Vella Beginners Guide

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This guide is based on my experiences on the EU version of Vindictus almost exclusively soloing with Vella and is intended to help you learn how to play the character. Play style may differ significantly in guild raids. No maths or simulations have been done, so there are no numbers here, just feelings from testing out styles of play.

Transitioning from other characters[edit | edit source]

Lann[edit | edit source]

Vella is most similar in play style to a Sword Lann. She is a glass cannon dealing out swift damage and running rings around her opponents, but little able to absorb blows. You're going to burn through Stamina very fast with Vella - I thought even faster than with a Sword Lann. You'll really need to watch her Stamina and burst your attacks, then move around the boss to let your Stamina recover. Never ever leave yourself low on Stamina because you won't be able to use your best get-out-of-smash free card (Cross Cut) if you don't have enough. Also learn to move around strafing so that you're always pointing towards your target. You can't Cross Cut if you're not facing them. In summary, you'll find her play style quite similar, but you'll have to get used to less dodging and instead cross cutting. You have little option to dodge, then think, "This is a great time to attack". You are much better off deciding that before and countering instead of dodging.

Gliding Fury[edit | edit source]

Menacing Gale is basically the same as Gliding Fury except that it has the advantage that it comes as standard with two attacks and can be extended to three with Deadly Storm. Like Lann, you're best off skimming around enemies with this ability rather than charging right up in to their faces.

Double Crescent[edit | edit source]

Gusty Blade is similar to Double Crescent, but is not as easy to aim but is cheaper in Stamina. It also has quite a long recovery time, so you will be left more vulnerable after this attack. It does however have nice AoE with a good knock-down rate, so is good to use especially against big clumps of low-health enemies such as spiders and archers. The aiming is tricky only because despite the apparent jump, Vella will still be blocked by any obstacles on the ground - even the ones that you can normally jump over such as spiders. Sometimes the momentum of the attack can push you sideways too, making you deflect off your target if you are too close. There is also a bigger delay between Wind Step and Gusty Blade than between Slip Dash and Double Crescent, so you cannot dive in to an attack as you did before.

Slip Dash[edit | edit source]

Wind Step is essentially the same. Same Stamina cost, same effect.

Nimble Dash[edit | edit source]

She cannot dodge as well as Lann. You must get out of the habit of hitting Dash twice or else you will trigger Slipaway instead, which is an attack rather than a dodge - so you will be vulnerable to attacks. If you try to use Slipaway as an extension to your dodge, you'll find that it is very expensive in Stamina and that you'll still take full hits if you didn't get out of the way with the first dodge. Get used to it. You only have ONE dodge, so use it well. Vella needs to be positioned better than Lann, so panicked "get me out of here" double dodges simply don't work.

If you find yourself in the way of a boss smash without time to get out of the way, you need to learn an entirely new skill and a vital one in Vella's arsenal: Cross Cut

Fiona[edit | edit source]

You will find that Vella is much faster than Fiona and you'll need to aim her chains of attacks well (slip to the side of your targets, don't slam straight in to them), so you'll have to get used to spinning the camera view rapidly, looking for your next line of attack even while you are performing one attack. Your typical attack pattern with be to run rings around your opponent, clipping them with the tips of your blades rather than piling in head-on and countering the next smash you provoke. You'll also find your Stamina burning really, really fast. Attack in bursts and keep running in rings while your Stamina regenerates before your next burst of attacks.

Counterattack[edit | edit source]

Vella has excellent counter attack abilities like Fiona and in some ways even better since it is easier to use and doesn't risk breaking your shield. The Cross Stance Cross Cut combo is much like Fiona's Guard Counterattack combo. Unlike Fiona, you cannot go in to Cross Stance without any thought and hope to execute Cross Cut successfully. Vella will NOT turn to face the attack. You must already be facing the correct direction to counter an attack. You will not be immune to damage from other enemies (the ones you are not counter attacking) while you are counter attacking and this can stun you. In other words, you cannot reliably use Cross Cut to get out of being surrounded.

