League of Legends: The rise of Viktor in the top lane

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In League of Legends, Viktor top has recently been popping out a lot in solo queues around the globe. The champion has the most pick rate(20.73%) and stands at a win rate of 51.34%. This is super good considering the fact he has seen no play all year long. So what made Viktor go from least played to being picked/banned every match?

The change in build path

Viktor usually is a heavy mana consumer who requires item like Lost Chapter and Tear to sustain. These items, however, don’t provide any utility to him apart from Mana and Damage. It also makes him relatively squishy and the build takes a long time to scale. Switching these items with Iceborn Gauntlet not only gives him Mana but also makes him tankier. This helps a lot in the early game and makes the laning phase more comfortable. This can be followed by an Abyssal Mask which also gives more resistance and more damage. After that, the build can follow the usual path of Lich Bane, Ludens Echo, and Death Cap etc. Boots depend on the matchup as you can opt for Tabis or go for Boots of Lucidity for extra cooldown reduction. The build is much more forgiving of mistakes allowing players to play without any pressure.

Kleptomancy is the preferred rune as it gives extra gold and consumables which increases sustain in lane, for secondary rune Sorcery is the standard choice giving more damage and mana.

Great against Meta champions

Meta champions like Urgot and Aatrox really struggle against Viktor. Viktor can easily proc his Q(Siphon Power) on melee champions which gives extra movement speed while if Viktor hits the ability it will slow the opposition due to Iceborn Gauntlet passive. You can constantly repeat this strategy and go in and out which really puts the enemy in the backseat. The extra safety from the tanky build allows you to play more aggressively as the chance of all in from opposition becomes very slim.

Most meta champions will struggle to get a single creep in the lane and will eventually have to recall due to constant poke coming out of Viktor. This draws huge pressure in the top lane allowing rest of the team to thrive and be successful.

The strategy has been working very well across all the servers. It’s safe and allows the player to play with more freedom. It also has seen some action in the ongoing Worlds as Kiin from Afreeca Freecs and Bwipo from Fnatic pulled out Viktor top during their respective quarterfinals match. It would be interesting to see what counters can rise to it but for now its Freelo.

Watch some Viktor gameplay below: