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Viktor: Cannon, or utility?

Narbulg March 31, 2014 User blog:Narbulg

If you're lazy and don't feel like reading: Does Viktor work better as a glass cannon or a damage-utility mage?

Sup mah homie gees, and welcome to this blog. I'd like to show you some of my insights into how I play Viktor. It's quite a read, so take your time, but if you do feel like saying something, leave some constructive feedback below.

So, I recently got back into Viktor, and I'm having a pretty good time with him. Thing is, what is Viktor? In most normal games where there is a Viktor on a team, they go glass cannon. 

Now, glass cannon Vitkor is pretty good in pre-teamfights (the bit where we know there will be a teamfight, but none wants to initiate, so we're all running in circles like derp-tards) because he can whittle down the opposing team before there is any real sign of danger. But then a teamfight begins, and Viktors dead. Viktor lacks any real survivability outside of items and is an easy target to prioritise in teamfights because of low mobilty. But if his team manages to peel, his damage is unmatched, and he'll annihalate any squish targets. Primarily, midlaners are carries and are to do damage and nothng else, and Viktor is very, very good at doing damage. These Viktor players have really shaky lane phases though, as they are always easy to kill if they are against assassins or high burst champions, which seems to be the current midlane META as of today. I used to play like this too, until I got so sick of insta-dying that I stopped playing Viktor for a while (Threw a little tantrum because I really liked Viktor too).

I'd read some stuff about how some champs lane phases are so terrible that they don't even try to hurt the enemy laner until midgame. So these champs focus on in-lane staying power and items that help in the long run, using power curves to get themselves back into the game once they are needed, some examples being champs like Poppy, Kassadin or Nasus. Some of these champs get Catalyst the Protector, and build it's final form, Rod of Ages. RoA gives sustain, survivabilty and a healthy chunk of Ap that ups your power over time. It got me thinking. Why not a tanky Viktor (In contrast to Ap mages who have low survivability).

I started with 2 red pots and a mana crystal, then rushed Catalyst as soon as possible, and buying pots or wards if I had the money spare. With this Catalyst alone, Viktors ability to stay in lane becomes incredible. He's got reasonable harass and good poke, and has AoE abilities for quickly pushing the tower and then helping someone else out. Once we've got RoA, we transition to Rylai's then Liandries, with the first peice being bought: Giants belt. The enemy laner can't really be bothered fighting you as you're quite tanky. We get Augment: DEATH around now, because the burn part of it doesn't do a lot  of damage until you have invested in some Ap. Sorc boots, b coz it's obvious enough and Viktor doesn't really benefit from cooldown reduction as he is a burst mage after all. After dis, we get a situational item, building against what the largest damage output is: Abyssal scepter against heavy Ap teams and it also gives a nice boost to your damage, Zhonya's against burst compositons because of the active as well as a chunk of Ap, and Guardian angel if the team consists of divers or you're having a hard time staying alive which shouldn't be the case because you have invested in quite a lot of health, and maybe Thornmail if you are against an auto attack-composition

So, how is Viktor's utility? His Q now applies a 35% slow, which makes it easier to set up with his other abilities and allows teammates to follow up on enemies that have gotten away from your W. The laser now only applies Rylai's lesser slow, but applies this slow on the lasers DoT as well and this DoT also procs Liandry's double damage burn over the duration of the initial laser shot as well as Augment: DEATH's burn (Triple burns FTW), and this can seriously hamper the mobilty of the enemy team, not to mention that Viktor's laser grants vision, giving your team an edge on where you want to fight. Not only does Chaos Storm have a silence on cast to stop those bloody channelled team killer spells (GG Katarina), it also packs damage for the next 7 seconds. Viktor can control it's positon, but he can aslo get it to lock onto a target and it will continue to follow targets even if they stealth. It will also apply Rylais slow to the entire enemy team, hampering movement and making it harder for the enemy to get out of your ultimate and it will still apply Liandries burn. I've seen a team, that took no damage from anything besides Chaos storm that was allowed to fully channel, go from 100% to 50% health over 7 seconds.

So what do you guys think? Should Viktor be used for his abilty to do tonnes of damage, or used for his teamfight presence and synergy for items?

Glass cannon: Sorc boots, Augment: DEATH, Rabadons deathcap, Deathfire Grasp, Zhonya's, Void staff

Damage-utility: Rod of Ages, Rylai's crystal scepter, Liandry's torment, Augment: DEATH, Sorc boots + Situational item: Abyssal Scepter/Zhonya's hourglass/Gaurdian angel/Thornmail

In conclusion, I'd like to see how people think about how Viktor should be built, and the pros and cons each build path provides. Hope you enjoyed the read, and I'll give this link as a bonus for reading, as its probably the best thing to listen to while playing Viktor himself. Unless your youtube doesn't work, I might give you cookies instead. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-rIsocAba4

Narbulg out.

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