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Surtr: A Closer Look

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Forum » News » Surtr: A Closer Look 1 posts - page 1 of 1

Poll Question:

Between this release and 2022's, which is your favorite god?
Yu Huang
Permalink | Quote | +Rep by Branmuffin17 » January 17, 2023 12:51pm | Report

By: TitanAjax | 2023/1/17


The Fire Giant
Physical Warrior

In the midst of this clash and din the heavens are rent in twain,

and the sons of Muspell come riding through the opening.

Surtr rides first, and before him and after him flames burning fire.

He has a very good sword, which shines brighter than the sun.

As they ride over Bifrost it breaks to pieces.

– The Prose Edda, Snorri Sturluson, 13th Century

Surtr is a significant Jotunn in Norse Mythology. He guards the realm of Muspelheim (or Muspel), a fiery primordial realm and home of the fire giants. Surtr plays a key role in Ragnarok, where he led the fire giants into battle against the Aesir, shattered the bifrost, slayed Freyr, and then engulfed the world (Midgard) in flames.


For the monumental 10th year of SMITE, we knew we needed a special god. A god that embodied the traditional mythology of SMITE’s core pantheons, and one that would have a deeper meaning to long-term SMITE players.

One character has been a focal point of SMITE since its inception but never got to experience the true glory of battle. This being was treated like a monster. A prisoner, destined to be slain repeatedly for the sport of the gods. Surtr, the Fire Giant, would finally have his revenge.

After a year of peace, the gods of SMITE have once again awakened a great force of destruction. The repeated experience of gruesome death has brought about an ascension from deep within him, and Surtr is finally able to break free of his prison and fight back against the gods of SMITE. No longer will he be chained to the mountain in the Conquest Map, Surtr now finally walks free!


  • Theme – Destruction – Ragnarok is embodied by Surtr, a force destined to destroy all gods.
  • Visuals - The Fire Giant – Inspired by recent iterations of the Conquest map boss, Surtr is a tall masculine figure adorned in magma-imbued armor and Nordic references.
  • Personality - Deliberate – Surtr is here to destroy, but he is not wild nor reckless. He makes every move of annihilation with clear intent and a focused mind.
  • Perspective - Grave Danger – The SMITE gods will need to rally together and fight like never before if they wish to change the course of destiny and prevent Ragnarok.


There is not much information on Surtr or Muspelheim outside of the poetry lines related to Ragnarok. Even with such little information the character has become a popular figure in many other interpretations of Norse myths, and there are a few key characteristics mentioned in these lines that served as the initial inspiration for our concept art process.

The first was a translation of his name that clarifies that he has dark or “swarthy” skin. This is usually used to describe someone whose skin is worn, weathered, or darkened by the sun. For a fire giant, we interpreted this to mean “charred” and his art process would move forward with skin, armor, and hair that appeared soot-stained, singed, or smoldering.

The other is the multiple mentions of his terrifying sword. We knew from the start that this god would need a sword that played a huge role in his visual silhouette as well as his gameplay.

We started with some explorations of silhouettes featuring a variety of body types, swords, and armor. It became clear immediately that we would need to be careful to not accidentally tread into any visual territory already occupied by other Norse gods of SMITE.

Using Odin and Atlas as references, we started to refine Surtr’s look into something that would feel unique to him. Odin was the primary reference for visuals to differentiate from, and Atlas was the scale/height reference. This version of Surtr became quite refined, but we then started to feel that it had departed too much from the traditional Fire Giant look. We wanted Surtr to look like a new and unique character, but we also wanted clear visual connections to previous iterations of the Conquest Fire Giant.

So another round of concept exploration started, this one with a focus on designing the character as if it was a direct evolution from the current Fire Giant. We still retained many of the lessons learned in the previous rounds, such as avoiding too much similarity to Odin. We also kept some of our favorite details from the previous versions.

We finally found our Surtr! He has a fuller beard and more armor than the previous version, with a few specific callouts to the Fire Giant design, like his lower body armor. He feels like a unique deity and one that stands up to his reputation as a destroyer.

Additional efforts went toward his sword as well, exploring more shapes and styles, but ultimately we stuck with one that was the first choice all along. This broad and flat greatsword has a commanding presence and unique shape that no other god in SMITE has.


Surtr is an aggressive Warrior, designed for the Solo Lane and heavy pressure on enemy gods, especially the back line. Surtr will be in his opponent’s face from minute one, and generally won’t let up throughout the game.


  • A passive that allows him to heal a portion of recently taken damage by recovering deployables that drop off of him
  • An ability that stacks in power to an improbably high stack limit, rewarding specific timing
  • An ability that spawns a pet, the Fire Imps return!
  • A warrior ability that can also deal magical damage
  • An ability where he hurls an object at his enemies, multiple different possible options based on his surroundings that have different effects
  • No non-Ultimate dash or leap
  • A Semi-Global Ultimate that directly references a key feature that the Fire Giant Boss has had in SMITE for years
Year 10 is a huge milestone for SMITE! The entire dev team worked hard to deliver an amazing update and god. Surtr will be live to play in 10.1 (Jan 24th, 2023) along with an entirely new Conquest Map and a huge variety of gameplay changes to gods and items. This god of catastrophe kicks off SMITE’s Season of Monsters, but he won’t be the only monster, as another god will launch in 10.2. Stay tuned to find out if the SMITE gods can fend off the flames of Ragnarok yet again, or if Surtr will finally lead us to the death and destruction that he was destined to.


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