Damage Direction

Content archived from the OG Vainglory Forums - originally posted by Moalze on the 26th of June 2016. Archived by @idmonfish
Additional note: This article was the basis for an update published in Broken Myth on 29th of April 2017

Moderator Note: This thread was Thread of the Week #1.

Introduction to Damage Direction

What does it mean for a certain ability, basic attack, etc to have a direction you may ask? And why should I care if it has a direction?

First let’s begin by confirming that Vainglory’s gameplay realm (not the visuals) is indeed a two dimensional plane. Confirmed by Tinker. Hitboxes are circles, ranged basic attacks are points moving towards their target, and there is no up and down, only north, south, east and west.

Now you may say “But Moa, Joule obviously jumps with her rocket leap and her elevation increases and decreases!” Well my dear friend, that is a false assumption. Joule appears to be moving up then down, but according to the game’s hitboxes and such, she is just moving across the arc of her jump. Shifts in the field of view and changes in the model make her look visually as though she were jumping.

To prove this, take this example. Ardan gauntlets Joule and she is trapped inside. Joule uses Rocket leap and jumps next to the wall (she still remains inside the gauntlet.) As we can see, she get’s stunned. Visually she does not hit the wall, but gameplaywise, the arc of the jump made contact with the wall’s hitbox, stunning Joule. If there were up and down in VG, Joule wouldn’t have been stunned.

Now that we cleared that up, damage direction determines where exactly does an attack contact the hitbox of the attacked. For most heroes, this is irrelevant as they will be damaged the same no matter where they got hit, except for two heroes, Joule and Lance.

Damage direction as of yet affects whether or not Joule’s heroic perk Heavy Plating and Lance’s B Gythian Wall factor into the damage calculation of crystal, weapon and true (Lance only, true damage bypasses Joule bonus defenses) damage. Joule’s passive affects attacks from the front 90 degrees of her hitbox, while Lance’s B affects the front 120 degrees of his hitbox. If an attack is directed towards those parts of their hitboxes, Joule and Lance take reduced damage.

Exception: Damage from turrets can only be partially reduced (both with the use of Lance B and Joule Passive). A part of the damage gets reduced while the other bypasses damage reduction and shield/armor.

Types of Damage Direction:

● Traveling direction: It will impact from where you expect it to (Spitfire)
● Propagation direction: It will impact from the direction it generates from (Heliogenisis Nova)
● Omnidirectional: It will impact from “above” which means it will not be reduced (Spectral Smite)
Source: Reply email from Zekent
Note: This means if a Celeste facing a Joule places a helio that hits Joule’s behind, she takes increased damage.

Unofficial Type of Damage Direction:
●Basic attack augmentation (Attack augmentation for short): These types of abilities modify a normal basic attack and use the direction of that basic attack as its own direction. Does not include dashes accompanied by basic attacks.

Direction Type of All Damage Sources in the Game:

TD: Traveling Direction
PD: Propagation Direction
OD: Omnidirectional
AA: Attack Augmentation
CoP: Center of Propagation
N/A: Not Available

All Hero Basic Attacks:
Damage: TD


Gift of Fire: OD
Agent of Wrath: AA
Verse of Judgement: PD (CoP is Adagio)


Prime Directive: PD (CoP is Alpha)
Core Charge: TD
Termination Protocol: PD (CoP is Alpha)


Vanguard: PD (CoP is targeted ally)
Blood for Blood: TD
Gauntlet: PD (CoP is Gauntlet center)


Feint of Heart: TD
On Point: TD
Rose Offensive: TD


Merciless Pursuit: AA
-damage per second: PD (CoP is Catherine)
-reflections: TD
Blast Tremor: PD (CoP is Catherine)


Heliogenisis: PD (CoP is Heliogenesis/Supernova centers)
Core Collapse: PD (CoP is Core Collapse center)
Solar Storm: TD


Truth of the Tooth: AA
Law of the Claw:
-initial attack: TD
-damage per second: OD
-%hp burst damage: OD
Attack of the Pack: TD


Afterburn: TD
Twisted Stroke
-main target: TD
-cleave: PD (CoP is Glaive)
Bloodsong: PD (CoP is Glaive)


Rocket Leap: PD (CoP is Joule)
Thunder Strike: TD
Big Red Button: TD


Glimmershot: TD
Active Camo: PD (CoP is mist center)
One Shot. One Kill.: TD


Pouncy Fun: TD
Twirly Death:
-PD (CoP is Koshka)
-boosted basic attacks: AA
Yummy Catnip Frenzy: OD


