Veigar - Master of Hadoken - by Roku

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INTRODUCTION


Welcome to my personal guide on how to play Veigar! First things first, if you don't know the reference of the title to Nuklear Power, go here: HADOKEN!

After reading that, and possibly the next one, or hell as many as you want it's an amazing comic, you'll understand what type of Veigar I build. Nuke. Everything. 

Secondly, who am I and why am I writing a guide? I've been in Beta since mid-July, around since Veigar came out. He was the second hero I tried and I've played him a TON since then. I've theorycrafted, tested builds, argued theories, and constantly tweaked my playstyle to try and maximize my Veigar's effectiveness. The end result has been many a game stomp, a strong confidence in my playstyle and my build, and somewhat recognition and fear of my Veigar in game.

The attached screenshots show the max ranges of Veigar's abilities. Primordial Burst has the same range as Baleful Strike. There are also two other screenshots showing simple techniques of comboing with the fringe of Event Horizon and farming neutrals with Dark Matter. Note: Look at the image of Event Horizon's graphic overlayed by the targeting reticule, this can give you a good sense of where it will actually land. The perimeter is the inner circle, but the stunning area can be anywhere between that circle and the outermost one.

I am not making a guide that will allow you to get by, I'm posting what I believe is the most optimal way to play the champion. Accept it, reject it, modify it, I don't care. I just hope it makes you a better Veigar player by the end if it. On to the good stuff!



CHAMPION INFORMATION




Ok I lied, this isn't the good stuff. Pretty boring, but knowing the base mechanics can be very useful. Official Page: Veigar

-----[Hero Stats] 
(Taken from Official Page):

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Stat..................|Level 1|...........|Per Level|............|Level 18|

Hitpoints...........|355|.................|82|.... .................|1831| 
Mana.................|250|.................|55|... ..................|1240|
Armor................|10.5|................|3.5|.. ..................|73.5|
Magic Resist......|30|...................|0|............ ...........|30|
Attack Damage..|46.5|................|2.63|.............. ....|93.8|
Crit Chance.......|2.2%|...............|0.25%|......... .....|6.5%|
Health Regen....|0.9|..................|0.11|............ .....|2.88|
Mana Regen......|0.88|................|0.08|........... ......|2.32|

Also:
Movespeed: 310 
Range: 525
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-----[Abilities] 
(Taken directly from in-game)

*BALEFUL STRIKE* [Q]
Unleashes dark energy at target enemy dealing x(+ AP*.6) Magic Damage. If a unit is killed, Veigar gains 1 Ability Power for a minion or 5 Ability Power for a champion.

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Rank..........|Damage(x)|........|Cooldown|....... |Mana Cost|

1)...............|80|......................|8s|... ...............|75|
2)...............|125|....................|7s|.... ..............|75|
3)...............|170|....................|6s|.... ..............|75|
4)...............|215|....................|5s|.... ..............|75|
5)...............|260|....................|4s|.... ..............|75|
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*DARK MATTER* [W]
After 1.6 seconds, dark matter falls from the sky to the target location, dealing x(+ AP) Magic Damage.

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Rank..........|Damage(x)|.......|Cooldown|.......| Mana Cost|

1)..............|120|..................|13s|...... .........|90|
2)..............|180|..................|13s|...... .........|105|
3)..............|240|..................|13s|...... .........|120|
4)..............|300|..................|13s|...... .........|135|
5)..............|360|..................|13s|...... .........|150|
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*EVENT HORIZON* [E]
Veigar twists the edges of space around the target location for 3 seconds, stunning enemies who pass through the perimeter for x seconds.

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Rank.........|Stun Length(x)|.....|Cooldown|......|Mana Cost|

1).............|1.5s|.....................|24s|... .............|90| 
2).............|1.75s|...................|22s|.... ............|110|
3).............|2s|........................|20s|.. ..............|130|
4).............|2.25s|...................|18s|.... ............|150|
5).............|2.5s|.....................|16s|... .............|170|
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*PRIMORDIAL BURST* [R]
Blasts an enemy champion, dealing x(+ AP * 1.3) Magic Damage plus 25% of the target's maximum Mana. If Primordial Burst deals a killing blow, Veigar regains (y) mana and gains a bonus 5 Ability Power.

