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The Ninth Wind [Perfected for Season 7] by 15 Star Kuku Main

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Smite God: Kukulkan

Build Guide Discussion (106) More Guides

Purchase Order

core Notes Detailed stats on why makes this the defacto best build for Kukulkan in Season 7 down below (lots of testing)

NOTE: Have a table here, will update the one in the UI when I get time (takes forever). But that google sheet shows why this is the highest damage output along with some other options. I plan to eventually test which of the final two items is better to swap with situationals (anti-heal, defense) and which items are best to replace boots after a speed pot late game. All this testing and documenting takes tons of time, but I just wanted to get out this build to you guys at the season start.

Build Item Book of Thoth Book of Thoth
Build Item Shoes of Focus Shoes of Focus
Build Item Polynomicon Polynomicon
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus
Build Item Obsidian Shard Obsidian Shard
Build Item Soul Reaver Soul Reaver

Out of the Gate Notes Kuku struggles if you don't get him online early, and Book of Souls starts you off with the best damage possible, and working straight into Thoth.

Build Item Book of Souls Book of Souls
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion
Build Item Healing Potion Healing Potion

Shoes Replacement Notes Section below dedicated to explaining each of these options.

Build Item Staff of Myrddin Staff of Myrddin
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation
Build Item Chronos' Pendant Chronos' Pendant
Build Item Breastplate of Valor Breastplate of Valor
Build Item Relic Dagger Relic Dagger

Kukulkan's Skill Order

Zephyr

Zephyr

1 X
2 8 11 12 14
Slipstream

Slipstream

2 A
3 15 16 18 19
Whirlwind

Whirlwind

3 B
1 4 6 7 10
Spirit of the Nine Winds

Spirit of the Nine Winds

4 Y
5 9 13 17 20
Array ( [extreme] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 26 [display_name] => Bacchus [url] => bacchus ) [scoreVal] => 1 [notes] => Bacchus's ability to so rapidly and consistently get over your front line, onto you, and deal severe damage again and again, take you out of the fight while the enemy team pushes in, and escape just as easily... well, if you play much Kuku, you know there's very little you can do about this. ) [1] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 15 [display_name] => He Bo [url] => he-bo ) [scoreVal] => 1 [notes] => Kuku can deal with most mages fairly well, but He Bo, when played well, is an exception. His damaging abilities match Kuku's range and then some, and all of them, including his ult, cast faster and hit harder. If he gets close, you're probably already dead. To make things worse, his ult can always pre-empt yours if he's in range. ) [2] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 34 [display_name] => Ne Zha [url] => ne-zha ) [scoreVal] => 1 [notes] => Ne Zha's ability to ruin you with her stun dash and ult is absolute. She can even build bruiser, box your tank, and wait for you to move in close enough to help, then turn and simply delete you if your beads are burned. This causes her to really change the way you're able to engage. She bounces backwards pretty far after landing from her ult too, and has an invincibility frame during that animation so you can't reliably guaranteed an ult on her when she lands. Recommendation: Get relic dagger for the 40s CDR on your beads. ) [3] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 50 [display_name] => Scylla [url] => scylla ) [scoreVal] => 1 [notes] => Sylla has a real escape that doubles as a root. This is huge. It means every time your jungler is rotating, he's going to consider her a low likelihood in success in terms of ganking potential and thus she will get ganked very rarely. You, on the other hand, have no real escape, and the enmy jungle will thirst you all game. Her high damage zoning ability is harder to avoid than yours (Whirlwind takes nearly a second of exposure to the target before the target is even considered hit), and you're going to struggle. ) [4] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 9 [display_name] => Sobek [url] => sobek ) [scoreVal] => 1 [notes] => Beware of Sobek throws. You sure don't have a way out once you're airborne. This guy can absolutely ruin your game since you have no escape. ) [5] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 79 [display_name] => Terra [url] => terra ) [scoreVal] => 1 [notes] => Like Bacchus and Athena, Terra, perhaps moreso than any, can be an extreme and consistent problem for Kuku, with the ability to reach deep into the back-line, immobilize him for an extended period of time, and make it impossible for him to kite away from approaching enemies. ) ) [major] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 23 [display_name] => Ares [url] => ares ) [scoreVal] => 2 [notes] => Once again, Kuku's lack of a CC immune ult make's Are's ult an obvious problem once beads are down. And the fact that Kuku needs his beads up to survive the attacks of many enemies seeing him as an easy snack means a god capable of burning them often is always a huge threat. Recommendation: Consider relic dagger. ) [1] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 37 [display_name] => Athena [url] => athena ) [scoreVal] => 2 [notes] => Athena, when played well, has essentially the same devastating effect as Bacchus against Kuku. She charges in deep, locks you up, deals pretty serious damage potentially, and meanwhile the enemy team initiates, often catching you with a finishing hit before you can get orientated from Athena twirling you around like a ballroom dancer. ) [2] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 35 [display_name] => Fenrir [url] => fenrir ) [scoreVal] => 2 [notes] => Very high mobility assassin are all threats to Kuku, any who can CC him rapidly, shutting down his response are among the worst. ) [3] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 11 [display_name] => Odin [url] => odin ) [scoreVal] => 2 [notes] => The new Odin is nasty and without a way to escape it when your phantom is burned, you're in a pickle. Plus, just ban him if you can because even if you aren't that worried about him, he's a pain for your team to deal with. ) [4] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 76 [display_name] => Susano [url] => susano ) [scoreVal] => 2 [notes] => Like with all threats to Kuku, high mobility and the ability to kite away afterwards makes a serious problem for Kuku to deal with. Susano will harass you consistently and get away with it. ) [5] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 106 [display_name] => Yemoja [url] => yemoja ) [scoreVal] => 2 [notes] => Her poke is nasty right now and you can't escape her ult. Simple as that, be careful facing a good one. ) ) [even] => Array ( [0] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 88 [display_name] => Da Ji [url] => da-ji ) [scoreVal] => 3 [notes] => Without having a CC immune ult, once Kuku's beads are down, he's a free kill for an ult like Da Ji's. ) [1] => Array ( [god] => Array ( [god_id] => 97 [display_name] => Pele [url] => pele ) [scoreVal] => 3 [notes] => A dangerous an highly mobile assassin, like most, is something to be very careful of with an escapeless god like Kuku. ) ) ) 1

