Hello. I am Sunfall, and if you are reading this, it means you are probably thinking of getting Arachne, or just want to learn how to use her. Arachne was the very first god I purchased with Favor, and has been a favorite pick of mine ever since. While I do not consider myself to be a super-pro Arachne player by any means, I have used her enough that I have a good idea of what works, what doesn't work, and how to go about using her.
Arachne can basically be described as a melee assassin with a focus on setup play. She uses her skills not so much to inflict damage as to provide utility which turns fights into her favor. While the metagame has shifted away from jungling, leaving gods like Arachne in a rather poor position these days, she still has other things going for her. She takes some getting used to, but once you start getting good with the ganks, she is a very fun goddess to play as, and an assassin who is not to be underestimated!
Lets go over a quick rundown of Arachne's Pros and Cons.
+Very strong early game.
+Can jungle very efficiently with Broodlings.
+Strong duelist with Drain Life and Cocoon, wins most 1v1 scenarios.
+Powerful ganks with a good combination of skills
+Ultimate can single out enemies in the teamfight if it connects.
+Broodlings can work as pseudo-wards (place them at the Fire Giant/Gold Fury entrances)
-Squishy. You will die fast if you get focused in teamfights. Even with defensive items, you still won't last long.
-No escape moves (Tangled Web can slow down chasers, but that's it).
- Cocoon requires considerable skill to be useful.
-Falls off late game due to Broodlings being easy to kill and Drain Life being a risky move in teamfights.
With the recent revamps to the jungle, I've had to rewrite parts of my guide. Arachne is still very good at securing the buffs, but it just isn't the focus of the metagame anymore.
Here's a rundown of the abilities.
Since Arachne lacks escape moves, this can be useful for escaping when the enemy uses slows and stuns. It's also very useful to have just for certain ultimates, like Hades' Pillar of Agony.
14 seconds of movespeed increase can help you close the gap between a fleeing god, or allow you to escape from your enemies. Since it also breaks slows, it's highly effective as a counter to slow-heavy teams.
With more and more gods being released that use powerful or predictable one-shot ultimates, this ability has become much more useful than ever as a counter to them. Even outside of those situations, it's still good to use in teamfights for when the enemy sets their focus on you: having your enemy waste two seconds attacking an invulnerable target can be all the time your team needs to turn a fight around, or wait for Drain Life to refresh.
Other useful abilities
Basically a shorter, team-based version of Sprint. Useful in teamfights for the same reasons as sprint.
If your web just isn't doing the job, this can help keep your enemies within reach without having to blow extra gold on a hammer.
Even with the shift away from the jungle meta, this ability is still decent enough. It basically saves you a lot of time when clearing camps, can clear minion waves in a hurry, gets you out of creepblocks, and can be used to secure Gold Fury/Fire Giant kills. Not completely worthless, just not as great as it used to be.
Abilities You Shouldn't Get
You should be getting the blue buff to start with anyways, and you won't be spamming lots of skills late game either. Just use Mana Potions if you really need a mana boost, they're much cheaper and more efficient than wasting an ability slot on this.
This just doesn't provide enough of a power increase to justify the used ability slot.
To give you an idea where we're trying to go here, you want to prioritize Physical Power first. This is because Arachne is an assassin who does most of her damage through basic attacks and her poison passive scales off of it, so having more physical power means your poison hurts more too. Along with that, you will want a nice amount of Physical Penetration and Attack Speed to go along with it.
There are a few other items you might want to build, so keep the other useful and situational items in mind.
These are core items that should almost always been present in your build. They mainly focus on damage output.
These give you the speed you'll need to keep up with the other players, in addition to decent offensive bonuses.
Devourer's GlovesGet this as soon as you've completed your boots, or even earlier if you can do with less movespeed. Once it hits Tier 3, start farming stacks for it to gain even more Physical Power. Oh, and it also provides a good amount of lifesteal, which should be good enough once fully stacked.
Such a good item that provides the three things you want: power, attack speed, and reducing the enemy's defense to do even more damage!
If you want to maximize your critical rate for the Deathbringer, this is a must. The base critrate on Rage alone is 30%, which is a high number, but when combined with and your, it becomes 56%! Plus, the passive only makes the criticals become that much more likely every time you don't crit! This item is just insane, and you will just be shredding your enemies in no time with it!
Now we're talking!. Lots of power, plus a big boost to your critical damage. Once you get someone in your range, they're going to really feel the hurt.
Other items that can usually be fit into most builds.
This isn't quite as good as it used to be ever since the passive damage got changed into physical. Still, if your penetration is good enough, this will help you shred down tanks and HP-heavy gods faster.
