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Those who oppose me shall be swept aside! S9 updated (Joust)

145 22 2,418,758
by TangoDownY3k updated March 8, 2022

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 Magic Focus Magic Focus
Build Item Mana Potion Mana Potion


Notes DO NOT purchase Divine Ruin and Spear of the Magus together.


DO NOT purchase Divine Ruin and Spear of the Magus together.

Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation
Build Item Divine Ruin Divine Ruin
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus


Notes If you are purchasing an offensive wild card item, DO NOT purchase a defensive wild card item


If you are purchasing an offensive wild card item, DO NOT purchase a defensive wild card item

Build Item Soul Reaver Soul Reaver
Build Item Soul Gem Soul Gem
Build Item Bancroft's Talon Bancroft's Talon
Build Item Chronos' Pendant Chronos' Pendant
Build Item Void Stone Void Stone


Notes If you are purchasing a defensive wild card item, DO NOT purchase an offensive wild card item


If you are purchasing a defensive wild card item, DO NOT purchase an offensive wild card item

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 Breastplate of Determination Breastplate of Determination
Build Item Magi's Cloak Magi's Cloak
Build Item Mantle of Discord Mantle of Discord


Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Obsidian Shard Obsidian Shard
Build Item Gem of Focus Gem of Focus


Build Item Aegis of Acceleration Aegis of Acceleration
Build Item Chaotic Beads Chaotic Beads
Build Item Temporal Beads Temporal Beads
Build Item Scorching Blink Rune Scorching Blink Rune


Build Item Staff of Myrddin Staff of Myrddin
Build Item Doom Orb Doom Orb
Build Item Charon's Coin Charon's Coin


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


Build Item Gem of Focus Gem of Focus
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus
Build Item Soul Gem Soul Gem
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Obsidian Shard Obsidian Shard
Build Item Aegis of Acceleration Aegis of Acceleration
Build Item Chaotic Beads Chaotic Beads


Build Item Gem of Focus Gem of Focus
Build Item Divine Ruin Divine Ruin
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation
Build Item Soul Gem Soul Gem
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Obsidian Shard Obsidian Shard
Build Item Aegis of Acceleration Aegis of Acceleration
Build Item Chaotic Beads Chaotic Beads


Build Item Gem of Focus Gem of Focus
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus
Build Item Soul Reaver Soul Reaver
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Obsidian Shard Obsidian Shard
Build Item Aegis of Acceleration Aegis of Acceleration
Build Item Chaotic Beads Chaotic Beads


Build Item Gem of Focus Gem of Focus
Build Item Spear of Desolation Spear of Desolation
Build Item Spear of the Magus Spear of the Magus
Build Item Breastplate of Valor Breastplate of Valor
Build Item Rod of Tahuti Rod of Tahuti
Build Item Obsidian Shard Obsidian Shard
Build Item Aegis of Acceleration Aegis of Acceleration
Build Item Chaotic Beads Chaotic Beads

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 (+65% 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: 350 / 430 / 510 / 590 / 670 (+105% of your Magical Power)
Cost: 100
Cooldown: 90s

He Bo Threats

Tap each threat level to view He Bo’s threats


He Bo Synergies

Tap each synergy level to view He Bo’s synergies


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 31000 worshipers with him.

Mages have always been my preferred class, with 9 God rank 10 mages to date and over 1000 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.


He Bo is a strong God who is capable of intense amounts of damage. He fits into the late game mage burst category and is often described as a "glass cannon". He fits a very "high risk high reward" playstyle, but is otherwise a very easy and simple God to pick up for new players. Where he lacks in defense and sustainability, he quickly picks up in high damage, penetration, AoE, and good amounts of Crowd Control. His lockdown potential is very high, and can bully enemies at a consistent rate with low cooldowns and low mana costs.

Build Stat Considerations

Build Stat Considerations

MAGICAL POWER: Every mage requires magical power. He Bo is no exception to this, and requires large amounts of magical power to provide effective burst damage towards enemies. Maintaining oppressive lane control is essential for the typical late game God, and players should prioritize items with higher magical power, scaling as the game progresses in line with He Bo's abilities. More expensive items should (on average) be purchased during the later stages of the match.

