SMITE Top Five Supports in Season 6 with Trixtank
Sun 31st Mar 2019 - 4:02pm
Continuing with our Top Five series, we reach the support role. With Smite’s changes over the past season, we have seen a lot of changes to the support role. Season 6 has built off the foundations the past season made, with the support returning to the duo lane. Season 6 has brought in some new changes, but nothing that really affects the support role in a drastic way. We spoke to Jeppe "Trixtank" Gylling to find out who the Top Five supports are in Season 6.
Trixtank stated, “I think there is a mix of good supports right now. Top aggressive supports are Ne Zha, Fenrir and then we have the more traditional Guardians that round out the top five: Terra, Sobek, Fafnir.”
In typical Top Five format, we’ll start with the positives first, looking at what makes these gods strong and why they are considered to be the top five.
Trixtank says, “Ne Zha and Fenrir are strong early on and provide a lot of pressure as well as the potential for a snowball victory. The rest work well with ADCs that provide better wave clear, because these three supports are insanely strong in the late game, so you just want to wait until midgame or level 12 when you get your second active to start the fights!”
Ne Zha and Fenrir are able to excel in the early game as support picks. The pressure they can apply in the lane is a lot greater than what they can do in the jungle, and this has meant they have found themselves a place is the support role. Fenrir can win the duo lane in the early game by being very aggressive and can force the enemy out constantly or get some early kills. Ne Zha can produce the same amount of pressure in lane but not as much as Fenrir, Ne Zha does have slightly better wave clear, due to the majority of Fenrir’s wave clear being on his stun but isn’t as safe of a pick as him. Both provide great ults in the late game as well, Fenrir with the ability to pick a god up like a chew toy and Ne Zha with taking an enemy miles up in the air. Both these ults provide plenty of potential to build teamfights around and allows you and your team to collapse on the carries.
Both Fenrir and Ne Zha are great aggressive support picks.
The traditional Guardian supports still work as well in the lane and can help your team out throughout the game, they just require an ADC that can efficiently clear the way. But the point they shine is the mid to late game, as post-level 12 you’ll have both your relics and be at the stage where you can frontline efficiently without getting focused and shredded. Sobek and Fafnir allow the ADC to farm up with little pressure as they can peel and allow them to farm relatively safely, they also offer set up that allows the ADC to go aggressive in the early game.
Sobek’s Pluck in particular is a great tool to use for this, being able to displace the enemy and allow your ADC to poke them is a great combo, and with the enemy being further way from the safety of their tower, it allows you to output as much damage as possible. Fafnir is similar with his hammer, however instead of repositioning the enemy Fafnir stuns them in place, meaning that the poke will have to come from a distance. The hammer is a great stun to close the distance on an enemy, however, and can be a great tool to gain pressure in lane or apply pressure to allow the ADC to farm freely. Both these abilities are high risk/high reward and transition into the mid-to-late game as well.
Sobek and Fafnir are great support picks to frontline and can be an annoyance late game.
Finally, we move on to Terra. She previously appeared on one of our lists for the solo lane and she makes another appearance in the support role. She provides plenty of peel and can be a late game monster, her ult is the main factor for her superior late game as it provides so much for your team and can control teamfights for your team. The Guardians on this list all provide plenty in the late game to do with peel and tankiness and can control fight but Terra does it all better. In the late game, she is really safe and provides a lot for her team. In her, you’ve got yourself a well-rounded Guardian that, if she gets to the late game, can really change the course of a match.
Terra is a great pick in the support role and dominates the late game.
With every positive there are negatives. Each god has a weakness, otherwise the game would be broke and unplayable. The same goes for these gods, with some supports suffering early and others having risky abilities that can find yourself getting collapsed on if missed as examples.
