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This is a generic Support start using Sentinel's Gift as a starter and either:
This is a well-rounded, defense-focused build example providing strong protection auras for tankiness and sustain, flex CDR, and Relic Dagger for more Blink use. Note that your starter in this build will need to use Cloak instead of Glowing Emerald. Prophetic and Thebes are generally interchangeable.
There are no counter items shown here. You can consider alternative items as needed. Key items include Contagion, Shogun's Kusari, Spectral Armor and Winged Blade.
This is a fairly standard build that shifts focus a bit from protection auras to utility auras to assist teammates and counter enemies. You obviously wouldn't pick up Contagion if you don't need anti-heal.
Spirit Robe is a typical pickup due to the balance of stats, and more specifically the CC reduction. Relic Dagger, when possible, is always a solid option to burn beads and allow you more freedom to use your ult at the most opportune times.
This is a build example with more offensive team focus. While Pythagorem's Piece is optional, picking it up immediately after Thebes provides a good measure of offensive push, providing you with some lifesteal for being aggressive and dealing damage. Alternatively, you could look to an early Relic Dagger especially if the enemy doesn't have CC immunity abilities to cover them while their beads are down.
Also here is Stone of Binding, also supporting aggressive play where you initiate and set up for your teammates. Protections in this build are lower in comparison to some other options, so after a Blink-Ult combo, don't be afraid to extract temporarily from the hot zone.
These are all items providing defensive support. Choose as needed.
Item discussion is below.
These are all items providing offensive or utility function. Choose as needed.
Item discussion is below.
These are all items purchased to counter specific gods or builds. Choose as needed.
Item discussion is below.
Your skill leveling priority will be Shackles, Searing Flesh, Bolster Defenses, and No Escape last.
*NOTE* Writeup on items are all contained in the notes in the build at the top!
2023/2/7: Guide is current as of Patch 10.1 Bonus Update. Builds updated.
Each completed aura item that Ares owns grants him 30 additional magical power|
Discussion: Build aura items, get free power.
Tips: Aura items help his damage output, but building aura items should NOT be the primary focus of his itemization. Item choices need to make sense with the context of the mode, your team comp, and the enemy team comp.
TL;DR, aim for aura items when they specifically fit your needs.
Chains extend from Ares' shield, doing damage to all enemies in its path. Hitting a god shackles them to Ares, cripples them, preventing movement abilities, dealing the same damage every second while slowing them by 15% and buffing Ares. While shackled, Ares can fire another chain for free within 2s.|
Leveling Priority: Max this first.
General Use: Damage / Control
Discussion: This is a narrow-line skill-shot that prevents enemies from using mobility skills, while dealing solid damage to up to 3 enemies. You get up to 3 shackles if you don't miss. You can use all 3 on a single target; however, with a 2 second timeframe to cast the next Shackle, you will lose some total damage potential.
When possible, aim for different targets with each Shackle to control a larger group overall and for maximum damage potential in a teamfight. If you're targeting just one enemy, learn the timing, use basics in-between ability use, and maximize the time you have them shackled.
Ares strengthens the defenses of himself and all nearby allies, granting protections and HP5, and reducing crowd control durations. For each shackled enemy, the protection buffs are increased.|
Leveling Priority: Level this anytime after Shackles, as preferred for your needs.
General Use: Personal / Group Defense
Discussion: Provides an aura of protections, HP5, and CC reduction for you and nearby teammates. Anticipate heavy damage abilities by activating this preemptively, and always use it in a teamfight.
Flames pour forth from Ares' shield, engulfing enemies in a cone in front of him causing damage every 0.5s for 4s. Ares is immune to knockback for the duration.|
Leveling Priority: Level this first in Duo to bunch up minions, but max after Shackles, as preferred for your needs.
General Use: Minion Wave clear / Damage
Discussion: This ability not only does base damage every tick, but additionally deals magical damage based on the enemy target's maximum health. This can make the ability deal a large amount of damage if you can channel on the enemy for the entire duration.
Not stated is the fact it provides a small knockback effect against enemy minions. You can use this to group minions up a bit for easier clear by other teammates, and is a main reason to get this at level 1 in the Duo-lane as Support, to help with quicker clear.
Tips: This is typically used after finishing a series of Shackles, to continue your damage output.
