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Ares: Best CC is Death (Patch 4.17)

6 0 34,397
by Duotem updated September 6, 2017

Smite God: Ares

Build Guide Discussion 24 More Guides
Tap Mouse over an item or ability icon for detailed info

Ares Build


Build Item Watcher's Gift Watcher's Gift
Build Item Lono's Mask Lono's Mask
Build Item Healing Potion Healing Potion
Build Item Multi Potion Multi Potion

Boots Options

Build Item Traveler's Shoes Traveler's Shoes
Build Item Shoes of Focus Shoes of Focus
Build Item Reinforced Shoes Reinforced Shoes
Build Item Shoes of the Magi Shoes of the Magi

Physical Options

Build Item Jade Emperor's Crown Jade Emperor's Crown
Build Item Breastplate of Valor Breastplate of Valor
Build Item Emperor's Armor Emperor's Armor
Build Item Hide of the Nemean Lion Hide of the Nemean Lion
Build Item Midgardian Mail Midgardian Mail
Build Item Sovereignty Sovereignty
Build Item Mark of the Vanguard Mark of the Vanguard

Magical Options

Build Item Void Stone Void Stone
Build Item Shogun's Kusari Shogun's Kusari
Build Item Genji's Guard Genji's Guard
Build Item Pestilence Pestilence
Build Item Heartward Amulet Heartward Amulet
Build Item Oni Hunter's Garb Oni Hunter's Garb

Hybrid Options

Build Item Hide of the Urchin Hide of the Urchin
Build Item Spirit Robe Spirit Robe
Build Item Mantle of Discord Mantle of Discord

Health Options

Build Item Gauntlet of Thebes Gauntlet of Thebes
Build Item Relic Dagger Relic Dagger
Build Item Winged Blade Winged Blade
Build Item Mail of Renewal Mail of Renewal

Relic Options

Build Item Blink Rune Blink Rune
Build Item Magic Shell Magic Shell
Build Item Heavenly Wings Heavenly Wings
Build Item Belt of Frenzy Belt of Frenzy
Build Item Cursed Ankh Cursed Ankh

Example Build

Build Item Traveler's Shoes Traveler's Shoes
Build Item Jade Emperor's Crown Jade Emperor's Crown
Build Item Shogun's Kusari Shogun's Kusari
Build Item Gauntlet of Thebes Gauntlet of Thebes
Build Item Spirit Robe Spirit Robe
Build Item Midgardian Mail Midgardian Mail
Build Item Blink Rune Blink Rune
Build Item Magic Shell Magic Shell

Ares's Skill Order


1 X Y
1 3 6 7 9

Bolster Defenses

2 A B
Bolster Defenses
4 13 14 15 16

Searing Flesh

3 B A
Searing Flesh
2 8 10 11 12

No Escape

4 Y X
No Escape
5 17 18 19 20
1 3 6 7 9


1 X
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 and buffing Ares. While shackled, Ares can fire another chain for free within 2s. Jungle Camps take an extra +40% damage.

Ability Type: Projectile
Minion Damage: 70 / 90 / 110 / 130 / 150 (+15% of your Magical Power)
God Damage per Tick: 20 / 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 (+15% of your Magical Power)
Slow/Speed: 15% per unique Shackle
Duration: 4s
Max Shackles: 3
Cost: 70 / 75 / 80 / 85 / 90
Cooldown: 15s
Bolster Defenses
4 13 14 15 16

Bolster Defenses

2 A
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.

Ability Type: Buff
Protections: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40
HP5: 25 / 30 / 35 / 40 / 45
CC Reduction: 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 / 30%
Shackle Bonus: 7
Lifetime: 8s
Radius: 35
Cost: 40 / 45 / 50 / 55 / 60
Cooldown: 15s
Searing Flesh
2 8 10 11 12

Searing Flesh

3 B
Flames pour forth from Ares' shield, engulfing enemies in a cone in front of him causing damage every .5s for 4s. Ares is immune to Knockback for the duration.