On the other hand, unlike Fiona you cannot fail to use Cross Cut as long as you are still actively in Cross Stance. It will not trigger until the enemy is in the correct moment to counter attack, so it is possible to face the enemy, drop in to Cross Stance a little early and them mash the right mouse button rapidly. As soon as the moment is there, you will counter. This is very useful against bosses once the trash as taken out as you can ignore Vella, mash the button and watch the boss. This technique will help you to learn which attacks can be countered and when. I don't recommend sticking with this technique forever, but it's a good way to start. If you had problems timing the counter with Fiona, then Vella might be just the character for you.

One disadvantage is that you cannot simply hold Guard and wait for an attack. Cross Stance has a fixed duration, so if your enemy doesn't attack in the time that the stance is active, it will be wasted and even worse, the recovery time from the stance is long and will leave you completely vulnerable. Otherwise you can enter Cross Stance instantly, just like you could with Guard.

Cross Cut can also be used when you are out of the enemy's attack. As long as you are facing them and close enough, you can move to the side or even behind and still counter attack. This is also very useful since if you mess up the timing, you can still avoid taking a boss smash in the face. This is especially important since you won't have as much Defense as Fiona and one boss smash can be enough to kill you. This is a new technique to learn since Fiona needed to block an attack before executing a Counterattack.

Additionally, Cross Cut can also be used against some ranged attacks. If you're close enough, you can still counter attack these, though I highly recommend combining moving to the side and trying counter attacking to avoid taking a ranged attack full in the face should you fail.

This skill will also take you behind the enemy, so you're going to have to get used to the sudden change in position. Using Double Cross as standard is not cool since it will take you back in front of a boss, but with your back to them and completely vulnerable to whatever attack you were countering. You will find yourself accidentally doing this often if you stick to using the button mashing technique of executing Cross Cut. Get out of the habit! You have plenty of time to aim your Double Cross, so use it well to slip past your target, just catching them with the tips of your blades.

Tactics Guide[edit | edit source]

Stat Priorities[edit | edit source]

My personal preference: Strength > Agility > Willpower


Higher Defense and a higher Stamina recovery rate. A lot of people seem to go for Willpower over Agility, but I think that the Stamina recovery is worth it. There must be a reason why the Vella-only Butterfly and White Shark sets have such big Agility bonuses.


Completely useless for Vella. Ignore it.


Always king for Vella. It provides higher ATT as well as giving you more carrying weight for armor. This will give you the highest DPS of all the stats.


Lets skills like Standing Endurance trigger more often and increases your Crit rate. None of Vella's skills require critical hits, so it's definitely not a priority as it is with Lann.


Pretty useless. Vella's Defense is low and she's made to get out of the way of attacks, not take the hits. Great when you get it, but don't bother pumping it up.

Stamina Lets you do more in a single burst of attacks - or do the same and have some leeway to dodge an extra time. Very useful for every play style.

Path[edit | edit source]

Like Lann, Vella is a dodging character and shouldn't need a big boost in Defense. On the other hand, the boost to ATT is well worth it. Taking the Dark Knight path is probably the best choice for you.

Skill Guide[edit | edit source]

A short guide how to use each active skill in Vella's arsenal.

Backlash[edit | edit source]

Reflects an enemy projectile back at them. Useful, but difficult to time for fast projectiles. It triggers with Slipaway and doesn't cost any extra Stamina, so in some cases, you can reflect a projectile, and dodge/strike melee enemies at the same time. Not all projectiles can be reflected with this skill, so similar to Cross Cut, I would recommend that you don't stand waiting to take the projectile in the face and try to time the skill use. Step a bit to the side so that the projectile would have missed you anyway. As long as the swords still touch the projectile, it will still reflect. Also like Cross Cut, you need to be facing the right way to reflect, so always keep Vella facing the enemy.

