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A Comprehensive guide to all things Vulcan
So let's get started. Feel free to skip to any section you want, and to skip sections you don't want as this guide is intended to cover pretty much everything with Vulcan you may not need to read the entire thing (you're so pro!), or maybe you do just to get a refresher course (you overachiever you!).
First off you might be wondering who this fool is who's writing a guide for Vulcan. Well it's nice of you to ask so I'll give a brief bio, and explain why I did so.
Known affectionately at work as "Boatmurdered" I began working for the government after a physiological profile deemed me suitable for the rigors of certain bureaucratic work. After proving myself hardworking, and efficient I was sent to quite a few jobs overseas where I worked as a sort of...troubleshooter you could say. I've been to so many exotic, and exciting locals it's really hard for me to recall any of them, especially under oath. After suffering a work related injury somewhere in the southern hemisphere I was reassigned to a desk job at a nondescript office building where I currently continue working to this day. Also I am a shape shifter.
So with that out of the way let's move on to Vulcan, and why you'd want to listen to anything I say. Some of you probably think I have a bottomless love for the character, and while that sounds great the truth is I get about 15 frames on my 11 year old computer, and Vulcan was one of 3 gods I found I could still play, and do well with.
I've since moved on to being able to play most gods passably well, but I did develop a genuine love for this god while playing him that made him my favorite, so for those of you keeping score at home you get half credit. There will be a pop quiz on this information later, but just so you know it's not a contest, but for the record I'm winning.
With that being said here are my Vulcan stats from a loooong time ago. Technically I could log into the game to get them again, but I'd rather be lazy, and go with these. The %'s are the same it's just the kills, wins, and worshipers have gone up quite a bit since then.
Ok, so that tells you that I've at least played the god if nothing else.
Now before we move on, and I get technical let's start at the basics. This guide is going to tell you the following: How to play Vulcan in a way I've found that works very well. Alternate methods of play. Poor jokes. Terrible Punctuation. Mind boggling ineptitude. Vulcan's Lore. How he plays in each game mode. Who good lane patterns are. Who his biggest enemies are. How he plays in each lane. When to pick him, and when to curl into a fetal position, and cry. And much, much more.
The Lore, or the Man Behind the Beard
When the Gods of Rome ride chariots across the sky, it is Vulcan that made them. When they reach for weapons to wield in battle, it is Vulcan that forged them. When the very earth rumbles and mountains erupt in searing flame, it is Vulcans rage that burns. Smith of the Gods, Vulcan crafts with fire and forge as an artist would with paint and brush.
As an infant, so hideous was Vulcan that his disgusted mother, Juno, cast him into the sea from the heights of Mount Olympus. So great was the fall, it smashed one of Vulcans legs, a wound from which he would never recover. Beneath the waves, a sea nymph, Thetis, rescued the child-god and raised him as her own. As Vulcan grew, he ventured to the surface and discovered fire and the art of smithing. His natural talents emerged and he forged wondrous jewels for his adopted mother.
Summoned to a gala on Mount Olympus, Thetis wore Vulcans glittering gifts, but when Juno discovered Vulcan had made them, she jealously demanded he return to Mount Olympus. Angrily, Vulcan refused. In his stead, he sent a magnificent throne of gold and gems that imprisoned Juno when she sat upon it.
For three days Juno was so entombed, and would have remained so had not Jupiter, Vulcans father, interjected. To Vulcan he offered an exchange, Junos freedom for the hand of Venus, the most beautiful Goddess of Love. Vulcan agreed.
Though his vengeance was served cold, the fire of spite still burns in Vulcans chest. Unable to truly forgive, he loses himself at the forge. None of the wondrous chariots, jewelry or weapons he crafts can ever fill the hurt in his heart, but each one is worthy of a God.
Basically his greatest accomplishment although that beard is a close 2nd.
Vulcan Skins Currently in Game
This is the Sentry Skin, that you can get by being level 30 in Global Agenda, or by spending 300 gems.
This is the gold/Legendary cards. While the in game skins aren't great the card is in fact quite pimping. To get this one you need to be level 1/10 respectively, and then spend either 400 gems, or 15k favor. Legendary is free if you have gold, and get to god rank 10.
