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Burstmaster Kuku

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Smite God: Kukulkan

Build Guide Discussion (35) More Guides

Purchase Order

Build Item Soul Stone Soul Stone
Build Item Tiny Trinket Tiny Trinket
Build Item Healing Potion Healing Potion
Build Item Polynomicon Polynomicon
Build Item Book of Thoth Book of Thoth
Build Item Shoes of Focus Shoes of Focus
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus
Build Item Chronos' Pendant Chronos' Pendant

Kukulkan's Skill Order

Zephyr

Zephyr

1 X
2 8 11 12 14
Slipstream

Slipstream

2 A
4 15 16 18 19
Whirlwind

Whirlwind

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

Spirit of the Nine Winds

4 Y
5 9 13 17 20

Introduction

Greetings, and welcome to my first and only public guide! I am a casual player with a good amount of experience in both League of Legends and Smite, but Smite comes more naturally to me and feels nicer to play. This guide is for my very favorite wind serpent, Kukulkan. You are here because you are interested in playing Kukulkan, or perhaps you are just bored. In any case, I am here to share my ideas, so let's start out with a basic overview.

Kukulkan is a classic squishy mage-type with skills that are simple and easy to understand. There are no fancy combos or advanced mechanics here; just spells that hurt people, and hurt them a lot. I play Kukulkan aggressively, going for early lane dominance by having plenty of mana regeneration. This way, Kukulkan can use his spells to continually poke down his opponent's health until level 5, at which point he may simply use his ultimate to lynch them. This goes against the standard strategy of playing safe and farming with Whirlwind until you can get your strength up.

Ideally, getting early kills (or simply forcing my opponent out of lane) gives me an early gold lead, something which is vital for Kukulkan to reach his full potential. I rush Polynomicon because its passive goes perfectly with Zephyr and turns Kukulkan into a huge threat, even in the early game where his damage is normally lacking.

In teamfights I play Kukulkan as a sort of mage-assassin, focusing on bursting down the enemy team's carries before anything else. Combining his high-damage skills with Polynomicon gives Kukulkan a ridiculously powerful (and extremely fast) burst that can take down squishy targets from full health. My playstyle revolves around using Kukulkan's devastating combo to take out threats before they can respond, and generally chunk down the enemy team with heavy damage and cooldown reduction to win teamfights (and games) for my team.

Although buffs have put Kukulkan back in style, he still has his fair share of problems. He is vulnerable to assassins, does not have reliable cc, and has difficulty hitting his ult Spirit of the Nine Winds, which is what he needs to give him the edge over his opponents. I originally started playing Kukulkan because he looked cool and was fun to play, and I have found a build that, for me at least, can consistently dominate games.

Season Four


Before we get into the details of the build, let's take a look at the advantages and disadvantages, not just of Kukulkan, but of this particular build and play style:

Pros / Cons

Pros:
  • Great early laning harass
  • Incredible burst and sustained damage
  • Can potentially one-shot squishies
  • Natural chase and escape mechanism with Slipstream
  • Can utterly destroy clustered or cc'ed teams
  • Reaches ridiculous amounts of magic power with Power of the Wind Jewel
  • Is a flying snake
Cons:
  • No natural sustain
  • No blinks or dashes
  • Weak to ganks and assassins
  • Needs items to be effective
  • Falling behind early will cripple you
  • Landing your skills can be difficult
  • The outcome of a duel or teamfight may depend on landing or missing a single move

Skills

Whoosh! - - - - Pew! - - - - -Ssssss! - - - -Whirrr! - - - - Blam! -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -A mighty storm!

Power of the Wind Jewel

Your passive, simple enough. You gain more power by having more mana. At first glance you might just give this a nod and move on (like I did), but 5% is a lot more than you might think. At level 20, with no items whatsoever, Kukulkan has 1120 mana. 5% of 1120 is 56. Keeping in mind that most finished items give you somewhere between 50-100 magical power, the amount gained from the passive is considerable- especially when you take into account the mana you will be adding by building items. If you reach full build, your passive plus the Book of Thoth will grant you over 200 extra magical power, for a mind-blowing grand total of 810.

Zephyr

A wonderfully simple spell. Barf some air at someone to damage them and hinder their movement. This synergizes well with your other attacks because the slow allows you to trap opponents into your deadly AoE. Landing this first will make it that much easier to aim your ult, make the best use of your Whirlwind, or escape from a greedy assassin. It does decent damage by itself, but it also meshes perfectly with the passive from Polynomicon. Zephyr only has a slightly longer range than your basic attacks, so you can essentially double-click to follow it up immediately with a Polynomicon-boosted basic attack, which doubles your damage output and will utterly 'blow away' anyone who gets hit by it. Using this technique is essential to this build, either to poke and pressure your laning opponent or as part of your one-shot combo. Max Zephyr second after Whirlwind for optimal damage.

