With Season 5 of SMITE in full swing, players are settling into all the new changes on the Battleground of the Gods. A new meta is emerging on the revamped Conquest map, and all the item changes in Updates 5.1 and 5.2 are redefining what’s viable and what’s not in each role.
To get a little more insight on what’s relevant in Season 5, we’ve reached out to some current and former SPL players who know the game better than anyone. Today, we’ll be focusing on the mid lane. These SMITE veterans have plenty of advice to offer to both new and returning players, and a few strategy suggestions for mid laners who want to dominate the new Conquest map. Check it out!
Ideal Gods & Skill Advice for New Players
If you’re heading into the mid lane as a less experienced player, some gods will be easier to pilot than others. Here are some gods you should consider picking up and a few tips for leveling them properly.
Which mid lane gods are good for a new player to use?
Wlfy: “Three good gods for a new player to use are Ra, Kukulkan, and Agni.”
Yammyn: “New players should play as Sol, Ra, and Kukulkan.”
Hurriwind: “Agni, Ra, and Thoth.”
Zyrhoes: “Ra, Kukulkan, and Raijin.”
Baskin: “Ra, Raijin, Agni.”
PrettyPriMe: “Thoth, Janus, Discordia — not really based on how hard your skills are to hit, just your ability to survive.”
Venenu: “Raijin, Agni, and The Morrigan.”
What do these beginner-friendly gods bring to the table, and what’s the best order for maxing their abilities?
Wlfy: “Ra has safe clear, sustain, decent mobility, long range damage on a low cooldown. Ability order: 4 > 1 > 3 > 2. Kukulkan has safe clear (good to farm with), slows, decent mobility, long range damage. Ability order: 4 > 3 > 1 > 2. Agni has good mobility, consistent poke, medium range damage. Ability order: 4 > 2 > 3 > 1. “
Yammyn: “[Sol, Ra, and Kukulkan] bring a lot of damage and are really fun. Ra and Kukulkan are really straightforward with a lot of line skillshots that are really fun to aim. Sol is really safe and brings a lot of pressure. On Sol, you want to start with your 2 and then max 4 > 2 > 3 > 1. On Ra you want to start with the 1 and max 4 > 1 > 3 > 2. On Kukulkan you wanna start with the 3 and then max 4 > 3 > 1 > 2.”
Hurriwind: “Agni: 4 > 2 > 3 > 1. [He has] safety, ranged poke/CC, and he’s strong with lifesteal. Ra: 4 > 1 > 3 > 2. [He has] easy clear, long-range followup, and healing. Thoth: 4 > 1 > 2 > 3. [He has] safety, high ranged damage/CC, and late game dominance.”
Zyrhoes: “[Agni, Ra, and Thoth] all have easy mechanics, long range, and hard-hitting abilities. Ra: 4 > 1 > 3 > 2. Kukulkan: 4 > 1 > 3 > 2 (put two points in your 3 and then max your 1). Raijin: 4 > 1 > 2 > 3.”
Baskin: “[Ra, Raijin, and Agni] have simple abilities and straightforward kits that would be ideal for players who are new to the game. These 3 mages also promote a more traditional and passive playstyle which defines the mid role, with some exceptions such as Janus, He Bo, and ADC mids. Ra maxing order: 4 > 1 > 3 > 2. Raijin maxing order: 4 > 1 > 2 > 3. Agni maxing order: 4 > 2 > 3 > 1.
PrettyPriMe: “Thoth: 1 > 4 > 2 > 3. Discordia: 1 > 4 > 2 > 3, generally split between the 2 and the 3. Janus: 2 > 4 > 3 > 1. The theme is safety. All [these gods are] very hard to kill, so if they focus you they should suffer. Also long range is premium at the moment to defend or siege.”
Venenu: “Raijin brings a big teamfight presence with a lot of utility and CC to control a team fight. Agni brings big AOE damage in a teamfight with little CC but high damage in the late game, and [he’s also now] pretty strong in the early game. The Morrigan brings a lot of surprise damage and has a chance to throw off your opponent with her ult, as you can choose from the 9 other characters in the game. I level Raijin abilities like 1 > 4 > 2 > 3. I level Agni abilities like 2 > 4 > 3 > 1. I level The Morrigan abilities like 2 > 1 > 3 > 4.”
Which gods would you say are the strongest overall in the mid lane right now?
Wlfy: “The Morrigan, because she has potential to do anything you want with her in a game depending on what options she has to transform into. Or Isis because of her teamfight control and good early game.”
Yammyn: “I think the strongest mage at the moment is probably Thoth. Really good poke and has one-shot potential with the ult.”