Kukulkan' Threats

Maximum
6
Major
6
Even
2
Minor
0
Tiny
0
Click each Level on the left to view
Kukulkan' threats

Introduction

(old stats from last year, updating this guide for S7, this is sort of a pre-release)

I pretty much play Smite to land Kuku snipes. Kuku's ability to turn the tide of the game in one ult is nearly unmatched. Your job is to put yourself in the right places at the right times to use the chaos of a late game team fight to hit 3-4 enemies with a devastating
ult / combo to secure the advantage or victory for your team. I mostly enjoy Joust, but can do equally well with this build in Conquest.

Kuku in high ranked play is like a stealth bomber approaching a battle. Very vulnerable if caught out of position, every enemy outclasses you in single combat, and everyone on board knows every moment is potentially their last, but with careful execution and with an even moderately capable team, a well placed nuclear Kuku combo can take out a winning enemy's flagships and suddenly it's 5v2, 5v1, 5v0, and two phoenixes are down when you were just losing. Do it one more time and it's over. That's the game you're playing with Kuku.

So a little data on my background with Kuku:

Wins 1051
Losses 741
Kills 10147

This guide evolved lots over the years, but after much discussion in the comments, in S6 I simply tested all possible decent builds into a table and determined the best one. I've done the same at the very start of S7. Enjoy.

Itemization Fundamentals

Test, test, test! Instead of explaining passives and stats, I'm going to compare the raw numbers of what happens when you use various builds against tanky and squishy players. Note that builds with staff of Myrddin will list Zephyr damage as the two hits combined, since you should be using the item's passive to double Zephyr, and the sequence is relevant depending on other passives such as the new season 7 version of Spear of the Magus, which now stacks damage increases based on sequential hits with the same ability.

You can find charts below and a Google Sheets table with even more data supporting this build.

Items

Guide To make things fit...

# Build #
Tnk Tank, 150 magical protection
Sqsh Squishy, 50 magical protection

Builds

Build #1 (Winner) Combo Dmg v Tnk: 1684 Combo Dmg v Sqsh: 3235
Build #2 Combo Dmg v Tnk: 1460 Combo Dmg v Sqsh: 3155


* Chart will be completed, link to Google Sheets table available here in the mean time.

Alternate Items

When replacing boots after buying speed pot, the items listed below have various advantages depending on your situation.

chronos pendant Chronos Pendant This is great for its cool-down reduction, plain and simple.

Spear of Desolation: This adds pen, CDR, and power. It's the highest damage boost you can add plus it keeps the CDR you had with CDR boots.

Breastplate of Valor: This gives good CDR and offers magical protection if you're being targeted.

Staff of Myrddin: This creates a very unique new combo in which you can zephyr twice after an ult, in which case your combo becomes: Whirlwinds to force the enemy to choose a direction of motion, ult them, then zephyr twice. Useful against bruisers and tanks blinking or jumping past your team onto you and you need to be able to delete them.

Relic Dagger: WTF? you might ask. This is actually a strong pick in some situations. Let's say the enemy team has an Odin, or a Ne Zha, or any god who can essentially delete you once your beads or phantom is burned, having 40 seconds off your relic cooldown can be an absolute game changer. Consider it.

Doom Orb Start vs Thoth Start

Since an experienced commenter (who's helped me improve this build in the past) suggested a Doom Orb start instead of Book of Thoth as a way to boost early game damage, I spent a morning testing it in depth, and the damage curve is as follows (with the higher early curve being Doom Orb start, and the higher late curve being Thoth start. Long story short, at some point to reach optimal late game damage you have to sell Doom Orb for Thoth, but when exactly? How much will starting Doom Orb improve your early game damage? How much will it delay your transition to optimal late game damage? Here's the detailed Google Sheets data.



