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Zhong Kui: It's in the bag! (S4 Conquest Solo) (WIP)

August 3, 2017 by Technotoad64
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Smite God: Zhong Kui

Item Purchase Order

Example Build

Build Item Warlock's Sash
Build Item Shoes of Focus
Build Item Spear of the Magus
Build Item Hide of the Urchin
Build Item Gem of Isolation
Build Item Chronos' Pendant

Core (1st and 2nd Item)

Build Item Warlock's Sash Build Item Shoes of Focus

Penetration (3rd Item)

Build Item Spear of the Magus Build Item Obsidian Shard

Protections (4th Item)

Build Item Hide of the Urchin Build Item Spirit Robe Build Item Mantle of Discord Build Item Spectral Armor Build Item Genji's Guard Build Item Oni Hunter's Garb Build Item Bulwark of Hope Build Item Celestial Legion Helm Build Item Hide of the Nemean Lion Build Item Jade Emperor's Crown Build Item Midgardian Mail Build Item Mystical Mail

Counter/Utility (5th Item)

Build Item Divine Ruin Build Item Winged Blade Build Item Gem of Isolation

Damage (6th Item)

Build Item Rod of Tahuti Build Item Chronos' Pendant Build Item Polynomicon Build Item Spear of Desolation Build Item Shaman's Ring Build Item Bancroft's Talon

Starter Items

Build Item Sands of Time Build Item Soul Stone Build Item Mark of the Vanguard Build Item Vampiric Shroud Build Item Swift Wing

Zhong Kui: It's in the bag! (S4 Conquest Solo) (WIP)

August 3, 2017

Guide Start! and Base Stats

O-oooooooooo AAAAE-A-A-I-A-U- JO-oooooooooooo AAE-O-A-A-U-U-A- E-eee-ee-eee AAAAE-A-E-I-E-A- JO-ooo-oo-oo-oo EEEEO-A-AAA-AAAA

I'm Technotoad64, call me Techno, and this is my Zhong Kui guide. This guide is meant for solo lane Conquest. The goal of this guide is to teach you how Zhong Kui works, how he is played, and how to build him.

This guide was recently updated for Season 4 Solo Lane Conquest. Please leave a comment if you find any out-of-date information. Mid lane guide and other game modes coming soon.

If you find any errors in my guide, or if you want me to add something, PM me or leave a comment. I want to be as accurate as possible.

  • Mana: 250 (+47)
  • Damage: 33 (+1.5) +20% of your Magical Power
  • Range: 55 (+0)
  • Attack/sec: 0.86 (+1%)
  • Health: 450 (+85)
  • Physical Protection: 8 (+2.6)
  • Magical Protection: 30 (+0.9)
  • Hp5: 6 (+0.44)
  • Mp5: 4.8 (+0.45)
  • Speed: 360 (+0)
Note: Numbers in parentheses are the amount gained at each level.

Pros and Cons

Pros & Cons

....... Pros .......

- Decent poke.
- Good waveclear.
- Easy help in teamfights.
- Tanky with Demon Bag.
- Great sustain.
- A small amount of CC.
- Can heal from pets.
- Strong basics for a mage.
- Awesome beard.
...... Cons ......

- Generally low range.
- Weak early game.
- Vulnerable to ganks.
- Unreliable peel.
- Ult leaves you vulnerable.
- No mobility.
- Can't set up with hard CC.
- Sustain relies on passive.
- Fatty.



Demon Bag
Fill it up.

Demon Bag is what gives you most of your survivability and is what sets Zhong Kui apart from the other mages. Each stack gives you two protections, both magical and physical, with a maximum 20 stacks, for a total of 40 protections once the bag is full. All of your stacks are lost after using Recall Demons or dying.
what it looks like

Expose Evil
First you tag them.

Expose Evil is a line attack that applies a mark to all enemies hit. The mark slows by 20% and does damage over time. The damage over time makes this ability useful for poke and the slow is good for setting up your other abilities. If Exorcism or Book of Demons is used to remove the tag, 75% of the remaining damage is applied to the target instantly, helping you burst down your enemies more quickly, but keep in mind you're sacrificing a small bit of total damage. This is your highest-scaling ability, but it's a fairly slow damage over time and the base damage is lower than Exorcism, so I recommend you level this second.
what it looks like

Then you bag them.

