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VVGH and Welcome to my Night Mother, aka Nox, guide for Conquest. In this, I go through my preferred build for the Goddess of Night. I'll give some of my tips, tricks and leveling idea's I've come across with my time playing as this extremely team based Goddess. I'll also go through some of the Pro's and Con's of using Nox. I'll touch on what to expect to encounter and what can happen if things go wrong for you.
Note: Nox can be used to decent success in the Jungle in casuals, however you'll need to pair her with higher clearing gods for lane teammates when selecting her as such. My two preferred builds can be used in the jungle as well as mid lane.
While in the Mid lane, there are several things to keep in mind. This is often referred to as one of the hardest roles cause there are a multitude of things to keep in mind (and these usually apply to all mid laners, not just Nox). Among these things are map awareness, VGS use, team awareness, setup and positioning. I'll touch on the most important mid lane basics.
Early clear is the most important thing for mages currently. As such most mages will now pick up Soul Stone over Sands of Time in favor of the extra damage Soul Stone provides. This item was recently buffed to restore 40 Mana to the user in addition to the extra damage. This has brought this item up to par with the other items. Don't get me wrong, Sands of Time is still a viable option for starting the game with however its passive is really only useful once you are down to half mana or less. That being said 10% CDR on a starter item can be and usually is extremely potent, especially on gods like Chang'e and He Bo.
VGS Use is probably one of the most important mechanics in the Mid lane currently. This feature allows for quick and concise communication to the rest of your team for who has crossed mid and where your enemy lane partner is. Use this even if you have wards up cause most people tune out the 'Ping' that occurs when an enemy gets identified by a ward or vision granting ability/item. That being said in Mid Lane, unless you have the Gods Voice Pack, be prepared to spam the vgs system as the default voice is mundane and easily tuned out.
Map Awareness in conjunction with VGS use is going to be your saving grace, not only for you but for the rest of your team. You are in the center of the map and often have the most awareness as to where the whole enemy team is AS WELL AS your own team. The Mid Laner can often provide good advice on what to do and where to go. Always take into account what they are saying.
Setup is a key factor for some mages like Nox and Scylla specifically since their main lock down abilities can't go through walls. With these two mages, set up is going to play a key factor in how you work with your team. Early on both of these women will require setup to get kills on low health enemies, or they can easily setup and provide easy kills for the rest of the team.
Positioning is a Key Factor for most mages. Most specifically Nox, Chang'e, Ra and Scylla rely on key positioning to get their damage off and to get kills. If you need to take the time to re-position yourself, DO IT. If you are out of position, you are extremely liable to be picked off by the enemy jungler or adc. You are usually the main source of burst damage on a team along with your jungler.
Nox is a goddess who is very team oriented and also has great lock down on single targets. This is displayed in her skills and how they work (as described below). She brings a high amount of control and utility to a team fight and, if you are playing against her, should be an immediate target.
Her basic combo of Siphon Darkness plus Shadow Lock is her bread and butter. If that combo is down, she rarely has other options to pursue and is very vulnerable. This is why a large amount of Cool-down Reduction is suggested to be built for her. However, that being said, this combo is great mid to late game for just deleting people from the map for a short time, especially with a good team and setup from your jungler.
Shadow Step makes Nox arguably one of the most mobile goddess in the game. I suggest pairing her with other high mobility gods and goddesses like Athena, Geb, Jing Wei, Ratatoskr, Janus (if you are going double mage or Nox Jungle), Mercury, Guan Yu, Susano, Thanatos or Apollo. With these gods and goddesses, Nox can tag along with them while banishing herself into the shadows. This gives her a highly potent global presence and the resulting Shadow Boom when she pops out of an Apollo or Thanatos that has just ulted often deletes enemy players where they stand. It is good to note that while in the shadow of a god that is in the air while leaping or using an ult (Like Apollo or Ratatoskr or Thanatos), Nox will NOT pop out of their shadow until they are on the ground allowing herself to remain hidden for longer then the 8 seconds as indicated by her ability description. She will also not pop out of a channeled ability/ult like Guan Yu's (and if he is packing Shield of Regrowth and a Heavenly Wings, he moves FAST making him a great partner to tag along with).
The main downside to playing Nox is that she has no early damage and relies heavily on early poke and minions to get a kill by herself. You desperately need 2 items fully online (usually Purple Boots and either Book of Thoth or Spear of the Magus) before you have any noteworthy damage.
Nox has great scaling, as such you'll want to buy items that highlight power. You'll also want a decent amount of Cool down since a lot of her skills have quite the cool down period. I'll go over each of my suggested core items and my optional items and why I chose them.
Starting with Soul Stone. This item is going to be KEY for Nox while in lane. It provides the extra damage she needs in order to compete with the earlier clearing gods like Poseidon, Ra and Chang'e.
