SMITE Top Five Mid Laners For Season 6 with Hurriwind
Mon 25th Feb 2019 - 8:43pm
Mid lane has gone through plenty of meta changes throughout the last season in Smite. With mid lane being an important role for your team, it is important to know what gods you should pick. Season 6 is underway, and everyone has come to grips with the new changes and has started to work out what is excelling. As picking the right mid laner is important, we spoke to Dignitas mid laner Tyler "Hurriwind" Whitney about who the top five mid laners are for Season 6.
Who Shines in the Mid
Hurriwind says, “It's hard to be sure so early in the season, but I would say the top 5 mids are Raijin, Hera, Ah Puch, Zeus, and Merlin.”
Early in the season, it looks like immobile mages still have a huge presence like they did at the back end of Season 5. Both Ah Puch and Zeus were seen at Worlds and Qualifiers and showed why they are highly regarded in the role. They both have high burst damage and, if you can stay safe in the early game to get to your power spikes, you’ll see the true potential of these gods. Both also have huge ultimates that basically cover the lane, which allow you to control fights. The high damage and the zoning possibilities with their ults shows why they are highly regarded.
Ah Puch and Zeus saw a lot of play time at Worlds and the Qualifiers and look to be still as strong is Season 6
Hera is another immobile god with high damage. She suffers from the same problem that Ah Puch and Zeus do—she needs to survive early game. Get her past that and she’ll start dishing out damage consistently. Then you add Argus into the mix and how obnoxious he is, and she can really pack a punch.
Not all mages on Hurriwind’s list are immobile. Raijin has a long-range escape that allows him to get out of tricky situations, meaning diving him can be difficult. The damage he does as well is not something to sleep on. He can chunk plenty of gods down and provides a huge team fight ult with his Taiko Drums. The drums can do so much for your team, going from just straight damage to pushing or pulling enemies hit by it towards or away from Raijin.
Raijin's kit allows him to output a lot of damage while staying relatively safe
The last one on Hurriwind’s list is Merlin. The newest god to Smite provides a huge amount of damage and can be a real pain for teams to fight against. Having three stances does mean you’ll need to know when to switch to a certain stance and what you’ll need each one for. He has a short-range blink in his kit that is instantaneous which allows him to reposition easily.
With every god in Smite they have their strengths and weaknesses (some have more than others), so knowing what works for and against each god is a great way to get an advantage in your lane match-ups. This goes for the list of gods Hurriwind has mentioned as well, so what makes these gods strong?
Hurriwind mentions that, “Ah Puch and Zeus both bring incredibly high damage with large zoning abilities. Raijin and Merlin also provide high area burst damage but also have escapes to complement their already strong kits. Hera is relatively new, but she seems to top damage charts easily and Argus will no doubt be incredibly impactful in almost all scenarios.”
Ah Puch’s kit allows him to provide a huge amount of damage in an area with his corpses. His ult and slow on his one has been nerfed, but that won’t stop him being a force in the mid lane and providing plenty of damage for his team. His ult is the size of a lane and can travel through walls in the jungle. This gives him and his team so much control of an area and can really help his team win those fights and zone the enemy team away from the area.
Ah Puch's 1 and 2 combo is his usual source of damage but his ult allows him to control a huge area
Zeus’ ult is similar as it drops in a huge area that allows him to zone enemies away or use it to control a fight with his ult. Zeus can also do significant damage with his Chain Lightning and Detonate combo. His shield is great for lane clearing and can help Zeus increase the range of his chain lightning on enemy gods, but the overall combo most of the time for damage on enemy gods is your 1 and 3.
Zeus' ult takes up most of the lane which allows him to control a huge area of the map
Hera does a lot of damage on her one and her ult. Her 2 does a lot as well, but the bulk of her damage comes from her 1 and the big boy that is Argus. Her 1 allows her to reposition the minions together to give her wave pressure. If you aim her 1 so one part is on the melee and the other is on the archers, you’ll be able to fling the minions together into a group. This does a lot of damage to the melee minions, as they’ll be hit by both parts of the ability. This can do a lot of damage to enemy gods as well if you aim the targeter so the two parts overlap. If the god gets hit by both parts, it will provide you with plenty of damage.
