Top 5 Most Underrated Items for Season 4
Mon 24th Apr 2017 - 2:30pm
Builds are an underlying feature of Smite which nevertheless have a massive role in the outcome of every game. With every new Season, many new items get introduced to the game and various pre-existing items are changed. Due to the vast number of items already in the game, chances are that some of the new and changed items get overlooked because they are situational or only good on a few gods. In this article, we're going to look at five of these items that could potentially win you games, when to build them and what other items they synergize with.
5) War Flag
Stats: 10 Physical Power, 100 Health, 5 MP5
Passive: Being in range of minion or jungle camp death without dealing the killing the blow restores 5 Health and 5 Mana to all allies within 55 units and also provides allies with a stacking self-buff of 1% Movement Speed and 1% Attack Speed. Lasts 6s and stacks up to 10 times.
The start of Season 4 saw HiRez trying to improve the variety and opportunities when it comes to starting builds. Quite a few of these have taken off, such as Sands of Time and the revamped Bumba's mask but quite a few see very little play. Some of these are for good reason, such as Rangda's Mask not being played due to it being too risky and its reward not being good enough. However, one of these items has managed to slip under the radar completely while still having its own niche uses: War Flag. War Flag is a Support oriented item which rewards you and your teammate(s) when you don’t last hit minions. The rewards are not to be ignored either, with the maximum reward at ten stacks being 10% extra movement speed and 10% attack speed, both valuable statistics in the early game. Furthermore, for each minion you are in range of and don't kill, 5 health and mana are restored to all allies in the area.
The main reason this item hasn't been seeing play is that it's competitor for the Support starter item slot is Watcher's Gift, who’s benefit of extra gold per minion killed near you is incredibly powerful for Supports, who have no real access to direct farm. While yes, in a vacuum, Watcher's Gift will always be better than War Flag. However, there is a tiny amount of space when practicality is considered in which War Flag can be worth the investment. In a situation where you're playing a Support who is already focused around buffing allies, being aggressive AND can gather farm either by themselves or by rotating quickly and soaking farm from the lane, War Flag can be incredibly powerful. Currently, only one god in the game fits all three of these categories: Guan Yu.
Guan Yu has always been one of the few warriors viable in the Support role and the new diverse Support items like War Flag really help him succeed
Guan Yu Support is one of the most common non-guardian Support picks, due to his amazing healing and his incredible ultimate. Guan Yu is the perfect fit for War Flag due to his already existing focus on buffing from his heal, his ability to secure farm for himself with his high base damage on his abilities and the fact that his playstyle makes him a great Support to be aggressive with. This means War Flag provides him with a movement speed buff that makes it very easy for him to rotate and an extra heal for both health and mana, especially important since he has mana troubles in the early phases of the game.
While currently War Flag is only useful on Guan Yu, if HiRez ever releases another Support with similar role as him, it might see more play.
4) Stone of Binding
Stats: 20 Magical Power, 30 Magical Protection, 30 Physical Protection
Passive: Successfully hitting an enemy god with hard Crowd Control will place a buff on all allies within 70 units of you. The buff provides 10 Penetration for 5s.
Another new item for Season 4, Stone of Binding has almost never been seen in competitive play and is rarely seen in ranked. Considered to be an understatted bridge item, it's issue is there not being any space in most builds to fit it in. However, a rapidly rising archetype in the meta should consider picking this item up: Guardian Junglers. There are quite a few Guardians who see great success in the Jungle: Cabrakan, Ymir and Athena to name a few. While the build path for the early phases of the game for these Junglers is simple, their roles drastically change in the late game.
Cabrakan has seen a rapid rise in popularity lately and items like Stone of Binding help shore up his awkward lategame, be it in Jungle or in Solo
Due to their reliance on base damage and their poor scaling, they can only be relied on for damage in the early phases. Later, they must adapt to the needs of their team and use their high crowd control to set up their late game hypercarries. This is where Stone of Binding shines. Guardian Junglers need bridge items, that provide a variety of different stats and big passives and Stone of Binding does just that. A good amount of both protections, some power and a buff that triggers after you CC an enemy player, which allows your hypercarries to kill them much faster. Due to the vast amounts of CC on gods like Cabrakan, it can lead to them becoming amazing facilitators in the late game if they can land multiple CC effects in quick succession.
Stone of Binding is a powerful item for making Guardian Jungles relevant in the late game, and should be considered every time this phase of the game is reached as a Guardian Jungler.
3) Shogun's Kusari
Stats: 60 Magical Protection, 20 MP5, 10% Cooldown Reduction, 20% Crowd Control Reduction
Aura: Allied gods within 70 units have their Attack Speed increased by 15%.
