Everyone that watched the Worlds 2018 quarterfinals will have seen both the Afreeca Freecs and Fnatic pull out the Viktor top lane. While it was criticized at first as it failed for Afreeca, Fnatic showed that Viktor top does actually work and that it’s quite powerful as well. Now that the West has seen the might of Viktor top you see it practically everywhere but why exactly is it played and what does it even do?
First of all, the reason that people actually pick Viktor in the top lane is mostly that he does extremely well against melee champions. If you pick Viktor top you’re practically the nightmare of every melee champion. This is mostly because of you Q which you want to max when playing him top lane. Normally your Q simply does some damage and gives you a shield and an empowered auto attack proc. However, when you upgrade his Q, which you want to do as soon as possible, it also gives you a small speed buff. This means that not only do you have a range advantage on the enemy if they don’t have a gap closer they have a hard time catching up to you due to your increased speed. You can empower this even further by completing your Iceborn Gauntlet which should be your first completed item.
For the runes, you want to pick Inspiration as your main tree with Kleptomancy as your keystone. Every time you hit the enemy with your empowered auto-attack you will proc Kleptomancy making it really strong on Viktor. Next, you want to take Magical Footwear for free boots, Biscuit Delivery for more sustain in lane and Timewarp Tonic so that your potions last for a longer duration, which also works well with Kleptomancy as that keystone tends to give you a lot of pots and potions.
For your secondary tree, you want to opt into Sorcery as Mana Flow Band is almost mandatory when playing Viktor as he’s really mana hungry. This rune will constantly increase your mana pool as you hit enemies with your spells up to 250% additional mana after which it will increase your mana regeneration. For the other rune, you can either pick Celerity for more movement speed or Transcendence for more cooldown reduction. If you really love poking in lane you could even pick Scorch although it’s not really necessary.
The item build for Viktor top lane is relatively flexible as only two items are mandatory. The first is obviously Viktor’s signature Hexcore item and the second is the Iceborn Gauntlet. As previously mentioned you want to upgrade Viktor’s Hexcore by one stage as soon as possible so that you can upgrade his Q. After that, you need to build your Iceborn Gauntlet so that you become completely OP during the laning phase. After you have built the Iceborn Gauntlet it’s time to build the remain two stages of the Hexcore so that all your abilities have been upgraded.
After acquiring those items you can basically build whatever you want depending on who you’re facing and your own team composition. If you want more slows than Rylais Crystal Scepter is a good bet. If you’re against a lot of AP damage then you should probably build Abyssal Mask first and if you’re constantly threatened by assassin’s then building Zonya’s Hourglass is always a wise choice. For boots, you can apply the same logic and just buy ones that work well against the enemy team.
This is all the basic information that you need in order to start playing Viktor top lane. Besides this my only advice is to just try it out and if you int then just learn from your mistakes. You can learn a lot by just playing soloQ and observing why you died instead of flaming your jungler or raging at the enemy.