Skaarf is absolutely deadly at early levels and you should be terrified of that little dragon. However as the game progresses, his damage becomes negligible and your Afterburn becomes the perfect tool for neutering his ultimate.
Joule isn't much of a threat. She has trouble chasing you down with your superior mobility and her damage tends to be mediocre outside of her Big Red Button.
SAW is scary when he is fully stacked with his Spin-Up heroic perk so don't engage him without your Afterburn. However if you manage to land the stun it will stop a great deal of his damage for a period of time.
Koskha's damage is pretty high, especially in the early game. I would try to avoid engaging her 1v1 until you have a few items. Also try to interrupt her Yummy Catnip Frenzy if she locks down one of your teammates with a well timed stun.
Adagio can be a scary character, capable of doing Weapon, Crystal or Tank builds. Try to adjust your build accordingly and be ready to stop his ultimate with your stun.
Petal's threat is high if she goes the Breaking Point / Shiversteel route. Her ability to kite you is immense and you only have one gap closer so make sure make it count.
Similar to Petal, Ringo's ability to kite using Twirling Silver is spectacular. In the right hands he can dance circles around you so landing that Afterburn is pretty crucial.
Catherine gets placed here solely because of Blast Tremor. In order to stay alive and dish out the damage, you need to be able to activate your skills and items. Her silence duration is enough to get you killed before you can do much.
Krul's Spectral Smite ability weakens you over time and this build has no way to burst him down quick. Avoid any extended 1v1 engagements with him if at all possible.
Glaive has one of the most feared abilities in the game: a jet-powered Afterburn strike that will slice through you and blast you back into a tactically fatal position. In team-fights, Glaive's area of effect cleave and Bloodsong lifesteal makes him incredibly hard to bring down. Try Glaive first as a jungler, but roam into the lane to rocket enemies toward your allies and turrets.
Glaive is normally viewed as a melee-carry that takes advantage of his natural critical strike, auto attack cleave and his innate lifesteal to decimate his foes. I will not be discussing this playstyle.
Instead this guide will focus on becoming an impenetrable wall for your team. You are playing the role of a Protector. As such you will use your abilities in combination with your items to save your teammates, protect them from harm and put your foes in a precarious situation. Remember that Vainglory is a team game and your odds of winning are greatly increased when you can keep your team alive.
Glaive's critical strikes cleave in a cone in front of him.
STATS LEVEL 1-12
814 - 2046
25 - 64
220 - 440
25 - 64
80 - 154
100% - 113%
When looking at Glaive's stats there are a two important facts in regards to this build. First, he has the highest HP in the game. His level 12 HP is a massive 2046 which is nearly 500 more HP above some characters. That's like having a Dragonheart for free! However what holds him back from being a natural tank is that he has some of the lowest shield and armor value. This massive snow leopard has the same armor/shield values as Skaarf. That's why we build tanky, in order to make better use of his large HP pool and endure the enemy's attacks.
Glaive rockets in the target direction, damaging all enemies along the way. His next basic attack is replaced by a frightening blast that knocks his target back 5.5 meters.
This ability is what enables this build to work. It is the swiss army knife of skills and can be used in multiple situations. It can peel for teammates, chase after enemies, displace enemy heroes, escape over walls, act as an AOE nuke, etc. What more could you ask for?
Since this is such an important skill, I always get the overdrive on this skill first. This reduces the cooldown of the ability from 22 seconds at level 4 to 12(!!) seconds at level 5, enabling you to spam this ability much more often. Proper use of this skill is crucial and will have it's own section dedicated to it later on in the guide.
Passive: Increase critical strike chance and AOE cleave damage of basic attacks. Activate: Instantly execute a critical strike. This deals weapon damage and is treated like a basic attack, but can deal bonus crystal damage if you have any crystal power. Cleave deals half damage to minions.
This skill passively increases his critical strike chance and upon activation, instantly executes a critical strike. It is important to note that this ability is a basic attack reset. In order to maximize your damage, make sure to land a basic attack first then immediately cancel into Twisted Stroke.
I only place 4 points into this skill because while cleave damage and crit is important on Weapon Power Glaive, it's not particularly useful on this build.
