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The Ninth Wind [Season 6 Build + Guide] by 13,000 Worshiper Kuku Main

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Smite God: Kukulkan

Build Guide Discussion (86) More Guides

Purchase Order

core Notes Detailed explanation on what makes this the defacto best build for Kukulkan in Season 6 down below

Build Item Book of Thoth Book of Thoth
Build Item Shoes of the Magi Shoes of the Magi
Build Item Polynomicon Polynomicon
Build Item Obsidian Shard Obsidian Shard
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation

Out of the Gate Notes Kuku struggles if you don't get him online early, so I like to work straight into my build, but if you want to play safer, starter items are welcome, and of course grab pots to preference.

Build Item Mage's Blessing Mage's Blessing
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion
Build Item Multi Potion Multi Potion
Build Item Spellbook Spellbook

Kukulkan's Skill Order

Zephyr

Zephyr

1 X
2 8 11 12 14
Slipstream

Slipstream

2 A
3 15 16 18 19
Whirlwind

Whirlwind

3 B
1 4 6 7 10
Spirit of the Nine Winds

Spirit of the Nine Winds

4 Y
5 9 13 17 20
Array ( [extreme] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 26 [display_name] => Bacchus [url] => bacchus ) [scoreVal] => 1 [notes] => Bacchus's ability to so rapidly and consistently get over your front line, onto you, and deal severe damage again and again, take you out of the fight while the enemy team pushes in, and escape just as easily... well, if you play much Kuku, you know there's very little you can do about this. ) [1] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 15 [display_name] => He Bo [url] => he-bo ) [scoreVal] => 1 [notes] => Kuku can deal with most mages fairly well, but He Bo, when played well, is an exception. His damaging abilities match Kuku's range and then some, and all of them, including his ult, cast faster and hit harder. If he gets close, you're probably already dead. To make things worse, his ult can always pre-empt yours if he's in range. ) [2] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 50 [display_name] => Scylla [url] => scylla ) [scoreVal] => 1 [notes] => Sylla has a real escape that doubles as a root. This is huge. It means every time your jungler is rotating, he's going to consider her a low likelihood in success in terms of ganking potential and thus she will get ganked very rarely. You, on the other hand, have no real escape, and the enmy jungle will thirst you all game. Her high damage zoning ability is harder to avoid than yours (Whirlwind takes nearly a second of exposure to the target before the target is even considered hit), and you're going to struggle. ) [3] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 79 [display_name] => Terra [url] => terra ) [scoreVal] => 1 [notes] => Like Bacchus and Athena, Terra, perhaps moreso than any, can be an extreme and consistent problem for Kuku, with the ability to reach deep into the back-line, immobilize him for an extended period of time, and make it impossible for him to kite away from approaching enemies. ) ) [major] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 37 [display_name] => Athena [url] => athena ) [scoreVal] => 2 [notes] => Athena, when played well, has essentially the same devastating effect as Bacchus against Kuku. She charges in deep, locks you up, deals pretty serious damage potentially, and meanwhile the enemy team initiates, often catching you with a finishing hit before you can get orientated from Athena twirling you around like a ballroom dancer. ) [1] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 35 [display_name] => Fenrir [url] => fenrir ) [scoreVal] => 2 [notes] => Very high mobility assassin are all threats to Kuku, any who can CC him rapidly, shutting down his response are among the worst. ) [2] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 76 [display_name] => Susano [url] => susano ) [scoreVal] => 2 [notes] => Like with all threats to Kuku, high mobility and the ability to kite away afterwards makes a serious problem for Kuku to deal with. Susano will harass you consistently and get away with it. ) ) [even] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 88 [display_name] => Da Ji [url] => da-ji ) [scoreVal] => 3 [notes] => Without having a CC immune ult, once Kuku's beads are down, he's a free kill for an ult like Da Ji's. ) [1] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 97 [display_name] => Pele [url] => pele ) [scoreVal] => 3 [notes] => A dangerous an highly mobile assassin, like most, is something to be very careful of with an escapeless god like Kuku. ) ) [minor] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 23 [display_name] => Ares [url] => ares ) [scoreVal] => 4 [notes] => Once again, Kuku's lack of a CC immune ult make's Are's ult an obvious problem once beads are down. ) [1] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 9 [display_name] => Sobek [url] => sobek ) [scoreVal] => 4 [notes] => Beware of Sobek throws. You sure don't have a way out once you're airborne. ) ) ) 1

Kukulkan' Threats

Maximum
4
Major
3
Even
2
Minor
2
Tiny
0
Click each Level on the left to view
Kukulkan' threats

Introduction


I pretty much play Smite to land Kuku snipes. Kuku's ability to turn the tide of the game in one ult is nearly unmatched. You're outclassed by nearly every god on the map early game. Your job is to reach mid game, contribute some moderate damage in team fights, don't die, don't fall behind, and put yourself in the right places at the right times to use the chaos of a late game team fight to hit 3-4 enemies with a devastating
ult / combo to secure the advantage or victory for your team. I find that Kuku is currently better suited for Joust than Conquest, but he can be played with great power if you understand your objective and have incredible discipline.

Kuku in high rank Conquest play is like a stealth bomber approaching a battle. Very vulnerable if caught out of position, every enemy outclasses you in single combat, and everyone on board knows every moment is potentially their last, but with careful execution and with an even moderately capable team, a well placed nuclear Kuku combo can take out a winning enemy's flagships and suddenly it's 5v2, 5v1, 5v0, and two phoenixes are down when you were just losing. Do it one more time and it's over. That's the game you're playing with Kuku.

