The Overarching Arena Guide (S5, Patch 5.19)
October 9, 2018
Introduction & Hat Tilt (TormentedTurnip)
Main thanks to Bullfrog323
for their knowledge and feedback on the Arena mode. Also thanks to everyone else who's provided feedback!
Hello everyone! My name is Branmuffin17
(PC IGN: Muffinman17, PS4 IGN: Branmuffin17), and I'm a SMITEFire moderator and casual SMITE player on PC and PS4.
Welcome to my general guide for SMITE's Arena
mode, designed to apply on a high level to gameplay and tips
, rather than focusing on individual gods or builds. It contains significant influence and content from the absent TormentedTurnip
, whose guide, Pffft, Minions: A General Guide to Arena
, is outdated...which is why I've created this in the first place.
This guide targets the following players:
- New players familiarizing themselves with gods or general gameplay mechanics of SMITE
- Regulars looking to improve with or try new gods but dread risking the wrath of jerks in Conquest
- Regulars looking for a refresher or to possibly learn a helpful tip or two
- Regulars that enjoy providing feedback, suggestions, and thoughts (thanks!)
One of the most popular modes of SMITE, the Arena is a perfect place to learn the mechanics of a god you're unfamiliar with. This mode often has the shortest matches (<20 minutes), so is also a great pick if you don't have much time to play.
Arena provides some unique experiences that you won't get in other modes (especially Conquest), which also makes it a great mode for beginners:
- No worrying about the jungle and getting ganked from around a corner
- You don't have to ward or hope that others will ward
- The base is extremely close, so you can go back to base anytime without worrying too much
- You don't need to know rotations for mid-harpies, Gold Fury, Fire Giant, etc.
As a final thought before we begin, understand that I'm not the best player (or anywhere close to it!). With time and experience, I have found the following to be helpful to me, and hope it may help others.
If you get something out of this, hopefully it will help increase your enjoyment of this awesome game. Keep in mind, though, that nothing beats experience. Keep an open mind to what you're doing correctly, as well as what you need to work on, and it's inevitable that you'll improve.
(If starting out by discussing minions is good enough for Turnip, it's good enough for me! The main thought process in this section is taken from his guide.)
Before we even get into the main discussion of Arena, this concept needs to be pounded into your head.
Minions are an EXTREMELY important aspect of Arena!!!
Why? Understand this:
- 1 point is deducted for each enemy minion that your team last-hits (minions killing opposing minions deducts 0 tickets)
- 1 point is deducted for each friendly minion that reaches the enemy portal
- Each wave contains 7 minions = 7 tickets
- One wave spawns every 20 seconds = 21 tickets each minute.
- Killing a god deducts 5 tickets from the other team.
What does this mean? Let's do some simple math.
(Taken from Turnip's guide)
- 7 tickets (1 minion wave) > 5 tickets (1 enemy god)...1 minion wave is worth more than a god kill! And it's significantly more difficult (and not guaranteed) to kill an enemy god, while it's practically impossible NOT to kill minions.
- When you allow a minion wave to hit your portal (up to 7 tickets lost), you lose the opportunity to deduct 7 tickets from the other team...a net loss of up to 14 tickets!!!
"So what have we learned? Simple: if you ever leave a sight like this
to chase an enemy down, please report yourself for incompetence." (His words, not mine!!!)
Now that that's cleared up, on to the juicy stuff!
- 5 vs. 5 deathmatch, 6 jungle buff camps, no lanes
- All gods (from those you own, plus the standard, free rotation) are available to choose.
- You start with 1,500 gold at level 3. You gain 10 gold per second throughout the match.
- Each side starts with 500 tickets. Killing an enemy god deducts 5 tickets. Killing an enemy minion (7 per wave, 1 wave every 20 seconds) deducts 1 ticket each. Friendly minions that reach the enemy portal deduct 1 ticket each.
- An arena Juggernaut spawns for every 10 team kills. Does not attack, follows the general minion path, and deducts 15 tickets if it reaches the portal.
Minion Spawn and Path:
- Mana Camp: +25 MP5 regen + 10% CDR
- Damage Camp: 20% damage + 10 mag power / 5 phys power
- Basic Attack Camp: 15% Attack Speed + 15 magical basic attack damage / 12 physical attack damage
- Phoenixes: Invulnerable phoenixes & minion spawn locations
Minions spawn from alternating sides of each base near the Phoenixes every 20 seconds, and head through the center of the map toward the enemy team's portals.
Each buff camp spawns a single special minion at the start of the game (time 0). These minions are inactive until they are attacked. When they are killed, they have a 240 second (4 minute) respawn time. The buffs last for 2 minutes.
