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Medusa - Getting Everyone Stoned (S7, All Modes, Patch 7.5 "Final Boss")

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64 Votes

Smite God: Medusa

Build Guide Discussion (152) More Guides
The Fatal Snake (Conquest / Standard ADC)
The Fatal Snake (Conquest / Standard ADC) The Transcendent Snake (Conquest Mid / Alt ADC Build) Arena Builds

Purchase Order

Example Devo's / Crit Build (Replace Tabi Late) Notes Example item progression for a crit build.

Ninja Tabi is preferred in this setup due to lack of AS from Rage / Deathbringer.

Rage can be delayed until after The Executioner if preferred. Malice is an alternate option, and is especially good if you want some CDR.

Everything after Deathbringer is optional...choose as preferred.

Replace Tabi late with Elixir of Speed and another item of your choice. Asi is the option shown in this build, as it adds further lifesteal to partially counter anti-heal, and the AS it provides replaces that lost from replacing Ninja Tabi.

Build Item Devourer's Gauntlet Devourer's Gauntlet
Build Item Ninja Tabi Ninja Tabi
Build Item Rage Rage
Build Item The Executioner The Executioner
Build Item Deathbringer Deathbringer
Build Item Ichaival Ichaival
Build Item Asi Asi

Standard Devo's Starting Items (Rush Tabi if preferred) Notes Hunter's Blessing is always a core starting item for the ADC role.

This standard start is used to get Devourer's Gauntlet online ASAP.

Choose your potions as preferred. Get Baron's Brew if available.

Build Item Hunter's Blessing Hunter's Blessing
Build Item Spiked Gauntlet Spiked Gauntlet
Build Item Healing Potion Healing Potion
Build Item Healing Potion Healing Potion
Build Item Healing Potion Healing Potion
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion

Lifesteal Options Notes These options all function to help sustain your health via lifesteal. Depending on your build direction, you will usually choose one of these, though double-lifesteal via Tabi replacement is an option as well.
  • Devourer's Gauntlet (Early): the quintessential basic attack hunter's item for early sustain and power. It is typically built first in a build to help gain stacks, but can be delayed until after Tabi if enemy mobility and early gank threat is high.

  • Asi (Mid/Late): it has a strong set of stats, and works strongly to sustain you in a boxing match, but the somewhat low power and medium cost prevents it from being a strong early item. Can be considered in the mid-game if you don't pick up Devo's, but otherwise should be considered late as a Blessing or Tabi replacement.

  • Bloodforge (Late): the high cost makes this best considered late-game. Has high power and decent lifesteal, but also provides a measure of survivability upon getting a kill, via the health shield.

Build Item Devourer's Gauntlet Devourer's Gauntlet
Build Item Asi Asi
Build Item Bloodforge Bloodforge

Boots Notes Ninja Tabi is the standard choice, providing a good base of attack speed, as well as some helpful mana in the early game.

Build Item Ninja Tabi Ninja Tabi

Core Penetration Notes The Executioner is a core item for any ADC, providing strong protection reduction. Typically built in the middle of a build, as either item 3 or 4.

Build Item The Executioner The Executioner

Qin's & Attack Speed Options Notes In a Qin's Sais-based build, attack speed is the key stat. These are the core item considerations to boost attack speed and get the most out of the Qin's passive. Ichaival can be considered in any build.
  • Ichaival (Boxing / Anti-AA): High power, high AS, and a stacking AS slow on your target provide extremely strong utility to counter AA-based enemies. Purchase anytime, but typically suggested as a late-game item.

  • Atalanta's Bow (Boxing / Mobility): MS is a strong stat right now, and higher base mobility along with increased MS through the passive are helpful for chase / escape.

  • Toxic Blade (Anti-Heal): Purchase specifically to counter high enemy healing.

Build Item Qin's Sais Qin's Sais
Build Item Ichaival Ichaival
Build Item Atalanta's Bow Atalanta's Bow
Build Item Toxic Blade Toxic Blade

Critical Damage Items Notes The critical damage route (as opposed to Qin's Sais) is functional for high burst potential and situational utility. It is typically best against squishy compositions, and prefers high power as a key stat to increase the critical damage multiplier.

Be cautious and aware, as you can be countered by items such as Spectral Armor, Hide of the Nemean Lion, and Shield of Thorns.
  • Rage (High Crit Chance): this is my preferred 1st crit item, as it provides extremely reliable crit chance by itself. Best built fairly early in a build (often before The Executioner) to start stacking.

  • Deathbringer (Enhanced Damage): in my opinion, this is always best as the 2nd crit item. Strongly enhances crit damage, and comes with good crit chance and high power.

  • Wind Demon (High AS): this item provides strong AS for being a crit item. The enhanced MS is also useful for Medusa's passive, Sidewinder. It is currently best used as a 3rd crit item.

  • Fail-Not (Crit + CDR Option 1): this is a key 1st crit item in its current state. Although the price is high, combining high power, crit chance, and high CDR makes this an extremely functional item for hybrid hunters like Medusa.

  • Malice (Crit + CDR Option 2): An alternative (or addition) to Fail-Not, this gives a different type of CDR that's dependent on you getting a crit proc. This is perhaps the better option for CDR if you're focused more on basic attack function.

