Krul laughs at Ozo. I have yet to get killed by an Ozo as Krul. Interested in the further development of Ozo!
I have yet to see an Alpha kill a Krul.
Celeste is considered a bad pick vs. Krul. The constant shields, heals, slows and heliogenesis-dodging makes Celeste one of the easiest targets in the game for Krul.
Joule is one of the easiest heroes to kill when you're Krul. You'll have to gank her often though, because she can turn into a real threat in late game if she's got a good frontline to peel you off her.
Rona is not really the best pick vs. Krul. However, the Mortal Wounds from Rona's Foesplitter can be a threat to Krul as it amplifies her team's damage against him.
Phinn has a lot to offer in well-coordinated teamfights, but this requires excellent skill from the Phinn player. In ordinary situations Phinn won't pose a threat to Krul!
Ardan himself does not stand a chance vs. Krul. However, Ardan is extremely versatile and will capitalize on your mistakes letting his carries do the job for him. Watch out if Ardan is rushing Atlas Pauldron!
Taka is normally considered a weak counter to Krul, but can gain an advantage on Krul because of his excellent movement speed and versatility. A well played Taka can take control of the map and deny Krul a lot of farm. However, in teamfight situations Taka should be no problem for Krul.
Blackfeather typically will be uncomfortable playing vs. a Krul. He will however in many cases be able to counter your laner, so that means you'll have to really focus on defending your laner in teamfights.
Kestrel is not a direct counter to Krul, but she has a lot of early game power which can force Krul into an uncomfortable game and awkward jungle rotations.
A good counter when paired with Fortress. Otherwise not to be considered a counter.
I really enjoy Adagio vs. Krul matchups. Adagio has a decent ability kit for kiting Krul, but you cannot afford many mistakes as Krul definitely will you punish you for them. Adagio will in most cases be used to buff another hero like SAW or Ringo when playing vs. Krul though! Initiate a teamfight on Adagio when his Agent of Wrath (B) is on cooldown!
SAW is a good hero against Krul, put not a top counter pick. If you're playing Krul against a SAW, you should definitely know how to control your stacks of Spectral Smite!
While Koshka might not be the most insane counter to Krul early/mid-game, she'll be a really dangerous addition to any enemy team late game with her long-ass stun.
She's not a super natural counter to Krul, but a well played Catherine can time silences and stuns in a way that makes a fight really inconvenient for Krul.
A well protected Ringo with a Bone Saw can shred through Krul really fast. Play Ringo vs. Krul with a support like Ardan or Fortress. Fortress would require a more agressive playstyle than an Ardan. Krul is usually considered as a counter to Ringo though, but that's primarily in 1v1 situations.
I've suffered way too many losses vs. Reim for what I'm comfortable with. He is basically a crystal power Krul, and at first sight may not seem to scary. But paired with a Fortress, Reim can go absolutely crazy if played good.
Skaarf can counter Krul a lot in the correct situations. He is however an easy target for Krul to gank or single out in a teamfight. Skaarf needs a good frontline who can peel Krul off him.
Watch out for Petal. She's got a good ability kit to kite you around and making you never being able to hit her!
When fortress puts a bleed on Krul, all shield and heal effects from Krul's spells are reduced by33%. Pair fortress with a good jungle carry and Krul is very killable!
Skye has a great kit for countering Krul. Kiting kiting kiting... If Skye additionally has a support like Ardan or Catherine, it will be even harder to reach her.
I play Vainglory professionally for SK Gaming, and I'm a huge fan of Krul. I've played him in a lot of tournaments including VGL, ESL, VMS and Autumn and Winter Live Championships in Europe. There should be plenty of videos and streams out there on twitch and youtube of my gameplay! (I'll post videos in this article down below!)
The reason I'm making this Krul guide is because I'm seeing a lot of bad Krul plays out there, and I aint havin' it!! I've posted my suggested ability and item builds in the graphics above ^, and in the text below I'll write more in detail about specific gameplay
I assume you already know how the abilites work...
Let's talk about smart ways to use them!