FLAT PENETRATION: Magical power alone will not win a game. Players should give near equal consideration to flat penetration. Flat penetration will grant He Bo the ability to circumvent large portions of base protections found on most squishies, allowing him to be more oppressive at all stages of a match.

PERCENT PENETRATION: Percent pen will help players maintain their pressure on tanks. Getting around protections on a percentage basis is more effective than flat when enemies build protections in the larger numbers, typically seen on tanks and supports. Fitting percent penetration on He Bo will allow you to cut deeper, dealing more of the damage that you should be dealing on a much more consistent basis.

COOLDOWN REDUCTION: While not as important as the aforementioned stats, cooldown reduction can help He Bo maintain consistent pokes and lane clearing during the early stages of the match. With cooldowns on the lower side to begin with, a small boost from items can give players a competitive edge and amplify He Bo's daunting team fight presence.


Standard Build Item Analysis

Gem of focus
cost: 2200

+100 magical power
+150 health
+15 MP5
PASSIVE - Every time you cast an ability that costs mana you gain a stack of Focus for 10s, providing 3% Movement Speed, 3% Damage Increase, and 2% Damage Taken Reduction, stacking up to 3 times.

Gem of Focus is quite possibly the strongest starter option for He Bo due to it's familiar passive. It's increase in damage output stacks with the number of abilities used, up to a max of 3, synchronous with He Bo's passive Steady Flow (on a fundamental level). This effectively packs double the punch per ability at max stacks. The added movement speed and damage reduction are spectacular additions to He Bo's mobility and sustainability, which are natural weak points for him.

Spear of desolation
cost: 2600

+120 magical power
+15 penetration
+10% cooldown reduction

PASSIVE - Earning a Kill or Assist subtracts 2s from all standard Abilities currently on Cooldown, as well as 6s on ultimate Abilities currently on cooldown.

Spear of Desolation is an all around staple item which provides a high spike in power which should establish you as a relevant presence during most of the early game. The high power and the flat penetration will allow you to stay ahead of your opponents and make important pokes with confidence. The cooldown reduction given from both the item and its passive will sustain players through the much needed laning phase. If purchasing this item, purchase Spear of the Magus after, and do not purchase Divine Ruin.

Divine ruin
cost: 2300

+110 magical power
+15 penetration

PASSIVE - Enemies hit by your Abilities have 40% reduced Healing and Regeneration for 6 seconds.

Divine Ruin is the staple anti heal item for mages. This item functions almost identically in terms of base stats to Spear of Desolation and Spear of the Magus. It should be built when enemy team comps have prominent healing, and inflicting meaningful damage is difficult. If purchasing this item, purchase Spear of Desolation after, and do not purchase Spear of the Magus.

Spear of the magus
cost: 2550

+110 magical power
+12% magical lifesteal
+15 magical penetration

PASSIVE - Any god you damage becomes marked and debuffed to take 7.5% increased damage from all sources for 7s. This effect can only affect one god at a time and can only occur once every 15s.

Spear of the Magus rides on the wave of both Spear of Desolation in terms of necessary amounts of flat pen and good portions of magical power, but also coincides with the Gem of Focus Steady Flow harmony by adding another layer of damage % increase. While Spear of the Magus only offers one round of scaling increase (7.5% total) compared to Gem of Focus's three (3% per stack, 9% total), it still offers more value on the first and second hits, being directly in the middle of Gem of Focus's second and third hit bonuses (7.5% being half way between 6 and 9). Over all, this item contributes to He Bo's ability damage scaling, and helps to smooth the gaps by adding more consistent damage across each ability. If purchasing this item, purchase Spear of Desolation before it, and do not purchase Divine Ruin.

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 25% 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. it's passive loosely works with Gem of Focus and Steady Flow to release a devastating blast on your final ability at max stacks (preferably Crushing Wave), after the the first two items quickly scale up damage on each ability. Stacks can also be gained from Atlas of the Yellow River.

Rod of tahuti
cost: 3000

+140 magical power
+10% magical penetration
+30 MP5

PASSIVE - Basic Attacks and Abilities gain 25% additional Magical Power against targets below 50% Health.

Rod of Tahuti is a classic late game mage item that delivers near unparalleled amounts of magical power. It should be no surprise that players should look to build this item, as it fits in very well with integrity of the high power + pen style of building suitable for He Bo. This also marks the first in the series of % pen items that will help players deal with the ever growing threat of tanks.

