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Martichoras: A Closer Look

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Forum » News » Martichoras: A Closer Look 1 posts - page 1 of 1
Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Branmuffin17 » February 14, 2023 2:06pm | Report

By: TitanAjax | 2023/2/14


The Manticore King
Greek Physical Hunter

The Martichoras was allegedly a blue-eyed, human-faced wild beast of India. It was the size of the largest lion, with cinnabar-red fur. It has three rows of teeth, feet, and claws like lions. It also had a scorpion-like tail with a terminal sting that measured over 1 cubit, plus two rows of auxiliary stings, each a Greek foot long. The sting was instantly fatal.

– Indica, Ctesias, 5th Century

The Manticore is a well-known beast in mythology and in many other fantasy worlds, but for SMITE, we wanted to look deeper. What were the origins of the Manticore? How did this beast come to be a figure in many different mythologies and modern creations? The first mention of the Manticore comes from an ancient Greek author by the name of Ctesias. He was traveling through Persia and got the first account of this creature from the locals who claimed it originated in India. He wrote about its monstrous features in great detail. Ctesias is the primary source that survived to spread the mythology of this creature across the globe, and so because of this Greek origin, we chose the Greek pantheon for Martichoras.

This writing started to circulate among the other Greek writers and eventually spread through other regions. The name was spelled many different ways. Martichoras was the original name Ctesias recorded from the Persian pronunciation, and it was actually a European mistranslation of Aristotle’s works that resulted in it being called “Mantichoras.” This was the primary text that spread across the modern world, and led to the shortened “Manticore”, the most commonly used name nowadays. The monster was also referred to by its title as well, the man-eater, or Androphagon in Greek

Martichoras is the first manticore ever recorded. He is “The” Manticore. In SMITE, he is the most ancient of the manticore species, and thus the most powerful and respected. He is the king among these terrifying beasts, and he is eager to take revenge on the gods who have treated him like a simple animal for so long.


Martichoras serves as not only a unique type of creature-god but also has a strong connection to the history of SMITE itself. For Year 10 we wanted a creature that evoked strong mythological origin, and also honored the 10+ years of SMITE gameplay updates.

The Manticore was the boss enemy of the original SMITE Tutorial map, dating all the way back to the closed beta period. It was no simple Jungle Boss, though. It had AI and abilities like a god opponent. It was removed and replaced as many upgrades took place across the game, but it wasn’t forgotten. It had a brief stint as the original Arena Mode boss NPC, and then it was featured in an extremely popular youtube video. The April Fools video for the Manticore’s kit was one of the most watched on the official SMITE channel of all time, and many players have longed to see him return, but with the serious treatment of a new god. The time has finally come for his return as the first creature Hunter in SMITE!


  • Theme – The Man-Eater – Martichoras stalks his prey carefully, ready to pounce at any moment. When the time is right he strikes with razor-sharp claws and deadly venom, then feasts.
  • Visuals - The Manticore King – He displays all of the key expectations of a manticore, but with added detail and visual interest to show his prominence within the species.
  • Personality - Royal Beast – Martichoras is intelligent and calculating, but he still has the hunger and instinct of a beast. Through great discipline, he has turned those into a strength, not a weakness.
  • Perspective - Underestimated – Martichoras has the element of surprise. The gods ignore him and think little of him, but Martichoras will soon show them how wrong they are.


Creatures always create interesting challenges. Starting with something inhuman immediately gives us a lot more room to explore the core anatomy. We have to stick to the same constraints as any god – differentiation, and execution.

Martichoras was often compared to other quadrupeds for differentiation, especially Cerberus. We wanted to make sure his shape and size felt different from his. A character with a human face, 4 legs, and wings can make for some difficult technical constraints further into the process, so we needed to be especially aware of what type of animation and movement we wanted. We would not be able to execute our plans for something that looked good on paper, but wouldn’t actually translate into achievable 3D movement.

We started to move away from the more agile or bat-like versions of the god. The Manticore would be a Hunter, but we didn’t want him to feel too frail or aerial. We decided early on that he would move mostly through walking, and would attack by slinging spines from his tail, so we designed around those elements. The look and feel of a Hunter’s Basic Attacks are especially important, so his stance was adjusted to leave room for this animation. Even with these changes, he was still much slimmer than Cerberus.

With the base anatomy finalized we experimented with various adornments. The literal crown clashed with his more natural design, and the larger bone elements felt tacked on and could disrupt his movements. We leaned more into the design of A or B, with the goal of making his natural features feel prominent and royal on their own merit.

We brought in the final colors to communicate a venomous monster and finished up his design. An additional feature that isn’t visible here is his mouth. Martichoras’ jaw appears to be a relatively normal human jaw but hidden under his beard are larger jaw lines that allow him to open his mouth especially wide, truly terrifying. Be sure to look for this in his 3D model and animations! He has a mane of hair to speak to his lion form, but it’s styled and maintained to show his intelligence. His crown of horns and his powerful wings have strong and sharp silhouettes, tying in nicely to his stinger tail and claws.


Martichoras is a traditional Hunter, with some very unique twists. He is designed to best perform in the Duo Lane Carry Role, but he could likely branch out into Mid Lane as many hunters often do. Martichoras is a larger beastly hunter, and his playstyle is designed to match that. He focuses on higher damage output and facing opponents head-on as opposed to being more evasive or controlling.


  • A new type of basic attack damage that applies ramping, stacking Damage Over Time across multiple successful hits. (Even the first hit deals more than the usual 100% power scaling damage in total damage)
  • A unique type of Stim Passive ability that triggers an attack speed buff after a number of successful basic attacks, ability hits, or minion kills/assists
  • Another component of this passive that gives him permanently stacking basic attack and ability lifesteal each time he successfully triggers an attack speed stim (max 30 stacks)
  • An ability that he can place and then explode with a follow-up attack
  • The ability to summon stealth grass for himself and his team
  • No traditional dash, leap, or movement ability
  • Little to no hard CC, only slow and a conditional root
  • An Ultimate Ability that features his wings in a flying/hovering stance
There are many legendary beasts across the pantheons, and selecting one for our roster is no small task. Our specific desire to add a true creature hunter, while also referencing SMITE lore at an equal level as Mythological lore led us to this new god. Bring out your carnivorous spirit and get ready to devour some gods with Martichoras, the Manticore King! again, or if Surtr will finally lead us to the death and destruction that he was destined to.


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