We’ve officially entered Season 5 of SMITE, and with it comes a totally revamped Conquest map that’s got a new art style, lots of layout changes, and a whole new meta waiting for players to create it. For veteran players and newbies alike, it might be a challenge to figure out this new map — so we’ve put together a handy guide that will highlight the major changes that players need to be aware of on the S5 map, then give an in-depth breakdown of how you should be adapting your play strategy in response to those alterations.
Major Map Changes in Season 5 Conquest
Before we jump into what general strategies you should be using on this new map, let’s take a moment to break down the most notable changes coming to the map and how they’re going to impact your gameplay.
Map Size & Symmetry
From its aesthetic to its mechanics, the Season 5 conquest map has been totally revamped. In addition to a fresh coat of paint for nearly every detail on the Battleground of the Gods, the new map has increased in size by about 20%. This means that gods with global presence or movement speed built into their kits — like Thor, Thanatos, Janus, Ratatoskr, He Bo, and Ah Muzen Cab — will prove valuable, because they’ll be able to navigate the larger map more easily than less mobile gods.
In addition to the size increase, Season 5 is getting rid of the asymmetrical lanes that created a slight Chaos side advantage. On the new Conquest map, the distance between your Fountain and Tier 2 Towers will be the same regardless of which side you’re playing on. (You’re welcome, solo laners.)
Fog of War
In this season, the whole Conquest map is shrouded in a Fog of War. This limits visibility and makes it significantly riskier to travel across the map without vision control via wards. This will force junglers to make more careful decisions about how they rove in the jungle, and will likely make teams as a whole reconsider how and when they attempt to rotate.
However, this fog also makes it easier to set up ganks and ambushes around corners with assistance from sentry wards — which in turn makes it a more viable tactic to rely on in your games.
Junglers, rejoice! The S5 map is bringing lots of changes to jungle buffs. Speed Buff has been moved, so it’s now located where Back Harpies used to be in Season 4 — and Back Harpies have been moved to where Speed Buff used to be.
Speed Buff will also spawn before the minions meet in lane, whereas other all other buffs will spawn at the same moment that waves meet. So players will no longer have to choose between a jungle start and a lane start. (We’ll talk more about this in our early game section below.)
These two changes are intended to combat the early Speed Buff invade meta that emerged last season, and should help prevent some of the snowballing that would occur if an enemy team opted for the invade. So when you’re jungling in Season 5, your Speed Buff will be less vulnerable, and you’ll be able to better secure your own camps in the early phases of the game.
In addition to the location changes, the jungle buffs are seeing some reductions to their respawn timers as well. Here’s how it breaks down:
- Speed, Mana, XP, and Damage camp respawn timers reduced from 180s to 120s
- Mid Harpies respawn timer reduced from 120s to 90s
- Back Harpies respawn timer reduced from 80s to 60s
These timer changes are intended to reinvigorate the jungle role so they can play a more active part in your team’s composition. Instead of roving and waiting around for timers to count down, junglers will now have to manage their rotations more effectively and balance their activity between minion waves and friendly/enemy jungle camps.
It’s even possible that a meta will emerge wherein some teams opt for two junglers, with the duo lane support acting as that secondary jungler.
In Season 4, we had the Portal Demon. But in Season 5, this objective has been transformed into the Pyromancer. The Pyromancer is located in the same place as the Portal Demon, but doesn’t generate a portal when you kill him. Instead, you’ll receive a 40% movement speed buff for 15s once exiting the fountain (similar to Swift Wing).
Minions are getting a rework in Season 5 so that they’re a little tankier but grant less XP overall when you clear them. Let’s break down how the numbers are changing for each minion type:
- Ranged Minion
- XP reduced from 45 to 25
- Health increased from 265 to 305
- Melee Minion
- XP reduced from 60 to 45
- Health increased from 365 to 420
- Brute Minion
- XP reduced from 60 to 45
- Health increased from 700 to 805
As the game progresses, all lane Minions will now reward an additional 5 XP and 1 gold for every 3 minutes of in-game time that passes. These rewards accumulate over time, meaning that wave clear will be important (and rewarding) during every phase of the game.
Though Minions are more durable with these changes, they also deal 40% less damage to enemy gods — meaning that taking some early trades with an opposing enemy god will be less punishing and won’t necessarily result in a full snowball for your opponent.
