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An In-Depth Discussion On Item Choices (S8, Patch 8.9 Bonus Update)

140 5 385,904
9.8
by Branmuffin17 updated October 5, 2021

Smite God:

Build Guide Discussion 218 More Guides
Tap Mouse over an item or ability icon for detailed info

Introduction

Recent updates:

2021/9/8: Guide is current as of Patch 8.9 Bonus Update.

Revision History





Hello everyone! My name is Branmuffin17 (PC IGN: Muffinman17), and I'm a SMITEFire admin and casual SMITE player on PC. Welcome to my Items guide, which discusses the merits and viability of (most) individual items. It also covers other aspects of choosing items, including builds and build progression, appropriate itemization for god types and roles, and concepts such as mechanics of damage mitigation and how penetration / protection reduction works.

I'm looking for feedback, corrections, additions, and anything else that will improve the content of this guide. With that said, let's get into it.

Build Progression Basics for Roles/Classes



Theorycrafting and the art of optimizing builds has always been at the forefront of high-level play. Individual skill level and teamwork can make or break a team, but item choices have a huge effect as well.

The process of choosing the best items for a given situation incorporates recognition of several things, including but not limited to:


God Kit: What skills does the god have? Do they include high burst damage, or do they provide a lot of crowd control (CC)? Does the god have strong basic attacks or do they rely on abilities?
  • Scylla is a mage whose kit focuses on high, single-hit burst damage...she should focus on items that provide power and penetration. Kumbhakarna is a guardian with abilities that root, mesmerize, and knock up the enemy, so his strength is control, and cooldown reduction (CDR) items work well for him to use those abilities often.

  • Kali has a quick basic attack string, with a single target focus. Her kit should revolve around attack speed, penetration, and the key item Qin's Sais. Vulcan has a passive that enhances his survivability and sustain when he hits enemies with abilities, and his Inferno Cannon deals basic attack damage better than he ever could...he should just concentrate on ability use.

Damage Types & Scaling: Does the god have single-hit skills, or can their abilities hit multiple times in succession (either tick or DoT damage)? What is the scaling of said abilities (+ X% of your physical/magical power)? The higher the scaling is, the more that the power stat will increase the damage potential.
  • Single-hit abilities benefit more from non-stacking penetration items, such as Obsidian Shard and Titan's Bane. Basic attackers will often build stacking protection reduction from basics, provided by items such as Demonic Grip (magical) and The Executioner (physical).

  • Do the god's skills have high base damage and low scaling, or low base damage and high scaling? High scaling strongly benefits from higher power (e.g. Cupid's Heart Bomb has 150% scaling (through both hits) and often indicates that they're meant to be built for damage. Inversely, low scaling (e.g. Geb's Shock Wave has 50% scaling) is a hint that they should be focusing less on damage and more on tanking or utility.

Game Mode: Are you playing Conquest and expect to find yourself alone or with only one other teammate for a good portion of the match? Are you playing Duel, where it's just you and an enemy? Or are you playing Arena, where it's a constant teamfight?
  • In Conquest, starter items (which were designed specifically with Conquest in mind) are almost always suggested, as they provide important early stats in a very reasonably-priced item. Early sustain (health, mana, or both) is helpful to allow you to stay out and farm longer.

  • In Duel, you only have to worry about one god, so counter-building is a key component of an effective build. Against a basic attacker like Kali, physical protections such as Midgardian Mail can work well to slow her attack and give you a second of breathing room when she engages.

  • In teamfight modes, aura items can have effects on multiple gods at once, and threat of damage from multiple enemies at any time can mean protections can have a more significant effect.

Team Compositions: Once you're familiar with the gods, you can easily recognize if an enemy team is likely to be tanky, squishy, or if there's an imbalance (e.g. 4 magical gods and only 1 physical god). It's a bit easier in Conquest since roles are assigned, but for teamfight modes, it will also have an effect on which god you choose (depending on teammates choices, role calling, etc.).
  • If you're a tank, and you see the enemy team has 4 physical gods, the physical protection aura from Sovereignty, purchased early, is going to have a beneficial effect for your whole team. Likewise, if you see that multiple gods on your team are basic-attack oriented, choosing Shogun's Kusari will help enhance their damage output.

  • If you're a physical basic attacker, and you have 2 other strong physical gods on your team, getting a protection reduction item such as The Executioner will help increase their damage. As a magical god that's playing a tank role, a late-game item like Void Stone provides % protection reduction, which can enhance the damage your magical teammates deal against other tanky targets.

Item Costs: What is the gold cost of the item? Especially in longer game modes with slower gold accumulation (such as Conquest), choosing a high cost item early in the game can mean that you're still working to complete it while the enemy already has completed their lower-cost item of choice, giving them a significant statistical advantage at least until you're able to finish your item.
  • Building appropriate lower-cost items early in a match can lay the foundation of needed stats to enhance the effects of higher-cost items later in a match. Building enough cheaper attack speed items (e.g. Odysseus' Bow @ 2,100 gold) earlier to take advantage of a mid/late-build Qin's Sais (2,700 gold) can make sure its effectiveness is immediately felt. Grabbing a Stone of Binding (1,700 gold) for a CC-heavy Guardian Support can help your teammates get an early kill.

  • This doesn't mean that higher-cost items cannot ever be built early without good effect. In cases where you're able to get significantly ahead in farm (due to pressure, kills, securing the Gold Fury, etc.), it can give you enough gold difference to get an expensive item earlier. Rod of Tahuti (3,000 gold) and Doom Orb (2,850 gold) are items that can give you very functional early effect despite the cost.

Personal Playstyle: As quoted by Krett: “The core of every build in every game that has a build – even an MMO like World of Warcraft – is the methodology,” explains Krett. “What are you doing and how does your build help you do it?” In other words, how do you play, and how can you tailor a build to best suit your playstyle?
  • Aggressive Playstyle: Do you find yourself overextending a lot? Are you able to easily get kills, but then have problems getting out alive? Of course, the optimal solution is to train yourself to recognize optimal situations where you can attack, with a high probability of survival, by watching enemy ability use (making sure their CC abilities or ults are down), gaining better awareness of surroundings and teammate proximity to help, etc. However, as an example, one build style you might consider is to build some protection instead of going full glass cannon, or get some additional movespeed to help you escape.

  • Having to back constantly due to low health, mana, or both: Do you take too much damage, too often, in comparison to enemies? Do you constantly find that you quickly run out of mana? For health, choosing items with additional health or protections can help you stay out longer, but you might also consider items providing lifesteal or HP5 (health regeneration) early in a build. For mana, consider 2 options: 1) learn to choose the best times to use abilities, rather than just spamming them when they're available, or 2) building items providing additional mana or MP5 (mana regeneration).

  • Consider God Choice: If you have an aggressive playstyle, it's probably better for you to choose Bacchus or Sobek over Khepri. If you're much more comfortable hanging back and poking or protecting from distance, you might find more enjoyment playing Eset over Chang'e, or Geb instead of Ymir. Learn the strengths of each god, and consider honing your skills with those gods that fit your personal preference.



The following is a brief and general breakdown of standard build progression based on build type (tank, bruiser, full damage), rather than on class.


Tanks

Summary: Tanks choose items that provide protections and health, with the intent of soaking up a lot of damage and being a major distraction to the enemy team. Guardians and Warriors are most often built tanky.

General Role: Full tanks are usually built in the Support role in Conquest, though many Guardians and Warriors in the Solo lane may also build similarly. They have great function in all other modes to help soak damage, disrupt enemies, and protect teammates.

Build progression: In almost all modes, starter items are built first, and protection / health / CDR items are built after that. Later in a build, expect to see more situational utility and counter items to fit the needs of the match. You (almost) never see full offensive items being built. Here is an example:

Tank Build Progression
  1. Optional Starter Item
  2. Protection item (usually against highest threat)
  3. Protection or CDR item
  4. Protection or CDR item
  5. Situational / counter item
  6. Situational / counter item

Common Starter Items:

Common Defensive Items:

Common Counter / Utility Items:

Bruisers

Summary: Bruiser builds and playstyles combine offensive and defensive stats in their item choices, often to help counter specific enemies while retaining a good amount of damage potential. Gods with abilities providing high base damage can build mostly protections and still be a strong offensive threat.

General Role: Conquest Solo-laners, as well as select Junglers, will often build as Bruisers. In other modes, almost any god can go Bruiser, depending on the situation. Bruisers may come from almost all classes other than Hunters (who usually are best built as full damage/Glass Cannon), but are typified by the Assassin, Guardian, and Warrior classes more than others.

Unique Non-Warrior Class Examples of Gods Sometimes Built As Bruisers:
Build progression: Starter items are typically built first. What follows depends on the god, build preference, and mode. For Warriors in the Conquest Solo-Lane, they'll usually get an item that counters their lane enemy 2nd. For Assassins, the 2nd item might be an offensive item rather than defensive. Here is an example:

Bruiser Build Progression
  1. Optional Starter Item
  2. Damage or Protection item (highest threat)
  3. Damage or Protection item
  4. Situational / counter item
  5. Situational / counter item
  6. Situational / counter item

Common Bruiser Starter Items:

Common Defensive Items:

Common Offensive / Utility Items:


Full Damage (Glass Cannon)



Summary: Full damage (AKA glass cannon) builds focus on maximizing damage (at the cost of survivability) via stats like power, penetration, lifesteal, attack speed, and CDR. "The best defense is a good offense" is a perfect motto for them. They may occasionally build one item with some protection function, but generally want as much damage as they can get.

General Role: Gods that choose full damage are commonly in the Assassin, Hunter and Mage classes. The Conquest roles associated with higher damage builds include ADC, Jungler, and Mid-Laner.

Build progression: Starter items are typically built first. Depending on the god, all following items look to increase their power, penetration, CDR, attack speed, critical strike chance (physical gods only)...things that increase their damage output.

Full Damage Build Progression
  1. Optional Starter Item
  2. Damage and / or Utility
  3. Damage and / or Utility
  4. Damage and / or Utility
  5. Damage and / or Utility
  6. Damage and / or Utility

Common Starter Items:

Common Damage Items:

Starting Items



Starter items are effective low-cost items intended to support the early stages of a match. They are designed mainly for use in the Conquest mode, but can be helpful in other modes as well. While they are quickly outclassed by standard Tier 3 items, they can be upgraded later in the game and are almost always worth considering.

There are 3 starter items intended for each of the 5 roles (Carry, Support, Jungler, Mid-Lane, Solo-Lane), plus an additional starter with specific anti-heal counter function. However, all classes can consider any of the starters, so you can tailor your start to the needs you have.

This section is organized by Starter items intended mainly for the 5 Conquest roles. Note that some starters categorized in one role can still be useful in others. For example, Death's Toll is a popular pickup for basic attacking gods in the Solo lane.


ADC (Carry) Starters

ADC (Carry) Starters


Jungler Starters

Jungler Starter Items


Mid Starters

Mid Starters


Solo Starters

Solo Starters


Support Starters

Support Starters

Movement Speed Scaling & Movespeed Items


Early Level Movement Scaling


As of Patch 8.7 "Mid-Season," Boots, Shoes, and their upgrades have been removed from the game. Instead, all players will gain movement speed as they level at the following rate:
  • Players at level 1 will have +0% Movement Speed
  • Players at level 2 will have +3% Movement Speed
  • Players at level 3 will have +6% Movement Speed
  • Players at level 4 will have +9% Movement Speed
  • Players at level 5 will have +12% Movement Speed
  • Players at level 6 will have +15% Movement Speed
  • Players at level 7 through 20 will have +18% Movement Speed

Items that provide additional movement speed are covered below. They can enhance mobility for faster rotations, as well as provide other utility not found in other items. Many of these are picked up fairly early in a match, when needed in a particular build. Examples include Doom Orb or Charon's Coin for Mid-Lane Mages, and the Katana tree (e.g. Stone Cutting Sword and / or Golden Blade) for Assassin Junglers.

