Greetings. Welcome to my Hades guide for S6
To start off, I've mained Hades since I began playing Smite in 2016. I have about 350 hours on him and have played him in support, solo, and middle roles since I've been here. I am more of a casual player with around a low diamond elo, so the build will be focused around that purview.
So who is Hades?
Hades' technical classification is a point blank burst mage with a "battle mage archetype" (TitanForge Ajax, 2019).
What Hades actually is, is a mage with difficult to set up burst that requires him to build a bit tankier so he can live.
Heavy early burst damage that is easy to underestimate
Tankier than the average mage, which allows him to bully
The best sustain in the game (for the laning phase)
One of the worst gods in the late/hyper late game
His sustain and burst strength disappears fast after laning phase
Needs to be ahead to be relevant
Long prefires and postfire times; inconsistent and easy to read
Early Game (1~13)
When beginning at speed, use 1 auto to bring the camp to you, use Devour Souls, then run to lane. Hades' level 1 clear is not so good, so use autos to blight the wave as much as possible and then try to kill the archers. At this point, trying to auto the enemy if you can
At level 2, you hold the advantage, as your dive is now online. Chuck some autos at the melee creeps, then dive the enemy god if positioning allows, then detonate. If you do this correctly, you should be able to almost completely clear the entire wave. From this point, farm now belongs to you; red buff, side camps, whatever is up for grabs and safe.
*A key note: keep an eye on the enemy jungler level. The second they hit 2, back off and play it safe and keep your dash up until you see them. If you don't, you're asking to be blinked on and killed.
When you hit level 5, you want to try and do the following:
Bait out their escape if they have it, then
Use your ult to burn their beads if the jg is busy / use a Death From Below and Devour Souls combo to kill them alongside a few ticks from the ult
Typically the way you use your ult is the 1st one burns their beads, the 2nd one grabs them for the full duration.
In the early game, you want to use your far higher base hp and prots to aggress, make the enemy laner hate themself, and steal as much of their farm as possible. Hades' ability to clear the wave and jungle camps extremely quickly is higher than most mages. Abuse that.
Mid Game (13~19)
The Mid Game is when Hades just... exists. He's there. Does things. Doesn't stand out or do much. Since this is where most rotations take place, as Hades you need to have good vision and awareness. Despite that he is more tanky than most mages, your spike is gone and you have become less threatening now that you lack minions (at camps, extended fights in lane, at objectives, etc). This puts you at a disadvantage so you need to make it up by doing what Hades does best: being annoying.
At this point, you'll have some points in your silence and a fully leveled Devour Souls, so now is when you get to stop channels, heal up, do some chunk damage, and most importantly, counter initiate. Hades' ability to counter initiate is what makes him retain his relevance during this phase. Stick near your carry or jungler, and if someone decides to dive you, you can just ult and lock them down, shred their protections, and hurt them massively. You either force them to waste their initation and fall back and wait, or stay and most likely die. If they leave, they used either: 2 abilities (one in, one to get out), beads (to get out), blink (to get in), or a combination of those. Your team now gets to reinitiate on the enemy at a large advantage, and since you still have the rest of your kit up, you can just dive on someone and blow them up.
During this time, it's important to save your Shroud of Darkness for when it matters. The cooldown is fairly short but a few things need to be kept in mind:
Who do I need to be silencing/fearing?
Do I need to use an auto to get the fear in or will a silence suffice?
Does the enemy have stacks of DR?
Which enemies have channeled abilities that I can end? (Dashes if you are quick, Artio, Nike, Hera's 2, Achilles 1, stop a Herc before he gets his combo off, etc).
Late Game (20+)
The late game is when Hades is nigh on useless. Your job is to ult to set up team wipes or suicide bomb as a less effective He Bo. At this point, your burst isn't really relevant besides the point that it's super unsafe, your tankiness gets shredded no matter what, and your jack of all trades style just turns to being fairly terrible at everything. So as above, just try to set up and keep your carry safe or suicide bomb people. While you being gone hurts, being able to look at their carry or mid and take them out, or at least burn everyone's relics is a powerful ability.
Where do I begin...
Firstly I need to go over his kit dysfunction, and then how you overcome it.
Hades' passive is the worst in the game. It does either absolutely nothing, or is actually detrimental to him. Originally, when the game came out, it made pretty good abilities have really cool additional effects. Now, after powercreep, it just makes really terrible effects usable. That's bad design. The 5% power debuff does literally nothing. It's useless in the early, useless in the mid, useless on physical gods, guardians, and warriors. It is only very slightly beneficial on mages building at least 800 power in the hyper late game, and even then it's not that impactful.
I'm not going to go over the description of the passive since I trust that it's fairly straightforward and you all can read.
1: Death From Below
70/120/170/220/270 + 60%
This ability does fairly high damage with good scaling, on a decent cooldown. This is your initiate, your escape, your very life. This ability isn't complicated, but it is very important and keeping it up for when you need it, and using good judgement with it is what is going to keep you alive as Hades.
This is the ability that Blight makes detrimental. It slows the enemy if blighted. Why? Why does Hades need a slow? To aim? To... ? I would say it's useless but it actually hurts him, since the slow applies a stack of Diminishing Returns.
Diminishing Returns is a hidden stat that is applied to gods whenever they are cc'd by any kind of cc. The next cc applied will have 2/3 of it's duration, then the next will have 1/3 of its duration, etc. So if you decide to leap on someone and you slow them, your silence which is at 1s for a while is actually about .66 seconds, which is just terrible since cc is all your 2 does.
On top of all of this, this ability has very long pre and post fire times. You only have immunity frames when you are underground and moving! When you are not moving, you can be cc'd, damaged, knocked up, or otherwise have your leap interrupted.
