In any SMITE game, a good support is essential to the success of your team. So whether you’re diamond on every guardian or just got stuck with the support role in queue, you’ll want to make sure you’re building your guardian properly so you can support your team when they need you most. But with all the item balance changes that came with Season 7, you might not be up-to-date on the most effective builds for the support role.
Luckily for you, we called upon one of the best support players in the SMITE Pro League to give you some advice: Aror! As a World Champion and the current captain for Ghost Gaming, Aror has a wealth of knowledge to pull from when it comes to itemization for this role. In this guide, we’ll go over some of his recommended support builds for guardians and when you should use them.
*Note: The builds listed here are recommended as of Update 7.1. If later patches produce item balance changes that change the efficacy of these support builds, we’ll update this guide with the latest info as it becomes available!
When you lock a guardian in Season 7, you have to decide whether you want to be a tank that soaks damage for your team, or a more hybrid support that can get aggressive when the time is right. Aror outlines two general support builds for these differing styles.
Full Tank Support Build
If you want to be able to take tons of damage and survive a lot of focus from the enemy team, this is the build for you! A full tank guardian build will keep you healthy and help you do a lot of heavy lifting when you’re on the front lines.
Here’s one example of what this full tank build style might look like when completed:
- Shoes of Focus
- Gauntlet of Thebes
- Relic Dagger
- Spirit Robe
- Mantle of Discord
Other items you may want to consider for this build include:
- Mystical Mail
- Heartward Amulet
- Ethereal Staff
- Soul Reaver
When you’re first loading into the game, Aror recommends starting your tank build path with Guardian’s Blessing, Glowing Emerald, and some potions. After that, you want to pick up Shoes of Focus right away. In most cases, Shoes of Focus will be your perfect choice for boots, but Aror does mention that all boots have a place — and you can consider picking up Traveler’s Shoes for extra movement or Shoes of the Magi if you really value the additional power.
For your next main items, start looking to build your defenses! Aror is a big fan of aura items and feels they’re a strong choice for supports in Season 7 — so be sure you pick some up to benefit both yourself and your teammates. Sovereignty, Gauntlet of Thebes, and Mystical Mail are all items you can easily slot into any guardian’s build these days.
After you finish your boots, finish that Glowing Emerald you started with by picking up Gauntlet of Thebes. This powerful aura item will give you a ton of health and protections for great early game tankiness. Just make sure you’re spending enough time around minion waves to get those stacks.
Once you’ve completed Gauntlet of Thebes, Aror advises you pick up either Sovereignty or Heartward Amulet. Which one you choose really just depends on what kind of damage your team is dealing with. If you’re getting a lot of magical damage, pick up Heartward. If you’re getting a lot of physical damage, pick up Sovereignty. If you’re seeing a strong mix of both damage types and feel like it’s too close to call, lean towards Sovereignty since Towers and Phoenixes deal physical damage.
Next, you may want to pick up another health option with Relic Dagger. This item gives you health, movement speed, and CDR. So not only will you be a more mobile damage sponge, but this item’s passive will make sure your relics are up more often so you can bail your team out of tough spots!
For your last two items, Aror advises getting Spirit Robe and then Mantle of Discord. You can pick up these items in any order, so consider the enemy’s composition to decide which item to prioritize. If the enemy is dropping a lot of hard crowd control on you, Spirit Robe should be your first pickup. If not, go with Mantle of Discord first. Aror calls Mantle a must-have, as it’s one of the best all-around tank items in the game.
Once you hit the hyper late game, Aror suggests picking up an Elixir of Speed so you can sell your boots and pick up one more item. He suggests some sort of power item in this slot, like Ethereal Staff or Soul Reaver.
Hybrid Support Build
If your team composition demands a more aggressive support playstyle from you, you’ll need to switch up your build accordingly. Aror’s suggested hybrid support built will let you get in the enemy’s face with damage and debuffs while you frontline for your team.
A build in this style might include these items instead of more traditional tank items:
- Stone of Binding
- Ethereal Staff
- Mail of Renewal
- Mystical Mail
In most situations, it’ll be up to you to decide which traditional support items you might want to swap out for some of these more hybrid picks. But here’s a brief rundown of the situations where some of these items might be good to have.
If you’re playing a god with a lot of early CC — like Artio or Kumbhakarna — Stone of Binding is a great item to pick up right after your boots. Because it debuffs any enemy who is hit with a crowd control effect, this item can set you and your team up to do a lot more damage that may catch your opponents off-guard.
When you’re playing a guardian who can pack a punch in terms of damage, consider picking up Ethereal Staff! This item will let you do some relevant damage while still building some tankiness. It has great health stats on it, and it steals both health and mana from your targets. This is a really fun option if you’re looking to do some damage as a support.
Despite what some people might think, Aror argues that Mail of Renewal can be a sleeper item. With 400 health, 10% CDR, and a competitive price tag, this item is worth trying out for at least a few test drives. It may not be the best choice for Conquest, but Arena and Assault mains should definitely give this a go!
Aror has already preached the gospel of aura items, and suggests trying out Mystical Mail if you want a more aggressive aura item, especially given the item’s recent buffs. Mystical Mail will constantly pulse out magical damage in an aura around you, so even just being near the enemy team will help you and your allies in a fight. Your opponents may ignore you in fights, but they’ll pay for it if they underestimate this item!
Support Items to Avoid
We’re still in the early stages of Season 7, and Aror believes that a lot of items are strong right now — so don’t be afraid to experiment a bit and just try things out for your support build! Even an unlikely pick like Shoes of the Magi (which a lot of people are writing off) could be good to pick up.
But even so, Aror mentions there are a couple items you will want to avoid in the current update:
- Stone of Fal: Aror says this item isn’t particularly impressive right now. It lets you gain the protections of a nearby ally, but you as a support will be the one building the most protections. So you likely won’t get a ton of value out of it.
- Hide of the Urchin: If you’re looking to stack protections and are thinking of building this item, just buy Gauntlet of Thebes instead. Urchin can be good if you manage to get it fully stacked, but sometimes it’s tough for guardians to reliably earn those stacks.
Now that we have some insight on how to build your guardian for Season 7, Aror leaves us with two pieces of advice for support players:
Expect to spend more time in duo than you did in Season 6. Invading isn’t as good now, especially now that everyone gets a Vision Shard for free at Level 1. If you’re using your vision properly, you can spot out the enemy and punish them accordingly — but remember, the enemy can do the same to you if you’re thinking of invading them.
Don’t let allies tell you not to split farm with them! This is your lot in life as a support; no one wants you in lane with them splitting gold and experience. You have to split somewhere though, so make sure you don’t just immediately give in to everyone or you’ll end up underleveled!
If you follow these pro tips, you should be well on your way to being an MVP support for your team in Season 7 of SMITE. But if you’re queuing up for Conquest, make sure you also check out our pro tips guide for the S7 Conquest map to get more information about new lane starts and other strategies you’ll need to earn that Victory screen. Or take a look at our other recommended pro build guides:
We’d like to extend our thanks to Aror for sharing his support knowledge with us. You can follow him on Twitter @ArorTheChunk or catch some of his guardian builds in action when the SMITE Pro League kicks off this March. In the meantime, there are plenty more pro guides coming your way for all things Season 7.
Now go forth and conquer the support role! But make sure you stay tuned here for our upcoming guides, news, and more! You can also follow us on Twitter @SmitePro to get instant updates on what’s new in Season 7 and how you can play it like a pro.