Analysis: Building Doom Orb will significantly increase your damage output during a small time frame strictly between your first and third item. Your overall average damage contribution throughout the game will statistically drop slightly. After your third item, this buff you chose for your early game will fall off and you'll begin to do less damage than you would have starting Book of Thoth between your 4th and 6th items, and until you finish stacking Book of Thoth. I've tried it in ranked play against a strong early game team (double warrior) and the consequence was that while it may have helped thwart their early game strength, the usual falloff their composition would have had mid game was negated by MY falloff, and I wasn't able to output enough damage mid-late game to hold them back.

Skills

Ability 1: Zephyr:

Zephy actually hits for a very small AoE. That means if the enemy is hiding just behind another enemy or minion, you can often hit them through the front target or minion.

Enemies will often underestimate the speed and range of this ability - it can hit all the way from the outside of tower to an enemy god nearly touching their tower. This is really useful for pegging a low enemy god, when they think they're far enough, and you'll often kill them, or you just drop a whirlwind on top of them and run away, and they'll be too slow to get out in time, and die.

Ability 2: Slipstream:

A buff to the early game speed of this ability single handedly brought Kuku from a B or C tier god to an occasional ranked first pick / ban. It's extremely valuable to escape and enter positions and negates slows, making it great for thwarting many gods who reply on slows in their kit.

Ability 3: Whirlwind:

This is almost always used as a follow up to zephyr, or else waveclear. It's big enough to cover half of the lane, so place it on the side of the lane, not directly over the minions (still close enough so they walk through it) and that'll force the enemy team to walk to the other side of the lane to push.

This is also great for protecting you from assassins. If they do go into it, just Zephyr them and Slipstream around making it hard for them to basic you, or even aegis while they chase you inside of it, and you'll easily kill them with poly after whirlwind takes their health down.

Ability 4: Spirit of the Nine Winds:

There's an entire section on Kuku's ult later in the guide in the Advanced Tactics section. Read on.

Skill Combos

Core Combo - It's really simple: Zephyr, basic attack (proc Poly), Whirlwind, and Ult.

[add video example]

"Oh ****! / F*** Off! Combo You turn a corner and are face to face with an mage or hunter who can kill you just by sneezing. Or one of those cheeky bast**ds dives over your team or into your tower to get you. Zephyr, Ult, basic attack (proc poly), then Whirlwind. I'm sorry, were you trying to kill me? How did that work out for you? Enjoy your respawn timer. If you don't have time to Zephyr first (which makes ulting them easier), you may need to ult first to get the knock-up before the enemy can CC and kill you, and land the Zephyr as the knock-up ends, Poly proc, Whirlwind, Slipstream.

[add video example]

Advanced Tactics

Now here we are. This isn't going to cover a whole lot of information, but it's going to take alot of practice to use these tips correctly. Remember, this guide assumes you already know Kuku's basics and are looking for a way to play Kuku well on a higher level, versus good players.

Control - Before anything else, its vital that you use a mouse that you can map all of your abilities to. You need to be able to execute your skills extremely fast and easily, while keeping your hands on your AWSD keys. If you're going to play any ability based god at a high level against fast, skilled player, you absolutely cannot be using your 1-4 keys to trigger abilities.

Placement - Kuku is an easy god in terms of his basic combo. Until you're up against good players, who dont just walk through your whirlwind, or get close enough to let you hit a Zephyr, without having an escape. Then he's not hard, but placing the whirlwind properly becomes something you have to focus on. Even if you land the Zephyr to slow them, it's not as effective early and you still need to lead the Whirldwind to where they're running.

Spacing - Hit and run. You're like a UFC fighter or boxer with a longer reach. Your Zephyr is a hard hitting ability that hits further away than many mage skills. Practice staying at the maximum length from your opponent, as if there's a pole connecting the two of you over the length of Zephyr's range. Hit the zephyr, if you have Poly, basic quickly, move an inch forward to drop the Whirlwind and quickly back up.

Sneaking - In the tense environment of the late game 3v3, where a single kill or death can win or lose the game very quickly, equipped with a high burst mage like Kuku who can handle many close encounter situations in the jungle, I often find myself sneaking around the sides rather than up the lane, placing sentries and hoping to ambush the enemy team in the lane with a whirlwind over the wall, followed by an ult through the wall to get a kill or two without putting myself at risk and without the enemy being able to fight back. However this is a delicate tactic. You have to be careful not to spend too much time doing this, trying to be the lone hero when it might be safer and more advantageous to stay with the team and have a straight forward 3v3 team fight. This is something you have to get a feel for and choose wisely.

Ulting - Kuku's ult is a great tool for chasing down kills. But any moron who isn't terrible at the game can juke your ult if he can see you. That's why you aren't going to ever ult a long range target from where they can see you. For the final tips of this guide, we're going to go over a few specific situations for ulting, and how to land those hard to hit snipes time and time again. This is where you win games, early, mid, and late.

But first, quickly let's look at leading targets. This is something you have to practice. A lot. You have to know how far to lead which gods, from what angles. Often times if you aren't hidden when you ult (try to always be hidden, but sometimes you don't have that luxury) you need to employ some reverse psychology. Expect the enemy to be smart, and juke your ult. Feel which side they'll juke towards, whichever side would be safest for them. Where would you go if you were expecting the ult? Aim there and launch it. I hit about 70% of these shots or more.

