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Charon Hybrid-Mage Build (updated 11.5)

12 2 27,331
8.7
by LightCC updated May 22, 2024

Smite God: Charon

Build Guide Discussion 4 More Guides
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Build Summary

Starter

Notes Can NOT sub in other starter items (War Flag, etc.) for Sands of Time as we are depending on the 10% CD initially, and 20% at level 20 with Pendulum of Ages upgrade to hit 40% CD cap.

Can substitute shard and relic if desired, I pick wing shard and wings as mobility is Charon's strength, this enhances it. Although with year 11 update, the version you with haste that could extend the time is gone, stuck with the root one. Shell was an alternative with the version that gave you movement speed at the end of the shield, but now that's gone in favor of the other version as well. Just going with beads is good as well.

Note that swapping to all four of these makes you more into more of a very mobile, pure mage, and does give you more MP5, which you absolutely will use with the high CD (Charon often ends up mana starved).

Also note that if you swap out the lifesteal and have coin, you may want to buy that early (as early as first) just to get more MP5.

Notes

Can NOT sub in other starter items (War Flag, etc.) for Sands of Time as we are depending on the 10% CD initially, and 20% at level 20 with Pendulum of Ages upgrade to hit 40% CD cap.

Can substitute shard and relic if desired, I pick wing shard and wings as mobility is Charon's strength, this enhances it. Although with year 11 update, the version you with haste that could extend the time is gone, stuck with the root one. Shell was an alternative with the version that gave you movement speed at the end of the shield, but now that's gone in favor of the other version as well. Just going with beads is good as well.

Note that swapping to all four of these makes you more into more of a very mobile, pure mage, and does give you more MP5, which you absolutely will use with the high CD (Charon often ends up mana starved).

Also note that if you swap out the lifesteal and have coin, you may want to buy that early (as early as first) just to get more MP5.

Build Item Sands of Time Sands of Time
Build Item Magic Focus Magic Focus
Build Item Healing Potion Healing Potion
Build Item Wing Shard Wing Shard
Build Item Heavenly Wings Heavenly Wings

Final Build

Notes Note on Glyphs: With Season 11 you can get as many glyphs as you want, we have 3 in the main build, but you usually want to get these later, after completing other items. The Talon, for example, scales to power so buying it right away you get less haste anyway. Rod might be worth it right away.

Pendulum is available at 20 and is more important than glyph updates as it gets you to 40% CDR finally, and adds 35 permanent and up to 70 additional magic power based on available mana (7 per 10% of mana bar).

The Alternate Timeline is an possibility as well rather than Pendulum of Ages, but doesn't have the CDR or extra power passive. It does have 40/40 protections and the 6 minute CD life saver ability though. I'd likely find another way to get to the 40% CD if going with it though.

Rod gives 10% penetration on top of the 15 direct dmg penetration from Spear of Desolation, plus 15% bonus damage against those with 60% or less health once glyphed - keep this in mind when throwing abilities and Ult.

Fang then adds more lifesteal (now in year 11, 50% more against gods and 25% less against minions - 30% plus up to 15% more depending on health) and another 20% penetration. This gives a boost against more tanky characters. And at this level with all the other items you are starting to hit pretty hard with all abilities.

Notes

Note on Glyphs: With Season 11 you can get as many glyphs as you want, we have 3 in the main build, but you usually want to get these later, after completing other items. The Talon, for example, scales to power so buying it right away you get less haste anyway. Rod might be worth it right away.

Pendulum is available at 20 and is more important than glyph updates as it gets you to 40% CDR finally, and adds 35 permanent and up to 70 additional magic power based on available mana (7 per 10% of mana bar).

The Alternate Timeline is an possibility as well rather than Pendulum of Ages, but doesn't have the CDR or extra power passive. It does have 40/40 protections and the 6 minute CD life saver ability though. I'd likely find another way to get to the 40% CD if going with it though.

Rod gives 10% penetration on top of the 15 direct dmg penetration from Spear of Desolation, plus 15% bonus damage against those with 60% or less health once glyphed - keep this in mind when throwing abilities and Ult.

Fang then adds more lifesteal (now in year 11, 50% more against gods and 25% less against minions - 30% plus up to 15% more depending on health) and another 20% penetration. This gives a boost against more tanky characters. And at this level with all the other items you are starting to hit pretty hard with all abilities.