Unlike Cross Cut, you cannot mash Shift and let the skill trigger at the right time. You will trigger Slipaway and waste the opportunity if you don't time it right. This skill is harder to use than Cross Cut, but is very useful against bosses that spam ranged attacks against you. Nevertheless, due to the high Stamina cost of Slipaway, I would still recommend to use normal strafing to avoid ranged attacks as much as possible and instead close in use Cross Cut instead.

Blade Heart[edit | edit source]

An excellent passive damage boost. It disappears completely after using Cross Cut, so if you're spamming Cross Cut, to keep up Blade Heart, just do at least a single normal attack. This is highly worth it as it reduces the Stamina cost of Cross Cut, boosts its damage and ensures that you cut through the enemy.

This skill also dissipates if you don't land an attack for 10 seconds. If you're soloing and want to pick up evil cores, gold or health ergs, you can extend this skill by hitting an enemy, running away, doing what you want, then returning to hit them once again. Using this tactic to pull enemies close to the exit point of an area can mean that you keep Blade Heart active as you reach the next pack. You can use Tumult Blade or a simple Sprint Smash to dive forward quicker and land a hit before the effect dissipates.

Cross Cut[edit | edit source]

This will be one of your major sources of damage and a key skill in avoiding getting hit. Keep facing the enemy since you cannot use this skill unless you are looking at them. You do not need to be in the way of the attack to execute this skill, you can happily be to the side or even behind. It's safer to do that too. Get used to strafing and running rings around your opponent and cross cutting them when you're already out of harm's way.

Keep up Blade Heart if you're spamming this ability by landing a single normal attack between each Cross Cut. This will help reduce the Stamina cost, boost the damage and ensure that you cut through the enemy.

You can counter even some ranged attacks with this skill. You just need to be facing them and within their hit box. As with melee attacks, you do not need to be in the way of the attack. You can and should be safely out of the way, waiting to unleash.

To learn the timing of Cross Cut, you can drop in to Cross Stance early and mash the attack button. This skill will not trigger early and cannot be wasted in that way. I don't recommend sticking with this tactic, but it is a useful one to watch the tells of bosses and learn when the key moments are. If you're learning like this, it is useful to level up Cross Stance to give you more leeway.

Cross Stance[edit | edit source]

Just a prerequisite for other skills. If you're skilled at timing Slipaway, Cross Cut and Backlash, you don't need to level this up at all. Otherwise, level this up as much as you need since the recovery time after Cross Stance is very long if you haven't executed another ability in the time that you are still in the stance.

Note that you enter Cross Stance in the direction that Vella is currently facing. This is very serious for Cross Cut and Backlash because even with the option selected to attack in the direction the mouse is looking, these attacks will not! You will execute both in the direction you're facing when you enter Cross Stance. This limits the speed with which you can execute these moves because you must be able to move Vella to face the correct direction first. You can often enter Cross Stance and execute Slipaway in situations where you cannot move. You must learn the timings of your own attacks and when you are able to move Vella to change her facing before entering Cross Stance.

Deadly Storm[edit | edit source]

An excellent extension to Thunderous Squall that gives you an extra attack for no extra Stamina cost. Take it as soon as you can.

Double Cross[edit | edit source]

A second Cross Cut that can be executed after a successful Cross Cut. It can be aimed separately, which I would highly recommend. If you don't aim it, it will target straight back at the first target. This means that you usually end up back in front of the boss and facing the wrong way! If the boss was using a chain of smashes, then you'll take one full in the back of the head which really isn't good news.

This can also be used well on trash mobs by triggering Cross Cut on a slow enemy whose attack is easy to read, then double crossing to nearby fast enemies with unpredictable attacks.

Slipaway[edit | edit source]

Expensive to use. Useful, but cannot be spammed. Use with discretion. It has a better sideways range than forwards, so in keeping with general Vella play style, it is most useful to dodge past the side of your opponent and clip them for some damage on the way past.

It is extremely fast, so very useful against bosses with lightning-fast attacks.

