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Those who oppose me shall be swept aside! S8 updated (Joust)

134 19 2,386,410
by TangoDownY3k updated September 17, 2021

Smite God: He Bo

Build Guide Discussion 84 More Guides
Tap Mouse over an item or ability icon for detailed info

He Bo Build

Gem of Focus start

Build Item Conduit Gem Conduit Gem
Build Item Enchanted Spear Enchanted Spear
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion

Gem of Focus full build

Build Item Gem of Focus Gem of Focus
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Soul Gem Soul Gem
Build Item Charon's Coin Charon's Coin
Build Item Soul Reaver Soul Reaver
Build Item Aegis Amulet Aegis Amulet
Build Item Purification Beads Purification Beads
Build Item Blink Rune Blink Rune

Sacrificial Shroud start

Build Item Vampiric Shroud Vampiric Shroud
Build Item Enchanted Spear Enchanted Spear
Build Item Healing Potion Healing Potion
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion

Sacrificial Shroud full build

Build Item Sacrificial Shroud Sacrificial Shroud
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Soul Gem Soul Gem
Build Item Charon's Coin Charon's Coin
Build Item Typhon's Fang Typhon's Fang
Build Item Aegis Amulet Aegis Amulet
Build Item Purification Beads Purification Beads
Build Item Blink Rune Blink Rune

Bumba's Hammer start

Build Item Bumba's Dagger Bumba's Dagger
Build Item Enchanted Spear Enchanted Spear
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion

Bumba's Hammer full build

Notes This build is not recommended for most joust matches. However, the Devastating Downpour combo is only achievable with this build. See the combos section for more details.


This build is not recommended for most joust matches. However, the Devastating Downpour combo is only achievable with this build. See the combos section for more details.

Build Item Bumba's Hammer Bumba's Hammer
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus
Build Item Charon's Coin Charon's Coin
Build Item Staff of Myrddin Staff of Myrddin
Build Item Aegis Amulet Aegis Amulet
Build Item Purification Beads Purification Beads
Build Item Blink Rune Blink Rune

Defensive Options

Build Item Celestial Legion Helm Celestial Legion Helm
Build Item Tyrannical Plate Helm Tyrannical Plate Helm
Build Item Breastplate of Valor Breastplate of Valor
Build Item Void Stone Void Stone
Build Item Magi's Cloak Magi's Cloak
Build Item Mantle of Discord Mantle of Discord

Situational/Alternate items

Build Item Divine Ruin Divine Ruin
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus
Build Item Chronos' Pendant Chronos' Pendant
Build Item Doom Orb Doom Orb
Build Item Soul Reaver Soul Reaver
Build Item Obsidian Shard Obsidian Shard
Build Item Staff of Myrddin Staff of Myrddin

Consumables (after completed build)

Build Item Potion of Power Potion of Power
Build Item Elixir of Power Elixir of Power

He Bo's Skill Order

Water Cannon

1 X Y
Water Cannon
2 7 10 12 15

Atlas of the Yellow River

2 A B
Atlas of the Yellow River
4 14 16 18 19


3 B A
1 3 6 8 11

Crushing Wave

4 Y X
Crushing Wave
5 9 13 17 20
Water Cannon
2 7 10 12 15

Water Cannon

1 X
He Bo fires a short burst of water from his sleeves, damaging all enemies in front of him.

Ability Type: Cone
Damage: 80 / 125 / 170 / 215 / 260 (+80% of your Magical Power)
Cost: 40 / 50 / 60 / 70 / 80
Cooldown: 3s
Atlas of the Yellow River
4 14 16 18 19

Atlas of the Yellow River

2 A
He Bo unfurls his scroll in a line, releasing the flood waters. Allies on the water are immune to slows and move faster, while enemies are slowed.

Ability Type: Line
Slow Debuff: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%
Speed Buff: 20 / 25 / 30 / 35 / 40%
Lifetime: 7s
Cost: 60 / 65 / 70 / 75 / 80
Cooldown: 12s
1 3 6 8 11


3 B
He Bo calls forth a geyser, causing it to burst out with tremendous force at his target location, damaging enemies while knocking them into the air.

