Originally Posted by Regulas
I have never understood why people take Death rod. It only has any value late-game, to the point that even if I were to take it, it would be one of the last items I would select.
Power rod (yellow) for solo is by far the most effective. The health and regen are irrelevant (resistance would probably fit better with the shield anyway), because the speed boost isn't some piddly little boost, it's ghost level 30%.... you basically get permanent ghost. You can stick to almost anybody, very easily dodge and out maneuver abilities, and easily escape from sticky situations. The best part is it allows you to save W for clinch situations, and because of your high maneuverability you can better maximize your W and R placements.
People get Death because not only does it give the best stat bonus for it's cost of the augments, it also improves your base damage and scaling on your main damage tool, which happens to also be your only available poke as well as being your best harassing tool in lane. You're basically choosing to pay ~100g for a 30% increase in the effectiveness of your main damage tool VS ~500g (yes I'm completely ignoring the value of the health regen on account of it being useless) for a conditional speed boost. Death is still useful mid game because it boosts your E's base damage as well as it's scaling, and provides a sizable AP boost on it's own. If you're level 9 and otherwise have two Doran's rings the difference in damage between Death and a Blasting Wand is ~320 with the blasting wand and ~420 with Death. An extra 100 damage is nothing to scoff at, and it only gets better as the match progresses.
You're grossly overstating the value of the Power speed boost. Yes it is a high value and it's tied to a low cooldown ability but it's also completely dependent on the use of said ability which happens to be low range. It doesn't apply out of combat, and is only applied in combat if you're getting closer than is, outside of scenarios where you or a teammate have already CC'd the target, generally wise. You can't use it to save your W because Q isn't safe to use unless a target is already CC'd. as almost any other mid has higher range and most gap closers are equal or greater range. It also doesn't significantly help with the positioning of R because it's already higher range than Q. If you're close enough to benefit from the speed boost then you're already almost where you need to be to ult the enemy team.
Power was meant to work in conjunction with a tanky mage build. A build that isn't viable on Viktor because of his poor base stats and the inefficiency of Augment Power itself. This is similar to why Augment Gravity isn't worthwhile, as it's meant to work in a more supporting role, only Viktor doesn't work as a pure support, and going hybrid support will generally leave your team weak for magic damage unless you've built your team around the strategy.