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MY APOLOGIES FOR THE WALL OF TEXT, STILL LEARNING HOW TO MAKE A SMITE GUIDE, I WILL CONTINUE TO IMPROVE IT AS I READ GUIDES, THIS IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. PLEASE DON'T DOWNVOTE UNTIL I'M DONE: For awhile, Ao Kuang was the only god I'd unlocked and after dying miserably the first six or seven times using him, I started regretting my purchase. I experimented with different builds and started noticing that when I put the Book of Thoth on early, that Ao Kuang really started powering up quickly - to the point where I could single-handedly defend lanes very early in the game. This Ao Kuang is meant for either Arena or Domination. With a large mana pool and powerful attacks, he can not only deal with creeps with little effort, but I've found it extremely easy to rack up player kills using his Ult and also comboing with Polynomicon. With this build, I rarely have to abandon my post (especially late game, this build provides plenty of mana), and it actually becomes quite humorous to see 2-3 of the opposing team's Gods roll up on my Guardian, see me, and then quickly trot off to another destination. This Ao Kuang, If played properly, will strike fear into the hearts of all but the most seasoned players. I'm definitely not an expert, but since coming up with and tweaking this build, I think I've developed one of the ultimate lane-protecting/damage dealing Aos out there.
The Boots are a self-explanatory. Combined with the Spear, they give Ao great magical penetration to help tear through enemy gods' defenses.
I like to choose Book of Thoth second so that I can start to build the mana stack. The passive on Book of Thoth means that when fully powered, it gives you 625 mana, 3% of which is converted into magic power (which combines with Ao's passive of 5% to give a whopping 8% of your mana pool as MP). Seeing as though it already gives you 100 MP, that's at least 26 extra points of MP just from this item - not including what you start with. The Breastplate of Valor used to be situational item, but I find it useful more often than not as it not only provides 550 additional mana (+44 MP with Book of Thoth), but an extremely useful 25% cooldown reduction (with so much mana, you can cast like crazy), AND much needed physical protection (Anyone who's played against a skilled Loki, Thor, Fenrir, Nhe Za, or Kali can attest to this). Next I pick up Polynomicon - a very underrated item that allows Ao to single-handedly kill enemy gods if used in conjunction with a combo (more on that later) - Ao has fantastic damage output but low single-target damage (besides his Ult) - Polynomicon turns him into a beast to be reckoned with. Poly also gives a little life steal which can help keep Ao in the fray a bit longer than usual. The Spear of the Magus adds extra penetration and magical power. If the match is still going by the time you get the Rod of Tahuti, you've just graduated to Super-Ao. I lead almost every match I play in total damage dealt: 1st in creep damage and either 1st or 2nd in player damage - once the Rod is out, prepare to put the hurt on.
Arena:Ao is squishy. You mustn't play too aggressively with him or you WILL die. I like to stay in the back, dropping tornadoes on minion waves and enemy gods, running away like a coward whenever someone shows interest in killing me. I will only go past the middle circle when my team and I have successfully pushed the enemy back into their base. You can then have fun by dropping tornadoes in their doorway or looping them around inside their base for extra annoyance. Mostly you should focus on killing creeps at first - player kills will come mid-late game. Most of my games see me at 0-1 kills until I reach level 15 or so and then they'll start skyrocketing (my record is 22 kills in Arena, most between level 15-20). Arena is where you'll be using your Polynomicon combo to its best effect. *** People like to pick on Ao because he's usually easy to kill. Use this to your advantage by acting as bait. When you see an enemy god coming to get you. Slither away, drop a storm behind you, and if you're feeling brave, turn around and squall them while you're at it, all the while repositioning yourself strategically. They'll usually give up the chase, and if not, there's a good chance you'll make it to base before they can kill you.
Domination:I usually run straight to center lane and drop a tornado on the guardian as soon as the match starts. Hopefully, I'll have someone with me to help take out the Guardian. I will repeat this process until my team controls the point, then it's time to set up shop. Hang out close to the guardian and drop lots of tornadoes to kill creeps and keep enemy gods at bay. Use your 1 to finish off weak gods, push creeps, aid in escape... heck, just use 1 a lot. It has a short cooldown and you should be spamming it whenever you get a good chance. Try not to waste it on minions though unless it's early game and you're having trouble finishing off a wave or you're just plain bored. You want to save mana for when the opposing team tries to bum rush you. I save my Ult for when I see the enemy gods preoccupied with creeps or fighting my teammates. I'll usually stay in back until I see an opportunity, then line'er up for some guaranteed kills. Although Ao is mostly a support type mage, I almost always lead in player damage using this technique. The narrow alleyways of the Domination map make it easier to land this devastating attack. I use his two when I need to get away and sometimes to chase down a fleeing one-hit-wonder. It is one of if not the weakest kite in the game and I think I actually find myself using it to go to and from base more than in the heat of battle. Put your points there last. I've found that Ao lanes exceptionally well with tanky characters, or ones with slow or stun effects.
*** Polynomicon combo:
A combo that will surely put the hurt on any enemy god.
First, try to drop a storm on them or in front of them if they're moving away from you. Immediately follow with a basic attack to inflict Polynomicon's damage on them. Then immediately hit them with Squall, then another basic attack. When Ao is powered up, I've found that this will usually kill all but the most robust of builds. Start on an already weakened enemy if you don't want to take any chances, because it will be awhile before you can do anything else useful after popping this one off. This combo kills. I mean, it really really kills. I like to drop my Ult into the fray instead of targeting weak enemies, so I'll often slither down a runner that's been hurt by it and finish them off with this.
Any seasoned player will avoid Ao's ultimate if they see it. Pay attention to what they're doing before you pop it off. I almost always score a direct hit when I drop it behind a backpeddling god. Also, I try to drop it into the fray of battle when confusion is at a high. When an enemy god is dealing with someone else's onslaught, they most likely won't see it coming. Don't ever use your ult in the open with an enemy god facing you.
Ao Kuang is the ultimate creep killer. Lay down your tornadoes in the path of oncoming creeps. Finish with his basic attack. Even at the beginning of the game, Ao can quite easily deal with all creeps in a lane by himself. If you must jungle, his tornado attack, especially at higher levels, will make short work of jungle enemies.
Can control a lane almost single-handedly.
Massive damage potential.
Can take care of all the creeps in Arena by himself, freeing up teammates.
Polynomicon makes Ao a certified God-killer.
Polynomicon also makes Ao a potent tower/guardian slayer.
Must be played very cautiously - do not run into the thick of it.
Ult is easy to dodge and must be used very strategically - I will often lead with it.
I will continue to add onto and improve this guide as I learn better guide-making skills and as I think of things to add. I have so much Ao knowledge to share but I don't want to inundate everyone with my walls of text. Thanks for reading if you've made it this far. UPDATES COMING SOON!!!!
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