Vainglory 5V5 vision increases your map awareness, and thus your knowledge of the enemy’s location and what they are doing. If you can see all five enemies on the other side of the map you know it’s safe to push your lane and land free hits on their turret. Conversely, if three enemies are missing, they could be coming to gank you — so it’s best to play it safe rather than be sorry. To accomplish these goals, you first must understand the Vainglory 5V5 vision system.
From Old to New
We’re used to a plenitude of vision in Vainglory 3V3, but in some ways that is unhealthy. It enables a team that is ahead to cement their lead with long-lasting vision across the Fold, knowing if the enemy dares set a foot outside of their base. In contrast, the Rise is a much darker place, with less vision available, opening up considerable strategic space to utilize the opponents’ limited information.
Vision is more limited in 5V5 than in 3V3. It also has evolved from being a job almost exclusive to the captain (AKA mine/flare bearer) to a team-wide responsibility. This means that everyone needs to understand how the system works, and how to use it efficiently.
At a basic level, the major changes are that flares and mines as consumable items are gone. Instead, the main vision items are Scout Cams, which everyone starts off with two of, and they recharge over time. This is supplemented by items that boost the number of cams you can hold, reduce cam recharge time, and make cams tougher with a Flare Loader — which serves as a separate item to fulfill the role of flares. As of Update 3.0, the Flare Loader upgrades into the higher forms of Scout Cams so you acquire both flares and cams from these items.
The limited nature of vision increases its importance. If you want to stay safe in your lane or aggress onto the opponent, you need to use vision effectively; a well-placed Scout Cam is your new best friend. However, wasting vision is easy, and that’s fairly unforgiving. At the base level, cams have a recharge timer of 150 seconds — so you need to treat cams royally. It also means that team coordination is important! Wasting vision hurts, as does dropping vision in the same spot another team member has.
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A basic attack reduces the remaining time left for the Scout Cam by [total cam life / number of hits to destroy] seconds. For example, each basic attack of a level 1 Scout Cam removes 30 seconds from its total duration. Scout Cams will only reveal invisible objects after a short delay when you first place them — much like the arming period of a mine. Additionally, Scout Cams are visible to all heroes during their arming period.
Scout Cams provide true vision within their radius, meaning that they reveal hidden objects. However, they will only provide vision in the bush that they are placed in, and they will not provide vision where you do not have line of sight (i.e. they will not show you what is on the other side of a wall). When placed outside of a bush, they will only provide vision of the bush’s content if you or an ally are in that bush. So, they will reveal a hidden Scout Cam in a nearby bush as long as you or an ally are in that bush.
Flares provide true vision over their entire radius regardless of line of sight. If there is a bush within their radius, they only provide vision into the bush if the flare’s centre is over any part of the bush. Invisible objects revealed by a flare will regain their invisibility when they leave the radius of the flare or when the flare expires.
Key Tips for Vainglory 5V5 Vision Placement
- Place vision intelligently — not just because “you have it.” Think about where you could use vision defensively, offensively, and for providing team-wide information. Make it last the full duration to supply valuable information across that whole time frame. A mixture of defensive, offensive, and objective-based cam placements is ideal.
- Do not use Scout Cams to prowl with. If you are fairly sure there is an enemy hidden in a bush, or you are not sure, do not drop a Scout Cam to find out! That’s a job for a flare or facecheck by a tankier hero. The reason for this is simple — if you drop a Scout Cam in a bush where an enemy is, they will land at least one free hit, costing you 30 seconds of vision. If they or an ally has an available Scout Cam, or one is already present, they are now free to eliminate your cam.
- Place Scout Cams in areas you have effective control of. I typically drop Scout Cams close by me or my ally so that we can rapidly take advantage of the new information and clear any enemy vision present. If you place a Scout Cam where you cannot typically control (especially if it’s a commonly contested area like the mid lane bushes), then you open yourself up for counter-vision play.
- Laners should hold onto a Scout Cam that they drop as the enemy engages, particularly when facing stealth heroes. In this scenario, rushing SuperScout 2000 is a must for the captain. The jungler may opt for one as well against multiple stealth heroes.
- When you can take a hit or two on enemy cams, do it! Every hit reduces the effectiveness of their vision by about 30 seconds.
- Captains and junglers should keep themselves to the bushes; this accomplishes two feats for your team. First, it allows you to provide vision with your body for a laner, thus preserving a Scout Cam. Secondly, it increases your opponents’ uncertainty — if they cannot see you, then you could be anywhere, which forces them to react accordingly.
- Never assume you cannot be seen. If you are in a bush, you should only believe you cannot be seen if that has been confirmed with vision or ability usage.
- A number of hero abilities provide vision (such as Celeste’s A) or interact with Scout Cams in ways that reveal an existing cam. Utilize these abilities to counteract vision and as a substitute for placing cams.
- The Scout Cam upgrades are extremely worthwhile for a captain to purchase — as are the Flare Loader in the early game. It can be traded for several vision clears in the early game fairly easily. The Super Scout Cam 2000 is so stacked in terms of its impact on the game that if your team uses vision well, it may be worth acquiring before a Fountain of Renewal.
- Don’t waste the advantage that vision provides. If you are in mid lane and have a Scout Cam in a side bush, and you can see Krul camping there, don’t take a shot unless you can kill him. You are better to ignore him and stay safe, without revealing your knowledge and allowing him to clear the vision. When playing with a coordinated team, you could even call for a counter-gank.
- Cams inside the enemy jungle or along the river provide you information about enemy map movement. Think about spots that provide a multitude of information all at once. Likewise, frequent points of contest (buff camps in early game, dragons in mid & late) are important to maintain vision control of.
- Toward the end game, Scout Cams near the enemy base can bestow other options in terms of engaging the enemy, such as buying Teleport Boots and ending up behind their front line.
- When taking Blackclaw or Ghostwing, you must have vision inside the dragon pit, and usually across the other side of the wall if the pit is on the enemy side, or in the bush next to their crystal buff camp if the pit is on your side.
- When split pushing, you can vastly increase your own safety and effectiveness by using cams embedded into the enemy jungle to spot flanking maneuvers. Back off if you come under threat!
Vision is only as useful as you and your team make of it. Get in the habit of checking the mini-map frequently and reacting appropriately to the information you acquire. Likewise, you can use pings or voice chat to inform your team when enemies are creeping up so that they can prepare to fight or flight. If you utilize the knowledge you can generate of the opponent well then you can translate that into a significant advantage. Catch up on other 5V5 strategy with my previous series Vainglory 5V5 on the Rise.