Slipstream

A lot of people would call this a throw-away spell. And, well, it kind of is. But nevertheless, it comes in handy whenever you need to approach, chase, distance yourself or retreat from an enemy. In combat you will always be doing one of those things, so you will probably end up using this spell a lot. It also cleanses slows upon use, making it an excellent tool for escaping from bad situations. Max Slipstream last because it is a utility and does not help your damage.

Whirlwind

Ah, the Whirlwind. This spell is wonderful for clearing waves, obliterating clustered teams, and even just poking your lane opponent. It takes a few seconds to happen, but Whirlwind will always cause more damage than Zephyr (even if the enemy leaves the tornado right away). This will be your best friend when your enemy laner tries to push against you. You can use it to lay a hurting on them while also farming creeps and counter-pushing. Max this first because it does more damage than Zephyr and is an excellent laning ability.

Spirit of the Nine Winds

Your ult. Your beautiful, ridiculously strong, shock-inducing everyone-killer. This is a nuke that rivals a fully-charged Ymir ult (if Ymir decided to build full mage). It is what makes your opponents fear you, and is the most important component of your one-shot combo. It is what makes playing Kukulkan so satisfying. Being able to take out half of someone's health bar, blast entire teams aside, and generally create utter mayhem and destruction. It also involves a grand total of nine winds. Count 'em! Nine!

tips for the kuku nuke

Tl;dr if you miss your ultimate in teamfights you are nothing more than a mediocre mage with no utility. If you hit it consistently... you will become a god among gods.

Items

Starting Items



With the huge item revamp to kick off season 4, it seems to me that all three of these starting items are viable picks for Kukulkan, for different reasons. Personally I lean toward Soul Stone or Sands of Time because they're better for facilitating my favored play method. Here's the lowdown:

Soul Stone doesn't grant mana regeneration anymore; it's now just a massive beatstick that becomes available every 5 basic attacks. If you time Soul Stone's power boost with your full combo, you're looking at some brutal low-level damage. It's excellent for picking up early kills as is the goal of this build, but the lack of mana regeneration removes some of your flexibility. Since soulstone also gives 100 mana, that means Kukulkan actually gets 25 magic power from it thanks to Power of the Wind Jewel. So yes, lots of power. Kukulkan with Soul Stone is basically a Sith Lord.

Sands of Time is a new item that seems quite promising for our purposes. Cooldown reduction is something we always like, and an item with 10% this early in the game is previously unheard of. Increased mana regeneration based on missing mana is also a godsend to the mana-hungry Kukulkan, enabling us to spam our spells with glee.

Vampiric Shroud is still around and still has the same basic purpose, only now with lifesteal added as a bonus. Compared to the other two, Vampiric Shroud's focus on regenerating health definitely makes it a more defensive item. Burstmaster has a very aggressive style of play, even early in the game, so I typically leave this one out. However, it is still a good starting item, and for someone who wants to play a more traditional, conservative Kukulkan, or someone who anticipates taking a lot of harass damage from their opponent, Vampiric Shroud is a solid choice.



Tiny Trinket is a good way to spend the rest of your starting cash. That extra power makes early game Kukulkan feel very nice, and the lifesteal is good for keeping your health up. However, the main reason you buy this is to pick up Polynomicon as soon as possible, because that's where a good chunk of your early game strength will be coming from.


x2

Healing Potions for obvious reasons. You're going to get harassed in lane too and you need these to keep your advantage. Two is usually enough for me, although this will change depending on your lane opponent and which starting item you picked.



Core Items



You've been hearing about this for the entire build up until now. It is absolutely core and should be your foremost priority. Polynomicon essentially gives you another damaging 'spell' which is about as strong as your Zephyr. When used together, it doubles the size of your Zephyr nuke, which allows you to pick up kills or simply beat down your enemies where a standard Kukulkan build might fall short. This patches up the holes in Kukulkan's early game, and because it scales 75% with your magical power, it will only become stronger as time goes on.

Remember that Polynomicon's bonus damage has nothing to do with the strength of your basic attacks! It's a common misconception that Mages with weak basic attacks should not buy Polynomicon because it will be weak as well. In truth, all Polynomicon does is add 75% of your magic power on top of your regular basic attack. So it doesn't matter that Kukulkan's basic attacks are weak- Polynomicon's bonus damage is based purely on magic power, which Kukulkan has in excess. This will turn your normally near-useless basic attack into a powerful blast that your enemies will learn to fear. The synergy it has with Zephyr, essentially giving you a free hit with that boosted basic attack, is why Polynomicon is so potent on Kukulkan. Since it has such a low cooldown, it can also be worked between your spells for multiple uses in a single fight- something that cannot be said of Soul Reaver. If you can get the hang of throwing out basic attacks occasionally, Polynomicon will prove invaluable in close engagements.

