Last updated 03/16/2016 for update 1.15.
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Due to the popularity of buff comps, Adagio undisputedly sits atop of the list. When utilized by high synergy teams, his fah-bulous Agent of Wrath buff and Verse of Judgement damage cause severe damage-trade problems from early to late-game.
With the addition of draft mode for Hotness and above, many heroes such as Glaive, Blackfeather, or Taka have lost their place in the Jungle meta due to the risk of getting counter picked by Reim, Petal, or Krul.
The format of the 1.15 tier list is slightly different than previously; it is broken down into three tiers: META, MID, and BOTTOM. Each hero includes a list of pros and cons to help you understand why they’re good and how you might go about countering them. This new format comes from our newest guest author, Wailmer, who is a long time Vainglory veteran and member of the Ardent guild. He is also a Pokémon.
Meta Tier Most Picked/Banned and Consistently Outperforms in High Elo
Adagio Half Elder Dragon… but all fabulous
+[Flex Pick] Versatile pick in Draft formats as carry or support. Forces back opposing laners early game with range and wins prolonged damage trades by replenishing both HP and Mana from Gift of Fire – a heal, AoE DoT, and potential CC slow all in one.
+[Buff and Verse Damage] Agent of Wrath is the primary damage boost skill featured in ‘buff’ comps and works well with heroes like Vox, Saw, Ringo, and Ozo. Additionally, Verse of Judgement has incredible damage and can potentially stun an entire team, forcing opponents to activate Crucible.
– [Counter: Mobility] Lacks mobility other than boots. GoF is not a reliable defensive escape.
– [Single Target ‘Stepped’ Damage] Lags behind the AoE or burst of other carries due to stepped damage. Has difficulty facing off against many matchups alone.
Vox Were you rushing or dragging? That stutter-step is not quite my tempo.
+[Kiting, Mobility] The Kiting King. Vox uses Sonic Zoom to chase and always be just out of reach. Pulse slows and has echolocation properties.
+[End Game, Burst Clump Damage] Vox wins end game engagements with massive Resonance damage to clumped enemies and a silencing Ultimate on a low CD.
– [Early Game] Weak before items and ultimate are acquired. Counter his farm by forcing him into helping Jungle.
– [Counter: Range, No Damage without Resonance] Short range and reliant on Resonance for amplified damage. Block his Pulse and ultimate when diving.
Blackfeather Death by 1000 cuts…
+[Poke to Sustain, Pursuit to Execute] On Point is an excellent poke that generates a small barrier. Much like Fortress, Blackfeather can help a team chase down with Rose Trail and burst finish off a target. A complicated kit, but full of good stuff.
+[Repositioning, Skill Negation] In the running for top skill in the game, Rose Offensive is a FoF (Fight or Flight) skill that does AoE damage. Its strongest aspect is that during use, Blackfeather is immune, rendering many hero skills effectively useless.
– [Poke Game] Because Blackfeather is reliant on B for sustain, he is susceptible to poke after a miss. Safely trade damage with him from a distance.
– [Build Up] Blackfeather also is strongest during prolonged fights where he’s built Heartthrob stacks and kept Focus. Choose when to engage and disengage to methodically truncate his effectiveness.
Catherine Excels at spending all gold on Mines and Flares.
+[Mobility, CC Combos] With a Merciless Pursuit stun on a set 13-sec CD, a silencing ultimate, and tied for the fastest move speed (3.4), Catherine is a CC, disrupting, dive-and-flee gnat that constantly threatens potential combos.
+[Support Value, Damage Reflection] Requires little gold to be effective. Especially high value against glass cannons like Kestrel where her defensive bubble can reflect obscene amounts of damage.
– [Early Game, Sustain or Tanky Damage Tradeoffs] Detriment in early damage trades that extends into other stages of the game when glassy heroes are not involved.
– [Skill Management] Her kit requires good team awareness, reaction speed, and coordination. Cath also usually has a few points in a game where she will be low on energy.
Ardan Sheds manly tears when a dog, sexy lady, emo elf, or Godzilla are picked over him.