Passive: Glaive will generate Bloodsong stacks from basic attacking or from receiving basic attacks. Each stack grants him bonus lifesteal. Max 20 stacks. Activate: Swings Glaive's axe in a 5.4-meter circle, dealing massive area damage based on number of Bloodsong stacks used. This removes all stacks. Glaive also gains full stacks of Bloodsong whenever he dies.
This is Glaive's ultimate ability and for good reason. It deals a destructively high amount of damage in a circle around him. In order to deal the maximum amount of damage with this ability you have to pay attention to the stacks this skill generates.
When attacking or receiving a basic attack, Bloodsong generates one stack. Each stack grants 1% lifesteal per stack which, while useful, isn't that great when building tank. The important part is when you activate the skill, it deals bonus damage based on the number of stacks you have. With level 3 Bloodsong and 20 stacks you could deal a massive 875 AOE nuke to those around you and that is without factoring any crystal scaling.
Try to build up stacks before you engage in a teamfight to unleash the full force of Bloodsong. Due to it's short cooldown, if the fight drags on long enough you might be able to cast it a second time towards the end. If you can't get Bloodsong to stack up before a fight, keep in mind that he can generate stacks by RECEIVING basic attacks from enemy heroes. Just by being in the middle of the fight you can easily generate 20 stacks without too many problems.
Here I will detail the many ways Afterburn can be used and how to maximize it's utility in a given situation.
This is probably the most obvious use of the skill. Due to the high travel speed, long distance and the ability to knock an enemy into your team, Afterburn makes for a great initiation tool. However it is very easy to knock the enemy in the wrong direction and potentially aid in their escape instead. If you can't get directly behind them, consider using movement speed boosts such as Warhorn or Sprint Boots to speed past them. Worse case scenario, try punting them into a nearby wall so that you are in the perfect position to land a few more attacks.
After the changes to Frostburn, Clockwork is now preferred because it solves Glaive's energy problems and allows him to cast Afterburn much more frequently.
For those who don't know peeling refers to the act of getting enemies away from your allies, usually with the use of CC abilities. Glaive is arguably one of the best at this role because his skill is not only a stun, but a displacement as well. If you see an enemy attacking your squishy carry, make sure to rush to their assistance. Use Afterburn to dash through the enemy and knock them back, giving your ally some breathing room in the team fight.
This is particularly useful against characters who have limited gap closers such as Koskha or Krul where they can be easily kited once their crucial skills have been stopped.
Due to the fast speed of the ability, Glaive is a great hero for disrupting the enemy's plans. Try to look for high priority targets casting telegraphed moves such as Joule, Skaarf and Adagio. A quick stun can save your team a lot of damage but keep in mind that Afterburn can only dash a set distance. If you are at point blank range, odds are you will dash past that Adagio and have to walk back in order to get the stun. A way around this is to dash into a nearby wall so that you don't travel too far away.
Smart opponents will buy a Reflex Block to counter you and that is where you will just have to be even smarter. Usually enemy heroes will get nervous when they see Glaive dash past them with his Rocket Axe so they'll pop the Reflex Block right away. Fortunately for you, that active only lasts 1.5 seconds. You can easily wait until the shield goes down and then deliver the auto attack that will leave them stunned.
Glaive's skill is the best escape skill in the game hands down. It boasts a fast travel time, relatively short cooldown when it is maxed and one of the only two skills in the game that can leap over walls without a target (the other being Rocket Leap). Not to mention if the enemy is still on your tail after the dash, you can punt them backwards while you flee to safety. Learn the different walls you can dash through and you'll become more elusive than Taka.
A fun trick when trying to escape is that you can use Afterburn to dash through the walls that guard the base. Even if you are close to the enemy base, just quickly dash through the wall and start to recall. The recall animation is approximately 4 seconds long so they won't be able to reach you in time to stop you. Just be weary about trying this around people with gap closers like Joule.
This is a great tool to chase down fleeing enemies with, for obvious reasons. The important part though is making sure to use it at the right time. Often in a 1v1 situation you don't need to cast the skill right away, instead save it for when the enemy is about to turn and flee. With proper timing you can stop certain skills like Rocket Leap or Roadie Run
Jungling and Counter-Jungling
You can also use this skill to help with your counter-jungle. It's very easy to elude enemies with this skill so you can often afford to take more risks and go deeper into enemy territory to steal their camps. Just be smart about it and keep an eye on the minimap in case people are on their way to help.
