Brandon Sturak
Brandon Sturak
Brandon is a writer and editor for ESTNN with a passion for esports. He writes about League of Legends and esports generally, providing analysis and commentary on both. He is a founding member of Niagara University Esports, while being the previous mid laner and Head Coach for the NU Esports LoL team as well. Twitter @GhandiLoL

LoL: Viego Champion Guide- Lore, Runes, Build, Skins & Counters

League of Legend champion Viego, the Ruined King's splash art, showing him holding a massive, green sword in a nightmarish landscape.
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Everything you need to know about Viego, the Ruined King.


Commanding the Black Mists of the Shadow Isles, Viego is one of League's newer characters. Despite that, he's already incredibly influential to League of Legends, both as a lore character and in-game. He's become the main villain of Runeterra and upcoming events, like the Rise of the Sentinels event and TFT's Reckoning: Dawn of Heroes update, are influenced heavily by his mere existence. On top of that, he's very closely tied to a number of champions, including Thresh and Gwen.

Outside of the lore part of things, Viego is a hit with LoL players of every tier. On top of being a strong pro pick at the time of writing, many players are enjoying him in their solo queue games. Whether you're an aspiring Viego player yourself, simply want to learn how to play against him or are interested in his influence on Runeterra's lore, there's a lot to learn about the Ruined King!

Viego's Lore

Official Riot Games art of the Shadow Isles, a dark, desolate land overcome by a deadly green mist.

In life, Viego was the second son of a monarch who ruled a great kingdom. He never expected to rule as the second-born, so he lived lavishly and carefree. But he found himself thrust onto the throne after his brother died, though despite claiming the position, Viego had little interest in ruling, and he wasn't adept at it either.

That changed, however, when he met the love of his life, a peasant seamstress named Isolde. She stole his heart with her beauty and he married her, after which he showered her with gifts and attention. The two were inseparable, and even in dealings of state, Viego traveled with Isolde. But because Viego wasn't a strong or dedicated ruler, his allies resented him, while his enemies looked to expose his weakness.

One day, an assassin with a poisoned dagger tried to kill Viego, but his guard protected him. Unfortunately, Isolde took the blade and fell direly ill. Even after using all the resources granted to him in his position and his vast treasury, Viego could not save his beloved from the grip of death.

Death, and the birth of the Shadow Isles

Her death drove Viego to madness. One of his generals, Kalista, discovered and told Viego of a place called the Blessed Isles, a place teeming with life and magic which held waters that cured any ailment. Quickly, Viego made for the Blessed Isles and stormed its shores to find these Waters of Life. With the help of Thresh, he managed to discover the Waters and set his beloved Isole in them.

And she was revived, for a moment. She returned as a terrible specter, who in rage, forced Viego's ancient magic blade into her body. The magics reacted against each other and led to a cataclysmic event. The dark energy of the Black Mist poured from the chamber, obliterating all life in the Blessed Isles.

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It was with this that the Shadow Isles rose, claiming all life it could feed on. Viego remembers nothing of this, only Isolde. His obsession followed him to the afterlife and now he commands the Black Mist of the Shadow Isles, and the undead denizens that dwell in it. In the search for Isolde, Viego and the Mists devour everything in their path. The sole thing that matters to Viego is seeing Isolde again, and he cares not for the souls he must destroy to do so.

Best Runes

An in-client rune page for LoL champion Viego, with the Conqueror keystone and Precision as the primary tree and Domination as the Secondary.

Primary Tree: Precision

  • Keystone: Conqueror
  • Triumph
  • Legend: Alacrity
  • Coup de Grace

Secondary Tree: Domination

  • Sudden Impact
  • Ravenous Hunter

Mini Runes

  • Attack Speed
  • Adaptive Force
  • Armor

Viego is a resourceless champion, meaning his abilities don't cost mana or energy, and has a good deal of healing built into his kit. As such, his runes are focused on augmenting his healing and increasing his dueling potential. Conqueror is a no-brainer, as he thrives in drawn-out fights where his healing makes the difference. Triumph is just generally good, while Legend: Alacrity suits the attack speed Viego builds with his items. Coup de Grace is helpful with executing enemies and stealing their bodies, too.

