Melee balance at high skill play

Specifically the lower health DD melee, but a lot applies to the tanky melee as well. At low skill DD melee is balanced or even a too strong, this is for the fact that so many low skilled range don’t pay attention to their surroundings, pick terrible perches, or just run straight into the middle of things and try to go toe to toe with melee. When that happens, obviously, low skilled ranged will be decimated by even lower skilled melee. That’s why I’m sure a lot of people will reply to this post disagreeing.

However, at high skill play melee is at a terrible disadvantage. Where/why does the imbalance lay? It should be obvious, but melee have to put themselves in the firing line just to clear minions or engage players, good ranged will sit in a safe position where they have little to no exposure, quick escapes and can be supported by their team. And the melee characters have to hold what are supposed to be their initiation abilities in reserve for escape. I laugh when I hear a ranged character complain about an enemy marquis shutting them down when there are a million angles and locations you can take to effectively clear minions from cover, even more so when a melee character gets the drop on them. The enemy teams melee is so good you say? Because they keep killing you on the ground floor of meltdown near the stinger? Ya, no.

If you do manage to creep up on someone without being spotted, most of the time they can easily escape, especially since skilled players will choose good locations, or even just turn and kill you. Ever seen a good phoebe close a good thorn just to see the thorn blight and slow the phoebe PB volley, back up and kill her in the next 3 shots without any support? That should not be possible, there’s no world where that should be able to happen between players the same or nearly the same skill level, yet in high skill play that’s going to be common, let alone if the thorn is using ledges. Boots of the brute go a ways to help fix the balance disparity, but I suspect it wont take long before they get nerfed to oblivion.

You might even rebutt this argument that good melee will be waiting for their team to stun someone then run in and kill them, put aside the fact that that itself would just prove the point, but depending on the ranged and comp of your team, half the time it can be a hindrance to have the melee jump on a stunned character and block all their teammates shots.

I do understand that making melee relevant in high skill play makes them seem overpowered in low skill play, but I feel like the game is old enough now that that it’s time to worry less about low skill balance.

Another balance gripe I have is on stuns. They are far too powerful in high skill play, they are guaranteed kills, making any character without them very disadvantaged. I feel like their durations are pretty good in terms of team response/notice, but when compared to TTK they are too long.

Yep, totally agree. I laugh so many times when people complain that rath is OP, I play Rath in high level play and he does not feel neearly as strong when I play him in pugs. Pugs I can get 20 plus kills every game, When playing high level or team against team its rare for him to go positive. This is because ranged good ranged characters really just shut him down and almost no one in high level play is ever out of position, which is what he relys on. You just can’t get close to ranged characters with the “assassin” characters in high level play and if you do your dead.

Yup, Rath doesn’t even have an escape to keep in reserve (that’s really supposed to be an initiation). At least he has the knockup/slow S2W though.

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Guys, let’s all be cool, discuss the game, and stay on topic, please. I don’t see any reason to close this thread unless things continue the way they have so far.


Well… Rath I totally agree with you on, he is easily shut down but it also depends on the team and their formation. I never played rath but I know my team and I shut him down too easy. However I played as a Phoebe during high level play and there were many times I controlled and devoured chaotic moments. Assassins are made to clean up, not throw themselves out there so it totally depends on your team, stage and so on… I wouldn’t really say that they are in a total disadvantage.

I faced raths that took advantage of situations but a rath that just jumps in for that 1 v 1 can get shut down easy with a stun.

The first half and second half of that statement do not coincide.

Yea, I know how to play rath at high levels, he becomes more of an oppurtunist and some one to punish bad flanks or stop them. He can’t flank as easily in high skill because people pay attention and his pop-up is basically a dinner bell if you are trying to flank as him. He feels much more defensive than offensive in high skill play, where as in low level I can roll around the map with barely a care in the world.

Using my phone at the moment so my apologies…but what I mean by that is I easily killed many enemies in moments when my team took advantage of an area. There will be moments when players have to change positions because of situations. Everyone is not standing in the same spot the entire match.

Yea… You’re right. If your team isn’t doing well, it’s really hard to do much but protect the flanks. Can’t push until your team pushes… Sucks when your only opportunity is to throw yourself in there to get that one or two kills knowing you will die too as a melee hoping that would give your team the push it needs.

