Samuel is a dark mage who specializes in not only controlling zones, but advancing and breaking them. He is able to create a large creeping field of darkness that both augments his powers and damages foes. As a high damage-per-second hero, he wields two wands with gunslinger-like speed. He also has area of effect, draining and sleep abilities that round out his fearsome arsenal.
Corrupted Genius (Heroic Perk)
After 6 seconds, Samuel’s next basic attack fires a bolt of dark power at the target, dealing bonus crystal damage. This attack restores some health and energy.
Malice & Verdict (A)
Samuel fires two quick shots from his wands at a target location that impact on the first enemy hit. Samuel can move between the shots. If Samuel is standing inside the field from Drifting Dark, this ability is empowered. While empowered, the shots move faster, travel farther, deal additional damage and burst upon impact dealing damage in a small area. In addition, the cooldown for this ability is significantly reduced.
Drifting Dark (B)
Samuel creates a large field of darkness that slowly drifts forward, damaging enemies who stand inside it. If Samuel also stands inside, he heals for a small amount for each affected target.
After a short delay, Samuel summons a phantasm at the target location, which puts nearby enemies to sleep. Enemies inflicted are unable to move or act. Dealing direct damage to a sleeping enemy with an attack or ability will wake them up.
Samuel is best suited for teamfights and crowd control. He is at a disadvantage one-on-one against high-mobility targets (such as Skye or Vox) who can dodge his Malice & Verdict. He is also susceptible against anyone who can displace him outside his Drifting Dark (ex. Catherine, Glaive, Lance). Like most mages, he is vulnerable to burst damage.
That said, he does have several attributes that make him deadly to take on one-on-one. His Malice & Verdict, especially when augmented by Broken Myth or Shatterglass, can burst down enemies very quickly. While his ganks are telegraphed by Drifting Dark, Samuel is also a capable kiter who can easily distance himself from melee characters — even gap-closing ones.
Unlike other mages, Samuel isn’t best played from the back line. He has to balance staying on the edge of fights while getting closer and closer to opponents as Drifting Dark creeps across the map. When Samuel uses Drifting Dark, his Malice & Verdict attacks become much more potent and do splash damage as well. A smart Samuel player will understand in what direction to send Drifting Dark — whether to advance on the enemy or retreat and use it as cover. Sometimes, the right move is even to send Drifting Dark to the side and continue the fight from the flank. The more enemies in the cloud, the more health you’ll recover but also the more danger you’re in. Due to the long cooldown of the ability, players have to weigh these concerns carefully.
Vision and preparation are essential for Samuel to be effective in teamfights. One powerful strategy is to unleash Oblivion on the enemy team and then isolate one enemy hero — typically the carry. Since the enemy roamer is asleep, no help will come in the form of Fountain or Reflex Block.
Shatterglass: With Samuel’s basic attacks and Malice & Verdict, it’s critical to pump out as much damage as possible.
Eve of Harvest: The lifesteal aspects of Drifting Dark are understated but greatly enhanced by Eve of Harvest.
Broken Myth: Multiplies your damage. ‘Nuff said.
Clockwork: Since Samuel is energy hungry, Clockwork helps him recover and use his abilities more frequently in the late game.
Frostburn: Frostburn is also a great purchase because anyone who is affected by Samuel’s Drifting Dark will be slowed!
While Rona may be able to burst Samuel down, Samuel has mobility and range to stay out of range of Rona’s ultimate.
In the early game especially, Samuel should have an advantage over Vox. Samuel has both longer range and is a better kiter, making him a hard target.
Samuel can outrun Krul and anyone who can outrun Krul, usually can beat Krul. In general, Samuel does well against characters who have to chase him directly.
Samuel is susceptible to burst damage, and a good Glaive player can not only displace Samuel, but delete him.
If he gets the jump on Samuel, Samuel is unlikely to have enough time to recover and flee.
With her abilities to silence and stun, she combats Drifting Dark. She also easily counters Malice & Verdict with her Stormguard bubble.
Others to be wary of: Petal and Lance
- Don’t forget to utilize your basic attacks. Not only are they exceptionally powerful thanks to the Corrupted Genius perk, but they also helps Samuel recover energy.
- Drifting Dark placement is key. It’s important for both damage and health recovery to spend as much time in the cloud as possible while also ensuring that chasing the cloud won’t leave Samuel in too vulnerable a position after its end.
- Use Samuel’s surprising mobility to your advantage. But beware: He’s still squishy.
- If you see an enemy Samuel, try to bait out his Drifting Dark. Don’t overcommit to a fight until he’s used it.