Paragon Countess Build and Guide
Paragon Countess Build and Guide by mehtehtrollface
This is my first deck where I’m properly able to have absolutely never unspent CP. If you miss the cards to do that, feel free to build around it. Anyway, onto the explanation how I reached the point to build her like that and why that order and/or card is important:
First off, start out with a Health potion, Mana Potion and Strike Token. The health potion is mandatory for Countess as she is extremely squishy early on (she starts off at 360 HP) and could use all the health she can. The mana potion is needed in case her lane is pushed out and she needs to cast quickly (begins at 200 max mana, +26 per level). The Strike Token is there for the easier last hitting and a bit of extra damage. Needless to say, it’s a key to getting the early farm with her.
For the first 3 cost equipment, a Brawler’s Ward linked with 2 Minor Strikes and a Minor Mana. This will get up some damage early game and increase the lane sustain a bit (or a bunch) plus adds up a ward for use. I would recommend staying in lane until you have 6 CP unspent so that you can fill it instantly.
Next on is a key item to the early assassinations: The first Voidsteel Dagger linked with 2 Minor Strikes and a Minor Pierce. Since rangers (and casters) have about 17~18 armor at that point of time, having the dagger so early makes all the damage you deal to them basically “True Damage”, meaning that you’ll deal what you see in the level-up menu and help up for calculating your approach easier.
At any given time, if you’re level 7 or above, you can get Shaman’s Drink or Hunter’s Drink to replace your potions. This usually happens after I get the Voidsteel, but it could also happen earlier or later. Shaman’s Drink has proven to be extremely viable for her as my experience goes.
Now, for the only CDR in the build and extra lane sustain, I put in a Chrono-spike, linked with Minor Mana, Strike and Major Strike. This is needed for the extra damage to take out some juicy targets that you could find on the map and get some CDR for faster ults and casts in general.
As for the next item, I like getting some extra damage, so I put in a Voidsteel and discard the Strike Token. The dagger is linked with a Minor Strike and 2 Major Strikes. This adds up some extra penetration against fighters and quite a lot of damage against anything. At this point, if you are at the same CP as the opposing ranger, in 75% of the cases you’ll be able to take them out with a full kit rotation. Same goes for casters who haven’t really built up survivability.
And for survivability yourself, discard that Health Potion and equip an Amulet of the Veteran, linked with Minor Strike and 2 Major Healths. This boosts up your max HP by 900, so you’re much further from being squishy and get a bit more damage with it too.
To get even more sustain and damage, discard the Brawler’s Ward and Mana Potion, then equip a second Brawler’s Ward with 2 Strikes and a Major Mana. A small upgrade and clean up of your slots for the next big damage item.
Follow up is an Adamant Edge with 3 Major Strikes. Adds a ton of damage for use and boosts your ult damage by almost 200.
And the final nail in the coffin, discard the first Voidsteel Dagger (with the 3 Minors) and get a Voidsteel Dagger linked with Minor Pierce, Pierce, Major Pierce (or Dire Pierce), Strike and Minor Strike. Always include the Major Pierce! This allows you to deal true damage to towers and fighters with no armor, which is a great bonuns. As for why there’s 5 upgrades linked, depending on the targets you want to take out, if they have armor, get some Pierce, if they don’t, get some Strike. You aren’t forced to pick both, you can mix them up if needed. I added this mainly because of RGSACE’s build for Murdock where he had 110 armor and after adding up all that Pierce, you get 128 penetration, which should pass almost true damage through that build.
Be noted as this deck doesn’t allow for situational equipments, it’s a luxury to have that in your deck when it’s almost filled out. Plus that getting some cards with cheaper cost earlier will get you the maxed out bonuses faster. You might not be able to create a carbon copy of the deck, so be ware that I build with what I have and noticed that this current build is destruction among enemies and works the best out of all that I tried. It might have hit a perfect sweet spot in all that is Countess.
