Ylva is a jungle huntress who unleashes massive damage when chaining her abilities together. Opting for her crystal power build path turns her into an assassin that revolves around her primary ability combo, Charge Shot (A) and Crimson Fang (B). Ylva’s weapon path can make it tricky to position, attack, and weave in her abilities. Let’s take a look at everything there is to know about Vainglory’s latest hero, Ylva, including her abilities, builds, synergies, and counters.
Ylva Ability Breakdown
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Overdrive your A if your team lacks reliable crowd control. Always overdrive your B. Take the final point into your Ult if you have enough crowd control on your team or if you need more control in teamfights.
Hunter’s Sense (Heroic Perk)
Ylva can detect the location and movement direction of enemy heroes through walls and brush, as long as they are moving and within her vision range.
While moving around the map, keep in mind that the enemy must be moving in order for your Heroic Perk to work. The information that this perk unlocks for Ylva and her teammates provides them with an upper hand when navigating through the jungle, assuming that there’s no vision in place by both teams. By noticing the heroic perk animation, Ylva can make the split-second decision to flee or fight.
Use strategic pings to inform your teammates of any potential threats or opportunities that you spot with your heroic perk.
Charge Shot (A)
Ylva charges her weapon, causing her next basic attack to deal bonus damage based on the time spent charging. After 1.6 seconds it reaches full charge, causing the attack to also stun for 1 second. While active, Ylva is slowed by 30%. Reactivate to cancel. Cancels automatically after 6 seconds. At max rank, the time it takes to reach full charge is reduced.
Understanding the mechanic of this ability is crucial in landing a successful combination of your A and B abilities. Once you begin charging this ability, it cancels any pre-requested input and will stop basic attacking until you select a target. Once you select a target within your range (5.5), you will basic attack that target. Avoid basic attacking before the full 1.6 second charge up, as that will cancel the charge and send out a regular basic attack. If you reach full charge, you will stun the enemy for 1 second. This short time opens up a small window to follow up with your B ability to finish your combo. Keep this in mind for later!
Charge Shot (A) applies all on-hit effects and is treated as a basic attack if you cancel the charge or complete it.
Crimson Fang (B)
Ylva lunges at her target to deliver a powerful strike that deals 75% more damage to immobilized targets. She then gains additional move and attack speed for 3 seconds. At max rank, lunge range is increased.
For both her weapon and crystal power build paths, overdrive Crimson Fang (B) first. Her strength from the base damage and item ratios as well as the potential 75% bonus damage will help you dish out more damage compared to overdriving Charge Shot (A).
When playing Ylva, take note of your teammates’ immobilizing crowd control abilities. Following up on your teammates’ crowd control is a free empowered Crimson Fang (B). Once overdriven, the range extends to 7.5 with a cooldown of 8 seconds, allowing you to position safer during teamfights and skirmishes.
For Ylva’s weapon path, a solid trading combination can be to use Crimson Fang (B) to engage and then basic attack from there with the additional movement and attack speed that you gain. Before the buff runs out, channel Charge Shot (A) to continue the trade with a stun and additional basic attacks.
For Ylva’s crystal path, take advantage of her strong level 2 power spike by utilizing the bushes in lane to hide from the enemy and begin charging Charge Shot (A). Once charged, you can attempt to land the stun. If successful, quickly follow up with Crimson Fang (B). If all goes well during that level 2 spike, you will have dealt roughly 40% of the enemy’s total health, depending on the hero. When it comes to mid-to-late game fights, be mindful of any immobilizing crowd control that can strike squishy enemy heroes so you can take advantage of Crimson Fang’s (B) 75% bonus damage.
Clearing jungle camps with Ylva’s abilities is as simple as being patient for each A+B combo. Since Stormcrown will be such a strong item in Update 3.10, you can afford to wait for the cooldowns of both Charge Shot (A) and Crimson Fang (B).
Crimson Fang (B) does NOT apply on-hit effects. This means that you need to basic attack after casting Crimson Fang to apply on-hit effects.
Binding Mine (Ultimate)
Ylva places a mine that arms and stealths after 2 seconds. When an enemy hero touches it, it will explode after 0.7 seconds, causing all enemies within 6 range to take damage and become rooted. Only 1 mine can exist at once. Mines expire after 60 seconds. Basic attacks reduce their remaining duration by 20 seconds.
Binding Mine (Ult) is a game-changing ability that provides an area of effect root for 1.6s/1.8s/2s, scaling on the level of the ability. The main difference between a good mine and a great mine is placement and timing.
Some common locations to place mines: jungle shops, choke points, dragon pits, ally turrets. If you have vision control, you can catch out and assassinate potentially caught out enemies! This is especially important during her mid-game, since most carries don’t build defense until later on.
- Place the mine in a chokepoint in the jungle. A team with no vision will be forced to facecheck a bush and thus trigger your mine.
- Place the mine just outside of the turret range when defending your turret. This will prevent heavy siege from long range heroes, and it will force the enemy team to waste their Scout Cams or other vision items on your mine.
