With every new season of SMITE, players expect to see a lot of changes and some meta shifts. In Season 5, we’re getting tons of changes to the Conquest map, god balance, items, and more — which means that you’ll need to change up your item paths accordingly.
We’ve already revealed who our casters believe will be the top hunters in Season 5. But if you’re piloting any hunter in Update 5.1, you’ll want to make sure that you’re building them properly. That’s why we’ve put together some basic builds for you that are suited to nearly any type of physical ADC you choose. From the crit-heavy auto-attackers to the lane-clearing specialists, there’s a build in this guide for you. Try out these suggested item paths on your favorite hunters and see how well you fare on the new Conquest map.
Power + Critical Damage Hunter Build
Our first build is a power-oriented build that focused primarily on lane sustain while still maintaining a healthy level of damage output that will keep you relevant in 1v1 engagements and any team fights.
- Mage’s Blessing/Hunter’s Blessing
- Warrior Tabi
- Wind Demon
Whether you start with Mage’s Blessing or Hunter’s Blessing in this build depends almost entirely on which type of hunter you choose to play. If you’re using a hunter who relies on abilities to clear waves (like Hou Yi and Medusa), then you’re usually better off picking up Mage’s Blessing for its 25 bonus damage on abilities. But if you’re using a hunter who is more auto-attack based (like Xbalanque and Rama), then Hunter’s Blessing will be your go-to starter with its +10 MP5 and +15 basic attack damage. No matter what you choose, it’s worth keeping in mind that both these blessings evolve after 75 stacks — so Mage’s Blessing will provide 10% CDR and Hunter’s Blessing will provide +15% attack speed and +15 bonus damage on basic attacks.
One of the few exceptions to this is Anhur. Although he makes considerable use of his Impale to get better clear in lane, Hunter’s Blessing is usually more worthwhile in the long haul because his passive makes it more effective.
After your blessing has been established, you can opt to pick up either Tier 1 of Transcendence or Tier 1 boots. This choice comes down to what you feel more comfortable with, and whether or not you think the absence of T1 boots will hinder your survivability during the early laning phase.
Whichever item you for for first, it’s recommended to still build into Warrior Tabi as your first full item, because the mobility it provides not only increases your survivability in the lane, but the +40 power will also help you start making an impact early on. You can choose to finish Transcendence first, but usually on your first return to base you won’t have enough gold to do so — and even then it’s typically only seen as a viable first item choice if you have an amazing start and are able to fully buy the item on your first back.
Once Warrior Tabi is complete, then you can work on upgrading your Morningstar into a fully-fledged Transcendence. With a recent buff that gives it an extra 10% CDR, this item is now much more appealing to hunters. Not only are you receiving a very noticeable power spike with Transcendence, but the extra cooldown reduction can also make the difference between outplaying your opposition and losing the trade.
After Warrior Tabi and Transcendence are done, you’ll want to build into Asi. The lifesteal, penetration, and attack speed from this item (for 1,700 gold) make it too good to pass up if you’re a hunter, especially since you’re going to be needing some lifesteal if you have any intentions of helping you team take on objectives like Gold Fury and Fire Giant.
From Asi, you’ll likely end up going into Executioner. This item contributes even more stats for attack speed, power, and penetration that will allow you to start chipping away at the enemy’s health. In some circumstances, you’ll want to pick up Qin’s Sais instead — but after this item was reworked for Season 5, you’re not really going to need it unless the enemy team is incredibly tanky or frontline oriented.
As you’re closing in on the last few items in your build, you can expect to pick up Deathbringer. Transcendence, Warrior Tabi, Asi, and Executioner have been preparing you for this pickup — because if there’s one thing that pairs incredibly well with Deathbringer’s crit, it’s the power that this build path brings to the table. With Deathbringer being buffed to bring +35% crit chance, it’s a very favorable item for hunters at the moment.
