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Hello, Smitefire, the name's MaddJack and I'll pass on the drawn-out introductions and skip to what this guide is really about:
NOT HAVING TO PLAY A TANK FOR EVERY SUPPORT GAME.
We've all had this happen, we're dying to play our burstiest mage and destroy the enemy He Bo in glorious carnage, but somebody called our lane first. They say, "Sorry, brah" and you're stuck with support. BUT! Support doesn't have to be all bad! With this build, I'll show you how Ra can be made into a ranged Hades-style magical bruiser, whose only fear is a lot of penetration and a less-than-brilliant carry (although you can't be picky. You are support Ra, after all).
This guide focuses on the high-health-with-some-defense-and-some-damage-style warrior build, but I've found that it works wonders for our Egyptian bird brain here.
I'll be talking about his items, his skills, and a summary of his play-style.
(Also, this is my first guide, so criticisms are welcome and expected. I would love references, suggestions, advice, anything to make it better.)
This build focuses on high health with some defense, mixed with insane sustain and decent damage. Ra's heal and passive help make him good for sustaining and mobility, therefore I included magical boots as opposed to tanky ones to improve his poke and clear in the early laning phase. However, if you MUST have some more defense for whatever reason, go for it.
This item is a must on all supports, because it allows your carry to get ALL of the last hits while farming, while letting you get them as well to finish off your stacks. You don't want to be stealing kills and farm, that's for sure. That's one of the main reasons why your team probably won't be crazy about having a mage support in the first place. This is how you prove them wrong.
Warlock's SashWarlock's Sash CORE:
I like to think that this is the heart of your build. Get the stacks on it early and everything else falls into place fairly nicely. It offers extra heath and magical damage as well as bonus mana for that early game sustain and poke. Great for starting off strong.
Shoes of Focus CORE:
This doesn't look like much of a tank/warrior build to start based on this item, and that's because of the late game mage status which I will explain in the play-style section. This item grants you additional movement speed and cooldown reduction(CDR), which in perspective will go a much longer way for pushing your lane than pen will, since it allows you to spam your abilities a bit more. The extra mana is always nice, too.
This item is a glorious item for any support that could give your team an edge in the teamfights, not to mention how necessary it is for early game so that your carry can deal with the enemy laners' damage. It also syncs well with your Ethereal Staff due to that extra health benefit.
Rod of Asclepius CORE:
Another tankier item, this provides you with more sustainability with its HP5 and healing buffs, as well as increasing your health and increasing the usefulness of your Ethereal Staff.
Ahhh, the prized possession of any mage hoping to become a successful counter-builder. However, for a mage seeking a support position, it works just as well for gaining magical protection and a decent amount of power, while adding in some penetration for good measure. It really helps your ability to initiate, allowing your carry to seize more opportunities for kills. This is great for early game laning and even some mid to late game tussling when the enemy team (or at least duo lane) is highly magical. Helps even more so if your lane partner is also magical, though I would NOT recommend that lane composition if you can avoid it. Late game, a good choice would be to sell this item for something a bit more potent, such as Obsidian Shard.
The best way to end a warrior-esque build I can think of is with some extra health paired with some extra damage and a way of making your other health-related items even more relevant! The extra health and power will help you support your team with heals and stay on top of the enemy team longer, as well as providing some extra power for your push/heals. However, you can put it off in favor of some other situational items, depending on the need. I personally find that Gem of Isolation is a great substitute for this beauty.
When you need to go for more damage, I recommend replacing the last item with some of the more magical-power-oriented substitutes below.
Bulwark of Hope
Need some extra magical protection? Fear not! Bulwark of Hope is here. In addition to the magical protection and health (which will buff your Ethereal Staff), this item provides a shield when under 25% health that helps you fulfill your tanky little heart's desires.
Shoes of the Magi and Reinforced Greaves both have their own unique traits that make them useful in your build, whether it be extra defense or penetration (pen). Either could be bought as a replacement for your Shoes of Focus. Both of them additionally grant you extra movement speed, which can be very helpful in a tight spot when combined with Ra's passive.
Magi's BlessingMagi's Blessing is basically an item that gives you defense and an extra item slot, filled with purification beads. I find it to be pretty dumb not to buy this item on tanks and warriors, since it works so beautifully against high cc enemies like Ares and Ymir. I would use this instead of Ethereal Staff if you want a tankier build, as it will grant you protections that you would otherwise lack.
Pestilence has the same basic stats of additional health and magical defense as Bulwark of Hope, but their passives are what should make the decision for you. Pestilence will give you a healing reduction for nearby enemies, allowing you to outplay enemy healers, but Bulwark will grant you additional defense when you get down below 25% health. Use these based on whether or not the enemy team has a bit of a healing problem.
Gem of Isolation is easily one of the best support items for a mage-turned-support. The slows, combined with Ra's passive and 2, are great for initiation, securing kills, and escaping. Great for any build, regardless of role.
Obsidian Shard gives you extra magical power and 33% penetration, so why wouldn't you get it if you know you can afford to do some more damage as opposed to take it all?
Ra has one of the best support kits in the game, as far as I'm concerned, because where it lacks in hard cc, it makes up for in versatility between offense, defense, and the ability to keep your teammates in fighting shape, providing them with that extra edge to gain the upper hand. Plus, he's a bird man, and what's cooler than that? Nothing. Nothing is cooler than that. RAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKAKKA~
Speed of Light is Ra's passive, which grants him additional movement speed stacks whenever he uses an ability. This is a great skill for mobility, and when combined with his 2 and Gem of Isolation it is nearly impossible to catch up with him.
