Almost Comprehensive HOW TO COUNTER DRAFT GUIDE - Draft Mode Guide


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Content archived from the Original Vainglory forums - originally posted by emuthenerd on 14 January, 2017 archived by @Moose

Vainglory Hero Selection: Draft Counter-Picks
Written during Updates 1.24 and 2.0​

Below are all the current heroes listed in alphabetical order. With each will be a short (just kidding, very long) explanation of how to draft against them and how a vainglorious player or team might think during draft. I don’t talk about every single 1v1 matchup, but the themes of mobility, gap closing, kiting, etc. are all mentioned and these principles can be extended to every possible matchup. I have left Flicker and Idris out of consideration since I have yet to see them perform in a lot of varied matchups. You’ll also notice a lack of info on Gwen and Baron; they are both still new enough that I don’t feel experienced enough to give complete inputs on them.
I don’t repeat myself either. Because this is in alphabetical order, I won’t feel the need to elaborate on the same hero matchup under both heroes. For example, under Adagio I mention that Adagio is weak to Celeste. Therefore it is unnecessary for me to say under Celeste’s heading that she’s good against an Adagio, since Adagio is first alphabetically and this matchup will already be included under that hero.

For all of you tl;dwtr (too long don’t want to read) people, here’s the quick summary in this ugly graph I spent 20 minutes on in Microsoft Excel. OR you could spend the time to actually read some stuff. Or maybe just one or two heroes. Or just skim over. Or whatever.

Disclaimer: These are all my opinions, and obviously, sometimes opinions can be wrong. BUT If you message me or leave a comment that says “Hey Emu, I was Alpha against a Joule and I lost, how could you lie to me? Clearly Alpha isn’t a counter, I’m suing you for the emotional distress this caused me!” I will just tell you to get better. With that said, if you see something factually wrong that got changed in one of the patches and I didn’t update this list (or if I made a typo and OCD is now driving you insane) I will change that.

Adagio: Commonly played as a CP carry or as a support. His traditional CP carry build is very strong early and mid game but falls off late game compared to other CP carries. As a support, he is weak early game but becomes stronger mid and late game.
As a carry, a self-targeted Agent of Wrath increases his damage output dramatically. However, if you aren’t currently burning from Adagio’s Gift of Fire, you will take significantly less damage even from a buffed Adagio.
As a support, his heal gets stronger as he buys more items and his ultimate has the potential to stun multiple enemies for a very long duration.
Strengths: Very good sustain with self-heal, strong power spike once he finishes alternating current, potential to get multiple stuns
Weaknesses: no movement ability, late game damage fall-off, ultimate is very easy to crucible
Taking into account his strengths and weaknesses, here are some common counter drafts.
Baron: Adagio only has high damage output when he can light an enemy on fire with his GoF. Baron is able to stay out of range of both carry and support Adagio’s abilities until late game, when his damage will drastically outperform against Adagio.
Blackfeather: Again, Adagio likes to light his enemies on fire. Blackfeather, as a melee, must get close to Adagio and therefore make himself an easy target for Adagio’s GoF and AoW combo. This, combined with Blackfeather’s weak early game and Adagio’s powerful one, makes Blackfeather a difficult pick into Adagio.
Celeste: Since Adagio must stand still to get off his empowered basic attacks, he is a very easy target for Celeste. Once she gets eve of harvest, she can regenerate just as much health off of adagio as he can heal himself (DON’T BUY EVE FIRST, Broken Myth is better). While early game will be difficult, Celeste’s increased range at level 8 makes this an easy matchup.
Joule: Adagio has very low mobility, which makes landing a stun very easy. If you choose to go the CP path on Joule, then he also has a very hard time dodging your ultimate.
Koshka: Koshka is not an in-your-face melee fighter. She relies on jumping in, chunking down enemies and getting out. Adagio’s heal allows him to sustain many of Koshka’s attack forays without taking much cumulative damage.
Lance: Adagio’s low movement speed makes landing CC very easy. His quick stun from Gythian Wall is also an easy way to cancel Adagio’s ultimate.
Lyra: Lyra’s heal is a very good counter to Adagio’s sustain. The portal is also an excellent engagement on an immobile Adagio.
Phinn: Phinn provides an excellent counter to Adagio. His Polite Company and the fortified health it provides makes it hard for Adagio to secure kills. Since Adagio has no escape either, a successful Phinn ultimate is almost a certain kill on Adagio. Once Phinn hits level 8, his stun can also interrupt Adagio’s ultimate.
Reim: Reim is only good against melees. He lacks heavily in initiation against ranged carries, and if Adagio heals himself while Reim is near, the slow will make it nearly impossible for Reim to do any damage.
Samuel: Samuel’s passive allows for built in sustain against Adagio. Samuel’s late game damage also heavily outscales Adagio, so all Samuel has to do is farm on par with Adagio to win this matchup.
Taka: Taka, much like Koshka, relies on diving in and dealing chunks of damage. Adagio’s heal negates a lot of Taka’s burst while also slowing down Taka’s escape. Adagio’s ultimate also can hit Taka indiscriminate of if he’s invisible or not.
Alpha: Commonly played as a WP or CP jungler. Her WP path comes in with a lot of built in health regeneration, while her CP path normally relies on an aftershock, allowing her to deal large chunks of damage. CP and WP both scale well into the late-game.
Alpha is a very sticky character, able to repeatedly jump back on her target. CP tends to rely a lot on dealing damage with the explosion from her ultimate while her WP path uses the ultimate as a speed boost and extra health barrier without needing the explosion damage.
She excels in sticking to mobile characters but suffers from a lack of an escape.
Strengths: Stickiness, natural tank tendency, ability to go WP or CP as needed
Weaknesses: No escape, unreliability in dealing damage with her ultimate
Ardan: His Vangaurd ability helps his carries stay away from Alpha very easily. It also allows Ardan to reposition in front of Alpha quickly and bodyblock her Prime Directive ability. His Gauntlet also prevents Alpha’s Prime Directive or Core Charge from allowing Alpha to lunge and stick to a carry.
Catherine: Alpha’s natural tankiness and health regeneration make Catherine an overall bad pick into Alpha. Stunning someone that tanky does little and since Alpha has no massive “chunk” abilities, the bubble does little. While Catherine can silence Alpha so she can’t activate her ultimate explosion, you cannot silence Alpha’s ability to survive death and her second health bar.
Joule: Because of Alpha’s health regeneration, prolonged fights will often lead to Joule’s death. And if Joule tries to escape over a wall using her jump, Alpha can just follow with a Prime Directive.
Kestrel: Kestrel’s Active Camo allows her to punish every single melee hero that can dive her. In general, it is very difficult to play any melee hero at all, including Alpha, against a Kestrel.
Krul: Krul comes with so much incredible sustain in a 1v1 fight that he’s almost guaranteed to win against Alpha. Since she has no escape, it is very easy for Krul to stick to her. And since Krul’s weakness stacks reduce Alpha’s damage output. His health regeneration and breaking point stacks will always be better than Alpha’s.
Lyra: Lyra’s Bright Bulwark is one of the most powerful abilities in the game. Think of it as a selective silence on a very short cooldown. Both Alpha’s Core Charge and Prime Directive are considered movement abilities and therefore will be blocked by Lyra.