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 for tank shredding. He Bo will be able to use it to his advantage in order to avoid having his dominating presence drowned out by enemy supports. It provides 20% base pen (30% off cooldown), and will see to it that players are not investing too much into dealing with squishy gods. With that being said, the magical power will still keep you on the incline compared to other mages.

Wild card - Offense or Defence?

Offensive items

-Variety in build direction
-Maintains integrity
-Ability to target specific Gods

In most situations, players should always be looking to purchase from this list before looking to the defensive list unless necessary. He Bo is, by definition, a burst damage mage, and therefore should prioritize items which will give him the offensive advantage. Buying from this list ensures that players will not stray from that purpose, while still having a variety of options to choose from. Assuming the match does not require a defensive wild card item, players should choose their offensive item in this slot based on what the events of their current match requires. Offensive items can help with further tank shredding if the opposing team is more tanky in nature, lifesteal if more sustain is required, or even cooldown reduction if the enemy team has more consistent damage output/lane clear.

Defensive items

-Doesn't sacrifice offensive capabilities
-Discourages focusing
-Offers direct countering

As stated previously, defensive items should be seen as second to offensive items. They should only be purchased if absolutely necessary. The defensive items in this list are inherently detrimental to the damaging capabilities of the build compared to purchasing an offensive item in this slot. With that being said, however, even after the addition of a defensive item in place, it is rare that He Bo will fall behind in damage numbers and magical power to opposing mages. Players will not have to sacrifice their offensive pressure with this addition. He Bo should be equipped with a defensive item in situations where enemy oppression exceeds his own. Building sufficient protections will discourage enemies from focusing He Bo, or at the very least, make accomplishing this task more difficult. Certain items may provide direct counter measures to enemy strategies, i.e. CC protection and immunity will allow players to avoid being locked down long enough to either escape or turn the battle into more favorable conditions.

Wild Card - Offense - item analysis

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 a significant spike in power, contributing to the builds high damaging nature, as well as percentage health damage for tankier enemies building lots of health. Players should build this item if they are finding enemy supports especially difficult to deal with, or if enemy teams are running dual tank comps.

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 25% 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. it's passive loosely works with Gem of Focus and Steady Flow to release a devastating blast on your final ability at max stacks (preferably Crushing Wave), after the the first two items quickly scale up damage on each ability. Stacks can also be gained from Atlas of the Yellow River.

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 great situational pickup offering lots of sustain in lane, while providing he Bo with offensive counter measures to highly combative enemies. Players can make use of this item's passive in high risk environments together with rod oh tahuti to create higher rewards in blow for blow situations.

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 is the go-to item for significant cooldown reduction in a pinch. Luckily, with a high magical power stat, this item can fit rather seamlessly into the builds integrity and offers a fair amount of pushback to enemy Gods who are dominating lane and keeping He Bo on the back foot.

Void stone
cost: 2250

+250 Health
+40 Magical power
+60 Magical protection

AURA - Enemy gods within 55 units have their Magical Protection reduced by 15%.

Void Stone is a good item to be used offensively or defensively. It offers magical protection comparative to true defensive items, and while more defensive-leaning, still offering magical power. Although low compared to traditional magical power items, Void Stone helps to make up for this shortcoming with it's passive. This item is an excellent hybrid, and should be regarded as an oppressive defense item, mostly picked up against magical oriented teams. Void Stone is the only appropriate magical power + magical protection item that He Bo should be purchasing.

Wild Card - Defensive - item analysis

Celestial legion helm
cost: 2150

+90 Magical Power
+30 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.

Celestial Legion Helm is an excellent defensive choice for He Bo. It offers very high magical power for a hybrid item, while also providing physical protection akin to some true defense items in the right conditions. Players should build this item when facing physically dominant teams high with burst damage to give the item's passive time to restack.

Tyrannical plate helm
cost: 2400

+85 Magical Power
+30 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 item is fantastic for aiding He Bo in lane. The passive contributes greatly to his ability to clear minions effectively, while rewarding players with extra damage for potential engages once minions have been cleared. It gives almost an equal amount of base magical power compared to Celestial Legion Helm, but is the more offensive between the two. Players should build this in situations where they are falling behind in lane, or against teams with considerable crowd control.

