Roamer's handbook: survival tips

Content archived from the Original Vainglory Forums - originally posted by Desperation¤ on 19 October, 2016 archived by @Moose

INTRO: Hello everyone, I decided to write this guide to give a meaningful insight to all intermediate roamers who already know the basics of roaming but still need a more detailed approach on how to react in different situations.

I have played this role relentlessly for almost 10 months, by all means I won’t say my skill level is on par with top players but still I feel like I’m seasoned enough to give my take on roaming.

(please note: english is not my native language so bear with me if you ever come across hideous grammatical mistakes/typos)

Without further ado let’s get into it.


  • Starting Shop: Always begin with OakHeart and 2 Flares. Oakheart, 1 Flare and 1 potion is OK too…

Don’t buy any contracts, they are a waste of gold and give meaningless beneficts. But I assume you already know this (I hope)
Also, Potions should be bought ONLY when your energy is really low (one will suffice in most cases, if you want more regen ping your jungler to let him know you are taking one of his Treants) otherwise you shouldn’t be getting them at all when not needed.

  • First jungle clear: MUST be done as quickly as possible gaining advantage over enemy by shopping first.

Here’s the correct order of clearing jungle creeps followed by common and possible scenarios to be expected (see No. 4 onwards), this could vary depending on which enemy team you are facing (novice/intermediate/expert):

  1. start the two jungle backs which will spawn at exactly 0:25 sec. ; Damage them FIRST but immediately run away (without IGC you should keep your HP as high as possible) and let your jungler take AGGRO and finish them off.

  2. While waiting for your jungler to finish backs start with the Treant, take some aggro and leave it with as little HP as possible, run away and let your jungler finish it off.

3-A) Reach the 2nd Treant with your jungler, take first hit and leash it towards your tribush while your jungler kills it.
3-B) At this point you should stop at the edge of the tribush for a sec.
3-C) Fire a flare while hidden in the tribush, this will grant you 5 sec. of vision over your enemy’s shop bush. If possible, when flaring, try to illuminate enemy’s tribush edge as well

  1. This is a crucial point where it will determine the first outcome of an early jungle fight. IMPORTANT! Fight only when both you and your jungler have reached at least lv 2 (this occurs when your jungler has finished clearing shop minions).
  • If the conditions are optimal let your jungler take shop minions while you head straight to the jungle shop… I would recommend getting either Sprint boots OR a 2nd Oakheart (don’t ask me why no ‘Light Shield’ to help building faster into a ‘Fountain of Renewal’. Simply put, a double Oakheart would help you survive longer for a lv 2 fight, it’s particularly efficient for squishy early game tanks like Catherine and Fortress) along with flares and if possible, a scout trap. By the time your jungler has cleared shop minions, reached lv 2 with you and shopped, you will be ready for the first jungle fight. (see ‘some scenarios in your favor’ as reference)

  • If the conditions are not in your favor, bad or simply turning from bad to worse, consider recalling (although not always the best option) and adopting a defensive-wise strategy in order to farm safely, build up properly and then start engaging (see ‘some scenarios not in your favor’ No. 4-5 and 4-6 as reference).

Try to compensate losses by either ganking enemy laner frequently or counter jungling (see ‘some scenarios not in your favor’ No. 4-7 to get a better idea)

Some scenarios in your favor:
4-1: Enemy roamer has poor map awareness and doesn’t pay much attention to provide vision (a witty roamer will notice this immediately), keep this factor in mind and use his inexperience to your advantage

4-2: Your comp is generally stronger early game and faster at clearing jungle. Try to capitalize on this and harass them as much as you can, plan accordingly when to invade and if most of your early fights end up with more wins than losses, snowball from then on.
A few examples of good early jungle comps:
Lance + WP Kestrel
Fortress + Koshka
Lance + CP Skye
Ardan + WP Taka

4-3: Your laner rotates down and help you

Some scenarios not in your favor:
4-4: Enemy knows of your early game superiority and adopts a defensive-wise strategy in order to farm safely until hitting their respective powerspike eventually steamrolling your team at later game phases

4-5: Enemy roamer has a good map awareness and knows how to work with vision thus slowing you down from invading/ganking

4-6: Enemy laner rotates down faster than yours

4-7: Enemy has a better early game comp and intends on fighting at first jungle shop then proceeds to invade frequently. In this case you should RECALL IMMEDIATELY or go up in lane bush with your jungler trying to gank and/or counter jungling.