In the Domination tree, Sudden Impact gives Viego a bit of extra damage after using his Spectral Maw (W). But Ravenous Hunter is the main draw to this rune tree, as it makes Viego heal even more once he gets some takedowns under his belt. Finally, the mini runes are all fairly standard for dueling champions.

Item Build

An LoL in-client item page for Viego, with items split into two boxes, one titled Core Viego Items and the other Situational/Preferential Viego Items.

Core Items:

  • Blade of the Ruined King
  • Divine Sunderer
  • Sterak's Gage
  • Boots of your choice

Situational/Preferential Items:

  • Kraken Slayer (Mythic alternative)
  • Immortal Shieldbow (Mythic alternative)
  • Death's Dance
  • Guardian's Angel
  • The Collector
  • Wit's End
  • Mortal Reminder
  • Chempunk Chainsword

Like with his runes, Viego's item build is all about healing and dueling. And as you might expect from the Ruined King, the Blade of the Ruined King is his usual rush item. Its obviously the perfect item for him since, aside from the name, it gives him a ton of damage and healing. Currently, Divine Sunderer is the mythic of choice, as it gives him damage, healing and some health to make him a tad tankier. But Kraken Slayer and Immortal Shieldbow and viable options for mythics as well. The main thing with them is they push him more towards a Critical Strike build, as opposed to health and survivability items.

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After BotRK and Sunderer, most players choose to go for Sterak's Gage. His body-stealing passive helps him in team fights already, but having the Sterak's shield can be important for team fighting too. Somewhere along the line, you should pick up a pair of boots as well, the type depending on the enemy team composition.

After the core items, there are some choices to make. Death's Dance is a choice for going all-in on dueling, with extra healing, while Guardian's Angel grants Viego a revive to hopefully turn fights around. The Collector is a super-snowball item if you're ludicrously fed and want pure damage. Meanwhile, Wit's End is great against teams with heavy AP damage. Lastly, if you're in need of anti-healing, Chempunk Chainsword is good for non-crit builds, while Mortal Reminder is the go-to for crit builds.

Best Counters

The splash art for LoL champion Nocturne, a shadowy monster with blades on his arms.

Viego is a powerful champion in the right hands, but like any champion, he has counters that he hates to play against. He's primarily played in the jungle, but has solo lane presence too. Funnily enough, whether its in the mid lane or jungle, Nocturne is statistically the best counter to Viego. His fear makes it hard for Viego to fight back against Nocturne. And if Nocturne can kill Viego before he can stack his healing, he has a good time.

Some other counters in the jungle include assassins like Shaco and Elise, along with Rammus, the ultime attack speed counter champion. Viego relies on dueling, so Shaco and Elise are good counters because of their one-shot potential. On the other hand, Rammus is fantastic because he's innately tanky and has apt tools for counter champions that rely on attack speed and healing. Exactly the two things Viego is known for.

In the mid lane, Viego has a tougher time due to most champions being ranged. Control mages with hard CC, Anivia and Malzahar in particular, give him a hard time. Both of these picks can kill waves quickly and keep Viego at a distance. A few other decent counters here are Annie, Vladimir and Corki, as their pure damage is a bit too much for Viego to deal with in a short lane.

Viego's skins

The splash art for LoL skin Lunar Beast Viego, showing Viego holding a golden sword behind his back above a cityscape.

Because Viego just released this year, he hasn't had much time to get any new skins. Currently, his only skin is Lunar Beast Viego, pictured above. There are conflicting opinions on the skin, but if you want to variate from the base skin, it's still a decent option.

However, Viego is crucial to the lore of Runeterra and a fairly marketable and popular champion. It's safe to say he'll get a fair amount of skins made for him in the future.

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