Vainglory, like all other MOBA games, has constantly changing strategy. The term used to describe the current popular strategy is ‘meta’, originating from a prefix used to describe something within itself. In essence, meta means the game within the game, or the strategy of playing the game. I’ve been playing long enough to see several metas come and go, and with constantly changing metas, it’s important to pay attention to them. Let’s talk about some of what we’ve seen in the past and how it compares to what we’re seeing now.
Early Jungle Invades
When I first started playing Vainglory I had also been playing League of Legends (Riot Games) simultaneously. Being a more difficult MOBA, League’s higher end strategy translates well into Vainglory’s simpler format. I was playing Koshka at the time, and the more I played, the more I started to realize things I could do to get an advantage against new or unsuspecting players. Like stealing a jungle camp within the first 90 seconds.
Being on the leading edge of jungle invades gave me an advantage for a time, however as the meta developed it suddenly started becoming less and less useful because as you saw it more often, the enemy jungle expected it. Such is the way with metas; they become over-used to the point of exhaustion or evolution. And that’s what happened with early jungle invasions, it became so common that counter-strategy forced it to evolve into what we see today in three-man jungle invasion. And counter strategy will again, either exhaust the current meta or force it to evolve into something else. I have my predictions, but we’ll talk about those another day.
For a time, the meta concerning minion mines was to capture them at the 4:00 mark and make sure you had at least one mine for the rest of the game. However more recently the meta concerning minion mines has also been undergoing an evolution. Players have begun to realize that not capturing your team’s mine while the other team captures theirs gives your lane an advantage. You see this more on Simply Amazing and higher gameplay, but it’s slowly making its way into the lower tiers of the game.
Lastly, let’s not forget hero metas, probably the most diverse field in the game. Everyone’s heard of and fears a Crystal SAW. There’s also a new Crystal Taka making its way around the Fold. Prior to the nerf, you could almost always expect to see a Breaking Point Petal, and a double Tornado Trigger Glaive ruining someone’s day every 15:00. Just like the way players approach game strategy changes, the way that players play the heroes does as well. Builds are constantly changing as players find more effective methods of playing or how to counter current builds. What may be meta today will be old-news tomorrow, and such is the nature of the game.
What’s the Big Deal?
Why is this important? Why should you know what the current meta is?
The answer is simple. It gives you an advantage.
Knowing the current meta gives you an opportunity to prepare for and counter a certain strategy. Even the little decisions in Vainglory can determine the outcome of a game, whether it’s building a reflex block against a Shank SAW or an Atlas Pauldron against Glaive. Advantage is a valuable thing in a MOBA, but especially so in Vainglory. This translates into being a more aware player. Don’t just enter the Halcyon Fold for kills or Glory, enter to learn and to become better. Focus on why you died, not what killed you. Focus on why the enemy team did what they did, not how to imitate them the next time you get the chance. The short term investment of following current metas will always be trumped by someone who is two steps ahead of that meta.
We’ll be discussing certain metas in detail in the near future, so stay tuned for more!
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