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Hi everyone, this is my first original build I come up with, and my first post as well. Please note that I am a casual player, and this build is basically designed for casual play; I have no idea of its value in Ranked.
While I used the word "tank" to name the build, you won't be playing as one. However, you won't be taken down as easily as the usual mage, because you'll have much more health and mana than an usual Kukulkan build, which allows for a whole new play style and battle tactics. If you can take a few hits, you can be more present in team fights instead of staying in the back line.
Please note that building two stack items makes this build suited for Conquest primarily. It might be viable in Clash, Joust and Siege, but never in Arena. I won't give directions about how to play Conquest however, if you need them you can find guides that will do way better than I would.
I haven't tested this build much yet, so if you try it and want to let me know how it went, your comments will be welcome! So far every time I had a full Conquest match with this build (without a team surrendering before getting a titan down), I finished with a highly positive score like 10-1 and 12-6.
This build focuses on having a more durable mage than usual, and it only works so well on Kukulkan because of his passive, which converts 5% of your mana into magical power. For this reason, Book of Thoth is a must-have on Kukulkan, because it converts another 3% of mana into power, for a total of 8% conversion.
It doesn't take a detective to notice that many power items for mage who give mana also give health, so giving Kukulkan more of these also translate in a noticeable increase in power.
Now let's take a look at each item.
Book of Thoth
That item is incredible for any mage because of the huge power and mana pool it gives, but it becomes insane on Kukulkan. Every tier of this item gives good stats, when you get the book it's a huge power boost plus useful mana regen, and at max stacks its benefits are just nuts. 875 mana equals 70 additionnal magical power, for a total of 170 just for that one item. That is the reason why it should be built first.
Many mages go for the sash for better survivability, and Kukulkan + Book of Thoth make 32 power of that extra mana, which means the item at max stacks grants 142 magical power. I try to buy this right after Book of Thoth, because it takes 100 stacks to complete, but at that point in the game not having boots is a huge hindrance.
Shoes of Focus
Now you definitely need movement speed to keep up with everyone else. 250 mana gives another 20 magical power to Kukulkan, for a total of 50 power on these boots, and a bit of cooldown reduction.
I have been underestimating this item for way too long. Mages who rely mostly on basic attacks, like Chronos and Sol, are the most suited for this item, but its passive can be useful for a lot of mages. It converts 75% of your magical power into magical damage, which is added to the next basic attack you fire after using a skill. If you look at Kukulkan's first skill, Zephyr, that equals its damage scaling. Furthermore, if you've played Kukulkan, you should have noticed that if you hold the attack button after shooting your Zephyr, a basic attack quickly follows up, which should also hit the target (if you didn't miss the first shot) since it will be slowed. In other words, your Zephyr hits almost twice as hard. But that's not all! The passive on Polynomicon has a cooldown of only 3 seconds, which means you can use Slipstream to quickly engage and give a big poke on someone, or lay down a Whirlwind and secure a kill with your enhanced basic attack. With Polynomicon, you kind of have an extra attack skill with only 3 seconds cooldown! Since I build this item on Kukulkan, I have noticed that the enemy doesn't expect you to damage them so much aside from your Whirlwind and your ultimate, and this element of surprise becomes a huge advantage for you.
Gem of Isolation
Kukulkan makes great use of this item. With this, his Zephyr, which slows enemies, will now slow them to a standstill, and your Whirlwind will have them slowed for a long time since it deals damage over time. Then again, the extra mana is converted into more magical power.
Now you've probably never seen this item on a mage before. Maybe Hades or Zhong Kui, otherwise only guardians would buy this (and still). Why would you buy it then? Because that's what will make you really beefy. It gives you loads of health and mana, which are now both converted into magical power.
Useful for chasing dying enemies, alone or as a team, to join a team fight quickly, or to get away from enemies chasing you.
Mandatory against gods with lethal Crowd Control ultimate skills like Ares and Fenrir. Since Ne Zha's and Ao Kuang's ultimates are hard to time your Purification, I prefer to have Sprint to just run away from them.
I always pick this when going against Thanatos or Nu Wa, because of their finisher ultimates if you are on low health. Useful when you need just a few more seconds to reach safety or get help from your team, or to prevent huge bursts of damage (like Scylla's ultimate).
Look at these numbers.
At level 20, with max stacks, your stats will be :
773 magic power
Let's compare those to a more usual Kukulkan build with Shoes of Focus, Book of Thoth, Spear of the Magus, Chronos' Pendant, Rod of Tahuti and Spear of Desolation :
842 magic power
35 flat penetration (65 if a target has max stacks from Spear of the Magus)
While your power is a bit inferior than a traditionnal build, you have way more health and mana, which in Conquest allows you to stay longer in the map without running out of mana, and take more hits in team fights without having to retreat. You will be less afraid of getting ganked when laning or wandering in the jungle, you may be able to 1v2 against otherwise dangerous opponents, you can survive lethal crowd control + ultimate combos, and so on.
I would never say this build is the best out there. It is just a different build I wanted to try, and I find it quite fun to play and more suited to my style.
Let's have a good ol' fashioned pros vs cons wrap-up.
Longer board presence.
Can spam skills a lot.
Extra source of damage dealing from Polynomicon's passive.
Mistakes are less fatal.
Confuses the enemy (they are used to mages dying quickly).
No penetration. Big weakness, especially if they build a lot of protection. If they do, you might want to swap Ethereal Staff for Spear of the Magus, or Spear of Desolation if you have the gold.
Lesser one-hit kill potential for your ultimate.
Little cooldown reduction.
You won't survive much long if they catch you 1v3 or more.
Takes time to build those stacks.
Qin's Sai still takes 4% of your health each hit, be wary of your opponents' builds.
Basically, this build makes Kukulkan kill a bit less quickly but he lasts longer on the battlefield.
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