I wanted to start off with a bit of pen early to help with damage early.
This item fulfills 2 of my major needs for my build while also giving a good chunk of magical power. 20% CDR plus the passive help keep your abilities online early plus you get some early sustain from the mp5. With the price most likely seen as more of a luxury item but it fits perfectly for the criteria i placed for myself when constructing the build. Add in Vulcan's passive and by the time i get Rod of Tahuti online he pretty much never has any Mana problems(at least for me anyways).
Getting more pen into the build while almost maxing CDR but its passive combined with Pendant not really needing to feel like i have to squeeze the other 10% into the build somewhere else.
I know there are other MP5 items , specifically the Book of Thoth that seems to be the must have item on current meta builds and while it does have 15 MP5, i really like that Tahuti gives 30MP5 gives a lot of power and has what i feel like is a really nice passive for Vulcan(provided you can hit your targets when necessary). Doing the math, at final build this is at 590 magical power, so when hitting opponents under 50% health he gains an extra 147.5 magical power. Vulcan has plenty of opportunities to hit enemies under half health and so i feel like this is a win/win for what i am trying to do.
This is here for the burst damage and as a bonus there is a minor heal.
A good boost in power plus the passive to get even more damage in.
I have been using a skill sequence i picked up from another build when i first started playing Vulcan but it still makes sense to me.
Get this leveled up first because it is your easiest to aim ability and also works with your Inferno Cannon to increase your damage output vs the other team and their minions. This is also going to be your more reliable minion clear as you transition to mid and late game, usually. Just make sure that you hit the minions when they are still lined up or it will not be as effective.
I have this to level up second because even though it is a mini AOE, it can be hard to hit with and it is usually not as good for minion clear. It is a very versatile ability, for use with attacking, escaping, and disrupting the flow of the enemy team in fights. I can see this being a valid option for leveling up first but i just prefer getting the Backfire up and running first.
I level this third because it is a static tool for damage that can be destroyed pretty easily. the damage from it is helpful and the damage bonus from Backfire when applicable is noticeable, even early game. i was surprised by how often i can get a kill off of it, especially when the backfire buff is in effect.
Ok, so here are some key points to go over for Arena play. Some of these I am sure you can use in other modes as well.
Yes, Vulcan is a mage. Yes, Vulcan can do some great damage if a lot of things come together. If you want to be successful with him, as the saying goes, patience is a virtue.
1. Build, it's why you're here. duh!
2. You have to hit with your abilities as much as possible. Missed abilities are missed opportunity for damage/kills/teammate saves/overall disruption of opposing team battle flow.
3. Set your Inferno Cannon at every opportunity. Even if it CAN be destroyed easily, that doesn't mean it will be. The other team will not always destroy it and with proper placement you can keep minions from destroying it. Having the turret up saves you time for when you mark targets with Backfire as well. Situationally, don't be hesitant to place the Inferno Cannon in seemingly wierd places when fighting. That may be the only way you can secure a kill at times.
4. Make sure to use your Backfire as much as possible. There is a bit of restraint due to considering positioning of your Inferno Cannon and trying to lead an enemy or seeing an opportunity appear for you to tag them in view of it. Sometimes in a mad dash with opponents and your team running it just does not make sense to stay with your Inferno Cannon. Just let it do what it can and help your team. This ability will pack a wallop mid to late game as well so use it when you are confident you can hit with it(practice, practice, practice).
5. As with the Inferno Cannon and Backfire use your magma bombs at every opportunity. Just make sure you work on your timing and angles so that you can still hit moving targets effectively. This will take large chunks of health off of enemies mid to late game and it is always a great tool to disrupt your opponents battle flow.
6. Earthshaker can be a fun ability. it can also be a maddening one. Usually up close there are minimal problems getting it to go where you want it, but it can be more difficult the farther you are away from your target(s). I am still getting aiming down with it. Sometimes I am lights off, at times i completely suck still and others i can live with the misses because i get hits at key times. Just don't give up on it. it has great damage potential and when it hits in mid to late game it has the real potential to completely change momentum of the match. Early game it can still do a good job of disrupting battle flow and securing kills on low health opponents or making it easier for teammates to secure kills. Use it as judiciously as possible.
7. Important keys to success in general. Don't rush in. If you have opportunities, take them but don't go wading into the middle of the enemy team. Be aware of opposing team composition because even if you stay back there are gods that can get to you and do damage either physically or with their abilities. Examples would be Loki with his stealth, mages like Zeus Merlin Kukulkan. These are just a handful of examples, there are characters from every class that can lay the hurt on you, even when playing cautiously, so be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the kits of the other players. Balance keeping minions in check with helping your team stay out of tight spots and securing kills.
I hope that these tips help and that you have fun playing as Vulcan. I know i am having a blast playing him.
If you are interested in getting more info on arena strategies with Vulcan, I have the put you to sleep version here. https://www.smitefire.com/smite/forum/general-discussion/general-arena-strategies-for-vulcan-58950
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