- Place the mine ahead of time! The cooldown is short, so you can afford to place it down with freedom without having to worry about it being up for the next teamfight. By the time it’s put to use, you’ll have another mine up.
- Have vision control in the area that you place your mine. If you’re in the jungle, nothing is worse than placing a mine and getting it taken away. Remember, the trap is treated like a Scout Cam — basic attacks will lower the time left on it! 60 second lifespan, 20 seconds removed per enemy auto attack.
- Place a mine down in front of the enemy team during a teamfight. This makes it obvious that you put a mine down, and they can destroy it during the 2-second set up time.
- Place mines under enemy turrets. Similar concept as above, it’s in enemy vision since turrets reveal all nearby stealthed models. It makes it too easy for the enemy team to destroy.
- Fight away from your mine. The area of effect root is enough to turn around a teamfight, even if your teammates are scattered around. 2 seconds is a long time for crowd control — take advantage of it by standing your ground when teamfighting.
- Place a mine down while running toward a teamfight. Anticipating where to place a mine will be tough, but know that it has a higher chance of being effective when kiting back or standing your ground. If you place a mine down but then have to chase to get kills, the mine becomes useless.
Ylva’s abilities scale well with raw crystal power. She isn’t a poke hero, so she needs all the damage she can get from her abilities. Shatterglass helps immensely with that feat, providing Ylva with a bulk of raw crystal power to increase the damage output of her abilities.
Ylva is an assassin, so preventing heal with the mortal wounds from Spellfire can help her secure kills. Although Shatterglass deals more damage than Spellfire, consider purchasing Spellfire first if the enemy team has a significant amount of healing. Otherwise, Shatterglass first is preferable.
To finish your core items, Broken Myth fairs well as your third item. The difference in damage between Shatterglass/Spellfire vs. Shatterglass/Broken Myth turns out to favor Shatterglass/Spellfire, only because of Spellfire’s burn. That, along with the value of mortal wounds itself, makes it so that Shatterglass/Spellfire is always safe as the two starting items.
The passive from Journey Boots allows Ylva to constantly be able to re-engage. A 15-second cooldown on the sprint active provides her with a strong presence on the map, and it lines up with her Charge Shot (A) and Crimson Fang (B) cooldowns. Use each tier of boots as a form of ganking. The combo would be to use Charge Shot (A) along with your boots active so that the speed-up helps you catch up to enemy heroes.
The last two items can be situational defense, but consider Aegis and Slumbering Husk. Both items allow you to go in for a combo and escape safely so that you can re-engage at a later time.
A lot of weapon power paths simplify to good positioning, maintaining basic attack output, and kiting well. These tips are aimed toward understanding and acknowledging Ylva’s weapon path and how it aligns with her abilities. While a “crit build” such as Sorrowblade, Tornado Trigger, and Tyrant’s Monocle is not as effective, it’s a completely acceptable and possible way to build her. Play Ylva how you want!
Charge Shot (A) can apply on-hit effects and also critically strike. Since it’s treated like a basic attack, it acquires all basic attack implied effects, even when you land the stun. When trading in lane, have caution when you start charging this for the stun. When charging, you may take some trade damage since the 1.6 second window leaves you vulnerable. If you can finish the charge and stun your enemy, follow it up with Crimson Fang (B). This combo is incredibly valuable in lane, and it can help you out-trade someone even if you take damage during the charge.
The follow-up effects from Crimson Fang (B) grant an attack speed and movement speed bonus. Another option you have is to use Crimson Fang (B) first to get in range and then follow up with Charge Shot (A). This combo is a lot harder to pull off and very situational because Charge Shot (A) must have the stun up and ready for you to be able to out-trade. Otherwise, you will have to charge it after you use Crimson Fang (B), which could potentially waste your attack speed buff, forcing you to charge Charge Shot (A) in melee range.
Synergizing with Ylva
While any form of immobilizing crowd control works well with Ylva, here are some heroes that stand out when paired with her. Regardless of weapon power or crystal power, these interactions help you in one way or another with Ylva’s kit.
Baptiste | Similar to Ylva’s level 2 power spike, all Baptiste needs is Ordained (B) to assist Ylva in a gank. As Ylva, you want to charge up Charge Shot (A) while the enemy is stuck in the Ordained (B) cage. This makes both Ylva and Baptiste viable in the top lane or jungle, where either hero can fill either role. Once Baptiste applies Ordained (B) onto an enemy, it forces that hero into a lose/lose situation; they either run away and get stunned by Baptiste or sit inside of Ordain’s cage and potentially get stunned by Ylva’s Charge Shot (A).
Catherine | With Catherine’s reliable stun on Merciless Pursuit (A), Ylva’s level 2 power spike can now begin at level 1. Your jungle control with Catherine allows you to dictate the pace of the game. Invading, counter-jungling, and ganking are all reliable and viable options as long as Catherine can get in range of her stun. This level 1 spike from her stun and your Crimson Fang (B) will provide the extra 75% damage during each occurrence. Consider counter-jungling and looking for a kill or securing a buff with that extra damage. For ganking, strategically ping and let Catherine know that you intend to gank her lane, whether it be in the middle or top lane.