Ability Type: Cone
Damage Per Tick: 15 / 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 (+7% of your Magical Power)
% Max Health Per Tick (Gods): 1 / 1 / 2 / 2 / 3%
% Max Health Per Tick (Minions): 5%
Cost: 55 / 60 / 65 / 70 / 75
Cooldown: 12s
No Escape
5 17 18 19 20

No Escape

4 Y
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.

Ability Type: Area
Damage: 200 / 275 / 350 / 425 / 500 (+40% of your Magical Power)
Stun: 1s
Radius: 35
Cost: 80 / 85 / 90 / 95 / 100
Cooldown: 100s


Hello, my name is Duotem and I'm a semi-competitive player on PC (ign:Duotem). I'm a support/solo player and have played on a few combine teams as well as placing 9th overall in AVGL Fall 2016.

This guide is going to deal with various aspects of the god as well as gameplay geared more towards conquest, however most of this information will be applicable outside of that mode. If there are any questions feel free to ask them in the comments section and I will do my best to get back to you in a timely manner.

gameplay video will be coming as my schedule allows


- High damage
- High snowball potential
- Locks down mobile gods
- One of the best set up abilities
- Provides a lot of teamwide protections
- Ult can be hard to get off
- CC can be hard to confirm
- Easily ignored if played incorrectly
- Doesn't play well defensively/behind

Ability Overview

A decent passive. It grants Ares's 30 bonus power when he finishes an aura item. However, don't let this make you think you should only build auras. He needs to counter-build like any other guardian.

The bread and butter of Ares's kit. He fires the first shackle and, if it connects, can fire another within two seconds, up to three chains total. If fired on the same target the chains refresh damage, but if fired on different targets you'll get maximum damage. The chains keep enemies crippled and slowed for the duration. Always look to auto attack an enemy after firing a chain if you're close enough. You'll always have enough time to get one auto off and can generally get two.

A very large and often overlooked portion of Ares's kit. This ability gives up to a 40 protection base to both defenses as well as CCR. When you hit separate targets with chains this ability will give a 7 protection bonus for each active chain. For maximum uptime with the boosted buff you generally want to chain two separate targets, activate the ability, and then fire the next chain.

A cone of fire that shoots in front of you and deals damage over time. It does deal percentage health so it only gets stronger as the game goes on. You can auto attack cancel into this ability and it does knock back minions.

Ares ult is probably his most hated ability and one of the most annoying abilities across the game. Ares attaches chains to all enemy gods within a radius and then if they don't activate CC immunity within a certain time they get pulled to Ares no matter where they are on the map. If you use at the right time when someone is backing the chains won't show up and if they weren't paying attention they'll be pulled. CC also doesn't cleanse the chains so you must time it so you are CC immune during the actual pull.

Leveling orders

Ares is one of the most dynamic gods when it comes to leveling as after from Shackles you can really level any ability and have good results. The standard would be Searing Flesh as it increases your damage and allows you to control the enemy team a bit better. Bolster Defenses can be leveled if the enemy team has a lot of burst but very little sustained damage or the CCR would be helpful. No Escape can be leveled if you want that bit of extra damage, but I generally only level it if I'm immediately about to go in and I think the damage would help.

My general leveling order can be found under god skill order. I max chains first for the damage, flames second as I highly value the pressure flames allows me to present, third I'll go for bolster as this is when the enemy really tries to burst me down when I ult in most of my games, and I save the ult for last as I generally don't need the extra damage.


Starting Items


Physical Options

Magical Options

Hybrid Options

Health Options




Buff Start: If you decide to start at the buffs you're going to want to start with Shackles. The clear really isn't hurt that much as channel time makes it rough to have Searing Flesh in a decent time for both buffs and lane. By starting with the chains you allow yourself to immediately flame the wave when you get to lane allowing for full use of the minion pressure you get from preventing enemy minions from attacking with the knockback.

Lane Start: If you start in lane then Searing Flesh is the go to option unless for some reason the enemy does something dumb and you think you have kill potential with the chains. Just make sure you can hit all the minions so you keep the aggro off of you for as long as possible.

