Home Strategy Smite tactics: Aphrodite’s hugs and kisses… of death.

Did you ever wonder, “Man, those hero-based arena games look so fun if it wasn’t for their difficulty curve being literally a cliff and flat from there on out?” Well lo and behold, here is Smite, there to give you all the MOBA gameplay with third person view rather than the boring old RTS view, support to let you be at least a bit useful until you’re experienced, and free candy on top. As it seems, I’m the only one on the TTT staff actually playing it, so I guess I’ll write an article showing you how to be good at it. What do you say, I’m writing that right now? Heresy! Alright alright, we’ll wing it.

Qui estis?

Like before, this article assumes you’re already vaguely familiar with how the game runs, i.e. don’t get yourself killed, minions hurt, and that sort of thing. If you aren’t, there are plenty of people around who can explain it better than I. My personal recommendations would be checking out Drybear and/or Squiddish, as well as the official game channel.* You can also get the game (did I mention it’s free and anything relevant to gameplay can be unlocked through playing at a reasonable rate?) and practice a few rounds against bots yourself. I’d recommend you do, to get familiar with the game’s feel and controls. If you do, make sure to do it with this link. Thank you. When you do, drop me a note and maybe we’ll play together. I can’t guarantee that I’ll even be awake at the same time as you, though. You can probably guess my username there.

For the purposes of this guide, we’ll be playing Aphrodite. She’s a pretty good god for starters; She isn’t all too hard to play right, it’s not your fault if your team loses since you were playing support and you should rather blame the four dudes who instalocked physical carries, and most of all, she’s squishy. That is not referring to her enormous chest, at least not only that. Aphro has little health, very little defense, no real escape abilities, and also moves quite slow if not built to outweigh that. If you get caught out of position, there’s only so much that you can do about it, so you’ll soon learn to avoid that. Pain is the best teacher, trust me. After all, how could I be so awesome if that wasn’t true?

Not to mention, of course, that [sic] she fights by farting birds at the enemy and making out with them. After some adventures with Bastet, Arachne, Freya, and Athena, I came to appreciate Aphrodite for the awesome god she is. And maybe she is the only god I ever use and know how to play. Regardless, she’s good and I’ll tell you how to use her.

Aphro’s skills (with which to kill stuff)

Kiss is her first ability, firing a slow-moving projectile straight ahead of you. If you aim at a friendly god, the kiss will home in no matter how they move and you’ll become Best Friends Forever Until One Of Us Dies Or Turns Out To Be Stupid, or soulmates for short. Both of you also get a speed buff of 4% per rank, stacking with boots. You can only be linked to one god at a time, but the cooldown is reset (though the mana cost is still applied) when you hit a friendly with it, so don’t be afraid to change mates if necessary. Discussion on whom to pick for a mate below. When you hit an enemy god with it however, that’s going to make your mate very jealous, stunning the enemy for one second (regardless of rank) and giving your mate a damage bonus of 4% per rank against that enemy, without breaking the bond between you and your soulmate.

I personally think you should grab Kiss as your first skill, but only max it second. Early game, the brief stun can save your soulmate and/or secure an early kill. Not to mention, Kiss is pretty expensive mana-wise, so if you can grab your mate while still in the fountain and just stay linked from there on out, that’s 50-80 mana you’ll have more in the field.

Aphro’s second ability is called Back Off. It deals fair damage around you and knocks enemies away. That is to say, if that ever happens, you probably have a serious problem. When you use it with a soulmate, the AoE is dealt around her, and instead applies a 25% slow. Great for making your mate stick to people. Still, Aphrodite’s damage output is negligible and the slow doesn’t get any better, so you should only level Back Off when you have to, i.e. get it at level 4 and then level it late-game when you have no other options.

Love Birds are her third ability, and arguably the best she has at that. When cast, Aphrodite pulls doves from somewhere and they fly straight ahead, dealing decent damage to enemy gods or minions they encounter and healing both you and your soulmate for about metric crapton. The best thing is, both effects happen independently, so you can fire it off somewhere into the jungle and still get the healing. The doves aren’t the fastest skill though, and they aren’t a straight up AoE, rather a wall which applies a DoT if it hits enemies. Keep both in mind when aiming, you might have to lead your enemies a bit. That being said, the birds are straight up the best ability Aphro has as they provide the sustain for both you and your soulmate to stay out in the fight for-frickin’-ever. Once you have Kiss, dump every available levelup into the birds.  Nothing beats the healing and damage they give.

