EZL is proud to introduce a new series of short articles that will focus on explaining the roles within Vainglory! Additionally, they will touch on the potential effects of 5v5 on the viability of heroes in each role. This article will be the first of the series, centering on the captain position.
While some of this information may already be familiar to many of you, we hope that this guide and analysis will prove beneficial regardless. Be sure to let us know if you have any questions or would like us to further explain any specific areas!
There are currently 3 different roles in Vainglory:
Leaving the jungler and carry roles for subsequent articles, we have the role of the captain to explore. The core of the team, a captain’s main responsibility is to protect the carry and jungler, keeping them alive as long as possible and allowing them to deal damage. They do this through tanking damage, healing allies with Fountain of Renewal and using crowd-control (CC) to disrupt the opposing team. Captains will often also act as playmakers or shotcallers, leading their team around the Halcyon Fold. Abilities like Lance’s Impale, Catherine’s Merciless Pursuit, Lyra’s Arcane Passage and Fortress’ Attack of the Pack are frequently used to engage teamfights or to ambush an isolated enemy carry. Furthermore, captains should build items which counter the enemy composition and builds. This includes a Crucible if there are heavy crowd-control abilities on the other team, an Atlas Pauldron if there is an attack-speed reliant enemy carry or jungler, and a Contraption if vision needs to be prioritized when versing stealth heroes.
In a close matchup, being a reliable, competent captain will make all the difference when it comes to whether it is your vain crystal or your opponents’ that shatters at the end of the game.
Common qualities of a good captain include:
- Quick and accurate reflexes
If playing captain, it’s almost a given that you’re going to be buying Crucible to block abilities like Phinn’s Forced Accord, Catherine’s Blast Tremor or Samuel’s Oblivion. Skilled captains are able to protect their allies by timing Crucible perfectly.
- Solid positioning in teamfights
Positioning is a key part for all of Vainglory, but captains are especially reliant on being effective in this area. Depending on whether they are playing a healer, an initiator or a tank, a proficient captain adjusts their positioning within teamfights to support and protect their team to an optimal degree. This includes body-blocking abilities like Kestrel’s Glimmershots and Skye’s Forward Barrage, or focusing and locking down a vulnerable carry with a stun and an Atlas Pauldron.
- Consistent vision control and map awareness
Vision and map awareness is an integral part of vainglory, and a captain is often primarily responsible for these areas. While carries and junglers should not entirely disregard their own responsibilities in these sections, a captain often leads the team by example, placing scout traps in key locations and using flares to avoid unexpected ambushes around the map. As Flicker says: “One cannot fight what one does not see!” A good captain facilitates map control with expertise, often causing the game to swing in their team’s favor.
- Teamwork skills and shotcalling
Having coordination among a team is extremely important in Vainglory, with well-drilled teams that move on the same page constantly outperforming teams of star individuals who do not work well together. An accomplished captain often improves their team’s cooperation, facilitating the growth of synergy within the team. This is done through shotcalling and management of macroplay, allowing all members of the team to work towards victory in an effective manner.
Having discussed the role and some of the qualities of a capable captain, it’s time to conclude this article. Playing as a captain is a huge responsibility, especially in professional Vainglory esports. In the top levels of play, the position has a massive impact on the outcome of a match – think of gabevizzle, ScarShield (formerly ACEScoSa) and FlashX. If you’re looking for players to model your own gameplay around in the captain position, look no further than these stars.
Stay tuned for our next article in our Roles in Vainglory series, which will delve into the impact the upcoming 5v5 game mode will have on the captain position. Until then, we wish you all the best in protecting and leading your team on the Halcyon Fold!