Ability Type: Ground Target
Damage: 80 / 130 / 180 / 230 / 280 (+75% of your Magical Power)
Radius: 10
Cost: 65 / 70 / 75 / 80 / 85
Cooldown: 10s
Crushing Wave
5 9 13 17 20

Crushing Wave

4 Y
He Bo transforms into a wave and crashes forward, damaging all enemies in his path.

Ability Type: Line
Damage: 370 / 450 / 530 / 610 / 690 (+115% of your Magical Power)
Cost: 100
Cooldown: 90s

Content Overview

x About me
x Brief Preface

x In-depth Item Assessment
x Situational Item Choices

Game Stages
x Stages Throughout The Match
x Informational Heat Maps

x Scenario Coverage

Match Ups
x Ally Synergies
x Best Matched Gods

x God Overview
x Pros/Cons

x God Skills/Abilities
x Combos

Macro Play
x Macro Mechanics
x Scroll + Ward Maps

x Useful tricks
x Ability Information
x Rarely Known Tips

x Closing Statement
x Farewell
x Changes and Additions


Hello and welcome to the ultimate He Bo guide!

My name is TangoDownY3k, aka TangoDownY2k. I have been playing Smite since its beta launch on Xbox, and have accumulated over 2000 hours to date. He Bo was the first God I ever purchased, and since then I have come to gain over 16000 worshipers with him.

Mages have always been my preferred class, with 5 God rank 10 mages to date and over 700 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!

Summary Analysis Skills/Combos Game Stages Macro Gameplay Q&A 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
- Bad early game
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.


Main Build Item Analysis

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. 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. In the Sacrificial Shroud build, this item's passive works beautifully in tandem with Typhon's Fang's passive to exponentially increase damage in high risk situations, potentially turning the tides of a fight.

Shoes of the magi
cost: 1550

+75 magical power
+100 Mana
+8% Lifesteal
+18% movement speed

This is the basic boots choice for most mages. It will add a considerable amount of power given its price, and the added mana and lifesteal will contribute to your sustainability. Utilizing its movement speed 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 during the early laning phase.

Spear of desolation
cost: 2600

+110 magical power
+10 magical penetration
+10% cooldown reduction

PASSIVE - Earning a Kill or Assist subtracts 2s from all standard Abilities currently on Cooldown, as well as 8s on ultimate Abilities currently on cooldown.

Spear of Desolation is an all around staple item which provides a high spike in power with appropriate timing. The game should be approaching the mid stages by the time this item is built. The high power and the flat penetration will allow you to stay ahead of your opponents and take bigger risks with confidence. The cooldown reduction given from both the item and its passive will allow you do it more frequently.

soul gem
cost: 2300

+80 Magical Power
+150 Health
+12% Magical Lifesteal
+10% Cooldown Reduction

PASSIVE - On successful hit of an Ability you gain 1 stack. At 4 Stacks your next Ability that damages an enemy God will deal bonus damage equal to 30% of your Magical Power, and will heal yourself and allies within 20 units for 30% of your Magical Power and will consume the 4 stacks.

This is another amazing item that will greatly benefit your sustain and damage. It's health, lifesteal, and cooldown will extend your stay in lane and give you enough ammo to keep wave clear and pokes coming at a steady pace. In the Gem of Focus build, it's passive works with Gem of Focus and Steady Flow to quickly scale up damage on each ability, releasing a devastating blast on your ultimate at max stacks. Stacks can also be gained from Atlas of the Yellow River. In the Sacrificial Shroud build, Soul Gem works fantastically to incorporate additional lifesteal, and through its stats and passive, will allow you to combat the health cost of Sacrificial Shroud for longer.

Charon's coin
cost: 2500

+80 magical power
+20% magical penetration
+7 HP5
+20 MP5

EVOLVED Charon's coin

+80 magical power
+20% magical penetration
+35 HP5
+35 MP5
+8% Movement speed
PASSIVE - On god kill or assist a coin is flipped. If heads, you gain a stack of 7 HP5. If tails, you gain a stack of 2% Movement Speed. Each effect can stack up to 4 times and at 8 stacks this item evolves. You also gain 1 gold every time the coin is flipped.

EVOLVED PASSIVE - On god kill or assist a coin is flipped. If heads, you gain 150 Health over 6 seconds. If tails, you gain 5% Movement Speed for 6 seconds. You also gain 1 gold every time the coin is flipped.

As the enemy tank reaches their peak protections, Charon's Coin will allow you to keep your step ahead of them. The addition of this item will provide a steep increase in penetration, and an appropriate amount of power. It also provides high utility, with it's stacking movement speed and evolved movement speed buff. This is a great way to get around He Bo's low mobility, and when added with Gem of Focus will provide even greater evasiveness. The mp5 + hp5 bonuses also help his sustain greatly. Overall, Charon's Coin is fantastic pick up on He Bo.

obsidian shard
cost: 2550

+70 Magical Power
+20% Magical Penetration

PASSIVE - Your first ability cast gains 10% Magical Penetration. This can only occur once every 10 seconds.

