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Hey there, my name is Jtree and today I’m gonna share you everything I know about Cu Chulainn in this in depth guide. To share you a bit more about myself, I started playing Smite in s3 and became very active starting in s4 and still am to this day. I mainly play Clash and Assault, however this guide is mainly aimed at Clash. As I’m writing this guide, Cu Chulainn is still my most favourite god to play as and I’m excited to tell you everything I know about him. This is gonna be a hefty read so I’m gonna recommend you to slowly build it up and not shove down everything down your throat immediately as it’s gonna be a lot of info.
High Base Damage
Strong engage tools
Pseudo Stance Switch
Build in Anti Heal
2 CC Immune Ults
A lot of CC in Berserk Form
No Mana Costs
No CC outside of ult in non berserk
Horrible without rage
Optimal damage takes a while to get off
Has issues sticking to people against CC Heavy Comps
Lack of build in Sustain
Before I want to talk about Cu Chulainn’s abilities I first want to go over his basic attacks. Cu Chulainn has increased range on his basic attacks similar to Awilix and Achilles. This allows you to weave in basic attacks during ability casting much easier and I’d certainly recommend you to practice with its range as using it properly allows you to deal additional damage while still sticking to your target. While in Berserk The basic attack chain becomes slower and deals more damage.
Cu Chulainn's Mana, MP5, and Mana Heals are instead applied to his Health pool. Abilities consume Rage, which stops regen at 25, but he gains Rage upon hitting with his Abilities as well as 1 Rage for Basic Attacks and .5 when he takes damage. After 3s above 85, he goes Berserk. While Berserk, Cu Chulainn gains Power and a Health Shield.
This is what keeps Cu Chulainn together. Berserk allows you to reset all your abilities when transforming into and out of this form. The difference between good Cu Chulainn players and bad ones is the way they utilize this. One of the most underestimated parts of this passive is that once Cu Chulainn enters berserk form, he gets quite a good chunk of a shield absorbing damage. However be careful as even though you can depend on this shield quite a fair bit, it takes 3 seconds to transform. You only want to enter berserk form to pressure or when you think you have the opportunity to get yourself a kill.
Cu Chulainn thrusts his spear forward, damaging all enemies in front of him and stunning less powerful minions. Successfully hitting an enemy minion with this ability restores 5 Rage, 8 for a god (to a max of 18). Barbs from his spear stick in opponents and reduce their Healing received for 4s.
In his Berserk Form, Cu Chulainn instead slams his massive arms down, damaging and rooting all enemies in front of him and this ability costs no Rage.
Barbed Spear is probably one of my favourite tools for poking people while doing Cu Chulainn things; building rage. While it’s antiheal component is quite appealing, I think it drags away attention from one of the strongest components for the early game. Barbed Spear is capable of temporarily stunning the minions, allowing you to poke enemy gods while also stunning archer minions to take reduced damage from the enemy minions that are aggroed onto you. Back to the antiheal. It’s a nice added bonus, however don’t let it take away to appeal for antiheal items as Barbed Spear won’t be enough to deal with gods that have access to healing. This is because most of the time you’ll be rather using this ability to generate Rage or/and poke over its antiheal component.
In berserk form, Ground slam is most of the time your opening attack during a dive in berserk form. It has the most range out of all your abilities in berserk form, making it also very safe if you can’t fully commit. But that’s not all. Ground Slam also is capable of rooting multiple targets. This makes it great for locking down multiple enemies in a teamfight. Overall it’s a nice and versatile ability in Cu Chulainn’s kit and you can never go wrong with throwing it out first.
Cu Chulainn vents his anger as superheated steam, increasing his Movement Speed and draining his Rage. Every .5s while in this state, all enemies within range are damaged by the heat. Vent Anger does not return Rage.
In his Berserk form, Cu Chulainn Vents Anger automatically and does not drain Rage.
Vent Anger is an ability you see being used less and less the more competent the player is at using Cu Chulainn. This is because its main use is to reduce your rage below the threshold of 85 rage. While Vent Anger does give you movement speed, it does not suffice as a way to chase down people as its effect is minimal along with the fact that it does cost a lot of rage to use. Instead you should be using it to run away if you do not intend to “turn and fight”. The best way to use this ability is to not activate it at all. Berserk form does that for you without any cost. I’ll be explaining more about rage management in a separate chapter as it is quite important to Cu Chulainn.
Cu Chulainn vaults over his spear, leaping to a target location and slamming it down to damage enemies around and in front of him. Successfully hitting an enemy minion with this ability restores 5 Rage, 8 for a god (to a max of 18).
In his Berserk Form, Cu Chulainn instead charges forward damaging and driving all enemies back with him and this ability costs no Rage.