+[Sustain, CC, and Mobility] Healing from Julia’s gift and pinball mobility with the swiss-army knife Vanguard (HP barrier, escape, AoE damage, slap-ass boost of speed, and slow all-in-one) provide top-level sustain and movement. Gauntlet punishes opposing teams without Blocks as an initiator, separator, team escape, pre-emptive barrier, or a flashy leap over walls.
+[Early Damage Trades, Roamer] Wins prolonged damage trades over other Roamers at most parts of the game using the gap-closing offensive skill Blood for Blood. Also a competent carry.
– [Impact] Lacks the combo strength of a Cath or Phinn or the team boost of an Adagio or Fortress. Extremely significant in endgame when 1 or 2 engagements may determine the winner.
Ringo Tip: Don’t play drinking games involving accuracy with Ringo.
+[Reliable Ranged Damage Levels 1-12] Reliable source of ranged damage and rotations from beginning to end of match.
+[Pokes, Slows, Initiator, Finisher] Achilles Shot is a slow, insta-cast, and good poke. Hellfire Brew is both a great long-distance initiator or finisher.
– [Mobility and Squishy] 3.1 speed (compensated by Twirling Silver), average range (6.0), and squishiness make Ringo a natural target. Attack him when Twirling Silver stops.
Mid Tier Mid-level Results / Comp-Specific / Situational Counter
Skaarf Like lighting a match in a Taco Bell bathroom
+ [CP Poke, Mid-End Game] Mid to end game CP damage from Fan the Flames, Spitfire, and Goop must be respected. Spitfire is the longest spammable skill in game.
+ [Objective Clear] Fast objective takedown speed.
– [Mobility, Squishy] Reliant on boots as Goop provides little in the way of escape.
– [Counter: Skill CDs] Dive on Skaarf after a missed Spitfire or Goop. Run a circle around Skaarf when he does Dragon Breath.
Reim Extra in Dentyne Ice commercials.
+[Wombo Combo] Killing a hero is as easy as A-B-C. Combo’ing Chill Winds and Valkyrie is possibly the largest burst in game. Partner with Phinn for fun times.
+[Melee Matchups] Fortified HP from Frostguard allows Reim to consistently out-trade melee heroes.
– [Kiting, Pokes] The travel time and telegraphed direction of Winter Spire are countered by heroes that kite well or have good pokes. Likewise, if Reim isn’t on top of his target when it flees, he usually won’t finish it.
– [One and Done] A common problem of old men, after Reim unleashes his big combo, he needs to wait a bit before he’s ready to be effective again.
Krul Is that a sword through your chest or are you just happy to see me?
+[Negating Targets] Krul is a natural ambusher with Shadows Empower Me and reduces the target’s movement speed. He can also reduce damage output with his Weakness stacks, making Krul particularly good at negating opposing carries.
+[Top Level Sustain] With a barrier from Dead Man’s Rush and heal from Spectral Smite, Krul is a great pick for prolonged engagements and low mobility matchups.
– [All-In Attacks] Engagements must be surgical as they are an all-in with little to offer after. Somewhat of a solo act and lacking in team synergy.
– [Counters: Early Game, Kiting, Atlas] Krul often loses pace in early game. Kite him in engagements and use Atlas to shuts down his WP speed, a key to Krul gameplay.
Skye It’s an APU. Don’t over-squeeze the trigger.
+[Collateral Damage] Skye’s kit has an assortment of surprisingly high indiscriminate AoE damage.
+[Positional Control] Reposition with Suri juke to counter immobile or skill-shot heroes. Frostburn is considered her core item. Even more positional control with a super short CD Stunning Ultimate.
– [Damage Trade Reliabilty] Zone with range or juke Skye into missed shots to severely truncate her damage output.
– [Counter: Insta-Hit] Suri Strike repositioning has reduced effectiveness against auto-hit heroes like Ringo or the resonance bounces of Vox.
Koshka In the jungle, the mighty jungle…
+[Mobility, Early-Mid Damage, and Clear Speed] Intense pressure on early-mid game with mobility and damage through Pounce, Twirly Death, and her Heroic Perk. Highly suggest you just avoid fights with an early game Koshka!
