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League of Legends (LoL) Question: Essentials and Gameplay Mechanics of Vel'Koz

Posted in Champions | Tags: Vel'Koz 4,346

  • GrovyleGrove

    Essentials and Gameplay Mechanics of Vel'Koz

    Simple Intro (Just for fun): Hi, I'm GrovyleGrove and I'm seeking some advice on my current playstyle when using Vel'Koz, the eye of the void.

    Side Note (Please consider): The following article, aside from the backstory, primarily pertains to the gameplay of Vel'Koz in the mid-lane role!

    Backstory (Optional, can be glazed over): Vel'Koz, also known as (aka) Vel, was one of the first free rotations (refreshed every Tuesday) available when I started League (back in January) and I instantly fell in love with both the champion, their lore, and, most of all, their playstyle. Just a few weeks into the game and I was already saving up for the small luxury that was Vel'Koz, finally having the influence points (IP) to afford the cross-dimensional sentient we all know and love today after two miserable months of getting wrecked and flamed playing player-versus-player (PvP) jungle Nunu at a mere level seven or so. I had to have played at least three games a day that week when Vel'Koz was on the rotation, scaling to five my first few days after my purchase. The combination of his sustain, burst, and slight utility is why I love playing champions like Vel and Gnar.

    The Research Behind This (Helpful in both better understanding the question(s) at hand and explaining Vel'Koz to those unfamiliar with the champion): First off, I have to give a big *clap* *clap* to AMP2010 and their amazing guide on Vel'Koz. AMP's video guide is a must for anyone looking to learn aboutVel'Koz. And while this guide went over many basic, intermediate, and even some advanced level game strategies, I was still left with many questions concerning the champ after reading the article (as well as many other).

    Questions and Concerns (The "good" stuff): Vel'Koz's home page indicates that Fizz is one of the easiest laning champions to face. Many guides, on the other hand, suggest that Fizz is one of Vel'Koz's most formidable foes. Is this perspective wrong, or perhaps dependent on one's gameplay style for Vel? (Case 1) Although it is common knowledge, an artillery mage, by definition, is slow. This often leaves Vel unable to fend off the "oh so notorious" stuns, slows, and silences that can easily end any champion, but especially low movement speed (MS) characters such as, but definitely not limited to, Vel'Koz, Xerath, and Ziggs, ganks being one of the most difficult challenges with these types of champions. Sure, his kit allows for some lead way; in particularly the slow on his Q, Plasma Fission, and the stun on his E, Tectonic Disruption. Even with summoner spells such as Flash, Heal, and Ghost I often feel as though this is still not enough to escape many late-game situations against champions with the ability to gap close, leaving highly squishy champions like Vel in a very unforgiving situation. Could this be a personal issue, or potentially a recurring issue with the champion? (Case 2) This build into my next two cases. The first is one that has bothered me for quite some time, summoner spells. Unlike most champions, Vel'Koz's spell pick seems more interdependent on the team compilation since all spells can, in some ways, adapt to Vel'Koz's playstyle. While I would assume that this can really just apply to any championtechnically, is there any cases where I should focus my spell choice specifically on my laning opponent versus the team comps? (Case 3) Secondly, building off my previous mentioning of gap closing, although Vel's E stun is often used to deflect gap closing, should I ever use this offensively to build his passive, Organic Deconstruction, during team fights when considering its affect of area (AoE) potential? (Case 4) A lot of times, it seems as though the passive effects on items outweigh the pure power associated with Rabadon's Deathcap, yet it is considered an essential to Vel'Koz's build. How can I determine when to purchase it over other item options when pure ability power (AP) is applicable to any fight? (Case 5) Much like Ahri, Vel'Koz can be very mana hungry during the early-game, his auto-attacks are fairly weak throughout the game, usually making last-hitting a task easier said than done. Many use Vel's W, Void Rift, as a tool to add onto their creep scoreX (CS), but this often comes at the price of much needed mana and one (of the possible two stacks) of your main ability for building Organic Deconstruction, sometimes leaving you without the power to finish off your opponents, tracking back to the MS problem aforementioned. What is your method to efficiently farming with Vel'Koz and how do you balance your mana from falling behind? I'm curious to hear how some may tie in the added mana regen bonus of Plasma Fission into this scenario. (Case 6)
    Speaking of Plasma Fission, many opponents will walk into the ability's split bolt when I activate the ability into a wall. While I understand that both enemies cannot see the ability when activated on a wall and that I can reactivate the ability early to keep the distance of the ability unknown to my opponents, I often use this as my main means of early, and sometimes mid-game poke damage, often avoiding using Void Rift to save mana, unless I think that I can get all three of my Organic Deconstruction stacks from the ability combo, much like Gnar and his passive W ability, Hyper. (Case 7)