Argus does a lot of damage and can be a pain for players trying to get away from him and the rest of Hera's kit
Raijin has high burst damage like Hurriwind said. His ult also provides plenty of control as well as a lot of damage with the ability to either taunt or fear the enemy with his outstanding drumming. His 3 is his escape and it allows him to reposition with relative ease. It can also be used as an initiate as it does have a mes if an enemy is in the inner circle of the targeter. Raijin has plenty of CC that can help his team out, but it is on his 3 and ult, so knowing when to use the CC in his kit can really help swing teamfights in your favour.
Merlin’s stance switching provides so much for him in terms of damage. He does a ton of damage the later you go into the game. His 2 also provides some control for him and depending on the stance you’re in depends on what form you get. Arcane pulls enemies to the centre of the ability, Fire reduces enemy protections while they’re in the middle and Ice slows enemies while they’re in the blizzard. His 3 is a short blink that allows you to reposition or avoid damage, as the blink is instantaneous, which is a great tool for Merlin in the late game as he can provide damage while staying relatively safe.
These five must sound fun right now, don’t they? Well, as with every god in Smite, there are things that these gods struggle at in their roles. So what weaknesses do they have?
Hurriwind states that, “Ah Puch and Zeus can be isolated and picked off easily without good positioning. Their self-peel consists almost entirely of damage, making it hard to live long against many gods when alone. Hera has longer cooldowns and a relatively weak early game, meaning she will need some items before she really gets off the ground. Despite having no dash, her shield makes her surprisingly hard to kill in combination with the knock up from her ult. Merlin and Raijin both struggle if they get behind throughout the game. I find that they both succeed only particularly well when ahead and actually turn out to be quite weak when they fall behind early.”
The downside to immobile gods is just that, they are immobile. They have plenty of damage and can chunk enemy health bars down, but don’t have any real way of getting out without peel or help from the team. Your positioning needs to be perfect when you’re on your own, otherwise you’ll be seeing your screen in black and white a lot. Ah Puch and Zeus fall into this category, as they don’t really have any way to get out other than just dropping their ult and hoping it zones the enemy off them. With this, you need to be aware of your positioning constantly and be aware if you’re getting ganked, so buy wards.
Gods like Fenrir can be a pain for immobile mages as they struggle to get away from him
Hera has a really weak early game. Her damage is her wave clear and early in the game it doesn’t do enough to outclear many mid laners, so that can put you on the backfoot as the enemy mid laner will be able to go and get camps while you’re struggling to clear waves. She is immobile to a degree, as her shield increases her movement speed so she can escape ganks if she hits her 2 and pops the shield to get to safety, but the cooldown is 16 seconds, meaning you need to be really careful when you use it as it can leave you exposed while it’s on cooldown.
Both Merlin and Raijin do work in the late game, it’s just getting there that they can struggle with. If you don’t get the ball rolling with them, you’ll have a bad time. It can be said that most mids are weak when they are behind, but it is a lot more noticeable with these two. Both can have safe early games with their escapes, so you just need to make sure that you farm up and that you make sure you get your farm. Play a bit more cautious in the early game to make it to your power spikes and start to dish out the damage you know you have.
Being aware of the map and what is happening will help you survive early game
Building and Power Spikes
Getting the right build is essential in Smite and in the mid lane that’s stressed even more. Your damage comes from your abilities, so you’ll need to get the right build to dish out as much damage as possible, whether this be from having your abilities up as often possible or having it so you can do 75% of their health in one ability. This asks the question, "What do you need to look at getting for these gods?"
Hurriwind advises, “Generally pen boots are a better pickup on Raijin, Zeus, and Ah Puch while CDR boots are generally better on Merlin and Hera. These choices are mostly preference though. Any god that benefits from Spear should look to build it second item for a great early power spike. I also recommend getting Celestial Legion Helm versus teams with at least three physical damage dealers as a third item. If not these items, you likely want to get yourself another power item like Book of Thoth and go from there.”
Getting the right boots can be influential for a mid laner. You’re either getting pen boots or CDR boots in mid, depending on the god depends on what you’ll get, like Hurriwind said gods like Ah Puch Zeus and Raijin benefit more from pen boots. As their kits have high burst damage, they can get more power off this item then say CDR boots. The plus ten pen can be the difference in teamfights for these gods and you’ll feel the difference throughout the game with that added penetration.