Polynomicon substitutions


After buying your second book, you will become the most literate snake the world has ever known. Also you'll have a lot of mana. This baby stacks along with your Power of the Wind Jewel and, later, Rod of Tahuti to turn your magical power up to 11. Having so much mana also makes it easier to stay out in the map longer and fly around to gank other lanes with your crazy burst moves.

It's crazy
I get more mana from killing these fools
Now ain't that funny?




Now that you have your Book of Thoth squared away and stacking, time to get your tail moving. Yes, even flying snakes need boots. You may be wondering why we buy Shoes of Focus instead of Shoes of the Magi, which you probably see more often, but allow me to explain. There's a very good reason why Shoes of Focus are better for Kukulkan.

Namely: they give 250 mana. Thanks to your Power of the Wind Jewel and Book of Thoth, that means you get 20 extra magic power from Shoes of Focus, for a total of 60. Because of this, the effective difference between the two types of shoes for Kukulkan is:

Shoes of the Magi give 10% magical penetration.
Shoes of Focus give 10% cooldown reduction, 15 extra magical damage, 250 mana, and cost 100 gold less.

It's easy to see why Shoes of Focus have the edge. Magical penetration is nice, but not as nice as all the things you get from Shoes of Focus, in my opinion. If you buy Shoes of the Magi, your skills will do slightly more damage factoring in penetration. However, cooldown reduction is a godsend to have as a mage, and those few seconds can sometimes mean the difference between getting the kill or your enemy escaping.



Ah, the booty rod. This is where you truly start to live up to the full potential of this build. Completing this will bring your current value of around 390 magical power up to a whopping 644. Almost every mage there is will buy Rod of Tahuti for the raw power of its passive. You are no exception, and in fact the extra power granted by your Power of the Wind Jewel makes this even more of a kicker.



Fifth Item Slot: Penetration





A penetration item is pretty much necessary somewhere in your build, and by this point in the game we'll definitely be wanting some. Spear of the Magus is your first choice because it meshes with your Whirlwind perfectly. Hitting Whirlwind on someone will almost immediately stack the spear to full, and you can potentially get multiple people with it if you lay down Whirlwind in a teamfight. The magical protection debuff also works for the rest of your team, so you're amplifying everyone's magic damage here!



Obsidian Shard is your "B" option for penetration. Since Spear of the Magus was reworked, these two items now have very different effects that you'll want to consider before deciding which to buy. To put it simply, the kind of penetration given by Spear of the Magus (flat penetration) is particularly devastating against targets with very little protection to begin with, while the penetration of Obsidian Shard (percentage penetration) will be most useful against targets who have built a lot of magical protection. Since this build focuses on being able to burst down squishy opponents in the blink of an eye, Spear of the Magus should be your default choice; however, if the enemy team is particularly tanky or a vital target has high magic resistance, Obsidian Shard may be the better option to help take them down.



Sixth Item Slot: Cooldown Reduction





The final item of your build is one to reduce your cooldowns by a large amount and make it possible to drop your sick-nasty combos all the more often. Chronos' Pendant is an obvious first pick because it's the most cooldowniest cooldown item for mages in the game. Your spells will be available so fast you won't even know what to do with them.

Oh, would you look at the time? It's Spirit of the Nine Winds!!!

The reason we save this for last is because it's more important to first establish your power with Rod of Tahuti and your penetration item, so that when you do cast your spells, they will be devastating. Then we make it so you can cast them around the clock.



For an alternate choice, here's an interesting new item: both penetration and cdr, plus a whole lot of power, for a high price. It has a similar effect to Chronos' Pendant in that it occasionally reduces all of your cooldowns by 1 second; the difference is that Spear of Desolation operates based on kills, not on time. Get into a big teamfight where you start picking up kills and assists left and right, and your skills will be popping off cooldown like... popcorn. It also gives you a nice chunk of magic power and penetration to add to the massive amount you already have, so Spear of Desolation is definitively a high-power, team-wrecking late game item.

The choice between Chronos' Pendant and Spear of Desolation is one of personal preference more than anything else. I encourage you to try out both and see how they feel; both of them are excellent ways to cap off your build and bring Kukulkan to his full potential. Personally I usually go with Spear of the Magus followed by Chronos' Pendant.

Something important to consider if you plan to buy Spear of Desolation is that it gives the same kind of penetration as Spear of the Magus (the flat kind), whereas Obsidian Shard gives a percentage. Depending on who you're fighting, it might be best to diversify your types of penetration with Obsidian Shard so you can melt through everyone, or just stack it up with Spear of the Magus to be really mean to squishies.

