Welcome to my first awesomenauts guide for Vinnie & Spike, this character is a high dmg assasin type naut with high carry potential. This guide will focus on a high risk high reward style of play. If you have any sugestion don't be afraid to pm me, my username is arly803.
Knowing Your Abilities
Spike Dive : The single most important tool you have as vinnie, this ability is where a good majority of your dmg comes from. Proper execution of this will make or break you. this ability will largely help you take your enemies by surprise the incredible dmg followed up by a few bubble shots will take out most squishies early-mid to late game, but beefier nauts may take two or even three in some extreme cases before they go down.
Inflate: To date, the best mobility option that any naut has, even yuri's jetpack plays second banana to this one. inflate has no limit to the number of consecutive jumps and you move quite a bit faster when in the air, and as such, you should be floating everywhere you go. but dont discount the importance of falling, being able to fall is important for the positioning of your spike dives, so be weary of things like the antigrav field in AI station 404.
Bubble Gun: An above average basic atack, trading constant dmg for increased burst per shot. The projectile passes through units allowing for hitting enemies behind creeps or beefy allies and opening you up for easier pushing without having to use your spike dive to clear waves. Don't underestimate this ability it will finish off the majority of your kills. You can also simply harass with it to soften enemies up for incoming spike dives.
Smokescreen: This is your safety blanket, if you're behind get this early, it can save you. But in other cases this can prove a potent in combat ability being used to confuse your foes to play hit and run with them or to attempt to overwhelm them by attacking while they cant tell where to fire back. However this ability is nowhere near as useful as it once was, since before the nerf you were able to reduce the cooldown of your spike dive with the cast of this by a max of 2 whole seconds without having to forego a dmg upgrade for spike dive, now treat it as more of a late game luxury or a mid game safety measure if you fall behind.
this section goes into depth as to why certain upgrades are desireable or undesireable, if you know what all his upgraes do already you can skip this section all together and go straight to his build path (if you arent high level i sggest you read this section as some of the upgrades in the build are very high lvl and you might have to substitute).
For Spike Dive:
Seahorse is a staple of any good vinnie build, it causes you to shoot aditional spikes at the start of your dive, multiplying the dmg fo Spike Dive by 1.5X if you are positioned right. it's a no brainer, pick it up. It makes your burst truly shine above the rest.
Goldfish is a strong option for 100 solar, you can increase your dmg by 15(22.5 with seahorse) as long as you have 150 solar in your pocket. it can be quite the surprise in the early game when you buy this before coming to llane and then during the lane your dmg(in your opponents eyes) sems to all of a sudden jump much higher.
Chrome File is a pick to increas your bust for the late game increasing spike dive's dmg by up to 20(30 with seahorse) adds a nice kick to your dive for ensuring kills or a forced back out of your opponents. with this, gold fish and seahorse, a properly aimed dive deals a total of 105 dmg( 35 base, 15 from goldfish, 20 from file and 35 from seahorse)
Other good choices :
Rigged Casino Games can be a bi pick as well if you want to lower your burst and increase your preasence in extended pushing efforts, or if you expect to be facing off against very tanky opponents. if you pick this up i suggest not taking goldfish, as seahorse is too important and file gives more dmg in the end(unless you want to try to push for an earlier win in which case go ahead and take fish over file but you risk beinng outshined by lategame).
Antique machine gun solves a problem that never needed to be solved, it makes postioning for vinnie less important, as he can dive further and get into position/ out of combat more easily, but his inflate renders this mostly useless as he has no troubles getting in and out of position. still technicly useable but i wouldn't suggest it to anyone.
Alien abduction kit is the least appealing upgrade for spike dive i can think of, because lifesteal is not usefull on a character that uses surprise and burst to take down enemies before they can react. Plus, it takes up a slot you could use to increase the dmg(or cooldown if you like) of your dive.