When aggressing you have to keep in mind that Ares has the second lowest base health off all the Guardians at level 1 so you're generally going to be fighting an uphill battle. One of the best things you can do is let the enemy guardian play up, take a hit from an ability or an auto attack and immediately use flames on the wave. This will allow you to concentrate full minion aggro on the enemy support, who often can't move away very quickly, while minimizing damage to yourself. If you've gotten a chain off as well they are frequently just dead or out a lot of potions. Rank 2 chains is one of the biggest power spikes you have so trying to bait them up at level 3 is one of the best bets you have.


In the midgame you're looking at characters still having fairly low overall health pools so a decent chance for you to straight up kill someone. You'll want to look more towards the midlaner or adc as your primary targets in order to accelerate yours to the end game with the XP lead that they'll get because of how often you force them back.

However, if the jungler is very mobility focused, like Serqet or Awilix, you can do pretty well by following them around and going in whenever it looks like they want to gank. The jungler in general is going to be the most impactful person you can shut down as they affect the entire map. Same goes for the support, but that can be a little bit harder depending on the team comps.


At this point in the game you're not really going to solo anyone on the other team unless they are really far behind. So your playstyle becomes more disruption and not an actual damage threat. You want to lock down all the jumps you can, and blinking in for the large ults become less attractive as CC immunity is the most prevalent it will be all game. You're looking to play in the middle area of a fight and slow the enemy frontliners when they dive and look to ult to keep people from escaping unless you can get some for sure set up. This is where Bolster Defenses becomes huge because having those protections up at the right time can mitigate hundreds of points of damage on a single character.

No Escape: Where, When, and Why

Matchups (Supports)

Difficulty: Medium
Laning phase will be a nightmare, but provided you don't die it can get fairly easier after that. She heals, can cancel your damage, slow you in minion damage, and deals a decent amount of damage herself. Most Artios will spam everything at once so keep and eye and look to aggress when they are on cooldown. Your focus is to wear down her potions and simply keep you ADC alive. Look to chains the bear dash, which isn't that hard, to keep her from going to hard on you, but overall kill potential is pretty low.
You're going to take more damage because of her passive protection shred so keep that in mind when fighting into minions. However, many artio players are fairly easy to catch out of position as they tend to want to go in at all times. She can't prevent her ult so try to bait her out and reel her in for the kill. Bolster Defenses shines in this match up thanks to the CCR so you'll probably want to level it second. Overall though if your team can't work together then you're going to have a rough time.

Difficulty: Medium
If she attempts to dash the wave in lane at low levels then you kill her. Come mid to late game she has greater map pressure with her ult and better overall set up with taunt. You have to pay attention to player habits in these cases. If the player seems to taunt immediately after the dash stops moving you can probably bait it out by chaining her at the start of her dash and after taunting she just kinda sits for a while. You also want to try to force her to ult away from engagements so that you can keep up in rotations. By ulting her frequently in mid, especially if she is alone,
you can force her to ult away from the action and look to force an objective play or gank with plenty of time to spare. She will be looking to stop your damage and her ult mitigation can be a huge detriment to your ult set up. This match-up can go either way and entirely depends on what happens early on.

Difficulty: Easy
You stop his primary initiate/escape with chains. While he can mitigate a lot of damage with Chug you should be able to lock him down for long enough for your team to kill. A lack of CC immunity makes him even easier to kill and a great target early.
Remember you can Searing Flesh to avoid the knockup if you hear the audio or see it go off, and if he attempts to stun you out of chains just throw them quickly and use your two to mitigate the duration. Your biggest risk is his extra damage from intoxicate and the drunkeness causing you to miss chains, if he goes in just use Bolster Defenses right away to super decrease the duration for your whole team.