Nothing, that is, except for her ultimate, Undying Love. When activated, it makes both you and your soulmate completely immune to everything ever. It’s like the Ægis Amulet and Purification Beads had a baby carried out by Aphrodite, only much better. You can still freely act while under its influence and you can activate it even while affected by effects that it purges, like Ymir’s frost breath, Hades’ ultimate, Ares’ ultimate, Loki’s ultimate… yeah, it’s pretty much the literal definition of counterult. You should level it as fast as possible, even over Birds. Each rank adds duration and lowers the cooldown. With cooldown reduction at the cap, you’ll be able to use it as often as every 45 seconds.** Since its cooldown is so short, use it whenever necessary without wasting it. Experience will tell you what things really hurt and when you’ll want to use it, but for a start, use it to negate most enemy ultimates.

Finally, her passive, Loving Embrace, causes your soulmate to be so inspired by Aprodite’s monstrous t– I mean, favour that they’ll gain 30% of all the mana you gain, from whatever source. Seeing as Aphrodite builds generally rely less on power and more on keeping herself in the fight with mp5 and the likes, you’ll turn into quite the mana battery before long. For that reason, Mana buff should always be given to you rather than your soulmate. If they object, explain to them that you’re creating an extra 30% value out of it.

Red dress? What shoes? Ah, screw it, I’ll wear pink again.

As far as item builds go, Aphro is a bit quirky. She doesn’t really gain much from power aside from improving her healing output, so you’ll rarely see an Aphro build standard mage items even though she’s listed as one.

To start the match, my tested-and-true build is to grab level 1 each of Boots, Chronos’ Pendant***, and Meditation, as well as two mana potions. You’ll have just enough money to buy all of that. Don’t bother with starter items, the stats they confer are pathetic and you should try to avoid killing things, so their passives should never activate. By the time you go home, you should ideally have enough money to level Chronos’ Pendant to its max rank. It is a core item for Aphrodite and should be finished as soon as possible. After that, finish Boots, choosing Celerity. You want to have that speed boost to offset Aphro’s slow natural movement; With it, you should be able to just so outrun most gods, especially with your abilities in the mix. If it’s necessary, you can also opt to finish the Boots first, they’re rather cheap and provide survival stats that the Pendant lacks. Don’t do it unless you have to, though.

With both items finished, you should invest into a second active item, as well as leveling Meditation. Meditation is often dismissed as a new players’ item, but it shines on manachuggy characters like Aphrodite and whoever is her partner. When you use it, your soulmate also gains a third of the effect, calculated for their own mana pool. (I think. I couldn’t find proper data on that, perhaps it is 30% of your gain. It’s a lot either way.) When picking a max rank for it, I’d go for the self-healing one. Dispensing mana across your entire team is nice, but you don’t exactly have much HP (meaning the heal won’t matter much) and you should rather opt for getting both yourself and your soulmate going full blast instead of slightly resupplying the team; It’s likely that some of the blessing will vanish due to deaths or people going back. For a second active item, the aforementioned Ægis Amulet or Purification Beads are common choices. Even though your ultimate already provides plenty of protection, it never hurts to have a little more, especially when your opponents think you wasted your ulti and thus overextend. Besides that, there aren’t many other active items that synergise well with Aphrodite. You can (but shouldn’t, since you’ll have little money to begin with) pick whatever helps the team, but for personal gain, Sprint or Combat Blink (third rank of Blink) can help get your pretty butt out of sticky situations.

With all that done, I like to build defense third. Adjust to whoever hurts the most. Against physical ouchies (which includes any nonplayers, though you’re doing it wrong it you ever get hit by one), you can build Hide of the Nemean Lion or Wall of Absolution. Against magic, get Bulwark of Hope or Magi’s Blessing. The former of both pairings each provide more hard defense if you need it, while the latter two also improve your output. The Hide has the added benefit of being pretty cheap and hitting back for 30% damage. What’s better than having little girls (i.e. Ne Zha) kill themselves against your massive milk factories? Nothing, say I.

Once you have some defense or don’t need it, grab a Gem of Isolation. It provides decent stats and the ability slow will also help your soulmate stick to the enemy. With your birds on the enemy, the debuff will be reapplied with each tick. If the game still hasn’t ended by the time you have the Gem finished, get a Rod of Tahuti. It doesn’t do much more than give you magical power, but you get tons of it. Your healing will be heavily improved.