Shadows Empower Me
This passive is amazing; arguably the coolest passive in the game! You just spend 1,5 seconds standing still in a bush and then you can run with double movement speed for a while and slow your target on your first hit! That's basically a free boots activation and a shiversteel hit which you can use at any time in the game and absolutely free! Also with the change in patch 1.15, Krul can even take damage while charging up this ability and not get interrupted. This means if you're getting chased in the early game, you can actually sacrifice some health to just stop for a sec and gain that movement speed to run out of the fight!
This spell is obviously awesome for lane ganking as well. If you use this at the right time you can get some pretty awesome kills in the lane in the early game. Try it out!
Dead Man's Rush aka "DASH"
This is the best initiating and/or turn-around ability ever! It lets you dash to your enemy and gain a pretty sizeable shield. Don't waste it though! You need to know when it's actually necessary to use it and when it's not! One of the most common mistakes I see from Krul players is that they use this spell when they're already under the effect of the passive Shadows Empower Me. They're basically running with increased attack speed from the passive and then using Dead Man's Rush to close the gap of which they could close with the passive alone! Save the dash for when you actually need it!
The famous SMITE is best known for the huge nuke, but please also remember the passive effect of this spell!! For every stack you got on your target, your lifesteal on basic attacks increase AND their damage output is reduced drastically (50%) at 8 stacks. SO! Try to keep your stacks at max for as long as possible, because then the enemy hero will basically be useless. Choose your timings of Spectral Smite carefully...
From Hell's Heart aka "STUN"
The most badass stun in the game!! It has so many useages, and only your creativity is the limit! I don't usually recommend trying to throw the sword like a boomerang though, because this is really easy to dodge and it's definitely harder to hit your desired target. Additionally, it'll just be a random stun without any specific purpose. I recommend trying to use the stun to interrupt an enemy casting a spell, setting up a stun-lock/chain-stun or protecting your laner!
Ardan is by most people considered the best support for Krul. Krul really enjoys to get extra heals and shields, and Ardan's Vanguard contributes nicely to that! Also Gauntlet syngergizes really well with Krul because it makes the process of stacking Spectral Smite stacks a LOT easier! However, Ardan wont contribute too much to dealing damage, and is thus the "safe" option for a support for Krul. Krul + Ardan is a very versatile, easy-to-play and predictable combo!
Fortress is a really good support for Krul, and one of my personal favorites (top 2)! Fortress allows Krul to be super aggressive, and that's when Krul can be both an early game hero and a late game hero!! Truth of the Tooth gives Krul extra movement speed and when used correctly, you'll have 3 "dashes" available to stick to your enemy. Also, Law of the Claw deals damage after 6 total basic attacks, and that damage is really easy to achieve with Krul, and especially when a Shiversteel is equipped! I recommend picking Fortress with Krul when the enemy has tanky heroes or heroes that give shields and heals, like Ardan, Adagio, Phinn and Reim.
Phinn is in my top 2 favorite support heroes list for Krul! He will amplify the backwards-playing, defensive strength that Krul has by providing a skill set that punishes ballsy play by the enemy. Quibble is an amazing spell throughout the whole game - but especially in the early game when Krul is not necessarily the strongest hero in the game. In mid-late game, the Polite Company will be the most important spell from Phinn, as this assists Krul very well by giving him extra shield in addition to his already-existing shield from the dash, and brings the enemies closer for Krul to put Spectral Smite stacks on! Forced Accord is an additional kick to the groin for your enemies and is just a bonus to the already super strong kit of Phinn.
Catherine is arguably the least fitting support for Krul. Her abilites do not play on the strengths of Krul like the other supports do. However, sometimes you don't need to pick a support that syngergizes best with Krul, because he can handle himself a lot more than many of the other heroes can. Picking a Catherine with a Krul should only be considered when you want to focus on supporting your laner or counter an enemy hero. F.ex. If you pick Joule or Celeste in the lane ( Joule/ Celeste, Krul, Catherine), then Catherine can be a really viable pick as Joule and Celeste arguably synergizes best with her! She should also be considered when you want to specifically counter an enemy hero like Skaarf! When maxed, Stormguard is an insane counter to mage heroes!
