We’re in the midst of a new season of SMITE, and players are starting to get their bearings on all the new changes that we’ve seen on the Battleground of the Gods. With a revamped Conquest map and tons of item changes after Updates 5.1 and 5.2, the meta has seen some serious shifts — which means players are having to reconsider what’s viable in each role.
To get a bit more guidance on what’s still relevant in Season 5, we’ve reached out to some of the most experience players in the SPL to get their two cents on the fresh meta that’s emerging. Today, we’ll be focusing on the solo lane. One might be the loneliest number…but with the advice of these SMITE veterans, you won’t need any company as you dominate the solo lane.
Ideal Gods & Skill Advice for New Players
If you want to fly solo but you don’t have a ton of experience, there are plenty of newbie-friendly gods you can try. Here are some suggestions you might want to consider when you’re first starting out, and some tips for leveling those gods properly.
Which solo lane gods are good for a new player to use?
Divios: “Bellona, Chaac, Hercules.”
Variety: “The top three gods I’d recommend for new players are Tyr, Bellona, and Sobek.”
Maniakk: “Chaac, Bellona, Sobek. Even though they aren’t top-tier now, they are still alright and easy for new players.”
Xaliea: “Artio, Bellona, Chaac. I believe all of them are fairly straightforward gods, making them pretty easy to pick up while also having quite different playstyles between them.”
Aquarius: “If it’s strictly players who have almost never touched SMITE, I recommend Chaac, Sun Wukong, and Nike. If it’s players that are newer but kind of know what’s going on, I recommend Bellona, Cu Chulainn, and Chaac.”
Deathwalker: “Sun Wukong, Tyr, and Chaac are really good for new players.”
What do these beginner-friendly gods bring to the table, and what’s the best order for maxing their abilities?
Divios: “Bellona (4 > 2 > 3 > 1) brings great lane bully potential, hard engage with her ult, and is very strong at dealing with hunters with her disarm and block stacks. Chaac (1 > 4 > 3 > 2) brings AOE damage, great sustain, a big AOE 3s silence, and a massive team attack/move speed slow. Hercules (1 > 4 > 3 > 2) brings amazing setup with his pull/push, great sustain in teamfights, and very heavy damage throughout all his skills.”
Variety: “[Tyr, Bellona, and Sobek] all have simple-to-use kits, so the time it takes to learn how to utilize their kits to their full potential is minimal. All three have self-sustain in their kits, making laning phases slightly easier. They are also very good in late game teamfights for disrupting/killing the backline.
For Tyr, max the 2 and then 1, taking a point in your ultimate at Level 5 (I continue to max the 1 and 2 fully until putting a point in my 3.) Then max the 3 > 4. For Bellona, level 2 > 3 > 4 > 1 (max the 3 first in matchups where your 2 can be interrupted). For Sobek, simply 3 > 2 > 1 > 4.”
Maniakk: “Both Chaac and Bellona bring early pressure, and Sobek brings CC to the team. Even though Chaac falls off hard after late game, he has the potential to snowball the game early if played correctly. Bellona brings a little more to the table, has a really good ult to set up kills, and her overall kit is good to zone or box the enemy ADC due to her natural tankiness and insane passive on her 1. Even though Sobek is a guardian, the health and mana sustain in his kit help him a lot during the laning phase, helping him make a good transition into mid/late game where he really shines due to the good amount of CC on his kit.
On Chaac, you should always max your 1 first. Then if you need sustain or you’re feeling ballsy, you can choose between the 2 and the 3. Personally if I’m destroying lane, I’ll just max my 2 after the 1. On Bellona…95% of the time max your 2. The only case you’d max something else other than your 2 would be against gods that can cancel your 2, so you would max your 3 instead. On Sobek, you always max your 3 no matter what. Even though it’s not the most damaging ability on your kit the heal is really valuable during laning phase. After that you max your 2 and then the ultimate.”
Xaliea: “Artio is a brawly self-healing guardian, making her quite perfect for the solo lane. Because she is a guardian, she scales better than warriors into the late game and her laning phase is amazing. She wants to move in and out from the front line and back line in teamfights, do some damage to the enemy carries, and then move back to peel and heal your own. Her level priority is 1 > 3 > 2 > 4 in pretty much every game.