Stats you must NEVER build on her:
Crit (both chance and bonus)
“On basic attack” cards
Countess is a burst caster (assassin) with bonus damage per level to her basic attack being only 2 rather than 3 with all other casters. Plus that your abilities which should deal 99% of the damage you do to heroes don’t benefit from these. A common misconception is putting Drink the Spirits on her, but you’re losing a whole slot for a card that she has integrated in her kit. Plus that you get 5% of the target‘s max health over 10 seconds whereas her passive grants her 1~4% (depending on Blade Siphon’s level) of her max health over 1 second. Needless to say, I wouldn’t recommend building it on her when you could have it spent on damage, penetration, etc.
Now, for the part where most people have problems, actually playing her:
Countess is an offlaner (blue lane) or “support” for duo lane (red lane). The jungle is something forbidden for you, don’t you dare get in it. Traveling between lanes is acceptable, or grabbing blue buff, but do not stay in the jungle for longer periods of time. By late game, if your jungler no longer needs camps or needs them cleared out, feel free to grab them (after asking him of course).
In most cases, ask for a teammate (the support or the jungler) to aid you in the first few minutes for last hits until you reach the next card level (6, or 9 if you feel cheeky). Countess is VERY weak early game, so any assistance would be perfect.
Start off with your Blade Siphon or Dark Tide. You want these to aid you in last hitting minions. It’s a personal preference, but I personally get the Siphon first.
Focus ONLY last hits! Do not hit minions unless it is to secure a last hit! Against most players, this will push the wave towards you, get your opposing lane partner overextended and let you farm freely. It’s an incredibly important aspect of “freezing” your lane early game so that you can get off faster to being useful.
To deal the maximum amount of damage in the smallest period of time, Shadow Slip to the target enemy, Blade Siphon, Feast and when the target is extremely low, Dark Tide to finish what you started. You should be able to even blink back to your initial location if you do this fast enough. In my case of building, a full rotation of the kit does 2k damage without buffs, which is brutal for most ADCs and squishier casters.
Calculate your damage! This might seem strange at first, but you’ll notice doing this more and more often over your course of playing her again and again. You want to know if you’ll be able to take down that juicy ADC solo in a lane in 1 kit rotation when noone else is around. Check what armor that ADC has, get your stuff calculated and execute it. If you aren’t sure how much damage reduction the enemy has, hit them with an ability (Dark Tide, Blade Siphon) and compare the damage you did to what it should have been. Buffs aren’t included in what it shows to be, so beware.
DO NOT engage fighters and/or tanks unless it’s for a kill secure! They have more than enough health to outlive you, so beware of these. Taking out glass cannon fighters is a good idea when you’re at full build, but not earlier since you would be generally able to outburst them only at around late game. I wouldn’t recommend engaging without someone to aid in the damage, like a support, ADC or caster.
In case you have to recall or help another lane, use a simple Dark Tide on the next enemy minion wave. This will make sure your minions have higher health and will create a slow push too.
When your tower is pushed out by a big minion wave: Dark Tide on as many minions as possible, then go to the ranged and siege ones and use Blade Siphon, hitting again as many as possible. Proceed taking out minions, focusing the siege ones first, then ranged and finally melee (if any are left).
Shadow Slip literally makes you disappear for a fraction of a second! This means that you’re completely gone, so you won’t be hit by anything while slipping away (or in) for about 0.5 seconds, so time it correctly to cancel out stuns, ults and others. Remember that you can return back at no mana cost within 4 seconds, which will again make you disappear and dodge an ability/ies! Shadow Slip also removes tower aggro from you, so use it in case you did an accident hit on an enemy under it.
Countess has the best tower dive for a kill in the game right now. Shadow Slip to an enemy, kill them after an ult and/or kit rotation, slip out and you’re done. Useful for enemies who don’t know that you can be dangerous even if their tower isn’t pushed out and/or destroyed.
Blade Siphon – Upgrade for extra health per kill. Use in close quarters (occasionally point blank) for AoE damage.
Dark Tide – Great poke in case you’re close enough to the enemy laner. Use as a main source of damage apart from your Feast. Plan your range and know that the ability has about 0.7 seconds before reaching its furthest point.