Exorcism is Zhong Kui's main burst damage, and fires in a short, but wide cone after a very short delay. You will usually level this first, because using it doesn't require that you wait on a slow damage over time or that you sacrifice your pet and only peel, and because leveling it increases the heal from your main combo.
what it looks like

Book of Demons
Lorem ipsum docet.

Shake it off!

Book of Demons is your only form of hard Crowd Control, and it's somewhat weak by itself, since the damage is only moderate and the stun is short. Short as the stun may be, it's still a stun, which means you can use it to interrupt channeled abilities. A small detail to note is that the stun is not applied to the entire area of effect instantly. When Zhong Kui rotates his brush, he spins it around clockwise, and the ability's hitbox moves with it. So, if you are aiming to thwart Ares and keep him from Searing Flesh, it helps to have him in front of you or on your right.
what it looks like

A man and his Book.

This part is about the pet you have when Book of Demons is off cooldown. The little scroll fights by your side, copying your basic attacks at half damage, but from a little off to the side. Even without items to make them stronger, having your book up gives your basics a little more power, so try to attack towers and phoenixes when you have it.

Recall Demons
Open the Ark of the Covenant!

Knockbacks and slows are nothing. However many protections you were getting from stacks of your passive is doubled, until it ends and you have nothing. You can think of it as a combination of Destruction and Empty the Crypts, because it is five small bursts of damage in an area around you. At full stacks, you can gank a team fight and, possibly cause a deicide with the giant mobile AOE of death. The best thing of all is that channeling the ability is independent of your actions once you've pressed 4. That means you can still use your other three abilities and your relics, even Sanctuary, while ghosts go all over the place, and silence and disarm can't stop you. Recall Demons is good for chasing down kills, sort of. The demons will target all enemy gods within the green ring, and if a demon has already targeted an enemy, it will still chase it if it leaves the ring. However, the demons completely ignore minions, so you can still be stopped dead in your tracks by their body blocking, and, if at very low health, even get killed by minion archers. Your ult also does nothing to jungle bosses, so unlike Kukulkan or Ra, you can't press 4 and steal Fire Giant.
what it looks like



Main Combo

When Exorcism hits an enemy that was tagged with Expose Evil, it removes the tag, and gives you another stack of Demon Bag. You are also healed based on the rank of Exorcism and your Magical Power for each enemy hit, up to a maximum of three times. Since the cone is significantly wider than it is long, the most efficient way to wave clear and build stacks is to stand front of the wave, use Expose Evil to mark the minions, go to the side of the wave, wait a second for the DOT, and then use Exorcism, making sure that all minions are hit.

Crowd Control Combo

Book of Demons is Zhong Kui's only hard crowd control, and you are unable to use any other abilities while casting it, but it can be fairly strong if used correctly. At maximum rank, it stuns for 0.9 seconds; if the target is marked, the stun is doubled to 1.8 seconds, comparable to Ymir's Frost Breath. You can use this combo offensively, to set up your teammates, or you can use it defensively to interrupt a channeled ability like Nox's Shadow Lock or Bellona's Bludgeon. You can also use it to create more space between you and a foe, making it a sort of escape.

►► ►►
Ultimate-Trapping Combo

Book of Demons is not very good at setting up for your other abilities, because you are unable to do anything while casting, which takes as long as the stun itself unless the target is tagged and you have ranked the ability sufficiently. However, Recall Demons doesn't require you to take action further than activating it, so you can activate the green ring of death, then stun anyone next to you--it helps to tag them with Expose Evil first--and the poltergeists persist pulsing out of their prison, getting your enemies more time in the ectoplasmic whirlwind.

Build Explanation

Build Explanation

Starter Items
Answer the call

Option 1

Sands of Time is the utility start option, letting you stay in lane a bit longer than Soul Stone. The passive gives you extra mana per 5 based on your missing mana, and you also get 10% CDR, allowing you to use your abilities a bit more often. (Using your abilities more often means you can heal yourself with your main combo more often.)

Option 2

Soul Stone is the most aggressive starter item, favoring burst damage with less sustain, so you should get this in solo lane to help balance out your comparatively-low base damage, and increase your chances of securing first blood and early lane dominance. Soul Stone's passive gives you a stack of (literally nothing) for landing a basic attack, up to a maximum of five stacks. At full stacks, your next ability consumes your stacks, and you pack a surprise 40 additional magical power on every ability for 3 seconds.

