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Embrace your redemption – a guide to Grace in the Captain position

The new hero Grace has now been out on the Halcyon Fold for over a month, with her kit already making a significant impact on the meta. This analysis of the holy paladin will teach you how to stain the Fold red with blood, just like the flowers on the Grace Islands. 

Overview

Grace is an off-tank with immense Crowd Control (CC). Her abilities Benediction and Holy Nova respectively slow and stun her enemies. However, Grace often struggles when attempting to land abilities on Assassins or other elusive enemies. Her Holy Nova has a fairly long cast time, and thus can easily be blocked or dodged with Taka’s Kaiten, Vox’s Sonic Zoom, Idris’s Shroudstep and other similar dashes. Furthermore, her heroic perk, Retribution, locks her in place briefly as she deals a ground slam in a chained basic attack, so Grace should carefully choose where to use this perk or she may find herself caught out of position (i.e. under turret, or left behind on the outskirts of a teamfight). However, Retribution attacks also reduce the cooldowns of her abilities, which is very useful given her cooldowns are already low.

Grace introduces a new mechanic to Vainglory called a Holy Shield, which works similarly to Lance’s and Joule’s damage reduction. On Grace’s A and Ultimate, the shields around herself and her allies actively reduce the damage taken by 40 percent – and the damage reduction scales with crystal power. Holy Shield is one of the most valuable tools in her kit, as it not only protects her allies, but increases her own tankiness. Grace’s base health stats are lower than other melee captains, and thus the passive damage reduction for herself that also occurs upon learning Benediction is key.

Grace’s ability to protect and heal her allies are, in my opinion, on par with heroes such as Ardan, Lyra and Adagio. With a 10 second cooldown when overdriven, Grace will have her Benediction up as often as Ardan’s Vanguard and if upgraded fully, her ultimate Divine Intervention will have a 30 second cooldown. For the largest single target heal in the game combined with a full Holy Shield on both Grace and her targeted ally, the cooldown is extremely short, even without the cooldown reduction that occurs when utilising her heroic perk.

Abilities

Retribution
Heroic Perk
Grace chains her normal basic attack into a ground slam, dealing bonus weapon damage and slowing enemies in a wide area. If enemies are hit by the ground slam, her ability cooldowns are reduced.

Benediction
A
Grace dashes to her target, striking them with an empowered Retribution attack. Nearby allies instantly gain a directional holy shield that continually faces the target, while Grace gains a full holy shield that protects her from all sides.
Holy Shield (status effect):
Reduce incoming damage by 40% (+5% of crystal power).
Passive: Upon learning this ability, Grace permanently reduces all damage she receives by 10% (+5% of crystal power).
Overdrive: This ability is refreshed upon casing Divine Intervention.

Holy Nova
B
After a short delay, Grace knocks enemies into the air and disables them for a short time.
On Overdrive, Grace gains immunity to negative effects when casting this ability.
If this attack hits at least one enemy, Grace will immediately recover from the ability.
Deals 50% damage to minions.

Divine Intervention
Ultimate
Grace instantly surrounds herself and her target with a full holy shield and begins channeling for 1.8s after which Grace’s target receives a massive heal.

Ability Upgrades

On most occasions, I recommend overdriving Grace’s Benediction and fully upgrading Divine Intervention. The extra range when Benediction is overdriven allows for engages from further away, while also allowing Grace to chase down escaping targets. On the other hand, a fully-upgraded Divine Intervention has the strongest heal in the game, which can swing a teamfight in your favour. However, if you keep getting interrupted while casting Holy Nova, consider overdriving the ability, as it works similarly to Lance’s Gythian Wall. Having a spare reflex block can be a powerful tool, but often Grace’s stronger engages and higher healing when upgrading Benediction and Divine Intervention outweigh the benefits of this option.

Synergy

Grace synergises well with most heroes, especially those with engage tools. Her ability to hard-engage while reducing the damage dealt against allies works very well with squishier assassins and snipers. Due to her massive healing potential and inbuilt CC, most compositions will work well with Grace. Below, I’ve focused on a couple of heroes who I feel benefit most from Grace’s kit.

Joule
With Joule’s Heroic Perk, Heavy Plating, Joule has bonus armour and shield on all sides except the back of her model. When Grace’s Benediction is used on an enemy, the increased damage reduction means that Joule’s tankiness is increased to ridiculous levels for a carry – while the slow from Benediction allows Joule a much easier time when landing her Rocket Leap stun. Additionally, as Joule loves to stay in the middle of fight, landing massive crits on all enemies, Grace’s ultimate Divine Intervention can extend her window for outputting damage by another 2 or 3 seconds, which makes all the difference in a crucial teamfight.