Eye of RetaliationSome people dislike this item, but I've managed to make this one work. Basically, think of this as having an extra Devourer's Gloves that gains even more power as the enemy wears you down. I've turned some fights around completely because of this item providing such crazy damage at low health along with the additional lifesteal to negate much of the damage I'd take.
Witch StoneI kinda like this one. If the enemy team has a lot of physical damage or their physical carry is causing problems for your team, Witch Stone is usually a good way to counter. It provides a little bit of everything else too, so don't underestimate it.
Only build these if you have to.
If you're on an early killing spree or are confident about the left lane matchup, this is viable early on. The movement speed is cool, but you must be extra careful not to die if you want to keep all those stacks. If you can't stay alive or the game has dragged on, I wouldn't bother with this.
This is what you build when the enemy team has healers like Hel or Guan Yu. It cripples their heals to make your attacks more potent.
I honestly prefer Devourer's Gloves for lifesteal, but if you need something cheaper, or you can't be troubled to build the stacks, this is a deecent alternative. Devourer's Gloves are still better under any other circumstance though.
The Executioner is better most of the time, but if that just isn't enough to get through those tanks, use this instead.
This really isn't something Arachne is made for. This works much better on gods who can play the tanky DPS role like Odin and Vamana. If your team lacks those gods, yet you still have a lot of physical damage on your side, this might be worth considering. Understand that even with that protection increase, Arachne is still really squishy.
I'm not recommending Frostbound Hammer or Fatalis anymore. Why?
These are two items that are basically designed to slow down the enemy or speed you up. While that might sound cool on paper, there are major flaws with using item slots for these purposes. First one being that Arachne already has two slows in her kit, Broodlings and Tangled Web, the latter of which you should always be setting in for your fights. And if the enemy tries to escape, you can reel them back in with a well-aimed Cocoon! Second, there are much cheaper and more efficient alternatives to keeping enemies within your reach should your skills fail you, and those are Abilities. Creeping Curse and Sprint are incredibly useful in a pinch to keep your enemies within reach, and you don't have to sacrifice your damage in the process!
I did used to recommend Fatalis months ago, but ever since the cooldown reduction got taken off of it, and now that there is the awesome Rage, this item truly feels pointless now.
What about Potions?
With the recent jungle changes, Hand Of The Gods is less of a big deal than it was before. Thus, you should typically start off with two Health Potions and one Mana Potion in the begining, and buy an extra later on in case you might need one, since they're very cheap.
Once you've got a maxed out Drain Life and a good amount of lifesteal, you shouldn't need health potions anymore. Just find a minion waves or a jungle camp, and heal yourself off of that if you're injured. The cyclops enemies in particular will give back a lot of your health in no time at all.
Many players new to SMITE (or at least new to junglers in SMITE) have several misconceptions when it comes to jungling. The most common of these is that the jungler should always be in the jungle and only come out for ganks. While this holds true for some other MOBAs, this is not how the SMITE jungle works. You are supposed to just go in to grab your buffs whenever an opportunity arises, and maintain some lane pressence so you don't fall behind in levels.
The best way I can describe SMITE's jungling would be as "buff control". You aren't necessarily jungling as a means of leveling up, you are jungling so you can control buffs to deny them to the enemy team and improve your odds of successfully ganking. There are six different buffs in the jungles on both the left and right sides of the map.
Anyways, here's a rundown of the buffs and my opinons on them.
Mana Regeneration: Very useful early game, and necessary to start at if you want to be able to egg the jungle and set up your ganks early on.
Power: A very good buff, it gives a considerable boost to your damage, which means your ganks become more potent.
Speed: A very good buff for chasing both chasing and escaping. Try to take this one often.
Cooldown Reduction (White): Not worth it. Arachne's cooldowns are fine, and she's not supposed to spam skills in combat anyways. Leave this for another teammate who can benefit from it.
Start at blue, you'll want it so you can set up more eggs around the jungle and maintain some pressence in the lane. At the start of the game, quickly buy your starting build and head over to the blue camp. Set up four eggs around the camp; it is recommended you spread them out in case a counterjungler tries to sabotage your setup. Once the game timer reaches 10 seconds, the jungle creeps will spawn, and your Broodlings will all hatch to attack them. Let them take the aggro before you start attacking as well, to minimize HP loss. This should net you the blue buff without having to use Hand Of The Gods!
With the buff in hand, you'll want to place an egg at the jungle intersection off to the side from the middle of your lane. This will serve as a ward in case of incoming ganks, or can even be used to catch enemies by surprise should they take the jungle as an escape path. Throughout the laning phase, as you push forward or get pushed, you should be setting up eggs at the jungle intersections nearest to you so that you will always have some gank awareness.
