Starting Build Options for Supports in Smite
Tue 12th Jun 2018 - 8:49pm
Support is one of the more difficult roles in Smite to itemize for. There are many choices that need to be made throughout the game when picking which items to build. Some of these choices occur at the start of the game. Decisions such as which Blessing and Relic you start with, as well as where the rest of your starting gold goes, can have big impacts on the rest of the game. In this article, we will examine the starting options available for Supports.
Blessings are the starting items of Season 5. Guardian’s Blessing is designed for supports and is the most popular pickup for this role. It provides 100 health, 5 MP5, and 5 of each protection to increase your early survivability and sustainability. This Blessing also comes with incentives to give allies the last hit on minions. For each minion assisted, Guardian’s Blessing grants 7 health, 7 mana, and 3 gold. All Blessings evolve after completing the item's quest and Guardian’s Blessing will evolve after assisting in 50 minion kills. If the user gets the last hit, they do not receive a stack. Once evolved, Guardian’s Blessing gives the user 4 additional gold every 5 seconds.
Guardian’s Blessing works on supports because it requires other players to kill enemy minions and gives a traditionally gold-starved role a bit of extra income. Warrior’s Blessing also provides tankiness and sustain, but in the current meta, supports are strapped for experience and gold, so the lack of gold generation while using Warrior’s Blessing means you end up further behind the rest of the map in terms of itemization and total gold. In general, Guardian’s Blessing is the standard pick up to guarantee stats in the laning phase and items by the late game.
Warrior's Blessing is attractive, but without Guardian's Blessing, supports fall too far behind in gold.
Like Blessings, every player can pick up a Relic at the start of a game. The choice of which Relic to start with is especially important for supports because they will gain access to their second Relic slot much later than the rest of their team.
Heavenly Wings is the most common starting Relic for supports. It increases the movement speed of all nearby allies by 30% for 5 seconds and makes them immune to slows. Heavenly Wings can be used aggressively to chase down enemies or defensively to disengage from a fight or in response to an enemy Heavenly activation. Heavenly Wings is a versatile Relic so it is a great first selection.
Other Relics can also be chosen in the first slot. Magic Shell provides a 3 second health shield to nearby allies. Shell used to be the premier support Relic and is still strong at mitigating damage or absorbing an initiation. Blink Rune and Horrific Emblem are aggressive options for a support’s starting Relic. Blink is usually used to teleport into an enemy god or team and control them to set up for your team. Horrific Emblem slows down enemies but sees a low pickup rate because of the prevalence of Heavenly Wings. Heavenly Wings is the best overall starting Relic, but almost any other Relic can be picked up if certain criteria or niches are met.
Supports love upgrading their Relics earlier than other roles and sometimes purchase a tier 2 Relic out of the gate. Most roles start with either a Blessing and the base form of a damage item or a tier 2 item. Supports can instead spend that 500 gold on upgrading a Relic.
One of the most powerful starts is upgrading a Heavenly Wings. The upgraded Relic removes the movement speed penalty from basic attacks for the duration. This means that a support can pop Heavenly for their Hunter to hold down their basic attack button and fire shots without slowing down. This can lead to kills and snowballed lanes as early as level 1. Enemy teams cannot run away without popping their own Heavenly Wings in response or hope to fight into it with less movement speed. Heavenly Wings are getting nerfed to 20% movement speed in Patch 5.10, but the Haste effect is not being removed, meaning an upgraded Heavenly will still be very powerful.
There are several options to start with as a support.
If a player does not want to upgrade their Relic immediately, they can buy Shoes or a Glowing Emerald. Shoes cost 500 gold and provide 6% movement speed. Starting with Shoes allows the support to rush fully upgraded footwear, some of which have been buffed in 5.9. Rushing an item on the Shoe tree means the support has early mobility and a bit of power.
Glowing Emerald costs 600 gold and comes with 100 health and 10 HP5. This item is purchased at the start of the game to rush Gauntlet of Thebes. Thebes is an item that gives the user health and stacks protections on minion assists, eventually evolving and gaining a protection aura. Gauntlet of Thebes is a very popular support item and is best when finished early to give the whole team protections.
In most cases, when not upgrading a Relic, a support will opt to pick up Shoes. The small amount of movement speed becomes significant when rotating to lanes or camps. In addition, the power from upgrading boots can assist in clearing waves before carries can one-shot creeps. Glowing Emerald can be bought on supports looking to be passive and farm out an especially early Gauntlet of Thebes.
The rest of one’s starting gold should go to potions. Splitting your remaining gold between Health and Multi Potions is preferred. Guardian’s Blessing provides a constant 5 MP5 and mana sustain on minion assists, so supports should not have mana problems. If a support gets poked low in the laning phase, they can activate both a Health and Multipot for a lot of health regen. The Multipots can also be used to restore some health and mana, but the double pot for health gain can cause a huge HP swing the opponents aren't expecting. Mana Potions can replace the Multi Potions on characters with high mana costs or players looking to spam their spells. Healers can also buy Mana Potions for more mana sustain when they use their abilities to restore their health. Potions are the lowest priority purchase but are required to have a great early game.
Wards can also be bought when the game starts. Sometimes supports will buy 1 or 2 wards when they spawn. These wards are purchased to be placed well before minions spawn to give vision of enemy starts and early rotations. After placing the wards, you then back and buy your potions before getting in position to start the game.
Choosing how to spend your starting gold is important
As a support in Smite, choosing which items to start with can be tough. Guardian’s Blessing is generally the call as is the Heavenly Wings Relic. Other options can be used to help out with certain strategies or catch your opponents off-guard. Some resources can go towards boots, upgrading a Relic, or even wards. Potions then consume the rest of the starting gold. The choice of starting builds is very important for a support and the impact can ripple throughout the rest of the game.
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