This is the Ironsmith Vulcan. It magically turns him into a black dude, and also of note makes his backfire go off differently. Neat. Can be obtained for either 200 gems, or 9500 favor.
This is your basic Vulcan skin which you get for free. One has to respect a beard of that magnificence.
When to pick Vulcan?
All the time. No, but really if you need another mage, but don't want to be super squishy, and still be capable of sort of tanking pick Vulcan. People will complain he's not a mage, but what do they know? Are they Boatmurdered? Hell, no they aren't, and if they are he just wants to play Vulcan himself, and screw that guy he's had it too good for too long! Take it, and make him suffer!
What makes a man?
Passive- Forge Vulcan tranfers a percentage of his protections and health to his turrets. In addition, when Vulcan is within 30 ft of his own deployables they regen a percentage of their health every second because of their proximity to the Forge.
Protection Transfer: 20%
Health Transfer: 20%
This passive is what makes your turrets work, and ties Vulcan together. I won't lie to you though it's actually very underwhelming, but we'll get more into why that is later.
Vulcan blasts a fireball out of his Forge, dealing damage to all enemies in its path. The strength of the blast also knocks Vulcan 20ft back. In addition a target will be marked for your cannon to prioritize, and it'll do 10% more damage to that target for 4 seconds.
Damage: 85/145/205/265/325 (+70% of your magical power)
Cooldown: 15 s
1 You can not use this skill while crippled
2 This skill can be used to tag enemy gods, and make the inferno cannon prioritize them, but it doesn't really turn out to be all that useful most of the time, but more on that later. Here's a video of it in action. Now that it's later the reason the tagging isn't useful is because no one ever stays in turret range long enough for it to matter. That's a brief version, and while it can occasionally be nice it's more like a pleasant surprise when it does work rather than something you should rely on.
3 Backfire functions as a leap in terms of giving you Iframes (frames of invincibility during which you take no damage). Smart use of backfire can cause you to avoid everything from Guan stuns, to Agni meteors, and everything in between. Here's a video of me using it to avoid Ao's ultimate even though it's right on me. I also manage to murder him in the process. Is great success! Kazakhstan scientist have proven Ao have brain size of squirrel. For the record the Iframes are the time you're being blown backwards before you stop.
Vulcan constructs an Inferno Cannon that shoots fireballs in a cone that deal damage to the target every second. The Inferno Cannon lasts until destroyed or another is placed. This inherits Vulcan's penetrations but does not apply on-hit effects.
Damage: 45/70/90/120/145 (+35% of your magical power)
Cooldown: 15 s
Things of note.
1. Positioning is key with this. Put it in the wrong spot, and one of your main sources of damage is now on cd for 15 seconds. Put it too far out of the way, and no one is going to get hit by it again wasting the cool down.
2. Your turret barring your ult, or a tag from backfire will focus on the closest target to it, and will continue firing on that target until either it is dead, out of range....or the turret explodes.
3. Be aware that your turrets can be messed with by smart players by getting hit once, and then sitting just outside of their range. As long as it's within 3-5 yards the turret will keep trying to target them to no avail, and will not fire. If this happens then it might be in your best interest to just place a new one.
4. Until your turret actually hits the ground, and fires it has only 1 health, and doesn't register as existing yet. That means any hit from any god whatsoever will instantly kill it. So if you throw down a level 20 Vulcan's turret, but a level 1 Artemis auto attacks it before it gets to the ground it will just explode, and use your cool down. You have been warned.
5. You can place this inside your tower, and minions that come into tower range will attack it first until it's dead thus saving your tower some precious health. Downside is of course the lack of gold you get if the tower hits something, but in a pinch it can be used if you need to get back to base, but no one on your team is close enough to relieve you. I've saved many a tower by dropping my turrets inside, and then ult'ing when the enemy tries to get close to kill them. Yes you use an ult, but you save the tower, and early game your ult is meh anyway.
6. Turrets gain a pittance for protections transfer. 20%. That might sound decent, but think of it this way. In order to bring your turrets protections to 0 against an enemy who has just Warrior Tabi you need 75 Physical Defense on Vulcan. That's a single item on you to bring the defense to a baseline of 0 defense on the turrets from just boots. If you had 325 defense of some sort on Vulcan then your turrets would have 65 defense.....That's pathetic. You are much better off stacking health, which gives you more staying power, and does the same for your turrets.
