On Tentacles and Lasers

I am shit at RTS MOBA games. There’s simply too much to learn. Too much effort for too little gain. That hasn’t stopped me attempting to play Dota 2 and dicking around in League of Legends though. Weirdly though, I understand a lot of the mechanics, but my dumb fingers can’t react in time. Hence I end up playing support. I’ve always been a supporting person.

In League of Legends (or League of Leg-Ends, as it says on my desktop), there’s three types of support: Healing helping people like Sona, Tank-All-The-Damage-And-Start-Fights people like Leona and Initiate-With-Some-Sort-Of-Assistance people like Thresh and Morgana. Then there’s this… thing…

Vel'Koz, the Eye of the Void
Vel’Koz, the Eye of the Void

Vel’Koz. An eye and three tentacles, hell bent on learning as much as possible. How does he do that? Not by sticking needles into things, but by DISINTEGRATING THEM.

Vel’Koz is an oddball support pick, but unlike a lot of Supports these days, he’s perfectly fine messing around in the middle lane too. His skills are all “skill shots”, meaning you need to aim them and predict where your opponent is moving. Here’s a list of his four abilities, and his passive:

Velkoz_Passive Passive: Organic Deconstruction – Every ability that hits an enemy applies a ‘stack’ of Organic Deconstruction. Get 3 stacks and your victim takes a bunch of true damage, that cannot be blocked in any way.
VelkozQ Plasma Fission – Fire a bolt of plasma, that will split into a T shape when it hits a target or when you tell it to. Great for killing people using geometry.
VelkozW Void Rift – Make a rift in the ground. Standing on it will apply a stack of Organic Deconstruction and deal small damage. Then the rift explodes, deals a bunch of damage and applies a second stack, assuming your target hasn’t moved in the mean time.
VelkozE Tectonic Disruption – Make a giant bubble on the ground, which explodes after a delay and knocks people into the air, briefly stunning them.
VelkozR Life Form Disintegration Ray – Steady yourself and FIRE A GIANT LASER AT YOUR ENEMIES. Does what it says on the tin, now with added Organic Deconstruction!

Fun fact: Vel’Koz’s basic attacks increase by π (Pi) every level.

So, Vel’Koz sounds fun. Lots of firing shots and hoping you hit things. He’s steady and powerful, with the inherent weakness that he’s about as squishy as a eyeball tentacle monster should be. Vel’Koz is also reasonably slow, but he starts off with an average move speed. Sadly, unlike other floating beings *cough*Kassadin*cough*, Vel’Koz can’t move through or over things. He rewards those with good aim and great positioning.

What makes Vel’Koz a good support though? There ARE other champions who do a similar thing, like Annie (who basically stuns you then uses everything at once). But Vel’Koz is incredibly powerful because he doesn’t need a lot of gold. A lot of champions need to get money as fast as possible so they can kick ass. Utilizing Organic Deconstruction though means Vel’Koz will always do a bit of damage. This also gives him a chance to build some more protective items alongside his normal magic-boosting stuff.

This all combines into something you can’t ignore when it comes to fighting the enemy team. You have to make sure that you don’t get hit by Vel’Koz, in case he starts building those stacks on you and you end up taking true damage. True damage is effective on everyone, from the squishy marksman to the burst mage to the tank.

See? You don’t need to be a healer to be a support, nor do you have to take all the hits so your team mates don’t have to. Vel’Koz is a constant threat throughout the entire battle. It actually makes a change.

Then you have the terror of someone firing a giant fricking laser at you.

A giant purple beam of awesomeness. Because, come on, there’s nothing more awesome than disintegrating your enemies, as any Bison/Phlogistinator/Cow Mangler/Man Melter/Pomson user would agree.

We need more disintegration.

Fun fact: While writing this article, I was playing a bunch of Coop VS AI bot games, working on my last-hitting skills. Normally I just get all the assists, like a proper Medic should, I generally am not the one who gets all the kills and has a bazillion gold. But today, I got my second ever pentakill (5 kills, wiping out the enemy team) using Vel’Koz. Lasers4lyfe.

VelKozPenta

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