Vainglory

BLG3RNT BUILDS: The Complete Samuel Guide [1.23 Update] by BLG3RNT

BLG3RNT BUILDS: The Complete Samuel Guide [1.23 Update]

By: BLG3RNT
Last Updated: Jan 6, 2017
32 Votes
Build 1 of 5

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Table of Contents Top

Introduction Top

BLGRNT BUILDS

I've been playing Vainglory casually since around 1.6 when Rona was released. I've always been a fan of VGF guides and they've helped me a lot through the game. I never felt my understanding of the game was good enough to create build guides, I just played.

I started collecting stats and compiled ways to understand the game, and what effects the builds truly have. Hopefully that will translate well to my build guides. I hope this to be one of many guides. It is my third so far. I'm not a pro player, but I think I am pretty good with analysis, and I think my guides will contribute to other players enjoying the game further. If you've read my guides before you'll be familiar with the format. I try to keep them all similar, so enjoy!

A final note on my guides and guides in general: The author of any guide has a particular play style. I am no different. My guides reflect my play style. They won't fit everyone's style. Typically for my builds I look for different ways to build characters. There isn't a reason to repeat the same stuff over and over, but mostly I look for what works for me. So understand these guides may not reflect the typical thought process towards a character.

Check out my other guides
Catch me streaming on Twitch
Follow me on Twitter
My YouTube Channel
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Welcome to BLG3RNT BUILDS: Samuel

Change Log Top

Added Update Section
Added Update 1.23 Section
Added WP Build
Updated WP Section
Added New Builds
Updated Abilities Section
Updated Build Items Examined Section
Added New Videos
Added Playing in the Lane Section
Added Playing in the Jungle Section
Added Weapon Power Samuel Section
Added Roam Build
Added Roam Section
Added Table of Contents
Added Samuel Quotes Section
Added Item Economics Section
Added Gameplay Videos Section
Added 2016 NALC Section


Updates Top

I try my very hardest to keep my builds up to date. One thing that I've found, however, is that the size and depth of my guides can become quite the hinderance in this process. Also as the number of my guides grow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with all of them all of the time. What I've now decided to do is to simply add an "Update 1.xx" section each time character receives a stat change. The stats in the builds will not be changed, I quote numbers far to often throughout my guide to constantly have to try to track down every instance that is affected by the nerf/buff. I do hope this is acceptable to those who enjoy my guides.

The stats in this guide are accurate as of 1.22

Update 1.23 Top

Malice & Verdict

Changes
Damage crystal ratio down from 70-100-130-160-220 + 110% CR to 60-90-120-150-210 + 100% CR
Empowered damage crystal ratio down from 80-115-150-185-255 + 130% CR to 75-105-135-165-225 + 115% CR

Unfortunately I cannot recommend any possible solutions. This is simple a power nerf, so unlike trying to counter the slow nerf on Lyra with Shiversteel or Frostburn, there is nothing we can do to counter power specifically.

About Stats and Items Top

Throughout this guide I will explain what this build actually does for your stats, how the items affect your build and abilities. It is my hope that this will help you better understand how swapping items effects your character. A guide is a exactly that, a guide. You don't have to follow this to the letter. Your game play is probably different than mine.

The reality of this, however, is that it's virtually impossible to cover every variation against every opponent. If there is something specific you are having problems understanding let me know in the comments and I'll try to help you out. I will say up front, that it is completely possible that I won't be able to answer every request. That circles back around to not being able to cover every variation.

All of the stats I give here are based on the characters lvl 12 stats

I will offer stats vs particular items. Such as "This build deals x damage vs Aegis. Since I cannot account for every character and every possible statistical build I will let you know what the stats vs that item are.

I generally math well, but if you see a calculation that might be inaccurate please, please, please let me know.

In general stats are rounded off rather than ridiculously long decimal numbers.

One final note I can think of: I searched for hours looking for basic attack speeds. I could not locate anything that stated what 100% attack speed officially meant. The closest I came to an answer was that at 100% attack speed a character would attack approximately 1 time every 1.3 seconds, so that's what I ended up using for my stat analysis.

Lore Top

‘THE NIGHTMARE’
Spoiler: Click to view

‘THE TRIAL’
Spoiler: Click to view


Alternate Fate Lore: The Door at the Top of the Stair
Spoiler: Click to view


Vainglory Spotlight Top


Samuel Quotes Top

I love Samuel's Voice Over so I thought it would be fun to make a list of his quotes. Some I may have heard wrong, some I may have missed. I'll add or correct the list as needed. Enjoy!

Your promises enslave you...
Society is the mistake...
You have to be smart to get it...
Let's evolve...
Come closer I have cookies...
I am very funny...
I like my coffee black, like my soul...
Oops! I'm all out of cookies...
Some guys just like to watch the world burn...
Forgiveness is a lie you tell yourself...
Let the chips fall...
You should subscribe to my blog...
Please try, oh please make me laugh...
Don't give up it's about to get fun...
If you can't handle me at my best, you don't deserve me at my worst...
Children are afraid of the dark, and men are afraid of the light...
Guilt is holding you back...
Battlegrounds are playgrounds... have fun...
Everyone is the same once their skin is removed...
I shall not have to explain this to you...
Do you want to cuddle or do you want to win this thing?...
Your promises enslave you...
Society is the mistake...
All I see are shadows and lies...
Your friends are dead!...
Doesn't matter which side I'm on...
Guilt, shame, regret...wastes of time...
Just give in...
Nobody wants the truth...
I'm ruining your dat to improve your life...
That's it embrace your anger...
Temptation is as good a reason as any...
What are you gonna do about it?...
Just wasting time until the next apocalypse...
There is salvation in the dark...
You know I'm right...
Want me to kiss your boo boos?...
Free yourself...
The fold would be better without us...
Don't believe everything you're told...
Arraigned, but never convicted...
I'm a scholar, not a gentleman...