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Rank........|Damage(x)|........|Cooldown|........| Mana Cost|...|Mana Returned(y)|

1).............|100|...................|130s|..... ..........|200|..............|500|
2).............|250|...................|110s|..... ..........|300|..............|1000|
3).............|400|...................|90s|...... ...........|400|..............|1500|
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*ENTROPY* [Passive]
Veigar steals from each nearby enemy champion 20% of their Ability Power. The amount stolen per target cannot exceed five times Veigar's level.



PRE-GAME SETUP



-----[Summoner Spells]

Summoner Spells can vary depending on personal taste. I'm going to rank them into tiers based on what I recommend for Veigar.

*Definitely worth it*: Teleport, Exhaust, Flash (I use Teleport and Exhaust ALWAYS, but I can see flash)

*If you really want to*: Ghost, Revive (Not my personal recommendation, but I can see these too)

*If your team needs it*: Clairvoyance, Rally, Fortify, Promote (Team support skills, get them if you must)

*Don't*: Heal, Smite, Cleanse (Pointless, You will only ever kill golem, have no farming problems, cleanse is unnecessary, and you shouldn't be in the middle of a fight enough to use heal)

-----[Runes]

Alright, finally. Done with learning background information and ready to...get ready. First set up you'll want to make is what runes you'll use. Currently, I find two rune sets most effective.

Full Force: This is the rune page I use a majority of the time, All Force runes. Total is +78 AP at level 18. Reasoning for this is more AP is always good (Duh). Ap helps out with last hitting, is a bulk of your damage, and 78 is a pretty good chunk. 

~~~~Tip: While Potency runes are more alluring than Force runes early, they do not scale well at all. IIRC Force runes are equal to potency runes around level 5. Since there won't be much action before then, just go force. HOWEVER, Quints scale differently. Force Quints don't catch up to Potency until around level 12-13, so that is a personal choice of if you want to sacrifice a few ap early game or mid/late game.


Force/Insight: A build that I have contemplated and argued quite a bit with, but proves to be just as effective as full force. This rune page allows for Insight runes in Blue/Quint slots and Force runes in Yellow/Red slots. Maxed out, the page gives 12 Magic pen and 27 AP at 18. This rune page is similar in strength to Full force, it depends on the target. Full force is better for creeps and targets with over 100 Magic Resist (considering masteries) while Force/Insight is better for targets with less than 100 Magic Resist.

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~~~~Tip: The reasoning for the Force/Insight being better on targets with less than 100 Magic Resist is because of the way magic penetration works. "Debuff" effects are calculated first, such as exhaust, Karthus' wall, Soraka debuff, etc. These values CAN take a champion below 0 Magic resist, increasing their damage taken even more. Next "self" effects are calculated, such as masteries and runes. These values can not bring the enemy magic resist below 0. Because of this, naturally flat penetration is better at lower values, but the percentage scaling of Archaic Knowledge and the extra 50 AP soon overtakes it. This breaking point where the percentage and extra AP overtakes penetration works out to be around 100 magic resist on the target.

What not to do: Mana regen, Reduced cooldown, pretty much anything else except for maybe health is a big no-no. Force and Insight do a ton and other "wants" can be compensated for. For instance, you may think you need more cooldown reduction, but with utility spec, elixir of brilliance, and golem buff...it's useless. Mana regen is another thing that may seem like a good idea, but isn't. Any issues with mana are erased around level 10 and handled by teleport prior to that. 


-----[Masteries]

Masteries are much more versatile than skill build for maximum effectiveness. You can really bend the rules here depending on your personal tastes. A 21/0/9 build isn't bad, but here is my favorite mastery spec:

9/0/21
(9) Offense

(1) Cripple**A MUST IF YOU HAVE EXHAUST, 25 MAGIC PEN!**
(3) Archmage's Savvy
(4) Sorcery
(1) Archaic Knowledge

(21) Utility

(1) Spatial Accuracy**I get this because I love using teleport as a regen tool**
(3) Perseverance
(4) Expanded Mind
(3) Awareness **Take one from here if you want the Greed mastery**
(3) Meditation
(3) Quickness
(3) Intelligence
(1) Presence of the Master



SKILL BUILD



My skill build is something that I have tweaked with many, many, many times. Also, you can ask people both on IRC or that I play with and I contemplate and theorycraft and argue it a LOT. However, this is the build that I have come to love and have introduced to many other people that have also enjoyed it. The build focuses on Baleful because it is a highly underrated skill. It's pretty low mana cost, adds AP, has a very nice range(thanks to recent patch) and does sizeable damage most of the game (scales down a little bit late game, but dominates early)