Krul is a very versatile hero and can be paired with almost any laner. However, different laners will give Krul different roles, and I will try to categorize the different laners into groups. I'm dividing the laners into defensive and aggressive styles, but keep in mind that a Krul should never let his laner die whether they're categorized as defensive or aggressive.
(Defensive Style) Laners that need your real luv
These badbois and badgrills are really squishy and cute in the early game, and is also fairly easy to single out late-game if left unprotected. However, when they've got a great frontline like the kind that Krul can offer, they've got one heck of a kick! When you're picking one of these laners in a combo with Krul, you won't need to think too much about building damage items on Krul because it's all about protecting your laner and disabling the enemy carries with your From Hell's Heart, Shiversteel, Atlas Pauldron and Spectral Smite passive stacks. Your usage of the Spectral Smite stacks is the most important factor in a teamfight, but is shockingly often forgotten by many Krul players. You don't necessarily have to consume the stacks; practice keeping them up and only using them for a heal, it will often have a great effect!
When you play with these laners, you'll typically want to go for a standard signature or weapon power focused build (shown in the graphics on the start of the page!).
(Aggressive Style) Laners that can kinda handle themselves
These heroes can also be used in lane for a Krul team. Ringo and Krul have a long history of great synergy, and you should definitely consider playing this combo! Adagio is not yet widely accepted as a laner in a Krul team, but trust me - this combo is awesome. What all the heroes in this list have in common, is that they will to a bigger degree play around Krul, rather than Krul playing around the laner like he has to when he's got a defensive laner on his team. I recommend everyone to try a combo of Adagio, Krul and Ardan - THAT is fun! A buffed Krul just cannot be stopped.
You might see some heroes that might come as a surprise; Taka lane? Koshka lane? Yep. These have multiple times proven to viable additions to a team containing Krul. If you're a solo queue player though, you should maybe try to make your team play more normal hero choices like the "defensive" laners. With Ringo, Glaive or Taka on the lane, you can consider going for the crystal power focused item build, because these heroes usually want to go for weapon and you don't necessarily want to go for a double-crystal or double-weapon composition!
A guide without practical examples would be boring, so let's put in some practical examples from some real action!! The first video displayed here is my team SK Prometheus' game vs. G2.Kinguin in the VGL Winter Qualifier #2. Note that I picked Krul in every game where he was available, AND that every time a team played Krul, they won! I will explain the first game in careful detail, and for the rest of the games you'll have to analyze them yourselves :D
Match #1 (timestamps represent youtube time, not in-game time)
(00:00): We started with the Fortress ban, which allows us to consider Krul a safe pick. They respond with an Adagio ban because they want to play a composition that gets countered by him. After our Krul first pick, G2 responds with Skye and Ardan. Skye is considered the biggest counter to Krul, and the Ardan was picked for two reasons - they wanted to take away Ardan as a potential pick for our team, because Ardan and Krul have great synergy and needs a Fortress to be stopped; however, the dog is banned so they have to secure the Ardan pick. Also, Skye and Ardan are a great combo which gives an extra reason to pick it.
They know after this that we will pick a Catherine or Phinn support, and they will start the thinking process as for what hero they should pick last as a response to one of those, as well as the laner we choose. We chose to pick Catherine and Skaarf as our last picks. I don't usually recommend Catherine as a support for Krul, but in this case we saw the potential to use Catherine's Merciless Pursuit and Blast Tremor as a compliment to Krul's kit to lock down Skye in crowd control (CC). The Skaarf pick works great with our picks in this match because we have a solid frontline to protect him (he needs real luv), and they didn't pick a hero that directly counters Skaarf! After this pick, they pick Glaive. This can be considered as a drafting mistake, as all the heroes on our team is a decent counter to him. However from the side of G2, they probably wanted to go for a mobility composition; notice that all of their heroes are fairly mobile and can execute strategic calls very efficiently. Also notice that they chose to put Skye in the jungle, even though Glaive is the true jungle hero. This is because they knew my Krul would be in the jungle, and they wanted to attempt to use the Skye- Krul counter to gain map advantage.
