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Ao Kuang: An In-Depth Guide to Raising Storms! (1/5 Update)

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Smite God: Kukulkan

Build Guide Discussion (26) More Guides
Wanna Solo? Use This!
Wanna Solo? Use This! Arena/Domination Build

Purchase Order

The Core Items

Build Item Shoes of the Magi Shoes of the Magi
Build Item Warlock's Staff Warlock's Staff
Build Item Book of Thoth Book of Thoth

4 Item: Go Tanky (Situational)

Build Item Focused Void Stone Focused Void Stone
Build Item Breastplate of Valor Breastplate of Valor

5th: Always the Rod!

Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti

The Situational 6th Items

Build Item Bancroft's Talon Bancroft's Talon
Build Item Gem of Isolation Gem of Isolation
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus
Build Item Polynomicon Polynomicon

Full Build Could Look Like:

Build Item Boots of the Magi Boots of the Magi
Build Item Warlock's Staff Warlock's Staff
Build Item Book of Thoth Book of Thoth
Build Item Breastplate of Valor Breastplate of Valor
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Polynomicon Polynomicon

Kukulkan's Skill Order



1 X
2 8 11 12 14


2 A
4 15 16 18 19


3 B
1 3 6 7 10
Spirit of the Nine Winds

Spirit of the Nine Winds

4 Y
5 9 13 17 20

The Introduction

Ao Kuang is, by far, the best pusher in the game. His ability to clear a lane of minions is unparalleled, and on top of that he has the potential to do a considerable amount of damage, both up close and far back. This guide will show you not only the basics to playing Ao Kuang, but also how to solo with him in Conquest, in the presence of a jungler. graceful windssquall
spirit's tempest


  • High damage potential
  • Clears lanes with ease
  • Decent utility
  • Late game mana pool can surpass HP
  • Excellent initiations
  • Squishy
  • Tornadoes will sap the mana out of you in early game
  • Slither does not always make the best escape
  • Spirit's Tempest can be hard to hit
  • Lacks a finisher move



SHOES OF THE MAGI: In Conquest, these are the preferred choice in footwear for Ao Kuang. The rather decent mana, AP, and the +15 Magical Penetration are all excellent to have when starting out in lane. All of those benefits make clearing waves and poking enemies (usually with Tornadoes), much more viable. Do not go without these.

warlock's sash WARLOCK'S SASH: The second item of the Conquest build, and a must-have. The health and mana it gives it absolutely necessary for any lane, be it solo, mid, or dual-lane. The AP is great too, but for the most part this item is built for sustain, and a bit of tankiness. The stacks are also easy to get, because by the time the item is done being built any non-cyclops minion that passes through Tornadoes will die by it, and is considered a last-hit kill.


BOOK OF THOTH: The third item. This is a key item to the build as well because of the passive. 3% of your mana is converted into AP, which stacks with the 5% from Graceful Winds. Any item that gives mana, such as the first two items, will now give EVEN MORE AP. The total of 625 mana that the full-stacked item gives is great because it allows further use of Tornadoes and as such, more sustainability and lane-clearing. DO NOT GO WITHOUT THIS ITEM!


FOCUSED VOID STONE: This is the tank item that I always build if the majority of the enemy team and/or a fed enemy is dealing magical damage. This item gives AP as well as magical defense, and the magical penetration from the passive is much preferrable to the passive of Void Stone since Ao Kuang is generally NOT up close to his enemies. If you are, there is a problem... anyway, this is an excellent item to build to keep yourself alive as well as boost your damage output.

ARENA/DOMINATION: Pretty much the same thing here. Build it as is necessary.

BREASTPLATE OF VALOR: The tanky item if the majority of the enemy team and/or a fed enemy is dealing physical damage. This item is perfect for Ao Kuang. Physical protections are always a great touch to protect oneself against ADs, but the real worth lies in the passive, the cooldown reduction, as well as the fat mana boost which also gets converted into AP! If you have Book of Thoth (and you better), this item will give you about 44 AP, almost as much as some magical items give on their own! Do not hesitate to build this item, because you cannot regret it.

ARENA/DOMINATION: One of the situational items. Build this if you want the max amount of CDR, which in the 8/13 patch has been reduced to 30% (which is still significant). The mana and physical protections are still excellent. Swap with Wall of Absolution depending on what suits you best, or if you even need physical protections at all. If not, there are better options.

ROD OF TAHUTI: Every mage's best friend. AP, MP5, and the mos t beautiful passive an item could give. Now you have extra AP from this passive as well as your mana-to-AP passives. AP GALORE! A must-have for any mage build, and an excellent way to kick off late game.

ARENA/DOMINATION: Do I even need to say something about this here? BUILD IT!

BANCFORT'S TALON: This is the item for those who get to play on the more dangerous side, and expect to commonly have health loss yet like a bit of lifesteal. It gives excellent stats, but only choose it if you are confident that you can play aggressively and not die in the process.

