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Zeus/Counters

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Counters
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Bad against...[edit]

Anti-Mage icon.png
  • Anti-Mage can burn mana, which is a big problem for a spellcaster like Zeus that heavily relies on it.
  • Counterspell decreases magical damage taken from Zeus.
  • Zeus' high intelligence and mana pool makes him a perfect target for Mana Void.
Faceless Void icon.png
  • Time Dilation can limit Zeus to casting his abilities only once in a fight, effectively serving as a 6/8/10/12 second silence.
  • Time Walk negates Zeus's burst damage.
  • Chronosphere makes Zeus the best target for Void because of his low mobility.
Chaos Knight icon.png
  • Chaos Knight's high health pool makes him resistant to Zeus' burst damage. Phantasm can dispel Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord, a typical item purchased by Zeus.
  • Zeus is easily overwhelmed by Chaos Knight's strong illusions, as Arc Lightning is not enough to kill them fast enough to have any impact.
  • Zeus' low base armor makes him extremely vulnerable to Chaos Knight's high damage output and armor reduction.
Juggernaut icon.png
Lifestealer icon.png
  • Rage is very useful against Zeus, as it negates magic damage and provides spell immunity. In addition, the increased attack speed can tear Zeus apart in combination with Open Wounds.
  • Lifestealer can avoid Thundergod's Wrath with Infest.
Meepo icon.png
  • Thundergod's Wrath strikes only the first Meepo.
  • Zeus has low mobilty so consecutive Earthbinds are easy to hit and he'll quickly die from Poofs.
Pudge icon.png
  • Meat Hook's high range allows Pudge's team to drag Zeus in the middle of the fight and abuse his frailty.
  • Flesh Heap's health and magic resistance bonus makes Pudge exceptionally resistant to Zeus' nukes. In later stages of the game, Zeus is usually unable to seriously damage Pudge at all. Even Static Field, which deals damage based on a percentage of the enemy's health, won't be doing much.
  • Even if Zeus buys a Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar, Meat Hook and Dismember still disable him for a long time, usually causing Zeus' quick death.
  • Zeus is vulnerable to early ganks, whom Pudge excels at.
Pugna icon.png
  • Even though Pugna's low HP means that he can be quickly be bursted down, his Nether Ward heavily punishes casters whose spells cost a lot of mana, like Zeus. Casting 4 of his active spells, including Nimbus, close to an enhanced level 4 Nether Ward, can make the ward deal up to 1750 magical damage.
  • Decrepify can further increase the damage dealt by Nether Ward upon Zeus. However, if used on Pugna himself or on one of his allies, it will amplify the damage done by Zeus' abilities.
Silencer icon.png
  • Silencer's Global Silence will render Zeus useless for 6 seconds in a team fight.
  • Arcane Curse will punish Zeus for casting spells, which can cause continuous damage to him should he continue to cast spells.
  • Last Word can silence Zeus and prevent him from spamming his spells.
  • Silencer often builds Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence (or Bloodthorn icon.png Bloodthorn) which can be used on spell casters like Zeus, forcing him to invest in a Linken's Sphere icon.png Linken's Sphere.
Ursa icon.png
  • Enrage will make it very difficult to burst him down.
  • Zeus has little armor, HP and mobility; Ursa's favorite kind of target.
Viper icon.png
  • Corrosive Skin counters Zeus in lane by canceling the effects of Clarity icon.png Clarity as Zeus relies on Arc Lightning to farm and secure last hits.
    • Corrosive Skin also increases Viper's magic resistance to shrug off Zeus's magical nukes.
  • Nethertoxin icon.png Nethertoxin breaks Static Field.
  • Due to Zeus' poor mobility, Viper Strike will cripple Zeus and will allow Viper and his teammates to land a lot of attacks.