Movement speed has high value in Season 8's Conquest map, due to the large size of the map.


Magical Movement Speed Items






Charon's Coin
70 magical power, 20% penetration, +7 HP5, +20 MP5, passive (On god kill or assist a coin is flipped. If heads, you gain a stack of 7 HP5. If tails, you gain a stack of 2% Movement Speed. Each effect can stack up to 4 times and at 8 stacks this item evolves. You also gain 1 gold every time the coin is flipped.

EVOLVED PASSIVE - On god kill or assist a coin is flipped. If heads, you gain 150 Health over 6 seconds. If tails, you gain 5% Movement Speed for 6 seconds. You also gain 1 gold every time the coin is flipped).


Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Mostly an offensive item that provides power and % pen, with a unique passive giving some HP5 and movement speed.

This provides the same base % penetration as Obsidian Shard, but with a strong utility feel. Solid mid/late-game item.


Doom Orb
145 magical power, 200 mana, +25 MP5, 4% move speed, passive (killing or assisting an enemy minion provides you with 1 stack, granting you 1% movement speed and 4 magical power per stack.

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Expensive, but provides very solid power and a ton of utility. Great for rotations in Conquest.

Some rush this early in Conquest for the huge boost in power, decent mana, and strong rotation speed. Otherwise, it's a solid mid/late game item if you want offensive potential with MS.


Hastened Ring
25% attack speed, 7% move speed, 70 magical power, passive (when your basic attack hits a target, the attacking move speed debuff is removed from you for 6 seconds, CD 25 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Situational use for magical gods with strong basic attack function.

This item grants 6 seconds of high mobility for boxing when basic attacking, before requiring a 25 second CD to become available again. Can see some good effect for some magical gods such as Chronos, Freya, Olorun, and Sol.


Relic Dagger
350 health, 10% CDR, 10% CC reduction, 7% move speed, passive (relics receive 40 second CDR).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Utility option for Guardians in the Support role, with multiple minor benefits. Strategic pickup in the mid to late game, great in combination with group relics in teamfights.

A jack-of-all-trades item, it doesn't stand out anywhere, but has lots of potential utility at an extremely reasonable price. A bit of CDR and health is helpful for all Guardians. The move speed is great for quicker rotations, especially for slower gods without mobility.

To maximize the relic CDR effect, make sure you're using your relics as much as possible in any teamfight. Especially effective for gods that use Blink Rune.


Rod of Asclepius
90 magical power, 200 health, 7% move speed, passive (allied gods within 70 units have their healing from abilities increased by 20%. This does not stack with similar auras).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Optional item for healers to enhance group healing.

Not only does this item enhance healing, but the added move speed and health provide good survival utility for healing mages, since they usually don't have escapes. Usually picked up after movement speed and CDR items, but can be purchased late if other items are preferred earlier.


Shield of Regrowth
10% CDR, 300 health, +15 HP5, +15 MP5, passive (after healing yourself from an ability, you gain +30% move speed for 4 seconds. This can only occur once every 10 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Utility item for gods with healing abilities who want a burst of extra move speed. Usually picked up in the mid to late game.

There are multiple gods that have healing abilities, and this item, while not providing any tangible offensive benefit, gives some added utility to help chase, escape, and rotate more quickly.


Toxic Blade
100 health, 15 penetration, 30% attack speed, 7% move speed, passive (enemies hit by your basic attacks gain 20% reduced healing, stacking up to 2 times and lasting 8 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Anti-heal utility for basic attackers.

The anti-heal effect is applied via basic attacks, so only has utility function for gods that use basic attacks often. Without any power, this item is used only situationally, and is most viable in builds with high attack-speed Qin's Sais-based builds.

With the new Season 8 starter items and their upgrades, it's become harder to fit this into many builds, making it a bit less viable overall.


Winged Blade
200 health, 30 magical protection, 10% CC reduction, 7% move speed, passive (when hit by a slow, you are immune to slows and your movement speed is increased by 20% for 4 seconds. Only occurs once every 30 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Defensive utility option for Tanks or Bruisers, as a counter to slows. Picked up late for added utility.

For a low price, you get added movespeed and tanky counter to high enemy team CC and slows. Situational use for Guardian Supports, or for desperate Mages with low mobility struggling with enemy CC.


Witchblade
250 health, 30 physical protection, 10% CDR, 7% move speed, passive AURA (enemies within 55 units have their attack speed reduced by 25%).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Utility anti-basic attack counter item, with added CDR.

Similar to the other items above that provide multiple functions, this is a direct counter item to basic attackers. Sees situational use by Guardians in Solo or Support roles, and tanks of all types.h


Physical Movement Speed Items






Atalanta's Bow
25% attack speed, 40 Physical Power, 10% penetration, passive (if you receive a kill or assist on an enemy god you gain Atalanta’s Agility for 10s. This effect increases your Attack Speed by 20% and decreases the movement penalty for attacking, backpedaling, and strafing by 30%).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Mid to late-game option for basic-attackers that adds situational mobility.

The combination of power, attack speed, % penetration, and enhanced mobility makes this a functional item for basic attackers. Recent buff (Patch 8.7) should increase its appeal, though is overshadowed by The Executioner in terms of popularity.


Golden Blade
30 physical power, 15% attack speed, 10% move speed, passive (all basic attacks will also hit enemies within a 15 unit radius of the target for 50% of the damage to gods, 50% damage to minions and jungle camps).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Strategic quick jungle camp clear option for basic-attack Assassins in the Conquest Jungle. Has also seen early-game pickup in the Solo-lane.

This is a specialized item for Assassins in the Jungle, allowing for quick and efficient camp clear without the need to use abilities. This can ease mana consumption and allow abilities to be ready for enemy god encounters, and is essential for some gods whose abilities don't clear camps well (e.g. Arachne).

Solo-laners also pick this up situationally in the early game for quicker camp clear and early pressure.

WARNING: Assassins & Warriors only! Cannot buy for Hunters!


Hastened Katana
15% attack speed, 7% move speed, 25 physical power, passive (when your basic attack hits a target, the attacking move speed debuff is removed from you for 1 second).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Strategic option for basic attacking Assassins and Warriors, specifically to help stay close to enemies. Picked up at all stages of the game.

This is a specialized attack speed item, allowing you to move at full speed even when basic attacking (as long as you connect), which is particularly helpful when boxing.

Popularly used for Kali and Bakasura, and may be situationally functional for Warriors like Erlang Shen, Osiris, and Vamana.

WARNING: Assassins and Warriors only! Cannot buy for Hunters!


Relic Dagger
350 health, 10% CDR, 10% CC reduction, 7% move speed, passive (relics receive 40 second CDR).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Utility option with multiple minor benefits.

A jack-of-all-trades item, it doesn't stand out anywhere, but has lots of potential utility at a reasonable price. A bit of CDR, which is helpful for all Warriors, combined with added move speed, is great for quicker rotations, especially for slower gods without mobility.

To maximize the passive relic CDR effect, make sure you're using your relics as much as possible in any teamfight. Especially effective for gods that use Blink Rune.


Shield of Regrowth
10% CDR, 300 health, +15 HP5, +15 MP5, passive (after healing yourself from an ability, you gain +30% move speed for 4 seconds. This can only occur once every 10 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Utility item for gods with healing abilities who want extra move speed. Usually picked up in the mid to late game.

There are multiple gods that have healing abilities, and this item, while not providing any tangible offensive benefit, gives some added utility to help chase, escape, and rotate more quickly.

Can work really well with Amaterasu, Camazotz, Chaac, Hercules, and any other healing god (other than Vamana, don't get it for him) that needs both protections and power.


Stone Cutting Sword
50 physical power, 7% move speed, passive (melee basic attacks decrease an enemy's physical protection by 7, and increase your physical protection by 5 for 3 seconds (max 3 stacks)).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Functional hybrid item for physical, melee basic-attacking Junglers. Because of somewhat high price, usually picked up in the mid to late game.

When facing high threat of damage from physical enemies, this item is great for melee-based basic-attacking Junglers who want to out-box their target.

WARNING: Melee only! Cannot buy for Hunters!


Toxic Blade
100 health, 10 penetration, 30% attack speed, 7% move speed, passive (enemies hit by your basic attacks gain 20% reduced healing, stacking up to 3 times and lasting 5 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Anti-heal utility for basic attackers.

The anti-heal effect is applied via basic attacks, so only has utility function for gods that use basic attacks often. Without any power, this item is used only situationally, and is most viable with high attack-speed Qin's Sais-based builds.


Winged Blade
200 health, 30 magical protection, 10% CC reduction, 7% move speed, passive (when hit by a slow, you are immune to slows and your movement speed is increased by 20% for 4 seconds. Only occurs once every 30 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Defensive utility option for Tanks or Bruisers as a counter to slows and heavy CC. Picked up in the late-game.

Provides a variety of tanky utility, namely against high CC and slows. Situational use for Warriors, and possibly some tankier Assassins, when struggling against enemy CC.


Witchblade
250 health, 30 physical protection, 10% CDR, 7% move speed, passive AURA (enemies within 55 units have their attack speed reduced by 25%).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Utility anti-basic attack counter item for basic-attacking hunters and assassins, with added CDR.

Similar to the other items above that provide multiple functions, this is a direct counter item to basic attackers. Most likely to be picked up by tanky Warriors in the Solo or Support roles, as well as tanks of all types in all modes.

Stacking Items



Available for use in all modes except Assault, these permanent stacking items are useful for their powerful, fully-stacked stats. Because stacks are built by killing minions, it takes time to reach its max-stack, evolved form. They are thus most effective when purchased early, and in modes where matches are longer.

This doesn't mean you can't effectively build stacks in Arena, for example, but care and thought as to team composition and need should be utilized.

*NOTE* This list doesn't include stacking items such as Hide of the Urchin or Charon's Coin that are stacked differently (via god kills / assists). It also does not cover temporary stack items such as Doom Orb or Talisman of Energy.


Magical Stacking Items






Book of Thoth
... Base Stats ...

87.5 Magical Power*
250 Mana
+15 MP5
... Full Stacks ...

130 Magical Power*
1,000 Mana
+20 MP5

PASSIVE: You permanently gain +10 mana per stack, and receive 5 stacks per god kill, and 1 stack per minion kill. 6% of your mana is converted to magical power. *At 75 stacks, this item evolves, gaining 4% extra mana (from items) to power conversion.*

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium Viability. Helpful for gods looking for good power and a huge mana pool. Cannot be used in Assault.

This is a decent pick for almost any Mid-Lane / Damage Mage looking for high power and a mana pool that essentially guarantees they won't run out, and should be built early to build stacks. However, it is not a popular pick for most in the current meta, because purchasing this delays getting other preferred items / stats (e.g. Doom Orb or Charon's Coin for mobility, Chronos' Pendant for high CDR, or some flat penetration items with additional effects). The most likely god to use this item is Kukulkan.

*NOTE* The true power contribution of this item depends on the total mana of the god & items chosen. You can easily see a final power contribution from this item at up to 180-190 power.

In modes where backing often is common, the huge mana pool isn't needed quite as badly, and other, non-stacking items might be suggested.


Warlock's Staff
... Base Stats ...

85 Magical Power
200 Mana
150 Health
10% Magical Penetration
... Full Stacks ...

145 Magical Power
200 Mana
225 Health
10% Magical Penetration

PASSIVE: You permanently gain +0.8 health and +1 magical power per stack, and receive 5 stacks per god kill, and 1 stack per minion kill. Max 650 stacks.

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium Viability. Interesting set of stats, especially for a stacking item. The power is nice but the added health doesn't seem like enough to make it a true bruiser item. Cannot be used in Assault.

