The second of the mid-season patches brings us a new Celtic goddess: Artio. She’s a stance-switching guardian whose kit looks incredibly strong and probably overpowered. This might be a situation we saw with Cernunnos, where the kit looks strong and people said it was overpowered and then…they were wrong. It was much, much more powerful than people thought. Still, time will tell on that front. This patch brings us more Summer of Smite, a handful of god and item changes – largely building on 4.13, and the implementation of the Fall Split season ticket.
Artio, the Bear Goddess
As much as I am not in love with the title given to Artio, she will definitely get played by me until she gets nerfed into the dirt. At which time I will return to our lord and savior, Kuzenbo. Until then, this kit looks insane. Sure, she doesn’t have an ultimate – reducing her overall burst and instant impact – but her sustain and the control – both offensive and defensive – is through the roof.
- Passive – Decompose: Hitting enemy gods with your abilities reduces both physical and magic protections by 3% for 4s, stacking 8 times. That is a ridiculous amount of shred if you can stack it. The cooldowns for the skills are 10s/14s/15s, but you have two of each of those. Oh, and a lot of abilities you don’t really have to worry about missing. Yeah.
- Energy Surge (Druid)/Maul (Bear): The cost of these abilities is 50/55/60/65/70 and the cooldown is 10s. The attack is a cone.
- Energy Surge deals 70/100/130/160/190 +35% of your magical power to all enemies, and heals herself and allied gods within 55 units for 60/80/100/120/140 + 25% of magical power for each enemy god hit. Multiple gods hit triggers it multiple times. This is absolutely an incredible amount of healing. The sustain is through the roof.
- Maul deals damage twice to enemies, dealing 50/80/110/140/170 + 35% of your magical power each hit. Dat scaling. Holy nuts.
- Entangling Vines (Druid)/Ferocious Roar (Bear): The cost of these abilities is 50/55/60/65/70 and the cooldown is 14s. This is a circle centered on Artio.
- Entangling Vines is a cripple field that lasts for 6/6.5/7/7.5/8s, debuffing the magical and physical power of nearby enemy gods by 5/10/15/20/25% while they are within the area. Because just a moving cripple field that lasts for 8s isn’t enough, everyone. This ability is just crazy. Remember when Erlang’s Pin was too good because it also cripple at range? Yeah.
- Ferocious Roar stuns nearby enemies for 1/1.1/1.2/1.3/1.4s and increases Artio’s magical and physical protections by 10/20/30/40/50 for 4s. “But wait,” you say. You can just move away from the cripple and it’s ok! Yes, except all the CC Artio has. Like this roar. Or the next two abilities. The stickiness is real.
- Life Tap (Druid)/Heavy Charge (Bear): The cost of these abilities is 50/55/60/65/70 and the cooldown is 15s. The attack is a line.
- Life Tap is a channeled ability – once it hits – but allows movement. It deals 15/25/35/45/55 + 10% of your magical power and heals you 15/20/25/30/35 + 10% of your magical power – each ticking up to 5 times over 2s. It also slows the enemy an increasing amount, rooting them it they are hit all 5 times. Soft CC on top of heal on top of damage. So big and burly.
- Heavy Charge is a 3s dash that passes through gods and can be canceled. Enemies hit by the charge take 70/120/170/220/270 + 50% of your magical power and are slowed by 10/15/20/25/30% for 2s. Look at that damage, soft control, team presence, and stickiness.
- Shapeshift: This has an active and a passive portion. The active portion is swapping to your other stance. There is no cost associated with it, and the cooldown is 1s. The passive portion gives you increased movement speed and MP5 for each enemy hit by an ability, stacking 8 times and lasting 4s. You gain 1/1/2/2/3% movement speed per stack, and 2/4/6/8/10 MP5 per stack. So much for having to worry about your mana regen and having to be conservative at all.
Final thought: if she goes live like this, she’ll have to get nerfed quickly to make her ok. Her kit is an actual problem, even beyond the numbers. Sure, she’s incredibly fun to play, but good lord. Gut feeling is this will be a similar circumstance to Cernunnos. even worse than believed.
We have the Summer of SMITE event ongoing, the beginning of the Fall Split Season Ticket, and the Awilix community skin. We also have two T2 skins and a set of redone mastery skins.
