METABREAKERS: Firing Lasers with Support Vel’koz
Burst Ability Power champions have proven that they can be utilized as high-damage dealing supports. Former terror of the mid lane, Annie, is a prime example of this as she has been drafted steadily by top teams as a support champion. The trend seems to be growing as mage champions more common to the middle lane have been steadily migrating to the bottom lane. Former middle-lane staples such as Anivia, Brand and even Fiddlesticks have all been performing the duty of a babysitter as of late.
But Vel’Koz as a support?! Now that may be a little too extraterrestrial, even for this octopus-like tentacle creature from the void. Velkoz is a pure Ability Power champion with the capability to vaporize enemies from the backlines.
What makes Vel’Koz stand out from other support mages is his potential to zone enemies out of their lane. All of his skills, from Q to R, have high damage and utility as well as his passive that deals true damage when triggered. Christian “AZE Kaede” Coronel, the support player of Ateneo De Manila University’s Azure Eagles, locked in Vel’Koz against team Infuzed from Our Lady of Fatima College during the second week of the LoL Collegiate League.
AZE Kaede successfully zoned out Team Infuzed’s bottom duo thanks to his high-damage poke skills. Kaede’s skillshots were on-point throughout the whole laning phase which gave them a significant lead that applied massive pressure on their matchup. He even managed to pick up a few kills for himself due to his damage output.
ADMU defeated OLFU with a score of 26-14 while Kaede’s KDA was 6/2/9. His support Vel’Koz surprisingly racked up more kills than his own Attack Damage carry.
Vel’Koz’s array of lasers are at your full disposal, but making sure that you fully understand them is crucial for you and your team’s chances at victory.
Organic Deconstruction (Passive)
All of Vel’Koz’s abilities will apply a stack of Organic Deconstruction on enemies it hits. If it reaches three stacks, it will trigger and deal true damage that scales with his current level. Much like Braum’s passive but instead of a stun you get to deal true damage.
Plasma Fission (Q)
A skillshot that damages and slows targets it hits. This may well be the most complicated yet most rewarding skillshot in the league. Upon reaching its maximum range it splits in two directions making it capable of hitting more than one enemy. You can also re-cast it to split it before reaching max range. Because of this, it can hit enemies well beyond its original range, useful for zoning-out and poking enemies.
Void Rift (W)
Vel’Koz tears a void through the ground in a line which damages enemies in the area. After a delay, Void Rift explodes and deals another round of damage to those still in the area. Void Rift has no cast time so it can be used while moving and chain it seamlessly with his other abilities.
Tectonic Disruption (E)
Vel’Koz targets an area and sends up a shockwave that damages and also knocks up enemies inside the marker. Enemies are knocked up away from Vel’Koz if they are too close.
Lifeform Disintegration Ray (R)
Not only is it a mouthful to say, it’s also a handful of magic damage and true damage. Vel’Koz’s ultimate is a channeled ability wherein he continuously fires a beam of laser, kamehameha-style. The line of fire follows your cursor so it can be moved and adjusted while being deployed.
Now that you’ve got the skills down, let’s go into the details of the setup. AZE Kaede has shared with eSports Inquirer his runes and masteries as well as some tips on skill and item build for support Vel’Koz.
*Two AP quintessences and one Armor quint. Nine Magic Penetration marks, five Health seals and four Armor seals. Nine AP glyphs.*
*21 points in offense that are mainly focused on ability power, nine points in utility to get Culinary Master*
AZE Kaede prioritizes maxing out Q first, getting it at level one and maxing it out by level nine. He puts a point on W at level two and maxes it second. Then gets E at level three, maxing it last and ranking up his ultimate whenever it is available.
Starting out with a Mana Potion instead of an extra Stealth Ward will let you harass opponents more with your skills. Rush Sightstone immediately and replace Warding Totem with Sweeping Lens. Upgrade your boots to Sorcerer’s Shoes for extra magic penetration. Liandry’s Torment is a very cost-efficient item for Vel’Koz; it gives ability power and magic penetration plus a damage-over-time effect that complements Vel’Koz’s true damage passive. Mikael’s Crucible is an essential item for support champions because of its utility and solid stats.
Vel’Koz, according to AZE Kaede, has “high poke damage which can lead to lane control if done properly and could even lead to kills for you and your ADR.”
Always look for opportunities in lane to harass your opponents with your skills. Opening up with Plasma Fission will slow your enemies making it easier for you to knock them up with Tectonic Disruption and then follow up with Void Rift.
Not only is Vel’Koz lethal in lane, he is also a significant threat during team fights because of his ultimate. A well-timed and well-positioned Life Form Disintegration Ray can turn the tides of any teamfight in your favor.
Kaede noted however that he is vulnerable when camped by the enemy jungler.
Missing skillshots can also be disastrous as they can easily be exploited by the opponent’s bottom lane.
Take note that Vel’Koz does not have any sustain for himself or his ADR so think of your skills as your sword and shield; use them aggressively to zone out the opponents and keep your buddies safe.
Vel’Koz can disrupt enemy teams and provide damage whether in a 2-on-2 situation or an all-out 5-on-5 clash. Having him in the support role means that you always have a reliable back-up damage source as well as utility from his items. It is an excellent champion when used to kite aggressive opponents courtesy of his slows and knock-ups.
Vel’Koz is an out-of-this-world support pick, another manifestation of the creativity and ingenuity of League players. Have fun playing laser tag on the rift, especially when you’re the only one with the gun.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.