Hi there Vainglory people! You may remember me from an article last week praising the Vainglory new player experience as compared to Heroes of the Storm. I’m very new to the game, but I’ve been playing and analyzing MOBAs since the early days of League of Legends. Ordinarily, most of my content focuses on esports, as the name might suggest. However, today I just wanted to share a bit about why I’m having so much fun just experiencing Vainglory as a player. The answer begins and ends with Churnwalker.
First of all, look at this guy! He looks so cool. His design perfectly matches his kit and playstyle. In game, he has a deep menacing voice and a hunched, lurching walk. This is something dangerous. You don’t want to mess with him.
His hooks drag behind him, a constant reminder of what could happen to you at any moment. Everything about the character embodies what he wants to do in game–catch people and destroy them.
The Perfect Hook Kit
Every MOBA has a hook character. You throw the hook, it pulls one enemy into your team, and you all burst them down. Miss the hook, and your character is effectively worthless. However, no hook character has ever fully committed to that last bit quite like Churnwalker. His second ability and ultimate cannot be activated at all unless you have a hooked target. If you miss the hook, Churnwalker is literally worthless. He has no secondary crowd control, no wave clear whatsoever. It’s land the hook, or stand there like a big dumb idiot.
If his hook functioned like every other hook in every other MOBA, this would be horrible design. However, Churnwalker takes that potential downside and turns it into rewarding gameplay. Landing a hook leaves it stuck in the enemy dealing damage over time. As a lane supporter, this creates a really interesting and threatening playstyle. once you land the hook, you just need to lurk menacingly near your opponent and you create constant value. Then at any moment you can pull them in, stun them, and do the whole team blowup thing.
This would be cool if it was all Churnwalker did, but his hook goes even a step further. When you land a hook, the cooldown is immediately refreshed. You have no limit on the number of targets you can hook. This encourages you to get deep into the enemy team and land a hook on every single one of them. Landing a hook is one of the most satisfying things in any MOBA, and Churnwalker tells you “dude, that was super fun, want to do it again right now?!” I’ve never played a character that rewards skillshot accuracy to this degree. Miss and you get to stand there slapping uselessly at your foe. Hit the hook, and suddenly you can become the biggest threat on the battlefield. Everyone is taking periodic damage, his trait is spreading that damage around, everyone gets pulled into a clump for easy burst damage, and then just as they try to escape they all get stunned. His kit rewards a much more active playstyle. It isn’t just about lurking in a bush hoping to land the hook to get a pick. You absolutely have that ability, but in a teamfight you offer so much more.
There’s a lot to like about Vainglory, but Churnwalker’s design convinced by that a MOBA on mobile can create unique, compelling characters with rewarding gameplay, and offer a completely new experience.