Celeste | With Celeste’s Core Collapse (B), she can set up a gank in the middle lane and become a threat to an overextended enemy. While this one is fairly simple, it’s also dependant on the precision of Celeste’s skill shot ability landing. Try to time Crimson Fang (B) with Core Collapse (B) for the bonus damage!
Koshka | While we have been talking about strong level 1 and 2 power spikes, Koshka brings a devastating 2.2 second stun at level 6. This is enough time for Ylva to chain her crowd control with Charge Shot (A) for an extra stun duration, more damage, and an easy follow-up with Crimson Fang (B).
Krul | Similar to Koshka, Krul’s ultimate at level 6 provides a stun as well (minimum of a 0.8 second stun or a maximum 2.4 seconds depending on the distance that Krul’s ultimate traveled). Follow up with Crimson Fang (B) immediately, since Krul’s ultimate might not last as long as Koshka’s.
Lance | With two immobilizing crowd control abilities, Impale (A) and Gythian Wall (B), Lance opens up great potential for Ylva. The downside is that Lance’s Impale (A) is a skill shot, so following up on that can be a hit-or-miss situation. As Ylva, wait for Lance’s Gythian Wall (B) before following up. If Lance does land his Impale (A), that gives you just enough time to begin charging Charge Shot (A) to then initiate your A+B combo.
Lorelai | Lorelai’s kit synergizes with Ylva by providing control in teamfights and escape potential for Ylva. Alone, an Ylva combo can leave her defenseless. With Lorelai’s Splashdown (B) and Waterwall (C), Ylva can safely escape and prepare herself to combo again with the help of Fish Food (A).
Phinn | Every ability in Phinn’s kit synergizes incredibly well with Ylva, but don’t call him the best just yet. With Quibble (A) only stunning at overdrive and Forced Accord (C) not being an immobilizing crowd control ability, Phinn becomes useful starting at level 8. With that said, his late game teamfight presence has strong synergy with Ylva. You both can control teamfights incredibly well by setting up a Forced Accord (C) + Quibble (A) into Binding Mine (C) combo for devastating effects.
Reim | As of Update 3.10, Reim no longer has a “chill” effect on his passive. That means that Chill Winds (B) roots when you use the ability, making it a consistent and reliable form of immobilizing crowd control. Although it’s reliable, the main factor in this synergy is that Reim or Ylva will have to land their crowd control in order to make the gank successful. With a movement speed of 3.4, Reim isn’t the best jungler to gank, but he makes up for it in teamfights with a potential area of effect ultimate, Valkyrie (C), that has a stun duration of .9s/1.2s/1.5s. Perfect for mid game and late game teamfights.
Tony | Although his crowd control duration is short on Jawbreaker (A) and Trash Talk (B), Tony provides consistent and reliable crowd control with how easy it is to land his A+B combo. Again, Ylva could be the laner or the jungler in this case, so make sure you are prepared to follow up with Crimson Fang (B).
Yates | Yates’ Overwhelm (B) provides consistent crowd control that’s fairly easy to land, and his mobility and teamfight presence makes it easy to pick off enemies with Wolf’s Maw (A). This is probably the strongest way to get a guaranteed kill for early levels, but requires a certain level of communication and mechanics to pull off. The combo would ideally be Yates’ Wolf’s Maw (A) → Ylva’s Charge Shot (A) → Yates’ Overwhelm (B) → Ylva’s Crimson Fang (B).
Jungle Ylva counters — Heroes that can gap close have the potential to dominate Ylva in the jungle. Koshka, Krul, and Reza are the first three that standout. Ylva won’t have time to charge up Charge Shot (A), and if she uses Crimson Fang (B) on you, then she enters melee range. The movement speed she gains isn’t suitable enough to out-run those three heroes. Regardless of the hero, try to anticipate Ylva’s path, and be patient. Moving around in the fog of war will reveal your location to her. Sit still, and you may just get the upper hand on her.
Lane Ylva counters — When building crystal power, the biggest mistake Ylva can make is to cast Crimson Fang (B) before Charge Shot (A). If she does this, don’t be afraid to punish her even after you get stunned. That combo is the extent of her damage, and you can then utilize the time between her cooldowns to take health off of her. If she is weapon power, start trading with her as soon as she begins Charge Shot (A). You will force her to make a decision: cancel Charge Shot (A) and attempt to trade or continue the charge-up while taking damage from you. Afterward, Ylva has to make a decision on whether or not to follow up on her stun. If she does, be cautious on continuing the trade, since she gains bonus attack speed after connecting Crimson Fang (B) with a target.
Now that you’re a Ylva pro, get out there and play some matches! Let us know how your new knowledge serves you. If you have any questions about Vainglory’s newest hero Ylva, ask away in the comments below, and we’d be happy to answer them.