Petal: Petal’s munions are normally very good at body blocking abilities for her. However, Alpha’s Prime Directive ignores all small minions in targeting, so she’ll be able to jump straight to Petal.
Phinn: Phinn’s slow movement speed allows Alpha to build lots of Core Charge, Broken Myth, and Breaking Point stacks off of him before every fight. Since Alpha does have health regeneration and a lot of defense, stunning her will often do very little. Since she has two diving abilities on short cooldown, Polite Company’s repositioning affects her very little.
Reim: Reim and Krul fulfill very similar positions. Both are incredibly tanky and have incredible 1v1 potential as long as they can stick to their target - Krul is only slightly more mobile but lacks area damage that Reim does. However, because Alpha can’t escape, Reim is guaranteed kills whenever he fights Alpha.
Skye: Skye is normally very powerful because of her ability to kite heroes while moving backwards. However, Skye only has one reposition using her Suri Strike while Alpha has two on just as short a cooldown. Both CP and WP Skye will have a tough time kiting away from Alpha.
Taka: Taka’s advantage lies in his speed and ability to Kaku away for lots of health regeneration. However, Alpha’s Prime Directive can reveal a stealthed Taka, cancelling his regeneration and his speed boost. Even when running away, Alpha’s Core Charge helps her keep up with Taka’s superior speed.
Ardan: Played as a support only. Ardan’s strengths lie in his health scaling and his Gauntlet. His passive ability means that the more health items he has, the less damage he’ll take, while the barrier on his Vanguard ability also scales with health. His Gauntlet late game has the potential to stun multiple enemies to start, but since it lasts for a several second duration, can prevent teams from regrouping together properly. Ardan is strongest mid-game.
Ardan has two kinds of synergy - the first is to Vanguard his ranged allies to help them kite enemies better. Gauntlet also can serve this purpose when used defensively. The second is to Vanguard diving melee carries to help them stick to their target better. In this case, Gauntlet is also used better as an initiation. You will notice that I failed to mention Ardan’s second ability at all. While it is a basic attack reset and allows Ardan to do a little extra damage early and mid game, the actual value of this ability is nothing late game, meaning Ardan only has two abilities at level 12, albeit strong ones.
Strengths: Health scaling and body blocking potential, Vanguard’s immense all-around utility
Weaknesses: does poorly against large chunks of damage, lack of three useful abilities, long ultimate cooldown.
Celeste: Ardan’s passive allows him to regenerate up to 75% of the health lost per hit as long as that health isn’t more than 1% of his missing health. Essentially, the smaller the damage is, the more likely it is that Ardan will block 75% of that incoming damage. Celeste deals damage in such large chunks that the passive is a lot less effective against her. Secondly, while Gauntlet seems like it would be a good initiation against her, it’s actually poor against Celeste. Since all of Ardan’s allies will most likely be in the Gauntlet, this small area allows Celeste to dish out lots of damage.
Kestrel: Kestrel deals such massive damage with every hit that Ardan’s passive is basically useless. While he’s normally good at bodyblocking, he will hurt a lot after taking several Glimmershots.
Lance: The slow animation time of the Gauntlet means a well-timed Gythian Wall can either stun Ardan out of his ultimate or reposition it somewhere much worse. Secondly, if Lance overdrives his Gythian Wall he becomes immune to stuns. Lastly, Ardan’s Vanguard brings him closer to an ally, now allowing Lance to land double roots and stuns much easier.
Lyra: Again, Bright Bulwark is basically just a silence on short cooldown. In Ardan’s case, all three of his abilities count as movement. While in the Bulwark, he can’t Gauntlet, Vanguard, or do anything practical.
Ringo: Ringo has been quite the potato in the last few patches. It got to a point where an Ardan with a stormguard banner was able to go 1v1 a full WP carry Ringo and secure a kill. Now, while it’s much harder for Ringo to actually die to Ardan, his slow stepped damage is perfect for Ardan’s passive to block.
Skaarf: Essentially any hero with large chunking abilities does well against Ardan. Skaarf’s fireballs are no exception. Secondly, Skaarf’s massive range allows him to almost never get caught by the Gauntet.
Skye: Skye’s Forward Barrage deals damage in such small chunks that Ardan’s passive is practically guaranteed to block the maximum amount of damage.
Baron: Baron is almost always played WP since CP is so reliant on fighting immobile enemies. His laning phase is very weak early game. However, if he manages to farm up enough and buy items, Baron becomes nearly unstoppable. He is strongest late game.
Both paths are reliant on outranging your enemies and keeping them far away from you. Because basic attacks reduce the cooldown for Jump Jets, WP Baron has slightly more escape than CP. Baron wants to stay just out of range of his enemies where he can damage them freely and must use Jump Jets to reposition to safety if dived. Jump Jets is one of the best escapes in the game since it does not need a targeted enemy or ally, does not need vision, and can cross walls. Because of this, he beats enemies unable to gap close well.
Strengths: Heavy splash damage, 130% ratio on all basic attacks, long range on basics and abilities
Weaknesses: Slowest move speed in the game, weak early game
Blackfeather: With three gap closers, Blackfeather is at the top of possible counters. Baron is never going to be able to run away from you when you have this much mobility.
Kestrel: While Kestrel’s early game is much much better than Baron’s, allowing her to bully freely, late game Baron really picks up. His Porcupine Mortars, even when building WP, still allow him to match Kestrel’s Glimmershot range, except Baron is less squishy, does splash damage, and can dodge several Glimmershots using Jump Jets in a fight.
Koshka: Koshka is known as a very good early game hero, Baron not so much. Even late game, Koshka’s speed boost will allow her to evade much of Baron’s damage while Yummy Catnip Frenzy can lock down an already immobile Baron.
Krul: Krul has two gap closers, between From Hell’s Heart and Dead Man’s Rush. Initiating with his ultimate while hiding in a bush (therefore activating Krul’s passive) will allow Krul to immediately start sticking to Baron. Even after Baron uses Jump Jets, Krul still has Dead Man’s Rush to close, even over a wall since he’ll still have vision of Baron. Weakness stacks drastically reduce Baron’s damage output, mitigating the splash damage he can do.
Blackfeather: Blackfeather is most commonly played WP even though CP is also very very strong. He can be played in either lane or jungle either path. However, WP is equally viable in both places while CP needs gold from lane.
Blackfeather is a weak early game character. Unlike most heroes, he is terrible without items. However, he is very easy to farm with and so can gain gold easily. He tends to scale better with items than most heroes. Because of this, it is best to play Blackfeather passively until his first or second completed item regardless of the path or location.
His WP path is built around his Feint of Heart ability since the execute scales with WP. The ideal play is to use On Point abilities to stack Heart throb stacks, before diving in with a Rose Offensive, completing five stacks of Heart Throb on an enemy, and executing them for a ton of damage.
His CP path is better scaling with the On Point, and tends to be tankier. His execute is not as effective but his area damage abilities become much stronger.
Strengths: Very powerful with items, incredibly mobile(gap closer/wall jump), great at pursuing
Weaknesses: low durability, weak early game
Catherine: While Catherine has no large bursts of damage to reflect with the bubble, her stun can easily lock down what would be a very slippery Blackfeather. Secondly, Blackfeather is heavily reliant on abilities, even when WP. A good silence neutralizes much of his effectiveness.