Obsidian Shard is a fantastic item in the Archmage's Gem build. It provides 20% base pen, and its passive allows you to deliver harder hitting pokes every 10 seconds. With Archmage's Gem's passive fully stacked, and Obsidian Shard's passive off cooldown, He bo is able to deliver a devastating first strike to unsuspecting enemies in the jungle.

Typhon's Fang
cost: 2800

+70 Magical Power
+200 Mana
+15% Magical Lifesteal
+10% Magical Penetration

PASSIVE – Your Healing obtained from Magical Lifesteal is increased by 30%. Your Magical Power is increased by twice the amount of Magical Lifesteal you have.

Typhon's Fang is a staple item in the Sacrificial Shroud build, as it delivers unmatched power and lifesteal through its stats and passive. When added with Bancroft's Talon, Typhon's Fang grants even more power when at low health, and allows He bo to combat Sacrificial Shroud's health cost for longer.

Rod of tahuti
cost: 3000

+140 magical power
+10% Magical Penetration

+30 mp5[/size]
PASSIVE - Gain 25% additional Magical Power against targets below 50% Health.

Acquiring this item will put the nail in the coffin. The addition of 140 magical power and 10% pen will further amplify your destructive force, and the passive will ensure that the fights you get in are not close calls. If an enemy catches you off guard and is able to get you below 25% hp, Bancroft's Talon will gift you 100 bonus magical power, your penetration will shred through their protections, and all of your items will work together to instantly get your opponent below half, allowing Rod of Tahuti's passive to boost your power by 25% and eliminate them. Leaving you alive will be a bad idea, but attacking you will be an even worse idea. You are as close to unstoppable as possible.

Staff of myrddin
cost: 2800

+110 magical power
+10% cooldown reduction
+10% magical penetration
PASSIVE – When your Ultimate ability has finished casting, your next non-ultimate ability cast within the next 10s will have no cooldown but will only deal 70% of its normal damage and healing. This can only occur once every 45 seconds.

Purchasing this item before the end of the game may not always be possible. In the event it is, your first attack on an enemy will slice through over half of their protections, and this items passive allows you to complete a 7 hit combo capable of dealing over 5000 damage. See Skills and Combos chapter for more details.

Physical Defense Options

Celestial legion helm

cost: 2150
+70 magical power
+40 physical protection
+20 mp5

PASSIVE – Every 2s you receive a stack of 7 Physical Protection, up to a max of 5 stacks. Stacks are removed upon taking Physical Damage from gods. Stacks can only be gained after not taking Physical Damage from gods for 5s.

This item is a good physical defense option if the enemy carry is an ability based God. After a 15 second period of not taking physical damage, your physical protections will increase to 70, which is a significant amount given the items price, and the fact that it still gives a decent bonus to power.

Tyrannical plate helm

cost: 2600
+85 magical power
+40 physical protection
+100 health
+20% crowd control reduction

PASSIVE - If there are ally minions around you they gain 20% Health and 20% Attack Speed. Whenever an ally minion dies around you, you gain 5 power per stack, max 6 stacks for 15 seconds.

This is a key protection item to pick up if the enemy team has a strong wave clear. The passive will help He Bo's below average wave clear keep up to your opponents, and also give out a massive power reward once your wave has been killed. With both waves out of the way, you are free to unleash you wrath. This item also helps combat crowd control heavy team comps.

Magical Defense Options

Void stone

cost: 2250
+150 health
+40 magical power
+60 magical protection

AURA - Enemy gods within 55 units have their Magical Protection reduced by 10%.

This item is a great choice to pick up in most situations, as it is one of the cheapest items on the defense list, and provides health, protections, power, and penetration. Void Stone is a viable grab if most or all of the members in the enemy team comp are buying magical defense, or if the enemy tank is a magical God with a high damage output (i.e. Cabrakan).
Stone of fal

cost: 2600
+80 magical power
+40 magical protection
+10% cooldown reduction

PASSIVE – You gain 20% of the Magical Protections of the nearby allied god with the highest Magical Protections within 70ft.

This item is another good protection item that allows you to continue with consistent additions to power, while allowing for a good source of protections. Stone of Fal is viable if your tank has high magical protections. (i.e. a tank with 200 magical protection will give you 40 magical protection, increasing your total to 80).

Crowd Control Defense Options

Magi's cloak

cost: 2150
+300 Health
+15 Magical Protection
+15 Physical Protection

PASSIVE - Absorbs a single hard Crowd Control or Root effect once every 70 seconds. When this occurs, the owner also receives 1s of CC immunity.