Salmon’s Leap follows the standard rules of a leap with an unique thing slapped on it. The hitbox extends forwards in a line. This makes it relatively safe when used to generate rage. When using it for this purpose you need to be careful. One of the biggest learning points for me when I learned Cu Chulainn is when to leap on a minion wave and when I shouldn’t. I’ve been in plenty amount of cases where I jumped in and fed a kill because I couldn’t escape. Don’t burn your leap for rage/poke whenever you’re playing against an aggressive early game or cc heavy comp. Another thing that a lot of people don’t know is that when you leap in place you’ll move a tiny bit forward. Keep this in mind as you often want to hit as much enemies as possible with your abilities.
In berserk form this ability becomes a dash instead. This means that you’re losing out on the things that make a leap great, however its benefits in berserk form outweigh the downside. Enemies hit by Furious Charge are also stunned while traveling. This stun lasts longer than the dash which means that you can act earlier than them. This gives you access to several options. Do I throw out a basic attack and then an ability or do I throw an ability that’s 100% guaranteed to land no matter what happens. When used in conjunction with Ground Slam it makes it very easy to group up multiple enemy gods for your ultimate and your team. Even though most of my guide has been centered around yourself, don’t forget that you do have teammates that can make great use out of your CC. Just be careful with this ability as you can easily push gods out of your teammates damaging abilities. When CC chaining, you usually want to throw this ability at the end of a CC chain and push them into your team if they no longer form a threat to your own backline. Because the thing you definitely don’t want to do is push someone like a Chaac at full hp into your team as that’s an easy 5 man ult for him. A trick that I want to share with you is that if you’re close enough, you could try to Ground Slam to get behind them and push them into your team. This is something I will try to pull off if I can rely on my team to burst the target.
Ultimate: Spear of Mortal Pain
Cu Chulainn swings his spear Gae Bulg in a circle around him, Damaging and Knocking Up all Enemies. Successfully hitting an enemy minion with this ability restores 10 Rage, 26 for a god (to a max of 36).
Ultimate: War Cry
In his Berserk Form, Cu Chulainn instead gives a terrifying yell, Damaging all Enemies and causing them to Tremble. This yell costs no Rage and has a 35s cooldown.
Your golden ticket to entering berserk form. Spear of Mortal Pain generates the most rage out of all your abilities and is great CC to start of a teamfight with. The reason I find it to be so effective is because you can’t beads a knock up once you’re in the air. Another strong attribute is that during the windup you receive CC Immunity. When the damage component goes off, your CC immunity will be gone. This also counts for the berserk form’s alternative version which I’m going to be talking about now.
Unlike it’s normal version I find War Cry to be less effective than Spear of Mortal Pain when it comes to crowd control. However this doesn’t mean that it’s actually worse. In fact I feel like War Cry is better because of how effective it is in the situations you use it. Spear of Mortal Pain will be an engage tool 9/10 times unless you want to peel for a teammate that’s getting hard dove. War Cry however can be used more freely because it has only 2 uses: Damage and CC Immunity. This CC Immunity is great for diving as one of Cu Chulainn’s main weaknesses during a dive is being out of range of his target. It’s even worth it to cleanse a slow to stick to people. The Tremble is a nice addon and I consider it as a pseudo slow, but it does not last for long so I don’t recommend relying on it too much.
Cu Chulainn is an aggressive god who focuses arounds his passive, berserk to make the most out of his kit. Good usage of berserk allows you to be deceptively mobility and setup for your team while dishing out a lot of damage to be a major threat for any backline. I’m gonna explain now more about how your mindset should be in the different stages of the game. To give out a perspective, I’m gonna talk about the way I tend to play most clash matches.
When it comes down to building items it’s quite simple what you want to build on him. Defense, Health and Cooldown Reduction are your best friend. Now you might ask yourself, but what if I want to build a damage item here and there? Well the thing with Cu Chulainn is that high base damage is high enough to the point where the difference in damage would be minimal. The only thing that would chance a lot is the in hand damage (melee) which isn’t required in order to be effective. Cooldown reduction is great for entering berserk form throughout ults as easy as possible and being able to throw enough abilities out in berserk before you transform back. Anyways, time to explain Cu Chulainn’s core/situational items and why they are good.
For starting items you want to always get Warrior's Blessing, Round Shield and 3 Healing Potion. never get Mana Potion as Cu Chulainn does not use mana and does not gain any rage from them. The early physical defense from Round Shield allows you to take less damage from guaranteed physical sources like minions.