Difficulty: Hard
This match-up stays fairly annoying through the entire game. In lane is your best chance to get ahead and you do this by positioning. You're going to want to stay out of the wave so that he has to choose to hammer you or it. If you take the normal approach and flame the enemy minions in the wave he'll just cancel it out before you can do anything. You'll be keeping most of your laning phase god focused as a result which means you'll be taking much more damage than usual so keep that in mind. He has four ways to cancel you out of your damage come level 5, and he buffs his whole team to erase you if you go for the big ults. Overall, you have to be super careful with your timings being sure to bait out abilities before engaging.

Difficulty: Hard
In lane he'll outclear you most of the time and can very easily stop your damage.
If you try to chains he'll simply start the silence and eat the cooldown while mitigating the damage the DoT does by giving his ally protections so long as they are close enough. On the bright side you can pull him pretty much every time you try.
If you commit to ulting him though he can simply drop his ult on you while you're in the air and you'll take a ton of damage and lose a ton of protections in the process.
This is a scenario where ulting second will often be in your favor and you may even be able to do it from the safety of the center of his ultimate. These problems will continue through the whole game so getting the Ganesha behind early so he's easy for your team to kill will be a huge benefit later on.

Difficulty: Medium
You can pretty easily stop rollout with chains and ulting Geb to force the ultimate are probably your biggest plays through the game. Again Searing Flesh prevents knock ups and you should use that to your advantage. He'll be looking to cleanse your ult's stun after the pull so be careful when ulting single targets while he's around.
You win lane early pretty hard provided you hit chains and if you can hit level 5 first he should pretty much be a guaranteed kill. Generally so long as you make sure to ult Geb or wait until the shield is down you should do ok. This match-up does get harder as the game does on and you want to make sure he doesn't hit late game before you.

Difficulty: Medium
You want to avoid getting hit with the Rising Dawn before using flames on the minions so you get your damage off. If you manage that and both ADCs have similar clear the clear difference really isn't that bad. You both have advantages in and out of laning. He wants to pluck you out of flames, but if you chain him during his pull he takes a lot of guaranteed damage. If he plucks your ADC with your minions still up and chains off cooldown he probably dies. On the other hand if you chain another target he can pull you out of chains so you have to be quick on the draw. Using your ult for kill damage is also generally worse as it's a basically guaranteed revive if the Khepri is paying attention. He can't escape your ult though so that's a positive.

Difficulty: Easy
He actually can't truly stop you in lane until level 3. At level 1 you stop his clear by blocking or chainsing the belly bump, and you have much greater kill potential in most cases if he takes the two. At level 2 if he takes the root then he can't stop your wave pressure or chains damage unless he gets you at max range which you shouldn't let him do. If he takes the mez it'll likely be broken immediately due to enemy clear if you position correctly and they completely lack any real kill potential outside of a gank 99% of the time. Going into late game your match-up gets even better as all his CC when combined with his teams will cause a lot of diminishing returns and Bolster Defenses will only make that even worse, his CC will last an extremely short amount of time. Often you'll be able to still chains after a mez in these cases if you're fast enough. If he ults you he isn't truly removing serious damage from a fight and 9/10 times the enemy team isn't going to try to burst you. You'll want to adjust to more team centered fighting instead of diving like you normally would, but you'll completely ruin Khumba players days.

Difficulty: Medium
All you have going for you here really is that you can chains the pluck and if he misses the pluck you either force his ultimate or can kill him. However, he has high kill potential at level one if he takes pluck and you have to be sure not to get plucked into the wave early on as it could easily get you killed and at minimum ruin your laning phase. He has another knock up you can avoid with your three. Whichever one of you gets caught out of position first will lose so play into minion waves so that he has to aim through them.

Difficulty: Medium
Unless something crazy happens or his adc doesn't clear you are going to lose lane 99%
of the time. He's going to heal through your damage and can pull you out of position if you're not paying attention. However, he is extremely immobile and if you can catch him with his ult down you can probably kill him. However, if you ult him into your team while his ult is up you're likely to have a bad time. One particularly good ult timing against Sylvanuses is when he's ulting. Use Searing Flesh to immune the knock up,
you'll still take damage, and while the enemy team is focused on getting their own damage off they'll often be too distracted to notice your ult right away. You control the midgame in this match up and you need to play aggressively and that midgame is often enough to lock a Sylvanus out of the game entirely. If you fall far behind early he will block most things you can do. Allowing yourself to be pulled into the enemy team can be a strategic play at times so make sure to keep that in mind if the Sylvanus is playing aggressively.