Of course, everything you've just read is the build framework that I prefer to use. There are plenty of other viable item options for Kukulkan that may suit your individual playstyle better. The build is meant to be experimented with so you can find your own ideal way to play Kukulkan. Below I've listed a few more item options that I consider solid possibilities to work with.



Substitutions





Lifesteal isn't a big focus of our build, mainly because Kukulkan tends to do all of his damage at once, at the start of the fight. Still, though, Bancroft's Talon is worth a mention because of just how much power it can give you when your health is low. If you get beat down into the red and then unleash your full combo on multiple opponents, Bancroft's Talon could let you cut through everyone's health bar like butter, and end up completely healed at the end. Sounds great, but of course it doesn't always happen that way. Bancroft's Talon is for those who like to live on the edge.


warlock's sash

This can be a great item for Kukulkan, there's no denying that, but it's a different kind of Kukulkan than the one we're playing here. warlock's sash is something you build early and then play conservatively to get your stacks up to full potential, likely alongside other things like Book of Thoth and Doom Orb. The way we use Polynomicon puts us in a totally different camp, so if you're interested in the warlock's sash, a different build is probably best for you.



This is something worth considering purely because of its passive, which slows anyone hit by your spells. For a mage like Kukulkan who does a lot of damage in an area, but has trouble with aiming, a passive like that can work wonders. The issue is that Gem of Isolation doesn't give you anything incredible besides the passive. 90 magic power is nice, but we can get that from all our other mage items too. The rest of it just bolsters your defense a little, which probably won't be all that noticeable since Kukulkan is made of paper anyway. This item was better for Kukulkan back when it gave mana, but the passive alone still makes it worth considering. Try it out- a 25% slow can be huge when you're hitting a whole team with your Whirlwind and Spirit of the Nine Winds.



This item is something that most mages can consider, but only situationally. If the enemy team has an important target who becomes basically unkillable because of health regeneration (like an overfed Hercules or someone getting healed by Aphrodite), then somebody on your team should look into an item to counteract that. For mages, it's Divine Ruin. Most of the time it probably won't be your responsibility, but if it falls to you, Divine Ruin can be a decent alternative to something like Spear of the Magus or Spear of Desolation.



Ooooooh, the Orb of Doom. Not too many people buy this item because it's very risky. If you get a lot of kills without dying, this will put you even further ahead- but if you do badly it'll put you behind just as easily. Having this item fully stacked will give you a metric ****load of magic power at a fraction of the price of most complete items- but if you can't keep it charged up, it'll be nothing but a liability in your build.

For me this item isn't worth the risk. My Kukulkan playstyle is very in-your-face and risky so I end up dying occasionally even in games I'm dominating- but this is a case by case basis. If you're one of those conscious players who hang back and choose your fights carefully, the Doom Orb could be great for you. With that said, the point of having Polynomicon rather than a lategame item like warlock's sash is to be more in-your-face as opposed to cautious, so it's up to you to decide which playstyle and which build suits you.

Doom Orb also builds out of the same tier 1 item as Rod of Tahuti and Chronos' Pendant, so it would be pretty easy to squeeze it into the middle of your build on short notice. If you decide to build the orb, I'd recommend you ditch Polynomicon- it makes sense that, if you're trying to stay safe, you won't be attacking as much from close range, and thus won't have as many opportunities to utilize Polynomicon's passive. Meanwhile, penetration and cdr are still vitally important for you to have.

Relics

Relics: a very important part of your build and vital to your success. These are abilities that you can get for free from the shop (they can be upgraded to an enhanced version for 500 gold). Having the right Relic in a fight can easily mean the difference between life and death, for yourself or your entire team.

As far as I can tell it's pretty obvious which relics are most useful to Kukulkan, but personal preference is what will ultimately decide which relics you buy and in what order. Remember, you can choose one relic at the start of the game, but you have to wait until you are level 12 to unlock the second.


Vital Relics




Ah, Purification Beads. This is an extremely useful relic to have. It's your nope button for when someone hits you with some dangerous cc. In a teamfight, a squishy mage like you only needs to be disabled for a couple seconds in order for the enemy team to pummel you into the ground. Even relatively small cc effects can do you in, so when the enemy team has someone like Ares or Fenrir- well, you can figure out the rest. Purification Beads is a must-have.

The upgraded version just reduces the cooldown by 30 seconds, so it's not a priority when you have other important things to be building.


Here's another good one- similar to Purification Beads, but useful for different situations. This lets you face-tank as many nukes as you like without a single tick of damage. It's excellent for escaping fights at low health or absorbing those high-damage spells with a long, obvious windup- in fact, your Spirit of the Nine Winds is an excellent example of such a spell. When combined with Slipstream, this relic lets you wave goodbye to that nasty mage trying to do you harm- and, when used in tandem with Purification Beads, lets you escape from preeetty much anywhere.