Grumpjaw
Grace’s slows and stuns allows Grumpjaw to easily land his abilities, chaining the CC together for a deadly combination. For example, Grace engages on the enemy carry with Benediction, while Grumpjaw follows up with Grumpy. Grace has meanwhile repositioned to use Holy Nova, which allows Grumpjaw to target the enemy carry with Hangry immediately, dealing massive burst damage. Grace can continue to chain Retribution attacks to slow the enemy team, which also enables Grumpjaw to more easily land his Stuffed ability. This synergy and potential for chaining abilities is lethal.

Alpha
Similarly to Grumpjaw, Grace’s kit allows Alpha to easily engage her enemies with her Prime Directive and Core Charge, and also utilise Termination Protocol to decimate the enemy. Both Grace’s Benediction and Holy Nova facilitate Alpha dealing massive damage throughout the teamfight, locking enemies in place and allowing an Alpha to land her Prime Directive much easier.

Taka
Grace’s CC, damage reduction and healing will allow Taka to have more chances to burst down the opposition. Kaiten will be easier to land and X-Retsu will be even deadlier. Given Taka is a squishy assassin, the damage reduction when diving into teamfights allows Taka to be much more aggressive, especially knowing that a massive heal is on hand if his health drops low.

Koshka
Grace’s slows and stuns again allow Koshka to catch fleeing enemies with her abilities. The empowered basic attacks from Twirly Death will be easier to land on stunned and slowed enemies. If timed right Grace can rush in with Benediction and use Holy Nova for a three hero stun, then let Koshka dive in and delete the enemy carry with a Pouncy Fun and Twirly Death, then turning focus to the enemy jungler with a Yummy Catnip Frenzy. This chain of attacks is scary to think about.

Item Build and Playstyle

To abuse the highest move speed in the game, Grace players often buy Sprint Boots at the start. This allows her to outpace all other enemies in the early game, which is deceptively strong. A trend has been to buy a Weapon Blade and solo invade the enemy’s jungle, while allowing your carry and jungler to farm by themselves. Other options when starting are boots and a Tier 1 defense item building towards Fountain of Renewal, or a contract such as an Ironguard or Protector Contract (even Dragonblood, depending on your intended level of aggression).

After the early game, Fountain of Renewal should be the first Tier 3 item. From there, it becomes more situational. The standard captain items can be built on Grace, such as Atlas Pauldron, War Treads and Crucible – depending on priority and necessity. However, other Tier 3 items are also quite viable on Grace and synergise well with her kit. It has become popular in professional play to buy an Echo after reaching level 6, which allows Grace’s ultimate Divine Intervention to be used twice in a teamfight. Additionally, Grace’s kit scales well with crystal power, thus a Shatterglass is also commonly found in Grace builds. Furthermore, Contraption and Stormcrown are two other options which provide cooldown reduction, which is useful in combination with Grace’s Retribution perk – her abilities can be up more frequently than any other captain.

In teamfights, Grace should use Benediction on the enemy that is either the squishiest or is outputting the most damage (often this is the same hero). This allows damage reduction to occur, while also isolating a squishy target for your team to delete. When casting Divine Intervention, the 1.8 second cast time must be taken into account – in this period, damage reduction occurs, but the heal is not cast until after the delay. It is often wise to cast the ability when an ally is at half health instead of waiting until they are near-death, as the heal may otherwise be too late to save them. Additionally, Grace’s Holy Nova should be used to interrupt powerful abilities or stun the weapon carry on the opposition team – or both at once. A well-positioned Holy Nova can win a close teamfight, landing an area-of-effect stun on the entire enemy team.

Grace is an extremely powerful hero with immense potential. With practice, I hope that you can all rule the fold with the paladin, protecting your allies and dominating your enemies all day long. Good luck!


Written by KerryX
Revised and edited by hoIIand

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Unravelling Update 2.6

Hey everyone! Time for EZL to breakdown Vainglory’s Update 2.6, in which we are introduced to the paladin of Gythia, Grace. She’s able to eradicate her enemies with her mace, while at the same time continually lowering her ability cooldowns with her heroic perk. She also comes packed with massive single target heals and the ability to generate holy shields to protect her team. Be sure to grab her for ICE to get ahead of the rest of the pack, and don’t forget about her Talents!