    Brief Summary (To put it all together): These are all of the questions that I can think of for now, but I may post any more that I come up with in the comments section and I encourage everyone else to post any questions that they may have as well. I do not expect anyone to answer all of my questions and would appreciate if you answer even just one of the previously stated cases to which you can use the numbers of to better help organize your statement. I'd like to thank you just for reading thus far, and also, therefore, give my acknowledgement in advance to anyone who has or will contribute to this post. Admittedly, I'd be totally psyched to get a reply from some of the well known "vets of Mobafire" such as PsiGuard, who is not only a Vel'Koz player, but also a great Q&A reference here on Mobafire, or even VaporaDark, who's in-depth guides I use on a regular basis. Your advice is admired in any way, shape, or form (post, link, or, for those who want to go the extra mile, custom battles). Feel free to chat me up as well, just send a message to the username GrovyleGrove. Best of luck to everyone! May the odds be ever in your favor! And for the big exit...
    Sorry guys, it's just not the same without Neil DeGrasse Tyson in it!
  • Answers (2)

    PsiGuard (1495) | July 13, 2017 6:22pm
    Wow, this might be the longest Q&A question I've ever seen. And with so many hyperlinks! Also I'm surprised you know that I play Vel'Koz; not many people know what I play outside jungle.

    I'll take a crack at your questions. Hopefully I didn't miss any.

    1. I'd consider Fizz a dangerous matchup regardless of win rate, but you can definitely win it. Take Barrier in case you get hit by his ult, though most of the time you want to Flash rather than eat the fish. Save Tectonic Disruption until Fizz uses Playful / Trickster so you won't miss. You have better team fighting and better wave control as long as you don't get caught.

    2. Vel'Koz actually has a respectable 340 MS which isn't bad at all. I usually buy Luden's Tempest which leaves me faster than a lot of mages. As you said, he's still vulnerable to dives, but you have some good self-peeling tools and defensive summoners. If you're getting caught a lot you might have to just position more cautiously. Don't miss E!

    3. Barrier tends to be a good option against Syndra and Fizz as well as anyone likely to run Ignite like Ahri perhaps. Exhaust is pretty good against Zed and anyone who will get close to you before dealing a lot of damage. Cleanse is strong into long CC like Lissandra, but also watch for champions in other roles like Ashe and Elise since they can make it worth it. Heal and Ghost are always good options if you don't need one of the other spells. I tend to run Heal or Barrier most games.

    4. Yes! Tectonic Disruption is your main tool to get picks and max damage in team fights. Hit Plasma Fission first in order to make sure you land your E on a single target. Throwing E into a group of enemies can also work fine. QEWR is your main kill combo.

    5. Rabadon's Deathcap is best when you don't need survivability and the enemy isn't building MR. Void Staff is better if they do have MR. Liandry's Anguish is good if they have a lot of high HP champions. Never be afraid to delay damage to pick up a Zhonya's Hourglass or something if you need it. It's much better to buy what you need to survive even if you lose a bit of damage because Vel'Koz has high base damage.

      I usually buy Morellonomicon, boots and Luden's Tempest before branching out situationally.

    6. This one actually is a bit puzzling because I think Vel'Koz has possibly the best mana sustain in the game for mid laners. I rarely run oom even if I don't get blue and I don't have to build anything other than Morellonomicon for mana. I max Void Rift first for waveclear and only cast it to trade or to push. Last hit with autos unless you can only get it with Q. If you don't use Q and E a lot you shouldn't have mana problems. Basically don't use E unless your opponent is engaging on you or you land a Q slow first.

    7. I'm not really sure what your question is here, but honestly most of the Qs I land are dead-on. The best part about Vel'Koz Q is that you can't sidestep it at the last second because it splits. As fun as it is to hit people from weird angles, I have the most success by just shooting it straight.

