A guide to make Veigar as viable as possible.
This guide is not finished yet, I need to add a couple more sections (the builder isn't working for some reason).
It's been a long time since I wrote this guide and it is getting a complete makeover. Though not much has changed about Veigar, I have used him a lot more in ranked games and tried different strategies and have found better ways to use him than what this guide used to detail.
This new look at Veigar will try to make up for his weaknesses while still letting his strengths shine. Veigar does have some innate weaknesses that need to be addressed. I will include lots of tips through out since build alone will not make Veigar a good champion. If you're looking for an easy mode champion, Veigar is not the one. He is the squishy mage archetype that requires a lot of skill to bring to his full potential.
| "Veigar's mana regen is increased by 0.75% for each 1% of mana missing."
This passive may seem weak, but it is crucial for Veigar. It is like a mini Chalice of Harmony. Veigar runs through mana fast which makes it difficult if not impossible to spam his abilities. This passive can help ease that burden by keeping Veigar able to cast spells at lower mana reserves since that is when his mana regeneration is the highest. You still need to pay very close attention to how much mana you have and know when to use your spells.
| Baleful Strike
| "Unleashes dark energy at target enemy dealing magic damage. If a unit is killed, Veigar gains some ability power permanently."
While functionally a basic mid range nuke, this is perhaps the most important spell for late game strategies. Each time you last hit with this, you gain 1 AP permanently with no cap. For each champion kill (with anything), you gain AP equal to the number of ranks in this spell. Do not underestimate this! It is basically a poor man's Mejai's Soulstealer that does not lose its stacks on death and has no cap. That does not mean it is not good for early game harassment. This guide will recommend harassing with this spell even at low ranks when it is a good idea to do so. You need to weigh the value of using a cool down on this for AP or harassment.
| Dark Matter
| "Veigar calls a great mass of dark matter to fall from the sky to the target location, dealing magic damage when it lands."
This spell is powerful even with only 1 rank due to its 1:1 AP ratio and the fact that Veigar will always have a lot of AP. You need to get used to the delay and the range / radius of this attack. Once you do, you can smart cast it quite effectively. Your most common use of this spell will be to nuke someone after an Event Horizon stun. A common use later game is to take out groups of minions or monsters, or set them up for kills with Baleful Strike for more AP. Here are some additional uses:
1. Leading escaping or chasing enemies to force them to change direction or eat the nuke.
2. Scouting the brush.
| Event Horizon
| "Veigar twists the edges of space around the target location for 3 seconds, stunning enemies who pass through the perimeter for a short duration."
Getting used to using this stun is absolutely necessary to playing a good Veigar. The targeting reticle will only stun at the edges. If the champion you want to stun is not moving, then get them so the edge of the reticle passes through the middle of the champion. If the champion is moving or you predict they will move when they see you, then place it so that the champion is just inside the reticle. They will walk into the stun area before they are physically able to react. They may see it coming and try to juke, so you have to try and read your opponent before hand to get an feel for their play style. The stun can be avoided by blink spells and abilities. For these champions, it is crucial you drop the stun directly on top of them.
I would claim this is the best stun in the game. It is an area effect stun at long range with a long duration. The most common use for this spell is to stun enemies to set them up for your nuking / harassment. There are plenty of other uses though:
1. Saving teammates who are being chased.
2. Saving yourself from tower dives.
3. Chasing escaping enemies.
4. Holding enemies under a turret.
5. Interrupting powerful abilities.
Holding enemies under turret fire is a bit of an art form. The best thing you can do is predict when the enemy will harass you. You are squishy Veigar, they want to harass you. Once you predict it, you can place the stun so the edge of the entire ring is still in turret range so if the enemy runs away, they get stuck on the stun. Or you can directly stun the enemy after the fire off their attack. If a champion like Caitlyn is dropping traps near the turret, step on them when the enemy is in range and immediately stun them. Try to think of was to get yourself hit by any small amount of damage when they are under the turret, and be ready to stun. Sometimes their ability will stun / silence you and you will have to time the stun just right. However, the payoff is huge especially early game.
You may also want to consider practicing smart casting this spell since clutch situations can arise when you don't have time to hit e -> aim -> click -> lag delay -> casting animation -> stun. This can be shortened to hit e -> lag delay -> casting animation -> stun with smart casting. For example, when you're stunned, you can't get the targeting reticle out until you come out of stun. However, if you know how to aim without the reticle, you can aim while stunned and then smart cast it immediately when coming out of stun. This isn't very common, but it happens and you should be prepared for it.
| Primordial Burst
| "Blasts target enemy champion, dealing magic damage plus the combined AP of Veigar and his target."
This spell makes AP champions fools not to get some magic resistance. The damage scales 1.2:1 with your AP and 0.8:1 with the target's AP. This means that even if they do not have AP, it will still hurt a lot. It is a basic nuke ability that can't be flashed out of anymore. Late game you will be able to 2-shot AP champions from full health every minute with Deathfire Grasp followed by this spell. I used to think this spell was bad early game, but with my new play style I find it having it's early game uses.
