SMITE Off-Meta Picks with Variety
Wed 19th Dec 2018 - 6:42pm
The meta is constantly changing, each patch highlights different picks and allows them to shine. Just because something isn’t meta, however, doesn’t mean it isn’t worth picking up. Sometimes an off-meta pick can work as well as a meta pick. Knowing when to bring it out and use it is the difference between a standard off-meta pick and a great pick. We spoke to Harry "Variety" Cumming about what are the best off-meta picks and when you should look at using them.
It’s All About the Timing
Knowing when to bring out an off-meta pick is critical. Knowing what counters the pick and what the pick is strong against are the first points you should look at before bringing out an off-meta pick. You need to look at your team comp as well. If the pick doesn’t work in the team comp, it’s probably best to not pick it up in that match.
Variety mentions that, “I think any time is a good time [to go for an off-meta pick] but if I was to say one specific time, it would probably be a game when you're 2-0 down in a BO5 since you have nothing to lose at that point.”
I know not everyone is going to be playing best of fives that often, so look at it as if you’re on a losing streak bring it out and use it to just play the game. Sometimes when you don’t care that much about a match, you’ll find you’re playing better because you’re relaxed.
Picking something off-meta can come down to what you want from the pick. Variety says, “It depends on the overall objective. Do you want to snowball the lane? Do you want to counter their team comp? Do you want a really good late game god? Each question will lead you to a different off-meta pick. e.g. snowballing the lane would be Ratatoskr.” Knowing what you want from the game can dictate what sort of pick you go for. If you want team fight presence in the late game, you’ll go for a different pick compared to if you want to snowball the lane and make the enemy surrender early.
Getting early lane pressure is crucial for snowballing
Knowing god counters is another way to look at going for off-meta picks. If you know what counters the duo and it’s a god you’re comfortable with, then it would be ideal to bring it out. Obviously, this is a best-case scenario. Currently, the meta revolves around high pressure in the early game, so is it worth picking an aggressive pick for that early pressure?
Variety says, “I would say so, if the pick made sense and has some logic to it.”
Most games you can win by just having constant pressure across the map, even if a lane looks like it’s behind, so unconventional picks that allow you to be aggressive and bully your opponent out of lane can be valued higher than other meta picks. Going for an off-meta pick also comes down to comfort. If you can’t play a meta god, then there isn’t any point picking it for that role. As we said earlier, you play better while relaxed and picking something you’re comfortable on is a great way to do so.
We asked Variety if his off-meta picks come down to comfort and what he’d advise for learning the meta picks. He said, “I think it's different from player to player. For example, I'm known for Tyr so I'd consider him a comfort pick which I would pick even if he is out of meta. In terms of in-meta picks, I think you just have to practice and learn what's in-meta even if you're good or bad at that certain pick. They're called in-meta picks for a reason and that's because they're good.”
Gods with kill potential can easily snowball lanes
So Many Gods, So Few Picks
Who works then as off-picks and who can flex in different roles? Flex picks can be vital in drafts, as not knowing where a certain god is going can throw the enemy team off their draft and dictate the picks and bans phase of the game.
We asked Variety who are the best flex picks you can take into ranked and he answered, “Artio is a good pick since she can be played solo, support, and even jungle. Another one would be The Morrigan since she can be played in all 5 roles arguably, it just depends on the skill and knowledge of the player as well as those around him/her.”
Artio provides plenty of peel for her team, so she can be easily played as a solo or support. Building her with some damage items will also allow you to play her in the jungle, mostly because of the peel she can provide during a gank to set up the laners. However, The Morrigan, as Variety said, depends on the player's knowledge and ability on the god. Her passive allows her to clear efficiently and apply pressure making it easy for her to be in mid or the off lanes, plus her two can be used for both wave clear and poke with the ability being on a low cooldown.
For support, her ability to go invisible allows her to rotate quickly and provide ganks with the jungler. Her one is her only form of cc, but it’s a very effective ability coming out of invisibility and hitting a stun on the enemy is a really good set-up tool for her. Add in her ult and she can have a huge amount of teamfight presence. In the jungle role, it's similar but you’ll be doing more damage and be able to rotate more. Jungle Morrigan is really fun and can be very scary for the enemy, as just hearing the audio cue on The Morrigan's one when you can’t see her can startle the enemy and if you can connect with it, the enemy can die quickly with your teammate's follow-up.
Both Artio and The Morrigan are strong flex picks
The ADC role has seen Mages start to come out in the role more frequently, but when should you bring them out in ranked? Variety advises, “I would say probably never since they only really work in pro play because they have a thought-out team comp which allows them to play these picks, knowing how to play them and what their win conditions are, since usually the Mage in the duo lane will either lose lane or get outpressured which can be really bad for ranked since the snowball potential is arguably higher.”
Mages are more late game focused gods, and putting one in the duo lane can be troublesome, like Variety said. In ranked games, it’s more about getting that early pressure and running away with a lead. Running a Mage in the duo won’t allow this as the whole time you will get pressured and probably end up getting ganked more frequently. Most ranked games involve one team getting a lead and snowballing throughout the game and with jungle being so influential, it comes down to getting a god that can put pressure over the map and get lanes ahead but, some picks that aren’t so strong in the jungle can also do this.
Variety mentions that, “One of the best unconventional ranked picks is probably Arachne jungle since her webs allow her to do janky starts at level one which makes it incredibly easy for her to get an early lead and snowball the game from there.” Despite Arachne being a very low picked jungler, the “janky” stuff you can with her does allow her to farm more efficiently and can see her get a very early lead in the jungle that will allow her to put pressure across the map with her level and gold lead.
The mid lane has been an everchanging meta this season, with Hunters coming in and dominating the role to immobile Mages becoming the best options. Compare it to the start of the season when mobility was so important, but there are still mid picks that shouldn’t work at all. When asked about who he thinks the strangest pick that works in mid, Variety said, “I would say Aphrodite works pretty well even when on paper she shouldn't, since her early game is her weakest point and controlling mid camps is a big thing in Smite. However, that being said, it's hard to point out a mid individually since the jungle tends to be around a lot as well as the support.”
Aphro was seen earlier this year in the solo lane but in mid she can be influential, especially if she can get to the mid to late game where her healing is stronger and can get some protections, she can be a real influence on the match. Aphro mid will require you to get more help off your jungler and support though as you will be seen as an easy target early for the enemy jungler, whereas late game Aphros can be near enough impossible to kill with the right team comp.
Aphrodite can provide a lot late game and can be hard to kill with protections
Round-Up and Variety’s Top Pick
Overall, the best off-picks are the ones that allow you to snowball games, as early pressure can equal early wins. With a few exceptions in certain roles, it’s best to just go for early pressure and try to give your team an early lead, just because something isn’t meta doesn’t mean it won’t work. Comfort picks can work better for you than meta picks as you feel more relaxed on the pick and can have more of an impact, and just because something isn’t meta now doesn’t mean it won’t ever be meta. Stranger picks have become meta.
Variety mentions, “I've been playing Smite for too long to not find any pick surprising honestly.” Which means any pick can become meta and can provide an influence on the game.
We also asked Variety what his favourite off-meta pick is in the solo lane. He said, “My favourite off-meta solo pick would probably be Ratatoskr since he is really fun to play and has a lot of kill potential in lane as well as being able to rotate and impact the game early game.”
Hopefully, this guide helps you with off-meta picks and can see you improve in your ranked games.