Table of Contents
- Abilities Analysis
- Deck Considerations
- Deck Build #1
- Countess Counters and Synergies
TL;DR on Countess
The Countess is a burst caster whose greatest strength or misdirection and unpredictability. Utilizing her abilities Countess completely single out and assassinate a key target and vanish into the darkness.
Dark Tide will send out a rolling clouds that deals damage to all enemies in the area of effect. This is your main source of damage and it's great for poking enemies and pushing lanes.
Blade Siphon will cause Countess too quickly spin her blades around her dealing damage. It also comes with a passive component that will regenerate percent of our max health every time she kills an enemy unit. This effect is amplified when slaying an enemy hero.
Shadow Slip will allow you to teleport to a target enemy slowing it. It will also leave behind an afterimage of the Countess. If you reactivate the ability you will return to that image. This tool will allow you to quickly get in and out of fights.
And finally your ultimate is Feast. The Countess will leap to a target enemy briefly stunning them and dealing a massive burst of damage.
When playing Countess look for opportunities to assassinate key targets. Once your team engages the enemy you Shadow Slip to enemy damage dealers and quickly burst them down. Feast will do a massive burst of damage but can also be used to interrupt enemy abilities.
Lore of Countess
- Countess is seeking more from Sevarog.
- Remembers every meal she have ever had; taste, smell, and texture.
- None have ever traveled to her lands, yet none doubt her claim to nobility.
- Seeks that which is greater than herself, and believes she has found it.
- Burst damage
- Good solo laning potential
- Weak early game
- High risk Hero (remember CC)
- Mana hungry (!)
Countess's Abilities Analysis
Melee basic attack dealing dealing Basic Damage.
Alternate Ability. Countess quickly spins her blades around her, causing Ability Damage in a circle around her.
Passive: Countess regains a percent of her max health every time she kills an enemy, and bonus health for a Hero kill.
Blade Siphon is an instant ability with AoE damage. It has two main purposes
- Keep Countess alive when she performs well and secures kills
- Be a part of her burst combo while executing her prey.
HP regain works exactly the same way as the Lifesteal effect. It works on enemy Heroes, Lane Minions, and minions in the Jungle. Towers won't give you any HP and neither does the OP guardian.
Blade Siphon passive is pretty much useless during the beginning of the game. Countess simply does not have much of a health pool and percent regained is too low. However mid-late game it shies.
Using the ability. Early on it can be used as a means of wave clear. However Dark Tide is more effective for this. The most common way to use it is in your burst combo right after you do Shadow Slip and right before Dark Tide or Feast.
Primary Ability. Countess targets a nearby enemy and blinks to it, dealing Ability Damage and applying a slow for a short period of time. If the target is a minion, it is executed. Reactivate within the ability duration to return to the original position.
Shadow Slip is a lock-on cast ability with a return-back mechanics. It required both position mastery and execution mastery. Countess enters targeting mode upon activation and seeks to lock-on her target. During targeting mode Countess can move and jump, and can cancel the ability at any time. Shadow Slip can be confirmed by the basic attack button if there is a locked-on target. When confirmed, Countess disappears from the world for a fraction of second to appear right in front of her target. If re-triggered, Countess gets back to her original place.
Invulnerability. Countess is invulnerable and untargetable during those blinks (to her target and back).
Afterimage. When Shadow Slip is activated an afterimage of the Countess remains on the place you have blinked from. It is visible for your enemy and may be used for their advantage if you decide to reactivate Shadow Slip and blink back. See how it can happen:
Note: Countess can be stunned prior to returning back and therefore can suddenly become very vulnerable. Choose your positioning appropriately so that your Shadow Slip is not interrupted in the middle of the action.
In the Jungle. Using Shadow Slip against jungle minions is tricky. Don't trigger it in the middle of clearing a camp. Since Countess is out of the world for a short period of time, the minions may "think" you have run away from the camp and start their recovery animation. It works not in all attempts though. If you want to use Shadow Slip in the Jungle, then make sure you are in the camp area and start clearing it with Shadow Slip. Do never re-activate the ability to return back to your afterimage.
Executing the minions. Shadow Slip executes minions. But not all the minions. Minions executes are:
- any lane minions: Melee, Ranged, Siege Ranged, and surprisingly Siege Melee minions (those big guys appearing after an inhibitor is down)
- white minions in the Jungle
All the other minions will just receive Ability Damage of Shadow Slip: Green, River and Gold minions, Raptors, OP Guardian.
Tower aggro. Shadow Slip can drop Tower's aggro as well if you have allied minions in range.
Positioning. When using Shadow Slip try initiating that from a position that is not easily accessible for your enemy. E.g. from a ledge. It will make it safer to blink back.
In rare cases Shadow Slip can be used to dodge damage dealing abilities that require targeting and channeling before dealing damage. E.g. you can easily deny Gadget's Sticky Mine or if you manage to find that perfect timing even ignore Lt. Belica's Neural Disruptor. See how it be completely denied in the video below:
Secondary Ability. Countess sends out a roiling cloud of darkness in front of her, dealing Ability Damage to all enemies in the area of effect.
Similarly to Shadow Slip this ability requires targeting and confirmation for being activated. Once you press the ability button Countess gets into targeting mode which is clearly visible for everyone. See how it looks like in the picture on the right. Targeting mode does not impact your movement speed and since it can be cancelled at any time it can be used to fake an attack and force opponents to re-position.
It can be difficult to land Dark Tide to a target rotating closely around you (melee fighter). Move away or use your Shadow Slip to make some gap and aim perfectly.