Others[edit]

  • Zeus can deal a huge amount of damage, but he lacks defensive abilities, such as good mobility or resistance. Due to that, he doesn't like to be touched by any means. Heroes with higher damage output and good mobility will often get easily near Zeus and trade damage (eventually causing Zeus's downfall). Such Heroes include: Lycan minimap icon.png Lycan, Slark minimap icon.png Slark, Storm Spirit minimap icon.png Storm Spirit, Spectre minimap icon.png Spectre and others.
  • As a spellcaster, silences will nullify him entirely. Some notable examples are Death Prophet minimap icon.png Death Prophet, Drow Ranger minimap icon.png Drow Ranger, Bloodseeker minimap icon.png Bloodseeker, Disruptor minimap icon.png Disruptor and many others.
    • Doom, as usual, fits this description nicely.
  • Heroes with long range abilities are also able to touch Zeus, such as Clockwerk minimap icon.png Clockwerk, Kunkka minimap icon.png Kunkka, Puck minimap icon.png Puck, Skywrath Mage minimap icon.png Skywrath Mage, Spirit Breaker minimap icon.png Spirit Breaker, Tusk minimap icon.png Tusk and others.
  • Heroes with built-in magic resistance: Viper minimap icon.png Viper, Anti-Mage minimap icon.png Anti-Mage.

Items[edit]

  • Arc Lightning and Lightning Bolt have very low cooldowns, which will provide plenty of charges for Magic Stick icon.png Magic Stick or Magic Wand icon.png Magic Wand.
  • The magic resistance from Cloak icon.png Cloak, as well as it's upgrades, Hood of Defiance icon.png Hood of Defiance and Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight, will greatly reduce the effectiveness of Zeus's abilities since they are all magical. Notice that these items have separate cooldowns and stack their magic resistance bonuses, so don't hesitate to buy a Pipe and another Hood on top if one of them is not enough. Also more than one person buying a Pipe is sometimes useful, keep in mind though that the actives don't stack.
    • Glimmer Cape icon.png Glimmer Cape works as well, but keep in mind that Zeus can easily reveal you out of invisibility with Lightning Bolt and Thundergod's wrath. However, it enables the wearer to avoid Thundergod's Wrath's damage.
  • Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar is Zeus' worst enemy.
    • Over time, Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar's duration is reduced allowing Zeus to cast his spells earlier.
  • Orchid Malevolence icon.png Orchid Malevolence silences and amplifies the damage Zeus takes, hitting him right in his weak spots (being very dependent on spells and being a very fragile Hero).
    • The enemy may also be able to build a Bloodthorn icon.png Bloodthorn which not only silences Zeus but also takes advantage of his low armor by dealing critical damage.
  • Blade Mail icon.png Blade Mail will return the damage Zeus deals. At the start of a fight, the percentage-based damage of Static Field can be especially harmful to Zeus.
  • As an intelligence hero with a big mana pool and low armor, Diffusal Blade 1 icon.png Diffusal Blade deals a lot of damage against him. The slow also heavily cripples his already low movement speed.
  • Any invisibility item or skill negates Thundergod's Wrath damage. Invulnerability works as well.
    • A special mention should go to Smoke of Deceit icon.png Smoke of Deceit, since it will immediately hide you and your nearby allies from Zeus' ultimate, potentially saving your lives for a small 50 gold cost.
  • Heart of Tarrasque icon.png Heart of Tarrasque makes it very hard to deal serious damage with magical nukes only.

Good against...[edit]

Slardar icon.png
  • Slardar has high priority on building moblity items such as Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger rather than tank items. Zeus can easily deal large amount of damage to him if not get caught out of position at first.
Enchantress icon.png
  • Enchantress has a very low health pool, allowing Zeus to burst her down quickly before she can heal off the damage.
  • Zeus will not be affected by Untouchable, as he won't try to attack her with right clicks anyway.
  • Zeus can stay out of her attack range while trying to kill her, especially if he has bought an Aether Lens icon.png Aether Lens.
  • Most heroes would want to get on top of Zeus to kill him, but Enchantress does not have this option as doing so would severely limit her Impetus damage.
    • The exception is the laning phase, where Enchantress can gank Zeus if she Enchants a good creep.
Timbersaw icon.png
  • Reactive Armor will not trigger from Zeus's spells or protect Timbersaw from their damage.
  • Early game Timbersaw's strength is average and Zeus can heavily aid in bursting him down.
  • Late game, if Timbersaw has built a lot of HP items, Zeus's passive Static Field will be more effective at chipping away Timbersaw's large HP pool.
    • A Timbersaw who builds Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight will be much more difficult to kill, as Zeus has no way to hold Timbersaw down, but Timbersaw will have less armor, mana, and damage than normal if he buys this item early game just to counter Zeus.
Bounty Hunter icon.png
  • Bounty Hunter has a very low health pool, allowing Zeus to burst him down quickly.
  • Zeus can cast Lightning Bolt to gain True Sight in any area he suspects Bounty Hunter may be invisible or any area he thinks Bounty Hunter may have warded.
  • If Bounty Hunter tries to escape a gank by using Shadow Walk, Zeus can gain vision of him with both Lightning Bolt and Thundergod's Wrath.
Winter Wyvern icon.png
  • Any ally that Winter Wyvern tries to save with Cold Embrace can still be damaged by all of Zeus's spells.
  • If Winter Wyvern tries to juke vision by flying up a cliff or in the trees, Zeus can gain vision there with Lightning Bolt or Thundergod's Wrath.
  • If Zeus is forced to attack an ally by Winter's Curse, his unimpressive attack damage and attack speed means they won't be hurt much by him. Zeus will also stay near the back of fights away from his allies, making a deadly Curse less likely.
Lich icon.png
  • Lich does not pose a big threat to Zeus in teamfights, as his spells don't have great cast range and Zeus should be too far back for a Chain Frost to bounce among him and his allies.
  • Lich has a low health pool, allowing Zeus to burst him down quickly.
Necrophos icon.png
Tinker icon.png
  • Due to Tinker's low health pool, Zeus can easily burst Tinker down, while also cancelling Rearm.
  • Once Zeus gets Aghanim's Scepter icon.png Aghanim's Scepter, he will gain Nimbus, which allows him to scout out Tinker on the map, especially when he is pushing lanes while hiding in the trees.