Trixtank mentions that, “Fenrir and Ne Zha have a place in the late game, but they definitely get weaker. They don't really offer a lot of peeling and they are Assassin gods, so you're not that tanky and therefore have to play really careful. It's the other way around with the other supports: they are semi-weak early on. Terra does not have a CC immune ult, which can be troublesome for her. Fafnir does not have a lot of CC in his kit except for his stun, so if you miss one stun when a team engages on you, you will be utterly useless. Sobek is good at picking out characters but if you miss your Pluck then you will get punished so make sure you hit it!”
Both Fenrir and Ne Zha struggle more in the late game as you can't tank as much but can dominate the early game.
Fenrir and Ne Zha are great at gaining pressure early and using that pressure to snowball a game but do fall off in the late game. They aren’t as tanky due to them being Assassins, which like Trixtank said, requires you to play safer and be careful during teamfights, as the Guardians can dive the back-line Fenrir and Ne Zha need to wait for openings or picks to be relevant in the late game. Their ults are great tools to set your team up but other than that they struggle to provide much for their team late game without finding themselves in tricky situations.
Sobek and Fafnir provide a lot of frontline for their team but can be vulnerable targets if your main CC is down. Fafnir is a sitting duck if he misses his hammer. In teamfights, he will become irrelevant if that misses. Yes, you can turn into a dragon and use the stun from there, but in late game fights, you should be using it to initiate, especially when you’re sieging. Sobek is similar with his Pluck. You hit it, you look like a genius, you miss it, you get dove and collapsed on easily and will get punished for it. So, like Trixtank said, make sure you hit it.
Terra can find herself in tricky situations as well with no CC immune ult that can lead her to getting CC chained and kept in place for a long time, which can her downfall. Keeping a Terra locked in place and controlled can cause chaos for her team especially if she can’t get that ult off.
Fafnir's hammer can change fights but, if you miss, you're basically irrelevant.
An overall weakness for the traditional supports is that of a weak early game, as you don’t have the wave clear to deal with the early and rely on your ADC to do the work. Add the fact you are relatively squishy means that you have to be careful early, especially if the jungler goes for an early rotation and you haven’t taken an escape yet. This is the opposite for the assassins, they have a dominate early game but fall off late.
Builds and Power Spikes
With the strengths and weaknesses covered, now we look at what is needed in your build for these gods.
Trixtank advises, “Gauntlet of Thebes is a must on all supports. The normal support build would be tanky boots into Gauntlet and then Sovereignty, Heartward Amulet, and Spirit Robe. That is the core of a good, regular support build!”
Thebes has become a key item for the support role. With the aura it provides when it’s evolved, it helps you and your team out a lot. Picking this item up early and staking it ASAP should be your top priority in the support role. Once it is fully stacked, you can then start to rotate and give your ADC solo farm while also staying close to help with wards and support when needed. Once it’s evolved, the added 10 protection for both physical and magical that you give your team can be really impactful, especially when you add the other aura items you build as a support.
These aura items are the standard Heartward and Sovereignty that, let's face it, every support builds anyway. If you aren’t building these, you are hindering not only your game but your team’s game. The protection auras that both items provide allow your team to survive fights if they are close to you. This alone is the main factor into why these items are so highly regarded. If you’re not going to build anything else from Trixtank’s recommended items list, these should always be in your build no matter what.
Thebes is a great item for supports as it provides a lot for your team.
The other notable item is tank boots, both reinforced greaves and reinforced shoes have the same stats so one class doesn’t get a benefit over the other. The stats provide a lot for a support, the cc reduction and added health helps allow a support to survive on top of the passive. With the added protections you gain from taking damage while you have the boots, and at a max stack of 21 protections if hit seven times it adds a lot of protections to keep you alive during fights or body blocking for your team. The last item Trixtank highlighted was Spirits Robe, with the added mitigation from the passive it is a great item, add in the stats that it provides on a support it gives you so much with protections and cc reduction add cdr reduction on top of it, it is a great item to keep in a core support build.
Tank boots give you plenty of protections especially when they're fully stacked in a fight.
