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Phinn Update (1.9) Notes: The Seasons Turn

Phinn Update (1.9) Notes: The Seasons Turn

  • Vainglory
  • |
  • Sep 29, 2015


Autumn Season 2015 is here, and with it comes a new tank hero, limited-time seasonal content, free hero unlocks, teams, guilds, Autumn eSports and much-anticipated balance changes. Seasonal play is the start of the next big phase in Vainglory’s evolution, and we can’t wait to introduce you to everything we’ve been working on night and day to improve and deepen your play experience. Read on to find out what’s in store for you in update 1.9 …



Phinn is an unstoppable tank who brings the fight to him. He pairs incredibly well with other heroes who don’t back down from battle. Phinn is strongest with defense and utility items, and he’s able to absorb immense amounts of punishment, protecting teammates while they dish out damage.

Read Phinn’s lore: 


Phinn will be unlockable with ICE only for the first 7 days. Afterward, you will be able to unlock Phinn with ICE or Glory.



Phinn cannot be stopped. All stuns and movement-impairing effects are instead reduced to moderate slows. He even shrugs off most damage through passively gaining additional armor, shield and max health from items and effects.


Phinn slams his anchor down on a neighboring location, heavily slowing enemies. Overdrive: This upgrades the slow into a stun!


Phinn stomps the earth, dealing crystal damage to all enemies in a wide area and launching them toward him. The effect reverberates around allies, granting them a barrier along with bonus armor and shield for the next few seconds. Overdrive: Makes enemies travel farther toward Phinn upon stomp.


Phinn throws his anchor in a direction. After the anchor reaches its destination he yanks it back, damaging all enemies in its path and pulling them back to him. If Phinn doesn’t pull any enemies, a percentage of the cooldown is refunded.


Seasons in Vainglory matter. Whether it’s grinding for a Ranked Autumn trophy, training to qualify for an Autumn tournament, rallying your guild toward a seasonal reward or grabbing limited-time content, all Vainglory activities  — in-game and out — will turn over with the seasons. Here’s what we’re introducing first, but know we have a lot more tricks up our sleeves …



“To celebrate the introduction of seasonal play, we’re including a ton of limited-time content. The most immediately noticeable of these will be the seasonal Halcyon Fold map skin. Play Vainglory with haunting ambiance, and enjoy all the changes — big and small — as well as a few easter eggs here and there.” —PlayoffBeard

  • Play on a seasonal version of the Halcyon Fold, complete with carved pumpkins, gravestones, altered Minion Mines and more.
  • Be sure to toggle on “pinch to zoom” in Settings so you can explore all the map’s secrets!


Imagine playing Vainglory a year from now (probably while riding a hoverboard and tapping with a stylus, but let’s put that aside for now). You enter the Halcyon Fold and bust out that Autumn 2015 Pumpkin Spice Petal. Players all around you are throwing out triple-smiley pings and your chat explodes after the game. They all want to know where you got that and how they can get it too. And all you can say is ‘sorry, that skin’s long gone.’ Welcome to the world of limited-time, seasonal content. Get them before they’re gone, enjoy incredible model and effects changes and be the envy of many.” —PlayoffBeard



For months and months, players have been pleading for a Celeste skin, chanting ‘she is bae!‘ in chat. The wait is over with an amazing limited-edition skin. Ride a broom, drop cauldrons from the sky and trigger a supernova to watch them bubble and explode! But we won’t stop there. Celeste will also have a full three-tiered skin coming in a future update. —PlayoffBeard

  • Unlock the limited-edition Baewitched Celeste in the Market in update 1.9 only. This special skin will be removed from the Market around Halloween and afterward there will be no way to get it!
  • Once unlocked, the skin is yours to keep — even after it leaves the Market.
  • Limited-edition seasonal skins do not have tiers or cards and must be unlocked with ICE before they’re gone.



A flesh-eating fruit with watchful eyes for a throne. Tombstone seeds. Skull munions. And that pumpkin head with candlelit eyes! Pumpkin Spice Petal is truly one-of-a-kind, and it’s only available during 1.9. With this skin and the new Petal ability rework, you’ll be that much scarier when invading enemy-side jungle. —PlayoffBeard

  • Unlock the limited-edition Pumpkin Spice Petal in the Market in update 1.9 only. This special skin will be removed from the Market around Halloween and afterward there will be no way to get it!
  • Once unlocked, the skin is yours to keep — even after it leaves the Market.
  • Limited-edition seasonal skins do not have tiers or cards and must be unlocked with ICE before they’re gone.