The following pics below are a mere example of how you should be reacting if a hypothetical scenario 4-7 is happening. OF COURSE these aren’t 100% accurate nonetheless they should give you some insights of various scenarios that can sparkle during the game.

Solution to 4-7 hypothetical but possible scenario: Suppose enemy is already coming to invade your jungle and you have barely got some items from the shop or didn’t get any, the best course of action would be to go up in lane with your jungler trying to gank enemy laner and/or counter jungle,this will (hopefully) compensate losses from your stolen backs.

Neutral/stale scenario: Neither you nor enemy team are able to overwhelm each other significantly. If this case happens just farm smoothly and aim for mid game phase where taking objectives/turrets will be highly valuable.

CONCLUSIONS ON EARLY GAME PHASE: all the scenarios I have illustrated are possibly the most common occurences that can happen during this phase (and throughout the game) of course there are so many other scenarios that can take place but I can’t possibly list them all at once.

MID GAME PHASE: Based on how well you performed in the early phase, this part of the game is where things start getting more serious as the objectives, respectively the two Minion Miners and the Gold Miner at the Kraken Pit, will come into play.
The jungle pretty much covers 3/4 of the entire Halcyon Fold map so If You lose jungle, you lose the game (most likely). Making a clear difference of GOLD LEAD will determine an increased chance of victory;

Mid game phase usually starts from 6 min. mark and ends with the Kraken spawning at 15 min. mark. During this time you will have consolidated a Fountain of Renewal alongside with some T2 utility items soon to be turned into T3s.

I wouldn’t want to dwell too much on this phase but here are some general facts/tips you should consider:

  1. Aces and teamfights will take place more frequently, especially at the center of the jungle as rotations will become faster

  2. Don’t be too hasty using your Ult, ping your allies to let them know you are about to engage and make sure they are ready to follow you. DON’T WASTE your Ult to engage enemy if you know for sure they are going to retreat temporarily then might as well come back to slaughter your team.

  3. Turret dive could be possible at this point of the game, take risk in doing so only when enemy is greatly overwhelmed. Always have some team-wide utility items ready to be popped (e.g Fountain, Wartreads, Crucible) under heavy turret fire (you wouldn’t want to die, neither your ally would want to right after you’ve assisted him on killing enemy).

  4. Invade more cautiously if you’ve gained the upperhand, don’t get too cocky. Little mistakes could cost you an Ace so time your ambushes wisely or find an occasion to assault enemy whenever they commit mistakes.

  5. You may have to stay in lane bush more often to ensure your laner’s safety as he is commonly the main target for the enemy team. This doesn’t mean you’d have to stay idle though;
    I’d recommend you to always have 5 flares in stock (<-mandatory) and 2-3 mines (If needed) to keep track of enemy’s movement and possible next intentions. (See “VISION” section for more details)

  6. If your jungler is alone farming provide him vision in your team’s tribush AND near Minion Miner’s bush with scout traps, this could alert him promptly to avoid sudden enemy invasions. (For a more in depth analysis, check ‘‘VISION’’ section).

CONCLUSIONS ON MID GAME PHASE: Neglecting the importance of vision in this part of the game will severely impact your team’s safety and jungle control. Providing costant vision when roaming from bushes to bushes MUST be a top priority and responsibility for a support player. Facechecking WITHOUT ANY vision is NOT recommended.

LATE GAME PHASE: Last and final part of the game, starts right after Kraken spawn which is at 15 min. mark.
By the time you have reached this phase most of your core utility items will have been completed. This is a crucial point where dying for little mistakes could cost you the ENTIRE MATCH.

General advices to help dealing at best this phase:

  1. Have your laner and jungler always stick close to you, NEVER be separated! Enemy will always find an occasion of slight distractions to kill off one of your allies whilst you were not paying attention to the minimap.

  2. Jungle becomes extremely unsafe to wander in without vision, ALWAYS have flares in stock and some scout traps. Facechecking is an absolute NO GO.

  3. Infuse before fighting! It would make a humongous difference.

  4. Building a contraption.png will help you spare some gold in case you’ve been using way too many scout traps.

  5. Start capturing Kraken only when you’ve taken down the most dangerous enemy carry or when they are too distracted, far away or simply afraid of fighting (or unleash her when you get an Ace but that’s too obvious, isn’t it?). BEWARE of sneaky Kraken steals, always keep flaring where the enemy may possibly be lurking!
    (To see more details about the Kraken, check ‘‘EXTRAS & MISCELLANEOUS’’ section)

  6. If you’ve lost some portions of the jungle, don’t bother placing a lot of scout traps as enemy will most likely pop them immediately but shoot flares in critical spots, time your fights wisely and slowly secure and take back your jungle. Keep an eye on the Kraken as the enemy may unleash her when you’re retreating temporarily.

