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Magic Man: Merlin Guide (S8)

2 0 19,966
by Stuke99 updated December 26, 2021

Smite God: Merlin

Build Guide Discussion 5 More Guides
Tap Mouse over an item or ability icon for detailed info

Build Summary

Starting Items

Build Item Sands of Time Sands of Time
Build Item Spellbook Spellbook
Build Item Healing Potion Healing Potion
2
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion
2
Build Item Purification Beads Purification Beads

Full Build

Build Item Pendulum of Ages Pendulum of Ages
Build Item Book of Thoth Book of Thoth
Build Item Book of the Dead Book of the Dead
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation
Build Item Soul Reaver Soul Reaver
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Purification Beads Purification Beads
Build Item Aegis Amulet Aegis Amulet

Merlin's Skill Order

Eclipse / Radiate / Frostbolt

1 X Y
Eclipse / Radiate / Frostbolt
2 6 7 10 11

Vortex / Dragonfire / Blizzard

2 A B
Vortex / Dragonfire / Blizzard
1 4 8 12 14

Flicker

3 B A
Flicker
3 15 16 18 19

Elemental Mastery

4 Y X
Elemental Mastery
5 9 13 17 20
Eclipse / Radiate / Frostbolt
2 6 7 10 11

Eclipse / Radiate / Frostbolt

1 X
Arcane: Merlin conjures an orb of condensed celestial energy that grows in size as it travels, dealing damage every 0.4s and marking Enemies hit.

Enemies marked take additional damage if they stay within the outer range of Eclipse.

Fire: Merlin channels a beam of intense fire for 2s that deals damage every 0.25s. Each time Radiate hits an Enemy, it also applies a Burn, dealing additional damage over time.

Ice: Merlin hurls a Frostbolt that explodes if it hits an Enemy, dealing an additional 15% damage if they are slowed.

Ability Type: Line
Initial Arcane Damage: 40 / 60 / 80 / 100 / 120 (+55% of your Magical Power)
Arcane Damage Per Tick: 5 / 15 / 25 / 35 / 45 (+8% of your Magical Power)
Arcane Duration: 3s
Arcane Cooldown: 14s

Fire Damage Per Tick: 6 / 12 / 18 / 24 / 30 (+18% of your Magical Power)
Fire Burn Damage: 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 (+5% of your Magical Power)
Fire Duration: 2s
Fire Cooldown: 16 / 15 / 14 / 13 / 12s

Ice Damage: 60 / 95 / 130 / 165 / 200 (+55% of your Magical Power)
Ice Cooldown: 6s

Range: 60 / 45 / 70
Cost: 60
Vortex / Dragonfire / Blizzard
1 4 8 12 14

Vortex / Dragonfire / Blizzard

2 A
Vortex (Arcane): Merlin deploys a field of arcane energy at a location. After a delay, a Vortex deals damage and pulls Enemies towards the center.

Dragonfire (Fire): Merlin summons forth two ethereal dragons that spout flames towards each other, dealing damage to Enemies every 0.25s. If caught in the center of the area, enemy god's protections are reduced. The dragons last for 3s.

Blizzard (Ice): Merlin creates a Blizzard at a target location. After a brief delay, shards of ice start hurling down every 0.7s. Enemies hit take damage and progressively get more Slowed while they stay within the area.

Enemies hit take damage and progressively get more slowed while they stay within the area.

Ability Type: AoE
Arcane Damage: 50 / 80 / 110 / 140 / 170 (+60% of your Magical Power)
Fire Damage Per Tick: 8 / 11 / 14 / 17 / 20 (+20% of your Magical Power)
Fire Protection Reduction: 4%
Fire Max Stacks: 4
Fire Debuff Duration: 4s
Ice Damage Per Tick: 10 / 25 / 40 / 55 / 70 (+15% of your Magical Power)
Ice Slow Per Stack: 8%
Ice Max Stacks: 5
Ice Slow Duration: 2s
Range: 60 / 50 / 65
Radius: 20 / 30 / 20
Cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80
Cooldown (Vortex / Blizzard): 16 / 15 / 14 / 13 / 12s
Cooldown (Dragonfire): 18 / 17 / 16 / 15 / 14s
Flicker
3 15 16 18 19

Flicker

3 B
Merlin quickly teleports a short distance in front of him.

Ability Type: Teleport
Range: 30
Cost: 70
Cooldown: 24 / 23 / 22 / 21 / 20s
Elemental Mastery
5 9 13 17 20

Elemental Mastery

4 Y
Merlin taps into his inner potential, exploding with energy in the stance he is currently attuned to. During this time Merlin can choose which stance to enter into next.

After the explosion reaches its apex, it collapses in on itself. Enemies are dealt damage from the both the explosion and the implosion and suffer different effects depending on which stance's energy they are being hit by.