~~~~Tip: Baleful Strike's range is only slightly smaller than Teemo's Blinding Dart.

1) Baleful Strike
2) Event Horizon
3) Baleful Strike
4) Dark Matter
5) Baleful Strike
6) Primordial Burst
7) Baleful Strike
8) Dark Matter
9) Baleful Strike
10) Dark Matter
11) Primordial Burst
12) Dark Matter
13) Dark Matter
14) Event Horizon
15) Event Horizon
16) Primordial Burst
17) Event Horizon
18) Event Horizon

Reasoning: This build will be much explained in the breakdowns of different stages of the game. Mostly, Baleful Strike dominates early game, Dark Matter dominates late game, The spammability of them all blends into HADOKENS!!!! Late game.



ITEM BUILDS



There are two builds that I enjoy completely. These builds are what I find to be optimal. I will also rage at what not to do following the two builds.

-----[General Cannon]

This build is my favorite by far. The tear early allows extreme harass, tons of AP farming, and generally makes the game go smoother. The rod of ages adds everything you can benefit from, enough hp to survive all game with, and both it and the Zhonya's synergize with making the archangel's later.

Starting items: Sapphire Crystal (400), Health Potion (35), Mana Potion (40)

Crystal -> Tear of the Goddess (580)
Sorcerer's Shoes (925)
Catalyst the Protector (1325) **Buy the Ruby Crystal as soon as you can afford it after shoes**
Catalyst -> Rod of Ages (1730)
Zhonya's Ring (3735)
Tear -> Archangel's Staff (1930)

Assuming 2 Elixirs of Brilliance throughout game:
Total Cost = 11,300

~~~~Tip: If their team has multiple tanks or multiple health stacking champions, buy a deathfire grasp after Rod of Ages. Otherwise, ignore it, the straight damage from Zhonya's is way more beneficial in general since Deathfire Grasp is really only good for the first hit (when they have high hp)

This will outlast the length of most games, if the game is still going definitely go Lich Bane next!

-----[Anti-Caster / Veigar Mirror]

This build is as the header says, a good build when facing another Veigar or a generally magic damage heavy team. A Magic Heavy team would be any team consisting of 3 or more champions that deal primarily Magic Damage. Goes for more mana regen and resist than straight damage and mana.

Starting items: Meki Pendant (390), Health Potion x2 (70)

Pendant -> Chalice of Harmony (500)
Sorcerer's Shoes (925)
Catalyst the Protector (1325) **Again, buy the Ruby Crystal ASAP!**
Catalyst -> Rod of Ages (1730) **You still do need some mana, and HP**
Abyssal Scepter (2670)
Zhonya's Ring (3735)

Assuming 2 Elixirs of Brilliance again:
Total Cost = 11,945

~~~~Tip: Again, if you're dealing with multiple heavy Magic Damage AND high hp champions you can go a deathfire grasp. For this build I would basically replace the abyssal scepter with it. Again though, prolonging bigger items is not worth it since you already do so much damage that you don't get much of a benefit from taking off a percent of current health.


Again, this should outlast the game, but if it's going on, Lich Bane again!

-----[What not to do]

Alright, so if you haven't already noticed, there are a few items that people assume are practically made for Veigar, and I don't touch them in either build. I will address these seperately:

Fiendish Codex: I know the cooldown and cheapness of this item is alluring, I know many people that have gotten this on Veigar. Don't. There are better, cheaper/free alternatives. With the 9% from masteries and the Golem buff giving 25%, you're at 34% reduction already. Since the cap is 40%, the brilliance elixirs that you should constantly have mid-late game cover the last 6%.

