For me Kali is one of the best godesses in Smite. I love to play the Assassin Role and my favorite game mode is Arena. So with an assassin you quickly get the whole enemy team on you when you attack one of them. That means that you have to keep in mind: I need a way out of battle (i. e. by using one of my abilities) or you also have to use some defensive items to let you survive your attack. Especially on Assassins which are supposed to jump in, make a kill and get out, this is essential.
So this is what brings me to my choice of items. Although in my opinion Kali is an ability based Assassin you also have to lay an eye on her attack speed. This is why I normally start with Ninja Tabi followed by Mystical Mail to get some movement speed, attack speed, physical protection and a damaging aura. Normally I continue with building Brawler's Beat Stick to get some physical penetration and, most important, the item's passive which gives my Lash more DOT potential. This is followed by Qin's Sais for some more attack speed and extra damage on basic attacks against enemy gods.
As these are my core items it is now the time to get situational. If I'm going to max out my damage potential I'm going to chose The Crusher and/or The Executioner. To max out protection (especially against Mages) my items of choice are Ancile and/or Pestilence to get some extra physical strength, magical protection and the reduction of the enemy's healing pushes Lash. If I want some more lifesteal I chose Soul Eater (which also gives cooldown reduction) and/or Bloodforge (for some more physical power). Of course if necessary the order of purchase can be changed.
As mentioned before Kali is a "Hit and Run" godess. That means going or jumping in, killing the enemy and get out before the rest of the team tries to protect or revenge their teammate. As Kali is quite squishy at the beginning you should try to get some XP and gold by killing minions and/or gods separated from their team and preferably at low health. Best is to jump in with Nimble Strike, stun the enemy with Incense, put some bleeding on with Lash and then finish off with some basic attacks or Destruction. Once more protection is build you can get some more risky and attack even enemies which are next to some of their teammates.
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