Analyzing the Patch 4.13 Mid-Season Relic Revisions
Thu 3rd Aug 2017 - 12:41pm
Patch 4.13 brought many large changes to Smite including the start of Project Olympus, Raijin and Fatalis reworks, and map changes. Today, we will talk about the massive changes to Relics in Patch 4.13. Many relics gained additional effects when upgraded and saw cooldown adjustments. We will go over the relics impacted in the mid-season patch and their potential to change the game.
Patch 4.13 saw changes to many relics
Aegis Amulet is the first relic up and it got nerfed. It no longer removes roots or slows, even in its upgraded form. The Smite community identified Aegis as a problem and this is one way to nerf it without killing the relic and retaining its purpose, which is to survive against burst damage. Removing Aegis’ ability to cleanse soft CCs allows for more follow up on the target and puts a larger premium on Purification Beads. Aegis Amulet will still be bought on the majority of Mages and Hunters but will be slightly less powerful.
Blink Rune is the first relic to see cooldown changes. Both forms have a 100 second cooldown, which is between the previous values of the base and upgraded versions. In addition, Blink Rune gains a secondary effect upon upgrading. It reduces the damage taken by the user by 10% for 2 seconds. This just makes upgrading Blink appealing for the gods that already bought it and makes initiation safer on guardians and assassins alike.
Bracer of Undoing
Bracer of Undoing saw a couple nerfs. As we will see repeated in later relics, the cooldown of the upgraded version was increased to match the base version. Bracer also got hit by taking the ability cooldown reduction effect out of the base version and making it exclusive to the upgraded form. Bracer started to see less pro play even before these nerfs, but it can still be picked as an aggressive option on supports and tank junglers like Ravana.
Cursed Ankh saw some adjustments in Patch 4.13. The healing reduction was reduced from 65% to 50% and the upgraded form’s cooldown was increased to match that of the base. In return, the upgraded Ankh now increases the mana cost and cooldown of spells cast by affected targets by 20% and 2 seconds, respectively. This change makes Cursed Ankh a big teamfight disruption tool and really good against gods with low cooldown, spammable spells like He Bo. Right now, Cursed Ankh could be picked up against certain gods or compositions, but is unlikely to see a ton of use unless team fights slow down and healing becomes more prevalent.
Heavenly Wings saw a huge buff this patch. Allies are now slow immune for 5 seconds at both ranks instead of just cleansing slows. The upgraded version already removed basic attack movement penalties so it did not receive another effect but did have its cooldown increased. Heavenly Wings is likely to be bought in a lot of pro games, especially if Horrific Emblem becomes popular. This relic is especially useful on basic attack-oriented compositions because the upgrade form provides a haste-like bonus in addition to a slow immunity enhanced movement speed buff. Heavenly Wings is very strong in its current iteration and can be used as an initiation or escape tool.
The Horrific Emblem upgrade also gained a new effect at the cost of an increased cooldown. In addition to slowing targets, the tier 2 Relic reduces the damage dealt by targets by 20%. This is massive and equates to giving your team 20% mitigation against the targets hit. Horrific Emblem is now a great offensive tool that slows down the enemy and reduces their ability to fight back. The Relic also has defensive uses and can be activated in response to an enemy initiation. Horrific Emblem will see pro play unless Heavenly Wings is a strong enough pick to negate the offensive uses of the Emblem.
Most Relics now gain an additional effect when upgraded.
Magic Shell got completely reworked in this patch. It now provides a 100 + 15/level health shield for 3 seconds on allies. Upgrading the relic also provides allies with 2 block stacks, absorbing the first 2 basic attacks against that player. The shield from Magic Shell is very small, only mitigating 400 damage at level 20 and the duration is shorter than most team relics. Shell is good at level 1 but then falls off as it is outscaled by the damage output of all characters. The block stacks from the upgraded version are nice but might not be enough to justify picking up the base version. Magic Shell also has the least impact on supports because they generally lag several levels behind the rest of the roles. Magic Shell could have some uses and be built by solo laners looking for team mitigation but it has tough competition.
Mediation Cloak had an additional effect when upgraded before Patch 4.13, but the MP5 and HP5 boosts were not good and were removed. These bonuses were then replaced with a new effect that reduces the mana cost of allied spells by 30% and their cooldown by 1 second for 5 seconds. This provides great synergy with the burst mana regen from Meditation Cloak. Mediation Cloak could be used to disrupt your opponent’s internal timers on your abilities and allow a mana hungry god or composition to sustain through a long team fight.
Phantom Veil was heavily changed this patch. The 40% crowd control reduction and knockup immunity were removed from both tiers of the Relic and the upgrade now gives a 15% damage mitigation buff to allies affected by the ghostwalk effect and also had its cooldown increased to match the base version. The mitigation is nice when you are likely to be hit with a wombo-combo while inside Odin’s cage or trapped by another wall. Phantom Veil can be used much like the old Magic Shell, protecting your team from incoming damage or in response to an initiaion. The mitigation is less than what Horrific Emblem debuffs the enemy by, but you can still protect your team from targets outside of the range of Horric.
Shield of Thorns
Shield of Thorns is another Relic that traded cooldown for an addition effect on the upgraded form. Enemies now lifesteal for 50% on targets that have tier 2 Shield of Thorns activated. This strengthens Shield because Hunters could often lifesteal through the returned damage and gives the Relic a stronger place on diving gods looking to disrupt and kill the enemy backline. The effect is not as strong as when Shield would reduce lifesteal by 100%, but it is still powerful.
Sundering Spear received another rework. Instead of flat damage, it deals 15% of the targets current health, which is more effective at the start of a fight and cannot be used to finish targets. The upgraded version then bebuffs the target, causing them to take 20% additional damage. Sundering Spear’s strengths have shuffled around and can be great at tank shredding but it only gains real power when upgraded. We will see if Sunder takes over the meta again, but there are a lot of good relics for it to compete with. It is still the go to for a single target kill command when upgraded.
Teleport Glyph received some major nerfs. The base form is no longer able to teleport to wards and that functionality is retained solely on the upgraded form, which had its cooldown increased to match the basic Teleport Glyph. Teleport was nearly mandatory on solo laners and provided a lot of advantages early. The rotational power of the tier 1 Relic is still high but you have to pay to upgrade the Relic to recover the true power of teleporting to wards.
Not every Relic got changed in the mid-season patch
Not every Relic was changed in the mid-season patch. Purification Beads is still a core and often mandatory relic. It was not nerfed like its fellow defensive Aegis because it is necessary to the balance of the game and is not seen as a problem at this time. Belt of Frenzy is balanced and provides an extra effect when upgraded, so it was fine. Hand of the Gods is a niche Relic that is hard to balance and provides a control effect when upgraded, so was left alone. Every other Relic in the game was changed.
Smite saw many large changes in Patch 4.13. One of which was a large-scale rework of the Relics. Many underused relics saw the addition of secondary effects when they were upgraded while overpowered relics were nerfed. These changes are sure to shake up the relic meta in games and it will be fun to see what new choices and combinations are brought out.
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