Magi's Cloak is a solid defense item to choose if the enemy team comp has high crowd control. Unfortunately, this item does not contain magical power but may still be the difference between life and death, as absorbing a crowd control effect will allow you to cast your abilities and kill an enemy that would've otherwise stunned you, rooted you, etc., leaving you vulnerable and killing you.
Mantle of discord

cost: 2900
+60 Physical Protection
+60 Magical Protection
+10% Cooldown Reduction

Passive – If you take damage below 30% health you unleash a shockwave that stuns all enemies within 20 units for 1s and gain CC immunity for 1s. This effect cannot trigger more than once every 90s.

This is another critical item to pick up if the enemy team comp is using their heavy CC to target you and inflict massive damage on you. Mantle of Discord pairs remarkably well with Bancroft's Talon, as their passives have similar proc thresholds; stunning all enemies around you and gaining 100 extra power and 5% extra lifesteal, as you are unable to be CC'd for 1 second.

Situational Items

Divine ruin
cost: 2300

+90 Magical Power
+10 Magical Penetration
PASSIVE - Enemies hit by your Abilities have 40% reduced Healing and Regeneration for 6 seconds.

This is a classic item choice for high damage mages such as He Bo who are facing a prominent healer on the enemy team. The high damage and pen fit right in with the primary builds integrity, and the anti-heal will take a valuable resource away from the enemy. Of all the situational items, this is the most likely to be picked up, and should substitute Spear of Desolation. Because you will be losing Spear of Desolation's CDR, you should also pick up Shoes of Focus instead of Shoes of the Magi.

Chronos' pendant
cost: 2700

+100 Magical Power
+20 MP5
+20% Cooldown Reduction
PASSIVE - Every 10s the Pendant activates, subtracting 1s from all of your abilities currently on cooldown. The initial countdown will not start until you leave the fountain.

Chronos' Pendant may be a good pick early in the game, and if replacing Spear of Desolation, will not interfere with any builds integrity due to it's high magical power. Although keep in mind that by picking this item, you will be sacrificing 10 penetration for 20% cooldown reduction. The 20 mp5 will combined with Bancroft's Talon in the Archmage's Gem and Sacrificial Shroud builds will provide a good sustain. Purchase this if you are being forced into aggressive teamfights early in the game and need to get your abilities off faster.

Doom orb
cost: 2850

+145 Magical Power
+200 Mana
+25 MP5
+4% Movement Speed

PASSIVE – Killing or assisting an enemy minion provides you with 1 stack, granting you 1% Movement Speed and 4 Magical Power per stack. Stacks last for 15s and stack up to 5 times. Enemy gods provide 5 stacks.

This item works very well if you find yourself jungling frequently, running from enemies, or having a hard time catching up to enemies. Alternatively, this is a great pick if you notice that a significant amount of team fights are happening in lane. You will benefit from this item more during the later stages in the game when your wave clear is better, and it is quite clostly, so if substituting this item into one of the primary builds, it should take Rod of Tahuti's place.

Soul Reaver
cost: 2650

+95 magical power
+300 mana

PASSIVE - Your abilities deal an additional 2% of the targets maximum Health as Magical Damage. If the target has over 2000 Health, your ability bonus damage scales up. This effect reaches a maximum of 9% Maximum Health damage at 2750 Health. Subsequent hits on the same target do half the bonus damage for the next 3s.

Soul Reaver will add yet another significant spike in power, and with good timing. Now is the time in the match where you will be able to tackle more than just the squishies, as Soul Reaver is the first percent penetration item you will purchase. This, added with its percentage scaling passive will ensure that you'll be able to bruise the front liners.

Shoes of focus
cost: 1600

+55 Magical Power
+250 Mana
+10% cooldown Reduction
+18% movement speed

As stated above, Shoes of Focus should be picked up if also purchasing Divine Ruin, as a way to replace the lost cooldown reduction from Spear of Desolation's replacement. This boots choice is not advised in most other situations, but does offer a decent early game sustain with the high mana.

Relic options

Purification Beads
cost: 0

Using this item removes Crowd Control Effects and makes you immune to new ones for 2s. Cooldown: 160s

UPGRADE: Cooldown decreased to 130s.

This is a default choice for most mages in joust. It cleanses CC and grants immunity to new CC. This will break you free from long CC chains, often saving you from situations which would result in your death. It will allow you to continue your ability chain or escape from danger. This should be picked up in most games.

Aegis Amulet
cost: 0

Using this item makes you invulnerable to damage and healing for 1.5s, and prevents you from taking any actions. You may still move. Cooldown: 180s

UPGRADE: Cooldown decreased to 145s.

This is another must grab in most games. As a mage in joust, you will often face abilities which will near-one-shot you. Anticipating enemy action and activating Aegis Amulet will prevent your death. As a burst mage, you may find yourself in dangerous situations with all abilities on cooldown. This item may buy you enough time for your abilities to come back online, or for an ally to come to your aid.

