I am currently working on a version of this build testing HP5 so that I can get back into fights faster. At least initially it is going pretty well. I have been experimenting with a couple of main items for regen and supplementing others to try and find something that will allow me to run hastened katana effectively.
My current test build that has been most successful is
Gauntlet of Thebes
Stone of Gaia
Qin's Sais (I am also going to be testing Qin's Sais in the 5th spot and The Crusher in the sixth spot. I feel like the 5% attack speed loss is more than offset by the 15 penetration from The Crusher. I also feel like since a lot of my build focuses on movement/chasing when necessary that the extra 20 damage + 15% of physical power over 2 seconds would put me over the hump in finishing when some would normally escape) HP5 with this build is 64.
In limited testing so far above swapping in Gauntlet of Thebes and Stone of Gaia instead of other items I am finding I have more survivability and get our team a temporary advantage because not only can I outrun most enemies, the high regen keeps me alive usually even when they are throwing everything but the kitchen sink at me. Assuming I have a team that works together, or even 1 or 2 other members that do, all that time they spend chasing me can really hurt their team a lot.
I may be stepping into ermagod!! noob territory again for now but I tried to go more with the grain in having defensive items while also keeping the ability to play how I have been with the original build. I have had pretty mixed group comps since I started testing so I just have to log a lot more battles and see if it stays consistent aside from hopefully only a couple of outliers.
I was trying to place survivability as my priority early with this build and shift to the basic sticking later in the build to limit deaths and keep in position with my team to support until we get leveled. I wanted to see how smooth the transition could be and to also get some more patience, rather than going with the urge to fully engage early. I also feel like this build will allow an easier transition to Joust play where my current setup has been too mixed of a bag so far. I was afraid that the hastened katana at the 4 would mess up the feel of how I want to play but so far so good.
I am setting this guide down just for any other new players who don't really want to feel forced into making characters they like into kind of the cookie cutter kind of expectations that most of the player population seems to have for this game for each specific character. I am severely stubborn and especially so when someone else tries to tell me what I should do with the resources available to me in my free time. This build is not really similar to any other builds I have seen or had suggested to me. I think I just ironed out my final build today in my last few matches.
Whether you like the information or not I am making it available for new or existing players who might want a different take on how to make Bellona their own or even get their wheels turning on how to do so with another character to allow them to be viable and not sacrifice their fun factor in the game by playing how everyone else tells them to play.
Also, just to clarify the ? after Joust in the title does give a nod to the fact I have not played much joust on Bellona and not really with this build yet. I have a dedicated group I play with and have, as yet, been unable to situationally tweak it in that setting.
So, right off the bat veteran players will probably be going what the heck before even logically thinking it out just because it goes against the grain so much. I know that in my limited time of bouncing ideas off of the people I play with that straying from conventional wisdom has resulted in them trying to veer my directly back on that path.
I will say that my original build that I thought I would run with was much crazier but I also, after taking into consideration that we are playing with other people, decided to try to bring a little more utility to my build rather than just going all "We wants it, gives it to us!!!" at every little cool item I synched together.
I feel like with this build I was able to keep to what I wanted to do but also become more of an asset in the matches I play in Arena and Joust.
The Ninja Tabi and Hastened Katana get this build going early. The Shifter's Shield and the Void Shield at the 3 and 4 help this build by allowing you to add physical power while also adding elements useful for this build(55-90 physical power and 100 physical protection/35 magical protection situationally dependent on your health in relation to the Shifter's shield. The Qin's Sais give the extra damage on basic attacks which fits right in to this build and The Executioner gives you extra punch while breaking down enemy physical protections.
For the relics I like Aegis Amulet just because of the damage null when trying to escape or get that extra time to heal/drop a pot/escape. The meditation cloak is also for that purpose and also to help rally my team if we are in a close fight and we maybe just need a bit more of a push.
This is a great ability. What is not to like about it? You get the block and damage reflection upon closing distance to your prey and then you keep getting blocks for every 3 basic attacks with your sword and shield(capped out at 3 stacks--a benefit I need to start using more of) and is also nifty as an escape tool when in a pinch.
