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Season 7 of SMITE is here! And with it comes a number of changes to the Conquest map that are bound to shake up the meta. Whether you’re a returning veteran or a new player, it can be tough to know how you should handle these changes when you’re just hitting the Battleground at the start of the new season.

Luckily for you, our SMITE Pro League players have already spent plenty of time grinding Conquest in Season 7, and are happy to help make sense of all the new stuff that you’ll encounter. In this guide, we’ll highlight the major changes that Conquest players need to be aware of following the 7.1 update, then break down some pro tips for how you should adapt your play strategy accordingly.

For this guide, your pro tips will be coming from support player Aror (Ghost Gaming), mid player Venenu (Renegades) and jungler Weak3n (Obey Alliance). Follow their tips and you might reduce some of the “you rock, cancel that” spam as you settle into the new Season 7 Conquest map.

 

Major Map Changes in Season 7 Conquest

 

Take one look at the Season 7 Update Notes, and it becomes pretty clear that a lot is going to be different this year. We’re not going to cover every single change here, so give those update notes a read if you want the nitty-gritty. But we did ask our pros to highlight some of the biggest changes that will impact your Conquest gameplay in the new season.

 

The Jungle Shrine

 

For Venenu, the most notable Season 7 change is the addition of the Jungle Shrine — a new jungle objective on both sides of the map. This Shrine gains a stack for every 3 jungle camp monsters your team kills, with a max of 7 stacks. Attacking the Shrine consumes 1 stack, and rewards each player on your team with 5 gold. Three quick basic attacks will clear the shrine of all stacks. Clearing camps in the enemy jungle will contribute towards your Shrine’s stacks, but at half the rate. Enemy players cannot attack your Shrine.

Easy to stack up, grants gold to everyone on your team…what’s not to love? Venenu says players should make sure they don’t let this new source of global farm go to waste.

 

Mid Harpies

 

For Aror, the new mid harpy area is a change players can look forward to. The mid XP camp near Oracles has been split into two camps, and each camp contains two small Harpies. On your own side of the map, the Mid Harpy alcove is protected — making it much easier to get your own farm. But remember that your enemy’s alcove will be protected too, so it will be much harder to steal that objective.

 

Duo Lane Camps

 

For Weak3n, it’s all about the duo lane changes. Season 7 has added two single Alpha Harpy camps next to duo lane, so there’s a new objective to integrate into your Conquest strategy. And while Weak3n may not be a duo laner himself, he’s thinking about this change from the perspective of a jungler — and predicts more action will start unfolding in the duo lane now that junglers will have the opportunity to pressure and gank the lane early.

(But if Weak3n does try to gank your duo lane, don’t forget that everyone has a free ward now thanks to the Vision Shard. Use it!)

 

New Objectives = New Pacing

 

With all these added objectives and new sources of farm on the map, the game pace you’re used to will certainly change.

Venenu predicts a faster game pace overall thanks to all the extra farm. If the early game level grind happens a bit more quickly, you and your team will reach late-game levels at an earlier point in the game than you might be accustomed to. He also pointed out that since Gold Furies stop spawning after 20 minutes, the late game objectives might get prioritized sooner as well. Weak3n agrees with this point and expects to see more early Gold Furies than we did last season. He also feels that these changes will pull players away from the early game blue buff fights we used to see. Finally, Aror predicts that junglers and mid laners will feel these pacing changes more acutely than other roles, since they have to keep tabs on the Jungle Shrine.

Although they’re spread across different roles, it seems like our pro players agree about one thing: make sure you’re prepared for your S7 Conquest games to heat up a little faster than usual!

 

How to Play the Early Game in Season 7 Conquest

 

Not only are there new objectives on the S7 map, but there are also some changes to the jungle spawn times! Most jungle camps will spawn a little bit earlier than they used to. Another big change is that the Void camp (purple buff) will spawn at 20 seconds just like the speed buff, which is a big deal for the invade meta. Invades were a go-to tactic for the second half of Season 6, so we asked the pros how they see the early game shaking down in Season 7.

Venenu calls these jungle camp changes “substantial” and notes that they should allow for different starts and early game strategies across the map. Aror seems to agree, noting that there’s a good chance the earlier jungle spawn times might mean less invading than we saw in seasons past. But Weak3n isn’t totally convinced. While he does acknowledge that game starts might feel a bit more standard early on in the season, he also suspects that the jungle camp changes may open the door for some new invade strategies. So while the invade meta may not be the default tactic in Season 7’s early game, Weak3n thinks the occasional surprise invade could definitely have some value in the right situation.

 

Where to Start for Your Role

 

You’ve booted up Season 7 and queued for a game of Conquest. You’ve loaded in and run to your usual spot, thinking everything is fine. Then suddenly the pings start, and you realize your team is frantically trying to get you to go to the right spot. Whoops.