So a little data on my background with Kuku:

Hours Played 506
KDA 2.0
Wins 908
Losses 637
Kills 8564

I'm not a great Smite player, but I am a pretty decent Kuku player, and I can share all the tactics and build savvy I've learned with this god over the years.

This guide isn't going to cover the basics, there are plenty of basic Kuku guides out there. This is to demonstrate the most effective build and tactics for Kukulkan you can possibly use in 3v3s, and covers a few advanced tactics that you need to master in order to really carry (ranked) games with Kukulkan.

Let's get started.

Itemization Fundamentals

Test, test, test! Instead of explaining passives and stats, I'm going to compare the raw numbers of what happens when you use various builds against tanky and squishy players. Enjoy, and thanks to you all who guided me in a better direction with my S6 build!

Items

Guide To make things fit...

# Build #
Tnk Tank, 225 magical protection
Sqsh Squishy, 50 magical protection
Z Zephyr
Pol Poly proc (basic attack)
Whrl Whirlwind
Ult Ultimate

Builds

Build #1 (Winner) Combo Dmg v Tnk: 1814 Combo Dmg v Sqsh: 3697
Build #2 Combo Dmg v Tnk: 1799 Combo Dmg v Sqsh: 3497
Build #3 Combo Dmg v Tnk: 1716 Combo Dmg v Sqsh: 3184
Build #4 Combo Dmg v Tnk: 1799 Combo Dmg v Sqsh: 2903
Build #5 Combo Dmg v Tnk: 1232 Combo Dmg v Sqsh: 3189

Build Damage Comparisons

# Z v Tnk Z v Sqsh Pol v Tnk Pol v Sqsh Whrl v Tnk Whrl v Sqsh Ult v Tnk Ult v Sqsh
1 309 548 300 549 455 987 750 1630
2 307 528 301 533 455 931 736 1505
3 298 493 294 499 420 840 704 1352
4 338 546 314 508 470 756 677 1093
5 226 512 215 489 337 837 454 1351

* Testing was done with realistic scenarios based on the spell's order in the combo in terms of passive effects, such as Spear of the Magus procs, and how those procs would realistically modify the affect of follow-up spells, and how the effect built up over time against the target over the course of 7 whirlwind ticks.

Skills

Ability 1: Zephyr:

All the tables above are calculated based on 7 ticks of Whirlwind, demonstrating that Zephyr is not our primary damage output, however it's a key aspect of our combo. It slows the enemy, setting them up to be hit by the Whirlwind and Poly proc.

Oh, and Zephy actually hits for a very small AoE. That means if the enemy is hiding just behind another enemy or minion, you can often hit them through the front target or minion.

Enemies will often underestimate the speed and range of this ability - it can hit all the way from the outside of tower to an enemy god nearly touching their tower. This is really useful for pegging a low enemy god, when they think they're far enough, and you'll often kill them, or you just drop a whirlwind on top of them and run away, and they'll be too slow to get out in time, and die.

Ability 2: Slipstream:

Obviously it's great for getting around and chasing, but it's most important feature is the fact that it removes any slow effects applied before or right after it's used. Only put one level into it early for that perk if the enemy has a slow, otherwise don't level it until mid-game.

Ability 3: Whirlwind:

This is almost always used as a follow up to zephyr, or else waveclear. It's big enough to cover half of the lane, so place it on the side of the lane, not directly over the minions (still close enough so they walk through it) and that'll force the enemy team to walk to the other side of the lane to push.

This is also great for protecting you from assassins. If they do go into it, just Zephyr them and Slipstream around making it hard for them to basic you, or even aegis while they chase you inside of it, and you'll easily kill them with poly after whirlwind takes their health down.

Ability 4: Spirit of the Nine Winds:

There's an entire section on Kuku's ult later in the guide in the Advanced Tactics section. Read on.

Skill Combos

Core Combo - It's really simple: Zephyr, basic attack (proc Poly), Whirlwind, and Ult.

[add video example]

"Oh ****! / F*** Off! Combo You turn a corner and are face to face with an mage or hunter who can kill you just by sneezing. Or one of those cheeky bast**ds dives over your team or into your tower to get you. Zephyr, Ult, basic attack (proc poly), then Whirlwind. I'm sorry, were you trying to kill me? How did that work out for you? Enjoy your respawn timer. If you don't have time to Zephyr first (which makes ulting them easier), you may need to ult first to get the knock-up before the enemy can CC and kill you, and land the Zephyr as the knock-up ends, Poly proc, Whirlwind, Slipstream.

[add video example]

Advanced Tactics

Now here we are. This isn't going to cover a whole lot of information, but it's going to take alot of practice to use these tips correctly. Remember, this guide assumes you already know Kuku's basics and are looking for a way to play Kuku well on a higher level, versus good players.

Control - Before anything else, its vital that you use a mouse that you can map all of your abilities to. You need to be able to execute your skills extremely fast and easily, while keeping your hands on your AWSD keys. If you're going to play any ability based god at a high level against fast, skilled player, you absolutely cannot be using your 1-4 keys to trigger abilities.