Core Items
Essential Gear

Item 1
Warlock's Sash is the core item of choice for all mages needing some survivability, and the king of ghosts is definitely no exception. At full stacks, this item gives you a total of 110 magical power and a vital 600 maximum health. Pretty much any mage build for Conquest you see that isn't a glass cannon will include Warlock's Sash.

Item 2
Shoes of Focus gives you early cooldown reduction, and can be put before Warlock's Sash if you need the movement speed. Which may make merrily m***acring many enemies more manageable. In other words, you should buy a pair of shoes before buying a belt if you're too slow to juke the opposite solo laner's attacks, or if you're having trouble getting away when their jungler ganks.

Penetration Items
Making a Breakthrough

Option 1

Spear of the Magus applies a stack of flat protections shredding after each tick of ability-based damage you do to an enemy, up to 5 stacks. Spear of the Magus is the most efficient penetration against any targets with less than 195 magical protections. Both Expose Evil and Recall Demons have the perfect number of ticks to apply all 5 stacks with one ability, adding to your natural ability combos. The main drawback of this item is that objectives are immune to debuffs, so they are impervious to protections shredding.

Option 2

Obsidian Shard gives you 33% magical penetration, meaning 33% of your target's protections are ignored when damage is dealt. This works best when late game rolls around, and you want to attack a few tanks and towers. Obsidian Shard is the most efficient penetration against any targets with more than 195 magical protections, which is usually only guardians and objectives. This item is a good option if you don't like having to remember to apply stacks of Spear of the Magus.

Protections Items
A wise choice

Option 1

Hide of the Urchin is a stacking item that is best purchased around mid game. This is because you don't get stacks by getting kills or assists on minions, but instead gain stacks when getting a kill or assist on an enemy god. You'll be getting many more kills and assists in team fights, which mostly happens during the late game, unlike when you're farming lane in the early game.

Option 2

Spirit Robe is good against gods with high amounts of crowd control, like Ymir, Nox, or Sobek. It's also a good buy when you're behind and having problems getting god kills and assists. Unlike Hide of The Urchin, Spirit Robe has had its daily dose of Neon, and is not missing the healthy sparkle.

Option 3

Mantle of Discord is best against gods that try to get in close and kill you quickly with burst damage, like Loki, Fenrir, or Erlang Shen. It's also a good buy when you're ahead and have a lot of gold. Mantle of Discord can sometimes give you an emergency escape when you're ganked, but don't depend on it.

Option 4

When you take physical damage from a god, enemies that are very close to you are feared for one second. This only works once every 90 seconds. Spectral Armor counters ganks from physical junglers, but is generally ineffective against gods with poke, because they can trigger the passive from a distance.

Option 5

When you take magical damage from a god's abilities, your cooldowns are reduced by two seconds. This only works once every 30 seconds. Genji's Guard counters magical solo laners, especially gods with poke, because they will trigger the passive more frequently.

Counter/Utility Items
A little special something

Option 1

Divine Ruin is usually a good buy when laning against with enemies like Chaac, Guan Yu, or Hercules so that you can better out-sustain them by reducing their healing. Also note that this item also gives you a small amount of penetration.

Option 2

Winged Blade makes you immune to slows and 20% faster for 4 seconds when hit by a slow, but only once every 30 seconds. Buy this item against solo laners or junglers with heavy slows, like Nike, Camazotz, or Chaac.

Option 3

Gem of Isolation slows all enemies hit by your damaging abilities by 25% for 2 seconds. This unique passive gives you extra control in a teamfight, as it will proc on each hit of Recall Demons, allowing you to slow entire teams at once. Every tick of damage on Expose Evil will also stack with and refresh Gem of Isolation's slow.

Damage Items
The finishing touches

Option 1

Polynomicon adds 75% of your magical power to your next basic attack after using an ability, which is more scaling than Exorcism. Zhong Kui's Book of Demons has a good synergy with it, because they're both magic books that glow green. More importantly, your Book of Demons pet is affected by items, including Polynomicon. That means that you'll be churning out ~112% of your magical power after each ability through basic attacks (if your aim and timing is good enough; in practice, you might only hit with it sometimes, but with practice, you can hit with it more often).

Option 2

Rod of Tahuti is the late game item of choice for all mages needing some extra damage, and the king of ghosts is no exception. This item gives you a sizable 125 magical power and even more magical power based on how much you already had. Pretty much any mage build you see that isn't a full support will include Rod of Tahuti as an option, because the damage is just that appealing.