Build Item Rage Rage
Build Item Deathbringer Deathbringer
Build Item Wind Demon Wind Demon
Build Item Fail-Not Fail-Not
Build Item Malice Malice

Relics to Consider Notes Purification Beads and Aegis Amulet are your default relic picks.

Heavenly Wings, especially with the upgrade, is very helpful for boxing or to counter enemy slows.

Phantom Veil is suggested specifically if there is an enemy Odin, to counter Ring of Spears, since she has no leap to escape.

Build Item Purification Beads Purification Beads
Build Item Aegis Amulet Aegis Amulet
Build Item Heavenly Wings Heavenly Wings
Build Item Phantom Veil Phantom Veil

Situational Items Notes In addition to all previously mentioned items, these situational options provide added utility, and can fit into the later portions of a build, especially as replacement items to Tabi.
  • Brawler's Beat Stick (Ability Anti-Heal): This option should be considered if facing multiple enemy healers. Due to the power and flat pen, may fit best into a crit build. Note it requires ability damage to apply the anti-heal.

  • Titan's Bane (Anti-Tank): Strong penetration function that can help counter the tankiest of enemy comps.

  • Void Shield (Defensive Option #1: Anti-Physical): Void has some offensive upside, as it provides some power and protection reduction to go along with the physical protection. If your main threats are physical, this can be an off-meta consideration for the late-game.

  • Magi's Cloak (Defensive Option #2: Anti-CC): In dire situations, the health and CC protection can be a lifesaver. However, with no offensive stats, this is best considered only late-game if you're constantly on the defensive.

  • Mantle of Discord (Defensive Option #3: Protections): High balanced protections can mitigate a lot of the incoming damage you'll see. If you're constantly on the defensive, this could be a lifesaver, though like Magi's, having no offensive stats really hurts your damage potential.

Build Item Brawler's Beat Stick Brawler's Beat Stick
Build Item Titan's Bane Titan's Bane
Build Item Void Shield Void Shield
Build Item Magi's Cloak Magi's Cloak
Build Item Mantle of Discord Mantle of Discord

Example Devo's / Qin's Build (Replace Tabi Late) Notes This is a build direction for Qin's based builds. Yes, once you get Qin's, you'll hit the AS cap anytime your steroid is active...but your AS will be extremely solid at the times it's not.

*NOTE* Feel free to sub Ichaival instead of The Crusher if you prefer. Ichaival provides high power and attack speed, while giving you an advantage against other basic attackers when boxing.

Items after Qin's Sais are optional. This example shows Titan's Bane for good damage against front-line tanks, with the O-Bow passive helping deal some teamfight damage to the backline squishies. Asi is solid for higher sustain, but Bloodforge can also be considered here.

Build Item Devourer's Gauntlet Devourer's Gauntlet
Build Item Ninja Tabi Ninja Tabi
Build Item The Crusher The Crusher
Build Item The Executioner The Executioner
Build Item Qin's Sais Qin's Sais
Build Item Titan's Bane Titan's Bane
Build Item Asi Asi

Medusa's Skill Order

Viper Shot

Viper Shot

1 X
3 8 11 12 14
Acid Spray

Acid Spray

2 A
1 4 6 7 10


3 B
2 15 16 18 19


4 Y
5 9 13 17 20


Recent updates:

2020/5/26: Guide is current as of Patch 7.5, "Final Boss." Builds updated.

Revision History

Duuuuude. W***suuuup? I'm Branmuffin17 (IGN Muffinman17), a SmiteFire admin and casual SMITE player on PC and PS4. Come check out my 420th fifth major recreational venture outside of my original project, The Overarching Assault Guide. I've created this guide specifically because I was jonesing to make my first hunter guide, and I saw some potential in her, as long as I could get her off the couch.

I'll assume you know the basic gist of gameplay in the various modes, so I won't be teaching or talking much about tickets, rotating, minions, ganja, etc., except in the direct context of Medusa's dank gameplay. If you want the deets on general info, I invite you to cruise on over to my other guides:

Conquest Guide
Arena Guide

This is a work in progress, as it should be. Not saying anything about these being her only build options...this is just, like, my opinion, man. I'm always open to new ideas and different approaches.

Although Medusa is a Hunter whose arrows are definitely not blunt, she's a bit less reliant on basic attacks than some, and can be built with emphasis on either abilities or basic attacks.

As such, I'm offering multiple builds for various modes. My Devourer's Gauntlet builds focus on basic attack DPS and boxing as a standard ADC / Carry. My Transcendence builds can be used for either ADC or Mid roles, and focus on earlier and easier waveclear, with damage options centering either around Qin's Sais or crit items.

...... Strengths ......

+ Solid mid/late game damage
+ Sweet early minion wave clear
+ High teamfight potential
+ Can blitz enemies
+ High mobility
... Weaknesses ...

- Gets the mana munchies
- Needs good aim
- Escape can be blocked
- Squishy
- Lazy

Medusa is a strong pick for multiple game modes. Ready to go? Let's light it up!



No movement penalty when side-strafing, and half of the movement penalty when moving backward.