2: Shroud of Darkness
Cooldown: 14/13/12/11/10 seconds
This is an instance where blight makes a terrible ability usable. This is a fairly large cone that silences all enemies, blights all enemies, and will fear all enemies that are blighted. The silence in and of itself is not super useful except for short term lockdown to secure the damage from your 3, and the fear is more useful later in the game. Use this more to silence junglers or mages that get too close for comfort, to stop channels, or to fear people when helping to secure kills.
Since this ability has a short prefire and a "travel time" of sorts, you can fire it on an incoming target sooner than you think you can. This allows you more space to breathe and will permit you to stop initiations before they begin.
3: Devour Souls
Damage: 75/115/155/195/235 + 70%
Detonate: 20/27/34/41/48 + 50%
Detonate Heal: 25/35/45/55/65 + 10%
This is your bread and butter ability: your burst, your healing, your sustain, all wrapped up into one ability. So don't miss it lol.
This is the worst example of your passive: low base damage that you need to be within melee range to use; simply terrible. Blight makes it burstier and heals you per target. Not half bad.
This ability has surprising burst damage. The detonate damage does half to gods, but the kicker is that's still 25% scaling per detonate, so pile up 3 detonate and that's 75% more scaling you get on it, which is why rushing Bancroft is so important in the laning phase.
The healing is also very important and unique in that there is no limit to how many heals you can get. Many abilities such as a Tyr 2 or Zhong Kui 2 have a limit of 3 heals per ability fire, Hades can be healed as many times as there are detonate targets.
General Strat for this ability during laning is to stand between your melee and the enemy melee creeps while autoing the enemy melee creeps, smack the enemy mid, group up the creeps around their back creeps, and detonate. Later when you have your leap, try to hit all of them but if you can only hit one group, try to hit the back creeps.
4: Pillar of Agony
Pillar of Agony is the only ability that is decent standalone, and gets enhanced by the passive.
Damage: 45/60/75/90/105 + 30% per tick (8 ticks) (360/480/600/720/840 + 240%)
They get pulled in slowly and are damaged over 4 seconds. If they are blighted, they have 10/15/20/25/30 protections shredded. Hades gains 60/85/110/135/160 of each protection. These protections can overcap, whereas items cannot, though since this is a mage build this isn't super relevant.
Some things to note: every single dash in the game can escape this except Guan Yu if you are directly on top of him, gods with high movement speed can escape if they are on the edge even if they take damage and get pulled for a half second or so (thanks Hi-Rez :D)
The main issue with this ult is... it's a set up ult. Typically, guardians have the set up ults, and then mages like Zeus or Vulcan will fire and kill everything. Hades has a set up ult to counter initiate, save himself, or secure kills after someone else burns their beads. It has gotten a buff recently which makes him tankier later in the game, but it sounded much better on paper then it does in game. It's nice, but doesn't do too terribly much. That's all. How to use your ult was described above, so I'm not gonna go into a ton of strategy here.
The prots at level 1 will approx. halve any damage you take. Towards the late game, save for enemy pen, it will reduce the damage by around 70%. Magus, other prot shred, and crit will affect this of course, but the base mitigation is still heavy enough to take most things they toss your way, excluding ults and heavy crit auto attacks.
Bancroft Rush: I use this because Hades can fully clear the wave at level 2 with 60 power. It gives him surprising damage and excellent aggression. A mana and a multi pot will give you enough mana and hp to survive until your first back. If you get first blood and get enough gold, then it is a good idea to get Shoes of Focus. If not, then it's fine to rush bancroft's and then start on shoes.
I prefer CDR shoes because the mana is helpful since you don't have the passive MP5 from Mages Blessing, and having max CDR on Hades is important in the mid-late game.
As for your hp item: Hades wants an hp item and then a protection item to increase his essential HP (eHP). Warlocks used to be the go to until it got buffed, was meta, and then was nerfed in early season 5. As of now, the time and gold you need to invent to get this item online is not worth the pay off. 115 power, 500 health, and 200 mana. 100 stacks with 6 minions per wave, and let's assume you get 6 camps in the mean time so around 20 extra stacks, still leaves you around 80 stacks, or around 13 waves of creeps to stack this thing. On the other hand, Ethereal staff gives you 90 power immediately, the same base hp, and Crown Control Reduction. Additionally, the hp you get is effectively similar to Warlocks for less time stacking and slightly less gold. There really isn't much of a reason to get Warlocks over Ethereal.
At this point, you need to get some pen. The options for you are Void Stone if you're going the Void/Valor combo, or Divine Ruin/Spear of Desolation if you aren't. Hades doesn't use Magus effectively and it's not his job to bother with tanks, so he doesn't ever get Obsidian shard. Get Ruin if they have antiheal. If not, then you get Desolation.
After that, protections. IF you feel like you'll be able to stack it, you can opt for Urchin, but overall I prefer Mantle of Discord. 60 protections on top of the passive and CDR make it very useful for Hades
At this point, you can finish off your build. If you feel like you can get away with it, you can get a Typhons Fang to increase your survivibility. If you want tons of damage, you can opt for Tahuti. If you got pen shoes for some reason and you had to get ruin, you could get Chronos for the extra cooldown. Just use common sense and the last item will come to you
I really love Hades.
Despite all his flaws and issues, I love his dive playstyle and his tankiness and his bully playstyle. I love his mythos and character. You need to be careful since he's such an outlier, but done correctly, they'll be feeding their brains out before you can say "I only do one thing and I do it okay-ly"
Please leave a comment if you have questions or concerns, want tips, or think I'm utterly wrong (I'm not) and you feel the need to correct my egregious mistakes. Or a spelling error. But really, I enjoy feedback and conversation so please talk a bit and tell me what you love and hate.
This is the end!
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