I've been experimenting with a modified build order, and it appears superior. Here's the order now:
Optionally if for some reason the enemy does not have any troublesome crowd control.
I used to get last and make it a toss up between and earlier on depending on enemy builds. The thing is, Veigar doesn't need either of those to nuke a carry down from full health even with the single point in Dark Matter I recommend. does so much more for Veigar than the other 2 items. The movement speed with level 1 boots will put you on par with level 2 boots. The magic resistance will help stay you alive longer. The small amount of mana is enough to make your mana issues go away. The proc increases your nuking potential and gives Veigar some physical damage so he cannot be hard countered simply with magic resistance. The other items only increase your nuking.
Items to consider but I personally would never get them:
This I would actually consider this a viable item for Veigar if the enemy team is excessively magic heavy. But if they are, chances are a tank is going to get this for your team, and not you.
The slow can be nice, but it is very meh when you compare it to the best stun in game. If you're not running Ghost, then I could see this as a viable option. The health is a very nice touch as well. Though, I'm not sure where to put it. You may have to delay your Rabadon's Deathcap or Void Staff for this.
This item is usually gotten first when you get it. The problem I see with it though is that Deathfire Grasp is a more important first item for Veigar. Like Rylai's Crystal Scepter, the health is very welcome. While the mana could be nice, as long as you pay close attention to your mana reserves, this should not be necessary. I would value Rylai's over this because slow > mana.
Items to NEVER get:
Unless for some reason you really want to have a HUGE target on your head as one of the squishiest champions in the game, do not get this item. You already have a built in Mejai's Soulstealer, there is no need to get this. The only redeeming quality about this item is that it makes baiting more effective against dumb opponents, but I never optimize against the dumb opponent and you should not either. It is an item to troll, not to win.
This will enable you to spam your spells MUCH more effectively, but it slows down your damage a lot. As a massive nuke champion, you want a lot of damage. You will end up selling this eventually which means you also lost gold in the process.
Read the above, only this does not let you spam as much early game. Also, Archangel's Staff is not good enough for a slot on Veigar. It only gives you AP, and other items do that better.
gets a lower cool down with each rank. This means faster AP accumulation, easier last hitting, and a stronger harassment game. Get this whenever possible.
Why so little Dark Matter? First consider why you want to upgrade this spell. It lowers the cool down and increases the damage. What good is the damage if you can't hit with it? 95% of the time you hit a champion with this is only because you stunned them with Event Horizon. If the enemy has even one tenacity item and or champion ability to reduce crowd control, then a low level event horizon will not be enough. So what good is the lowered cool down if you have to wait for Event Horizon's cool down anyway? This spell will never have a longer cool down than Event Horizon. And since this spell's damage scales so well with AP, it will do good damage even at rank 1. Get one rank at level 4, then get it last.
ranks give it a shorter cool down and a longer stun duration. This means hitting with Dark Matter is easier, and you can combo / support your team with stuns more often. This is the best stun in the game, so getting it to its full glory is a great advantage. Get ranks 1 and 2 at levels 2 and 8, then get this before Dark Matter.
I used to say to wait on until level 10 so you can get rank 2 at level 11, but I have found that it is useful early game if you are very careful with your mana management. Even if you don't have enough mana for a full combo, using the little mana you have for this spell and maybe a Baleful Strike when you are going for a kill with or without help can be extremely effective. Get this whenever possible.
** UPDATE **
I have recently been recommended to skill Dark Matter over Event Horizon. The reason being is if you can drop your Dark Matter in front of an enemy and THEN stun them inside it, you're guaranteed the Dark Matter hit even if they have . I have not developed the skill to do this and I imagine it is much harder than the usual combo. And have therefore decided not to adapt this into my play style. Additionally, I still maintain that the longer stun on a shorter cool down is better for team fights anyway.
Unless you know you are going to need exhaust or your pre-made team is planning some trollish teleport / fortify strategy, those spells are the best. The huge burst utility from flash cannot be ignored, it is easily the best spell in the game. VERY few champions I would recommend to not get it. Ignite ensures you get your kill in so many situations, and that is your job after all.
Runes & Masteries
** NOTICE **
This will be updated soon as I have been experimenting with different masteries including 3/24/3 and 0/21/9. For now, keep the 21 defensive masteries minimum and get the rest to suit your play style.
The offensive masteries are obvious, the defensive ones are not. Rational for defensive masteries:
Veteran's Scars helps make up for one of Veigar's greatest weaknesses of having barely any health at a low level. When you think about it, this mastery increases his percent max health at level 1 by ~10%. Ardor gives +4% AP. It's like a mini Rabadon's Deathcap. For Veigar who has high AP and high AP ratio's, this increases his damage significantly. Tenacity also helps keep Veigar alive a little longer. The health regeneration and damage reduction is small, but as with everything else, it adds up to make a significant difference. Most of this goes a long way to making Veigar viable for harassment early game which is something he sorely needs even if just to prevent him from getting zoned out.