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Mejai's Soulstealer: Ahhhh...the soulstealer. The bane of my arguments. The "made for veigar" item. The cheapest 140 AP available. No. It's a trap. Sure, the AP is extremely cheap, and Veigar is an AP champion, but that's looking at it wrong. Strengthening a champion's strengths just makes their weaknesses weaker (hope that made sense). Veigar already can amass AP easily, what he needs are a little hp and a bunch of mana. Soulstealer doesn't give either of these. It may give mana back on kill, but that does nothing to help with actually GETTING the kill in the first place. People that get a soulstealer early lack in mana or hp or usually both. This means that they can't cast near as many spells whether it is because of out of mana or running back low on health. This means that they are doing less overall damage than the person who can stay in the fight longer. So this must mean that you're going to have less AP later right? Wrong. You'll have just as much if not more AP later game by following my builds. More hero kills and more mana for farming allow for more AP gain on top of the better synergy between items.

Rylai's Scepter: Since the recent Rylai change I've seen people recommending or buying this on Veigar. This is another no-no. Veigar's playstyle is not to slow and chase people and Event Horizon's range already covers any chasing you should need. Veigar is a master of letting people come to him and then tearing them to pieces quickly, making the slow worthless. 

Guinsoo's Rageblade: You're kidding right?



EARLY GAME (Levels 1-7)



Alright, I'm not gonna lie, most games this phase will be boring. If you're not fortunate enough to get the solo, take into consideration some things when picking lanes. First off, try and make sure that you're splitting the melee apart. Generally a double melee lane can get walked over, so try and avoid it and help a melee out. Secondly, you are a last-hitter. You don't want to lane with an Annie, a Gangplank, or a Sion that will be fighting with you for last hits. Lastly, take into consideration the amazing stun that you get at level 2. This combo'd with a skillshot like Amumu, Morgana, or Blitzcrank can mean pretty easy early kills. Overall though Veigar is a solid soloer, so he can handle himself with most lane partners and matchups.

There really isn't much to do with Veigar early. Most of this time is spent last hitting with Baleful and your auto attack. You really don't have much strength here so don't worry about the enemy champion unless an opportunity arises. This means that you really shouldn't use any mana on the enemy champion at all unless they've taken hits from your ally or the tower. You don't have the power to finish yet, so they'll just regen, so don't do it. You do not rely on Dark Matter, instead you utilize your abilities range. Spend most of the time running away if there are no low creeps, or running in and hitting if they're low. There's no point in standing next to creeps that are at full life, they give the same exp and gold and you stay out of harm if you stay back til they are low.

So how do you get kills at this stage in the game? Always be ready to event horizon. Often champions will get anxious to screw with your squishy self. Also often times they will be willing to take a hit from the tower to do this. Funny thing, you can event horizon them when they do this, then run up exhaust them and baleful them. If the tower kills them you won't get ap, but chances are it'll be first blood and extremely worth it. Bonus if you can get a double kill in this way (It's surprising how often this opportunity arises during early ganks.)

Ok, now it's nearing the end of early game. You have your tear and hopefully your sorc boots or near them. At around level 7-8 you'll want to go back to base, hopefully buy your boots, and teleport back. With your mana pool replenished it's time to try for your first intentional attempt at a kill. It really isn't that hard, because most people don't see it coming. Act normal and use baleful practically on cooldown. If a semi-squishy champion is close enough, hit them with it, otherwise keep hitting creeps. Once they're at about half (depends on champion you're against, kind of get a feel for it with baleful damage) get ready to combo. If exhaust is up, it should work flawlessly. Wait for them to come close, preferably when they think they can attack you, drop a dark matter + event horizon's perimeter right on them. Try and get an exhaust in before matter drops, baleful, ult, scream HADOKEN, profit. Most of the time, people won't expect nor know what happened. On to mid game....