7. Fun fact. If you're about to die get a turret ready. Right before the finishing blow deploy the turret. If you timed it right you'll have a Vulcan turret that's on the ground ready to avenge you. Why this works is because when Vulcan dies the game does a check to see what turrets you have out, and to instantly kill them. As mentioned with the bug above the turrets don't count as being out until it hits the ground. So if you throw out your turret, and it's mid air deploying as you die it misses the turret check, and then since the check has been done the turret can remain active after death! I've even managed to do this with an ult'd turret although that's much more rare as your ult needs to be active upon death, and it sometimes just glitches out, and gives you a normal turret.
8. Another fun fact. Your turrets have a higher priority to towers than you do, but less than minions. What this means is that if you, and a friend are pushing a tower, and you throw a turret down, but there are minions nearby it will first attack the minions, and then any turrets in range, and then you. You can use this to easily push towers by just sacrificing turrets to the tower. Or you can throw down a turret, and ult so it can tank it even longer. Note towers will go heat seeker on your turrets if they fire on an enemy god while in tower range. Or rather they will if you aren't in tower range. Below is a video showing both the towers targeting turrets over you, and the tower attacking you for what your turret did.
Vulcan constructs a Thumper XVI that deals damage every second and slows enemies every second. The Thumper XVI lasts until destroyed or another is placed. This inherits Vulcan's penetrations but does not apply on-hit effects.
Damage: 10/15/20/25/30 (+15% of your magical power)
Slow Duration: 2 s
Cooldown: 15 s
Things to know.
1. Like the inferno cannon, although much easier, but still challenging, you can in fact body block enemies with your turrets. Allies not so much, but yes to enemies.
This ability does even less base damage than Agni's noxious fumes, although they scale about 3 times better with magical power. Still come oooooon. That's lame.
Volcanic Overdrive When Volcanic Overdrive is activated, Vulcan gains movement speed and protections for a short time. All of Vulcan's structures fire faster and gain massive regeneration. The Inferno Cannon also fires in a 360 radius and auto targets gods while under the effects of Volcanic Overdrive.
Movement Speed: 15/20/25/30/35%
Structure Attack Speed: 50%
Buff Duration: 6 s
Cooldown: 90 s
Things of note:
1. Your ult has a long charge up time, and I mean long. If you are interrupted even .5 seconds from it being done it's canceled, and you have to do it again.
2. Once you hit your ult your inferno will take a second, or two to re-lock onto a target even if it's the same one it was shooting at before. To combat this you can ult, and then place your turret so you actually get more use from it. Again be aware of the bug mentioned above.
Ok so I know all these skills, but what's more important to level first?
No worries my child this picture will show you the way.
Inferno is your main source of early game damage that doesn't really put you in harms way, or use your "leap".
Backfire is next because you can clear creep waves with it once it's maxed out which makes solo laning even easier. It also does a respectable amount of damage.
Your ult is gotten once, and then forgotten about. There is no reason to get more than 1 point before 17 even the Thumpers slow is better.
Personally I get 1 point of backfire at 4 just because the iframes on it can be a life saver if the enemy in your lane hits 5 first. Much more useful than a single bonus point in Inferno in my opinion.
Ok, so what items will I need?
Well, for the most part my starting build is the following:You can add more, or less potions depending on your play style if you wish, but generally this is my go to starting build. Hog works with shroud so you can hog creeps for health/mana back, and your turrets work for last hits so shroud is pretty baller for sustain.
For the end of early game (8-14 minutes) around level 9, or so this is what you're aiming for:Please note that CDR boots are just as good a choice, and in some cases better. The point is mage boots of some kind though. The reason for this is that early game pen will help your turrets do work, and if you go CDR then you can use your turrets more often. So it's really up to you on which you prefer.
After this point start carrying a ward of some kind as you really shouldn't need mana pots once your sash gets underway., and getting ganked sets back your farm so the 75g is a good investment in the future. Wards are the future. Not children. What have the children ever done for me?