Celeste: Celeste relies on being able to zone out her opponents. Blackfeather is so mobile though that he’s often able to dive her without a problem. While a well timed Core Collapse can save Celeste’s life, it is very easy to predict and Blackfeather can use a charge of his Rose Offensive to escape the stun.
Kestrel: Her active camo is a melee hero’s nightmare. ‘Nuff said. And since Blackfeather will be so close to Kestrel, it’s unlikely she’ll miss her Glimmershots.
Lance: While it seems like Lance’s CC would be very good at shutting down Blackfeather, its quite the opposite. For someone as quick as Blackfeather, the Impale is very easy to dodge. And once that’s gone, Lance’s Gythian Wall becomes predictable and Blackfeather can Rose Offensive right through him.
Lyra: Her Bright Bulwark is in the same category as Kestrel’s Active Camo. This ability can silence two out of three of Blackfeather’s abilities and make it impossible for him to evade.
Reim: There is a common misconception that Reim wins against every melee hero. However, Blackfeather is often able to use his On Point to poke down Reim before the fight even begins, making it an easy kill.
Ringo: Just… don’t. Since Ringo has no escape, Blackfeather only has to get within attack range of Ringo to stick to him and secure a kill.
SAW: Take advantage of Blackfeather’s weak early game by playing SAW. If WP, you can greatly limit Blackfeather’s ability to farm up - and if he doesn’t have items, he is not effective. The CP SAW path also shuts down Blackfeather. A few Mad Cannon shells late game plus a dank shank will almost always kill Blackfeather.
Vox: The CP or the WP path is also effective against Blackfeather. When you’re CP, it’s very easy to prevent him from farming. Since Blackfeather must be close to minions to farm, he can never dodge any resonance bounces which will hurt a lot. As WP, Vox comes with a medium slow on his B and very good mobility on his A. This slow plus mobility allows you to keep up with and evade Blackfeather’s normally superior speed.
Catherine: Catherine is almost always played as a support. She is not a fantastic bully in the lane, but because of the fact that she has the second highest base move speed in the game, she is able to constantly move from jungle to lane to help wherever needed.
One of Catherine’s best qualities is the fact that she is so unreliant on gold. Whereas supports like Ardan and Phinn and Lyra scale off of health items, none of Catherine’s abilities rely on her owning certain items. Instead, the bubble combined with her passive Captain of the Guard stacks makes her innately tanky. Because of this fact, cooldown scales very well on Catherine, since buying cooldown effectively is the same as buying defense because it will allow her to have the bubble up more frequently and have more stacks from her passive.
Her ultimate is arguably one of the strongest in the game. For Catherine, the primary target every game should be the enemy CP carry. If you can silence an enemy Skaarf, for example, he will be out of the fight entirely for a full 3.5 seconds. Since WP carries are able to deal out damage without the use of their abilities, they tend to do much better against Catherine. However, her ultimate, while quick to animate, is normally predictable and a good enemy support will be able to use Crucible to block the silence, so Catherine should, but not always, try to ult when not visible.
Since Catherine is so reliant on her abilities, she is also immensely reliant on energy, much more than other supports. While buying potions regularly is enough to sustain her high energy usage early and midgame, if she doesn’t use energy intelligently late game she will often run out before fights.
Strengths: incredibly powerful team silence, can reflect massive damage, doesn’t need gold
Weakness: Once her silence is gone, lack of team-wide CC; bubble is much less useful against small damage ticks; heavy energy use
Celeste: A high burst damage CP carry is exactly who Catherine wants to fight. All she has to do is activate the bubble while on top of existing Celeste stars and Celeste risks taking upwards of several hundred damage per Heliogenesis. Along with this, Celeste, as a CP carry is highly vulnerable to silences.
Glaive: Catherine, even though she’s a support, is highly vulnerable to being out of position. Glaive can easily afterburn her to a bad spot away from her team. Along with this, his Afterburn is too quick to be stunned out of, and because of his stepped damage and passive lifesteal, the bubble is ineffective at reflecting large amounts of damage.
Kestrel: Kestrel is the epitome of a glass cannon hero. She will have much more offensive power than most other heroes and so the bubble can reflect incredible amounts of damage. Since Glimmershots are directional, Catherine can bodyblock and reflect damage at the same time.
Lance: Lance is one of the supports able to rival Catherine in terms of CC. However, Lance has an instant stun on a shorter cooldown than Catherine’s that also allows him to stun Catherine out of her ultimate. And due to Catherine’s weak early game, Lance is able to bully everyone early.
Petal: The stepped damage of the munions makes Petal a perfect choice against Catherine. Her bubble will never be of any use, and Petal has such long range and kiting ability that Catherine will never be able to gap close.
Samuel: He sits in the same situation as Celeste. A burst damage CP carry is just generally a bad pick into Catherine. She’s able to get onto Samuel and bodyblock all of his damage output. If Samuel activates Drifting Dark, it only allows Catherine to reflect larger amounts of damage.
Skye: Her CP or WP path works well against Catherine, but especially CP. First off, the barrage in either path makes Catherine’s bubble effectively worthless. Secondly, Skye’s passive speed boost makes it very hard for Catherine to gap close, especially when Skye gets a Frostburn.
Celeste: Regularly played as a CP laner. While she has decent area damage early game, which makes for very easy farming, she lacks an escape and so is vulnerable to ganks. However, once she reaches level 8 she is able to overdrive Heliogenesis, which gives it a large range boost. At this point, Celeste’s ability to survive goes way up. Since her stars provide vision, she can constantly leave one in any potentially dangerous brush and farm away. Along with an incredible ability to siege from long distance, her damage output is already very high. She is very strong late game but weaker early.
The bulk of Celeste’s damage comes not from the initial Heliogenesis creation but instead the explosion of the star. Heroes able to move around the existing stars, evading the bulk of her damage, tend to do well.
Strengths: Unblockable skill shots, quick cooldowns, long range, heavy area damage
Weaknesses: Lack of mobility, heavy reliance on energy
Gwen: While Gwen has very low base health, her damage output is incredible. Because of her passive speed and the activated speed boost she gets from Skedaddle (which also can help her escape a Core Collapse), Gwen is able to dance around Celeste without taking much damage in return.
Joule: Celeste is a very immobile hero but thrives when no one can dive her. Sadly for Celeste, Joule has a gap closer that also stuns, allowing her to immediately start chunking Celeste’s low base health.
Kestrel: Celeste has been one of the most consistent Kestrel counters in the last few patches. While early game is difficult for Celeste, the overdrive on Heliogenesis makes it very very easy to start trading damage with Kestrel.
Lyra: While early game will be a bloodbath for Lyra, again, as soon as Celeste reaches level 8, she can start trading damage with Lyra. Her heal becomes less effective since Celeste just does so much damage period, both sustained and burst. Since Celeste doesn’t have to dive and doesn’t have an ability cancelled by Bright Bulwark, it’s difficult for Lyra to do anything late game.
Ozo: The monkey does have a good matchup! When CP, Ozo’s bounces will absolutely demolish a low base health Celeste. If WP, the bounce is an instant gap closer while also granting Ozo a speed boost, which when combined with his mobility from Three Ring Circus, allows him to dodge all of Celeste’s abilities.