Like Purification Beads, the upgrade just reduces its cooldown by 30 seconds, so again, not a priority.


Because of the invaluable defense and escape they provide for squishy Kukulkan, these two relics are my go-to in most any game- which one I pick up first varies depending on who I'm up against.


Viable Relics




This is a new addition for Season 4 with some very interesting potential for bursty, squishy types like Kukulkan. 3 seconds off of all your cooldowns means you can use your combo twice, almost in succession (minus Spirit of the Nine Winds). And restoring half of the health you lost in the last few seconds means recovering from the enemy mage's combo, fully ready to blast them to smithereens. Naturally it's a risk-and-reward style of play, and you'll have to sacrifice one of your relic slots to make it possible, but Bracer of Undoing seems like it could lead to some awesome plays as Kukulkan. I plan on testing it vigorously to reach an official conclusion.


Because you can only use the teleport once you've been out of combat for 3 seconds, Blink Rune is used more often to get into a fight rather than out. It's mostly for supports or heavy cc characters to poof into the middle of the enemy team and wreak havoc. I personally wouldn't go for Blink Rune on Kukulkan, but I can see how it could be used relatively effectively- more so due to the aggressive kind of Kukulkan we're trying to play here.


It may seem like freely restoring our mana would be an awesome thing to have, but the truth is that other things are way more important. Yes, this spell will make your early laning game a piece of cake, but after you buy Book of Thoth you will have almost no situations where you need to use it, and it becomes a dead weight (aside from the fact that it can heal and restore your team's mana as well). It's better to make do with managing your mana early on and use this slot for something that will save your hide when you're in a tough spot. However, Meditation Cloak is still very useful for beginners or those just looking to have an easy time in lane.


Ooh... here's an odd one. Sundering Spear is not a commonly picked relic, but for those who master its use, it can be extremely deadly to one person. Sound familiar? Yes, Sundering Spear has the same basic purpose as Kukulkan himself, which makes it hard to classify as right or wrong. Is it something that makes your uber-burst that much more potent, or is it something that you really don't need to do your job well? I'm leaning toward the latter, seeing as I've done without it just fine up until now, but I plan on testing this relic in the field to come up with a more definitive answer. In the meantime, sure, be my guest. Try your hand at sundering, why not?


I personally don't ever take Teleport Glyph myself on Kukulkan, or on much of anyone for that matter, but it deserves to be up here in the viable section just because it's so ubiquitously applicable. You can suddenly be at any allied tower or ward on the map within seconds. Used properly, it can turn the tide of a teamfight, pressure the enemy team and push down objectives, and generally make you a constant threat no matter where you happen to be on the map. This relic requires machinelike map awareness and analyzing skill to be used properly with a match-made team; things that I do not possess. In the right hands, however, Teleport Glyph is a terrifying asset no matter which god it's used on.


"Bad Idea" Relics



This is most definitely a relic for supports and tanks, not you. If Kukulkan is within this item's range of more than one enemy team member at one time, then he's in the wrong place. If you need an item to counter heavy health regeneration, buy Divine Ruin.


Again, an item for a member on your team who can afford to take something for team support. To play a proper Kukulkan you must put all thoughts of your teammates' well-being aside. THE ONLY ONE WHO MATTERS IS YOU, YOU YOU!


Eh, it could be useful for a few specific situations- namely, people who create terrain to trap you like Cabrakan- but your relic space is probably better spent on Purification Beads or Aegis Amulet anyway, because those work in almost all situations as opposed to a select few. As something to mobilize your team in the midst of a crowded teamfight, Phantom Veil is better taken by someone else.


Reflecting damage back at the attacker is nice and all, but Kukulkan isn't the right god to be doing it. This relic is for people who take a lot of damage, which is exactly what you want to never happen to you. You would run out of health before this relic's effect could do a respectable amount of damage.


Pfft, a shell? I need no shell. Shells don't do damage.


I was considering putting this one in the "viable" category- it's the only team-wide relic I'd consider taking on Kukulkan. Being able to run really fast for a short time has an incredible range of applications. The problem is, your Slipstream does basically the same thing as Heavenly Wings, apart from not effecting your team, costing mana to use, and not removing the basic attack movement penalty. It's tough, but in the end I have to eschew Heavenly Wings in favor of vital utilities like Purification Beads, solely because you already have an "almost- Heavenly Wings" built into your kit.


The only people who should be considering this relic are junglers- you needn't worry your pretty little head.