Build Item Pendulum of Ages Pendulum of Ages
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation
Build Item Nimble Bancroft's Talon Nimble Bancroft's Talon
Build Item Bewitched Dagger Bewitched Dagger
Build Item Calamitous Rod of Tahuti Calamitous Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Typhon's Fang Typhon's Fang
Build Item Temporal Beads Temporal Beads
Build Item Sundering Blast Sundering Blast

Charon's Skill Order Notes Go for Damnation first because it includes shield/dmg buff as well as cooldown reduction and is more flexible in placement, then Spectral surge, then swift voyage. Higher levels of swift voyage are nice for slight CDR and decent damage, but the length and speed and time of roots are the same regardless of level and it's generally used for mobility. Update ultimate every time you can.

For Spectral Surge, keep in mind the silence and the slow, it's not just damage - this can help a teammate running for base defensively.

For Damnation, keep in mind the shield effect, and tell your teammates if they are new - that can be a lifesaver (hit an enemy that was targeted to gain the shield).

For Swift Voyage, the root effect is not insignificant - even if you side-swipe people on a drive-by it will help throw them off (and may save a teammate they are chasing). Remember that you CAN cancel this to stop running past a target and be able to cast another ability.

For the ultimate, remember the protections allies gain if in the area, helps in a brawl, but only for 3s.

Notes

Go for Damnation first because it includes shield/dmg buff as well as cooldown reduction and is more flexible in placement, then Spectral surge, then swift voyage. Higher levels of swift voyage are nice for slight CDR and decent damage, but the length and speed and time of roots are the same regardless of level and it's generally used for mobility. Update ultimate every time you can.

For Spectral Surge, keep in mind the silence and the slow, it's not just damage - this can help a teammate running for base defensively.

For Damnation, keep in mind the shield effect, and tell your teammates if they are new - that can be a lifesaver (hit an enemy that was targeted to gain the shield).

For Swift Voyage, the root effect is not insignificant - even if you side-swipe people on a drive-by it will help throw them off (and may save a teammate they are chasing). Remember that you CAN cancel this to stop running past a target and be able to cast another ability.

For the ultimate, remember the protections allies gain if in the area, helps in a brawl, but only for 3s.

Spectral Surge

1 X Y
Spectral Surge
2 8 11 12 14

Damnation

2 A B
Damnation
1 4 6 7 10

Swift Voyage

3 B A
Swift Voyage
3 15 16 18 19

Summon Styx

4 Y X
Summon Styx
5 9 13 17 20
Spectral Surge
2 8 11 12 14

Spectral Surge

1 X
Charon plucks a soul out of the Styx, firing it as a line projectile that damages and Slows all enemies while stopping on the first god hit. If the soul hits an enemy god, it then explodes in a damaging and Silencing area around the target. All enemy gods hit by the explosion leave behind a damaging, Slowing trail of the Styx for the next 3s.

Ability Type: Line, Crowd Control, Damage
Soul Damage: 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 / 200 (+55% of your Magical Power)
Trail Damage: 12 / 14 / 16 / 18 / 20 (+5% of your Magical Power)
Soul Slow: 10 / 12.5 / 15 / 17.5 / 20%
Trail Slow: 15%
Silence Duration: 1s
Range/Radius: 60/15
Cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80
Cooldown: 15s
Damnation
1 4 6 7 10

Damnation

2 A
After a short delay, Charon creates a rift to the underworld in an area, dealing damage and marking all enemy gods hit for the next 3s. The marked gods are revealed and have their Attack Speed reduced. Additionally, any time an allied god hits a marked god once per mark per ability or basic attack, that ally gains a shield for 3s. Subsequent shields only grant 25% of the original value.

Ability Type: Circle, Debuff, Damage
Damage: 50 / 85 / 120 / 155 / 190 (+40% of your Magical Power)
Attack Speed Slow: 25%
Shield Health: 40 / 65 / 90 / 115 / 140 +2% of Charon’s Max Health
Shield Cap: 15% of Charon’s Max Health
Range/Radius: 55/15
Cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80
Cooldown: 14 / 13.5 / 13 / 12.5 / 12s
Swift Voyage
3 15 16 18 19

Swift Voyage

3 B
Charon forcibly rows at a break-neck pace, charging forward with increased Movement Speed and reduced turn radius for 2.5s. Charon is Slow and Knockback immune while charging. Charon deals damage to and Roots enemies he collides with as well as those directly to his sides in the wake of his boat.