This item sits in an interesting spot, where it doesn't really belong in the early game, and stacking late doesn't make a lot of sense. The total combined stats aren't bad, as it also provides some % penetration, but it's not commonly purchased.

You can consider mid-game, perhaps, for the combination of stats, but there are better items to build right now.


Physical Stacking Items


This section will discuss two physical power items that require stacking; they provide significantly different stats.






Devourer's Gauntlet
... Base Stats ...

30 physical power
15% lifesteal
... Full Stacks ...

65 physical power
29% lifesteal

Permanently gain +0.5 physical power and +0.2% physical lifesteal per stack, and receive 5 stacks per god kill and 1 stack per minion kill. Max 70 stacks.

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Solid early option for sustain (via lifesteal) and good power as stacks are built. Cannot be used in Assault.

"Devo's" is most commonly built on Hunters as the 1st or 2nd item in a build. For the basic-attacking hunter, this provides great stats for the cost. It's not usually suggested on more ability-reliant hunters or other classes.

This is often the best option for early health sustain, and for exchanging damage and coming out healthier than the enemy.


Transcendence
... Base Stats ...

*40 physical power*
300 mana
+10 MP5

... Full Stacks ...

*103 physical power*
1050 mana
+10 MP5
10% CDR

Passive: Permanently gain +15 mana per stack, and receive 5 stacks per god kill and 1 stack per minion kill. Max 50 stacks. *Additionally, 3% of your Mana is converted to Physical Power.*

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Standard pick for an ability user looking for a huge mana pool. Cannot be used in Assault.

Picked up mostly by ability-reliant gods that rely on burst damage, or hybrid gods that use both basic attacks and abilities often. Seen in both the Carry (ADC) and Jungler roles.

This item provides an incredible pool of mana as it stacks, making it a good item for modes where longer stays in-lane are important and mana use is potentially high. It's also the item that provides the highest power contribution of all physical items upon gaining full stacks. It does cost a lot, so understand that it can put you behind in the early game, especially in the Carry (ADC) role when facing an enemy that chooses Devo's and has early health sustain.

The true power contribution of this item depends on the total mana of the god and items chosen. You will generally see at least 63 additional power coming at full stacks (a total of 98 power!).

Since it doesn't provide health sustain, it's a better choice if the god has some healing within their kit; otherwise, they'll likely have to supplement with specific lifesteal items later, such as Asi, Bloodforge, or Serrated Edge.

Magical & Physical Protections (Quick & Dirty Resource)



This section provides a quick summary for T3 and T2-final items with survival stats. Categories are separated into Magical protections, Physical protections, and Universal protections / health. Unlike other chapters, I won't be restating stats and offering discussion. Rather, I will briefly indicate typical users and the most important functions they provide.


Magical Protection Items




Ancile: Key Functions: CDR/power/magical protection, shockwave of silence. Typical users: Bruiser assassins. Limitations: Physical only.

Bulwark of Hope: Key Functions: Health shield / selfish survival. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Genji's Guard: Key Functions: CDR / mana sustain. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Heartward Amulet: Key Functions: Magical protection aura / team mana sustain. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Lotus Crown: Key Functions: Team protection buff. Typical users: Team healers. Limitations: Magical only.

Oni Hunter's Garb: Key Functions: Teamfight damage mitigation. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Pestilence: Key Functions: Anti-heal. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Pridwen: Key Functions: CDR & Protections. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Runic Shield: Key Functions: Anti-magical early 1v1 advantage. Typical users: All physical gods, situationally. Limitations: Physical only.

Shogun's Kusari: Key Functions: Team basic attack speed / objective damage. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Stone of Fal: Key Functions: Damage mitigation. Typical users: Bruisers / Tanks. Limitations: Magical only.

Talisman of Energy: Key Functions: Team mobility / team aggression. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: Magical only.

Void Stone: Key Functions: Magical protection reduction. Typical users: Bruiser Mages / aggressive Guardians. Limitations: Magical only.


Physical Protection Items




Berserker's Shield: Key Functions: anti-physical / basic attack boost. Typical users: Basic-attackers. Limitations: Assassins and Warriors only.

Breastplate of Valor: Key Functions: CDR / Mana. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Celestial Legion Helm: Key Functions: High physical protection. Typical users: Mages. Limitations: Magical only.

Contagion: Key Functions: Anti-Heal. Typical users: Tanks / Solo-Laners. Limitations: Magical only.

Emperor's Armor: Key Functions: Objective offense / defense. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Gladiator's Shield: Key Functions: Anti-physical / ability kill commit. Typical users: Physical, ability-based Solo-laners. Limitations: Physical only.

Hide of the Nemean Lion: Key Functions: Anti-basic attack. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Jade Emperor's Crown: Key Functions: Aggressive anti-magical. Typical users: Aggressive guardians. Limitations: Magical only.

Lotus Crown: Key Functions: Team protections. Typical users: Team healers. Limitations: Magical only.

Midgardian Mail: Key Functions: Anti-basic attack. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Mystical Mail: Key Functions: Aggression / minion clear. Typical users: Solo-laners. Limitations: None.

Sovereignty: Key Functions: Team physical protection / health sustain. Typical users: Supports. Limitations: None.

Spectral Armor: Key Functions: Anti-crit. Typical users: All gods, situationally. Limitations: None.

Tyrannical Plate Helm: Key Functions: Lane pressure. Typical users: Mid and Solo laners. Limitations: Magical only.

Void Shield: Key Functions: Aggressive protection reduction. Typical users: Bruiser Junglers, Solo-laners. Limitations: Physical only.


Universal Protection / Health Items


This section contains items that provide dual protections, health, or both. Not all items that provide health are listed here...only the ones where health/survival is a large part of its contribution to overall stats.





Caduceus Shield: Key Functions: Bonus healing for physical gods Typical users: Guan Yu / Warriors w/ healing. Limitations: Physical only.

Gauntlet of Thebes: Key Functions: Balanced protections, team protection aura. Typical users: Supports. Limitations: None.

Hide of the Urchin: Key Functions: Balanced selfish protections. Typical users: Bruisers / Tanks. Limitations: None.

Lono's Mask: Key Functions: Damage mitigation to all incoming damage sources. Typical users: Non-standard gods in a Support role. Limitations: Assassin / Hunter / Mage only.

Magi's Cloak: Key Functions: Anti-CC. Typical users: Squishy gods. Limitations: None.

Mail of Renewal: Key Functions: Sustain in teamfights. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

Mantle of Discord: Key Functions: Balanced protections / CDR. Typical users: All gods that find a need for protections. Limitations: None.

Pridwen: Key Functions: High CDR / Dual Protections. Typical users: Guardians / Warriors Limitations: None.

Shield of Regrowth: Key Functions: Mobility. Typical users: Gods with healing. Limitations: None.

Shifter's Shield: Key Functions: High power / aggression. Typical users: All physical gods, situationally. Limitations: Physical only.

Spirit Robe: Key Functions: Balanced protections / CC reduction / damage mitigation. Typical users: All gods, situationally. Limitations: None.

Stone of Binding: Key Functions: Team penetration / aggression. Typical users: Tanks / gods with lots of CC. Limitations: Magical only.

Stone of Gaia: Key Functions: High health sustain. Typical users: Tanks. Limitations: None.

The Sledge: Key Functions: Balanced offense / defense, high health & CCR. Typical users: Physical bruisers. Limitations: Physical only.

Winged Blade: Key Functions: Anti-slow. Typical users: Bruisers / tanks. Limitations: None.

Penetration / Protection Reduction

Protection Reduction / Penetration Calculations



Protection Reduction and Penetration items are extremely functional and necessary for damage-dealers in all game modes. Both types aim to increase your damage output, but are calculated in different ways, and have drastically different effects in various situations. We will look at both groups separately, as well as how they can work together.

Firstly, however, it's important to know the calculation hierarchy when dealing with these stats:

% Protection Reduction > Flat Protection Reduction > % Penetration > Flat Penetration

What exactly does this mean? Specifically, the effect from the first type (% protection reduction) is calculated first. Adjusted numbers are then modified down the line, in that order.

*NOTE* One final calculation is made after Protection Reduction and Penetration. This is called Damage Mitigation / Damage Reduction, and is applied by very unique items, such as Oni Hunter's Garb, Spirit Robe, and Warrior's Blessing. Some gods also have this built into their kits. However, that will not be discussed further in this section.

The main point of inefficiency comes when you mix any protection reduction with % penetration. This isn't necessarily a big deal, but any protection reduction that is present reduces the amount that % pen further reduces. Here are some examples of calculations to show you what is happening in these situations.

Calculations and Examples

Further Discussion on Penetration vs. Protection Reduction

Inters3ct's Video Guide Explaining Penetration, Protections and Mitigations


Gods with Protection Reduction / Penetration



Some gods even have built in skills or passives that give similar stats. Here is a list of gods and the skills they incorporate:



Key Differences



Finally, let's look at key differences between Protection Reduction and Penetration.


Key aspects of Protection Reduction:

Pros
Cons
  • Protection Reduction is a debuff. This means that when under the effects of Protection Reduction, ANY damage source of the same type (magical / physical) will be enhanced...not just yours! (Note that minions and objectives deal physical damage)

  • Protection reduction DOES affect Gold Fury, Fire Giant, and Titan.

  • Stacking items such as The Executioner and Demonic Grip don't overlap stacks, BUT if two gods have the same stacking item and are attacking the same target, max stacks can be achieved quickly.
  • Decreases effectiveness of % penetration items/skills.

  • DOES NOT affect minions, towers or phoenixes.

  • Identical auras (such as having 2 Void Shields or 2 Void Stones) DO NOT stack.

  • Stacking items require multiple hits to reach full potency.

  • Stacked Protection Reduction can be CC cleansed (e.g. Purification, Hel's Cleanse, Chang'e's Moonlit Waltz, etc.), and would have to be reapplied.


Key aspects of Penetration:

Pros
Cons
  • Both Flat and % Penetration enhance your damage vs objectives such as towers and phoenixes, as well as objective minions such as the Gold Fury, Fire Giant, and Titan.

  • These items don't require stacking, and are thus very functional for use with both ability-based and basic-attacking gods.
  • Penetration is a personal buff. It directly increases only YOUR damage.

  • DOES NOT affect minions.

  • Effect of % penetration is reduced by ANY Protection Reduction item or skill.




Magical Penetration Items


Magical penetration items are picked up at all points of a build. Flat Penetration is typically picked in the earlier stages of a build, and are more effective against squishy enemies. % Penetration is usually more useful in the later parts of a build, though some of these items are more commonly picked up mid-build.


Flat Magical Penetration Items




Divine Ruin
90 magical power, 10 flat penetration, passive (enemies hit by your abilities have 40% reduced healing and regen for 6 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Anti-healing counter item.

This is a strong counter item to healers of all types. Good to pick up in the mid-game, and the flat pen is effective against squishier targets.


Spear of Desolation
110 magical power, 10 flat penetration, 10% CDR, passive (earning a kill or assist subtracts 2 seconds from all abilities currently on CD, as well as 6 seconds on ultimate CD).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Mid to late-game damage item for mages, niche use for aggressive guardians.

The combination of power, CDR, and flat penetration is useful for basically any magical god looking for extra damage.


Spear of the Magus
110 magical power, 12% magical lifesteal, 10 flat penetration, passive (any god you damage becomes marked and debuffed to take 7.5% increased damage from all sources for 7s. This effect can only affect one god at a time and can only occur once every 15s).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Provides good base stats for the user, now with added lifesteal, and a damage increase for all teammates that attack an affected target. Best in the middle of a build.

Strong universal item that provides bonus damage that's especially helpful in teamfights.


