Drafting 101: Hero Relevance, Power Spikes and Synergies (5V5): Carries (Part 2)4 min read

Hello my dear Vainglorians and welcome to the sequel of my Drafting 101 series (5v5). If you still remember, last time we talked about hero relevance, power spikes and synergies from 5v5 perspective. Today, I’m continuing on the rest of the carries from Magnus down to Vox. Ylva will be featured in the next update for Junglers. Sorry it took forever, but let’s get down to business now and find out who works well with our favorite heroes and when we should take advantage of their power spikes!

For each hero, power spikes are listed down for item and level-specific spikes. Click on the hero below to jump to their section.


Relevance: Mid to Late

Magnus is an insane damage dealer with interrupts and a massive AoE. Although he’s immobile, he has good utility to peel for himself and his team and he has a ridiculously long-ranged ULT that can destroy entire teams. He is squishy and can be countered by assassins but with his interrupt he is harder to pin down than most mages.

RolePower Spikes
CP Laner- Level 6, Unlock ULT
- Level 8, Max A for increased range and damage plus less cooldown for his primary AoE and damage source
- Level 12, Max ULT for huge damage spike and less cooldown


CaptainLorelai, Grace, Yates, Adagio, Lyra, FlickerMagnus doesn't have a very oppressive early game so he needs an early game captain, or someone with good poke to help him harass enemy while he farms.
LanerGwen, Ringo, Vox, Skye, Kinetic, Idris, Blackfeather, WP Petal, WP VaryaAlthough he can't chase enemies down, he has utility and massive damage that work well with single-target WP laners and those that can burst enemies down fast or can chase them to finish the job.
JunglerArdan, Alpha, Catherine, Churnwalker, Glaive, Grace, Grumpjaw, Inara, Kensei, Lance, Ozo, Rona, TonyBeing a squishy mage, he needs tanky utility heroes that can front-line for him or heroes that can peel for him when things go wrong, considering his immobility. High damage tanks also work with him, even with little to no utility since he has some self-peel.


Relevance: Stable

Malene is a mage with high utility, high damage and good mobility. Plus, she has both peel and escape tools for herself. Her only downside is her range and being mostly single-target. If played well, she is almost impossible to pin down as she’s one of the most slippery heroes in game and has immunity to crowd control. With a strong early game, she can easily snowball her way to victory.

RolePower Spikes
CP Laner, JunglerLevel 1: Unlocks both A and ULT
Level 2: Unlocks her B for barrier, mobility and immunity to crowd control
Level 12: Max ULT for lower cooldown - works well with her perk and CP items that amplify basic attacks (Aftershock, Stormcrown, Alternating Current)


CaptainLorelai, Adagio, Lyra, Catherine, Phinn, Grace, Fortress, Flicker, YatesMalene has good early game pressure against most mid carries, so a captain that works with her is either (1) an early game, poke hero that helps her snowball or (2) late game hero that she can balance with her early game presence. She also works with aggressive captains, even with low utility as she has enough to provide herself.
LanerBaron, Celeste, Varya, Skaarf, Magnus, Blackfeather, Gwen, Idris, Kinetic, Petal, Reza, Ringo, Vox, KestrelShe is single-target focused and needs another laner that has AoE damage or really high attack speed to help her burst enemies down one by one.
JunglerAlpha, Anka, Blackfeather, Glaive, Joule, Koshka, Ozo, Petal, TakaShe works best with huge-damage junglers that have good mobility. She has tools to chase and pin enemies down, so her jungler or top laner must be able to catch up. While she doesn't rely a lot on others' peel, high utility heroes will make her almost unkillable. Lastly, despite being a mage, she has an unlikely synergy with assassins because of her utility and her being slippery.


Relevance: Early to Mid

Reza is a mage-killer who specializes in starving hyper carries by killing them early to mid game before they can buy defense and before they can be relevant. He has no utility but is very mobile and hard to chase down. He also has immunity to crowd control.