Note: Some Mid lane players will also buy Bumba's Mask in addition to their own starter item and forego Shoes. This is in case they ever clear camps with someone other then their jungler or if they clear one alone so they get the benefit of the mask's passive as well. However that being said, if you do this, you are taking potential farm away from your jungler and could severely hurt their farm and progress in your game.
The Chalice of Mana will be useful even going into the mid and late game while you are still getting Book of Thoth stacked and while you get Chronos' Pendant and Rod of Tahuti online.
Shoes of the Magi will provide you with much needed early pen and a decent power spike allowing you to clear lane a level or two ahead of someone who opted for Shoes of Focus instead (in most cases). I'll often switch these out for Shoes of Focus late game once I get most of my build online to which I'll detail the when specifically later in the Mid to Late game Chapter of this page.
I opt for Spear of the Magus instead of Obsidian Shard as at this point in the game, you'll be focusing on damaging the less protected targets like your enemy lane partner and the jungler. The flat pen and the passive of this item allows you to take full advantage of Nox's damage over time effects from Shadow Lock, Shadow Step (this procs Magus twice), and Night Terror. The way I play Nox rarely focuses on towers and tankier targets, rather I focus on controlling the field and removing the enemy mid, adc and jungler from the picture for a time.
Depending on how I'm doing, I'll either build Spear of the Magus as my third item, or more commonly if I'm doing well and slightly ahead, I'll build Chronos' Pendant. The sheer amount of CDR provided by this item's stats and passive is usually enough, in most games anyways, to forego switching out my shoes later.
Next is Rod of Tahuti. The sheer amount of power from this plus its passive is a must buy for Nox due to her scaling. Buying this now gives her an amazing power spike and brings her online for major team skirmishes earlier rather then later.
My last item that I build is purely situational. Depending on the teams status I'll buy one of many different items. Divine Ruin if the enemy has decent healing, Obsidian Shard if I find that I need to starting dealing damage to towers and tankier targets, Stone of Binding if I find that I'm a major player in team fights as the added penetration I give to my team can be invaluable, or I'll buy Spear of Desolation. The power provided by this item is quite substantial, it gives a decent amount of flat pen, a nice way to round out my CDR levels and a passive that works wonders for working with your team to gets kills, regardless if you get the kill or not.
At this point where my build is complete, or nearly so, I'll switch out Shoes of the Magi for Shoes of Focus to cap out my base CDR levels and bring it up to 40% depending on what my situational item was.
I'm not usually a fan of magical lifesteal but if you want to work as more of a utility mage and a team player, buy Pythagorem's Piece. That still gives 10% CDR and a nice Aura to help ALL your team mates. If you want a more selfish lifesteal item, Bancroft's Talon is always a good option as are the other two, Book of the Dead and Polynomicon.
For your Relics, you have many viable options. If you are on par with your enemy, often Purification Beads and Aegis Amulet are going to be your Relics. If you are ahead, you'll often find Horrific Emblem as an option to slow enemies down to make it easier to hit your combo or to make an escape. Cursed Ankh is also viable. If you feel confident enough, take Bracer of Undoing. This particular Relic is extremely useful on most mages as both a Panic Button and also as a way to get their abilities back if they need them now, rather then in 3 or 4 seconds. Heavenly Wingss is also a good option for a slow heavy team and having more then one of this particular relic on a team is good as well. One for engaging and one for escaping.
While in lane, you'll want to focus strictly on farming for the first 10 minutes or so of the game. Nox is notoriously weak early game and only comes online once she has at least 2, maybe more, items online depending on which items she starts with.
Siphon Darkness is her main form of clear. It should fit precisely around an enemy minion wave however sometimes the archers in the back don't form up right and can be left standing outside of the area of effect of your ability. To prevent this from happening, as the wave approaches, its a good idea to basic the front of the wave to knock the minions back a little bit so they fall in nicely into a smaller area when they finally stop to fight your own wave. This gives you a bit of leeway when it comes to placing Siphon Darkness.
As stated before, Shadow Step can be used as a secondary clear tool, however this does bust any escape potential you have and should only be used this way if you are ahead or alone in lane.
Try to avoid rotating out to other lanes and objectives early on as it hurts Nox's ability to farm properly and gain the gold she needs to get her stuff online (she also has horrible early damage). Only rotate if you must. This is why I said VGS is a KEY FEATURE when playing in Mid, and as Nox specifically as she is incredibly team oriented.
During the Late Game, Nox is a wonderful person to have in the right hands. She controls the field in a spectacular fashion and can turn a team fight around in a hurry.
Siphon Darkness can shut down a lot of channeled abilities from many of the gods and goddesses in Smite and the damage reduction penalty on her ultimate, Night Terror, is a great way to start a fight, use in the middle of a fight just as ultimate's are starting to be used or as a finisher (often netting double or triple kills on fleeing enemies).
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