Overview: This is a passive that requires no direct thought, but lends itself to making Medusa a more effective hotboxer. You will likely not see much benefit or effect except when building increased movespeed, such as through Wind Demon.
Skill #1:

Viper Shot
Medusa shoots out {3/3/3/4/4} vipers in rapid succession that poison the targets hit, dealing damage over time. CD 10 seconds. 10% scaling.

Leveling Priority: Max this 2nd.

General Use: Burst Damage

Overview: Her only built-in AS steroid, it adds a strong burst of damage when targeting an individual. Best to use earlier in the fight (due to ticking damage), and when you're able to confirm hits more easily (enemy is stunned from Lacerate, stoned from Petrify, or otherwise CCd from teammates' abilities).

Tip: Remember that you can trigger it early, and it won't activate until you start attacking. You can use it in the fountain for a free charge!
Skill #2:

Acid Spray
Medusa spits out acid that damages the first enemy hit, and sprays out acid in a cone behind them. It explodes on statues Medusa has created. CD 14 seconds. 70% scaling.

Leveling Priority: Max this first.

General Use: Wave clear / Teamfight Damage

Overview: This is your main source of damage against minion waves, allowing you to hit the entire line if you target the front minion in a wave. Provides good poke potential, as you can hit the minions and do equal damage to enemy gods from the cone spray if they are close and trying to shield themselves from other attacks.

Tip: If you want to be safe (location-wise), if you poke the enemy at the same time you hit the minion wave, you can backpedal while basic attacking, drawing some of the minions toward you for a short time, allowing you to clear the melee minions nearer your tower.
Skill #3:

Medusa quickly slithers forward, grabbing and slashing the first enemy god she encounters. The slash leaves the enemy god reeling in pain, reducing their healing by 50% for a short time. CD 15 seconds. 80% scaling.

Leveling Priority: Level this last.

General Use: Initiation / Escape / Lockdown / Anti-Heal

Overview: Offensively, you can use this to initiate and close the gap, or to catch a damaged, fleeing enemy...and you can do this through the minion wave.

Defensively, use it as an escape, but make sure you're not being blocked by an enemy god, or you'll be stopped.

Tip: Activate Viper Shot before initiating with Lacerate. After you connect, your shots will be significantly easier to confirm, adding extra damage with Viper's poison effect.

Medusa removes her mask, delivering a powerful blast. Enemies take damage and are stunned for 2 seconds if they are looking at her. Enemies not looking at her take 75% damage and are slowed (20/25/30/35/40%) for 3 seconds. Enemies that are killed by her gaze will turn into a stone statue and remain behind. 90 second CD. 100% scaling.

Leveling Priority: Level this as it becomes available.

General Use: Teamfight Damage / Crowd Control / Long-Range Finisher

Overview: Devastating if you catch enemies looking at you when it hits. Somewhat mediocre otherwise. Best to use in combo with your other abilities during a teamfight for burst function, or while being chased to freeze them and make an escape.

Secondary, emergency function against anticipated CC. The charge-up makes her immune for a short time, so it can be used (with perfect timing) to counter an ult like Ares' No Escape.

Tip: If you know enemies are approaching around a corner, you can preemptively charge Petrify. If you time it correctly, you'll pop into their view just as it activates, giving them very little time to react.

Ability Combos

Some hunters just look to get as many basic hits in as possible, especially when they pack a complete build. This Mary Jane has abilities that enhance or otherwise complement her hotboxing capability.

Her simplest combo with nothing else considered is Viper Shot activation, followed by Lacerate, and then bursting with the actual Viper Shot hits. Late-game when Viper Shot and attack speed is high (and especially with crit items), the burst potential is amazing.

In dangerous situations, you'll usually want to withhold Lacerate to use as a possible escape (or chase if the enemy is on the run). Also, Acid Spray isn't really a boxing ability that you use in it mostly for waveclear.

Below are some more in-depth combos.

With Petrify Up

With Petrify Down

Attack Canceling

All gods can usually utilize attack canceling to increase their potential DPS. Medusa is no exception. By using abilities in-between basic attacks, she can string together much quicker attacks.

Conquest / Standard ADC (Build & Gameplay + Relics)

These ADC builds aim to make Medusa a strong mid-to-late-game ADC in the vein of standard Hunters. Her early game will focus mostly on waveclear and safe poke damage. Her late game is when her power comes fully online, especially when comboing with abilities, to provide huge burst potential against squishy targets.

Devo's / Crit Build

+ Situationals

Crit Builds (Details & Discussion)

Devo's / Qin's Sais Build

+ Situationals

Starting & Core Build Items (Details & Discussion)

Situational / Tabi Replacement Items

Situational / Tabi Replacement Items (Details & Discussion)


Relic Options

ADC Gameplay Elements

ADC Starting Process & Early Game

ADC Mid to Late Game

Warding Locations

Conquest / Standard ADC (Synergies & Matchups)

Support Synergies

ADC Matchups

Conquest / Mid-Lane Burst (Trans Builds & Gameplay)

These builds can be used in both the ADC and Mid-Lane roles.