One of the big things HiRez wanted with their Season 4 item changes was to diversify the Support builds and give Supports a variety of different offensive and defensive options. While some of these items have become very popular, quite a few have also been overlooked due to being perceived as weaker, but very often these items just require the correct team composition. The most powerful of these items is the Shogun's Kusari. This item gives 4 very powerful stats and a lot of them, most notably 80 magical protection and 20% crowd control reduction but even with all these stats, the item would just be mediocre and probably wouldn't fit into any builds.
Gods like Ullr have been extremely popular in the mid role recently, which leads to teams with two ADCs. These teams benefit greatly from Shogun Kusari's powerful passive
However, the item's passive is what truly makes it powerful and gives it a place within the meta. A flat 15% attack speed buff in an aura around you means this item is almost a must pick for any team with 2 basic attack based characters, be it two ADCs or an ADC and a Kali in the Jungle for example. It means that late game, your carries will be hitting so much harder and can burn objectives so much faster. This is especially useful in compositions of 3 guardians with 2 ADCs, where the team is reliant on the ADCs for damage in the late game, so any buff to their attack speed will be beneficial.
Shogun's Kusari is a must have for any team composition which values its basic attackers and any Support which wants to set up kills for its carries more efficiently.
2) Spectral Armour
Stats: 70 Physical Protection, 300 Mana, 10 MP5, 20% Crowd Control Reduction
Passive: Anytime you receive Physical damage from a god, enemies within 30 units of you become feared for 1s. This effect cannot happen more than once every 90s.
Spectral Armour, as well as the next item on the list, is absolutely baffling by its absence in ranked play at all ranks. Another new item introduced to diversify defensive builds, Spectral Armour is ridiculously overstatted for its cost, and with a game-winning passive. The item provides physical protection, mana, MP5 and crowd control reduction and its passive silences all gods around you when you take physical damage. The best thing about this item is that the stats are so valuable that it can be picked up by almost any role.
If you're an ADC and you're getting focused by the enemy ADC or the enemy Jungler, you can pick up Spectral Armour to give you space while you box them. As a midlaner, Spectral Armour can make it very difficult for the enemy Jungler to gank you effectively, as it gives you a window to escape. As a Support, it can help get the protection-shredding enemy Junglers like Kali and Nemesis off your back. As a Jungler, it helps you gank the enemy solo laner and fight the enemy Jungler. Finally, as a solo laner, you can use it as a fighting tool in lane to gain an advantage over your opponent, no matter how momentary.
A very similar item to Mantle of Discord, Spectral Armour is a more aggressive variant, while also being a lot cheaper and therefore more accessible
The usefulness of this item is insane, and having 2 or even just 1 on your team can also swing fights going into the late game, and potentially save the life of your carries. 2 or more of this item can make the life of any enemy basic attack based character absolute hell.
Stats: 50 Physical Power, 100 Health, 10% Movement Speed
Passive: For each enemy god within 55 units of you, you gain a stacking buff that provides 7 Magical Protection and 7 Physical Protection. Stacks up to 5 times.
The No.1 most underrated item in this list might be of some contention. This item has long been thought to be useless, as it does not provide as many stats as its competitors and its passive is criticized for being mediocre. However, Masamune has a very surprising role within the meta of Smite and might be one of the only items to occupy this role. Masamune, more than any other item, is designed to be built from behind, no matter if you're behind in gold, experience or momentum. Let's discuss how.
God's like Awlix can really struggle with their builds when they fall behind, so the value for money of Masamune combined with the type of stats it provides means it's extremely beneficial in these situations
Firstly, Masamune provides a rare stat for offensive item: Health. Health is an incredibly valuable stat when behind in experience, as the enemy’s levels will give them a larger base amount of health. The health on Masamune, no matter how small, is great for mitigating this difference. Second, Masamune provides movement speed, something that is very valuable when you're behind in momentum and the enemy team controls the game. This movement speed allows you to respond to ganks across the map faster and get to your camps faster to make sure you secure them.
Finally, Masamune is a very good item when you're behind in gold as it gives so many stats in one item and a cheap item at that. Its gold efficiency is further increased by its passive, which gives protections based on the number of enemy gods around you. Once again, a very rare defensive passive on an offensive item, further solidifying Masamune's position as a prime item to be picked up when behind as a Jungler or as a Solo laner.
While being behind is something that you never want, it does happen and when it does building Masamune can help mitigate the negative effects and help you make your way back into the game.
I hope you enjoyed the article and will consider picking up some of these items in the future!
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