Others[edit]

  • Zeus has one of the highest damage outputs in the game, but he can be easily countered if enemies are allowed to farm items like Black King Bar icon.png Black King Bar and Pipe of Insight icon.png Pipe of Insight. Zeus is thus very effective early and mid game against heroes that have to build certain items that aren't good against him, such as illusion heroes that have to build Radiance (Active) icon.png Radiance or agility items. Another being initiators that have to rush Blink Dagger icon.png Blink Dagger.
  • Heroes with mediocre health pools who rely on armor or evasion to survive fights such as Troll Warlord minimap icon.png Troll Warlord, Windranger minimap icon.png Windranger, and Terrorblade minimap icon.png Terrorblade can be killed by Zeus if caught off guard.
  • Heroes that avoid damage by coming in and out of invisibility in teamfights such as Weaver minimap icon.png Weaver, Templar Assassin minimap icon.png Templar Assassin, and Riki minimap icon.png Riki will be easy for Zeus to reveal with Lightning Bolt and Thundergod's Wrath, but these heroes usually have other ways to avoid his damage or kill him, so he is not a perfect counter alone.
  • Zeus is good against heroes that juke in trees or up cliffs, like Batrider minimap icon.png Batrider, Monkey King minimap icon.png Monkey King, Spectre minimap icon.png Spectre, and Tinker minimap icon.png Tinker, by providing vision in any area with Lightning Bolt, or guaranteeing vision on enemies with Thundergod's Wrath.
  • Zeus's Lightning Bolt give's temporary True Sight in a 750 radius. This allows Zeus to check if there are any Remote Mines in that area or to deward.
  • Arc Lightning or Lightning Bolt can be used to disable a Linken's Sphere icon.png Linken's Sphere due to their cheap cooldown.

Works well with...[edit]

Ancient Apparition icon.png
  • Ice Blast makes enemies die quicker than they should. Along with Zeus huge damage and the fact that both Thundergod's Wrath and Ice Blast are global ranged, enemies are very unlucky.
  • The Apparition also amplifies the magical damage enemies take by reducing their magic resistance with Ice Vortex.
Bloodseeker icon.png
  • Both Zeus and Bloodseeker love enemies with low HP since they have great pick off abilities.
  • Their skill set grant vision of the unlucky enemy for each other.
  • Zeus can start the fight with Thundergod's Wrath to give Bloodseeker a boost in damage and movement speed from Thirst.
  • Bloodrage is one of the few abilities that can grant Zeus bonus spell damage.
Dazzle icon.png
  • Can protect the fragile Zeus, allowing him to stay in the fight longer to output damage.
Omniknight icon.png
  • He is also able to protect Zeus against heavy nukers like Lion minimap icon.png Lion, who can kill Zeus right away.
Tidehunter icon.png
  • Both Zeus and Tidehunter have great teamfight abilities, a mix between damage and disable for every fight.

Others[edit]

Items[edit]

  • Veil of Discord icon.png Veil of Discord amplifies the magical damage enemies take, increasing Zeus damage.