Solo Lane Starting Build Options in Smite
Mon 1st Oct 2018 - 10:22pm
Season 5 introduced Blessings to Smite. These starter items define the playstyle of a role or god. Warrior’s Blessing was the premier choice in the solo lane, as it provided tank stats and sustain from fighting an opponent. This Blessing proved to be too powerful and was nerfed in Patch 5.13, the mid-season update. In the wake of this change, other starting options have appeared in the solo lane. In this article, we will examine solo lane starting builds that have been brought out in competitive Smite.
Even though it got nerfed, Warrior’s Blessing is still a good starting option in the solo lane. This item comes with 75 health and a proc that restores 30 mana and health upon hitting an enemy god. Upon evolution, Warrior’s Blessing gains 10 protections. The benefit Warrior’s Blessing has over other tanky starts is the flat 3 damage reduction it provides. The damage reduction means that each minion auto attack hits for less, which is important when you have such a small health pool in the early game.
Gods that can be aggressive and poke the enemy will aggro lane creeps, so mitigating their damage will result in increased survivability and lane presence. Agressive players like Warrior's Blessing because the extra toughness and rewards for boxing allow them to keep fighting. Gods with strong, instant clear prefer Warrior’s Blessing because they cannot make the most out of our next Blessing.
After Warrior’s Blessing got nerfed, Guardian’s Blessing became the primary starting item in the solo lane. Guardian’s Blessing has 100 health, 5 of each protection, and 5 mp5. This item was built around the support role and has mechanics that revolve around getting assists on minion kills. When assisting a lane minion kill, Guardian’s Blessing grants 7 health and mana, along with 3 gold. This Blessing evolves off of getting assist credit for 50 lane or jungle minions; getting the last hit will not add a stack. When evolved, the user accumulates an additional 4 gold every 5 seconds.
In the solo lane, Guardian’s Blessing is picked up by low pressure characters and when you think you lost the matchup. The evolved passive is very strong once it gets going, but you have to sacrifice last hit bonus gold to stack up the item and get the passive gp5. Luckily, you still get some gold and health restore while stacking. Losing a minion to a tower still hurts, but might be necessary if you are getting pushed in.
To get the absolute maximum value in a Guardian’s Blessing mirror match, you want to get the enemy minions very low and then have your minions get the last hits, giving you stacks and forcing the enemy to either kill minions and not stack, stand around in lane waiting for the next wave to aggro minions, or lose the bulk of the wave’s gold to their own tower.
Both Warrior’s and Guardian’s Blessing users often stand in the middle of the lane, either pressuring their opponent or observing minion combat, which can attract junglers. Both blessings provide health and protections that help in the events of ganks and dives.
Mage’s Blessing is another popular start in the solo lane. This item had some niche uses previously, but usage has increased after the Warrior’s Blessing nerfs. Mage’s Blessing lacks the tank stats of the above Blessings but brings extra damage to the tune of 25 per ability. Mage’s Blessing also provides 2 mp5 per 10% missing mana and once evolved, grants 10% cooldown reduction.
Mage’s Blessing procs once per target per ability, so is great on gods that clear the wave with multiple abilities. Mages in particular rely on their abilities, so the extra damage, CDR, and mana is very helpful. Aggressive laners with sustain, such as Chang’e and Tyr used Mage’s Blessing before Warrior’s was nerfed. Warriors with multiple damaging abilities can use Mage’s Blessing to bully their lane opponent extra hard. Cu Chulainn, for example, can proc the damage from Mage’s Blessing 8 times on the same target with good transformation timing. Mage’s Blessing is best used in lane matchups where you are looking to be aggressive and prefer damage over the safety of Guardian's Blessing.
Hunter’s Blessing is the last blessing that can be run the solo lane. Hunter’s Blessing provides good mp5 and increases the damage of basic attacks by 15. Gods with cleave basic attacks especially benefit from the increased basic attack damage. Hunter’s Blessing was tried out on Nike early in the Fall Split and peaked in usefulness between Patches 5.13 and 5.16. Hunter’s Blessing can still be run on off-meta auto attack characters where you value the high mp5 it provides, but a new start has overtaken it.
All non-jungle Blessings can be run in the solo lane
Blessings are not mandatory in the solo lane and some players choose to start with partial items instead with the goal to fully complete an item as soon as possible. These starts make use of the Teleport Glyph Relic, so you can back when you reach enough gold to complete the item and then return to lane with a big power spike. Because you use teleport so early, you can afford to be greedy with the first set of Health Chalice charges. Using teleport so early means that if you get ganked or otherwise punished, you have to walk back to lane and potentially lose lots of farm and jungle camps. These starts also lack the mp5 of a blessing, so you have to be careful with mana hungry gods, especially after the first teleport.
Berserker’s Shield Rush
Berserker’s Shield was introduced in Patch 5.16. This item is amazing for auto attack warriors such as Bellona, Osiris, and Erlang Shen. These Characters start with Round Shield, the tier 1 version of Berserker’s Shield. Round Shield comes with 10 physical power and 5 physical protection for 650 gold. Berserker’s Shield is an item that only has two tiers and costs 1700 gold total. If you leave the base with just round shield and a health Chalice, no other potions, you will have 550 gold remaining in your inventory. You just need to accumulate 500 more gold, which can be done after two waves and the blue buff, to finish Berserker’s Shield.
Berserker’s Shield itself has 25 power, 10 physical protection, and 15% attack speed. Its passive heals the user for 1% of their max HP and mana on each successful basic attack. This early power spike means you will dominate the early laning phase on already great laners, dealing tons of damage while being nearly unkillable.
Warrior Tabi Rush
Another aggressive start is rushing Warrior Tabi for its 40 power and 18% movement speed. In order to do so, you pick up Combat Boots out of the gate. These cost 900 gold and come with 10 power and 12% movement speed. You are relatively weak at this stage, but you can accumulate the gold to finish Warrior Tabi within two minutes of game time and teleport back in a great state. Having full boots puts you at a dueling advantage against someone with just a Blessing and boots 1 and you can get the power spike online before the first respawn of the blue buffs.
This starting build has zero mana sustain, so it should be picked up on gods that don’t have difficulty clearing the wave and have high base damage to compliment the early spike in power, such as Hercules and Thanatos.
Book of Thoth Rush
Mages in the middle lane often forgo a Blessing to rush Book of Thoth and they can also do so in the solo lane. They start with the Book of Souls item, providing 65 power and 125 mana for 1350 gold. This leaves enough gold for three potions. You then save up another 1450 gold for Book of Thoth. This completed book has 80 power, 250 mana, 15 mp5, and a few passives. The first passive increases maximum mana by 10 per stack, up to 75, and the second converts 3% of one’s mana into power, transforming into 5% conversion when fully stacked.
The Book of Thoth rush is a relatively uncommon start and as of this writing, we have only seen it on Chang’e and Hel. Book of Thoth allows these Mages to have a lot of power as well as a huge mana pool to cast more spells. This is a very risky start, but once the Book of Thoth is finished and stacked, the Mages can rotate to fights and have a larger impact than expected.
Starting with partial items can lead to early powerspikes.
The mid-season nerf to Warrior’s Blessing opened up starting itemization options in the solo lane of Smite. Every Blessing besides the jungle-focused Assassin’s Blessing has been experimented with in the Smite Pro League. Guardian’s Blessing has become the most common pickup because of the extra economy it generates. Blessingless starts are also available, such as starting Round Shield or Combat Boots to rush items and generate pressure. More starts are being experimented with and we are likely to see more iterations and refinements as the Smite World Championship approaches.
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