Both boots are good pick-ups for mid laners and can help you in different ways
Hera and Merlin can see the benefit of pen boots but with their high cooldowns, the extra 10% CDR from CDR boots helps their damage output more than having the added penetration. Hera’s long cooldowns make it hard to output damage consistently without CDR in her build, so getting the extra 10% early can really help her in wave clear and poking out enemy gods early. Merlin has a lot of abilities with him having three stances, with his stance switch starting on a 28 second cooldown (which doesn’t seem like a lot when you consider it’s his ult). You want to switch stances as much as possible with him, so getting that ult on a lower cooldown will allow you to stance switch during fights and dish out plenty of damage.
Spear is another item Hurriwind highlighted. This is a great item on mid laners that can output consistent damage, Ah Puch, Merlin and Raijin are ones that do benefit from this item the most from his list. Ah Puch does burst damage and could see the benefits from Obsidian Shard but Spear works well with his kit as it compliments his ult. It also works with his combo, but you can see more benefits on it from his ult. If they’re caught in it, you can shred their protections.
Merlin will see a lot of benefits to Spear. Since you will be spamming his abilities, it is easy to get the stacks on the enemy god. He’ll also see a lot of the benefits on his 2, especially if their standing in the middle of the Fire stance 2, that’s a lot of protections you’ve just shredded. Raijin will see the benefits of the item on his combo as you can stack the protection shred with each bang on the drum from his 1. Add a Raiju darting around on the god, that’s a lot of protections they’ve just lost. His ult also works well with it as it makes the next shot stronger, as they have less protections after each hit just from Spear alone.
Spear is getting a nerf in the next patch but is still a great item for these mid laners
Celestial Legion Helm is a situational item but can be a good item to pick up to help you survive in the mid lane. If the enemy has three or more physical damage dealers, it will allow you to stay safe and provide you with plenty of protections to make sure you survive against them. It will still give you plenty of power, which will allow you to still output plenty of damage for your team with the added safety from the item.
Legion Helm can help you survive against Physical heavy comps
The last item Hurriwind mentioned was Book of Thoth. This item gives you plenty of mana on top of giving you power. Once it’s stacked, 5% of your mana is converted into power and you’ll feel the difference while fighting. The item gives you a massive power spike once you buy it and once it’s evolved and can be effective on most of the mages in Smite. All the gods on this list benefit massively from this item.
Knowing your power spikes is critical in Smite, especially for mid laners, so what sort of power spikes are key for these mid laners?
Hurrinwind says, “Finishing pen boots and finishing Spear will always be the early power spikes that you can look to make plays around. When ahead, any new item finish will likely serve as a power spike in one way or another as well.”
Your earliest power spike is when you finish boots and Spear (if you’ve picked it up second). This doesn’t mean you can one-shot gods, but doesn’t mean that your damage isn’t relevant to worry about. This is the moment you can start to look for teamfights and start to get aggressive more in the mid lane. Maybe even look for a rotation if you're able to and it won’t cost you much farm.
Hurriwind also mentions that each completed item is basically another power spike, but some items provide bigger power spikes than others on gods. For example, Gem is a crucial item of Ah Puch and this can be a bigger power spike for him than other items mostly because of the added slow on his abilities and on his ult which really helps out his kit and gives him added control.
Completeing an item will give you a bit of a power spike, so knowing how much gold you need for it is vital
Early or Late Game?
Early game can be a weird time for mid laners. A lot of the time your jungler will be hanging around looking for picks or looking for leads while also helping you get as much farm as possible. Surviving the early game with a lead or at least not being massively behind is all you’ll be looking for. You’re just buying time til you get your items online then start coming in like a bulldozer and outputting as much damage as possible.
Hurriwind mentions that, “You should almost exclusively focus on staying safe and getting farm while you can. Share as many camps as you can without putting yourself in danger or losing mid wave minions to tower. This means that you will need to do well to conserve your health and mana pools properly in order to back at proper times.”
