If you are new to Vi, you might have seen her dishing out great amounts of damage. Therefore, it is fair to assume she might be AP, but in all actuality, Vi is an AD champion. That said, there are nuances to this.
To play Vi optimally, you will have a couple of builds to consider, these will range from a straight-up tank to an assassin. All these builds will do just fine, but if you want an extra edge over the enemies, it would be really great to familiarize yourself with all the builds.
- Vi is an AD champion.
- Vi can go tank, fighter and assassin build!
- The most optimal build depends on the enemy & team composition.
How to Choose the Right Build?
Choosing the right build depends on several factors, such as rank, ally, and enemy team composition.
When it comes to rank, the formula is simple. The lower the rank is, the more performance you can expect from damage-oriented builds. This is because the damage is much more valuable in low ELO.
Low ELO players are much more likely to make mistakes that can get punished by champions with good damage. They will itemize incorrectly, dodge poorly, and position improperly.
Also, the lower your rank, the less trust you can place in your team. Therefore, it does not make much sense to go for tankier builds, as they will force you to play more around your team.
The reason tankier builds are good in higher ELO though is that you can start playing with your team. You can expect their decisions and plays to be consistent, and you can work together to win games.
Tankier builds create a great combination of damage and sustain. This way, you will deal amazing amounts of damage, while also being able to support your allies. Supporting usually comes in the form of protecting your carries, or engaging in fights.
3 Best Vi Builds
There are three builds we can go on Vi: tank, bruiser, and assassin.
Each build has its own runes, but it is okay if you do not get the correct runes, as Vi is a very versatile champion.
Tank Vi Build
Tank Vi builds is the one where you want to be the one engaging in fights, and soaking in the damage. It can be played when you have a carry that needs protection, or when you have no one else in the team that can engage.
The build is the following:
- Radiant Virtue
- Sunfire Aegis
- Force of Nature
- Frozen Heart
- Gargoyle Stoneplate
- Defensive boots (Mercury Treads or Plated Steelcaps)
Radiant Virtue is a great mythic option for tank Vi. It gives a solid amount of armor, magic resistance, as well as a bunch of HP and ability haste. It has a passive that heals you after using ultimate, which comes in really handy after engaging in fights.
Sunfire Aegis is a go-to item for tank junglers. It adds 400 HP to the bar, as well as 50 armor. This makes the item really strong against ad-heavy comps. The item is also great for fighting and clearing jungle, as its passive burns the enemies attacking you.
Force of Nature is the item that will protect you against AP champions. It gives a staggering 70 points of magic resistance. If by any chance the enemy does not have any AP champions, you can skip this item.
Gargoyle Stoneplate is an item that you will see rarely these days, but it works splendidly on tank Vi. The item will give you some armor some magic resist, and much-needed ability haste. It also has an active-passive that will give you a bunch of temporary HP, which feels really great after engaging.
The choice of boots will depend entirely on the enemy’s composition. Against comps heavy in stuns, and other CCs you will want to go Mercury Treads, against those that rely on basic attacks though, you will want Plated Steelcaps.
Runes for Tank Vi
- Font of Life
- Legend: Alacrity
Bruiser Vi Build
Bruiser Vi is somewhere in the middle between assassin and tank. The playstyle allows the optimal mix between damage and tankiness. It offers a great amount of damage for quickly killing carries, while also being tanky enough to survive extended fights.
Here is the build for bruiser Vi:
- Divine Sunderer
- Black Cleaver
- Death’s Dance
- Chempunk Chainsaw
- Guardian Angel
- Defensive boots
Divine Sunderer is currently one of the best mythics for Vi. It has a nice combination of base stats that are really great on Vi, these are HP, attack damage, and ability haste. Other than that, it also has a passive with synergizes beautifully with Vi. The passive provides extra damage on hits + healing when a champion is damaged.
