BLG3RNT BUILDS: The Complete Fortress Guide by BLG3RNT

BLG3RNT BUILDS: The Complete Fortress Guide

Last Updated: Nov 3, 2016
12 Votes
Build 1 of 2

Table of Contents Top

A Quick Note Top

You may be used to reading my guides. You may also be used to some of the sections being skippable because I include them in every section. For this I truly recommend reading the "My Thoughts" section. Generally the "My Thoughts" section in my guide is for a new character and it contains my first impression of that character. In the case of Fortress, who is a character that's been around for a while, I think that section may be one of the more important in this guide. This is just my opinion, you may think I'm wrong.

Also for a more in depth guide about how to be a better roam player check out my Roam Guide

Introduction Top


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'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.

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Welcome to BLG3RNT BUILDS: Fortress

Change Log Top

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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

Spoiler: Click to view

Spoiler: Click to view

Vainglory Spotlight Top

My Thoughts on Fortress Top

Fortress may possibly be the most misunderstood & underrated character in the game. This statement may be best demonstrated by the fact I'm creating this guide based on a user poll that selected Fortress as the character they most wanted to see a new guide on when there are at least 36 different guides on Fortress and some with a significant number of positive votes. Yet people still aren't sure where he fits.

I think part of the problem lies in the fact that Fortress is what I consider a "tweener". At some point I think Fortress had to experience a nerf. I don't know when, but I do remember playing Fortress very early in the development of VG and he seemed much more tanky, almost unkillable, and after returning from my hiatus he feels much more fragile. This may be due to the nerf on Attack of the Pack in 1.15. However what I can tell you is that in the current meta he is not Phinn or Lance, he isn't a walking block wall that can just absorb the majority of the damage for his team. He also doesn't have a nifty heroic perk like Ardan that heals him and makes him tank despite his health stat. Nor does he have a stun or a shield like Catherine. He also doesn't have a heal like Lyra or Adagio.

In fact, his kit doesn't contain anything that fits the role of a traditional support the way we think of it in the current meta.

Want more proof he's a "tweener"? You need not look any further than the in game information. Every roam character: Adagio, Ardan, Catherine, Lance, Lyra, & Phinn are all listed as Position: ROAM | Role: PROTECTOR (though I fully believe Adagio needs to be updated to a lane). Fortress on the other hand is listed as Position: ROAM | Role: WARRIOR.

It's my belief that Fortress is intended as much more of a semi-carry roam, than your traditional tank roam. I'll cover some more specific tactics on this later in this guide.

Abilities Top

So as mentioned above, Fortress doesn't have the "traditional" roam kit: stun, heal, root, shield, or tankiness. However, allow me to show you how he has many hidden support items built into his kit.

Slot: Heroic Perk

When Fortress is near an allied hero, he will move faster after 1s. He will maintain this move-speed bonus so long as he's alongside any allied hero.

I believe this is probably an underestimated perk. We are so "results oriented" typically as a community that I think we may overlook some of the other benefits. This perk doesn't heal us, doesn't do extra damage, or give us extra armor. But is does allow us to change our priorities on boots. When I roam I almost always build Fountain of Renewal and War Treads in that order as my first two items. But with fortress I give a lower priority to boots, which allows me to gain the advantage over the opponents faster. If I'm facing an opposing jungler like Krul or Rona who rely on speed I can build an Atlas Pauldron very early and keep them from ever getting started. If I am going semi-carry I can prioritize Aftershock and/or Stormcrown to increase our offense more quickly. You'll notice that War Treads has a lower priority in my item selection than I normally place on boots.
Truth of the Tooth
Slot: A

Fortress lunges at the target enemy and marks them as prey.
  • Fortress and his allies move faster toward prey and have lifesteal when attacking them.

In the old days an item called War Horn was a mandatory support item. Today that's War Treads. Why? Because they are a great initiation tool. Chasing down a fleeing enemy or team, trigger your War Treads and close the gap. This ability has that built in. War Treads grants your team sprint for 2 seconds. Truth of the Tooth grants sprint for a duration of 2 seconds, unless you take the overdrive, and then it's 3.

This ability also grants lifesteal. You don't have a heal, but you can give your opponent lifesteal. Upto 20%. Serpent Mask grants up to 25% fyi.

Your next basic attack is a lunge, which allows you to close the gap quickly. Understand that the ability is technically "marking the target enemy as prey" (which grants the speed and lifesteal). It isn't the lunge. Start thinking of it that way and it will help you use it more effectively. It's not just an attacking ability. The lunge is a basic attack. That is why Aftershock pairs so well with Fortress because once you "mark your pray" you've triggered your ability, which in turn primes Aftershock. The resulting lunge will then apply Aftershock's passive.

