Viego, the Ruined King, is a melee fighter and assassin champion in League of Legends who has become a popular jungle pick thanks to his strong ganking and snowball potential. With his passive ability allowing him to possess enemy champions and use their abilities against their own team, Viego brings a unique and potent threat to the Rift when played in the jungle role.
In this article, we’ll take a look at Viego’s abilities, counters, core item builds to maximize his damage and healing, and tips on using his kit to counter jungle. Viego remains a top-tier jungle pick in the current meta, but mastering his unique possession mechanic and snowbally playstyle is key to finding success with the Ruined King.
Of all the mechanics in League of Legends, nothing is quite as game-changing as Viego’s passive Sovereign’s Domination. This ability allows Viego to temporarily possess enemy champions he helps take down, gaining access to their core ability kit, items, and stats for a short duration.
This possession power gives Viego immense outplay potential, allowing him to turn a losing fight completely on its head. After securing a key takedown on the enemy carry, Viego can then use the carbo’s own damage against their team. Healing for a percentage of his target’s max health, and replaces their Ultimate with a free cast of his own.
Mastering Sovereign’s Domination is absolutely essential to reaching Viego’s full potential as a jungle terror. Knowing when to go for a key possession and which high-impact targets to prioritize can instantly swing messy team fights in Viego’s favor. No other champion can mimic and manipulate the enemy’s own strength against them like Viego. This makes his passive one of the most uniquely powerful abilities in League of Legends.
Q – Blade of The Ruined King
As a melee skirmisher, Viego relies heavily on his Blade of the Ruined King ability to brawl it out on the Rift. This versatile ability forms the core of Viego’s jungle dueling and damage potential.
When activated, Blade of the Ruined King causes Viego to lunge forward and slam his blade into the first enemy hit, dealing physical damage, stealing a percent of their current health, and strikes twice vs. enemies he recently hit with an Ability This gives Viego burst damage and sustain in duels. The ability can also critically strike, scaling strongly with items.
The passive effect of Blade of the Ruined King adds a percent of current health damage to Viego’s auto attacks, allowing him to shred high-health targets. Properly weaving in auto attacks between Blade casts is essential to maximizing Viego’s trade potential.
With Blade of the Ruined King, Viego dances on the edge in close-quarters combat. It enables him to go toe-to-toe with the toughest jungle monsters and champions. Mastering the ability is key to reaching Viego’s potential as a lethal duelist and carrying games from the jungle. No other ability quite captures the deadly nature of Viego’s blade like this one.
W – Spectral Maw
As the infamous Ruined King, Viego has a knack for executing weakened souls with his W ability, Spectral Maw. This ability helps Viego dash forward and release a ball of concentrated Black Mist that stuns the first enemy hit.
Though not a flashy ability, mastering Spectral Maw‘s execute threshold and rapid chaining of kills is essential to dominating on Viego. It embodies his lethal predatory nature, allowing him to reap weakened souls across the map and accelerate his snowballing jungle domination.
E – Harrowed Path
Gliding through the jungle with spectral speed lies at the heart of Viego’s playstyle, thanks to his E ability Harrowed Path. This versatile mobility spell allows Viego to briskly navigate the map and swiftly close in on his targets.
When cast, Harrowed Path causes Viego to dissolve into a mist and dash forward, phasing through terrain and enemies. Additionally, the ability leaves behind a mist zone that obscures vision and camouflages Viego.
Harrowed Path gives Viego the slipperiness he needs to swiftly move through the jungle, surprising gank pushed-up laners, and hunt down champions caught out of position. The ability also enables Viego to cut off escape routes over terrain and chase without losing sight of his prey.
Mastering when to use Harrowed Path for mobility versus an unseen engagement is critical to perfecting Viego’s predator-like playstyle. When used properly, no champion can match Viego’s swiftness on the hunt, thanks to the spectral power of Harrowed Path. It makes Viego a threat no matter where he lurks on the map.
R – Heartbreaker
When teamfights break out, Viego unleashes the full fury of the Mist with his ultimate ability Heartbreaker. This nightmarish spell enables Viego to crush chaotic brawls and rapidly follow up on engaged allies.
Upon casting, Viego dissolves into a spectral dash, becoming untargetable and surging towards the targeted enemy champion. Upon reaching them, Viego stops and violently strikes with his blade, dealing heavy damage based on missing health.
Heartbreaker allows Viego to fearlessly dive the backlines of team fights, delivering massive damage to priority targets like the ADC. Viego can also use Heartbreaker to dash toward and finish off retreating low-health enemies his team has chunked down.
Coordinating with his team’s initiation and properly identifying the optimum Heartbreaker target is key to success with Viego’s all-in ultimate. When used properly, it embodies Viego’s role as a finisher, helping demolish team fights and secure pivotal kills necessary to reign victorious.
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Viego’s snowbally dueling and elusive playstyle make him a menace in the hands of skilled players. But certain champions have kits that give them an edge when facing the Ruined King in the jungle. We’ll count down the top 5 champions that counter and find success against Viego based on matchup data and playstyle comparisons.
With his heavy early game damage and crowd control, Xin Zhao is excellently equipped to disrupt and shut down Viego’s invasive jungle style. Xin Zhao’s level 3 dueling potential with his Three Talon Strike and Audacious Charge abilities can out trade Viego’s early-game damage. And by weaving in auto attacks between spell casts, Xin Zhao’s Challenge passive shreds through Viego’s sustain.
Once Xin Zhao hits level 6, the knock-up from his Crescent Guard ultimate can make it nearly impossible for Viego to channel his own game-changing ultimate. With the ability to invade Viego’s jungle early and set him behind, Xin Zhao is a top-tier answer to the Ruined King. Good Xin Zhao players can effectively contain Viego and neutralize his snowball potential.