% Magical Penetration Items




Charon's Coin
70 magical power, 20% penetration, +7 HP5, +20 MP5, passive (on god kill or assist a coin is flipped. If heads, you gain a stack of 7 HP5. If tails, you gain a stack of 2% Movement Speed. Each effect can stack up to 4 times and at 8 stacks this item evolves. You also gain 1 gold every time the coin is flipped.

EVOLVED PASSIVE - On god kill or assist a coin is flipped. If heads, you gain 150 Health over 6 seconds. If tails, you gain 5% Movement Speed for 6 seconds. You also gain 1 gold every time the coin is flipped.).


Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Utility offensive item that is often built in the early to mid portions of a build. Building earlier helps gain stacks.

This item provides strong % pen and is best considered as a higher-utility version of Obsidian Shard. It has an interesting but complex passive that gives added HP5 and movement speed. When it evolves, you can get a health shield or an additional boost of MS.

You typically want to build it before the late stages of a build for the stacks. Gives offensive gods some level of added sustain and survivability, while also being great at damaging tanks.


Obsidian Shard
80 power, 20% magical penetration, passive (your first ability cast gains 10% magical penetration. This can only occur once ever 10 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium Viability. Specific anti-tank function.

Against enemies with low magical protection, this item is less functional than most flat penetration items. The true benefit is for ability-users against tanks, where it will deeply cut through their protection. Best to pick up in the late game.


Rod of Tahuti
140 magical power, 10% magical penetration, 30 MP5, passive (gain 25% additional magical power against targets below 50% health).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Mid to late-game damage item for mages, functional boost for healers with low health teammates.

This expensive item provides high power, with a significant boost in power application toward low health targets. This power converts to bonus damage to help finish low health enemies off, while on the flipside, it can boost heal scaling for low health teammates. Due to the strength of the stats, it can be purchased fairly early in a build, but due to the high cost, is easier to purchase later.


Staff of Myrddin
85 magical power, 10% magical penetration, 10% CDR, passive (when your ultimate ability has finished casting you gain Myrddin’s Brilliance which provides 70% Uncapped Cooldown Reduction, decaying to 40% Uncapped Cooldown Reduction over 4s. Uncapped Cooldown Reduction overrides normal Cooldown Reduction. At the end of the 4s you lose Myrddin’s Brilliance. This can only occur once every 45s).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium High Viability. Mid to late-game burst item for mages, niche use for guardians with strong CC.

This item provides some well-balanced stats, but the passive interaction with the ultimate means it's not going to be extremely effective for all gods. It's better if the god has CC combined with damage, to provide extra control. The cost is also fairly high (2,800 gold).


Typhon's Fang
70 magical power, 200 mana, 15% magical lifesteal, 10% magical penetration, passive (your Healing obtained from Magical Lifesteal is increased by 30%. Your Magical Power is increased by twice the amount of Magical Lifesteal you have).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Functional as the 2nd lifesteal item for select gods, and as a 1st lifesteal items for gods that have lifesteal in their kits. Is often seen in the middle to late portions of a build.

There are specific gods that will get the best use out of this item. Magical ADCs can use this, but the most popular user of this item is [[Anubis], who relies on lifesteal to stay alive in most engagements. The passive lifesteal boost can partially counteract anti-heal.


Warlock's Staff
(At max stacks) 145 magical power, 225 health, 200 mana, 10% penetration.

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium Viability. Interesting set of stats, especially for a stacking item. The power is nice but the added health doesn't seem like enough. Cannot be used in Assault.

This item sits in an interesting spot, where it doesn't really belong in the early game, and stacking late doesn't make a lot of sense.

You can consider mid-game, perhaps, for the combination of stats, but there are probably better items to build right now.


Magical Protection Reduction Items


Magical protection reduction items are usually picked up in the middle of a build.




Demonic Grip
75 magical power, 30% attack speed, passive (basic attacks reduce your target's magical protection by 10% for 3 seconds, max 3 stacks).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Huge mid-game damage for basic-attacking Mages.

This is an essential penetration item for Mage ADCs focusing on basic attack damage, such as Chronos, Freya, Olorun and Sol. The attack speed increase, paired with high % protection reduction, gives a huge boost to damage output.


Stone of Binding
30 magical power, 30 magical protection, 30 physical protection, +10 MP5, passive (hitting an enemy god with crowd control will place a debuff on enemies hit. The debuff decreases the enemy's magical and physical protections by 10 for 5 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Aggressive early to mid-game bridge item for Guardians or Mages with hard CC, looking for some protection to go along with early teamfight potential.

Due to the moderate amount of balanced protections, this is often a choice for Guardians looking to have a bit of tankiness while also enhancing their team's damage on specific targets. 10 protection reduction can be powerful in the early game, and can remain somewhat effective as the match extends into the late-game, if the team is sticking close and working well together.


Void Stone
150 health, 40 magical power, 60 magical protection, passive aura (reduces the magical protection of enemies within 55 units by 15).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Aggressive mid-game anti-magical counter item for Guardians.

This is a bruiser item for a tanky god looking for some offensive function. Usually picked up by aggressive Guardians for the utility.

Requires proximity for the protection reduction effect, so consider this when choosing it. Remember though, that most abilities and basic attacks fall within 55 units, so if you're attacking, it's probably applying the effect.


Physical Penetration Items


Physical penetration items are usually picked up in the middle to late sections of a build. There are a wide variety of options, with better effect at different stages of the game.


Flat Physical Penetration Items




Asi
25 physical power, 20% lifesteal, 25% attack speed, 15 flat penetration, passive (if you drop below 35% health, gain an additional 30% lifesteal for 5 seconds, CD 15 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Mid to late-game basic-attacker's lifesteal option with balanced stats and high sustain for effective boxing.

The combination of power, lifesteal, attack speed and penetration, makes this an extremely functional item for basic attackers. Perhaps the best mid-game item for lifesteal.


Brawler's Beat Stick
50 physical power, 15 flat penetration, passive (enemies hit by your abilities have 40% reduced healing and regen for 6 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Anti-heal for mid to late game ability-reliant gods.

High power and flat pen combined with an anti-heal effect is a great offensive counter to a self or group healer. Often a good choice for a Warrior, to counter an enemy Solo-Laner such as Amaterasu, Chaac, Guan Yu, Hercules, or any magical healer.


Jotunn's Wrath
45 power, 150 mana, 10 penetration, 20% CDR.

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Early to mid-game CDR for ability-reliant gods.

People generally buy this for the CDR to help spam their abilities, not for the penetration it brings, which is just an added bonus.

Usually picked up in the early to mid game, and is not recommended for most basic attackers.


The Crusher
40 physical power, 15 flat penetration, 20% attack speed, passive (your abilities deal bonus damage over time equal to 20 + 15% of your Physical Power over 2 seconds.).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Mid to late-game damage option for basic attackers that also rely on abilities for some damage.

This is a mid to late-game pickup for basic attackers, providing a great combination of damage-focused stats. Due to its passive scaling, it's most effective in high-power builds.


Toxic Blade
100 health, 15 flat penetration, 30% attack speed, 7% move speed, passive (enemies hit by your basic attacks gain 20% reduced healing, stacking up to 2 times and lasting 6 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Anti-heal utility for basic attackers.

The anti-heal effect is applied via basic attacks, so only has utility function for gods that use basic attacks often. Without any power, this item is used only situationally, and is most viable in builds with high attack-speed Qin's Sais-based builds.


% Physical Penetration Items




Atalanta's Bow
25% attack speed, 35 Physical Power, 10% penetration, passive (if you receive a kill or assist on an enemy god you gain Atalanta’s Agility for 10s. This effect increases your Attack Speed by 20% and decreases the movement penalty for attacking, backpedaling, and strafing by 30%).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium Viability. Mid to late-game option for basic-attacker's that adds mobility.

The combination of power, attack speed, high % penetration, and enhanced mobility makes this a functional item for basic attackers. Recent nerf (Patch 8.1) decreased its appeal, and is now overshadowed by Dominance and The Executioner in terms of popularity.


Berserker's Shield
40 physical power, 35 physical protection, 25% attack speed, 10% penetration, passive (if you drop below 40% HP you become Berserk. Berserk provides 30 Physical Power and 20% Attack Speed. Lasts 5s, refreshes if healed and then re-damaged at the same threshold).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Strong item for basic attackers when boxing other physical gods. Can only be used by Assassins and Warriors.

The combination of stats are very helpful for basic attackers, especially in boxing scenarios. This is an item you'll pick up if you like to commit to a fight; when your health is low, you gain additional power and attack speed to hopefully outlast the enemy.


Dominance
55 physical power, 200 mana, 20 MP5, 10% penetration, passive (your basic attacks benefit from an additional 15% physical penetration).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Strong penetration item for gods that rely on basic attacks.

This is a new item for Season 8 that builds off the same tree as Transcendence and Heartseeker, sharing high power and a source of mana. The bonus penetration on basic attacks makes it a key item for Hunters, and has taken the place of Atalanta's Bow as a core pen item.


Fail-Not
40 physical power, 10% crit chance, 10% penetration, 20% CDR, passive (when your ultimate ability has finished casting, your next ability or basic attack within 8s that damages an enemy god marks them, increasing the chance you and your allies can land a critical strike by 20% for 10 seconds. This can only occur once every 45 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Hunter-specific, offensive utility for teamfights.

This item provides good power, along with high CDR, some crit chance and % pen, providing solid stats for hunters that want CDR that's especially helpful for more ult use.

The passive will find better use in a teamfight, as it creates a crit debuff on affected enemies, allowing ALL teammates the chance to deal critical strikes. However, the main draw will be for the main stats. The Patch 8.2 Bonus Update nerf has made it less appealing, and is not picked up nearly as often as it did prior to the nerf.


Heartseeker
65 physical power, 10% penetration, 200 mana, 20 MP5, passive (Your abilities deal an additional 2% of the targets maximum Health as Physical Damage. If you have over 200 Physical Power, your ability bonus damage scales up. This effect reaches a maximum of 5% Maximum Health damage at 400 Physical Power). Subsequent hits from the passive on the same target do 75% the bonus damage for the next 3s.

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Strong aggression with burst damage potential, especially against high-health targets.

This is a strong item that is typically built late game, due to the high price and the stronger effectiveness against high-health targets. Best for gods that rely heavily on ability damage, and more effective with a full damage build.

However, it can be picked up by tankier gods as a single damage item to help increase overall damage output.


Serrated Edge
35 power, 10% lifesteal, 7% move speed, 20% penetration, passive (for every non-ultimate ability on cooldown you gain a stack of Cruelty. Each stack provides 10 Physical Power and 3% Physical Lifesteal).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Strong item at almost any point of a build for basic attacking gods that use their abilities to dive an enemy, and then finish them with basic attacks.

This is an interesting new item that can be used well at most stages of a match. The cost is slightly on the expensive side, but comes with high power potential and good sustain support, with high % penetration that carries extremely well into the late-game. It has a great amount of offensive stats to help the user commit to a kill, and should be considered for any god that uses all of their abilities to go in for a kill.


Silverbranch Bow
30 physical power, 30% attack speed, 10% penetration, passive (for each 0.02 attack speed you go over cap (2.5) you gain 2 physical power).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Late-game, high attack speed item that provides benefit from overcapping attack speed.

This item should see the most benefit from builds building high attack speed and incorporating Qin's Sais, due to the attack speed and penetration. Gods that have strong attack speed steroids may also find use for this item when looking to get the most out of Qin's passive at all times.

With starter items and their upgrades often finding a permanent place in builds, as well as a nerf to Atalanta's Bow and the creation and popularity of the item Dominance, it's become a bit more difficult to fit this into some builds with the same effect it had late in Season 7.


