Are you new to Vainglory? Or, are you perhaps struggling to keep up with your allies and enemies? Don’t worry. You’re in the right place. This new series is dedicated to bringing new players up to speed and helping those 0-10 players break the slump and start consistently succeeding. We’re going to start at the very beginning, with explanations of the different hero classifications. Check back next week for our guide to items.
Vainglory has nearly 30 heroes you can play. Each hero has unique strengths, weaknesses and abilities. Just choosing a character can be daunting for new players. Solo practicing against bots is a great way to try out new heroes that you don’t have unlocked to see what fits your combat style. So experiment to see what feels best.
What Kind of Player Are You?
Choosing a hero in Vainglory is a lot like choosing a character class in other games. Some players enjoy jumping in, doing lots of damage and getting out before the enemy knew what hit them. That’s what we’d call an “assassin.” But maybe you’re someone who likes to stand back from the action and attack or cast spells from a distance? Well, that’s what we’d call a “sniper” or “mage.” But perhaps you’re more of a mix-it-up type of player who wants to be in the heart of the fight. Then you’d likely do well as a “warrior” or “protector.” We’ll go over each role below.
Assassins are great at isolating and eliminating a single threat with quick, high-damage attacks. They excel at doing a great deal of damage in a short amount of time before disappearing through speed bursts or stealth. Look for these heroes in the jungle or hiding in the brush of the lane. Assassins are typically very “squishy,” meaning they’re easy to kill. It’s typical for heroes in Vainglory to have a clear strengths and weaknesses. In this case, assassins do lots of damage quickly, but they are fragile and can be easily killed if caught or cornered.
Heroes: Taka, Koshka, Blackfeather
Snipers also focus on dealing damage to a single target, but they use their weapon from a distance, rapidly dealing small amounts of damage over and over again. Imagine a gunslinger firing bullets from pistols in both hands. Also like assassins, snipers suffer from low health and must rely on speed, smart positioning or (likely) other heroes’ protection to survive.
Heroes: Ringo, SAW, Skye, Kestrel, Vox
Mages also enjoy having a great deal of distance between themselves and the enemy. Unlike assassins and snipers, however, mages are adept at doing damage to large areas of the map, and any enemies caught in the area won’t enjoy it. Mages focus on using their unique abilities to change the outcome of fights and ultimately the whole game. Similar to snipers, mages try to keep their distance from the edge of the action, but if the enemy breaks through the front lines and reaches a mage, it usually means a quick death.
Heroes: Celeste, Samuel, Petal, Reim, Skaarf
Warriors are synonymous with “brawlers” who like getting up close and personal to the action. They’re front-line fighters who can take a punch and keep on dishing out damage. They may not be the fastest or the flashiest heroes, but they are always feared, and if they get to you, it’s extremely hard to get away. It’s very common for a team to employ a warrior to provide front-line damage while a sniper or mage stands back and contributes from afar. Look for warriors in the jungle part of the map.
Heroes:, Glaive, Krul, Rona, Alpha, Joule, Ozo, Fortress
You can think of the protector as the player who ensures that fragile teammates don’t die. They’re often on the front lines with warriors, sometimes “tanking” damage ahead of all the rest. Protectors are usually the most capable heroes at absorbing damage and should always lead the way, especially into uncharted areas of the map where enemy heroes may be lurking or waiting to ambush you. Sometimes protectors specialize in healing instead of absorbing punishment or create shields that absorb damage. Protectors benefit most from defensive items, especially health. Often these players “roam” around the map, helping their allies in different situations. While protectors don’t accumulate kills and flashy stats, many games swing based on the play and decision-making of the protector — especially since protectors often buy special items that help the whole team when used wisely.
Heroes: Catherine, Ardan, Lyra, Adagio, Lance, Phinn
So, take a moment and pick a role to focus on first. Usually, whichever one jumps out to you as feeling the most natural or fun will be the right initial fit.
Now that you’ve decided what role fits your playstyle, you need to know how to play on a team. Vainglory teams are composed of three players on each side. One player sticks to the top road of the map, called the lane, and is usually referred to as the “laner.” One player usually strays into the jungle and thus is referred to as the “jungler.” Finally, teams usually have someone who roams around the map, supporting their teammates in fights and going wherever help is needed most. We call this person the “roamer” (sometimes called a “support” by players). We will have detailed guides for how to play all three positions later on. But in the meantime, know that when you select a team, it’s good to have one player in each position.
When you play, you’ll find that certain hero classes are best suited for certain positions. Mages and snipers usually excel at playing in the lane, while warriors and assassins usually play in the jungle. Protectors usually do great as roamers. But these are just guidelines. It’s suggested to start playing heroes in their traditional way, but feel free to experiment over time and find what works for you. Most heroes in Vainglory are highly flexible and can be molded into the position of your choosing. (Lyra, for example, is frequently used by experienced players mage-style in lane despite commonly being played as a roaming protector.) Keep playing and you’ll find not only the character that best fits your playstyle, but the best way to use them!
Now that you know what role to play, let’s move on to demystifying the item shop. Check back next week for our first article on what items to build and why.