, you can take advantage of the tight areas, and look for multiple stuns with Pop Blossom and Tangle-Barbs. Goal for lategame is to play it smart, and wait for the perfect moment to engage. 1 single fight will either win or cost you the game.
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There are quite a few tricks you should be aware of when playing Neeko. Since she's a new champion, people still haven't found out everything about her, so i will add all new tricks here as they appear.


- While disguised as a champion, you gain their auto-range. If you're disguised as Yasuo you will be melee range, while something like Annie will give long range autos.
- allows you to charge your ult WHILE being disguised. It means that the enemies can't see you charging it, so it's super effective at catching people off-guard.
- Can be combined with W: Shapesplitter to seriously confuse your enemies.
- Disguise yourself as a weak support champion to bait greedy players(usually carries) and then unleash your entire combo on them for swift kills.
- You can greatly help out your jungler by appearing on the opposite side of the map while being disguised as him, so the enemies think they are keeping track of him, but in reality his position is completely hidden, allowing him to pull off cheesy ganks.
- If you have Banshee's Veil active, it will be hidden when you're transformed to another character.



- Can be procced multiple times if it kills an enemy unit, so it's a great way of clearing waves fast.



- Basically an upgraded version of Wukong's clone as it also moves in a direction that you decide. Be creative by for example letting the clone move in your original direction, while you move the opposite way to confuse your opponents.

- In patch 9.9 Neeko received a change that makes it so her clone can get hit by abilities immediately instead of after a short delay. This is a pretty big buff as you can now use it as a meat shield against for example Zoe's Sleepy Trouble Bubble or LeBlanc's Ethereal Chains. Use it to tank important abilities!


- You can disguise yourself as for example Ezreal to fool the enemies and make them hide behind minions, lining them up for the perfect root.

- You can pop Zhonya's Hourglass right after using Pop Blossom, so you're safe from any CC/damage while charging.
- When disguised, the enemies won't be able to see you charging the ultimate.



COMBO 1: Quick trade


The classic combo for quick trades in the laning phase. If the enemies doesn't have any mobility spells up, you will get at least 2 procs of Blooming Burst. Remember to weave in autoattacks early game as they will deal lots of damage. That's a free proc of Electrocute if you are playing her with that.

COMBO 2: 3 procs of Q


This is a little harder to pull off, but it lets you get all procs of Blooming Burst off since you will use that first, and then root the enemy after to secure the last 2 procs.

COMBO 3: Without ult


Use this when you have charged up her Shapesplitter passive so you get the empowered auto attack. You can use the temporary movement speed bonus to get away after using the combo.

COMBO 4: Ultimate combo


You engage with her ultimate (being camouflaged, or not depending on the situation), and while the enemies are stunned, you throw in Blooming Burst and then immediately use Tangle-Barbs after to make sure they are CC'ed long enough for all your damage to hit them. Finish up with the third auto if possible. You can also activate Zhonya's Hourglass right after popping your ultimate, so you are safe from taking damage, or having it canceled.
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What does it mean to freeze and how do i do it?


Freezing is a advanced technique that lets you deny your opponent exp and cs if done correctly. Freezing a lane means that you kite/tank the minions without letting your tower hit the creeps. You need to make sure the enemy minions always beat yours. After the enemy killed your entire wave, you let 2-3 of the enemy creeps live, and kite them until the next wave is here. When the next wave arrives, the wave will freeze right outside of your turret range.

By doing this, you are safe from jungle ganks, while your opponent takes a big risk everytime he overextends for a cs.

When to freeze the wave


You can Freeze the wave when you and the enemy are even or ahead, and it can be used to help you win back the lane after you screwed up and died. You can attempt to freeze the wave already from level 1, leaving your opponent vulnerable to jungle ganks or be within your kill range, if you are able to kill them. When you get a lead, and you can solokill an overextended enemy laner, that is exactly when you want to freeze the wave. You force the enemy midlaner to either be in your kill range, or miss a ton of cs and exp, putting them further behind.

Freezing a wave is a great way to snowball a lead, if you have no objectives to fight for, such as dragon, herald or towers.

Here is a youtube video that explains wave management very well. I recommend watching the entire video. All credits for this video goes to Blitz Esports LoL


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Thanks for reading my Neeko guide! As the champion is still new, people still haven't found the best build / playstyle yet, but i have gathered everything i know and i will keep updating the guide as we get to know more.
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Yeager's Master Neeko Guide [All Roles]