It just takes practice learning where people will go. Its important that you learn to lead people behind walls, even when you lose vision on them totally. The lower health they are, the more predictable they become; save your ult for these low health, predictable targets.

The hardest thing to guess is dashes. But you can land ults at the end of dashes. Lets say you got wiped, you're coming back to tower and there's an assassin with a dash trying to get as many basics in on your tower as they can before you get there. Ult away from them, expecting them to dash out of tower when they hear your ult, and you can hit them at the end of their dash or jump. This kind of situation happens often.

So lets go over some specific ult situations on the Joust map:


[*] Your target is low, the enemy team is falling back under their tower, your team is pushing the lane. Step into the Red Buff jungle quickly, go around and look around the corner, hidden, and look for the low person to back within range. Aim and release fast, often times, even in ranked, people are already looking at items, thinking they're safe to back, and you get the kill.

[add video example]

[*] Your target is low, the enemy team is falling back under their tower, your team is pushing the lane, but the enemy isn't backing. Same thing as before, but the low target is staying, wanting some more wave XP before they back. You have a few options here while you're looking around the corner from the jungle. First, if they seem to be moving predictably, lead them with your ult, plan on them backing to safety when they hear it (but they wont see it coming, you're hidden), and throw it so that they back into it. Or, if they get close enough, drop a whirlwind on them, come into lane, and often times they'll run at the edge of the map toward their tower - launch the ult at their side pinning them to the wall, down the side of the map, they'll almost always veer away from the wall thinking you're aiming right at them, and run into it.

[add video example]

[*] The enemy team is all very low, falling back under their tower, your team is pushing the lane, but the enemy wants to clear the wave before they back. Go into the jungle at their Blue buff, either wait for your team to get close enough to get vision through their blue buff wall or place a ward over the wall, and predict their movement. You'll often get kills hitting them from the side like this. They rarely expect it, and have no idea whether you're going do FG or their blue buff, and cant see the ult coming fast enough to react.

[add video example]

[*] Your low target ran away, you're out in the open, but they're at the edge of the map about to pass behind their tower. Even though you're in the open, you're about to have a moment where their tower is between them and you. This happens from time to time, they think they're pretty safe, but theyre too smart to just back behind tower. As soon as they get behind it, ult the other side of it, where they'll come out as they run past it trying to see where your ult is going (as it hits them in the face).

[add video example]

[*] You're doing Red Buff or FG, and the enemy team is coming to contest. Finish the buff with your ult, as your aim it through the buff and into the passageway where the enemy team is stuck on their way to you.

[add video example]

[*] You're being chased out in the open by an assassin. Turn to the side, ult sideways, and walk past it, the assassin trying to land basics on you will walk through it before they have time to react, drop a whirlwind between you and them and keep running, they'll be too low to keep pursuing.

[add video example]

[*] You're being initiated on out in the open by an assassin with a jump. The moment they begin their jump, ult forward, Zephyr them as they fall from the knock-up, and Poly should finish them with 1 basic.

[add video example]

[*] You just got CC'd and attacked from behind by a melee god. Don't waste time turning around, ult forward. Kuku's ult hits targets immediately behind him. They'll be hit if they're on top of you trying to finish you, turn around and Zephyr / Poly, then run.

[add video example]

Ranked Play

Get. A. Team. Do. Not. Solo. Queue.

You can execute every aspect of Kuku perfectly and still get sh*t on in ranked play if you don't A) have a guardian to protect you from dives B) have a team who is more skilled than the enemy, period. In ranked you will have a very very hard time ranking up without a good team on your side because it's not based on how well you play, but whether or not you win (and you won't play well no matter how good you are if you have a trash team).

For example I played Kuku solo queue, qualified into bronze, and worked my way up to silver 1. It was not easy or fun. I found a team and made it to plat in just a few weeks, but by the time I got there, I had played over 600 ranked games. If you look in the leaderboard of the Plat rank, you'll see people with only 20-40 games played to get there, most of which who qualified into gold or even plat, and did it all with a skilled premade team.

Do. Not. Solo. Queue.

Video Examples

As you can see I left placed marked in the guide where I want to add video examples - Ive recently started recording games, and just have to catch the right moments to turn into gifs for the guide.

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1
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Kriega1 (107) | March 6, 2020 2:02am
Are those build calculations with the reworked magus?
1
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ThePerfectPrism (53) | February 11, 2020 3:58pm
Hi Doom! I'm the Mage judge helping the Guide Contest for Season 7. I'm here to give you some quick feedback on how to improve your masterpiece!
  • You could provide us with more situationals! I know that when you're as experienced as you are with a character you already know exactly the best items possible for them, but we know that there are some items that work in some niche situations, and it's worth to include them so you can hand out some more information to whomever is looking to learn from you!
  • Your guide lacks some quick BBCoding. Here are some links to help you out: Guide Templates, Coding Q&A.