GEM OF ISOLATION: This item is one of the more preferrable finishers, just because it goes so well with everything else you have already built. More mana to be turned into AP, a nice health boost, and now your abilities have a 25% slow. Wait, doesn't Squall already have a 50% slow on it? Damn right it does. Have fun with that.

ARENA/DOMINATION: Since killing enemies is more of a prominent goal in these game modes, I feel it better to build this item earlier, so that you get the slow that can easily cause an enemy death.

SPEAR OF THE MAGUS: Build it for the magical penetration. This is especially useful if the enemy team has a lot of tanks, so don't be afraid to let more damage seep through their protections. If there are a lot of squishies, then this might not be the best item, but it's in Situationals for a reason.


POLYNOMICON: I feel like there is a rather obvious reason for adding this: The extremely high magical power that comes from this build. With over 800 Magical damage being added to a basic attack after using an ability (in late game, of course), even your basics will do piss tons of damage. Personally, this is my favorite last item.

ARENA/DOMINATION: Pretty much the same thing, but with less damage. Oh well...


SHOES OF FOCUS: In these game modes, I have found that building some early CDR gives you a huge advantage, since it allows you to more quickly use your skills which can change the outcome of fights. In Domination, it also allows you to better have control of the Obelisks for the same reason. As such, this is a more preferrable choice of footwear in these game modes.

OBSIDIAN SHARD:Build this if Spear of the Magus is not giving you the magical penetration that you need to hurt tanks. It is an excellent final boost for those late game fights.

WALL OF ABSOLUTION: If you are up against ADs and they are making your life difficult, then this is an excellent item. The small amount of AP it gives isn't super important, but what IS important is the passive, along with the physical protections that it gives.


meditation MEDITATION: I must specify this: If you use this ability, ONLY BUY LEVEL ONE! That is all you will ever need, because you will need it in early game. While you should have blue buff whenever possible, there will be times when you will not have it, and Tornadoes will take a toll on your mana pool. As such, if you do not have this as a back-up mana filler, you will lose sustain and could even be a sitting duck. Do not go without this and buy it as soon as possible.

AEGIS AMULET: This is your "OH S%!T" ability. This is a godsend (literally) when in the presence of a God (or Gods) who is about to kill you or use some sort of CC on you, for it can be used to give yourself a moment of invulnerability and makes you immune to CC. Let your enemies waste their Ult on you, you're unkillable... for up to 2 seconds, anyway. Although, you can't move while it is active and it has a ridiculously long cooldown, so you need to act quickly once it ends. If you go for this, make sure you max it out when you can.

PURIFICATION BEADS: The ability you would build if you want CC immunity but don't care about taking damage. Very helpful in a variety of situations. Swap it out Aegis Amulet depending on your play style and preference. If you get it, max it for the benefits.

RESTORATION SHARD: If you like to play aggressive, and get hit often, then this is a great ability to have. Since you will be spending a considerable amount of time in lane or blowing tornadoes in enemy's faces, the charges will come quickly, and with such a short cooldown it can be helpful in a variety of situations.

MANA AND HEALTH POTIONS: Your go-to consumables in early game. Buying two mana and one health potion at the beginning of the game will give you a period of sustain where blue buff or Meditation is not available. These are more helpful than one would think, and they do stack. Plus, they're inexpensive so buy them to boost yourself up.

teleport TELEPORT: In Conquest, this is a preferrable method of travel. If you can, especially if enemies are close to your tower and/or are attacking it, or if there is a team fight going on near a tower, do not hesitate to use one of these. It will bring you right to a tower of your choice after a small charge period, which can save your tower and maybe change the outcome of a fight. Don't use them for ganks, though... your enemy can see when someone is teleporting to a tower. Thankfully, you can do the same.


graceful winds

Increases magical power by 5% of maximum mana.

This is an amazing passive, mainly due to Ao Kuang's HUGE potential mana pool. The build used in this guide, with Breastplate of Valor and Gem of Isolation, will allow Ao to have 3,240 mana, so 162 AP is automatically added. Do not forget that this passive also stacks with Book of Thoth, which brings the mana-to-AP percentage to 8% and the total AP conversion to 259.2 AP. It also requires no effort to utilize, which is always nice.

Ao Kuang fires a projectile breath attack that hits the first enemy in its path, doing damage and slowing all enemies in the area around the impact.

Ability: Projectile
Affects: Enemy
Damage: Magical
Damage: 60 / 105 / 150 / 195 / 240 (+60% of your magical power)
Slow: 50%
Slow Duration: 3s
Cost: 70 / 80 / 90 / 100 / 110
Cooldown: 7s

This is a back-up skill, in my opinion. It can be used with Tornadoes is not available as well as when you want to hit someone for a lot of damage from afar. More importantly, it SHOULD be used if an enemy gets to close, due to the damage as well as the (as of today 8/13) 50% slow. This is a heavy damage-dealing skill and a life saver, and can and will take a large chunk out of someone's health as well as the health of enemies close to them. The slow will give you the chance to either get away with your life, or take theirs.


