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This guide has been updated for Season 2! Note that not a lot has changed as I feel that Agni didn't change much with the item changes for Season 2. Notes have been added anywhere a 'major' change was made.
Hello everyone, my name is Crackofdawn and this is my first Smite guide. Agni is one of my favorite gods to play, and he has (in my opinion) the best premium skin in the game (Swagni). He's a very strong mid lane god (and works in Solo lane too) - very balanced and safe without really any glaring weaknesses, and is easy to pick up but has a lot of intricacies that take some time to master. He's also a great god to use in any other game mode. In this guide I'll be giving you build information, reasonings for specific item picks, team fight tips, and match up ratings and tips.
Vampiric Shroud - I can't think of any reason not to start with this item on Agni. It provides some sustain, damage and HP. It's a great starting item in general for most mages.
Tiny Trinket - When I was newer at playing Agni I typically started with this item as it gives a bit more sustain and a tiny bit of power. It also gives you just enough extra gold for a second mana potion. I still start with this item sometimes. Season 2: I still prefer this item as a start over lost artifact. The bit of lifesteal early game REALLY makes a difference and you can afford a second mana potion to nullify losing the mp5 from the artifact.
Lost Artifact - This is a great alternative to Tiny Trinket. You can afford one less mana potion, but you won't need it since you get the extra mp5 from the artifact. It also leads faster into Chronos Pendant (after Shoes of the Magi). Deciding whether to take this or Tiny Trinket as your first item basically boils down to whether you think you'll need the extra sustain, and whether you think you'll build Bancroft's Talon or Chronos Pendant first. If the enemy god you're going up against has a ton of poke it might be better to take the Trinket first.
Soul Reliquary Soul Reliquary - This item should be taken as a first item if you are planning on building straight into Book of Thoth (even before Boots). Agni can do this because his dash makes him fairly safe. The downside is you can't afford a healing or mana potion so you should only start with this item if you think you won't be taking much if any poke against the enemy god. I only start with this item against gods with bad early clear (Scylla for example).
Shoes of the Magi - Always take this as your first or second fully built item (only second if you go straight to Book of Thoth or Warlock's Sash first). The speed is great, the power is great, the penetration is great, you will always want this item early. There is really no reason to go CDR boots instead of this item, the penetration is just too good.
Shoes of Focus - This item was rarely picked on Agni in season 1, but with Season 2 and Shoes of the Magi losing penetration it becomes viable for the extra cool down reduction. I still go for Magi more often than not because the extra magic power (~50+ with book of thoth) seems to help more than the CDR but I feel that it still needs testing on my end before I really make up my mind.
Book of Thoth - This item is possibly one of the most underrated items in the game. At first glance it looks pretty 'meh' but go use the custom character builder and check your magic power difference with and without this item with a full build (and that doesn't even account for stacks). The amount of magic power this item gives you is insane. It also accounts for all mana you get from all other sources (your base mana, any mana from any other items like Shoes or Sash, etc). I try to get this into every build but sometimes you just can't fit it. Get it if you can.
Warlock's Sash Warlock's Sash - I only get this item in two situations. First, if I am taking a lot of damage from my enemy laner via poke, or a lot of incoming jungle gank attempts, then I will rush into this item ASAP to get the extra HP. I will also sometimes take it instead of Bancroft's Talon as a third item (with Book of Thoth) and double stack, if I'm pretty far ahead. If you can double stack this with Book of Thoth you get an absurd amount of magic power as well as the extra HP.
Doom Orb - I've changed my mind about this item. If you chose to go with the 'alternate' start (with Lost Artifact), usually because your enemy laner isn't likely to be able to kill you (Scylla, Janus, Nu Wa, etc), going straight into Doom Orb first item can be devastating and allow you to bully your enemy throughout the whole game. The power spike of getting this item at first back after you get a few stacks on it is incredible and will really throw your enemy laner off guard. Only get this item if you're confident you can stay alive - if you feel like you might get caught by your enemy laner or enemy jungler (or support if they have an Ares or something) it's probably better not getting this item.
Bancroft's Talon - This is a great all around item. Provides decent lifesteal and a lot of magic power (don't forget the passive effect). It's a pretty core item but every now and then I will skip it. The lifesteal is actually the weakest part of the item and you won't get much use out of it, since mage's in general (except Freya and Anubis) don't get much out of lifesteal. There's no real reason to go Polynomicon on Agni. The damage boost is mediocre compared to the magic power from Bancroft's.
