SOLO LANE Guide - by dignitas/AnatoLiy
- by dignitas/AnatoLiy (December 2013, Patch 0.1.1889)
Following his Hades guide, Team Dignitas solo laner AnatoLiy gives you an overview of how to play in the solo lane. He discusses the different roles that can be found in solo lane aswell as their different itemization options.
Playing Smite in this current meta has very interesting roles, all unique to their own play style, and has evolved throughout the approximate 1.5 years it's been around. It used to be a 2-1-2 meta but for the past 8 months or so, ever since Bumba's Mask and the short lane were introduced, the meta split off developing into a solo lane and jungle role.
Unlike other roles, the solo lane role requires a lot of patience and perseverance to farm safely yet the ability to change that in the drop of a dime in order to be unrelenting and unforgiving when the opportunity to kill the enemy presents itself.
The solo lane's primary goal is to transition into a dominant disruptive force in the mid-late game since the farm is very steady and if left unshared, the most in the game compared to any other role. Due to this farm solo laners receive, and now with the gold per second increased from 2 to 3, it's very important to itemize efficiently for that mid-late game. Depending on your individual and team's preference, the solo lane has the most versatility in terms of what gods to choose from. If you know what solo lane god you will be facing in advance, you can counter pick accordingly.
A general thing to go by for which god role is superior: (this is a general guide and does not take into account every "X" vs. "Y" god matchup)
Bruisers > Assassins
Assassins are generally very weak in the early stages of the game and can be easily exploited by an aggressive Bruiser making the Assassin have to play very passive early on until they are at their "peak". Viable Bruisers in the solo lane include all the "Warrior" type gods and also including Hades and Athena from the Guardian tab aswell as Zhong Kui who despite being a Mage can be played like a Bruiser.
Hunters & Mages > Bruisers
Hunters & Mages have an easier time than Bruisers at being able to poke while still clearing the wave at the same time. For this reason it makes it more difficult for the Bruiser to come and contest the minion wave without taking damage each wave. However, they are more enticing and likely to be ganked by the jungler due to their low health pool and non-defensive itemization. Viable Hunters for solo lane include Artemis, Apollo and Neith. Viable Mages for solo lane include Zeus, He'bo, Chang'e, Zhong Kui, Hel, Ra, and Chronos.
Assassins > Mages & Hunters
Assassins have it the hardest in the solo lane currently but if transitioned safely from the early game into the mid-late game, is the deadliest force to be reckoned with, especially with the high farm. Like Mages & Hunters, they are a prime target for the jungler to target. However, against Mages and Hunters, if played patiently and correctly, they have opportunities to burst and kill and then transition that into a lead for the rest of the game. Viable Assassins in the solo lane include Loki, Kali, Fenrir, Thanatos and Bakasura.
This is all very situational however and not every Assassin>Hunter/Mage>Bruiser>Assassin but it's a general counter-pick guide to go by.
Itemization is the most important aspect of the solo lane. You have to use your gold to its utmost efficiency. For example, if your opening build is only 1,000 gold, it's not very wise to spend the rest of the 500 gold on health/mana pots when the teleport active can allow you to sustain from the fountain and come back to lane.
Despite my personal distaste of this active (due to limiting options for active builds), it's the most important and required item for a solo laner. It allows you to not only teleport back to your tower every 60 seconds, but also the ability to teleport to wards. This item is key in order to instantly jump into a team fight across the map.
If in a losing matchup during the laning phase, rushing Shielded Teleport allows you to safely farm every two waves and any poke the enemy inflicts will be for nothing once you go back to fountain and teleport back to your tower with full health/mana. This active allows the god pool of the solo lane to be very diverse.
An advanced technique also is using Shielded Teleport to a tower or ward to get away from death, keeping in mind however that any taunt, stun, fear or mesmerize will interrupt the channel. Tier two Teleport or lower will be interrupted by any damage.
Bruiser Item Builds
Generally, when I play a Bruiser, I build around the enemy solo laner and the jungler as those are the two roles I'll be seeing most of for the beginning to middle stages of the game.
If both of them are physical and I'm playing a Bruiser, I'll definitely prioritize rushing a physical defense item to make sure I'll be more resilient if I'm in a 1v2 situation. My personal physical defense item preference to rush is Mystical Mark due to how it transitions in mid-late game team fights against enemies with a low health pool when I'm zoning them out. Another situational choice for a physical defense item is Ankh of the Bear due to its high health and low cost for tier two.