For the case that the game STILL isn’t over when you have your Rod, just get whatever you feel like. Stack more Power or defense, whatever is necessary. By the time that you can afford a sixth item as Aphrodite, your team has likely already won or already lost.

Step 1: Fart birds. Step 2: Hit enemies, or don’t. Step 3: Cookies!

Now that you have all those shiny toys, get out there and try them out. Here’s how:

General strategy for Aphrodite is to stay behind the minions, tossing out birds and the cotton candy Aphro calls a basic attack, supporting your mate and covering him when she screws up. As such, you should use Back Off and/or Kiss when your soulmate’s initiation tools have worn off and she needs help sticking to people. While in a fight, there’s no reason why the birds should ever be off cooldown. Toss them in the general direction of enemy things whenever possible. Use the ult to get out of situation that would otherwise kill you or your mate. Worst comes to worst however, don’t fear to abandon your soulmate if you can’t change the outcome of battle. Their face will provide an excellent distraction for you to escape unharmed.

I’d like to discuss more Aphro tactics here, but there really aren’t that many. Stick to your soulmate wherever they go. When they go home, it’s time for you to go as well. Don’t stick around, you’ll be punished and killed every time. The only other aspect that there really is to Aphro is the choice of a mate, which I’ll discuss briefly here, because this article isn’t long enough already, is it. As a general rule, you should pick your mates by the logic of melee over ranged, manachuggy over sustaining, and physical over magic. However, there are a few gods that just synergise so well with Aphro that I feel they deserve special mention.

  • Fenrir is pretty much literally made for you. He’s fairly squishy and can use his mana up quickly, both of which you offset. His mobility is also limited, so you’ll have no difficulty keeping up with him. When there is some support that allows him to stick better however, he shreds face. Be sure to make plenty of dog-related puns when you partner up with him.
  • Loki seems like a bad partner at first glance due to his stealth, but he just blenderises people when you can back him up with healing and additional sticking power. Since he’s usually prevented from getting fed too much by his squishiness and low sustain, the two of you will get stronger and stronger as time passes.
  • Ne Zha will greatly appreciate your aid as, like the others, he is extremely light on his feet and will quickly run out of mana. In addition, he has no escape mechanisms, so your ult can decide the difference between getting two kills or two deaths.
  • Athena excels in keeping enemies away from certain places and people, such as support gods bonded with her, and pays for it by having her abilities cool down for about two eons each. Your capabilities will help bridge the gap between her own abilities while she protects you. The synergy between both of you makes you play almost like a team of sisters. I wonder why. Keep in mind though that it’s time for you to back the moment she activates her ult.
  • Thor, as well as his dad Odin, get a decent boost from you. They aren’t the best mates around, but when there are no better, go for them. It actually is possible to stay linked through a Thor ult as he, for the purposes of maximum distance from you, is considered to be on the ground.

Addendum 27.06.13

HiRez, Y U patch the game right after I write a guide about it? Ah, regardless. The guide above is still viable and correct in most points. I’ve added mention of Combat Blink; It’s decent, but you should only pick it if the teleport helps you more than Beads or Amulet would. Also updated Meditation’s discussion.


*I swear, I’m not getting paid to say this. Not by them, anyhow.

**With this build, we are not going for max CoolDown Reduction (short CDR) as that stat was nerfed off of the Boots of Celerity. Regardless, the speed they provide is vital to your survival and maneuverability. That means we’d have to get another item for the CDR, which is a waste of money on Aphro.

***Make sure to give it back when Chronos comes as the next god, though.


9 replies to this post
  1. The only issue that I have with this guide is that it only presents her as a support character. Aphro is a very viable Mid/Solo lane.

    1) Her birds can destroy a lane of creeps easily, giving her high sustain and forcing the opponent to attack you with limited to no assistance. She also doesn’t fall victim to the same counters as Agni and AO (stand in it to let the damage tick so your creeps focus them for early dmg) because it doesn’t leave a trail.

    2) With Meditation being two-tiered, it not only offers better options for self/team fights, but allows her to lane for a very…very long time.

    3) Her stun/slow/heals works very well when the time for ganking arrives, ensuring that even if a gank isn’t successful your ganker is less penalized for it. If it is, then most likely your opponent will hate you just as much as the ganker.