(03:00): In the start we just killed one single camp before we rotated to lane. Our intention here was to give Skaarf an advantage in lane and throw G2 off balance with an untraditional play, which could potentially make them unsure about their own rotation if they had a plan about this already formed. However, our plan kinda backfires as it allows G2 to invade our jungle and attempt to steal our camps. After this incident we find ourselves on our toes as we try to regain map control. You'll notice some unordinary rotations from us for a couple of minutes.
(05:30): The fact that Skye counters Krul is pretty obvious, and at this point she has double - and almost triple the amount of my creep kills. We suffer low map control for many minutes until:
(08:00): Skye walks into what she thinks is free back camps. However we are, conveniently - ready for her. What I do in this fight is that I let the enemy think that Catherine is alone to protect the backs, and I take advantage of this by letting Skye use all her spells before I charge in. This teamfight results in a change of pace for our team and we're able to regain a lot of map control.
(10:00): The first full 3v3 teamfight happens, and with a bit of luck we're able to come out on top for a while before we wasted the advantage. In this fight I'm trying together with Catherine to create a good frontline for Skaarf so he feels protected and can deal his damage. The enemy will also burn all their spells on me and Catherine, and that means Skaarf will have a way easier time to take them after I'm dead ("taking one for the team"). I didn't really need to die in this fight to achieve that though, that was my mistake. However, I manage to throw a From Hell's Heart the second before I die, and luckily this lands in Glaive's face, securing the teamfight in our favor until the rest of my team decides to get greedy and throw the advantage.
(11:30): At this point we're pretty even in gold and map control. The move by G2 here to invade up towards the lane like that is good, but they overestimate their positional advantage at the end of this teamfight and ends up having to sacrifice their Ardan. Skye travels to our back camps but can't find anything. We even had vision on him so we felt comfortable pushing the Glaive in lane back to his turret, and destroy it. The entire aggressive jungle rotation from Skye in this scene can be considered a mistake. They had no knowledge of our camp spawn times.
(13:00): At this point we're basically 50/50 in gold, and we're just waiting for the enemy team to make a mistake we can capitalize on. G2 gets too confident and Ardan will make a mistake to give us an additional advantage, letting us capture the Gold Mine.
(16:00): We start the gold mine, and G2 surely knows it. They see Skarrf alone in lane and take this opportunity. Skye will again look for our back camps, but this puts Glaive and Ardan in a bad position as me and Skaarf are ready to punish this rotation. When I kill Glaive, I actually timed my From Hell's Heart perfectly, to stun him mid-air in his Afterburn. After this scene we have a really fed dragon.
(17:50): G2 realize that they're getting further and further behind, and they're getting desparate to find weak spots in our defense. Glaive takes an attempt but unfortunately fails. This could be seen both as a good play and a mistake; he knew that retaking the game will be impossible if their team sits passively back - so he made a risky move. But the move itself wasn't good enough and they get end up giving us a free Kraken capture.
(19:05): Ardan takes a lot of unnecessary damage at the start of this fight and we end up coming out on top in this fight. Notice my position throughout the fight - I had several opportunities to dive the enemy and maybe get a kill, but I'd rather play defensively and make sure Skaarf gets the best terms to deal his damage. In the end of the teamfight I decide to chase Skye non-stop to ensure he can't recall and get another shot at stopping our Kraken.
(20:00): GGWP #RUNSKG
... And here's a bonus game against Team Secret! I didn't play Krul in all of these matches, but in match 3 my team made history as the first team to officially beat Team Secrets' SAW push comp aka "#poopstrat"
What did you think about the guide? I love feedback! I'll probably update the guide as new patches arrive!
Add me in-game for questions (don't ask me to play though :p). My IGN is "jetpacks" and I play on the Europe Server!
For more serious questions and business inquiries directed to me, send me an e-mail to [email protected]
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Thanks for reading and watching! Also feel free to share it with your friends and make memes of that video if you find something super cringe!!