In Trans-based builds, we're often looking to create a hybrid hunter with a bit more focus on ability / burst damage. Trans provides high power, a huge mana pool, and some CDR, allowing for strong ability damage that provides quick wave-clear and the ability to push objectives, while never worrying about mana.

The high power allows Medusa to deal great objective damage, especially in comparison to mages, but a delay in getting lifesteal compared to Devo's builds means you need to be careful with your health in the early/mid-game.

There are two points that need to be understood with any Transcendence build.
  1. Transcendence costs 300 gold more than its stacking counterpart, Devourer's Gauntlet.

  2. Lifesteal comes significantly later than a Devo's build, making early health sustain in-lane a challenge.
However, you make up for this with strong wave-clear and a very healthy mana pool, meaning you won't have any mana issues and can use your abilities without much fear of running out. The CDR can also be a positive factor.

I'm offering 3 general build concepts around Transcendence:
  • The Trans-Qin's build is traditional and reliable. The presence of Qin's Sais means she'll be a strong threat against tanky enemies.

  • The Trans-Crit build is a somewhat off-meta build that can be effective against a squishier team. 50% crit chance at full build will be effective with Lacerate + Viper Shot combos, allowing for high burst potential, and the CDR from Malice is appreciated.

  • The Ability build converts Medusa into more of a physical mage with higher early CDR, which is useful for more poke and ults.

Trans Qin's Build (Tank Killer)

+ Situationals

Trans-Qin's Build (Details & Discussion)

Trans-Crit Build

+ Situational

Trans-Crit Build (Details & Discussion)

Hybrid / Ability Build

+ Situational

Ability Build (Details & Discussion)

Mid-Lane Gameplay Elements

Mid-Lane Starting Process & Early Game

Mid to Late Game

Warding Locations

Arena Builds & Gameplay

In an Arena setting, you don't have to worry about winning lane, taking down objectives, etc. As such, builds that might otherwise be considered out-of-order or unconventional can work, if you play to the build's strengths.

3 builds are offered below, depending on your preferred style of play.

The Critical Viper (Basic Attack Crit Build)

The Critical Viper (Details & Discussion)

The Sai-Viper (Basic Attack Qin's Build)

The Sai-Viper (Details & Discussion)

The Spitting Viper (Ability Build)

The Spitting Viper (Details & Discussion)

Game Start & First Waves

Jungle Camps/Early Game


Starting to really tie things together


Kick Them Out Of This Joint!

Some Of My Guides

If you liked this guide, check out my other ones below!

The Overarching Series

Arena Guide

Assault Guide

Conquest Guide

Individual God Guides

An Alcoholic's Chugging Guide


Gifting Kills

Shifu Guan Yu:
The Battle

Loki: The Backstabbing Bastard

Medusa: Getting Everyone Stoned


So that's it! If you like what I've done and how I try to improve the guide, anyone is welcome to suggest a god for me to work on next...and of course, I have to own them and/or want to play them =P but I'll let you know...

Thanks for reading, and I appreciate any and all comments, suggestions, etc. Feel free to add me/invite me if you want to play!

Brandon / PC IGN: Muffinman17

p.s. No, I'm not a stoner. That's Medusa. And maybe Swagni...but seriously, I'm not (not really), so if you have any suggestions where I can put in more funny references, let me know!!!


Thanks to the following people, for comments and contributing to the improvement of this guide:

  • Kriega1
  • DV-8
  • boogiebass
  • xZerostrike

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Sort Comments By
Kriega1 (109) | March 25, 2020 3:42am
I don't think Beatstick fits that well into a "Crit" build like you mention, especially when going Trans Crit. Beatstick fits in a build something like: Ninja > Trans > Asi / Beatstick (both, but in either order), Exe > Qins > Sell boots for Titan's.

I see Heartseeker in one of your mid, crit builds, why? If anything heartseeker would fit better in ability based builds. E.g. Ninja > Trans > Crusher > Heartseeker > Titans' > O-Bow > Bloodforge.

Also I don't recommend Fail-Not at all right now, even Malice is probably better. Should stick to Rage + DB for crit at the moment.

And why no O-Bow anywhere? Yeah Ichaival has slightly better single target dps, but O-Bow passive offers good AoE shred in any teamfight modes, is cheaper, and has good synergy with Titan's Bane, and the Ichaival Attack speed slow is only situationally useful if you're being dived by AA gods. The AA reduction passive isn't really relevant lategame against the enemy adc, as your primary target isn't the ADC, therefore leaving it's main usefulness against the enemy ADC during laning phase.

Also not sure Phantom pickup even situationally would be necessary as Odin's cage walls can be broken now.
Chunkdawg | February 4, 2020 5:35am
This has to easily be the best guide title I have read so far.
Branmuffin17 (313) | February 4, 2020 8:58am
Hahahaha thanks Chunk.
FootFetish (4) | June 14, 2019 7:30am
do you think ability based medusa is as good as basic attack based? because everytime i play her i build transcendence, crusher, etc. and it works pretty well, but i want to know your opinion! x
Branmuffin17 (313) | June 14, 2019 11:00am
Hi Footsie, usual for me, TL;DR.

So...firstly, context. Do you TRULY mean "ability-based" as in some of my builds that also go into further CDR like Jotunn's/SE? Or do you just mean the build I have listed for the Mid-lane, just considering Transcendence in general? That's important to know how to approach the question.