Ability Type: Dash, Root, Damage
Damage: 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+40% of your Magical Power)
Direct Root: 1s
Wake Root: 0.5s
Movement Speed: 100%
Cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80
Cooldown: 17 / 16.5 / 16 / 15.5 / 15s
Summon Styx
5 9 13 17 20

Summon Styx

4 Y
Charon gains Crowd Control immunity and summons a massive tidal wave that he sends forth across the entire battlefield. Enemy gods hit by the wave are Feared, while allied gods gain Protections for 3s. Additionally, if an allied god is within 60 units directly behind the wave, they gain Movement Speed.

Ability Type: Area, Fear, Damage
Damage: 225 / 290 / 355 / 420 / 485 (+50% of your Magical Power)
Fear: 0.8 / 0.9 / 1 / 1.1 / 1.2s
Protections: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40
Movement Speed: 40%
Range: Global
Cost: 100
Cooldown: 110s

Extended Build

Alternates

Notes You can replace the relic dagger with Myrddin's. This keeps you at 40% CD full, while adding 10% more penetration (to cap at 40%) while lower a bit of CCR and speed. Plus the proc. The ultimate power boost is a little harder to benefit from as you are chasing your wave. Have your other abilities up when you let loose the ult, when you can. You also do lose some health and the relic proc (and possibly the glyph relic passives).

You can swap Rod for Doom Orb. Similar power, but movement speed instead of extra dmg to players under 60%. Finally, bauble. If you want that sweet, sweet 50% CDR with the new modified bauble (no reduction in protections any more), swap out something for bauble. Probably Rod or maybe bancrofts?

Another option is to replace all 4 last items with these 4. You lose the lifesteal, but get 40% penetration, 50% CD an more movement speed with stacking. In that case, I would go Myrddin's, Coin, Orb, Bauble. Since they made bauble more expensive and it's less power. Whenever you get Bauble you will bump to 40% CD though, and then 50% when upgrading your starter at 20. Sometimes you will get your starter first (definitely get it before bauble if it works out that way).

Notes

You can replace the relic dagger with Myrddin's. This keeps you at 40% CD full, while adding 10% more penetration (to cap at 40%) while lower a bit of CCR and speed. Plus the proc. The ultimate power boost is a little harder to benefit from as you are chasing your wave. Have your other abilities up when you let loose the ult, when you can. You also do lose some health and the relic proc (and possibly the glyph relic passives).

You can swap Rod for Doom Orb. Similar power, but movement speed instead of extra dmg to players under 60%. Finally, bauble. If you want that sweet, sweet 50% CDR with the new modified bauble (no reduction in protections any more), swap out something for bauble. Probably Rod or maybe bancrofts?

Another option is to replace all 4 last items with these 4. You lose the lifesteal, but get 40% penetration, 50% CD an more movement speed with stacking. In that case, I would go Myrddin's, Coin, Orb, Bauble. Since they made bauble more expensive and it's less power. Whenever you get Bauble you will bump to 40% CD though, and then 50% when upgrading your starter at 20. Sometimes you will get your starter first (definitely get it before bauble if it works out that way).

Build Item Staff of Myrddin Staff of Myrddin
Build Item Doom Orb Doom Orb
Build Item Sphinx's Baubles Sphinx's Baubles
Build Item Charon's Coin Charon's Coin

Relics

Notes SHARDS:

For Year 11 - in addition to Wing Shard, consider the Sturdy Shard (defensive) and Vibrant Shard (offensive - Charon travels a lot).

RELICS:

Wings is a team buff that can be used either offensively or defensively. Helps catch up to and dispatch runners, or helps you and team to get away. It will also refresh at 80 s with the relic dagger. Unfortunately, year 11 got rid of the verison I liked, and the root version is left, so I'm a bit more iffy on taking this over beads, or shield (though I preferred the old shield with movement rather than phantom shell), so I'm more likely to swap this out now, though it looks like the Cooldown was reduced 20 s as well.