Action related
Malice & Verdict
Bang-o
(other jibbersih I can't understand)
Drifting Dark
Doom Cloud...
Oh, don't look up...
Your pain heals me...
Oblivion
Look who's come to play...
Nap time...
Sleep... tight...
Upon Death
Ahh, death it is...
This proves nothing...
Too soon...
Not here, not like this...
[something I can't understand] the end of war...


My Thoughts on Samuel Top

First, let me state that I have to give major props to the folks over and SMC. I was excited for Samuel to come out, but I had no clue what was waiting for me, even after watching the Twitch feeds. Clearly a lot of others were excited for his release as well. I remember when Lyra was released, I didn't have to try very hard to get her in the character select, but so far with Samuel it's a race to see who can select him first.

That being said I wonder how many players paid to unlock him in the early release week, and will shelve him to return to their old favorites very shortly.

The Good: Samuel brings a new breed of hero to the Halcyon Fold. This game has never seen a character like Samuel. He adds a play style to VainGlory that we haven't seen yet. Malice & Verdict introduces a new type of attacking ability in such that you can attack a target and remain free to rotate 360 degrees. Once mastered it will open an entire new world of play I believe. Perhaps I'm just not that skilled and am overwhelmed by what he offers.

The Not So Good: In my opinion Samuel will take a long time to master and truly unlock the potential of this character. As I stated above, I may just not be that skilled. I haven't even come close to understanding and mastering his play, but I feel I understand enough to provide insight to others in this guide. They have Samuel listed as a "medium" difficulty to use, but I think he is easily complicated enough to be a high difficulty level. He introduces a level of complexity to play that we haven't seen before. For example: Taking into consideration which direction you are going to cast Drifting Dark, followed by trying to move with it while simultaneously tapping Malice & Verdict and then also tapping a target. There is no character that even comes close to the level of complexity that we see with Samuel's gameplay.

That being said...

I'm excited as hell to continue learning to play Samuel (and failing, and getting anger pinged 87 times with a purple question mark)). I personally think the "not so good" stuff is amazing. I just think it's "not so good" because many players, I suspect, don't understand what they are getting into by purchasing Samuel. I did, I think it's worth it, and I'm not some amazing player.

On with the guide...

Abilities Top

I'm going to get a little touchy feely with the ability section, a little more so than I usually do in my guides, because his abilities are a little confusing.

Corrupted Genius
Slot: Heroic Perk

Every 6 seconds, Samuel’s next basic attack fires a bolt of dark power at the target, dealing 50-160 (+60% CP) bonus crystal damage. Samuel then draws that power back to himself, restoring 50-160 health and 50-160 energy. The restorative effects are only 25% as effective against non-heroes.

Understand this heroic perk is a slightly weaker crystal version of Tension Bow (and probably more powerful at lvl 12 with a CP build), minus the armor piercing. This is quite possibly your most important ability in the lane (more later). Now, one thing I'm going to note for you, this heroic perk happens every 6 seconds with a basic attack so don't forget to use your basic attacks which is easy when you're using a mage, especially one that is as ability driven as Samuel. Also note that the damage is scalable, but the heal and energy regen isn't. I'll touch on that more later.

Malice & Verdict
Slot: A

Samuel fires two quick shots from his wands at a target location that impact on the first enemy hit. Samuel can move between the shots.

If Samuel is standing inside the field from Drifting Dark, this ability is empowered. While empowered, the shots move faster, travel farther, deal additional damage and burst upon impact dealing damage in a small area.

This build effects this ability's stats as follows:
Cooldown: from 4/4/4/4/3 to 2.4/2.4/2.4/2.4/1.8
Damage Crystal Buff: 282
Empowered Damage Crystal Buff: 333
Empowered to minions Crystal Buff: 51

This is an ability it took me a little while to understand what was happening. What is amazing about this ability is that you can move during the attack in every direction. It is similar to Skye's Forward Barrage in that you move while you fire and that it gets blocked by minions, but it's different in that you attack a single spot and can move and face in every direction, instead of attacking one direction and facing one direction.

Now, what may throw you off with this ability is that when you tap the ability to activate it, you'll receive a blue circle like many, many abilities on vainglory, indicating you need to pick a direction. At least that's what I thought... What actually happens is that you need to pick a "spot". Where ever you tap to attack is where Samuel is going to attack. After you select a spot within the blue circle, you are then free to move anywhere you want; front, back, side to side, around in a circle, where ever. No matter where you move to Samuel is going to attack that spot. In other words this becomes your pivot point. Now you can move further or closer to that pivot point, you can move to the side, but he will always face that pivot point. If you move past that pivot point he will turn around.

Drifting Dark
Slot: B

Samuel creates a large field of darkness that slowly drifts forward, damaging enemies who stand inside it. If Samuel also stands inside, he heals for a small amount for each affected target.