You also get Sash 2nd because you want as much time to stack as possible. No point getting an item and not getting to use it's full potential. Getting Sash early makes you hit a tiny bit less hard than say voidstone, but you'll gain way more health, and survivability for it overall, and down the road you'll end up doing more damage as a result.
This is what you're shooting for at the end of mid game (24-29 minutes) say around level 17-18By now you'll be stacking the sash, and have a decent amount of health. Of note. If you're not having a good early game, and are dying too much then go for Staff before Shard. No matter what you want both those items, but the only thing that changes is the order in which you get them.
End game (30+ minutes), and this is what you want to get toAfter these items the last slot is free for you to get an item of your choosing for me 9.5/10 it's going to be Focused Voidstone.
If you're wondering about what 2nd ability you should get then here are my opinions:
Creeping Curse- Awesome choice it can slow them right next to your turrets, and let you unload some amazing damage. It's also just a really good ability in general.
Aegis- If they have Freya, Ares, Poseidon, or Fenrir get this.
Others- Situational at best. I usually don't consider any other abilities as worth getting on Vulcan.
Every item chosen save for Boots, and Rod benefit both Vulcan, and his turrets. Sash gives you health, mana, and MP, and in turns gives a sizable chunk to your turrets. Same goes for Staff. Shard gives you much needed pen since you can only get it on 3 items, and one of those you might not get (boots to be clear). The end game build I gave you nets you over 3.2k health once sash is stacked. It makes you a beast, and your turrets while not hitting quite as hard as possible are instead much sturdier than if you tried to go tank, or mage resulting in more damage overall.
As you can see Vulcan is best built as a mage bruiser. You might go "BUT IT SAYS TANK ON THE GOD TAB". That might be true, but I want you to know the people who put that there? They're liars. They don't want you to see his true potential, and have hidden it behind a sinister tank tab.
In all seriousness Vulcan simply can not tank. If you build tank then your turrets aren't a threat, and no one cares about you personally because you can't do anything since most of your kit is built around those turrets. You have practically 0 peel, no stun, and even built full tank your turrets go down like Glass Joe.
BUT MY FRIEND SAYS HE WENT 40-0 ONCE GOING TANK MAYBE YOU'RE JUST BAD!
First off you're just a hypothetical example I made up so stop yelling. Second, the way I'm teaching you to build is more about sustain. You will in the long run win more this way I believe, than simply by building pure tank, or mage. You will certainly be more able to contribute to team fights, and have more staying power.
Alright so here's the deal everyone has gods they lane well with we call this Synergy.
For those following along at home...
Synergy is the interaction of multiple elements in a system to produce an effect different from or greater than the sum of their individual effects. It comes from Greek roots, and Vulcan is Roman, but it works somehow thanks to the powers of magic. It makes 2+2=cupcake rather than 4, and those cupcakes are tasty.
Anyway....Here's a rundown on gods that are especially good to lane with/or gank your lane for you.
The top 2 in no order....
This bad boy can stun your target with his leap, and use his ult to bring an enemy god back into your turrets range. Even more awesome if your turrets are ult'd at the time. Kills that come to you? Now that's service. Fetch boy! Downside? Smells like wet dog...even when dry.
This guy is amazing. Even after being hit with the nerf bat it was still a buff for Vulcan. If this guy rings you can throw your turrets down, and ult, and they can still kill the poor sap stuck inside. Even more awesome? His shout works on your turrets. Have you ever seen Vulcan's turrets with a max level Odin's shout, while Vulcan's ult is going on? It's like a machine gun. Downside? GOBACKHOMEPUPCOMEFIGHTMEMYRAVENSWILLFEGOBACKHOMEPUCOMEFIGHTMEGOBACKHOMEPUP!
That's your laning experience in a nutshell. Be prepared to smash your face into the desk hoping for blissful unconsciousness.
Basically anyone with a stun is nice to lane with if you can get them to stun in your turret range.
There is only 1 god that truly can annoy you as Vulcan and that is....This pint sized prince's ring toss can be the bane of you, and your turrets. A single turret put down while you're attempting to run away can easily spell doom for you. Tread carefully, and always think before throwing down turrets around this guy.
Player choose your Stage!