Advance Tactic: It is possible to mark one enemy and then use your lunge on another. In order to do this you have to be outside the range of the lunge, otherwise Fortress will lunge happen immediately. Why would you do this?

Imagine a team fight where one of the opposing players who is engaged with your laner becomes low on health and is retreating. Meanwhile you and your jungler are engaged with another of the opposing team. If you mark the player fleeing from your laner, your team now has movement speed in the direction of the fleeing player, which can help your lane player track them down for the kill. Immediately after marking that target you then tap on the character who is engaged with you and your jungler. Now, not only did you help your lane track down a kill with the movement speed boost, but you just damaged the character you are engaged with. 2 birds 1 ability.

If you think of that same situation, but one of your characters is falling low on health. You can mark the target your teammate is attacking and grant them lifesteal to help them heal, and then apply your damage to a different target.

This is an ability that can do so many things with one use, but so many players think of it only as an attack. This is generally the 2nd ability I take, and I don't take the overdrive. The overdrive only gives 45 extra damage, 1 extra second of speed boost, and 4% lifesteal. I don't find these to be significant enough. Plus the synergy with Aftershock makes up for the measly 45 damage.
Law of the Claw
Slot: B

Fortress claws his target, causing it to bleed for several seconds.
  • Attacks from Fortress and his allies increase bleeding by one stack.
  • Upon reaching 7 stacks, the target is dealt a burst of damage based on its max health and receives mortal wound (reduced healing).
  • Overdrive: At max rank, the target is also slowed by 40% upon reaching 7 stacks.
  • Bleeding damage per second: 10 (+15% of crystal power)

(Note: Bleeding targets take 10 +15% not 25 +15% we are working on getting it updated)

I take this ability 1st and take the overdrive. I find the damage benefit to be greater than taking Truth of the Tooth overdrive.

Let's look at this ability more in depth, because it was one of the specific questions that came up in the voting for this guide. It is a bit confusing, and unclear in description so it took some digging to figure out everything about it.

When you strike your target you deal damage and apply bleeding. If the bleeding target is hit 6 times the target takes a burst damage of up to 20% of their max health (max health, not remaining health). After that burst damage the bleeding is turned into a mortal wound. So understand that this ability works best when your target is in the fray, not fleeing where no one can hit them further. Doesn't mean you shouldn't hit them if they are running away, you'll still do damage, but it's not the most efficient use of it.

What I know: The bleeding lasts for 5 seconds after the last hit they took. If you hit them just the one time they will bleed out for 5 seconds, and then the bleeding stops. If you apply the bleeding, and then strike them 5 more times the 5 second count down starts from then and they will bleed out for another 5 seconds. Upon the 6th hit (or stack as it's called in the description) the target receives burst damage at which point the bleeding stops and turns into a mortal wound. The mortal wound lasts for 5 seconds no matter what.

What I don't know: I don't truly have an understanding of what a mortal wound is. The description says -33% healing. After testing I know they don't continue to lose health. I can only assume that it means potions and heals work 33% less. But I've not found documented proof of what a mortal wound is.

Attack of the Pack
Slot: C

Fortress summons a pack of wolves. Each pack wolf seeks out a different enemy hero.
  • It takes three separate attacks to kill a pack wolf.
  • Wolves apply bleeding with their basic attacks.
  • Wolves take normal damage from abilities and are granted 20% of Fortress' bonus defensive stats.
  • Fortress gains fortified health and attack speed when the wolves are summoned.

In my mind this is the most incorrectly used ability in the game. I have experienced so many players using this as a flare of sorts. They randomly call their wolves, the wolves run half way across the map, and all they really gain out of it is momentarily knowing where the enemy is. Just use a Flare. There are two times I consider this to be a justified use of this ability.

The first is when attacking the Kraken or Gold Mine when you are nearing the completion of the capture. If you don't have flares you can check to make sure no one is in the bushes waiting to steal. Even this is a questionable use and is really just lack of preparation. If you use it this way I recommend not doing it too early. If I'm playing against a Fortress and the wolves come out and none of my team is engaged then I know they are attacking the Gold Mine/Kraken, when they'd be better off just sneaking the attack.

The only other time I feel like this is justified is late in the game when Kraken is up and your team has just respawned. You want to know whether to rush to the Kraken or to focus on your farm and protecting your turrets. A flare doesn't travel far enough so a map wide flare is justified.

Stop using it as a flare.

