Season 5 of SMITE is bringing a ton of changes to the Battleground of the Gods, and there’s a lot of talk about what these changes will mean for each role. To get some insight into what players can expect after Update 5.1, we’ve reached out to some of the players who are busy getting themselves prepared for the next season of the SMITE Pro League.
With the SPL Spring Split starting on March 6, these pros already have a few ideas about what’s hot and what’s not at the start of Season 5. And today, the top hunters across the globe are bringing you their insight into the hunter role. They also have some advice to offer to new and returning players who want to try their hands at playing ADC in the duo lane. Check it out!
Ideal Gods & Skill Advice for New Players
Before we dive deep into the nuances of playing a hunter, let’s take a look at what gods our pros believe are the easiest to pick up when you’re first starting out, and some basic advice for leveling them properly.
Which hunter gods are good for a new player to use?
Jermain: “Neith, Hachiman, and Medusa.”
Zapman: “Apollo, Hachiman, and Izanami.”
BaRRaCCuDDa: “Artemis, Neith, and Chiron.”
Vote: “Neith, Jing Wei, and Rama.”
Emilitoo: “Rama, Hachiman, and Neith. I would say Ullr, but only because he’s OP. But if he wasn’t…then no.”
Ataraxia: “Hachiman, Hou Yi, and Jing Wei.”
Which gods would you say are the strongest overall in the hunter role right now?
Jermain: “Strongest god in my role is probably Ullr if you can land his stuff.”
Zapman: “I don’t think there’s a strongest right now, because Hunter’s Blessing really gives each hunter a chance to do well in lane, since it’s +15 auto attack damage over physical power. Really important fact.”
BaRRaCCuDDa: “No idea. Not trolling…I honestly don’t know!”
Vote: “I’d say the best hunter right now is Anhur or Medusa.”
Ataraxia: “Ullr. He is versatile enough to be incredibly potent at all stages of the game, and has a kit that really helps him snowball out of control. If a good Ullr gets rolling, he feels unstoppable — and if he’s behind, he can still help out his team with a small amount of utility from his axe stun.”
New players take note! It looks like Neith, Hachiman, and Jing Wei are the top pro recommendations for hunters to try if you’re new to the role. But if you’re a seasoned player, you might want to pick up Ullr, Anhur, or Medusa. For other recommendations, you can also check out our hunter tierlist to get more information!
What do these beginner-friendly gods bring to the table, and what’s the best order for maxing their abilities?
Jermain: “On Neith: 4 > 1 > 2 > 3. On Hachiman: 4 > 2 > 1 > 3. On Medusa: 4 > 2 > 1 > 3.”
Zapman: “[Apollo, Hachiman, and Izanami] are easy to use and can do well in lane with minimal effort. On Apollo: 1 > 2 > 3 > 4. On Hachiman: 2 > 4 > 3 > 1. On Izanami: 2 > 4 > 1 > 3.”
BaRRaCCuDDa: “Artemis offers burst damage and teamfight potential. Ability order: 4 > 3 > 2 > 1. Neith has a good laning phase and a global ultimate to help teammates. Ability order: 4 > 1 > 2 > 3. Chiron has an easy-to-learn kit and a good teamfight ultimate. Ability order: 4 > 1 > 2 > 3.
Vote: “Rama and Jing are safe in lane. Neith is just kind of a simple god in general and it’s easy to understand her kit. Neith ability order: 4 > 1 > 2 > 3. Rama ability order: 4 > 1 > 2 > 3. Jing Wei ability order: 4 > 1 > 2 > 3.”
Emilitoo: “[Hachiman, Neith, and Rama] are easy to play. Max your 2 on Hachiman, then the dash skill, and ultimate when you can. On Neith, max your 1 and your ultimate when you can, then your 2 and your jump last. On Rama, I put three points into his 1 and max his 2.”
Ataraxia: “Hachiman serves as a versatile, jack-of-all-trades hunter. If you’re looking to be flexible, he’s your man. He’s good at all points in the game — and like the others, has a fairly straightforward kit.
Hou Yi is an easy to play aggressive character. If that suits your playstyle, then he’s the perfect god for you. Don’t even worry too much about hitting crazy bounces — straight shot stuns are usually all you need!
If you’re a more reserved player, Jing Wei is a must. She’s very difficult to punish and has one of the best late-game kits you could ask for as a carry. Her mechanics might seem funny at first, but you’ll quickly get used to them.”
There are a few different recommendations coming from our pros here. So if you’re looking for what works best, you’ll want to try all of these strategies out and see which one proves most effective!
Ideal Item Builds for Hunters
Now that we know which gods our pros have tagged as being powerful and easy to learn, let’s take a look at what starter builds they suggest for dealing damage in the duo lane.
