Updated on October 2, 1:21 p.m. (GMT+8): Added relevant links.
Despite its appearance, Puck, the Faerie Dragon, is one of Dota 2’s most lethal assassins — and equally elusive.
We’ve all been on the receiving end of dozens of rounds of Puck’s spells, including an ultimate that seems to have no cooldown, tearing our hair out at the frustration of trying to catch a Puck hiding in Phase Shift, then simply Blinking away.
Puck is a menace in the hands of experts, but even a midsummer night’s dream must come to an end. Here are five of the best counters to Puck in a variety of roles and heroes.
Top 5 Puck counters
- Night Stalker
- Templar Assassin
- Dragon Knight
Puck’s elusiveness with its array of escape and mobility spells means that there’s really only one way to take the Faerie Dragon down—instant stuns or silences.
Night Stalker has an extra advantage because he doesn’t have to target his Crippling Fear. Balanar just has to pop his Silence and hang around wherever Puck is, even if the Faerie Dragon is in Phase Shift. This generally forces Puck to buy defensive items that it doesn’t want, like Force Staff, Eul’s Scepter, or even Black King Bar.
Conversely a natural Black King Bar buyer himself, he deals well with Puck’s spells. With Dark Ascension’s vision advantage, it’s easy to find a Puck, even if he’s hiding in the backlines, and give the Faerie Dragon a taste of its own medicine: Silencing, then proceeding to pummel the spellcaster with immense damage.
Tiny’s Avalanche-Toss combo is more potent than most because it goes through Linken’s Sphere, one of Puck’s favorite counters to single-target disables. Tiny is also one of the few heroes that can keep up with Puck’s pace, rushing items like Blink Dagger.
If you’re going Tiny mid, one of the hero’s preferred role in the current meta, it’s actually a good matchup against the Faerie Dragon. Your high natural health means you are more resistant to Puck’s spells, and you generally will be able to secure runes with two stuns to keep your bottle filled.
Templar Assassin has a relatively short Silence on her Psionic Traps — just two seconds — but her overwhelming physical damage means that she can easily crush a Puck in that time. The Faerie Dragon’s defensive capabilities would depend on the extent of armor items Puck can buy, such as Witch Blade, and at a stretch, Shiva’s Guard.
Templar’s defenses with Refraction also do well against the burst nature of Puck’s spells. Should Lanaya have all her Refraction stacks up, Puck’s damage is almost entirely mitigated. She’s also able to stand and fight even while Dream Coiled, especially with Black King Bar, so she can turn around fights with her right clicks.
Like Tiny, Dragon Knight also does very well in lane against Puck, maybe even better than a Tiny. It’s not uncommon to see Dragon Knights completely dominate the first few waves with his superior attack animation and high armor, when Puck’s low level spells are unable to threaten Davion.
When paired with Fire Breath, difficult to dodge with low levels of Phase Shift, Pucks can feel miserable in the lane.
Later in the game, Dragon Knight’s long, single-target stun — up to four seconds at max level — is prime time for other heroes to follow up with their own more difficult-to-land disables. He’s also a natural Black King Bar buyer, which means he can shrug off Dream Coils and Waning Rifts for most of the game.
Supports are inherently worse at facing Puck, a lethal assassin that can avoid most disables. Amongst the sea of support heroes that die to Puck spamming spells, Disruptor is one of the best at catching an overconfident Puck off-guard, though the same problems can still apply against a good player.
Disruptor’s Static Storm-Static Field combo is one of the best at locking down shifty heroes, especially those that like to rely on their spells to dodge incoming offenses. Be warned that it’s still possible for Puck to Phase Shift-Blink out of Static Storm, so make sure you aren’t putting this down on an already-Phase Shifted Puck who has Blink ready.
Items like Eul’s Scepter of Divinity and Aether Lens can help set up your ultimate against the Faerie Dragon, though the holy grail of items is the Aghanim’s Scepter. With that, Puck can’t even use items to get out—even stuff like Eul’s and Black King Bar—letting your cores wail away.
READ MORE: Who is the GOAT of Dota 2?