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Veigar, Tiny Master of Evil
Veigar plays differently than any other champion in League of Legends - He's an ability power hero that actually gains more Ability Power, AP, from killing enemy champions and minions with his abilities. His well-farmed nukes are the strongest available in the game, and although he is frail he can put out an incredible amount of damage in less than a second if he is built correctly.
Veigar has a very specific and limited role on your team. He is a late-game, anti-carry carry. Late game, your nukes will do a ton of damage to anyone who gets caught, especially their AP carries who get hit with your ultimate, Primordial Burst. I would say that Veigar is only viable in draft mode games where you can see the enemy's team composition. If you see that they have 2 AP carries, then Veigar would be a great asset to your team.
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Playing as Veigar
With Veigar you're going to be stacking as much ability power as you can find because all of your abilities scale well with AP. You're going to have to last hit minions and players with your Baleful Strike (Q), and abuse your natural AP gain by purchasing items that will facilitate both your mana and this passive ability. Veigar is a very squishy typical glass-canon mage who needs to stay in the back and avoid getting caught out of position. As the AP carry, you need to be able to unload all of your spells and burst down their team. You will likely be targeted first, so be sure to get that damage in before they have a chance to react.
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Skills and Order of Leveling
"Veigar's mana regen is increased by 0.75% for each 1% of mana missing."
This passive is great for staying in lane and spamming your abilities often to farm Baleful Strike (Q). Veigar still has some mana issues early in the game, so you will probably need to build at least one mana item (Tear of the Goddess into Archangel's Staff). More on the build in a minute.
Baleful Strike (Q)
"Unleashes dark energy at target enemy, dealing magic damage. If a unit is killed, Veigar gains 1 ability power (1-5 per champion kill)."
By farming your Q, at the end of the game you can easily get 500+ AP and 750+ for even longer games. If you land all your spells on a single or group of targets, you will be able to easily burst down multiple champions from full health. The key is to getting good farm with Q in lane so that late game, you will have enough AP to deal tons of damage.
"Veigar calls a great mass of dark matter to fall from the sky to the target location. After 1.5 seconds, it deals 120-320 (+1.0 AP) magic damage when it lands."
Without landing your stun (E) or another form of CC, Dark Matter is quite difficult to land as it is very easy to avoid it's small, but deadly AOE. By late game, enemies caght in your W will be sorry as it has ridiculous scaling (1.0 times your AP). It is great for clearing minion waves and just dealing enormous AOE damage in general.
Event Horizon (E)
"Veigar twists the edges of space around the target location for 3 seconds, stunning enemies who pass through the perimeter for 1.5/1.75/2/2.25/2.5 seconds."
Veigar's AOE stun is a large AOE skill shot that requires good placement and movement prediction on your part. You must anticipate the direction enemies caught in the ring will run so that you know where to cast Dark Matter (W). Event Horizon is great for initiating on enemies that have strayed a little too far from the rest of the group. It has a pretty long cooldown (16-20 seconds), so if you miss, tell your team to backoff and try again.
Primordial Burst (R)
"Blasts an enemy champion, dealing 250/375/500 (+1.2) plus 80% of his target's AP in magic damage."
Veigar's ultimate is what makes him the anti-carry carry for your team. Not only does it scale at 1.2 times your own AP, but also 0.8 times the enemy's AP as well. Add that to the base 500 magic damage and any AP target (or non-AP) will be decimated! With this one ability and your Q, you should be able to nuke down an enemy at full HP.
For the first four levels, level Q, E, Q, and then W. After that, prioritize Q, then W, then E, of course taking your Ultimate at levels 6, 11, and 16.
This skilling order for Vegiar will allow you to have all of his primary abilities by level 4 and then allow you to farm your Q as fast as possible so that late game you will have plenty of AP.
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Summoner Spells, Runes and Masteries
Summoner Spells - Flash and Teleport
The ability to flash away or to chase is just too good and must be taken. Teleport can be substituted with ignite if you want to be more aggressive, but really Vegiar is a late-game champion and ignite scales poorly in later levels. Plus, you should be able to secure kills with just your skills and not need to rely on ignite. Therefore, teleport will allow you to jump around the map and return to your lane after purchasing items during the laning phase (to keep your mana up).
Magic Penetration Marks (Reds)
Mana Regeneration (per level) Seals (Yellows)
Cooldown (flat or per level) Glyphs (Blues)
Magic Penetration Quintessences
This rune setup will allow you to deal as much damage as possible late game when the enemy realizes that it needs to be stacking some magic resistance (MR) to counter you. Only, by then, it will probably be too late! The mana regeneration and cooldown runes allow you to spam more spells more often during teamfights and to farm your Q better.
9/0/21 - Standard caster masteries to penetrate MR and give adequate utility for cooldowns, mana, buffs, and movement speed.
E > W > R > Q
First stun, then cast Dark Matter (W) which takes 1.5 seconds, then unload the rest of your single-target nukes.
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Items to Buy
The items to build are standard caster AP carry items with one mana regeneration item (Archangel's Staff).
Core: Sorcerer's Shoes, Tear of the Goddess, Rabadon's Deathcap
Other items to build: Archangel's Staff, Zhonya's Hourglass, Void Staff, Morellos' Evil Tome, Lich Bane, Abyssal Scepter, Deathfire Grasp
Defensive Items : Quicksilver Sash - Allows you to cleans and flash away if you get caught.
Situational: Majai's Soulstealer - Personally, I am against snowball items. But since your a glass canon and will likely be getting focused anyway, this won't change a thing. If you are dominating, pick this up and watch your AP go through the roof.
Outside your core items, the other options are highly team composition dependent. The core allow you to inflict serious damage and sustain you in lane. Don't bother stacking Doran's Rings as Tear will give you the necessary mana. Just start building straight AP into higher tiered items.
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Mastering the Tiny Master
To play Veigar well, you need to farm, farm, farm his Q during the laning phase. He definitely needs a solo lane (preferably middle) and your priority should be to farm from the back and to avoid harassing and getting harassed, because late game you will be able to get all the kills you want. Farming will also give you the gold necessary to purchase your expensive items (Rabadon's Deathcap and Zhonya's hourglass). In a teamfight, you should focus down their AP carry before they can use their spells. Open with your stun (E), followed by W and then R, then Q if necessary. Next, you should prioritize their AD carries with the remainder of your spells when it comes off of cooldown. Your team should be able to clean up the rest of the team.
Veigar is not someone you should pick for your first game of League of Legends, but when you're comfortable after a few games he can really spice up your gaming experience. Veigar is one of the often overlooked AP carries and can be a great counter to a team that is depending on 2+ AP carries. Veigar offers an interesting variant on the traditional nuker role and will have you loving the ability power potential and impressive damage that his skills can bring.
- Image credits: Screenshots courtesy of League of Legends
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