The main purpose of this build is to tackle the HP heavy tank builds of Season 6. Items like Blackthorn Hammer, Runeforgd Hammer, Witchblade, and others are becoming more commonplace and pure penetration build have no benefit against these types of items. Relying only on one penetration item allows for another slot to address damaging the health built by the opponents. An alternative build is provided for a more protection heavy tank build.
The first four items are core on Zeus, the last two can vary depending on the opponent's team composition and their builds. Build one is the build that is most likely to handle what you'll see in Season 6, however; I will provide a second build showing an alternative build designed to deal with a protection heavy tank build rather than the more normal health heavy tank build.
Mage's Blessing gives you good damage and mana sustain early and pairing it with Magic Focus gives similar early clear compared to other starts while allowing you to rush Spear of the Magus after boots. YOU WILL SELL Mage's Blessing TO BUILD YOUR LAST ITEM.
Shoes of Focus:
Zeus is completely ability based and his only peel is killing anyone that comes near him. Zeus NEEDS cooldown reduction to maximize his damage and so once Mage's Blessingis stacked paired with Shoes of Focus you will have 20% CDR very early on.
Spear of the Magus:
Zeus makes great use of Spear of the Magus through his Chain Lightning and Lightning Storm abilities paired with his Detonate Charge. The first two abilities easily proc Spear of Magus' passive ability (reduces magical protections of the target by 10 each time they are hit by an ability, up to 5 stacks) and then the Detonate Charge drops the hammer with the protections shredded.
Chronos' Pendant maximizes your CDR at 40% and with its passive lets you go above and beyond with your cooldowns. It has good power and gives MP5 but it is built for the CDR and passive.
Gem of Isolation:
Detonate Charge is the easiest ability to hit in SMITE, however; Zeus' other abilities can be a bit hard to confirm or follow up on. Gem of Isolation makes confirming your Detonate Charge stacks easier, guaranteeing more damage. Zeus' ultimate ability Lightning Storm greatly benefits from this item as its AoE nature combined with the slow allows for more lightning ticks from the ability. It also works well with the slow on your Chain Lightning.
In late Season 5 and so far in Season 6 tanks tend to build more towards health than protections. They still build both but with DoT mages like Zeus ( Raijin, Agni, Ah Puch) I prefer to utilize the up to 65 protections shred from Spear of Magus as my sole pen source and attack the health through Soul Reaver and its passive. Soul Reaver also provides a large amount of power which makes it worth picking up despite its recently nerfed passive. If the enemy team has more protections then [b]Obsidian Shard[/b] would be the item to build instead of Soul Reaver.
Rod of Tahuti:
Rod of Tahuti was nerfed from THE late game mage item into a situational late game item awhile ago but DoT mages maximize the item's passive effectively as their damage will chip away at the target until their HP is below the 50% threshold and then, with Zeus specifically, you activate your Detonate Charge for maximum damage. If you don't love this item, Shaman's Ring is another good item that increases damage output through its passive and provides good power and more importantly movement speed for Zeus.
These items can be built in specific scenarios, which item they replace will be at your discretion but usually, it will replace Gem of Isolation or as the late game Shoes of Focus replacement.
Obsidian Shard - If you're facing a protection heavy composition forego Soul Reaver and purchase Obsidian Shard. This item ignores a % of the target's protections based on how many they have. It starts at 15% if the target has 40 magical protections going up to 45% if the target has 200 magical protections.
Shaman's Ring - If you're not a fan of Rod of Tahuti this item has less power but compensates for that with movement speed (which Zeus LOVES) and the passive of Shaman's Ring provides a smaller but more consistent damage buff than Rod of Tahuti's.
Divine Ruin - Build this penetration item if you are going against a mid laner that has healing in their kit or that prioritizes lifesteal. Gods with healing that you'll see in the mid lane include Aphrodite, Ah Puch, Hel, Chang'e, Ra, Baron Samedi, Zhong Kui and Hades. Gods that may prioritize lifesteal in their builds include Agni, Freya, Anubis, and Sol.
Winged Blade - Zeus is immobile with no self-protection or movement ability so he is a sitting duck. Winged Blade gives you movement speed while also making it so that you cannot be slowed while your item passive is up. Gods that have slows in the mid lane include Zhong Kui, Scylla, and Merlin.
Magi's Cloak - This item is built in a similar circumstance as Winged Blade but it is built to counter hard crowd control effects (usually things that stun, root, or displace you.) It does not proc on slows, disarms, silences, and other similar effects. Gods that rely heavily on hard crowd control include Scylla, Agni, Chronos, Janus, and Isis.
Celestial Legion Helm - When going against physical mid laners this is a great item to build as it acquires adequate power but also gives great physical protections with its passive. Common physical mid laners include Medusa, Hou Yi, Ullr, Anhur, Chiron, Ah Muzen Cab, and Neith.
There are only two real choices for Zeus in Conquest. Due to his immobility, you need to have Purification Beads and Aegis Amulet to allow you to survive ganks and dives during team fights.
Another option in the VERY RARE scenario where the enemy team is lacking any hard crowd control effects, Heavenly Wings could be picked in place of Purification Beads. The mobility provided from the relic gives yourself a pseudo-escape, benefits the team by giving them a greater chance of escaping,, and it can be used offensively to chase down targets and confirm kills.
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