This is a nice AOE that hits all enemy gods surrounding you. The initial spin of her hammers is followed with an over head swing to follow up. Make sure to hit as many gods as you can at once because the over hand smash does more damage the more enemy gods get hit in the initial spin. After this she will continue to attack with her hammer and it will still hit all enemies in melee range and she gets 1/3rd of her total lifesteal applied to these attacks. This ability can also be used during escape, but is not as effective for those purposes on enemies with higher movement speeds. It doesn't seem like much but that initial jump surge to spin has saved me from deaths quite a few times already.(Though this is still a useful ability for my build it does not shine as much as it would in a more traditional build)
This ability is the driving force for this build. This ability is your kills, your escapes, your hastened katana, your sustainability in team fights and solo fights.
This is your kills because you will out last most of your solo opponents by final build(they will pretty quickly, in most situations, realize the futility of running and then just as quickly realize the futility of running and figure out they just should have taken the opportunity to go get a drink or a snack real quick while they respawn). This is also your kills/assists in group battles because as long as you utilize movement while sticking close you can hang in with 2-3 enemies for extended periods of time depending on who they are and what abilities they have ready.
Without hastened katana this build would probably be serviceable but it would be meh....and would lose a lot of it's utility. By the same token, without scourge hastened katana would not be able to make this build what it is. In this build they form a very strong symbiotic relationship that really propels this build forward in the late game especially.
This is part of your toolkit for escaping because it allows you to have even survived long enough to get to think about escaping in the first place. It also allows you to stand and fight in situations where you are being chased by multiple enemies and have that 1 that decides they are going to stick with you and get that kill. In some of those circumstances you can just about face and wreck them.
Eagle's Rally is a true extension of what Bellona should be for her groups. She is there to lead the charge, to sustain battles and to safeguard retreat for her team. When her ult is used and placed any allied gods under it are buffed with additional protections and physical power. Any enemies directly under the flag are damaged and stunned for 1 sec. This is a wonderful swiss/army knife of an ult. Some may think it is lackluster because it doesn't have some sexy damaging affect but it is the perfect ult for what she is meant to be. As an added bonus, in extreme circumstances you can burn it as an escape as well.
Need to get up and into the face of your enemies? A wisely placed Eagle's Rally can get a quick stun on possibly multiple members of the enemy team and close distance to engage. This all while being able to take less damage from enemies and dish out more to them as well.
Is your team in the middle of a battle and one or two hits from being pushed back, but also so close to pressing forward for the advantage that it would just really suck to get killed or pushed back and lose that ground? Bam, another well placed Eagle's Rally and you might have that extra kick you needed to surge.
In regards to escaping, as i mentioned shield bash, bludgeon and eagle's rally can all be used as escapes. Even if you might be loathe to do it and it might leave a sour taste in your mouth you can, in fact, use all three together to escape one date with death. Escaping is not bad, it is not cowardly and will keep your team from getting unnecessary deaths and also many times leave members of the opposing team who just thought they were going to smash you into oblivion any given second deep on your side of the field exposed and alone and ripe for the picking before they have to run all the way back over to the other side of the map. Will you escape death all the time? No. If you get good at it though, you will escape at a much greater clip than you get killed and possibly give your team those easy kills in the process becasue enemy team members are over extending themselves.
With this build in most situations you can solo/team kill/assist effectively. You will have the movement speed(475) to keep up with most fleeing opponents and escape most of them as well(just remember to use all of the tools you have available to you for escaping). You will also have a very high attack speed(2.09). This will help with all weapons at her disposal but most of your work will be done with the scourge and it is downright scary. I have caught myself a few times thinking to myself "Should I feel bad? I mean maybe I should. That was bad." For sustainability recognize when to surge with your group, recognize when to hit and run, recognize when to use every ability of yours to the fullest, and to also use your relics at the right times. Cloak of Meditation can be a really great tool for you in group fights.
It is still possible to over pursue with this build. I am new to the game and am still trying to filter out some of my over aggressive tendencies so I have had plenty of time to see it in action. Even if you can get away from multiple enemies you will usually have the advantages of being out of range for most of their attacks, a higher movement speed and 1-3 abilities at any given time you can use to help further your escape if it still looks dicey. Also be aware of the enemy team composition. I wasn't even thinking of the Thor on the enemy party on a match today and I ran all the way across the map and was almost to base and bam!!! I was dead. I usually zig zag all around to remain unpredictable while being chased but in situations like that if you get too comfortable they will still get you.