Sundering Blast adds another ability with additional damage. Good extra ability if you can hit runners. It's low CD of 110 s is reduced to just 60 s with the relic dagger, and it can hold up to 2 charges (they will build back up 1 every 60 s).

Could swap either of these for Shield, Beads, Aegis, etc. if more "immediately defensive" relic is desired. I like Emblem as well as an option, as a reverse Wings of sorts.

Notes

SHARDS:

For Year 11 - in addition to Wing Shard, consider the Sturdy Shard (defensive) and Vibrant Shard (offensive - Charon travels a lot).

RELICS:

Wings is a team buff that can be used either offensively or defensively. Helps catch up to and dispatch runners, or helps you and team to get away. It will also refresh at 80 s with the relic dagger. Unfortunately, year 11 got rid of the verison I liked, and the root version is left, so I'm a bit more iffy on taking this over beads, or shield (though I preferred the old shield with movement rather than phantom shell), so I'm more likely to swap this out now, though it looks like the Cooldown was reduced 20 s as well.

Sundering Blast adds another ability with additional damage. Good extra ability if you can hit runners. It's low CD of 110 s is reduced to just 60 s with the relic dagger, and it can hold up to 2 charges (they will build back up 1 every 60 s).

Could swap either of these for Shield, Beads, Aegis, etc. if more "immediately defensive" relic is desired. I like Emblem as well as an option, as a reverse Wings of sorts.

Build Item Wing Shard Wing Shard
Build Item Sturdy Shard Sturdy Shard
Build Item Vibrant Shard Vibrant Shard
Build Item Entangling Wings Entangling Wings
Build Item Sundering Blast Sundering Blast
Build Item Temporal Beads Temporal Beads
Build Item Phantom Shell Phantom Shell
Build Item Emblem of Increasing Peril Emblem of Increasing Peril
Build Item Aegis of Acceleration Aegis of Acceleration

Removing the disclaimer as it is now tested in more modes - Slash, Arena, Joust, and Domination (though they just removed that in 11.5). I swap between building 1 or 2 tank items (like axe/cloak) and the rest damage, or just going full damage.

I added the "Alternate" build items, that you can swap one of or all 4 for the last 4 items in the build. This makes it more of a straight mage build, which I see many people doing with Charon these days, but I've also seen some very good tanky builds.

Still haven't played with him in Conquest (only just started playing it).


UPDATE NOTES FOR YEAR 11:

Not much changed - lost the recipes, and fewer options with consolidated relics, though there are a few new shards and non-relic items. The new items aren't right for this build, but it does benefit from the increase in lifesteal (now 30%-45% depending on health level, instead of 20%-30%). For those not aware, all the lifesteal is 50% more against gods, but then half for minions/jungle, which ends up being 25% less overall.

However, note that with Typhon's passive power boost based on lifesteal, the build gets an extra 15-22.5 power compared to Year 10, for free.

Also Note: I actually played against someone using this build the other day (that was a surprise!) - when I was on a different character. He killed me several times by catching me with dash or with the ultimate. Very annoying with this much damage, the dash up so much, and the ultimate wave travelling way too far...

MAIN BUILD NOTES:

Overall this build ends up somewhere between a more damaging Guardian and close to a pure Mage. It's been working good on low-end arena and a bit of Joust that I've played, but I'm a noob at this point. I tried a more tanky build and was barely making dents in any players, even mages - to the point they even started ignoring me. With this build they have to pay attention.

It's a good build for a positive kill ratio on winning games, and good shot at top assists.

The build focuses mainly on CDR (20-30% early, 40% full), Magic Power (over 500 at end with passives triggered), and Penetration (30% at full build) to give his abilities a bigger punch. This mainly at the cost of HP and protections. Auto-attack will be okay, but is not the focus. Charon's ultimate in particular can hit hard with full build at 20 across multiple players. A 30% lifesteal is also featured that can keep you topped off (up to 15% extra depending on health from Bancrofts, and with the 15% boost to heal amount on Typhon's it is effectively 34%-52%).

