SMITE Top Five Solo Laners in Season 6 with Variety
Thu 14th Mar 2019 - 7:16pm
The solo lane has been in an interesting state over last season and heading into Season 6, it’s becoming a very exciting role to play. Last season, the lane was dominated by Guardians with a lot of late game presence which pushed out all the Warriors from the role. With the changes to Warriors at the start of Season 6, we can see Warriors starting to appear more in the solo lane. We spoke to Dignitas’ solo laner Harry "Variety" Cumming about who are the best solo laners in Smite.
Who Dominates the Solo Lane
Variety says, “The current top 5 solo laners are probably King Arthur, Vamana, Achilles, Terra, and Artio.”
King Arthur is still new to Smite but he's remained one of the top solo laners since
With the buff to their base health and health scaling throughout the game, Warriors have come back into the solo lane. Additionaly, the buff to Warrior's Blessing has brought the class into a stronger spot in Season 6. King Arthur is still relatively new in Smite and has been a bully since his introduction late in Season 5. Arthur's kit allows him to spam abilities and fight basically anyone during the laning phase. Like King Arthur, both Vamana and Achillies have strong early games and can become a nuisance throughout the laning phase.
The buff to Warrior's Blessing and the health of the Warriors overall allows them to be more of a factor in the late game, which is why they fell out of favour last season. The early game is where they thrive and have the most impact. The solo lane is known for being a slap fest, Warrior vs Warrior solo lanes can be like this throughout the laning phase, until one makes a mistake and dies or the jungler gets involved.
The Warriors are known for being bullies in lane and can dominate very early
Guardians are still strong in the solo lane, and the survivability of some Guardians can help you get through the rough early game, Artio and Terra are great for this. Early, Guardians don’t have the best clear compared to Warriors. Artio and Terra are two Guardians that do have some of the best clear out of the Guardians and both can become huge presences in the late game for your team. Both also have sustain that allows them to stay safe and poke safely in their match-ups in the solo lane. Terra’s sustain can be helpful for her team as well and allows her to help out her team in the late game. Both have a huge impact on teamfights late game, but Terra is more influential with her ult as it can really change a teamfight in your favour.
Guardians in the solo lane tend to struggle early, but Artio and Terra can hold their own early
Why You Should Pick These
We’ve already started to mention what makes these great pick-ups, but what are other things that sets these apart from the other solo laners and why are they so highly regarded?
Variety mentions, “They all have fairly good, even very good, laning phases as well as being strong throughout the mid and late game. All of them apart from Terra have very good poke with self-sustain built into their kit and the Warriors have multiple ways to proc Gladiator's Shield giving them good sustain too, meaning they can win almost every matchup they’re in or at the very least go even in it”
The laning phase is so important in Smite and more notably in the solo lane. With the need to be a frontline presence in the late game, it is necessary for you to get as much farm as possible to get ahead and have your items online. All of these gods have strong early games, the Warriors have a bit better clear than the Guardians but both Artio and Terra can hold their own with their clear and with the sustain built into their kits, poke wars won’t affect their early game as much as other Guardians in the solo lane.
The Warriors have tools available to sustain as well, with Warrior's Blessing being buffed so you gain more health and mana when it’s triggered, allowing them to have that sustain during the poke war. Gladiator's Shield is another item Variety highlighted that is great for them. With all these Warriors having a lot of damage on their abilities, Gladiator's Shield is a must have on them to give them plenty of sustain.
Warrior's Blessing got buffed at the start of Season 6, making it a good pick up for solo laners again
King Arthur, Vamana, and Achilles all have great ways to proc Gladiator's Shield and are very strong at bullying out their opponents to gain pressure. Their abilities allow them to clear with ease while also poking the enemy solo lane. They also have some good CC in their kits. It’s not as prominent as the Guardians, but it is still CC that you can chain with the other members of your team. They have great survivability in the solo lane. While this is partially from Gladiator's, they all have great ways to get out of danger. This allows you force your opponent out of lane more frequently as, if the jungler comes over to kill you or relieve pressure, you can get to safety and them continue where you left off once their jungler leaves.
Being able to dominate and put pressure on a lane will allow you to invade their buffs
Artio and Terra get stronger the longer you go into the game. Their teamfight potential and control they bring for their team can really swing fights in your favour. They don’t have as strong of a lane as the Warriors, but they can hold their own and do get to a point where they become practically unkillable. You might not win poke wars against some Warriors but overall their clear and poke are still strong, Terra’s is a bit weaker like Variety mentioned.
