Season 4 - New Starts and New Items
Wed 8th Mar 2017 - 11:03am
Season 4 is here! There are a ton of new and exciting changes including the map, new items, and two new gods already. As usual, all of these changes have affected how the game feels, what you should build, and more. This article will cover the changes made to the map, as well as some new items you should consider adding to your builds.
How to Start
The way you start each game has changed drastically. In season 4, all of the jungle camps spawn at 30 seconds, meaning that it is inefficient for anyone to start at a buff because you will miss a full wave. Now it is most efficient for everyone to start in lane, with the jungler starting either in the solo lane or the mid lane. Ideally, you will rotate back and forth between clearing a wave, and clearing a camp with your team, which means picking gods with strong early clear will allow you to get an early advantage over your opponents.
With everyone starting in lane, it leaves all of the jungle camps up for grabs. Therefore, having gods with early clear on your team is essential not only to securing your own jungle, but also invading the enemy jungle. As a jungler, if you start in the mid lane, you and your mid laner can choose to invade the enemy speed buff or red buff, depending on what happens in other parts of the map. If the enemy jungle starts in solo, they will most likely go to fire elementals after the first wave, leaving their speed buff available for you to steal.
If your duo lane is able to win early pressure, you can rotate to the red buff with your mid laner and steal red while duo steals purple. Since four of your team members will be there, this is the safest option for an early invade. If you don’t have early pressure or have a late game team composition, it is often best for the jungler to start in solo lane to help clear and secure your own buffs instead of elementals. You will probably lose your red or purple, but if you play safe your late game team will have the opportunity to transition into the late game more smoothly.
Early Pressure will also give you a better chance at securing the new Oracle Harpies in the Gold Fury Pit, which allows your team to have a free ward on Gold Fury for one minute. The extra vision could easily translate into an early Gold Fury secure for your team.
Season 4 brought a ton of new items as well as changes to existing items, a few of which have quickly surfaced as being strong items that should be built in almost every game.
Heartseeker - Heartseeker gives a number of great stats including physical power, penetration, and movement speed, all of which are essential stats for a jungler. The new passive to this item is what makes in fantastic, any time you have full stacks (5) and hit an enemy god with an ability, the ability will hit for bonus damage equal to 100% of your physical power. This gives a huge boost to ability based assassins such as Susano, Thanatos, Ratatoskr, and Fenrir, allowing them to burst down target very quickly, especially when combined with other items such as hydra’s lament.
Heartseeker - 2100 Gold
Shield of Regrowth - Shield of Regrowth has gone from being a fun item to build, to being a fantastic item for almost any healer in the game. This season the item now offers 20% cooldown reduction, and 400 health allowing you to be a bit tankier and able to survive longer in teamfights. The passive of the item also received a buff, giving you 40% movement speed anytime you heal from an ability. The god that has benefited the most from this passive is Thanatos. The passive combine with the movement speed from his two makes his ability to stick to target unmatched. He also doesn’t have an escape ability, so the extra movement allows him to get in and out of fights without dying. Other gods such as Hel, Aphrodite, and Hercules also benefit greatly from this item.
Shield of Regrowth - 2000 Gold
Wind Demon and Poison star - These two items offer fairly similar stats, both featuring power, critical hit chance, and now attack speed. The added attack speed makes these items very useful, allowing hunters and auto attack assassins to perhaps forego buying an attack speed item, and instead get crit online earlier in the game. Earlier in the game it is usually a better idea to buy Poisoned Star first, because it offers more attack speed, and because the passive is more beneficial earlier in the game. You can build both of these items, but Deathbringer will still give you more DPS in the late game, so either building three crit items or selling Poisoned Star will be the best options. Wind Demon and Deathbringer is a very popular combination for hunters, allowing them to increase their attack speed with Wind Demon, and still hit for huge damage with the Deathbringer passive.
Wind Demon - 2800 Gold
Hastened Fatalis - Hastened Fatalis is finding a place in many more builds than before. It now features 10 penetration, allowing hunters to buy the item without sacrificing as much damage as they normally would. Assassins like Mercury can also buy this item since his auto attacks will still hit very hard and his passive utilizes his movement speed for bonus power.
Hasten Fatalis - 2150 Gold
New Starter Items
Double starter in jungle - With the price reduction of Bumba’s Mask, Junglers can now start the game with two starter items rather than one. The most popular combinations are Bumba’s Mask and either Bluestone Pendant or Death’s Toll, depending on the god. Both combinations allow junglers to clear more effectively by themselves while being able to sustain in the early game. Since Jungler's are more likely to be clearing camps by themselves this season, the sustain provided by double starter items is crucial to a successful early game.
Sands of Time - Sands of Time offers mages with an alternative to Soul Stone and Vampiric Shroud. Its most notable stat is 10% cooldown reduction. Having that stat at level 1 is very beneficial for a lot of mages who suffer with early game clear. The passive offers a larger amount of MP5 based off of your missing mana, so mages can feel free to use more than one ability on a wave, and still be able to sustain in the early game. While Soul Stone is still the most effective item when it comes to early game clear, the 10% cooldown reduction that Sands of Time offers transitions much more smoothly into later stages of the game, allowing you to get off huge amounts of burst damage more often.
These are just a few of the bigger changes made in Season 4, and as Season 4 gets changes in future patches certain things may be subject to change, so the best way to keep up to date is to keep playing and have fun! Good luck in Season 4!
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