Update 3.1 focused on fine-tuning 5V5 as it emerged out of the water. A meta has finally begun to develop, with crystal mages taking priority in the mid lane, while burst heroes and bruisers bully each other in the top and bottom lane. Tony was greeted with a fresh set of brass knuckles to flex into most positions — but not if the Demidog has a say. Through it all … SAW still drips tears.
Watch Out For
- Grumpjaw devoured competition in the 5V5 top lane and jungle meta. The Aftershock + Tension Bow item combo became popular quickly, with Stormcrown as a bonus in the top lane for faster clear speeds.
- Baptiste has been a strong pick since his release. As a bonus, he can flex into any position (except mid lane) or build path. This makes him a reliable draft pick that enemies will have a hard time selecting the relevant hero counter for. He plays best in the top lane where he can poke the leading bottom laners off.
- Celeste has floated around the top charts in 5V5. Crystal items as well as her abilities have gone relatively untouched in recent updates, while other prominent carries have been taxed.
- Krul is another hero that has been dominant since the start of 5V5. His innate tankiness counters a lot of the meta junglers who rely on warrior or bruiser play styles.
- Alpha took a hit in 3.1, but her consistency in sticking to enemy carries keeps her as a top pick. Being able to flex weapon or crystal is a huge plus for 5V5, where you want to balance your team’s build paths to make it difficult for the enemy to counter-build.
- Despite nerfs, Koshka remains a powerful jungler. Jungle camp experiences were increased in 3.1, which indirectly assists her in leveling up faster for her early game forte.
- Tony will likely remain a top pick and ban throughout this update. If you’re playing him as a captain, utilize his crowd control through ability chains, which we recently detailed in an article.
- Grace surged during the previous update, and her strength perhaps may have gone under the radar by SEMC’s balance team. Her weapon power took a slight hit, but otherwise she remains on top with other prominent captains receiving nerfs.
- Lyra received heavy buffs in Update 3.1. She may see an influx of play toward the end of the update cycle due to prioritization in the Vainglory Premier League pre-season.
- Churnwalker is likely to be the leading captain in competitive play. His kit requires coordination between the whole team, which makes for a difficult learning curve in solo queue environments. If your team works together well, he can be considered a top tier captain.
- Recently, Spellfire was buffed to proc Mortal Wounds (66% effectiveness for healing, barrier, and fortified life) on targets. This was brushed past for some time, but the item has now become a standard on ranged crystal carries who boast abilities with a short cooldown, like Celeste, Skaarf, and Kestrel.
- For 3V3 meta, the jungle and captain hero picks transition over. When comparing lanes, the 5V5 mid lane is most applicable to the 3V3 lane.
- Lane minions spawn 15 seconds earlier than before, forcing laners to tend to their wave quicker. Despite this, early game rotations remain the same with junglers taking the creatures while laners stand by to receive the ambient gold. Captains should place vision in map focal points and spot out the enemy’s rotations to avoid a snowball.
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