Breastplate of valor
cost: 2300

+65 Physical protection
+300 Mana
+10 MP5
+20% Cooldown reduction

Breastplate of valor is the only fully defensive item on this list (excluding it's upgrade Breastplate of Determination), and so it should only be purchased against very physically dominant teams. This may come in the form of many physical Gods, or one very dangerous one who is targeting He Bo on a consistent basis. Breastplate of valor is more efficient than other physical defense items due to it's physical protection being on par with Celestial Legion Helm, but at a constant rate. It's cooldown reduction also aids He Bo greatly. Due to this item not granting magical power at all, this should be considered a true counter item reserved for situations that absolutely demand it.

Breastplate of determination
cost: 2900

+65 Physical Protection
+300 Mana
+10 MP5
+20% Cooldown Reduction

GLYPH - Each time you are hit by an ability, gain a stack of 5 Protections that corresponds to the damage type you were hit with, up to a max of 4 of each type. Once you reach max stacks of both kinds, gain a burst of 20% Movement Speed and double your Protections gained by this effect for 8s, after which all stacks are removed.

This item has all the benefits of Breastplate of Valor. Due to the dynamic nature of the way this item grants protections, in matches with physically dominant teams He Bo will be able to hold on to the physical protection stacks for much longer than Celestial Legion Helm. Once the buff reaches max stacks, He Bo is granted with double the protections and movement speed, often guaranteeing his survival. This item at full power provides 153 physical protection and 88 magical protection (base stats included) from one item.

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 great defensive choice for matches where players are being consistently targeted by CC heavy Gods. The health and added protections give sustainability for He Bo to last slightly longer as players attempt to either get away, or use the CC immunity to turn a fight. Be mindful that any form of CC can trigger the passive, so attempt to coordinate with team mates to force enemies to use meaningful CC on you, effectively wasting an ability that could have been crucial to a team fight.

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 a range of 20 units for 1s and become immune to Crowd Control for 1s. This effect cannot trigger more than once every 90s.

*NOTE* The passive has a 0.4s cast time before the stun hits. CC immunity occurs instantly upon trigger of the passive.

This item is also helpful for combatting CC heavy Gods, with the added benefit of some significant protections and cooldown reduction. Although this item cannot absorb a crowd control effect, it will grant immunity, making this item slightly better than Magi's Cloak in situations where your team can provide heavy counter CC, playing off Mantle of Discord's stun. Be mindful that this item requires players to sustain significant damage before triggering, and so like usual, initiating with CC is best saved for the team support. However, this item is still very beneficial for turning the tides of otherwise grim situations.

Relic options

Aegis of Acceleration
cost: 800

Using this item makes you invulnerable to damage and healing for 1.5s, and prevents you from taking any actions. You may still move. Each instance of damage prevented in this time provides you 7% Movement Speed for 4s, stacking up to 3 times.

Cooldown: 140s

This is a default option for most mages. As a mage in joust, you will often face abilities which will have you sustaining sometimes fatal amounts of damage. Anticipating enemy action and activating Aegis Amulet will prevent your death. The added movement speed burst grants a much needed boost to he Bo's mobility in times when it is of utmost importance, and will ensure your return to safety in most situations when used properly. 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.

Chaotic Beads
cost: 800

Using this item removes Crowd Control Effects and makes you immune to new ones for 2s. Any hard Crowd Control or Root Effect that is cleansed during this time, including on activation, sends out a homing projectile to the enemy who applied it, dealing True Damage equal to 7% of their Maximum Health.

Cooldown: 140s

This is another must grab in most games. It cleanses CC and grants immunity to new CC. This will break you free from long CC chains, save you from early rushes that attempt to isolate you from your team and take advantage of your lack of mobility, and often save you from situations which would result in your death. It will allow you to continue your ability chain amidst CC heavy onslaughts or escape from danger. The added damage punishes CC attempts and may ward off enemy engage attempts. This should be picked up in most games. If absolutely necessary, fully upgrade this relic after your first three of four items have been purchased. Otherwise, wait until all items are online.

Temporal Beads
cost: 800

Using this item removes Crowd Control Effects and makes you immune to new ones for 2s. Reduces active cooldowns by 3s.

