Recently, SEMC released the long awaited Vainglory 5v5 in the huge 3.0 update. With a brand new unique map and massive changes to heroes, the meta for 5v5 is a strange for many players used to 3v3. Even players with experience in previous 5v5 games will find Vainglory’s 5v5 different with its unique features. My goal is to help players understand exactly how 5v5 works with insights I gained from playing and talking with other pro players.
One of the most unique feature of Sovereign’s Rise is the moving river. The river gives speed boosts when moving with the current, which means rotating from mid lane to either top or bottom. The power of the river means that supports usually hover mid so that they are in the center and capable of assisting in either side lane at a moment’s notice, which is one of the main differences from other 5v5 games.
The other noticeable feature that differentiates Sovereign’s Rise is the jungle shops and the proximity of the shops to the heal treant. If a laner is able to push the wave and reach the jungle first when it spawns at 5:00, they can zone the other laner away with the newly bought items and continue to push that advantage by repeatedly pushing and shopping to build an item lead. The nearby heal treants means that the laner can stay healthy too and take treants on rotation whenever they spawn. However good laners will take any opportunity to recall pre-5:00 after shoving wave regardless. Also shopping at the shop that is closer to your opponent’s side (bottom jungle shop) can be risky if the opposing jungler is there.
As a rule of thumb, an ideal team composition would contain at least 2 tanky heroes ( support + jungler and/or side lane), an hyper carry CP hero to carry late game, and then whatever two heroes is preferred to round out the composition. It could either be another tank, or another range carry either CP or WP.
Top/Bottom: While there certainly are differences between the two lanes, primarily the presence of red buff in bot lane and the jungle shop top being closer, these two lanes are probably the most diverse and being experimented in. The other three roles are consistent in their character picks, but these can change constantly. However, generally one of these lanes will contain a WP tanky hero such as Rona, WP Alpha, Glaive, Blackfeather, WP Grace and etc. The other lane will usually contain a ranged carry, either CP or WP. WP heroes will usually go bottom because of the presence of red buff, usually with preference given to the range carry if both picks are WP. For example, if you have Gwen and Glaive, Gwen will go bot and glaive will go top. If you have CP Saw and Rona, Saw will go top because CP and Rona will go bot. Some teams choose to forego the tanky hero in favor of two range carries, which is also fine. For example, Celeste and Saw can be played with Celeste top and Saw bot.
Jungle: Strong early-mid game heroes like koshka, krul, WP Baptiste, taka, Reza. Because the jungler has the least gold in the game besides the support, the jungler should be a strong early game hero that can influence the game through ganks and early pressure.
Mid: Hyper carry CP laner such as Varya, Sam, Celeste, CP Vox. Midlane will carry the game once full build because of blue buff giving insane stats and extra crystal lifesteal, making them hard to kill while outputting ridiculous damage.
Support: Really any classic 3v3 support. Grace and ardan seem to be the popular choices, and obviously some will be better than others, but really any support can work.
Example Comps in Order of (Top, Jungle, Mid, Bot, Support):
(Rona, Koshka, Celeste, Ringo, Ardan)
(CP Saw, Krul, CP Vox, Blackfeather, Churnwalker)
(WP Grace, Reza, Samuel, Gwen, Lance)
(Celeste, WP Alpha, Varya, Saw, Grace)
(CP Lorelai, WP Baptiste, Skaarf, Rona, Ardan)
Overall, the meta isn’t extremely clear cut, with many heroes being viable. The differences is how each team/player approaches in building a team composition means that everybody is learning through trial and error. Some team would prefer three ranged carries and build compositions that way. Other teams might prefer tanky dive heros instead. You could even build composition around protecting 2 hyper cp laners. Just like how a new patch dropping in 3v3 required scrims to truly understand what was strong, the same is for 5v5, except that there aren’t really scrims or even ranked. As a result, everyone is just experimenting to discover new power picks, with one example being WP Baptiste jungle. Expect a 5v5 meta to be more established in the coming weeks/months as more and more games are played, but even then that meta would not truly represent the most optimal picks at a pro level where everybody is on voice and fully in sync.
The First Rotation (IMPORTANT!!!!)
If you didn’t read anything else, I hope you read this for both my sake and yours. This way my 5v5 games can become more enjoyable with less boosted early games and you can learn how the pros rotate. If you are the laner who takes the heal treant solo level 1 and thinks that was a good idea, then this section is for you.
One thing I noticed that in casuals 5v5 is that nobody understands how what the ideal first rotation is supposed to be. On the first rotation when the jungle first spawns, many laners like to simply go directly to lane and start pushing. This is bad for two reasons. One, the laner loses out on experience by not clearing the jungle fully, putting the laner behind an opposing laner who did clear the jungle. Two, by pushing, the laner is now overextended and is easy to gank. This is especially true when you consider that the laner is still level 1, and likely doesn’t have a way to escape.
So what is the best rotation level 1 then if laners don’t go to lane?
Well, if your jungler is starting red buff, the mid laner and top laner will start blue buff together, giving the buff to the mid laner. Then the mid laner and top laner will rotate together down to the doubles, and then up top to the heal treant, clearing everything together the whole time. The top laner should tank all the camps and take the heal treant at the end to heal up to full.
Meanwhile, the jungler and bottom laner will start the red buff together. Depending on the hero, the red buff can be given to either to jungler or laner. If the jungler is krul and can use it to do major damage in ganks, then krul can take it. If the laner is saw and can use red buff effectively to bully the other laner, then saw should take it. It really depends on the heroes and what the early game strategy is, but the jungler taking it is usually best. Afterwards, the jungler and bot laner will do gold toad, and then rotate down to heal treant, again clearing everything together. The jungler should tank and take the treant at the end of the clear.
Great, simple and easy to understand. Just clear the jungle together. But where is the support? The support should be just hovering around the river, watching for invades and just acting as a scout. Potentially, the support can see where the enemy places a scout and ping it out to the jungler as well.
But wait, what if the jungler starts blue buff instead?
It still becomes the same rotation, but with the jungler and mid laner swapping places. The jungler will clear the top side jungler with the top laner, and the mid laner will help clear bottom side jungler with the bot laner. It doesn’t even matter who tanks the camps, all that matters is that the player tanking should also be the player who gets the heal treant at the end. Obviously in this case, the jungler will get the CP buff and the bot laner will get the WP buff.
Now we can put it all together. Say you and your teammates are smart players and perform the rotation. Say your opponents are uninformed and do not understand the usefulness of clearing jungle together. They go directly to lane and start pushing. Depending on where the jungler started, he will end up either on the bottom heal treant or top heal treant. Either way, it is easy to see how the jungler and the accompanying laner can easily rotate to the lane and kill the opposing laner who has the made the mistake on pushing the wave first rotation.
Hopefully this brief overview of the current 5v5 meta will be helpful to many players on their journey in the Sovereign’s Rise. If this was personally helpful to you, please share it with your friends so everyone can become aware of meta rotations. Thanks for reading, and let me know if there are any questions or suggestions for future articles.