Blogs

A Guide to Attack Speed and Building on Hunters

Melodica256

Melodica256

Mon 11th Jul 2016 - 10:57am

Hunters are a popular class to play in Smite, and are very diverse in terms of their kits and how they can be built. However, this can bring issues in terms of the effectiveness of your build and your God. If you build too much attack speed, your attack speed bonus in your kit (or your ‘steroid’) can have less of an effect than intended, potentially making your God underperform.

Many thanks to r/Smite’s moderator ‘Dr Yoshi’ for the help and inspiration on this article!

The Attack Speed Equilibrium

Many players believe that Hunters must build either Power or Attack Speed, however this is ignoring the balance that must be achieved between these two statistics for an optimal damage to attack speed ratio. Damage per Second (DPS) is your attack speed multiplied by your Basic Attack Damage. This does not take Critical Chance or Procs into account, yet provides you with a flat figure for DPS.  r/Smite’s ‘Dr Yoshi’ calls this ‘The Attack Speed Equilibrium’.

This graph has Basic Attack Damage in intervals of 10 against Attack Speed in intervals of 0.1. The highlighted line in yellow is where an extra 10 power equals an extra 0.1 attack speed in terms of DPS gain. From this, you can calculate whether you will benefit from more power or more attack speed depending on whether you are above or below the highlighted line.

If you have 50 Basic Attack Damage and an attack speed of 2.0, a further 10 power will increase your DPS four times more than a further 0.1 attack speed.

Early Game

Early game, most Hunters start with an attack speed of 1.0, meaning that to reach equilibrium they would need a Basic Attack Damage. My favourite Hunter, Neith, starts with attack speed of 0.97 and a Basic Attack Damage of 37, meaning she needs a further 60 power before getting any more attack speed. This makes certain items more valuable early game, such as Warrior Tabi over Ninja Tabi, as you need more power before attack speed in your first few levels

Late Game

With the large amount of power offered by a variety of items (Rest in Peace: Golden Bow – you will be remembered), it is easy to reach 300 Basic Attack Damage. Yet, to reach equilibrium with 300 Basic Attack Damage, you would need a 3.0 Attack Speed (which is impossible!) So keep an eye on your damage to attack speed ratio.

Exceptions

As with most theories, there are exceptions. More ability-based Hunters such as Neith, make use of power much more than attack speed, due to the scaling on their damaging abilities. Also as mentioned previously, Critical Chance and Procs throw this out of proportion, as item passives are not taken into consideration when calculating the Attack Speed Equilibrium.

Source: BuccaNeith on Smite Datamining by zLexzcw

An Effective Build

In my eyes, an effective build combines a variety of components. I like to combine items from all areas: movement speed, power, lifesteal, penetration, attack speed and critical chance. Although it might be desirable for others to have builds that lean more in one direction, for example with a large amount of attack speed or critical chance. Your build is down to personal preference and play-style, and generally is unique to you. Each season brings popular builds that are commonly used by a large amount of players; however everyone has their own particular preferences. Also, there is an element of count-building against your opponents. Perhaps the enemy team have a lot of healers, and you want to get ‘Brawlers Beat Stick’. Or maybe you want to slow them with a ‘Frostbound Hammer’.

Steroids

It is fairly popular to build attack speed on Hunters in the current meta, with items such as Hastened Fatalis, Ichaival, and more. However, if you are using a God with steroid in their kit, your build may not be as strong as it could be. This means that by building more attack speed, you might be missing out when you could be adding different items such as Penetration or Critical Chance into your kit instead.

When looking at our current statistics, we might see 2.2 attack speed and think that we have not over capped the 2.5 attack speed limit. However, when we use a steroid (for example Rama – ‘Pick Me Up’ giving a 50% increase in attack speed) it is not as effective as it could have been. This might mean that our current build with high amounts of attack-speed is not a good choice for our chosen God, and might actually be hindering us in terms of our Damage per Second (DPS).

The table below shows some attack speed statistics of all current Hunters in Smite. The "Max from items" column is the maximum attack speed each Hunter can build before they reach 2.5 AS at level 20 with their steroid active. This is the highest amount of attack speed that can be built for the steroid to still be effective. Similarly, the "Without steroid" column is the AS of the Hunter at level 20 with the same build, but without the steroid active.

God

Lv.1

Lv.20

Steroid

Max from items

Without steroid

Notes

Ah Muzen Cab

0.97

1.27

Hive - 50%

80%

2.03

2.5 at level 20, unlimited.

Anhur

0.92

1.21

None

140%

2.5

2.5 at level 19.

Apollo

0.97

1.27

Audacity - 100%

30%

1.56

2.5 at level 20, 5 basics.

Artemis

0.96

1.22

Vengeful Assault - 80%

55%

1.74

2.5 at level 20, 13 basics.

Chiron

1.01

1.22

None

130%

2.5

2.5 at level 18.

Cupid

0.97

1.29

Flutter - 30%

100%

2.22

2.5 at level 19, 15 basics.

Hou Yi

0.91

1.12

None

155%

2.5

2.5 at level 19.

Jing Wei

1.01

1.28

Persistent Gust - 40%

85%

2.1

2.5 at level 18, 18 basics.

Medusa

0.96

1.22

Viper Shot - 80%

55%

1.74

2.5 at level 20, 3 basics.

Neith

0.97

1.25

None

135%

2.5

2.5 at level 18.

Rama

0.97

1.27

Pick Me Up - 50%

80%

2.03

2.5 at level 20, 13 basics.

Skadi

0.91

1.19

None

150%

2.5

2.5 at level 18.

Ullr

0.96

1.23

Wield Bow - 25%

110%

2.28

2.5 at level 20, unlimited.

Xbalanque

0.96

1.14

None

145%

2.5

2.5 at level 18.

Source: Medusa by ManiakUk on DeviantArt

So, the main question to be asked is: when is it, if ever, effective to over-cap your attack speed when you have a steroid. Some Hunters can still perform well when their Attack Speed is over-capped. For example, Medusa's 'Viper Shot' is only effective for three basic attacks, and is generally used for a higher damage output rather than increasing attack speed. Similarly, Apollo's 'Audacity' is only effective for 5 basic attacks. So is it effective to limit the amount of attack speed in your build for the sake of 5 or 3 basic attacks that you can miss easily?

However for some other Hunters, such as Ullr when he is in ‘Wield Bow’ stance or Rama with his ‘Pick Me Up’ steroid, over-capping attack speed is not effective. With such large bonuses to attack speed, perhaps your build could reach into other areas such as Critical Chance or Penetration. You have more control over these steroids, and it is generally easier to use them successfully.

Attack Speed Reduction

If building attack speed, you must take attack speed reduction into consideration. This can come from items or part of an enemy God’s kit. This effect is likely to hinder you in combat; however is not a permanent or constant effect. It is wise to keep an eye on your enemies builds, not only to keep an eye out for slows, but also to ensure that your build is as effective as it can be against the enemies.