(Note: This post is obsolete after Solcrushed reworked Viktor in V4.17. I still think the ideas below have some value as a potential different direction that could have been taken for Viktor, though his official rework is by far the better one.)
This is a tentative set of tweaks for Viktor, the Machine Herald. Viktor is one of the champions with the strongest themes in the game, one that permeates his ability set, but also one of the champions with the most wasted potential. While his active abilities are fine, his passive has a lot of problems: it feels like a debuff rather than an awesome item (you get locked out of a sixth item slot), the item itself doesn't feel that good (its stats and effects are sub-par when compared to a late-game item), and out of the three available choices, each designed to turn Viktor into a different champion with a unique playstyle, only one gets picked due to the better synergy with the AP/level passive. Effectively, he just needs a completely new passive, one that better captures the awesomeness of his Hex Core.
For this, I want to turn Viktor around: rather than have him be a five-item champion, I want him to be a seven-item champion, with the Hex Core taking a trinket slot. This Hex Core would be specialized right from the start, allowing Viktor to enter his lane of choice with the tools he needs to do well there and unlock more power as he plays. To compensate for this massive increase in power, I also want to pull some power away from Viktor's base stats: rather than be a jack-of-all trades, Viktor would become a specialist, outfitting himself with the exact setup of items he needs to fulfill his role to the fullest, with each playstyle featuring clear strengths and weaknesses. On top of this, I want to give his passive more interactivity, making Viktor's power growth reliant on proper gameplay rather than per-level ramping strength, and therefore allowing him to scale a lot more smoothly into the late game.
Viktor starts the game with The Hex Core, a unique item, in his trinket slot. He can choose to change The Hex Core to one of three different versions: The Power Core, The Gravity Core or The Death Core. Additionally, these items can be equipped with a trinket.
Performing certain actions with one of these three items equipped grants Viktor stacks of Analysis. Upon returning to the shop, these stacks are turned into an equal number of Evolution stacks, granting him bonuses specific to his chosen Hex Core, the sum of both stacks capping at 75.
Currently, the Hex Core feels more like a hindrance rather than anything else: it takes up an item slot, the Augment you buy isn't as good as a top-tier item and turns horribly slot inefficient past the mid game, and the whole passive provides a lot of power without any real additional gameplay. Furthermore, the AP per level naturally pushes Viktor towards playing mid lane as a poke mage, to the detriment of his potential top lane bruiser and bot lane support mage playstyles (i.e. his Power and Gravity augments, respectively). I think players need to feel the complete opposite: the Hex Core needs to be an awesome item, and more importantly, to feel awesome: not only should it feel like it holds a huge chunk of your power, but it should also make you feel like you're becoming increasingly better at the playstyle you selected through interaction with your laning opponent.
In addition to the above, I wanted the Hex Core to also solve the problem of Viktor's specialization: currently, he only has one truly viable option, whereas here his bruiser and support builds would be just as valid. To achieve this, I gave each Hex Core specific combat stats unlocked through Analysis/Evolution so that Viktor effectively has seven items' worth of stats, but also pulled some stats away from Viktor's bases to compensate: I reduced his health per level (by 10), mana per level (by 10) and the base damage on his abilities. He effectively has -180 health, -180 mana and -42.5 AP compared to current Viktor, in addition to the loss of his +54 AP at level 18, which means that he actually needs a seventh item to be on par with other champions. Furthermore, the stats on each of his Hex Cores are all tailored towards the Core's specific playstyle: if you get the Death Core, for example, you're going to remain super-squishy unless you itemize against that. On the other hand, you'd have a lot more damage than current Death Core Viktor in exchange for that weakness.
COST: 45 / 50 / 55 / 60 / 65 Mana
COOLDOWN: 9 / 8 / 7 / 6 / 5
Active:Viktor sends a device at the target enemy, dealing them magic damage.
Focus: Power: Damaging an enemy champion with Power Transfer grants 1 stack of Analysis. Evolution stacks grant 8 bonus health and increase Power Transfer's shield strength by 1% per stack. These effects are halved after the first 25 stacks.
Augment: Power: At 25 Evolution stacks, Power Transfer grants Viktor 30% bonus movement speed for 3 seconds. In addition to their existing effects, further Evolution stacks grant 0.25% spell vamp and increase Power Transfer's projectile speed by 2%.
Evolution: Power Storm: At 75 Evolution stacks, Chaos Storm moves 20% faster.
Active:Viktor conjures a gravitational imprisonment device at the target location for 4 seconds, slowing all enemies that pass above it. Whilst under its effect, enemies generate stacks every 0.5 seconds, and at 3 stacks targets are stunned for 1.5 seconds.
Focus: Gravity: Stacks generated on enemy champions by Gravity Field also grant 1 stack of Analysis. Evolution stacks grant 8 bonus mana and increase Gravity Field'sslow by 1% per stack. These effects are halved after the first 25 stacks.
Augment: Gravity: At 25 Evolution stacks, Gravity Field's cast range is increased by 30%. In addition to their existing effects, further Evolution stacks grant 0.25% item cooldown reduction and increase Gravity Field's setup speed by 2%.
Evolution: Gravity Storm: At 75 Evolution stacks, Chaos Storm's initial blast and bolts slow affected enemies by 20% for 2 seconds, and can reapply the slow.
Death Ray grants 1 stack of Analysis for every enemy champion hit by the beam. Evolution stacks grant 1.75 ability power and increase Death Ray's travel distance by 1%. These effects are halved after the first 25 stacks.
Augment: Death: At 25 Evolution stacks, Death Ray burns enemies hit for 30% of its damage over 4 seconds. In addition to their existing effects, further Evolution stacks grant 0.25 mana regeneration and increase Death Ray's travel speed by 2%.
Evolution: Death Storm: At 75 Evolution stacks, Chaos Storm deals 20% increased damage.
Reduced the base damage on the initial blast by 20 at rank 3, and the damage per bolt by 10 at rank 3. Also standardized the damage ratio per bolt. Other than that, the ability's fine.
What are your thoughts on these changes? Aside from the rework to Viktor's passive, nothing else is really that different, mainly because I think his core playstyle is good. If you feel like there's information missing, I encourage you to take a look at the "additional info" tabs.