Once you are level 8 and above, you should have Afterburn maxed out. With it's short cooldown, you can use it to hop over walls in your own jungle just to farm faster and still have it available by the next team fight. Not to mention that it is a 400 AOE damage nuke in the first place, you will be clearing your jungle out in record time. This will allow you to maintain a level advantage and leave you with more time to gank, counter jungle or take other objectives.
This section will give you a general idea of how to play Glaive and what to build at various phases in the game to give you a better picture how a typical game will go.
The first thing you should understand is the threat of triple invasions. At the time of writing this article, triple jungle invades have become increasingly popular especially at higher levels of play. Basically all three members of the enemy team will enter your jungle and attempt to pick off as many people as they can while denying all of the jungle monsters. If they are successful it will cripple you and your team and make it that much harder to fight them during the next encounter.
If you suspect either your team or the enemy team is going to triple invade, start with a Light Shield. This will give you more armor and shield that, in conjunction with your naturally high HP, make it very hard for the enemy to kill you. This will also give you more effective HP (EHP) when receiving a heal such as through the use of a Halcyon Potion or Gift of Fire. Starting with this item also allows you to start with a Scout Trap which can provide a large source of damage in that team fight if properly placed.
If neither team is going to triple invade, then go ahead and start with an Ironguard Contract and start farming the camp closest to the jungle shop. This particular camp is most vulnerable to being stolen so it's better to grab it right off the bat. Ideally you and your jungle partner should jungle together and clear the camps as a group. Since you have an ironguard contract, try to tank the monsters but allow your teammate to get the last hit. This is the best way to utilize the ironguard contract and split the gold between you two.
Try to focus on farming but don't be afraid of starting a fight with the enemy jungler. It is very easy to use Afterburn to put the enemy hero in a bad spot where you and your teammates can finish him off. Also keep an eye on the lane for any possible gank opportunities. Glaive excels at ganking an overextended enemy and for bonus style points, try knocking the enemy into the range of your tower to ensure the kill.
Once you hit level 8 and have the overdrive on Afterburn things get really fun. Ideally you should have at least a Stormguard Banner by this point. Start to invade the enemy jungle and steal the camps as often as you can. If you see trouble coming, quickly make your escape by using Afterburn to jump over a wall and flee. Thanks to the overdrive, it will have a short cooldown ensuring that it is almost always up when you need it.
Always build what you need the most at the given moment. If you are having no trouble with surviving team fights, I prefer to build Warhorn as it helps improve my clear speed and gives me an additional way to chase/escape. If you are having energy problems, maybe invest in an early Void Battery. If you find your HP low most of the time invest in early defense or build a Lifespring for the HP regen. The important part is be flexible with your item builds and it will make the game go a lot smoother.
At this point in the game you should be tanky enough to endure almost anything. Proper use of your Afterburn along with your item actives will be the deciding factor in these team fights. Try to initiate on their important damage dealers and get your team to focus them down. However if the enemy is doing the same thing to your main carry, consider using Afterburn to peel for them instead.
Glaive is also great at Kraken fights. He offers decent damage but more importantly, he can be very disruptive. If the enemy team is engaging upon Kraken, Glaive can easily dash in there and mess with the enemy heroes long enough for the Kraken to start healing then make his escape. Failing that, he is also great at stealing Kraken as well. Afterburn combined with a fully stacked Bloodsong can easily steal it from unaware enemies.
Consider picking up Crystal Infusion and Weapon Infusion if you know the next fight may very well decide the outcome of the match. Infusions give a substantial boost in power for such a low cost and Glaive can make use of the stats on both of them. If you are considerably ahead, also consider purchasing them to help leverage your lead. Just make sure to make the most of them because they only last for three minutes.
The art of counter building is so important on this particular build that I felt it deserved it's own section. Sticking with the same six items every game will only hinder you in games. Learning what to build and when will help you control the flow of the game and win more often. Just remember there aren't any strict rules, just build whatever that you and your team will need in upcoming team fights.