SAW: No mobility at all and a range shorter than an overdriven Heliogenesis is going to hurt a lot for SAW. CP SAW has a much better chance than WP but it will still be difficult to pull off a victory.
Skaarf: As the owner of the longest spammable ranged skill in the game, he can challenge Celeste’s Heliogeneses easily without putting himself in danger. In a ranged fight, Skaarf can land hits without going into range of Celeste, who due to her lack of mobility can’t engage.
Skye: I believe that WP Skye has a chance at beating Celeste while CP does not. WP Skye has the fastest move speed in the game because of her perk and still has a reposition with Suri Strike. She can easily jump around Celeste stars and avoid damage. However, CP Skye’s damage comes from a directional ability. Since Skye can only stand in a certain area if she wants to deal damage to her target, this makes it easy for Celeste to land Heliogeneses.

Fortress: Commonly played as a support, but also has seen use as a CP jungler. Fortress is incredibly aggressive, with his skills allowing for a lot of extra damage to appear without building offensively on Fortress. His skills allow for very easy engages, whether a Truth of the Tooth or Attack of the Pack. His skills give all of his team increased mobility and increased aggressiveness.
However, he lacks in defensive capability. Aside from the pack wolves, which can body block damage (which are on long cooldowns), Fortress himself has no bodyblocking potential since he has very low defensive stats to begin with. Secondly, a team built around attack speed can quickly blow up pack wolves, making Fortress’s ultimate useless.
Strengths: Increases entire team’s mobility, extra damage in fights
Weaknesses: little bodyblocking ability, no stuns
Kestrel: Kestrel’s immense damage output can often be slowed down by a good support absorbing a few Glimmershots. However, even if Fortress stands in front, he will lose an incredible amount of health unlike other supports.
Lyra: Fortress’s Attack of the Pack wolves can proc bleeding on all enemies at once. Along with a burst of damage, bleeding enemies also heal less, making Lyra much less effective.
Skaarf: Since Skaarf’s skillshots are so slow moving, Fortress’s teamwide mobility makes it hard to land both goops and fireballs.
Skye: Same principle as Kestrel. Even if Fortress bodyblocks, he will hurt a lot. Just be careful for the pack wolves which can absorb a heavy amount of ability damage. But since Skye has such high base attack speed, it shouldn’t be a problem to quickly clear them and start Forward Barraging again.
Glaive: Commonly played as a WP jungler, but he also has some viability in lane and, recently in VG Worlds, a CP jungler. However I will only discuss his WP path since I don’t see enough CP Glaive to comment. Glaive in general is a huge damage sink. He has one of the largest base health points in the game (but also suffers from lower base shield and armor). This means he scales well against heroes who tend to deal huge chunks of damage or build lots of piercing, but badly against sustained damage dealers or percent of max health scaling attacks (e.g. Great against Stormcrown Taka since crown does true damage and bad against heroes with aftershock).
If anything in Glaive’s kit deserves mention, it is his Afterburn. This is arguably the best reposition in the game because of its guaranteed stun and instant use. Glaive is able to jump walls blindly with it, keep enemies under turret, escape a risky fight, gap close, etc. Obviously the enemy Glaive Afterburns is hit away from him. However, there is a feature (bug?) where if Glaive is directly on top of his enemy, there is no “backwards” direction from Glaive and the enemy is stunned directly on Glaive, allowing for free basic attacks. Mastery of this technique is valuable. One surprising thing about Glaive is his playstyle versatility. Depending on how you build on him, you can either have a tanky frontliner able to last a while in fights thanks to passive lifesteal from Bloodsong or with the purchase of a tension bow first item, Glaive becomes an assassin. However, either path, he is highly dependent on energy since when his Afterburn is unavailable he’s much less threatening.
Strengths: high base health, passive lifesteal, strongest reposition in the game with Afterburn.
Weaknesses: low defense, heavy energy dependence, lack of damage late game compared to other melees
Gwen: Even though Gwen can slow enemies with Buckshot, Glaive doesn’t care. Afterburn’s incredible reposition lets Glaive instantly get to Gwen, perhaps too quickly for her to Skedaddle the stun. And because of her incredibly low base health, Glaive only needs to get in a few attacks to kill.
Lyra: When is Lyra not good against an enemy with repositioning abilities? The answer is never. While Glaive’s Afterburn is often too quick to predict, Bright Bulwark is up for 2 seconds, significantly impacting the available time Glaive has to dive in.
Reim: He is still not viable, but against a Glaive or any close-up melee hero, Reim is legendary. Several patches ago, Glaive was the entire meta and Reim was the only solid counter to him.
Ringo: Pretty simple to realize that Glaive closes the gap with Afterburn, and Ringo, with no escape, will die.
Samuel: Even though Samuel is a squishy ranged hero, he still does well against Glaive since Malice and Verdict has a longer or equal range than Afterburn, allowing Samuel to zone out Glaive. And even if Glaive dives, he must stay in Drifting Dark with Samuel where the health regen will cancel out all of Glaive’s damage.


#2

Skye: Glaive has a tough time often reaching Skye, but if he can she is definitely dead. If Glaive can save his Afterburn for Suri Strike, Skye’s one big reposition, then the fight is certainly his.
Taka: Taka is reliant on dealing lots of burst damage and escaping. However with Glaive’s massive health pool, Taka’s damage is somewhat mitigated. Along with this, Taka builds tend to favor tension bow and Stormcrown, which both do badly against Glaive.
Gwen: Commonly played as a WP laner, also viable as a CP laner. Mid game and late game is where she really shines.
Her kit is all built around Buckshot, an amazing all around ability. Once overdriven, it is only on a five second cooldown which is what makes CP viable. A CP Gwen can deal massive area damage with this ability, but must play very cautious until level 8 when she gets a dramatic cooldown buff.
While WP Gwen doesn’t do as much damage with this ability, it still slows enemies, allowing her to catch up to those fleeing her.
Skedaddle can be used on either path to escape or chase down enemies. Because of her low base health, Gwen always needs to have Skedaddle available or she’s virtually dead.
Lastly, Aces High is a convenient stun. However, it has a relatively long starting animation and so can be reflexed by most good players. On CP path though, this ability still does heavy damage even when reflexed.
With an area slow and a speed boost in her kit, Gwen relies on kiting. Any enemy who can dive her well will win fights while slower heroes will suffer a lot.
Strengths: Incredible damage output, Buckshot awesomeness
Weaknesses: Incredibly low defense and health
Kestrel: Gwen’s Buckshot can reveal Kestrel while she’s invisible, allowing for more basic attacks from Gwen. Secondly, Skedaddle can be used for an extra bit of speed in fights, allowing Gwen to dodge a few Glimmershots while still basic attacking.
Krul: While Gwen has her Skedaddle to run away, it is only practical against “one and done” mobility impairing heroes. Krul has a slow from his passive, a ranged stun that also slows, and often builds a Shiversteel. Even landing a second basic attack on Gwen after she uses Skedaddle will slow her again. Krul will have an easy time sticking to Gwen.
Lyra: Gwen has incredible damage output from her passive, and often builds a breaking point. Before fights, Gwen can often build Breaking Point stacks off of the enemy support. Since Breaking Point scales off of weapon damage dealt, the squishier the support, the more damage she can do and the more stacks she can build. Lyra, as the lowest defense support, is perfect for Gwen. Secondly, the way Bright Bulwark applies the Snare effect means Skedaddle will instantly allow Gwen to escape.