Bellona is more of a lane bully, abusing her 3 to win auto-attack trades and trying to get a lead through the laning phase. She’s best when up against someone that can’t easily interrupt her 2. In the late game, her only real job is to sit on the enemy ADC> her level priority can go between 2 > 3 > 1 > 4 or 3 > 2 > 1 > 4 depending on if the enemy can interrupt her 2.
Chaac is also a bit of a lane bully, though in a different way. He can keep consistently poking the enemy with his 1-2 combo and then fight in his 3, healing him and slowing the enemy’s attack speed. If he doesn’t feel like he can win the auto-attack trade, he can also just run away and use the 3 as a slow, making him able to win most trades in the laning phase. In late-game team fights, he tries to do as much damage to the enemy backline — either sticking more to the enemy ADC or otherwise going in and out of the fight, throwing his abilities when they’re off cooldown and then running away when he waits for them to come back up. His level priority is 1 > 4 > 2 > 3 or 1 > 2 > 4 > 3 depending on how much you wanna just poke or all-in.”
Aquarius: “Chaac level order: 1 > 2 > 3 > 4. [Chaac is] very easy to understand and play. Abilities have massive AOEs. He’s hard to kill and hard to punish due to his heal/slow, damage reduction ult, strong clear, and a teleport. Brings a huge zoning slow/attack speed debuff with the 1-3 combination. 1 is an amazing poke tool between waves. Ult has massive disruption potential in a teamfight. Consistent annoying damage that is safe to get off. The goal is to be annoying to as many people as possible.
Sun Wukong level order: 1 > 3 > 2 > 4. His abilites are easy to land. This god is highly mobile due to the bird form allowing for efficient farming and rotations. Easy efficient lane clear with 1 and 2, or 3 if necessary. Great poke between waves. Very hard to kill between knockup-immune boar form and and ult that removes you from the fight and heals for percent health. Annoying god that can lock down a single carry and burst them very quickly due to tiger stun, 2-1 combo. Goal is to dive the backline and stop carries from doing damage by doing damage. Great for hard committing to a carry, then using ult to either disengage or finish off a low target.
Nike level order: 1 > 2 > 4 > 3. Her 1 is also very easy to land, [and her kit doesn’t require] many skillshots at all. Super hard to kill with shield, passive, and leap. She’s straightforward, and at lower levels the 1 won’t be punished so full chain of Nike 1 will often go off untouched. Great for clearing waves. Nike acts as a meatshield, diving in and forcing the enemy team to commit abilities into her, using her ult to absorb heavy amounts of damage and overall being a nuisance — hitting carries for large amounts of damage with her 1. Low CC but still apparent with the 3 knockup, 1 disarm, and slow on ult.
Bellona level order: 2 > 3 > 4 > 1. Bellona’s abilities aren’t crazy hard to land, with them all being very short range and instant. She has some of the best hunter disruption in the game, with her 3 being used to disarm and then the 1 being used to block/reflect auto-attacks. Has great lane clear with cleave auto-attacks and a heavy-hitting bludgeon that can be used to clear quickly then box the opponent with 1 & 3. Ult has a decent setup and is a great teamfight ult, providing the team with protections and power.
Cu Chulainn level order: 1 > 4 > 3 > 2. His abilities are pretty easy to land. Top-tier god that is great to get good at. Has probably the most damage output of any warrior in the game with large AOEs and 2 kits. Fairly good disruption, especially with the human form ult having a massive knockup radius. Easy for players to spam abilities and get out tons of damage, disrupting entire backlines. Is hard to kill — especially in rage form thanks to shield and a second dash. Is easy to clear wave then rage and poke or kill the enemy solo laner.”
Deathwalker: [Sun Wukong, Tyr, and Chaac have] very simple abilities that are easy to land, and they are very safe in lane. Sun Wukong: 2 > 1 > 3 > 4. Tyr: 2 > 1 > 3 > 4. Chaac: 1 > 3 > 2 > 4.”