This build effects this ability's stats as follows:
Cooldown: from 20 to 12
Damage/sec Crystal Buff: 26
DMG to minions Crystal Buff: 13
Heal/sec/per Target Crystal Buff: 26
Heal/sec/per minion Crystal Buff: 13

This ability is your typical Vainglory ability. What is challenging about this ability is learning which direction to cast it at what times. If your like me, or like the average player, you are going to be used to casting your abilities towards your opponent, but there are times when it's best to cast it backwards to aid your retreat, or up and down to help you take down a turret. The other tough thing to learn is that sometimes you just need to cast it, when your instinct might be to cast it and follow it for the empowerment. Such is not always the case, and that natural instinct may end up with you dead.

When you are within Drifting Dark your Malice & Verdict is empowered. This means that it's stronger, your cooldown is almost non-existent, it travels further, and it provides splash damage. This is indicated by the Malice & Verdict icon glowing. One other thing to note is that as long as you cast this empowered Malice & Verdict while in Drifting Dark if you move out of the cloud your second shot will still also be empowered. Below is an empowered example.

Note: I choose to leave this at level 4 because I prefer the slower movement of the cloud. Personally it allows me to control it better and stay in it longer. If your play style differs you can take the overdrive for Drifting Dark over the overdrive for Oblivion.

Oblivion
Slot: C

After a short delay, Samuel summons a phantasm at the target location, which puts nearby enemies to sleep. Enemies inflicted are unable to move or act.

Dealing direct damage to a sleeping enemy with an attack or ability will wake them up.

This build effects this ability's stats as follows:
Cooldown: from 90/75/60 to 55/46/36
Damage Crystal Buff: 256

What is tricky about this ability is that it's cost and cooldown are that of an ultimate, but if someone attacks while they are sleeping the effect disappears. It does damage, so there is that, but if you cast it into the middle of a brawl, there's only that. This ability it awesome and can help you escape certain death, but it's similar to Reim's ability in that you need to anticipate where they are "going to be" not where they are at.

Build Stats Top

Here are the lvl 12 stats for this build. Numbers in parenthesis indicate how much of that number is effected by the items in the build. If no parenthesis exist it's a stat that is only influenced by items.

Lane: More CP
Corrupted Genius Damage (every 6 Seconds) 325/Vs Aegis (144)
Health 2079 (600)
Energy 870 (250)
Crystal Power 275*
Weapon Power 148 (0)
Cooldown 90%
Energy Regen 10.5
Health Regen 0
Atk Spd 130 (0)
Armor 116 (30)
Shield 211 (125)
Range 6 (0)
Move Speed 3.8 (0.6)
Crystal Lifesteal 0
Weapon Lifesteal 0
Shield Pierce 10%
Armor Pierce 0
Crit Chance 0
Crit Dmg 0
Sprint 2
*55 CP from Clockwork
Broken Myth amps CP to 371 with passive
Lane More Energy
Corrupted Genius Damage (every 6 Seconds) 314/Vs Aegis (139)
Health 2279 (800)
Energy 1370 (750)
Crystal Power 256*
Weapon Power 148 (0)
Cooldown 65%
Energy Regen 14
Health Regen 0
Atk Spd 130 (0)
Armor 256 (170)
Shield 121 (35)
Range 6 (0)
Move Speed 3.7 (0.5)
Crystal Lifesteal 10%
Weapon Lifesteal 0
Shield Pierce 0
Armor Pierce 0
Crit Chance 0
Crit Dmg 0
Sprint 3
*55 CP from Clockwork
Jungle
Corrupted Genius Damage (every 6 Seconds) 400/Vs Aegis (178)
Health 1929 (450)
Energy 870 (250)
Crystal Power 400*
Weapon Power 148 (0)
Cooldown 50%
Energy Regen 7.5
Health Regen 0
Atk Spd 130 (0)
Armor 116 (30)
Shield 211 (125)
Range 6 (0)
Move Speed 3.8 (0.6)
Crystal Lifesteal 0
Weapon Lifesteal 0
Shield Pierce 10%
Armor Pierce 0
Crit Chance 0
Crit Dmg 0
Sprint 2
*80 CP from Clockwork
Broken Myth amps CP to 540 with passive

Note: The stats for the Roam build are in the roam section.

Build Items Examined Top

Crystal Bit:
I start with this item always with Samuel. He is energy hungry, so my initial inclination was to start with an Energy Battery, but I found that the CP is more productive with him.
Shatterglass
There is nothing to really say about this item. Pure CP. Samuel benefits heavily from CP. I rush this item first.
Broken Myth
I also rush this item right after Shatterglass. With the main lane build I offer you in this guide Broken Myth's passive provide you nearly 100 extra CP points, bumping your CP to 371.

Passive: Amplify all crystal damage by 7% for each second you are in combat against heroes. After 5 seconds, you lose a stack each second. Max 5 stacks.

It's stats work in your favor as well:

+10% Shield Pierce
+70 Crystal Power

If you don't understand how Shield Pierce works, let me break it down for you.

Let's say you are Samuel using the more CP build from this guide. For simplicity's sake I'm going to omit the Broken Myth amplification passive, and use just straight stats. So that means with this build you are going to be toting 275 CP.

You engage in combat with a Phinn who has 86 shield at lvl 12, and is carrying both Aegis (+125) shield and Fountain of Renewal (+75) for a total of 286 shield.