Blink Rune
cost: 0

Using this item will allow you to teleport up to 45 units away instantly. You have to be Out of Combat for 3s to use this. Cooldown: 140s.

UPGRADE: Cooldown is reduced to 120s. After using this item you gain a 10% damage reduction buff for 2s.

This item is not advised on most mages, and should not be your priority pick for most games with He bo. Blink Rune should only be purchased in games where the enemy team composition has low lockdown and peel capabilties, or in games where the first two relics are not necessary. It is best to ensure that all abilities including ult are online before engaging using this item. When possible, ult your way back to safety, attempting to land killing blows on you enemies in the process. It is not advised to use this item as a means to engage enemies whose full team is present in lane, unless they are all at considerably low health.

Build Analytics Comparison

Skills and Combos

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 60/110/160/210/260 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 20/25/30/35/40% 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 +75% 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

Tyrannical Torrent
Tyrannical Torrent is only achievable by using Staff of Myrddin. This devastating 7-hit combo will be initiated with a quick Water Cannon and Crushing Wave, which will activate Staff of Myrddin's passive on the following Waterspout. Before using your next Waterspout free of charge, use a Water Cannon, as it's cooldown time will be finished by the time the second Waterspout is completed, allowing you to use a third and final Water Cannon. This tank-leveling combo deals 5,320.26 damage (before protections).

Click to View Tyrannical Torrent Demo

Stages of the Match

Early game

Poke often
Prioritize farming
Don't overextend
Ward often
Stay with team
keep pressure + contest buffs
Early game is not always He Bo's strong suit. Get around this by clearing wave as often as you can, and frequently poking the enemy with Waterspout's decent range. Keeping your enemies at bay while you farm gold and experience is your fastest method of reaching late game.

Make sure you stay with your team at almost every moment during the early game as a means to keep heavy lane pressure, minimize enemy breathing room, and to eliminate the chances of you getting caught alone. If this happens, you will likely not escape. With this in mind, you and your team should be warding areas such as gank points and buff camps, whilst trying to avoid being overextended.

On the note of buff camps, you should always try to contest buff camps to deter the enemy from gaining leverage over you; but know when to pick your fights. Not all battles are winning battles, and a lost buff camp is favorable compared to a team mate's potential death.

In the event you are able to walk away with one or more kills, focus on things such as recalling and purchasing items, or clearing xp camps. Tower pokes aren't very important at this stage, and the short respawn timers won't give you much time to work with. Clear the lane and let your minions push as you perform other tasks.

You will want to stick with grabbing the mana buff for most of the early game. When choosing to engage an enemy or leave lane for a buff camp, ensure that you always clear the lane before hand. Lane clearing should take first priority.

click to view early game heat map

Mid game

Focus primary objectives
Coordinate rotations
Provide team fight presence
Target enemies
Extend when safe
He Bo's wave clear will likely become more efficient with the steady increase in power. At this stage of the game, you may stop relying so heavily on your support and begin to coordinate rotations with your team. Splitting up to control more camps will cut the enemies resources and allow your team to become more aggressive in lane and around the map.

At this point in the match, your abilities will start to become lethal, and your pokes will turn to full combos. With some assistance, you will be able to target the teams most valuable players and eliminate them with relative safety. Extending will start becoming less dangerous, and the focus should shift to taking objectives like towers and phoenixes.

In team fight scenarios, do not leave yourself exposed to the enemy. You are an asset to the team at this point, so staying further back and casting your abilities from a safe distance is essential. Learn more in the Macro Gameplay section.

click to view mid game heat map

Late game

Focus objectives
Traverse with caution
Utilize your abilities
Heavy team fight presence
Ward often
Utilize fire minions
At this stage in the game, most of your items will be online. For the most part, late game will play out similarly to mid game, just more devastating. Primary objectives such as towers and phoenixes along with other objectives such as demon king should take priority. You should also be switching to primarily getting the damage buff.

Most fights you engage in should be team fights, but you are very capable of solo killing enemies if you are sure the area is clear. Very few things can stand in your way, yet for this very reason it becomes crucial that you are not targeted. Your abilities are extremely lethal and can turn the tides of any battle, so use them wisely and proceed through the map with caution. If enemy locations are unknown, travel with your team.

You and your team should be placing wards at more crucial areas such as demon king, and new gank points that may open up as objective structures are destroyed. Make sure to keep up with clearing buff camps, and stealing any enemy buff and xp camps that you are able to.