Ao Kuang channels the wind, allowing him to move faster. Additionally, Ao Kuang is immune to slows for 1s when activated.

Ability: Buff
Affects: Self
Speed: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 %
Duration: 4s
Cost: 85
Cooldown: 7s

Your pseudo-escape and chaser skill. I say that because it is simply a movement speed buff, so you MIGHT have the speed to escape death and you MIGHT be able to catch up to someone close enough to shoot them with a skill. It can also be used to get into a situation, such as the taking of Fire Giant or a team fight, much easier. While a movement speed buff might not seem to be so important, let it be known that in the four seconds that the buff lasts, the extra speed given can allow Ao to either avoid death, get a kill (or more), or even save a teammate. A LOT CAN HAPPEN IN FOUR SECONDS! So, never pass up the chance to use this skill if you need a boost... from the wind.


Ao Kuang summons a tornado at his ground target location. A smaller tornado branches off onto any enemies that come within the radius, doing damage every .5s for 3s and is refreshed if enemies stay within the radius.
Ability: Ground Target
Affects: Enemy
Damage: Magical
Radius: 20
Damage per Tick: 10 / 20 / 30 / 40 / 50 (+15% of your magical power)
Tornado Lifetime: 4s
Cost: 70 / 90 / 110 / 130 / 150
Cooldown: 15 / 14 / 13 / 12 / 11 s

This is your main damaging ability, mostly because of its DoT, which resets as long as the enemy is in the skill, but also because it can be placed virtually anywhere and has a rather large radius. When not ticking away at the health of other players, this ability will allow you to clear minion waves with minimal effort. Truly, the only effort you must take is the placement of the ability, which is of the utmost importance. A slight tick to a different direction will have a different effect, such as maybe getting a minion inside the ability and maybe not. It also has other uses. For instance, if an enemy is getting too close and you fear for your life, drop the skill on yourself. Few enemies will dare to enter it, and you can use your other abilities to burst them and make them regret coming for you. Learn to use this skill well.

spirit's tempest

Ao Kuang summons the spirit of one of his fallen allies to breathe down destruction onto his enemies in a path in front of him, doing damage and knocking all of the enemies to the side.

Ability: Line
Affects: Enemy
Damage: Magical
Damage: 400 / 500 / 600 / 700 / 800 (120% of your magical power)
Cost: 100 / 110 / 120 / 130 / 140
Cooldown: 90s

Ao Kuang's Ultimate. This is one of the most damaging Ultimates in the game, but by far one of the hardest to hit. It moves in a straight line, has a small amount of time between casting and damage, and is easy to spot before it hits. But if it does hit, it has to potential to one-shot an enemy. When using this ability, learning when and where to use it is CRUCIAL! If you cannot do this, then you will be wasting your Ultimate every time. Cramped spaces, such as jungle lanes, are usually good places to use it since there is limited mobility, and if there is a fight in the jungle those small lanes usually pack 2-3 enemies. The best time, however, that you should use your Ult is when there is a distraction. Other Ultimates, such as Ragnarok or Pillar of Agony, can almost guarantee a hit and a kill, so work with your teammates to ensure that when you use your Ult, you are killing and changing the game for the better.

Note: As of the changes that allows abilities to go through walls, Spirit's Tempest can now, in fact, be shot through walls. I have found little greater feeling in Smite then shooting the Ultimate through walls, hitting two enemies, and both getting a kill as well as watching the other enemy die by another's hand. So satisfying.

Most Difficult Match-Ups

In your time as Ao, as with any other God, you will encounter Gods that are easy to counter and Gods that counter you with ease. This is a list of those who are the most difficult to counter, and some tips on what you can do to stay alive.



REASON: She is by far the most overpowered God in the game. She has the AD of a carry, the AP of a mage, and the utility of a support. Don't even get me started on her Backflip either, which is one of the biggest problems that an Ao has on her. Her flip will allow her to avoid most, if not all, of your abilities. The other problem is that the root from her Spirit Arrow will usually allow her to get a considerable amount of damage on you in a short amount of time, especially if she shoots one of her weaves. Out of all of the Gods, she is the one that can deal the most damage to you.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Stay as far away from her as possible, and focus on taking out minions before you even consider contending with her. Knowing a Neith, any time you try to attack her she will either deal a lot of damage to you or she will flip out before she can take considerable damage.

If you are truly set on attacking her, having someone with you is the best choice. If by yourself, get her flip out of her first, then you can drop a Tornadoes or use a Squall to poke her. Do not expect to do much damage, but you can certainly do enough to push her back or even cause her to recall. If with an ally, one of you should get her flip out, then both of you rush her. With two or more people taking her on at once, she can usually be burst down rather easily.

Whatever you do, always try to prevent her from using her Ultimate. Whenever she begins loading it, drop a Tornadoes on her, and if she is using it on you... you better start running.