Consistent critical damage will help you shred through objectives and the enemy team. So if you do choose to build into Deathbringer, then it’s ideal to get either Rage, Wind Demon, or Poison Star as your last item. Pick up Rage if you want consistent crits, Wind Demon if you want attack speed and movement speed (but slightly less crit consistency), or Poison Star if you want to reduce the enemy team’s damage output.
Lifesteal + Critical Damage Hunter Build
If you want to focus a little bit more heavily on lifesteal, you can follow this secondary build pathway. It hearkens back to the carries of Season 4 in that Devourer’s Gauntlet is still the core of this build.
- Mage’s Blessing/Hunter’s Blessing
- Warrior Tabi/Ninja Tabi
- Devourer’s Gauntlet
- Wind Demon
Your starter choices here are the same as the build above. Opt for Hunter’s Blessing if you want some extra power for an auto-attacking hunter, or Mage’s Blessing if you want some extra burst damage for an ability-based hunter. After that, you can choose to start with Tier 1 of Devourer’s Gauntlet (aka Spiked Gauntlet), or Tier 1 boots.
Once again, finishing off boots will be the more common route to take here, but with this build you can choose between Ninja Tabi and Warrior Tabi. If your god of choice is more auto attack based, then Ninja Tabi will be the better choice. But if your god is more ability based, then Warrior Tabi will be better here since it offers more power for boxing and team fights. But it’s your game…so build whichever you prefer for your play style!
You probably already know what comes after boots — but just in case you don’t, make sure you finish off that Devourer’s Gauntlet so you can start stacking right away. Stacks are pivotal for developing your hunter’s power spike, and usually around 40 you’ll start feeling their impact.
After Devourer’s Gauntlet, your next pickup will probably be Asi. The double lifesteal is great for tackling objectives as your survivability skyrockets, all while maintaining steady DPS for your team.
In some situations, you might want to get Executioner as your third item. If you’ve got enough gold when you return to base for a higher damage output item, or if you feel as though you’re lacking DPS in engagements, Executioner might make a good third item. Whatever the reason, keep in mind that Executioner and Asi are interchangeable for your third and fourth item slots, and it’s okay to go with whichever one you feel is the better first choice when you’re in the item store.
For your fifth item, Deathbringer is still a great choice. The boosted crit percentage provides very consistent damage output against enemies and objectives — and the only real deterrence from getting Deathbringer in this slot might be if the enemy team is very tanky or their frontline is electing to build Hide of the Nemean Lion, Spectral Armor, or Thorns. If this is the case, you can look to switch your fifth item to Qin’s Sais and round off your build with Crusher, Brawler’s Beat Stick, or Titan’s Bane. Grab Crusher if you want the boosts to ability damage and penetration, Brawler’s Beat Stick for antihealing, or Titan’s Bane if the enemy team has a lot of physical protection.
Assuming that you’re able to build Deathbringer, it’s pretty standard to follow up with a Rage, Wind Demon, or Poison Star. Once again, which one you choose depends on what you need to add to your stats. Pick up Rage for consistent crit damage, Wind Demon for extra attack speed and movement speed, or Poison Star to reduce enemy damage output.
Although these two builds are a great starting point for hunters in Season 5, you should always remember that builds are incredibly situational for every game. There are multiple scenarios that might make some items in these build paths unfavorable — but the most crucial thing to consider when deciding what’s best to build will normally be measuring your survivability and damage output in any given match.
When all is said and done, hopefully this guide is a usefull tool for the up-and-coming hunter player, or even seasoned hunters who are uncertain as to what builds are viable so far in Update 5.1. As always, these builds are subject to change as further changes come through, so keep checking back to make sure your item choices are still up to date. You can also take a look at some advice from our SPL pros about the hunter role for more information.
While you’re here, though, go ahead and check out our other build guides to make sure you’re ready for any role:
Check out these ADC builds for yourself and let us know what you think! Are there any other hunter items you’ve found to be effective in Season 5? Let us know on Twitter (@SmitePro), and stay tuned for more build guides, tierlists, and other SMITE content!