Draft Theory: What counters stun-lock?

First a disclaimer that in the featured draft there is no way I could know that Dire would stockpile so many disables. The stuns on the enemy team factored into my choices more and more as the draft progressed, but for the early picks I just lucked into them grabbing stuns against heroes that can deal with them.

Okay so what the fuck door counters stun-lock?

  1. Well, first the hard counter is Lord of Avernus, or other heroes the straight up dispel stuns. Abaddon counts twice, because on top of aphotic shield his ult can remove stuns, especially when triggered manually. Aphotic is a two for one, or potentially better, removing stuns and other debuffs while also providing a 400 hp swing.
  2. There are two soft counters to stun, and we have both in this lineup. The first soft counter is having skills that still do stuff while you are stunned. Lich ice armor, Spectre dispersion, Viper corrosive skin, and Necro heartstopper all continue operating during stun. As well we have plenty of skills that are very high impact if we can cast them before the stun-lock begins: chain frost, haunt, aphotic shield, viper strike, death pulse regen and ghost shroud all continue affecting the battlefield.
  3. The second soft counter to stuns is just being tanky. Stuns are at their best when you can use them to delete a hero before said hero impacts the fight. You can turn a full engagement into a 5v4. Difficult feat against fat cores like Spectre and Viper, especially when supplemented by ice armor, shields and heals. They are very difficult to take down, 100% to 0%, before they can respond, even with stuns for days.

While we’re here I’ll go through my hero picks in this draft:

  • Spectre + Lich into Vengeful Spirit. Spectre feels like a risky play in this meta with her poor laning and late “online” timing, but if the enemy team doesn’t snowball properly she’s often a free win. Legitimate power hero for teams that aren’t too scared to pick her. Swap often useless as a saving tactic against Haunt. While not as classic a Mercurial sitter as Warlock, I like Lich and his ice armor here. With dispersion working pre-resistance, giving a bunch of armor to Spectre is kind of fucked up. And it helps secure your lanes. Also a hard counter to physical damage lineups, which an early VS pick gives away.
  • Abaddon adds team survivability and can potentially remove a stun, terror and haze with a single 6 second cd bubble. I’d argue LoA is the best hero in the game right now; insane winrate at all levels, variable role and item build, and counters tons of meta heroes (including VS Slar).
  • Viper helps us win lanes to make up for the Spectre, has amazing synergy with Lich and Aba. Not generally great against minus armor strategies, but at least applies slows, dot and attack speed debuffs which are very effective against VS Slar DK. Really kind of underrated right now, not a power hero, but a solid mid and easy to execute.
  • Necro is still a power hero albeit no longer god tier. Certainly amazing in tank-up, heal heavy, attrition team-fight lineups, and best of all it gives us the oomph necessary to kill a fat DK or Alchemist.

You could try to fight fire with fire and stun the enemy to death before they can do it to you. But I say go fat, mind your positioning, and watch how easy the 5v5s play out.

As always, don’t next level yourself with say, a Bristleback pick that walks around baiting ganks that will never come. glhf

-gg worst captain ever

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