The best use of this ability is in the middle of team fights. These wolves cause chaos. On overdrive these wolves cause 60 damage and bleeding. Ignoring these wolves will cause more damage than most people think. They attack at 70% attack speed, which is about 1 attack every 1.8 seconds, and they last for 15 seconds. If ignored they will deal approximately 485 damage plus the bleeding. That's Fortress' greatest damage output. Most opponents will stop and attack the wolves to avoid this damage. That's 3 attacks not hitting you. These wolves also most faster than you do so it's great for chasing down fleeing opponents. If you play Fortress enough you'll certainly gain kills that you aren't directly involved in thank you wolves.

What else do these wolves do?

They act as minions. If they have no other targets (an ace for example) you can use the wolves to dive the turret instead of waiting on the minions. Especially if the ace happened while the Kraken was up and there are no minions to wait on.

You aren't as tanky as Phinn or Lance as I mentioned earlier. So body blocking isn't always as feasible. So against opponents like Skye & Samuel you can call them to block Forward Barrage and Malice & Verdict.

Use caution when using them against Vox because it gives him an easier way to reach you with his Resonance bounce.

Build Stats Top

I'm not including specific build stats in this guide. Do to being a roam, and so many items being situational it's hard to focus on one build in particular.

Instead let me offer a few fun facts for you about Fortress' stats.

Fortress is exactly in the middle with his health stat. He ranks 14th out of 28 characters in health. As I said not a tank. However, Lyra and Catherine have lower health.

Fortress has the 2nd fastest inherent attack speed behind only Vox.

Build Items Examined Top

For an in depth look at the build items I'll refer you to my Roam Guide. They are all essentially the same. I could C&P, I could probably add a bit more insight, but I think in this guide there are better things to focus on.

I will briefly mention Ironguard Contract. Fortress is one of the few I actually use this item with. because of his lack of inherent health stat, and esepcially when you are paired with a squishy jungle character, I think this item can be vital. Since neither of you are truly equipped to tank the jungle camps this can be very helpful.

Match Up & Synergy Top

Fortress is probably more of a situational pick than most other roam characters. It's helpful to pick him during a draft so you can see who you are pairing up against.

I feel Fortress is most effective against characters like Rona, Reim, and Krul. Characters who have built in fortified health or health regeneration. The bleeding from Law of the Claw & Attack of the Pack really helps you keep these characters in check. He is also effective against Taka and Kestrel since the wolves from Attack of the Pack will track them even when invisible. Chances are they will be effective against this new cat character coming in 1.24 who appears to also go stealth.

We don't always get to draft, so let's look at who he can pair well with in a blind pick solo queue.

I like using Fortress with faster jungle characters like Taka, Samuel, and Koshka. His lunge can keep him side by side with Taka and Koshka and their sudden leaps. The way Samuel moves around the map when played as a jungle can also be difficult for the Phinns of the world to keep up with. When I jungle with Samuel I often find myself alone if I'm playing with a Phinn.

I also love playing Fortress along side Petal. 3 Munions and 2 wolves all attacking in the middle of a team fight is the definition of chaos.

Tactics Top

So how exactly should we play Fortress if we can't play him as your typical "get in the way, take damage, and heal people" type of roam?

Fortress thrives on chaos. That's the strength of this character is causing chaos in a way that hits the enemy from multiple fronts. In fact if you listen to Fortress in game he gives you a hint with one of his quotes "I'll run around the flank".

Take advantage of his speed perk and move around. Unlike you might be used to with other support players, especially the tanky ones, try to avoid attacking on the same front as your jungler. When you enter a fight use the perk from Packmates and circle around to the side of your target. Force your opponent to choose a target without the ability to hit both of you at the same time. Some times circling around to the flank and just being there, moving back and forth, posing a threat can be enough. Remember in a way Fortress can be just as dangerous of a fighter as your jungler, and so make your opponent choose you or the jungler, wait for the commitment, wait for the opening, and then react appropriately. If they target your teammate trigger Truth of the Tooth and give your teammates lifesteal.


Use Attack of the Pack and allow the wolves to create more chaos.

Remember he's not a tank. Remember is a ROAM | WARRIOR not a Protector.

Initiate when appropriate, become a target they have to deal with, rather than a wall they have to go through or around.

Remember all of the hidden perks and utility effects that your abilities offer and use them for such reasons, not just as attacks.

Cause bleeding in the middle of team fights.

Wait until you need the fortified health or for your opponent to go low on health and start to retreat before you trigger Attack of the Pack. If you trigger it immediately it allows them to retreat when they get low on health and the time has ticked away for your wolves, or they've been eliminated. If you wait until they are very low on health your wolves will be a target they have to deal with instead of run from. It is likely that the wolves can finish them off if they are low enough.

Remember that Fortress is far more of a tactical play for you than someone like Phinn. Often Phinn can be hook, slam, stomp is rapid succession. You need to be much smarter about the timing of your abilities with Fortress.

Thank You Top

Thank you for reading my Fortress 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 Fortress, 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.


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