Capitalizing on the Early Power Spikes of Ares in Smite
Thu 4th Jan 2018 - 8:25pm
Ares, the God of War, is a unique god in Smite. He is a Guardian but focuses more on killing the enemy than protecting his allies. Ares is a high-damage character in the early game, but his damage falls off later on. Ares also lacks the hard crowd control of other Guardians. Because of these factors, Ares is very strong while snowballing but really bad if he gets behind. In this article, we will explain the early power spikes of Ares and how to utilize them to get a lead.
The main mission of an Ares player is to kill enemy gods. With a lead, he can 100-0 squishy targets and his full rotation seriously damages all enemies on even footing. Even with all his god killing prowess, Ares has a hard time killing both jungle camps and lane minions, so prefers to fight gods head-on. Ares spikes at levels 1, 3, 5, and 9 and should aim to engage and get kills at these points.
Ares can blow a game out of the water at level 1. An aggressive play is to level Shackles first. This ability shoots out a chain that slows and cripples the first god in its path, dealing ticking damage over 4 seconds. If Shackles connects, Ares can then re-use the ability to throw a second chain within 2 seconds to refresh the dot and CC on the first target or hit a second enemy. If the second chain lands, Ares can fire a third one. The chains can be rapid fired into one enemy, but the damage over time does not stack, but instead refreshes, meaning in order to get the most damage out of Shackles on a single target, the chains have to be spaced out, which also maximizes the duration of the slow and cripple.
Attacking the enemy at level 1 can be risky because minions hit for a lot of damage early into the game, but there are situations where Ares can go all-in for a very early kill. Ares can just engage before minions meet or catch opponents in the jungle. Ares also works in a 5 man roaming pack. If caught out, people will often level their escape ability, but Shackles cripples, meaning dashes and leaps will not be usable, leading to an early kill and an opponent with a hard time clearing.
Ares has a huge power spike at level 3. This is when he has a second point in his Shackles and a point in Searing Flesh. The second point of Shackles gives Ares much more kill potential than before. This is the point most Ares want to engage for the first time. If the Ares’ lane is ahead in pressure, it should result in a kill unless the opponent is already under their tower. A full rotation of three chains and a channel of Searing Flesh might just kill an opponent outright, and will with the help of a teammate. Ares is vulnerable to being interrupted and this risk increases against coordinated lanes like a duo queue or in competitive games, but taking risks is what Ares is all about.
Ares can deal a lot of damage with Shackles and Searing Flesh
At level 5, Ares gains access to his ultimate, No Escape. This is the flashiest skill in Ares’ kit. Ares throws chains at all enemies around him and after a channel, pulls them to himself and stuns them all. No Escape is one of the premier set up abilities in Smite. Not only does it stun enemies, but it displaces them to a spot your allies can follow up on. This ultimate is also a great Beads burner, forcing an opponent to use Purification Beads or be killed. Because of the reliability of chasing Beads and killing enemies, Ares is great when paired with another Beads burner. If Purification Beads is used against one CC, the second can follow up for easy kills.
Ares gains another power spike at level 9 when he gains access to the maximum rank of Shackles and the second rank of No Escape. This is the point where Ares deals the most damage relative to the health of his opponents. The damage Ares deals will not increase at the same rate of health enemies gain from this point on. This is not a problem if Ares is ahead and level 9 is the last power spike opportunity for the God of War to capitalize on in the early game.
Ares can best utilize his power spikes when backed up by certain team compositions. Starting in either the mid or long lane, Ares should be paired with a character with a lot of wave clear. Ares thrives in lanes of pressure because it allows him to go all-in early game and not be murdered by minions. Ares is also good in compositions with multiple characters that can force Purification Beads. If Ares burns beads, a different character can crowd control that enemy for a kill. Alternatively, if another character forces an opponent’s Purification Beads, Ares can use No Escape can guarantee a pull. These compositions get even better when multiple sets of Beads can be burned at once.
Ares is not a good character from behind. When he cannot kill opponents, he becomes an “ult bot,” a character whose only purpose is to use their ultimate. Ares struggles more than other ult bots because he is vulnerable during the channel of No Escape. In addition, if Ares dies during the channel, No Escape still goes on cooldown and Ares is especially vulnerable to death when he is behind and uses his ultimate in the middle of the enemy team. This makes Ares an even more risky character to play if the stars do not align in his favor.
Ares is a god intended to kill other gods. He does this with high damage early game and hopes to snowball matches. Ares has power spikes at levels 1, 3, 5, and 9 and can use these moments to kill opponents and gain a lead for his team and himself. Ares is best played in compositions that allow him to be aggressive and contain other forms of crowd control. Picking Ares can be risky because he is near useless from behind, but can be a monster when ideal conditions are met.
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