Hurriwind: “Maybe Thoth?”
Zyrhoes: “The Morrigan.”
Baskin: “In my opinion Janus is the strongest overall god in mid right now. Although I haven’t tested all the gods extensively, Janus benefited a lot from the increase in map size and a substantial buff to one of his best items, Chronos Pendant.”
PrettyPriMe: “Strongest god is probably Thoth, just cause his long range makes defending a lot easier. He can clear and poke from such a range. Other than that…nerf He Bo.”
Venenu: “The strongest god in mid lane currently is probably Thoth, since he has a lot of poke and high burst with his ult.”
There you have it! If you’re a newer player who wants a beginner-friendly god, you’ll want to check out Agni, Ra, and Kukulkan. If you want to pilot a slightly more complex character who can pack a serious punch in mid, then consider going with The Morrigan, Janus, or Thoth. For more recommendations, check out our Season 5 mid laner tierlist to get some insights on other gods who may be good mid picks as well.
Ideal Item Builds for Mid Laners
Now that we know who our pros have tagged as the most powerful and the most beginner-friendly mid laners, let’s dig into what builds they suggest for holding down your lane under all kinds of pressure.
What’s a solid starting build to run as a mid laner?
Wlfy: “Mage’s Blessing paired with Uncommon Sash, Lost Artifact, Tiny Trinket, or book T1. They are all viable starts and all of them are solid, so you gotta play with all of them and see which one you like most.”
Yammyn: “Good starting build on most mages is Mage’s Blessing and rank 1 sash, then two health and one mana pot.”
Hurriwind: “Mage’s Blessing, Warlock’s Staff Tier 1 item, two health pots, one mana pot.”
Zyrhoes: “Mage’s Blessing, Uncommon Staff, two health pots, and one mana pot.”
Baskin: “The most common and versatile starting build in mid is currently Mage’s Blessing, Tier 1 of Warlock’s Staff, two mana pots, and one health pot. Warlock’s is a very strong item in Season 5, and because of the stacking mechanic it is ideal to get it online as soon as possible. However, starting Tier 2 of Warlock’s Staff only gives you 30 power, which is detrimental to your early clear. Buying Mage’s Blessing and opting for Tier 1 Warlock’s Staff will still allow you to get your Warlock’s Staff finished quickly, and also give you a good boost in early clear and mana sustain.”
PrettyPriMe: “Mage’s Blessing and Sash T1 is the general starter. Janus clear scales so high, so I prefer a Thoth T2.”
Venenu: “A good starting build to run in my role would be Mage Quest, Warlock’s 1, with two health pots and two mana pots.”
What’s a safe build choice at the moment for mid laners (first three core items)?
Wlfy: “Penetration boots, Warlock’s Sash, Book of the Dead.”
Yammyn: “A safe build is Sash, penetration boots, Book of Thoth, and then Book of the Dead. You’re taking as a brothamother with a lot of HP and you still hit really hard.”
Hurriwind: “Warlock’s Staff, cooldown/penetration boots, Book of Thoth, Book of the Dead.”
Zyrhoes: “Boots, Warlock’s Staff, Book of Thoth, Book of the Dead.”
Baskin: “Mage’s Blessing, Warlock’s Staff, boots (Magi/Focus), Book of Thoth, Obsidian Shard, Book of the Dead, sell Mage’s Blessing for Chronos Pendant. This build is currently one of the safest builds you can purchase as a mage player, but it also allows you to stay relevant in terms of damage and burst. Warlock’s Staff is a great item that provides health and power, with the only downside being that you have to stack it. Book of Thoth is the highest single power item that you can purchase, and also indirectly contributes to your survivability through the Book of the Dead passive. Obsidian Shard should be enough pen to do relevant damage to the enemy frontline. Book of the Dead provides a lot of tankiness, and the passive synergizes well with the large amount of mana you get from Warlock’s Staff and Book of Thoth. Chronos Pendant is my preferred sixth item because of the CDR it provides, but Soul Reaver is also a suitable option if you are trying to burn tanks.
On a level 20 Janus, this build will provide you 2600 HP and 2985 mana, in addition to a 746 HP shield from Book of the Dead if you drop below 50% HP. This build will also give you 630 power, which is pretty high for Season 5 considering the Rod of Tahuti nerf. I do not think Rod of Tahuti is currently worth it on any mage in its current state.
There is another popular build that relies on lifesteal for survivability (Bancroft’s Talon, Typhon’s Fang) but I don’t like this build for traditional mages because of the fact that it gets heavily countered by anti-heal mechanics and it provides less overall power than the Warlock’s Staff/Book of Thoth build. However, the lifesteal build is strong on mages that can abuse lifesteal such as Anubis, Ao Kuang, and auto-attack mages like Freya and Sol.”