Difficulty: Hard
She punishes your lack of mobility hard and can deal similar levels of damage early on if she maxes Crushing Earth first. You'll likely be down in experience due to her ability to manipulate the first wave of minions and she's going to try to use her two any time you aggress. Look to chain her when she throws down her three to dash through it. However, don't aim at her directly, aim through the monolith as you're much more likely to catch the dash that way. Your dots pretty much guarantee her ult heals her team during the fight, but there isn't a whole lot you can do about that and you need to still do what you can. She'll look to ult anytime you do and the CDR is gives her teammates makes it that much more likely they'll be willing to burn CC immune ults to kill you/prevent the pull during the channel time. She's going to have an extreme amount of control at any fight she's at and if her ult is up her presence will be there even if she isn't physically present. You'll have to play very smart or you'll find yourself falling behind very quickly.

Difficulty: Medium
You can counter his mobility, but he has an excellent counter initiation against your ultimate. Who wins lane is pretty much up to which ADC clears harder as both your primary wave clears are mediocre at best. Both of you are displacement gods so you can often think about what you'd try to do and predict what he'll be doing during fights.
You do more damage, but he's much safer and has a bit more set up. Your ults will be key to winning this match up for your team as you need to keep him from negating yours.
His goal will be to either go to your team and throw a zoning ult to prevent follow up damage or to walk under you and ult so that he negates the pull and can throw you into his team for the kill instead.

Difficulty: Medium
With Ymir you're always starting the fight with less HP unless he's somehow taken a lot of poke on the way to lane, almost 40 hp and level one and expanding the base defecit by 14 per level. He'll look to freeze flames so be careful when you use them. Ymir is another high level damage guardian and can potentially kill you and your adc if you aren't smart about what you're doing. His wall can be annoying, but you can still chains through it so all isn't lost. If you get your ult off on him with anyone else around you probably kill him though. Do your best to bait out the freezes and walls before going in and all will be fine.

Difficulty: Easy
All you have to do to shut Odin down early is chain him as soon as he uses Raven Shield. This will significantly reduce the damage he does as well as keep him from escaping as you can keep him chained beyond the duration of the shield. If you play your corridors correctly then most of the cage's will have to be zoning/defensive ults which will allow your team to pressure to victory.

Difficulty: Hard
The only real thing you have going against a Hel is early kill potential. You're going to have a roughly 200 base health differential going into lane, and you can abuse this by attacking through minions and enemy clear. However, Hel's clear makes it much more likely for you too take damage. Going into lategame one of Hel's primary objectives is going to be to cleanse your ult so enemy characters may have up to three ways to avoid your set up. I wouldn't recommend picking into Hel unless you counter the enemy team extremely well.

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catabolise | September 15, 2017 4:30am
Sickest thing on ares!! about ares in joust is you can max lvl the (Chain) and leave the (Fire) on lvl 1 and get soul rever then use it to proc on the fire
Duotem (10) | September 17, 2017 3:46pm
Soul Reaver is pretty meh on him cause he isn't trying to burst but instead do sustained damage over time. Pythags, Spear of the Magus/Desolation, or Gem of Isolation are generally better pick ups. I probably bought Pythags from ahead in my joust Qualis about 75% of the time
Lopix69 (8) | September 15, 2017 4:59am
Soul Reaver would proc even on Shackles, so I don't see much the point..
Duotem (10) | September 6, 2017 7:04am
Matchup update pushed through.

Also keep an eye out for my next little project I've managed to rope Bran into coming in the next couple days ;)
Branmuffin17 (377) | September 6, 2017 11:12am
I sorta want to use him, but I'm also really scared to...I'm contemplating; we'll see how it goes. I'm reading through your matchups sections now, no way I'm going to remember all of those potential matchups, lol. A lot of stuff is just not intuitive for me, like immediately triggering Searing Flesh when hearing or seeing Bacchus Belly Flop.