REASON: Agni is one of the best poking mages to date, and is one of the most nimble. He can cover a lot of area with his abilities and can burst quite well. His maneuverability, as well as Rain Fire, will prove difficult for an Ao. What makes him difficult is that he, like Ao, can be hard to get close to, yet can deal damage up close and far, then retreat.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Agni can be tough, but like all Gods he can be taken down. If you can get Path of Flame out, then he is usually a sitting duck, although you have to avoid his -> combo because of the stun and DoT. Exhausting his abilities (pun intended) is the best way to go and is not difficult to do, although you might take damage in the process. From there, he is still a squishy and you can deal a considerable amount of damage to him.



REASON: Anubis is a glass cannon. If he stuns you with his Mummify, then you better expect a lot of damage. He is also able to spam his abilities close together, stacking insane amounts of damage. Even if he doesn't hit his stun, his Grasping Hands can still give him room to get serious damage on you. In late game, most interactions with Anubis will resolve in him being able to out-damage you.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: If you are against an Anubis, you MUST be able to avoid his stun. In order to do that, you must be unpredictable. Move around in a way that will not give him a definite shot. If he does manage to use a skill on you, you have one of two choices: Either slap the hell out of him and hope to kill him first, or activate Slither and get to a safer area and then drop a Tornadoes on him. If he Ults you, circle him and drop your Ult and maybe even a Tornadoes on his face, and you will probably kill him.



REASON:Apollo is one of the AD Gods that can poke well against Ao, and his ttility can allow him to get a lot of hits on you. His pokes will hurt, and his Ultimate will allow him to drop in on you with little to no notice. His Ult also allows him to escape from sticky situations. The Moves makes a great escape and initiate, and will be your biggest issue.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: You must out-push an Apollo, which in all honesty is not hard to do. If you can get him to tower range, you have the chance to use Tornadoes on both him and the minions. Do not try to engage him without minions, for minions will chunk away at his health and he can only focus on one thing: The minions, or you. Always try to get The Moves out of him, because when you do he can be a sitting duck. Your biggest priority, if attacking, is to get him before he can Ult out. If he does, you wasted mana.



REASON: Ra is difficult because of his counter-push ability, as well as his ability to spam his abilities in a small amount of time, dealing a large amount of damage to you. His Solar Blessing can also make your life difficult due to the superb amount of healing that it gives. Your biggest problem with Ra will be his ability to do more damage than you, then be able to heal it back.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: For starters, always be sure that you are focusing the minions and not Ra. While he can heal his minions, you can still take them out rather easily and it is better than Ra healing himself due to being poked. Get Solar Blessing out of the way, and you have a window of oppurtunity to get some damage in. If a Ra uses Divine Light, turn around and run, so that the blind has a chance of not taking effect.

Other than that, his beams are easy to dodge. With skill, Ra can be taken down. With allies around you a Ra will usually attempt to spam his abilities, giving you the chance to deal a lot of damage. Any hard CC possible is your best friend here, such as the slow from Squall.



REASON: Isis is a very high utility mage, which is the bane of Ao's existence. Having Wing Gust be able to go through enemies doesn't help you either, and she can combo a large portion of your health with a -> combo. Her AoE silence, while not the biggest threat, will keep you from being able to counter-attack her, which further allows her to deal damage.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: You must learn to dodge her combo. Unless you do this, you are going to have a lot of problems with Isis. If you can learn to, then you will usually be able to hit her without problem, assuming she hasn't used Dispel Magic on you. It is highly recommended that you do not engage her unless you have an ally with you, because you will most likely be wasting mana and abilities on her due to her utility. With allies, she can be distracted while someone else attacks her. Distractions are key to taking her down.



REASON: Poseidon is only difficult if he can get close to you, which if you are smart you can avoid. If he does get close, however, he will easily be able to burst the hell out of you with a -> release the kraken combo, followed by any attack be pleases.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: Avoid his Whirlpool at ALL COSTS. If he Ults on you, activate Slither and get out as much as possible. Besides that, he can be countered rather easily. Mind his movement speed, though. A Poseidon built with speed is deadly, so try to stay back and let your Tornadoes do the work.

Do you notice a pattern here? Aside from the fact that most of these Gods are Egyptian, they all have the ability to get close to you with ease due to CC. That is Ao's biggest fault: Knowing this is crucial to being able to counter them, for if they cannot get close enough to hit you, then you will benefit.

One final tip: In the presence of all of these Gods, always remain wary. Study their habits, learn how they initiate, and use that to your advantage. If you know that an Anubis is going to run toward you, stun you, then spam his abilities on you, learn to predict the stun and attempt to deal damage yourself.

Skill Sequences and Combos


Obviously, the priority for Ao's skills should be this:

spirit's tempest -> tornadoes -> squall -> slither

Prioritizing this way allows you to be able to effectively farm while still being able to deal damage and take advantage of Squall's CC and Slither's buff. But, during battle, what are some of the best combos for Ao Kuang?