RolePower Spikes
Laner, JunglerLevel 2: Unlocks his B for dash + burst damage
Level 6: Unlocks ULT for immunity to crowd control
Level 8: Max A for poke rangePower spikes from items: Aftershock and Stormcrown


CaptainAdagio, Ardan, Fortress, Phinn, Churnwalker, Yates, Grace, FlickerReza is very mobile and in teamfights, he needs to charge to the enemy backline to assassinate mages. He needs a captain that can heal him while he's on the run and/or chase mages with him. He also benefits from a captain that can ruin enemy positioning, for him to easily pick his targets.
LanerCeleste, Skaarf, Magnus, Vox, Baron, Varya, Malene, Kinetic, Silvernail, Skye, GwenA laner that works well with him is one with AoE and utility. The only peel he can provide is, not technically a peel, being able to kill fast. This isn't effective against tanks so he needs a hyper carry that can maintain range or has AoE or is slippery and can peel for themselves.
JunglerBaptiste, Grumpjaw, Inara, Kensei, Glaive, Ozo, TonyHe works best with a utility or jungle hero that can catch up with him or further bully enemies by making them immobile with utility.
Off-metaAnka, Idris, Ylva, Alpha, Blackfeather, Koshka, Petal, Malene

(Petal and Malene are not necessarily assassins but their strong early game works well with Reza for a potential snowball)
Unconventionally, he can work with other assassins (as either laner or jungler) for quick executions provided that the team has enough utility to peel for them in case things go wrong.


Relevance: Mid to Late

Ringo has very high damage/burst, a heavy slow and an ULT that follows you to eternity. He is very squishy, however, and has no form of escape but his high attack speed and perk make him a threat as soon as he gets his core items as he can instantly delete even tanks.

RolePower Spikes
LanerLevel 2: Unlocks 2 abilities (A & B) for utility, high damage and move speed.
Level 8: Max B for bonus move speed and a massive increase in attack speed.
Power spikes when he gets his core items (high WP power, Attack Speed and Armor pierce)


CaptainArdan, Lyra, Lorelai, Adagio, Lance, Yates, Grace, Phinn, Catherine, FlickerWhile Ringo has bonus move speed with his B, he still doesn't have any form of escape other than his boots and / or block (if he buys one). He needs a captain that can both peel for him and keep him alive long enough to kill enemies. Because he is squishy and immobile, he can easily be focused in team fights. If he can't kite and dodge crowd control, he will surely die fast. An extra movement buff works well with him, as well as heals plus peel for days.
LanerCeleste, Varya, Magnus, Vox (CP), Skaarf, Baron (CP)He is single-target focused. His only AoE ability is his ULT and only really considered AoE if it's CP. That said, he needs a laner that can hyper carry with AoE damage while he picks and kills off enemies one by one. Added utility is a bonus.
JunglerGlaive, Grumpjaw, Baptiste, Inara, Rona, Tony, Krul, ReimUtility heroes work really well, if not necessary, with him because he is squishy and has no escape ability. He also needs a tanky front-liner to be effective before he dies.


Relevance: Stable

Samuel is a long-ranged harasser with high-damage AoE and life steal as well as endless kiting opportunities plus an AoE crowd control (ULT). He is squishy and immobile but has enough range to stay out of trouble while stacking up before he obliterates an entire team.

RolePower Spikes
LanerLevel 1: Unlocks A, second longest ranged early ability in game
Level 2: Unlocks B for more damage, more life steal and more harassing potential
Level 6: Unlocks ULT for AoE crowd control
Level 8: Max A for more damage and less cooldown
Level 11: Max B for more damage and lifesteal


CaptainArdan, Churnwalker, Lorelai, Lyra, Adagio, CatherineSamuel has one of the strongest early game pressure and has life steal. Because of this he works well with all captains: early, mid or late. He can do the harassing in the early game and he scales well into the late. However, since he is still a mage with low mobility, he works best with a captain that can make him escape or compliment his kiting capabilities. His AoE damage isn't as easy to make work for beginners so a roam that can amplify that is also a plus. Early game captains with good poke can work with him for potential snowball as well.
LanerBaron, Kinetic, Silvernail, Vox, Kensei, SkyeLate game single-target laners work well with him since he can balance them out with his strong early game. However, WP AoE is also a plus. He has utility and can kite for days but he is still weak against assassins, so laners with utility that can stop chase are an added benefit.
JunglerFlicker, Glaive, Inara, Koshka, Tony, Alpha, Grumpjaw, PetalA utility focused jungler can help peel and let him kite away in the late game. However, a ganking jungler, as in a hero that can rotate quickly and get kills with early game burst damage, compliments his immense early game pressure effectively.


Relevance: Early to Mid

Saw is a cool hero. He has the highest offense (save for Koshka) at the cost of immobility. He has utility, he has an escape ability, he has AoE and he has overpowered basic attacks with high attack speed. What more can you ask for? Did I mention he fits all roles? Okay, I’m kidding about the last part but not really because he can also act like a turret.

