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Swift and sure, we must flow to victory! S6 updated (Joust)

2084008 54
19 Votes

Smite God: He Bo

Build Guide Discussion (54) More Guides

Purchase Order


Build Item Talon Trinket Talon Trinket
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion

Full Build

Build Item Bancroft's Talon Bancroft's Talon
Build Item Shaman's Ring Shaman's Ring
Build Item Shoes of the Magi Shoes of the Magi
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation
Build Item Obsidian Shard Obsidian Shard
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti

Situational Items

Build Item Divine Ruin Divine Ruin
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus
Build Item Soul Reaver Soul Reaver

Relics (Situational) Notes Belt of Frenzy and Blink Rune are considered highly situational.

Build Item Meditation Cloak Meditation Cloak
Build Item Aegis Amulet Aegis Amulet
Build Item Purification Beads Purification Beads
Build Item Belt of Frenzy Belt of Frenzy
Build Item Blink Rune Blink Rune

Consumables (After Completed Build)

Build Item Potion of Magical Might Potion of Magical Might
Build Item Elixir of Power Elixir of Power

He Bo's Skill Order

Water Cannon

Water Cannon

1 X
2 7 11 14 16
Atlas of the Yellow River

Atlas of the Yellow River

2 A
4 12 15 18 19


3 B
1 3 6 8 10
Crushing Wave

Crushing Wave

4 Y
5 9 13 17 20

Content Overview

x About me
x Brief Preface

x In-depth Item Assessment
x Build stats

x Tips and Tricks
x Informational Scatter-plot
x Map Visual

x God Overview
x Pros/Cons

x God Skills/Abilities
x Combos

x Synergy
x Best matched roles
x Combos with other Gods


Hello and welcome to the ultimate He Bo guide!

My name is TangoDownY3k, aka Sahelanthropus13. I have been playing Smite since its beta launch on Xbox. He Bo was the first God I ever purchased, and since then I have come to gain over 7000 worshipers with him.

Mages have always been my preferred class, with 5 God rank 10 mages to date and over 500 hours played on that class alone.

Since its rework in season 3, joust has been my go to mode in both casual and ranked playlists. I look forward to sharing everything I know about He Bo and joust with you!

Introduction Summary Analysis Skills/Combos Tips/Tricks Match Ups



+ Insane damage
+ Shreds tanks
+ Good zoning
+ Strong team presence
+ Good initiation
+ Good cool down times
He Bo is such a strong mage. He is capable of outputting massive amounts of damage in quick, successive bursts. His high damage and short cool down times always allow for offensive strikes and constant lane dominance. He Bo excels at providing deadly assistance in team fights, and can quickly clean up low health enemies in the aftermath. He is also a force to be reckoned with when alone; being able to hold his own majority of the time. He Bo is a strong addition to any team, and can play a vital role in turning the tides of a match.


- Bad mobility
- Squishy
- Close(ish) range
- Low base health
Like any God, he has his downsides. Most of them revolving around his mobility issues. He Bo has been known to be very susceptible to ganking/surprise attacks. His low mobility and lack of escape moves make him an easy target for most assassins. Being squishy doesn't help either. He Bo is required to get in a little closer compared to most ranged mages, so this can make over extending an issue at times.


Bancroft's Talon
cost: 2500

+100 magical power
+15% magical lifesteal
+150 mana
PASSIVE - You gain additional Magical Power and Lifesteal scaled from missing Health. This caps at 100 power and 20% Lifesteal at 25% Health.

Bancroft's Talon is a staple item for most mages, especially in joust. It is best if this item is rushed before Shoes of the Magi, as there is not much need for movement speed in the early laning phase. The high magical power will provide an early power spike for your pokes, and the life steal/mana combo will provide much needed sustain for longer farming. This items passive will provide greater rewards in high risk situations at any stage in the game, potentially turning the tides of a fight.