If the enemy solo lane and jungle is split with one physical and one magical, it's best to try to rush Hide of the Urchin and look for key opportunities to rotate to team fights to try to build stacks. Also if the solo lane is a high burst mage you can rush Runic Shield as it will allow you to win trade pokes with the enemy solo laner but will put you at risk when ganked by the physical jungler. Against a healer mage (such as Ra, Hel, Chang'e, and Hades), Pestilence is a viable pickup to limit their heals in the early stages and later on in team fights.
After rushing my first big starter item and Warrior Tabi, or Ninja Tabi depending on how much CDR I feel I need, one of my next three items will be either Witch Stone, Jotunn's Wrath or Bulwark of Hope. If they have two high burst mages, one in solo and one in mid such as Agni and He'Bo/Zeus, I would rush Bulwark of Hope third. Otherwise I would probably go Witch Stone if my support Guardian will not be building it. Next on the list for me is always Jotunn's Wrath as the CDR and penetration is very important, the mana is a nice bonus too.
A great fifth item to build in order to be more of a threat and disruptive in late game team fights is Magi's Blessing. The 40% crowd control reduction and 350 health makes it a must-buy for these late game team fights where a lot of AoE spells will be thrown around. Getting Magi's Blessing third wouldn't be a bad idea either if your team is looking for a lot of team fights in the mid-game to try to control objectives.
Last item choice is usually Titan's Bane as the earlier items you built make you extremely resilient and hard to kill.
Mage Item Builds
There are two starting safe "cookie-cutter" builds for mages, the first one being Vamp Shroud and Shoes One with a health+mana pot. The other build is situational against a heavy physical burst solo and jungler where you can get Breastplate of Valor tier two and Purification Beads.
From there on out it's about being able to do as much burst damage as possible to transition into a deadly force in mid-late game team fights. Good burst mage items include Polynomicon, Banecraft's Talon, Obsidian Shard and Rod of Tahuti. Also, if you feel confident enough to farm safely in the early stages of the game without too much worry from a jungle gank, Doom Orb is a great way to snowball in mid-game team fights.
Assassin/Hunter Item Builds
Similar to Mages, Assassins and Hunters are all about doing as much burst damage as possible in mid-late game team fights. Having the most farm from the solo lane allows you to get to that point rather easily, so long as you carefully transition from the early game.
A good starting build with Assassins are usually Death Toll, for the sustain and Hand of the Gods (to transition into Fist of the Gods). Heartseeker is usually a must in the solo lane as an Assassin. The build from there is pretty standard into Warrior Tabi, Jotunn's Wrath, Deathbringer, Titan's Bane.
Hunter's are similar build to Assassin but without the Hand of the Gods and Jotunn's Wrath. Instead usually getting Purification Beads and Qin Sais.
In my personal opinion there are two ways of being useful in different stages of the game as a solo laner. Some gods are better early, other better later. Some dominate during early laning phase, other's during later stages of the game. So it's important to understand which gods are better at these phases and adjust your play style accordingly as not every god can be played the same way.
In terms of being able to dominate the early laning phase I think the best two gods for solo lane at the moment are Zeus and He'Bo. They have great opportunities to poke at the enemy while still being able to clear the wave at the same time. Their sheer burst damage is very high and must be respected or payed the price. The only disadvantage to them is their ability to get ganked easily by the enemy jungler.
Despite being great in dueling, there are other gods that can neutralize their kill threat by farming safely with heals or long range spells such as Hades, Ra, Zhong Kui, Tyr, Hercules, Vamana, and Sun WuKong.
My personal favorite type of gods to play are Bruisers because of the way they transition into a "in-your-face" god in the mid-late game team fights. Top bruisers at the moment are Guan Yu, Tyr, Sun WuKong, Zhong Kui, and Hercules.
ADVANCED TIPS 'N' TRICKS
1. If you have a HoG, be sure to maximize its efficiency by getting minion agro by hitting the enemy, forcing the minion wave to bunch up by the archers then clearing the whole wave at once with your HoG cooldown.
2. Always be sure to know when to play aggressive but also when to play safe, buy a ward on your first back to ward their blue buff and/or Purification Beads if you're a non-bruiser god.
3. Rotations are important in the solo lane but always quickly evalute and ask yourself some questions before leaving the lane. Will my tower go down if I leave now? How long will I be away from my lane and will I get back in time not to miss a wave or if I do miss a wave will it be worth it if we can guarantee a kill and then an objective?