What You Need to Look Out For
There are downsides to these gods, however. There are things you need to be aware of and things that will counter them, like every god in Smite. Like on all these lists we’ve done, we’ve highlighted things you need to be aware of when you are playing/facing these gods.
Variety says that, “The weakness for the Warriors is that they fall off a lot harder than the Guardians in the late game as well as being easier to kill, whereas the Guardians have a slightly less dominant early game/laning phase.”
Late game for the Warriors lets them down slightly. They aren’t as influential as the Guardians in the late game and are known for falling off the later games go. Despite all three Warriors on this list being strong picks and being able to reach a stage where they are practically unkillable, they don’t have as much presence as they did earlier in the game
You can look to build differently. If you go full damage you become an easier target as you don’t have enough protections to help against the enemy team and if you build full tank then you struggle with doing enough damage. Building bits of both won’t fully solve the problem as it won’t save you from the late game fall-off that warriors have, but it will help you be more relevant in the late game and help you continue to be a nuisance.
Late game, Warriors become less influential as they have less team fight presence then a Guardian
The Guardians have the opposite problem. Early game, they can be susceptible as you have a less dominant early game. You do have a target on your back early as the later the game goes, the harder you become to kill. It’s very much a stage of survival. You may not have as much pressure as you would if you are on a Warrior, but you’re playing the long game.
Just look to get your farm, do a bit of poke damage but don’t look to take early fights as there is a higher chance of you seeing the game in black and white, which we know no one wants to see. The late game is where you shine so you don’t want to get to late game and still be behind as you’ll hinder your team and won’t be as influential as you could have been.
Builds and Power Spikes
Getting the right items online can really change the course of a game. In solo, there are a lot of great items that you can build to help your team and can also help you against what makes your god weak. Knowing the correct items for the god and the situation can be the difference in some games.
Variety advises, “I look to build bruiser items on these solos with the key ones being Void Shield on the Warriors and Void Stone on the Guardians, both of which give HP, power, defence and most importantly a pen aura. I wouldn't go full tank due to the fact that they have good damage output. I would also recommend building CDR items such as Gladiator's Shield on the Warriors (and potentially Genji's Guard) and for the Guardians, I'd go Breastplate of Valor for more disruption in the backline as well as survivability. I would also get Spirit Robe late game since it's probably the best hybrid defence item in the game.”
The warriors on this list have strong abilities that have great clear and can be a great tool for poking. Building CDR is a great way to clear and do as much poke as possible as you’ll have your abilities up as much as possible. Gladiator's Shield provides 10% CDR, on top of everything else it provides, which is great for the early game poke when added to the 10% CDR you get from your blue buff. Early game you’ve already got 20% CDR, so long as you’re getting blue when it’s up, which helps you early as that added CDR means you can poke more frequently while also being able to clear wave effectively.
If we use Achilles as an example, once you have Gladiator's Shield online, which you should be looking to build first anyway, your 1 goes from a 15 second cooldown to a 12 second cooldown. This allows him to clear wave effectively and be able to poke out the enemy solo laner without worrying about not having the ability for the next wave. This is just one example, but you can see why CDR is so important for a solo laner, especially when most of their damage comes from their abilities. Genji’s Guard is another item you could look at getting on a Warrior for the CDR, but we only recommend that you should prioritise this when you’re against a solo laner that is magical damage.
The other item Variety mentioned for the Warriors is Void Shield. This item reduces the enemy's protections when they are near you (which, in solo, nine times out of ten they are). Add in the extra 20 power that you get and it’s a great item for Warriors to get as it provides plenty of damage for you while also giving you 50 protections. If you haven’t been building this on Warriors, you may want to start looking into it more often.
These items can really help you out as a Warrior and allows you to start becoming a lane bully
Guardians have a similar item to Void Shield, it’s that similar it even has a similar name. Void Stone is the Guardian equivalent of Void Shield, as it reduces the magical protections of enemies around you while also giving you added power on top. You look to build this item for the same reason Warriors get Void Shield, the damage it provides can really help you early and even provides you with needed protection that can help you in the long run. Variety also mentioned Breastplate of Valor. This item is a strong pick up for Guardians in solo. As you're mostly against Warriors and Void Stone gives you magical protection, you’ll need protection against physical damage and if you’re against a Warrior, Breastplate can really help you out there.
