"Inferiority Complex," a Veigar Guide by MrButtermancer
Alright. So if you're here, you are one of two kinds of people. You're the person who thinks Veigar might be fun if you could learn how to play him, but you're not quite sure how. Or perhaps you DO know how to play him and you're looking to pick up extra tricks and tips on mastering this midget terror. In either case, you want to learn how to *play* him better. This guide is for you.
The other kind of person is the Summoner that wants to come on and criticize any build based on a champion in the bottom slot of the tier list. How can Veigar possibly be viable in actual competitive play? No, those items are wrong, and you should take skill x sooner. Also, the best way to play Veigar is to choose Annie, etc. This guide is for you. I hope to at least convince you to try Veigar before throwing out that harsh judgement of "inviable." I've played about 2,000 games, and I'll tell you Veigar is my favorite Champion in the League. I also believe him to be one of the STRONGEST AP users in this game, if not THE strongest AP Champion. If you are feeling disdain or disbelief, hopefully this will keep you reading.
To offer some credentials, my last four Veigar games (all of them visible as of today in my recently played) were:
These are the only Veigar games visible on my recently played. I have omitted no bad Veigar games.
First of all, there is a right way to do things. This isn't a modern art exhibit where a stack of chairs will sell for $200,000. In League, if you do it wrong, you lose. Some builds are viable but not as effective as others. When you decide you're going to play Veigar, I suggest you go with this build:
9x Greater Mark of Insight (Magic Penetration)
9x Greater Seal of Clarity (Scaling Mana Regeneration)
9x Greater Glyph of Celerity (Scaling Cooldown Reduction)
3x Greater Quintessence of Insight (Magic Penetration)
3 Archmage's Savvy
1 Archaic Knowledge
1 Good Hands
4 Expanded Mind
1 Blink of an Eye
1 Presence of the Master
I've tested and retested and tooled this build dozens of times over hundreds of games. This is the best Veigar build I've come up with, and it's quite good on other mana casters as well. Going into a game, this is what you should look like.
The simplest way to explain how you're supposed to act during a game is to actually play a game. So let's have a game on paper:
Queue pops up. You're in game. You press "play."
Here is the Champion screen. Now the most important thing to do here is select Veigar, and request mid. (I'm assuming you're playing Normal for now). Yes, mid. Veigar does his best work mid and if you CAN'T get it, do yourself and your team a favor and play someone else. I'm serious. If your team doesn't give you garbage, you're golden. If someone is actually belligerent enough to demand it from you (assuming you called it first) assess the situation and consider dodging. Most people who are ready to demand a called lane exhibit poor sportsmanship and teamwork in other areas as well. If you're doing this the first time you'd better be in a practice game.
Observe the other rules too. Make sure there's only ONE other AP user or your team will have a tough time against magic resist. Make sure your team has no more than 3 melee champions. Make sure you have a tank. Most of you know the drill. Those of you who don't are the reason I have to write this section so do yourselves a favor and pay attention. I get the feeling you don't know who you are sometimes.
Right. So Welcome to Summoner's Rift. You're Blue Team. Purchase a Meki Pendant and two Health Potions. Your first ability is Baleful Strike. Go QUICKLY to the bush near mid and watch the river for your jungler. If someone shows up, Q them, Ignite them, and run like a midget being chased by a possessed scarecrow. The idea isn't to get a kill necessarily, it's to scare the enemies off of your jungler and away from the golem.
If you don't have a jungler, stand behind the INNER mid tower and wait for the minions. Unless it's probably Teemo mid. Then stand in the middle of the lane and keep the little punk from going invisible. Unless there's another stealther, in which case he can have it. The reason you stand behind the middle tower is because it's the only win-win scenario. Often times the enemy mid will be ridiculously aggressive and walk out into tower-sight. This means you will see their items and identity and they still have no idea who you are. I've seen people get so frustrated trying to get my identity that they actually took a tower hit. If they DON'T walk up, it's a wash. You have no idea who they are and they know likewise about you.