The lack of protections leaves him more vulnerable than more usual builds, though Charon still has decent health (ends up at 2846) and great mobility. The lifesteal really does help as well as he has a lot of AOE damage that can multiply it. I focus one of the relics (Wings) on mobility to enhance that, providing extra ability to either escape (slows or keep someone out of range), or to pursue a runner for the kill. This does mean he needs to 'bob and weave' a lot though, and get used to drive-bys in a scared-assassin sort of way, and play a little bit like a mage. He can do moderate damage and be a distraction right in the mix - momentarily - usually without getting killed. Hard Crowd Control is his bane here, so he need to learn positioning and erratic, assassin-like movement to avoid getting caught.

However, with this build Charon packs a punch - even his wave/dash ability hits a good amount, and can wipe out most or all of minions health while covering such a wide swath of the battle field he's can hit multiple enemy gods as well. Add in the wave's root for 0.5-1 s and this tips the battle when other teammates are around to take advantage - and helps him get away with his drive-bys. You can also chase people down with the wave, rooting and damaging them, then cancel the wave just past them, turn and throw another ability while they are still rooted - at minimum forcing them to spend relics or escape abilities, if they have them up. Quite fun when you can accomplish this and get away with it, and much better than catching up but doing minimal damage with a more tanky build.

Lifesteal is also a feature here, and really what keeps me from including Soul Reaver, Divine Ruin and other standard damage items, that I'd like to work into the build. It's one of those things that you don't really notice directly, but it probably saves you at least 2-3 trips back to base when things are going well - including trips from death, not just recalling. That means more XP, gold, and ability to push the enemy and support the team. Since Bancroft's provide both more power and lifesteal when health drops, and there is synergy with Typhon's boost to lifesteal heal amount and power, I don't suggest swapping Bancroft's out, and Typhon's is needed for the 20% penetration without significantly changing the build.

Note that lifesteal may be reduced by various anti-heal effects (such as tainted starter item line, Pestilence, Divine Ruin, etc.), but it's good to be aware and perhaps adjust some tactics at the margins.

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1
Kriega1 (143) | December 23, 2023 8:20am
If you want to go damage on Charon just go Sands Deso Divine Coin Reaver Rod
1
LightCC | December 23, 2023 11:07am
Those are all alternates I considered, and you have 3 of the same items (sands, spear, and rod), and have Divine Ruin, Charon's Coin, and Soul Reaver replacing Relic Dagger, Bancroft's Talon, and Typhon's Fang. Not a huge difference from a damage perspective, except for the Soul Reaver proc (really wanted to fit that in). My build is 480-550 power, (max at 40% health), while this alternative is 510.

My guiding principle was that I needed 40% CDR minimum, this alternate only has 30% (and both only get the last 10% at lv 20 when sands upgrades). I considered other options to get to 40% sooner and upgrade Sands to Alternative Timeline instead of Pendulum of Ages - but that's more of a tanky upgrade than damage one.

PROS - I've got:
- 40% CD instead of 30% - This breaks it for me. Charon's utilty and damage comes from abilities, need minimum CD!!
- 20% lifesteal (scaling to 30%) compared to 0% - big difference as well
- 300 more health (helps with tankiness and makes shield proc a little better)
- 7% more movement (until Charon's completes, very late)
- 10% more CCR

CONS of my build:
- 15 less static penetration
- MP5 is 20 less (63 vs. 83)
- 7 less HP5 (21 vs. 28 - and more when/if Charon's completes)
- 480 base magic damage vs. 510; however, 480 scales up to 550 at 40% health, so this is pretty even
- then some passive/proc differences. The biggest which I would is probably the Soul Reaver % of health

I did really want to get soul reaver in to make hits on tanks a better - but I have no good options to drop to replace it - dropping dagger I lose 40% CD, for example, which I won't give up. The AOE proc from Divine Ruin is only every 20 s or I'd weight that higher as well.

That said, I won't argue about these being good alternatives - I think mine plays a little more hybrid and less "mage scared" - in my experience.
1
Kriega1 (143) | December 23, 2023 2:29pm
Ok then go Sands Pendant Deso Divine Reaver Coin then

The Bancrofts is just pointless

If you want a tanky version you could do Sentinels / War Flag, Pendant, Thebes, Deso, Divine, Reaver/Binding
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League of Legends Build Guide Author LightCC
Charon Hybrid-Mage Build (updated 11.5)
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