Ozo: Gwen normally tries to stop engages on her using a slow from Buckshot and a speed boost from Skedaddle. However, Ozo’s two main engages, Acrobounce and Bangarang, are unaffected by slows and will still work against a faster hero.
Reim: Not even going to take the time to explain this one out.
Skaarf: Skedaddle will either let Gwen escape from certain death in a flaming goop puddle or dodge around a fireball to engage on Skaarf. Without any reliable escape, Skaarf is dead as soon as Gwen gets in range.
Joule: Commonly played as a WP jungler, uncommonly played as a CP jungler. Joule has huge power spikes mid game.
As a WP carry, Joule is just waiting for level 8. Because Thunder Strike is a basic attack reset, she does have very good damage output early game. However, at level 8, once Thunder Strike can crit, Joule becomes a monster. Thunder Strikes start doing incredible damage to multiple enemies.
As a CP carry, Joule needs level 6 to be considered practical at all. CP has slow farm speed and relies too much on being able to land Rocket Leap to deal damage. But once she gets Big Red Button, her damage output is insane. Massive unblockable damage on a relatively short ultimate cooldown can be scary.
Joule has one very strong engage with Rocket Leap. However, enemies quick enough to dodge that and her Thunder Strikes will have an easy time fighting. That, or a melee tanky enough to survive in close combat.
Strengths: Two non-bobyblockable abilities, engage with stun
Weaknesses: only skill shot abilities
Krul: Joule will really suffer in extended melee fights. Krul can’t dodge a single ability but he doesn’t need to. Once he’s got 8 weakness stacks on Joule, the fight is already over.
Lance: The reason I say Lance is good against Joule is entirely because of Gythian Wall. When fighting again WP Joule, Lance can easily stun or deflect Joule out of her Rocket Leap, taking away her single use mobility jump. As CP, Gythian Wall provides an easy way to stun Joule out of Big Red Button.
Petal: While Petal normally excels at kiting, Joule does have a decent matchup. Big Red Button and Thunderstrikes will hit not just petal but all her munions too, which are unable to body block anything from Joule.
Reim: Reim is the king of melees. Granted, there are two other enemy heroes which may be ranged and by default counter Reim, but if you can get to Joule, Reim will always win.
Skye: Skye is a very low defense hero who thrives on being able to kite. However, Joule will happily trade Thunder Strikes with Forward Barrages since Joule has the shorter cooldown ability. Plus, using Forward Barrage limits Skye’s available positions, allowing for easier skill shots for Joule.
Kestrel: Commonly played as a WP jungler, however, she has also seen play in the lane and as CP in both positions. Her passive gives her increased attack speed along with lower energy costs for her abilities whenever she basic attacks. This creates an interesting paradox - CP Kestrel will go through much more energy than WP Kestrel even though WP Kestrel is highly reliant on abilities. Since WP Kestrel’s basic attacks actually do something in fights, she can basic attack enemies which will keep her passive up but prevent the restocking of her Glimmershots. However, on CP Kestrel, basics do nothing. So she must not attack until her Glimmershots are back up, but in order to do so, must stop basic attacking long enough for her passive to go away, drastically increasing energy costs.
Kestrel is the bane of all melee heroes purely because of Active Camo. Even though the gas takes 1.2 seconds to arm and be able to detonate, it still allows Kestrel an instant reposition, interrruption of the enemy’s dive, and outplay potential. While the enemy is busy trying to figure out where Kestrel disappeared to, they will often not vacate the mist in time allowing for an easy stun and chained Glimmershots. Because of this easy escape (which also scales with WP), Kestrel is incentivized to go glass cannon and has unreal damage at times.
Strengths: Incredible damage output, invisible + stun combo, poking power with Glimmershots
Weaknesses: low health, slow movement
Lance: Lance, while not the best counterpick, tends to do well. Early game, his Impales and Gythian Walls are easy to land on an immobile Kestrel, while his directional damage reduction and natural tankiness help with bodyblocking Glimmershots. By the time Kestrel has enough WP to go instantly invisible, Lance also can overdrive Gythian Wall, preventing the Kestrel from stunlocking him like other melees.
Petal: Overall an excellent pick, mainly because of the bodyblocking power of her minions. Petal can keep her minions locked onto Kestrel even while she’s invisible, munions can absorb Glimmershots, and Petal’s seeds are on a shorter cooldown that what Kestrel is capable of dealing with.
Phinn: Like Lance, Phinn’s natural tankiness makes him excellent late game for bodyblocking Glimmershots. Polite Company, when used correctly, can reveal an invisible Kestrel. He can’t be stunned and so is largely immune to Active Camo. Lastly, a Kestrel trying to poke down enemy heroes always has Forced Accord to worry about, which, when landed, is a guaranteed kill.
Skye: Skye’s Forward Barrage limits her to a single viable position if she wants to keep up damage output, making Glimmershots easy to land. Skye has no poke advantage versus Kestrel, but because of her ability to go invisible, nullifying any repositional advantage Skye might gain from Suri Strike, Kestrel regularly wins this matchup.
Koshka: Comonly played as a CP jungler. Koshka has incredible early game but tends to fall off late. Her passive grants a large movement speed bonus, allowing for lots of dodges and escapes. She wants to shut down the enemy jungler as early as possible by stealing farm - since she is so weak late game, gaining several levels over her enemy can help stall out the comeback. Most of her damage output comes from empowered basic attacks after Twirly Death, not so much her first hits instead.
She is an assassin character - much like Taka, she needs to dive in, get a kill, and escape before dying herself. Heroes able to slow down Koshka’s movement tend to do well.
Strengths: Strong early game, high mobility, high damage
Weaknesses: Squishy, bad scaling with items
Lance: With two CC abilities, Lance is ideal against Koshka. He can lock her down after a Pouncy Fun, preventing the inevitable empowered basic attacks on his carries.
Ringo: While he has immense sustained damage output, he suffers against diving heroes. With low base health, Koshka can easily blow up Ringo. Her passive speed boost is also greater than the speed boost from Ringo’s Twirly Death, meaning he has no escape.
Samuel: Since Samuel will inevitably build an Eve, Koshka will eventually suffer. Early game, before Samuel has several points into Drifting Dark (and the regen he gets from it), Koshka will win. However, once Samuel is able to recover health lost from Koshka’s dives, the damage trading will go in Samuel’s favor.
Krul: Commonly played as a WP jungler. Krul thrives in 1v1 situations, but really suffers in teamfights and area damage. He has a large power spike midgame and is still strong late game.
Krul is a very sticky character. With a passive that gives him a speed boost and slows enemies, a gap closing ability, and a ranged stun with a slow afterwards, he excels at getting to a hero and staying. To further increase this power, Krul often buys Shiversteel.
He is heavily reliant on attack speed and so countered by the item Atlas Pauldron.
