The new format seemed to have NOT caused any problems, so I’ll be going forward with it until it does.
Note that I will be referencing a list of characters and what types of characters they counter (melee or ranged). Remember that these are MY OPINIONS. There are also characters that I’ve excluded (such as Ozo or Cath/ony) because they counter a subsection of said types (Low CC comps and mages respectively).
Take note of: Number of characters in each side of the list and the respective captains that are in the list.
- Idris (CP)
- Fli er
- Idris (WP)
So, chances are you could figure this out by just reading the rest of my thread, but you would know that I am INCREDIBLY BIASED. I love melee characters and I love playing highly mechanical damage dealers. Risk reward is my JAM, and melee damage dealers are all about risk-reward. So obviously, I hate how Melee plays in Vainglory. Blackfeather used to be fun, but now most Melees are just generally kind of unfun to play, or they suck. RIP WP Idris. But my main gripe in Vainglory is that there are so many ways Melee players can get screwed over. Compared to ranged characters, you don’t particularly do more damage. In fact, the risk is so high that you generally need to build two defence items. But my question is, why is the risk so high? Why do assassins like Blackfeather and Taka need to build tank? IMO, other than the fact Gwen will literally one shot you before you can even touch her, it’s because of how many anti-melee characters exist in Vainglory.
Melee = :(
Now, I want to refer back to the list here. It’s pretty clear that IMO, there are more melee counters than ranged counters. There are a few issues I have with this. Firstly, most teams are guaranteed to have a melee counter. These characters are generally pretty good even into matchups they’re weak into such as CP Idris or Baptiste. There will always be SOMETHING a Melee character has to fight. However, compared to these Melee characters, not only do ranged characters have less things to deal with, but generally, they have much less to worry about. Before you call me biased, I do play my fair share of incredibly squishy ranged carries. Although I am scared of these ranged counters, half the time I don’t even need to do anything about them to have them peeled off me.
Except Taka, screw him.
This is a shame because if I want to build something like Crit Blackfeather, I will get destroyed. It’s not even a question. A large majority of the time I’m even playing BF, I’m generally thinking to myself ‘Why am I not just playing a ranged character’. Or Rona. Compared to many other games (and therefore my standards), melee characters don’t feel particularly impactful as damage carries.
There are two games that I’ve particularly enjoyed Melee carries in. Paragon (Rest in peace, you were too young) and Battlerite.
For a quick summary of the games, Paragon is a TPS MOBA where you built your own item shops out of game. It was complex, fun, and very skill based. (You have to aim your AAs fool). Battlerite is an arena PvP game that plays very similarly to a MOBA mechanics-wise but doesn’t have any of the laning phase, items, or sort of jungle objectives. Just. Fights.
In Paragon, my favourite character was Serath. At the time of her release, she was the only Melee carry in the game, in a position that was generally held for AA based snipers. Even after her release, the carries that came after her either were ranged or were melee and had some sort of gimmick that made them work in the carry position (Temp Range, EZ Gold and Sustain). Serath was pure SCALING. You had your AA, a short CD reset and slow, a short invincibility + AOE AA and an amazing SKY SLAM move. Plus, you had your godly ult. Just this ult needs it’s own paragraph to contain how much I love it.
Seraph lets her dark side take over for 15 seconds. During this time, enemies in an AOE around her will recieve one stack of burn and weakness. Basic attacking enemies will apply additional stacks of burn and weakness. Additionally, burning targets take 25% extra damage from Seraphs basic attacks and Seraph has an ability damage component on her AAs based on how many stacks of burn are on the opponent.
Max 3 stacks of both burn and weakness.
Weakness reduces damage done by 10/15/20%
If you don’t understand why this makes me wet as HECC, let me explain.
Firstly, the burn is ability damage, when Seraph is primarily a physical damage dealer. This is important because IF the enemies build a bunch of armour, like the cowards they are, you’ll have some hybrid damage to help you kill the opponent. Secondly, your weakness stacks let you easily duel anyone, combined with your lifesteal and crits. Finally, your 25% empowered effect makes you the hardest hitter in the game, critting and healing way harder than anyone else.
This is all balanced because Seraph is MELEE. She blows up incredibly quickly, and scales pretty terribly with defence items. She was made to focus on melees and skirmish on the edges of the fights, but once the fight really broke out, she could dive into the enemy backline and really cause some chaos to take out one or two enemy players (and generally dying in the process).
Battlerite is split into three classes; Melee, Ranged and Support. Ranged and Support are probably what you expect, but I want to phrase this now. NONE OF THE MELEE CHARACTERS ARE TANKS. They simply have abilities that let them avoid taking damage to specific degrees, but they are all DPS characters. They are all essentially Melee carries (I WONDER WHY I PLAY THIS GAME MORE THAN VG HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM ). Since I’ve already somewhat touched on the assassin types in my Taka rework thread, I just want to talk about the general mechanics that make every melee tick.