Laning Phase

This build is all about dominating the laning phase so you can build up your items quickly. Getting early kills helps, but you don't need them as long as you're staying in lane and farming alright. By buying Polynomicon we become a threat significantly faster than standard Kukulkan, allowing us to hold our own in duels and generally beat down our opponents to push that lead as far as possible. Of course, farming with your Whirlwind is also important because that will keep you ahead in gold as well. What follows is a general guide on how you ideally want your laning phase to go.



Before you go into lane you will usually want to clear the damage camp with the help of your duo lane. This is common practice to give the mid laner an early damage boost and net the whole team some experience.

Once you get into lane be sure to greet your enemy laner. If you don't have the wave emote, continuous jumping will do fine. Once the creeps arrive you should constantly look for opportunities to hit your opponent with Whirlwind or Zephyr. You don't have any items yet, so the results will be a little underwhelming, but if you went with Sands of Time you'll have plenty of mana sustain to keep the spells coming.

If the enemy laner starts to push, respond in kind by dropping your Whirlwind on their creeps. You can usually find a way to place it so that it will hit both the minion wave and the enemy god. Ideally, you should keep your wave pushed out beyond your tower while also pressuring your opponent by poking them with your spells. Doing this will force them to back off and potentially miss farm, and also set you up for an early kill.

Look at Kukulkan... slithering, like the snake he is.

When you hit level 5, your opponent should have a decent chunk out of their health bar. At this point, start looking for opportunities to hit them with your Spirit of the Nine Winds.

Oh watch out watch out!

A mindful player who can see your master plan would play safe and/or go back, but almost everyone will stay in against you. Maybe they're worried about missing farm or experience, or maybe they're trying to take you out with their ult just like you are with them. Maybe they're planning a gank with their jungler and using their low health to bait you, something you should always be mindful of. Thankfully, your Slipstream is great for escaping such predicaments.

Your best opportunities will be when the enemy god approaches you to harass you with their spells, or when they turn their back to retreat after taking damage from your other abilities. If they are cowering under their tower, hitting them with Zephyr will set up an easy ult because they will reflexively begin to back up (at a slowed pace). The way that the lane bends at the enemy tower will allow you to lay down Spirit of the Nine Winds across their path of retreat, which will usually result in a hit (and a kill).

BOOM! Spirit of the Nine Winds OUTTA NOWHERE!

You can't know for sure how much of their health Spirit of the Nine Winds is going to do, but as an experienced player I can safely say it's a large freakin' amount. It'll snuff people who didn't even realize they were in danger, hanging back under their tower with a decent chunk of health. Boom. Dead. It even surprises me sometimes. As a general reference, at level 5 it's typically around a third of their health bar, but it's best just to try it and get a feel for it yourself.

After blowing your ult or running low on health or mana, teleport back to your base and buy as much of the Polynomicon as you can. Returning to lane with that bad boy will let you be even more dominant over your hopefully-flustered lane opponent. At this point it simply becomes a matter of poking with your spells until you can set up a kill and continuing to farm the waves. It helps that few people realize the strength of Kukulkan's Spirit of the Nine Winds, and probably won't expect the extra burst from Polynomicon either. Getting Book of Thoth will make it even easier to stay in lane, and at that point you should consider roaming around the map to gank other lanes. Once you have your Rod of Tahuti... bodies should be hitting the floor left and right.

The 'One-Shot Combo'

The name of the game. Why people play Kukulkan, and why people hate Kukulkan. A nuke of epic proportions- I like to call it the Hyper Serpent Hurricane Limit Break.


I've referred to this continually as the one-shot combo, but that title may be a little misleading. You can't just walk up to any carry and kill them instantly from full health. Or, more precisely, you can, but it most often requires you to hit with every single one of your skills, a feat that you will only be able to pull off a fraction of the time. You will perform a true one-shot maybe once or twice a game, if you're lucky. When you mess this up and leave that carry with a small chunk of health- that's where your Slipstream and your cooldown reduction come into play.

So how do you do it? Well, there's no right or wrong way. Kukulkan isn't one of those fancy mages who need to hit with one of their skills first to maximize the damage from the rest. Any way you can hit someone with your entire kit, that's the right way. With that said, here are a few of the most common ways:


1. Approach and hit with your Zephyr-basic attack. Instantly lay down your Spirit of the Nine Winds directly on top of the slowed target, making sure you're as close to them as possible. Pursue and finish the kill with Whirlwind if necessary.

2. Same as above, initiate with Zephyr-basic attack. This time, use your Whirlwind first instead of your ult, placing it in the direction your opponent is moving. Pay attention to which way they attempt to retreat out of the Whirlwind and lay your Spirit of the Nine Winds accordingly.
This is useful if you know you will need the Whirlwind damage to secure the kill, and are not certain you will be able to chase the enemy after they are knocked back. However, your enemy will be more likely to anticipate and dodge your ult because it will take another second or so for you to bring it out.