With builds covered, we look at the what your power spikes are as a support. At what point do you reach that moment where you can take control of fights and start to look more at initiating fights then farming.
Trixtank advices, “Power spikes on Fenrir and Ne Zha are mainly when you get your first back and get full boots. After that, you should run the early game, invade jungle, look for kills. On the Guardians, I usually go Blink right now so I would say the power spike on them is level 12. This way you can engage insanely well and do a lot of damage and then go back to peel afterwards!”
Fenrir and Ne Zha have a very early power spike. Once full boots are online, you should be looking to go aggressive. From this point you need to go in, go for the invade, go for the kills, dominate the early game take control, this is where you take the game and run with it. Snowballing isn’t as powerful as it used to be, but it can still change a game, a lot of the time taking control of the early game can still be influential. From this point you will be getting tankier as the game goes on, but this is your main spike as to when you can start to go in.
For the Guardians’ relics are really important as you can provide so much for your team, this isn’t only for Guardians, but it is more impactful as they take the more team fight orientated relics. Getting your second relic can provide so much for your team, whether it be Blink, Shell, etc. the second relic will provide a lot more for your team. Trixtank mentioned the power of Blink. The fact it can act as an instant impact and allow you to do damage instantly is a great way to initiate fights. Taking this as a second relic is a great power spike and provides a lot for your team as you can cover a lot of distance and disrupt the team instantly.
Getting your second relic allows you to provide a lot more for your team.
Early or Late Game
We have already covered the early game potential for some of these gods, but what do you need to look at in the early game as a support.
Trixtank mentioned, “Fenrir and Ne Zha go hard. Make sure to brawl with them, don't be scared! On the others which don't offer too much pressure. If you don't have the better ADC and don't have pressure, try and stay at your tower line. When minions are coming brawl them back and at 27 seconds you go back for purple buff and return to the wave afterwards. If they try and invade red, you make sure to go after them and let your ADC go for the wave. This way your adc gets 2 and you can brawl them after they get red.”
As previously mentioned, Fenrir and Ne Zha are early game bullies. You need to use this to your advantage. Look to gain as much control from the pressure. If you're laning against one of these supports you need to give up the pressure, but don’t give up too much. Trixtank gave some advice on how to counter this and what you need to be aware of staying relevant, but to play as these supports, your focus is pressure. Gain it and use it to expose the enemy team, take the farm away, force them to leave safety of towers, and bring them out into the open where you can collapse on them and keep them down.
In the early game, you need to look for kills and invading the jungle as much as possible to gain control.
Both of the Assassin supports struggle more in the late game and this is where the Guardians excel and take over, but who is the best late game support you can look at picking up.
Trixtank says, “I would say Terra. Terra with blink ult is just so easy to execute that it makes it the best.”
Terra once again is highlighted as a late game monster, first Variety mentioned it in our top 5 solo laners and now Trixtank mentioned the same for the supports. Terra works well in both roles and can control the late game from either position, her ult is the driving factor as to why you take control late game. Combining it with a blink will compliment her kit and make her ult go from a good initiate to a great one, it can change the course of a team fight or allow you to roll over the back line as they have to be careful of the ult.
Terra's ult provides so much in late game teamfights.
Everything in Smite has a counter and ways to get shut down and despite how strong a god might be, there is always a way to stop them from being as impactful as they could be throughout a game. What counters do you have to be aware of while playing as these gods?
Trixtank mentions each god’s counters, “Sobek: Ares and Fenrir, Terra: Ares and Fenrir, Fenrir: Sobek and Geb, Fafnir: no counters. He's literally the safest character in the whole game. The only one that comes close to countering him is Artio. Ne Zha: Terra, Fenrir, Guan Yu.”