Cooldown: 140s

This is another must grab in most games, providing near equal value to Chaotic Beads. It cleanses CC and grants immunity to new CC. This will break you free from long CC chains, save you from early rushes that attempt to isolate you from your team and take advantage of your lack of mobility, and often save you from situations which would result in your death. It will allow you to continue your ability chain amidst CC heavy onslaughts or escape from danger. The added cooldown will likely reset all of He Bo's abilities (excluding Crushing Wave), allowing players to completely refresh their ability chain and potentially turning the tides of a team fight or focusing attempt. If absolutely necessary, fully upgrade this relic after your first three of four items have been purchased. Otherwise, wait until all items are online.

Scorching Blink Rune
cost: 800

Using this item will allow you to teleport up to 45 units away instantly, leaving behind a trail of wildfire that deals 20 (+4 per level) True Damage every 0.5s for the next 4s. Enemies are damaged for 1s after leaving the flames. This item cannot be used if you have taken or dealt damage in the last 3s.

Cooldown: 120s

This item is not advised on most mages, and should not be your priority pick for most games with He bo. It should only be purchased in games where the enemy team composition has low lockdown and peel capabilties, or in games where the first three 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. The fire effect will help greatly in this 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. Wait until the all other items are online before purchasing this full upgrade.

Alternate item analysis

Staff of myrddin
cost: 2650

+10% Cooldown Reduction
+105 Magical Power
+10% Magical Penetration
PASSIVE – When your ultimate ability has finished casting you gain Myrddin’s Brilliance which provides 70% Uncapped Cooldown Reduction, decaying to 40% Uncapped Cooldown Reduction over 8s. Uncapped Cooldown Reduction overrides normal Cooldown Reduction. At the end of the 8s you lose Myrddin’s Brilliance. This can only occur once every 45s.

While more similar in stats and price to Spear of Desolation, this item should most likely replace Rod of Tahuti. While having less magical power, it's passive can provide unparalleled onslaughts of nonstop abilities, better suited for late game encounters. The Tyrannical Torrent combo can only be achieved with this item.

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, so it should take Rod of Tahuti's place.

Charon's Coin
cost: 2400

+80 Magical Power
+20% Magical Penetration
+7 HP5
+20 MP5

+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.

Charon's Coin is a fantastic substitute for Obsidian Shard. 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. Substituting for both this item and Doom Orb will make for quite the mobile He Bo. The mp5 + hp5 bonuses also help his sustain greatly.

Full Build Breakdowns

Standard build
  • |Overview| This is the standard build for He Bo in most matches. It provides 650 base magical power, before passive and item effects. It's 30 flat pen and 30% pen means it falls into the true damage build path. These 3 highly damaging stat lines mixed with item effects and passives make this build a go-to for the traditional and destructive mage burst playstyle. This build provides the most versatile capabilities in the majority of stats that are relevant to He Bo. The 20% cooldown reduction and 34% life steal provide medium coverage of stats that are of lesser importance, yet still beneficial to He Bo, making this the standard build. It covers majority of the bases a player would face in a typical match.

  • |Item Effect Chains| Gem of Focus + Spear of the Magus give % damage increase. Steady Flow + Soul Gem + Rod of Tahuti give increased magical power on abilities. Soul Gem can gain stacks from Atlas of the Yellow River (once per use).

Antiheal build
  • |Overview| Equivalent in base magical power, flat pen, and percent pen, this build offers near identical benefits to the standard build, only sacrificing some life steal for antiheal. Changes in flat pen items brought about in season 9 have made this the most efficient way to incorporate antiheal without altering the integrity to the build.

  • |Item Effect Chains| Gem of Focus + Spear of the Magus give % damage increase. Steady Flow + Soul Gem + Rod of Tahuti give increased magical power on abilities. Soul Gem can gain stacks from Atlas of the Yellow River (once per use).

Tank Shred build
  • | This build offers the highest magical power at 665 before passive and item effects. It sacrifices half of the cooldown reduction from the first two builds, bringing it to 10% CDR, as well as some lifesteal (now sitting at 12%) in exchange for % health damage. This, in addition to the 30 flat pen and 30% pen makes this build the perfect option for dealing with tank enemies.