Placement - Kuku is an easy god in terms of his basic combo. Until you're up against good players, who dont just walk through your whirlwind, or get close enough to let you hit a Zephyr, without having an escape. Then he's not hard, but placing the whirlwind properly becomes something you have to focus on. Even if you land the Zephyr to slow them, it's not as effective early and you still need to lead the Whirldwind to where they're running.

Spacing - Hit and run. You're like a UFC fighter or boxer with a longer reach. Your Zephyr is a hard hitting ability that hits further away than many mage skills. Practice staying at the maximum length from your opponent, as if there's a pole connecting the two of you over the length of Zephyr's range. Hit the zephyr, if you have Poly, basic quickly, move an inch forward to drop the Whirlwind and quickly back up.

Sneaking - In the tense environment of the late game 3v3, where a single kill or death can win or lose the game very quickly, equipped with a high burst mage like Kuku who can handle many close encounter situations in the jungle, I often find myself sneaking around the sides rather than up the lane, placing sentries and hoping to ambush the enemy team in the lane with a whirlwind over the wall, followed by an ult through the wall to get a kill or two without putting myself at risk and without the enemy being able to fight back. However this is a delicate tactic. You have to be careful not to spend too much time doing this, trying to be the lone hero when it might be safer and more advantageous to stay with the team and have a straight forward 3v3 team fight. This is something you have to get a feel for and choose wisely.

Ulting - Kuku's ult is a great tool for chasing down kills. But any moron who isn't terrible at the game can juke your ult if he can see you. That's why you aren't going to ever ult a long range target from where they can see you. For the final tips of this guide, we're going to go over a few specific situations for ulting, and how to land those hard to hit snipes time and time again. This is where you win games, early, mid, and late.

But first, quickly let's look at leading targets. This is something you have to practice. A lot. You have to know how far to lead which gods, from what angles. Often times if you aren't hidden when you ult (try to always be hidden, but sometimes you don't have that luxury) you need to employ some reverse psychology. Expect the enemy to be smart, and juke your ult. Feel which side they'll juke towards, whichever side would be safest for them. Where would you go if you were expecting the ult? Aim there and launch it. I hit about 70% of these shots or more.

It just takes practice learning where people will go. Its important that you learn to lead people behind walls, even when you lose vision on them totally. The lower health they are, the more predictable they become; save your ult for these low health, predictable targets.

The hardest thing to guess is dashes. But you can land ults at the end of dashes. Lets say you got wiped, you're coming back to tower and there's an assassin with a dash trying to get as many basics in on your tower as they can before you get there. Ult away from them, expecting them to dash out of tower when they hear your ult, and you can hit them at the end of their dash or jump. This kind of situation happens often.

So lets go over some specific ult situations on the Joust map:


[*] Your target is low, the enemy team is falling back under their tower, your team is pushing the lane. Step into the Red Buff jungle quickly, go around and look around the corner, hidden, and look for the low person to back within range. Aim and release fast, often times, even in ranked, people are already looking at items, thinking they're safe to back, and you get the kill.

[add video example]

[*] Your target is low, the enemy team is falling back under their tower, your team is pushing the lane, but the enemy isn't backing. Same thing as before, but the low target is staying, wanting some more wave XP before they back. You have a few options here while you're looking around the corner from the jungle. First, if they seem to be moving predictably, lead them with your ult, plan on them backing to safety when they hear it (but they wont see it coming, you're hidden), and throw it so that they back into it. Or, if they get close enough, drop a whirlwind on them, come into lane, and often times they'll run at the edge of the map toward their tower - launch the ult at their side pinning them to the wall, down the side of the map, they'll almost always veer away from the wall thinking you're aiming right at them, and run into it.

[add video example]

[*] The enemy team is all very low, falling back under their tower, your team is pushing the lane, but the enemy wants to clear the wave before they back. Go into the jungle at their Blue buff, either wait for your team to get close enough to get vision through their blue buff wall or place a ward over the wall, and predict their movement. You'll often get kills hitting them from the side like this. They rarely expect it, and have no idea whether you're going do FG or their blue buff, and cant see the ult coming fast enough to react.

[add video example]

[*] Your low target ran away, you're out in the open, but they're at the edge of the map about to pass behind their tower. Even though you're in the open, you're about to have a moment where their tower is between them and you. This happens from time to time, they think they're pretty safe, but theyre too smart to just back behind tower. As soon as they get behind it, ult the other side of it, where they'll come out as they run past it trying to see where your ult is going (as it hits them in the face).

[add video example]

[*] You're doing Red Buff or FG, and the enemy team is coming to contest. Finish the buff with your ult, as your aim it through the buff and into the passageway where the enemy team is stuck on their way to you.

[add video example]

[*] You're being chased out in the open by an assassin. Turn to the side, ult sideways, and walk past it, the assassin trying to land basics on you will walk through it before they have time to react, drop a whirlwind between you and them and keep running, they'll be too low to keep pursuing.

[add video example]

[*] You're being initiated on out in the open by an assassin with a jump. The moment they begin their jump, ult forward, Zephyr them as they fall from the knock-up, and Poly should finish them with 1 basic.

[add video example]

[*] You just got CC'd and attacked from behind by a melee god. Don't waste time turning around, ult forward. Kuku's ult hits targets immediately behind him. They'll be hit if they're on top of you trying to finish you, turn around and Zephyr / Poly, then run.

[add video example]

Ranked Play

Get. A. Team. Do. Not. Solo. Queue.

