Baron rains destruction on his opponents and brings incredible range and powerful burst damage to any team. With his rocket launcher, even his basic attacks have area-of-effect damage. When building crystal items, he becomes mobile artillery, laying siege to enemy teams. His weapon path enables aggressive in-your-face tactics. Though slow, his powerful jump jets allow him to reach new positions. His ultimate ability calls in an orbital strike that devastates an area.
Read on for Baron’s abilities and a full breakdown on how to use him to best effect from Day One.
Rocket Launcher (Heroic Perk)
Baron’s weapon damage on his basic attacks is increased by 130% upon damaging enemies and splashes in a small area around them. These explosions deal reduced damage to lane minions.
Porcupine Mortar (A)
Baron launches artillery toward the target location, damaging enemies on impact. Enemies caught by the explosion are also slowed for a short period of time. Weapon power strengthens the slow while crystal power increases the range of the ability.
Jump Jets (B)
After a short delay, Baron launches to the target location, then gains bonus move speed for a short time. After landing, his next basic attack fires quickly and reloads instantly. Crystal power can extend the range of the jump while weapon power can shorten the delay of the jump.
Ion Cannon (C)
Baron targets a location for an orbital strike. After a brief delay, the location is obliterated, dealing massive damage to all enemies in the area. This deals full damage to enemies near the center and deals less near the edges. This ability also passively increases Baron’s basic-attack range every level.
As a sniper, Baron prefers to stay at maximum range and bombard his enemies from a distance. Baron doesn’t invite 1v1 battles because his skills can be dodged and his attack speed is naturally slow.
Let’s say you get attacked by an enemy Krul. You won’t survive a battle on his terms, so activate your Jump Jets over the nearest wall and activate the Porcupine Mortars to slow the Krul. The Krul will pursue, which presents an opportunity to place your ultimate along the path that he will take to get to you — keeping in mind that Baron’s Ion Cannon has a three-second delay. Even if the enemy Krul does manage to re-engage you, you should keep firing. (Both Broken Myth and Breaking Point rely on basic-attack stacks.) Hopefully, by the time he’s closed the distance, you can Jump Jets either toward your team or back over the same wall.
Baron can also excel in lane because of his area-of-effect damage — perfect for annihilating waves of minions. If you’re in lane against a mage or sniper, the instinct is to harass the enemy hero by firing directly at them. Instead, fire at the minions that they’re near. In this way, Baron’s attacks will splash onto the enemy hero while you make progress on your minion wave. To pursue, Baron can jump near the enemy laner and fire his mortars. This will cause the enemy laner to retreat to a turret, where you’ve ideally set up the Ion Cannon in advance, waiting to blow the enemy up.
Baron is one of the best area-of-effect heroes in the game. To take advantage of this, Baron should prioritize targets that are the clumped up in order to inflict maximum damage. Baron prefers to be on the edge of the fight, stutter stepping his basic attacks to inflict his damage at a distance: but don’t forget to weave his mortars between basic attacks to maximize DPS.
But what if your enemies aren’t cooperating and are spacing out? There are still some tactics you can use to take advantage of Baron’s abilities …
Let’s say you’re in a 2v1 battle where you and an ally spot the enemy laner at the jungle item shop. You can use your Jump Jets in an aggressive manner and land near the enemy laner, then pummel your opponent with basic attacks. Such a tactic should be used to drive an enemy toward your waiting ally, who can hopefully finish them off. But keep in mind that Jump Jets are usually used as an escape route, so you’ll need to ensure that you have vision on the enemy team to prevent being ambushed yourself. And if you are the victim of an ambush, run, jump jet over the nearest wall, and then fire your mortars to slow pursuing enemies.
Baron can set the tone of a fight by controlling enemy movements with his mortars. You want to drop your mortars where your enemies will want to go. If you’re a weapon Baron, then you’ll want to unleash your mortars in the brush ahead of your fleeing enemies: the more your mortars hit, the more they slow an enemy. The slow effects can peel off enemies or drive them to a more favorable area of engagement. The goal is to lure enemies to the Ion Cannon, one of the most devastating attacks in the game.
Due to its range and power, the Ion Cannon is also a great tool for stealing objectives. If you’re a crystal Baron, the Kraken is an especially tempting target. If its health is at 20% or less, there’s nothing more satisfying than setting up an Ion Cannon blast and watching it finish off the Kraken from halfway across the map.
Shatterglass: With its high CP stats, it should be one of the first or second Tier III items a crystal Baron purchases.
Broken Myth: Baron benefits greatly from Broken Myth and, depending on the build, is the other must-have item for a crystal path. Broken Myth multiples his already high-damage attacks.
Clockwork: Because of his slow attack speed, recovering energy for his abilities is essential. Clockwork allows Baron to spam his skills. It’s a useful purchase, but it’s not as important as the above two items.
Eve of Harvest: Baron is durable but still suffers from low health. Eve of Harvest’s lifesteal, especially coupled with his splash-damage attacks, ensures he stays alive a bit longer.
Sorrowblade: The more weapon damage that Baron does, the more his Porcupine Mortars slows enemies.
Breaking Point: Baron’s splash-damage attacks ensures that Breaking Point is a great option. If you hit three targets with a single rocket, you get 3 Breaking Point stacks!
Tyrant’s Monocle: Splash damage counts as a critical attack as well. Tyrant’s Monocle helps make Baron’s splash damage in the late game devastating. See what happens when you build two Monocles!
Aegis: Whether you’re weapon or crystal Baron, the reflex block and high shield can save you if someone manages to close the gap to you.
While SAW utilizes a lot of similar tactics to Baron and can likely win 1v1 early on, Baron has better range late game.
Baron’s superior range proves problematic for Vox.
With his basic attacks and mortars, Baron can wipe out Petal’s munions in one fell swoop.
Any assassin that can close the distance and do a lot of damage is going to be a problem for Baron. With his stealth and general elusiveness, Taka can dodge Baron’s attacks and get in close enough to have the advantage.
Skye isn’t just giving him problems because of their shared history in their lore. She is too fast and elusive for him to be pinned down by his attacks. Moreover, she can quickly close to within a range he’s not comfortable with.
Baron does a lot of large, slow packets of damage and Catherine can easily reflect that back onto him with her Stormguard bubble.
- Baron has slow attack speed and move speed and his range, initially, isn’t impressive. But he has the best range in the game at level 12, so use that to your advantage.
- While traveling a far distance with Jump Jets, remember to use your other abilities while in mid-air! Few things in Vainglory feel more epic than activating Jump Jets and then firing a mortar at the apex of the jump to secure a kill on a far-away target. This can be used as part of a pursuit or even an escape.
- His ultimate does a massive amount of damage at its epicenter. But it doesn’t hurt Baron himself, so in emergencies, there’s always the option to aim your Ion Cannon at yourself and hope it takes out the enemies surrounding Baron.
- If playing weapon Baron, stacking your Breaking Point is essential. So, feel free to fire away with your basic attacks. …
- … But if you’re crystal Baron, then remember to manage your energy and concentrate your fire on higher-priority targets. While your basic attacks inflict little damage, keep firing to give stacks to your Broken Myth.
- Utilize the new “camera shift” feature introduced in Update 1.22. Baron needs to hit targets with his mortars and Ion Cannon to be effective. Seeing farther forward on the map can make lining up those rapid, lobbing abilities much easier and feel much better. Read the full Update 1.22 Notes for more on the camera shift feature and other new interface options — especially for those playing on phones.
Want to learn more? Be sure to check out Baron’s hero spotlight. Check back for news and updates about Baron as we approach Update 1.22’s release.