That's it! Good luck and I wish you the best!
1
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | February 8, 2020 8:52am
Announcement: I just re-tested CDR boots vs "pen" boots in S7 again and while I had tested it in the PTS and found CDR boots where still weaker, it seems I either made a mistake or something changed after the PTS and CDR boots are indeed now stronger, sorry for the error, I've been advising the wrong boots for a week now. I apologize.
1
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Kriega1 (107) | January 30, 2020 2:14am
You should consider some Doom Orb builds.
1
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | February 1, 2020 7:14am
Which items are you suggesting I try replacing with doom orb. Let me know and I'll test it
1
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Kriega1 (107) | February 1, 2020 7:47am
I would only add it as an alternative build and not for the main build but I would swap book of thoth for it.

Then again I haven't played new joust yet so maybe farming on the new map is really easy.
Load more comments (1 more replies) →
1
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FootFetish (4) | January 28, 2020 9:06pm
Hello! i wanted to note something; when you build Book of Thoth, the more mana you get the more benefitial it is. So if you're going to build Book of Thoth which is core on Kukulkan you might as well build Shoes of Focus. It pays off on damage and the penetration it's really not that big of a deal since you will get it on your next item.
You can correct me if i'm wrong anyway, because i am a stranger to kukulkan's damage and abilities.
1
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Kriega1 (107) | January 30, 2020 2:39am
FootFetish wrote:
So if you're going to build Book of Thoth which is core on Kukulkan

Surely Doom Orb is fine on him.
1
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | January 29, 2020 4:57am
EDIT: You're CORRECT. CDR boots are absolutely better now. My apology
1
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Kriega1 (107) | January 30, 2020 2:13am
Even if Magi shoes slightly outperform Focus shoes in a Thoth build, the difference is minimal compared to when Magi shoes had pen that I would just take Focus Shoes for the CDR instead.
1
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Kriega1 (107) | January 29, 2020 6:08am
Doom remember you need to look at the dps of a build during the course of the build / match and not just the end result.
Load more comments (3 more replies) →
1
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Devampi (95) | January 28, 2020 10:37pm
I agree especially since magi do not give any pen anymore.

fun stuff you are planning to go numbers, however this will only be per ability and will not factor CDR or the fact people can walk out of Whirlwind
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | January 29, 2020 5:01am
It does factor in that people can walk out of whirlwind; the damage is calculated only on two ticks of standing in whirlwind, plus the ticks that follow. It's true that I'm not factoring in CDR, but in my experience in higher levels of play, Diamond joust and above, you're only going to get one chance to land your damage within a usual Kuku cooldown time, the CDR isn't as important as having your one chance to land damage be more effective.
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Kriega1 (107) | May 22, 2019 11:22am
If you're going to build both Spear of the Magus and Obsidian Shard in your build, I don't think both Shoes of the Magi AND Spear of Desolation are necessary. Also Obsidian Shard usually comes after Spear of the Magus in a build.



My suggested alteration: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Polynomicon, Soul Reaver, Obsidian Shard.

Alternatively if you don't want magus then: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of Desolation, Obsidian Shard, Polynomicon, Soul Reaver.

Alternatively if you don't want Obsidian Shard: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Divine Ruin, Gem of Isolation, Rod of Tahuti. (this build is based around his 3)
1
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 22, 2019 9:22pm
I just went and completed tests for your suggested Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Polynomicon, Soul Reaver, Obsidian Shard build, it reduces damage done by a complete Kuku combo against Squishies (50 magical prot) by ~300 and increases damage done to tanks (225 magical prot) by ~60, which isn't really worth the minimal amount of CDR gained.

I havet tested Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of Desolation, Obsidian Shard, Polynomicon, Soul Reaver.
yet

Your utility build suggestion Obsidian Shard: Book of Thoth, Shoes of Focus, Spear of the Magus, Divine Ruin, Gem of Isolation, Rod of Tahuti on the other hand is difficult to debate, since the value of utility is impossible to judge in such tests, but I agree utility is an option, but I have to run hours of tests before I can determine if that exact build or one of many possible alternatives gives us the highest damage output while keeping Divine Ruin and Gem of Isolation. I'll consider doing those tests.
1
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Kriega1 (107) | May 22, 2019 10:44pm
The only thing is your full pen build, outside of book of thoth, doesen't have much mana sustain, and also in a lot of joust games you will need to get Divine Ruin.

At the very least, change the build order of your current build to be more suitable as the build/match progresses (as you're currently just looking at the finished build)

My suggested build order: Book of Thoth, Shoes of the Magi, Polynomicon, Spear of the Magus, Spear of Desolation, Obsidian Shard. (ideally I would get magus before Poly, but it's up to you).

Add an alternative build as well that swaps spear of deso for Divine Ruin.
2
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 22, 2019 1:33am
First: Woops if the mods didnt like me replying with this to each individual it's meant for (I see some of them got deleted), here's just a generic one in the main thread.

To everyone who's recently review my guide, I apologize for my mistake. You all pointed out dramatic flaws in my build, and for a few days I argued with you, disregarded your advice, and was just generally naive. Then I did some actual damage tests in game. Then more tests. Now.. Along with my apology, I've completely re-designed my build from the ground up, learned much about penetration and even more about the capability of my spells.