    4) Her healing/ultimate/stun (especially if paired with beads or aegis makes her more difficult to gank successfully than most, giving your team time to respond or eating up the other opponents ultimates…leaving them exposed.

    5) She scales very well with tanking gear. Since she is set-up for control more than damage (though she is far more powerful that she appears), she has more options to increase her resistances + mana pool, leaving you with an almost unstoppable force.

    • Seriously? I mean, you’re making like half of Aphro’s entire potential just whiff. Not to mention that even with power gear she does about 0 damage. Yeah her birds kill waves even in support gear, but that’s one ability with a 15-12 second cooldown, and the rest of her stuff does fuck-all against enemies or requires that you are at a range where the enemies can literally rub your boobies already, and Aphro is not comfortable with that.

      That being said, I don’t mean to dismiss your opinion. I can definitely see Aphrodite being playable as some sort of weaker Neith. Maybe killing and pushing isn’t as important in the midlane as it is in the sidelanes, but seriously, she couldn’t kill Loki if he’s at 3% health and her birds are on cooldown.

      Though I’d personally go at this differently with a god that wasn’t literally built to be the supportiest of them all, how would I build if I found a team which let me do that? I assume Chronos Pendant would still be in it because it’s awesome, then Boots… or Shoes? Then build tanky/Mpower, I assume? How about skills? I’d assume something like 3-3-2-1-4, following the same priority as above except leveling Back Off before Kiss.

      • I had no intention of disregarding her obvious ability to synergize well in a multi-lane. Simply pointing out that even on tournament level she is a viable mid/solo as well, so players shouldn’t be discouraged if they are forced to do so :)

        Pre-Conquest Map Changes:
        Mid was all about control and lane presence. The key here is her sustain scaling so well with taking gear, since most of it focuses on increasing your hp/mana pools.

        This is a perfect counter for gods that need to push hard, since they were eating their mana up like crazy while she heaedl/regened up. Come mid-late game, she was right along with them, while they were questioning why they just can’t kill you, and their gankers were forced to push harder on you, leaving them exposed (loss of gold/xp for them is huge)..

        After-Conquest Map Changes:
        Aphro can again shine here, as long as she adjusts her mid-play to the current meta. The key here is to not stay in the mid/solo lane like you used to. Once your creeps are dead, help your jungles/roamers that are working the camps to the left and right of your tower. With the changed to creep camps and Bumba’s, you aren’t hurting them anymore You are helping. This not only gives you extra experience and gold quickly, but allows you to contribute healing to them so that they can jungle longer.

        – If your opponent follows you, you’ve just set up a gank because your teammate is right there..

        – If they stay in the lane, they aren’t strong enough to take your towers while being paranoid that you will gank them. Swoop back in, clean up the creeps and go back at it.

        – This also messes up the other teams junglers, since you are no longer an easy to find target while also being a counter-jungler..

        Obviously, for this to work, you need to ensure that you maximize your map awareness. Ward when you can and always pay attention to where your junglers are.

        As far as gearing goes, that’s always to taste. Though I like Boots of the Magi or Greaves (CC reduction)* > Chronos > Breastplate of Valor (huge on Aphro)/ Wall of Absolution > Void Stone > Gem of Isolation (slow + cdr = happy boobies) + Rod of Tahuti/Obsidian Shard. Penetration will go farther in the late game with Aphro than Magic Power will.

        * In Assault or Domination, Celerity may be better to compensate for her natural slowness.

        The reason why I didn’t say to use Hide is because quite honestly most junglers are going to try to burst you down hard with their entire line of spells before auto-attacking, which means that you are doing very little to them initially. Bulwark is the same case and has a one minute cd on its proc (not to mention, most junglers are physical damage).

        For actives, I would go Meditation (especially viable now that the group heal has been added) + Beads/Aegis (dependng on comp), trying to max out your protection item before completing your third item.

        I would build her 3-1-2-3-4 (to help out with heals/clearing for jungler if they start close to you). Otherwise, your starting build should work just fine, leaving kiss for last to be maxxed (in either case)..

        Let me know what you think!!!

      • I gave it a few tries and it definitely is a viable build. Oh god, so much money. This is literally all I ever wanted. Though I definitely need to read Mr. Squiggles better, such as when he cast his Ulti. 6 deaths to that and only that, each with an Aegis ready.

        Ahem. Lovely build, but playing mid takes practice, as well as your teammates not playing like a pack of braindead monkeys. As support Aphro, you have some capability of saving it then, but not here.