PrettyPriMe: “Full build would be boots, Warlock’s Sash, Book of Thoth, Chronos Pendant, Book of the Dead, and Obsidian Shard or Divine Ruin.”
Venenu: “Warlock’s Sash, penetration boots, Book of Thoth.”
Our pros seem to agree that Book of Thoth, Book of the Dead, and Warlock’s Staff are must-buy items for mid laners in Season 5. There are some lifesteal builds that you might want to consider, but ultimately maxing out your magical power will be the way to go in most cases. If you want some other item paths that you can try in the mid lane, check out our guide to building mages in Season 5 for some extra suggestions!
Strategy & Meta Insights for Mid Laners
You’ve heard what gods our pros are recommending, and you know what items they’re building on those picks. But what else should you be paying attention to as a mid lane mage? Let’s dive into some more nuanced strategies that these SMITE pros were willing to share.
What are three quick tips for what players should focus on in the mid laner role?
Wlfy: “Do not lose mid waves. Each wave is the most valuable source of farm on the entire map. Secure your red buffs. Don’t over-rotate.”
Yammyn: “Always [be] looking at your map, trying to figure out where to farm or gank. Another one is taking your time to land the skillshots. Last one is always try to farm.”
Hurriwind: “Focus on farm. Focus on positioning. Don’t overthink when to use abilities — let it come naturally over time and with practice.”
Zyrhoes: “Prioritize farm over rotating. Ward a lot. Play safe.”
Baskin: “1. Have good positioning. As a mage player you always want to be in a position where you can follow up on any crowd control or setup that your teammates land on the enemy, but you never want to be in a position where you can be aggressed on easily.
2. Hit your buttons. Mages have the biggest ultimate in the game, and winning or losing a game can come down to whether or not you’re hitting your huge one-shot abilities. My advice for hitting big ultimates (such as Ra ult) would be to be patient. A lot of players who miss big mage ults usually rush their abilities, and don’t wait for either the right opportunity or setup from a teammate.
3. Use your actives well. Active usage is a really underrated part of the game, but it is really important. A good Aegis or a well-timed Beads could mean the difference between life and death. There is no way to get better at using your actives other than practice.”
PrettyPriMe: “1. If you’re an unsafe god without a jump, ward up a lot in the start since the jungler will eat ya. 2. Target what you’re built for. If you don’t build Shard or anything to deal with frontline, there is no point in shooting them — just save it for when the assassin comes in or aim for the backline. 3. In the current meta you can bait a lot more. Mages are really tanky at the moment, so you can a lot of times bait a fight and safely escape. Gives more time to your other boys.”
Venenu: “Farming as much as possible to get to late game. Keep your lane warded as much as possible. Finally always try to rotate when there is potential for kills to happen to allow your team to get ahead.”
When is the best time to rotate and look to gank?
Wlfy: “When you feel like the time is right to rotate and when you feel like you’re in a good spot to lose a wave for a gank. You always need to think what you will be gaining out of that gank, and if you gain nothing out of it then you put yourself in a bad scenario because the enemy mid laner can just farm up and get bigger than you and he’ll have the upper hand over you.”
Yammyn: “Best time to rotate is when you know you can get a guaranteed kill without losing a buff or tower for it. So look a lot on the map for the opportunity to arise.”
Hurriwind: “Generally mids will not rotate and gank. Just try to focus on farming and try to get mid camps and red buff as often as possible without losing waves. You can look to be more proactive with leaving mid once you have a few core items completed.”
Zyrhoes: “After you cleared your creep wave in mid and you see enemy sidelanes are overextending.”
Baskin: “Ganking is rarely a job that’s performed by a mid player (except for gods like Janus), but if you are looking for a gank I would say that any time after you have completed your boots would give you the highest chance for a successful gank. Ganking before you finish your boots for mobility is not ideal.”
PrettyPriMe: “Every time you push in your lane first I’d say you can look to rotate. There is a lot of farm on the map these days so you will lose some of that. But losing some of that early farm to help your lanes out should be more worth it than ever. Comes down to what god you are and who you can kill. The straight up answer is whenever you feel like it.”
Venenu: “The best time to look to gank and rotate would be when there is potential to get kills and change the pace of the game in your favor.
If you want to own the mid lane as a mage in Season 5, the advice of these seasoned SMITE veterans will definitely help you out. Whether you want to know which gods are viable, which builds are powerful, or how to strategize for your role, these guys have plenty of tips you can try.
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!