Patch 4.24 – Frostfire: Balance Breakdown

A brief breakdown of the intended balance impact of SMITE patch 4.24: Frostfire, and a look at whether or not these goals are achieved.

What a very odd patch we are getting as the SWC competitive patch. As expected, we do see a further slight reduction in tankiness. We don’t see any further adjustments to Discordia or Ullr (Dear gods, why?), and we don’t see any further toning down of hunter itemization or adjustments to assassin play. However, we do see a strange trend of mana reduction for several characters across the board.

Balance Breakdown: 4.22 | 4.23 | 4.24

Solid as a Rock

The only item seeing changes this time around is the stone of gaia. This isn’t a surprised if you watched Super Regionals…or follow the myriad professional SMITE players who were calling for a nerf of the item. Two thousand gold for 400 health, 25 hp5, 15 mp5, one passive giving you 2% of your max health every five seconds, and another passive that triggers on displacement CC granting you 10% of your max health over the next ten seconds is…really good. This goes hand-in-hand with the rise of the isolation meta, jumping into prominence as a way to punish CC-heavy compositions. As the game continues, this item becomes more and more valuable, as well as being exceedingly cheap. It’s just such a good value – and has been for some time.

The change is a slight price increase, but every little bit matters. For the most part, tanks have the cheapest builds across the board. Even the “really expensive” items are situational and can be replaced as the game dictates. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to prevent the item from seeing use, but rather just delay when it is built. When this item is the right choice, it will remain the right choice. It just does so much in the current meta – no matter which one shakes out. The only way the item starts to see less play is if the assassin meta comes to the forefront.

The Great Mana Cost Reduction of 2017

Five gods see mana cost reduction in this patch – Agni, Bacchus, Hun Batz, Isis, and Sobek. In some of these cases, this makes sense. The scaling around noxious fumes for Agni and chug for Bacchus were non-intuitive. The costs scaled aggressively, and they didn’t do much for what they provided. You got into a situation where it felt almost punishing to level them – never a good thing. Isis is in a similar situation, but reducing the mana cost on two of her skills seems…a bit much – particularly in light of the fact this has become a signature god for a few professional players. This is a big deal, and shouldn’t be overlooked.

The reduction costs around Hun Batz and Sobek are a little more puzzling. Sobek hasn’t been performing badly – by their own admission. Hun Batz is seeing an increase in play following several changes to items and nerfs to gods that has benefited him. So why did they make these changes? The only answer is because they believe these gods have a place in the current SWC meta or for the SWC players. Either way, these are changes meant to promote play.

The only nerf of the lot is to Odin’s ring of spears. The duration has been reduced by one second – from six down to five. It should maintain his viability while increasing counterplay around it. This is a fine change.

True to their word, this is it for changes.

 

 

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