+[Low Skill Cap] Little in energy concerns and relatively easy to generate effective results.
– [End Game, Squishy, Blocked Skills] Huge drop off in value when Yummy Catnip Frenzy or Twirly Death are blocked.
– [Counters: Mitigate Twirly Death] Minimize her damage by not clumping or fighting near minion camps.
Glaive Just a reincarnating, blind, saber-tooth cat humanoid warrior brandishing a rocket-fueled axe on a chain with great dental hygiene.
+[Sustain, Flex Pick] Glaive has the highest effective HP pool in game other than Phinn and lifesteal from Bloodsong stacks. Good as a Laner, Jungler, or Roam
+[Fight or Flight Button, AoE Damage] Afterburn is a persistent combo, escape, and knock-back threat. Produces game-changing AoE bursts with on-Crit cleave, Twisted Stroke, and Bloodsong. Huge utility from double infusions!
– [Early Game Skill Management] Pre-overdrive Afterburn is on a dreadfully slow 24 second cooldown.
– [Stacks, Aftershock] Very average threat without stacks (after spawn or Bloodsong usage). Use Aftershock to counter Glaive’s health pool.
+[Gap Close] Perk and Truth of the Tooth generate high-pressure gap close (or when used cleverly, escapes). With coordination, no boots are needed.
+[Team Engagement] Ultimate Attack of the Pack is a great initiator, scouter, generates bonus HP, and dose of chaos. Fortress elevates the viability of many heroes by compensating for their lack of speed or damage. Mortal Wound from the wolves or Law of the Claw stops healing and adds a strong damage burst.
– [Stay With the Pack] Becomes a potato if not running with the pack or when running away. Squishy for a melee and can’t win damage trades alone.
– [Squishy] Often a great first target that can’t body block like other supports.
Petal How did the guard with the injured leg joint recover? He botany!
+[Versatile Seeds and Munions, Mobility] Seeds and Munions have unique applications including vision, defensive buff, healing, knockback, freezing minions, fat-fingering enemy clicks, and a low CD mobility skill.
+[Early Jungle Matchups] Very effective at winning and controlling early jungle versus heroes that have trouble moving and hitting her minions, such as Glaive.
– [Squishy, End Game] End game falls off with possibly the worst return on items in the game.
– [Munions Hard Countered] Versus heroes who can take down her Munions fast (such as Skye or Contraption), CP Petal is often reduced to a base auto-attack.
Joule Winner of 2015 Battlebots Competition
+[Well-Rounded Competency, Uh-Oh Button] With 3.4 move speed and a 10-sec overdrive Rocket Leap, Joule has mobility/CC comparable to Cath and Glaive. A true face-forward tank, Heavy Plating eats oncoming attacks when facing the opponent.
+[Burst] WP Thunder Strike builds lead to shocking crit numbers. CP Joule is one of the best one-shot wombo-combos in the game.
– [Cooldowns] Skill-shot hero that loses output between missed skills, especially CP Joule.
– [B-Grade Poke] Thunderstrike is at times outclassed by the poke of other heroes like Kestrel, Skaarf, and Celeste.
Taka Great at opening cans or stealing cookies.
+[Burst, Mid Game] Pervasive burst KO threat and minion stealer. Hits a power spike once his ultimate is unlocked.
+[Slippery Mobility, ‘Wildcard’ Hero] Fast and slippery, Taka can constantly be a menace and give a less organized team a chance to steal the game. With sharp reaction, use Kaiten to dodge CC skills like Celeste’s Core Collapse or even nullify damage from ultimates.
– [Counters: Vision, Coordination] Well-placed Wision and team coordination tend to suffocate Taka’s advantages.
– [End Game, Solo Act] Falls off when mid-game advantage is not secured. Taka usually does not have Ki stacks up in endgame standoffs and thus usually predictably leads with X-Retsu. Like Krul, somewhat lacking in team utility other than just bursting down one target.
Ozo Join me on a journey to the west!
+[Base Stats, A Skill Abuse] At the top of base stats, Ozo is a hero you want to fight often and early with. Abuse Three Ring Circus with items like Aftershock, Alternating Current, and Tension Bow.