I'll just level with you. Vulcan is at his least fun in this mode. With a constant team fights ranging all over the place half the time your skills won't be up when you need them. Your turrets are almost better set to just be put in front of your portal to keep minions from getting in. To top it all off you can't even damage the towers in front of the enemy base with your turrets.
Still as long as you don't mind creep management, and buff securing, and are careful in keeping your turrets ready you could potentially find fun in arena. That's more about having good teammates that will fight near your turrets though.
AssaultThis mode is interesting. You can't stack items so sash is out of the question. This is the one mode in which I would suggest possibly getting more tank/sustain than straight up maging it. Sustain helps win games here, and your turrets can tank shots if you have any teammates with balls to attack while your turrets are doing work taking tower shots. Team fighting is both a blessing, and curse because with so much team fighting going on you have the potential to really shine, but with so much damage flying around it's equally possible your turrets will get murdered without doing much. Be careful with positioning, and you should be fine.
A more detailed Assault guide overview can be found here written by Drexo. I haven't read it, but with that many posts it can't be wrong. Just kidding it's a fine guide that covers most of what you need to know about Assault.
DominationProbably one of the more fun modes to play Vulcan in, which of course means it's being replaced soon. Sigh. Anyway in this mode you can use turrets to guard your sand guardians (Guardception?) while you yourself are pushing another area with backfire. If you're really confident you can use 1 turret per lane, and yourself for the last one. Who says Vulcan has no global presence? Oh, right....everyone. Also you can put your turrets down before the game starts, and it'll take the sand bro while it, and whoever else you have with you is killing it. Even better you can just rotate turrets to keep it from ever attacking you. The tight restricted passageways also help make turret body blocking easier, and make your ult more devastating.
Conquest Oh, Conquest. Here's the breakdown.
You were born to do this job. Your turrets can tank minions outside the tower without putting you in harms way, and by the time the enemy can get powerful enough to even think of tower diving you, or just murdering your turrets you'll be able to clear waves with backfire. Manage your cool downs carefully, and always be ready to use backfire to escape potentially lethal situations. If you have to go back throw some turrets down inside the radius. Worst case scenario they get destroyed, and you end up with no xp for the wave, which you wouldn't get anyway. Best case they take hits for your tower, get you some xp/gold, or even possibly a kill. Many a time I have gone back to base when the enemy was at around half health, and I simply waited until I saw them engage on my turrets before ulting, and getting me a sweet kill.
This one is weird. Sometimes I'll level up backfire just to clear waves, and put a turret on each side of the lane in the jungle to avoid getting ganked. Works fairly well, but limits your kill potential. On the other hand you can get some nice farm.
Not as pathetic as you might think. Once you get past the initial stages you can throw down a thumper to clear harpy camps, and an inferno to clear other camps you don't need the buff from while you continue on your way. Get a creeping curse for ganking, and tell your lane you're coming ahead of time, and you can make waves. In this instance level thumper over backfire (still get 1 point in bf though) as the slow can make the difference between kill, and escape. You can also cover for a lane that needs to back by just dropping a turret, and going back to jungling. Side note if you gank a lane for your team throw down a thumper, or something to absorb you some xp while you continue on jungling. If your team complains tell them it's minion tax. You gank their lane they give you minions. They pay their taxes they get ganks!
Pretty much the same as solo except you have a lane mate to help you out of a bind, or help secure a kill.
Overall Vulcan functions best when a team is aware of what he can do, and can plan accordingly. You will be mocked, belittled, and laughed at for picking Vulcan. The best revenge is to end up 12-2 at the end of the game. Show him your beards power.
So what have we learned? We haven't learned anything, but you have. I already knew all of this, or I couldn't have written it.
So, what have you learned? You've learned I'm a shapeshifter who plays Vulcan. You've also learned that I probably have no idea what I'm talking about. You should hear my voice though if you've read, and absorbed all the nuances to Vulcan. Go ahead, and close your eyes. Can you hear me? Don't be afraid to respond out loud I can hear you too. Good. Now go forth, and crush the enemies of the beard in the name of Vulcan.....and we'll throw a bone to HRDuke as well. So do it in both their names.
Also just because I can a plug for my youtube channel where I play, and do lots of stupid smite stuff, but also lots of Vulcan.
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