Protections build
  • | This build offers the lowest magical power of all the build options, regardless of which protection item you choose. In this example using Breastplate of Valor (or Breastplate of Determination), you will have 570 magical power at full build, before passive and item effects. While this is the lowest, it is still comparable to many mages who are required to purchase non-traditional or uncommon items such as an Aphrodite purchasing Lotus Crown, for example. You will have 30 flat pen, 30% pen, 12% lifesteal, and 30% cooldown reduction. This means that although one item is being reserved for defense, players will still be able to inflict massive amounts of damage, and otherwise maintain He Bo's natural image as a daunting foe. Your damaging numbers, penetration, and overall ability to control fights will not be eclipsed easily by your opponents.

X item - Why not?

Often I receive questions about why certain items are or are not included in this build. While the item analysis section explains why items are included, there is no section in that chapter to explain why certain items are not. In this section, I will attempt to target the specific items that are most commonly asked about, and explain why they are not best suited for this build/guide. With every item change in the patch notes, there also comes new potential for the build. It is my intention to frequently update this section to reflect new changes, and offer advice about those items.

Book of the dead
cost: 2600

+100 Magical Power
+200 Mana
+20% Cooldown reduction

PASSIVE – If you drop below 40% Health, you gain a shield equal to 25% of your maximum Mana. This shield lasts 6s. This effect can only occur once every 90s.

Amidst the (now dying) hype for this item, where every mage was purchasing it, there have always been questions about it's place with He Bo. With high magical power, good cooldown reduction, and a potentially life saving passive, it seemed as if there was no God that this item would not be useful on. However, He Bo cannot always benefit from this item the way other mages can, and it's benefits are often outweighed by the sacrifices necessary to achieve those benefits. While it's magical power is high, there are other items with higher magical power that fit better into the builds integrity. Book of the Dead's passive requires too much investment into mana, forcing players to prioritize items that are not immediately useful on the surface level. He Bo requires surface level items that give immediate benefits, and cannot make item investments that hinder his early/mid game for late game tradeoffs. For this heavy a price, players are better off opting for a offense/defense hybrid.

Calamitous rod of tahuti
cost: 3600

+140 Magical Power/color]
+30 MP5
+10% Magical Penetration

GLYPH - Successfully hitting an enemy god with an ability calls down a meteor that lands after 1s, dealing 100 (+35% of your Magical Power) damage in a 15 unit radius. This effect can only occur once every 30s.

Glyph items can be a dangerous and tempting endeavor to embark on. While seeming like a practically free upgrade with no foreseeable cons (as it does not alter or replace stats, only adds another passive effect), many believe there is no reason to not opt in. For many Gods that may be true, but for [He Bo]], that is not the case. With no way to stun, root, cripple, or otherwise keep an enemy in place, players will find it near impossible to actually have this item's passive hit a God. Atlas of the Yellow River is not enough, and He Bo's only other CC ability, Waterspout actively push people away. The price of this upgrade is better put towards your next item in the build.

Archmage's gem
cost: 2200

+120 Magical Power
+200 Mana
+25 MP5

PASSIVE - Every 1s you gain a stack of Demise, causing your next damaging ability to deal an additional 1.5% of your Magical Power in damage and remove all stacks. This effect stacks up to 20 times.

Archmage's gem is the worse option between the 2 upgrades of Conduit Gem on He Bo. While very powerful on Gods with hard-hitting single abilities, He Bo is a God who thrives when all of his abilities are used in succession (this is highlighted by Steady Flow), and will not gain any benefits from his other abilities when the stacks on Archmage's Gem are consumed. Because of this, players need an item that will gain additional benefits or scale in damage on each ability cast, and thus Gem of Focus is the best bet especially when combined with the item effects in the build.

Warlock's staff
cost: 2500

+95 Magical Power
+150 Health
+200 Mana
+10% Magical penetration

+95 Magical Power
+150 Health
+200 Mana
+10% Magical penetration

PASSIVE - You permanently gain +1 Health and +0.8 Magical Power per Stack, and receive 5 Stacks for a god kill and 1 Stack per minion kill. (Max. 75 Stacks)

Much like Book of the Dead, this item seems great on the surface. It provides great magical power, good percent pen, and high amounts of defensive/utility stats like health and mana. Where this item becomes a cause for concern is in it's nature as a stacking item. It requires an investment for your late game at the cost of your early/mid game, and requires good wave clear to stack efficiently, which He Bo lacks, especially at this stage. The early/mid stages of the match are crucial for He Bo, and could be a deciding factor in the way the rest of the game is played. Players will need any amount of support they can get until they start to snowball, and cannot afford to make any sacrifices. He Bo should pick up items that provide immediate benefits, and if defense/sustain is a concern, there are more effective items in the form of defense.