Shaman's ring
cost: 1600

+100 magical power
+10% movement speed
PASSIVE – Dealing 100 damage to enemy gods gives you a stack. At 50 stacks Shaman's Ring evolves, gaining a new passive.

EVOLVED PASSIVE - Successfully hitting a god with a damaging ability causes them to become debuffed, taking 10% additional damage from your subsequent abilities and basic attacks for 5s.

This item is one of the cheapest and fastest ways to drive up your magical power early on. It will bring you up to 200 magical power while still in the (relatively) early laning phase, fast forwarding your snowballing capabilities remarkably, widening the gap between you and your competition instantly. The 10% movement speed is enough to justify buying it before Shoes of the Magi. Also, this items passive is very easy to complete with He Bo, and will go hand in hand with Steady Flow to deliver additional damage.

Shoes of the magi
cost: 1600

+55 magical power
+10 magical penetration
+18% movement speed

This is the basic boots choice for most mages. It will add a considerable amount of power given its price, and also marks the first in the series of penetration items. This item mixed with shamans ring will already make you faster than most mages, but combining it with Atlas of the Yellow River will ensure your safety in most situations. This is a proactive way to deal with He Bo's mobility issues at no extra cost.

Spear of desolation
cost: 2600

+100 magical power
+15 magical penetration
+10% cooldown reduction

PASSIVE - Earning a Kill or Assist subtracts 1s from all Abilities currently on Cooldown.

Spear of Desolation is yet another item which provides a high spike in power with appropriate timing. The game should be nearing (or already in) its late stages by the time this item is built. The high power and the flat penetration will allow you to bully opponents with ease and take bigger risks with confidence. The cooldown reduction given from both the item and its passive will allow you do it more frequently.

Obsidian shard
cost: 2300

+70 magical power
PASSIVE - Your Magic Damage ignores 15% of the target's Magic Protection. If the target has over 40 Magical Protections, this effect scales up to ignore a larger percentage of their protection. This caps at 45% Magical Penetration at 200 or more Magical Protection.

He bo excels at dealing huge amounts of damage in the least amount of moves, turning what would be a regular poke into a potentially lethal attack. At this point in the build, you will already have an above average amount of power, and a good deal of penetration. Obsidian shard is how you are going to drive it home, ensuring that this damage can and will be done to everyone. The passive ability is what you will benefit from the most, but the 70 extra power will compliment it nicely, and keep you above the competition.

Rod of tahuti
cost: 3000

+150 magical power
+30 mp5
PASSIVE - Gain 25% additional Magical Power against targets below 50% Health.

This item acts as the finale. Reaching this point in the build will bring you as close to unstoppable as possible. You are Thanos, and this, your last infinity stone. All of your penetration and protection ignoring items have paved the way. They have split the sea of defense for you to walk right in, and what better to walk in with than an additional 150 power? All of your items; stats AND passives, will work hand in hand to deliver the most devastating combination.


STEADY FLOW (Passive): Every time He Bo uses an ability, he gains a 5% magical power buff that can stack 3 times. The passive has a duration of 5 seconds, but refreshes whenever an ability is used. Make use of this in any situation you can. (refer to combos section).

WATER CANNON (1): This is a close range cone attack that deals 90/140/190/240/290 damage +80% of your magical power. This requires you to get a little closer than usual, but pairs very well with Waterspout for a devastating combo. Also helpful in lane clearing.

ATLAS OF THE YELLOW RIVER (2):This is a line/zoning ability that slows enemies by 30/35/40/45/50% and increases the speed of allies by the same amount. it has a duration of 7 seconds. This can be a very important ability for zoning objectives and confirming kills, along with getting you and your team mates out of trouble.

WATERSPOUT (3): This is a ranged ground target knock up ability. It deals 80/130/180/230/280 +85% of your magical power. This and Water Cannon will form the core of majority of your combos. This move acts as an excellent poke, a good lane clear, and a great initiator for combos/kill confirms.