Autumn 2015 is our first season, which will last from now until early January. All players have three months to earn the highest possible skill tier and other achievements to fill their Autumn 2015 trophy room. At the end of the season, the Autumn trophy will be added to your Vainglory profile. But play without fear! The best skill tier you achieve in 1.9 will be immortalized; it doesn’t matter if you drop down during the season.

Below is everything you need to know about these seasonal changes:


  • Your Season 0 (preseason) skill tier trophy has been immortalized in your Trophy Room. Congratulations! That can never be taken away from you.
  • Your existing skill tier has been archived. Your starting skill tier for Autumn will be different than where you ended the preseason based on a “compression” of tiers, giving you room to rank up during Autumn 2015.
  • Play Ranked matches now to earn your Autumn trophy and prepare for future rewards.



  • The compression clears out a lot of noise in the system from players who ranked up when the meta was very different or when Skaarf was OP burning down whole villages, etc.
  • If you felt “stuck” before, you’ll have an even playing field and ample room to climb — eventually ideally climbing above your best Season 0 rank.
  • Update 1.9 introduces teams and guilds, and getting a fresh start every season will be essential to earning special rewards and accolades — or even for qualifying for big Vainglory events and tournaments.
  • Examples: If your team forms late in the year, it can still earn a top rank and tournament qualification for that particular Vainglory season. If this were a yearly structure, a team starting out late could never catch teams that were there from Day One. The same logic holds on the guild side, where any guild — no matter when it forms — will be able to achieve seasonal goals and rewards as more and more are introduced. In school and have more time to play during the summer? Discover a great Vainglory crew in winter? Seasons ensures all players and teams can have their moment of fame and glory, no matter what point in the year they band together. —PlayoffBeard



Mark your calendars for Autumn Vainglory eSports! Read all the details here and look out for announcements throughout the seasons.


As an extra seasonal gift, we’re giving all iOS players a free Celeste unlock and all new Android players a free Taka unlock during October!

To get your free unlock(s), all you have to do is log in and play sometime in October. We’ll take care of the rest. From there, pick up a Baewitched Celeste or a Shiro Kage Taka skin and you’ll be looking good with your new, top-tier hero!




“Vainglory is more fun and more rewarding when you play with friends. You can relive epic matches, plan hero comps, discuss strategies and best of all, no AFKs! But not everyone has a go-to group of players they can rely on. That’s why we’re introducing guilds. These are fun, social destinations in-game filled with likeminded players. Together, you’ll play and push for seasonal rewards based entirely on dedication and participation. So, it doesn’t matter if you’re Vainglorious or just learning; anyone can contribute to the guild in meaningful ways, and no type of player will hold you back. In fact, the more the merrier, as the more active players you have, the more likely you’ll be able to hit special guild-only seasonal goals and rewards. Your guild will also have a unique name and guild tag displayed in-game when you play with guildmates.

guild“You can informally give your guild any focus you like, whether that’s based on locality, skill tier or interests — and you can explicitly set your guild to an open-door policy where everyone is welcome or invite-only to ensure the guild retains your priorities. It costs a small amount of ICE or Glory to create a guild to guarantee they are legitimate and run by dedicated players. In the beginning, guilds can include up to 20 members. By being active, guilds can unlock the ability to add up to 50 members.

“Lastly, we’re soon introducing a real-world Vainglory Community Meets program. You can organize a gathering of your guild and get special support from us for streaming, swag and more!” —PlayoffBeard


  • Create or join one guild, which contains up to 20 players (can expand to 50 players). All members must be in the same server region.
  • Guilds will have special rewards based on dedication and participation.
  • Earn Guild Fame, which will unlock the ability to add more guild members and do much more over time.
  • Each guild has its own in-game overview with art, statistics and other information.
  • Each guild has its own dedicated text chat channel that appears above common friends.
  • Your Friends and Party lists will prioritize guildmates. Note: You do not need to be in-game friends with a guildmate to see them on your list. 
  • This is just the beginning for in-game guilds. We will build on this 1.9 foundation and add much more awesome for guilds to rally around in the future.