Option 3

Chronos' Pendant gives you cooldown reduction, mana per five, and magical power, and the passive reduces all of your cooldowns by one second every ten seconds. This item increases your sustain, both directly with the mp5, and indirectly by letting you use your main combo more often. While there are plenty of other ways to get the stat, this one is the best for raw CDR.

Option 4

Spear of Desolation comes with CDR, a large amount of power,
and some penetration. The passive reduces your cooldowns by one second every time you get a kill or assist. This item gives you less CDR than Chronos' Pendant (unless you're getting a kill/assist more often than every ten seconds, like some kind of Zhong Kui Chuck Norris), but the power and penetration mean you will be doing more raw damage.

Relic Items
The Secret Weapon

Option 1

Purification Beads cleanses you of all crowd control and makes you immune to crowd control for two seconds. This Relic is what I recommend first and foremost, because crowd control is your undoing. Until you have a well-stacked Hide of the Urchin, you have relatively low protections, especially without a large number of stacks of Demon Bag. Without high protections, you can be killed very quickly and easily if crowd controlled, especially since you don't have any natural cleanse or escape.

Option 2

Horrific Emblem slows enemy gods by 40% and reduces their attack speed by 25% for 5 seconds. It's great for securing kills by making it harder for the other team to escape your lime circle of doom, as well as setting your team up for kills. The attack speed debuff also makes ADCs weaker, helping your team a bit more.

Option 3

When Shield of Thorns is active, half of all the damage you take, before being reduced by your protections, is thrown back at its dealer as magical damage. This is best used by high-defense targets, such as yourself, against squishy damage dealers. Use this Relic with Recall Demons, because becoming a mobile AOE of doom for 5 seconds is likely to get you focused, and Recall Demons doubles the protections from your passive.

Option 4

Teleport Glyph lets you, well, teleport. You can teleport to any allied towers (but not Phoenixes) or wards, regardless of who placed them. Teleport Glyph is most common in solo lane, because even though you have a good amount of sustain, you still need to head back to base eventually. And boy, is it ever a long walk back to your lane. It gives you time to think deep thoughts about the meaning of life. It gives your laning opponent time to clear waves, get to a higher level than you, and demolish your tower. With Teleport Glyph, you can get back into the "action" before the enemy has a chance to do anything. You can try saving an objective with it, but don't go if they outnumber you, because your ult and kit are designed for prolonged team fights, not for instant damage. Important note: Teleporting takes a few seconds, so don't try to use it as an emergency escape, or else you're just giving the other team a free kill.

Option 5

Aegis Amulet makes you literally immune to damage. It's for only two seconds, and you can't attack, but you can walk away. Aegis Amulet is best used against gods with predictable high burst damage, so you can time it so their abilities hit you while you're invincible. You can also use it right after activating Recall Demons, and keep doing damage indirectly. But be careful not to waste it. Once the two seconds are over, you can't use it again for over two full minutes.

































Published guide.

Addition of Soul Stone, and separation of Skills and Combos.

Began work on Relics subsection, and began work on Math Section.

Finished Math Section, for now. Finished Relic section.

Slight reformatting, began work on Matchups section.

Change of main color from #50ff50 to #50dd50.

Reformatting, and specification on use of meditation.

Shamelessly advertising someone else's guide.

Revision of Combos Section.

Added Nox to Matchups.

Added Void Stone to situational items. Changed Changelog to zebra.

Added various potholes, especially where unnecessary.

Added He Bo to Matchups section.

Went on Vacation.

Added links to other parts of guide for easier navigation.

Revision of Items Explanation, including more in depth on penetration.

Finally got back home and updated for 3.12 and 3.13.

Added Arena builds (WIP), began minor visual changes.

Minor updates

Began Work on second guide, minor updates for consistency.

Tying up loose ends, formatting errors, new Pros/Cons section.

Very Scary Halloween update! Taking some stuff out of spoilers.

Tons of highlights.

Christmas/New Year update! Cleanup and improved navigation.

Removed annoying pastebin chapter.

Guide updates on hiatus until Season 4.

Guide temporarily archived. Began Season 4 updates.

Removed Math and Matchups sections.

Guide separated into parts. Continuing work on solo lane guide.

Build explanation section reorganized. Testing new items.

Published solo lane guide Season 4 update.

Began work on mid lane guide. Testing mid lane build.

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