Jermain: “Solid starter is Hunter’s Blessing, rank 1 boots, and Chalice of Healing.”
Zapman: “I’d go Hunter’s Blessing, Transcendence, boots, Deathbringer. Can interchange Transcendence with Devourer’s Gauntlet.”
BaRRaCCuDDa: “Hunter’s Blessing, Devourer’s Gauntlet, boots, Deathbringer.”
Vote: “Safest build is probably Hunter’s Blessing, Devourer’s Gauntlet, Warrior/Ninja Tabi depending on the god, then Deathbringer (unless it gets nerfed, in which case I’d go Executioner).”
Emilitoo: “Devourer’s Gauntlet, boots, Deathbringer. (Deathbringer is OP!)”
Ataraxia: “A solid starter build to run right now would be a Hunter’s Blessing start with Devourer’s Gauntlet 1. You’ll have 200g left to spend on potions. I would recommend 3 health pots and 1 mana pot on most characters, with a couple of exceptions.
If you’re Hachiman, you can comfortably run 4 health pots without issue. If you’re worried about mana consumption, drop to 2 health pots and 2 mana pots. However, you’ll have to be very careful about taking straight up fights in the early game. Staying in lane until you earn 1,500g to complete your Devourer’s Gauntlet is very important!”
Crit builds are better than penetration builds…yes or no?
Jermain: “Crit is better than pen right now, yes.”
Zapman: “Crit is better than pen right now and it should stay that way.”
BaRRaCCuDDa: “Yes, [crit is better than pen] 75% of the time.”
Vote: “Right now crit build is much better than pen build, but I don’t think crit should straight up be killed like in S4 so everyone had to go pen build because it was so much better.”
Emilitoo: “Depends on what state crit is in. In the current state, crit is better.”
Ataraxia: “Right now, crit is better than pen. Usually, pen is better than crit.”
You heard it here first! Devourer’s Gauntlet and Deathbringer are pro-recommended items for your hunters. And it seems like our top-tier players are advising critical damage builds over penetration builds for the time being. If you want more advice on what items to build for your ADC, check out our guide to building hunters in Season 5 for everything you need to know!
Strategy Advice for Hunters
Now that we know which gods and items our pros are favoring so far in the new season of SMITE, let’s take a look at some tips and tricks they offered to players who are taking on the hunter role.
Jermain: “Focus on farming, don’t get solo’d, and learn the matchups.”
Zapman: “Focus on clearing waves over poke and always look to farm something over fighting.”
BaRRaCCuDDa: “[Pay attention to] control of your buffs (red/purple), poke out the enemy ADC when able, buy lots of wards, and be cautious of ganks.”
Vote: “Prioritize farm over anything else and your own safety over anything else. Don’t rotate to a fight if you’re going to lose a wave and a buff, and don’t die for a teammate unless they are bigger than you.”
Emilitoo: “Positioning is everything. Don’t play in front of your frontline and play close to your mage.”
Ataraxia: “Tip #1: Watch your map! In the current meta, you’re the easiest person to kill on the team, and the most important person to kill. As a hunter, you’re the one who gets the stuff after the stuff, and staying alive is really important. Expect to be ganked frequently by the jungler and the support in the early game, and for the solo laner and the jungler to try and bring you down late game in the teamfights. Knowing where they are at all points and knowing how aggressive you can be are hard skills to learn, but they are the most important!
Tip #2: Learn how to properly use actives. You’re playing a true glass cannon, and proper use of actives will be all that separates you from seeing that grey death screen or that glorious triple kill you always wanted. Learning what the other gods in the game can do and how to best utilize your actives is a must. If you spend a minute at the start of the game and think on how you would try kill the character you’re playing if you were one of the enemies is usually a good way to figure out how you should be using your actives properly.
Tip #3: Know your target priority! You’re not playing a diver, you’re playing the hard DPS of the team. While it may feel really good to get that 600 crit on the enemy mage, most often that’ll put you in a bad spot and lead to your untimely demise. You’ll spend a lot of time hitting the unexciting targets like towers and objectives — but most of all, the enemy frontline. Learning when to put down the gas and go for the key damage on the squishy targets will take time and experience, but remember that job usually falls to the assassin and frontlines of your team. Hitting the tank in front of you is damage that you can rely on, and it’s the damage that your team needs you to do.”
If you’re heading into the duo lane as a hunter in SMITE Season 5, take the advice of these pros with you. Whether you’re looking for good gods to pick or how to build and play your role well, they’ve got plenty of tips you can try out for yourself!
Keep an eye out for more pro advice as we dive deeper into Season 5. But while you’re here, check out some of our other pro Q&As so you’re prepared for every role:
Keep an eye out for more pro advice as we dive deeper into Season 5, and be sure to follow us on Twitter @SmitePro for all things SMITE esports!