For now, I'm going to base my bigger response on the standard concept of just going with Trans instead of Devo's in a Conquest match, but for a quicker comment on a more official ability base (with at least 2 CDR items and The Crusher)...I do like her ability-based, but the most I'd generally recommend is hybrid in general, not true ability based with no AS other than say The Crusher. You can pull off full ability in Arena if you want, but past that, with any objectives like towers in other modes, you just lose so much DPS potential and outside of her ult, her only real ability poke potential is only easily connected with minions present. Harder to hit Acid Spray on a moving target, when the spray also relies on how you line up with the enemy and others behind them.

For Conquest, in the respect of considering Transcendence, I will say I've been using mostly the Devo's route in recent games, but that I might change this based on recent experience. Ever since the buff to Asi, I've really liked the Trans route. Never any mana issues, and a bit of CDR is helpful for all of her ability use. But since I've been starting to play Ranked, I've been more concerned with early health sustain, hence going Devo's. But in that early stage, with somewhat low DPS/basic attack damage, the lifesteal isn't all that big either.

The other concern is cost. Trans being 300 gold more really starts pushing me to want to finish Tabi before I complete Trans, and with DPS efficiency, Warrior Tabi would be the better earlier choice. But in general I prefer Ninja Tabi, so if I choose that, I'm going to sacrifice some early damage. All depends on how the match is going early, and how much threat of gank and mobility the enemy has.

Anyway, the strongest aspect I see a Devo's route having right now is that you get the need for power and lifesteal out of just that early item. This allows you, say, if you're Xbal or Cern or Jing, to pick up that early Odysseus' Bow (as people have been doing lately), which means you can just use basics to clear the wave. This then allows you to save all of your abilities for poke and boxing. Cuz Cern, for example, has additional root/CC function in his main wave-clear ability ( Bramble Blast. It's best when you have it available for boxing.

Medusa, though, is different. Again, Acid Spray is best for wave-clear. It's less reliable as a poke/burst ability unless those minions are there, and again, the right angle and distance is needed to confirm that damage. So she's likely going to use the ability for wave clear, meaning she's not as suited to going O-Bow. Her better direction then, IMO, is Trans/Ninja/Asi.

This also frees her up to use Viper Shot more often for regular clear/objective purposes without fear of running out of mana.

So in the end, yeah, I think I like the Trans route conceptually better for Medusa. To help with the lack of early health sustain, a couple extra Health Potions should work okay.

Does this answer your question?
oOGabiOo (1) | April 10, 2019 2:17am
I either have awful luck or you have no idea how to build for arena because I can't win a single game with any of your builds.
DownToEarth (7) | April 13, 2019 4:15pm
Bran has the best Medusa build on this site, but they can be a little complex. I made one for lower ranks (Seeing as that's what I am depending who I'm playing with). It's got at least 2 builds that should work in most Joust/Arena matches if you would like to try it out.
Branmuffin17 (313) | April 13, 2019 5:08pm
I think this Gabi person might be a troll. Only 2 comments and they're both very negative without being informative.
Load more comments (1 more replies) →
Branmuffin17 (313) | April 10, 2019 7:34am
Lol it's possible!

I'd like to ask if you've tried all of them, chosen the right one for the enemy comp, and kept in mind you can build lifesteal sooner if you prefer? Can you link the games?

What is or would be your normal build for her?
Gary169 (7) | April 10, 2019 7:30am
oOGabiOo wrote:
I either have awful luck or you have no idea how to build for arena because I can't win a single game with any of your builds.

None of the above. You likely lack the skill to actually play this game properly.
Instead of saying Branmuffin can not build (I assure you, he knows how to build), how about you ask some constructive questions so he can help improve your Medusa gameplay?

Judging by how you commented, you are probably a troll and will not bother to respond to me.
Kriega1 (109) | September 28, 2018 5:58am
Makes no sense to get Trans 6th on Medusa for ADC.

Anyway, onto mid builds. For the first build, you going with Qins first over Executioner im guessing that you're relying on the other ADC to be a hunter and to get executioner first for Gold Fury/Pyromancer etc... Otherwise I strongly recommend you get executioner first. (Note: Please add objective protection removal as a reason for getting Exe first)

Second Mid build I would ideally get Rage before Executioner, Asi last isn't the best but I don't see another place for it unless you want to delay executioner. Could maybe swap Asi for Bloodforge but that depends if enemy team has thorns/nemian etc....

For the third build you may as well get executioner over titan's bane. In that case I would also swap ninja for warrior tabi.

A ADC build with crit could also be possibly listed. Either (Rage/DB/PS) and/or (PS/WD/DB).

Lastly for the 1st arena build I would get Rage before executioner and for both builds it's better to rush Devourers/Trans first item. Also would swap crusher and jotunns around for second build, especially since you went with Titan's Bane.
Branmuffin17 (313) | September 28, 2018 10:42am
Alright...let's see. (Also, initial thanks for taking the time to check the update)
  • Transcendence late: I understand where you're coming from with the concept of Trans late. That said, I feel saying it makes "no" sense is a bit of an overstatement. Late-game, she'll be level 20. This means if the only mana she gets is from Ninja Tabi, she'll have a total of 1,034. That's not bad, but if she's out and using abilities for extended times away from the fountain, that can be the mana Trans provides can help.