Chronos Pendant - A core item - the CDR on Agni is critical. Having your Rain Fire come back in 15 seconds each instead of 20 is crucial, and having your Path of Flame up more often will save you a lot. The only item you should ever replace this with is Breastplate of Valor (which can also synergize with Book of Thoth). I only go Breastplate if the enemy team has 3 physical damage dealers and I'm getting a lot of gank attempts from the enemy jungler.
Spear of the Magus - Choosing between this item and Obsidian Shard should be done each game based on the situation you're in. With Agni a case can be made for either item. Since Agni has multiple DoTs, this item will stack quickly, but depending on how you 'open', you might not get full benefit from this item. For example if you only have the ability to drop 1 Rain Fire on someone before they get away, your main damage will be done before spear stacks and the only damage you'll be doing after the stacking is your passive ticks. I still get this most of the time on Agni however as it does have flat pen built into it. IMO this item is best against squishy teams. Season 2: A lot has changed with pen being removed from Shoes of the Magi. You really have to evaluate which of these two penetration items you want. I think overall the base pen on Spear is more important, but you can really go either way - against a non-tanky team Spear is the way to go.
Obsidian Shard - I buy this item against tankier teams (Guardian + bruiser warrior for example) or any time I feel like I need all my damage to offload up front (e.g. if I know most of my damage will be massive Rain Fire bombs on a single target). It also helps a lot more than Spear of the Magus in objective pushing so it can be better in Joust or Siege. I go Spear of the Magus more often, but I will pick this up sometimes instead. Season 2: Spear of the Magus is the way to go now as you'll have less base penetration, you should pretty much never get this item.
Rod of Tahuti - A core item in every mage build. This item gives a huge amount of magical power but is best taken as 5th or 6th item (no earlier than 3rd item if you're way ahead). The more items you have the more effective this item is. You should never have a full build that doesn't include this item.
Soul Reaver - A situational pick. If I'm ahead, and I don't need any defense whatsoever, I will likely get this item last. The extra burst it gives you is enough to drop squishy targets almost instantly. There's not much to be said about this item, only get it if you're way ahead already.
Magi's Blessing Magi's Blessing - I usually don't get this item. It's a strong pick on most characters but you should almost always have beads on Agni and your dash is so good, if you're fast enough you can dash away from CC before it even hits you. If you find yourself getting caught in CC a lot, then you should get this item. Or if the enemy team just has a ridiculous amount of CC across all characters then this can be a strong pick. I would probably get it 4th item and skip Book of Thoth or Bancroft's Talon for it. Season 2: This item is a little less valuable now due to the changes for season 2. I almost never pick this item up anymore as beads+aegis is more than enough. Many times I will go Winged Blade if I need a defensive item but more often than not I just get Warlock's Sash.
Winged Blade - This item is a good niche pick up for Agni. The only time you should get this item is if the enemy team has a lot of slows and you are getting CC'd a lot. This item works great in those circumstances and with the HP it's not a bad item altogether. Should only be picked up in extreme cases though.
Hide of the Urchin - I rarely get this item. It's a strong item but to be honest Agni is pretty safe and I don't usually find value in getting any protection items on him. It is normally better to do more damage and get away rather than hope to survive with a bit of extra protections. If you do get this item you'll usually want it as your last item. If the enemy team has multiple gods that have Qin's Sais, then it may be better to pick this up instead of Warlock's Sash, if you were planning on going Sash at the start, as Sash is much less effective against Qin's. Season 2: I would not get this item any more, for any reason on Agni. There are too many better options and this item just removes too much damage with too little benefit.
Greater Purification - I don't remember the last time I played Agni without Beads - maybe never. A lot of times this is the only active you even need on Agni (but you should always pick up a second one if time/money allows). With beads + dash you can get away from almost anything. This is really considered a core item and a lot of times I buy it on my first back from lane (or at the start of the game in joust/siege), depending on who is on the enemy team.