+[Sustain] Like Phinn, Ozo has an interesting perk that enhances his sustain. Partner him sustain sources like Adagio, Fortress, Phinn, or Ardan and use items like Fountain and Block items to watch him go Super Saiyan.
– [Sitting Duck Crying Monkey, Late Game] Teams will focus Ozo during Acrobounce (which deals the largest of damage on the last bounce) and block Bangarang (Hook or Skrillex?), leaving him to be a three-ring circus clown.
Phinn No sir, I’m not Godzilla
+[Super Tank and Team Sustain] With double the effects of defense items, a team-wide barrier, and the largest character model to shadow teammates from targeting, Phinn keeps teammates alive.
+[CC Terror] With Quibble, Forced Accord, and Polite Company, Phinn has three CC’s on short CD that combo well with other heroes like Reim and Skaarf.
– [Early Game Rotations] By far the slowest hero in the game at 2.8 move speed, it’s difficult for Phinn’s team to not be gold deficient by mid-game in Jungle due to his rotations. If gone unpunished, Phinn will take over late game.
– [Counters: Mobility, Stacking Items/Skills] Counter Phinn’s mobility, a team-wide liability, by moving in and out, picking off the other targets, and building stacks off him.
Bottom Tier Rarely Used In Meta/Consistently Underperforms
Celeste Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s Solar Storm about to steal Kraken.
+[Zoning] Top level ranged zoning and vision with Heliogenesis and her Heroic Perk. Disrupts standoffs between opposing teams with Nova poke damage.
+[CP AoE Damage] Global ultimate, Heliogenesis, and Core Collapse produce high AoE damage mid to late game.
– [Counter: Mobility, Squishy] Poor ability to rotate safely in early jungle with short range, squishiness, and lack of mobility. Late game, use strats that dive and burst.
– [High Skill Cap] Requires immaculate prediction and skill shots to fulfill potential. Win or loss is often in the placement of one Core Collapse.
Saw The walking turret…
+[Early Game, Lane Push Strats] The strongest Level 1 engage. Dominates 1v1 in Lane for most early matchups.
+[CP Assassin or WP Damage] CP Saw is a bursting, shanking assassin while an anchored WP Saw can mow down an entire team (Mad Cannon benefits from both WP/CP).
– [Mobility and Damage Tradeoffs] Unreliable mobility and damage tradeoff of Suppressing Fire, Roadie Run (effective fight or flight like Afterburn), and Spin Up stacks quickly turn Saw into a sitting duck or leave him with no ability to pursue.
– [Counters: Stacks, Rotations] Select when to disengage, wait for stacks to drop, and restart the fight. Additionally, Saw cannot keep up with shifting rotations around the map.
Rona …death by Snu Snu
+[Early-Mid Game, Farm Clear and Mobility] Strong early game, including one of the fastest farm speeds. Mobility/escape button with Into the Fray. Foesplitter gap closes, gives a speed buff, combos well with Aftershock, and generates high burst.
+[WP Sustain, Objective Clear] Serpent’s Mask with Red Mist is a perfect WP sustain combo that also takes objectives fast.
– [Late game] Advantages tend to dip off and is completely overshadowed by her counterpart Glaive.
– [Counter: Zoning/Kiting Comps] Difficulty building rage meter and generating damage against good kiting comps.
Kestrel Pew pew.
+ [Poke and Snipe, Early Game] Plays Poker, likes Pokemon, and eats Poke bowls. Glimmershot and One-Shot-One-Kill will either chunk you locally or snipe you globally. Very strong in the first few rotational engages.
+ [Stealth Mode] Like Taka, Kestrel has the option to disengage but with the added threat of an AoE stun.
– [4 and Done, Dives] With only four arrows in her quiver at a time, she becomes elf meat after unleashing her payload. It also takes time for her to fire all four, so a good coordinated dive can quickly eliminate her.
– [Counter: Body Block, Catherine] Put a tanky hero between her and your carry to absorb the bulk WP portion of her arrows to stop an ultimate from taking down a teammate.
Due to popular demand, we’ve created the Hero Tier List Archives to help players compare changes between Vainglory updates.