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Hi people my name is Lord Of Emeralds and this is my first guide here on SMITE-Fire. Coming from LoL I noticed that there are actually not many guides on here in which the authors elaborate on their decisions, so I'll just go ahead and do that... To whom it may concern that is ;)
This guide is about the first God I played more extensively, everyone's favourite scaly noodle, Ao Kuang. In those pointless 'Tier-Rankings' I usually see him placed in the lowest tier for a number of reasons, some of them valid some not, but overall I think he does not belong there. So to start off and help you guys and girls get into playing Ao I give you the obligatory Pros and Cons and then go over his skills, my item build and his role within a team.
Have fun and gg wp k thx bye!
or in other words
Please observe proper gaming etiquette ;) ... No, seriously!
Regal, powerful, the Dragon-God of the Eastern Sea commands storms and tides with the flick of a claw, yet he seethes with rage for past humiliations.
As one of four Dragon-Gods, Ao Kuang demands tribute from those along the Eastern shores. For their worship, tides remain calm, rivers contained, and rainfall for crops plentiful. It was not always like this, however. Long ago, Ao Kuang grew greedy and expected greater sacrifices. When they were not given, he sent floods, tidal waves, and devastating storms, striking so much fear into the people they dared not speak of this violence to the Jade Emperor. Ao Kuang enjoyed his total control.
Then came Sun Wukong to his undersea palace seeking a weapon for his famous journey to the West. Despite the offer of other weapons, Sun Wukong took the Ruyi Jingu Bang, an immense pillar that aided in controlling the tides. It was believed none could even lift it, but Sun Wukong spun it with ease. As if this were not humiliating enough, Sun Wukong demanded other gifts of armor, shoes, and helm, all of which Ao-Kuang was forced to supply.
Next, the demigod boy Nehza, playing in a stream, inadvertently shook Ao Kuangs palace. Annoyed, the Dragon-God set forth his favorite scout to kill the child, but Nehza defended himself and the scout was slain. Furious, Ao Kuang ordered his third son to destroy Nehza, yet Nehza slew him as well. Completely outraged, Ao Kuang went to Nehzas father and threatened to take the issue before the Jade Emperor, but Nehza tackled the Dragon-King and forced him to submit.
Such repeated shame and humiliation have both humbled Ao Kuang and tempered his fury to steely resolve. Long has he awaited his chance to rise again and exert dominance as a great Dragon-God of the Sea.
- ability set allows you to play very passively => 'beginner-friendly'
- excellent laner (from about Level 2 Tornadoes on) and jungler (mid to late game)
- constant and quite high damage output
- great teamfighter and amazing pusher
- if you can hit a good Ultimate ... may the Gods have mercy on their souls
- squishy as hell
- quite useless if heavily outfarmed or dead a lot
- unreliable high burst
- not so great in 1 v 1 situations
- mana problems until mid game
His passive is pretty straight forward. 5% of your mana gets added to your pool of magical power. This mitigates the mana problems I mentioned above since it actually pays off to stack a bit of mana on Ao Kuang.
His 1 is not that comlicated either. It's a skill-shot projectile that does damage in an area and also applies a slow. Personally, I think it is not such a good idea to use it extensively for farming, especially in the beginning. Since you'll be leveling out your tornadoes first the mana cost for them will naturally go up and if you are casting Squall a lot on top of that you'll be wanting mana pretty quickly. However, once you finish your Rod of Tahuti this skill packs quite a massive punch and its slowing effect is very useful in teamfights.
Ao Kuang's 2 is his only escape mechanism and it's not even all that great. Basically it only buffs your movement speed for four seconds. It also provides immunity to slows for a whooping (!) total of one second which in my opinion is completely pointless since the pains of timing it right is just not worth the trouble. Personally I use this ability to get out of base quicker, to outrun people to my tower during laning and as a sort of 'To The Rescue!'-spell to get around the jungle a bit quicker.
This really is your bread and butter with Ao Kuang. It is an AOE spell that applies a Damage-Over-Time effect. Sounds like it's perfect for farming minion waves? It is! Once you get about rank two or three it will absolutely tear through minions. To utilise it most effectively try to place it a bit towards the enemy's tower so all of his/her minions will have to pass through it. Without a gank from your jungler or a good ultimate on your part it usually does not pay off to try and harass people with it as it does not do that much damage to Gods in the beginning and is quite easy to dodge. If you get a gank try to place it in the enemy's line of retreat as the tick might finish him/her off under the tower. In team-fights this skill is very useful in tight jungle spots (as in fact most of Ao Kuang's skills) where enemies cannot dodge it and you can block exits and entries (same difference).
