Vel’Koz is a ranged Ability Power based Mage who relies a lot on his positioning to constantly dish out damage from a safe location. He has the potential to take out multiple priority targets in a fight thanks to the AoE nature of his abilities along with the fact that he can also deal massive damage to the frontline tanks of a team due to the true damage from his passive.
The Pros and Cons of Vel’Koz
Here are a few Pros and Cons of Vel’Koz which will give you a better understanding of what his strengths and weaknesses are:
- Extremely High damage output.
- True damage every third spell hit.
- High range on his spells.
- He has one of the best last hit animations for a ranged champion.
- Relatively low mana costs.
- Completely skillshot based, if you aren’t careful with your spells you could end up doing exactly zero damage.
- No innate dash/blink/jump ability, this leaves you vulnerable to high mobility assassins such as Leblanc, Zed etc.
- His ultimate is a channeled spell so it can be interrupted mid cast.
The general mastery setup you want to run on Vel’Koz is 21 Points in the Offensive tree, taking Ability Power + Magic Penetration and then 9 Points the Utility tree where you will prioritize movement speed and cooldown reduction.
As for your runes you should always be running Magic Penetration Marks, Armor Seals and Magic Resistance Glyphs but instead of the general Ability Power Quintessences you should go with movement speed Quintessences which help make up for Vel’Koz’s lack of mobility but feel free to swap out the movement speed for Ability power if you feel that the enemy team won’t be able to reach you and you could use the extra power boost instead of the extra mobility.
For Vel’Koz you generally want to run Ignite + Flash for your summoner spells, taking flash is self-explanatory and ignite can help you pick up kills in lane which will help you snowball. However, if you are matched up against a difficult champion to face as Vel’Koz such as Zed, Kha’Zix, LeBlanc etc. you may choose to opt. for barrier instead of ignite which will help you survive through the laning phase without giving the opposition any kills.
Passive: Organic Deconstruction
One of the best passives out there, basically every time you hit an enemy with a spell it applies a stack of deconstruction onto the enemy. When this hits three stacks, it will consume the stacks to deal bonus true damage which ranges from 30-205 based on what level Vel’Koz is.
Q: Plasma Fission
Plasma Fission is initially a linear skillshot (Think Ezreal Q) but it comes with a slight change. The change in this ability is that whenever it hits a target or reaches the end of its range it will split into two separate projectiles which move left and right from the original direction the spell was fired in. Connecting this spell on an enemy also slows their movement speed for a bit.
W: Void Rift
Void rift is an AoE linear skillshot which is based on an ammo system which allows you to hold up to a maximum of two charges at any given time. On cast the spell shoots a linear void rift through the ground which deals damage to any enemies in its path and after a brief delay the rift will erupt which will deal another round of damage to enemies which are on top of the void rift, note that this spell does not affect movement therefore it can be cast while running away or running towards an enemy without slowing yourself down.
E: Tectonic Disruption
Tectonic Disruption is an AoE skillshot which knocks up enemies caught in the center of the blast radius for 0.75 seconds, this is the only hard crowd control ability Vel’Koz has and therefore his only defensive mechanic, it is quite hard to land so aim wisely.
R: Lifeform Disintegration Ray
This ultimate ability is one of the most fun spells in the game. It is the ability that makes Vel’Koz what he is. On cast Vel’Koz roots himself and fires a deadly laser in the direction of your mouse pointer, this laser lasts for is channeled for 2.5 seconds and has a base damage of 500 at level 1 and 900 at level 3 so it is a devastating ability if you can get the full channel off on an enemy, it also applies deconstruction stacks from your passive after every 0.5 seconds allowing you to chain together a total of 5 over its duration.
What skills to max:
On Vel’Koz you should primarily start out by maxing Plasma Fission first if you’re looking to poke your enemy down and possibly go in for some kills or you should max out Void rift first if you’re looking for a passive lane and just want to waveclear while maxing your Tectonic disruption last and obviously taking a point in your ultimate whenever you can
The general skill maxing order is this:
As Vel’Koz you should generally start out with a Dorans ring and go for an early chalice of harmony into Athene’s unholy grail. Although you’re up against an AD based lane opponent you can skip out on the chalice and build a Tear of the goddess for Mana sustain into a Seekers Armguard/Zhonyas Hourglass for the added armor to survive against your opponent.
The General item build for Vel’Koz is as follows:
When against an Ability Power based opponent: Sorcerers Shoes + Athene’s Unholy Grail + Rabadons Deathcap + Void Staff + Zhonyas Hourglass + Seraphs Embrace.
When against an Attack Damage based opponent: Sorcerers Shoes + Zhonyas Hourglass+ Rabadons Deathcap + Void Staff + Morrelonomicon + Seraphs Embrace.
(Get the Zhonyas hourglass early on)
That’s all the basics of Vel’Koz covered, he is a highly capable champion with the potential to make game changing plays thanks to his ultimate. Also do not worry if you don’t manage to rack up an impressive score with him in your first game because it is fairly difficult to get used to his skill set but once you get the hang of him then you become a force to be reckoned with.