At max level and full build, you don't have much else to gain, so your one and only goal should be doing whatever is necessary to end the game. Most times, this means getting rid of any threats that may stand in your way and attacking objective. If the game has come to a stalemate, begin attempting to bait enemies, force team fights, etc. Draw out your enemies in any way possible to open up opportunities for objective play.

click to view late game heat map

Macro Gameplay

  • Laning
    The most critical part of any game is the laning phase. The matches outcome is most often determined by how well you utilize your farming capabilities. For He Bo, it is important to stay in lane as long as you can, and put highest priority on farming minions. Getting gold and experience will be the first step to your snowball. Avoid being overextended and/or trapped in your tower. Focus on applying pressure while also maintaining distance; getting in frequent pokes and clearing wave. Dying will be your biggest set back, as you must be gaining a near constant flow of exp and gold throughout the early game.
  • Positioning
    Life or death may depend on where you have placed yourself, so it is important to be positioned in areas of safety. Throughout the early game, your safest position will be in lane, just before the half way line. When team fighting, your safest bet will be to attack from a distance, preferably behind your tank. When alone, areas that would otherwise seem safe (tower edge, mana buff, etc.) may not be. With no real form of back up, enemies may be inclined to make an aggressive push for you, so always make a note of ally locations and escape routes before moving anywhere.
  • Zoning
    While Atlas of the Yellow River isn't able to zone enemies with the consequence of damage, a significant movement speed debuff is enough to make enemies rethink their movement routes. Placing Atlas of the Yellow River horizontally across the middle of the lane will deter enemies from crossing, allowing you to farm safely. When attempting to secure an objective such as demon king, place your scroll vertically down the pass. This will allow you more time to secure the objective. If enemies dash or leap over the scroll, take advantage of their now lack of getaway. See more in scrolls map.
  • Team fighting
    When teamfighting, place yourself behind your tank and cast your abilities from safety. When needing to get close for Water Cannon, make sure you are doing so without making yourself totally vulnerable. Your high burst damage is what will keep the fight in your team's favor, so do not put yourself in dangerous positions. You may choose to either initiate the team fight using your ult, or save it to secure the kills at the end.
  • Contesting
    When the enemy team is attempting to secure an objective such as demon king, do not attempt to rush in alone. Much like team fighting, approach the objective and prepare to contest with team mates. If the objective is low, consider waiting for the steal. If not, attempt to burst the opposing team down from safety and secure the kills. Once the enemies are down, secure the objective. If you were the one to begin securing and got contested, do not waste your abilities on the objective, as you will have no way to put up a fight.
  • Ganking
    If attempting to gank the enemy in lane, do not use Atlas of the Yellow River to get behind them faster. The enemy will most likely hear the ability being used, and you will have no way of keeping them there or escaping. Approach silently from behind, then use Atlas of the Yellow River horizontally across the lane to keep the enemy in place. Burst them down, then ult back to your side of the map, securing a kill (or multiple) in the process. NEVER ult away from your team/tower and into the opposing sides direction, as you will have no way of getting back. If the enemy team has placed wards and detects your gank, either turn back the way you came, or ult back to your side immediately to avoid being CC'd.


|Q:| What do I do if I'm being targeted?|
  • |A:| If you find that you are being targeted by a specific member of the opposing team, pay extra attention to their location on the map, and keep your distance if they have the range on you. Coordinate with your team members to counter focus, and be there for you when the enemy strikes. In the late stages of the game, with proper attention to counter building, you will most likely be able to take them.

|Q:| Why do I run out of mana so quick?|
  • |A:| Running out of mana is a common frustration. The easiest way to combat this is by analyzing where you may be using an excess amount, and attempting to restrict your mana usage to only situations that call for it. For instance, if a buff camp has low hp but your Water Cannon just got off cooldown, save it and finish the camp with auto attacks. Your mana is better spent poking the enemy or clearing wave. On that note, don't be afraid to let your team mates assist with wave. As long as you are grabbing mana buff through the early game, you should be okay.

|Q:| How liberal should I be with my abilities?|
  • |A:| It is important to poke your enemies frequently during the laning phase. However, if an enemy is recalling in their tower with majority of their hp still remaining, poking them may not be worth it. Only poke enemies with the intention of: deterring them from pursuing you, forcing them to recall/interrupting their wave clear, or setting up a kill. As for the late game, you should mostly only be using your abilities with the intention to kill.

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.