CRUSHING WAVE (4): This is a line ability that deals 370/450/530/610/690 +115% of your magical power. This move can either initiate or finish a combo, or even be used on its own. This ability is amazing for hitting multiple Gods bunched together in a team fight, turning the tides and either killing everyone or rendering them easy kill confirms for your team mates.


Bread and Butter
Just as the title suggests, this is your bread and butter. You should use this as your basic form of attack. The knock up will make (most) Gods unable to move until they land, resulting in a perfect opportunity for Water Cannon to be waiting for them on the ground. This is a basic combo but can be quite deadly.

Click to View Bread and Butter Demo

Advanced Bread and Butter
This combo simply acts as an extension of the last. The only difference here is that Atlas of the Yellow River will keep your enemies in place while you attack, as well as adding a stack to Steady Flow, increasing your bread and butter damage.

Swift Submerge
Upon completing the build, this combo should be enough to kill most non tanks. Atlas of the Yellow River and Waterspout add 2 stacks (10% magical power), making Crushing Wave even more lethal. Use Crushing Wave while the enemy is still airborne from the knock up to ensure they can't escape. If the enemy happens to still be alive, quickly whip around and use Water Cannon once more.

Click to View Swift Submerge Demo

Masterful Monsoon
Masterful Monsoon makes use of every ability, maxing out Steady Flow stacks. The order of the abilities is important, due to the fact that in this order, the damage for each ability scales from weakest to highest, meaning Steady Flow will scale to its max damage right in time for your most damaging move.

Click to View Masterful Monsoon Demo

Tips and Tricks

  • He Bo's Waterspout has the ability to interrupt non CC immune aerial attacks such as Xing Tian's Hook Slam, preventing damage from occurring. You can save a team mates life with this!
  • All knock up abilities will preserve the momentum/direction of an enemy. This means that if an enemy is traveling towards you, hitting them with Waterspout will force them further into your direction. Use this to pull unsuspecting victims into the tower/phoenix for a little extra damage, or even a kill set up. Avoid using this on an enemy who is running away from you. If you don't think Waterspout alone will kill them, all this will do is send them further away from you. Because you can't move while casting this ability, they are sure to get away.
  • In the early game, your Waterspout will do more damage than your Water Cannon. However, after these abilities start to level up, the opposite slowly becomes true. Keep this in mind when
    choosing which ability to use when confirming a kill.
  • Before clearing lane minions, wait to see what your enemies will do. It isn't out of the ordinary for the enemy to wait until your poke is wasted on minions, and then attack. Give it a couple seconds before you decide where your move should be placed.
  • A simple yet effective one; always remember that your Atlas of the Yellow River can reach from the fountain to the phoenix, and from the phoenix to the tower. This is illustrated on the map below. This can be effective in quickly returning to battle and salvaging a tower/phoenix after a deicide.

Key Map Points

Match Ups

Athena's Synergy

Medusa's Synergy

Awilix's Synergy


Thank you very much for sitting through this guide. I truly hope you have learned something here; He Bo player or not. The intention of this guide has always been for old and new smite players alike to gather and share what they know. I am learning new things about smite, and even He Bo, every single day and that is my hope for everyone else as well. Please feel free to comment or critique, as I am always updating. This guide and this build will forever remain a work in progress, and it is thanks to this wonderful community that I have been able to grow and adapt as this game adapts.