Crucible When To Purchase: When up against large sources of AOE damage, debilitating debuffs or when you need to protect your teammates from crowd control. Best Against: Adagio, Skaarf, Ringo, Koshka, Catherine, Glaive
This item has great defensive stats, providing you with the most HP of any item in the game. Most importantly however is the active ability that gives team wide Reflex Block. While useful to protect yourself, the main reason I purchase this item is to protect my teammates from crucial skills such as Adagio's Verse of Judgement or Catherine's Blast Tremor. A well timed Reflex Block can be the thing that turns the tide of battle so use it wisely.
Fountain of Renewal When To Purchase: Great in most situations but best against sources of crystal damage. Works better when you aren't likely to be bursted down in a fight. Best Against: Everyone
I still consider this to be a core item even after the nerfs in 1.1.7. The main reason why I prefer to build this item over another defensive item like Crucible is that the armor and shield on it give you more effective HP than just the straight 700 HP that Crucible gives thanks to Glaive's naturally high HP pool. Plus with his low base shield/armor, he's in need of some resistances and this gives you a little bit of everything. Plus the active can help your low HP allies in a pinch. However now I recommend against buying more than one as the new passive no longer stacks and only works out of combat.
Aegis When To Purchase: When up against heavy sources of crystal damage
Best Against: Koshka, Skaarf, SAW, Adagio, Joule, Taka
Personally I very rarely build this item on Glaive because this item is only about self preservation and doesn't help protect your team. That said if an enemy CP hero is doing very well and you are unable to keep yourself from being burst down, consider buying this item. It boasts the largest shield value in the game, not to mention the reflex block active to keep you safe from CC and debuffs.
Atlas Pauldron When To Purchase: When up against heavy auto attack based characters or anyone building a Breaking Point. Best Against: Petal, Adagio, SAW, Ringo, Krul
Arguably one of my most favorite items, Atlas is an extremely important item considering the current Breaking Point meta. The attack speed slow on this item will leave enemy carries crippled for five seconds. While the range on it is fairly low, Glaive is the perfect person to carry this item due to his Afterburn. He can quickly close the gap, stun the threatening target and the use the active to keep them from contributing to the fight.
On occasion if the enemy carry is doing very well, I will often build two just to ensure that the enemy can't do anything to harm my teammates. With the long duration and short cooldown of Atlas Pauldron in combination with your stun, you can keep a single target locked down for a long time. Just watch out for Reflex Block, it can null the effects of this item.
Aftershock When To Purchase: When you are ahead of the enemy team and don't need any additional tank stats to survive. Alternatively if your team has another dedicated tank and the team is lacking damage. Best Against: High HP targets
Aftershock is one of my favorite damage items to build on Glaive. The proc on it synergizes well with Afterburn and the cooldown acceleration is great for being able to spam your abilities more often. It also scales well into late game too, dealing up to 20% of the target's max HP with every activation.
Be forewarned though that I would only start building this when I feel I am adequately ahead. If you can't survive teamfights for more than a few seconds, I would consider building one of the tanky items listed above.
Breaking Point When To Purchase: Purchase when fights are dragging out too long or you are constantly the last one alive in your team fights. Best Against: Anyone tanky.
This item isn't one that I often build but it does have it's uses. If you see that team fights last a very long time or that you are the only one alive and lacking the damage to take on the team, consider purchasing this. When Breaking Point is fully stacked you are immediately a threat to even the most tanky of enemies.
I don't consider this a core item because most of the time Glaive can't stick to a target very well and outside of long, late game team fights he won't be able to stack it effectively.
Down below is a series I made for my stream. I started a brand new account and used it to climb to the Hotness in solo queue with a score of 24 wins and 1 loss. While I do play other heroes here, it's mostly of Glaive. I talk about the general strategy of the game, tips and tricks that I use while playing with this build and how to climb the ladder. Hope it helps!
Glaive's Rocket Powered Axe can do more than just slay his enemies, it can be used to protect his allies as well. This build focuses on the power and utility that Afterburn provides. This coupled with high utility items such as Fountain of Renewal and Warhorn will help you and your team become victorious in the Halcyon Fold.
Remember that while having a general item build is good, it's important to remain flexible. Purchase the right items for your given situation and you'll find that your enemies will be powerless to stop you.