  • Leader: Granted to the player that created the guild and recognized by a crown next to the leader’s name. There can only be one. This role is transferred to the longest-serving member if the leader leaves the guild.
  • Veteran: Granted to players who are very active and dedicated to the guild. Players obtain the Veteran status after 30 Guild games. Veterans may invite other players to the guild in invite-only guilds.
  • Member: Standard rank for all other members. Players obtain member status after 10-30 guild games. 
  • Initiate: The rank new members get when joining the guild. Players keep this rank as long as they have played fewer than 10 guild games.


“The Vainglory competitive scene has advanced far faster than we ever anticipated. From massive March Madness-style 128-team VGL tournaments to the Vainglory International Premier League (VIPL) live in Seoul on Korean TV to big-name organizations forming pro Vainglory teams, this is getting very real, very fast. To support the rapid expansion of Vainglory eSports and give every Vainglory player — regardless of skill tier — a taste of the fame and glory, we’re formalizing teams within the game.

team“These teams of up to six players can push for competition-based and win-based rewards no matter what their skill level. That said, the new team skill tier will be used to qualify teams from in-game to actual big tournaments with sizable prize pools, and your team ranking will also help determine your seeding within those tournaments. So, playing and training as a formal team will be essential, whether you’re the world champion GankStars Sirius or a brand-new team with a faint dream of playing under the bright lights.

“Just like guilds, forming a team will require ICE or Glory to prevent spam team creation and make sure players are ready to throw down in Ranked. We’ve deliberately set the team max at six players to ensure that you can run 3v3 scrims within your team. And while you might also independently belong to a guild, being a member of a team means you’re aiming to be the best you can and are playing to win. So, pick teammates wisely, play to unlock win-based rewards and make a name for yourself in the Fold.” —PlayoffBeard


  • Create or join one team, which contains up to six players. All team members must be in the same server region.
  • Teams will have special rewards based on competition & wins — and your team skill tier will qualify teams for major tournaments and help determine their seeding.
  • Each team has its own dedicated text chat channel that appears above common friends for easier communication and strategizing.
  • Each team has its own in-game overview with art, statistics and other information.
  • Your Friends and Party lists will prioritize teammates. Note: You do not need to be in-game friends with a teammate to see them on your list. 
  • This update lays the early foundation for in-game teams, but our competitive vision is too expansive to fit in a single update. It all starts here, but if you have a well-established team in future updates, you will be well rewarded with opportunity and prestige.




“While the limited-edition seasonal skins might steal the 1.9 show, there are more incredible three-tier skins hitting the Fold. Collect cards for Taka Tier II and the long-awaited, much-teased Krul Tier II!” —PlayoffBeard

Three-tier hero skins new in 1.9:

  • Shiro Kage Taka Tier II
  • Death Metal Krul Tier II



“Turrets are now a bit too tanky when minions aren’t around. These changes are aimed to make them more difficult to backdoor but still reasonable to destroy when minions aren’t close — so long as you have enough damage. Now that we have a full client update, we can revisit the emergency hotfix and do what we would have done had we not been restricted to server-side changes.” —Zekent

Revisiting the Hotfix

  • Turrets no longer gain 300-520 armor & shield when no minions are nearby.
  • Percent max health damage down from 7.5% to 5% (was 4.5%).
  • Damage amplification per shot down from 45% to 30% (was 28%).

New: Backdoor Barrier 

      • Turrets constantly regenerate a 300 HP barrier per second; max 600 HP.
      • However, as soon as a turret is in combat with minions or Kraken, this barrier is disabled for 3 seconds.
      • Minions no longer shred turret-defense stats.

Defense adjustments

      • From:
        • First turret: 45-145 @ 2:00 – 12:00
        • Second turret: 45-185 @ 2:00 – 16:00
        • Third turret: 45-225 @ 2:00 – 20:00
        • Final 2 turrets: 45-265 @ 2:00 – 24:00
      • To:
        • First turret: 45-120 @ 2:00 – 12:00
        • Second turret: 45-150 @ 2:00 – 16:00
        • Third turret: 45-180 @ 2:00 – 20:00
        • Final 2 turrets: 45-210 @ 2:00 – 24:00

Minion Mines

  • Maximum-strength minions are ~15% tankier.


petal“Petal has been out of the picture for a long time. But her moment has finally come! Not only is she getting a limited-edition seasonal skin, she’s getting a full ability reimagining to trampoline her back into viability. Read below, and then try her out of the jungle as part of the 1.9 meta.” —PlayoffBeard




Petal controls three ‘munion’ pets. A few moments after Petal plants a seed, it will automatically sprout a munion, up to a maximum of 3 pets. In addition, basic attacks mark enemy heroes with sunlight. If a munion bites a marked target, the sunlight is consumed and Petal gains 10-40% attack speed (level 1-12) for 1.5 seconds.