In a recent patch, Ao Kuang got some changes to his abilities. Essentially, the time between the use of abilities after another was either reduced or removed. Do you know what that means?

I'll give you a hint: It means that you can shoot Spirit's Tempest, then shoot Squall for an almost guaranteed hit on the Ultimate. It basically looks like this:

spirit's tempest -> squall = Win.


For this section, I will be using Fenrir as an example of a lane/jungle partner

Imagine that you are soloing a lane, and you have a jungler Fenrir who ganks very well. If you were to initiate, you could either begin with a Squall to slow them down, and/or let Fenrir use Unchained and while the enemy is slowed drop a Tornadoes on them. From there, the Fenrir will be allowed to Brutalize, and from THERE either of you can attack to get a kill. Depending on how many enemies are in the lane at a time, that combo, which will be deemed the Initiator Combo and represented here:

squall and/or -> tornadoes ->

can most likely take a large chunk out of one or more God's life. It can certainly kill a squishy God.

Now, for Ultimates. By himself, Ao Kuang has a hard time hitting his Ultimate because it is easy to avoid when the enemy has a lot of space. That is why a God with CC is Ao's best friend, because they allow an opening to shoot his Ultimate.

Let us take Fenrir again, and assume that he has begun the Initiator Combo , but instead of using Brutalize, he instead uses Ragnarok and holds the enemy in his mouth, allowing you to use Spirit's Tempest aimed DIRECTLY AT FENRIR! If this does not kill the enemy, then both you and Fenrir can proceed to attack the enemy. If there is another enemy around, you can then proceed to attack them. The combo above, deemed the Ultimate Combo, is nearly always deadly:

squall -> -> -> spirit's tempest

Simply put, when working with an ally you should work your abilities so that you can keep a constant rate of damage.

However, when working solo...

Well, Ao's abilities don't combo too well. His only form of CC is the slow from Squall. Therefore, you can either use that as an initiator, or drop a Tornadoes on the enemy's face. Those two abilities, deemed the Alternating Poke Combo, are an excellent poke and will usually take a significant chunk out of an enemy's health. It is shown here:

squall -> tornadoes OR tornadoes -> squall


Team fights are one of the two places where Ao Kuang does his best, the other being the pushing of lanes. During team fights, the enemy team loves to group up and try to burst one or two people down, which gives Ao the perfect oppurtunity to use either Tornadoes or Spirit's Tempest. If the enemy is squished into a jungle lane, then you have a great oppurtunity to cause some hell.

Remember: Ao Kuang works best when he hangs back from the chaos of team fights, and shoots his abilities behind others.

Let it be known: The Ultimate Combo works great here! But it doesn't have to be Fenrir as a partner. Other Gods fit into this combo quite well, such as:

Basically, any god with an Ult that causes a stun or a significant slow, or one that keeps the enemy in one place. Ulting into any of these God's Ults, assuming that there is a significant amount of people collected in them, will most likely get you a kill.

Now, some people might consider that to be "Kill-Stealing", but seeing as these fights are mid to late-game, kills go to the player who can do the most damage.

The Alternating Poke Combo is excellent here as well. If a team fight is near a tower, using this combo on one or more enemies (Using Tornadoes on a cluster of enemies and then using Squall on a chosen enemy) works very well, and may lead either you or an ally into a kill. While it is best in a team fight to use this combo while the enemy team is clustered, it can also be used for individual enemies.

Caution and Urgency Tips

Ao Kuang is one of the Gods where passive playing should be incorporated into aggressive pushing, since his skills are mostly long-ranged AoE and has little CC. If an enemy God gets close to you, you might have the damage to fend them off, but they can also do a lot of damage to you. As such, here are a few tips that will help you to keep yourself alive.

1. When soloing, you should always assume that an enemy can and will gank you from the jungle. As such, after dropping a Tornadoes on a minion wave, always check each jungle entrance. Stay back toward your tower, so that if something goes wrong you can get to a safer area.

2. If the enemy is pushing well, and are at your tower, you can take a Defensive Position. It goes as follows:

1. Allow the enemy to clear most of your minion wave
2. When your minions are almost dead, place Tornadoes on them so that the entire enemy minion wave will run through it
3. Push the enemy, doing the same thing until you can get close enough to drop your Tornadoes where the whole enemy wave will run through it.

NOTE: Since placement of Tornadoes is crucial, learn to place it where the entire wave will run through it and not just the front half. That is usually done by placing Tornadoes farther up in the lane, so that the whole wave will run through it before the two waves meet. That way, you take the wave faster and your minions have more life to proceed onward with.

3. Always try to know where your enemy is, if you can help it. If you see an enemy running around, use [VB] pinger command to let your allies, and yourself, know where they are. Also, DO NOT FORGET TO CALL MIAS! If your ally forgets to call a MIA (Missing In Action), then remind them to do so. Politely, mind you...

4. Do not try to take enemies head on. You will die, period.

Keep all of this in mind when in lane or in the jungle.



