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Welcome to this guide. It's my first so bear with me but I hope you'll find it helpful. It's up to date as of Patch 4.1.
Fafnir is the 12th Guardian to be added to Smite, and the 2nd Norse Guardian after Ymir.
Since his addition to the roster, Fafnir has undergone a series of changes that have made him more or less balanced as of now. He's an incredibly effective team player if operated correctly, and tends to be a stalwart of any team-fight. This guide will focus on his main role in Conquest, Support, although he is (somewhat uncommonly) used in Solo and Jungle.
So what does he bring to the table? Well according to Hi-Rez themselves, "Fafnir has excelled as a Guardian who can provide a lot of utility to his team through abilities like Cursed Strength and Coerce" (Patch Notes 3.15). That's absolutely true. His role is to enhance the destructive power of his teammates through:
This a build for full support. I will give an option or two for more aggressive items, but it's still within the overall support structure.
Going into Season 4, Watcher's Gift is still the Guardian go-to starter item. If you're familiar with Conquest you'll know why so I will not go into details here.
I would recommend going straight in with Reinforced Shoes first, although some folks may wish to start with Breastplate of Valor. Either way, both are good. Round off the laning phase with Bulwark of Hope or some equivalent. Be sure to go for this (or Heartward Amulet) instead of Breastplate of Valor if both your lane opponents are magical based.
Here are some suggestions of items which I've found effective on Fafnir. This is not a set build but a series of suggestions to build him into a support character you're comfortable with. Deviations are certainly welcome and I regret that I haven't managed to give every S4 support item a go yet in Conquest so the list may not be complete.
Reinforced Shoes is the standard start for most Guardians, giving fairly reliable insulation against aggressive duo laners. It's especially effective if you're against auto-based gods like Apollo or Izanami who rely on basic attacks to whittle you down.
Shoes of Focus is an alternative to the above. If you prefer the cooldown reduction (CDR) and mana boost then go for it, although I think Fafnir's cooldowns are already pretty generous and he rarely, in my experience, has problems with mana so long as you stock up on potions and get the Meditation Cloak relic.
Travelers Shoes is another alternative. Many will be attracted to the gold boost from its passive, which can contribute to Fafnir's Endless Greed passive and build early protections, and then build more quickly to come online. It also helps his sustain.
Breastplate of Valor is a reliable, in-meta physical defense item. The CDR is great and it gives you a good platform to round off the laning phase. If your opposition is mostly magical based, go for a different item like Genji's Guard or Bulwark of Hope and either give this item a miss or pick it up later, although by that time Spirit Robe will probably be better.
Hide of the Nemean Lion is a slightly more extreme version of Breastplate of Valor, focusing on insulating Fafnir against the threat of auto-based gods who might be ahead. This is incredibly effective against Xbalanque in particular, but to a lesser extent against any auto-based ADC like Artemis, Apollo and Rama.
Mystical Mail is handy as another alternative, and it works quite well with Fafnir's crowd control to apply constant damage over time pressure to enemies. It's quite expensive though so do watch out as it'll take you longer to finalise this build than other options.
If a magical ADC like Freya or Chronos is giving you an enormous amount of trouble, Genji's Guard is a slightly radical solution to give you some protection.
Bulwark of Hope is a stalwart of any median Guardian build. The idea really is to keep you alive. Long story short, good on any Guardian.
I believe that every support god should get either Heartward Amulet or Sovereignty in a game depending on whether the majority threat from your opponents are magical or physical, respectively.
Sovereignty is the physical equivalent of the above.
Pestilence is a standard anti-heal item. This really depends on your opposition, but the usual suspects you might want to counter with this are Ra, Hel, Aphrodite and Guan Yu. Don't bother getting it if your solo laner has already got an anti-heal item (unless they're clearly staying in lane until as late as possible).
Mail of Renewal is coming into its own in the meta, finally. A huge spike in health, and as you look to rotate with your team and capture objectives (especially now that there are more in the Portal Demon, in addition to Gold Fury and Fire Giant), means more opportunity to benefit from the passive and improve sustain.
Emperor's Armor is an item I've played around with quite a bit. One pro of Fafnir is his ability to get the team to attack an objective or tower using his Dragonic Corruption/ Coerce combo. Whilst your whole team in concert can usually take a tower together, Emperor's Armor can give your team the extra oomph it needs to speed things up immensely and, if you're quick and lucky enough, push harder into enemy territory.
If you're racking up a high death count and feeding, or falling behind, pick up Hide of the Urchin to stimulate some defensive stats.
Always a handy item, Winged Blade boosts Fafnir's team utility whilst increasing his own prowess whilst in dragon form.
One of the new Season 4 items, Stone of Binding is a diamond in the rough item that Fafnir can exploit. For just a little gold you will get some protections and a great team passive: if you hit a god with crowd control, allies within a certain range of you get extra penetration for 5s. Absolutely worth it because Fafnir has tons of CC.
Get Void Stone or Void Shield to reduce the enemy's ability to cope with your team's magical or physical damage, respectively.
I think Gem of Isolation is seriously effective on Fafnir, able to both boost his HP and give Fafnir's offensive moves more team utility in fights. Remember that Fafnir can chase down enemies very well, so to do that any also slow them is very potent.
Guardians' luxury item of choice, Mantle of Discord gives some serious risk factor to enemies' decision to pile up on Fafnir. If Fafnir, in teamfights, is in his dragon form and buffing allies, the decision to focus on Fafnir and accept the stun is almost certain death if your team is behind you.
ADCs who enjoy Fafnir's Coerce:
All these gods benefit from Fafnir's Coerce more than the usual. When you're with these gods, I'd recommend investing in that move before the others to benefit.
Others who enjoy Fafnir's Coerce:
During team fights, all these gods benefit especially from Coerce, especially in its AOE form. Most Junglers and Solo laners benefit, and some Mid. Note to all: a Fafnir-injected Vamana ult is a terrifying thing.
Fafnir is great with any god who is auto-based, or has a focus on late game. And with a meta that isn't kind to late game gods, that's important. It's your job to keep folks alive and relevant.
Use Coerce as much as possible to let your ADC clear waves. Be prepared to step in if you've got an especially aggressive duo opposition (e.g. Bacchus/Jing Wei) with bodyblocks, quick stuns and clearing the rest of the wave yourself with Cursed Strength and, if necessary, Underhanded Tactics. Tail your ADC and make sure they're safe in the Jungle, warding as much as possible.
Feel free to move to different lanes, and remember that you can jump over walls with Underhanded Tactics for a disarm and then stun them with Cursed Strength.
Use Dragonic Corruption when in the middle of enemies to make the most of the poison AOE, and remember that all moves' cooldowns reset when you ult. Focus Coerce on the area with the most allies (or say VVVG) and push objectives.
If you need to go do defensive, use the stun and disarm, and Fafnir's enhanced mobility to get out of tricky spots. Be sure to be out of the way of enemies before your ultimate expires.
Fafnir has had a great Season 3, and I hope his run in the sun can continue. Check out some footage of pros playing Fafnir. A few highlights and other relevant videos are below.
Fafnir God Reveal:
Incon's Fafnir Guide:
NRG v. Obey, 20/11/16 (iRaffer Fafnir):
NRG v. Obey, 20/11/16 (PANDALIKE Fafnir):
Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy Fafnir, he's an excellent god.
This is, as I mentioned earlier, my first guide here on Smitefire. Apologies if I did anything wrong or could improve my style - feedback is most welcome!
And if there are any suggestions, do let me know! I love Fafnir and he's had a good run in the sun. If there are any tips or tricks I've missed, just post them and I can put them in.