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.

Click to View Water Cannon Demo + pros and cons

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.

Click to View atlas of the yellow river Demo + pros and cons

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.

Click to View Waterspout Demo + pros and cons

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.

Click to View Crushing wave Demo + pros and cons

Skill Leveling priority

|TOP PRIORITY| Crushing Wave|
  • | Crushing Wave is a devastating ultimate capable of hitting multiple Gods, engaging team fights, confirming kills, and getting to safety. This ability should be prioritized when available, as it He Bo's most powerful asset. Due to it's nature as an ultimate, upgrades for this ability will only come around once in a while, so don't miss a chance to level it up when you can.

|2ND PRIORITY| Waterspout|
  • | Waterspout is He Bo's primary source of damage when poking enemies in lane and clearing minions from a safe distance in the early game. This ability allows players to keep pressure on enemies and establish their role in lane without having to make plays that are too risky. He Bo can take advantage of high reward without as high of a risk, and so this ability should be prioritized behind his ultimate.

|3RD PRIORITY| Water cannon|
  • | Water Cannon is the second half of He Bo's devastating bread and butter combo. It provides very high damage with an extremely low cooldown, allowing players to maintain pressure on enemies at a constant rate. It's very close range, however, require He Bo to take bigger risks to reap the benefits. Because of this, players should expect to gain more out of this ability at higher levels when He Bo can hold his own, and should be prioritized after Waterspout.

|LAST PRIORITY| Atlas of the yellow river|
  • | While a great ability for zoning, mobility, and CC, this item provides no real benefit to He Bo in the beginning stages of a match. The abilities that will help keep players relevant throughout the game are the ones that deal the most amounts of damage, and so this ability should be an after thought once the others have solidified He Bo's place.


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.

Click to View Advanced Bread and Butter Demo

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. Starting the second half of the combo will be Waterspout. As it is on cooldown, you will have enough time for 2 Water Cannons in a row, utilizing it's already low cooldown reduction with Staff of Myrddins passive. Once this is complete, you can use the last of the uncapped cooldown for another Waterspout and Water Cannon. This tank-leveling combo deals 5,887.75 damage (before protections, item passives, and Atlas of the Yellow River).

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 (S7)

click to view early game heat map (S3, 9)

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 (S7)

click to view mid game heat map (S3, 9)

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 (S7)

click to view late game heat map (S3, 9)

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/Pathing
    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.
  • Recalling
    Knowing where and when to recall is an important skill to have, however minor it may seem. Players should look to recall in areas that have proven throughout the course of the match to be safe. While there are areas on the map that remain consistent safe spaces, others may shift from game to game depending on the team comp/trends that fall into place. Pay attention to these trends, and the overall pathing of your enemies to determine where they are least likely to be at any given moment, so you may recall safely. As for when, players should only recall when the situation either demands it, or allows for it. If your health is too low to engage, or too low to survive any potential surprise engages by the opposing team, you should recall as soon as possible. Always attempt to avoid recalling prior to clearing wave. You will miss out on value xp and gold. Players should attempt to avoid recalling at the same time as their team mates to avoid bad rotations. Conversely, when your team mates do recall, make yourself as inaccessible to the enemies as possible to discourage engages, as you will most likely be outnumbered until your team mates return. If you have excess gold but are otherwise healthy, do what you can to force the enemy mage to recall first. Once they are gone, clear one more wave and recall. Below is a map of areas that players should avoid getting caught in. Whether you are recalling there or even simply passing through, these areas could leave you stuck in vulnerable positions.

    click to view Hazard map

Scroll maps

click to view scroll map (S7)

click to view scroll map (S3, 9)

Ward maps

click to view ward map (S7)

click to view ward map (S3, 9)


|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.
  • You can fake recall by use normal casting on Waterspout and hovering the ability in front of you as you pretend to back. You do not need to have low health to get enemies to come to you, as most will engage you in an attempt to poke you out of your recall animation. When they draw near, activate your swift submerge combo to eliminate them.

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

Leave a Comment

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Collapse All Comments

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 (134) | 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 (134) | 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 (370) | 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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