Now let's say instead of Broken Myth you choose Frostburn because you want the additional 25 CP. So your total CP now is 313 instead of the 275. (If you are trying to figure out why it was increased more than the 25 CP that's because Clockwork amplifies all CP).

So your crystal damage on this Phinn with the Frostburn build would be: 81
The build with Broken Myth instead of Frostburn as I recommend is: 91

(and for those of you who aren't confused yet, if you include the amplification from Broken Myth after full stacked you'd be doing 124 CP damage.)
Eve of Harvest:
Ok, so let's get down to basics. Samuel is energy hungry as hell. You are going to go through energy like it's water. Nearly every thing about this item screams energy, with a bit of lifesteal to top it off. It has 55 CP, which isn't huge, but isn't pathetic either. This coupled with your corrupted genious should help keep you alive fairly well. That being said, Samuel is very squishy so play accordingly.

Stats:
Passive: Your next 600-1200 (level 1-12) points of crystal damage to enemy heroes has +25% lifesteal, recharges over 40 seconds.

+10% Crystal Lifesteal
+55 Crystal Power
+250 Max Energy
+5 Energy Recharge

A final note: This item has fallen out of favor with me as far as my preferred build is concerned. I do still include it and my original build. I will explain why later in this guide in the "lane" section.
Journey Boots
I have actually switched to preferring these over Halcyon Chargers. Samuel's abilities it is so easy to hit an enemy. Malice & Verdict allow you to hit them without loosing momentum while fleeing, and if there is a team fight Drifting Dark is almost guaranteed to hit someone.

Halcyon Chargers
Choose these boots for the energy and cooldown.
Clockwork
This item to me screams everything that Samuel needs! It's shorter cooldowns, it's more energy, and oh yeah, more energy.

+40% Cooldown Speed
+250 Max Energy
+7.5 Energy Recharge

But it's not CP, you may be thinking to yourself. Of course if you are thinking that it's only because you aren't familiar with this item.

Passive: Amplify Crystal Power by 25%

Which in this build translates into an additional 51 CP, which is nearly as much as your Eve of Harvest.
Contraption
"You're screwy. This isn't an item for a laner." You might be saying. Let me explain my thinking, and why I include such an odd choice. First, I find Samuel to be more squishy than his stats appear to make him, and if I don't see a gank coming I die. The reason for this is because Samuel is one of the few laners that doesn't have an escape.
Blackfeather has a dash Rose Offensive.
Celeste ahs a stun Core Collapse.
Kestrel can disappear with Active Camo.
Lance has Combat Roll
Lyra has Arcane Passage.
Ringo doesn't have an escape ability.
SAW has Roadie Run
Skaarf doesn't have an escape, but with Goop can at lest slow the attackers.
Skye has Suri Strike.
Vox has Sonic Zoom.

Second, I solo queue a lot and the reliability of my roam (if there is one) is suspect. Further, even if I have a good roam who does a good job of providing me with vision, once the enemy pops the mines I'm blind again until the roamer replaces the mine.

Finally, everything about Contraption is what Samuel needs:

+350 Health
+40% Cooldown Speed
+3 Energy Recharge

The only T3 items in the game that provide more health are Crucible, Shiversteel, and War Treads.
The only T3 item that provides more cooldown is Clockwork.
The only T3 items that provides more energy regen are Clockwork and Stormcrown.

So I get all of that, plus the vision I need to stay alive.
Crucible
There isn't a lot to say about this item. For me it's purely about the HP buff. The Reflex Block is also very useful when you're squishy for getting out of tight spots.
Metal Jacket/ Aegis
I have aegis listed, simply because all things equal, if I can only choose one, I'd choose Aegis for the Reflex Block. Otherwise choose depending on the opposing team and who is giving you the most trouble. Atlas Pauldron isn't a good fit because you shouldn't be in the middle of a brawl, and if you are you should be getting the hell out of there.

Allow me a small moment of demonstration for the difference between Metal Jacket & Atlas Pauldron. I originally created this example for my Lyra guide. I'm representing it here without edits so understand there are going to be Lyra mentions instead of Samuel.
Originally I was playing Lyra with Atlas Pauldron to counter the speed of Krul, Koshka, and other speedy characters. Then I started looking at it closer.

So here's what I did. I created a Krul build that included Sorrowblade, Tornado Trigger, serpent's mask (actually when playing a match during the development time of this build I encountered a Krul with precisely these items in his build). I understand that most builds here on VGF use crystal items, but I wanted the build to be weapon heavy so I could look at the effects of Atlas Pauldron vs Metal Jacket.

Something to remember is the effect of Atlas Pauldron is an active and it lasts for 5 seconds. So I looked at this in burst of 5 seconds of damage. It has a 15 second cooldown, and slows attacks by 65%.

Reduces attack speed of nearby enemies by 65% for 5 seconds in a 4-meter range. Does not reduce below the base attack speed animation. (15s cooldown)

Here's how it breaks down:

Atlas Pauldron:
Armor: +85
In 5 seconds without Atlas Pauldron active this Krul would cause 1035 damage (this accounts for the damage negated by the armor).
In the 5 seconds with Atlas Pauldron active this damage lowers to 673.

Metal Jacket:
Armor: +170 (twice as much armor btw)
In 5 seconds this Krul build would cause 710 damage

Conclusion:
With Atlas Pauldron active we save ourselves 37 damage. That's with the caveat that we remember to activate it.
Without the active we are hammered with an extra 325 damage.