Match Ups

Kumbhakarna: Use Throw Back and Waterspout as often as possible during the laning phase. These moves help clear wave and can also be used as pokes to help maintain distance. Initiate fights with Groggy Strike, then use Waterspout Mighty Yawn then choose either Water Cannon or Crushing Wave. After Epic Uppercut, be ready to use any of your damaging moves at the landing location of an enemy.
Sobek: Sobek is a good guardian capable of outputting sufficient amounts of CC. Pairing Charge Prey with Waterspout is a sure-fire way to carry enemies assembly-line-style into allied objectives or to isolate them from their teammates.
Sylvanus: Sylvanus is an S+ tier pair for He Bo. Verdant Growth mixed with He Bo's Bancroft's Talon allows for an unmatched level of sustain. Nature's Grasp is another fantastic initiator for He Bo's combos, potentially isolating enemies. Other abilities such as Wisps and Wrath of Terra do an amazing job at keeping He Bo safe while he outputs his damage.

Guan Yu: Guan Yu's Conviction makes for quick and rapid sustain, especially with He Bo's Bancroft's Talon. Warrior's Will and Cavalry Charge work effectively as both initiators and kill confirms for run away targets, with the added bonus of some effective CC. Use Waterspout to stop enemies from interrupting or silencing Taolu Assault, forcing them to take full damage while knocked in the air.
Hercules: Use Earthbreaker into Driving Strike (or just Driving Strike if ganking from behind) to isolate enemies or push them into allied objectives. Add Atlas of the Yellow River to eliminate any chance of escape. From there, decide who should confirm the kill. Combine Atlas of the Yellow River with Excavate for a near guaranteed hit.
Tyr: This combo relies heavily on CC much like the Hercules and Sobek entries. Use assault stance Fearless into assault stance Power Cleave, immediately followed by Waterspout to achieve a multiple hit assembly line push.

Artemis: Artemis is a deadly hunter who pairs remarkably well with He Bo. Try Atlas of the Yellow River into Vengeful Assault with some help from the Still Target passive to output amazing damage at the cost of virtually no mana. This is a small combo that goes a long way. Feel free to add Suppress The Insolent for a little more devastation, but be advised that this addition is subject to diminishing returns.
Cupid: Use Atlas of the Yellow River on enemies to assist Lovestruck in maxing stacks, gaining the advantage of the Heart Bomb stun to initiate kill confirms. Share The Love will also assist both Gods in sustain. Flutter can be used to initiate, while Atlas of the Yellow River is used to flee. (Or vise versa).
Neith: A straight forward one; utilize Atlas of the Yellow River and Spirit Arrow as often as possible for quick kill set ups. Waterspout can also occasionally be used to carry enemies within range of Broken Weaves.

Awilix: When Moonlight Charge isn't able to initiate a knock up, use Waterspout instead. Switching between these two will help reduce predictability and open more opportunities when isolating enemies with Gravity Surge. Consider placing Atlas of the Yellow River at the destination the enemy will be pulled to in order to reduce chances of escaping.
Fenrir: The complete combo here is Unchained (with full runes, to gain the stun) into Waterspout, with Brutalize immediately following. Fenrir may use Ragnarok instead of Brutalize to isolate enemies if the area is unsafe. Feel free to add Atlas of the Yellow River at any point during the combo.
Ne Zha: Coordinate Waterspout with Universe Ring Toss to gain range and distance advantages. Armillary Sash can be used to engage fights or finish low health targets. When catching a God in Wind Fire Wheels, use Atlas of the Yellow River at the landing location and be ready to use any of your damaging abilities to confirm kills.


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
August 28, 2019- Added Synergy section
september 11, 2019- Switched P.O. of shamans ring and shoes of the magi
october 19, 2019- updated skill order
February 26, 2019- Those who oppose me shall be swept aside! S7 updated (Joust): Guide overhaul for season 7
June 19, 2020- changed P.O of Obsidian shard and charon's coin
December 3, 2020- Updated item and ability stats

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TangoDownY3k (2) | September 16, 2021 6:42pm

The builds in this guide are representative of the current joust meta. HOWEVER, ALL information present in the written guide section are not.

Once the guide has been sufficiently updated to correspond with the new builds and current joust map, this comment will be deleted and replaced with a new one. until then, PLEASE DISREGARD THE GUIDE INFORMATION.
Jpittman04 | June 2, 2021 3:41am
best guide ive seen for this game wow
The6thEspada | April 1, 2021 7:24am
Do you use instant cast?
TangoDownY3k (2) | April 1, 2021 12:46pm
I do not. But it does have its benefits.
the big bruh | March 11, 2021 6:34am
This is a really good in-depth guide, and I hope that I can learn to make guides like you someday.
TangoDownY3k (2) | March 12, 2021 9:12pm
Thank you! All it takes is a little patience :)
Deathknight5405 | February 8, 2021 1:42pm
AMAZING, love it so much!
TangoDownY3k (2) | February 8, 2021 3:24pm
Thank you! Stay tuned for some serious season 8 updates coming shortly!
TangoDownY3k (2) | January 2, 2021 7:12pm

The Smite fire UI overhaul/mobile update, while fantastic in many many ways, has severely interfered with this guide's BB code and overall design. I am working to find ways around this, including experimenting with other design options. Please excuse the horribly designed guide for the time being!
boogiebass (46) | January 4, 2021 12:05pm
@Bran made a announcement. He suggested not messing with any BBCoding for now.