You can execute every aspect of Kuku perfectly and still get sh*t on in ranked play if you don't A) have a guardian to protect you from dives B) have a team who is more skilled than the enemy, period. In ranked you will have a very very hard time ranking up without a good team on your side because it's not based on how well you play, but whether or not you win (and you won't play well no matter how good you are if you have a trash team).

For example I played Kuku solo queue, qualified into bronze, and worked my way up to silver 1. It was not easy or fun. I found a team and made it to plat in just a few weeks, but by the time I got there, I had played over 600 ranked games. If you look in the leaderboard of the Plat rank, you'll see people with only 20-40 games played to get there, most of which who qualified into gold or even plat, and did it all with a skilled premade team.

Do. Not. Solo. Queue.

Video Examples

As you can see I left placed marked in the guide where I want to add video examples - Ive recently started recording games, and just have to catch the right moments to turn into gifs for the guide.

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2
[-]
Kriega1 (77) | May 22, 2019 11:22am
If you're going to build both Spear of the Magus and Obsidian Shard in your build, I don't think both Shoes of the Magi AND Spear of Desolation are necessary. Also Obsidian Shard usually comes after Spear of the Magus in a build.



My suggested alteration: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Polynomicon, Soul Reaver, Obsidian Shard.

Alternatively if you don't want magus then: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of Desolation, Obsidian Shard, Polynomicon, Soul Reaver.

Alternatively if you don't want Obsidian Shard: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Divine Ruin, Gem of Isolation, Rod of Tahuti. (this build is based around his 3)
1
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 22, 2019 9:22pm
I just went and completed tests for your suggested Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Polynomicon, Soul Reaver, Obsidian Shard build, it reduces damage done by a complete Kuku combo against Squishies (50 magical prot) by ~300 and increases damage done to tanks (225 magical prot) by ~60, which isn't really worth the minimal amount of CDR gained.

I havet tested Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of Desolation, Obsidian Shard, Polynomicon, Soul Reaver.
yet

Your utility build suggestion Obsidian Shard: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Divine Ruin, Gem of Isolation, Rod of Tahuti on the other hand is difficult to debate, since the value of utility is impossible to judge in such tests, but I agree utility is an option, but I have to run hours of tests before I can determine if that exact build or one of many possible alternatives gives us the highest damage output while keeping Divine Ruin and Gem of Isolation. I'll consider doing those tests.
1
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Kriega1 (77) | May 22, 2019 10:44pm
The only thing is your full pen build, outside of book of thoth, doesen't have much mana sustain, and also in a lot of joust games you will need to get Divine Ruin.

At the very least, change the build order of your current build to be more suitable as the build/match progresses (as you're currently just looking at the finished build)

My suggested build order: Book of Thoth, Shoes of the Magi, Polynomicon, Spear of the Magus, Spear of Desolation, Obsidian Shard. (ideally I would get magus before Poly, but it's up to you).

Add an alternative build as well that swaps spear of deso for Divine Ruin.
2
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 22, 2019 1:33am
First: Woops if the mods didnt like me replying with this to each individual it's meant for (I see some of them got deleted), here's just a generic one in the main thread.

To everyone who's recently review my guide, I apologize for my mistake. You all pointed out dramatic flaws in my build, and for a few days I argued with you, disregarded your advice, and was just generally naive. Then I did some actual damage tests in game. Then more tests. Now.. Along with my apology, I've completely re-designed my build from the ground up, learned much about penetration and even more about the capability of my spells.

Again, thank you for your advice and I apologize for my stubborn naivety. Please consider changing your down vote if you left one if you like what I've done to the guide.
2
[-]
Branmuffin17 (280) | May 22, 2019 10:32am
It was just a lot of clutter...made it simpler, and this is fine.
1
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Devampi (89) | May 20, 2019 11:16pm
I was planning to do a higher review, however it's not looking im going to have time for that anytime soon.

Not gonna be talking about the build more than below. The only thing I do have to say is that you focus way to much on the passive. Yes it's a great passive and you can get a lot of power from it. However focussing fully on it isn't smart. You will lose out on sometimes more suitable items. Also don't forget a 200 mana item is only 10 power.
In the oldest builds you would mostly see Book of Thoth and Polynomicon because the other core items at the time dont provide mana.

I like the thought behind the skill order even though I myself am a Whirlwind player. Mostly because in CQ you're more reliant on it for the wave clear same goes for arena. Not saying you couldn't go for Zephyr it's just less good.

Kuku's ult is easier to hit now than it was in S1 (because path marker) just a fun thing i noticed.

You noted in the comments that you put a point in slipstream nowadays however in the guide advise only to take it vs slows. Maybe you forgot to change it.

Another thing I wanted to note is nice stats, however any player that knows a bit more knows that stats like worshippers, Kills and a lot more don't matter a lot. Rank already does more, however the best way to see someones knowledge is by what they wrote.
Since this is mostly a joust guide and there aren't a lot of really detailed ones, as most focus arena or conquest, I would like you to expand on a game play part a bit more.