It also helps you out in the late game when you’re diving the backline, like Variety said, as it’s a good item to help with your survivability. One item you should look at getting on Terra as well is Lotus Crown. The item complements her heal as it adds protections for her team. These protections are on top of the benefits of power, physical protections and MP5 that Terra gets from the item. This is an item we advise looking at getting as the added protections she can give her team will really help in teamfights on top of just having a heal.
Both items are core for a Guardian as they allow a Guardian to survive lane and transition into the late game
The last item that Variety mentioned was Spirit Robe. Like he said, this is a great hybrid defence item as it provides a lot of benefits for you as a solo laner. 40 extra of each protection, 10% cooldown (which at this stage could get you to the cap), and 20% CC reduction—looks like a great item already right? But wait there’s more! Its passive gives you 15% damage mitigation for 3 seconds after getting hit with hard CC. Yes, this only occurs once every 15 seconds, but it’s a great passive to have on an item. You can see why Variety says it might just be the best hybrid defence item in the game. Spirit Robe can be a difference maker in fights as you’ll be mitigating more damage if you’ve just been stunned, for example.
Spirit Robe is a must buy item on both warriors and guardians
Knowing what to build is only the half of it. You can build the right items but knowing your power spikes can be more impactful than just building correctly. So what power spike do you need to look out for and why?
Variety advises, “For the Warriors, the key power spike in lane is when Gladiator's Shield is complete but in terms of teamfighting, it would be when your Void Shield and a magical defence item are complete. As for Artio, it would be the pen boots build in the laning phase and for teamfighting (this goes for Terra, too) would be when boots, Void Stone and Breastplate of Valor are completed.”
For Warriors, the main power spike is after you’ve finished your fourth item (Gladiator's, Boots, Void and magical defence). At this point, you should be strong enough to be a presence in the early to mid-game teamfight stages. This is your main power spike, but your first will be after Gladiator's Shield is done, as you’ll have the sustain and the damage output to bully the lane easily and still be relatively safe against being ganked. From this, you’ll then be looking look towards your teamfight power spike. You should look at getting boots, then either magical defence if laning against a Guardian or Void Shield if it’s a physical, then vice versa.
Gladiator's Shield allows you to keep up lane pressure and sustain during poke wars
For the Guardians, your power spike is, like Variety said, after your third item comes online. This is the point where you start to gain pressure and start to take over the game more. You’ve survived the early game, and you can now look to have much more of an impact in the teamfights. Artio has a better laning phase than Terra, so she has a power spike for the laning phase whereas Terra doesn’t. Pen boots are great on both these gods as they can help them out in the teamfighting stage of the game. When Artio gets her pen boots online, she can start to take control of the laning phase a little better and can become a presence from there, whereas Terra still needs Void Stone and Valor to hit her spike.
Pen boots is a must on both Guardians and can allow them to have an easier laning phase
Poke War or Late Game Monster?
Having a good early game is critical in Smite. If you start the ball rolling early you can look to snowball and take control of a game with ease. This can transition into a good mid and late game as well, as you’ll have worked out the enemy’s tendencies and you’ll have the confidence that you can outplay them. So, what do you need to do to have the best possible outcome from the early game in the solo lane?
Variety mentions that, “For the Warriors, I'd look to take trades when Gladiator's Shield is complete and look to poke out/kill the enemy solo (also applies to Artio when you have pen boots complete). Whereas for Terra, I would say to just play it safe and look to just get your core three items online and then become a mid/late game monster.”
Early game, it’s all about asserting dominance in the lane. Once you have Gladiator's Shield online (or pen boots for Artio), start getting aggressive and look to poke them out of lane or kill them, like Variety said. Keep an eye on their Chalice and pots. If you are forcing them to use a lot of them, you’re winning the poke war, as making your lane opposition go through their consumables quickly can swing the poke war in your favour.
Poking them out can be as effective then killing them. Even though we all want to get the kill, forcing your opponent back can make them miss farm or force them to use their Teleport to get back to lane. These little things can help you win lane. If you force an opponent to back and use Teleport, they might not have enough to finish an item so they won’t be as strong as they would have hoped. Plus this means they have to back again to finish an item, forcing them to miss more farm.
Early game pressure in solo allows you to dominate the lane and can allow you to take control of solo side of the jungle
Terra thrives mid-to-late game and is much more effective in these stages then she is in the early game. This means her lane phase is more about survival, focusing on getting as much farm as possible without getting killed. Getting forced out of lane will slow your game down but, as Terra, you’re more looking at getting your core items online than winning trades in the lane. But what makes Terra so great in the late game and who else can be great picks in the solo lane if you’re playing for the late game?