Thank you very much- TangoDownY3k


Changes and Additions

October 27, 2015- Huge thank you to xXbeardAngelsXx for suggesting Obsidian shard as an effective penetration item. An even bigger thank you for stating a reason why.
October 28, 2015- Switched P.O. Of Gem of isolation and Book of thoth.
April 4, 2016- Added Pure Power build!!!
April 4, 2016- Added Match-Ups chapter!!!
April 4, 2016- Got rid of Warlock's sash
April 4, 2016- Got rid of Gem of Isolation
April 4, 2016- Added Spear of Desolation
April 4, 2016- Added Obsidian Shard
April 4, 2016- Switched P.O. of Book of Thoth
April 4, 2016- Switched P.O. of Ethereal Staff
April 4, 2016- Switched P.O. of Rod of Tahuti
April 4, 2016- Switched Wards for Mana Pots
April 4, 2016- Switched Magic Shoes to Shoes
May 12, 2016- Thank you Technotoad64 for helping me with the complete color change!!!
May 12, 2016- Changed all font sizes
May 16, 2016- Changed title (was "he bo s3 updated build/guide all around + pure power")
June 22, 2016- Switched mana cost for waterspout
February 14, 2017- Prepared the way for Season 4!!
June 26, 2017- Removed Rallying ritual and Revealing ritual
March 1, 2018- Switched out Soul stone for Mage's blessing
March 1, 2018- First step into Season 5 transition. Stay tuned!
March 1, 2018- Replaced Pros/Cons with Build Stats
March 1, 2018- Complete transition into Season 5!!
May 10, 2018- Switched P.O. of Rod of Tahuti and Rod of Desolation
December 14, 2018- Complete revision of Pure Power build
December 14, 2018- eliminated All Around build
December 14, 2018- added Updates, Thoughts, and Plans for the Future chapter
December 14, 2018- Changed title (was "Swift and sure, we must flow to victory! S5 updated (all modes))
April 8, 2019- Complete UI overhaul
May 27, 2019- Build re-examination
May 30, 2019- Corrected some minor mistakes in guide

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boogiebass (37) | May 28, 2019 2:31am
I think shamans ring is in there too early. Some of your relic options don't make sense.
TangoDownY3k (1) | May 28, 2019 10:07am
Every new item undergoes 25 games of testing before being added into the build. Observations are recorded on paper throughout this process. In the case of Shaman's Ring, almost every scenario in which it was built second saw the enemy mage (and most enemies in general) never being able to catch up in power throughout the early to mid game. More on this in the analysis chapter.
Kriega1 (78) | May 28, 2019 10:37am
TangoDownY3k wrote:
In the case of Shaman's Ring, almost every scenario in which it was built second saw the enemy mage (and most enemies in general) never being able to catch up in power throughout the early to mid game.

To be fair, He Bo is quite strong in joust so I wouldn't be suprised.
TangoDownY3k (1) | May 28, 2019 10:09am
This process applies to relics as well. While I admit that in most test runs the last 2 relics were a waste of a relic slot, there were games in which buying these relics lead to much success. Hence why they are now called "Highly Situational".
Kriega1 (78) | May 28, 2019 3:11am
Mainly just Frenzy. Blink can be utilised but it’s more of a conquest jungle thing (maybe can work in joust). Meditation is usually picked up by a tank.
TangoDownY3k (1) | May 27, 2019 1:01am
Build has been re-examined but the synergies and threats are still pending! Thanks for the patience :)
Kriega1 (78) | May 27, 2019 1:26am
Oh wow look who added Bancrofts
TangoDownY3k (1) | May 27, 2019 5:47pm
Yes! I broke down. I was hell bent on the book of thoth + soul reaver combo because of the added power, however once i started to phase out stacking, soul reaver became less viable. WIth an additional slot I thought why not give it a shot.
Kriega1 (78) | April 24, 2019 6:39am
If this is for joust why don't you list any counter defensive items? Like Dynasty Plate Helm or Magi's Cloak?
TangoDownY3k (1) | May 27, 2019 1:03am
It's intended to be a pure power/glass build. I'll see if I can specify that somewhere.
Kriega1 (78) | May 27, 2019 1:24am
So what exactly do you do in situations that would necessitate such pickups? Are players viewing this guide supposed to just get deleted instead because you won’t even mention defensive situationals?
Load more comments (8 more replies) →
lag15 | April 12, 2019 2:17am
at the end of the post there are Synergy's but can you please explain why they are and how
TangoDownY3k (1) | April 12, 2019 8:23am
Yes! Super sorry they aren't there already. Within the next week, expect to see a full list of synergies for multiple Gods, along with a threats section. Thanks for stopping by :)
Kriega1 (78) | December 14, 2018 4:28am
Bancrofts should be added as an option.
TangoDownY3k (1) | December 15, 2018 9:56pm
As I've stated in the guide, each item was selected and tested in accordance with each other. While the individual stats of the item are good, it's efficiency cannot be maximized when combined with the other items listed. The stats of Soul Reaver combined with the passive of Book of Thoth add an additional 80+ magical power; just 20 shy of the full stats of Bancrofts. In other words, almost enough for virtually a 7th item. As for the life steal, He Bo cannot make use of it in ways that other mages can, and sacrificing another item to fit it in may compromise the builds integrity. People are more than welcome to switch out any item they please if they feel it suits them better, but it will not be added into the build. Thank you for the suggestion regardless :)
Kriega1 (78) | December 16, 2018 1:54am
TangoDownY3k wrote:
As for the life steal, He Bo cannot make use of it in ways that other mages can, and sacrificing another item to fit it in may compromise the builds integrity.

