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.
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.
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.