Skins

Along with the new hero, we’re going to see a few new skins rolling out. The most notable of these is for the ever elusive pilot Skye, who’s now going to be grounded with her ‘Ride or Die’ skin. The Super Evil Megacorp (SEMC) team is really stretching their fingers with this never-before-seen model change, redesigning the mech to transform into a sports motorcycle! Make sure you grab the smoke-trailing, blue and purple laser shooting skin for ICE, or if you’re feeling lucky, take your chances with the special Ride or Die Mystery Chest, which offers a 1/20 chance of grabbing her skin!

Next on the list is ‘Evolution’ Samuel, rocking a binary Vainglory logo… we get it SEMC, you’re showing off. Check out the mage fully immersing himself with technology, with cyborg prosthetics and pixelated abilities. It’s the beginning of the end, don’t miss your chance to join him. Grab his skin for 1499 ICE or his skin and Talent bundle for 1999 ICE!

It seems Krul isn’t the only deathless character out there now… introducing the Slavic ‘Deathless’ Reim rare skin! Make sure you grab this withered skin in game, featuring an ice forged staff and a helmet adorned with golden wolves.

Last, and definitely not least, we’re introduced to ‘School Days Koshka’, the latest installment in the School Days set of skins. Available for purchase either directly or in a Talent bundle, you don’t want to be late grabbing this fuzzy pawed feline, equipped with danger claws and kitty face stockings. This frenzied character is one you definitely want on your side – trust me, her claws don’t get trimmed often.

Market Improvements

Aside from the new skins, we’re going to see a few market improvements. Vainglory welcomes back the old Mystery Chests (Thank you PlayoffBeard!), so when you want Talents you’ll need to buy a Talent Chest, as Mystery Chests now contain heroes, skins, glory and opals only. Also, for those of you who accidentally wasted all your glory by bulk buying that epic Saw Talent, ‘hold to confirm’ is now set up to stop this from happening again!

Live Game Improvement

Vainglory is moving onto their next view for 2017! With Talents already out, it’s time to see our live game improvements. Replacing the question ping is now a verbal cue for our question mark spams: the message button. Now you can tell that feeding Ringo to buy some defense, your drunk Ardan to grab some vision, your jungle baby Reim to push the lane for the win, and much, much more. Tired of roamers buying 12 minute fountains, or not getting an Atlas Pauldron early when there is an enemy Saw? How about having your weapon power teammate build a Poison Shiv because an Ozo isn’t leaving you alone? Well now you can let them know by suggesting ANY item to a specific teammate during the match.

Not only are item suggestions now a thing, but so are cooldown messages. Wanting to tell your team to wait before engaging because your ult isn’t up? How about timing everything for the perfect Impale & Big Red Button combo? Well now, with the push of a button, you can let your teammates know how long it will be until you can Bangarang or Gauntlet to shut the enemy team down. It seems SEMC is really listening to us, especially with them also bringing back our three quest slots again! Hello more rewards!

Briefly touching on Blitz: are you tired of going 0-4 but putting in 12 objective points on your own to win the game? Blitz is now going to show individual scores instead of KDA so you finally can get the recognition you deserve. Additionally, Talents get a nice change, as you’re now able to see them on the hero select screen. It’s great for those of us who forget which legendary talents we own.

But we’re missing the big point, the Summer season is now on! Use those season payouts to grab the hero you’ve been drooling over, or even max out some Talents to dominate brawls or private matches with friends. Bigger payouts are heading our way this season, so make sure you get your guilds leveled up this season! Of course, let’s not forget the soft reset of Visual Skill Tier (VST). When you log-in after the update goes live, you’ll see a drop of about one skill tier (with the change being higher or lower depending on your decay and overall tier), but don’t worry! If you don’t feel like grinding your rank back up to Vainglorious, your highest tier is still immortalized in your trophies. Additionally, for those of you who either plan on jumping into the pool with your phone in your pocket – or do so without meaning to – your skill tier now has a decay floor! This means that VST won’t decay indefinitely, so if it takes a few weeks to get a new phone, Hotness players won’t find themselves back at Credible Threat.

Matchmaking Changes

Here’s something that everyone really cares about: changes to matchmaking. Update 2.6 introduces a new matchmaking algorithm, so be on the lookout for fairer matches and shorter queue times (Enmitous: Thank goodness, no more 30 minute waits in queue… *shudders*). Vainglory is also one step closer to reintroducing the ‘one tier’ rule, meaning players can only create ranked parties with friends either one skill tier higher or lower, which looks to be an important step forward for fairness while ranking.