Typically, mages will get the Mana
buffs. ADCs (hunters or Freya
) will usually get the Basic Attack
buff, but if no ADCs are present, this will go to an assassin or basic-attacking warrior (like Ravana
Teams respawn in waves. There is a single timer for an entire team constantly ticking. If a player dies just before the timer ends, they will respawn almost immediately. A team's timer increases in length (up to 60 seconds) the further ahead in tickets they are.
10 or Less Tickets:
Once a team has 10 or less tickets, killing standard minion waves no longer deducts tickets against that team. Killing large minions and escorting friendly minions through the enemy portal still deducts tickets. Barring god kills, only 1 ticket is deducted every 20 seconds.
As such, DO NOT TURTLE (play fully defensive) if your team is ahead. You will lose tickets at the normal rate (until you reach 10), while the enemy team barely loses any. Instead, you should be pressuring the enemy team as a group. You can either force them to back off so you can push the minion wave, or try to get just 2 god kills to finish the match.
Team Composition & Build Effectiveness
Team Composition & Build Effectiveness
It is extremely important to consider the effects of a team's composition...yours and the enemies'. Here are some things to consider.
- Magical/Physical Balance: Since you can choose your gods, there is no excuse to have an imbalanced team. Having 4 or more magical or physical gods on one team makes it extremely easy for the other team to counter build with protections. (This isn't to say that a 5-guardian team can't be fun, of course!)
- Class/Role Balance: Each class has something that excels better than other classes...guardians have a lot of CC and can take a lot of damage, mages have a lot of burst, hunters have immense late-game damage, etc. Given that, class diversity can (but not always) make things easier for your team to handle a variety of situations.
- Burst vs. Sustained Damage: Another aspect of balance, this has to do with how quickly gods deal damage. Burst damage is great for finishing off an injured enemy, but if it's applied to an enemy at full health, it may just allow them to retreat and heal. Sustained damage, though not as immediate, can provide constant health drain, getting enemies to the point where burst damage can complete the job. It's best if you have some of each in your team.
- Ability Synergies: If you're into strategizing even before the game starts, you might want to consider which gods have abilities that work well in combination (usually ults associated with pulls, traps, and large AOEs. Check out my spoiler at the bottom of this section for a list of gods with these abilities.
- Arena Isn't Balanced: The developers focus on balancing the game for competitive Conquest. Essentially, this turns some average Conquest gods (e.g. Odin, Ares, Xing Tian) into huge threats, while making other top-tier gods (e.g. Athena) a bit less effective. You can take a look at my Tier List section for further information and ideas, if you want to take advantage of this fact.
- Crowd Control: In a teamfight situation, CC can be a game-changer. Having gods that have hard CC (e.g. freezes) or zoning capabilities (e.g. Odin's Ring of Spears) can allow your team to control the field and single out vulnerable enemies. It can also be used defensively to allow teammates to escape. Soft CC (e.g. slows) is also effective against retreating/chasing enemies.
- CC Immunity: Somewhat counter to general CC, having an ability that allows you to cancel anticipated CC (such as Ares' No Escape provides a tremendous advantage, especially with the long CD of relics like Purification. Chaac, Ne Zha, Nu Wa and Rama, and Vamana have ults that are often used offensively, but these can be triggered defensively to get out of otherwise deadly CC. Even better, gods like Chang'e and Ravana have regular abilities with lower CD that provide them the same safety.
- Escapes: Especially for squishy gods, having an escape (e.g. jumps/teleports) is a huge advantage, though it's also important to know WHEN to use it, and to recognize deadly situations and extract yourself before you hit the event horizon.
- Minion Wave-Clear: As discussed previously, it's important to be able to quickly and efficiently clear the minion wave. Have at least 1 god on the team that can do so, and that knows it's one of their main responsibilities, so that you don't fall behind or get pushed back too easily.
Build & Item Considerations
- Unnecessary Stats: Examples include HP5 (healing sustain), lifesteal and mana pools (in some situations). With the base so close, many aspects of sustain are rendered unnecessary. HP5/health regen from items like Stone of Gaia, and even Mail of Renewal are almost useless. Lifesteal is only really important for 1v1 boxing gods with high damage output (e.g. crit-built hunters) to help keep them alive. Some gods can still eat up mana, but mana regen is almost a completely useless stat. Don't EVER get Meditation!
- Cost Effectiveness: In Conquest, build efficiencies with regard to build order and power spikes are important. In Arena, you also really have to consider the cost of items in a full build, because matches are so short. It's almost absurd to even consider buying Spear of Desolation, and even crit items can be too costly in some cases. Think early about how you plan to build.
- Stacking Items: It can be really frustrating if you've got a stacking item (e.g. Transcendence) and you've got another teammate screaming at you because THEY need to stack too. Just be careful, so you're not all fighting for the same shared minion wave and getting upset.