With her disruptive crowd control and innate tankiness, Poppy poses a formidable problem for Viego’s assassination attempts. Poppy’s ability to charge into team fights with Heroic Charge makes her difficult for Viego to isolate key targets. And if Viego tries to ambush Poppy’s backline, her Steadfast Presence and Keeper’s Verdict can interrupt his damage combos and pin him down until he’s eliminated.
Poppy also rushes early armor items like Thornmail which counteract Viego’s sustained damage from Blade of the Ruined King. With the durability to withstand Viego’s burst and the disruption to foil his picks, a properly played Poppy can deny Viego the takedowns he needs to enable his possession snowballing in team fights. Poppy’s defiant front lining leaves the Ruined King ruined.
With potent team fight crowd control and faster clear speeds, Amumu can effectively shut down and outpace Viego in the jungle. Amumu outpaces Viego’s healthiest clear route with his fast AOE clear on raptors and krugs thanks to his Tantrum. And in duels and skirmishes, landing Amumu’s Bandage Toss and Curse of the Sad Mummy can lock down and burst Viego before he can sustain up.
In team fights, a well-placed Curse of the Sad Mummy ultimate ruins Viego’s plans, stunning him before he can utilize his own possession-based ult. With Viego neutralized, Amumu provides superior frontline and initiation for his team to sweep up team fights. And he can continue bullying Viego with invades thanks to healthier clears. For these reasons, a masterful Amumu jungle can truly dampen the Ruined King’s ambitions.
With her supreme early game mobility and map control, Rek’Sai excels at containing Viego’s snowball potential. Rek’Sai’s tremor sense from Burrow provides constant information on Viego’s jungle pathing, enabling her to swiftly counter-invade and collapse when Viego overextends. Her unburrow combos with Void Rush and Furious Bite can also easily out-duel Viego in the early skirmishes he relies on.
In team fights, Rek’Sai’s knock-up from Void Rush disrupts Viego’s positioning before he can assassinate priority targets. And Rek’Sai builds tanky bruiser items, making it difficult for Viego’s sustained damage to chew through. Overall, Rek’Sai’s mobility, vision control, and dueling present constant pressure that hinders Viego’s ability to snowball leads, remanding the Ruined King to irrelevance.
With his thorny armor and disruptive taunts, Rammus is a living nightmare for Viego’s basic attack-reliant playstyle. Rammus’s Defensive Ball Curl ability allows him to build massive amounts of armor very early into the game, causing Viego’s sustained damage from Blade of the Ruined King and basic attacks to be greatly mitigated. And if Viego does commit to a duel, Rammus can Taunt him in place and reflect enormous damage back through his passive and W, often winning the trade.
In teamfights, a well-timed Taunt and Ultimate from Rammus can lock down Viego long enough for allies to destroy the self-healing threat. Furthermore, Rammus clears the jungle quickly enough to keep pace with Viego. Overall, Rammus’s durability, disruption, and damage reflection make him an armored juggernaut that Viego struggles to leave a dent in.
Viego Build Guide
Perfecting your itemization is critical to maximizing Viego’s potential to take over games. While Viego’s core item components are straightforward, appropriately adapting your build path each match is key to his success. We’ll break down optimized mythic and core items for Viego along with ability synergy and power spikes.
Viego’s core item path focuses on a balance of damage, healing, and survivability to enable his aggressive, in-your-face playstyle. Starting with mythics, Trinity Force and Divine Sunderer excellently with Viego’s kit, providing sticky power and percent health shredding. Core items like BotRK and Death’s Dance provide key sustain and dueling power. Defensive boots and timely situational items also enable Viego’s dive-heavy assassination combos.
With the right items, Viego transitions from a squishy early-game jungler into an unstoppable scaling threat by the mid to late game. Mastering the intricacies of his builds will have you stealing pentakills in no time as the Ruined King. Let’s break down the ideal itemization to make Viego a true champion-possessing nightmare.
Viego Jungling Tips
Viego’s passive, Harrowed Path, is extremely useful for safely invading the enemy’s jungle. By casting it in advance, Viego can utilize the ability’s camouflage to sneak unseen into the enemy’s side of the map. This allows him to sweep through their jungle for deep vision and steal away camps. If Viego does get caught or collapsed on during an invade, he can also use Harrowed Path to swiftly hop over terrain and make his escape.
When confronted by the enemy jungler, Viego has the dueling power to go toe-to-toe thanks to his Blade of the Ruined King ability. By aggressively leading with and properly weaving Blade of the Ruined King casts between auto attacks, Viego can burst down and out-sustain most jungle matchups early on. The healing and percentage health damage from his passive and Blade of the Ruined King make short work of jungle objectives too.
After successful ganks on a pushed lane, Viego can consider lingering on the enemy’s side of the map to steal additional camps and deepen the jungle advantage. This is especially effective if Viego has vision around major neutral objectives like dragon or baron—if collapsed on, he can retreat safely. Tracking the enemy jungler’s location and punishing them when major abilities are down opens windows for uncontested invades as well.
Overall, fully leveraging Viego’s mobility, vision control, dueling power, and objective shredding enables him to aggressively cripple the enemy jungler’s growth. Staying one step ahead by systematically stealing resources will devastate uncoordinated opponents, allowing Viego to thrive.
In summary, skilled Viego players can dominate games by mastering his unique possession mechanics, optimized jungle pathing, item spikes, and snowballing playstyle to constantly pressure and outplay enemies. Though countered early, a well-played Viego becomes an unstoppable jungle carry.
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