Black Cleaver is another beautiful item for Vi. The stats would make you think this item is crafted singlehandedly for Vi. The path of BC is great, as it gives us the core stats early in the game for a good price. The two main components of this item both give ability haste which is amazing. When fully built, this item reduces the armor of enemies. The armor removal is stackable and it is easy to stack since Vi can dish out a lot of attacks in a short span of time.
Deaths Dance can be built 3rd if you are going against AD heavy enemy, if not, I would recommend switching its build order with Chempunk Chainsaw. DD gives us armor + other armor, healing, attack damage, and some ability haste.
Chempunk Chainsaw is an item you can go for at any stage of the game. Much like Black Cleaver, it has a flexible build path that allows for the item to be built early. The item gives all the stats we like on Vi, and it also provides healing reduction that comes useful in pretty much all the games.
Guardian Angel is the item you will want to go for by the end of the game. The item is famous for its protective passive that respawns us after emptying the whole HP bar. GA can often change the courses of the last game fights, and save you when you are getting focused. While building it, you will also have the stopwatch, which itself can offer decent protection. So all in all, you can have two fights in a row where you can engage, and then use the items to save your life. Beautiful.
Runes for Bruiser Vi
- Legend: Alacrity
- Coup De Grace
- Sudden Impact
- Eyeball Collection
Assassin Vi Build
We are concluding this build masterclass with my favorite build. As previously mentioned, assassin Vi is the build you can have a lot of success with in lower ELOs. I would recommend this build to more experienced players, while the bruiser one would be the most optimal for newbies looking to learn Vi.
The reason why this build requires much experience is that it makes Vi squishy, and easy to kill. Meaning that you can easily get shut down if you do not have in-depth knowledge of the champion. Other builds are much more forgiving in this regard.
With that said, on to the build!
- Essence Reaver
- Collector/Lord Dominiks
- Infinity Edge
Duskblade is the go-to item for assassin Vi. It has a flexible build path that is quite affordable in the early game. The most fun part of it is its passive which makes you briefly disappear after killing an enemy. Once you play it you can expect to be addicted to the feeling of smoking enemies.
Essence Reaver is another great item that synergizes perfectly with assassin Vi. Much like Duskblade, it has components that are cheap to build in the early game, and you will not be leaving the base with excess gold much often. The item will give you the base crit stats, and it will enhance your attacks, making it easier for you to slice enemies.
After building the Collector, you can expect to be showered by question mark pings, and you will be known as Mike Tyson amongst players. This item packs a powerful punch with its combination of lethality, and crit. It also has a cursed passive that executes every player below 5%, now tell me if that is not broken?
If god forbid, you are playing against enemies with a lot of armor, you might want to skip the Collector and go straight for Lord Dominiks. This item has great tank shredding properties and it will straight up ignore 30% of the enemy’s armor. I’d say it’s a good deal.
If you have not ended the game by now, you have my thoughts and prayers, you are in for a rough one. The only thing that can save you at this point is the Guardian Angel. After buying it, you can engage and kill one person, and that will have you fighting 5v4. If the enemy focuses on you, you will still have a second life due to the item’s passive.
Runes for Assassin Vi:
After thousands of games of assassin Vi, these runes are carved into my head. I hope you enjoy this legendary technology!
- Hail of Blades
- Sudden Impact
- Eyeball Collection
- Ultimate Hunter
- Legend: Alacrity
- Coup De Grace
This is it! You are now equipped with the knowledge that will make the enemies consider quitting the game.
Vi is most definitely an AD champion. She can be played as a tank, bruiser, or assassin. Each build is viable, so it comes down to preference. If you want a small statistical boost though, you can go for the bruiser build, as it is the strongest one on paper.
To optimize things further, you might consider playing the tank Vi build when your team needs an engaged champion. When it comes to assassin Vi, it is best to play it against lower-rated opponents. You are also allowed to play it if you are a professional Vi gamer.
Good luck on the Rift!