Correct mana management is what separates the good mid laners from the best. The early game is farm-heavy for mid, so you’ll be looking for camps and making sure you get your mid waves. Your positioning will also help you with this. If you’re a little too far forward, you might have a jungler come sniffing around to try and gank you, so being aware what is happening and where you're positioned will allow you to survive the lane. Just surviving in lane will allow you to look around the map for camps to split with your jungler, but just because the jungler isn’t there doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the camp. If there is a chance that the enemy team could get mid camp control and your jungler isn’t there, look to try and take the camp because, even if you’re soloing it, it’s better your team has it than the enemy.
Wards can help you stay safe in the early game and allow you to get as much farm
Late game is a whole different ballgame for mid laners, going from just farm, farm, farm to let’s see who I can 100-0. Majority of mid laners have a strong late game, and the five on this list is no exception, but who is the strongest late game?
Hurriwind says that, “I believe that Merlin will succeed the most in the late game with his quick dash, safe damage options, and ranged slows. It is hard to say as the character is still somewhat new, but a character with high damage, a fluid kit, and a dash will be sure to have success in the later stages of the game.”
Merlin is still new to the Battleground of the Gods, but it looks like he is one of the strongest picks out there for a mid laner. In the late game when you’re full build or close to it, you can really notice how powerful he is. Around FG fights he can cut off entrances with his 2. He also has high damage output which allows him to kill squishies easily and can stay safe in the backline with his 3, which means he can be a problem if he isn’t caught out on his own or dove onto and controlled.
Merlin's stance switching allows him to do a lot of damage from a load of abilities
What Counters You
Every god in Smite can be countered and can be shut down with the right comp. Even though these are strong mid laners and ones you should look out for, there are counters that you need to be aware of.
Hurriwind mentions that, “Heavy dive comps with several blinks will do well to counter Zeus, Ah Puch, and Hera when they are caught out of position. High CC comps will usually do well to put pressure on characters like Raijin and Merlin. They will fail to do what they do best when their actives are constantly put on a timer and they need to play safe rather than aggressive.”
Immobile gods suffer heavily from dive comps. Early game they can just be dove and controlled so they can’t output any damage. Beads and Aegis will save you from one of these encounters, but this means you’ll have to be uber-safe after since the enemy team will just rinse and repeat when your actives are down.
Gods like Odin can lock down and trap immobile mages for his team to collapse on
It’s a similar case for Raijin and Merlin, although dive comps aren’t strong against them as they have escapes. But if they are CCed and controlled, there isn’t much they can do against it apart from Beads and Aegis. Sometimes Magi’s Cloak can help you, but it paints a huge target on you (well it’s a bubble but still you get the idea). This also reduces your damage, as you have had to buy a defensive item that doesn’t give you any power.
Your relics will save you but will make you open to getting ganked again
A Few Pointers
Looking at these five gods, they are the strongest picks and can be influential in your games. They have high damage output and can be a real nuisance for the enemy team. They have their flaws and counters, but they have ways to stay relevant. Zeus, Ah Puch, and Hera are immobile but can pack one hell of a punch. If they stay safe early and get the chance to use their kits, they can chunk the enemy’s health bars. Merlin and Raijin are both solid pickups as they allow you to output massive damage while also giving you a tool to be safe and get out of danger.
Hurriwind mentions that, “I suggest Raijin to players who haven't played mid before. The dash should allow for more positioning mistakes and he is less technical than Merlin.”
If you’re looking to be a mid lane main and haven’t really played mid before Raijin is a great pick up for you. He has high damage and his escape allows him to avoid plenty of damage. His kit is easy to use and, like Hurriwind said, he isn’t as technically demanding as the likes of Merlin who is a good pick but can be frustrating to players who relatively new to the role.
Raijin's 1-2 combo is a great and easy combo to learn and use
Hurriwind adds that, “For Season 6, things are likely to change quickly in the meta, so just be on the lookout for changes in pro builds and god pools.”
The constant in Smite, well any MOBA, is that things will change. This is a long season and we’ll see plenty of changes so the best way to know what is working and what isn’t is to follow the pros. Look at who they’re picking up and why, look at what items they’re using and why they are. This is a great way to see what works and what doesn’t. Also don’t be afraid to experiment. This list isn’t saying “you must play these gods to win”. Sometimes a janky pick can throw the enemy off or it can provide something that your team needs against the enemy team.
Hopefully this guide helps you in playing mid lane and knowing who to look out for.