Dec 132012

Vi stands for Violence! But Vi could also stand for Vigilante, Virulent, or maybe even a name – like Violet. Vi is the 109th champion joining the League of Legends, and she’s a complete badass. Sporting two huge mechanical Hulk Hands, Vi smashes the face of anything that gets in her way. As Vi, you’ll use lunges and fierce melee attacks to bring your enemies forcefully to their knees.

Vi’s back story is yet another example of Riot’s incredible ability to create good lore for their characters. As a kid, Vi often found herself in trouble with the law. She often stole Hextech weaponry from the other residents of Piltover, making her a mechanical mastermind at a very young age. When she turned six, she joined a group of criminals and by age eleven, she was one of the best around. Vi’s time with the criminal syndicate came to an end when a failed raid on a mining facility forced her to choose between saving innocent lives or her own criminal coven. Vi used her mechnical knowlege and removed the fists from a robotic mining rig, fashioning them into Hextech gauntlets which became her preferred weapon of choice. After freeing the mine workers, Vi fled the scene and began to take out criminals as a vigilante, akin to Batman or any other super hero without super powers. The news of her deeds reached Piltover’s finest – Sherriff Caitlyn. Caitlyn decided to extend a job offer to Vi, rather than prosecute her for her crimes, and together they are feared by any evil-doer who might step foot in the lands of Piltover.

While Vi is technically Caitlyn’s partner, Caitlyn finds herself having to baby-sit Vi often, as Vi doesn’t always listen but rather rushes in to take matters into her own (Hextech) hands.

I’ve spent a little bit of time with Vi over on the PBE and I think she feels like a mix between Varus and Warwick. Her passive, Blast Shield,  gives her a sheild, equal to 10% of her maximum health once you activate an ability on an enemy champion. This makes her innately tanky, meaning she’s not immediately reliable on defensive items. Her Q is Vault Breaker, which is a skill you charge up, much like Varus’ Piercing Arrow. Vault Breaker slows Vi as it charges, but then propels her forward striking her target for damage and providing a knockback and applying Denting Blows to any enemies hit. Denting Blows is Vi’s W, and it’s a passive ability that not only grants bonus damage on every 3rd attack (based on a percentage of the target’s max health), but it also reduces their armor by 20% and increases Vi’s attack speed for 4 seconds. Vi’s E is called Excessive Force and it does extra damage on the next target struck, which then passes through that enemy hitting other nearby champions. Excessive Force can be stored up, and you can have up to 3 available at any time. Vi’s ultimate is called Assault and Battery. This ability forces Vi to chase an enemy no matter how fast they run, ignoring crowd control and knocking any enemy that gets in the path out of the way. Once she reaches her target, she does a nice chunk of physical damage and knocks them into the air. While it sounds fairly weak for an ultimate, know that it can keep up with anyone, including a homeguarded, ghosted, Rammus with Boots of Mobility and at the height of Powerball. If you can cast it, it’s guaranteed Vi will catch them and knock them up.

Because Vi is a champion with only three active abilities, she’s fairly easy to pick up and play. She does massive damage against some of the top lane’s most fearsome champions, such as Jayce, Irelia, or Darius. I had a really good time playing her in the jungle. With a machete and 5 potions, her clear time was respectable without a leash though her ganking will mostly be reliant on whether or not Ghost is up. Still, it’s a breath of fresh air to finally have another bruiser who can stand up to those often “OP” champions who snowball with just a little bit of an advantage. Vi’s ready to smash the faces of the competition, and she’s likely the most exciting bruiser we’ve seen in quite some time. Caitlyn and Vi bot lane? Yep, you know Josh, Pierce, and I will try that shit soon.

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