Stomping the Opposition: The Power of Vamana in Season 6



Tue 2nd Apr 2019 - 7:11pm

Vamana is one of the oldest gods in Smite. He has been running around since the game was open to the public. Over the years, the big baby’s strength has varied as he climbed up and down the tierlist. Right now, in the early patches of Season 6, Vamana is incredibly strong. He is a great backline diver and tank. He can freely kill his enemies while feeling nearly unstoppable. Vamana got buffed late last year and some Season 6 changes boosted him up further. In this article, we will examine what makes Vamana so strong and how to utilize the big baby to step on those in your way.

Vamana is a bully. His job is to get in the face of his foes and just beat them up. Vamana is a tanky Warrior and especially likes fighting physical characters because his passive, Sleeping Giant, grants Vamana additional power equal to 20% of his physical defense. Vamana's damage gets very scary against the right compositions.

Vamana has good mobility with his Clear the Path ability. This move is a long, drivable dash that knocks up everyone hit along the way. Together with his fast walking speed, Vamana has great rotations and can show up in a mid lane or jungle fight without much notice. Being such a long dash, Clear the Path can be used to get Vamana out of a gank or dangerous situation. Vamana's dash can also be used in lane to finish off minions and/or knock up and annoy the enemy.

Vamana has two larger abilities that can be used to clear the wave or poke out his lane opponent. Armored Umbrella is an instant burst of damage while Umbrellarang is a returning projectile that also slows the movement and attack speeds of all those it hits. Vamana often clears the wave first and can activate Totem of Ku several times. Totem of Ku gives Vamana some gold and movement speed, but most importantly, he gains 25 MP5. Vamana has high mana costs, so taking the Totem of Ku allows Vamana to cement his bully playstyle.

Vamana is also strong later into the game. He doesn’t have a traditional AoE team fight, but instead excels at running down enemies one at a time. Clear the Path can get Vamana past front liners and into position. The slow from Umbrellarang can keep an enemy controlled while Vamana whacks them with basic attacks.

Vamana’s ultimate ability, Colossal Fury, also helps him break the enemy back line. When activated, Vamana grows large and gains basic attacks that have larger hit boxes and cleave. While giant, Vamana gains a lot of power and defenses while healing and stacking a shield over the duration of the ability. If Vamana gets hit while in his ultimate form, the duration is increased, up to a maximum of 10 seconds. At full duration, Vamana can heal for 50% of his health and buffer an additional 30% of his life bar with the shield. While Vamana is in his Colossal Fury state, he is not peelable by crowd control and can just basic attack carries, smacking down any without available movement abilities.

While primarily a solo laner, Vamana can also be played in the jungle. Vamana jungle does not have the best burst or engage, but gives your team another tank. In the jungle, Vamana is able to roam the map and influence every lane. In the later portions of the game, you are still Vamana and do normal Vamana things.

Vamana is a win-more god. When he gets ahead, he runs the game. However, Vamana does not have much utility, so he is miserable to play from behind. If a Vamana gets behind, he doesn’t have the gold or experience to survive long enough to get his damage off in fights.

In Patch 5.23, Vamana was supercharged. Colassal Fury gained the ability to walk through players and player-made walls, but more importantly, his sustain was cranked up. He gained a shield that stacks over the duration of his ultimate. This shield grows by 0.6% of Vamana’s health every 0.2 seconds, adding up to a maximum size of 30% of his lifebar. This change gave Vamana a lot more durability in fights without increasing his regen outside of combat. With another third of a health bar, Vamana can absorb so much damage while rampaging in the enemy backline.

In Patch 6.2, Vamana’s ultimate no longer granted pass through to enemy gods. Vamana can still walk through player-made walls. This makes it easier for tanks to body block Vamana, but also means that you can’t run through his model to juke basic attacks. This change is mostly a buff to Vamana.

Because of his dominance, Vamana received a couple nerfs in Patch 6.3. He had one of the highest base movement speeds in the game and it was reduced from 380 to 375. Even still, Vamana will be very fast relative to the majority of gods. Armored Umbrella’s damage got toned down a bit, from 85-305 to 85-285. In the early levels, the damage is still the same, but the top end is slightly weaker. This allows Vamana to still be a lane bully but not hit quite as hard when he rotates to fights. In addition, Umbrellarang was hit. The movement and attack speed slows it causes were reduced from 30% to 25%. This is a meaningful change and means enemies can more easily fight, or run away from, a Vamana in his normal form.