Dead Man’s Rush: TD
Spectral Smite: OD
From Hell’s Heart: TD


Impale: TD
Gythian Wall: PD (CoP is Lance)
Combat Roll: AA


Imperial Sigil:
-damage per second: PD (CoP is Sigil center)
-burst damage: PD (CoP is Sigil center)
Bright Bulwark: PD (CoP is Bulwark center)
Arcane Passage: N/A


Three-Ring Circus:
-First&Second hit: TD
-Third hit: PD (CoP is Ozo)
Acrobounce: PD (CoP is Ozo center)
Bangarang: TD

Note about Ozo Acrobounce: This ability places Ozo not on the exact center of the target, but rather a little behind it. An Ozo jumping from behind a Joule onto her will deal increased damage, while an Ozo jumping from the front of a joule onto her will deal decreased damage.


Brambleboom Seeds:
-munions: TD
-seed explosion: PD (CoP is seed center)
Trampoline!: N/A
Spontaneous Combustion: PD (CoP is exploding munion)


Quibble: PD (CoP is Phinn)
Polite Company: PD (CoP is Phinn)
Forced Accord: PD (CoP is hook’s actual end)

Note on Quibble: At first, I thought the CoP would be quibble center, like a heliogenisis nova. But later, I tried this, Phinn stands almost on top of Joule (this sounds so wrong) and then he uses Quibble towards her back. If the CoP was the center of the quibble, Joule would have received increased damage since the center is facing her back, but in reality she received decreased damage. This proves that the CoP is not the center of the quibble, but instead the CoP is Phinn.

Note on Forced Accord: If Phinn hooks a Joule that’s facing him, she takes increased damage. This is always true, even when Joule was barely hit by the hook and it seems the hook hit her front, she takes increased damage. The opposite is also true, if Joule’s back is facing Phinn and he hooks her, she always takes reduced damage, even if it seems it had hit her back. This may be a proof that Phinn’s ult has a longer hitbox than what it shows visually.


Passive: OD
Winter Spire: PD (CoP is spire center)
Chill Winds: PD (CoP is Reim)
-indirect hit: PD (CoP is Valkyrie center)
-direct hit: OD

Note on Valkyrie direct hit: There were several problems concerning this since hitting a direct ult would stun the enemy meaning the damage number was hidden. Also the area for this ult to direct hit is small. After a lot of testing, I came to a conclusion that it is treated like Spectral Smite since both hit the center of the target’s hitbox. Also comparing how much hp was removed showed results of that of an OD ability.


Achilles Shot: TD
Twirling Silver: AA
Hellfire Brew:
-contact damage to primary target: TD
-contact damage to secondary targets: PD (CoP is the unit targeted by Hellfire Brew)
-damage per second to primary target: OD
-damage per second to secondary targets: PD (CoP is the unit targeted by Hellfire Brew)


Into the Fray: PD (CoP is into The Fray center)
Foesplitter: TD
Red Mist: PD (CoP is Rona)


Roadie Run: AA
Suppressing Fire: TD
Mad Cannon:
-main target: AA
-splash: PD (CoP is targeted enemy)


-damage per second to target: OD
-damage upon basic attack totarget: OD
Spitfire: TD
Goop: OD
Dragon Breath: PD (CoP is Skaarf)


Forward Barrage: TD
Suri Strike: OD
Death from Above: OD


Kaiten: TD
Kaku: N/A
-burst: TD
-damage per second: OD

Note on Kaiten: damage is applied from the side where Taka ends up. If Taka kaitens a stationary Joule from behind her, the damage is slightly delayed and will be dealt from the other side of joule, her front, so taka deals reduced damage. If Taka kaitens a stationary Joule from her front, he will end up at her back so he will deal increased damage. But if Taka kaitens from the back of joule that is running, if he still ends at her back, he deals increased damage.

Note on X- Retsu: damage is applied from the side Taka starts. Ulting the front of a Joule deals decreased damage, and ulting her back deals increased damage.


Bounces: TD
Sonic Zoom: TD
Pulse: N/A
Wait for it …: TD


Minions&Jungle Monsters:
Basic attacks: TD

Gold&Minion Miners:
Basic attacks: TD

Turret shots: TD
Turret explosion: PD (CoP is turret)

Base Laser:
Damage: OD

Basic attacks: TD


Aftershock: AA
Tension Bow: AA
Alternating Current: AA
Dragonblood Contract: AA
Scout Trap: PD (CoP is scout trap center)

Note on Dragonblood Contract: its direction is dependant on the attack that triggers it, not on where the hero with DBC applied it. This means if the DBC active was applied from the front of a Joule, and an ally attacks her back, she takes increased damage.

Special thanks to Nissim and mainly to MrTeriyaki who helped me test almost all of these over several hours.