Shadow Slip – Upgrading this doesn’t do much, I would recommend not focusing it at all, unless you have nothing else left to upgrade. Make sure you have it unlocked by level 3 though. You can also use it for the slow, helping out an ally being chased down by a fighter/tank, or simply not letting an enemy escape. Use to dodge certain abilities and/or basic attacks. Slip to someone in case you need an escape, after they chase you down, reactivate to slip back, proceed with escape attempts.
Feast – Massive burst of damage, but it can be also used as support ability because it stuns! It cancels Gideon’s ult, so in case your team is having some trouble with a Gideon ulting them, Shadow Slip to him, Feast and suddenly he’s down at low HP and his ult is out. Brutalize him out with the rest of the team. Also works with all channeled abilities, like Muriel’s ult, Riktor’s ult and others.
Ability upgrade order: Feast > Dark Tide > Blade Siphon > Shadow Slip
Make sure you have all your abilities unlocked by level 3!
In case you have any questions regarding building or playing her, feel free to ask them. It isn’t humanly possible that I included everything, so ask if something is unclear.
Hope this helps you out!
Useful cards for Countess:
Portal Stone – This might sound weird at first, and it is, since it’s situational. If you have a jungler or laner(s) who actively place(s) the side harvesters, Portal Stone becomes really useful. Since enemies don’t ward the side harvesters (enemies can’t generally appear from there), you might get a cheeky kill without anyone expecting it. It can turn a 2v3 fight of enemies pushing the lane opposite of yours into a 3v3, but you’ll have the element of surprise and might be able to take out the squishy that 90% will be in the 3. Another bonus is that it can be used to save a tower from one enemy pushing it, especially if that enemy is low. Tradeoff is CP lost for damage or health, however you get global presence in case your team has harvester control.
Blink Charm – General card for escapes or (more rarely) engages. It might allow you to blink twice, but there is a rule you must remember: Once you use Shadow Slip, then use Blink Charm for a closer engage and you would be able to slip back in from where you started. However, keep in mind, using a Blink Charm after slipping in, you won’t be able to rotate your entire kit as you would be able if you only slipped in. Generally, if you know how/when to engage, Blink Charm might have the tradeoff that you remove some stats. An example is that the Countess against me in my last game had Blink Charm instead of extra health, she was extremely squishy and we were very frequently able to catch her even when she uses the Blink.
Ring of the Domina – Great early game card for easier last hitting and launching towards mid to late game. You must only remember that the damage you deal to minions is 10% more than what you’ll do to enemies, multiply the damage done to minions by 9/10 and apply armor calculation. Tradeoff also comes with a bit of CP lost into damage, but early to mid game it could prove useful to launch yourself, though about that time you might want to roam.
Stab-Link – Can be used an engage in case your enemy is running away and hasn’t hit you recently. Since you’ll basically return the damage you took when you get the kill, this card might prove useful. The tradeoff to that is still some CP lost and it generally cannot be used as an escape, only an engage.
Scourging Tails – Great card for shredding enemies and tanks during the slightly more early game. Activate, slip to an enemy, they get shredded, then have a feast. It’s important to NOT rely on this card instead of penetration during mid to late game! Make sure you have some passive penetration and not have only this card. Tradeoff comes with a bit of CP lost, but at least this card is not full upgrade, so you can put damage on it whenever you want!
Charging Brute – Since Countess has a great waveclear lategame, you can use this to get some extreme speeds at times. An example is when you’re defending and enemies are pushing, there is a nice wave of minions coming at the tower/inhib you’re defending and the enemy against you goes OOM or has turned low health, simply clear the wave, slip to that enemy and they wouldn’t be able to escape due to the 15 second speed boost you’ll have. Tradeoff is that you lose some CP on the behalf of the speed. Plus that Countess should be slightly more roaming to look for kills rather than lane.
Hunter’s Guile – Since Countess has no escape on her own, this helps for clearing out roots, slows and other soft CC that could be crucial for your death. It adds stats that are useful for her, tradeoff is 3 CP lost for the cleanse. Use this card if the enemies have a ton of slows, roots or tethers.
I personally don’t use any of these cards on my Countess as I don’t want to rely on actives and/or passives which might not happen. If you think these can be put in some situational deck, feel free to use them!