MID GAME (Levels 8-14)



Alright, so you've made it through Early game. The beautiful thing about Veigar is that a couple deaths early don't really hurt him. Hell, if you get a kill or more just about any death doesn't hurt him. Mid Game is where Veigar shines the most. You MUST NOT be afraid of dying especially in team fights. This doesn't mean be stupid, but trust me, if you played early game right, your enemies will be more scared of you then you are of them.

So you should be working on your rod of ages early in this phase of the game, roaming around nuking everything you can. From now on you pretty much have unlimited mana, especially if you have golem buff, baleful all creep kills that you can, dark matter all ranged and neutral creeps you can. Push any first towers that are still up. 

Towards Late Mid game you should notice a shift in the focus of your damage. As you level it, dark matter will shift towards your main spike damage and pushing tool. However, especially during team fights, remember that Baleful's cooldown is so low that you should NEVER save it. Cast it on any and every hero in range at any moment. Save dark matter and horizon combo for kills (Or defensively to save teammates, use people's tendency to avoid dark matters to your advantage) or chipping hesitant people down. Get Golem buff whenever possible, roam with your team, hide in the brush, stay on the fringe of battles, and MOAR HADOKEN!.

HOWEVER: If you know you're about to try and combo someone, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE MANA FOR IT. Highlight the ranks, do the math real quick, even if you roughly estimate. As a rule of thumb, you should have around 500 mana pre-11 and 600 post-11. After that, you won't need to worry about it.

Roam and HADOKEN!



LATE GAME (Levels 15-18)



You can usually judge your impact on the game when it moves towards late game. You still have the power to combo people in one swipe, but by now I'm sure the enemy has reacted to you. They probably have some form of magic resist, are playing more careful, or just plain seek you out. However, by now you should be rising above 500-600 AP and not really care. Continue comboing people in the face, punishing them for being aggressive, and altogether raining hell on the enemy team. Also, The enemy should NEVER be able to push with you alive. Even if they have all 5 and are pounding on a tower, you can run up and combo their nearest cluster and get away free, taking a quarter or a half of all their hp with you. You are a monster. They know this and don't like you. You know this and really don't give a damn. Keep roaming with your team, teleporting back to stop pushes, and spamming your spells as much as possible.



TIPS



  • Always try and have an Elixir of Brilliance on post-level 13ish. Also try and get golem buff whenever able.
  • Hang around the tanks on your team. They can distract enemies while you blow them apart.
  • If you do bad in a game, analyze what went wrong. Don't blame matchup, composition, your team, anything. Knowing what YOU did wrong makes it so you don't do it again later. Veigar honestly doesn't have many bad matchups. I have some troubles with good Tristanas, but nothing un-manageable.
  • Veigar is not just an anti-caster. +25% damage based on mana is a bonus, it doesn't stop you from wrecking Tryndamere in the course of an Event Horizon stun.
  • Mind games are very very very important to Veigar. Know when your opponent is getting ready to attack you, know where you're going to event horizon to stop it, and make sure you punish them hard for thinking you were vulnerable.
  • Related to mind games, the most visible and closest proximity are usually the driving factors in who gets targeted. DONT let that be you! Hide around corners, in brush, far behind people.
  • If your spells are off cooldown, use them, if they're on cooldown you better be spacing yourself away or chasing someone that is one spell from death.
  • Dark Matter gives a small vision radius when cast. Use this to check brush or around obstacles instead of yourself, it's quicker and may save your life.
  • Dark Matter is not only a great lane farming tool, but also a great neutral farming tool! During mid-game, when you pass by the small creep camps (Wraiths/Wolves/2 golems) throw out a dark matter. If it's the golems you may need to baleful too, but hey that's 2 extra AP! (Look at attached screenshot for example)


CONCLUSION



Thanks for reading my guide! Made it a lot more in-depth and complicated than initially intended, but oh well. Hope everyone gets something out of it; Veigar is an amazing hero. He was pretty strong before the last three patches and now he's definitely strong. He's also a champion that takes getting used to, spacing on horizon and dark matter take some getting used to. Knowing when you can screw with the enemy and what they can do in return is definitely related to experience. If anyone has any questions or wants to play any games or anything, ask them here, contact me on IRC (#lolbeta), or add my summoner (same name) in-game.
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