Always get Warrior Tabi because even though Reinforced Greaves are a nice bonus, you’re gonna need a little bit of power in the early game and these boots give you that. Tank boots are not bad, however they are just outclassed by warrior Tabi
Glad shield solves your sustain issues and grants you the stats you want to start with. Physical defense is much more useful than magical defense a lot of the time because a lot of more sources in the game deal physical damage over magical damage e.g towers and minions. This item becomes especially strong in midgame where you can dive a lot and have some scaling into its passive. Don’t forget to sell it in lategame because it falls off lategame due to antiheal being quite common.
After it’s buff with cost reduction, I get this item now every game. It’s really cheap now and dishes out a lot of damage for being close, which is what you want to be as Cu Chulainn. While it might seem lackluster in stats, its passive makes up for it heavily. You should keep in mind that Mystical Mail counters Blink for your enemies, but also for yourself as you can’t use it in combat.
Talisman of Energy
Now this might seem like a weird one. Other magical options like Pestilence and Genji's Guard have higher magical defense. But what I like about this item is that Cu Chulainn benefits from this passive quite a lot. Increased movement speed and attack speed allows Cu Chulainn to get his damage off easier and much more smoothly. And the best thing is that your teammates benefit from this too due to it being an aura item. And getting the benefit from enemy minions happens quite often because he interacts with them very often. 300 health is nothing to laugh at either.
Pestilence is your go to item when dealing against a healing comp and has high stats for its price cost. Other than that, there’s not a lot to talk about it when it comes to pestilence as it’s simple and gets the job done.
When Pridwen got introduced to the game it felt like a blessing. There’s been so much situations in where I ult to enter berserk and get killed before I’m able to make use out of berserk shield and glad shield to keep me alive. While it’s defense is subpar, it’s passive is really good on top of the 20% cdr item it gives. This item alone made me stop building Genji's Guard and Blackthorn Hammer as a source for cdr.
Mantle of Discord
Whenever I finish up my build, I replace Glad Shield with Mantle of Discord. Mantle of discord is an item with high dual defense and a niche of cdr at a relative high cost. This cost is where the passive comes into play. Mantle will stun and cleanse cc whenever you drop below 30% hp. This allows you to escape or to stop damage from the enemy as they are affected by a stun. Mantle of Discord will always be my go to item in lategame for dives as its passive is quite valuable for me to pass onto.
If you feel like you can’t deal with a CC heavy comp you should be getting this item over Mantle of Discord. While yes it gives less defense, it does give ccr and great damage reduction when getting crowd controlled. Cu Chulainn dies the easiest when chain CC’d as bursting him becomes significantly easier. This item prevents that.
While this item got nerfed last patch, I still think it’s not too bad. The main thing that you should be doing with Void Shield is building it later on as it’s % pen is horrible in the early game. It’s a nice all around item for a decent price.
Now this is another interesting one. This is more of a hybrid item as it gives power and defense and swaps to one and another depending at what HP you are. The power is great for diving, but I found it to be lackluster when I’m starting to get low. That’s where the passive comes into play giving me defense at the cost of power. Overal I’m still experimenting with this item as it doesn’t give me HP.
I’ve been running this item against magical heavy teamcomps as a lategame item and it does wonder. While I’m aware the passive benefits more in the early game, it has everything you want against magical gods. Defense Health and a little bit of power to help you in your dives.
Good old Winged Blade. Very cheap, great stats and great passive to deal with slows. When you’re in a situation to build it you should definitely consider it.
For the same reason as you can proc Gladiator's Shield often the same can be said about Heartseeker. It gives pen, high power and % damage. While you could compare this to an expensive alternative of crusher, I find it to be more effective to the point where I do like this item. It also gives him a tiny bit of HP and HP5 due to the mana conversion.
Basically a more damaging version of gladiator shield, however I stopped building it as Cu Chulainn falls off way to hard when building this as it’s cost doesn’t warrant it being sold. This item just gets countered way to hard by antiheal and offers no defense as well.
Hide of the Urchin
While I find it a great item on Cu Chulainn as it offers a lot of stats and a nice passive, it’s hard to fit it in mostly because of build order. If you do pick it up you have to build it really late to the point where you have to ask yourself is it even worth to pick it up. Especially with Mystical being so strong currently.
Picking the right relic for the right situation is something you should definitely focus on. Don't just get shell and thorns everygame. Instead you should be adapting to what gods the enemy team has. Here's a list of actives you should consider.
Whenever you don’t know what to go, I’d recommend going shell because it’s always gonna be useful. This shield is really good for yourself, but most importantly your team. One of the inconvenient ways of preventing damage is making sure the enemy team can’t get fed of your teammates. Upgrading Shell gives you block stacks which is great for dealing with Hunters, however most importantly it allows you to counter characters that utilize polynomicon and hydra’s lament as it fully blocks the bonus damage too. I upgrade shell early whenever there’s an enemy that utilizes these items whenever they are a threat to me or my team.