Petal plants a Brambleboom seed directly in front of her. Seeds near Petal will sprout into pets after a brief delay, up to 3 pets. Seeds that remain on the ground provide a small healing and defensive aura to allies. Seeds have a small vision radius and survive for 20 seconds or until Petal leaves the area. If an enemy steps on a seed, the seed explodes and knocks the enemy back. Petal stores up to 6 seeds as charges, gaining a seed every few seconds.


Activate when standing on a boom seed to trampoline off it and launch forward in Petal’s facing direction. Using this ability will rally all pets back to Petal’s location.



Petal commands her pets to explode one by one, dealing massive splash damage on. Pets are invincible during channeling. Detonated pets become seeds.



    • Basic attack range down from 7.0 to 6.0.
    • Weapon power down from 70-140 to 64-134.
    • Basic attack speed down from 100-111% to 100% at all levels.


      • Munions now automatically spawn from seeds after a 2.2-second delay (as long as Petal is nearby).
      • Munions have 2-2-3-3-4 ticks of health.
      • Damage changed from 8-63 + 40% crystal ratio to 7-47 + 50% crystal ratio.
      • Gold bounty down from 10 to 2.


  • Seeds have 2-2-2-2-3 ticks of health.
  • Gold bounty down from 10 to 2.
  • Overdrive: Increases minion damage crystal ratio by 10% crystal ratio.


  • Cooldown accelerated from 96-91-86 to 90-80-70.



“Ringo was having a sad.” —Zekent




    • Duration up from 4-6 seconds to 6 secs at all ranks.
    • Attack speed boost up from 55-86% to 55-64-73-82-100%.



“Though Skye is mobile, she was unable to effectively utilize her abilities to maneuver around fights. These should make her feel more responsive in addition to adding tactical options to your gameplay.” —Zekent



  • Basic attack range increased from 5 to 5.5.
  • Basic attack speed increased from 100-117% to 100-136%.



  • Movement speed bonus triggered upon Target Lock (first application).




  • Cooldown is reset when activating Suri Strike.
  • Crystal ratio down from 240% to 210%.
  • Maximum duration of barrage down from 4 seconds to 3 secs.
  • Cooldown down from 6 to 6-6-6-6-5.
  • No longer deals reduced damage to non-heroes.



  • Cooldown down from 18-16-14-12-8 to 13-11.5-10-8.5-6.
  • Removes animation lock at the end of the ability.
  • Missiles no longer lead their target but instead fire in a line from the target’s location to where Skye dashes to.
  • Missile AOE increased from 1.7 to 2.2.


  • Damage per second up from 200-300-400 to 275-350-425.
  • Crystal ratio up from 150% to 190%.




“SHE BE STRONG.” -Zekent




  • Weapon ratio down from 100% to 70% (both 1st and 2nd hit).
  • Second-hit crystal ratio down from 150% to 120%.




Crystal Vox had a bit too much utility in addition to having incredibly short cooldowns. We’re looking to bring crystal and weapon Vox more in line with each other and the rest of the hero roster. ” —Zekent


  • Resonance bolts do not emit toward targets that are Reflex Blocking.



SONIC ZOOMexc-551b7e64e4b06a2886e54208

  • Overdrive: Vox’s basic attacks gain an additional 20% weapon ratio for 2 seconds after this ability is activated.


WAIT FOR IT …exc-551b7eb7e4b0f74d74c4c992

  • Cooldown increased from 80-55-30 to 90-65-40.
  • Silence moved to initial line nuke; duration down from 1.5 to 0.7 seconds.
  • Damage split across line nuke and shockwave:
  • Line nuke deals 100-150-200.
  • Shockwave deals 200-300-400.




“Taka is a little bit too slippery in addition to having too many stats bundled into his House Kamuha perk. These changes are intended to keep his damage about the same while reducing the amount of utility he gains for free. Additionally, we’re shifting him away from lifesteal and into something more signature to his kit.” —Zekent


HOUSE KAMUHAhouse-kamuha

  • No longer grants lifesteal on Mortal Strike.




  • Heals for 25-30-35-40-70 + 25% crystal ratio health per second during invisibility.
      • Teleporting home will cancel invisibility.