Soul Eater
20 physical power, 10% lifesteal, 5% ability lifesteal, 10% penetration, 10% CDR, passive (each time anything dies within 80 units, you gain a stack. Gods, Large Jungle monsters, and Jungle bosses provide 5 stacks. At 75 Stacks Soul Eater Evolves, gaining +15 Physical Power, +5% Physical Lifesteal, and 20% ability lifesteal).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Power + lifesteal/sustain item for hybrid basic / ability attackers.

This is an interesting item that is generally meant for gods that utilize both basic attacks and abilities (e.g. ability-reliant hunters, some assassins), with specific intent to provide sustain from all attacks.

Although it's a stacking item, it won't take long to evolve, as ANY nearby death (friend or foe, including minions) will provide stacks. That said, it's not currently very popular, as the power it provides is quite low.


Titan's Bane
40 physical power, 20% penetration, passive (Your first ability cast gains 20% Physical Penetration. This can only occur once every 10 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Specific anti-tank function.

Against enemies with low physical protection, this item is less functional than most flat penetration items. The true benefit is for ability-users against tanks, where it will deeply cut through their protection. The passive can allow for penetration past the 40% cap. Best to pick up in the late-game.


Wind Demon
25 physical power, 20% crit chance, 15% attack speed, passive (your Critical Hits provide you with 10% Physical Penetration and increase your Attack Speed by 15% and Movement Speed by 10% for 5s).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Popular mid to late-game crit option.

The added attack and move speed has strong appeal, especially for Hunters that have built limited attack speed items, don't have steroids in their kit, or have no escape abilities.

Typically built mid/late-game as a 1st or 2nd crit item.


Physical Protection Reduction Items




Physical protection reduction items are usually picked up in the middle to late stages of a build. There are a few options, with better effect at different stages of the game.



Stone Cutting Sword
50 physical power, 7% move speed, passive (melee basic attacks decrease an enemy's physical protection by 7, and increase your physical protection by 5 for 3 seconds, max 3 stacks).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Mid to Late-game utility option for basic attacking Assassins and Warriors.

Due to the high price, this should usually be picked up in the late game. This is a good counter to other physical gods in 1 v 1 situations.

Cannot be purchased by Hunters.


The Executioner
35 physical power, 20% attack speed, passive (basic attacks against an enemy reduce the target's physical protection by 7% for 3 seconds, max 4 stacks).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Mid / late-game basic attacker's option.

With the 8.1 patch's significant buff to this item, combined with Atalanta's Bow's nerf, it is currently a popular item for basic attackers. It more functional against extremely tanky comps, and other physical gods benefit with increased damage output.


Void Shield
20 physical power, 45 physical protection, 150 health, passive aura (reduces the physical protection of enemies within 55 units by 15%).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Late-game anti-physical bruiser item.

When picking up this item, you sacrifice high power for some anti-tank function, while also getting good physical protection. This can be picked up as early as the mid-game, as it can be effective against enemies that have built at least 1 physical protection item.

CDR: Item Combos and the Need (?) to Max



CDR (Cooldown Reduction) is a highly prized stat that is greatly appreciated by all gods that rely heavily on their abilities to be effective. The stat is capped at 40%, which means it's important to think ahead when planning your build...there are many choices, and simply getting two 20% CDR items (e.g. Breastplate of Valor + Jotunn's Wrath) means you block yourself from getting full effectiveness from other items that could potentially provide more function.

In addition, there are a couple of temporary buffs that increase your CDR for a short time: the Blue Mana buff and the Potion of Magical Might. If you regularly pick these up, you may not need to go beyond 30% CDR.

This chapter will go over CDR options, and provide some examples of item combinations to get the most out of the stat.


Universal Defensive / Utility CDR Items






Blackthorn Hammer
40 physical power, 400 health, 200 mana, passive (while over 25% Mana, you gain 10% Cooldown Reduction. While under 25% Mana, you gain +50 MP5).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Great early-game item for physical gods looking for survivability and ability use.

This is a solid early-game item providing high health and either CDR or high mana regen, to make sure you're able to use abilities often and efficiently. Most likely to be used by mana-hungry gods in the Solo lane, but can be used in a wide variety of situations. Not currently very popular.


Breastplate of Valor
65 physical protection, 300 mana, +10 MP5, 20% CDR.

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Anti-physical item with a huge boost in mana pool and CDR.

This is a physical protection item for tanks, specifically for the mana pool and the CDR . It is usually picked up fairly early in a build. Currently overshadowed as a tank item by Pridwen, which is the preferred choice for most tanks looking for CDR.

In extreme situations, can be considered by Mages as an alternative to Chronos' Pendant if they're struggling mightily with physical enemy ganks.


Genji's Guard
150 health, 70 magical protection, +40 MP5, 10% CDR, passive (when you take magical damage from abilities, your CDs are reduced by 3 seconds. CD 30 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Great anti-magical item with great mana sustain.

This may be the most balanced anti-magical protection item. It provides some of everything...high protection, a bit of health, great mana sustain, and a passive that situationally gives you better than 20% CDR for some abilities.


Mantle of Discord
60 magical protection, 60 physical protection, 10% CDR, passive (if you take damage below 30% health, you unleash a shockwave that stuns all enemies within a range of 20 units for 1 second and gain CC immunity for 1 second. CD 90 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Expensive but effective late-game protection item with utility survival function.

High balanced protections make this an expensive bigger brother (of sorts) to Spirit Robe.
The passive should be specifically noted...it only triggers when you're close to death, and has a long CD. It can be effective as a single protection item for some squishy gods to help them escape dangerous situations. It also sees use by tanks in the late-game for the passive's potential to disrupt enemies in a teamfight.


Pridwen
20% CDR, 30 physical protection, 30 magical protection, passive (after casting your ultimate ability, gain a large shield equal to your protections for 5s. When this shield breaks, either by timing out or being depleted, it explodes and deals magical damage equal to 50% of the shield's health and slowing targets for 25% for 3s. Can only trigger once every 45 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Mid / late-game protection option for tanks looking for a high boost to CDR.

This is a very solid pickup for tanks looking for a large boost to CDR, while also getting some protections. The shield gained upon ulting is very functional for teamfights. As it doesn't provide any health or mana sustain, it's better after some those are purchased.

Note the functionality of when the ult activates; it only activates when the ult has ended. This can create weird, non-synergistic function for certain gods.


Relic Dagger
350 health, 10% CDR, 10% CC reduction, 7% move speed, passive (your relics receive 40 second CDR).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Popular with Supports wanting to use teamfight relics often.

Best and most common use of this item will be for gods that are looking for a lot of added utility, due to the high health, CDR, CC reduction, and movement speed. The passive takes a significant amount of cooldown time off of relics, which can provide some great function late-game in teamfights.

Almost a core item in teamfight modes for gods like Odin and Ares when combining with Blink Rune for initiation purposes.


Shield of Regrowth
300 health, 10% CDR, +15 HP5, +15 MP5, passive (after healing yourself from an ability, you gain +30% move speed for 4 seconds. CD 10 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. High mobility utility item.

This item only works on gods that have healing in their kits. That said, it provides a great level of survivability due to the boost of high movement speed. With a very short CD that allows it to be used extremely often, it not only functions for chase / espape situations, but also to quickly traverse the large Conquest map.

Great for gods such as Amaterasu, Artio, Chaac, Hel, Hercules, and Thanatos, to name a few.


Shogun's Kusari
60 magical protection, 150 health, +20 MP5, 10% CDR, passive AURA (allied gods within 70 units have their attack speed increased by 30%).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Anti-magical utility item to support multiple basic attackers.

Although a bit niche, it is very functional as a mid-game item to boost basic attack speed, not only for you, but for nearby teammates as well. I say mid-game, because late-game, most basic attackers have built up plenty of attack speed themselves, so it may be a bit less effective at that point. Due to towers only taking damage from basic attacks, it is also helpful in team pushes to take down objectives more quickly.


Spirit Robe
40 magical protection, 40 physical protection, 10% CDR, 20% CC reduction, passive (gain an additional 15% damage mitigation for 3 seconds whenever you are hit with a hard CC ability. CD 15 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Universal protection function.

This provides a great balance of stats for a tanky god with great anti-CC function, with the main draw being the passive's ability to mitigate a good portion of incoming damage. Note that damage mitigation comes into effect BEFORE protections are factored in, so is also effective against TRUE damage.


Witchblade
250 health, 30 physical protection, 10% CDR, 7% move speed, passive AURA (enemies within 55 units have their attack speed reduced by 25%).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Situational anti-basic attack utility.

Similar to the other items above that provide multiple functions, this is a direct counter item to basic attackers, while providing some added benefit for gods with basic attack function in their kits. You should probably only consider when facing multiple basic attacking enemies. Combines well with Midgardian Mail.


Magical CDR Items






Chronos' Pendant
100 magical power, +20 MP5, 20% CDR, passive (every 10 seconds the pendant activates, subtracting 1 second from all abilities currently on CD).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Highest CDR in an offensive magical item.

The somewhat high price makes it a better pickup in the mid to late-game. The CDR it provides is invaluable, and with the passive, provides better than 20% CDR equivalence.


Potion of Power
Unlocks at level 10. This consumable increases your Physical Power by 40, Magical Power by 70, and Cooldown Reduction by 10% for 5 minutes or until you are killed.

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Reasonably-priced consumable (500 gold) for mid and late-game boost.

If you're able to play it reasonably safe and have good teamwork, getting this 5 minute consumable can provide a good payoff. At the 10-minute mark (when this item unlocks), you won't have maxed CDR, and the power boost is helpful, especially for gods with high-scaling abilities.

The availability of this item means you don't necessarily have to get a full 40% CDR from items if you're okay with this consumable.


Soul Gem
80 magical power, 150 health, 12% magical lifesteal, 10% CDR, passive (successful hits of an ability gains 1 stack. At 4 stacks your next ability that damages an enemy god will deal bonus damage equal to 25% of your magical power, and will heal yourself and allies within 20 units for 30% of your magical power and will consume the 4 stacks).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Utility lifesteal item for burst damage, survivability, and minor team healing.

This is an interesting new item for S5, strongly focused on utility use rather than pure damage output. The burst damage it provides at full stacks is helpful, but to get enough healing out of it, it's better for gods that have low CDs on their damaging abilities.


Spear of Desolation
110 magical power, 15 flat penetration, 10% CDR, passive (earning a kill or assist subtracts 2 seconds from all abilities currently on CD, as well as 6 seconds on ultimate CD).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Mid-game pen option for damage boost.

The combination of power and flat penetration is useful for basically any mage looking for extra damage, especially in the earlier stages of a match due to the flat penetration. Many will want to pick this up, but you might consider skipping this item if you need to counter a healer (in which case, you'd Divine Ruin is the common substitute which still provides some flat penetration).


Staff of Myrddin
85 magical power, 10% magical penetration, 10% CDR, passive (when your ultimate ability has finished casting you gain Myrddin’s Brilliance which provides 70% Uncapped Cooldown Reduction, decaying to 40% Uncapped Cooldown Reduction over 6s. Uncapped Cooldown Reduction overrides normal Cooldown Reduction. At the end of the 6s you lose Myrddin’s Brilliance. This can only occur once every 45s).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium High Viability. Mid to late-game burst item for mages, niche use for guardians with strong CC.

This item provides some well-balanced stats, but the passive interaction with the ultimate means it's not going to be extremely effective for all gods. It's better if the god has CC combined with damage, to provide extra control. The cost is also fairly high (2,800 gold).


Sands of Time

+

Upgrades
Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Popular starter item for early CDR. Both upgrades provide CDR plus other benefits.

Sands of Time is a popular starter for Mid-Lane Mages, and mages of all types in other game modes. It also provides some mana sustain.

Pendulum of Ages is the offensive, high CDR upgrade, purchased specifically for that function.

The Alternate Timeline is the utility / defensive upgrade that provides decent protections, along with a Khepri ult-like function to prevent your immediate death.