To put this in perspective let’s look at a 10 second encounter, which means you'd have 5 seconds with the active and 5 while it was on cooldown.

Atlas Pauldron: 1035+673=1708 damage taken
Metal Jacket: 710+710=1420 damage taken

So yes, if you manage to only fight Krul for 5 seconds in which 37 damage is the difference between living and dying and you have the active available and not on cooldown, yes it would save you.

but in the long run you have 282 health better chance at survival with Metal Jacket if that encounter goes beyond the 5 seconds the active lasts. Of course the choice is up to you.

Optional Items Top

Alternating Current
So, you want to rush Alternating Current because it has attack speed, but it also has the added perk of every other basic attack dealing 70% of your crystal power as bonus damage. Yay!

But hold on.

Alternating Current gives you 60 crystal power, which is 36 CP towards your Corrupted Genius perk, as where Eve of Harvest gives you 55 CP, which is 33 towards your Corrupted Genius. Not a huge difference. Let me also say that I've seen others say "So it's best to pair it with an Alternating Current to help out the lightning bolt's damage and better heal on yourself". Now maybe I'm wrong, but let's look at exactly what the Corrupted Genius perk says.

Corrupted Genius
Slot: Heroic Perk

Every 6 seconds, Samuel’s next basic attack fires a bolt of dark power at the target, dealing 50-160 (+60% CP) bonus crystal damage. Samuel then draws that power back to himself, restoring 50-160 health and 50-160 energy. The restorative effects are only 25% as effective against non-heroes.

"Samuel then draws that power back to himself, restoring 50-160 health and 50-160 energy."

Nothing about that says the restorative effects scale with your CP only the damage. Let's look at this a little further shall we?...

Alternating Current states:
Every other basic attack deals 70% of your crystal power as bonus damage.


Corrupted Genius states:
Every 6 seconds, Samuel’s next basic attack fires a bolt of dark power at the target

Even with Samuel's heroic perk there is no guarantee that, even if it's restorative properties scaled with the CP, that the 6 seconds would happen on the every other basic attack. So alternating current may not have as much effect as you might think.

What it doesn't have that Eve of Harvest does, is 10% lifesteal and a boatload of energy. Energy you will desperately need, and lifesteal that will help keep your squishy butt alive.

Aftershock
I personally am a big fan of this item in my CP builds. I will toy around with this item a bit more as time passes on and might revisit it. I know not a lot of people are fans of this item if some of the responses to it being in my Lyra build is any indication. However, as I've mentioned throughout this guide Samuel is a challenging character to play well, and until I've mastered my control of him, rather than frantically trying to coordinate all the movement and casting I think the other items play better for me personally right now. I do see serious potential because 15% of an opponents max health, coupled with a corrupt genius shot could be very powerful.
Frostburn
This item is easily missing a spot in my build. Meaning you certainly wouldn't have to argue to long with me that it should be in my build. It's slow perk could help you keep opponents inside Drifting Dark, or help you escape. I think for now though I prefer the lifesteal and energy of Eve of Harvest over the slow and CP of Frostburn. That might change.

Item Economics Top

When you are building your items, what is the best approach to building them? We often talk about rushing items, but is that the best way to do it? Let's take a look.

Let's say the first two items we are going to build are Shatterglass & Broken Myth.

To get there we know we have to build:

4 Crystal Bits
2 Heavy Prisms
1 Eclipse Prism
1 Piercing Shard

Before finally reaching our goal. For this example let's say we start the game with a Crystal Bit and 2 Halcyon Potions, as we want to keep one item slot always open for our Halcyon Potions, so we will be left with 4 item slots.

On your first trip back to the shop you've amassed 1400 gold, which would be enough to purchase a Heavy Prism (750 by upgrading the Crystal Bit), and a Eclipse Prism (650). That's a total of 85 CP.

On the other hand we could purchase 3 more Crystal Bits for 900 gold since we know we need a total of 4 for the Shatterglass & Broken Myth we are building towards. Then we could also upgrade 1 of those Crystal Bits to an Eclipse Prism for an additional 350. Putting our total cost at 1250. In this case we'd have a total of 95 CP for 150 less gold.

This still leaves you with 1 item slot open, which you could soon place Sprint Boots in or whatever other item you like to get in the early game.

In Vainglory the lower tier items often offer more bang for your buck, so to speak. Obviously eventually we have to upgrade because we have limited item slots. If you know your build well, and plan it out, sometimes building towards 2 items by stocking lower tier items first makes you more powerful early game, instead of rushing and pouring all of your resources into rushing that Shatterglass. Also keep in mind, that in this particular scenario the Shatterglass, which we are building towards first, has no special passive that benefits us if we get there sooner, it's pure CP. Take this into account with your build when deciding if you want to rush an item or stockpile smaller items first.

Lane Samuel Top

To truly be effective with Samuel in the lane you have to pay more attention than with most characters. With many characters you can get away with just auto attacking the lane creeps and engaging the enemy as the match evolves. As players evolve and learn the game they then graduate to stutter stepping and last hitting in the lane, but if you're lazy you may not bother even if you know how (like me depending on my mood). Corrupted Genius takes these skills to the next level.

You may have noticed that the More CP build has significantly less energy to the tune of 500 less. You may also notice that I, and probably many other guides, have said how energy hungry Samuel is. Why in the world would I favor a build with so much less energy?

Simple. My understanding of Samuel has evolved.

I'm able to play in the lane, stay full of (or refill) energy, and do it with even less usage of potions.