    Also, upon purchase, Trans at 0 stacks with her at 20 provides 10% CDR, 300 mana, a bit of MP5, and 75 power. I wouldn't say 10% CDR (more ults, Viper Shots, and Lacerates in fights) isn't nice. Stacks are easy to get, but even with 0 stacks, it's very functional. Yes, other options (depending on what you choose 5th) bring different utility, but I just don't see how this cannot be considered. Would like to hear your thoughts.

  • I mostly didn't touch the mid builds in this initial update...was focusing heavily on ADC. I was also thinking Qin's for 1v1. I acknowledge that's not optimal, especially for mid, where you'll be exposed to more people, you'll be responsible more for jungle objectives, and where the jungler (often physical) will also be fighting by your side and will appreciate the Exe protection reductions. Changing Exe/Qin's order, and will add commentary on prot reduction for jungle objectives. Thanks for pointing this out.

  • Mid 2nd Build: Agreed on Rage before Exe. As for Asi, yeah, can again consider Bloodforge in that spot (like I did in my one Mid adjustment, in changing Asi to BF in the FIRST example build). I do talk about getting Asi earlier if needed, or optionally BF late if Asi wasn't purchased first...see how I've written that in the notes for the 1st mid build. I'll make sure that same comment is added for the 2nd notes.

  • Mid 3rd Build: Yeah, for the 3rd build, I can do that. I do think the current build isn't bad, but the power curve and Qin's effectiveness is a bit awkward.

  • Crit ADC: I can throw in a crit build just because. I did do a hard turn in switching fully over from crits to Qin's. I'll just put it up for those that want that build direction.

  • Arena: Again agreed, will switch Rage and The Executioner for the first build. As for 2nd, I like the idea of rushing full CDR for as many ults as quickly as possible. I WILL switch The Crusher and Titan's Bane, though.
Thanks Kriega.
Branmuffin17 (313) | September 27, 2018 5:14pm
Builds updated for Patch 5.18. Would appreciate views and comments if you have any.

Changed base ADC build from crits to Qin's/AS/pen. It's the more common build path for her right now, and is also great against objectives.

I've separated into core items (Devo, Tabi, Ichaival (optional bridge), Exe, Qin's) and now provide several options to consider for the last 2 slots. They are all functional and bring different things to the table, though some are more niche/situational (Atalanta, Silverbranch, Trans, etc.).
boogiebass (44) | September 27, 2018 6:57pm
bad/troll builds. MODERATOR, pls archive

The guide looks good bran. Have you actually played a game with some of these items? Or is it just theory crafting? For example, i can understand the appeal of Atlanta's bow due to medusas sidewinder. I still dont think silver branch bow is optimal.
Branmuffin17 (313) | September 27, 2018 7:11pm
Funny enough (and you keep writing "Atlanta's, ugh), Atalanta's Bow, in many ways, feels more important for the base 10% MS than the Sidewinder passive with stacks.

And that's a good question about playing a game with these items. No, I haven't, at least not with some of those final items.

That said, I've been doing this for so long, I feel confident that, in most cases, I know if something is going to function pretty well or not. DV-8 and I did mess around in Jungle Practice a bit to get the feel, and I will say that I do have item preferences within the options I provide.

You don't think Silver is optimal (which I can understand, and which I scoffed at HR for making that adjustment, lol), but if you take a step back, consider its stats. It's a bit less for the passive, and more that, 1 to 1 comparison, it's only got 5% less AS than Odysseus' Bow, has 20 or higher power situationally where O-Bow has none, and it has 10 flat pen. Yes, O-Bow offers some nice teamfight function, but against single targets, which one is pretty clearly better? And O-Bow is Meta.

So...of all the options, situationally I like Titan's, O-Bow, Crusher, and Silver. I like Atalanta's more situationally, HS a bit less, and it's a rare situation I'd get BF (I'd definitely consider if there wasn't any anti-heal in sight though). Trans is also nice for the stats it brings, once you've got your core items.

You can trust me or not on this, and I invite you to try out these item options, but I'm confident the stats these items provide are functional, and situationally helpful. It's about choosing the right combo for the right situation.
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boogiebass (44) | September 10, 2018 10:00pm
You like Asi in the final build?
Even though it procs Qin's Sais passive more, don't you advocate selling it late game?

So why is Asi bad late game if it procs qin's passive more?
Branmuffin17 (313) | September 11, 2018 1:15am
I'm confused. Did you read the notes? I ask, doesn't seem like you read it. XD

Asi is only really present in the Transcendence builds, correct? I suggest building it anytime you feel like you need the lifesteal, but it's usually present later in the example build. Personally, I love Asi as a crutch after Trans + Tabi, because I always need the health cuz I suck. But I do suggest delaying it if possible, because before you get Qin's, it will always cut into your damage output, due to not having any power.

Of all the bridge items, I feel Asi has always translated very well even into the late game. The lifesteal boost at lower health is very, very nice, as long as you're not getting completely burst by a mage or 3 enemies at once. If that happens, not much is going to save you anyway.

