A Guide to playing the Fold's Little Ball of Fire by Atsurvius

A Guide to playing the Fold's Little Ball of Fire

By: Atsurvius
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2016
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Skaarf

Build: Skaarf

Ability Path

Fan the Flames
Heroic Perk
Spitfire
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Goop
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
Dragon's Breath
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Threat Meter

Threat
Low
High
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Threat Hero Notes
1
  No Threat
2
Celeste You are able to out-poke her in a 1v1, so don't be too worried. Celeste's novas have a smaller cast range, so learning her movements will allow you to know when she is trying to poke you.
2
Ringo Buy the appropriate defense for the type of Ringo you are against and you would win every 1v1.
3
Skye Once you get your Frostburn, she's just a butterfly without her wings.
3
Reim Not a big threat, but watch out for his slows. Reim isn't very mobile like other junglers, so he isn't capable of chasing you down.
3
Petal Against a Petal, you aren't the best hero in killing her. However, with a Frostburn, she loses her kiting ability, and your teammates should be able to kill her for you.
3
SAW Bully him and poke him down early in the lane if you face up against him. Against a SAW, I would normally buy Armor as my first item instead, just to be able to push him out of the lane early. In teamfights, focus him down quickly and there is nothing to worry about.
3
Rona One of the easier junglers to go against, as she isn't as sticky as the other junglers.
4
Taka Taka isn't as scary many other junglers. In a 1v1 scenario, block either his Kaiten or X-Retsu, and when he attempts to Kaku away, light him up with a fireball, and that's a dead Taka. Predicting where he goes requires experience, but there's nothing to be afraid of.
4
Koshka Koshka is can be kited easily unless she initiates upon you with her YCF. Same as Krul, don't walk into brushes without your team near you.
5
Catherine Catherine isn't a huge threat, but at higher skill tiers, Catherines can land their ultimate perfectly. Use a reflex block or avoid the ultimate, as a 3 sec silence means no fire :c
5
Skaarf Against an enemy Skaarf, it comes down to practice and experience. If the enemy Skaarf isn't running a Frostburn, one fireball is all it takes to lock him down and secure a dead dragon. Otherwise, learn to dodge side-to-side and predict his movements accordingly.
5
Kestrel Kestrel's Glimmershots actually out-poke you, but if you treat her like another Skaarf, then she is simply dragon who can't breathe fire.
6
Krul Krul is dangerous if you happen to walk into him, but keeping your distance from blind brushes help you stay alive. During teamfights, block his ultimate and use Frostburn and Goop to burn that undead freak.
6
Joule Joule is a mixed bag. You shouldn't be too worried about a WP Joule, but a CP Joule's BRB will pulverise you instantly. Otherwise, avoiding her jumps would simply allow you to land her in flaming Goop.
6
Vox Vox is pretty slippery, and it all comes down to proper initiation. If you are able to land even a single fireball, it's a dead Vox. Otherwise, use your Dragon's Breath for that extra bit of health and spray everywhere and lock him down.
7
Ardan Reflex Block helps you tunnel through Gauntlets!
7
Ozo Ozo isn't really a threat himself, but his Ultimate can really confuse you especially in teamfights. However, learning to play against him simply requires experience and proper positioning.
8
Fortress Fortress is a rather sticky roamer, and can allow his whole team to stick onto you real easy. Watch your positioning and land your Goop and you have an Ace.
9
Glaive A good Glaive Afterburn is deadly, and possibly hard to see. If he is paired with an Ardan, you need extremely great reflexes and proc that Reflex Block. In a 1v1 however, use your Boots and Goop and you would win everytime.
10
Phinn Phinn isn't actually the threat himself, but his hook is extremely deadly. Learn to reflex block it, and you live to burn another day
10
Blackfeather Blackfeather is deadly once he gets his stacks, and his ultimate allows him to skate across burning Goop. Kill him early

Introduction Top

Hi I'm Atsurvius. I have played and won over 200 games as Skaarf, and rode this little dragon all the way to SA Gold (before draft came along -.-). I just thought I would share how I play this amazing hero.

Ability Analysis Top

Fan the Flames allows Skaarf to be able to harass enemy laners early, as well as melt tanks in the late game. When facing off an enemy laner, use the central brush at the very top so that you are close enough to land the Spitfire and 2-3 basic attacks to get the flames burning.