Again, thank you for your advice and I apologize for my stubborn naivety. Please consider changing your down vote if you left one if you like what I've done to the guide.
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Branmuffin17 (311) | May 22, 2019 10:32am
It was just a lot of clutter...made it simpler, and this is fine.
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Devampi (95) | May 20, 2019 11:16pm
I was planning to do a higher review, however it's not looking im going to have time for that anytime soon.

Not gonna be talking about the build more than below. The only thing I do have to say is that you focus way to much on the passive. Yes it's a great passive and you can get a lot of power from it. However focussing fully on it isn't smart. You will lose out on sometimes more suitable items. Also don't forget a 200 mana item is only 10 power.
In the oldest builds you would mostly see Book of Thoth and Polynomicon because the other core items at the time dont provide mana.

I like the thought behind the skill order even though I myself am a Whirlwind player. Mostly because in CQ you're more reliant on it for the wave clear same goes for arena. Not saying you couldn't go for Zephyr it's just less good.

Kuku's ult is easier to hit now than it was in S1 (because path marker) just a fun thing i noticed.

You noted in the comments that you put a point in slipstream nowadays however in the guide advise only to take it vs slows. Maybe you forgot to change it.

Another thing I wanted to note is nice stats, however any player that knows a bit more knows that stats like worshippers, Kills and a lot more don't matter a lot. Rank already does more, however the best way to see someones knowledge is by what they wrote.
Since this is mostly a joust guide and there aren't a lot of really detailed ones, as most focus arena or conquest, I would like you to expand on a game play part a bit more.

Lastly your note on ranked, cute. Yes solo queue is a lot harder however you do learn more from it and different things than with a premade. With a premade you will climb a bit better mostly because of others.
And before I look like a hypocrite saying this yes I mostly play premade ranked (in LoL) too. Still I don't condemn solo queueing (only carrying your game from support us quite annoying).
Also iirc smite throws everyone into bronze 3 nowadays so qualifiers aren't really a thing. Kinda means that people will see more progression and are able to carry games on their own a bit better
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Kriega1 (107) | May 22, 2019 11:30am
"Lastly your note on ranked, cute. Yes solo queue is a lot harder however you do learn more from it and different things than with a premade. With a premade you will climb a bit better mostly because of others.
And before I look like a hypocrite saying this yes I mostly play premade ranked (in LoL) too. Still I don't condemn solo queueing (only carrying your game from support us quite annoying).
Also iirc smite throws everyone into bronze 3 nowadays so qualifiers aren't really a thing. Kinda means that people will see more progression and are able to carry games on their own a bit better"

You can't think of solo queuing ranked joust in the same manner as solo queuing ranked conquest. Solo queuing ranked conquest is fine, solo queuing ranked joust is practically unbearable.
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Kriega1 (107) | May 22, 2019 11:27am
"I like the thought behind the skill order even though I myself am a Whirlwind player. Mostly because in CQ you're more reliant on it for the wave clear same goes for arena. Not saying you couldn't go for Zephyr it's just less good."

In conquest you only put like 2 or 3 points into Whirlwind then you focus on maxing Zephyr.
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Devampi (95) | May 22, 2019 1:08pm
you know you double posted it roight.

Also yeah I know because there is kinda the same thing in LoL.
honestly the main message was mostly that solo queue is better for your own skill and understanding.
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 22, 2019 12:51am
To everyone who's recently review my guide, I apologize for my mistake. You all pointed out dramatic flaws in my build, and for a few days I argued with you, disregarded your advice, and was just generally naive. Then I did some actual damage tests in game. Then more tests. Now.. Along with my apology, I've completely re-designed my build from the ground up, learned much about penetration and even more about the capability of my spells.

Again, thank you for your advice and I apologize for my stubborn naivety. Please consider changing your down vote if you left one if you like what I've done to the guide.
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Branmuffin17 (311) | May 22, 2019 1:36am
As an FYI DOOM, I deleted all but this response you made, as they were all the same response but just to different people. Figured I'd keep the one at the top.

Now, this is what I prefer people to do when we comment...don't just take our word for it, but be open to feedback, try some things out, and if it works for you, come back and revise your build. So in that sense, it's something people do...when you get negative feedback and you were expecting praise or at least generally positive feedback, it can be a shock. Natural response for many people is to be defensive. I'm glad you've come around.

Now...further feedback and suggested continued modification.

You're picking up Obsidian Shard 4th, and Spear of the Magus 5th. These two items are not typically mixed, at least in the mid-ish game. To get a better idea of how protection reduction and %pen work (and how protection reduction reduces the efficiency of %pen), check out my items guide under the "penetration / protection reduction" chapter. It's not ALWAYS bad to mix both, but in a joust situation, I'll probably always suggest you choose one or the other...you won't really have to ever get both IMO.