[*]Note that it can be interrupted, so if you can, wait until enemies have used any abilities that can interrupt a channeled ability (e.g. stun, silence, freeze, taunt, etc.). However, you are IMMUNE to knockup/knockback, making it a great way to deal with gods like He Bo, Bacchus, Hercules, or Vulcan.
Ares throws chains out to all enemy gods in an area around him. All enemies hit by the chains are pulled to Ares after 2.5s, taking damage and are stunned.|
Leveling Priority: Suggest leveling this last, but you can prioritize as preferred.
General Use: Initiation / Peel / Teamfight Control / Kill Secure
Discussion: Ares' signature and most recognized ability, this provides a huge measure of control against the enemy team. It forces them to buy (and burn) Purification Beads), and can easily outwork Beads due to a much shorter CD.
You can use it on a single target to help peel or secure a kill, but it is often better realized in the midst of a teamfight, where you can connect on multiple targets.
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But I modified it some. I went for 5auras and stone of Gaia which gave him tremendous sustain and still good damage.
In hind sight I probably should drop stone of gaia for another aura...maybe tyrannicalhelmet. Because that's like adding a damage item and more protection
Yeah, i normally run magus on him as the last item and run all defense after boots except for blink rune. I already run frequently with void and pythag's depending on when I am trying out one of Bran's other builds. My current regular arena build for Ares has been Shoes of Focus Relic Dagger Stone of Binding Void Stone Breastplate of Valor Spear of the Magus Sometimes if i want a bit of extra pen i will get Shoes of the Magior i will stagger the pen and put bov at the 4 but usually(except a lot lately) this setup does pretty well for me. As I stated in my post yesterday I have noticed more and more players forgoing an item or two on defense to add a bit more offense and doing well. Mystic Mail i don't use much but i might give another look. I always feel like it throws my build progression off. I wasn't sure which of those type of items like jade emporer's crown would work well on him so thanks for tipping me toward one that would do some good on him.
I have been working on building him more standard though because so many groups lately i have been getting hung out to dry trying to go the blink route. Trying out a bit more of an offensive build that dagger slot was what i was looking at shifting into an offensive option at the end of the build.
yeah, i normally do binding 3rd when i build Relic Dagger and second when i don't. I am finding more and more in arena i can build that last item consistently as magus. Usually if the match is not going well we are behind too much for 1 more defensive item to really make a difference and i'm trying to stay alive and pick careless enemies to whittle down or kill because usually a surrender vote was started but not enough people vote yes.
no problem, understandable. I just didn't know since i was building him with a bit more power and more offensive build oriented if it might work ok synced with pythags
The only reason i was considering is i was building more offensively so only had two defensive items but i guess if i am going magus 6 i could switch out binding for one of the two depending on if enemy team more physical or magical. If tanks were a big problem i'd go magus at the 5 and shard at the 6 right, or would magus still be better for him considering his dot?
One question though, why isn't Genji's Guard an option?
This is another item I contemplated. I didn't want to fully list every item that might be functional...only the best to consider for his kit. This is why I didn't list Urchin, or Mantle, or BoV, and also Genji.
I consider BoV and Genji in the same vein of item function. Both provide CDR, one protection type, and mana sustain of some form. And although Ares (hell, ANY god) appreciates CDR, he has more important things he needs to build.
If he really wants CDR, he has options. Spirit, Witch, Focus, Pythag's, and Shogun's are all good options there, and provide some additional form of utility.
If he wants magical protection, he also has enough options. Sure, Pest, Void, Heartward, Shogun's, and Oni are all a bit on the situational side with regard to pure magical options, but besides these, he also has dual protection options from Gauntlet and Spirit.
With that in mind, I just don't feel Genji's stats are as important...not for this god. Does that make sense?
Also I have never used your skill level order. I always alternate between 1 and 3, then my ulti and only for last, his 2. My support is kill the enemy.
Regarding the skill leveling, I did talk about that in the body. If you want the highest kill potential, you would focus on maxing Shackles as opposed to alternating, then moving on to Searing Flesh. But the 2nd and the 4th ranks of Searing aren't that great of a boost. But in any case, if people are willing to read the quite succinct (for me) writeup, I do give the option to focus less on Bolster Defenses. Keep in mind, I can only present one skill leveling path. So I chose the "Support" oriented one. As an FYI, I vary my skill leveling. Sometimes I focus on the 2, sometimes the 3, sometimes I level the ult when available.
This is more of a general thing I created for the community, so I'm willing to adjust certain things if group consensus agrees.