3. Fire off your Spirit of the Nine Winds at someone who is decidedly vulnerable (see below). Watch for the knockback. Move within range and hit the enemy with your Zephyr-basic attack right as they land (provided there are no obstacles between you and your target this is almost a guaranteed hit). If needed, follow up with a Whirlwind in the direction of your target's retreat.

4. Your ult is slow enough that it's possible to use it first and then hit your enemy with one of your other spells before it strikes them. If you're quick, you can activate Spirit of the Nine Winds and then cast either Zephyr-basic attack or Whirlwind just as the great wall of pain comes down. Zephyr will slow them down and make it all the more impossible for them to avoid Spirit of the Nine Winds's strike zone, while Whirlwind will continue to damage them as they're sent flying away helplessly. This is the fastest way to eradicate someone's health bar, as long as you're confident you can hit with all your spells. Using the Spirit of the Nine Winds to Whirlwind variant on multiple opponents can sometimes result in instantaneous multi-kills.

Tips: using your ult first


Remember, minion advantage can be huge for us. If your opponent happens to be standing in a wave of your minions when you combo them, they'll end up taking just a little bit more total damage. This damage, however slight, can mean the difference between them dying or escaping with a sliver of health. This also applies to tower damage or random damage from the rest of your team.

Of course, everything I write here happens in a sterile environment containing only you and your target- no teammates on either side, no healing or active abilities, no minions or map hazards. Hardly ever will things go as cleanly and perfectly as you see above. And on that note, it will be important to know the particulars of things that could mess you up.

Counters


This one will have you shaking your fist. If the enemy mid laner gets this, they will essentially have a 'get out of jail free' card for your Spirit of the Nine Winds. The delay before your ult is long enough that they will almost always have time to use this and completely avoid the damage. This relic will usually pop up once you utterly wreck someone once or twice, if they're smart.

The only thing you can do about this is be aware of it and accept the outcome. If one of the enemy carries has this and another does not, obviously shift your focus to the one who didn't get the memo. It does have a 160 second cooldown, and your ult is only 56 seconds at full build, so your target will be vulnerable for a while after using this.

This same thought process applies to gods who have an ability that makes them briefly invulnerable, such as Chang'e's 2 or Freya's ult. In cases like these, you can watch and wait for them to use the ability for something else before letting loose your Spirit of the Nine Winds.



Yes, assassins. More specifically, those who can cc you. There is nothing in your kit besides Spirit of the Nine Winds that will allow you to stop a combo from an assassin. Your Zephyr slow and Slipstream are good for running away, but assassins will have dashes, jumps, stuns or other cc to trump your meager escape.

If the enemy jungler is smart, he or she will start paying a lot of attention to mid lane if they see you starting to dominate. Always be wary of a potential gank and consider placing wards in the jungle for an early warning.


In a 1v1 situation, you actually have a fine response to assassins. Spirit of the Nine Winds will get them off your back. In most cases they are just as squishy as you are, so if you manage to land your other skills you will turn the assassinater into the assassinatee. You can lay a Whirlwind right on top of yourself, which will force them to either weather the damage (get it?) or stop attacking you and back away.

The problem is... most of the time, when assassins jump on you, they have other members of their team ready to take advantage of your vulnerability. Either that, or you're already injured, and they can seal the deal faster than you can respond. This is why we have relics. Those things are your only true defense against jerks with daggers, so remember to use them and choose wisely.



For lack of a better term... tanky people who can hurt you. Your standard response to someone attacking you is to one-shot them; these people (usually) have enough defense to withstand your full combo, and enough damage and/or cc to kill you afterwards. They're also good at getting right up in your face where you don't want them to be.

What you can do about this is play safe when these kinds of people are nearby. Don't expend all of your spells at once, especially your Spirit of the Nine Winds, or you will leave yourself defenseless when they approach. Let your team take care of them, and help them out by continually poking (but not if there is a more valuable target around!) Your cooldown reduction and Polynomicon will really shine in situations such as this. Relics such as Purification Beads also help you slip away if someone gets too close.

Afterword

And that's all I've got! If you read and appreciated this guide, I would love to hear about it in the comments section. Likewise, if you have any criticisms or think something should be added, also let me know. If you decide to try out this build, tell me how it goes, or if anything doesn't work. Thanks for reading, best of luck, and happy bursting!


-keekatzer

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sunny108108 (3) | April 5, 2017 6:33am
great build for kuku!
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YannTheGreat | March 19, 2017 5:45am
I had my first Arena match with Kulu a few minutes ago and... holy ****, what a powerful guy.

Following this guide I got 4 kills. I know it is very few kills but my team suck (50 x 19 and I was the second in number of kills) and I am a first time moba player and just played Smite for a few dozen hours, so I not used to get a lot of kills yet, but the thing was I not even saw who I killed. I just use my 1 than my 3 and run away and someone dies. I was like 'what the ****', how in the hell did I kill this guy?!