Celestial Beam is Ra's main clearing ability. It also serves as his nuke, doing damage in a straight line in front of him to gods, minions, whatever is in his way. This ability should be used for poking as well, especially after enough mana and cdr have been acquired. I max it second, after his 3.
Divine Light blinds all enemies around him after several seconds upon activation, slowing them and doing damage. Although best used for initiating team and duo lane fights, this ability is beautiful when used as an escape, as it employs his passive to also increase his own movement speed. I max this ability last.
Solar Blessing is going to be your bread and butter for this build, as it serves as a damaging ability, your heal, a good poking mechanic, and your team's sustain for teamfights and duo lane fights. It also serves its purpose well when placed in the enemy tower for diving with minimal sacrifice. I max this ability first for the extra damage and sustain.
Searing Pain is one of the most glorious ultimates in the game, dealing an enormous amount of burst damage and simultaneously making you cc immune. This ability is best used as a chasing ability for the more hawk-eyed of us (pun intended), but can also be used as an initiation for teamfights and duo lane scuffles. Put points into it whenever available.
Here's what an ideal jungle gank initiation with Ra would look like:
Drop a Solar Blessing onto your enemy, following up with Divine Light to blind and slow them, while shooting off Celestial Beam to begin weakening them, then helping your carry finish them off by using Searing Pain for a snipe.
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Alternatively, an in-lane gank may look like this:
Initiate with Searing Pain to damage and scare the enemies, chasing them with Divine Light and dropping a Solar Blessing on top of them, further damaging them with Celestial Beam.
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Ra is one of the most versatile gods in Smite, able to play in basically any lane when built right, but what's more important is how he's played throughout the game in order to ultimately define his role completely and without a doubt. Here's where we'll look at the specifics of his gameplay.
Although Ra's clearing ability is great, even early, it's important that we understand that the CARRY NEEDS THE FARM MORE. Plus, since we've built Watcher's Gift, we're able to throw out one ability to HELP clear the wave without taking last hits from your friendly neighborhood adc, and while simultaneously receiving the benefit anyway to help stack up your Warlock's Sash (but we'll get to that).
The Golden Sash we've picked up with the Watcher's Gift isn't going to be too significant until we have it fully built, although it will make you ever so slightly beefier, therefore allowing you to take a little bit more damage than Ra would normally be capable of taking. Your first priority early game is to help your adc clear lanes as fast as possible, your second is to poke the enemy laners and initiate to provide opportunities for him to get some early kills. A fed carry is a happy support, and Ra is no exception.
By the time you've finished building your Warlock's Sash and started your Shoes of Focus, you should hopefully have helped your carry secure a few kills, but if not, never fear! There's still plenty of game to go...
Upon completing your shoes you will likely be between the levels of 8 and 10, meaning you've successfully (I hope) entered mid game! Next you should begin building Sovereignty, and while keeping that in mind, it's also about time to start rotating so that your carry can have more uninterrupted farm. However, if your carry is in a position where they can easily be picked off, you may want to stay a bit longer.
Now, as far as rotations go, ideally you'll be visiting mid-lanes as soon as the third wave of mid camps are up. Now, this being not the most perfect of worlds, that may not happen, so it's best for you to just follow and rotate with the enemy support. Don't want them to cause too much mayhem for mid and solo lanes. Remember to make sure you CALL YOUR MIA'S as far as the support goes, because that guy can REALLY mess things up for your team if not accounted for.
This is also, of course, your time to start ganking mid and solo lanes, depending on where the opportunities/NEED can be found. If you can help your team secure some more kills, awesome! If not, but you can keep them alive, almost as good! Remember to make sure you're checking up on your adc every now and then as well, don't want them to be alone forever. Next, as far as items go, you should be finishing your Sovereignty and moving on to your Rod of Asclepius. You're gonna need it because it's time to enter... *drum roll* the late game!!
We've made it! And this is where things get crazy. Hopefully your team will have a warrior such as Chaac or Tyr who can handle most of the team fight initiating, however, being the support, it does fall to you to make most of this **** happen. Your main goal is keeping your teammates alive and providing opportunities for them to get kills. Of course, by this point, they should be pretty fed (in a perfect world) so they should be able to get kills fairly easily.
As you finish constructing your build WHILE KEEPING IN MIND the enemy team comp and trying to counter it best, it should be noted that you need to tank **** so that other gods can get objectives and whatnot. You best be tanking those Towers with your Solar Blessing. With your defense and heals, you should be the one to initiate on group objectives like the Fire Giant and the Gold Fury, as well as simple ones like taking down towers and phoenixes. Before you know it, you'll be ulting the Titan in the face!
Ra is an amazingly flexible god, allowing for a myriad of play styles. I count him as one of my favorites simply because of the enormous level of variety that his kit has to offer. I like to think of him as the #Chameleon of Smite.
Thanks for reading, let me know if there are any gods that you specifically want to see done in a different way. I specialize in gods going outside of the meta (insert terrified gasps from pros and flamers here) while remaining fun to play. I main Anubis, Ra, and Neith, with several other mages, assassins, and carries being my sub-specialties.
I you liked this guide you can check out some of my others!
Solo Ao Kuang
I also make videos! Check out my YouTube channel here!
Until next time, demigods!
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