Lastly your note on ranked, cute. Yes solo queue is a lot harder however you do learn more from it and different things than with a premade. With a premade you will climb a bit better mostly because of others.
And before I look like a hypocrite saying this yes I mostly play premade ranked (in LoL) too. Still I don't condemn solo queueing (only carrying your game from support us quite annoying).
Also iirc smite throws everyone into bronze 3 nowadays so qualifiers aren't really a thing. Kinda means that people will see more progression and are able to carry games on their own a bit better
1
[-]
Kriega1 (77) | May 22, 2019 11:30am
"Lastly your note on ranked, cute. Yes solo queue is a lot harder however you do learn more from it and different things than with a premade. With a premade you will climb a bit better mostly because of others.
And before I look like a hypocrite saying this yes I mostly play premade ranked (in LoL) too. Still I don't condemn solo queueing (only carrying your game from support us quite annoying).
Also iirc smite throws everyone into bronze 3 nowadays so qualifiers aren't really a thing. Kinda means that people will see more progression and are able to carry games on their own a bit better"

You can't think of solo queuing ranked joust in the same manner as solo queuing ranked conquest. Solo queuing ranked conquest is fine, solo queuing ranked joust is practically unbearable.
1
[-]
Kriega1 (77) | May 22, 2019 11:27am
"I like the thought behind the skill order even though I myself am a Whirlwind player. Mostly because in CQ you're more reliant on it for the wave clear same goes for arena. Not saying you couldn't go for Zephyr it's just less good."

In conquest you only put like 2 or 3 points into Whirlwind then you focus on maxing Zephyr.
1
[-]
Devampi (89) | May 22, 2019 1:08pm
you know you double posted it roight.

Also yeah I know because there is kinda the same thing in LoL.
honestly the main message was mostly that solo queue is better for your own skill and understanding.
2
[-]
iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 22, 2019 12:51am
To everyone who's recently review my guide, I apologize for my mistake. You all pointed out dramatic flaws in my build, and for a few days I argued with you, disregarded your advice, and was just generally naive. Then I did some actual damage tests in game. Then more tests. Now.. Along with my apology, I've completely re-designed my build from the ground up, learned much about penetration and even more about the capability of my spells.

Again, thank you for your advice and I apologize for my stubborn naivety. Please consider changing your down vote if you left one if you like what I've done to the guide.
1
[-]
Branmuffin17 (280) | May 22, 2019 1:36am
As an FYI DOOM, I deleted all but this response you made, as they were all the same response but just to different people. Figured I'd keep the one at the top.

Now, this is what I prefer people to do when we comment...don't just take our word for it, but be open to feedback, try some things out, and if it works for you, come back and revise your build. So in that sense, it's something people do...when you get negative feedback and you were expecting praise or at least generally positive feedback, it can be a shock. Natural response for many people is to be defensive. I'm glad you've come around.

Now...further feedback and suggested continued modification.

You're picking up Obsidian Shard 4th, and Spear of the Magus 5th. These two items are not typically mixed, at least in the mid-ish game. To get a better idea of how protection reduction and %pen work (and how protection reduction reduces the efficiency of %pen), check out my items guide under the "penetration / protection reduction" chapter. It's not ALWAYS bad to mix both, but in a joust situation, I'll probably always suggest you choose one or the other...you won't really have to ever get both IMO.

And here's how I'd split them up. If you're facing 2 squishy gods and 1 tanky god, likely the bigger threats are going to be the squishy gods, unless the tanky one is just absolutely carrying them. In most situations, if you can connect on Whirlwind often enough, you're going to be better served with Spear of the Magus and its stacking protection reduction. HOWEVER...you can also choose to get a couple of flat pen items (e.g. Shoes of the Magi + Spear of Desolation or Divine Ruin and mostly be okay without Spear of the Magus...but get Obsidian Shard for the tank.

Now, if you see that 2 of the enemy are building high magical protection, then you might just default to Obsidian Shard as your main pen against them, and just get 1 or 2 flat pen items against the single squishy god. Let me know if this makes sense to you.

In any case, your typical earlier pen item between Magus and Shard is going to be Magus, and you have it sort of reverse right now. If/when you get Spear of the Magus, you almost always get it in the 3rd or 4th slot. If/when you get Obsidian Shard, you typically get it in the 5th-6th slot.

Now, I see you've put effort into comparing damage output. This is fine, and a nice thing, and a lot of effort. That said, it's not always about the damage output. Yes, it's a main focus for Kukulkan, but it doesn't have to be THE focus. Utility needs to be considered. In some cases, you may have major problems with one specific god. Counter-building them with some protections isn't necessarily bad, and can be the difference in you dying 15 times and dying 7. Against magical gods, you might end up considering a Stone of Fal, or even a Bulwark of Hope. Against physical gods, you might want Celestial Legion Helm. Or if your biggest issue is CC, or you're having problems against both magical and physical gods, you might pick up Magi's Cloak or Mantle of Discord. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a bit of power, and staying alive, if those help you, are more important than doing 10% more damage.

You might also find your team has little CC/control. Gem of Isolation can be very powerful (and long-lasting) for Kuku, for example.

In any case, hope this helps. If you try these suggestions, let us know how it goes.
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Kriega1 (77) | May 20, 2019 11:41pm
Solo queuing ranked joust is pointless and literally the worst experience you can have in Smite.
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Devampi (89) | May 21, 2019 7:43am
Same goes for LoL, no idea why people like Twisted treeline. Still there people do solo queue. Probably just for lolz
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Kriega1 (77) | May 20, 2019 11:40pm
In conquest you put like 2 or 3 levels into whirlwind and then max Zephyr first.
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Branmuffin17 (280) | May 19, 2019 7:08pm
No offense, DOOM, but I'm in agreement that your builds could use improvement, basically for the things others have said.