Alright... so this is the tricky part. Minions arrive. There will be an enemy in the mid lane. This is where experience really comes in handy. You will get better midding against pretty much anyone after many games, and there are very few champions that will actually shut Veigar down mid. Let's say it's Ashe mid. First thing you have to know is under no circumstances are you to eat her first autoattack. It autocrits and hurts like a mother. Second, her Volleys will do a significant chunk of your meager health bar. Your strategy will be to play defensively until you see her attack, then run forwards and start last hitting. If she wants to Volley, bait her by walking up like you're going to attack then dodge behind the minions. When she misses, Q her if you can to add injury to insult. You will develop this kind of understanding of many mid opponents as you play more games. The only champions I still have trouble with are Kassadin, Zilean, and Urgot. Champions that are annoying are Pantheon and Akali. Everyone else can be effectively harassed and denied (yes, Vlad).
Anyone who has a Doran's Item will not be able to afford health potions and should be harassed mercilessly. Health recovered on level up is now dependent on % max health you have at the time of level. Basically this means that early harass is super effective at keeping your opponent down. Baleful Strike should take priority in leveling, with your second skill being Event Horizon. Can your opponent move quickly via a jump or blink? If not, at level four take Dark Matter and nuke at level five. If so, take Event Horizon again at level four and leave Dark Matter until eight. Baleful Strike at level 2-3 becomes effective for harassing most champions. Count their cooldowns and strike when they've just used a damage ability. (Vlad's level three. He Qs. You know you have roughly seven seconds to hit him before he can do it again.)
Veigar's Passive is awesome. With some initial mana regeneration from runes and masteries, he can just about always have enough for a nuke. The item that makes him ridiculous is a Tear of the Goddess, which you should purchase second. Sorcerer's Shoes third. Don't be ashamed to buy more Health Potions when you go back the first or even the second time. Veigar is in significant danger if he's under HALF health.
You should own mid with Baleful Strike at level 4+ and a Tear and Boots in your possession. If someone shows up, nuke them repeatedly until they leave. When they reach that sweet spot, kill them. You'll learn when to use Flash and Ignite in this kind of situation. I can't teach you when someone is killable as Veigar, but it's often at much higher health than you'd initially expect. You can fit multiple Baleful Strikes into a gank easily as it's cooldown is quite low. Don't be afraid to Flash to set up your stun. If your opponent has Flash, make sure you hit them with the EDGE of Event Horizon and realize you're probably going to be making a choice between Baleful Strike and Primordial Burst before they Flash out of range.
As soon as you can, get a Mejai's Soulstealer. Many people claim Veigar is too squishy for this item and it just makes him more of a target. If those are problems for you, play Vladimir. Veigar stays in the back. Veigar hides in the bushes. And when he has to, Veigar runs like a little girl.
Running Like a Little Girl (Teamfights)
We're at the Teamfight stage. Your motto here is, "the only time opponents should actually see me is on their Death Recap." Bushes. Hide in them. Hit and run. You should be out of range of teamfights unless you've got abilities to use. Nuke and RUN. Then sneak back in through the bushes and Baleful Strike. If someone notices you, which is likely, run. Run and stun and nuke. If a melee DPS ever actually hits you, I will personally message you, "you're doing it wrong." You have absurd range. Abuse it. Arrive at teamfights about a second to two seconds late when everyone is occupied. If you are losing, leave early and prepare to stun the enemy team to protect your allies.
I cannot stress this enough: hit and run. You should now have built both a Rabadon's Deathcap and a Void Staff, the Void Staff coming first against heavy MR or tank teams.
Lategame is here. Your last items are upgrading the Tear to an Archangel's and buying a Deathfire Grasp. If you're doing it you have 700 AP, if you're doing it well you have 800 AP, and if you're doing it right you have 1000+. First things first: know who to focus. The defining factor here is if you can kill the enemy damage dealer. Also, if you can stun and nuke the entire enemy team with a Dark Matter, that's a teamfight you've won. If you're having trouble pushing towers, replace the Deathfire with a Lichbane and proc it on minions. Push. Win.