First bit to cover is yes, that was written correctly. Sobek counters Fenrir and Fenrir counters Sobek. This comes down to who can land their CC, if Sobek hits the Pluck and Fenrir misses the jump, he will die. If Fenrir hits the stun or grabs Sobek in his mouth, he dies. They are great at countering each other, but it depends on who can take control of the fight. Sobek is also countered by Ares as chains can keep Sobek from Plucking your team. Ares' ult also forces you to ult or brings you into an exposed position where you will get dove by the team and end up seeing the game in black and white.
Terra may have a great late game, but she can get controlled and if she’s crippled, she will have a bad time. Oh look, Ares is here again. Ares yet again controls another god on this list. If Terra can’t dash to detonate her 2, she can get exposed. Add in the fact she doesn’t have CC immunity on her ult so Ares can pull her in and let his team dive on her. This is what you’ll have to look out for if you're playing Terra. On top of Ares being a nuisance, Fenrir counters Terra, as getting picked up and carried to the enemy team and controlled from there can expose Terra and force her into a rough spot. Terra can dish out some damage back with her ult, but she can get controlled and shut down by a Fenrir.
Ares provides a lot of control that can shut down both Terra and Sobek.
We already mentioned that Sobek counters Fenrir but Geb does as well of a job at shutting him down. Geb’s shield can save his team from Fenrir’s ult and can also use his ult to keep a Fenrir in place and allow his team to keep him in place. Both Sobek and Geb can hold Fenrir in place and can put him in a compromising position. The next god on our Top Five list is Fafnir and, like Trixtank said, he is really safe, the only form of counter he has is Artio who can prevent him from dashing and hold him for as long as possible. Fafnir’s ult does allow him to save himself from damage when he becomes a dragon. Obviously when he turns back, he is susceptible to damage so turning back is down to timing and getting out to change.
Geb has multiple ways of countering Fenrir and can be a nuisance for him.
Last is Ne Zha, he has two counters off this list, Fenrir and Terra, and then there’s Guan Yu as well. Fenrir and Terra can hold Ne Zha in place, with his only escape being his ult he has to use it to get away when either Terra or Fenrir goes to lock you in place. The ult is a great tool for Ne Zha to set your team up but when Terra and Fenrir are holding you in place and forcing you to use it constantly to escape your not helping your team in these fights. Guan is another that shuts him down and holds him in place. Guan’s ult forces Ne Zha to ult out to avoid the stun from Guan. Guan’s horse can shred Ne Zha’s protections, making him squishier and open him up for Guan’s team to collapse on, as they’ll be doing more damage to the Ne Zha.
Overall the Top Five thrive in the early and the late. Fenrir and Ne Zha are great pick ups if you're looking for more early game pressure in the role, whereas Sobek, Fafnir and Terra are better suited if you want to have the game go long. One thing of note is Terra has been on two lists now, so she seems to be a must on the frontline, as either your solo or support, due to her late game presence. But for those of you that haven’t really played support before or need one of these under your belt, don’t worry we got you covered. We asked Trixtank which support he recommends if you're new to support.
Trixtank advises, “I would say Sobek is really good. He's easy to play and a very tanky character.”
Sobek is really rewarding as a support and allows you to face tank the enemy team. Yes, early you will struggle but getting to the late game and you'll be the tank you were destined to be. The Pluck is so rewarding to hit and can change a fight. Being able to Pluck a carry into a compromising position and give it to your team on a platter is great.
Finally, we asked Trixtank if he had any final bits of advice for when you’re playing in the support role with these gods.
Trixtank says, “Make sure that you ward! Warding is underrated!”
Make sure on every back you bring wards with you. The more wards your team has, the better.
Wards win games. Having the visibility across the map is great for your team and allows your lanes to farm easily with constant visibility. We go on about it a lot in these articles but there is a reason behind it. The support is used to carrying wards as you put them across the map. The other roles need to as well, however, as the support is usually roaming across to help other lanes.
Hopefully this helps you with your support play and gives you and understanding of who to keep an eye out on in the support role.