Variety says, “Terra is probably the best in the late game due to her ult being so good for teamfighting. There's also Kuzenbo, actually, with his ult disruption in the backline and the zoning potential with his 2+ thorns.”
Terra’s ult has a lot of influence in the late game if used correctly. Her ult gives her team 5% damage mitigation if they stand in the activation radius of the ult while enemies take 5% more damage from all damage sources. This is just the start, as after being hit by any source of damage four times, it will damage the enemy or heal a teammate. Her ult can swing a teamfight just by being activated. Because it can cause chaos for the enemy team, it’s a very strong initiation tool for Terra. It also means your team is hitting harder and can take a little bit more damage during the fight. These added benefits make her such a strong pick up for her team in the late game.
Terra's ult is a strong tool late game and can turn team fights around
The other god Variety mentioned was Kuzenbo. He might not be on our list, but he gets an honourable mention nonetheless. His ult can disrupt the backline as it displaces the enemy team. While in his ult, it is next to impossible to activate any abilities, unless your able to Beads it but even then, it makes you a sitting duck after. If you then put Thorns on him, it brings so much zoning potential combined with his 2, reflecting damage back to the enemy team is obnoxious for them to deal with. Just seeing a Kuzenbo pop thorns and his two and start running at you can put enemies off.
Kuzenbo can be obnoxious in the solo lane, which is why he's an honourable mention
Counters to Look Out For
Like every god in Smite there are counters to these gods, but what counters do you need to look out for when playing these gods?
Variety mentions that, “Cripple and anti-heal counter all of the 5 gods pretty hard but you can still do an incredible amount of work even against these which is why they are so good.”
Oh, so there isn’t much you can do to stop them then? These counters can stop and prevent them from being a massive impact in games, but they can still prevent you from having an impact. Plenty of gods in Smite have cripples but ones we’re going to highlight is Bakasura’s ult and Poseidon’s Whirlpool. Both abilities cover a large area and can not just cripple you but can zone you or your team away from you, leaving you as an easy target to collapse on.
Bakasura's ult not only can cripple you but when it's combined with his 3 he can shred your health bar
Anti-healers in Smite aren’t as prominent as gods with cripples but the ability to build anti-heal on many gods is what will counter you. Divine Ruin and Pestilence are affordable items that can work on plenty of gods to prevent you from getting the most out of your healing. Gods with anti-heal in their kit that you should keep an eye out for are Odin and Cerberus. Odin’s is in built with his ult and with all these gods not having a leap to get over his cage, you can find yourself trapped and unable to heal which allows the enemy team to collapse onto you. Cerberus has it build into his passive. You get your healing reduced by 20% just for being close to him and while this is happening, he’ll gain 40% of that heal. This means as you’re healing you only gain 20% over him, you don’t see the full benefit of the heal and at the same time your helping him heal from your abilities.
Both Cerberus and Odin have great tools to prevent you from healing
Overall, these five are strong pick-ups and can be influential for their team whether it be from the early game pressure or from the late game teamfight potential that they provide. If this list has made you want to try out the solo lane for the first time or want to pick up one of these gods, we’ve got you covered. We asked Variety who is the best one to pick up if you’re new to the solo lane or don’t have one of these gods under your belt.
Variety advises, “The best god for people who haven’t played solo is probably Vamana since his kit is very simple to use and his ult is a get out of jail free card”
Vamana's ult is a great tool to get yourself out of trouble or chase an enemy
Vamana is a safe pick up because of the simplicity of his kit. He provides a good amount of control with the slow on his 3 and knock up on his 1 and Colossal Fury (his ult) is a great ult to get out of trouble or to disrupt team fights. Vamana also benefits massively from the items we’ve already mentioned which allows him to have a massive presence in the laning phase and in team fights.
We asked Variety for any final bits of advice on how to get the most out of these gods.
Variety advises, “If you're learning these gods or any new gods/role for that matter, do it in casuals first of all. Secondly, don't be afraid to take trades and push the god to its limit in order to learn what you can and can't do with it.”
Casual is filled with people trying new things out so don’t be afraid of trying new things. Casual is there to try things out and work on your game before trying it out in ranked, so don’t be afraid to give things a try there. His second bit of advice was to take trades and this is crucial. If you’re pushing it to the limit, you can get the best out of them. Pushing a god to the limit is the only way you’re really going to fully know how they work, just so long as you can look back and work out what went wrong if things don’t go according to plan.
Hopefully this guide helps you dominate the solo lane or helps you improve in the role.