With Vel’koz being free last week, I finally got to play him a few times in ARAM and found myself surprisingly delighted with his unique play style.
I was skeptical at first since Riot pins him as difficult to play, but after a few rounds of messing with his combo order it turns out he’s not nearly as bad as I expected and really, really fun. I got the hang of him faster than other complex combo-oriented champs, like, say, the tragedy that was my first Orianna try (spoiler alert: it was brutal).
To make solid use of his kit, a perfect combo feels to be be EWQWR. In ARAM this is a really powerful execution due to the limited space teams have to maneuver around his potent spells. E (Tectonic Disruption) is a knock-up and slow that sets enemy champs up to get caught in his W (Void Rift). His W is a lined blast with initial and delayed aoe damage, and Q (Plasma Fission) is a quirky 90° angled blast that does a good job catching players who make use of side-to-side movements for escape. Finish that up with another go at W (it has 2 usable charges) and massive damage gets put out over time.
His ultimate (Life Form Disintegration Ray) is fun as hell as well – the laser follows your mouse for a few seconds, blasting everything in its path. It makes a great clean-up tool if the enemy team has taken a lot of damage already. I do feel that it’s a little underpowered right now, though, but fits with the philosophy of champion whose style is about putting out sustained damage rather than being a spiker.
I find as far as team synergy goes, Vel shines when there is a good initiator on your side, either a bruiser or a tank. When another teammate can soak up enough distraction time and if they’re good at rounding the other team up, you can get a great combo chain off. Without a tank / bruiser, though, he has a hard time getting his abilities off fast enough to catch the other team well. I found that Q gets caught on minions a LOT, so practice with aim is pretty key (similar to Karma, in my experience).
In ARAM, heavy AP / Magic Pen via runes and masteries makes him strong early on, combined with his good range. I found in most cases he doesn’t seem to scale as well later than other AP carries, like Lux or Veigar who dominate Howling Abyss.
Still, his kit is REALLY fun and not nearly as difficult to get the hang of. I plan on grabbing him as soon as I get back up to 6300ip!