If you do get held up by other players when you are trying to escape don't panic. That doesn't necessariily mean that is all she wrote for you. As an example, if an Odin traps you in their ring, don't try to keep running out of it. Turn around and start whacking them with your scourge. If it is just the Odin they will probably regret trapping you and if others are there or about to join the fray you will have a good shot at surviving and getting away when the ring clears. Just, as always, be aware of what all the other enemy gods are bringing to the table and what they can do to you.
You can solo target solo game in this phase but be more careful about it because you won't have the movement and attack speed advantage that you will usually have won't be as pronounced here. The movement will be there by Hastened Katana but you will be missing 45% of your attack speed boost at this point and you will only be running at 45 Physical Power. Hastened Katana will make it seem like yeah I am going to get these guys but you are nowhere near as scary or hard to take down as mid or final build here.
You will have your Shifter's Shield and/or Void Shield by this point and as much as you can take solo opportunities when you have them but don't over extend yourself and feed the other team excessively and/or unnecessarily(a battle for me every match some days. being aggressive is so fun!!!). On the plus side you get a small bump in your health from the Void Shield and between both of these items you will have a total of 130-135 Physical Power and extra Physical(65-100) and Magical(35) Protections(dependent on if your health is above or below 50% from the Shifter's Shield). Don't panic when you get jumped on, but depending on the composition of opposing god(s) attacking you make that quick decision on whether to make a stand or get the heck out of dodge.
Once you have final build you have the freedom to engage fully in team fights and to pick off the enemy team whenever you see opportunities. The fully developed punch for this build rounded out by the Qin's Sais and The Executioner and it can really be a fun time in the match if you don't waste the potential available to you in this build. Kills are nice but as in early and mid-game be sure not to over extend because you can be a real game changer with this build if you play smart(not always me :P)
For this last bit, it SHOULD be true if you play smart. I imagine there are more experienced players out there who could easily do better if they tried this out after getting the hang of the build.
Steamrolls(your team is winning)
You will definitely get some nice k/d/a ratios. A couple of sample steamroll matches for my teams as wins in arena were 19/4/9 and 13/0/20.
Steamrolls(their team is winning)
I am not an expert player by any means but in games I play smart and the whole group is not trash I can usually eek out stat lines like about 4-8/3-9/7-22.
Even matches that end up going either way
I feel like I am respectable, usually, in these. I normally will have a stat line about 4-9/3-6/18-27.
I may not have a popular opinion with this next statement, but here goes. If, for whatever reason, the kills are just not coming you need to do whatever you can to set your teammates up for success. I really don't think that it is coincidental that in pretty much every match when you look at the winner, they have 10-30+ more assists than the other team. A lot of stuff tends to get labeled as kill stealing even when it may not necessarily be. I have seen so many times someone get an enemy down to almost nothing and then they get away and no one assisted at all on it.
Kill or assist, that is your team one step closer to winning. Be grateful for a quicker finish for the kill, no unnecessary extended chasing and the chance to get back into the main battle or other solo targets. Another thing to consider is that usually the longer you are taking to damage an enemy is more time for you to become a zerg target or even a weak target susceptible to an easy kill. This build allows more freedom to chase but it still won't excuse stupid mistakes for you when you overextend.
Be aware of where your team is and who they are and what they can do. Even if most people don't mic up with strangers just be situationally aware of how things are going and who you are playing with. With this build you can work traditionally or work from the fringes targeting opposing team members as needed and as the situation warrants. While maybe not the typical Bellona someone would want on their team, this build can still initiate and facilitate combat in single or team battles effectively.
In summary I just want to thank anyone who took the time to go over this build. I hope that everyone is having as much fun as I have been playing Bellona. She is not the first god I have played but has definitely been my favorite by a mile. Whether you like and/or use my ideas or not I hope you have fun doing whatever you are doing in game. That is all I want is for us all to be able to have fun in our own way whether following stricter tenants of how to play the game with certain characters or finding a niche that is different but still effective.
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