Also doesn't help that I never picked to counter another's pick before, so I'm just not in that mindset. I've always just had to deal with whatever I was facing, due to blind picks in casual. I think the whole ranked thing is going to be a personal disaster XD
DV-8 (30) | August 20, 2017 8:50pm
I really like this guide.

The item selection is great, with good descriptions on when to build each item.

You briefly touch on different in-game scenarios and provide little tips and tricks here and there, which I really like as well.

All in all, great quality, well done.
DV-8 (30) | August 21, 2017 10:53am
Something I did notice though. I feel that Ares in certain situations can make great use of Horrific Emblem, but didn't see it listed here as an option.

I think the relic can have great effect when used correctly, was wondering about your thoughts on this.
Duotem (10) | August 28, 2017 2:37pm
It's more of a in context with everything else in the game. Heavenly Wings is one of the top support relics which straight counters the main use of horrific. Then you have to factor in where you'll be in the teamfight which will generally be fairly close to your team instead of all the way in the backline. So that reduces a bit of the effectiveness as well.
Branmuffin17 (377) | August 20, 2017 2:07am
Very nice Duo. I especially like your discussion on when to use the ult.

At the top you just have Travelers, and in the Travelers writeup, you don't talk about late-game replacement. You sort of indicate indirectly w/ Focus, as you mention his best end-game boots, but if this would be your normal substitution, a bit clearer instruction would be good.

Question though...I'm pretty sure this is because of high level play, but your normal build (e.g. your example) doesn't have any pen...any reason for that? I'd think it would be a strong option 3rd to get Void Stone, now that it has a bit of health on it. I know the reasons for Shogun's Kusari, and I know it's a strong option.

That said, if you didn't get Void, and your team has a very strong, tanky solo, would you never consider Spear of the Magus?
Duotem (10) | August 20, 2017 7:50am
You honestly don't need the pen. Your base values do enough, flames do % damage, and your controlling.

Voidstone is good at most points the general build is just one you can go most games and be ok with. Supports all about the counter build and should be taken on a game by game basis.

Not really. Having two strong tanky characters is currently more valuable as you can stop a lot more damage from hitting the carries. If I were to get a squish item I'd probably get Pythags to help the whole team instead of one that just helps the mage generally. But in conquest thatd only be if I had like a 2 level lead on everyone on the opposing team
Lopix69 (8) | August 20, 2017 3:14am
Bran do you know how strong is Gem of Isolation on Ares? If you can afford a Power item, just go Gem of Isolation. IT'S BR0KEN ON ARES
Duotem (10) | August 20, 2017 7:53am
Gem isnt great because of how prevalent Heavenly Wings is and your current slow is already enough to force them to burn it. Other items will have a more effective use overall
xZeroStrike (46) | August 20, 2017 4:23am
There's really no use for Gem of Isolation on Ares.
For one, it's not an Aura item, which makes him lose his bonus power from his passive.
If you can hit Shackles, the enemy is crippled, meaning that the only way they can escape from you is through movement.
On top of that, Shackles already slows the enemies hit by it, and increases Ares's movement speed. The only way the enemy could get away from you is Purification Beads or Heavenly Wings, which both counter Gem of Isolation anyway.

The only time you should get Gem of Isolation on an Ares is if you can't hit your Shackles, at which point you should probably get better at it or play another god, missing those cripples your damage by a ton.

If you really want a power item, get Rod of Tahuti instead. That combined with all the power you get from your passive and your defenses (aura defense items you've bought), can turn you into a nearly unstoppable force. Ymir goes pale when he sees that Ares strolling by.
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Lopix69 (8) | August 20, 2017 1:23am
Nice guide, it goes fairly in depth with a lot of informations even on the gameplay! I'm currently working on my Become the Guardian of the Gods guide, and I'll probably link your guide in my Ares section, when it's finished.
This is the type of informations I was searching for in a guide, and it has an awesome name too lol
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