As Countess's main damage dealing ability it does significant amount of Ability Damage and scales really well. It is also a great tool for wave clear making and combined with her Blade Siphon it can restore HP really well (for the cost of Mana of course).
Ultimate Ability. Countess jumps to a nearby enemy Hero, forcing them to look at her and stunning them for 0.75 seconds before dealing a massive burst of Ability Damage. Countess is locked down for the duration of the attack.
Feast is a lock-on cast ability with a pretty long wind-up. Once it is activated, Countess gets into targeting mode, that can be cancelled at any time. Countess can move while in targeting mode. Once confirmed with basic attack button the following happens:
- Countess does a small jump to her target.
- Then her target is turned to look at her. Meanwhile wind-up animation is executed and a specific sound cue (scream) is played. Her enemy is stunned during this time.
- Damage is applied
- Recovery animation is executed.
Purpose. The main purpose of this ultimate is to deal a burst of damage to a single target.
Using the ability. The targets are almost always should be enemy carries or squishy support or midlane Heroes. For the maximum effect Feast should used in a combo with other abilities. Since this ultimate makes Countess very vulnerable, it is a good practice to execute it after Shadow Slip while the return-back timer is active. If needed, follow up with Blade Siphon and Dark Tide.
Similarities. Not taking visual effects into an account this Ultimate is close to Khaimera's Cull with all that same pros and cons. Countess can do an insane amount of damage and interrupt abilities, but similarly to Cull she can be stunned prior to dealing damage with a pretty obvious inevitable outcome.
Notes. Keep in mind that there is a significant number of situations where Feast will not work as expected. It's when your target is executing an ability, that moves them. If you ult them during the very beginning of their reposition animation, then you will ult nothing. The same will happen in case your enemy is pulled by Phase's Telekinetic Link. See some examples below:
Note as well that Feast allows some short distance to your target for activation. So in case there is an obstacle between you and the target like Dekker's Containment Fence your ultimate will be interrupted and will go to a full cooldown. See how it works:
Countess's Deck Considerations
Countess is designed for assassinations. A successful kill will grant her a bonus Health Regen and help survive any follow up damage from the rest of the enemy team. If an assassination failed — you are most probably in troubles. So build a deck with the following objectives in mind:
- Increase your damage output.
- Improve map awareness and navigation
- Disable enemies
Core Cards for Countess
Supply Sergeant is a direct mitigation of any problems with Mana Pool during eraly and mid phases of any match.
Finder of Playthings is a strong mid game card for Countess. You get an instant view at any enemy on the map and plan a gank and you can slow your target to prevent their escape.
Shadow Dancer is a strong gameplay changer for Countess. It opens a lot of opportunities to set up ganks or to retreat after a successful kill.
Countess Deck Build #1
Gameplay with Countess
Remember Countess is very weak early game. She starts to shine when her health pool, Blade Siphon and Dark Tide receive upgrades. So the main goal while playing Countess early game is to get fed during very cautious laning. Last-hitting will not be that easy for her due to a couple of things:
- Basic attack deal very small damage during early game.
- Countess has a significant delay between pressing a basic attack button and landing a hit.
Do not prioritize Blade Siphon at this point. It won't return you much HP. Better to go for Dark Tide and mana to help you with wave clear. Again, the better you start the easier it will be to win a game. If you are denied with your early game laning - call for help immediately. If you fall behind early on it will not be easy to catch up.
Keep in mind that your ultimate is a short range weapon so most often you will need to do a combo with Shadow Slip followed up with Feast but watch out for CC. Shadow Slip is pretty easily recognizable via audio effects and some Dekker can be ready with her Stasis Bomb to disable you in the most awkward and uncomfortable position. The ideal assassination will be like this
- Wait for a fight to start and identify a target that has already received damage. Look for used CC abilities as well for the reason mentioned above.
- Shadow Slip to the target. Again the most ideal case will be to do that from a ledge or any other obstacle. This way you will be able to blink back to your afterimage in a safe position and not find yourself in the middle of a fight with no means for escape
- Execute with Feast.
- Optionally if you feel safe do your Blade Siphon.
- Blink back and be ready with your Dark Tide.
A n important note about Shadow Slip, Feast and Dark Tide abilities activation: when you hit a corresponding ability button Countess switches to targeting mode which has a specific visual indication. This indication is unique for each ability and clearly shows your opponents what you are going to do next. It is important to remember because if an enemy sees:
- you are getting ready to blink in with Shadow Slip they might get their CC tools ready to welcome you, or
- you are about to land Dark Tide onto a lane of minions with a Hero inside then they are given time to react and walk away avoiding damage.
So try to minimize that targeting time as much as possible.
Tips and Tricks with Countess
Shadow Slip can be used to escape but only if you have a minion to blink to. It can be a jungle minion as well but be aware they also do damage :)
Shadow Slip can also be used for a good juke. Once activated any enemy chasing you will have to decide whether they keep chasing you or they stay at your afterimage.
Dark Tide is very effective in narrow areas of the map (mostly in the Jungle). You will be able to hit multiple enemies which will significantly increase your impact to the skirmish outcome.
During late game Dark Tide is an awesome wave clearing tool. Since it is an AoE damage it does not really care cow many minions are there in the wave. You can set up a wave on one side and then push with your team on another.
Countess Counters and Synergies
Due to her burst damage Countess can make a good synergy with Heroes that can provide CC. Countering Countess is based on CC as well and good map awareness.
Read more about when to pick and how to counter Countess, what heroes works well with and against her.