I do love it when a rath pops someone up from far and you have a Ghalt on stand by for that easy pull from the air. Thank you Rath

I could make a comment about this… I won’t, but I’ll just let you know…
But please, do calm down. This is not the place to vent.

Unfortunately due to the FPS aspect of the game, melees are at a disadvantage. They can still perform, but they really do have to take a much bigger risk. That is why we switched from swords to guns. It can’t be avoided. You’ll just have to put in more effort for good plays than ranged might have to. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

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The risk is fine and understood, but as part of the trade off their DPS or health should be substantially higher, or they should have far better utility kits, as it is now though, most of the kits are mediocre, and it would be generous to say that they did moderately higher DPS. I mean there are melee that start out with health substantially less, less, around the same, or/and for the DDs anyway, rarely more then most of the ranged. That’s insane.

Reiterating, since the developers seem to be very data driven, I’m sure they are looking and seeing good KD ratios for a lot of melee, but highlighting again how one sided this is to low skill play.

…Well stated. High-5’s bro.

Could be. But the problem with changing this disparity is if the melees can already overperform at lower skill levels, how could they be improved in more skilled play without them reaching godly levels in low skill play?

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Yep, this is the hardest part to balance. If the players have to figure out how to play against melee characters so that the melee characters are less useful, the problem becomes we have to nerf learning. Melee characters in this game mostly excel at punishing bad plays, which means good plays/positioning shouldn’t be punished, which leeads to melee characters becoming less useful. Its a vicious cycle.


I currently play a lot of melee in high level play and tournaments. All melee is viable. (even Attikus won a tournament) Kelvin, Boldur, El Dragon and Gal are the most played melee in tournaments but I have done well with both Rath and Phoebe in our 10 mans. They aren’t bad but you definitely need to play them differently since running into the middle of the lane with 2-3 ranged characters shooting you isn’t going to work.

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[quote=“Dr_H0H0, post:18, topic:1540599”]
I currently play a lot of melee in high level play and tournaments. All melee is viable.
[/quote]Totally agree with this. Melee is viable assuming your team is willing to push. The biggest disadvantage to all melee characters, in my opinion, is their inability to make big pushes. Even characters with escape abilities like Deande and El Dragon can’t do it. At best, they can jump in deal a ton of damage and, hopefully, get out. I don’t see this disadvantage as an issue, though. It all emphasizes the team composition aspect of the game.

Two rebuttals, one is that you named the melee that are most useful, where as I’m referring most to phoebe, rath, deande. Second, even when they are more useful, a lot of times there are ranged choices would better serve the team, and ED is definitely an outlier on the DD front.

Also, the point is not so much that they can’t be played and make a difference, it’s that ranged can be/are so much more effective without the downsides/disadvantages that melee face.

If your doing picks and bans then a lot of team comps open up because the top tier characters are either banned or picked first. (Thorn, Isic, Marquis, OM, Miko, Alani.) Rath and Phoebe are both great picks for assassination but depending on which one suits your need for the game. (Rath for 1v1 assassination and Phoebe for team engages.) Deande is a great 1v1 assassination although she doesn’t have the high burst damage like Rath she is much better at picking on the lane pushers like OM, Thorn, Toby, and even Marquis.

Attikus and El Dragon are very late game dependent so you would need a strong early game team comp for them. Boldur and Kelvin are the best overall and that’s why they are used the most in tournaments out of all the other melee characters. None of them are bad it’s just that they need a team built around them. If team A goes all ranged while team B goes with 1 or 2 melee characters, chances are team B is going to win because team A will lack the engage power to properly team fight and will need to rely on picks.

You keep using the word bad like that’s what I’ve been saying. I never said bad, again, the point is they are mostly disadvantage dis-proportionally to any benefits they bring over ranged.

I went up against a few very disciplined premades back when the skill based matchmaking was strict and watched some pretty talented Phoebes pick them apart.
If what you were saying was true then the optimum team is all ranged. However, an all ranged team is not going to have an advantage against an all melee team in Incursion, quite the opposite because the melee can move as one and own any area, controlling shards and thralls which leads to the ranged team being out leveled.