Ability Type: Buff and AoE
Damage: 100 / 140 / 180 / 220 / 260 (+15% of your Magical Power)
Arcane: Knockup
Fire Damage Per Tick: 5 / 10 / 15 / 20 / 25 (+5% of your Magical Power)
Ice Slow: 20%
Slow Duration: 1.5s
Radius: 25
Cost: 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80
Cooldown: 30 / 27.5 / 25 / 22.5 / 20s

Extended Build

Core

Build Item Book of Thoth Book of Thoth
Build Item Book of the Dead Book of the Dead
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation

Additional

Build Item Obsidian Shard Obsidian Shard
Build Item Gem of Isolation Gem of Isolation
Build Item Soul Reaver Soul Reaver
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti

Situational

Build Item Divine Ruin Divine Ruin
Build Item Ethereal Staff Ethereal Staff
Build Item Pythagorem's Piece Pythagorem's Piece
Build Item Soul Gem Soul Gem

Relics

Build Item Purification Beads Purification Beads
Build Item Aegis Amulet Aegis Amulet
Build Item Blink Rune Blink Rune
Build Item Teleport Fragment Teleport Fragment

Introduction

Good day, Stuke here for another guide. In this one, we're taking a look at one of the most iconic wizards of all time that honestly needs no introduction but we have to anyways. Lads and Loves, the Magic Man with the magic hands, Merlin.
Note: you don't have to follow this guide to the smallest detail, these are suggestions on how to play Merlin. I encourage you to look at the comment section below and see other suggestions.

Who is Merlin?

Merlin is a Magical, Ranged, Mage that has a large array of abilities with endless possibilities for combos with different effects. Needing a bit of time to master, a skilled Merlin player can flip through his spell list and find the right one for the situation. Whether it be for his offensive power or his utility of zone and crowd control, Merlin can be a devastating force to the creative and knowledgable.

Pros / Cons

Pros
  • High Area Damage
  • High Zone Control
  • Versatile Abilities
Cons
  • Mana Hungry
  • Stance Swap Cooldown
  • Low Health

Not only does Merlin have a very high damage output, thanks to having a total of 6 damaging abilities, but also having a high zone and moderate crowd control. Being able to cut off of affecting large areas for himself as well as his team, Merlin is a destructive force that needs to be subconsciously aware of at all times, especially depending on which stance he's currently in.
While he has a lot of power, it can only last for so long. Merlin's mana pool is low and dries up quickly, especially if you're spamming abilities like a mad lad, couple that with a decently long cooldown on his stance swap ability and horrific defense. If you can catch out a Merlin while either he's out of mana or any of his abilities are on cooldown then that's a free kill right there.

Abilities


Overload
For every ability Merlin uses he gains additional damage on his next basic attack, sort of like a built-in Polynomicon. This steroid only lasts for a very short amount of time so try to use it to quickly clear lane, camp, or get that last hit in and put your enemy on the run.

Eclipse
Merlin throws out an orb of arcane energy, the farther the target the larger the orb becomes. If an enemy touches the orb, projectiles start flying from the center and won't stop until the enemy leaves the radius of the orb.

Radiate
Merlin shoots a line of fire in front of him that applies to damage to any enemy caught in the flames are also applied damage over time for a short duration.

Frostbolt
Merlin fires a projectile of ice that flies forward. Once it makes contact with an enemy it explodes dealing damage to any enemy in a short radius around it. This ability also deals additional damage if the enemy is slowed.

Vortex
After a short wind-up, all enemies caught in the radius are knocked-up and sucked into the center of the area of effect.

Dragonfire
Summoning two dragon heads in a small area, these dragons breathe a cone of fire at a single point dealing damage over time. Any enemy caught in the center of the two cones has their protections reduced that lasts for a short duration.

Blizzard
In an area of Merlin's choosing, he summons a hail storm that lasts a short duration, and enemies are dealt damaged the longer they stay in the radius. Enemies hit by the falling ice are slowed and the slow is reapplied every time they get hit again.

Flicker
Old school players would remember a special little active called Combat Blink. This ability is just like that but built into his kit. Escape or sneak in one more hit, it's up to you.

Elemental Mastery
A stance swap but with a bit of a twist. Like most stance swaps he can cycle through his three stances: Arcane, Fire, and Frost but there's still more to this than just that. When you put one point into this Ultimate, Merlin unleashes a small ripple that deals initial damage around him that extends and retracts every time Merlin swaps stances as well as provides an additional effect depending on the current and next stance.
Arcane knocks-up all enemies,
Fire deals damage over time for a short duration,
and Ice slows all enemies.

That's not all, you can choose which stance you want to swap to using the ability keys to pick (Arcane is 1, Fire is 2, and Ice is 3) which one you want without having to cycle through the stances.

