Building Aggressive Items as a Guardian Support in Smite
Wed 13th Mar 2019 - 7:23pm
In a world of Fenrir and Ne Zha support, Guardians can be left behind wondering what happened to their role. Warriors and Assassins have been popular supports since Worlds and the Guardians that are doing well are similarly aggressive characters. Not everyone likes being an aura bot and some people want to bring the pain. In this article, we will examine several items that Guardian supports can use to increase their damage and offensive utility. Many of the items in this article have defensive attributes that allow the user to still be tanking and supporting while pushing out extra damage.
There are several reasons why a support would want to build more damage. Sometimes you get filled into the role and don’t want to or can’t play a traditional support style. Other times you can’t rely on your team and you need more agency to carry your team. In the support role, this extra agency often comes from being able to deal decent damage. Physical supports can carry games by brute forcing through lanes and fights, so why not Guardians? The items in this article are generally best used on already aggressive and high damage Guardians, such as Cerberus and Bacchus. More defensive Guardians, such as Geb and Khepri, can also benefit from these items, but have to try harder to push their advantages.
Bacchus is already a high damage support and can carry games from ahead.
Penetration is a core stat for all damage dealers in Smite. Guardians typically have good base damage and penetration allows them to bypass some enemy protections and unlock their damage. Some tank items reduce the protections of the enemy, giving not only the support more damage, but also their team. Several Guardians already come with protection shred in their kits. When combined with further penetration effects, even tanky opponents can be felled quickly.
Stone of Binding is an item popularized by world champion support Aror. In addition to moderate power and protections, When the support lands a crowd control effect, Stone of Binding reduces the target's protections by 15. Previously, Stone of Binding increased the penetration of allies around the user, but now the effect is focused on enemies directly. Stone of Binding will proc on hard and soft crowd control. With Stone of Binding, the control spells of Guardians not only restrict opponents, but soften them up as well, granting the whole team a large damage boost.
Another item in the Druid Stone tree, Void Stone also reduces the protections of enemies. Nerfed in Patch 6.2, Void Stone cuts 15 magical protections from enemies within its aura. This means that the support, as well as any other Mage or Guardian on their team, will do more damage in teamfights.
Spear of the Magus is another penetration item that supports can utilize. This item has absolutely no defensive value, so it should not be an early pick up for a support and generally should only be build from ahead. Mages are also much better at using Spear of the Magus, but a support can run it if they are very much ahead and want to have some fun. Spear of the Magus comes with some penetration on its own and ability hits further decrease opponents’ magical protections. Gods with damage over time spells like Ares and Cerberus are the best Guardians to build Spear of the Magus as they can quickly stack the protection reduction and then deal great amounts of damage.
Supports can make use of a few items that reduce the protections of enemies.
All forms of upgraded Shoes are viable on support Guardians and all are often picked up in professional games. Shoes of the Magi provide the most damage because they come with penetration, which accentuates the base damage of Guardians. The damage spike can be very strong right when this item is built, before enemy carries accumulate too much health.
Shoes of Focus are a popular pickup among supports. They lack the 10 penetration of Shoes of the Magi, but make up for it with 10% cooldown reduction and 250 mana. The CDR can allow extra spell casts during a fight and lets you bring a bit of extra damage and utility.
Traveler’s Shoes can be used for aggressive purposes. While it has 30 less power than the Shoes listed above, Traveler’s Shoes provide extra movement speed and even more movement speed upon leaving the fountain. Traveler’s Shoes allows the support to rotate easier, getting to ganks or fights earlier than expected.
Most forms of upgraded shoes increase the damage and pressure of supports.
Celestial Legion Helm belongs to a tree of items that all grant physical protections along with Magical Power. Celestial Legion Helm itself gains temporary stacks of physical protections that are consumed upon taking physical damage. This item was getting problematic because it let Mages like Freya push Hunters out of the duo lane, leading to a nerf in Patch 6.2. Pro support player Emilzy was also running this item in the support role. Only the defensive and cost of Celestial Legion Helm were touched, leaving the 60 power intact. This item brings a good amount of damage to supports and Celestial Legion Helm can still be bought as a selfish item to protect and attack.
Celestial Legion Helm is a hybrid item useable by Mages and Guardians.
Gem of Isolation is a fun item to build, as well as a pain to play against. The item has 90 power, 200 health, and 10% crowd control reduction. Gem of Isolation is tuned more towards damage, but still provides just a bit of tankiness. The passive slows enemies by 25% for two seconds when they are hit by spells. This item is best bought on gods with damage over time abilities that extend the duration of the slow. Gem of Isolation was often picked up by Ares supports last year in the SPL. Ares is already an aggressive god and Gem of Isolation allows him to further control and manipulate his foes while also giving a large amount of power to a support. Other Guardians can buy Gem of Isolation to make the enemy team miserable.
Ethereal Staff is a bruiser item that can be picked up late in a support’s build. Like Gem of Isolation, Ethereal Staff comes with 90 power, 200 health, and crowd control reduction. The passive on Ethereal Staff allows the user to steal 5% of the enemy’s health and 8% of their mana for 45 seconds. This effect has a 15 second cooldown and stacks with itself. Ethereal Staff bring extra bulk for its user while softening up targets, effectively creating damage and tank stats with its passive.
Gem of Isolation and Ethereal Staff both provide health, damage, and utility effects.
Some supports like to be aggressive. Others can’t trust their teammates and have to carry a game by themselves. Physical supports can fill these roles, but so can some Guardians. There are a few items that can help Guardians bring extra damage and pressure without building like a glass cannon. Many of these items bring penetration or reduce the protections of enemies, allowing the support and their team to bring down targets quicker. There are also more selfish items that still provide utility alongside damage. Some of these items received a nerf in Patch 6.2, but players can still make use of all these items when they want to be an aggressive or self-sufficient Guardian.
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