Thunderous Squall/Menacing Gale[edit | edit source]

An excellent attack that is cheap in Stamina to use. Each attack (including the extra attack from Deadly Storm can be aimed separately. Use this ability by powering up the 4 normal attacks usually outside of attack range, then use the distance each of these attacks takes you forward to skim around your enemies, just clipping them with the tips of your swords. Don't pile straight in to the middle or else you could find yourself stuck and vulnerable to their retaliation attacks. Learn the sideways range of your swords and run rings around your opponents with this skill. You'll do lots of damage, keep moving out of the way of their attack and build up Blade Heart all at the same time.

Tumult Blade/Gusty Blade[edit | edit source]

Your chance to leap in and dish out good AoE damage with a good knock-down rate. A little expensive to use, but perfect against tight knots of low-health enemies like spiders or archers. The recovery time of this skill is quite long, so landing this attack in front of special melee mobs (speedy, quick, stoneskin, etc.) might not pay off as they can resist the interrupt/knock-down and continue their big smash while you're left defenseless and unable to move out of the way.

Note that the AoE effect is not circular. It is more of a cone in front. Don't expect to land in the middle of a group of fomors and hit them all. Land in front of them and have the attack point at them. Facing is important here.

Also note that although the animation for the attack is a jump, this attack isn't a jump! Movement will be stopped by anything on the ground including small bits of masonry, jars and spiders - all things that you would normally be able to jump over. This effect can help targeting, but you have to know about it and think about it when you use it. This also means you sometimes have odd side-effects like picking up gold that you're flying over or suddenly stopping in mid-jump because there is a hemdril (those worm things) about to pop out of the ground. The hemdril effect is nice in one way because you'll never miss one even if it hasn't popped up yet, but bad in another way because if timed incorrectly, the hemdril will damage you as it pops out of the ground while you're performing the attack.

If you're farming for cores, it's also an excellent way of destroying clumps of stalagmites and destructible scenery.

Wind Step[edit | edit source]

Your core dodge ability. It's very powerful, but expensive to use until it's ranked up. Each increase to the rank of this skill reduces its Stamina cost by one as well as increasing your invulnerability time. Rank this up quickly. You will need the reduced Stamina cost as fast as possible.

Don't overuse this ability. It is essentially what you have if you can't use Cross Cut, i.e. when you're not facing you're attacker or maybe if you haven't got Blade Heart active, otherwise Cross Cut is always the better option since it will move you behind your attacker and deal them damage at the same time.

SP: Cyclone/Tempest[edit | edit source]

Does a HUGE amount of damage to bosses. While you're executing this skill, you're completely invulnerable. You do a little leap forward when you execute this skill in the direction Vella is facing. Unlike other attacks, this does not go in the direction you're looking with your mouse, even if you've selected attack in direction of mouse! Also be a bit back from your target otherwise you might deflect off their hit box and land the attack to the side, missing them. Time the attack when the boss isn't moving. If you miss this attack, all the SP will be wasted and you won't execute the move. That really sucks.

It will also damage other nearby opponents if they are too close. This means you can leap to attack a boss immediately without worrying about the trash. If you pull the trash and boss together, then you can ensure that you not only do a lot of damage to the boss, but also take out most or all of the trash with just a single skill attack.

Even better than this, you can pull multiple bosses together and damage them all. Battles like The Five Spider Brothers and Revenge are good for this. For battles like Revenge with a mix of ranged and melee bosses, it is better to attack the ranged boss with this skill after pulling the melee boss next to them. The melee boss will continue to try to attack you while executing this attack and will be caught by it. Ranged bosses will try to back off and shoot you, so could escape the massacre.

SP: Typhoon Slash[edit | edit source]

An excellent and more powerful alternative to XE Move and Tumult Blade. It costs no Stamina, so can be used in a similar way to XE Move to blast opponents away from you. It will pull in enemies from quite a long way away and is best used like this. If enemies are right next to you, they might not be moved and therefore their attacks might not be interrupted and you could take hits while you execute the move.

Watch out when using this ability on stairs, slopes or uneven ground. Enemies are lifted up and sucked towards you. If they are too high or low when they are sucked towards you, they will NOT be hit by your swords!