Lifesteal isn't the main point, it's just a bonus (though in joust this lifesteal is pretty useful). The whole point is for the extra power it can provide you early game, allowing you to turn on opponents and outplay them. Without some mana items / being a higher level in the match you don't really benefit from Book of Thoth early game except for early clear (which is only if you rush Book of Souls, and Talon Trinket pretty much provides the same benefit for early clear), which makes Bancrofts a stronger option early on in the match. Meanwhile Book of Thoth needs to be stacked fully to gain any major benefit from it's passive before you get more mana items online. Take Paul for instance, one of the best if not the best He Bo players. He builds Bancrofts first item since he starts with the tier 2 of bancrofts, Talon Trinket.

He rushes Bancrofts on He Bo for the early game power spike. Add some flat pen items like Magi boots, deso or Magus and % pen from obsidian and you can get a lot of damage off early to mid game, with still highly relevant damage lategame, where Soul Reaver is still an option.

At the very least, avoid being close minded and add Bancrofts as an alternative item choice, even if you're not going to make it the focus of your main build.

Now thats out of the way, some other things need adjustments. First, remove Meditation Cloak. You absolutely should never build this item on He Bo outside of assault.

Second, your starter is lackluster. Way too much gold wasted on potions, and boots 1 is not a good start. Instead go Book of Souls, 1 Healing Potion and 2 x Mana Potions if you're building Book of Thoth. If it's joust, then bancrofts is even more important for the sustain it provides, in which case start Talon Trinket, 1 Mana Potion and either 1 Healing Potion or 1 Multi Potion.

And in regards to build stats, you do realise 900 magical power is the cap for items right? (Outside of buff passives and Steady Flow.
Load more comments (6 more replies) →
Kriega1 (78) | October 24, 2018 10:27am
Oh dear what are these builds... Especially the second one.

Supposedly for all modes but I don't see a single mode that one would be good in. Maybe the first one in arena but it's still not great.
Branmuffin17 (280) | October 24, 2018 10:54am
In this case, specifically the most questionable component is Ethereal Staff, and is not recommended. Yes, it provides a measure of survivability due to the health steal (different from lifesteal), but still, not recommended.

Also, because he's got such good poke and overall damage potential, you'll almost always want to go with Shoes of the Magi over Shoes of Focus. You want all the pen you can get.

Other popular items include Bancroft's Talon and Soul Reaver. Reaver in particular is great because his Water Cannon has such a low CD (3 seconds).

As for your skill leveling, when possible, you want to prioritize Water Cannon, again due to high damage and low CD on the ability, helpful for wave clear, jungle clear, etc. Yes, you have to be in close, but Waterspout has lower overall damage potential and is typically only going to used once for poke/control in a single engagement.