    I hope that helps!
    GrovyleGrove (3) | July 18, 2017 9:21am
    Alright, I'll keep that in mind! Thanks again! <3
    PsiGuard (1495) | July 16, 2017 12:27am
    I'm flattered <3. Unfortunately I'm not eligible for the raffle since I'm an admin, so those tickets don't do much for me. Oh well. :P

    Resistances aren't usually a high priority for Vel'Koz since he has great range. I usually wouldn't build Zhonya's just for the armor. I'd only consider it if the active let me avoid some sort of threat like Zed's Death Mark or just bought time against divers like Jarvan IV.

    Banshee's Veil is a decent MR option if necessary (against a LeBlanc, Diana or Blitzcrank perhaps).
    GrovyleGrove (3) | July 14, 2017 7:11pm
    Although I had to blink a few times and rub my eyes when I saw that PsiGuard responded to me, I ultimately came to the conclusion that everything was real, turning what had originally been building up to be a rather bleak day right-side-up again! While, yes, I do write rather long entries, you can expect any posts that I make in the future to be just as long, if not longer! Everything that you wrote was super in-depth, I even had to check out some of the links, just for fun. Your examples from case three were super helpful and I've got some friends who're maining a couple of the champions that you mentioned so we're going to run a few custom games for practice. The scenario's that you've added are really going to put both my matchups and builds into more perspective! I also decided to check on ticket rankings today and saw that you were number five as of today, to which I congratulate you on.

    I guess I could leave things here, but what's the fun in that? So I guess I'll leave you with just one last question: When facing an attack damage (AD) damage team, you can build Zhonya's Hourglass, but, should you go against a high-level ability power (AP) threat like LeBlanc or Fizz, is there any magic resist (MR) items that fit well into Vel'Koz's kit, or should I stick to maintaining the cooldown (CD) on Barrier and or Exhaust?... (case 8)

    Le Pro of d00m (25) | July 13, 2017 1:43am
    Case 1: I would definitely put Fizz as an extremely tough matchup for Vel’koz, he has a lot of mobility and burst and can dodge your kill combo with his E.

    Case 2: It would be easier to see from a replay, but this sounds like you may be positioning yourself in dangerous situations when you should be abusing your long range to poke the enemy team while your frontline prevents anyone from getting close to you.

    Case 3: Your summoners are generally personal preference but there are times when others are clearly more viable. Ghost or Heal are solid and safe spells for evading ganks and picks late game, Exhaust is very good against assassins, and if the enemy team is comprised with 2 or more assassin like champions you should look to take Exhaust. Cleanse is very rarely used, but it can be very valuable against a composition with deadly crowd control such as Ashe with her ultimate and Anivia with her stun combo. Usually you want to keep your lane opponent in mind when picking spells, but like I said before you always want to consider the full enemy composition and what will benefit you the most throughout the game.

    Case 4: This is situational, but the crowd control from you E can be very strong when used in conjunction with your W and R to guarantee multiple hits. Obviously you want to save your E if the enemy team has an assassin or bruiser that you can easily deflect away from your backline.

    Case 5: Deathcap should be built as you 4th item usually. An early deathcap is pointless because it will not give much AP and is expensive, but after you have completed your 3 core items (Morello/Ludens/Rylies or Liandries), it becomes very efficient to buy due to the massive amount of AP it will provide.

    Case 6: last hitting with auto attacks will come over time, Vel’Koz has a very nice auto animation so once you get a hang of it you won’t worry too much about mana. Using Q and W to last hit is fine as long as you watch your mana and don’t use them when unneeded.

    Case 7: Using your Q to harass from walls is good, if you’re running out of mana a lot see if you can grab blue buff. Your Q and W should be used slightly differently, Q is good for harassing and poking, while W is good for denying area to opponents and chunking them when they are occupied fighting one of your teammates,
    GrovyleGrove (3) | July 14, 2017 5:23pm
    Hey, I really appreciated you taking the time to answer everything that I had! Just one day of playing with these tips and I can already feel the difference in my overall gameplay and stats with Vel! My biggest takeaway was probably on case 5. Originally, I'd been rushing Rabadon's Deathcap, assuming that it was the core of my kit. Also, having an items recommendation list has really made things more smooth when don't have any situational item to build. Again, it was super cool of you to answer all the questions that I had, and at almost four in the morning?! While I have to give you a complementary *applause* for doing so I also want to give you little *pat* *pat* for doing so that late at night. Although working on Vel is my main goal right now, you've inspired me towards a new goal... staying up past two in the morning.

    Thanks again!
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