The key to this is Corrupted Genius. Let's (again) look at this perk:

Corrupted Genius
Slot: Heroic Perk

Every 6 seconds, Samuel’s next basic attack fires a bolt of dark power at the target, dealing 50-160 (+60% CP) bonus crystal damage. Samuel then draws that power back to himself, restoring 50-160 health and 50-160 energy. The restorative effects are only 25% as effective against non-heroes.

So what does this mean in simple terms? This means at lvl 2 Corrupted Genius restores 60 energy points if you hit a hero with it, and only 15 if you hit a non-hero. Side note: Halcyon Potion only restores 105 energy, and only 40 of that is instant.

At level 2 Samuel has 320 energy points. Which means you're replacing nearly 20% of your energy if you hit a hero.

Not convinced? Let me further this discussion. The cost to cast a lvl 2 Malice & Verdict is 60 energy points. Hit a hero with your Corrupted Genius and you get to cast it for free.

Want to see this in action? Here's a quick clip of the difference. You'll easily see the difference in the meter movement. I did my best to have the meter in the same place. You'll see that my energy meter starts at approximately the 3 in my gamertag in both instances. In the first instance I the enemy hero ( SAW), and the energy is refilled to the N in my gamertag (nearly refilled). In the second example I tag a lane creep with the Corrupted Genius and the meter barely moves, only making it half way to the R. (You may need to enlarge the video).

In conclusion if you play the lane properly with Corrupted Genius you can avoid all of this nonsense and panic about Samuel's energy.

Jungle Samuel Top

There isn't a lot to be said about playing the jungle. If you've been playing for any amount of time you are familiar with how to play in the jungle, and Samuel isn't much different. I think he's just as suited for the jungle as he is for the lane. Couple an Oblivion with an empowered Malice & Verdict from the bushes, and you can easily burst down lane characters for a gank. My jungle build favors CP hugely over anything else, and that's just because you're a little safer in the jungle typically.

All that being said there is a neat little trick you can do with Samuel, which I call the 3 Camp Combo. Using one casting of Drifting Dark and your empowered Malice & Verdict you can take out 3 jungle camps in one pass. Talk about clearing the jungle quick! It's a little hard to explain in words so I've created a video.

Full disclosure: This video demonstrates the action, however in this clip I'm overpowered. This video was done in a practice setting, and I was using a Shatterglass with jungle camps only a few minutes old. You'll also notice I didn't cleanly hit the second camp, and still had time to finish the combo. This probably won't work for you early game, but mid to late game, depending on your build it will work. I did discover this during a match so I know it can be done during a match. It's super helpful to be able to clear 3 jungle camps in a matter of seconds (10 in this video) and then move up into the lane to gank or assist.

Roam Samuel Top

Yer an idiot...

I'm sure that's what you are saying right now when you see that I have a roam build, and a roam section for Samuel. Well, if you follow my builds you know I try to think outside the box. That's why you'll find things in my guides that you won't find anywhere else. Just humor me for a moment.

Recently I was stuck in a game where I had chosen Samuel and indicated that I was going to be a crystal jungle. Of course as you've surely experienced, some people are going to pick what they are going to pick, and thus we ended up with a laner Vox and a second jungle Taka. So, I decided to take the role of roamer and see what I could make happen. That's what got me thinking of this build. Honestly, I never would have even attempted it if I hadn't been put in this position, and if you had caught me on a bad day I wouldn't have done it anyways, we would have just double jungled, but in this moment it was the choice I made. I didn't do too bad, 5/5/14.

When most of us think roam, what do we think? We think "support" right? I don't know why they don't just call it support like they used to. I also wish they had a "fill" option, to let others on your team know you were willing to fill whatever position they didn't want. I digress. If we further that question I think generally people think "tank" when they think support, although I don't know if I always agree with that, but it's the norm.

Okay, so...

We want someone who can heal and/or buff, ala Adagio's Gift of Fire/ Agent of Wrath, Lyra's Imperial Sigil, or Phinn's Polite Company. Well it may not be as powerful as some of those, but Fountain of Renewal gives us a healing ability, right?

We want some crowd control, ala Lyra's Bright Bulwark, Ardan's Gauntlet, or Catherine's stun, something that will allow our teammates to escape or engage. Samuel has Oblivion and to a lesser degree Drifting Dark.

But if we think of "roam" as truly a roam, roam means to wander. Someone who can be effective in nearly any situation on the map. Typically when the laner has to return to the base, or dies, the roam comes up to deter the other team away, but many times the best they can do is absorb damage with the help of the turret until the laner gets back. Well what if your roam was able to come up and actually push the lane with effectiveness so you weren't losing ground just because the laner returned to base? Samuel excels and both the lane and in the jungle.

You are still delirious dude...

Okay let's look at some stats with the suggested roam build.