And here's how I'd split them up. If you're facing 2 squishy gods and 1 tanky god, likely the bigger threats are going to be the squishy gods, unless the tanky one is just absolutely carrying them. In most situations, if you can connect on Whirlwind often enough, you're going to be better served with Spear of the Magus and its stacking protection reduction. HOWEVER...you can also choose to get a couple of flat pen items (e.g. Shoes of the Magi + Spear of Desolation or Divine Ruin and mostly be okay without Spear of the Magus...but get Obsidian Shard for the tank.

Now, if you see that 2 of the enemy are building high magical protection, then you might just default to Obsidian Shard as your main pen against them, and just get 1 or 2 flat pen items against the single squishy god. Let me know if this makes sense to you.

In any case, your typical earlier pen item between Magus and Shard is going to be Magus, and you have it sort of reverse right now. If/when you get Spear of the Magus, you almost always get it in the 3rd or 4th slot. If/when you get Obsidian Shard, you typically get it in the 5th-6th slot.

Now, I see you've put effort into comparing damage output. This is fine, and a nice thing, and a lot of effort. That said, it's not always about the damage output. Yes, it's a main focus for Kukulkan, but it doesn't have to be THE focus. Utility needs to be considered. In some cases, you may have major problems with one specific god. Counter-building them with some protections isn't necessarily bad, and can be the difference in you dying 15 times and dying 7. Against magical gods, you might end up considering a Stone of Fal, or even a Bulwark of Hope. Against physical gods, you might want Celestial Legion Helm. Or if your biggest issue is CC, or you're having problems against both magical and physical gods, you might pick up Magi's Cloak or Mantle of Discord. Sometimes you have to sacrifice a bit of power, and staying alive, if those help you, are more important than doing 10% more damage.

You might also find your team has little CC/control. Gem of Isolation can be very powerful (and long-lasting) for Kuku, for example.

In any case, hope this helps. If you try these suggestions, let us know how it goes.
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Kriega1 (107) | May 20, 2019 11:41pm
Solo queuing ranked joust is pointless and literally the worst experience you can have in Smite.
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Devampi (95) | May 21, 2019 7:43am
Same goes for LoL, no idea why people like Twisted treeline. Still there people do solo queue. Probably just for lolz
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Kriega1 (107) | May 20, 2019 11:40pm
In conquest you put like 2 or 3 levels into whirlwind and then max Zephyr first.
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Branmuffin17 (311) | May 19, 2019 7:08pm
No offense, DOOM, but I'm in agreement that your builds could use improvement, basically for the things others have said.

Typhon's Fang will give you a damage boost, sure, and Poly and Reaver are very solid items for Kuku, but pen and protections are something you have to consider. All of that bonus damage you deal through those items are being blocked

Your "tank shredder" option of swapping in Obsidian Shard for Typhon's Fang represents the only pen of any kind you might get in your build. This is bad for a very specific reason, and is why many are questioning your build.

At level 3 (starting level in Joust), every god has a base of 33 protections (technically 32.7). This means they're ALREADY mitigating around 25% of all incoming magical damage. With a rank 1 Zephyr (not including scaling considerations or Mage's Blessing's added damage), this means you don't deal 60 damage...you deal ~45.

At level 20, all gods have a base of 48 protections, which means if you don't build pen, they (even the squishy gods) will mitigate ~32%. That's basically 1/3 of your damage potential being brushed off. Consider a tanky god that has built up 200 magical protection. That's 67% of your damage being shut down, unless you actually built Obsidian Shard.

Note also that the bonus damage you get from procs from Soul Reaver and Polynomicon are subject to the same mitigation factors...they are magical damage, not true damage.

Pen is a necessary stat for damage gods. It allows them to deal a significant % more damage. Getting a full Whirlwind off while you have Spear of the Magus actually means that, after the 5th tick, you're dealing true damage (enemy mitigates NOTHING) against a squishy god with no added protections. Even if you were to get 15 flat pen from something like Spear of Desolation or Divine Ruin (btw how is Divine not an option against healers???), it's going to have a very positive effect on your actual damage output.

Note that flat pen is more effective against low protections (squishy gods), while obviously, Obsidian Shard is more functional against very tanky gods.
iIIDOOMIIi wrote:

You don't need pen when every proc of your damage is taking up to 7% percentage-of-max-hp from the target via Reaver. This takes care of tanks.

This one just straight up isn't true. Let's say you're dealing with a squishy with 2,000 health, and you don't have any pen like in your example build. Your 2% damage is actually going to be more like 1.34% or so, and it won't proc like that on "every proc." Whirlwind, for example, will only proc the bonus damage once. And if you're comboing, you'll potentially hit 2+ abilities in less than 3 seconds, which means the 2nd and all subsequent procs will only deal 50% of that, or only around 0.67%. On the flipside, let's take a tanky god with over 2,750 health. 7% isn't 7% again because of mitigations...instead, it's more like 4.7% the first proc, and any subsequent ability hits will only deal 2.35%.