This is Ao Kuang's ultimate and it is a bit of a double-edged sword really. When activated it channels for a few moments (your movement is not inhibited) and then sends a huge ghostly dragon along that path doing massive damage and knocking enemies aside. If you can place it in tight jungle areas or at the entries to the minotaur where enemies cannot side-step it it has the potential of wrecking whole teams. However, be aware that enemies are able to see the path of the skill during channeling so it can be very difficult to hit in lane. Your best bet here is to try and hide the path demarcations either under a wave of minions or in the jungle to your sides. If you get a gank you could use the distraction as well, as most enemies will not pay attention but even then they might end up dodging it on accident. So a lot of Ao's damage comes from judging when to use your ultimate. If you hit it: WTF?! BOOOOOOOM!!! If you don't: well, you don't and you shall be ridiculed by the other team.
Concerning items, this is the most stable build I have used on Ao Kuang so far. I don't know if I am just trapped in that cursed LoL - Meta or if it actually is a good idea, but I usally start off with two ranks in Boots of the Magi. Since Ao does not have that much escape the additional movement speed cannot hurt right? I have seen people start with Doom Orb as well and I grant them that it IS potentially more powerful if fully stacked. But considering how fast Ao Kuang can go down I usually don't have the balls for it ;)
I then spend whatever money I have left on mana potions, you will need them! I would advise you NOT to get Meditation, on any God, ever! It might seem appealing at first but once you realise that you could just use potions and try not to waste your mana, you'll thank me. Come mid and late game you will have a couple of items with mana and/or MP5. And if that is still not enough you could get mana buff. Trust me, you will not use your Meditation after the first 15 minutes.
For a second item (on any God) I usually go for one with permanent stacks. I hate it when I lose stacks upon death! HATE IT! I've seen some people go Warlock's Sash and it still works but I prefer Book of Thoth. It grants the same basic amount of magical power, more mana, stacks quicker and has that awesome passive that converts 3% of your mana to magical power. Sounds familiar? Yep, synergises with Ao Kuang's passive as well.
At about this point I'd recommend getting an Aegis Amulet. It is just such a good overall item that I get it with every God.
NOTE: If you are laning against an Anubis get Aegis Amulet before he turns level 5 to mitigate his ultimate. This is not an option! I may sound paranoid but if that Anubis is only halfway decent and you let him land ONE Mummify he'll destroy you.
If I am having a good game, good farm, no deaths, perhaps a couple kills, I go Rod of Tahuti next. This is just flat-out magical power and you'll deal massive chunks of damage to your opponents.
Usually I pick a second active next to get that out of the way. There is a case to be made for Sprint on Ao Kuang. In addition to his Slither this provides some more potential to escape sticky situations. However, since so many team-compositions have more than one crowd-control skill I usually end up getting Purification Beads. Especially if they have an Ares. Breaking those stuns has saved me so many times and turned so many team-fights around it is ridiculous.
From here on out it is in my opinion really just a matter of preference and dependent on your situation. I usually pick up Chronos' Pendant next. Granted, it does not provide as much magical power as perhaps a Bancroft's Talon but the cooldown reduction is beastly on Ao Kuang. In combination with your mana items you'll be spamming tornadoes 24/7 and pushing lanes like a BOSS.
If the game goes that long I will pick up a Gem of Isolation 90% of the time. It grants a little bit of additional survivability and damage while also slowing enemies with your abilities. YES PLEASE!
With my last item I have a simple rule of thumb. If they try to build magical protection I get an Obsidian Shard for the penetration (if you know what I mean). If not I get a Polynomicon for the lifesteal and the additional physical damage.
And that's basically my finished build. Of course I alter it now and then, for example if I have to build some protection or if they are building up magical protection early, but overall this is the most stable build I have tried so far.
Most of the time I play Ao Kuang as a sort of Support Caster. In my opinion his damage is just not reliable enough to really carry a team alll the time. What you want to do in lane is play it safe and farm minions. Don't try to harass too much and don't try to engage 1 v 1 unless you can get a guaranteed kill with your tornadoes. Always call missing enemies and if you are getting outpushed ask politely for help. In team-fights I usually stay behind my team as much as possible and try to land my abilities from a safe distance. If two or more enemies catch you alone try to get to a tower ASAP. It is very easy to feed with Ao Kuang since he goes down pretty fast so if you can play it safe, do it and wait for your team! Since I termed my build 'Support Caster' I usually get a couple wards when I back to have that vision on Gold Fury and Fire Giant.
But most importantly:
- communicate with your team
- don't rage
- don't blame
- don't leave
- have fun
So that's all I can think of right now. Hope you people enjoyed the guide and it helped you out in playing Ao Kuang. Good luck with your games and comment for suggestions.
*Lord of Emeralds has left the game*
NEVER GO FULL NOODLE! ^^
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