Physical CDR Items






Ancile
50 physical power, 30 magical protection, 10% CDR, passive (whenever you take magical damage from an enemy ability you unleash a shockwave that Silences all enemies within a range of 30 units for 1 second. CD 30 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Anti-magical protection for gods in the midst of a fight.

Functional bruiser item against magical damage. Due to the low range, the passive is only helpful if you're in the midst of a fight.


Arondight
75 physical power, 10% CDR, passive (when your ultimate ability has finished casting, reveal all enemies within 120 units of you for 8s. While moving towards revealed enemies, you gain 30% increased movement speed. When first striking a revealed target, they take damage equal to an additional 20 + 40% of your physical power. This can only occur once every 45 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Unique offensive utility for offensive gods (e.g. Conquest Jungler) looking for easier ganking potential after ulting.

This item provides high power and some CDR. The passive is best used to track and kill retreating enemies, or to surprise an unsuspecting enemy. Great for gods that start a fight with their ults.


Blackthorn Hammer
40 physical power, 400 health, 200 mana, passive (while over 25% mana, gain 10% CDR. While under 25% mana, gain +50 MP5).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Offensive utility item for physical tanks and bruisers.

This is a strong item for the price, providing some power while also giving a large chunk of health and mana. The CDR and situational mana sustain are great for gods with mana issues.


Fail-Not
40 physical power, 10% crit chance, 20% CDR, passive (when your ultimate ability has finished casting, your next ability or basic attack within 8s that damages an enemy god marks them, increasing the chance you and your allies can land a critical strike by 20% for 10 seconds. This can only occur once every 45 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Hunter-specific, offensive utility for teamfights.

This item provides good power, along with high CDR, crit chance, and % pen, providing solid stats for hunters that want CDR that's especially helpful for more ult use.

The passive will find better use in a teamfight, as it creates a crit debuff on affected enemies, allowing ALL teammates the chance to deal critical strikes. However, the main draw will be for the main stats. The Patch 8.2 Bonus Update nerf has made it less appealing, and is not picked up nearly as often as it did prior to the nerf.


Gladiator's Shield
25 physical power, 200 health, 40 physical protection, 10% CDR, passive (any enemy god who is under 60% health takes bonus damage for your abilities equal to 15 +35% of your total protections from items and abilities. Triggers only once per enemy per ability).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Bruiser item for physical ability users.

A major shift to this item means it no longer provides sustain. Instead, it's a mid-priced item providing bruiser stats (some offense, some defense), with a offensive-focused passive.


Hydra's Lament
40 physical power, 10% CDR, +10 MP5, passive (for 8 seconds after using an ability, your next basic attack will deal an additional 40% damage. Also, grants 2.5 MP5 per 10% of your missing mana).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Great damage booster for gods that use basic-attack canceling.

This item's passive damage boost is activated via basic attacks used after activating an ability. This means it's important to use basic attack canceling (attacking with basics in-between ability use) when stringing multiple abilities together.

Great for gods such as Arachne, Awilix, Loki, Susano, and Thanatos.


Jotunn's Wrath
45 physical power, 150 mana, 10 physical penetration, 20% CDR.

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. High CDR item for offensive physical gods.

Providing the single highest CDR for offensive physical use, it is a key early to mid-game pickup. Note that it's strictly for offensive use, so it's more effective and recommended for Junglers rather than Solo-Laners.


Potion of Power
Unlocks at level 10. This consumable increases your Physical Power by 40, Magical Power by 70, and Cooldown Reduction by 10% for 5 minutes or until you are killed.

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Reasonably-priced consumable (500 gold) for late-game boost.

If you're able to play it reasonably safe and have good teamwork, getting this 5 minute consumable can provide a good payoff. It unlocks for purchase at the 10-minute mark and should be appealing for gods with high-scaling abilities and that want to top their CDR off.

The availability of this item means you don't necessarily have to get a full 40% CDR from items if you're okay with this consumable.


Soul Eater
20 physical power, 10% lifesteal, 5% ability lifesteal, 10% penetration, 10% CDR, passive (each time anything dies within 80 units, you gain a stack. Gods, Large Jungle monsters, and Jungle bosses provide 5 stacks. At 75 Stacks Soul Eater Evolves, gaining +15 Physical Power, +5% Physical Lifesteal, and 20% ability lifesteal).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Power + lifesteal/sustain item for hybrid basic / ability attackers.

This is an interesting item that is generally meant for gods that utilize both basic attacks and abilities (e.g. ability-reliant hunters, some assassins), with specific intent to provide sustain from all attacks.

Although it's a stacking item, it won't take long to evolve, as ANY nearby death (friend or foe, including minions) will provide stacks.


Transcendence
35-98 physical power, 300-1050 mana, +10 MP5, passive (permanently gain +15 mana per stack, and receive 5 stacks per god kill and 1 stack per minion kill. Max 50 stacks, at which you gain 10% CDR. *Additionally, 3% of your Mana is converted to Physical Power.*).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Standard pick for an ability user looking for a huge mana pool. Cannot be used in Assault.

Picking this item requires planning, and is usually suggested to be picked up early to start stacking ASAP. Discussed in more detail in the Stacking Items chapter, but overall provides a very high amount of power and mana with some CDR to support ability use.


Item Combos and Maxing CDR


When looking to build high CDR (usually 30-40%), it's important to combine the right items together for the specific god and situation. A lot of build progression is covered in Chapter 2, but we'll talk specifically here about the focus on maxing CDR.

A lot of people are set on hitting that 40% mark, and doing so as quickly as possible. However, in many cases, you should understand that 30% CDR is already quite high, and other, non-CDR items may provide more utility in your full build. It is also a bit more important to build more CDR in teamfight modes such as Arena, Clash, and Joust, where you're constantly engaged with the enemy.

In any case, here are some general suggestions for CDR item combinations for the various classes.


Assassins



Most Assassins focus on offense. In Conquest, you can find them both as Junglers with an emphasis on offense, but can also build them tanky (similar to Warriors) in Solo-lane roles. This section targets offensive Assassins. If you're building tanky, reference the Warrior section below.
  • Universal Offense / Basic Attack Canceling: Jotunn's Wrath, Hydra's Lament.

    The 1-2 punch of a offensive physical ability user is Jotunn's + Hydra's. In most cases, Assassins are pretty adept at weaving basic attacks in-between ability use. In most cases 30% CDR is sufficient. Some whose ability scaling is high may consider adding Transcendence as a mid-game item specifically for the high power.

  • Bruiser (added protection): Add Mantle of Discord.

    Even for squishy gods, getting 1 protection item is a viable option. Unless faced with only magical or physical threats, universal protections provided by Mantle of Discord are suggested.

  • High Mobility (for healers): Add Shield of Regrowth.

    Great for gods like Thanatos, who appreciate the added health and movespeed to secure kills on fleeing enemies.

  • Gank Potential: Add Arondight.

    The reveal and MS boost are great for catching up to fleeing enemies. Best for gods that use an ult at the beginning or middle of a teamfight and want to continue fighting after.

Guardians



Guardians will typically build tanky as they are most often played as Supports, with more emphasis on protections and counter items, and less emphasis on damage (at least in Conquest). While some bruiser builds may incorporate items such as Ethereal Staff, we'll only be talking about protections. If you're using a Guardian in a more offensive role, you can reference the Mage section below to check various offensive options.
  • Universal Protection: Pridwen, Mantle of Discord OR Spirit Robe, Relic Dagger.

    This is a standard combination for full protections. It maxes CDR and allows for at least 2 item slots for specific counter-building.

  • Anti-Basic Attack: Add Witchblade.

    If facing multiple basic attackers, add this in the later stages of a game.

  • Aggression / Control: Add Staff of Myrddin.

    The quick boost of CDR after using an ult can allow a Guardian with high CC to use their abilities twice in succession, which can create big problems for squishy gods or those lacking in mobility.

Mages



Almost all mages benefit greatly from CDR. Remember also that at the 10-minute mark, Potion of Might becomes available for an easy (albeit temporary) power and 10% CDR boost.

Unless you're focusing on basic attacks (e.g. Freya), consider the following combos.
  • CDR-Focused Mage Build: Sands of Time and/or Chronos' Pendant

    Early game, if you're intent on getting CDR, you can start with the Sands of Time starter. You could add an early Chronos' Pendant to that to get close to max, or alternatively pick up Conduit Gem as a starter to go along with Chronos' Pendant. You don't want to necessarily max out CDR too early, as there are a variety of other items Mages will want to consider.

  • Teamfight / Burst Function: Add Soul Gem or Staff of Myrddin.

    You'll usually pick Soul Gem up mid to late-game for the health sustain you'll get from the lifesteal, though it also helps in teamfights with a minor group heal and extra burst potential.

    Staff of Myrddin is a solid pick when you ult at the start or beginning of a teamfight; it can allow you to get multiple casts of one or two other abilities off in the same fight due to the passive effect.

  • Late-Game Survivability: Add Mantle of Discord.

    This is a late-game defensive option that provides a measure of survivability in teamfights.

  • Mobility (Healers): Add Shield of Regrowth.

    Only useful when you heal yourself, this provides a boost of movement speed that can help with survivability or positioning in teamfights.

Warriors



Most Warriors build fairly tanky, but benefit from building some power / penetration as well. In Conquest, you can find them mostly in the Solo-lane, but can also build them for damage (similar to Assassins) in Jungler roles. This section targets bruiser, ability-based Warriors, and these combos can be used in Conquest or teamfight modes. If you're building for higher offense, reference the Assassin section above.
  • Common CDR combos for Solo-Laners (pick 2 or more): Gladiator's Shield, Ancile, Genji's Guard, Pridwen, Spirit Robe, Mantle of Discord.

    These are all common items you can pick up for CDR; there is no set-in-stone item combination for bruiser Solo-laners. In Conquest and other modes where you can pick up the Mana Buff, keep in mind that provides 10% CDR as well.

  • High Mobility (for healers): Add Shield of Regrowth.

    If your god has healing abilities, add this into the mix when you see fit (mid-game or later). Consider skipping Breastplate of Valor altogether.

  • Early Aggression / Sustain: Add Soul Eater.

    This item is offensive in nature, but doesn't provide high power. It allows you to lifesteal from both basic attacks and abilities, and is best for gods that can be aggressive early with multiple damaging abilities.

  • Anti-Basic Attack: Add Witchblade.

    If facing multiple basic attackers, add this in the later stages of a game.

Lifesteal



Lifesteal is a direct means to help sustain in lane, or outlast an opponent in a fight. Magical and physical lifesteal work differently, though, so the individual sections will discuss their best uses.


Magical Lifesteal Items




Magical lifesteal items are generally picked up by Mages. Guardians almost never pick up lifesteal items, though Polynomicon can be seen on the occasional Ymir, specifically for the extra damage it provides.

Magical lifesteal is gained by both abilities and basic attacks. It is usually picked up in the early to middle stages of a build, after movement speed items are obtained.




Bancroft's Talon
100 magical power, 15% lifesteal, 150 mana, passive (gain additional magical power and lifesteal from missing health. Caps at +100 power and 20% additional lifesteal at 25% health).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Lifesteal item for aggressive gods, and those with short-range damage abilities and high exposure.

Why short-range? The added benefit from this item is seen when your health is reduced. Other options provide utility...this is pure damage. Thus, it is an aggressive option for Mages that expect to take some damage due to vicinity, but expect most matchups to end in their favor, such as Anubis and Hades.

Due to the high power to cost ratio, this is also a popular sustain pickup for a variety of Mages in the early game to aid aggression.


Polynomicon
95 magical power, 12% lifesteal, 300 mana, passive (using an ability gives your next basic attack within the next 8 seconds +75% of your Magical Power as additional magical damage. The effect can only apply once every 3 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Added basic attack damage for builds with high magical power and some added measure of control.