Can't remember if the announcement was made public on SmiteFire or not. If it hasn't, Bran will likely do a public announcement soon.

As far as I know, a fix is in the works to take care of this BBCoding problem.
TangoDownY3k (2) | January 4, 2021 1:04pm
Awesome news. Thanks a lot!
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Jackalope_T_S_M | November 12, 2020 11:52am
Thank you kanye! Very big guide!
boogiebass (46) | April 19, 2020 9:02pm
Found the match.
I'm muffinboy and bremz is draisaitl
TangoDownY3k (2) | April 20, 2020 9:41am
I was waiting for this comment!
Revenant7755 (1) | March 30, 2020 1:56pm
This is too well made to be just for joust lol. You have Really deep explanations for a simple game mode. A small question I have: What would the build look like for conquest, specially for the Mid role? I looked on here to see if there are any builds for him but this is the only updated guide for him ATM. Other than that, definitely worth an upvote.
Kriega1 (129) | April 6, 2020 4:46am
Start Tier 2 bancrofts OR Magi shoes rush (look it up) OR Mage's Blessing, tier 1 bancrofts, 2 health and 2 mana pots.

Bancrofts > Magi Shoes > Typhon's Fang > Divine Ruin > Soul Reaver > Obsidian Shard (or get Charon's earlier in the build and delay Reaver and/or typhons). If you want defense get Breastplate of Valor (pretty common pickup on him from what i've seen).

Also He Bo can be flexed in Mid, Jungle or ADC (ADC if you have a hunter in Mid).
TangoDownY3k (2) | April 5, 2020 6:27pm
First of all, thank you! Unfortunately, I am currently unaware of the season 7 conquest meta, especially surrounding mages and the mid lane. From my little experience with He Bo in the mid lane, I found myself putting higher priority on cooldown reduction, as well items such as Doom Orb. That is all the information I'm able to give at the moment, as I don't want to mislead you. I do feel that with some minor adjustments, this build as it currently stands will suffice in most circumstances. I do urge you to disregard most of the information contained in the guide portion if your main focus is conquest.
Devampi (105) | April 6, 2020 12:11am
looking at the spl game I saw last night it kidna uses the same 3 items, doing the T3 boots from fountain start. and they used divine instead of deso (divine on mids is a common thing) then itemized into cdr (the game I saw they used BoV cause of the 4 physical comp of obey) and soul reaver before the game ended, probably ending on ob shard as 6th item
Kriega1 (129) | February 28, 2020 2:00am
How is Charon's a Deso subtitute when your build already has reaver and obs shard? If anything it's a obs shard substitute.
Branmuffin17 (365) | February 27, 2020 8:12pm
Damn Tango, this guide is looking great, and your explanations are increasingly solid.

One thing that I think is slightly weird/misplaced is usage of Charon's, which you say in the writeup is a good potential substitute for Spear of Desolation. I've always considered Charon's more of an Ob Shard alternative due to the same base % pen stat. That said, in S7 so far, I also consider it to often be superior in an overall sense to Ob Shard due to the utility it provides, especially for gods like He Bo who have limited mobility in a general sense.

Another reason I don't think it's quite an alternative to Deso is that in your main build, your first CDR item is Deso, as you're not picking up Shoes of Focus...and I think that should be at least mentioned or listed as an option, especially if you're facing a healing heavy comp and you plan to get Divine in place of Deso.

TangoDownY3k (2) | March 3, 2020 8:47pm
The Charon's issue has been resolved! If you notice any other oversights on my part, or have any other suggestions, please do let me know.
TangoDownY3k (2) | February 28, 2020 10:12am
Hmm.. I think you're exactly right. In fact, the only reason I have it as a substitute for deso is due to it's high hp5/health bonuses which I believed would add a high amount of sustain when added with bancrofts. But I suppose there's nothing wrong with having that later in the game, especially if it means keeping your cdr.

To be honest, of all the situational items listed, I had the least time to experiment with charon's, so i find this input very useful. Also, I had strongly considered listing shoes of focus as a situational, so hearing it from an outside source practically confirms it.

As for charon's replacing obsidian shard in the primary build, I'll need to experiment a little more before committing to anything, but I will keep it in mind.

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