RolePower Spikes
Laner, JunglerWhen he buys boots and block, he can last long enough to kill any melee hero (except, maybe, Reim and Krul)

Level 6: Unlocks his ULT for massive skill shot AoE
Level 8: Max A for massive CP damage (based on missing health)

High CP power makes him a threat in the mid game if he has enough peel.
High WP power makes him unapproachable only except against long-ranged mages.


CaptainLyra, Ardan, Phinn, Adagio, Grace, Lance
Saw is infamously frowned upon for being immobile and considered a troll pick in almost all scenarios. He needs a captain that deals with his weaknesses to prove everyone wrong. A captain that can keep him alive long enough to kill (he has the damage and the attack speed - all he needs to do is to stay still and act like an enraged turret multiplied by 100) or help him escape if things go wrong.
LanerSkaarf, Celeste, Varya, CP Vox, Magnus, Baron

Reza, Idris, Anka
He is strong in both AoE and single-target damage. He also has utility and some escape. But with his weakness, he doesn't fit the role of hyper carry as he is almost always the first focus of the enemy (he's just famous like that) and almost always dies fast enough if there are no other distractions. He needs a laner that counters him, reason being, you don't want him countered. You also need one who can damage from a far and get a kill before he dies (being the ultimate body blocker). If he is drafted against (i.e. enemy picks Skaarf, Celeste or Baron), pick a laner assassin that can kill his counters fast enough and send him to another lane during the farming phase to prevent him from feeding.
JunglerAll Captain heroes (except Fortress), Baptiste, Glaive, Grumpjaw, Malene, Tony, InaraHe benefits from all types of utility. He works well with basically any hero with CC. The more CC means the more chances for him to survive or catch up to his target. Bonus points if they can output a lot of damage too.


Relevance: Mid to Late

Silvernail is an immobile hunter but with massive and high critical-chance damage. He also has traps that prevent enemy advance, provide slow and silence (plus damage). Oh and he has a stun and can push enemies away. OP, aye? He can harass mages with his constant silence and can stop assassins from blinking into him. However, he has no way of escape and without his traps, he can be easily cornered and butchered.

RolePower Spikes
LanerLevel 2: Unlocks his A for trip wires (slow, silence, damage)
Level 6: Unlocks ULT for increased perk damage (ULT passive)
Level 8: Max B for extra range and huge damage increase
Level 12: Max ULT for huge damage increase on perk


CaptainGrace, Lyra, Ardan, Phinn, Catherine, Flicker, LorelaiSilvernail needs a captain that provides speed boost for escape. He has a lot of utility and a lot of damage. He just needs speed and heals. It does take some time for him to set up his traps, so he needs a hero that can prevent enemy charge before he can.
LanerVarya, CP Vox, Baron, Celeste, Magnus, Samuel, SkaarfHe is primarily WP and is single-target focused. He needs to work with an AoE carry that can do massive ranged damage while he picks off low-hp enemies one by one. Since he already has utility, mage with pure damage works best with him.
JunglerGlaive, Grumpjaw, Inara, Joule, Reim, Tony, KrulA utility hero or jungler hero that works with Toenail must be able to help him escape (first), and output some damage (second). He has the capability to hyper carry in the late game so he needs good peel and tanky front-liner to stay alive.


Relevance: Stable

Child of Blackwing, Skaarf is a powerful dragonling that can incinerate entire teams at any stage of the game. Skaarf has the longest-range for an early ability making him a strong harasser in the lane. He also has a slow and massive AoE damage. However, like most mages, he is immobile and squishy.

RolePower Spikes
Laner, JungleLevel 1: Unlocks A for long-ranged poke
Level 2: Unlocks B for AoE (that can easily take down turrets)
Level 6: Unlocks ULT that comes with slow and massive damage
Level 8: Max A for less cooldown (more poke) and more damage
Level 11/12: Max either B (more AoE damage per sec and less cooldown) or ULT (pure damage)


CaptainArdan, Lorelai, Adagio, Catherine, Churnwalker, Flicker, Grace, Lance, PhinnBeing immobile, Skaarf needs a captain that can peel for him in teamfights to help him escape or stop enemies from chasing him. Having good poke, he doesn't necessarily need another poke captain but can work with one for high pressure at the early game and potential snowball.
LanerGwen, Kinetic, Idris, Blackfeather, Ringo, Skye, Vox, SilvernailHe has massive AoE damage but is immobile. So, a good co-laner with him is one who has extra utility (i.e. Stun) to prevent low health enemies from running away, and one with mobility to chase them down as well as burst damage or high attack speed to finish off enemies he damages. He also works well with assassin who can eliminate enemies fast. Since he already has high damage, assassins can kill enemies even faster.
JunglerBaptiste, Glaive, Grumpjaw, Inara, Krul, Reim, TonyLike mages, he is immobile and squishy (have I said that before). In teamfights, he needs a utility hero to peel for him. He has enough damage but more damage never hurts. So, he works well with both high peel utility heroes and / or high damage junglers (with some utility).


