Achilles, the Hero of the Trojan War, is a heroic pain in the butt. He has high base damage, super high power scaling, a really strong self-buff, gets tons of free stats as his passive and has an execute ultimate that can wipe out a team. However, even if he feels overtuned despite a nerf in patch 5.4, Achilles is beatable. In fact, here are seven ways to counter Achilles.
1. Don’t stand in the wave!
If you are playing against Achilles in Solo, don’t stand in your minion wave. Force Achilles to choose between hitting you with his Shield of Achilles, or hitting his minions. That way, you either avoid the damage and stun of the ability, or Achilles gives up his best clear move.
In fact, any time you fight an Achilles, try to ditch creeps and jungle monsters. Achilles’ Radiant Glory ability heals him based on how many targets he hits with his other abilities. This means that if you fight Achilles one-on-one, his ability to sustain himself is reduced because he can only hit one target.
2. Keep your distance
Achilles’ Shield of Achilles deals massive damage and stuns you if you are closer than 30 units. If you are farther than 30 units, you take 20% less damage and are not stunned. For perspective’s sake, 30 units is about as far as a Camazotz leap, which is really really small. Therefore, if you stay away from Achilles, you’ll avoid his best move.
Achilles’ other offensive techniques, Combat Dodge and Fatal Strike, are also short-range abilities. They also happen to double as his gap-closing abilities, which is a problem for Achilles. Combat Dodge is quick, but Achilles does not move very far and the attack is a narrow straight-line ability. If you dodge the first attack, Achilles doesn’t get a second one, preventing him from closing the distance. Fatal Strike launches Achilles a fair distance, but it has a very long windup period where Achilles can only pivot in place. If you dodge the move, Achilles will fly off away from you.
3. Slow him
Achilles has a hard time closing distance with his abilities, because they are short-range or clumsy. Therefore, he is reliant on his good movement speed. That means that slows counter Achilles well. Hit Achilles with any sort of slow, and his ability to stick to a target is destroyed. Other CC works pretty well too, especially cripples and silences, but slows are infuriating for an Achilles player to deal with. Bury Achilles in the mud, and then either run away or hammer him with powerful moves.
4. Try Crowd Control Reduction
Achilles’ Crowd Control (CC) is pretty lousy for a Warrior. The only true CC he has is his Shield of Achilles, which is a one-second stun. True, Fatal Strike is an execute, and everyone knows that death is the best form of CC, but let’s set that aside for now.
If you’re finding Achilles’ stun to be a problem, consider buying an item with Crowd Control Reduction (CCR). CCR is a commonly overlooked defensive statistic that can make a tremendous difference in your ability to survive CC-heavy teams or Gods. CCR reduces the length of time that CC affects you by a percent, and goes up to 40 percent. For example, if you have 40 percent CCR and are hit by a one second stun, you will be stunned for only .6 seconds.
One powerful defensive item with CCR is Spirit Robe, which also provides protections, CDR, and a passive that reduces the damage you take when hit with crowd control. Spirit Robe is an excellent one-of defensive item for Assassins, Hunters, or even some Mages because it provides so many efficient defensive stats in one item slot. Guardians and Warriors often include Spirit Robe as a core item because it is so space-efficient.
Other useful items with CCR include: Gem of Isolation & Ethereal Staff (great health+power items for Mages), Winged Blade, Bulwark of Hope, Oni Hunter’s Garb, Shogun’s Kusari, Spectral Armor, and Reinforced Greaves & Shoes.
5. Math him to death
Achilles has poor health for a warrior unless he wears his armor. When Achilles wears his armor, he forgoes his excellent movement speed, which is considered one of his best traits. Pay attention to whether or not Achilles is wearing armor, and deal with him accordingly. Focus him when he is not wearing armor, and try to outmaneuver him when he is wearing armor.
Achilles’ buff ability, Radiant Glory, is powerful but contains a subtle weakness. The ability increases his power and protections by 15%, which means that the lower his stats are, the weaker the buff becomes. Try using stat-reducing items, like Void Shield and Jade Emperor’s Crown, to erode the strength of his buff. Gods with stat-reducing abilities, like Cerberus, Ratatoskr and Nike, can also be helpful.
6. Kill him in his moment of glory
Achilles’ Fatal Strike has a huge, one-second long windup that puts him up in the air and immobilized. His destination upon finishing his ult is extremely predictable, because he flies forward in straight line. Therefore, although you may have to watch an ally be executed, wait until Achilles starts his ultimate to dump your most powerful abilities on him. Achilles will be completely unable to dodge your attacks, and if he does execute someone, he’ll take even more damage.
It can feel bad to watch an Achilles strike down one teammate after another in a big teamfight. However, you have to appreciate the flavor that Hi-Rez injected into those moments. As Achilles slaughters your friends, seemingly invincible, you must bring yourself up to the mindset of Paris, the soldier who killed the unkillable Achilles. Paris, with tears in his eyes as Achilles rampaged on the battlefield, slew Achilles by carefully aiming an arrow at Achilles’ heel, his infamous weak spot. Become Paris, wait for your chance, and strike when Achilles is most vulnerable: his moment of glory.
7. He’s predictable
Knowledge is power, and one of the best ways to counter Achilles is just to memorize his kit. Because Achilles has only three attacking moves, it’s not hard to know what Achilles may choose to do. Furthermore, Achilles is very unlikely to start an engagement with his ultimate, because it’s hard to land on healthy mobile targets. This means that you always know that Achilles will start an engagement with either Shield of Achilles or Combat Dodge, and both of them can be dealt with by maintaining your distance. Furthermore, Combat Dodge applies no CC at all, so getting hit with it is not the end of the world.
Achilles’ cooldowns are fairly long. Once he uses his Shield and Combat Dodge, he is already out of gas unless he uses his Ultimate. If your tanks force him to use even one ability, his combat capabilities are sharply reduced.
Achilles may buy Blink to abruptly close the distance to his targets, but if you simply look at Achilles’ inventory then you should be forewarned of this possibility and adjust your distance accordingly. If you never let Achilles get close enough to stun you with his shield, or are good at circling an enemy, then Achilles has no way to engage his targets. He becomes a sitting duck.
If Achilles manages to execute a target, then your team’s response should be to concentrate all your firepower on him. He loses tons of time revving Fatal Strike up, and gets weaker with every kill. Stay cool, and be like Paris. Achilles is predictable, so read him like a book and take him down.
What else to counter Achilles?
Do you have more tips to counter Achilles? Do you think this isn’t enough, and Achilles needs more nerfs? What other Gods give you a headache? What about annoying items, or weird gameplay moments? Tell me about them in a comment below, and thanks for reading.
All images courtesy of smite.gamepedia.com.
By Sam Boyer (AKA Thanatos1342).