But time to talk about the glorious ability of Krul, Spectral Smite. This ability is why Krul is so deadly in 1v1 situations. Each stack reduces damage of the opponent, while granting Krul more and more lifesteal against the target. Once Krul has full Weakness stacks on an opponent, their damage output is completely mitigated against Krul. Detonating the stacks is the tricky part of his kit. While it does a large amount of damage (contributing to Krul’s midgame power spike), detonating removes the Weakness stacks, eliminating lifesteal and the damage reduction. Never ever should Krul use Smite unless it will guarantee a kill. Detonating too early gives the enemy a chance at surviving the fight. Because Krul is so reliant on this ability for damage output too, it is best to not always basic attack the enemy carry. If Krul can keep full stacks on both a carry and a support, he reduces incoming damage even more. As a carry, it is best to build aegis against Krul since the bulk of his damage on you will be from Spectral Smite. Your support should still build Atlas Pauldron, but for the damage you receive, Aegis is much better.
Strengths: Immense lifesteal, several gap closers, large base health
Weaknesses: No area damage
Lyra: Since Krul’s Dead Man’s Rush has such low range, it is easy to stop with a Bright Bulwark. Even then, the slow from Bulwark and a friendly speed boost to your carry with Sigil should make it difficult for Krul to stick.
Petal: Petal has immense kiting power against Krul. Once she has Frostburn, munions start slowing Krul making it impossible for him to catch up. Any seeds Petal drops as she trampolines away from Krul also will knock him backwards. Even if Krul tries to wait in brush to regenerate his passive speed boost, munions will still attack him while hidden.
Ringo: With no true escape, Krul will kill Ringo very easily. Once Krul has reached Ringo, there is nothing he can do to escape.
Rona: Krul should win this matchup every single time even if several items behind. Once Rona starts spinning with Red Mist, Krul can stand inside it, taking damage and applying Weakness stacks. Soon enough, Krul will be regenerating more from his basics than Rona from Red Mist, who now has full Spectral stacks on her and can’t do damage.
Lance: Lance is commonly played as a support but also has seen play as a WP jungler. He is by far the highest base damaging support, along with having two CC abilities on very short cooldowns. However, while Combat Roll is useful as an escape and does provide a nice bit of mobility, it is underwhelming as an ultimate. Because of this, Lance is strong early and midgame but falls off late.
Since Lance’s two CC abilities are both skillshots, heroes able to move quickly enough to evade these tend to do well. Ranged heroes are normally most effective, since Lance is rarely ever close enough to Gythian Wall effectively.
Strengths: two low cooldown CC abilities, high durability/bodyblocking potential
Weaknesses: Impale places Lance in danger late game, general ineffective item scaling
Ozo: Ozo’s two main engages, Bangarang and Three Ring Circus, can both be easily stopped by Gythian Wall. Once these abilties are gone, Ozo is still a sitting duck for an Impale.
Phinn: Since he cannot be stunned, Phinn is immune to most of Lance’s abilities. Gythian Wall won’t even push back Phinn, let alone stun. Secondly, Polite Company can change Lance’s position slightly, affecting his ability to land Impales and effective Gythians.
Samuel: Samuel can kite very effectively. Once he gets Eve, and because of his passive, he won’t have to worry about Lance landing any CC because of health regen. Secondly, since Malice and Verdict does splash damage, Lance can’t bodyblock effectively. Even with directional damage reduction, Malice and Verdict will still hurt.
Skye: Since CP Skye’s movements are very easy to predict, Lance has an easy time landing an Impale at range. Secondly, a good Gythian Wall can entirely cancel out Skye’s Suri Strike, leaving her dead in the water. However, WP Skye simply moves too fast for Lance to land even a single Impale the whole game.
Taka: Lance has two CC abilities which can both hit stealthed enemies. Even though Taka is very quick, and can flip over one ability, That still leaves Lance with a second. Taka is very squishy but survives because he is so hard to lock down. However, Lance makes locking down this invisible speedy assassin easy.
Lyra: Commonly played as a support. Lyra plays much like Lance, since her first two abilities are incredibly powerful while her ultimate lacks the flair of other supporting ultimates. Lyra has incredible early game damage because of her empowered basic attacks and long basic attack range. She can harass easily in lane without fear, since one Sigil can heal her for any trading damage.
Her heal allows for a lot of sustain for her carries in fights - however, Lyra has the lowest armor and shield rating of any support and so can often be the squishiest on her team, even with tons of health items. Because of her sigil, she fares very well against poke comps that rely on chunking down their opponents before any fight can begin, Lyra’s team will win any trading damage. However, with the last update, burst healing was removed from Sigil. Now, Lyra and her allies only receive healing over time. The way to stop Lyra is to draft large burst heroes that won’t be critically impaired by Bright Bulwark, heroes that can deal so much damage in a short amount of time that the healing is rendered ineffective.
Strengths: strongest area heal in the game, semi-silencing ability, short cooldowns
Weakness: low defense rating (lack of bodyblocking potential), lack of powerful CC against mobile heroes
Ozo: While Ozo normally excels at gap closing, he is an awful pick into Lyra. While CP and WP Ozo are capable of a lot of burst damage, Ozo’s main gap closers are very slow and easily preventable by a Bright Bulwark.
Ringo: Late game, Ringo has very high damage output, and can burst and sustain based on his build. It becomes very easy for him to kill Lyra before a fight since she will often be frontlining - if Ringo can make her waste a Sigil or a Fountain to keep herself from dying, the fight is going his way. He also is not susceptible to Bright Bulwark, which helps a lot.
Skaarf: Skaarf is the epitome of a poking hero. However, for every three fireballs he lands, Lyra has one Sigil that erases all his progress.
Taka: While Taka does provide high burst damage, he is incredibly susceptible to Bright Bulwark as it can prevent X-Retsu and Kaiten and also reveal a stealthed Taka. If he does manage to get a kill out of a dive, it is almost certain suicide.
Ozo: Commonly played as a CP or WP jungler. All of Ozo’s abilities make him incredibly mobile for a melee hero, helping him stick to all kinds of enemies. However, he is very lacking in escapes. To make up for this, his passive grants him extra healing, which synergizes very well with certain supports.
While Ozo has a lot of base health and receives extra healing, he can be very squishy at times and dives very deep, which makes it hard for his team to keep up with him.
Ozo also has a large amount of burst damage, whether Acrobounce (CP) or Three Ring Circus (WP). However, once his initial damage is sustained, Ozo often under performs against other strong melees.
Strengths: large health pool, high mobility, decent burst, WP or CP viability
Weaknesses: Lack of escapes, easily reflexable ultimate
Petal: She is normally an excellent pick into Ozo when played correctly. When played badly though, Ozo will have a field day. Why I say Petal works well is because of her exploding seeds. Against an Ozo, place as many of these down as you can and he will never be able to dive you. Passing over a seed while Acrobouncing or using Bangarang explodes it and knocks Ozo back, cancelling the rest of the ability. Spam the seeds and he can never engage on Petal.
Reim: Reim is a special individual. His power as a melee is unrivaled but he simply has no way to engage on ranged heroes whatsoever. While he is practically guaranteed to do well against Ozo, who knows what the other carry will be?
Rona: Rona has a very large health pool, allowing her to survive Ozo’s initial burst. Afterwards, she will be able to regen much more than Ozo, while also dealing heavy damage with Red Mist.
Skaarf: Because of how slow Fireballs move and how the goop also doesn’t move (go figure), Ozo is able to easily dodge almost all of Skaarf’s abilities as well as being able to land a third sequential Acrobounce at about the same range as a Fireball, negating Skaarf’s normally superior range. If Skaarf even wants to consider gooping, he has to wait until after Ozo has burned all three of his abilities.