Greater Aegis - I usually pick this up as my second active, but wait to get it until the rest of my build is complete. This of course depends on the enemy team - a lot of times having this item is meaningless. It will save you a lot against Poseidon, Loki, Thanatos and Nu Wa. If the enemy team doesn't have any of those gods I usually won't get Aegis. If the enemy team has any of those 4 gods and an Ares then I will sometimes get Aegis instead of beads, as Aegis will protect you from Ares pull as well as the ults from the above gods. Season 2: Now that this item doesn't work when hard CC'd, it's much less useful. Go for Aegis Pendant instead.
Aegis Pendant - Known as the "walking" Aegis. This item used to only be good against specific team comps, but now that Greater Aegis no longer works while CC'd, this is the stronger pick up the majority of the time. It allows you to get closer to safety before it wears off, after which you can dash the final distance to safety.
Greater Sprint - I almost never get this. Agni's dash is really good, the sprint doesn't usually add much. Sometimes if you need to be extra mobile it is helpful though, use your best judgement.
I'm more likely to pick this up instead of sprint, as having the blink and the dash makes you able to get away from almost anything.
This passive is a lot stronger than it first looks. I can't even count the number of times that my passive has killed someone. Usually at least 1-2 kills in every single match. Basically you have to hit 4 basic attacks (against anything, a god, a tower, a minion or whatever) and your passive meter will light up red in the center. Once this is lit, your next flame wave or rain fire will add a DoT component. Early game this dot is really weak but late game it can do a ton of damage. I can't tell you how many times I ult bombed someone or hit them with a flame wave and they jumped away with 10% health only to die a few seconds later. Always be auto attacking with Agni, you want your passive 'lit up' at all times so that your next 2 or 4 will apply this DoT.
This ability doesn't do much at all on its own, but add it into any of Agni's other abilities and you become a stun king. The damage is trivial but there are so many ways to use this ability that the difference between a good Agni and a bad Agni usually boils down to how they use this ability. For example, you can use this ability as a zoning tool. Place it in a jungle path and any enemy will avoid going through it even though it hardly does anything. If they step into it, they don't know if a bomb will land on them and stun them, so they will avoid it. You can drop it on yourself and dash away to stun anyone attacking you up close, or you can drop it on someone in front of you and hit them with a flame wave to damage them and stun them. But, my favorite way to use this is with your ult. You almost never want to use this ability first, but if you hit your ult and then immediately place this where you just hit your ult, you will land this before your ult lands, thereby stunning anyone in it with almost zero warning. A good Agni can hit ult, 1, ult ult and land all 3 ult bombs while the person is stunned the entire time. This ability is also a great team ability, using this with your ult can set up a lot of kills for your team.
This is Agni's core damage ability. You shoot a fairly wide flame ahead of you that does a good amount of damage, and can apply your passive's DoT. There are two very important things to know about this ability. The first is that it doesn't shoot immediately, when you hit it you can still move for a split second afterwards before it actually shoots, and during that time if you turn it will shoot wherever you are facing when it goes off. So, if you shoot it and immediately afterwards turn 90 degrees to the right it will shoot the direction you turned. This helps because you can aim it against someone while they're moving around you, makes it easy to hit. The second important thing to know is that it also hits anything right next to you. Sometimes you will need to stand next to the melee minions to hit the archers - this ability will actually hit the melee and the archers in that case.
Path of Flames
A great ability. Can be used in many many ways. I always level this ability first in conquest, for two reasons. The first is, if something happens (like an invade) it makes it easy to get away. The second is, the first minion wave can be almost entirely killed with this ability, whereas with Flame Wave you will need to use it plus a ton of auto attacks to kill everything. When I take the mid camps at the start of the game, I walk around the enemy team's side of the camp, and dash through the archers and the melee minions. This will kill the first wave usually much faster than your opponent. You do have to be careful doing this as someone like Poseidon can stop your dash midway through if he drops a whirlpool in your path. This ability does great damage against anything standing in the flames but also applies a DoT that keeps ticking when someone steps out of the flames. This means it can be used as a zoning tool (dashing across a path so someone has to walk through it to get where they want to go means they'll be taking damage). It will also ignite your Noxious Fumes. One important thing to note is that since the flames stay active for a bit, you don't have to drop your fumes first to stun someone. You can dash, then turn around and drop your fumes on the existing flames and they will immediately ignite and stun anyone in the circle.