Hero and Balance Change

Heroes:

  • The monster of solo queue, Baron, is getting his basic attack weapon damage nerfed from 130% to 125%… trust me, that smaller rocket launcher will feel a lot less powerful.
  • Aggressive Flicker mains rejoice! Mooncloak is getting a huge decrease in cooldown.
  • Grumpjaw was hurting a bit too much a bit too quickly, and without repercussion. Now, he’ll eat you less often and won’t retain his Living Armor stacks for as long.
  • Kestrel is next on the list, and we can now look forward to a longer Adrenaline duration  – meaning you get a better chance of reducing your energy costs – with her Glimmershot reload time also being shortened significantly.
  • Krul hasn’t been played much in recent metas, so it’s time to get him back out on the Fold. Higher base weapon damage and a shorter ‘From Hell’s Heart’ cooldown gives him a much stronger early game to keep up with everyone.
  • SEMC finally saw that Lance was boasting a bit too much Crowd Control potential. To correct this, his Gythian Wall cooldown has been extended. Also, Lance apparently wasn’t doing enough damage after his Combat Roll, so be expecting slightly harder hits from that Tension Bow-building Lance.
  • Samuel has always been able to dish out some serious damage, but absolutely needs his Drifting Dark, which KILLS his energy, especially when partnered with spamming Malice and Verdicts. Now, energy cost of his A has been lowered substantially, so expect more damage coming your way before Samuel runs out of energy.
  • Lastly, it seems Vox has remained slightly stronger than intended, so a little drop on his attack speed to bring him in line with other heroes should balance him out nicely.

Items:

  • Poisoned Shiv is the only item being adjusted this update, being nerfed from 35% attack speed to 30% to make it more situational rather than the singular most powerful option in many cases.

Blitz:

  • Blitz is also receiving a balance change with a weakened middle sentry, as it was hitting a bit too hard.

Talents:

  • Numerous talents received buffs and nerfs, including Idris’s crazy Path of the Seeker, Blackfeather’s Hummingbird Heart and Alpha’s Core Overclock, which were all reduced in effectiveness.

Update 2.6 is a huge update pushing Vainglory towards its second big goal in 2017. SEMC have really listened to us when making changes and improvements, which bodes really well. Hopefully, we’ll see many more community ideas rolling out in the future, as we get closer to the much-anticipated release of 5v5.

Article written by Enmitous and KerryX, and edited by hoIIand

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The EZL Brawlers Club

Calling all Vainglory players who enjoy playing with friends and having fun! A fairly recent initiative in EZL, called the EZL Brawlers Club, is approaching its 4th week, and after having been hosted by streamers TDogClisis, Skorpius and star TSM captain FlashX, is ready for more players to join in on the action. If you haven’t heard of the Brawlers Club before, let’s fill you in on what you’ve been missing.

The EZL Brawlers Club was a natural extension of the former EZL minigames nights. As the popularity of minigames grew and grew, we founded a new, dedicated department called Brawlers Club. Every Friday night, from 7pm – 10pm CST, Brawlers Club host Brawl game modes for everyone to battle it out in Blitz or Battle Royale, while on Saturday nights from 8pm – 10pm CST, we host a variety of minigames, especially created for Brawlers Club. To participate, all you need to do is join the Discord: https://discord.me/ezlbrawlers, and queue up to play. The players who’ve been involved previously would all testify to one thing – Brawlers Club is tons of fun!

To find out more about Brawlers Club, you can head to the Discord and ask the staff any questions you may have. Additionally, the Brawlers Club website (http://brandezl.webflow.io/brawlersclub) has some cool resources, such as a wicked-cool filter for your profile picture and downloadable wallpapers, along with rules and information.

Tonight, we have a very special streamer hosting the minigames. Woodworking, the analyst for Ardent, and a well-known Vainglory content creator on YouTube and Twitch, will be partaking in some of the fun! The minigames tonight will be streamed on his Twitch channel (https://www.twitch.tv/woodworking), so head on over and give him a follow. We hope to see you there!

Article written by hoIIand

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South American Draft League – Season 2

EZL is delighted to announce that Season 2 of the EZL Draft League has begun in South America! With more than 450 people applying to participate, competition for spots in the league was fierce, as everyone wanted to get in on the action. After the draft, 16 teams were formed, and have just now begun to battle it out. Over the next eight weeks, these teams will continue to clash, hoping to claim a share of the massive 65 000+ ICE prize pool on offer.