  • Ki stacks granted down from 3-3-3 to 1-2-3.






“Glaive is a reliable hero who had a bit too much burst without needing to build either weapon or crystal for additional damage.” —Zekent


TWISTED STROKEtwisted-stroke

  • Energy cost down from 50-58-66-74-82 to 35-41-47-53-59.



BLOODSONG bloodsong

  • Base damage down from 225-350-475 to 150-225-300.
    Damage from stacks is unchanged (160-280-400 @ 20 stacks).
  • Base damage crystal ratio up from 30% to 110%.
  • Crystal ratio per stack up from 1.5% to 2%.







GOOP                                                                          goop

  • Burning goop pools now ignite nearby non-burning goop pools.





“Catherine had low counterplay to her stun in addition to having little incentive to put additional points in or overdrive her Stormguard ability.” —Zekent


MERCILESS PURSUIT merciless-pursuit

  • Cooldown down from 13 to 13-13-13-13-12.
  • Stun duration changed from 0.75-0.90-1.05-1.20-1.75 to 0.8-0.9-1.0-1.1-1.4.



  • Damage increased from 35-37-39-41-83 to 35-45-55-65-90 + 50% crystal ratio.
  • Overdrive: Damage reflected by this ability is increased by 25%.



“Wave clear has been a bit too good for our premier crystal carries.” —Zekent

  • Heliogenesis minion damage down from 120-240 + 25% crystal ratio to 120-200 + 20% crystal ratio.
  • Goop Pool damage over time deals 50% damage to minions.


weapon-infusioncrystal-infusionCRYSTAL/WEAPON INFUSIONS

These are being bought way too early in the game for low risk because of the sheer amount of stats they give. This should put them more in line while still making them worth purchasing in the mid/late game.” —Zekent

Weapon Infusion changed

  • FROM  5-60 weapon, 25% speed, 30 defense …
  • TO  20-60 weapon,  8-24% speed, 10-30 defense based on your level.

Crystal Infusion changed

  • FROM  5-60 crystal, 35% CDA, 30 defense …
  • TO 20-60 crystal, 12-36% CDA, 10-30 defense based on your level.

stormguard-bannerSTORMGUARD BANNER

“Stormguard was a bit too effective against turrets before the hotfix. Just a teensy weensy bit. However, being able to damage turrets with Stormguard Banner creates interesting strategic options.” —CaptainNeato

  • Can damage turrets again.
  • No target can take more than one Stormguard Banner’s worth of damage per second, even if multiple players with Stormguard Banner are hitting it.



“This item didn’t clearly indicate how much slow it started with. Additionally, the slow was a bit too effective on late-game crystal carries.” —Zekent

  • Fixed a bug where Frostburn was not scaling with crystal (was always at 20%).
  • Changed from 20-40% to 10-35% (but 100 CP from Frostburn instantly takes it to 20%).
  • Max slow down from 40% to 35%.


“Still gave a bit too much power for its cost.” —Zekent

  • Piercing down from 10% to 8%.

broken-mythBROKEN MYTH

“This item was … REALLY good.”  —Zekent

  • Broken Myth only gains stacks on enemy heroes (not Kraken or turrets).
  • Damage amplification changed from 30% over 3 seconds to 36% over 6 seconds.




“Vainglory is more available than ever. In addition to being free to download on the Amazon Appstore, we’ve DOUBLED the number of Android devices that can play Vainglory and have slashed the requirements. We’ve lowered the memory requirements from 2GB to 1GB and the processor requirement from quad-core to dual-core. iOS-device players will also benefit from this optimization work through higher frame rates and better stability. We now support more than 100 previously unsupported devices!” —EdTheShred

  • Only requires 1GB RAM (improved from 2GB).
  • Only requires dual-core, 1Ghz devices (instead quad core).



  • Major performance improvements
  • Fixed various UI bugs with Party Mode.
  • Fixed co-op dodgers not getting punished.
  • Fixed match dodge punishment sometimes not working in Hero Select.
  • Fixed issues with Karma being affected by non-public matches and matches with friends. Also now allow friends to give each other thumbs-ups.

This update is so packed that probably very few of you read this far. But if you did stick it out to the end, please know we poured our hearts into this update and hope you love it. Be sure to give us your feedback in the forums and vainglorygame subreddit so we can do even better. Now go check out Phinn and Vainglory seasonal play! —PlayoffBeard