Which gods would you say are the strongest overall in the solo lane right now?
Divios: “Cu Chulainn.”
Variety: “The strongest god in solo is probably Artio right now since she has great sustain, poke, and clear as well as bringing a lot of CC and pressure.”
Xaliea: “Hard to say, but I feel like Chang’e might actually be a strong contender for this. Her late game is amazing and her early game with Mage’s Blessing can make her a lane bully on top of that.”
Aquarius: “Highly skill dependent, but probably Cu Chulainn. God is too easy for how much he can do. Very hard to mess up and provides insane amounts of disruption.”
Deathwalker: “Strongest god in solo is Osiris for me, but Artio is quite tough to deal with so she’s a close second.”
New players, take note! If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly god to pilot in the solo lane, try out Bellona, Chaac, or Sobek. You can also pick up Cu Chulainn, Tyr, Nike, or Artio if you want a more on-meta pick. To get extra recommendations for other gods you can test out, check out our Season 5 solo laner tierlist for more info!
Ideal Item Builds for Solo Laners
Now that you have an idea of who our pros recommend for the solo lane and why they’re so effective, let’s take a look at what builds they suggest for dominating your lane all by your lonesome.
What’s a solid starting build to run as a solo laner?
Divios: “Warrior’s Blessing, boots, Health Chalice.”
Variety: “A solid start for solo right now is Warrior’s Blessing, Health Chalice, and multi-pots or health pots. However, in some cases (like Tyr) I would go Mage’s Blessing — or in Erlang’s case, I would go Hunter’s Blessing.”
Maniakk: “Right now I think that on solo you should mostly build Warrior’s/Mage’s Blessing, along with 2 health chalice and 3-4 health pots or multi-pots.”
Xaliea: “Warrior’s Blessing plus an insane amount of pots start can be great for the extra sustain. T1 boots are a rather weak start item, so you’re better off just building pots. Another option if you’re willing to build a little more damage-oriented is to start to build into Transcendence and get the T1 Transcendence item for the extra damage at the start. For mages you’re looking at either Mage’s Blessing (or Warrior’s Blessing depending on how much you can make use of Mage’s Blessing), followed by T1 Warlock’s and pots.”
Aquarius: “Warrior’s Blessing, Health Chalice, boots 1. Active…choose between Sprint, Mediation, Shell, and Teleport. (I use Teleport.)”
Deathwalker: “Starting build is Warrior’s Blessing with a Chalice of Healing and four health pots.”
What’s a safe build choice at the moment for solo laners (first three core items)?
Divios: “Warrior Tabi, Breastplate of Valor, Stone of Gaia, Pestilence.”
Variety: “Solid build to run in solo for physicals against other physical is Boots, Gladiator’s Shield, Stone of Gaia, Pestilence, Mantle of Discord, Spirit Robe (selling Gladiator’s Shield late game for a Hide of the Nemean Lion). Against a magical I would swap around Pestilence and Gladiator’s Shield (and I would probably just go straight into Nemean). For magical gods into physical, I recommend boots, Breastplate of Valor, Stone of Gaia, Void Stone, Mantle of Discord, Spirit Robe. [For a magical solo laner] into another magical, I would swap around Void Stone and Breastplate.”
Maniakk: “A safe build would be Warrior’s Blessing, power boots, and Gladiator’s Shield in most cases. For guardians it can be the same, but instead of Gladiator’s you can build Breastplate of Valor or Pestilence/Void Stone depending on what type of god you’re facing.”
Xaliea: “Quite frankly there’s a lot more gods viable now than just warriors and guardians, which makes the builds differ completely from game to game. The one thing that tends to remain is that you buy Warrior’s Blessing at the start, but even then there are characters like Artio that can make great use of Mage’s Blessing. Magical characters, including guardians, tend to start building into Warlock’s, where warriors are looking more at other health items like Mystical Mail and Stone of Gaia. Of course, building damage boots whenever possible.”
Aquarius: “Warrior Tabi, Breastplate of Valor, Stone of Gaia. Switch Breastplate for Pestilence if against a magical.”
