With update 2.8, sustain has become the name of the game in Vainglory. The meta has certainly changed: early game is now extremely important, with captains often going into lane from the start to help their laner get a successful First Blood.
With Healing Flask as players’ only healing option at the start, it can be very punishing for those who burn their flask in early game and run into a second fight before the 120-second cooldown is up. They will most likely lose their push to the turret, or lose their jungle rotation.
With all that in mind, SPOUT 360 looks at three of the most OP team comps in Vainglory:
Skaarf, Lance, Blackfeather
Skaarf as laner might seem slow and clunky, but he’s one heck of a beast when played right. As a laner, Skaarf’s heroic perk, Fan the Flames, can severely impede the farming of the enemy laner.
Fan the Flames deals extra burn damage over time to enemies hit by Skaarf’s fire abilities. As such, a Spitfire followed by two auto attacks is often enough to force a recall to base, especially in early game. However, Skaarf is very captain-dependent, which is why Lance is a better pick over Lyra in our opinion.
Lance suits the team very well as a roamer. His tankiness makes him the perfect meat shield for Skaarf and Blackfeather. He also provides amazing utility for the team in team fights, and his auto attacks damage every target along his path, which makes melee enemies wary. His B, Gythian Wall, can help to push enemies away from the squishies in a pinch. His A, Impale, makes for excellent initiation and allows Skaarf time to set up its combo.
Blackfeather can lane and jungle equally well, though in this setup he is ideally jungling. He is a very flexible hero – able to run both WP and CP builds efficiently – but tends to suffer in early game. He might need Lance’s help to dissuade enemy junglers from invading during early game. Blackfeather can easily close gaps with his A, making him an excellent cleanup for any team fight, especially when the enemy is low on health from Skaarf’s burn.
A typical combo is:
Lance A -> Skaarf A+B -> Blackfeather A (if full stacks)
Lance’s Impale will root the enemy, while Skaarf deals extensive damage with Spitfire+Goop. If the enemy still lives, they are likely to have full Heartthrob stacks on them (depicted by broken hearts) and Blackfeather can leap in for the kill with Feint of Heart.
There are plenty of combinations available with both Skaarf and Blackfeather able to CC enemies, though it is often dependent on positioning and where you catch your enemies. The combo above works well in any area, though all players must focus on the same target for maximum benefit.
A variation of this team was used by winning team Impunity in the Vainglory Summer 2017 SEA Championships: Skaarf, Lance, and Gwen.
Impunity was up against spaghetti’s Celeste in that game, hence their Gwen pick – to counter her. Gwen is far more mobile than Blackfeather thanks to her kit and is one of the fastest characters in the game with Skedaddle, though her base speed is among the lowest. Gwen’s mobility allows her to easily escape Celeste’s Heliogenesis and chases her down.
Kestrel, Ardan, Blackfeather
Kestrel is perfect for laning: she can easily trade hits without getting hit herself, due to her range. Since potions no longer exist in 2.8, her range allows her some leeway in early game sustain. She plays as a typical ranged carry: hover at the edges of team fights and poke with Glimmershot. Kite enemies and catch them out of position for kills. Her Ultimate, One Shot One Kill, can be used to catch enemies fleeing in a predictable path or even to initiate combat, as it grants full Adrenaline stacks.
Ardan as a roamer synergizes well with Kestrel’s aggression and mobility. His Vanguard can be used to kite as well as defend his teammates from ultimates like Celeste’s Solar Storm and Ringo’s Hellfire Brew. This also allows his allies to reposition – positioning being crucial for Kestrel especially. Using Gauntlet can help Ardan trap enemies for Kestrel and Blackfeather to zoom in for the kill.
Blackfeather is, once again, flexible. He complements this setup well as a jungler. Kestrel’s Glimmershots will help chip away health for Blackfeather to jump in and chase enemies down. If he can lock down an enemy with B, Kestrel can go for the kill with her ultimate. Blackfeather will need Kestrel’s help in early game: a few Glimmershots will dissuade the enemy jungler from invading.
A typical combo to consider would be:
Ardan C -> Kestrel A+auto -> Blackfeather A to finish off target
Kestrel does heavy damage with Glimmershot and her basic attacks in mid and end game. Ardan can lock down enemies with Gauntlet for her to take aim. Any stragglers can be taken care of with Blackfeather’s chasing and gap closing kit.
During the Vainglory Summer 2017 SEA Championships, Infamous used a variation of this team to defend against Impunity: Kestrel, Ardan, and Samuel. Samuel was picked as a counter to the highly-mobile Gwen that Impunity selected.
Vox, Baptiste, Catherine
Vox’s incredible mobility makes him an excellent laner, and one of the few carries who can sustain himself well in the 2.8 update. His heroic perk, Julia’s Song, allows his auto attacks to bounce around enemies who have been marked with Resonance. Vox’s A, Sonic Zoom, gives him incredible mobility and allows him to dash over walls in the Fold for a quick escape or a sudden gank. Combining Reflex Block+Sprint Boots+A makes Vox nearly unstoppable when disengaging from a fight.
Baptiste as a jungler works for this team comp, and he brings much-needed CC and utility to his allies. His B, Ordained, is perfect for locking down the enemy laner forever when combined with Catherine’s Merciless Pursuit and Vox’s Pulse. Baptiste has great sustain with his passive, Reap, which heals him for each soul fragment he steals via combat. When jungling, save Bad Mojo for invading the enemy jungle, and always ensure that he has sufficient mana to gank when needed.
With two self-sustaining heroes, Catherine can freely roam and initiate team fights with Merciless Pursuit. Her A is one of the most reliable lockdown abilities in the game and can be used for many tactics from engaging to chasing down fleeing foes. Use Catherine to run into enemies and goad them into wasting their abilities on her before your two allies swoop in for the kill – but make sure you can survive the onslaught, of course. Stormguard is very helpful on that count.
A typical combo would be:
Catherine A+C + Vox auto-attack+A+auto + Baptiste A+B if needed
Catherine can leap right into the fray with A and stun the target (usually the enemy carry), followed by a silence from Blast Tremor to disable the opponent while Vox picks him off. Baptiste comes into the fray to further stunlock and slow down the team, giving allies even more time to finish the fight. If Baptiste is in a good position (i.e. flanking the enemy), he can cast his ultimate to make enemies run towards Catherine or Vox to eat more damage.
Top image credit: SEMC / Vainglory