The Impacts of the Teleport Nerf in Smite



Wed 11th Oct 2017 - 12:54pm

Teleport Glyph was a staple Relic for years in Smite before it got nerfed in the mid-season patch. The nerf was significant enough for professional solo laners to mostly avoid the Relic and look to other options instead. The absence of Teleport also has ripples in the meta across the whole map. This article will cover how the Teleport nerf changed Smite.

Teleport Glyph has been a stable Relic in Smite for years

Before the mid-season patch, Teleport Glyph was a nearly mandatory first Relic on solo laners. The Relic allowed you to teleport to towers or wards with a 200 second cooldown. It could be upgraded for the cooldown to be reduced to 160 seconds. The Relic had several uses depending on which phase the game was in. In the early game, solo laners could get pushed out of lane or back naturally and then immediately teleport to their tier 1 tower without losing farm.

When teamfights started happening, solo laners could then teleport to fights even in the middle of the jungle. The solos could teleport to flank the opponent and start a fight or in reaction after a fight was started. Teleport could also be used to set up ganks across the map before a Gold Fury attempt or to discourage a backdoor attempt. Because of its power at the base rank, Teleport Glyph was usually left non-upgraded and the 500 gold to lower the cooldown by 40 seconds was generally better spent investing in items.

The mid-season patch adjusted several relics by nerfing their upgraded version’s cooldown to match the base form and giving the upgrade an additional effect. Teleport Glyph was changed to follow this outline and both ranks were nerfed. Teleport’s base rank got stripped of its ability to teleport to wards, making it able to only teleport to towers. The upgraded form’s cooldown was increased to 200 seconds and and it retained the functionality of teleporting to wards. 

Shortly after Teleport was nerfed, solo laners flocked to Swift Wing

In response to these nerfs, solo laners stopped picking up Teleport Glyph and instead experimented with other options. Almost immediately, solo laners started buying Swift Wing. Swift Wing is a starter item that provides health, movement speed, and a passive that increases one’s movement speed upon leaving the fountain. This was not bought at the start of a match, but instead at the first back. The item allows solo laners to get back to their lane faster, although not as fast as Teleport. The item was quickly phased out as players decided to invest in actual items instead and now only sees occasional play.

The nerf to Teleport Glyph allowed solo laners to experiment with their first Relic slot. Several Relics have become strong options. Heavenly Wings and Magic Shell are the two most plug-and-play choices. They are powerful team fight Relics and can be built by any traditional solo laner.

Heavenly Wings provides a movement speed buff, slow immunity, and when upgraded, the haste effect. Shell gives the team a temporary health shield and the upgrade also gives block stacks. Both of these relics have defensive applications while Heavenly has additional offensive uses. They are solid choices if a solo god or the player's strategy does not require other Relic choices.

Horrifc Emblem and Hand of the Gods are two more potential starting Relics on solo laners. Horrific Emblem slows enemies and can reduce their damage done. It is a very aggressive Relic at to start and could lead to early kills and snowballing the lane.

Hand of the Gods is a Relic that requires a team having a strategy going into the match up to use. At its base rank, HoG only deals damage to monsters. There were a few strategies shown in professional games using HoG and likely more waiting for their time. One way to get value from HoG is for the solo laner to start at their blue buff and secure it when facing a pressure composition likely to steal your buff. HoG can also be used aggressively for quickly stealing the enemy jungle or threatening to steal a buff while the opponent is on it, forcing them to back off while your jungler clears the solo wave. This can then lead to a snowball where the enemy team is far behind and you take their jungle anyway. This strategy and Hand of the Gods in general are risky because the Relic doesn’t have team fight uses outside of a small stun when upgraded and you can get very fall behind early if misused but at least it can be used to secure and steal buffs and jungle objectives throughout the game.

Blink Rune used to be a secondary Relic for some gods, but it can now be built first if needed. Blink allows a god to get into the enemy backline or otherwise engage. Blink is not built on every solo laner, but gods with strong disruption, like Tyr, or big team fight ultimates, like Cu Chulainn, can make great use of the Relic.

Other Relics can still be used as situational picks. Teleport is still a viable pickup with rotational prowess, while Phantom Veil, Purification Beads, and Bracer of Undoing can be picked up based on team compositions. For their second relic, solos can pick up Shield of Thorns or any of the above Relics for the reasons explained. Hand of the Gods is unlikely to be picked up second, and more situational Relics such as Cursed Ankh and Belt of Frenzy have later game uses.

Some potential Relics to replace teleport

The effect of the solo lane losing Teleport is felt throughout the map. Junglers have tended to focus the solo laners more. This is because there is a huge difference between a tanky solo laner from ahead and one from behind. A solo laner who is ahead of most of map in itemization will feel unkillable while disrupting and killing the back line. On the other hand, if a solo is relatively squishy because they are behind, they will get blown up when they try to initiate. With Teleport, solo laners lost less farm and could still flank or isolate enemies when behind, but without Teleport a solo laner who gets behind will tend to stay behind and get snowballed on, losing alternative sources of farm such as their jungle and have a hard time in fights.

With solo laners receiving more attention, the hunter role gets even more farm safer and teams are trying to outgreed each other and get their hunters to late game as soon as possible. In addition to less jungle pressure, hunters do not have to worry about a solo laner teleporting behind them, allowing them to further increase their gold income. 

The absence of Teleport puts more focus on solo laners and allows hunters more free farm. 

Teleport Glyph was nerfed in patch 4.13 and meta has evolved in the last few months in response. Solo laners now have a diverse selection of Relics to pick from while also being able to be shut down and punished easier. In turn, this made the hunter role stronger because there is less attention being paid to that part of the map. The total impact of the Teleport change is still being fleshed out as the meta changes and we are likely to see more ripples of the 4.13 nerf as the game continues to be played and the meta fluctuates.

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