Riot keeps introducing new League of Legends champions, and we keep trying them out. The newest addition to the Summoner's Rift is Vel'Koz -- The Eye of the Void.
He's a bit out of place in many ways, with an aesthetic design that isn't normally utilized in in the game, and likewise, he's a bit unconventional in terms of gameplay.
League of Legends: Vel’Koz (Mac, PC)
Developer: Riot Games
Publisher: Riot Games
Release: February 28, 2013
MSRP: 7800 IP (6300 IP a week after release) / 975 RP
As an ability power champion, Vel'Koz is a formidable solo laner -- and you'll want to solo, because he's squishy as hell. At his disposal are four high-damage abilities, with zero escape capabilities. He's perfect for taking out creeps, especially early in the game, and his ultimate is great for teamfights. But given his limitations, you'll really need to work for kills.
So what exactly are his abilities? For starters, Organic Deconstruction is basically a passive that "marks" enemies to deal bonus true damage. After getting hit three times any enemy takes 25+ (10 x level) true damage. It's just a little something extra to help him take out single targets, essentially. Plasma Fission (Q) is his bread and butter, shooting a bolt that splits when hitting an enemy or when it's reactivated. It's a very standard skillshot, but it's also a versatile attack in that it does a good amount of damage to Champions and creeps if you aim it correctly.
Void Rift (W) is another skillshot that literally leaves a rift in the ground that does extra damage after a second or so. It's easier to aim compared to his Q, once again working wonders on groups of creeps -- and Champions trying to run away. Tectonic Disruption (E) is a ranged AOE attack that pops up enemies and pushes them away a tiny bit. It's basically his only form of "escape," but that's using that term lightly as the pop-up is very slight.
His ultimate is awe-inspiring, as enacting it powers up a long beam projectile in the direction of your cursor. This odd aiming convention allows you to almost instantly nuke anyone you want, and since the range is so long, you can hit them while they're running too, and aim to compensate. To make things even better it slices through any Champion it comes in contact with. In the right hands, you can take out an entire team with it.
When you add up all these abilities, you get one tactical nuke of a Champion. He's able to use all of these powers in tandem, and with cooldown reduction and a focus on single targets to use Organic Deconstruction, he's a powerhouse. I tested him over a number of gametypes, but found the most success in Dominion, where he could pop out of a group and basically nuke two players to death at once, at minimum.
He's very similar to Brand and other casters that have no escapes, so you have to play smart to really get anything out of him. Ultimately, I don't think I would use him in competitive play, because there are better casters you can pick with at least one versatile movement ability.
As a ranged player at heart, I always relish the ability to play as yet another caster. But at the same time, Vel'Koz doesn't do anything all that exciting, and his squishy nature with zero escapes ensures that he won't be widely played. I wouldn't spend Riot Points on him -- spend IP instead.
If you missed the write-up on the last League Champion, you can find it here.
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