I barely know how to play and got 4 kills very easily, Kuku is powerful as hell (whirlwind is overpowered). Thanks for the guide!
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Branmuffin17 (244) | March 4, 2017 2:26pm
Hi keekatzer,

I know this guide has been around for a while now. Thought I'd commented before, but I didn't see it. If you don't mind, I'll throw out some thoughts.

S4 comments
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keekatzer (1) | March 8, 2017 9:36pm
Hey, and thanks so much for the awesome feedback! You bring up a lot of good points that I'll definitely be taking into consideration. Life's been busy for me lately and finding time/motivation to work on this thing has been tough, so I just wanted to make sure I got something out for season 4 while I had it in me. This definitely still needs testing and revising and I'll be working on that when I can. Thank you for your thoughts, and whenever I manage to update the guide I'm sure you'll see some of your advice reflected in it!
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Smifnoff | December 18, 2016 8:34am
the base build that you have here is amazing for 1 on 1 or 1 vs multiples. Thank you for making mastering kuku fun and easy
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JihgaViythe | December 16, 2016 11:32am
I played one, without the guide, and loose 0-6 :,( , but after read the guide, I won 5-1, :D ... Thanks, you´re irreplaceable.
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aMightySoard | September 3, 2016 9:35am
Pretty Good in arena :D, Is it good in Conquest and Joust too? If yes, Damn Best build i've ever saw :D
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keekatzer (1) | September 5, 2016 7:45am
Well, conquest is what I use it for! I haven't seriously tested it in the other game modes. Glad to hear it's working for you!
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Shadepray | May 25, 2016 11:21am
First time trying out this build. Went 27-3-12. Got a triple kill with ult at the end of the game, causing us to win. Mind you, the three gods were all at full hp. Lots of damage output if you know what you are doing and can position yourself properly.
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keekatzer (1) | May 26, 2016 6:20pm
Woo! Yeah, games like that are the best. Good to hear it worked out for you!
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sltops10 | October 12, 2015 9:10am
Thanks for the reply! Just now seeing it. Since posting this I've done substantially better. I still have trouble with conquest but manage joust really well. It's so fun late game to just wreck everything!

Thanks again for the reply and thanks for the build, it's so fun. And I know I picked the right one, especially once they threw in the Rayquaza skin... Kukulkan is the bomb.
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keekatzer (1) | October 2, 2015 7:15pm
Ah, glad to be of help! Yes, Kukulkan in general is not the strongest early-game god. Polynomicon helps with that, but you still won't be putting out that much damage until your Book of Thoth starts to kick in. It takes some practice to play Kukulkan well in the early game, but once you can manage it, it makes your late game that much more devastating.

Personally I don't change my build much for arena or joust, but I also don't play those modes often, so I'm probably not the best judge of that. I'll typically switch the places of a couple of the items based on what I think I need most right now. Those modes are more fast-paced so Kukulkan has an even greater risk of falling behind than usual. Coordinating Spirit of the Nine Winds with your team's cc is absolutely vital. Good plays with Spirit of the Nine Winds means the difference between victory and defeat. As for the actual build-- in Arena, boots probably need to happen sooner, as well as active items like Purification Beads and Combat Blink since you're basically always in a teamfight. Same thing goes for Joust more or less, although it's not as important as in Arena.

Hope that helped! Thanks for your interest, and good luck! You picked the right god. xD
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sltops10 | October 1, 2015 1:01am
Hey! Love the guide. I'm a relatively new Smite player (and MOBA) but I have been trying to get more into it since this came to Xbox. This build is fun and wrecks late game, it just feels so slow in the early game and I almost always get ganked.. Though I imagine that's more on me rather than anything else.

Also, forgive for me the noob question, but would you change this build at all if playing arena or Joust?

Thanks again for the guide. I'm trying to make Kukulkan my first "main" and stuff like this helps immensely. :)
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keekatzer (1) | July 31, 2015 7:46pm
Awesome! Glad to hear it. Thanks, and good luck with your playing!
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Spukky | July 31, 2015 4:52pm
Really great guide.
Just played my first conquest with Kukulkan and thnx to your great guide I did 13/8/7
This build does what you say, allowed me to push right from te start.
Untill I got Poly equiped I struggled a bit (also had to get my timing right whit his skills.)
But once you start using Polynomicon he really picks up his pace.

Really incredibly fun god to play, alright he dies easy, but that just takes some practice to keep those numbers down. But what an incredible damage he does.

Thnx for the great guide, your explenations allowed me to jump right in and do my job to a decent standard.
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League of Legends Build Guide Author keekatzer
Burstmaster Kuku
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