In any case, you may know Kuku well, and you may be comfortable playing him and have pretty good success, but really, you NEED to be open to feedback and criticism...this is what you're doing when you publicly post a build. And being open to said feedback gives you an opportunity to try new things, possibly learn more, and improve. I honestly feel if you adjust the build by getting rid of Typhon's and building some pen, you'll do significantly better in general. But it's important for you to understand how pen works so you can properly formulate an efficient build.
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boogiebass (41) | May 19, 2019 12:28pm
@illDOOMlli
You're going through the effort to make your guide as polished as possible. Can you try a few games with some penetration and get back to us if you see any notable difference? (look at kriega's posted builds. If you don't like them, modify them a bit, but keep the penetration).
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Kriega1 (107) | May 19, 2019 12:46pm
I'd honestly just be satisfied at this point if they permanently removed typhons from the build and put obs shard in it's place.
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Gulfwulf (68) | May 19, 2019 5:02am
I was hoping SmiteGuru would show how much damage was mitigated by the enemy, but since it doesn't, I had to go by the Damage Per Minute (DPM) stat. Your's is 554 over 1551 matches; mine's 936 over 126 matches. You've done an average of 10884.74016763378 per match while I've done an average of 17575.5. Granted I haven't played K nearly as long as you, but my KDA is 2.68 versus your 2.01, which means that when I hit somebody, they either die by my hand or my teammates. I always build at least 2 pen items, sometimes 3 depending upon the matchup. My 2 go to items are spear of the magus and divine ruin, and I'll sometimes buy Spear of Desolation. The only time I would get Obsidian Shard is if I'm the only magical threat on my team or another mage is building magus because the passives don't stack.

Again, your unwillingness to include some type of pen in your build makes me not want to recommend your build to anybody. It also makes me wonder if you truly understand how protections work in this game. I suggest you read over The Word of Thoth when you have a chance because the author went into great depth about the algorithms behind how final damage is calculated.
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 22, 2019 1:29am
To everyone who's recently review my guide, I apologize for my mistake. You all pointed out dramatic flaws in my build, and for a few days I argued with you, disregarded your advice, and was just generally naive. Then I did some actual damage tests in game. Then more tests. Now.. Along with my apology, I've completely re-designed my build from the ground up, learned much about penetration and even more about the capability of my spells.

Again, thank you for your advice and I apologize for my stubborn naivety. Please consider changing your down vote if you left one if you like what I've done to the guide.
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Branmuffin17 (311) | May 19, 2019 6:21pm
@Gulf, in this case I think a bit more consideration needs to take place, though I will say your damage calcs are accurate.

The other points that should be considered:
  • Over 50% of DOOM's games have been in Joust, with Conquest in 2nd place, while over 50% of yours have been in Arena, with Conquest being only ~6% of your playtime. This is significant because Joust and Conquest don't allow for nearly the damage output potential as Arena, which should be the highest, due to the small map and the constant 5-man teamfight.

  • His KD ratio (not including assists) is 1.38, while yours is 1.16. He gets less assists, again likely due to less people in teamfights in Joust, and an actual 1v1 laning stage in Conq.
Not trying to down your stats, which are fine, but I'd say you can't really use these stat comparisons as equals.

That said, I can guarantee he'd have better stats if he actually built more pen as you and others are suggesting.
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Kriega1 (107) | May 19, 2019 6:26pm
If you're not going to count assists then you should compare total damage dealt with Kulkulkan if thats possible.
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Kriega1 (107) | May 19, 2019 10:53am
Obsidian is good for burst focused builds for Kuku and for actually dealing with tanks without having to rely on stacking magus on his 3 which is a problem itself.
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Gulfwulf (68) | May 19, 2019 12:09pm
True. I should have mentioned that I'd get it when facing a heavy tank opposition.
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iIIDOOMIIi (1) | May 19, 2019 12:51am
I'm testing obsidian to replace typhon's. Again, the point of typhons isnt the passive, its just another mana + power item to stack with Thoth and Kuku's passive. But since people really seem to believe shard will work better, I'm testing it more.. Its hard to actually test in the jungle practice since I cant choose the bots gear. (please hirez add this)
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Kriega1 (107) | May 19, 2019 3:46am
iIIDOOMIIi wrote:
Its hard to actually test in the jungle practice since I cant choose the bots gear. (please hirez add this)

You can't test effectiveness against protection auras, but one of the Odin bots does have a protections scale you can adjust so you can test ability damage.
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Kriega1 (107) | May 19, 2019 3:45am
iIIDOOMIIi wrote:
I'm testing obsidian to replace typhon's. Again, the point of typhons isnt the passive,


Except that is the point of Typhons, if you aren't buying it to make use of the actual passive then thats stupidity, and you may as well replace Typhon's Fang for Bancroft's Talon which is more suitable and more reasonably priced.
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Kriega1 (107) | May 19, 2019 1:34am
Bancrofts is better as a standalone choice than typhons on Kukulkan, also saying swap typhons for obsidian doesen't change the original build's problems.

Also your "Out of the Gate" has no tier 1 item bought with your starter item, in this case it should be Spellbook since you're getting Book of Thoth early.

I literally gave a ton of viable build examples in a comment below.

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League of Legends Build Guide Author iIIDOOMIIi
The Ninth Wind [Perfected for Season 7] by 15 Star Kuku Main
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