Skye: Both WP and CP Skye rely on kiting ability. Normally, they are both too fast (or have Frostburn) to allow melees to catch them. But the monkey doesn’t care. An Acrobounce will still target Skye after a Suri Strike that puts her in an entirely different location. While all of Ozo’s abilties help him stick well.
Petal: With this last patch, Petal has been brought in meta. She is regularly played as a CP jungler, and is viewed as deceptively strong. Her munions can track enemies at incredibly long ranges, while a Trampoline can help Petal escape almost any enemy and drops an exploding seed. Her munions deal very high amounts of damage, and when a melee hero gets close to her, she can explode a munion, both dealing damage, slowing the enemy, and healing herself.
However, I believe her to be deceptively strong. Petal relies on snowballing and getting ahead since she falls off so much late game. And in fights, any team capable of quickly killing munions negates every bit of damage Petal might have.
Strengths: munions with really really ridiculously powerful tracking (e.g. into brush, stealthed enemies, under a turret and a half sort of thing), strong kiting ability, self-heal + plus damage in one ability
Weaknesses: weak late game, low base health, reliance on munions
Ringo: He obviously needs to get in range of Petal to start damaging her. However, with no real “sticking” power, Petal can run away while her munions devour Ringo.
Skaarf: Fireballs are able to pass through munions. While the damage is reduced, Skaarf is hopefully able to deal a fair amount of damage to all three munions and still hit an enemy hero. Plus, his long range helps him not get tracked by munions in the first place.
Skye: Both as WP and CP, Skye simply can’t get in range. Hopefully, if Skye doesn’t get outfarmed by Petal, Forward Barrage will do enough damage to kill all three munions. But if Petal gets ahead in farm and snowballs, the munions act as huge damage sinks for Skye’s barrage.
Taka: Munions can follow and attack invisible things. Do I need elaborate?
Phinn: Commonly played as a support, unless you’re VONC which in case means you play him jungle CP. Phinn is the second slowest hero in the game, just ahead of Baron. However, Phinn has no mobility abilities, making him the slowest effective character in the game. He makes up for it by being a huge meat shield though.
Since he can’t be stunned, and gains extra defensive stats from every item he owns, it can be hard to take Phinn down. The best way to play against him is to take advantage of his low mobility, first off by picking smart fights when Phinn is halfway across the map. Secondly is to use abilities normally easy to dodge for any hero other than Phinn, and chunk him down before the fight.
His saving grace is an immensely strong ultimate that can almost always lead to a kill. However, Phinn must also be careful - anyone he pulls in also becomes closer to friendly carries, meaning grabbing a melee hero is a bad idea.
Strengths: The tankiest hero you will ever play, fortified health to whole team, strongest enemy reposition in the game with Forced Accord, area stun on short cooldown.
Weakness: slow, very slow
Ringo: Ringo is one of the most vulnerable carries to Forced Accord. Secondly, Ringo has a relatively short range for a ranged hero and often can be stunned by Phinn.
Skaarf: If played correctly Skaarf can do well, purely for his poking power. Even if Phinn bodyblocks for his carries, it’s very easy for Skaarf to build full Broken Myth stacks before every fight. However, remember to goop so that some splash damage gets to the carries behind Phinn.
Skye: The barrage hurts, even against heroes able to avoid half of it. However, whether WP or CP, Skye can land a whole barrage on Phinn with no difficulty, leaving him very ill before a fight starts.
Taka: While you might think that Taka is a bad pick because Polite Company can hit an invisible Taka, you’d be mistaken. Taka is simply too fast for Phinn to ever land a Quibble, and rarely ever hits a Forced Accord. Taka can also take advantage of Phinn’s slow move speed and take on Phinn’s friendly jungler while alone.
Vox: If CP, Vox is very happy. Normally CP Vox is incredibly easy to beat, it just requires spacing by the enemy team. However, Phinn is often much too slow to space properly, allowing for Vox to easily resonance off of Phinn. If WP, Vox can still build breaking point stacks. Sonic Zoom also guarantees that Phinn is never able to land a stun.
Reim: Commonly played as a CP jungler. First things first - if the name of a hero on the enemy team starts with a letter of the alphabet, consider if you really want to draft Reim. He is an incredibly strong melee, but suffers against every ranged hero. His fortified health from basic attacks and CP ratio on basics makes it easy to survive and build broken myth stacks against melee heroes, however, he has absolutely no engage and so should be played very sparingly.
Strengths: Extremely tanky against other melees, high area damage
Weaknesses: no engage, short ranged poke
Ringo: The idiot that drafts Reim will suffer against literally anyone with range. So Ringo is a good choice here.
Rona: Reim doesn’t care if Rona activates Red Mist on top of him. Fortified health, combined with regen Reim might get with an eve means Rona can’t win.
Samuel: He is ranged. Get the picture?
SAW: Only reason I say good and bad is because WP is the least mobile carry in existence, so he really has no kiting power. CP fares a lot better though.
Skaarf: Ranged.
Skye: Also ranged.
Taka: While Taka is fast enough to dodge almost every icicle Reim shoots, all it takes is one Chill Wind to root Taka and there goes half of Taka’s health.
Vox: Ranged.
Ringo: Commonly played as a WP or CP laner. With one of the highest attack speeds in the game from Twirling Silver, but maintaining the ability to move, Ringo can deal out heavy sustained damage as WP. CP Ringo has a ratio on Twirling Silver, granting an “alternating current”-like effect on his basics, but his true power lies in Hellfire Brew, which can deal an incredible amount of damage as CP. Even when WP, the fact that Hellfire Brew does 100% piercing damage is still very strong.
Both paths for Ringo dish out heavy damage. However, he has quite a short range with no poking ability, and while Twirling Silver gives him a speed boost, Ringo really has no escape. Most diving melees are very strong against Ringo.
Strengths: “technically” global ult with 100% pierce and damage over time, high damage output
Weaknesses: low base health, countered by atlas pauldron, no escape ability
Rona: While Ringo is often too fast for Rona to use Red Mist effectively, Foesplitter and Into the Fray both allow her to stick very well to Ringo, who has to choose between running away from the team fight or dying.
Samuel: Samuel’s damage comes from very predictable skillshots. A Ringo with Twirling Silver activated can dodge pretty much any Malice and Verdict thrown at him.
Skye: Same principle as Samuel, although Forward Barrage is a lot harder to dodge. If Ringo can use his speed to get around the barrage, CP Skye is most assuredly dead. WP has a better matchup, but Ringo still fares well in this one.
Taka: With a lack of an escape or strong slow or stun, Taka is very easily able to dive Ringo and kill him without worries.
Vox: Vox is one of the most late game heroes in the game, while Ringo excels early on as well as late. Before Vox gets most of his items, Ringo can bully Vox very hard.
Rona: Commonly played as a WP jungler. Rona plays very similar to Ozo as one of those tanky, yet mobile melees. However, Rona fares slightly worse against ranged heroes than Ozo but better against other melees.