Typhon's Fang will give you a damage boost, sure, and Poly and Reaver are very solid items for Kuku, but pen and protections are something you have to consider. All of that bonus damage you deal through those items are being blocked

Your "tank shredder" option of swapping in Obsidian Shard for Typhon's Fang represents the only pen of any kind you might get in your build. This is bad for a very specific reason, and is why many are questioning your build.

At level 3 (starting level in Joust), every god has a base of 33 protections (technically 32.7). This means they're ALREADY mitigating around 25% of all incoming magical damage. With a rank 1 Zephyr (not including scaling considerations or Mage's Blessing's added damage), this means you don't deal 60 damage...you deal ~45.

At level 20, all gods have a base of 48 protections, which means if you don't build pen, they (even the squishy gods) will mitigate ~32%. That's basically 1/3 of your damage potential being brushed off. Consider a tanky god that has built up 200 magical protection. That's 67% of your damage being shut down, unless you actually built Obsidian Shard.

Note also that the bonus damage you get from procs from Soul Reaver and Polynomicon are subject to the same mitigation factors...they are magical damage, not true damage.

Pen is a necessary stat for damage gods. It allows them to deal a significant % more damage. Getting a full Whirlwind off while you have Spear of the Magus actually means that, after the 5th tick, you're dealing true damage (enemy mitigates NOTHING) against a squishy god with no added protections. Even if you were to get 15 flat pen from something like Spear of Desolation or Divine Ruin (btw how is Divine not an option against healers???), it's going to have a very positive effect on your actual damage output.

Note that flat pen is more effective against low protections (squishy gods), while obviously, Obsidian Shard is more functional against very tanky gods.
iIIDOOMIIi wrote:

You don't need pen when every proc of your damage is taking up to 7% percentage-of-max-hp from the target via Reaver. This takes care of tanks.

This one just straight up isn't true. Let's say you're dealing with a squishy with 2,000 health, and you don't have any pen like in your example build. Your 2% damage is actually going to be more like 1.34% or so, and it won't proc like that on "every proc." Whirlwind, for example, will only proc the bonus damage once. And if you're comboing, you'll potentially hit 2+ abilities in less than 3 seconds, which means the 2nd and all subsequent procs will only deal 50% of that, or only around 0.67%. On the flipside, let's take a tanky god with over 2,750 health. 7% isn't 7% again because of mitigations...instead, it's more like 4.7% the first proc, and any subsequent ability hits will only deal 2.35%.

In any case, you may know Kuku well, and you may be comfortable playing him and have pretty good success, but really, you NEED to be open to feedback and criticism...this is what you're doing when you publicly post a build. And being open to said feedback gives you an opportunity to try new things, possibly learn more, and improve. I honestly feel if you adjust the build by getting rid of Typhon's and building some pen, you'll do significantly better in general. But it's important for you to understand how pen works so you can properly formulate an efficient build.
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boogiebass (37) | May 19, 2019 12:28pm
@illDOOMlli
You're going through the effort to make your guide as polished as possible. Can you try a few games with some penetration and get back to us if you see any notable difference? (look at kriega's posted builds. If you don't like them, modify them a bit, but keep the penetration).
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Kriega1 (77) | May 19, 2019 12:46pm
I'd honestly just be satisfied at this point if they permanently removed typhons from the build and put obs shard in it's place.
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Gulfwulf (60) | May 19, 2019 5:02am
I was hoping SmiteGuru would show how much damage was mitigated by the enemy, but since it doesn't, I had to go by the Damage Per Minute (DPM) stat. Your's is 554 over 1551 matches; mine's 936 over 126 matches. You've done an average of 10884.74016763378 per match while I've done an average of 17575.5. Granted I haven't played K nearly as long as you, but my KDA is 2.68 versus your 2.01, which means that when I hit somebody, they either die by my hand or my teammates. I always build at least 2 pen items, sometimes 3 depending upon the matchup. My 2 go to items are spear of the magus and divine ruin, and I'll sometimes buy Spear of Desolation. The only time I would get Obsidian Shard is if I'm the only magical threat on my team or another mage is building magus because the passives don't stack.

Again, your unwillingness to include some type of pen in your build makes me not want to recommend your build to anybody. It also makes me wonder if you truly understand how protections work in this game. I suggest you read over The Word of Thoth when you have a chance because the author went into great depth about the algorithms behind how final damage is calculated.
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 22, 2019 1:29am
To everyone who's recently review my guide, I apologize for my mistake. You all pointed out dramatic flaws in my build, and for a few days I argued with you, disregarded your advice, and was just generally naive. Then I did some actual damage tests in game. Then more tests. Now.. Along with my apology, I've completely re-designed my build from the ground up, learned much about penetration and even more about the capability of my spells.

Again, thank you for your advice and I apologize for my stubborn naivety. Please consider changing your down vote if you left one if you like what I've done to the guide.
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Branmuffin17 (280) | May 19, 2019 6:21pm
@Gulf, in this case I think a bit more consideration needs to take place, though I will say your damage calcs are accurate.

The other points that should be considered:
  • Over 50% of DOOM's games have been in Joust, with Conquest in 2nd place, while over 50% of yours have been in Arena, with Conquest being only ~6% of your playtime. This is significant because Joust and Conquest don't allow for nearly the damage output potential as Arena, which should be the highest, due to the small map and the constant 5-man teamfight.