Lane Minions also prioritize Towers, Phoenixes, and Titans over other Minions, Deployables, and Pets. So if a wave reaches a Tower and begins to hit it, that wave will not switch to the other Minions when they meet in lane. This makes it riskier to leave lane, as your Tower can be exposed if the enemy god stays to clear your wave and push that objective.
Sharing experience has been rebalanced. Instead of splitting 150% total XP between multiple teammates, you’ll now be splitting 120% total when you share. This means that instead of getting 75% of the original experience (whether it’s from a jungle camp or minion wave), you’ll receive 60%. In spite of this reduction, it will still be more efficient to share your experience with teammates in most cases. However, this change does help balance the scales between gods who split experience and gods who fly solo when they farm.
Where to Start the Early Game in Season 5 Conquest
With all these changes coming to the Conquest map, the early game is going to look different for some roles. Between new starting strategies in the jungle and in lane, players are going to need to make some more decisions about how they begin their games. Let’s take this section role by role and talk about what each player in your team’s comp will likely want to focus on in the Season 5 early game.
If you’re going stag and holding down the solo lane by yourself, you should start pretty much every game in Season 5 by heading straight to the short lane and starting your farm. Other than the changes to map size and lane length, not much else is different for solo laners. One is still the loneliest (or bravest) number — and now that your jungler will be busier, you’ll have more time to yourself to do your farming in peace. So keep holding down the fort on your side of the revamped map until things get exciting in the mid-to-late game, and you’ll be the MVP every time.
Junglers and Mid Laners
In the new Conquest map, both the jungler and the mid laner should start at the Speed Buff. Once you’ve taken that camp down and split the experience, these two roles should briefly part ways — with the jungler rotating over to Back Harpies while the mid laner heads into lane to clear the wave. After the lane and the Back Harpies have been cleared, junglers and mid laners should look to regroup toward their mid harpies by the Fire Giant side.
Duo Laners (ADCs and Support)
Thanks to the changes on the S5 map, the duo dream team has two options for how they want to start their early game.
The first option is for both players to start in lane and clear the initial minion wave, then rotate into the jungle to start clearing buffs. Alternatively, duo laners can both start at Damage Buff, transition over to Purple Buff, then rotate back to the long lane to start their laning phase.
Which start you choose will mostly depend on your team’s composition, the enemy team’s composition, and whether you’re more concerned about jungle pressure or lane pressure.
For the most part, though, starting in lane will be the way to go for duos. With junglers having more flexibility and objectives to take — alongside the possibility of a meta emerging in which supports serve as secondary junglers — ADCs will want to make sure they’re holding down their lanes. However, if you’re facing off against a god with lots of jungle pressure potential, then it might be safer to start in the jungle and make sure your side stays under your team’s control.
How to Play the Mid-to-Late Game in Season 5 Conquest
Once you’ve gotten through the revamped early game, the mid game and late game in Season 5 will be almost exactly the same as what you’re used to. Once you’ve gotten some core items online and you’ve captured a few objectives, you should start focusing on vision control and turn your attention to picking off enemies that find themselves out of position. Then once you find a good opportunity, swoop in and snatch the Gold Fury as your reward for a well-executed strategy.
In the late game, all that’s left to do is keep your eye on the prize — the prize being those final big objectives that will tilt the map (and the game) in your team’s favor. When your builds are completed and you’re looking to start up your first sieges, it’s time to start looking for a Fire Giant pick so you can secure more power and protections for Tower or Phoenix sieges.
From there, it’s your standard late-game rotation. Take down the Phoenixes, weaken the enemy Titan, then look for the right opportunity to dive your opponent’s Fountain and claim the win!
If you’ve followed the strategies above, you should be well on your way to conquering the new Conquest map in Season 5. But there are plenty of other developments that we haven’t covered here, and you’ll want to make sure you’ve studied up before you head into your first match of Season 5 — so make sure you read our full 5.1 patch notes to check out the full litany of changes coming your way. There are lots of new items and god rebalances that you’ll want to be aware of!
Season 5 hasn’t quite launched yet, but you can test these strategies for yourself by installing the SMITE PTS client and diving into the 5.1 patch before it goes live worldwide.
Now go forth and conquer in Season 5 of SMITE! But make sure you stay tuned here for all your Season 5 guides, news, and more. You can also follow us on Twitter (@SmitePro) to get by-the-minute updates on what’s new in this season and how you can play through it like a pro.