Which also begs the question: why are you putting more points into Atlas of the Yellow River before you max out Water Cannon?!?!?

Most of your items are fine, perhaps with some tweaks...Thoth is basically a given, and Ob Shard is generally core. But you want to show other options for items... Book of the Dead, Divine Ruin, etc. And again...probably need to get rid of Ethereal.
Gary169 (7) | October 24, 2018 11:23am
Also, I think you missed:
For the first build, Obsidian Shard is in there too early.
For the second build, he double stacks.

I think this was intended for conquest since tangodown mentions mid laning a lot throughout the guide. Also, lore should be removed from the guide. Someone looking to get better with this god won't care about He Bo's mythology.
Load more comments (8 more replies) →
Kriega1 (78) | February 16, 2018 9:12am
Why is this guide listed under Season 5 if it is still using Season 4 starter items?
Wayne3100 (43) | February 22, 2018 12:33am
The category which a guide is placed in is chosen based on the last time the guide was updated, which was earlier this month. However, seeing as the title still mentions S4 and the cheatsheet still contains Soul Stone as part of the build, I think we can agree this author has more work to do ;)
TangoDownY3k (1) | March 1, 2018 1:48pm
Thank you for pointing this out. I have changed the build to match season 5, although I have not yet had a chance to test it out myself. My knowledge of season 5 comes solely from research, and not practice. I apologize in advance if the items contained in the build are no longer relevant to the meta. More changes to come! Thank you for your patience :)
Technotoad64 (45) | May 24, 2016 9:14am
Does He Bo have any weakness? Other than just being squishy like most mages are?
DucksRock (41) | August 26, 2016 2:25am
Technotoad64 wrote:
Does He Bo have any weakness? Other than just being squishy like most mages are?

Caught with no watersprout/ ult, dead

out of position, dead

ganked pre five, dead.

cc'd, dead.
TangoDownY3k (1) | May 25, 2016 11:40am
This is a very interesting question... I guess it's safe to say that every mage has their own weaknesses. For He Bo, a problem many people have is escaping. He bo's only forms of escape are his ult and scroll. The problem here is that the scroll is merely a speed buff, and won't get you out of something like a Hades ult. The ult, however, will. The problem here is that using He Bo's ult to escape is usually never worth it. It is capable of so much damage, and would be a shame to use it to save yourself. There is however, the rare case when it is worth it. If your team desperately needs you, and you won't come back for 60 seconds if you die, then use the ult. Your 1 and 3 are not shy on damage, so stick with those to help the team. If escapes are the only thing holding you back, and you feel like sprint would be a good idea, ITS NOT. He Bo's scroll offers you a 50% movement speed buff, which is higher than sprint. Meaning if someone is chasing you down and pops sprint, you can and will outrun them by just using your scroll. All in all, One of He Bo's only weaknesses is escaping (alongside being squishy). If you would like to know more ways to combat this weakness, or if I didn't fully answer the question, feel free to PM me.
FalseShepherd3 | August 25, 2016 11:39pm
To be honest you can probably kill the Hades before he kills you with his ult.
Technotoad64 (45) | May 2, 2016 10:04am
The guide itself is really good, except looking at the compacted text and bright colors gives me a headache. I can redo the BBCode in it for you. PM me if you're interested. I really would like to help.
Technotoad64 (45) | May 15, 2016 7:33pm
Now it's a lot better. Thank you for toning down the colors.
TangoDownY3k (1) | May 16, 2016 1:04pm
No worries! Thank you for pointing it out to me!
MingePot | October 27, 2015 10:09pm
get obsidian shard like the other guy said, or a spear of magus to help out other mages. Penetration is very important for all mages you should get it every game.
TangoDownY3k (1) | October 27, 2015 8:29pm
FuZe 2point0 wrote:

I hate u

I love you too.
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League of Legends Build Guide Author TangoDownY3k
Swift and sure, we must flow to victory! S6 updated (Joust)
19 Votes
Table of Contents

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