  • His KD ratio (not including assists) is 1.38, while yours is 1.16. He gets less assists, again likely due to less people in teamfights in Joust, and an actual 1v1 laning stage in Conq.
Not trying to down your stats, which are fine, but I'd say you can't really use these stat comparisons as equals.

That said, I can guarantee he'd have better stats if he actually built more pen as you and others are suggesting.
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Kriega1 (77) | May 19, 2019 6:26pm
If you're not going to count assists then you should compare total damage dealt with Kulkulkan if thats possible.
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Kriega1 (77) | May 19, 2019 10:53am
Obsidian is good for burst focused builds for Kuku and for actually dealing with tanks without having to rely on stacking magus on his 3 which is a problem itself.
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Gulfwulf (60) | May 19, 2019 12:09pm
True. I should have mentioned that I'd get it when facing a heavy tank opposition.
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 19, 2019 12:51am
I'm testing obsidian to replace typhon's. Again, the point of typhons isnt the passive, its just another mana + power item to stack with Thoth and Kuku's passive. But since people really seem to believe shard will work better, I'm testing it more.. Its hard to actually test in the jungle practice since I cant choose the bots gear. (please hirez add this)
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Kriega1 (77) | May 19, 2019 3:46am
iIIDOOMIIi wrote:
Its hard to actually test in the jungle practice since I cant choose the bots gear. (please hirez add this)

You can't test effectiveness against protection auras, but one of the Odin bots does have a protections scale you can adjust so you can test ability damage.
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Kriega1 (77) | May 19, 2019 3:45am
iIIDOOMIIi wrote:
I'm testing obsidian to replace typhon's. Again, the point of typhons isnt the passive,


Except that is the point of Typhons, if you aren't buying it to make use of the actual passive then thats stupidity, and you may as well replace Typhon's Fang for Bancroft's Talon which is more suitable and more reasonably priced.
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Kriega1 (77) | May 19, 2019 1:34am
Bancrofts is better as a standalone choice than typhons on Kukulkan, also saying swap typhons for obsidian doesen't change the original build's problems.

Also your "Out of the Gate" has no tier 1 item bought with your starter item, in this case it should be Spellbook since you're getting Book of Thoth early.

I literally gave a ton of viable build examples in a comment below.

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Kriega1 (77) | May 18, 2019 7:55pm
Note: For anyone viewing this build's comments, an actual viable build for Kukulkan in joust:

Start: Mage's Blessing, Spellbook, 2 Healing Potion and 1 Mana Potions.

Relics: Aegis Amulet, Purification Beads. Order of purchase depends on enemy team composition.

Build: Shoes of Focus, Book of Thoth, Spear of the Magus as first 3 items, usually.

From here you can go into antiheal, more power/pen, defense or utility.
E.g.1. Against 2 physical enemies, 1 magical: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Breastplate of Valor, Obsidian Shard, Soul Reaver.
E.g.2. Against "standard" comp (2 squishies, 1 tank): Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Gem of Isolation, Spear of Desolation, Soul Reaver.
E.g.3 Against double tank comp: Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Soul Reaver, Divine Ruin, Obsidian Shard, Rod of Tahuti (or hybrid/defense item). (Start would be Mage's Blessing, Magic Focus, 1 Healing Potion and 2 Mana Potion.)
E.g.4. Against comp with some healing: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Divine Ruin, Obsidian Shard (Or Spear of the Magus), Soul Reaver, Chronos' Pendant.
E.g.5 Area denial with Whirlwind build: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Divine Ruin, Gem of Isolation, Rod of Tahuti/ Soul Reaver.
E.g.6 Full burst, Poly proc build: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Polynomicon, Obsidian Shard, Soul Reaver, Book of the Dead.
E.g.7 Bancrofts joust build: Bancroft's Talon, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Divine Ruin, Chronos' Pendant, Rod of Tahuti. (Start: Mage's Blessing, Tiny Trinket, 1 Healing Potion and 2 Mana Potions.
Alternative items: Stone of Fal/ Void Stone, Dynasty Plate Helm, Magi's Cloak, Mantle of Discord, Ethereal Staff, Soul Gem (as a safer option to Polynomicon, though for Kulkulkan i'd just get Poly).
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Branmuffin17 (280) | May 19, 2019 11:46am
Shutting down the comments after this that provided no constructive feedback on the build in question. Please do not continue this.
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Kriega1 (77) | May 19, 2019 11:50am
As long as you don't delete the actual feedback, or instead alter the comments so that feedback is still shown.

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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 19, 2019 1:55am
Anyone not using Poly with Kuku us wasting massive damage output potential, disregard most of these...
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boogiebass (37) | May 19, 2019 3:33am
But he listed Polynomicon is an item in "Alternative items". I'm sure most readers can figure out an item they can swap out if they want Polynomicon. For example, in his Eg2 build, just get Polynomicon instead of Gem of Isolation.