- Dr. Madlove Cupid: He’s a tiny super villain. Think Buddy from The Incredibles, but with a purely evil scientist aesthetic. The sound effects were not in during the patch, but the voice pack and the graphics all look great for him. This skin is granted when you purchase the Fall Split Season Ticket.
- Critical.DMG Ne Zha: It’s the next TRON-themed skin. If you have seen the other skins, it’s like those but even better looking because of time and experience. I like these skins a lot, and the Assassin-Only approach to the skin set is neat (lightcycle racing and deadly discs!) This skin will be available as reward from the Season Ticket.
- Midnight Dove Awilix: This is the community contest skin that is based on the “angelic” theme. Apparently that means “WoW Night Elves” as a theme to the winner. It’s a great looking and sounding skin – complete with Suku talking – but I just don’t care for the overall aesthetic. It legitimately looks like someone made a Night Elf goddess, to me. This will be a direct purchase.
- Freaky Tiki Ah Puch: This is 100% my jam. I love the pacific theme. He tosses out and eats roasted pigs. The voice pack and acting isn’t great, but that’s ok. He throws pineapples. It’s fantastic. This is a direct purchase skin available as part of the Summer of SMITE.
- SPF 666 The Morrigan: It’s party pooper trendy beach the Morrigan. I love that her VP is just the Morrigan, but grumpy at being at the beach. The effects are all watery. The design is simple and clean. It’s good stuff. It’s a direct purchase skin available as part of the Summer of SMITE.
- Crystalline Terra: A T2 skin for Terra. It’s very gem-oriented. There is some slight armor changing effects as play goes on. It looks ok. It’s a nice T2. It’s a direct purchase.
- Bruiser Cú Chulainn: It’s a T2. He has a mustache and is shirtless. I’m not a fan of the skin, but I am not the target audience. I also wish any of the skins kept the weird traditional description of his appearance. However, there might be some limitations on the engine, here. Anyway, it’s a direct purchase.
- Cupid Mastery: Yep, he gets new ones.
Awilix and Ah Puch will be dancing the night away.
Project Olympus is a targeted initiative to focus on and improve technical aspects of SMITE. This patch’s updates focus on ranked play, matchmaking, god leaderboards, and community improvement.
- Ranked: Ranked will now have a planning phase. This is a 30 second phase that allows players to highlight gods they want to play and gods they would like banned. This is an effort to allow greater organization in your pick-up play. This is great in theory, and will hopefully not be ruined by too many trolls. There is huge potential for trolling, here. Not to mention team-griefing. This isn’t a reason to not try this. I just hope the community doesn’t ruin a nice thing. The 30 seconds of this phase has been removed from Bank time.
- Matchmaking: Your earned division (gold, platinum, etc.) in ranked play is not necessarily the same as your matchmaking division, currently. Over time, the two will more or less meet as you play more games and the algorithms are run. However, now you will be able to see your personal matchmaking division to help you understand how you are being matched. No one else will be able to see it.
- God Leaderboard: There are now points associated to the rankings on the god leaderboards. You will receive or lose points based on your performance and win-record with the god. Much clearer.
- Fantasy Point Tipping: Post-match you can now tip your teammates with your own fantasy points, if you feel like it. This is to reward good teammates and play. In theory. Let’s give it a chance and see how it works out.
Fall Split Season Ticket
New split, new Season Ticket bundle. When you purchase the base bundle, you receive the following:
- Dr. Madlove Cupid skin
- Ability to vote on CC/Pro games
- Bonus quests for FP (three quest in previous splits this year)
- Double FP for matches played
- 15 each of Team FP and Team Worshiper boosters
As before, there will be a bundle available with additional (1250) FP for a higher cost, as well. If you have the gems, I consider the passes a great value. In addition to the above rewards, the following are being added as the level 21+ rewards.
- Critical.DMG Ne Zha skin (limited)
- Greek Pantheon recall
- Egyptian Pantheon recall
- Hype Time level up FX (new tech)
Fall Ranked Split
New split, new ranked ladder. Like the Summer Split, the Fall Split will be a soft ranked reset. For the uninitiated, that means your past season performance will impact your placement. As before, you will need to play 10 games to get your placement. There is also an adjustment in the algorithm to determine placement , and the standard deviations should match a bit better now. Conquest has only been minorly adjusted, but Duel and Joust will see major adjustments. We’ll see how this all works out. As before, you get a recall skin associated with the split for meeting the goals.