Stun ulting Nunu. Stun ulting Katarina. If you see Pantheon falling, place a stun so he lands on the edge (he can leap through it if he doesn't land ON it). Place an Event Horizon around anyone resurrecting with a Guardian Angel. Shen can Taunt through Event Horizon. Tristana can Rocket Jump through it. People who move through it will end up at their original destination, but stunned. Mercury's Treads make things painful, but you can still Dark Matter people if your stun is maxed. Learn to place a stun on yourself so you can get rid of melee DPS that is hitting you when you are doing it wrong. Don't push when you are mid, last hit only. Try to anticipate when your opponent is moving forwards for a last hit, they probably won't think to hit you if they're aiming at a minion. You can farm the Phantom camp in one Dark Matter shot if you get enough AP. Same goes for Wolves. If you're going to farm the enemy camp, leave one so they don't respawn. Farm your Q as much as you can. Eight minions is the equivalent of a PERMANENT Mejai's Stack for reference.
At 20 Stacks this build has 40% CDR. The Evil Tome is kinda useless on Veigar. Buy an Abyssal Scepter instead of a Void Staff if there's a particularly fed enemy caster, or if you're not carrying and your team is spell-dependent for damage. The Deathfire Grasp can be reasonably replaced with a defensive item for difficult games, but as Vegiar, the most important technique is not getting hit in the first place. IF YOU DIE FIVE TIMES IN A GAME YOU NEED TO IMPROVE YOUR TECHNIQUE. You should ALWAYS have a positive K/D, although that doesn't necessarily mean you are going to win.
If you can trade a death for a kill, and you have four stacks or less, do it. Sometimes if you can't afford your item recipe but you CAN afford a component of your next item, it's worth it to buy the component as the stats can benefit you immediately. (I have 500 gold. I have a Needlessly Large and a Blasting Wand I'm going to make into a Rabadon's. My next items is a Void Staff. I should buy an Amplifying Tome and benefit from the 20 AP because when I return I will have enough for the Deathcap.)
Item Build (Summary)
2 Health Potions
Meki Pendant -> Tear of the Goddess
Boots -> Sorcerer's Shoes
Amplifying Tome -> Mejai's Soulstealer
Tear of the Goddess -> Archangel's Staff
Fiendish Codex -> Deathfire Grasp
This is meant to be more of a technique guide than a build guide, as builds should usually be based on experience. If there's anything I want to stress here, it's experience. If you keep playing Veigar and you understand the basics of what you're trying to do, you will eventually be able to modify what you've learned here to whatever situation you're in. Play LOTS of games, and hold judgement on Veigar and on this guide until you've had, we'll say, fifty games following the advice of this guide.
This is the second guide I've written for Veigar. The first I wrote several months ago. It should still be relevant, and I would recommend it to more casual players. It's easier to do well with the build in that guide, although it will not do as well in the hands of an experienced player. The single change I would make to it applying to today's League is swapping the Ghost to Flash in the advent of Jarvan IV. Here is a link:
Good luck Summoners. I hope I see all of you out there
Doing it Right.
:D Looks promising. I'll have to try it out soon.
What about mid vs Caitlyn?? I really struggled against her the other day. Any tips??
I agree with the majority I disagree with the statement that mejai's is good on him, but also realize I do not consider mejai's a top tier player item period. I consider all stack items to be most optimal on tanks to help them draw fire.
It *was* good. Ended up with 5/2/14, 20 stacks on Mejai's all game long, and, while not being the star of the show, managed to make the other team's world a nightmare (including nocturne.) Would have gotten more if the snowballing Yi, Mundo, and Warwick hadn't leached my kills. :D
Edit: Only died twice, both early game while laning against an aggressive Ezreal and being forced to be afk for up to 30 seconds at one time. Still dominated.
Mejai is risky....I will not recommend it if you are playing ranked...
Said by the dude who is just 1500 ranked..lol.
The very best advice I have for Caitlyn was probably abusing her Q and you weren't counting cooldowns. Your range is actually longer than hers if you use the OUTER edge of Event Horizon, either stun with that before dropping your W and Q on her, or wait for her to Q and IMMEDIATELY punish her when she can't fire it at YOU.
I could not have said it better myself.
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