Vamana has one core item – Hastened Katana. Hastened Katana makes Vamana unpeelable in Colossal Fury. If he hits a basic attack, he no longer is hampered by the basic attack movement speed penalty, which allows him to more easily hit his next basic attack, resulting in a chain of attacks that only stops when someone dies. Hastened Katana is not always the first pick up, but Vamana should buy the item at some point in the game.

Vamana can build any pair of boots he wants. Warrior and Ninja Tabi bring more damage while Reinforced Greaves grant tank stats. Some Vamanas in the competitive leagues have started to run Talaria Boots for even more movement and rotational speed as well as a good amount of MP5.

Vamana then finishes his build with tank items. He can use bruiser items such as Void Shield and Ancile for more damage. Blackthorn Hammer is a good early item on Vamana because he very mana hungry and benefits from every other stat on the item. A Vamana that is very ahead or desperately behind can look into damage items like Executioner or Stone Cutting Sword, items that grant attack or movement speed and reward hitting basic attacks. For a seventh item after selling boots, a Vamana can look to further increase either their survivability or damage threat.

In the jungle position, Vamana’s builds are a little more flexible. Vamana often starts with a Katana for some power and movement speed. This will likely turn into Hastened Katana. You can build full tank, but you can also sneak in some damage or more aggressive hybrid items. Jungle Vamanas even sometimes buy a few Katana items before going tanky. You don’t want to build full damage, as Vamana is then vulnerable even in his ultimate form, but some damage is acceptable.  In the jungle, Vamana should itemize towards the needs of the team.

Some popular items on Vamana.

As a solo laner, Vamana will normally start the game with a Teleport Relic. Sometimes, Vamana starts with a Meditation to stay in lane longer. His choice of second Relic is pretty open, as are both his Relic selections in the jungle role. Vamana can run Heavenly Agility, Shell, or any other teamfight Relic to support his team.

Blink is a very good Relic on Vamana. Vamana doesn’t use Blink to surprise a team with mass crowd control, but instead acts similarly to an early game Erlang Shen. A Blink into knock-up sets up Vamana to destroy a squishy god. Clear the Path can be canceled, allowing Vamana to hit enemies a few times while they are in the air. Vamana can also Blink straight into the enemy back line and start mauling carries. 

Thorns is also a common pick up on Vamana. Vamana already discourages you from him fighting back, and Thorns punishes you harder for doing so. With Thorns, Vamana can walk into the enemy backline, pop his ult and Relic, and kill carries, especially if they already used their mobility spells.

Vamana can make good use of several Relics.

While he feels like an unstoppable juggernaut, Vamana can die. His biggest weakness is to anti-heal. If he can no longer heal in his ultimate, Vamana is vulnerable again. Without built in anti-heal, it often takes multiple team members to reliably cut Vamana’s healing by 100%. Full anti-heal is not required to kill Vamana, but the more the better. When anti-healed, Vamana is still very tanky, but a late game Hunter can knock him down if they can keep their range.

Cursed Ankh is one of the best Relics to buy against Vamana. Not only does it reduce the healing enemies receive by 50% for 10 seconds, but when upgraded, the Relic causes those healed under its effect to take 20% additional damage. This means that when Vamana ults and Cursed Ankh is used, the Vamana can be burned pretty quickly, as he’s not healing for much and takes a lot of extra damage.

Upgraded Cursed Ankh is a great tool to use against Vamana.

While not directly a counter, movement speed boosts and dashes can create space between Vamana and his prey, especially if he is casting Colossal Fury. There is not much Vamana can do when his target jumps over a wall. Khepri and Janus are good picks into Vamana because they can save their teammates and get them away from a rampaging giant.

Vamana is a very strong god right now. He walks into fights, kills people, and walks out. The sustain from Colossal Fury was buffed in Patch 5.23, making Vamana even harder to kill. He can be flexed into the solo or jungle roles and relies on Hastened Katana and tank items to do his job. Vamana is shut down by anti-heal effects, especially Cursed Ankh. Even though Vamana is getting nerfed in Patch 6.3, the big baby will still be able to run down and walk over his foes.

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