        Due to the amount of experience that it takes both from you and your team to succeed with it, I shall refrain from doing a full guide on it, however, seeing as this one doesn’t entirely aim at the experienced players. Also it’d feel bad to get some of Mister TTT’s moneys based on guides that I didn’t do. More than once per week, I mean.

        Instead, any others passing through here just know that this guy is right and you can follow his advice. David Johnson out.

  2. Glad to hear that it worked out for you!!! Conquest is definately alot more challenging for players than it was, but that’s mostly because of the constant changes they are making as the game continues to grow. I am by no means an expert Smite player (I actually have a losing record atm), but I do love theory crafting and observing how other play to improve my own play style, a.k..a. research and testing!!! :)

    Since this is for new players, I’ll add a few play style tips that helped me out alot when playing Aphro.

    1) One thing to watch out for in a team fight is using your Kiss to stun an enemy player WHILE linked to another player is the positioning of your other teammates while doing so. Be careful that they do not get in the path between you and your target, or you will be linked with that team mate and lose your opportunity to stun. Your Kiss will activate a cooldown when you switch from one player to another, but not if you are linked to a player and hit an enemy.

    2) When linked to a player, your backoff ability comes from the linked player…NOT YOU. This is huge, because it means that you are more exposed, and a smart player will know that. Be prepared to beads or Aegis if they jump you. Also, remember to use your backoff when your linked team mate is either escaping a team fight. Its easy to want to get that last kill, but saving them from dying puts you both in a better position for a kill.

    3) If you aren’t linked with a teammate during some of the bigger team fight ultimates (like Hades, Ymir, Ares, Sobek, etc.), do so immediately, and pop your ultimate before theirs can complete (especially if you know they didn’t buy beads or an aegis). This will not only save you both, but allows for you to do a quick birds for healing or a backoff to counter.

    4) Players with leaps/striking abilities (like Loki, Fenrir, Anhur, Hun Batz) will hate your ultimate. Pop it before they land or transition themselves into a combo, while you stun them/birds/backoff will frustrate them to no end. This is why items with Cooldown reduction (CDR) and penetration are so important – DONT BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR THE CDR JUNGLE BUFFS!!!. You will be able to pop your ultimate with almost every major damage fight late game, and be able to hurt them more for it. .

    I look forward to more of your articles!!!

    • 1) Uh, didn’t you get some of that backwards? Nothing against you, but Kiss resets upon hitting friendlies and cools down with enemies, right? I hear you, though. Choose your mate carefully, based on health, role, and mana left, and give them a little Kiss. Now try doing it on a running target, while there are three others constantly running around you, in the clusterfuck that is a teamfight, while the enemy team’s carries are trying to murder your face off. That is mastery of playing Aphro.

      2) Oh how often I wished I could disconnect from my stupid mate at will when they are once again running around in nowhere while Loki pummels me. Doggeh! Your dad is being possessive again!

      3) Aphrodite, piss-offer of Ares and co. Another notable thing about that is that Kiss will prefer friendly targets a bit, even if they are standing just behind you, so getting one isn’t as tough as it seems.

  3. 1) From my experience, swapping your link from one ally to another activates the GCD (unlike initially linking to an ally). At any rate, this is definitely Aphros skill shot, though for newer players it appears cut and dry. . Beware the clusterfuck!!! lol

    2) Yes. This is one of those times where her whorish ways finally catch up with her. And lets not even get into being linked with her dad…::shudders::Some family secrets should remain hidden…

    3) Very true. And in situations like this, there are no “wrong” targets to select. Loki’s squishy ass can still dismantle their entire team.just as well as Ymir can clear them away.

    • It does trigger a 1 second cooldown, but not the full cooldown you’d get from hitting an enemy or missing. I suppose we can agree on that.

      And hey, this is Greek mythology, so they’re basically like strangers, right? At least not like Norse, where feet procreate with each other.

  4. That cd can cause a player to be out of position, especially if they aren’t expecting it. Which i think puts us right back to the clusterfuck extravaganza that is team fighting :) Don’t drink and whore.

    In the case of the Greeks, most of them live on a mountain top…with nothing else to do and no one watching….so we can just apply the “West Virginian” rule and look away. Norse Gods are the reason why the phrase “my depravity knows no bounds” is a viable sentence in any language. Role models….ftw….

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