Hello again SmiteFire! As per request I will be making a thanatos guide, going into detail of how to level and build him, as well as tactics and when to pick in ranked conquest. Ill try to answer any questions as quickly as possible, most of my finals are done so that hopefully shouldnt be a problem.
This is the ability you want to max 1st. Thanatos is an early game focused ability based assassin, and this ability is his hardest hitting. Thanatos is one of the best level 1 gods in the game for this reason. He has an easy time invading the enemy buffs, doing a lot of damage to secure a buff or get first blood, while healing himself for 75% as well. However, I dont recommend invading if you are not experienced or your not in coms with your solo laner, as it is risky and can throw the rest of the game.
I recommend you set this skill to instacast. This is NOT a long range ability, it will easily be dodged and will end up being wasted. Setting this to instacast will give you better response time. Say if youre being chased, turning around to hit an enemy, then turning back real quick and living is much more possible with instacast. Just get in the habit of lining up your scythe before using it.
This ability also slows, which is useful to keep in mind when being chased or being the one chasing.
This ability should be maxed 3rd, after death scythe and ult priority. This ability gives thanatos immunity to slows, even more movement when chasing an enemy, and a TON of pen. Becuase of this skill, we wont be needing much flat pen from items as you will see explained below.
Because of the mana and cooldown we will be building, once you have your third item online it would be a good idea to use this ability before Death Scythe or Soul Reap CONSTANTLY as the passive pen will give you a HUGE increase in power.
This ability should be maxed LAST. Basically an AOE silence, that you use more for utility than for damage. I might be tweaking this later on, and wouldnt mind criticism in the comments, but at this moment I find Scent of Death more useful as it enhances everything you do. Ability damage, auto attack damage, and movement. Those three things I find more valuable then the extra flat 50 base this ability gains when leveled.
It would be a good idea to set this to instacast as well once you get the feeling for range on this ability.
This ability needs to be maxed 2nd. Note that death scythe is leveled at 9 because you will be using it a lot more than the ult, but after scythe is maxed, this should be your next focus. You dont need it for the damage, just the execute threshold. Rank 2 at level 10 isnt too big of a deal.
Something else to keep in mind, with Nike the be newest god released, thanatos has immunity to her slow as well as an execute for her ult if timed poorly on her part. Consider than to be a somewhat significant counter while all the noobs play her these coming weeks.
Because thanstos has a ton of built in flat pen, but with not the highest scaling power at 60% and 70% (the ult doesnt count because its only used for threshold), thanatos doesnt need a lot of power or pen. What Ive found works best on him is cooldown, % pen, and protections.
Standard ability based boots that take advantage of than's strong early game and improves buff camp clear.
Power, a little bit of flat pen, but post importantly cooldown. It does more damage than hydras as your second item, and doesnt rely on landing an auto. We will still be building hydras, even after its nerf its still strong, but its better as a third item.
Still a very strong item with a Polynomicon like pasive. Since than doesnt need pen or raw power, hes makes good use of cooldown and on hit passives like this item has.
At this point in the game, you will already be chunking the enemy's health with your abilities. But because you are melee ranged for the most part, you will want some protections if you plan on getting your damage off before dying. Urchin is the best defense item in the game, and will be explained below why it would be a better choice than something like Void Shield.
Standard % pen that every assassin needs. Titans will help with destroying towers, and against most squishies, will do roughly as much as building more flat pen. HOWEVER, against tanks and towers as mentioned earlier, it will be doing MUCH more work for a cheaper price. Pretty much anything 70 phys prot or up, Titans does WORK. Flat pen beyond this point is pointless honestly.
More cooldown to round out the build, as well as protections and a STRONG passive. Just like thor, rat or susanoo, 4 damage items and 2 def items is how those gods work best. Any more damage and theyd get blown up too quick, any more protections and they become bad warriors at that point. The best balance of DPS and living to get your DPS off in this case is Hide of the Urchin and Spirit Robe.
Shifter's shield is also an option. It wont improve your damage that much, but the protections and passive are also nice to help keep than alive, at low health, where than can really swing fights with his heal. Last item is honestly up to you, but both of these are strong options.
Theres a trick to playin thanatos well, just like theres a trick to Ravana and Susano. Some people call it auto attack cancel, Id prefer to call it attack chain reset.
Basically instead of trying to land 3 autos, swinging hard once, then swinging weak, then lastly hard again but real slow. Its better to reset you chain by throwing abilities in there to speed up auto attack time and DPS. Rexsi explains this well at about the 7 min mark.
Basically, his attack chain goes: auto -> death scythe -> auto -> silence
Or silence before scythe, it depends on the situation, but reseting your auto chain before that weak 2nd auto goes off maximizes damage. Again, it goes...
auto -> ability -> auto -> ability
This is why I incentivize using instacast, as it helps this a lot. You will also be making great use of your Hydra's Lament passive doing this as well.
Generally speaking Thanatos is not a very high tier god, and many think he is really a bad Ao Kuang with a dangerous ult and weak late game damage.
However, against the right team, he does work well, hes just not 1st pick material.
Dont pick than if the enemy team has healers. Also keep in mind that med and aegis will be disastrous for you. So be careful how you use your ult.
But, as explained above, he does do well against Nike, and in my experience against Thor as well. Even if thor gets wrath, you will likely still clear before he does, getting you lane pressure, elementals, and possibly first blood. However, it is a battle of the early game, and giving away your slight advantage can be bad as thor has a better mid game.
I wouldnt say he hard counters thor, but than definitely has an easy time against him. Especially thors that max their spin first. Because you can silence him out of it.
Again, thanatos doesnt scale that well at 60% and 70% with scythe and his silence respectively. Hydra's Lament actually gives him more dps if he can use the passive, as well as faster cooldowns to heal, ult, and silence more often. Hydras is also cheaper, making it a better item as well.
Bad scaling again. Than doesnt make much use of lifesteal either, he'd rather have protections or cooldown to use his scythe more often. Shifter's Shield would make for a better item... more protections, better passive, roughly the same damage, cheaper price, etc.
Generally speaking Titan's Bane does more damage for cheaper. There might be some circumstances where the passive might be useful, but it wont apply on your 2, and by the time you ult its too late. You shouldnt be picking Than in ranked against healers anyway, so Id say just stick with titans.
It simply doesnt give thanatos much better dps since thanatos doesnt need any more pen. Its a bad defensive item, that costs 2700 gold, that barely changes dps. At your 4th item Hide of the Urchin is better, giving you more physical prot, magical prot, health, and mana for a much cheaper price. Stick with urchin.
You might see some youtube videos of thans getting pentas against pubs with crit, but in real games, you will get blown up before you can kill anyway. Also building crit on melee ranged gods like than basically makes you a bad adc. Than is an early game god, that like early game items, like pen and cooldown. Full squish than is a bad idea, expensive, and doesnt play to your strengths. Avoid crit.
I will be making changes to this guide eventaully, been busy lately and had time to write this up real quick. Any ideas, suggestions, or art would be appreciated!
**1st changes have been made. Rewrote some tips that I didnt feel like were clear enough, as well as added parts I forgot completely like the Void Shield tip. Thanks for the suggestions everyone, looking forward to adding Soldier's videos. I still need art for the intro, so if anyone has some cool theme or wallpapers Id appreciate it. They dont have to be of Thanatos himself, but if it feels like it fits the theme, then Ill use it!
Good luck everyone, and hope this guide will be of some use for those out there!