Spitfire is arguably the ability you use the most. In the late game, each fireball deals huge amounts of damage, and can be used to finish weak enemies off. This ability also has the largest range, so practice landing the fireballs consistently and you will be extremely potent in teamfights. Spitfire is often used for poking before teamfights, or for harassing enemy laners in 1v1 scenarios.

Goop is another versatile ability that can be used both to slow the enemy down, or to give that extra burn. As Goop takes more energy and has a longer cooldown, dropping Goop at the right area where most burning enemies will pass through will help to burn them down quicker. When Goop ignites, it also gives a burst of damage, which can be used to clip fleeing and burning enemies

Dragon Breath is often used at the wrong time by many Skaarf players, myself included. As Dragon Breath gives a continuous spray of damage, it can be used to build Broken Myth stacks, which further increases your damage output. Its speed boost can act as a mini-warhorn, allowing you and your team to end teamfights quickly

The Early Game --- Laning Matchups Top

Start off with a Crystal Bit and two halcyon potions. I usually start with a Crystal Bit as it allows my Spitfire to be stronger in the lane. Unless the enemy laner buys defense as his first item, this aggressive Crystal Bit allows you to harass and together with Fan the Flames, you can potentially bully many laners away.

However, it is important to figure out the playstyle of enemy laners. This comes with experience against the different heroes and players.
  • Against Kestrel and Celeste, move side to side and dodge their skills. Both play similarly in the sense that they can try to poke you down as their abilities have small cooldowns.

  • Against Ringo, look out for his Double Down perk when he kills minions. Most players use this "free" crit to harass, and upon reaching level 2, this is often initiated with an Achilles Shot. As Ringo often has to approach you to harass you, use this opportunity to land a fireball and if it goes down to a basic attack trade, Fan the Flames will kick in and it will end favourably.

  • Against SAW, I would normally buy a Light Armor for the initial purchase. This allows me to be more resistant especially if the SAW is fully spun up. However, if the SAW is not spun up, take the opportunity to light him on fire, and once he is spun up, drop a pile of Goop and you will be able to wear him down.

  • Against Skye and Vox, take your time to predict their movements before landing the fireball. Both have relatively lower defenses but higher mobility, but can't do much damage to you as they do not have the right items yet.

  • Against a Skaarf, move up and down, and never stay still. It is hard to tell if you can harass an enemy Skaarf without getting mortally injured yourself, but with a Crystal Bit, you might be able to scrape through most of the time, assuming the enemy Skaarf did not buy it.

  • Against melee laners, just harass them out of the lane. Your Fan the Flames will burn through their health faster than they can heal through the Book of Eulogies, hence this is the easiest matchup you can get as Skaarf

Last Hitting Top

As you are a laner, last-hitting is extremely important. The general rule goes like this:

Creep score at the end of the game/total duration of game:
  • < 5 a min: ~meh
  • 6-7 a min: decent
  • 8-9 a min: great
  • > 10 a min: amazing

As you fight in higher tiers of skill, you are expected to farm better, as gold is important. If you are efficient in farming, you will naturally get tier-3 items faster and hence hit power-peaks fast than your enemy.

Early Game Fights Top

In many cases, your jungler and roamer can likely enter an early jungle fight. In such a scenario, it is your job as a laner to enter the fight and turn it into a 3v2.

Some tips to pay attention to:
  • Pay attention to where your jungling pair is at all times

    When they are close to the middle tri-brush, prepare to rotate downwards and position yourself such that the enemy laner is not able to go down.
  • Bully the enemy laner away from the jungle.

    When you prepare to proceed downwards to the jungle, fire off a Spitfire and start harassing the laner, and let Fan the Flames kick in. When the enemy laner is injured, he will retreat to his turret, allowing you to rotate downward via the enemy brush into their tri-brush, and flank them.

  • Focus the enemy that is more injured

    When you enter the fight, use your Spitfire to deal damage to the weaker enemy, to ensure at least a kill. If none of your teammates died, you can proceed to kill the other enemy, then continue to clear their jungle.