The passive requires you to get a basic attack in after using an ability to apply the added damage. Also, the added damage is directly tied to magical power. Thus, this is an option for a high magical power build where they can easily follow up ability use with a quick basic attack. Abilities with CC are extremely helpful to confirm basic attack hits.

Popular users include Kukulkan and Ymir.


Pythagorem's Piece
40 magical power, 12% magical lifesteal, 200 mana, 10% magical penetration, passive aura (you and all allies within 70 units gain 12% magical lifesteal and 30 power OR 10% physical lifesteal and 20 power).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Utility team-wide sustain choice for teamfights.

Has highest functionality in the presence of teammates, providing everyone within range with additional power and lifesteal to help outlast the enemy team.

Although it sacrifices some power compared to other options, utility Mages and aggressive Guardians can make great use of this item in teamfights due to the spread of stats.


Ring of Hecate
90 magical power, 25% attack speed, 15% lifesteal, passive (each successful basic attack applies a hex to enemies and empowers you. Enemies receive 5% decreased power per stack, you receive 5% increased power. Effect stacks up to 3 times, and stacks last 5s).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Basic attacking mage option providing well-rounded stats.

This item provides all of the key stats a basic attacking mage prefers. Good option for Freya.


Soul Gem
65 magical power, 150 health, 12% magical lifesteal, 10% CDR, passive (successful hits of an ability gains 1 stack. At 4 stacks your next ability that damages an enemy god will deal bonus damage equal to 25% of your magical power, and will heal yourself and allies within 20 units for 30% of your magical power and will consume the 4 stacks).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Utility lifesteal item for burst damage, survivability, and minor team healing.

This item is strongly focused on utility rather than pure damage output. The burst damage it provides at full stacks is helpful, but to get enough healing out of it, it's probably better for gods that have low CDs on their damaging abilities.


Spear of the Magus
110 magical power, 12% lifesteal, 10 flat penetration.

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Recently gained lifesteal, providing enhanced function as a team-based alternative to Bancroft's Talon, with the addition of a small amount of flat pen

This is a good choice for gods that want some sustain, and want added teamfight function. The bonus damage you allow teammates to deal helps take down your target more quickly.


Typhon's Fang
80 magical power, 15% lifesteal, 200 mana, 10% penetration, passive (your magical lifesteal from items is increased by 30%. Your magical power is increased by 200% of the magical lifesteal you have).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Late-game 2nd lifesteal item for possible lifesteal stacking and a significant power boost.

By itself, you'll actually receive 14% lifesteal and 114 power, due to the passive. The passive basically suggests that you stack with an additional lifesteal item to further enhance total lifesteal, so consider this as a 2nd (late-game) lifesteal addition to provide yourself with incredible sustain in fights.

Note that magical lifesteal caps at 65%, and that certain gods have inherent lifesteal function (e.g. Freya, Anubis). Best lifesteal to combine Typhon's with are probably Polynomicon, Pythagorem's Piece, or Soul Gem. However, the passive's bonus healing can exceed this cap.


Physical Lifesteal Items




Physical lifesteal items support sustain and boxing. They are mainly picked up by Assassins, Hunters, and occasionally by basic-attacking Warriors whose builds focus strongly on damage.

Beware: physical lifesteal only works with basic attacks, so should only be picked up by basic attackers.

*NOTE* Lifesteal is reduced to 33% for each connecting hit for Izanami, as well as for AOE abilities that trigger basic attack effects.




Asi
25 physical power, 20% lifesteal, 25% attack speed, 15 physical penetration, passive (if you drop below 35% health, gain an additional 30% lifesteal for 5 seconds, CD 15 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Cheap mid-game bridge option with balanced stats.

The combination of low price, attack speed, and penetration makes this an extremely functional item for basic attackers and is probably the most popular physical lifesteal item in most modes. Perhaps the best mid-game item for lifesteal, as long as enough power has been built beforehand, since it doesn't provide any itself.

Pairs well with Hunter builds incorporating Transcendence, which provides the high power. Since it's technically a tier 2 item, consider replacing late-game.


Bloodforge
75 physical power, 15% lifesteal, passive (killing an enemy god forges a shield equal to 200 +10 per player for 20 seconds. While the shield is active you gain +10% move speed.

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Late-game luxury lifesteal option. Early Hunter option for Assault.

The high power is wonderful, but the cost is not. In most game modes, it's important to consider not only stats, but price as well. Waiting to complete this item in the mid-game can be disadvantageous, as enemies will have completed at least one item, with a solid start on another. Can be very effective for an Assassin looking to get in, secure a kill, and get out alive.

Generally only consider this as a late game replacement to Asi or Devourer's Gauntlet, depending on the rest of your build.

This is my suggested first item for pretty much all basic-attacking hunters (not Neith) in Assault, for sustain purposes.


Devourer's Gauntlet
30 physical power, 15% lifesteal, passive (permanently gain +0.5 physical power and +0.2 lifesteal per stack. Receive 5 stacks for a god kill, and 1 stack for a minion kill, max 70 stacks).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Early sustain option for Hunters. Cannot be used in Assault.

At full stacks, this item provides 65 physical power and 29% lifesteal. Although it takes a while to build stacks, it is a very strong option for early sustain. Needs to be picked up as the 1st or 2nd item, in order to build the stacks and keep you competitive in lane.


Serrated Edge
25 power, 10% lifesteal, 7% move speed, 20% penetration, passive (for every non-ultimate ability on cooldown you gain a stack of Cruelty. Each stack provides 10 Physical Power and 3% Physical Lifesteal).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Strong item at almost any point of a build for basic attacking gods that use their abilities to dive an enemy, and then finish them with basic attacks.

This item can be used well at most stages of a match. The cost is slightly on the expensive side, but comes with high power potential and decent sustain, with high % penetration that carries extremely well into the late-game. It has a great amount of offensive stats to help the user commit to a kill, and should be considered for any god that uses all of their abilities to go in for a kill.


Soul Eater
20 physical power, 10% lifesteal, 5% ability lifesteal, 10% penetration, 10% CDR, passive (each time anything dies within 80 units, you gain a stack. Gods, Large Jungle monsters, and Jungle bosses provide 5 stacks. At 75 Stacks Soul Eater Evolves, gaining +15 Physical Power, +5% Physical Lifesteal, and 20% ability lifesteal).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Power + lifesteal/sustain item for hybrid basic / ability attackers.

This is an interesting item that is generally meant for gods that utilize both basic attacks and abilities (e.g. ability-reliant hunters, some assassins), with specific intent to provide sustain from all attacks.

Although it's a stacking item, it won't take long to evolve, as ANY nearby death (friend or foe, including minions) will provide stacks. The relatively low power means it's not used well by all gods, but those that do use it well find great use.

Basic Attack Progression / Physical Damage Spikes (Qin's Sais / Critical Strikes)



This section discusses the general mechanics and variation of basic attacks, as well as itemization for physical, basic-attacking gods, and discusses the merits and disadvantages of choosing specific damage enhancement items, namely Qin's Sais and critical damage options.

First, let's establish base of knowledge on basic attacks and attack progression.


Basic Attacks: General Information and Attack Progression


Basic attacking, from god to god, can be vary drastically, based on their stats and functions. The main areas of differentiation are as follows:
  • Physical / Magical Damage: Every god has a base value for basic attack damage. This value increases by a static amount per level. Power gained from item purchases will increase damage potential.

    For physical gods, power provides 100% scaling. This means if you build physical 100 power, your base damage (before mitigations/protections are calculated) will increase by 100...at least for attack progressions of 1 (more on that in a bit).

    For magical gods, power provides 20% scaling. If you build 100 magical power, your base damage will increase by only 20.

  • Single Target / Cleave: Most basic attacks, when no abilities are considered, are single target. Whichever target it hits first, it damages, and the attack is over. However, some attacks can cleave (hit multiple targets in range). Cleaves can affect the base damage stat in select cases, and also affects lifesteal amount.

  • Attack Progression: Attack progression is a much more complex stat. For reference, look on the individual god pages on the Official SMITE Wiki. You'll find progression information in the Summary section. It refers to both attack speed and the damage multiplier, which I will explain shortly.

    0 Progression: The easiest to understand are gods with no progression, or rather, no variation in their attack speed. Hunters are a prime example. Each basic attack will be timed equally apart from each other. The only variant that will change the basic attack is the attack speed stat. Reference Neith as an example. All basic attacks will deal the same damage, given the same target and no change in protection values of the target.

    Variable Progression: Many gods attack differently and at different speeds if you basic attack multiple times in a row. The easiest way to see this is to hold down your basic attack button.

    The attacks can vary by being sped up (values below 1), or slowed down (values above 1). They will typically have different animations, so you can see a visual difference. In addition, and it's important to note...attack damage is affected by the progression value.
Let's put all of this information into some examples I will discuss in more detail. If you're learning about progression, read in order, as I cover some basic info with Ratatoskr, but employ different points in the others.

Ratatoskr - Range of Attack Progression + General Breakdown

Kali - Quick Attack Progression

Guan Yu - Slow Attack Progression, Cleave, Range Variance

We'll discuss build strategies with this knowledge in a bit. But it'll be good to cover those damage spike items that are most commonly involved first.


Qin's Sais & Critical Strike Items


Now we'll get into a closer look at Qin's Sais and the critical strike item options. In most cases, as a single item, Qin's Sais will increase a physical basic attacker's DPS more than any other item. However, for appropriate gods with a proper accompaniment of items, crit builds can be extremely effective. People will typically build either into either Qin's OR crit, but usually not both.






Qin's Sais
40 physical power, 20% attack speed, passive (on basic attacks, deal physical damage equal to 3% of the target’s maximum health. If the target has over 2000 health, your basic attack bonus damage scales up, capping at 5% max health on 2750 hp targets. This only affects gods).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Mid to late-game damage spike for basic attackers.

This item is often picked up in the mid/late-game as the centerpiece of a basic-attacker's build targeted against high-health/tanky comps. Pairs well with penetration items. Requires fast attack speed to be effective, and effectiveness is increased the higher the enemy's max health.

This is an item that works extremely well for gods that have short attack progression, such as Kali and Arachne, and finds a lot of use in many Hunter builds. More in the next spoiler.


Deathbringer
50 physical power, 25% crit chance, passive (crit damage is increased by 30%).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Late-game, practically essential crit item for standard crit builds, with specific exceptions.

With high single-item crit chance and a passive that further increases bonus damage from crits, this is an essential item when building into crits.

Typically built as a 2nd or 3rd crit item, due to the high cost.

Specific examples where gods might choose this as a first crit item, and even build as early as the mid-game, include gods that have crit function built into their kits or abilities, such as Jing Wei.


Fail-Not
40 physical power, 10% crit chance, 20% CDR, passive (when your ultimate ability has finished casting, your next ability or basic attack within 8s that damages an enemy god marks them, increasing the chance you and your allies can land a critical strike by 20% for 10 seconds. This can only occur once every 45 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium High Viability. Hunter-specific, mid/late-game offensive utility for teamfights.

This item provides good power, along with high CDR and crit chance, providing solid stats for hybrid hunters that rely a decent amount on ability use.

The passive will find better use in a teamfight, as it creates a crit debuff on affected enemies, allowing ALL teammates the chance to deal critical strikes. However, the main draw will be for the main stats. The Patch 8.2 Bonus Update nerf has made it less appealing, and is not picked up nearly as often as it did prior to the nerf.


Malice
40 physical power, 25% crit chance, 10% CDR, passive (successfully hitting an enemy with a critical strike will subtract 3 seconds from all of your abilities currently on CD, except your ultimate ability. This effect can only happen once every 5 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Unique late-game crit item for some ability focus.

A reduced cost gives this relevance, as it also carries good power and crit chance. The passive makes it most useful for gods that rely at least partially on abilities, but with some crit function in their kits.

