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.
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.
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.
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
, 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.