Against teams that have strong or big ultimates that shell won’t save them I tend to go Heavenly Wings instead. Against a comp where they have a lot of slows I pick up a sprint as well as it does cleanse them.
Horrific is really great when dealing against gods that have no escape or after using their escape. Reducing attack speed and movement speed is great for sticking onto squishies in order to get your damage off. It’s upgrade is amazing too as not only are they unable to escape, fighting you becomes even harder as it also reduces damage output. Be careful with picking this up as a sprint can easily counter Horrific.
If you’re having trouble engaging/diving or simply want to catch your opponents off guard you should take a look at blink. While I wouldn’t recommend blink simply because there are other options available, I think it does have its niche and is able to find some play.
Shield of Thorns
Thorns is great when ahead at it makes fighting you even harder, especially when it’s upgraded. When using thorns however people are more likely to ignore you which is in some situations bad to do. Another possibility is that they try to shred you through it, which makes it easier for you to kill them in return. Overal I do think thorns is a good active, however I tend to find it inconsistent as you need to know when to use thorns and when you shouldn’t.
Now this is gonna sound weird but I think aegis does have a use on Cu Chulainn, however the situations it’s used in are slim. When playing against high burst mages like Scylla or Kukulkan I find Aegis to be great against them. However you need to wage the odds. The only situation Aegis is good against these type of characters is whenever you prevent damage from Scylla’s Burst or Kukulkan ult. If you take damage and you Aegis after you’ve wasted both your own time unable to act in Aegis and you’ve taken enough damage to the point where continuing the dive is risky and not recommended. If you have issues timing Aegis properly then you should not use it.
Bracer of Undoing
Bracer of Undoing can be great against certain burst comps, however that’s not really what I’m interesting in when picking this up. Upgraded Bracer reduces your cooldowns by 3 seconds. This can be used to reset the cooldowns for Ground Slam and Furious Charge so you get an extra use in a single use of berserk. It’s just a gimmick though so don’t count on it being effective always.
Out of all the things that you should learn with Cu Chulainn it’s managing rage. Without rage Cu Chulainn is a lackluster god because it basically doubles your ability and gives you a major stat boost. Let’s go over generating rage.
Barbed Spear and Salmon Leap both cost 9 rage to use and can generate up to 18 rage, netting you an increase of 9 rage. That means that if you start with 25 rage, you require to get max rage from 3 rotations of abilities and a few basic attacks. This is why cdr is such an important stat on Cu Chulainn. Luckily for you, you also have an ultimate for rage. Spear of Mortal Pain generates up to 36 rage which means you can enter berserk form a full rotation along with basic attacks. If you manage to go into berserk without using Spear of Mortal Pain you can and DEFINITELY should use to re enter berserk form after leaving it. This is catches many people off guard and increases your burst potential by a large margin. However this requires you to land all your abilities and generate maximum amount of rage with it. High Risk but very rewarding if done properly.
Instead this is what you should be doing. If you are able to throw an ability on a minion and a god you’ll be gaining enough rage. If there’s no god nearby, another option should be to throw it on at least 3 minions. This gives you 6 rage and will suffice. The thing about rage is that you never want to spend more rage than you return. This is why I don’t put points into vent anger because I feel like I rather want that little bit of increases damage in other abilities over putting myself under the berserk threshold with berserk. I’m capable of controlling when I go into berserk and over time you should be able to do so too.
In berserk form you have limited time to perform actions and thus your primary focus should be to get out your abilities as often as possible and make use out of them as much as you can. This is why building CDR is not only great to get out more abilities, but you also have more freedom with when you want to use it. In a proper build with around 30% cdr you’re able to get off Ground Slam three times, Furious Charge twice and your War Cry once. Getting crowd controlled doesn’t only mean that sticking to a target is harder but if you get CC’d at unfortunate times your timings have to be more strict. Keep this in mind for your dive as it seperates a good Cu Chulainn player from a great one. With Bracer of Undoing you could get more uses and have more time but it’s mostly a gimmick as I’ve said. Overall try to generate as much rage as often as you can without putting yourself at risk. Whenever you’re near the threshold, be ready to go all in and dive with your team.
Well this surely took me a while to write. I had a lot of fun writing this and I hope this has been useful to people interesting in learning how to play Cu Chulainn. Thanks for reading! This is my first guide on Smitefire and I had absolute no idea how to use BBCODE properly so I hope it's bearable.
My favourite skin for Cu Chulainn. The thing that I like the most about this is the purple spikes from Ground Slam
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