Possible crit option for gods such as Mercury and Serqet.


Poisoned Star
35 physical power, 10% crit chance, 15% attack speed, passive (critical hits on enemy gods slow them by 10% and reduce their damage output by 15%).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Crit item built for boxing potential.

Unique item that is best suited for those expecting to take damage while boxing, and looking to outlast their opponents. Most commonly used as late-game crit item.


Rage
30 physical power, 30% crit chance, passive (Killing or getting an assist on an enemy god gives you 1 stack. Each stack provides 3% Critical Strike Chance. Stacks are permanent and stack up to 5 times (total 45% in its evolved state).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Mid-game 1st crit option for increased crit chance.

The price makes this item appealing, along with the passive's effect at increasing chance overall. This is often chosen as the 1st crit item in a crit build.


Shadowsteel Shuriken
40 physical power, 15% attack speed, 20% crit chance, passive (enemies hit by your critical strikes have 40% reduced healing and regeneration for 8 seconds).

Viability, Usage & Status: Medium / High Viability. Crit item built for anti-heal purposes.

New item providing a better anti-heal option for crit builds than Toxic Blade (no power) or Brawler's Beat Stick (applied by abilities). However, while the general stats are solid, crit builds are typically built for burst damage and quick kills, where enemy healing shouldn't be that impactful.


Wind Demon
25 physical power, 20% crit chance, 15% attack speed, passive (your Critical Hits provide you with 10% Physical Penetration and increase your Attack Speed by 15% and Movement Speed by 10% for 5s).

Viability, Usage & Status: High Viability. Popular mid to late-game crit option.

The added attack and move speed has strong appeal, especially for Hunters that have built limited attack speed items, don't have steroids in their kit, or have no escape abilities.

Typically built after other crit items have been built to help keep the passive refreshed.



Employing Build Strategies with Consideration of Attack Progression


So the question is, with the higher damage potential of a crit build, when would one choose Qin's Sais, and when are crit builds better? And how can we utilize our knowledge about attack progression to improve our build choices?

Choosing Qin's Over Crit

Choosing Crit over Qin's

Why Not Qin's AND Crits???

References



Here are some references you might find helpful.

Some Of My Guides



If you liked this guide, check out my other ones below!


The Overarching Series



The
Overarching
Assault Guide

The
Overarching
Conquest Guide



Individual God Guides



Bacchus:
An Alcoholic's Chugging Guide

Freya:
Pulsing to
the Beat

Ganesha:
Selflessly
Gifting Kills

Shifu Guan Yu:
The Battle
Master

Loki: The Backstabbing Bastard

Medusa: Getting Everyone Stoned


God Guide Collaborations



Anubis:
Towards The
New Season

with Daelinn

Ares:
50 Shades
Of Flame

with KingScuba

Nox:
I See A
Red Door...

with Tlaloc1050

Conclusion



So that's it. Let me know if you think I've missed a major topic, provided some incorrect information, or anything else that comes to mind. Hope this helps your understanding of items!


Brandon / PC IGN: Muffinman17


Special thanks to KingScuba of the official Smite forums for feedback, suggestions, and reference material.

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1
Kriega1 (126) | July 26, 2020 8:41am
You need to mention that percent pen from magical / physical items (not Titan’s or shard passive), as in the base item stat, does actually effect structures this season.
1
Branmuffin17 (361) | July 26, 2020 10:26am
Wait when did they reinstate that? I don't remember them mentioning.
1
Kriega1 (126) | July 26, 2020 10:41am
Reinstated for magicals at start of season and physicals with mid season patch. And they haven’t directly mentioned it, that’s just how it functions now.
Load more comments (1 more replies) →
1
AcidicBeholder | July 19, 2020 9:32pm
Should the section on Bridge Items be changed since the Prices for Beserker's Shield and Gladiators shield have changed now?
1
Branmuffin17 (361) | July 20, 2020 8:46am
Hi Acidic,

I actually removed the Bridge Items chapter due to those changes...but it looks like I missed further mention within the guide. I spotted at least one, so I'm changing now, thanks for noticing and letting me know!
1
fekihd | July 14, 2020 8:27am
Is it appropriate to change asi or boots for the serrated edge? knowing that you will lose movement speed and also some life steal when you have low hp?
1
Branmuffin17 (361) | July 14, 2020 8:53am
First thing I'd say is that, as of right now, it seems Serrated Edge is acceptable to purchase at almost any stage of the game. Let's break down the stats a bit more:
  • Cost: 2,400 gold (average cost, similar to other items often picked early game (e.g. The Crusher)
  • 30 base power
  • 10% lifesteal (nice for early sustain, good anytime)
  • 20% penetration (% pen more effective later in a match when protections are higher)
  • 10% movement speed (great anytime)
  • Passive pretty easily activated (have to be willing to unload your entire non-ult kit, so doesn't suit all gods all the time)
  • Passive bonus of 40 power and another 10% lifesteal (up to 70 power is really nice)
So firstly, understand unless they nerf this item more, it seems suited to almost any spot in a build, as long as the god in question will get regular use of the passive. Some are building it right after boots, or mid-build.

Late-game, it can be seen also as a replacement to boots. And when you replace boots, you're not losing MS at all, because you're getting 2 things to replace boots: Elixir of Speed + another full item. The elixir provides the same MS as all boots except Talaria Boots, which inherently has higher than standard MS. Then you consider Serrated has MS on it, and the net change is an MS gain.

You wouldn't really replace Asi, though. Asi is a solid item at all points of a match, has flat pen to help against squishies, and really high lifesteal especially when the passive activates. It also has attack speed, which Serrated does not. It would have to be a pretty specific situation where you'd replace Asi w/ Serrated.
1
silentshell (5) | July 14, 2020 1:18pm
Branmuffin17 wrote:
First thing I'd say is that, as of right now, it seems Serrated Edge is acceptable to purchase at almost any stage of the game. Let's break down the stats a bit more:
  • Cost: 2,400 gold (average cost, similar to other items often picked early game (e.g. The Crusher)
  • 30 base power
  • 10% lifesteal (nice for early sustain, good anytime)
  • 20% penetration (% pen more effective later in a match when protections are higher)
  • 10% movement speed (great anytime)
  • Passive pretty easily activated (have to be willing to unload your entire non-ult kit, so doesn't suit all gods all the time)
  • Passive bonus of 40 power and another 10% lifesteal (up to 70 power is really nice)
So firstly, understand unless they nerf this item more, it seems suited to almost any spot in a build, as long as the god in question will get regular use of the passive. Some are building it right after boots, or mid-build.

Late-game, it can be seen also as a replacement to boots. And when you replace boots, you're not losing MS at all, because you're getting 2 things to replace boots: Elixir of Speed + another full item. The elixir provides the same MS as all boots except Talaria Boots, which inherently has higher than standard MS. Then you consider Serrated has MS on it, and the net change is an MS gain.

You wouldn't really replace Asi, though. Asi is a solid item at all points of a match, has flat pen to help against squishies, and really high lifesteal especially when the passive activates. It also has attack speed, which Serrated does not. It would have to be a pretty specific situation where you'd replace Asi w/ Serrated.



Only arena but so far, in limited testing I have been having mostly fun on Bellona with some of the new items. Ninja Tabi The Sledge Berserker's Shield Bulwark of Hope Hide of the Urchin Serrated Edge(against healer comps Pestilence 3rd and berserker's 4th. going to do some more testing with that build but also going to switch out serrated with Atalanta's Bow at the 6th spot. I am also going to be looking at putting together a build where my first pen item when i run it would be The Executioner and then end build would be serrated or atalanta's. going to see what i can put together, but like i said, it's been fun so far.
1
Kriega1 (126) | July 14, 2020 8:39am
On which gods?
1
xmysterionz (64) | June 14, 2020 1:18pm
@Bran, your Mage's Blessing is displaying less power than it should.
1
Branmuffin17 (361) | June 15, 2020 1:01am
Fixed, thanks.
1
boogiebass (46) | June 6, 2020 8:02am
Do u need to update viability of talaria due to its nerfs?
1
Kriega1 (126) | June 6, 2020 8:10am
No. He only has it put in medium viability. Plus it still has the passive kept the same, only the base movement was nerfed.
1
boogiebass (46) | June 6, 2020 10:43am
So wouldn't it be low viability now with more preference going to shoes of focus?
Load more comments (5 more replies) →
1
xmysterionz (64) | May 5, 2020 4:47pm
Bran, does Khumba stun the enemies? Didn't you mean root?
1
Gulfwulf (81) | May 5, 2020 5:03pm
His yawn stuns enemies.
1
ThePerfectPrism (56) | May 5, 2020 6:20pm
yawn mesmerizes, and bran did forget Khumba's root and called it a stun.
Load more comments (1 more replies) →
1
Revenant7755 (1) | March 29, 2020 11:59am
Is it a good idea to build Tyrannical Plate Helm early in a support build? I wanna know what you think, I feel like it offers quite a bit of power and protections against the enemy ADC, with the passive being pretty good.
1
Devampi (105) | March 29, 2020 12:35pm
Gonna agree with Kriega if you get this on a support you will gain 2 thing:

not much use from it as you will be roaming a lot and not be in lane a lot (and most lanes you will be at will be able to clear them quite easily)

or

an annoyed adc as the lane automatically pushes, having them miss last hits if really unlucky. meanwhile in trades you have to body block better as the opponent has more protections (cause sov or heartward) and sicne the lane pushes you will be playing quite a bit more gankable
1
Revenant7755 (1) | March 30, 2020 12:01pm
Makes sense. Too bad it is only for magical gods.
1
Kriega1 (126) | March 29, 2020 12:01pm
No, also it’s more of a solo laner item than a support item.
1
Revenant7755 (1) | December 21, 2019 7:52am
This isn't really relevent, but how should you build Set for arena/joust? I'm having a hard time figuring out if i should go for basic attack or ability-based items. Also is it a wise idea to run a brusier build with him? I know he has an escape but I find the process of creating a spawn and teleporting to it slow compared to other assassin's escape such as Loki's vanish or Bakasura's take down.
1
Kriega1 (126) | December 21, 2019 9:17am
Arena Bruiser Build: Warrior Tabi, Gladiator's Shield, Blackthorn Hammer, Void Shield, Runic Shield, Mantle of Discord.

Arena Damage Build: Warrior Tabi, Jotunn's Wrath, The Crusher, Titan's Bane/Runeforged, Mantle of Discord, Bloodforge.
1
Revenant7755 (1) | December 21, 2019 9:51am
That looks like a ability based build.
Load more comments (2 more replies) →
1
FootFetish (4) | July 20, 2019 8:32am
Hi again bran, if you see in magical cooldown reduction items, Spear of Desolation has not 20 pen and 80 power anymore. You should correct that. Very complete guide, though. wow.
1
Branmuffin17 (361) | July 21, 2019 9:44am
Oops! That's a miss from multiple patches ago. Thanks for catching.
0
Kriega1 (126) | June 30, 2019 3:01pm
Under hastened katana listing please remove Erlang and Osiris as valid options for users of that item (as they both have haste in their kit). Bellona could be added instead. Also for Dynasty plate mention it’s usefulness for Mage ADC’s.
1
Technotoad64 (46) | May 5, 2019 2:00pm
Your mention of Berserker's Shield in the "Price" subsection under "Build Progression for[...]" is missing a bracket.
1
Branmuffin17 (361) | May 5, 2019 4:15pm
Thanks for the catch, Tech; fixed it.
1
xmysterionz (64) | February 27, 2019 7:02am
Hey Bran,
I know nobody cares about Rangda's Mask, however the stats are not updated on your guide, just advising.
1
Branmuffin17 (361) | February 27, 2019 1:41pm
Thanks for catching that, myst. Fixed.
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