Sock is the best option for smokescreen scine the nerfs, it makes smoke sceen an easy out by making you inviis so you can just float away from ganks or a way to surprise your foe without the use of hide areasif you get Smoke early you're getting it for this
Bandana doubles the effectiveness of Smokescreen in combat situations by adding a silence on top of the blind that was already there. This effectivly makes any fighting back to be in vain as the cant even use any aoe's that they have o hit you when they cant see you.
President mask lost it's place as best upgrade other than seahorse since its been nerfed to do somethin completely different but it still has a place as a srong upgreade for your smokescreen, it doubles your speed after cast for about a second or so. it's great when coupled with sock for the invis making it possible to travel much farther whilst invis. it also makes traveling the map a breeze.
Other strong picks:
Rocketeer can be usefull in that it makes your smokesceen massive, but that's all it really brings to the table. if you need the blind(or silence if you have bandana) longer, take it as your enemy won't be able to leave the area as fast.
Clown mask sounds great on paper, "CC immunity on cast?", but as you cant really see what's coming on the other team until your in, it can be a slot completely wasted. If Ronimo ever introduces a draft-type mode it would jump up to strong picks, but until then just ignore it really.
Rubber mask's payout is just not enough to realy be worth the slot. There's really nothing more i can say on it. you'd be better off buying tools to help you rack up kills.
Yakoiza emphasises the playstyle i use with this build as it gives you bonus dmg for the next shot after an ability is cast, so you can follow up a dive or a smokescreen with an extra burst of dmg. it's alos fairly cheap, so win win.
Loanshark, my god Loanshark, as if you didnt snow ball enough now you can do it more quickly. 50 bonus solar on a kill, that's like getting another kill damnit. just get it it cost 50 solar to buy and pays for itself in one kill.
The godfish is another inexpensive dmg boost. so long as an enemy near you is holding 150 or more solar you will have bonus dmg and you will see yourself glow which makes it a sneaky little tool to find invisible nauts.
Other Strong picks:
al is a pretty good guy, he gives you a bonus 3 dmg when fully upgraded, while expensive can be worth your time. although to be honest i think Ronimo screwed up when they named it, it should've been Al Carpone(not Carper).
Scarfish increases your dps, works well with Mr. Carpone and the godfish. Can make your dps strong to compensate your lake of burst while on cooldown.
The bonus Range from Sharky and Remora is entirely unnecessary as you'll mostly be using your bubblegin after a Spike Dive, so you'll be close to them anyways.
Boots, I don't care who you're playing boots are always a must, end of story.
A head start on my build? Why thank you Mr. piggybank I would love that.
when getting solar determines whether or not you do well in a game, this is your best friend. you may not hink much of it in the grand scheme of things but it puts a massive dent in the time it takes you to get upgrades.
just like with the clown mask, the Mammoth is just too situational and wont be usefull unless you know what's coming.
it just isn't all that great for vinnie, if you REALLY need to be bulkier i guess you could but i would never do it personally.
The heal off of Krab Burger is too small to really care, you're better of going and getting creep heal or a healthpack
Play Style and Tips
-Know your way around the maps, lear hem well and use shortcuts to cut off enemies fleeing your allies for easy kills
-You should try to gank often, if you get early kills you can snowball quickly.
-Don't be afraid to use your dive to get away it can save you alot.
-You can pick up smokescreen early if you are dying alot early to mid game.
-Get good at picking up solar in your drop pod, if you can get 35 at the start, you can buy up to loanshark on your first buy.
-If there are hide areas, use them, the element of surprise is your best friend.
-A good place to look for easy pick ups are where creeps or health packs are situated on the map, you can even kill a naut before the heal of a creep reaches them after they kill it.
-If you see a team fight, you can either try to contribute with your burst or you can hard push with your spike dive to clear waves. Don't forget that spike dive works on buildings.
-Falling behind doesn't have to be a death sentence, if you're having trouble fighting enemy nauts, get smokescreen early and use your mobility to alternat between lanes and use spike dive to farm, you should be able to catch up.