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How to Play Viego

Mike Plant

Viego is the first champion release of 2021 for Riot Games’ League of Legends. The Ruined King is a jungler who has the ability to possess slain enemy champions in battle. Given the complexity of his kit, we have broken down the basics of his abilities, jungling, laning, gameplay, and build order to help you learn how to play Viego effectively.

Viego League of legends lunar beast skin

Viego is Riot Games’ first champion release of 2021. (Photo courtesy Riot Games)

VIEGO’S ABILITIES

The heart of Viego’s kit lies with his passive, Sovereign’s Domination. Though he is an assassin, he relies on possessing fallen enemies to maximize his damage. He needs to be involved in fights and picking up resets. Only when he has farmed multiple items will Viego be able to burst out full health enemies on his own. Even then, he is most dangerous when he can continue resetting his ultimate, Heartbreaker, and spamming abilities. That ability spam synergies with the passive on his Q – Blade of the Ruined King.

Passive – Sovereign’s Domination

Viego can possess slain enemy champions he helped kill. He heals for a portion of their max health and takes possession of their items, attacks, and non-ultimate abilities. Viego also gets an extra cast of his ultimate, Heartbreaker, and gains bonus movement speed toward enemy champions.

Q – Blade of the Ruined King

The passive part of the ability gives Viego’s attacks bonus damage on-hit, based on the target’s current health. Attacking an enemy recently hit by his ability makes the attack strike twice. That second strike takes health from the target instead of dealing damage, though it applies on-hit effects and can critically strike. This passive remains active while Viego possesses another champion.

For the active part of the ability, Viego thrusts his blade forward, dealing physical damage to all enemies hit.

W – Spectral Maw

Viego charges up before dashing forward, shooting out mist that stuns and damages the first enemy hit. The stun duration and mist range both increase with charge time, but the damage and dash range do not.

You cannot dash shorter than the max range. Spectral Maw resets Viego’s basic attack timer, and he can cast any of his abilities while dashing.

E – Harrowed Path

Viego shoots a wave of mist forward, creating a trail which lasts eight seconds. The mist spreads around the first terrain it encounters.

While in the mist, Viego becomes camouflage and gains attack speed and movement speed. Using a basic attack or ability breaks the camouflage and removes the bonus movement speed for a minimum of one second.

R – Heartbreaker

Viego discards any form he is currently possessing and blinks forward, attacking the enemy champion in range with the lowest percent health and dealing bonus damage based on their missing health. Other enemy champions in range are knocked away.

Heartbreaker slows the main enemy hit and applies on-hit effects.

VIEGO JUNGLING TIPS

Riot released Viego as a jungler, so it makes sense that his kit plays well in the jungle. Blade of the Ruined King is good for his clear, both with the passive and active. The active part of the ability deals 10 bonus physical damage against monsters, so it’s a good ability to max. Spamming Blade of the Ruined King should be the bulk of the clearing pattern for Viego.

Use Spectral Maw and Harrowed Path more sparingly when clearing. While they both help to speed up the clear, they also have longer cooldowns than Blade of the Ruined King and are essential for ganks. Spectral Maw can be used to move slightly faster in between camps, but it’s important to note that it cannot be used to dash over walls. Harrowed Path should also not be used against walls in the jungle during routine clearing, unless your enemy already knows where you are.

Viego probably wants to rush level six before getting active in ganking, as his kit is not heavy on crowd control. Viego should often lead the gank by charging Spectral Maw, as it should be hard to use in the middle of the fight unless your ally can provide their own CC. You can then use Harrowed Path to chase fleeing enemies or to dodge in and out of multi-champions skirmishes. Heartbreaker is a finishing move, and can be used to gap close and discard any possessed champions after their cooldowns have been used.

Viego should also do well at shredding major neutral objectives like dragon, Rift Herald, and Baron with his Blade of the Ruined King passive.

LANING TIPS

Although Viego was designed as a jungler, he is also seeing play as a solo laner. He doesn’t fight back in early laning well, like many other AD assassins. His 225 attack range is a little better than average as a melee champion, but it still puts him at a big disadvantage versus any ranged champion. Viego should still be maxing his Blade of the Ruined King as a laner, giving him access to ranged AoE farming.

Viego

With his Harrowed Path, Viego should play well around the terrain on the map. Hugging either side of the mid lane or the top terrain in the top lane allows Viego to create huge trails of mist to camouflage himself in for better trading patterns.

Viego gets his kill threat when he hits level six and learns Heartbreaker. The combination of gap closer and execute damage in the ability allows Viego to threaten a kill as the enemy’s health bar gets whittled down. It’s also useful to note that Viego gets displacement immunity over the cast time of his ultimate, so he can use it to get out of some sticky situations in lane, especially when used in combination with Spectral Maw.

VIEGO GAMEPLAY TIPS

Viego relies on using his passive, Sovereign’s Domination, to unlock his full potential. That means he wants to be involved in skirmishes. Much like a Katarina or Samira, Viego wants to wait out the start of the fight while the enemy blows their CC. Then, Viego can enter and attempt to get his resets. Fortunately, Viego doesn’t need a kill, so any damage on an enemy will do. He can then heal off the fallen enemy, possess their body for up to 10 seconds, and do it again.

The refreshing of Heartbreaker is another important part of Viego’s kit. When possessing a new body, he can quickly use the three basic abilities of the new champion to charge up his Blade of the Ruined King Passive. Viego can then use Heartbreaker to discard his current form, getting back his own abilities. He can then spam those, continuing to trigger his passive to make him a DPS machine.

The problem, of course, is finding the perfect situations to go in. Viego is a squishy champion and does not have ways to retreat when he enters a fight and it goes poorly. Finding the right time to strike will be paramount to success on Viego.

VIEGO BUILD TIPS

Considering that Viego is the Ruined King and has an ability called Blade of the Ruined King, it should come as no surprise that Blade of the Ruined King is an excellent item for him. The attack damage, attack speed, and lifesteal are all stats that Viego should want. He needs to be dealing damage so he can get resets so he can deal more damage.

With that theme, either Viego should want to buy either Trinity Force or Goredrinker as his mythic item. Goredrinker would be more useful as a first item if foregoing Blade of the Ruined King, while Trinity Force should only be built after a lifesteal item like BotRK. Survivability items like Guardian Angel and Sterak’s Gage are good third and fourth items on Viego to help him survive burst in team fights. He can then use the passive heal from Sovereign’s Domination in combination with his item lifesteal.

As for runes, he should almost exclusively use Conqueror as his keystone. With his quick attack passive, he should be able to stack Conqueror very quickly. Viego synergizes well with Triumph and Coup de Grace in the Precision tree. Viego can then go Domination or Resolve as his secondary tree. Resolve should be better for laning, while Domination should give Viego more burst damage out of the jungle.

While there is no one-size-fits-all build for every situation, these tips should help you get started. With so many champions to possess, Viego should have one of the highest skill caps in the game. Knowing how to play his base kit is a good place to start.

Mike Plant
Mike Plant

Michael Plant has been playing League of Legends since 2010 and analyzing it nearly as long. He also enjoys playing TeamFight Tactics and has reached challenger on multiple accounts. When he's not playing or watching video games, he's more than likely following one of his Houston sports teams.