In some instances, I do advocate selling Asi late, at least as an option...but here, with Medusa, I like keeping it in most cases...and my notes don't ever talk about switching it least as far as I know.
boogiebass (44) | September 11, 2018 8:03am
I still have some questions. Will ask when we play together again.
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Kriega1 (109) | August 9, 2018 1:22pm
Why ichaival in crit build if you’re getting Rage? (Don’t you think it’s delaying for too long?) Also getting deathbringer before Executioner? Lastly, I think Exe should be built before Qins unless gold fury is down and you have enough gold on the back in which case you can get Qins, otherwise get exe for the objective shred, physical damage assisting on team, cheaper price, and the extra damage it gives to abilities if you have the stacks, unlike Qins which will only benefit autos.
Branmuffin17 (313) | August 9, 2018 2:08pm
Ich is cheap and has very high AS, which will help since Rage/DB don't have any AS. Trying to supplement the lower AS in those situations.

Qin's / Exe whenever, switch between the two as needed. They're build guidelines, not hard set.
boogiebass (44) | August 9, 2018 1:31pm
Objective shred with exe?
Kriega1 (109) | August 9, 2018 1:34pm
Objectives as in Gold Fury. Not Structures (towers/phoenixes).
ASUMAFRAN | March 29, 2018 7:08am
Hey,first of all your guide is great,really helped me improve with Medusa a lot.Yet i have a question, (i have tested it and it doesnt seem so bad)what do you think about Soul Eater on Medusa?This would be replacing your life steal item it gives slightly less AD, more mana (if you are going for a poke or teamfight build) and the cdr is good. It's kinda like if Trancendence and Devourer's Gauntlet had a baby.
Branmuffin17 (313) | March 29, 2018 7:45am

Thank you, I'm glad it's been helpful!

To be honest, Soul Eater has been off of my radar for hunters for a long while. I do admit that the power since its more recent buff is quite nice, and has an intriguing set of stats. I'm curious on where you feel the item fits best in a build, and the full build as a whole.

To me, SE is a big commitment to ability use (but it's weird that it's still got lifesteal, which is only applied via basics. Could I see it fit? Maybe yes, situationally...maybe more.

So, as you propose, a replacement for lifesteal, but also, Devo's + Trans, sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G, so maybe even to be considered as a replacement starter for either?

It's got good evolved power that's along the lines of Devo's at full stacks, but short of Trans. It's better than Trans in the point that it provides early lifesteal/sustain. I feel Devo's lifesteal is very powerful, and don't feel it's a full replacement for that, so I think maybe it works as a Trans replacement, if you decide to go that route.

Carry through the remainder of the Trans build...Tabi, Crusher, Exe, then Qin's + situational usually is my pref for a Trans-type build. With the funky ability lifesteal, I'd actually consider a second lifesteal item, perhaps. Maybe that last situational item would be Bloodforge.

I'll come back to this in a bit...but those are my first thoughts.
ASUMAFRAN | March 29, 2018 9:16am
Alright,ill give it a go with the qin build and ill tell you about it
Branmuffin17 (313) | March 29, 2018 8:54am
Okay, further thoughts, now I've got a build idea for Ullr. I'm gonna write up a quick build for him and want some feedback =P

Thinking about it with Medusa, though, I'm not sure, in the end, I like it enough. Maybe if you dedicated the build more fully to ability-based it would work best, but I'm just not sure.
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DV-8 (26) | March 21, 2018 8:25pm
Hey, Bran.

How do you feel about Medusa with the new Malice? I was theory crafting some Malice builds with Neith and I think it could be an interesting option.
Branmuffin17 (313) | March 22, 2018 12:41pm
With Patch 5.5's passive adjustment to Malice, the passive seems like it will be much more reliable for general activation. That's a positive, and will be a very nice fit for Ne Zha, and should also be strong for other assassins that use crits, like Hun Batz and Serqet (but probably not Mercury).

However, I'm not fully sure on a god like Medusa (or Neith for that matter), but let's discuss.

We'll assume that Malice will be built late-game, so are we agreed we're not talking 1 v 1 or laning? Also, is it reasonable to assume that Neith will always use Transcendence, while Medusa can consider for both Devourer's Gauntlet and Transcendence builds?


For Medusa in a Devourer's Gauntlet build, I don't like the high cost of Malice as a first crit item (followed by Deathbringer). With Devo's, it's a strong commitment to focusing on basic attack DPS, so I consider DB to be a core crit item. I'd much rather get Rage as 1st crit. Also, once stacked, Rage will hold its own, DPS-wise, until DB gets online.

However, I can maybe see Malice either replacing Rage late-game, or being added as a 3rd crit item, maybe replacing The Crusher, with Wind Demon being the first crit item (trying not to drop too much attack speed). Those are a lot of substitutions though, and that's getting to be VERY expensive.

In a Transcendence build, I think I prefer the Qin's Sais pathway for better overall build flexibility, instead of being required to dedicate 2 spots for crits. That said, I could see getting Malice in place of Rage there, though with the higher price it'll definitely either slow your power curve or you'll need to be ahead to make things smoother in transition.

