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.