  7. NEVER re-capture stolen Minion Miner if enemy is nearby, it’s a bait often used to assault you suddenly.

CONCLUSIONS ON LATE GAME PHASE: One single Kraken could be game deciding and would either turn the tables in your favor or for your enemies. Vision in this final phase becomes top priority besides keeping your allies alive. Minimize the risk of getting Aced as the respawn timer will become longer, leaving your team hopeless.


Vision is fundamentally one of the most important aspects of being a roamer, yet many support players from low to mid tiers neglect this which is one of the several reasons a game is doomed to be lost.
As mentioned before, vision grants control and foresight on your enemies hence, I would like to teach you some general tricks on how to use flares and scout traps while moving from lane to jungle or viceversa:



  1. You can also apply this trick for a reversed situation, shoot a flare towards your tribush while re-capturing your stolen minion miner, this will help you preventing a sudden ambush from enemy



Legend: green circles = critical spots ----> should be replaced everytime they detonate
yellow circles = optional ----> not compulsory to be replaced everytime they explode

Notes on vision: ALWAYS leave 2 slots in your build for flares and scout traps throughout early and mid game phase. For late game phase getting a Contraption would be ideal (you could also rush it early as 2nd or 3rd item but that really depends on the situation) but always leave 1 slot for flares. Whenever you go to the shop, always try filling one slot with flares (5 is the maximum you can hold) and get 2-3 mines (If needed in critical spots).

ITEM PRIORITIZATION: a brief caption of what you should prioritize when building utility items for your team

Fountain Of Renewal

CRUCIBLE (ideal to block dangerous Ults)

WARTREADS (Engage/disengage)

CONTRAPTION (counter vision enemy roamer + endless supply of scout traps and flares, ideal to save up gold at later phases)

ATLAS PAULDRON (Only for WP carries reliant on attack speed. Best if your jungler builds it so you can focus on other items)

STORMCROWN (Helps taking objectives faster, best built on Ardan, Lyra and Fortress due to their higher basic attack speed)


OFFENSIVE ITEMS (should be built last or when you are really far ahead)​

Some great offensive items for protectors:

Aftershock —> Ardan, Fortress, Catherine (great for burst damage on squishy carries or high health enemies)

Broken Myth —> Phinn, Fortress

Alternating Current —> Lyra

Bonesaw —> Ardan (for heavily armored heroes)

Tension Bow —> Lance

Sorrowblade —> Lance

P.S: I’m not counting in Adagio as an actual protector as he is greatly outclassed by Lyra in terms of roaming capabilities and he is better off as CP carry anyways…

PERSONAL CONSIDERATIONS ABOUT ROAMING: I started off playing this role not because I liked it but rather was forced into doing it and I eventually came to like it. The support’s role is however still underrated and most of the time very little credit is given to these kind of players, what’s worse is when toxic players put all the blame on you which makes you feel miserable and angry.

I believe though that the roamer’s role is played at its full potential with:
-time dedicated on mastering it
-good allies
-full map awareness
-logical thinking over mechanical skills (which is exclusive for carry’s mindset)

That is all I have to say for now, I hope this guide was helpful to you (in some way), my dear reader.


To unleash, or not to unleash, that is the question.

When capturing the Kraken during an Ace:

  • Laner should go and push at least 1 turret during the Ace buff.

  • Roamer and Jungler should unleash the Kraken in the enemy’s tribush to save her up some travelling space.

  • At least one member of the team should check scoreboard to know how much time is left until enemy’s respawn.

When contending the Kraken:

  • Have all your utility items and abilities ready to be set off, you may need it to either fend off enemy or catch them off guard (this is when the outplay factor takes over).

  • Unleash her in your tribush to minimize the risk of being seen by enemy.

Little trick:

When you have entered in a very late game phase (20+ mins) the respawn timer will be around 40+ secs. , eventually capping at 60 secs. from 23 min. mark onwards.
If enemy has been Aced and has only two or less turrets left, don’t bother capturing the Kraken, you will be tanky enough to withstand turrets firepower sufficiently long for your allies to tear them down and bring victory on your side.