Bug fixes matter more than people think. Having the skills and items do what they say on the descriptions is crucial to accessibility and mastery. This is the most underrated segment of patch notes, every time.
- Post-match lobby will now display prestige experience earned if you are not level 160.
- Respawned phoenixes will now show a weakened posture and color-scale to denote their condition.
- Stone Cutting Sword: fixed a bug where the stacks were not properly updating following a kill.
- Athena: fixed an error where the K screen could cause her passive to not have a description.
Changes – Gods
A fair number of solid god changes. I like what they are doing to close the power gap between gods in the same role. Anhur and Cernunnos, for example.
- Anhur: Anhur has fallen behind this season, and even people who love him aren’t playing him. These are targeted changes to make his poke even better.
- Disperse receives a flat 20 damage increase at every rank.
- Desert Fury gets a 15s cooldown reduction from 90s to 75s.
- Cernunnos: It’s amazing it took this long to see targeted, reasonable nerfs to him like this. These touch him in the right places, but should still leave him strong. I always worry about so many changes at once, but these are all fairly reasonable.
- Shifter of Season Summer Stance bonus damage scaling reduced from 10% to 5%
- Horn Charge damage changed from 90/140/190/240/290 to 70/125/180/235/290
- The Wild Hunt cooldown increased 10s from 90s to 100s
- Freya: After the massive changes to her item pool over the season – and no changes to compensate within her kit – she is long overdue for a tune up. I don’t relish giant beach balls of death coming at me, but I also don’t like giant beach balls of tickles either. That’s life.
- Base attack speed increased from .95 to 1.0
- Pulse damage increased by 10 per rank
- Osiris: The Broken God becomes a little less broken, as this nerf targets his late-game survivability. I think this is the wrong area to make him less frustrating, especially give his not especially stellar win rate until Valencia. He was under 50%, just FYI. Anyway, it is what it is.
- Removed the bonus 5% damage reduction per second when a target was tethered. This increases the overall damage reduction by up to 20%. Squish.
- Raijin: Oh, brother. Raijin was in a bad spot, so the rework…made him worse. It was ugly. This is a course correction with an eye on numbers and usability now that the kit has been fiddled with. We’ll see if the rework needs to be reworked, or if numbers are the thing.
- Charged Tempo – increased cooldown reduction from 1s to 2s
- Percussive Storm now pierces gods
- Taiko Drums now only slows Raijin by 20% rather than 40%. That’s a solid buff.
- The Morrigan: As it turns out, long, safe stealth on a character with as much utility as the Morrigan is really strong. Who knew? Well, if you go back and read everything…me. I knew. I am certainly not the only one, by any stretch. Regardless, these changes directly target that stealth.
- Confusion stealth duration changed from 4/5/6/7/8s to 4/4.5/5/5.5/6s, and the mana is no longer a flat 70 but scales 60/65/70/75/80.
Changes – Items
Some relics, some items. A few nerfs, lots of buffs. It’s a mixed bag of fun. I honestly think Bracer of Undoing is fine, but the whining reached a crescendo and, well, here we are. There is a lot of counter play around it, which wasn’t the case of things like Sundering Spear. The buffs of other relics helps the situation, too. Still, here we are.
- Bracer of Undoing (base and upgrade) – health and mana restore reduced by 10% from 50% to 40%.
- Atalanta’s Bow – No one was getting much use out of this because the auto-attack penalty was lasting almost as long as the effect, creating a meh situation. The movement speed increase has been increased from 2s to 3s.
- Demonic Grip – This item is being retooled as the magic offensive attack speed item following all of the ring changes of 4.13. The power decreases from 65 to 40, the attack speed increases from 15% to 30%, and the cost decreases from 2300 to 2150.
- Hastened Ring – The same problem as Atalanta’s Bow, more or less. The haste buff increases from 4s to 6s, and the internal cooldown is decreased from 30s to 25s.