Relevance: Mid to Late

Varya is a mage with massive damage and high attack speed. She almost never runs out of energy, if played right, saving her an item slot which would otherwise be spent on energy item. Instead, Varya can build full damage and incinerate teams with her massive AoE while she dashes in and out of teamfights.

RolePower Spikes
LanerLevel 6: Unlocks global ULT which both damages and reveals enemies anywhere in the map.
Level 8: Max B for less cooldown and increased dash range (which makes her a little slippery).
Level 12: Max ULT for the passive attack speed increase.Varya becomes relevant as soon as she gets a DE as she stacks up very fast.


CaptainAdagio, Lyra, Lorelai, Flicker, Yates, ChurnwalkerVarya needs help in the early game as her only poke takes time to cast and requires her to be still, making her vulnerable. She also needs to farm a lot as her build is expensive. This gets easier to do in the late game, but she can potentially be starved and snowballed against so a good captain must be an early game hero with poke to help her pressure the enemy lane. Captains that can amplify her damage, as she has very high AoE damage (CP) also works really well.
LanerGwen, Celeste, Kinetic, Silvernail, Ringo, Vox, Skye, Saw, Magnus, Baptiste, BaronShe has the AoE damage and single-target damage required to destroy enemy teams. A co-laner that works well with her is one with utility to either peel for her or prevent dying enemies from escaping or one with mobility to help her chase enemies down. Laners that can burst enemies down also compliments her sustained damage.
JunglerGlaive, Fortress, Grumpjaw, Inara, Koshka, Krul, Petal, Tony, BaptisteIn the thick of teamfights, she provides all the damage and she benefits most from utility heroes that can peel for her as she dashes in and out of the fight. She has only one form of escape and can easily be focused down if she fails to avoid a single disabling crowd control. Being a hyper carry, she will always get focused so utility junglers or top laners work well with her. Aggressive jungler also works with her if she's ahead in gold.


Relevance: Late

Vox has massive AoE as well as high attack speed and mobility. He also has an AoE silence and a slow. Vox is a slippery carry who works really well with either WP or CP making him effective both as an AoE hyper carry or a single-target carry. His early game is not the best but with his kit and the right comp, he is one of the heroes you can easily get a penta kill with.

RolePower Spikes
LanerLevel 2: Unlocks A for mobility, escape and damage.
Level 6: Unlocks ULT for AoE silence and (for CP) a way to start obliterating teams
Level 8: Max B for increased range of resonance bounces
Level 12: Max ULT for massive damage and less cooldown.Becomes relevant (like Varya) as soon as he gets a DE (CP) or a BP (WP) as he also stacks up very fast.


CaptainAdagio, Lorelai, Flicker, Yates, Ardan,  ChurnwalkerVox is a late game hero and although he has poke with his bounces, he needs help in farming early game against most ranged carries. His build is also expensive, similar to Varya, so he does need help in farming fast. A good captain for him is one who can harass enemy laner and support him while he is being mobile and kiting around in teamfights. Captains that can amplify his damage, as he has very high AoE damage (CP) also works really well.
LanerGwen, Kinetic, Silvernail, Ringo, Skye, Saw, Celeste, Malene, Varya, MagnusHe has massive AoE damage (CP) but can also be single-target focused (WP). He is mobile with some utility and can kite around in teamfights. If played right, he can survive for long with lifesteal items. He works best with a co-laner that has utility to pin enemies down or those that have burst to finish enemies off while he provides sustained damage.
JunglerGlaive, Fortress, Grumpjaw, Inara, Koshka, Krul, Petal, Tony, BaptisteVox works well with an early game jungler to cover for his weakness and help him get gold fast and become relevant. In the late game teamfights, he will need a utility hero to keep him alive long enough or peel for him against assassins.

Sorry that was so long, but that’s just half of the carry heroes in VainGlory (check out the first half, if you haven’t, or the rest of the series). Thanks to everyone who helped. Believe it or not, this isn’t an output of one brain alone.

Anyway, I’m cooking up the Junglers’ synergies for the next update. Then, hero counters to finish off this almost 2-month long series. I hope this is helpful to everyone!


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
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