Samuel
Health 2729 (1250)
Energy 620 (0)
Crystal Power 150
Weapon Power 148 (0)
Cooldown 40%
Energy Regen 3
Health Regen 16
Atk Spd 130 (0)
Armor 316 (230)
Shield 321 (235)
Range 6 (0)
Move Speed 3.6 (0.4)
Crystal Lifesteal 0
Weapon Lifesteal 0
Shield Pierce 0
Armor Pierce 0
Crit Chance 0
Crit Dmg 0
Sprint 2
Ardan
Health 2856 (1250)
Energy 0 (0)
Crystal Power 150
Weapon Power 140 (0)
Cooldown 40%
Energy Regen 3
Health Regen 16
Atk Spd 136 (0)
Armor 326 (230)
Shield 321 (235)
Range 1.8 (0)
Move Speed 3.7 (0.4)
Crystal Lifesteal 0
Weapon Lifesteal 0
Shield Pierce 0
Armor Pierce 0
Crit Chance 0
Crit Dmg 0
Sprint 2
Catherine
Health 2759 (1250)
Energy 464 (0)
Crystal Power 150
Weapon Power 141 (0)
Cooldown 40%
Energy Regen 3
Health Regen 16
Atk Spd 136 (0)
Armor 310 (230)
Shield 348 (235)
Range 1.5 (0)
Move Speed 3.8 (0.4)
Crystal Lifesteal 0
Weapon Lifesteal 0
Shield Pierce 0
Armor Pierce 0
Crit Chance 0
Crit Dmg 0
Sprint 2

Okay, Okay, maybe you wouldn't build Ardan or Catherine that way. Round 2. This time using the most popular Ardan guide I found on this site updated for 1.20. (I substituted Contraption for the Flare they had in their final build.


Samuel
Health 3279 (1800)
Energy 820 (200)
Crystal Power 0
Weapon Power 148 (0)
Cooldown 70%
Energy Regen 8
Health Regen 16
Atk Spd 130 (0)
Armor 201 (115)
Shield 196 (110)
Range 6 (0)
Move Speed 3.6 (0.4)
Crystal Lifesteal 0
Weapon Lifesteal 0
Shield Pierce 0
Armor Pierce 0
Crit Chance 0
Crit Dmg 0
Sprint 2
Ardan
Health 3415 (1800)
Energy 0 (0)
Crystal Power 0
Weapon Power 140 (0)
Cooldown 70%
Energy Regen 8
Health Regen 16
Atk Spd 136 (0)
Armor 211 (115)
Shield 196 (110)
Range 1.8 (0)
Move Speed 3.7 (0.4)
Crystal Lifesteal 0
Weapon Lifesteal 0
Shield Pierce 0
Armor Pierce 0
Crit Chance 0
Crit Dmg 0
Sprint 2
Catherine
Health 3309 (1800)
Energy 664 (200)
Crystal Power 0
Weapon Power 141 (0)
Cooldown 70%
Energy Regen 8
Health Regen 16
Atk Spd 136 (0)
Armor 195 (115)
Shield 223 (110)
Range 1.5 (0)
Move Speed 3.8 (0.4)
Crystal Lifesteal 0
Weapon Lifesteal 0
Shield Pierce 0
Armor Pierce 0
Crit Chance 0
Crit Dmg 0
Sprint 2

I think I'm at least close to making my point. When built as a support, Samuel is statistically close to some of the other support characters.

Now let me clarify a few things...

I'm not saying Samuel is going to be your best choice for a support. I'm not saying that Ardan and Catherine don't have kits better suited for support. I'm saying Samuel could be feasible as a support, but you'd have to learn a different style of support, and you'd really need to become proficient with Oblivion. Ardan & Catherine are brawlers, you can't use Samuel as a brawler in a support role. This is outside the box thinking because I was surprised at how well I was able to make him work in a support role.

For the record, in general I prefer the support role. I'm quite familiar with all of the support characters, so I welcome your comments about this section, however, please don't assume I'm missing the point of how support/roam is played. I'm not. I'm challenging you to think about how you view a support character. After all, adaigo is listed in the game as a roam/protector, but I've seen some people play him as a very deadly laner. Outside the box.

Weapon Power Samuel Top

Well I'm not smart enough to have figured out the Weapon Power build I use in this guide on my own. This build of Breaking Point | tyrant's monacle | tyrant's monacle is a very popular build for WP Vox at the moment, and was shown to be feasible on Samuel by VONC of TSM.

Understand that going WP Samuel places a severe damper on your Malice & Verdict so you will have to learn to use your basic attack much more often, especially in those tight battles where you need more power, but your tendency might be to use Malice & Verdict in those situations. That being said, build WP makes Corrupted Genius hit like a hammer.

If I had to pick one I prefer WP in the lane over the jungle, even thought VONC made it popular in the jungle. I find the lane clear with WP in the lane to be more useful. In the jungle you can afford to spam Malice & Verdict more so, than you can in the lane because you are constantly having your energy replenished by the heal camps.

My Original View on WP Samuel (outdated):
{spoiler]
I've been toying around with a WP build. Obviously, everyone tries to go opposite of the intention just to be different at some point. It didn't take long before WP Lyra was showing up, which can actually work pretty well.

However, after several attempts, and then looking at the numbers closer, I'm convinced that a WP Samuel isn't feasible. Yes, yes I understand that you can, but you really shouldn't. But why? you may be asking. If someone who is primarily crystal like Lyra can actually work with WP, why couldn't Samuel?

Well, there's a huge difference in how they are effected. First let's look at why a WP Lyra can work. Lyra's main form of attack is her basic attack Principle Arcanum with the channeled missiles. Those only benefit 40/60 crystal ratio, so you don't gain so much from the crystal buff that taking it away is going to cripple you. Add the additional WP to it and presto you pepper them with WP missiles that slow. You lose a bit of damage from your Imperial Sigil, but this ability is used primarily as a deterrent.