Thankfully our pros are here to help. To put things simply, Venenu breaks down the starting position for each role as follows:

  • Hunter & Guardian: Start in duo, making sure to take care of the Void camp purple buff now that it has an earlier spawn. If you’re a guardian, you could even choose to go help your mid laner afterward.
  • Mid: Start with your jungler at speed, then clear the wave and rotate to red buff. But pay attention to the meta and adjust accordingly! The bit of extra time you get from the speed buff spawn timer change could open up possibilities for different starts or rotations for mid players early on.
  • Jungler: Start at speed with your mid laner. Later on, look to pressure the enemy duo lane before the second spawn of your speed buff. There’s lots of kill potential around that side of the map in the early game.
  • Solo: Open-ended! Depending on your team comp and general strategy, your solo laner may want to start in lane or may want to attempt an invade.

Once you’ve cleared your first jungle camps, it’s time to farm! Between beefier jungle monsters, earlier spawn times on buffs, and decreased rewards for taking towers, how and when you get your farm might change. But according to our pro players, your farming phase should feel a lot like it has in the past. So far, Weak3n hasn’t felt a huge difference in farm and says the game’s pace feels good with solid experience and gold gain across all roles. Aror is largely in agreement, and notes that even though you might be splitting jungle camps a bit more or taking towers later, as long as you’re on top of your Jungle Shrine, your farm shouldn’t drop too much. In fact, it might even be higher than in previous seasons!

 

How to Play the Mid-to-Late Game in Season 7 Conquest

 

Now you know where to start your S7 Conquest game, but we all know that any good SMITE game will go way longer than just the early laning phase. We’ve mentioned already that game pacing may be much quicker this season than in seasons past, meaning you may find yourself in the mid-to-late game phases much sooner than you’re accustomed to. Don’t worry though — our pros can tell you how to act in these later stages of the game.

Aror is coming into this season with a very open mindset and thinks that each role should approach the emerging Season 7 meta with an openness to change and a willingness to adapt strategies on the fly. But even in the early phases of this meta taking shape, Weak3n expects to see lots of grouping right after the early game stages — and predicts that we’ll see hunters solo farming while a lot of 4v4s happen around mid camps. If you’re a guardian/mid/jungle/solo, you should be prepared for solo side mid camps to be highly contested and don’t get caught off guard if you’re required to be nearby and help in those fights.

When you do find yourself in a group fight, your role’s job is largely the same as it has been in seasons past. If you’re a hunter or a mid laner, Venenu emphasizes that you should still try to stick together. Hunters and mid laners need to work hard cooperatively, peeling for each other and making sure they’re communicating from the backline of a fight. Junglers, supports, and solos will still bear a lot of the dive responsibilities, though that could vary a lot depending on your team comp.

 

More Pro Tips for Dominating Season 7 Conquest

 

Now that we’ve covered all the basics and broken down how you need to be playing each phase of your Conquest game in the new season, let’s close this thing out with a few final pro tips that should help you get that Victory screen.

— New map geometry will change your escape routes. Aror says players need to be mindful of the mid harpies on the duo side of the map. With the map’s geometry changing, the harpy on your own side is a lot safer — but that also means it’s scarier to be on the enemy side of the map. Even if you’re just passing through, be a bit more careful since you have fewer escape paths now!

— Don’t try to stack Health Pots and Health Chalice. For all us supports and solo laners out there, Aror reminds us that HP Pots and Health Chalice don’t stack anymore. So there’s no need to load up on both!

— Learn the new item starts and builds, especially for mages. Weak3n emphasizes how sweeping the mage item changes are for S7, and says it’s critically important to learn the new item starts and builds right away. And he’s right, because mage penetration has changed to allow more flexibility in mage builds…so make sure you’re up-to-date!

— Relearn Odin & Bastet now that they’re reworked. Even if you don’t ever plan on picking Odin or Bastet in your own games, Weak3n says it’s imperative that you re-familiarize yourself with these two gods now that they’ve been reworked. Their revamped kits have some huge changes, and your enemies will be able to punish you if you aren’t keeping up.

— Be patient with your teammates! We’re all trying to get our bearings at the start of the new season, and Aror believes it’s important to have some patience with your teammates in the early days of Season 7. There’s a lot for all of us to learn, so just play the map a lot and get a good feel for it! And once you have some insight into the pacing of Season 7 Conquest, make sure you share that knowledge with your team so they can improve too.

 

Victory!

 

If you’ve followed the pro advice above, you should be well on your way to dominating the new Conquest map in Season 7. But make sure you check out the 7.1 Update Notes to see the litany of changes incoming this season and get all the detailed information you need to succeed.

Thanks to all the pro players who took some time to give us some insight into Season 7 and what our fans can expect. You’ll be able to catch some of their strategies in action when the SMITE Pro League kicks off this March! In the meantime, we’ll be bringing you plenty more pro-level advice on all things Season 7, including the top gods in each role and how to build properly for those roles. So keep an eye out for those in the next few weeks.

Now go forth and conquer Season 7 of SMITE! But make sure you stay tuned here for all your Season 7 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 it like a pro.