This is it, the ability that has the potential to annoy so many people in the game. The poke is unreal. It can be used for poke, as an execute, as a minion wave killer, and as a long range stun (with your Noxious Fumes). It takes no mana, so if you run out of mana you can still use this ability to clear waves from the safety of your tower. Each bomb doesn't do a ton of damage but all 3 together with a stun has the potential to turn any team fight around in your team's favor. Generally when I'm laning, I use this ability to poke the enemy laner and force him to go back to base more often. As stated in the Noxious Fumes information, a great way to use this ability is to immediately follow it up with fumes while it's still in the air so that the second it lands the enemy is stunned. But, don't waste the stun unless you or your team has something to follow up with.
Agni makes an absolutely great addition to any team. He can set up his team for some easy kills with his stun, he can zone people from the enemy team out of a team fight, and he can drop a ton of damage in a huge area if someone else on the team has set up a kill zone (Ares , Hun Batz, or Hades for example) by dropping all 3 ults in a focused area of enemies. He can also use his stun to peel from his teammates. I've saved teammates so many times by stun bombing an enemy at long range that was about to kill a teammate. You need to play it safe with Agni, stay in the back at the start of the fight and only move in if you think you can secure a kill with your Flame Wave without dying afterwards.
Below is a list of some common match ups you'll face in mid lane as Agni, a rating of how hard the match up is, and some tips for the match up. The match ups are rated from hardest to easiest. The match ups have been updated for Season 2. As you can see Agni is in a pretty good place, only having a couple hard match-ups, and fortunately in Season 2 you will hardly ever see a Vulcan, or a Loki mid.
Vulcan is a very good god, and he is a hard match up against almost anyone. He is less difficult now that you can see where his meatball hits and now that it doesn't stun. You still have to play extremely safe when against a Vulcan as he can clear the wave while easily poking you. Stack your passive, get in, flame wave the minions and get out. Save your dash to avoid his meatball. Once you have your ult, you can clear from inside the tower if you need to. If you play very safe you shouldn't have much problem, but don't let him take advantage of you. You will not be able to engage him in the early game except by poking with your ult.
I don't see Loki in mid lane very often but you have to be very careful when he's there. You're squishy, he can gank you super fast if he gets the lane advantage. As soon as he gets his ult you will need to play extremely safe. Rushing Warlock's Sash may be a good idea if you lane against him, as it will reduce his ability to kill you immediately after ulting, giving you time to dash back into your tower and escape. Try not to get too far out of tower. Just clear the wave then get right back to the tower. If he vanishes, immediately dash back towards your tower and get under it. Season 2: Previously it was suggested to buy Greater Aegis to use right after Loki ults. This is no longer possible as Greater Aegis can't be used during a stun. So now you want beads. When he ults you, immediately beads and dash away and hope you can make it under a tower before he can catch you with Vanish.
Poseidon is tricky, especially at the start of the game. His whirlpool is a cripple so not only can it stop your dash midway through but if you get stuck in it you can't dash out. Watch out for his Kraken as soon as he hits level 5 - you'll probably want Purification Beads or Aegis as soon as you back the first time. You can beads+dash to get out of his 3/ult or you can just aegis the ult. If you can avoid the ult and stay out of his whirlpools you'll be in good shape. He will have better lane clear than you throughout the whole game, so be careful.
Season 2: Nox has been toned down a bit. The cooldown on her 3 has been increased and, more importantly, her ult has a wind up time now which means it is a lot easier to avoid with your dash. Avoid getting close enough to her for her to hit you with her silence or ult, otherwise you'll have problems. Take advantage of being able to clear the first wave faster than her with your 3 (before she'll have her silence most likely also) but once she hits level 2 be wary. If she hits you with her silence you can't dash, so she'll almost always hit you with her 3 as well which does a lot of damage.
He Bo (Medium)
He Bo can be easy or tough, in this case it really depends on how good your enemy laner is. His poke matches yours (but affects his lane clear more negatively if he uses his poke on you), and his extremely high damage first ability has a short range, meaning if you get close enough to clear the wave with your Flame Wave then you're close enough for him to hit you with it while he's hitting minions. Just be careful. Try to stay far enough away that you're out of range of his ult, or buy Aegis early so you can aegis if you hear the ult coming. As with some of the other less-mobile gods, as soon as you have your ult, poke him mercilessly to force him back to tower/base.