Deathwalker: “Core build is power boots, Gladiator’s Shield (if you don’t have self-sustain), Breastplate of Valor (if you have self-sustain), Stone of Gaia/Pestilence (same thing as Gladiator’s vs. Breastplate), and Hide of the Urchin.”
The consensus here is pretty clear. Although your solo build will depend heavily on whether you choose to go magical or physical, and on what type of opponent you’re facing in lane, you can usually bet on picking up power boots and items like Breastplate of Valor, Stone of Gaia, Gladiator’s Shield, etc. If you want some other item paths you can test the next time you fly solo, check out our guide to building warriors in Season 5 for more info!
Strategy & Meta Insights for Solo Laners
You know what gods our pros are recommending, and you know what items you’ll probably want to build on those picks. But what should your strategy be once you’re battling it out in the solo lane? Let’s take a look at some tips and tricks that these SMITE veterans were willing to share:
What are three quick tips for what players should focus on in the solo laner role?
Divios: “Killing the minions without taking too much damage. Poking the enemy when possible. Learn enemy’s cooldowns.”
Variety: “The best tips I can give when playing solo is to make sure you have wards up at all times. One gank early/mid game can make your lane go from a winning one to a losing one. My second one would be to be aware of the enemy blue buff timing — if you know the blue is coming up soon, the jungler will most likely be on the solo side of the jungle to come clear it. Finally, be efficient in your back timings to lose as little as possible. This goes for the enemy too. If he backs at a poor time, make sure to freeze or shove a wave into tower.”
Maniakk: “Don’t be afraid to be aggressive. Ward for your safety if you feel like it, or ward the enemy blue/XP camps to know the jungler’s whereabouts. If you die early, or you are playing a losing matchup, just try to minimize the losses — zone the wave when you can to deny the enemy some XP/gold, don’t get poked, and try to reach late game where you can help your team. Don’t over-rotate — especially on this map, you get punished hard by it.”
Xaliea: “Paying attention to jungle timers, like when their blue or small camp will be up. Paying attention to the jungler and other possible rotations. And finally paying attention to the enemy solo’s build, actives, and active timers. [This is] fairly simple to do, but quite often still overlooked.”
Aquarius: “1. Always look at the matchup between your god and theirs to see if you can cancel any of their abilities with yours. (Ex. catching a Wukong 3 with Bellona ult or Wukong tiger stunning/knocking up a Bellona bludgeon.) 2. Minions hurt early game, so avoid hitting the enemy god during waves and causing the minions to target you until you are tankier. 3. Your job as a warrior is generally to disrupt squishy targets and prevent them from doing damage in team fights.”
Deathwalker: “Get a good knowledge of all the numbers so you know how much damage you can deal or take. With that you know when you can outpush/pressure your opponent. Pay attention to positioning in teamfights. Solo is very hard to play in teamfights and their role is not very well-defined. You’re mainly trying to create space for your team to be able to do whatever, and to do that you need to balance out your work as a frontline diver and backline peeler/support. Last tip, you need to always be aware of their jungler’s position while laning and play accordingly based on where he is located. Do the same with your jungler to know when to bait or something.”
What’s the most difficult part of playing the solo role right now?
Divios: “Hardest thing about solo lane right now is knowing when you are strong enough to fight back and when to concede to pressure.”
Variety: “I don’t think there is anything too difficult with solo right now. But if I was to say something, I would probably say the early laning phase in some matchups.”
Maniakk: “The most difficult thing in the role at the moment is to know when to rotate. Since the map is bigger, you gotta make sure you know what you are doing when you rotate — otherwise you’re gonna lose a lot of XP and gold.”
Aquarius: “Learning how to trade damage properly and how different gods trade against each other.”
Deathwalker: “The most difficult thing is teamfighting. It’s very hard to play teamfights properly as solo.”
When you’re going it alone in the solo lane for Season 5, the tips and tricks these seasoned SMITE veterans have to offer should definitely help you out. From which gods and builds are most powerful to what strategies you should adopt for your role, these guys have plenty of advice you might want to heed.
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.
Last but not least, be sure to follow us on Twitter @SmitePro for all things SMITE esports!