When starting a Conquest game, you have to begin at the God selection. Obviously, in this circumstance you have chosen Ao Kuang, but who your allies choose is of the utmost importance. You must ask youself these things:

1. Is there an ally God that my skills have good synergy with?
2. Which players are taking what role?
3. How well can the players cooperate (you can tell by the way they talk. You can usually know if they work well with others or if they choose to be snobs from the beginning)?

If you cannot say yes to each of those things, then the overall synergy and performance of both you and the team may be weaker than it could be. Nevertheless, try to work with the other players, tell them your play style and let them know what lanes/buffs you want beforehand. Sometimes during God selection other players do not pay attention to what you are saying, so if they decide to call shots once the game begins that you have to stay firm with your play style. However, if it becomes an argument over a lane, be lenient. What lane you choose is not always a problem.

Now, let me make something clear. I just typed these words: What lane you choose is not always a problem. And it is true. Some players like to believe that the jungle meta dictates that the short lane (which can be either left or right) be the lane where solo players go. That is not and should not be set in stone. Solo players, especially Ao Kuang, can solo in any lane, be it mid (obviously), left, right, short, or long. However, as I said, be lenient and try to avoid an argument.

I usually say this: "Don't worry guys, I'll be fine. I know what I'm doing". Short, simple, and polite. People usually respond to that better than "F**k you, I'm in left lane!"


When starting as Ao and following the build in this guide, it is best to start with:

Level two Boots of the Magi, one Healing Potion, and two Mana Potions.

This gives you some early game damage, and back-up potions. You will see why I call them back-up below.


Work with a partner to get a blue buff. This is absolutely crucial and without it you will have a very tough time pushing and sustaining your lane, regardless of whether you are solo, mid, or dual-laning.

If called upon, don't hesitate to drop a Tornadoes on any buff that your allies might want, as long as you get a blue buff. With it, and the exp from any camps taken out, you are ready to enter lane.

If you are solo, I advise that you have your jungler stay in lane with you to farm and push the lane until about half way through level 3, to give them a nice exp. boost before going on their jungle route. From there, you can continue to clear minion waves with Tornadoes.

If you are mid, just farm minions for awhile, and if you can poke the enemy with either Tornadoes or Squall. With blue buff and being this early in the game, you can do quite a lot and still have plenty of mana.

If you are laning, do the same as you would in mid lane, except with another person... relatively simple.

NOTE: When your blue buff ends, and it will, this will be the time to use your mana potions until either another blue buff appears that you can take or you get the chance to recall for Meditation level one. And just... level one. During this period, it is advised to focus more on the clearing of minions over anything else, to conserve mana until you can get more.


If you are solo or middle, then you need to be working with the jungler at all times. Let them know when an enemy's health is low, or when you need a buff. Remember the Initiator Combo (substituting Fenrir's skills with the skills of your jungler as possible), and try to poke the enemy on your own until they are low on health. From there, you can call the jungler to attack an enemy and possibly get one of you a kill. That kill won't be a huge setback on the enemy due to the low respawn time in early game, but it will still be enough for you to push or even to recall.

Your Alternating Poke Combo is an excellent option for poking enemy Gods, in any situation. Remember that.

If you are dual laning, then you should be doing something relatively similar, except your ally is always in lane with you. The Initiator Combo can still be used, to great effect, but you have a higher chance of the enemy knowing about it and potentially dodging it. Work with your partner to be able to recall periodically to get the items you need.

NOTE: If you need to get back into lane quickly, for whatever reason, do not hesitate to buy a Teleport if you have the extra funds. They are very useful and will save you time.

ITEMS: When you first recall, hopefully you will have enough to finish Shoes of the Magi, and from there you should get Meditation level one as mentioned earlier. If you have enough gold, begin Warlock's Sash, it won't hurt.

From here, repeat the process. Get buffs as necessary, farm minions, poke enemies and if you can, get kills. Do this until you can finish Warlock's Sash, then move on to Book of Thoth.


I bet you are asking: Why two stack items? The answer is simple. Tornadoes will get you last hits!. Getting stacks on these items is so simple, and by the time you finish Book of Thoth you will might have finished about 40-45 stacks on the Sash, depending on how well you farmed. The benefits that both of these items give is too good to pass up. Plus, they give a steady yet excellent scale during mid game, boosting nearly all of the stats Ao Kuang needs at a constant rate and giving him plenty of power.


Hopefully by now you have a few kills on your plate, but if not it is ok. Now you have entered the phase where players leave lanes and start focusing towers. You, being a pusher, have the ability to push an entire lane of minions with ease at this point, and you'll be racking up a hell of a lot of stacks on your items.

You have some options here: You can either stick with team mates and group up on towers, or take the opportunity of the enemy team being distracted to push a lane and attack a tower. In either scenario, remember that once enemy Gods see you attacking a tower, they will usually begin heading your way and they will usually prefer to attack you from behind. If you even begin to think that an enemy is close, back out unless the tower is near destruction. If it's not, it's not worth the risk and you can always go back to it later.