Combos

Just like with King Arthur, I have to separate the Combos into their tab from the Tips and Tricks as there are so many combos Merlin has at his disposal and I want to go through all of them. We'll start with individual stance combos for beginners then we'll take a look at some advanced combos that utilize two stances once you get more used to Merlin.


Basic Combos

Arcane


🠞

Fire


🠞

Ice


🠞
Or
🠞 🠞 🠞
(If you have Gem of Isolation in your build)

Advance Combos

Ice 🠞Fire

Combo 1
🠞 🠞 🠞 🠞
Or
🠞 🠞 🠞 🠞
(If you have Gem of Isolation in your build)
Combo 2
🠞 🠞 🠞 🠞 🠞 🠞 🠞
(Full Cooldown and Gem of Isolation)

Ice 🠞Arcane


🠞 🠞 🠞 🠞

Tips and Tricks

WIP

Stages of the Game

Early Game

Merlin needs his abilities and combos to do what he does best. Wait until you get a point into your whole kit to start pushing back against your lane opponent.

Middle Game

Once you start getting points into all your abilities. Now is the time to start doing some bullying. Make use of Ice and Fire stances to deal with large amounts of damage while also providing zoning to keep the enemy back or away from jungle camps, buff camps, or objectives.

Late Game

Now that you're at full power, use all your spells at your disposal to dish out consistent and annoying damage and control. It especially helps if you have full CDR in your build to keep the combos coming.

Summary

In conclusion, Merlin is a difficult wizard with a high skill ceiling who makes full use of his mastery of magic to become a serious threat to the enemy team through his multiple combos and additional effects to help zone out and control his enemies. Remember what each stance provides and what order to use your spells, try to control where your opponent can and can not go through zoning, and keep some proper management of your mana so you don't run out. Keep these in mind and you'll be on your way to becoming a Master Wizard.

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3
Draisaitl (7) | May 8, 2020 10:48am
Hey, Stuke. I hadn’t even realized you made a Merlin guide so when I saw it, I thought I’d come check it out. I think most of the points you make in the guide are valid but there are some I disagree on. Kriega covered most of them so I’ll try not to repeat but there are a few I’d still like to mention myself. Note, though, that my comments are based on if you take him into Conquest as it might be different and work better in other game modes.


Your suggested build looks decent but I’d build Charon’s Coin no later than 3rd-4th item since getting it stacked is important.

I don’t really see situations where Void Stone would make sense on Merlin. In team fights you don’t want to get close, you want to use your abilities from the back line at a safe distance. The only time you should be close is if they’re diving you and even then, it doesn’t make great use. Same can be said for Jade Emperor's Crown. I’d much prefer to see Breastplate of Valor and Mantle of Discord in those slots.

Also as Kriega said, it’s definitely best to prioritize leveling the 1 over the 2.

Outside of builds, last night you corrected me and told me I should use Vortex before using Eclipse. Though you definitely get more damage off if you use them the other way around. The only upside I can see to doing it that way would be if you’re really struggling to get that pull off.

Other than those points, I think your guide looks good. Hope to hear back about my feedback!
1
boogiebass (46) | May 8, 2020 4:01pm
Doesn't stuke have Charon built 4th? So is it acceptable? Or u prefer he switch Charon and spear?
1
Kriega1 (143) | May 8, 2020 4:23pm
Charon's (or Shard) should be built after Reaver generally.
1
Gulfwulf (81) | May 8, 2020 11:52am
I agree. I can see using void and jade on mages like Hades because he has to get close to confirm his damage and Zhong Kui because he has built in protections from his Demon Bag and also likes to be near enemies when ulting, but Merlin is a poke mage and won't get all that much benefit out of those items. Mantle is a great dual-protection item that also provides decent CDR and has a useful passive for escaping trouble.
2
Kriega1 (143) | May 2, 2020 1:16pm
Really do not recommend Magus on Merlin, definitely not a core item on him either. The item is terrible on Ice and Arcane, ok on Fire in fights, and good against Objectives, overall making it siutational/meh.

Breastplate > Jade Emperor's also on him.

Meta mage build atm is mage's blessing + tier 1 spear + pots, CDR boots > Deso + Divine (Either order) > Reaver > Shard/Charon's > last 2 items pick from Tahuti, Myrddin, Estaff, Soul Gem.

But for a Chronos' Pendant Merlin build I would go: CDR Boots > Chronos' > Divine > Reaver > Charon's/Shard > Tahuti > Myrddin/Soul Gem.

If you want Deso then swap CDR boots for Magi Shoes in the Chronos' build.

Gem of Iso isn't that good on Merlin either, very situational pickup, and not as strong at all as it used to be on him on release, not just because of changes to ice stance but also cause of the nerf that Gem of Iso got.

And for ability levelling you generally max the 1 first, not the 2.
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