The teams will be split into two divisions: Aquarius and Taurus. After going through the two weeks of balancing, then completing the five-week regular season – which consists of a round robin stage of teams divided into subgroups, with teams switching subgroups depending on their results – the eight teams with the highest number of points will enter the week-long playoffs. Points will be awarded depending on the number of series won by each team during the regular season, with each series being best-of-three. When the league heads into playoffs, the format switches to single-elimination. Series will remain best-of-three in the playoffs until the final, which will become a best-of-five battle for the championship. This format promises to bring us plenty of action and intense dueling!

This second season of the South American Draft League has plenty of competition. According to the Head of SA, Painkllr, teams to follow include:

  • Princesas Divinas – Captain: OneForAII
  • LosSacoWeas – Captain: FerchoStyle
  • Team Sin Mar – Captain: cdBiohazard

Meanwhile, there are a couple of star players who will be competing in this iteration of EZL! From those three teams listed above come RY4NX, Matalex and SirApple respectively, who all have professional experience and are known to be some of the best players on the SA server. Watch out for these teams and their stars to shine!

Just as is currently occurring in the EZL NAes Draft League, some of the matches in the SA Draft League will be streamed by partnered content creators of EZL. Once again, check out and follow the Twitch channels of Fonclais (http://www.twitch.tv/Fonclais), iStephanieMoreno (http://www.twitch.tv/iStephanieMoreno), and RamKaos (http://www.twitch.tv/RamKaos) – these guys will be streaming a number of exciting series throughout the season!

The second season of the EZL SA Draft League is shaping up to be truly amazing. Stay tuned and support the teams as they all look to win the championship!

Aquarius Division Standings

Taurus Division Standings

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Announcing the inaugural NAes Draft League

Para leer este articulo en español, click aquí

EZL is excited to announce the beginning of Season 1 in the NAes Draft League – a new division of EZL created specifically for our Spanish-speaking members who play on the NA server. We received almost two-hundred applications to participate in Season 1 of NAes! After completing the draft on the 14th of May, eight teams of four players have been formed – all of whom will be competing for a share in the total prize pool of 31 000 ICE. Check below for the distribution of ICE, which will be awarded according to the final placings of the teams.

Place ICE
1st TBC*
2nd TBC*
3rd TBC*
4th TBC*
5th TBC*
6th TBC*

*EDIT: After the publishing of this article, ICE distribution for NAes was revised and is currently being finalised. Correct ICE distribution will be published in the near future.

NAes Draft League is in a round robin format, and will last for seven weeks (not including the preseason) from the 21st of May until the 9th of July. Each team will play the other seven teams twice throughout the season, in a best-of-three series: consisting of a standard draft-mode match for the first two games, and a standard blind-pick match if the series goes to the decider. There will be two series for each team per week. Also, a new point system will be in play for NAes, with three points given to winner of each series and zero points given to the losing team. Standings in NAes will be determined by the number of points each team has gained.

This upcoming season looks to be competitive and full of thrills! According to the Painkllr, the man in charge of the league, EMMANUEL1’s team Asesinos de Élite is quite possibly the one to beat. Also, watch out for JoshuaAlonso’s team Rhino Rampage, which is set to make a big splash. Top players such as AndroiDe29 from Rhino Rampage, and Elcocoxd and Deivid11057 from Asesinos de Élite are shaping up to star for their respective teams.

A number of NAes matches will be streamed by our partnered content creators – Fonclais (http://www.twitch.tv/Fonclais), iStephanieMoreno (http://www.twitch.tv/iStephanieMoreno), and RamKaos (http://www.twitch.tv/RamKaos) – and casted by Reckoning35. Every broadcast will be hosted by one of these amazing streamers; be sure to check out their Twitch channels and hit that follow button! This Friday, on the 26th of May, there will be two matches streamed live on RamKaos’ channel, so tune in and enjoy the action.

NAes Draft League is an exciting new development in EZL, and we wish the members and captains competing the best of luck. May the best team win!

Point Standings

Team Rosters

https://www.toornament.com/tournaments/5919ee41150ba0825f8b460e/information

*The point standings and team rosters are hosted and will be updated on Toornament, a website and app that allows organising of tournaments such as the NAes Draft League. Search for Toornament in the Google Play Store or in the Apple App Store to download the app, then search for “EZL Draft LEAGUE NAes”  – or visit the above link.

Rules (Español only)
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B1TGEqAGUnoLdWRpam1IQTV0Zjg/view