Now if we look at Samuel. Chances are that you're primary mode of attacking heroes is with Malice & Verdict, as his basic attacks are slow kinda weak. On top of that his strongest form of damage is the empowered Malice & Verdict. Now, when you are empowered you can basically cast Malice & Verdict as quickly as you can tap it, it travels further, and deals splash damage (none of which I can quantify for you because there are no stats on the splash damage or the range increase).

So lets compare shall we? If you are familiar with my guides then you know... yes we shall!

For this example we will compare only Sorrowblade vs Shatterglass. They both provide 150 WP/CP respectively with no passives so it will make it an even trade.

I'm going to use lvl 12 stats for this comparison, and we are going to assume no shields or armor, just because it's irrelevant. We aren't including any pierce in our example so they'd be effected equally.

At level 12 with just Sorrowblade Samuel has a WP of 298
At level 12 with just Shatterglass Samuel has a CP of 150

WOW that's almost double! you say.

So this means that against a sack of potatoes with no armor or shield you will deal 298 with a basic attack. Keep in mind that if you sit and trade basic attacks with Samuel you will probably lose.

Now lets look at Malice & Verdict. Just to prove a point (because I'm like that), I'm going to pretend you don't take the overdrive, and that your ability is only at level 4. Malice & Verdict at level 4 deals 160 damage with a 110% crystal buff. Keep in mind that this is an ability and since it has no WP buff it doesn't deal weapon damage, it's all crystal damage. So let me throw a little math at you:

Ability Power = Base Power + Modifiers = 160 + 1.10(150) = 160 + 165 = 325

So if you go the route of WP with a Sorrowblade you do 298 weapon damage.
If you go the route of Shatterglass with 150 CP you do 325 crystal damage with a lvl 4 Malice & Verdict

Oh, and you cast the Malice & Verdict twice with each ability so you're looking at 650 against a sack of potatoes.

What about empowered? An empowered Malice & Verdict looks like this, with only Shatterglass at level 4.

Ability Power = Base Power + Modifiers = 185 + 1.30(150) = 185 + 195 = 380

So I'll leave it to your discretion and play style as to whether you think the WP build is still viable after all of this. And in case there are any questions about what I've said here I've included a couple videos.

So if you question whether your WP carries over into your casting of Malice & Verdict I can understand why. Some abilities in the game include a basic attack like Fortress' Truth of the Tooth in which the lunge attack is actually a basic attack. Malice & Verdict looks a lot like a basic attack, but it's not.

So first let's see if Malice & Verdict carries any WP damage. We know from the stats that it shouldn't, but it looks very similar to his basic attack so maybe it will? As you will see in this video WP is portray in red numbers, and CP is in blue. If you look in the lower left corner of the video you'll see I'm carrying 2 Sorrowblades.
So after seeing that we can deduce that Malice & Verdict are clearly CP only. (and by the way YIKES do those Treants have a lot of armor. With 2 Sorrowblades at lvl 1 I should be toting 378 WP, yet we only do 180 total damage. NOT a sack of potatoes. LOL)

But wait a minute, you might be saying, you said Malice & Verdict cast damage twice but I looked up his stats and at level 1 Malice & Verdict does 70 damage. In that video it only did 33 crystal damage twice. Looks like it cuts it in half. You must be wrong BLG3RNT.

I thought you might say that. I could just site the fact that the armor on the Treant more than cut the WP damage in half, but since there are no stats on jungle creeps that I'm aware of we can't prove that without a little bit more exploring. So let's look at this more closely.

So a level 1 Malice & Verdict with a Shatterglass looks like this:

Ability Power = Base Power + Modifiers = 70 + 1.10(150) = 70 + 165 = 235

Let's see what happens...

Did you see what I saw? Each casting did 128 crystal damage. Now I can't prove to you how much armor the Treant has, but I can prove to you that 128+128=256, which is higher than the 235 we should be casting, therefore we've proven that the stats for Malice & Verdict are indeed for each shot he fires, and the damage is not split between the two shots.[/spoiler]

Gameplay Videos Top


2016 NALC Top

I'm not going to include them in my builds but here are the builds I've seen in the North American League Championships so far.

Build 1:
Broken Myth, Eve of Harvest, Travel Boots (only made it to T2 before the match ended I'd assume Halcyon Chargers, but pick your boots), 3 defensive items.

This particular player jungled, and always used this composition. I leave it at 3 defensive items because he built to counter the other team.

Build 2:

Broken Myth, Eve of Harvest, Halcyon Chargers, Frostburn, Clockwork, and 1 defensive item.

This player laned, and in this case the defensive item was Aegis, but I suspect we would have seen Metal Jacket if the opponent laner has been WP.

Overall so far the analysts have felt that Samuel has fallen off late game. You can take from that what you want, but I personally think that Samuel is so CP dependent that leaving out Shatterglass is a big mistake, and a reason why he's been so weak late game.

Thank you Top

Thank you for reading my Samuel build guide. If you enjoyed it, please consider giving it an up vote. If you are familiar with my other guides then you know you can expect more content to be added to this guide. Stay tuned.

I hope this build guide has helped you better understand Samuel, and I hope I don't have to face you when you're using this build. I genuinely would love any feedback you might have for my build. If you have any questions on this build, the stats and calculations, or would like me to run through any scenarios leave a comment and let me know. I will do my best to answer as many as I can, though as I said earlier I can't handle every single scenario this amazing game can produce.

~BLG3RNT

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