Now onto the actual laning itself. Depending on who you're facing makes a lot of difference when it comes to laning with Arachne. Against melees who lack long-ranged moves, it is stupidly easy to set up your Broodlings to help push the lane, and if you time the deployment right, you can get them to aggro onto your enemies as well, and damn do they hurt a lot early on!
Against ranged opponents and AoE users, it's much trickier. All it takes is one hit from a ranged attack to pop them, and the eggs won't hatch from that distnace. You have to place them behind minions to protect them from basic shots, and you'll want to wait for an AoE to be used before you set any down in the first place, since it's just too easy for your enemy to pop them with a little AoE.
For the most part, you're just placing Broodlings to maintain lane position or push, but should any of the enemies start to get weakened, you can go in for a kill. Since Arachne is an assassin after all, you can quickly kill someone who's missing health, and Drain Life is stupidly effective early on. Just be cautious of minion aggro upon hitting enemy gods, you could find yourself dying in no time if you aren't paying attention to that! Once you get to Level 5, Cocoon can be used to attempt to grab the squishier target towards you for a kill.
Mid-game is usually signified by a roaming phase. Once lanes are starting to freeze and fall under control, players will start roaming the map, looking for farm and opportunities to gank other lanes. Arachne can do both of these quite well, but there is another thing she is very good at, and that is Gold Fury control. Killing it gives everyone on your team 300 gold, which goes a long way to helping your team finish their builds and gain the edge over your opponents. The first thing you want to do is ward it early on, so you will be alerted to any enemy attempts to kill it. Placing an egg somewhere near the crossroad in front of it works, though an actual Ward is more reliable. Once most of your team is at LV10 or so is usually a good time to start going after it when the opportunity arises.
Arachne can actually solo the Gold Fury with a fully stacked Devourer's Gloves, but having a teammate or two can help you secure it much faster, in addition to avoiding potential counter-junglers.
There is the Fire Giant, which your team will want to have control over in the late game. It gives an entire team several boosts that will give them an upper hand over their enemies, so controlling it is very crucial. Like with the Gold Fury, you will want to ward it. Place the egg or Ward somewhere inside the giant's lair, preferably near the entrance. This will give your team awareness of any attempts to take it. Like with the Gold Fury, teammates are recommended to take it down, and you should usually do it when the enemy team is down a few gods, or pushed very far in that they cannot ignore the threat of losing a phoenix.
Much like the Gold Fury, Arachne is also very capable of soloing the Fire Giant, and can do it as early as LV15 or so. Most players don't even realize she can solo it so early on, but do be cautious of enemy wards: it only takes one for the enemy team to know what you're up to and give them a chance to stop your attempt.
Even without the jungle she used to enjoy, Arachne is still a very effective ganker in the right hands. If you can master ganks, you can get yourself fed pretty quickly and control the map for your team in the process!
There's a few ways to go about ganking. Early on, the best way is to be rather sneaky about it. It's usually best to hang around behind the lane's jungle walls, where you can still see the action going on out there.
This is probably the toughest part about playing Arachne. As a melee assassin whose greatest strength is her ability to win duels, Arachne is not exactly suited to being in the heat of a teamfight. She's squishy, and gets killed pretty fast by all the AoEs and other **** being thrown around. You can't expect to just charge into a teamfight with her and accomplish something. Rather, you have to be very cautious and opportunistic if you want to have any pressence in a teamfight.
First thing you should do is wait for one of your initiators, usually a tank, to be somewhere in the front of your group. Your enemies may take a few pot shots at him to see if they can wear him down a little first. If someone gets close enough, and you can get a good aim on them, use your Cocoon! If it hits, your entire team should be able to focus down whoever you just grabbed. This can effectively remove one god from the enemy side, and give your team the advantage.
If the fight has already started and your Cocoon is on cooldown, try to quickly gauge what's going on. If their attention is focused on a tank or a runner, this is a good time for you to get in there and start attacking someone, preferably a squishy mage like Hel or Anubis. Your Drain Life will silence them for the three seconds that you ride them, which a large window of opportunity that can deprive a dangerous mage of being able to dish out damage or use an escape. Assuming you aren't behind in levels or build, you should be able to dish out some serious damage and kill someone before you get focused. Should the enemies start attacking or using crowd control on your, use any abilities you might have to regain control of the situation!
Finally, don't forget about using your Tangled Web! At maxed, it's a 35% area slow that not only makes it much harder for your enemie to move around and escape, but also much easier for your team to attack them with their own skills . Drop it in the area where you expect the enemies to be for most of the teamfight.
That's pretty much it. There are still more things I intend to add to this guide later on, such as god-specific strategies and synergies. I also intend to update some sections with images when I get around to that as well, make it feel less wall-of-texty, etc.
Thank you for taking the time to read this guide, and I hope it helps you enjoy playing with Arachne!