Ways to Boost Your Phoenix Siege in Smite
Tue 3rd Apr 2018 - 9:30pm
In Season 5, ending games has become more difficult at every skill level. Taking down Phoenixes is harder now due to map and item changes. Teams often get an advantage or Fire Giant buff and then throw while sieging a Phoenix and lose the game. This article will cover several ways to improve your Phoenix sieges, from god picks, to itemization choices and strategic choices.
Phoenixes are harder to siege in Season 5. There are a couple reasons why, the most obvious is the rework to Obsidian Shard and Titan’s Bane. Previously, the percent penetration on these items worked on objectives and structures, but since Patch 5.1, they only work on gods, which seriously reduces damage on Towers and Phoenixes. Structures have high protections, so the 30 or 33% penetration translated into a lot of flat pen for easy Tower kills. Without these items shredding structures, Phoenixes are harder to take down.
In addition, the map is built in a way to favor defenders in a Phoenix siege. This was also true in the previous iteration of the Conquest map. Attacker have to funnel into a chokepoint, especially in the middle lane, while the defenders can be less clumped and vulnerable to AoE spells. In addition, the Phoenix will continue to pelt attacks with their own damage. Because of the defender’s advantage, a team has to be ahead in numbers, resources, or strategy to take down a Phoenix and open the way to the Titan.
There are god and team composition choices that can make sieging and taking down Phoenixes easier. While probably not the primary consideration when picking these characters, the ability to quickly destroy a structure should be kept in mind. There are two types of gods that are great at taking down towers and phoenixes: natural tower destroyers and characters that buff allies.
Several gods are great at taking down Phoenixes by themselves. These are primarily Hunters and auto attack-based Mages. Melee characters have a harder time because they have to be up close to the Phoenix and are thus vulnerable to attack. Physical gods have a 1-to-1 scaling with power and auto attack damage, so Hunters with their high power builds do a large amount of damage to structures. Mages have less power scaling in their basic attacks, but do bonus damage to structures in exchange. Sol and Chronos then have additional steroids which allow them to quickly melt structures, often quicker than Hunters.
Other gods that are great in Phoenix sieges buff the auto attack DPS of themselves and their allies. Fafnir and Hachiman increase the attack speed of their teammates, allowing for a quicker kill. Thoth can put up his Glyph of Pain to allow his and his ranged allies’ basic attacks that pass through it to do additional damage to structures. The quicker a team can break a Phoenix, the easier the siege is.
Several gods are great at taking down phoenixes.
While in the game, some item choices can help you take down phoenixes. First, we will look at the Belt of Frenzy Relic. Belt of Frenzy grants all allies 10% increased damage dealt and 15% attack speed for 5 seconds. This is a very aggressive Relic that is great for teamfights and taking down objectives like the Fire Giant. Both of those situations occur in Phoenix sieges. A team doing 10% more damage, having 15% additional attack speed and 10 additional penetration, when the relic is upgraded, can melt phoenixes and foes very quickly.
The next item to help in sieges is Emperor’s Armor. This item provides health and physical defense for the user to survive under an objective. In addition, Emperor’s Armor’s passive reduces the attack speed of enemy towers and phoenixes by 30% when you are in range, further increasing the amount of time one can survive under a Phoenix. Defenders can also pick up Emperor’s Armor to give their structures 40% attack speed to make sieging on them harder. Flat penetration items can also be used against Towers and Phoenixes. While the percent penetration items no longer affect structures, flat penetration still lowers their protections, allowing attackers to do more damage.
A few more items can help with Phoenix sieges by increasing a team's attack speed. Shogun's Kusari and Talisman of Energy are magic defense items that provide an attack speed aura. Shogun's Kusari has a non-conditional 25% attack speed aura. Talisman of Energy is a little more complicated. When getting a kill or assist on a minion, the item increases the attack speed and movement speed of the user's team. This effect stacks up to 10%. While sieging, your team gets the benefits as you clear the wave under a Phoenix. Items granting team-wide attack speed can be used to quickly take down objectives.
There are also a couple strategies that can help in taking down Phoenixes. The first is a more positioning-based approach. When trying to siege the side lane Phoenixes, squishies and blink initiators should avoid hovering around the inside track and instead stand near the outside of the lane, on the edge of the map. This is because defenders can throw abilities over the nearby wall to poke attackers, chunking targets who are far from their own base.
Other strategies are more macro and team wide strategy-based. Because of the defender’s advantage, having a slight lead may not be enough to take a fight on an opposing Phoenix and expect to win the game. Instead, you can starve the enemy and grow your lead. After taking a Fire Giant, you can clear out all towers, the jungle, and get all the farm you can before the next Fire Giant, where you have an even larger lead and might be able to make a winning push. How big a of a lead needed to crack a Phoenix depends on the players and compositions on both sides.
A final strategy we will go over today is the split push. In Smite, split pushes are usually 4-1, which means 1 player is pushing a lane separate from the rest of their team. In Season 5, teams are often sending the jungler to push a wave and have it collide into the enemy Phoenix at the same time as the wave the rest of their team is curating. The jungler is picked because they have very high 1v1 kill potential and high structure damage. The purpose of the split push is to pull at least one opponent to deal with the solo player and hope to win at least one of the fights and take that Phoenix. Split push can be risky because if the defenders win one fight, they can collapse on the other lane. Successfully pulling off a split push can result in two Phoenixes and a game winning play, so the risk can be worth it.
The right items can help ease a Phoenix siege.
Phoenixes are harder to aggress in Season 5. The loss of percent penetration items and changes to the map lay out make it harder to take these objectives down. Choosing gods with naturally high structure damage, like Sol, or with damage buffs, such as Fafnir, can make this phase of the game easier. Taking down Phoenixes can also be made less difficult with aggressive itemization and proper teamwork. Sieging Phoenixes can be a struggle, but strategies exist and will evolve to make the task easier.
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