The highlight of her kit is definitely Red Mist, an ability which does large area damage while also regenerating a fair amount of health. Stunning Rona out of Red Mist is crucial, but if a stun is not available, the best way to counter Red Mist is to just run away. Attacking Rona while she’s spinning generates her more bloodrage and lets her spin longer.
Strengths: High mobility, blind wall jump with Into the Fray, large area damage, high attack speed
Weaknesses: Kited by quickest ranged carries, vulnerable to stuns and silences
SAW: Firstly, WP SAW is always an iffy pick. But in this case, Rona will be able to spin indefinitely on top of SAW since he attacks so quickly, which will allow Rona to regen more health, build more breaking point stacks, and just generally not die. Against a CP SAW, the fortified health from Into the Fray and Red Mist helps survive his large burst abilities.
Skaarf: While he has very long range, Rona is often too mobile to be simply zoned out. And since Skaarf has no escape, once Rona gets to him, he’s dead.
Skye: Whether WP or CP, Skye has incredible kiting potential. Even though Rona has two gap closers, Skye is able to negate one of them entirely with Suri Strike. And once Rona starts spinning, she becomes too slow to keep up with Skye.
Samuel: Commonly played as a CP jungler or laner. Very strong at both kiting and breaking open positions. Because of his passive ability, he is able to sustain very well in lane without needing too many potions. Malice and Verdict by itself isn’t a threatening ability. It’s normally easy to predict and dodge, and does generally low damage. However, when Samuel is in Drifting Dark, Malice and Verdict becomes insane, dealing high splash damage over and over again.
The way to beat Samuel is to avoid Drifting Dark at all costs. When DD is down, Samuel is very very weak. All it takes is good timing, or a strong reposition or two, and Samuel is dead.
SAW: Often too slow to dodge the Malice or Verdict, meaning that Samuel will still have a good matchup even when not in Drifting Dark.
Skye: With a very strong reposition in Suri Strike and just general speediness from her passive, Samuel will have a tough time landing a single hit on Skye. While Forward Barrage makes her movement predictable, timing it with the cooldown of Drifting Dark is the key.
Vox: Since Vox has so much mobility with Sonic Zoom, he can dodge quite a bit of damage from Samuel, secondly, resonance bounces are a good way to poke and combat Samuel’s normally superior range.
SAW: Commonly played as a WP or CP laner. WP is incredible early game but falls off late game, while CP starts weak but is very strong late. WP SAW has arguably the highest damage output in the game, but suffers from the slowest move speed. Heroes with long range skillshots thrive against a WP SAW.
CP SAW is more mobile and has much more burst damage between Roadie Run and Mad Cannon. However, He needs a large amount of gold to work well and still can self-stun himself with a badly timed Suppressing Fire.
Strengths: High damage output, turret pushing potential
Weaknesses: Low mobility, low defense
Skaarf: Skaarf can easily poke from out of range with no danger to himself. SAW will really be hurting after he takes several fireballs to the face. WP is absolutely dead in the water. CP will do moderately better, since SAW will have poke with Suppressing Fire, but Skaarf should still have a field day with an almost as immobile CP SAW.
Skye: Forward Barrage provides immense poking power with no danger to Skye, WP or CP. It will be dangerous to get close enough to Target Lock SAW, but that doesn’t matter when you can still land all three seconds of a barrage on SAW.
Vox: He just ramps up too darn slow. SAW is known for his early game pressure, and can often keep Vox underfarmed and behind in items regardless of Vox’s build path.
Skaarf: Commonly played as a CP laner. Skaarf is the best poker in the game, with Spitfire up very frequently and with a long range. He is often able to stay way back from fights, dishing out regular damage, and building broken myth stacks. After he has enough stacks, a well timed Dragon’s Breath will melt the whole enemy team.
Because Skaarf has such long range, it can be very hard to dive him. Since he lacks an escape though, a successful dive equals a kill. It’s just a matter of finding a hero able to dive him, since he outranges anyone else.
Strengths: Longest range spammable skill, high area damage ultimate, heavy crystal damage
Weaknesses: No escape, low defense
Skye: She’s able to dance around any Spitfires Skaarf might throw out, along with any goops he might drop. WP Skye would do very well against Skaarf, but CP still has a very good chance.


#3

Taka: Able to approach invisible and gap close twice, Taka is very effective against Skaarf. He is often much too fast to be able to ever be hit by a Spitifire, and can often Kaiten over a fireball every once in a while. While fireballs can hit an invisible Taka, his superior speed should make this a rare occasion.
Skye: Commonly played as a CP or WP jungler or laner. WP Skye benefits greatly from her passive ability Target Lock, which allows her to dance around more skill shots than you can count, and the fact that Forward Barrage can crit and stack items like breaking point. CP Skye’s abilities obviously all hurt a lot more, but it makes her movement more predictable since she won’t rely on basic attacking.
Because Skye can Forward Barrage and move at the same time, it makes her ideal for kiting. She can move backwards away from enemies while continually dealing damage to them, or charge forward since Target Lock gives her the move speed bonus. It is impossible to run from Skye once you’re Target Locked, so your best option is to try and pick the best fight you can. Skye suffers from very low base health but can position herself in the back of fights, away from danger, and so needs to be dived quickly.
Taka: One of the most reliable counters to Skye in the last several patches. Both Kaiten and X-Retsu place him behind his target, negating an entire Forward Barrage by Skye. Secondly, the passive speed boost Taka gets from House Kamuha helps him either stick to a kiting Skye or evade more barrages. And if you ever get low, just hide in your box and run away. Once your abilities are up, you can most likely burst down Skye if she chases.
Taka: Commonly played as a WP or CP jungler. Taka is unique in that almost all of his common builds, both WP and CP, feature a Stormcrown. He does really benefit from the extra cooldown, and this also lets him steal the enemy jungle very easily. It also synergizes well with the rest of his kit, since true damage does a surprising amount of burst. Tension-crown Taka (WP) is inherently tanky. Why? Because he will have stolen so much farm, and because this build is so cheap, Taka will often be one or two defensive items ahead of the enemy jungler. Stormcrown still makes him a force to be reckoned with, but a large amount of defense allows this normally squishy assassin to jump in, absorb every enemy ability, and then Kaku away while regenerating all that lost health while Taka’s laner goes ham on a bunch of damaged and distracted enemies. CP Taka normally builds more than just two offensive items, which makes him a real burst threat in fights. However, he’s a lot more vulnerable and can easily be blown up if the enemy team has a stun waiting. Strengths: Immense burst, high mobility Weaknesses: very very squishy Nothing left for you greedy people
Vox: Commonly played as a WP or CP laner. CP Vox is by far the most unique carry in the game, since resonance bounces end up dealing more damage than his regular basic attacks, even with an alternating current - it is smart to attack the enemy you don’t want to die first. What this also means is that a smart enemy team will space out and only send one hero to fight Vox at a time, practically nullifying all the potential damage he might do. CP Vox is not countered so much by specific heroes but by playstyle and spacing. WP Vox does tons of damage to a single target. In this case, he doesn’t care at all about resonance bounces but instead uses Sonic Zoom and Pulse to kite or chase down fleeing enemies. He can be very difficult to lock down and the most popular build, Breaking point Monocle Monocle, does scary damage late game. Heroes able to avoid Vox’s Pulse, and thus eliminate the damage he might do with the two attacks thrown out by Sonic Zoom, do the best against him.

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