I don't go for utility because it just isn't as useful as defense. The best parts about utility are movement speed and cool down reduction. The movement speed is very minor, and Veigar is a nuker, not a dps. He doesn't need to keep up with his enemies as much as other champions. The defensive masteries will keep him alive longer when chased than the movement speed will. The cool down reduction is nice, but it does not have as much synergy as Ardor does with Veigar as a nuker. The summoner spells are not something Veigar must rely upon, they are there for those rare situations where he really needs them. The 15% reduction will not enable him to spam them at all. The enhanced ghost would be nice, but Veigar does not need to be a lot faster to greatly increase the chances of getting his full combo out. Often times, he doesn't need to be very fast at all. The 5% experience is not enough to worry about as a laning champion. It is more effective to be able to deny experience from the enemy than to have the 5% boost. Really what it comes down to is utility allows Veigar to have a more lax style of play, where defense allows Veigar to play more optimally. The best offense is a strong defense! ;)
Marks: Greater Mark of Insight This is really the only option. I guess you could go for Greater Mark of Force, but it just doesn't beat the magic penetration.
Seals: Greater Seal of Force This is what I currently use, but Greater Seal of Clarity, Greater Seal of Fortitude, or Greater Seal of Resilience can work well.
Glyphs: Greater Glyph of Force It scales up pretty quickly and AP has excellent ratios on Veigar.
Quints: Greater Quintessence of Fortitude I would say it is the only option. This combined with masteries give Veigar +126 health at level one. This is huge for Veigar. With this and 2 health potions, Veigar can now harass champions that are not built largely for sustainability. It allows Veigar to, believe it or not, take a hit or two and be fine.
I used to go for cool down reduction on runes, but you can get cool down reduction from other sources. Also, it does not help when you go for that big combo. I have learned that cool down reduction is a mistake.
Your goal as Veigar in team fights is first and foremost to kill their most dangerous carry before they can do much damage. At the same time, I am finding Veigar to be an excellent anti-anti-carry. If you have an Ashe that's getting picked on by say an Olaf, you can kill that Olaf before he gets to Ashe with the right combo. If you can accomplish one of these goals, then you have already broken even on what you are expected to do in a fight. If you can survive long enough for your shorter cool downs to come back and use again, then you have exceeded expectations. You probably will not even need to stun this champion, Deathfire Grasp -> Primordial Burst -> Baleful Strike might be enough, but the stun is ideal. For taking down an anti-carry which is usually built beefy, you need a different combo by the time you have :
dfg / basic attack -> q -> stun -> w -> r -> ignite -> basic attack -> q
or when stun isn't viable
lead them with w -> dfg / basic attack -> q -> r -> ignite -> basic attack -> q
The dfg and basic attack can literally be cast a the same time. The idea is to get 2 empowered basic attacks in a very short amount of time while still having the dfg hit first and get all your nuking. Even if they are a bit beefy, this should kill.
Veigar is all about positioning. You need to stay at your maximum range from the fight while remaining effective. helps with that. If your target has a Banshee's Veil protecting them, make sure it is popped with before hitting them with anything else, or hope your tanks are smart enough to pop that for you. Don't be afraid to hit someone who has magic resistance when you have a Void Staff.
Event Horizon can make or break team fights. It may be better to not use it on the carry you need to kill if you end up stunning a bunch of other champions instead. It is a 2.5 second stun at rank 5 that can hit up to all 5 champions, or just guaranteeing that they all stay within range of allied area effect damage. Or you can use your stun to interrupt channeled ultimates like Warwick, Galio, Fiddlesticks, Karthus, Katarina, etc. When you use your stun for purposes like this, try to position it so it also affects the rest of the enemy team as much as possible. Sometimes the mere presence of your stun can have a negative psychological effect on the enemy.
Dark Matter can be used even on opponents who are not stunned, or are stunned / rooted in place by friendly crowd control. If they are focusing on doing damage and not moving around or enemies are grouped together fighting, dropping a Dark Matter there has a high chance of hitting multiple enemies even if you can't stun them with Event Horizon.
Spam your Baleful Strike whenever you can. It has a short cool down, so use it!
Save your Deathfire Grasp -> Primordial Burst combo for the right target, don't just react to the first enemy within reach, since they are probably a tank, and you may waste your damage on a carry if they are already focused by the rest of your team. Your full combo will kill just about any carry, and your Event Horizon will help in preventing their teammates from stopping you. Ghost also helps here.
Don't forget that your basic attack still does damage. At level 18, you have ~100 AD, and that can sometimes make all the difference. If you're not in too much danger and everything is on cool down, use your basic attack! This becomes especially important if and when you get Lich Bane.