Now, Eg2 is mentioned against 2 squishies and one tank. The modified Eg2 I gave can work against 2 squishies, but what if the tank builds Heartward Amulet and Gauntlet of Thebes? Then, to get the most out of the Polynomicon, you're gonna need Obsidian Shard instead of Spear of the Magus (unless you always manage to successfully hit a tornado before using your 1 and an AA). See the comment below for more clarification.
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boogiebass (37) | May 18, 2019 7:58pm
To be fair, if he replaced typhons with spear of magus and got the pen earlier, dont you think it would be a passable build?
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Kriega1 (77) | May 18, 2019 8:00pm
I don't think Poly is good in a magus build. Obsidian works better because then the poly proccs will actually do decent damage to tanks.
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Kriega1 (77) | May 18, 2019 7:23pm
So you decided to updated it yet again yet clearly ignore our dissatisfaction of the lack of pen and inclusion of Typhon's Fang.
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 22, 2019 1:27am
To everyone who's recently review my guide, I apologize for my mistake. You all pointed out dramatic flaws in my build, and for a few days I argued with you, disregarded your advice, and was just generally naive. Then I did some actual damage tests in game. Then more tests. Now.. Along with my apology, I've completely re-designed my build from the ground up, learned much about penetration and even more about the capability of my spells.

Again, thank you for your advice and I apologize for my stubborn naivety. Please consider changing your down vote if you left one if you like what I've done to the guide.
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 18, 2019 11:15pm
You don't need pen when every proc of your damage is taking up to 7% percentage-of-max-hp from the target via Reaver. This takes care of tanks. I tested the damage difference, this does more damage in a real scenario than actual pen will do. And as I explain in the guide: Typhon's Fang 200 mana, 80 power. It's got mana, its got power, and we already have Poly which happens to give us lifesteal, this builds up our power and mana to the point where we would probably want this regardless of its passive, but for bonus points, it makes the lifesteal we get from Poly much stronger, and now Kuku can heal off a wave like a hunter.

My itemization targets mana and power items for obvious reasons. Typhon's fang, considering it's a Poly build, is a useful mana+power item option.
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Kriega1 (77) | May 19, 2019 1:38am
iIIDOOMIIi wrote:

My itemization targets mana and power items for obvious reasons. Typhon's fang, considering it's a Poly build, is a useful mana+power item option.


Typhons fang should only be built if you're building bancrofts. Otherwise you're just wasting gold on an overpriced lacklustre item. Get bancrofts + poly instead, or bancrofts + typhons (which I don't recommend if you're building book of thoth).

As for soul reaver, the damage proccs from it is based on magical damage, NOT true damage, so it DOES benefit from penetration, magical prots reduce the damage from soul reaver procs which is why it's important to get some high pen in your build from Obsidian Shard to get good value from Soul Reaver against tanky targets.

I think you should read this: https://www.scribd.com/doc/166529015/The-Word-of-Thoth-A-Smite-Mechanics-Guide
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Gulfwulf (60) | May 18, 2019 11:46pm
You need pen because reaver has an internal cooldown on it AND its extra damage is subject to mitigation, which pen bypasses. I've seen some of your recent matches and your damage output doesn't encourage me believe your statement.
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Gulfwulf (60) | May 18, 2019 7:36pm
The build was updated? I'm not seeing anything new.
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 22, 2019 1:27am
To everyone who's recently review my guide, I apologize for my mistake. You all pointed out dramatic flaws in my build, and for a few days I argued with you, disregarded your advice, and was just generally naive. Then I did some actual damage tests in game. Then more tests. Now.. Along with my apology, I've completely re-designed my build from the ground up, learned much about penetration and even more about the capability of my spells.

Again, thank you for your advice and I apologize for my stubborn naivety. Please consider changing your down vote if you left one if you like what I've done to the guide.
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Kriega1 (77) | May 18, 2019 7:43pm
Blank, empty space. Everything outside of "Core" was removed. It had some Season 4 starters listed.
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Gulfwulf (60) | May 18, 2019 6:39pm
I find your lack of pen disturbing.
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Kriega1 (77) | May 18, 2019 4:04pm
Wtf is Typhon’s Fang doing in this build? Also until you remove Season 4 items this build qualifies for archive. Also no pen in the core build for some reason, so tank damage is irrelevant, you also fail to mention Spear of the Magus
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ENK_92 | May 19, 2019 4:36am
No1 needs you're toxic comments. Spread you're poison elsewhere.
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Kriega1 (77) | May 19, 2019 10:47am
No1 needs your irrelevant comments. Spread your stupidity elsewhere. (your not you're, imbecile).
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Devampi (89) | May 19, 2019 10:36am
Bran and admins am I excuses to write a sub-style review of this guide just to show ENK what real toxticity is?
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 19, 2019 12:45am
fixed.
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Branmuffin17 (280) | March 4, 2017 3:39pm
Man, I wishwishwish you had just a BIT of coding, just to break up the monotony of the grey wall of text. I want to say that the content is all that matters, but aesthetics do count for something, make things more appealing to read, etc.

You've got some great high-level information, a solid reason why to max Zephyr before Whirlwind, and a good reason not to build pen, which is something I always think is important.

I will say that Spear of the Magus, which you talk about in the body but don't list at the top, is a great damage option if you've got an aggressive guardian like Bacchus or Ymir. Not only will you basically do true damage at max stacks (easily gotten by Whirlwind, but you'll help their output, which is not insubstantial. Also, the earliest protections have a stronger effect compared to higher protections, in the ratio of damage they mitigate. So, doing basically true damage to an enemy with no further protections will have a huge effect on your total damage. Just something to think about.

Obviously this guide is a work in progress as well (note the "add video example" in multiple places), but this is some great info. Look forward to seeing more.
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League of Legends Build Guide Author iIIDOOMIIi
The Ninth Wind [Season 6 Build + Guide] by 13,000 Worshiper Kuku Main
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