Isis is an interesting god. The thing about Isis is the difference between a good Isis and a bad Isis is enormous compared to most other gods. A good Isis is a really hard matchup for Agni, but a bad Isis is easy to take advantage of. Isis can stun you out of your dash, and her Wing Gust does a lot of damage. Early game if you get caught with her Spirit Ball stun and then a follow up Wing Gust, you're probably dead. Her early clear is also far superior to yours. Once you get Rain Fire though she becomes very easy to poke until she's forced back to base. Just survive (stay under tower if necessary) early game until you get your ult.
Nu Wa (Medium)
There's nothing special about Nu Wa that makes her difficult, she's just a really good god. Just avoid her abilities as best you can, and wait until she uses her shards (3) before walking up to clear the wave. If you walk up while her shards are up, she will almost certainly use her golems+shards to stun you and do a big damage burst. Once you have your ult you'll be able to poke her mercilessly and force her back to tower/base.
Anubis is another god whose difficulty can swing either direction. On one hand he is super easy to poke, since he has no movement abilities but on the other hand if you get too close to him (for example while clearing the wave) you can melted really fast. Play it safe and you'll have no problems at all. Buy beads very early to get out of his mummy wraps when he ults. Try to stay outside of the range of his 1. It will be difficult to clear the wave because you'll have to stand in his 1 to use your Flame Wave. Once you have your ult the pressure will be off a lot as you can either use it to clear the wave, or use it to poke him and force him back to base/tower.
Janus isn't that hard to deal with as Agni, as long as you play smart. Wait until immediately after he uses his Vortex (2) before attempting to clear the wave. If you go in too early you risk him portaling you and then using his vortex to hit you and the wave. If he portals you immediately after he uses Vortex he has no follow up. Once you have your ult, poke the **** out of him with it whenever you have the chance to force him back. The only way Janus becomes difficult is if he somehow gets an early lead. The biggest issue against a Janus is that he can easily out-rotate you so the rest of your team might have a headache on their hands. If he rotates out of lane try to follow him and definitely call missing the moment he steps out of lane.
Ra is not a tough match up for Agni. You probably won't kill him in lane or force him back to base, but he doesn't really have any way to kill you as long as you play smart. Your lane clear is as good as his after the first few levels (the beginning will be rough as he can heal his wave while killing yours but you can just wait until his heal ends before starting the wave clear). Survive until level 5 and you'll have no issues. His abilities are easy to dodge especially with your dash. If you hear his ult charging, immediately turn 90 degrees and dash and you will never be hit by it.
Scylla is not a difficult match against Agni. Her clear is much worse than Agni's early game, and it's pretty easy to avoid her abilities. Always buy beads fairly early and you will never have to worry about getting killed by her. She will try to use her 1 to cripple you to set up the ult. If you're fast, you can wait to beads out of her 1 until you know she is ulting (You'll hear "I'm a monster!") and then beads and dash to avoid it. Don't waste beads to get out of the cripple if she's dropping her Crush on you as it won't kill you early game and the only thing she can follow it up with is her ult. Abuse your superior lane clear early game to poke her.
Kukulkan was already an easy match up for Agni but now he is even easier since his Tornados were nerfed. You can easily avoid his tornados even if he drops them right on top of you (with your dash) and once his Tornado has been dropped he has nothing left except his ult which is also easy to dodge. Furthermore early game he has no movement speed (he will almost never have boots as he will rush Book of Thoth and his movement ability will be level 1 or not leveled at all) making it super easy to kill him if he gets out of position at all. Don't be afraid to be aggressive with him early game, especially as soon as you have your ult. A quick Rain Fire Noxious Fumes followed by a Flame Wave will likely kill him in less than 2 seconds if he was already a hurt.
To sum up, Agni is an awesome god. He's very fun to play, has good damage, good lane clear, is fairly safe and provides stuns to help your team or kill your enemy. Any team should be glad to have a well played Agni in their midst. Practice dropping your Rain Fire immediately followed by Noxious Fumes, and using your Path of Flames and Noxious Fumes to zone enemies where you want them, and you will be mopping people up in no time. Also, buy Swagni, because he is the coolest Mo' Fugga in the game.
If I'm missing any sections or there is anything you guys would like me to flesh out a bit more, let me know and I will edit the guide. Thanks for reading!
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