As for execution, the question is, how will she be able to get the most out of that passive? In the late game in a teamfight scenario, she'll usually just toss basics (possibly with Viper Shot here and there... Acid Spray is awkward in a teamfight), and save Lacerate as an emergency escape...if her team gets the upper hand, she may choose to single out an individual enemy and go for a Lacerate -> Viper Shot combo. It's there that I think she'd get a lot of potential, especially if she'd been boxing and had already triggered a crit. Not only could she get bonus damage from Lacerate, but she could also possibly get bonus damage (and crit refreshes) from Viper Shot...once the new patch hits (or if I go into PTS), I'll have to confirm the passive translates the bonus damage appropriately to the each initial Viper hit and the additional DoT.

With a crit trigger, it also provides a crazy boost to her ult. At max rank, that 700 damage + 100% scaling (in this build, she'd have 238 power) = 938 total damage before mitigations. Give that a 35% damage increase, and she's potentially hitting for 1,266 damage, hopefully on multiple gods. That's pretty crazy. So yeah, I think that it's got good potential in that build, as long as you're using your abilities in a way to maximize damage output.


Neith is a bit different, to me. Her strengths just aren't in her basics, and I'd be personally reluctant to build crits on her. If I can theory-craft, I think an appropriate build might be something along these lines:

No lifesteal because hopefully she won't need it much, due to her built-in healing (and proper positioning and Supports doing their job). She's got a decent escape, a nice stun, and can probably just pick up Heavenly Wings as a 2nd relic. No Deathbringer because Malice seems like a good alternative for an ability-based god. Rage to increase her chances of getting a crit to activate Malice's passive. Is that reasonable?

But how best to utilize that passive? It's not going to have the multiple target burst potential of Medusa in many ways. If she can get an opportunistic placement of Broken Weave, sure she can hit a Spirit Arrow and maybe hit more than 1 target, but Unravel has a delay, and Back Flip takes her out of the action for at least a second with some additional displacement which could be an issue for landing further abilities after use. Also, her ability CDs are long.

The most compelling reason to get Malice, in my mind, would be for Neith's great scaling in all abilities...she might not get more than one passive bonus per activation, but that damage will be significant.

I think I like it potentially better on Medusa, but I'm no Neith expert (I typically avoid playing her) so I don't know for sure. Thoughts?
DV-8 (26) | March 22, 2018 6:27pm
I finally got the chance to sit down and think about this.

Basically, I was just trying to figure out if Malice could be viable or not. After thinking about it and reading your thoughts, I still don't think I like it all that much.

To be honest though, I'm not a huge fan of Crit in general right now on Hunters. I think a Qin's Sais focused build is the strongest option personally.

But in a Crit build, I could maybe see Malice doing alright for someone like Medusa or Ullr. However, you would kind of have to play around the passive in order to get value out of the item compared to Deathbringer, which would really discourage me from using it.
DV-8 (26) | September 30, 2017 3:59pm
Great guide! Great quality and content (in classic Bran fashion). I like all of the stoner references as well, lol.

I especially like your arena build where you found a way to include Hydra's Lament. I think this is a solid item on Medusa that has some good synergies with her kit, and solves some of her Mana consumption problems.

Your other builds are solid as well. As a more experienced Medusa player, I wanted to ask you how you think a Shifter's Shield build would work on her (Shifter's being used as an alternative to a stacking item). Personally, I'm not sure if I like the idea of it or not, but I think it could be viable.

Also, when doing the ability combos, I think it is important to get some basic attack hits in beforehand as well, to ensure that stacks of things like The Executioner are applied to the target for maximum damage when unleashing the combo. Of course, this is more for 1v1 scenarios. When catching a group of enemies, jumping right into the combo is probably best.

Overall, really nice guide. +1
Branmuffin17 (313) | September 30, 2017 4:25pm
I'd be fine with Shifter's Shield in place of Trans in my 2nd build. I never really used it for her at that one point that it became pretty popular earlier in S4, and the minor nerf makes it a bit less appealing to me. I also think you'll need to continue buying Mana Potions for a bit longer going that route, since Bluestone Pendant isn't quite enough MP5-wise.

Your whole approach, in fact, should probably change if you go Shifter's. Yes, it provides a somewhat similar boost in power, so think about the differences. Lots of mana from Trans means use abilities as much as possible when they're up. Means extremely quick camp / minion clear between Acid Spray and Viper Shot. Protections from Shifter's means a higher focus on boxing, with the hopes that between basics and abilities, you'll come out ahead in a 1 v 1 (or survive a gank attempt) against someone without protections. Note also that your main lane enemy should probably be physical (and enemy comp should have 3 phys), since Shifter's has a slight edge on phys protections.

Yes, you're right, basics anytime will always help damage overall with Exe, and can help with overall DPS when comboing. As the late-game comes, though, it'll probably be more about quick burst on squishies, meaning loading Viper Shot beforehand so it's ready to burst as soon as you Lacerate someone, etc. I should look to see if I can fit talking about basic attacking more somewhere in the combo section...might not if it doesn't flow, but it's a good point.

Thanks for reading and reviewing, DV-8!
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