In this phase, small team fights are bound to happen. If you are not working on a tower or defending one (which is entirely possible), then be sure to help out in any team fights. You have the power to make a huge difference in those fights and killing enemy Gods in this phase is usually necessary to destroy towers. Any combo works here, so do as you see fit!

ITEMS: This is where your situational tank item should be built. If following the build, then you have two choices:
A. Build Focused Void Stone in the presence of an enemy team that is dominantly magical damage.
B. Build Breastplate of Valor if that team is dominantly physical damage.

Either item is going to add to your damage and your protections, so build the one that you need most. Although building based off of any fed God might be smart, I have found that in team fights the most dominate damage-type will, obviously, cause the most damage, so it is more safe to build based off of that.


Start off late game with one thing: Rod of Tahuti! While your stack items have been helping you scale throughout the rest of the game, they should be about finished stack-wise, so now you need an item that will let you further scale. Well, there is your item! Building this item will give you a HUGE boost to magical power, and since team fights are a majority of this phase dealing damage has never been more important!

As I said, team fights are prominent and are usually decisive in who will win the game, since the respawn times in this phase give the enemy (or you) time to catch up CONSIDERABLY! Most team fights will take place in middle lane, but some take place in the corners of the map or in the jungle, near Fire Giant or Gold Fury.

You should be the player that is doing a hell of a lot of DPS, and all of your combos work here as well, so work with your team. I believe I have mentioned that in this game mode, teams like to scrunch up together, right?

If that is the case, then once the battle starts you should be shooting your Ult (and other skills) directly onto their faces. Your damage will DESTROY their team, usually getting a kill and if not allowing you and your allies to play janitor. Work with your team. There are other details, but I have mentioned them enough times already.

DEFENDING YOUR BASE: If your team is pushed to your base, then you should be the player that is keeping the minions OUT! That is, assuming your pheonix is destroyed. If it is not, then push the minions so that they can't get close to the pheonixes. It is rather simple, considering that one Tornadoes will wipe out a minion wave in seconds.

If the minions have reached the minotaur, then chances are that they are flaming minions. If so, then you might have to use an Alternating Poke Combo on each wave just to kill it. That's fine, you have a HUGE mana pool.

ITEMS: This is where the final, situational item should be built. Go to the items section to choose which item best fits the situation. My preferred last item is Gem of Isolation, but it is truly up to the matter at hand.

Finally, you are either going to be defending your minotaur, or attacking theirs. Use all of your abilities, and do what you need to do. Good game.



In Arena, your job is to DPS the hell out of your enemies. You should be following groups of allies, poking away at enemies while being careful to not get surrounded. If you can, use Tornadoes to keep minions out of your portal.

The build for this and Domination is designed on optimizing what I believe are the most important things for a mage in said game modes: cooldown reduction, magical penetration, a slow, and some protections will give you the upper hand.


Domination is where you should be focusing on taking the Obelisks. As an Ao Kuang, that used to be easy because you could drop a Tornadoes on a guardian and then run off, but now you must be in the circle to deal damage. As such, bring a minion wave, burst the guardian down, and keep the enemy minions away. Your skills make that easy. Your interaction with enemy Gods should come from interactions with the guardian. However, you should focus on taking the Obelisks (with a partner and minions, of course) instead of defending them, because with your high-power you can easily take them down.

Future Updates

I plan on working on:

Expanding the Arena/Domination section

Adding an Assault section

Adding a 1v1/3v3 Joust section

Anything else I can think of that will be helpful


Thank you for reading my guide on Ao Kuang! I hope it proved beneficial to you.

If you found the guide helpful, please +Rep and upvote. I would really appreciate it.

If you have any suggestions for the guide or any critiques, leave a comment. I'll usually respond to them all.

See you guys around,


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Sort Comments By
Technotoad64 (45) | April 20, 2016 2:09pm
I never knew SmiteFire was so old, but here is proof. Kukulkan referred to as Ao Kuang, retired items, and even a few parts about domination. This belongs in a museum.
HollowMarthon (1) | May 18, 2014 1:22pm
I saw your comment on a bad Nu Wa guide, decided to see if this guide actually proved that one was worthless. I was not disappointed.
Kablu | February 16, 2014 4:59am
Hey sir, nice guide over there!

I play Ao alot myself (picked up my 6th rank with him recently), and I play him the squishy assassin style. I build CDR Boots all the way, everytime. After this I rush Polynomicon which gives me a decent amount of early game burst - magical power + mana (=more magical power) by far the best item to go IMHO. Since I don't build too much HP, I skip Bancrofts Talon - Polynomicon serves this purpose as well and has equal stats.
After this I build Book of Thoth, Meditation and Combat Blink. With this you'll be able to stay in lane like forever and can escape like a boss.
The Gem of Isolation along with Rod of Tahuti and the Obsidian Shard do the rest.
If facing Ares (and only then) I go for purification beads. If there's no Ares, there's only combat blink for me. You can dodge Thanatos Ults, Escape a Loki or simply get back to a safe position.
JararoNatsu (51) | December 28, 2013 4:25pm
Polynomicon is my most used last item, but I haven't updated.