The Rest of the Early Game Top

Rotate whenever you feel like a fight is going to happen, so as to ensure your team can snowball every fight. Whenever you rotate, pick up core items like Energy Battery and more crystal power.

Remember to pick up defense accordingly, as well as boots, as Skaarf as a pretty low base speed.

Rush for a Frostburn, and be stocked up on halcyon potions every time you rotate to the shop. This ensures that you can survive for a longer time, and try not to teleport back.

The Mid Game Top

By now, you should have your Frostburn and Void Battery. The Void Battery will give you a larger energy pool, allowing you to use Goop more often. If your team had been rolling, you should be able to afford a Piercing Shard as well.

Either way, the Frostburn will allow you to kite in 1v1 situations against most junglers.

Kiting as a Skaarf:
  1. Use Spitfire to trigger the slow from Frostburn

  2. Activate your boots and run in the opposite direction, i.e away from the ganker

  3. Place a Goop puddle right in front of the ganker, between both of you.

  4. Use Fan the Flames and more spitfires and maintain your distance.

Remember to upgrade your boots, and push turrets upon aces.

Late Game Top

If you have farmed well, you should have all your items by now. Once you have all your items, it's time to roast the enemy team.

As Skaarf is an excellent poker, you can use Spitfire to build Broken Myth stacks early. As the afterburn damage is considered as combat damage, your stacks will continue to build until the enemy stops burning.

For late game teamfights, Skaarf can act as an initiator. Simply use your Dragon's Breath at the enemy to melt them.

Otherwise, Skaarf needs to stay alive, remember to position yourself properly and then you can use Dragon's Breath once you have 4-5 stacks. This allows you to ramp up the damage as Broken Myth stacks can be built while you are spraying.

Positioning and Gamesense Top

Skaarf as a crystal mage is considerably weaker than the other characters. Hence, it is important to position yourself as Skaarf to prevent unnecessary deaths.

These principles also apply to other fragile laners, but this is more relevant to Skaarf as it does not have any escape mechanics, unlike Vox, Skye etc.
  • NEVER face-check a brush yourself.

    Either use a flare, or let your roamer face-check it. You often have less defensive items, and hence will be more likely to die if you aren't careful.
  • Pay attention to enemy movements through any vision placed by your team.

    As a laner, you have to be aware of enemy movements and their locations. If you do not know where any of the enemy players are, treat every brush as hostile unless checked.
  • Pay attention to enemy team lineups, and their item builds.

    It should be common sense to play differently around different team builds. If they have a Phinn or an Ardan, buy a Reflex Block early. If the enemy Glaive is wiping you too quickly, get an Atlas Pauldron. If you are getting swiped by a Koshka, buy an Aegis.

    Basic counter-building is simply one step towards becoming a better Vainglory player. Playing around the enemy, and thinking ahead is what makes you a better player than anyone who just installed the game an hour ago.
  • Don't insta-lock Skaarf

    If anything, blind insta-locking is extremely unnecessary and will likely lead your team to failure. If your jungler is a Reim or Koshka that is running crystal power, don't be an idiot and lock in Skaarf. If the enemy team can counter your team easily, playing Skaarf will not benefit your team in anyway. Skaarf really shines when there is proper coordination and synergy, as all its abilities require some sort of prediction.

  • Play other heroes to understand how they work, and their tendencies.

    This will not only help you become a more flexible player in general, but as a Skaarf player, you can predict enemy movements, which lead to higher accuracies of skillshots. Understanding your enemy and yourself will allow you to win every game.
  • Vainglory is a team game, not a single player game.

    Winning rarely comes from solo effort, even if you are getting all the kills. This is especially true for laners. As a laner, you have to pay attention to jungle activity and step in when necessary, to prevent your jungling pair from dying. However, if the enemy team successfully ganks you, don't rage-ping your team as if it's their fault. You are responsible for your own life as the carry, and to a larger extent, responsible for your team. The main roles of Vainglory are defined in such a way that if all work together, victory can be assured. Hence, take care of yourself, and take care of your team.

Conclusion Top

Have fun with this little dragon! Remember that Vainglory is a game, so have fun and keep calm!

P.S I know some of the tips at the end aren't Skaarf specific, but I just felt that I needed to get that out there.

P.P.S Leave comments on what you think! I really appreciate it!

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