The following is a simple list of gods whose abilities (usually Ultimates) work well when combined with teammates' abilities, or otherwise help others secure kills. Some of these are traps, some pull or otherwise gather gods into one area, and others are simply wide AOE damaging abilities. Most considered are ones that are able to affect multiple gods at once when in a teamfight, so you won't find mention of Fenrir
in here, even though it can secure a kill. Hun Batz
's Fear No Evil
also isn't included, because it disperses
enemies in the area.
General Gameplay & Tips
Starting Process & Advanced Starting Tips
Initiating A Teamfight
Where Should You Fight?
Who Should You Fight, and When?
Arena Items & Example Builds
The purpose of this section isn't to provide a step-by-step build order list for all gods/roles/situations. If you are looking for a more comprehensive overall items guide, you can find that here:
In this section, I will give some emphasis
items I feel are very functional in the Arena mode, and then provide some example builds. This is not an exhaustive list, and will NOT focus on items such as critical damage.
Keep in mind, Arena is a close-in teamfight
mode. The fountain is nearby, so stats like HP5 and MP5 aren't quite as helpful as in other modes. On the other hand, items such as those that have AURA effects, or Relic Dagger
for those looking to use Blink Rune
often, or stats like CDR, have increased potential in this mode.
Always look to the strengths of your particular god to get the most out of them.
Key Magical Items
Key Magical Offense Items
Key Magical Bruiser / Utility Items
Key Physical Items
Key Physical Offense Items
Key Physical Bruiser / Utility Items
Key Universal Defense / Counter Items
Key Universal Defense / Counter Items
Example Magical God Builds
Example Physical God Builds
Personal Tier List (PERSONAL, I SAID!)
I'm probably going to get a lot of feedback (read: flame
) just having this section in the guide, but by golly, I'm doing it because Turnip had it!
The biggest thing you'll want to understand with this list is that this is a guideline only. Consider at your own risk. I welcome feedback and am open to adjustment, as long as you convince me.
This is how I am organizing, and what attributes I consider.
- 3 categories for each class: Overpowered (S-Tier), Balanced (A-Tier), and Underpowered (B-Tier). True effectiveness depends on player/teammate/enemy skill, team compositions, teamwork, etc. Some gods in S-Tier might actually be hard-countered by gods in B-Tier, etc.
- There are obvious synergies between some gods that increases their effectiveness, but I can't cover each variation, and there are no guarantees on what gods your teammates choose (or how well they play). As such, all gods are considered on their own merit only.
- Abilities with mobility/escapes, CC, AOE, and zoning capabilities push gods toward S-Tier. Gods with a lack of these push them toward B-Tier. Healing and sustain in Arena is slightly less important than in other modes, where you either can't go back to base (Assault) or going back to base and returning is a time-consuming process (Conquest/Siege).
One other thing...the ability to secure a kill by itself isn't enough. Thanatos
are great at getting kills...but having the capability of getting out alive is also important. You're not really doing much for your team if you're going 10/10/15.
Quick Definitions & References
Abbreviations & Terms
Here is a quick list of some of the abbreviations/terms that I'll use in this guide:
- ADC: Attack Damage Carry. Refers to a god (usually a Hunter) whose main form of attack is the basic one (left click!), and whose effectiveness usually peaks late-game, from having a full item build centered around max damage potential.
- AOE: Area Of Effect. Refers to abilities that have the ability to hit an area, rather than a single target.
- CC: Crowd Control. An effect from an item or ability that limits or prevents an opponent from moving or taking action. Examples include slow, cripple, freeze, and silence.
- CDR: CoolDown Reduction. Usually from items, this reduces the time it takes for your abilities to become available again after previous use
- HP5: Health (Hit Points) regenerated per every 5 seconds
- MP5: Mana (Mana Points) regenerated per every 5 seconds
- RNG: Random Number Generator. Term used for abilities (especially crit items) that have a percent chance to activate. Sometimes frowned upon as this brings a bit of luck into an otherwise skill-based game.
- Tank: generally of the Warrior or Guardian class, built mainly with protection items
- Bruiser: generally of the Warrior or Guardian class, built with both protection and damage items. Can also include an Assassin built with protections.
- Squishy: Low HP gods (usually Assassins, Hunters, and Mages)
- Magical (gods): Guardians and Mages
- Physical (gods): Assassins, Hunters and Warriors
- Penetration: A stat that helps bypass an enemy's inherent or item-based protection. I tend to lump penetration (e.g. Jotunn's Wrath) and protection reduction (e.g. The Executioner) in the same category for ease of consideration regarding general function. It's a lot more complex than that, so I suggest reading this article by Professor Proxy in your spare time.
So that's it! Thanks for reading! I hope it's been helpful and enjoyable. Please feel free to provide feedback...let me know if I've missed an essential or helpful tip, or if you would like me to add some specific content, or have suggestions of any other sort.
Brandon / PC IGN: Muffinman17 / PS4 IGN: Branmuffin17