There is a lot that I can do with this, but I've been really lazy with the guide-making ever since the whole thing with the Merc guide.

I will work on this soon, I assure you.

Subzero008 (112) | December 21, 2013 12:51am
You know, this guide was literally my second review. I've grown a lot as a player, so even if this guide hasn't updated, I'm going to review it again. Let's do this!


A very good, solid and simple, yet flexible build. I have no problems with this. (Even though I wish Polynomicon was here O.- )


Excellent. You do a good job of explaining why these items are good on Ao, and how they synergize with one another. You don't ramble, either.


Excellent, but I think you should put a little more emphasis on the inportance of Squall. It's lower cooldown and deceptively long range makes it extremely useful as a way to snipe and finish off enemies.

Everything else is golden.


Amazing. simply amazing. You do a great job of helping the players go through each stage of the game, except for one small thing:

Your section on teamfights is not very clear. I know you put a matchups and synergy bit, but I think you should also focus on using Ao's MIGHTY STORMS as a zoning tool. You won't always have the luxury of a teammate setting it up, and since hits aren't guaranteed, using it to hinder and heavily damage enemy melee attacks can be very fruitful. (Also, Polynomicon can help, since Tornadoes has a fairly long cooldown).


Nice BBC coding, good organized info, and intuitive layout. Very good.

Some of the info is outdated, however, like the middle grabbing the blue buff, and some bits are simply unneeded, like the copy pasta'd skill descriptions.

I love your matchups sections.


This guide is easily accessible and easy to read, while still containing a wealth of information useful for advanced and beginner noodles alike.

It still has a few problems, and certainly isn't perfect, but this is my go-to example for what a good guide is. Nice work.

I'd upvote this again if I can. I hope this will be updated soon.
JararoNatsu (51) | November 14, 2013 9:06pm
I've been stalling on updating my guides. Not sure why... I just don't feel like it. I LIKE GIGANTIC PICTURES SIR!

Worry not, I'll update soon.
Raventhor (157) | November 14, 2013 8:19pm
Actually I don't see why wall is in there at all xD

If you take out Thoth for the arena/domination builds, with it providing 27.5 MP, that's 2.5 deficit for 25% CDR. Instant take imo, PLUS extra physical protection. Sure wall has the passive, but against AD casters it's useless, so I'd pretty much take breastplate 100% of the time, even in dom or arena.
(This wasn't a slight on you, Jararo, more like a question to Xanth as to why wall would ever be interchangeable ever)

Anyway, solid info. Still waiting on polynomicon as at least an alternative ;P
Only criticism guide wise is the item section icon sizes are GIGANTIC. Like, big enough to start pixelating the actual pictures. But otherwise it's incredibly aesthetically pleasing. A+. Love the counters section, by the way.
JararoNatsu (51) | November 14, 2013 8:02pm
Xanthious wrote:

Very Nice Guide! The only criticism I have is: Breastplate of Valor and Wall of Absolution are usually interchangeable based on the preference of the player. However, with AK's passive and in this build (Mainly because of Book of Thoth) makes Breastplate of Valor the clear choice over Wall of Absolution. The main reason why other mages may use Wall of Absolution over BP of Valor is the boost in magical power. Ao's passive adds .05 x 550 = 27.50, with Book of Thoth .08 x 550 = 49.00 magical power.

Umm... that's why I use Breastplate of Valor? I am going to guess that that you didn't read the sections clearly. Wall of Absolution is in the Arena/Domination build only.

Thank you for telling me what I have already made clear.
Xanthious (5) | November 13, 2013 9:03pm
Very Nice Guide! The only criticism I have is: Breastplate of Valor and Wall of Absolution are usually interchangeable based on the preference of the player. However, with AK's passive and in this build (Mainly because of Book of Thoth) makes Breastplate of Valor the clear choice over Wall of Absolution. The main reason why other mages may use Wall of Absolution over BP of Valor is the boost in magical power. Ao's passive adds .05 x 550 = 27.50, with Book of Thoth .08 x 550 = 49.00 magical power.
JararoNatsu (51) | October 7, 2013 7:11pm
Swampmist, if I destroy you in a 3v3 again, I'll consider looking at those items XD
Swampmist1142 (8) | October 7, 2013 6:41pm
ok, just took a quick skim over this, and holy **** is very similar to my playstyle 0-0. I mean, I've been playing him for forever, but damn. Also, I will say, hide of the Urchin is best thing, but that may just be me and my sustain\be-less-squishy mindset. I like to stay in lane as long as possibly, so for me Poly and Urchin are basically essential.
AzureNightmare | September 27, 2013 6:55am
I think this guide is very well put together and is a nice insight on Ao Kuang! So nice job, but keep those nasty cheesecakes away...
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