There are two main ways that Melee characters can avoid damage in Battlerite. Counters and I-Frames. Counters are pretty easy to understand. You counter the opposing projectile, and trigger an effect. At first, you might think that this is a predictive ability, but in reality, it’s a reactive ability. By reacting to the enemies ability animation, you can avoid the damage. Once you get even better, you can use the effect of the counter as a method of aggressively engaging. For example, if you see a Jade channeling her snipe, you could counter to try and intercept it to drag her in. Then cancel casting comes in, where players can cancel their abilities mid cast, which is just incredibly fun to play.
I-Frames are frames where your character is invincible. Literally, cannot be hit, cannot be hurt. These are generally tied to key abilities in a characters kit, such as mobility abilities or important damage abilities. This becomes fascinating when baiting out I-Frame abilities becomes an important strategy. Before you blow all of your energy on an ultimate, should you try to bait out their jump, or are you wasting time? Do they even have the reaction time to dodge your ability? It becomes an interesting game of remembering cooldowns and knowing when to punish your opponents. But in Battlerite, if you’re better than your opponent, you will WIPE THE FLOOR with them.
My point is, Melee carries can be INCREDIBLY FUN, but the environment of Vainglory doesn’t allow for them to have a place at all. A single Baptiste isn’t going to stop a Blackfeather, but a whole team will destroy a diver without double defence. The only exceptions I’ve found to this rule are WP Grace and Joule, and that’s because one is completely broken and the other is partially ranged.
This will have to come in time. It’s been quite apparent from day 1 that Melee characters did not transfer very well from 3v3 to 5v5, either being completely busted or completely outclassed (Again, I shed a tear for every WP Assassin). It’s the type of problem that won’t be solved by just one action. For the short term, the best thing would to be to nerf damage, particularly crit. Getting literally one shot as BF by a TB SB TM TT Gwen was one of the most traumatic experiences of my life, and it basically made my solid laning phase irrelevant since I had decided to build crit that game. Alongside that, you could nerf armour to be at a similar place that Aegis is stat wise, just so snipers can still scratch characters that are actually meant to be tanky.
For the long term, it would just be to release more characters that counter ranged carries. Specifically ranged carries that counter other ranged carries. Currently, we only have Ringo (IMO), who can counter a majority of the ranged carries in the game by bursting them down from range at any point in the game. How interesting would it be to have a character that can launch a projectile that does more damage the further it travels. How cool would it be to have a ranged character that can run TOWARDS enemies quickly, but has difficulties running away from them, except they weren’t Gwen. There are a ton of possibilities for character designs that haven’t been tapped into. This also helps a TON when making team comps, since you want someone who can siege.
Rework the assassins. Not all of them, of course. I think Koshka and her design is flexible enough not to need a real rework, and Idris could be great with a few tweaks. I mean Blackfeather and Taka. These two really need a kit that can be fun but highly difficult to pull off, because that’s the point of an assassin. They’re meant to be difficult and mechanically demanding. CP Taka is an unfair bore, and WP Blackfeather has lost so much of his complexity that there’s nothing really there. Reza is fine. He exists, I guess.
Finally, INTRODUCE MORE ITEMS. There are so many reasons why I hate the current items in Vainglory (other than Tyrants Monocle. I love that thing.). Vainglory should introduce more items that have unique item effects, which ARE STRONGER FOR MELEE. PARTICULARLY FOR THE WEAPON TREE. The CP paths of characters can be balanced by their ratios, but the WP paths on characters ALWAYS have a 100% scaling on their AAs (except when they don’t. Baron.). This inherently means that either sniper abilities have to suck compared to the WP Melee counterparts, or Melee characters have to have tons of stats pumped into them. Either way, that’s boring. Unique items are my favourite things about MOBAs, and it has disappointed me how few VG has.
Melee characters should be able to build 5 damage items and actually work because it’s bomb as hell and a lot of fun.
The current state of VG (with it’s boatload of melee counter characters) means that these characters cannot shine.
Other games do it better. With enough mechanical skill and strategical awareness, you can be an effective melee DPS carry.
- Introduce more ranged counters, specifically ranged characters that counter ranged characters.
- Rework characters that don’t correctly fit their archetype cough assassssins cough. Reward these characters for building more damage, while keeping them away from building more than one defence item.
- Introduce items, particularly in the Weapon Tree, which are more effective on melee characters than on ranged characters.
Notice how the Melee counter and Ranged counter captains are the least 5v5 viable, especially the Melee counter captains. IMO it’s because when the hero pool is so much bigger and you’re running around the map so much, it’s hard for these captains to be as useful in a general sense. Pushing an advantage as Phinn is kind of weak, and Captains are not only generally picked first, but need to be able to flex into different team comps. Additionally, Melee counter captains often have someone else also doing their job; meaning it may be more useful for them to have a more aggressive playstyle to try and capitalise on mistakes.
Again, this is just my opinion.
Press F to pay your respects to Paragon.